Well put a dress on me and called me Betty, the son of a gun took Josiah up on the bet.
Josiah, Ezra and I were riding back from Eagle Bend when Josiah decided we should hold up until later in the day. Summer had hit hard this year and the horses weren't having a good time carrying us at high noon. Can't say I blame the horses or Josiah for wanting to wait until the sun had gone down a bit; it was the kind of hot day where the flies just laid in your lap and told you act like they were flying around annoying you. People do the strangest things when it's hot.
Sure, we were sick of Ezra jawing about how his Southern blood had him accustomed to all the heat the sun could throw at a man, but when Josiah put up a dollar to have Ezra lie naked in the sun for an hour just to prove he wouldn't sizzle up like fat hitting a fry pan I thought the prize wouldn't be worth the show. But, it's Ezra; gambling ain't always about money.
I laughed at Ezra takin' Josiah's bet until Ezra threw his belt at me. Damn thing near hit me in the eye, so I used that excuse to keep one on Ezra while he got undressed. I was only taking care of m'self - who knew what the man would throw at me next? In the end I ended up with one sleeve garter and both socks in my lap. His socks smelt of sweat and leather and I didn't mind one lick. Not one.
Josiah once told me how in different countries different parts of the body are considered “off limits” to the public. Even those places where the women walk around with not a stitch on - they cover their necks and only their husbands can see. I can understand that. I have a …thing… for hips. That place about an inch above the bone where its fleshy and warm, and if you push just hard enough it's a mean tickle.
Now when it comes to love I am not a violent man. Fists and hate and pain don't belong in a bed built for two, but…. his skin is so white. So pure. In all my days I don't reckon I've seen anything as white as that. My fingers curled into fists, itching to grab his hips so they leave marks. My fingers. His hips. My fingers on his hips, grabbing him so tight while I try to hold him. Not that I could hold him - someone like Ezra could never been held for long.
It would only be fair then - I'd bruise his hips with my fingers since he would bruise my heart with want.
In the end it only took fifteen minutes before Ezra wanted his clothes, the sun too hot even for him. His back was already pink, as was his thighs. His hips though stayed pale.
My fingers itch for colour.