When I came back into the barn, into where I’d left him to finish washing up while I continued sloppin’ the hogs (you don’t wanna know), he was just sitting there, just kinda poking at his skin with the brush. I chuckled.
"They don’t do that, where you’re from? Here."
I squatted down next to the tub, took the brush out of his hands, and started running it over his body, trying not to look at the way it ran over his body. He squirmed at the bristles and gave me a smile. It was his usual smile—the goofy one that was too wide, too happy considering what he was smiling about. Like it was uncalibrated.
"Pa says you can stay. Don’t expect an apology, or nothin’, but you can stay. And don’t mind him. He just doesn’t much care for people who are foreign. Or different." I snorted. "You can trust me on that one." He just kept smiling; it’d only been a few days, but I’d already found I liked talking to him, liked the quiet way he just accepted me, and what I said. Maybe it was ‘cause he didn’t have a damn clue what I was saying, sure, but I liked that when I talked to him he didn’t furrow his brow or purse his lips or nothing, like everybody else in my life did when I opened my mouth. He smiled.
So I was so lost in my own rambling that it took me a few ticks to notice that he wasn’t smiling anymore. I trailed off as I noticed he was looking down, confused-like, at where his dick was rising out of the sudsy patch at his crotch. And then I was looking at it in a different way entirely; it stood up perfect, and straight, and pristine, and golden. And not skin-mag-I-kept-under-the-floorboards perfect, either—mine was bigger—but just plain perfect, really perfect, like the rest of him.
Yeah, somebody up above had done a damn good job with him.
I hesitated, and then I decided I was done hesitating, for good; when my hand made first contact, when I wrapped my shaking fingers around his warm shaft, he jerked in the tub, but I held on. I felt soapy water splash onto my boots, but I didn’t care. I stroked him, and he keened, and I stroked him some more, and he grabbed onto the sleeve of my Carhartt and tugged as I tugged on him, burying his face in my arm to prevent himself from crying out more loudly. Afterwards I left him panting, happy (maybe I liked him ‘cause he was always just so damn happy?) and smiling again, so I could get back to my chores.
I walked out of the barn. Ma would have dinner ready soon; she was making her famous chicken (I could smell it frying from way down there), and had baked not one but two pies for the occasion. Pa might not’ve been pleased to have him around, but underneath all her mutterin’ about the extra work I knew she was taking special pride in having someone at the table who was able to put away as much of her cooking as three extra farmhands put together—if he hadn’t been asking (well, gesturing) for fourths anyway, I think she would’ve strapped him down and force fed him the rest. I looked up over past the crick, to the ragged gash of dark earth on the hillside where he’d landed, the one that Pa was expecting me to fill in (we’d already buried the ship) if he was gonna stay. It was just one of the jobs that Pa’d set as conditions for keeping him around; the biggest one was making him useful on the farm, but I didn’t mind that, since it meant he was gonna have to follow me around all summer. And he’d have to stay in the barn overnight, too, at least at first—but I’m pretty sure that’d change once I taught him some words, and stopped him from just opening his mouth and screeching and shattering all the glass in a room. Then Pa’d probably have to let him back into the house (it was already busting every one of Ma’s rules to keep a visitor in the barn) and maybe we’d even share a room, and maybe—I’d walked over to the side of the barn and grabbed the shovel, and it wasn’t until I felt the wood of the handle against my skin that I realized my hand was still wet, right where my thumb met my palm.
Yeah, keeping him around was gonna be a lot of work. But it was gonna be worth it.