A Walk In The Woods

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Roy Smith-Jones was in front of the cabin he shared with his husband Douglas. They lived in Canada which had been a culture shock, considering that Roy was born in New York. 

Sometimes he would dream of tall buildings and gray concrete.

He was chopping wood and with each strike of his ax, the twacking sound rang through the trees.

He raised the ax with its worn wooden handle and brought it down onto a log, splitting the log neatly in two. He lowered his ax and stuck it into the stump he was using as a log splitting table.

His body was covered in sweat and the sun warmed his back. He had once told Doug that the outdoors gave him a rash, but he thought he wasn't too bad at all this nature stuff. The pile of spilt logs around his feet were poof of that.

He didn't mean to brag, but he thought of himself as a log splitting machine. He didn't spilt logs just because they needed them to keep warm in the winter, sometimes he would have so much energy that it would feel like his mind was going ninety miles an hour with a full tank of gas. Back in New York when he felt like that he would go to the gym and lift some weights

There weren't any gyms around so he had to improvise. Living in the middle of nowhere had its disadvantages.

As a kid, teachers used to say he was a trouble maker, but really he was just hyper and sometimes bored.

He gathered up his spilt logs and piled them high just outside the cabin. His brain was still buzzing along like a bee on crack and his arms felt achy but that was nothing a hot shower couldn't fix. At least he didn't have to use Doug's smell skin lotion, not that he minded Doug rubbing him all over. Doug was a real wild man and maybe it was because he was a Mountie and spent most of his time in the wilderness. Even Doug's eyes were green like a pine tree.

He then went inside and looked around with a smile of his face.

The cabin was small, but it was filled with stuff from his and Doug's  life. His brown leather jacket hung on a hook next to Doug's pea coat. He ran his fingers over the coat's rough, dark blue wool fabric. It really was a shame that Doug only wore in the winter, Doug looked great in it, but then he looked good in anything.

He kicked off his boots and wiggled his toes.

He walked through the living room and saw their dog Barry laying on their couch with his nose buried in the quilt Roy's mother had made for them.

He went over to Barry and ran his fingers through Barry's soft fur. The fur was white with brown spots and one of Barry's ears flopped down while the another one stood straight up.

'Hey, buddy. You wanna go for a walk later?' Roy asked him.

Barry's tail wagged and he licked Roy'a fingers.

Roy grinned. 'I'll take that as a yes. I gotta take a shower first,' Roy said as he sniffed his pits. He smelled ripe, but chopping wood would do that to a guy. Doug often said that Roy had a wonderful scent, but Roy thought that he smelled like an old sock dipped in garbage.

He went over to his turtle's turtle tank and picked up Spot. The tank was an old fish tank with a heating lamp on one side. People said that turtle's were a weird pet, but he had had Spot for years and couldn't wish for a better pet. Maybe it was because they both liked apples.

Spot popped his head and legs out of his shell as Roy lifted him to his face.

'Hey, big guy. You wanna go for a walk too?'

Spot wiggles his legs and moved his head back and forth.

Roy laughed. 'I thought you'd say yes. Just let me hop in the shower and we'll go.'

He walked over to the couch and put Spot on top of Berry. Spot buried his face in Berry's fur and Berry tail wagged.

He walked into the bathroom and pulled off his sweat damp shirt and dirty jeans.

He turned on the shower and waited until it warmed up. When the water was warm enough, he stepped under the spray and groaned when the water hit his skin. One of the things he always missed during the year when they were building their cabin was hot running water.

He lathered up and rubbed his soap covered hands all over his body. He washed his hair and stepped out. Wrapping a towel around his waist, he stood in front of the bathroom mirror and stared at his face.

His dark hair was a little longer than he liked, he would have to get it cut the next time he went to town and his stubble was getting thick. He was out of razors and while Doug shaved with a sharp knife, he wasn't that brave. Knowing his luck he would cut his face to ribbons if he used a knife.

He noticed that the crow's feet around his eyes were getting deeper, but that just meant he lead a good life (as his mom would say).

Giving himself a thumbs up in the mirror, he made his way to his bedroom.

He threw on a shirt that was a little too tight, all that wood chopping had done wonders for his chest, and he put on some clean jeans and went to get Berry and Spot for a walk.

Berry stood by the front door as his tail wagged. Spot was still on Berry back.

Roy laughed as he picked up Spot, rubbed Spot's head and sat him back down on Berry's back. 'I bet you guys have been looking forward to this?'

He picked up his walking cane, a thick, curved stick Doug had curved for him and they went for a walk. Berry walked next to Roy with Spot of his back. Spot moved his head around. Even though Spot had been outside many times, he still liked to look around.

As they walked down the worn path into the woods, sunlight streamed through the threes and Roy let it warm his skin. A gentle breeze blew and he caught a whiff of the sweet smelling wild flowers. Spring and summer might not last long in Canada, but he, Berry and Spot sure did enjoy it while it lasted.

They stopped on top of a hill. Roy picked up Spot and sat him in the grass. Spot made a happy noise as he ate the blades of grass. He thought Doug was joking when he said that Spot was a species of turtle commonly found in Canada, but he wasn't joking at all.

Roy walked up to a large rock and sat down. The warmth from the rock soaked into his jeans.

Berry came up to Roy and rested his head on Roy's knee.

Roy petted Berry. 'You miss Doug don't ya? Don't worry he'll be back from patrol soon.'

Berry usually went on patrol with Doug, but he (Berry not Doug) had gotten a bitch across the way knocked up and he wanted to be there when the puppies were born.

Even though Roy had said it for Berry he also said it for himself. He missed Doug, but he would never ask Doug to give up his job. He had learned that from his ex wife.

They sat there for several minutes and then they went home. As Roy was coming down the path he saw Doug standing in the doorway of their cabin. He ran up to Doug and wrapped him in a tight hug.

After several moments, they broke the hug and Roy brushed their lips together. Doug's lip were rough and chapped and his dark stubble tickled Roy's face.

They broke the kiss and Roy grinned. 'I thought you weren't coming back until next week.'

'I finished my patrol early and couldn't wait to see you.'

Berry barked were his was standing next to Roy.

Fraser looked down at Berry with a fond expression. 'Of course, I missed you and Spot too.'

Doug took Roy's hand and lead him into the cabin.

He was going to show Doug just how much he missed him. And he did, many many times.

Later that night, Roy and Doug were in bed. Doug was flat on his back and Roy was using Doug's chest as a pillow. Roy sighed as Doug's fingers combed through Roy's hair.

For once, Roy's brain wasn't buzzing. He was concentrating on the feeling of Doug's solid muscles and warm skin. He buried his nose into Doug's chest and breathed in Doug's cool scent.

As he laid there he thought that Doug was like the sunlight on the path in the woods; warm and soothing.

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