Fascinated, Blaze sat and watched Logan lose himself in his work. His dark hair flowed in a gleaming fall over his wide shoulders and the sides of his face. To keep the view of his subjects clear, at times Logan’s sure hands would tuck it behind his ears with deft movements, seemingly unconscious of what he was doing.
Even when he was ready to move to a new vista, he didn’t speak to Blaze. It was as if he’d forgotten he was there. Doesn’t even realize I’ve carried his chair and supplies each time he’s moved to a new spot.
This amused Blaze, yet it was something he understood. On the battlefield, you shut out the extraneous to concentrate on the job you had to do. Your teammates did the same. Some people called it being in the groove.
Others called it flow.
From what Blaze was observing about Logan, he would call it flow.
He imagined him lost in the images, colors, and feelings flowing
through his vision and emotions to his skillful fingers. Logan’s concentration was so deep, it was almost frantic. He must think if he didn’t capture it on paper now, he’d lose it all. Maybe lose the sense of wonder, the passion of first seeing this breathtaking place.
Often, Blaze would step behind Logan, glance at the charcoal or pastel scenes flying from his fingers onto the white pad, and know he was seeing an enormous talent. He wondered if Rider was famous, but then he realized his knowledge of what constituted good art could be stored on a snowflake. He was a hardened sonofagun who could barely sketch a stick figure. He’d have never seen the beauty in those tones of brown contrasting with the swan on the river. Still, something about this man and his art tugged at him. Plus, his inner wolf had run in circles this morning when he’d first looked at Logan. Whether that was anxiety or approval, he had no way of knowing. At least it hadn’t yipped in alarm.
When they’d left the boards and climbed earthen steps to another level, Logan stood for a moment and looked around. It was warm by the hot pools, and his face was damp with sweat. Several strands of hair had escaped from behind his ears and were plastered to his cheeks.
Blaze couldn’t resist touching him. He lifted the strands and pushed them behind Logan’s ears, making sure his fingers touched the tops of his ears and the warmth of the beating pulses at his temples. A hum of pleasure began inside him.
As if coming out of a fog, Logan said, “Oh, it’s you.”
“Yes, Logan Rider, it’s me, Blaze Canis.” He leaned in and brushed his lips across Logan’s, oblivious to whether or not they were seen and not caring if they were. “Hmm, you taste good. Ready to take a break?”
The artist shook his head, and a shake of it flung his long hair behind his shoulders with practiced finesse. “What about the mud pots? Are they far?”
With an inward groan, Blaze, whose stomach demanded food, said, “We can make it now if you’d like. There may be less color there, so it might not take you as long.”
Turned out he was wrong. They passed small, shooting geysers here and there. And, contrary to his hope, ponds whose blue was opaque from silica enticed Logan to stop and sketch. He halted again when they came upon brilliant orange runoff from a break in the earth’s crust called a fumarole. Volcanic gasses escaped from them.
“Bacteria cause that color,” Blaze said. “The volcano causes the sulfur odor.”
“Ugh. Let’s move on. I can’t stand the smell.”
The mud pots were pale brown, slick, and so noisy they sounded like gigantic plops of heavy rainfall.
Logan laughed as he sketched. “They’re like upside down pots that suddenly bubble up, burp, and disappear into the mud again before resurfacing. I’ve never seen anything like them.”
“Lots of unique things here. Thanks to President Teddy Roosevelt, it’s preserved forever for people to enjoy.”
“I’ll have to come back another morning. There’s just too much to take in.”
* * * *
When they finally broke for lunch, they decided to eat in the car to avoid attracting a bear.
Half in jest, Blaze said, “If one comes, I’ll just start the car and blast off like the jump to hyperspace. This car looks like it could do that.” He withdrew thermoses of cold water from the metal antibear container. He handed one to Logan as he broke out bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado sandwiches on toasted white bread. There were small bags of chips, which quickly disappeared.
“Too much fat and salt, but I could’ve eaten more of those,” Logan said.
They ate big peaches, their flesh yellow-orange, their juices sweet. They used white paper napkins to wipe their faces and hands dry. The fruit’s rich, sweet scent filled the air inside the car.
“Some of Yellowstone must’ve been frightening to the Indians who first discovered it,” Blaze mused.
Logan nodded. “I’m pure Shoshone, and I’ve already pictured them here even before the days of the horse, but after they’d already camped and hunted in the forest. I think they would have revered the springs with awe and as something deeply spiritual.”
Blaze trailed his fingers down Logan’s bare arm. “When I first saw you in my class, I guessed Native American, then Shoshone.”
“Really? I know I look Native, but how did you know my tribe?”
He shrugged. “I’ve been studying the history here and knew about the tribes connected to it. I thought I was guessing about yours, but maybe deep inside I just knew.” Maybe his wolf had told him. Blaze stopped stroking.
“Don’t stop. Your fingers skimming my skin feel good.”
It stirred his crotch…that was what the feel of the smooth skin did to him,
Blaze thought. “Ever since that first look into your eyes, I’ve sensed a connection with you. You felt it too.” He turned Logan’s hand over and kissed the sensitive area of his wrist, evoking a gasp from the Indian. His tongue then journeyed up and over and down to the tender space between each finger.
Logan squirmed in his seat with what seemed to be pleasure before answering Blaze’s question. “I felt a connection. Not sure what it means. It worries me.” The skin between Logan’s eyebrows drew together.
“Hell, it worries me too!” Blaze said.
Blaze removed the sandwich from Logan’s hand and set it down between the seats. Then he slid his hand behind Logan’s neck and drew him in to slide his lips across Logan’s. At first, there was no response. Searching for a metaphor, he decided it was like kissing a carved wooden Indian outside a tobacco shop. Then he felt Logan’s body relax, and his hands cupped Blaze’s face as he opened his mouth to him. He swept inside until their tongues touched, probed, and, at last, mated in the most intimate way. Logan’s mouth tasted of sweet peaches, and he licked the remnants of the juices from the corner of his bewitching mouth.
Blaze groaned and broke the kiss to run his hands through Logan’s hair until they settled on the back of his head. He kissed Indian eyes and temples, slipped his hot tongue into warm ears, and felt Logan squirm again when he brushed a hand across his swollen jeans.
Logan sighed as Blaze’s tongue and lips traveled to the pulses pounding in his throat below his ear.
Blaze’s crotch was too tight now, his penis so big he thought all the blood in his head must have rushed in and settled there. He felt weak yet energized as his foreskin slipped back to expose the deep purplish tip of his cock. His entire body trembled with the power of his arousal. The need to fuck this man hard and fast over and over until they were exhausted from climaxing.