Disclaimer: Once again, I don't own these GW characters and make not even a dime from spending hours writing about them.

Warnings: AU, sexual situations, yaoi 1x2, 3x4, and various past relationship

The Pretender
Chapter 3
by Dyna Dee

"Are you all right?" asked the blue-eyed handsome hunk sitting next to him in the hot tub. Duo's breath was caught in his throat. He'd been startled by the cowboy, shocked, in fact, that he was actually sitting next to the man after having incorporated his image into a very vivid daydream; but that wasn't the entire reason for his current speechless state. The bare chested god, sitting not more than one foot away and staring at his face with concern, was even more handsome than he'd imagined. He had dark brown, windblown hair and skin that was tan and flawless. The stubble on his jawline added to the stranger's masculine appeal and fit in perfectly with his western-themed daydream. And his eyes, holy shit, they were the deepest blue, slightly slanted and heavily fringed by dark eyelashes. His nose was perfect in size and placement on his handsome face, and set above lips, while not too full, were smooth and moist and so very tempting.

"Who are you?" Duo, wide eyed, finally managed to choke out.

"Exchanging names at a place like this is rather taboo, isn't it?" the cowboy asked in return, a teasing tilt to his lips.

"I gave you my name," Duo countered, his own smile feeling strained. He felt more than a little unnerved by the other man's penetrating gaze.

"Well, Laredo, you can call me Tex." The tone in the cowboy's voice as he said his made-up name indicated the other man knew he was using an alias. "Laredo and Tex, sounds like a good match, don't you think?"

Duo grinned back. He had enjoyed pretending to be Laredo, and if the other man was going to go along with this fantasy, it might work to his advantage. This was exactly the type of opportunity he'd been waiting for. He could use his imagination, just as Dorothy had encouraged him to do, and finally get past the final stumbling blocks of his intimacy issues. He would imagine himself as Laredo, a professional prostitute, who had none of his own ridiculous hangs ups. When it came to sex, Laredo would know exactly what to do and how to do it. From the look on his face, Duo could tell the cowboy knew a thing or two himself about that subject.

"A match it is," he found himself saying, and this time he didn't back away when the blue-eyed stranger moved forward and captured his mouth again, giving him a toe-curling kiss he wasn't likely to ever forget.

In his head, he began a steady script to keep himself focused on the here and now and not on his own past. Laredo wouldn't be afraid of kissing a stranger or of the unfamiliar hands mapping out his body. He quickly assimilated himself into the role of the experienced courtesan, letting his hands wander over and around the smooth, bronzed skin, feeling strong shoulders, a nicely sculpted chest, a flat stomach and an impressive show of male anatomy. His right hand circled around that stiff member, and almost instantly the voice of his aunt seeped into his thoughts, telling him that what he was planning on doing was wrong, disgusting and a perversion against nature. He immediately countered the voice, just as Dorothy had taught him, by telling himself that being kissed and held was good. It certainly felt good, and Laredo wanted Tex to just keep on doing what he was doing. Laredo was used to getting whatever he wanted, and at the moment he wanted Tex more than anything.

"There's a room upstairs, want to go there now?" the stranger whispered against his mouth before his lips began a journey to his jaw and down his neck. Duo knew that if he stopped now he might not be able to dredge up the courage to go through with this again. Then it came to him; Tex was an upstairs employee. Damn, his kissing technique could certainly stand as proof of that profession because it was sheer perfection, and the hands roving his body certainly moved with confidence. At the moment he didn't care who or what Tex was, prostitute or cowboy, it was what they were about to do that had him firmly pushing away all negative thoughts and doubts in order to cling to his fantasy, which was now an effective tool for overcoming what had previously been an insurmountable obstacle. Immersing himself further into the role of Laredo, he wondered what provocative answer the highly paid prostitute would give the cowboy. He found himself speaking the honest-to-god truth, "I can't wait that long, Tex. I want you now."

With his eyes still closed from the heady kiss, Duo felt the cowboy disentangle himself and leave his side. Without the warm body to anchor him, the old familiar feeling of panic crept up on him. His eyes snapped open and he was instantly caught up by the sight of the naked, lean yet muscular body of the other man as he stepped out of the hot tub and went to his pants, folded on a nearby bench. Duo fleetingly wondered why he hadn't heard Tex enter the secluded area. His boots should have made some noise on the cobbled path - unless he'd taken them off. He decided very quickly that it didn't really matter how Tex came to be there, because at that moment every thought flew out of his head as the man turned around with a travel-size tube of lube and a condom in his hand, though that wasn't what held his attention. No, he only had eyes for the magnificent appendage jutting out from the nest of dark hair. The sight of the stiff member filled him with both fear and anticipation. Forcing himself to look away from that part of his anatomy, his gaze moved up that glorious body and locked with the cowboy's eyes. Deep blue pools of desire held his gaze as the man walked back to the hot tub and stepped down into the warm water again.

Tex proved to be a man of few words and a lot of action. After another round of hot and passionate kissing and fondling, Duo found himself lifted by strong arms, turned and carefully bent over the rim of the hot tub, exposing his entire backside. "I'm Laredo," he whispered to himself under his breath as he felt his old defenses rising up, urging him to scramble away from the man behind him and make a run for his clothes. No! He firmly resolved. I want this. I need this.

A slick finger teased and then invaded him, then worked at loosening the tight muscles. He relaxed as much as he was able, remembering Dorothy instructing him that preparation was essential. The thought came to him, How would a professional courtesan respond? He didn't have a whole lot of experience in being wanton or with sex; well, none at all considering he'd never actually done it before. He'd always been too afraid of the end result. But if there was one thing he was good at, it was having a vivid imagination. With his upper body resting on the warm wooden deck, he placed his face on his hands, folded beneath his cheek and did his best to relax. The faint odor of horse was in the air, and the not too distant whinny and snort helped Duo slip back into a his fantasy, of a world he'd only ever read about in books.

Laredo would be tired, having newly arrived from his journey from San Francisco. He could imagine himself walking into the foyer, dressed in an impeccable black suit over a white shirt and a bright yet tasteful neck scarf, his hat held over his chest by one hand, his valise secured in the other. He would pause to take stock of the large house, and even though he'd just arrived from the big, worldly city, he would still be impressed by the entry to his new home and workplace. No doubt a few employees at the house would welcome him, though others would probably wish him to the devil.

Duo grunted as another finger intruded. "All right?" the cowboy asked, his voice gruffer now as his other hand settled on his hip and began to stroke the wet skin beneath his palm.

"Just don't stop," he whispered. Duo knew that if Tex stopped now he might never get to this point again. As the stretching got to be a bit uncomfortable, he was glad he'd accepted the faux phallus from Dorothy. His assignment had been to lube and insert it twice a week, just to get used to the feel of something intruding into his body. It wasn't the most pleasurable experience, but he had faithfully executed his assignment with the hope that he would one day be in the very position he found himself in now. A thought began to form in the back of his mind, telling him that this wasn't right. He quickly squashed it. He wasn't about to let any doubts he might have ruin this moment.

Warm lips brushed against his back, and a tongue slowly traveled up his spine. "Ready?" Duo could tell by the slick hardness tapping against his hip, that Tex was more than ready to begin.

How would Laredo respond? Ah, yes, he'd say something like... "Show me what you've got, cowboy." His voice came out sounding thick with..., well, he hoped Tex would interrupt it as being sexy instead of frightened.

The moment he'd dreamed of since puberty had arrived quite suddenly as Tex filled him all at once. He gasped at the new intrusion, fists clutching against the uncomfortable feeling. Tex was certainly bigger than his practice phallus, and although he couldn't exactly say he was comfortable, it wasn't all that bad either. Thankfully, the dark haired stranger paused long enough for him to adjust and gather his wits. Shaken out of his daydream by the reality of the situation, it took all Duo's strength of will to keep from crawling up the edge of the hot tub and pulling himself off of the other man's hard length. He forced himself to stay where he was, determined not to succumb to his aunt's brainwashing, not now, when he'd gone farther than he ever had before.

And then the cowboy began to move. The first thing that came into Duo's mind was how different it felt having the real thing inside of him instead of a rubber simulated one. Oh yes, now this was more like it. His body jerked and a moan sounded from deep within him as Tex hit that sweet spot that Dorothy and every guy he'd seriously dated had talked about. The cowboy purposely pressed against it again, causing another pleasure-filled moan to escape his lips.

Duo rapidly lost himself to the rising tide of pleasure that the other man was bringing out of his body. He'd wanted this for so long and now that he'd gotten past the uncomfortable feeling of intrusion, it felt indescribably wonderful. Working in tandem with the man behind him, he pushed back to meet the cowboy's forward thrust. Good, so good, he thought, and the intense pleasure building inside of him was quickly becoming overwhelming. Not soon enough, a firm and blessedly talented hand slipped beneath him and sought to give him yet another kind of pleasure. After that, it was only a matter of minutes before he tumbled over the edge of completion and came with a long moan, his cum marking the edge of the hot tub.

Though his mind and body remained in a swirl of heady feelings, he was vaguely aware of the other man thrusting with abandon behind him. Suddenly, Tex stiffened and uttered a couple of incomprehensible words as he reached his climax as well. The man then collapsed on top of him, breathing heavily into his ear. Several moments passed before cowboy placed a brief kiss on his upturned cheek then began to slowly ease back, lifting his weight off of him and slipping out of his body with a hiss and a small gasp.

Unable to move yet, Duo remained bent over the edge of the hot tub, catching his breath. Then hands, strong yet gentle, carefully lifted him off the deck and ease his body back into the warm water. Two arms encircled his body, holding him comfortably against a warm and solid chest. "That was.... great," the dark haired cowboy said, still a bit breathless.

Duo could only nod his head in agreement, then choked out the words, "Thank you."

The deep chuckle next to his ear sounded sexy, and Duo wondered if this man was perfect not only in the looks department, but in everything else as well. He was a fantasy come true. He couldn't help but wonder if this man who had him seeing stars a moment ago had perfected his love-making skills before or after becoming a prostitute. Well, that was certainly something he couldn't ask. The arms holding his body shifted him again, and he was nothing short of putty in the cowboy's hands. His new position found him sitting across the cowboy's lap. He looked up, hoping to try to say something a little more intelligent, though before he could utter a word his mouth was captured again, kissed in such a way that any other form of communication was unthinkable.

This time the kiss was different. It was a slow and lazy kiss, and Duo found it just as wonderful as the more urgent kisses they'd shared earlier. He reciprocated in kind, grateful beyond words to this stranger for the gift he'd unknowingly given him. Duo felt wonderful, like a new man, one who had stepped away from a debilitating handicap and now had the ability to give what was necessary in a meaningful, long-term relationship.

When at last their lips parted, Duo looked up at the person who had just saved him from being a life-long virgin. His heart, already beating faster than normal, sped up from just gazing at the handsome face. Tex had to be the sexiest man he'd ever met.

Then the Adonis spoke. "I can get a key to one of the guest rooms on the third floor. How about we continue this up there? I'll order dinner and we'll spend the evening together, maybe even the night. Are you free?"

Duo blinked, forcing himself to remember that this wasn't a dream. The guy holding him was a prostitute, and more than willing to perform... for a fee. Oh shit, it hit him just exactly what he had done. Not only had he finally had sex and enjoyed it, but he'd done so with a complete stranger, a prostitute. Sure, Tex had used protection, but that diminish the fact that his first time was a rather tawdry affair. Shit, a prostitute. What had he been thinking? Doing his best to tuck away the distaste he felt from his own behavior, he knew he had to get out of there... and fast. As much as it pained him to lie, he had to get rid of the other man so he could sneak out of there and meet Hilde.

"Ah, yeah..., that sounds like a plan," he answered after a lengthy pause. "I'll just have to check with Jillian first."

Tex's eyebrows drew down for a moment, making him look at bit concerned, but then he nodded. The next few moments felt awkward, so Duo took the initiative and suggested, "Why don't you go upstairs and I'll join you after I freshen up." He was rather surprised how smooth the words flowed out of his mouth, given that he felt like he'd been choking while trying to get the lie out.

The other man sighed, seeming disappointed, but then Tex agreed to his request. "All right. But don't keep me waiting too long." Leaning over, the cowboy's lips brushed his teasingly, almost making him regret having to leave. "Amazing," he whispered against his lip before he pulled back to add, "Ask at the front desk for the room number." And then Tex reached up his hand to hold his chin, studying his face. Then with a smile he added in a sultry voice, "I'm going to have my fill of you tonight, Laredo." Then the cowboy kissed him again, giving him a taste of what awaited him in the upstairs room.

Once again Duo found himself unable to resist the man's kiss, but no sooner had he responded, it ended. Feeling disappointed and wanting more, he watched Tex climb unhurriedly out of the hot tub and stroll in all his naked glory across the deck to his clothing. The man leisurely toweled off his magnificent body, giving quite a show to his audience of one, then dressed with care, each movement sensual and deliberately provoking. Duo expected no less from a professional like Tex. Once dressed, the cowboy looked over his shoulder, winked at him and said, "Hurry."

Duo nodded. He would hurry all right. He was used to quickly obeying commands, seeing that Charise was a master at giving them. The moment the dark haired man disappeared down the garden path Duo rushed to get out of the water and quickly pull on the yellow robe he'd worn earlier. He waited a few moments, giving Tex enough time to exit the garden before he followed. Pushed by a desperate, almost panicked need to get the hell out of Dodge, so to speak, he tiptoed into the main building and retraced his steps to the spa, where he found his clothes neatly folded on the massage table. Once he was completely dressed and had his sunglasses back in place, he rushed though the house, careful to make sure that Tex wasn't anywhere in sight, heading straight for the front desk. He paused, ducking out of sight after seeing the cowboy standing there, speaking to a brunet that definitely wasn't Jillian. She handed him a key and assured him a meal would be sent up as soon as it was ready to be served, around five thirty. Duo checked his watch. It was only four o'clock. A lot could happen up in that room in an hour and a half, he thought. He shook his head. What was he thinking? He had to get the hell out of there.

He waited until Tex disappeared upstairs, then cautiously approached the desk himself. "Has Hilde come down yet?" he asked the pretty young brunet in a voice barely above a whisper.

"I saw her just a few minutes ago," the woman answered just as quietly, giving him a curious look. "She said she was going to get the horses ready."

With a brief word of thanks, Duo made for the front door. The only thing worse than lying, he figured, would be getting caught in the act. He resisted the urge to pull his damp braid out of the back of his shirt. Though it was uncomfortable having the thick rope of damp hair lying against his back, his braid was a sure giveaway to his identity should Tex take a look out of a window. Feeling embarrassed about what he'd just done and that he was ditching the man waiting for him upstairs, the last thing he wanted was to be recognized and have word of his tryst with a prostitute getting back to his boss or co-workers.

Hilde greeted him with a warm grin, though the heightened color on her cheeks showed that she was feeling embarrassed herself. Duo thought her romp upstairs with the mysterious Antonio seemed to have put an extra sparkle in her eyes. After they mounted their horses, well, because he was a bit sore he had to have a little help by way of a push before he managed it, they turned their horses and promptly began the journey to the path leading down the hillside.

Hilde pulled her horse up alongside his as they rode. "We probably shouldn't tell anyone at the ranch about how we spent the last hour. Agreed?"

"Definitely," he replied, and the relief he felt at the agreement was mirrored in his guide's pretty blue eyes.

When they reached the point where the trail would take them over the plateau's edge, Duo glanced over his shoulder at the house behind them, silently thanking the stranger who had helped him over the last hurdle of becoming a man, a man who now had more options open to him. Naturally, he felt some regret that he would probably never see Tex again, which was really too bad since the overwhelming sexual attraction he felt towards the cowboy was more than what he'd ever experienced with any the men he'd dated, even Trowa. Had they met under different circumstances, he and Tex might have dated, shared something more than just a brief encounter in a hot tub.

He shook himself, unhappy that he had been day dreaming again. It was time to stop woolgathering and get back to reality, he scolded himself. The fact was, he and Tex lived in very different worlds. They were never going to see each other again. Exhaling a resigned sigh, he turned his attention back to the steeply sloping trail and gave his horse free rein to follow Hilde's lead while he once again clung for dear life to the saddle horn.

During the hour and a half ride back to the ranch he envisioned the scene in the hot tub over and over again, wondering at his wantonness and feeling torn between being ashamed of his actions and elated by having finally conquered a fear that had held him hostage to loneliness for far too long. He had a feeling that his life was about to change, and that it was going to change for the better.

on to chapter 4

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