Jake was a big man. From his large head through his broad shoulders, deep torso, meaty buttocks, and thick thighs, to his big hands and feet, he was big. Six foot two. He was also a happy man. He was proud of the work he did, felling trees, helping provide the lumber his still adolescent nation needed to continue growing until it took on its rightful place on the world stage Jake knew it was destined for.
His one great regret in life to date was that he was too young to join the military at the time, so he only learned about future president Teddy Roosevelt’s famous ride up San Juan Hill during the Spanish American War by reading about it in the newspaper. He very much wished he had been old enough to have ridden with Teddy.
The closest he could come was to vote for Roosevelt on the Bull Moose ticket in 1912, when he turned 21 and was old enough to vote. Taft was plainly Roosevelt’s one big mistake, in Jake’s opinion, and did not deserve a second term. He really wanted Roosevelt to win, but Wilson was better than Taft. He was more interested in individual men than the political party they represented.
But not much that went on at the other end of the continent had much impact on Jake, living and working as he did in a timber camp in the other Washington, the state on the west coast, not the city on the east coast. He had grown up in the vicinity, son of some of the first European settlers in the area. He spent his childhood avidly exploring the forest that was the most obvious geographical feature of the place, and of his life, as it would turn out.
Chad caught Jake’s eye on his first day in the camp. Jake had a keen eye for the young men who showed up regularly to work with him cutting timber. They were always robustly healthy and well muscled, as the work required. No effete, shallow chested men working in the timber camps. The timber camps had a well developed tradition of intimate relationships between older and younger men that the participants knew about, but mostly escaped official notice.
Chad was more attractive than most. He was young, boyish, and blond. A bit shorter than Jake and compact, well muscled, for Chad Jake felt an emotional tug as well as the physical attraction he often felt for new men in the camp.
“Who’s the new guy?” Jake asked the foreman.
“Name’s Chad. Got your eye on him?” the foreman replied, laughing.
“Look at that butt. Who wouldn’t?” Jake replied. “He’ll make a good lumberman.”
“If he survives,” replied the foreman. “He’s one of those kids who is too smart for his own good.”
The foreman was not wrong. Work in the lumber camps could be very dangerous, especially for new men who had not yet learned the routines of felling and removing huge trees, any of which could easily kill a man if it landed on him. The large saws they used to fell the trees could also be treacherous.
Since Jake was an old hand, relatively speaking, he often tried to keep an eye out for new men, helping them avoid death or serious injury as they learned the job.
Keeping an eye on Chad was especially easy since he continued to find the younger man unusually attractive.
And a good thing, too, because on his third day as a lumberman, Chad failed to heed a warning and was standing directly in the path of a falling tree. Jake saw the event unfolding and reacted quickly, rushing over and tackling Chad, moving him out of the path of the falling tree, such that they both suffered only scratches from the branches instead of being crushed under the trunk.
In the moment when they landed on the ground together, necessarily in an embrace, covered by tree limbs, Jake felt the physical attraction he would have expected, but he also felt an unaccustomed wave of intense emotion wash over him. He felt lust for Chad, but he also felt love.
“That was close,” Jake said.
“Yeah. Thanks. You saved me,” Chad replied, slowly, his voice husky. It seemed that Chad reciprocated the emotion as they looked into each other’s eyes.
Fully aroused, Jake pressed himself hard against Chad and relished the heft of his buttocks, sneaking in a feel during the seconds they had before they appeared from under the branches, mostly unscathed, to go back to work.
Jake had long participated with a group of fellow lumbermen who would congregate in town on Saturday night, have dinner, then retire to a hotel and spend the night enjoying each other sexually. Jake relished these weekly meetings. Being a very healthy young man, he had enormous sexual energy and found very gratifying the opportunity to satiate his sexual urges with like minded men. They tried to keep a low profile, especially after hearing about a similar group of men getting arrested and prosecuted in 1912 down in Portland, but that’s a big city. The town nearest the timber camp was a small town where everyone mostly knew everyone else. The town had a somewhat complicated relationship with the timber camp. Everyone knew that the timber men usually spent most of their income in the town, but having a group of mostly young men nearby without direct supervision, some of whom were pretty rough around the edges, sometimes had results that the people in the town were less than thrilled with. From that perspective, the antics of Jake and his group of buddies were entirely inoffensive. They paid for their hotel room and used it quietly and without tearing anything up.
Still, they were well aware of the potential hazards of nosy police officers and over zealous prosecutors, so they were at some pains to keep their activities secret. They typically sounded prospective members out for a while before inviting them. After a few years, they had not had any problems.
Jake immediately resolved to introduce Chad to the group as an easy way to begin to indulge his sexual attraction more directly. He had taken every opportunity since their introduction under the tree to chat with Chad and get to know him, taking him on as an older brother would a younger brother. In the slightly awkward, blundering way of two young men, they had established their interest in each other to the point of knowing that they wanted to find more ways to express their mutual affection. The only problem with Jake’s plan was that the group had a rule that any new man had to have sex with every other member of the group who wanted to over the course of his first weeks as a new member. Jake could enjoy Chad as his own the first night, but then would have to leave him to the ministrations of the other men in the group for the first nine or ten weeks following. He very much looked forward to the prospect of seeing and penetrating Chad’s naked buttocks, but he loathed the idea that Chad would then also have to spend several weeks engaging in the same or similar acts with the other members of the group.
During a quiet moment, away from work, Jake explained it to Chad.