Scott and Roscoe II
By: Ron Nelson
(© 2014 by the author)
The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's
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Buck Barton was checking out the specs on a new laser metal cutting machine he was thinking about getting for his truck and auto repair shop in Gadwell, North Carolina, when Dr. Justin MacGregor, head of traumatic injury section of the VA hospital up in Asheville came in quietly, with his usual friendly but reserved smile, but this time maybe tinged with a small look of concern.
“Good Morning, Doctor, it’s always good to see you! What can we do for you this morning? was Buck’s friendly greeting to a friend and customer whom he was always glad to see.
“’Morning, Buck, I see you’re prospering, and I can understand why. If I’m counting correctly, you’ve added two men to your already fine crew!”
The doctor was a keen observer of his surroundings, and he rarely missed anything of importance.
“Sure thing, doctor, we’ve taken on two new but experienced men, one for transmissions, and the other for body repair work.
“But I expect you’ve come to see us with something else on your mind. And if it’s anything we can help you on, the answer is ‘Yes’!”
“You’re right, Buck, and thank you for asking.
“You recall one of our patients, Scott Chilton, whom you, Cat and Roscoe were so kind to a couple of months ago when you had him out to your cabin for the weekend?
“Sure do, Doctor, and it certainly was the pleasure of all three of us to have him. He did as much or more for us than I think we did for him. How’s he doing?”
“He’s coming along just fine, Buck, and has been making very good progress toward getting his feet back on the ground and working those demons out of his head. Those things take time, but he’s doing a lot better than most men.
“Just now, however, we’re having something of a problem, which is not helping things. You may have read in the paper that we’re demolishing the old East Wing of the hospital, and plan to replace it with an up-to-date new wing which will give us more than twice the amount of space, and much better facilities, than we had before.
“The problem is that the old wing was constructed of solid concrete, and the fastest and most economical way to demolish it is by the use of jack hammers, which the contractors operate twelve hours a day, six days a week, to get the job done as quickly as possible.
“The problem with that, however, is that for a number of our patients, like Scott, the sound of the jack hammers reminds them of all the horrors of all the machine gun and mortar fire they were exposed to during the war, and the deadly consequences it made for so many of their buddies, and the wounds they suffered themselves.
“The men up at the hospital know it’s only jack hammers, but the impression it gives them is just too deep and painful for them just to ignore. As a result, it’s a mighty unsettling situation for them, and understandably so.
“So what we’re trying to do is give them a break from it now and then, for at least a few hours or a couple of days, to ease the tension and pressure on them until the demolition gets done.”
“I know what you mean, Doctor,” was Buck’s serious reply. “I was in ‘Nam, as you know, and the machine gun and mortar fire were some of our worst experiences. So often, we couldn’t tell where it was coming from, and yet we knew the firing was so rapid and so deadly. And knowing it was trying to search us out and destroy us, it wasn’t easy to overcome, and it’ll still never be completely out of our minds.”
“What I was wondering, therefore, Buck,” continued Dr. MacGregor, “is would it be possible for you, Cat and Roscoe to let Scott join you one of these weekends, maybe even this coming weekend, when you’ll be going back out to your cabin, and maybe take Scott along to give him a break from all the work going on at the hospital?”
“Doc, nothing would give us greater pleasure!
“In fact, with this weekend coming up, it should be a quiet weekend. Cat is going to be away visiting his grandmother, to whom he’s devoted, and who has done a really great job in keeping him, at least as much as possible or anybody can, on the straight and narrow.
“However, Roscoe and I will be heading out to the cabin Saturday morning and planning to come back Monday afternoon. I’ve got a couple of jobs in mind to do sometime, maybe getting to them this weekend, and neither too burdensome.
“One is to take out the old well pump, which has seen its day, and is going to take some muscle to loosen and free it up from its base and then replace it with the new pump, which we’ve already taken out to the cabin.
“The other is to dig about a dozen post holes around the pump house and refuse bin to keep those pesky raccoons and other varmints out and from messing things up like they’ve been doing lately.
“I figure each job will take only about five or six hours, and that will then give us a lot of time free time just to sleep in late, finish early, and have the evenings free for just relaxing and hanging out.”
Dr. MacGregor smiled quietly as Buck outlined his plans. He smiled, first because he was pleased that Buck would be able and welcome having Scott with him for the weekend. Second, because he knew Roscoe would be going out with them. Roscoe had been a very devoted and understanding companion to Scott last time when he most needed it. And third, because he knew that the powerfully muscular Buck, just like the more slender but almost as powerful Cat, liked to wrestle and get into it with each other in Buck’s bunkhouse on the wrestling mats he had there.
He knew also that the muscular Scott liked to wrestle around too whenever he got a chance, and he suspected that if the two of them were to spend the weekend out at Buck’s cabin, it wouldn’t be any great surprise if one or both evenings they’d find themselves wrestling around with each other down on the mats in the bunkhouse, however it ended up.
The doctor didn’t know, nor did he care to know, just exactly what they did and how they ended up. That was none of his business. But he did know that all three of them, including Cat, got a great workout out of it, and most likely a sensual and erotic pleasure out of it too, and so he was glad of it for them on that score as well.
Saturday morning dawned clear and warm, with the whole weekend forecast to be hot, with thundershowers predicted for both evenings and nights.
It was just before nine o’clock, as planned, that Dr. MacGregor and Scott drove up in the doctor’s old Mercedes. Buck and Roscoe were waiting for them by Buck’s big black and chrome F- 250 pickup for the ride out to the cabin.
The Mercedes hadn’t even come to a stop before Roscoe, Buck’s big chocolate Lab retriever, who remembered Scott well from last time, and recognized the sound of the Mercedes as well, raced over to the passenger side of the car and jumped up to look in the window to see if his friend Scott were coming back.
When he saw that it was Scott, before Scott could even get out of the car, Roscoe all but leaped into his arms, and, as Scott bent down, equally glad to see Roscoe, quickly found his whole face was soon wet with Roscoe’s lapping him all over.
The grin on Scott’s face couldn’t have been wider, and he made no move to wipe his face off from Roscoe’s caresses as he stood up to shake Buck’s welcoming hand.
In another moment, all three watched the Mercedes back away and leave, leaving them alone, and in just another couple of minutes, while Buck loaded a couple of last minute things in the big pickup and Scott and Roscoe stood closely together, all three headed out to the cabin.
As before, Buck knew that Roscoe loved to ride in the big pickup, and loved to sit in front, riding shotgun, with his head out the window to enjoy the scenery and wind in his face.
But Roscoe was just as pleased, when Cat or someone else was in the front seat, to keep his place in the back seat where he could pace back and forth to check what was happening on both sides of the road, or, when he lost interest in that, to sleep peacefully on the big comfortable seat and be lulled to sleep by the soft but deeply throbbing sound of the engine.
This time, therefore, Buck and Scott got in the front seats, and Roscoe gladly took his usual place in the rear seat.
But then, within just a few minutes, Buck noticed it happened again. Just like last time when he and Scott were in the front seat, and Cat and Roscoe were in the back seat, Roscoe quickly sensed that Scott was not as much at ease as he might be. There was something which was unsettling him, and he instinctively knew he needed to try to help make it right.
Quietly, Roscoe got up and moved forward and squeezed himself between the two big commander’s seats and got up into Scott’s lap.
He was so big, and such a lapful, that Scott that previous time could barely see over or around him, to say nothing of just having the full weight of the big Lab dog in his lap.
That previous time Buck had looked over toward Scott to tell Roscoe to return to his back seat place. However, he quickly saw that Scott was holding the big Lab tightly in his arms, had his face buried in Roscoe’s rich brown fur, and a few tears moistening his eyes.
Buck then turned his head back to the road, changed his mind about saying anything to Roscoe, who then remained in Scott’s lap, tightly held in place by Scott’s big and muscular arms around him, for the whole rest of the trip until they reached the cabin.
It was the same thing this time, except maybe Scott felt a little more at ease with himself, while nevertheless holding Roscoe in closely to him, and Roscoe taking it all in stride.
When they approached the cabin, Roscoe knew, of course, exactly where they were, and only as they came up the dirt driveway to arrive at the rustic cabin did he return to the back seat. In another moment, they were there and stepped out into the warm sunshine and quiet meadow and woods surrounding them.
“Thank you, Buck” Scott said quietly as he wiped away the last couple of tears which ran down his face, and which were then replaced by a wide grin as all three of them walked over to the cabin.
“You’re family, Scott,” was Buck’s equally quiet reply.
The day went by easily. It turned out to be a hot and sultry day, and both Buck and Scott worked quietly and steadily in only their shorts and work boots. As Buck had guessed the old pump was solidly rusted in place and required the effort of both of them, working closely together frequently touching their muscular arms, legs and bodies in their combined effort to lift the old pump away, and then drop and secure the new one in place. But finally the job got down, and both saw it was still only early afternoon.
As a result, they decided to start digging the post holes for the new fence just to get a head start on that. By five o‘clock, however, they’d had enough for one day. After cleaning their tools and putting them away, Buck and Scott returned to the cabin and bunkhouse, where Scott would be spending the night, respectively to get washed and cleaned up for what remained of the day and for whatever the evening and night might hold for them.
As they separated to go their separate ways for the next hour or so, Roscoe, after half dozing and half keeping an eye on them all day long, looked at both men wondering which one to go with. He decided to follow Scott down to the bunkhouse, and would then return to the cabin and rejoin Buck.
Supper was easy and quiet with the big load of barbecue, slaw and beer Buck had brought out with them. Instead of eating inside the cabin, they ate sitting on the cabin porch overlooking the quiet meadow, the Appalachian Trail crossing the property down below and Lawson’s Creek down below that in the evening quiet.
As they ate, Buck quietly noticed, with his practiced eye, that after the hot and sultry day, storm clouds seemed to be gathering in the west, with the likelihood, with all the summer heat, that there was the possibility of a thunderstorm coming later on or during the night.
That concerned him some. He knew that Scott had become very apprehensive on his first visit when there was another storm, and it couldn’t help but remind him of the terrors he’d experienced in ‘Stan from the guns and mortars and rockets which hit them from all sides, and from which effects he was trying to recover.
And Roscoe too, who feared no man or beast, was nevertheless frightened of just one thing, and that was thunderstorms with all the lightning and thunder they produced. Normally, when they were at the cabin, he always slept in the big easy chair in the living room. But when a big storm came up, he would always quickly come into Buck’s room and jumped into Buck’s bed with him for the protection and comfort Buck could always be depended upon to give him.
By ten o‘clock, after supper and just enjoying the quiet evening, Buck could see that Scott was ready to nod off with the change of routine of being with Buck at the cabin and for all the work they’d been doing during the day. Buck knew he was ready to call it a day for himself too.
After wishing each other a good night, Scott headed out to go down to the bunkhouse. Roscoe wasn’t quite sure whether he should go with Scott or stay back with Buck. Buck knew of Roscoe’s closeness and concern about Scott, and knew Scott liked and very much depended on Roscoe’s closeness to him. As a result, Buck urged Roscoe to go down to the bunkhouse with Scott and keep him company overnight and until tomorrow morning.
Buck watched both of them walk together easily down to the bunkhouse, as Buck turned back into the cabin for a good night’s sleep himself.
Then something startled Buck into being instantly to wide awake in the middle of the night. With the keen sense he’d developed in the US Marines for any situation which didn’t seem right or something dangerous might be present, something ominous was about.
He looked at the clock, and it said 2 a.m. Then, although he rarely woke up for thunderstorms which might be passing through overnight, this time he became quickly aware of the bright flashes of the almost continuous lightning and the roar of the thunder which almost instantly followed the flash, which meant the full fury of the storm was right above them now, which the pounding of the rain on the roof and against the windows confirmed.
But then there was something more.
Suddenly, the door to his bedroom burst open, and Roscoe bounded into the room and leaped up onto Buck’s bed, landing on top of him. His eyes were wide open and almost glazed over, while his whole body was not only drenched with rain but he was also trembling with a terror which Buck had never seen in him before.
In an instant, Buck reached out to grab Roscoe and bring him in closer to him to comfort him. But then Roscoe only barked at him, and quickly turned to go back out the door. Then Roscoe turned around again and quickly leaped back in Buck’s bed and on top of him, all the time dripping wet and terrified.
Buck instantly got the message. Something had gone wrong at the bunkhouse and Roscoe, terrified as he was of thunder and lighting, had nevertheless come out right into the middle of the storm and raced up to the cabin to tell Buck and get him to come down to the bunkhouse quickly.
It was no more than a couple of seconds, instinctively replaying his days in the US Marines in ‘Nam, that Buck put on his boots and a rain slicker over the short briefs he was wearing, and headed out the door to get down to the bunkhouse as fast as he could.
As Buck and Roscoe got out to the porch and were about to go down the stairs into the storm, Roscoe hesitated just a couple f seconds, torn between his instinctive desire to stay with Buck, and his equally instinctive fear of the storm.
Buck understood his hesitation, and picked up the big chocolate Lab in his muscled arms, cradled Roscoe’s head against his chest to protect him as much as he could, and raced down to the bunkhouse as fast as he was able.
When he got there, he threw open the door and let Roscoe down just inside the bunkhouse door. From there, in a quick glance, Buck quickly saw Scott lying on the floor, unconscious, next to his bunk bed, with a stream of blood oozing out from his head.
Again, Buck’s US Marine training came back instinctively as he rushed over to Scott to see what had happened.
Although he saw that Scott was unconscious, he was making a low groaning sound, indicating he was at least alive. Buck then checked his pulse and found that, although it was racing, it was nevertheless strong; and his eyes, although closed, the lids were fluttering just a little indicating they were probably ok too.
From there, Buck could see that while some blood was still coming out from his head wound, it appeared to be tapering off. There was a considerable puddle underneath his head, however, from where it had first started.
Quickly, Buck went into the bathroom to get some wet washcloths with which to wipe away the blood and to check on the wound Scott had received and what would be required to staunch the flow. And then from there to wipe the rest of Scott’s face as well in order to begin to revive him as much as he could.
Buck’s efforts were successful in cleaning the wound and then the rest of the whole cleaning process. He saw the wound was a sharp cut into the outer layers of Scott’s skin, but fortunately it didn’t appear to have done any more damage.
Then, looking up, Buck saw that there was some blood, and some skin, on the edge of the night table near the head end of the bunk bed.
Most likely Scott had awakened suddenly, perhaps with a crash of lighting and thunder right overhead, and his instincts and memories from ‘Stan overwhelmed him into reacting instantly by dropping to the floor for protection, when he had hit his head on the nightstand without even realized what he’d done.
While Buck took it all in in just a couple of seconds, he also saw that Roscoe was lying on the floor, still soaking wet and shaking with terror, watching both Buck and the still largely unconscious Scott.
Knowing that Scott was going to be ok for the present, Buck quickly went back into the bathroom to get the biggest bath towel he could find and came back out quickly to begin to wrap Roscoe in it and also dry him off and comfort him to let him know that everything was going to be ok.
In just two or three minutes, Buck could see that Roscoe was beginning to tremble less and his eyes were regaining their usual size. Then his tail began to wag slowly and softly back and forth by way of telling Buck that he was feeling a lot better now too.
The crisis appeared to be over, and so Buck returned to Scott, who was now slowly regaining consciousness.
As Buck washed the cut on Scott’s head again, this time cleaning it up thoroughly and now placing a gauze pad over it to protect it and let it begin to recover, Scott said, “Hey man, you know you make a very hunky nurse! I think I’ll have to do this more often! What happened?”
A grin covered Buck’s face, glad to see that Scott had not only regained consciousness, but was able to joke a little about it.
Said Buck, “Man, there must have been a big stroke of lightning and huge clap of thunder, and you must have instinctively reacted to it to jump out of bed and get to the floor. And in doing it, you hit your head hard on the night stand going down.
“Then our man Roscoe here, instantly realizing you probably hurt yourself pretty bad going down, raced up the hill, despite his own considerable dislike of these thunderstorms, to get me and let me know what happened.
“So I came down quickly, carrying Roscoe back down as he looked like he was about ready to go next, and so here we are.
“You feeling better now?”
“Yeah, I think so. Sort of a little woozy, but I think I’ll be ok.
“But I see Roscoe over there, and he looks maybe a little uncertain about how he’s doing too!
“Hey, Roscoe man, come on over here and give Scott a big kiss - and let Scott here give you an even bigger one in return. You’re my hero, for sure!” said Scott, with a grin his face.
That’s all it took for the big Roscoe to bound up and into Scott’s outstretched muscular arms so that the two of them fell back on top of the bunk bed.
“Hey, easy man,” said Scott to Roscoe, the smile never leaving his face, or Ol’ Buck will have to patch both of us up again!”
Buck needn’t have worried about that as both Scott and Roscoe made sure they’d have to be particularly gentle with each other for a little while.
Buck left the bunkhouse about fifteen minutes later, after making sure that both of his men would be ok for the rest of the night, and headed back up the path to his own bed in the cabin.
As he stepped out the bunkhouse door he looked back just once more to be sure both Scott and Roscoe were ok, and saw both of them now once again fast asleep in Scott’s bunk bed. It was a tight fit, but Roscoe had managed to curl up inside Scott, with Scott’s big arm holding him in tightly to comfort both of them.
On his way back up the path Buck looked up and saw the storm had now passed by and the crystal clear sky was now dotted with millions of tiny stars while the softly glowing moon was beginning to set in the west. The night had also now cooled off with the passing storm, which portended a clear and warm day tomorrow.
The next morning Buck got up around 6:30, as usual. Normally he’d have breakfast with whoever was staying over in the bunkhouse around 7:30, but this morning, everything was quiet with no one else to be seen.
Buck wasn’t surprised, and decided to hold off on his own breakfast until Scott and Roscoe showed up. Which wasn’t until almost 8:30 when Buck glanced out and saw Scott and Roscoe come up the path, not too fast, from the bunkhouse.
Coming up, he could see Scott walking a little more slowly than usual, but looking around to see and enjoy the freshness of the morning and the surrounding meadow, woods and creek.
And Roscoe, who normally would have bounded up the path in only a few seconds, preceded Scott by only a few steps, at Scott’s slower pace.
It was only when they reached the foot of the cabin steps that Roscoe leaped out ahead, bounded up the steps, and all but jumped into Buck’s welcoming arms, which were wide open waiting for him.
“Man,” said Scott, a sort of tired grin on his face as he came into the kitchen where Buck had set the table for their breakfast, “that was some night!”
“How are you feeling, Scott, you ok?”
“Oh yeah, Buck, with two great nurses to put me back together again, one to do the cleaning and patching and the other to keep me company all through the night, how could it be anything but!” was Scott’s grinning reply.
Buck could see that he was feeling a lot better, although maybe just a little pale, and the gauze and bandage showing just a little touch of red where apparently a little blood was still seeping out of his wound.
‘No work for us today,’ thought Buck, ‘and I won’t mind that either!’
“You ready for some breakfast, Scott? I’ve got everything laid out on the table, so just sit yourself down easy there and make yourself comfortable.”
“Ok, thanks Buck, but first we’ve got to feed the troops,” said Scott, as he stepped over to the cupboard where he knew Roscoe’s bowl and breakfast food were kept.
As he stepped over to the cabinet, Roscoe’s eyes followed him. Then the rest of him, with his tail wagging, followed, until he stood next to Scott, looking up at him expectantly with a smile on his face and his tail wagging even more.
As Scott bent down to put Roscoe’s food and bowl on the floor, he was rewarded by a few large licks on his face before Scott straightened up again.
As Buck watched Scott straighten up, he couldn’t help notice the grin and a few tears cross Scott’s face.
Buck couldn’t help but notice his eyes moisten too.