Wednesday Briefs: Just out of Reach

It’s another flash in Avery’s Civil War series. Are you ready for more Henry and Emory? This week’s prompt was to use the words deer, spice, and bedroom in the story. Avery fit them all in nicely.

I hope you enjoy the next chapter in this series! Oh, a quick note before you start reading… this piece is borderline NSFW and is appropriate for those 16 and over.


Just out of Reach


Avery Dawes

Another loud crash. This one closer. Okay, not musket fire. Maybe not human. He wouldn’t bet on the human part, though. Henry met Emory’s eyes. “Do you think it’s soldiers?” he whispered. He hoped speaking the words wouldn’t make them true.

Emory shrugged. “Suppose it’s possible. But most regiments make a lot of noise when they march. Skirmishers not as much.”

Henry knelt, facing Emory. “Well, we shouldn’t wait to find out. Let’s get moving.”

Three deer—two does and one fawn—barreled through the clearing, running east. The trio never slowed their pace as they passed the two men.

“What’s got them so spooked?” Emory muttered, using his rifle as a cane.

“It’s got to be soldiers. Scouts, maybe.” Henry frowned. He didn’t like the thought of General Lee’s men commandeering his horses and crops, let alone taking over his house and bedroom.

A loud crack of thunder dispelled the notion of soldiers. Lightning flashed overhead. Somehow the storm had snuck up on them. Henry blushed when he recalled what had him so distracted—the man before him now getting to his feet.

“Should’ve known Mother Nature was the cause of this here ruckus. Can’t tell you how many downpours I’ve suffered through on this campaign.”

Henry chuckled, imagining Emory as a drowned rat. The chuckle soon morphed into a groan when he considered Emory’s cotton shirt plastered to his muscular body, outlining each and every curve and plane. The water droplets would skate down his broad chest and over what Henry guessed was a ripped abdomen.

Emory’s voice was husky when he asked, “Want to share what you’re thinking? It’s gotta be mighty good.”

Henry noticed the other man’s eyes were fixed on a spot below his belt. Oh dear! The tent in his trousers was a dead giveaway to what he’d been thinking. He quickly turned his back to Emory and tried to reposition himself.

Mother Nature intervened again with another longer rumble of thunder. The sound had apparently covered Emory’s approach. Whiskers scratched along Henry’s neck before teeth nipped at his ear lobe. A tongue soothed away the sting. “I like the direction of your thoughts. To be perfectly frank, arousal looks good on you, Henry Zeigler.”

The feel of Emory’s breath on his skin sent shivers up and down Henry’s spine. He hardened even more. A whole family could camp in the front of his pants now. He sucked in a deep breath, inhaled a male spice that was all Emory—sweat, musk, and fresh air.

“You know, I can help you with that,” Emory teased. His hand snaked around Henry’s midsection and dipped below his belt.

Henry’s head lolled back onto Emory’s shoulder, his eyelids drifting closed. He let go of his nerves and uneasiness, forced his mind to concentrate on the other man’s touch. Emory appeared to be skilled in making him feel good. He wouldn’t object to the man easing the painful erection now plaguing him.

First one large raindrop and then two more splattered on Henry’s forehead. What the—? He blinked, his eyelashes damp with even more raindrops. Mother Nature had become rather aggravating. The rain quickly washed away Henry’s feelings of lust.

Henry straightened and cleared his throat as he stepped from Emory’s loose hold. He grabbed the soldier’s arm and draped it over his shoulder. “We need to get to the farmhouse. Now!”  He had no sooner finished speaking than a jagged bolt of lightning struck off to their left, the sound deafening. It lit the gloomy sky, nearly blinding him.

Henry shouted over the roar of the rain, “We’ve got to move!”

The rain fell in sheets, pelting down, painfully pummeling their skin. Thunder roared and boomed overhead, shaking the ground. Emory stumbled on the uneven terrain. Henry tightened his grip, doing his best to keep the man from falling.

Electricity prickled the hairs on Henry’s nape. He quickened their pace. Henry shouted, “We’ve got to go faster!” He wrapped an arm around Emory’s waist, half-dragging, half-carrying him the last hundred yards to safety. The back porch was in sight. Henry wouldn’t breathe a sigh of relief until they were safely under cover.

Lightning struck behind them. A sharp sound split the air, the scent of burnt wood wafted above the rain. Was one of the stately oaks in his backyard Mother Nature’s latest victim? Henry didn’t want them to be next. With all his might, Henry threw them onto the back porch, nearly crashing them into the side of the house.

Gasping for breath, Henry asked, “You alive? Leg gonna make it?”

Emory pushed to his feet and stayed bent at the waist, forearms propped on his thighs. “Gosh darn it, Henry,” he paused, sucking in great breaths of air. “You Yankees sure have it in for me!”

Not sure if Emory meant the remark or was merely joking, Henry leaned the man’s rifle against the window frame. He took off Emory’s dripping hat and placed it on the bench outside the door. Next, he guided Emory to a seat. Henry dropped to his knees and unlaced Emory’s well-worn shoes, pulling them from his sodden feet.

Fingers gently ran through Henry’s hair, massaging his scalp. They came to rest on the back of his neck. Emory’s voice sounded close when he murmured, “I was just teasing you, Henry. The leg will make it. All thanks to you.”

to be continued

Please be sure to check out pieces from these flashers!

Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

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