Genres: Gay, GLBT, Western
Editor(s): Lon Sarver
Cover Designer(s): Siol na Tine
Cover Art Credits: Art by Loveliestdreams at Dreamstime.
Production Editor(s): Erika L. Firanc
Proofreader(s): Laylah Hunter
Length: Short Story (8,000 Words)
Publication Date: October 25, 2012
Serialization Date: February 27, 2016
Archive(d) on March 19, 2016
Tags: cowboy, m/m, person(s) of color, Rawhide, Short Story
Content Labels (What they are and why we use them)
He wiggled the paper out of the rucksack and unfolded it, and fear hit his stomach like a long swallow of cold water. It was a wanted poster, embossed with a perfect image of the man snoring gently beside him.
“Wanted,” he read to himself. “For bank robbery, train robbery, arson, murder, and rape… ” His eyes flicked down to the bottom of the poster. “Ten thousand dollars, dead or alive, for El Espectro.”
Marco hastily jammed the paper back into the man’s rucksack and backed away, praying that El Espectro did not hear him. “Please, please,” he muttered to himself, then whispered, “Please, don’t wake up.” What was worse, sharing a fire with a murderous criminal, or wanting to fuck a murderous criminal?
“Please what?” El Espectro’s voice was soft, a little rusty from sleep, but clear in the silence of the desert.
“Please… ah… ” Marco’s voice faltered. He laughed nervously. “I’m sorry to bother you, friend. Just a little personal business.”
“Personal business, hmm?” El Espectro spread out his long arms and pushed himself up, looking like a lanky black spider in the starlight. “Now, don’t tell me you’ve been doin’ something dirty and watching me sleep. I don’t know if I’d like that much.”
“Nothing bad!” Marco thrust his hands out in front of himself, and El Espectro caught Marco’s wrists. “Please, señor, I meant no harm. It’s just that the starlight out here, well, it is very beautiful.”
“There are a lot of beautiful things out here,” murmured El Espectro. He drew Marco close to his chest, and the chill of the desert night seemed to make the heat radiating from him even hotter. Marco moaned, and his eyes fluttered, his lips parted, waiting for a kiss.
Instead, he felt leather thongs slipping over his wrists. “And you’re sure one of those things,” El Espectro said. “I just might have to take you with me when I move on.”
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