Notes: Pictures of cowboys make me think of Bobby and Van, so I decided I’d revisit their world and do a flashback from Van’s POV of when Bobby made his ultimatum. If you haven’t read the previous flash fics with them, you can find A Roll in the … Straw? and Hitched by clicking on the titles.
The End of His Rope
Being bi was supposed to end with his college graduation. College was a time for experimenting, for doing whatever the hell he wanted without consequences. Except, he was pretty sure he’d been fooling himself to think that was the case. Now that he was an adult—years after he’d been handed a diploma—he still wasn’t over Bobby Blake. Van looked at the rippling, tanned torso of his former college roommate as he lassoed a steer and ached. His cock was hard in his jeans so that ache was understandable, but the one in his heart was something else entirely.
Anyone with even the slightest attraction to men—and damn it, he couldn’t keep denying that anymore—would be turned on by the sight of the sweaty and undeniably sexy rancher. If they heard Bobby’s life story, they’d admire the way he’d taken over his ageing aunt and uncle’s place right after college and brought the failing property back to life. Anyone who knew Bobby would fall head over heels for him. And that was the goddamn problem. Van had fallen head over heels and it was time to face the cold hard truth.
Van pushed back from the split rail fence he’d been leaning on and looked at Bobby. His friend, his lover, the man he wanted so much more from. “I’ve been thinkin’ about what you said.”
Bobby’s jaw tightened. “And?”
“I can’t do it. I’m sorry.”
Nodding, Bobby settled his Stetson more firmly on his head. “Well, I guess this is it, then.”
“I guess so.”
The words were bland enough that his mother could have heard them. But under the surface lay years of passion and frustration. Of Bobby wanting more and Van struggling to give him even a little of what he asked for. “I’m sorry, Bobby. I really am.”
“You take care of yourself then,” Bobby said gruffly and Van’s heart sank. He took one last, long look at Bobby before turning on his heel and walking back to his car.
“Yeah, you too,” he threw over his shoulder. He didn’t know what he’d been expecting when he arrived, but not this. He’d taken a week off work to be with Bobby but it had gone downhill almost from the beginning when Bobby issued his ultimatum: come out of the closet, or we’re over. Sure, they’d fucked loads of times and slept together in Bobby’s big wooden bed since, but the looming question had slept between them.
All week, Van had been wrestling with the goddamn ultimatum like it was one of Bobby’s steers. Unfortunately, he was no rancher. He wasn’t brave like Bobby, living out and proud. And he was a goddamn idiot for expecting Bobby to fight for him, to beg him to stay after he said no. That wasn’t Bobby at all. Hell, that was one of the things Van loved about him.
Van’s car kicked up clouds of dust on the long drive out to the main road, swirling behind him and obscuring the final glimpse of Bobby and his ranch that Van kept searching for in the rearview mirror.
p.s. Thank you Helena for coming up with the absolute perfect title for this!
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I look forward to seeing you next Monday!