Excerpt from On the Eighteenth of January, ’78; or, A Night at Valley Forge

Copyright © Regina Kammer, 2014

“I saw him today,” Zeb said quietly.

Him could only refer to one man. Zeb held General George Washington in something more than high regard. He worshipped the man, hoping for a chance to see him every day, blushing and fawning like a virgin miss at an assembly hall during a country dance whenever the general happened across their squad. Barn wasn’t sure if it was endearing or unseemly.

Yet, it was too easy to fall under the spell that was “GW”. The general had an allure, a magnetism that drew all in, making women swoon and men want to serve. If the notion of independent states, the freedom to rise above circumstance of birth, the prospect of taxes building a nation rather than filling a king’s coffers did not attract the sons and daughters of America, then GW the man certainly did. Just his very presence got one’s blood to boil against tyranny, set one’s pulse beating to the rhythm of liberty, urged one’s feet to march for freedom.

GW was the sole reason why twelve thousand American soldiers camped on a plateau above a captured Philadelphia, keeping a watchful eye on the British while enduring freezing rains and the privations of civilized life, lacking proper clothes, nourishing food, suffering the pains of amputation and the stench of death.

“He was on foot,” Zeb murmured. “His great height the equal of mine own, yet I felt so small before him. His blue eyes penetrated my soul as he asked such simple questions—”

Zeb’s cock sprang to life in his clothes, pushing into Barn’s left butt cheek. Barn stifled a sigh.

“Did we have enough tools? Was there enough wood?”

Barn reached around and slowly unfastened the buttons at the fall of Zeb’s breeches. As always, Zeb gave no protest.

“He seemed very concerned our hut had not yet been constructed.”

Barn snorted. “Yeah, well, with Alex and Johnny laid up with dysentery and Zack dead, it’s been slow going.”

Zeb did not respond. He merely adjusted himself to allow Barn’s questing fingers better access at the placket of his drawers. Barn struggled to contain his zeal.

“He took off his hat to speak to me. His gray hair was still tinged with a touch of the auburn of his youth.”

Freed from its prison of clothes, Zeb’s magnificent manhood bobbed impetuously. Barn gripped the hard flesh, closing his eyes as heat from the intimate connection seeped through his fingerless gloves to course through his body.

“His timbre was melodious, almost enchanting. I could listen to him talk about felling trees all day.”

Barn chuckled. “And not do any felling yourself, hmm?”

Again Zeb ignored him, instead steering the conversation to his favorite topic. “How do you think he guards against the cold all alone in his tent?” There was a poignant earnestness to his question.

Barn twisted around to face his companion, the adulation and concern in Zeb’s expression softly illuminated by the dying campfire outside. “I’m sure his greatcoat keeps him plenty warm.” Zeb’s devotion to GW spawned a fragility that impelled Barn to want to protect his tent mate, to comfort him in the only way he knew how.

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