Eric dropped down to the dirt and took a breath of fresh air.

“Here we are,” the bobcat said, turning toward the back of the truck. “Off the grid for five days.”

“You sound way too happy when you say that,” Will teased from the other side of the truck. “Sure, it’s a pretty place and all that, but did you have to pick somewhere this isolated for our little weekend getaway? You saw that road, my poor truck barely made it up the road!”

“Yes, I did.” Eric grinned as he started undoing the cargo net. “I know you, man. If I’d picked somewhere closer – say, somewhere with electricity – you’d have been plugged in all weekend and we might as well not have bothered!”

“All right, I give.” The jackal laughed, undoing clasps and loosing hooks on his side of the truck. “I’m sure I’ll enjoy it properly once there’s been time for the drive to get out of my mind.”

Conversation ebbed at that point; even for just a handful of days, there was plenty to move from the truck to places in the cabin. The day was warm, the air still, and the trees close on all sides, so they were both panting by the time the truck’s bed was empty. Finally, though, Will slid the cooler onto the tailgate and cracked the lid. “And that’s that,” he said, handing Eric a bottle with a comical little half-bow.

“So it is. Made good time, too.” Eric grinned and twisted the cap off his bottle. He lifted it up in a faux toast, and, when Will had returned the gesture, took a swig of beer.

Will went to take a look around the place; Eric, who’d been here with the cousin who owned it a number of times, took a seat on the tailgate and watched him, nursing his drink. Whatever the black-back did with his fur, it was ideal for days like this; dappled sun played over the white-streaked black fur, accenting its shine rather nicely. It didn’t hurt that, despite Eric’s teasing, Will was by far the more active of the pair; when he stretched upward to inspect the eaves, the somewhat-more-padded bobcat felt a twinge of pure physical envy.

“Want to borrow my camera?” Will called over his shoulder.

Oh, crap.

The jackal burst into a laugh, though he stifled it just as suddenly as it had emerged. “Hey, it’s okay,” he soothed, meandering back toward the truck. “If I was going to flip out on you, I’d have done it years ago. Y’know, back when you first told me you were gay.”

“Yeah, but…” Eric’s incipient protests about the distinction between having a sexuality and directing it at a particular person died when Will’s free hand came to rest on his thigh. He swallowed, looking past the jackal’s smile and into his intent eyes. “I thought you were straight.”

“Until two months ago, I had a girlfriend. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t curious.” Will grinned, patting his knee. “You good for it?”

“Oh, yeah,” Eric breathed.