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Sunday, May 20, 2018


A Wolf in Duke's Clothing
A TLR Story
By Rosemarie, PJ, and Snarks
And a special thanks to dragonquest for her idea.

It started out as a typical, sunny spring day. Anyone who could be outside was outside, and those whose jobs normally kept them indoors found some reason to go outside, even if it was just for an hour or two.  

Jake and Duke had been lying out in the sun for a while before Duke decided that he'd like to take a ride on his ATV. Jake, shading his eyes against the bright sunlight, smiled up in Duke's general direction and said, "Go on, hon, have a good time. Take your radio though, just in case, alright?" 

"Sure Jake, I'll do that." He went into their bungalow and emerged shortly with his helmet and wearing his leathers with his radio clipped to his belt. He called to his lover, "I'm leavin' now, I'll be back when I tire of the scenery." He teased. 

With lightning speed, Jake jumped up, grabbed Duke and planted a kiss on his lover's lips. He reached around, not an easy thing to do, and gave him a light swat on the rump. "Don't be fresh," he admonished with a grin, "and be careful." 

Duke returned the kiss in kind and frowned slightly at the swat. "I'll be careful," he told Jake, giving the man a bone-crushing hug. "You are the only scenery I never get tired of." 

"Ahhhh, that feels sooo goood! Keep that up and I might not let you leave at all. I might just kidnap you and... well... the things I could do to you..." he growled, returning the hug.

Duke just laughed and released Jake. "I'll be back later," he told him, climbing onto his machine and giving the man a grin. 

"Love you, hon. Be home in time for dinner, at least. Six o'clock, as usual," Jake replied, giving his lover one last kiss before Duke fired up his ATV and headed out.  

Duke waved at Jake and called as he took off, “I love you too and I’ll be back in time for dinner.” 

The big man rode through the woods and admired the wildflowers that were in bloom and the new green of the leaves on the trees. It was a beautiful May day, sun streaking down through the leaves and he was content. 

Jake went back to his lounge chair in the backyard and soaked up some more sun before deciding to go inside and take a shower, and perhaps a nap before he had to get dinner started. It had been an unseasonably warm day and he had to admit to himself that perhaps he'd overdone it a little. At least, he felt overdone. He applied after sun lotion on the lightly burned skin before lying on top of the covers and fell almost immediately to sleep.  

Duke continued to travel his favorite trails, seeing an occasional deer, moose or other wild critters. He often wondered how he had been so lucky to have been invited to share James and Jeff's dream of this place. It was wonderful at any season of the year. He came to a rise and saw some clouds. It looked like a rainstorm might be brewing, but he shrugged it off, thinking that perhaps it would pass over as they often did. 


At some point, Jake realized that the ringing he'd been dreaming about was actually the phone beside the bed. Groggily he reached out and picked up the handset.  

"Hello," he mumbled. 

"Jake, it's Mutt, sorry to wake you on your day off..." 

"S'okay, what's up?" 

"Just heard on the weather radio that there's a big thunderstorm headed in, could be golf ball sized hail mixed in. I just wanted to make sure that you and Duke were home and safe before it hits." 

"Wh-what time is it supposed to start?" Jake asked, still somewhat sleep muddled. 

"Well, if the weatherman was right, around four." 

Jake looked at his clock. It was just about 3:15. "Ok, Mutt. Thanks for the heads up. Talk to you later." 

"Later, Jake," Mutt replied before hanging up and calling the next number. 

Jake sat up, now fully awake and picked up the radio, "Duke, come in. Duke. Do you read me? Over." 

He was met with dead silence. At first, his stomach knotted, worrying that something had already happened to Duke, then he realized that his radio was turned off, most likely the reason why Mutt had had to call him at home in the first place, and he smacked his forehead with his palm, "Stupid," he muttered, "stupid, stupid, stupid!" He turned it on and once again called for Duke.

Duke heard the crackle of the radio but ignored it as Jake's voice came over it. He really didn't want to be disturbed or told it was time to come back yet. He wondered if Mutt had told Jake that he hadn't answered when he'd called earlier but shook his head. It wasn't like Mutt to be a snitch.

"Duke, do you read me? Answer. Over." 

Duke frowned, his lover sounded tense so he keyed the radio. "Duke here...over." 

"Duke, what took you so long?" Jake said, relieved, "Look, Mutt just called, there's a storm headed in, I want you to come home now. Over." 

Duke frowned even more. It was still mostly sunny out, the clouds looked a little closer, and perhaps just a shade darker, but they didn't look the least bit threatening. He reached into the pocket of his leather jacket where he had noticed an old receipt earlier and crinkled it into the microphone. “What? I have a lot of static here...repeat, please. Over." 

"Duke, don't play games," Jake replied, worried that the impending storm might already be interfering with the radio signals. "Come home, Duke. Now. Read me? Over." 

"'re breaking up. Over" Duke yelled into the microphone crinkling the paper a bit louder. 

"Duke! Duke!" Jake yelled, "Can you hear me? Come home! Now! Duke! Over!" 

Duke crackled the paper even more loudly into the mike and then shut off the radio. He continued along his way. 

"Damn!" Jake growled, he had no idea where Duke was. He nearly slammed the radio down but caught himself before using it to contact Con and Brian. 

"Yeah, we've been watching the storm front, it's coming in pretty quickly now," Con sighed, "I'm sorry Jake... there's just not much we're going to be able to do. But don't worry. Duke is a lean, mean, retired Marine, and he can take care of himself. He'll be ok." 

Jake took a deep breath and let it out slowly, "Yeah, yeah, I guess you're right. Just... keep an eye out, please? Over." 

"Will do. Stay inside, be safe." 

"You too. Jake out." 

Jake keyed off the radio and put his head in his hands. He knew that Duke was a smart guy, and resourceful, but that didn't stop him from worrying about his larger than life lover.


Duke noticed it was getting dark faster and the leaves which had been swaying in the strong breeze began to whip around in the sudden wind. He flipped on the lights of the ATV and he heard a roll of thunder. He glanced up but couldn't see much through the trees.

He put more speed onto the ATV as the rain began to pelt down through the foliage. All of a sudden, he saw little eyes reflected in his headlights and put on the brake. 

He didn't want some small creature to be out here if it was going to storm the way it seemed to be doing. 

As he approached he saw a shivering and now wet wolf pup. He slowly got off of his ATV, wary, knowing wild creatures could attack without much provocation. He slowly approached the small thing speaking softly and cautiously letting the pup sniff his hand before reaching out and picking it up. He glanced around to see if he could spot the mother. 

He tromped around a bit, cuddling the orphaned pup and finally found the carcass of a female wolf. She was dead. She must have been ill, there were no signs of attack by another predator. He tucked the little puppy into his jacket and headed back to his ATV. 

He hopped on and all of a sudden golf ball sized hail began to fall, bouncing off of his helmet. Duke glanced around. He knew that the cave Griff had hidden in wasn't far and headed that way. He considered trying to make it to James's house but the machine slid, convincing him that it would be a bad idea to try. As he pulled into the cave lightening flashed and thunder roared and more hail fell, piling up. 

He was grateful for the protection of the cave where he could wait out the rest of the storm in relative safety. Duke held the wolf pup securely and kept it warm as he sang to calm it. Little by little, the rumbling of Duke's deep voice and the steady beat of his heart lulled the little creature to sleep. 


When he heard the hail start, Jake thought his heart would stop. Sure, Duke was a Marine, and he knew every route to and from the resort, but would he be able to make it to some sort of shelter before it got worse? He wished that the machine had some sort of tracker so that he'd at least have an idea of how far away Duke was, and if he'd be able to find a safe place to ride the storm out. He sat down on the couch and closed his eyes, sending up a heartfelt prayer for his lover. Jake had never allied himself with any one religion, but he did think of himself as spiritual, so hoped that any and all Gods that were listening would hear him and protect his lover. 


Duke stayed in the cave until the hail finally stopped and the thunder and lightning abated and the heavy rain began to melt away the hail that had accumulated. Once he decided that it was safe to drive back to the resort. He hopped back on the bike, still cuddling the wolf pup inside his jacket and headed out.


As the storm tapered off, Jake picked up the radio once again and tried to contact Duke, but there was no answer, not even the hoped-for crackle of static. He checked in with Con again, but the ranger had no news.  

"Don't worry, Jake. He's going to be fine. I'll be surprised if he doesn't walk through the door any minute now," the man said bracingly.  

Jake took a deep breath and thanked Con before putting the radio down once more. Then, as though lightning had struck him, Jake's eyes opened wide, and he frowned as the thought he'd had dug deep and had taken root. He went to the kitchen and began to make dinner. He hoped that it would be ready by the time Duke arrived back home. 


Duke came roaring into the yard and shut off the vehicle after parking it in its usual place. He cuddled the wolf pup after climbing off and headed into the bungalow. "Hi Jake, I'm home! Look what I found!" He announced as he strode inside. 

Jake, relieved, smiled broadly and was prepared to give Duke the hug of his life when he saw the little bundle of fur in the big man's arms. His eyes widened and he stepped back. "Is that a... is that a...! Duke, that's a..."  

The big man laughed. "I know what it is's cute." He stroked the fur gently and grinned. 

"Wolf," Jake said quietly. He advanced slowly and held up a hand to be smelled by the pup who wriggled in Duke's arms and licked Jake's fingers. "Where... I mean... what happened? Why...?" he looked helplessly up at Duke, too many questions flooding his brain for him to intelligently ask even one of them completely.

Duke shook his head.  “I found it’s mother and think she sickened and died, leaving this little one orphaned." He told Jake as he held the squirming pup. "We probably should bring it to Shorty, but I sure would like to keep it," he told Jake wistfully. 

Jake blinked a few times as he straightened out his thoughts. "It's probably a good idea to get it to Shorty now, I'll call ahead. It might have to be quarantined just in case it has whatever the mother had... and... I don't know about keeping a wild animal, hon, even if it is just a baby," his voice trailed off as he saw the disappointment and sadness in his man's eyes.  "We'll worry about that later. Let me call Shorty and we'll head over." Jake said decisively as he turned the heat off under the pans which held their dinner and went to pick up the phone. 

"I'll be here," is all Shorty said before hanging up. 

Duke looked at Jake as he hung up from calling the resort veterinarian. "What did he say?" He asked a bit of trepidation in his voice. 

"He's waiting for us. Now, Duke, just be prepared," Jake said softly, "just in case... just in case the pup is sick... alright? Just remember that Shorty'll do everything he can, and if he can't, then Con and Brian might have some tricks up their sleeves." 

Duke bit his lip but nodded at Jake's words. "'Kay Jake." He said quietly. "Do we have to go right now?" 

"Yeah, right now. He's getting ready for your little friend there as we speak." Jake looked up at Duke who was still somewhat damp. He hated to let his man go back outside into the considerably cooler air, but he also knew that Duke wasn't going to let go of that pup until they reached the veterinarian, and even then, he wasn't so sure. He picked up his jacket and threw it over Duke's shoulders. It was small but it would help keep the heat in while they ran to Shorty's. 

Duke nodded and with long strides headed for the stables and the veterinarian's office. 

Shorty met them at the door with a bowl of food in a carry crate. The pup, once Duke let it down, ran into the crate and began to eat happily, completely unaware that the door had been closed behind him. Shorty looked at Duke and assured the man that he'd take the best care of the little thing. "It'll only be a few days before I can rule out various diseases that might be communicable, so he'll be in the isolation room. You can, of course, go in and talk to him, but until the tests are done, you'll have to suit up and wear a mask in order to hold him, understood?" 

The large former Marine frowned. "Why? He won't hurt me." 

Shorty suppressed a smile, "No, he won't hurt you, but if he's sick and it's something that humans can get, you'll get it too if you haven't already just by carrying him around. You'd better get Duke in to see Heath as soon as possible too," the vet said, turning toward Jake. 

"I plan to, but first he needs to shower and change, and have something to eat. If he's been exposed to anything, then so have I. There's no rush." 

Shorty only nodded and picked up the carrier. "I'll take good care of him. I'll see you tomorrow, bright and early, I'm sure," he laughed as he brought the little animal inside and closed the door.

"That's our cue, hon. home. Shower. Dinner. Heath. That order."

He took Duke's hand and led him back toward their bungalow, helping the large man strip off his soaked leathers as they made their way to their bathroom. 

Duke frowned the whole way back to their bungalow. He continued to do so even though Jake was stripping him bit by bit.

"I can understand Shorty wantin' to be careful, but I really don't see the need to go see Heath. I'm not injured or feelin' sick or anythin'," he grumbled.

"It's like any other illness, Duke, it takes some incubation time before it hits. If the pup is sick and if it's something you might catch, then we need to find out now instead of later, understand? Now, into the shower," he ordered, giving Duke's backside a sharp smack. 

Duke jumped, yelping “Ow!” He gave Jake a look but went in and showered and changed into comfortable clothes. "Can we at least eat before we have to see the witch doctor? I'm starvin'." he said as he followed the enticing scents of dinner into the kitchen.

Jake, who had taken a quick but thorough shower and had changed his clothes as well replied, "Dinner is ready, hon. And then there's an issue I'd like to talk to you about," he said calmly.

He pulled out Duke's chair for the man to sit on and put a full plate in front of him. "Chow down, Marine."

Duke gave Jake a funny look at his wanting to talk about something but smiled at the food placed in front of him and did exactly as his lover told him. When he was finished he sat back with a satisfied look on his handsome face.

Jake took away the used plates and utensils and scraped them off before adding them to the other items in the dishwasher and turning it on. He then picked up the large ziplock bags that held the clothing that he and Duke had been wearing, including the leathers.  "Fleas," he explained upon seeing his man's confused expression, "and," he paused, picking up the radio and deliberately clicking into the on position, "this. Would you like to explain to me why the radio was turned off?" 

Duke's grey eyes skittered away and he said nonchalantly, "I turned it off after I couldn't hear you anymore and tucked it under my coat so it wouldn't get wet. I forgot to turn it back on."

"Malarkey," Jake replied, leaning against the counter and folding his arms. "Try again."

Duke hung his head at his lover’s demeanor, knowing he had been caught. "I didn't wanna come back 'til I was ready to," he whispered, confessing the lie he had just told.

"That's what I thought. It just seemed strange to me that I had a perfectly clear signal from Con who is nearly five miles further out than the furthest trail, and somehow," he stressed the word, "I lost the signal with you. So, what did you use to create the static? Dry leaves?"

Duke bit his lip and said quietly, "A piece of paper."

"Thank you for telling the truth. I just wish you'd done it the first time I asked. And we still have to discuss the fact that I told you there was a storm coming and you chose to ignore me."  

Duke shrugged. "I saw signs of a storm comin', but I just figured it would pass over like they do a lot of times," he told Jake

Jake's eyebrows rose and his lips thinned slightly, but he kept his tone level. "So, you saw that there might be a storm, then I called you and told you there would be a storm, and you still chose to ignore me. Not only did you ignore me, you turned the radio off. Do you see a flaw in your logic anywhere?"

"I just thought you were being a worry wart," the big man said.

Jake cleared his throat and took a breath. "Yes, I did worry. Quite a bit after I lost contact with you, and even more when the hail began. I had no idea where you were or if you had gotten to safety or were lying out there somewhere, exposed to the elements and injured. So, My Love, what do you think we should do about this? I for one, don't believe that any of this is excusable. Deliberately ignoring me when I told you to come home? Ignoring signs of an incoming storm even though you're a seasoned outdoorsman? Pretending that you couldn't hear me when I called you? Turning off your radio? Did I miss anything?" he asked curiously.

Duke, biting his lip still, shook his head. "Umm...No Sir."

"Well, hon, should we take care of this now or after Heath sees you? I'll leave that decision up to you."

"Can we just not do it at all?" He asked hopefully. 

"Before it is," Jake said as though he were agreeing with Duke's decision. "let's go into the living room and get this taken care of," he continued as he turned around and drew a very large wooden spoon out of a nearby drawer. 

Duke's grey eyes grew wide. "Umm...after we see Heath?" He asked. 

"Living room. Now." Jake said evenly. 

Duke sighed and trudged to the living room, knowing that tone. 

It seemed strange to Jake to be doing this. Duke was normally such a level-headed man that it hadn't often been necessary to correct him, but he had broken the boundaries this time, and as much as he hated to do it, he knew it had to be done. It felt odd to sit on the couch and pull out the footrest. They had only ever used it as an ottoman, up til now.  He sat back on the couch and pressed the button that made the specially made piece of furniture pop up to the level of the couch. He put his legs up and looked at Duke. "You'll be safe, hon," he said, "come on now, you know what needs to be done." 

Duke couldn't help but squirm. He'd found himself in this particular position with Jake a few times, but he always felt nervous about it. He did what was expected and then lowered himself over Jake's outstretched legs. 

Anyone watching them would probably have laughed, seeing the 6'6" tall man over the lap of someone so much shorter, and who didn't look as though he could make a dent in the big marine with a wooden spoon, but Jake knew right where to land the smacks to make the most impression, concentrating on his man's sit spots, under curves and the tops of his thighs. 

Duke yelped and squirmed at the stinging swats from the spoon and the heat they were producing on his sitting areas. 

Jake knew that he didn't have to use a lot of force on his lover and so had been trying to take it easy up til this time, but now he felt that he had to get his point across. Using a bit more strength he focused on Duke's sit spots. He was able to hold his lover firmly with his arm around him and his hand cupping his hip and he felt so much better knowing that there was no way, no matter how much Duke squirmed, that he would ever fall off. 

The taller man knew he'd be feeling the after effects for a while. He silently cursed Mutt for building the damned thing, but at the same time was grateful for the extra support.

Duke had found himself crying, not so much from the pain of the spanking, though he had to admit that it had hurt quite a bit, but more for disappointing Jake. He hadn’t wanted him to have to go to this extent to let him know how much he was loved and cared for. 

He knew his lover was reminding him just how much he loved his partner and to not hurt him or their relationship by lying and not responding to his concern for him.  

Knowing when enough was enough was important to Jake, and after a couple of minutes he stopped the spanking and began to rub the sore spots gently. He realized it wouldn't completely rub the sting out, but then what was the use of a spanking if there wasn’t a lingering reminder, even if it was temporary. Jake put the spoon aside and rubbed Duke's back, ruffling his fingers through the taller man's hair, and whispering words of love and reassurance until he calmed down. 

Jake maneuvered Duke so that his body was on the couch and the taller man's head was resting in his lap. He continued to card his lover's hair until the crying slowed and finally stopped. Afraid that his partner might fall asleep, he rubbed his thumb down the Marine's cheek and smiled, "We still have to go and see... the witch doctor? I believe you called him? I'll have to tell him that when we get there. I'm sure he'll get a kick out of it." 

Duke made a face. "I'm sure." He started to roll off the couch so he could stand up and rearrange his clothing. 

Jake stood and gently helped Duke get his jeans and shorts up over his sore backside with as little discomfort as possible. With a sympathetic smile, he stood up on the footrest and leaned down to kiss his lover on the cheek. "Let's go see the witch doctor, hon. As soon as you're cleared, we can come back and get some much-deserved rest," he said softly. 

Duke sighed. "'Kay Jake." He kissed the other man who was more at Duke's level now than usual. 

As Duke was getting into his jacket, Jake called Heath to let him know they were coming over. He picked up one of the bags that had the flea covered clothing in it to bring along so that Heath could run tests. He knew that Shorty would want a sample of them as well, and Jake knew for sure there was no shortage of the little pests to go around. 

"Here we are! Safe and sound!" Jake announced as he and Duke walked into Heath's office. "Hey, Witch Doctor! I have your patient here!" 

Heath stopped for a moment and looked at the two men, surprised. "Witch doctor?" 

"Yes. Duke seems to think that you're a witch doctor." 

The former Marine blushed and peeked at Heath through his sandy lashes. "Uh huh." 

"Well then, have a seat on the table there, I'll need to take some blood samples," Heath suppressed a grin as he readied a syringe and several vials. 

He put the band around Duke's arm and tied it tightly, swabbed his arm with betadine and asked him to make a fist. 

Duke tried not to wince and squirmed as he sat on the table and his grey eyes widened. "What for?" He asked, trying to pull away. 

"I'm a witch doctor, it's what we do," Heath replied mildly, "relax, I'll sing you a song to keep your mind off of it."  

The big man scowled. "Yeah sure...what kinda song?" 

Jake grinned at Heath and said, "Hey, Witch Doctor, give us the magic words!"+ 

Duke looked confused now from one man to the other. 

Heath laughed and began to sing, "Ooo, eee, ooo aahh ahh, ting tang, walla walla bing bang, ooo eeeee ooo ah ah ting tang wallawalla bing bang!" 

Duke couldn't help but laugh at Heath. 

Jake continued the song, keeping Duke entertained and his mind off of what the doctor was doing. 

"Done," Heath said with a grin, putting a cotton ball and a band-aid over the injection site.  

Duke was surprised to find Heath had finished and grinned. "Well, between the two of you that wasn't so bad." 

"It's what we witch doctors do best," Heath replied in a fairly good imitation of Tigger* as he bounced lightly across the room with the specimens. "Now, I'll run the tests tonight and if anything out of the ordinary shows up I'll call you. In the meantime, stay home, rest, relax. No sense borrowing trouble, as my mother used to say." 

Duke smiled shyly at his lover and said, "That won't be a hardship, I love sleepin' with Jake." 

"Well, I'm afraid that sleeping is all we'll be doing tonight," Jake chuckled as he gave Duke a hug, "I don't want to overexert you. Come on, sweetheart."  

Duke sighed dramatically but said with a twinkle in his eye. "Well if I must suffer that, but cuddlin' is still good." 

"We'll cuddle all you want, but we have to get home first," Jake laughed, putting his arm around Duke's waist and leading him back to the bungalow. 

Later that evening when the two men were settling down into their bed pretty much worn out from the events of the day, Jake pulled Duke into his arms so that the sandy head was resting on his chest, and whispered, "I love you, hon, with all my heart. Don't ever scare me like that again." 

Duke snuggled close and said, "I love you too and I won't, I promise."


 + The song "Witch Doctor" was performed by Ross Bagdasarian Sr. and released in 1958 by Liberty Records under the stage name David Seville. 

Released         April 1, 1958
Recorded         January 1, 1958
Genre Comedy, scat, novelty song
Label   Liberty
Songwriter(s)  Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.
Producer(s)    Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.

(Information by Wikipedia)

 * Reference to Tigger 

"It's what we witch doctors do best", and 'bouncing lightly', is a play on the character of Tigger, a fictional character in the book, The House At Pooh Corner, written by A.A. Milne for his own son, Christopher Robin.

Tigger is known for his love of bouncing, as he says himself, "Bouncing is what Tigger’s do best."

The House at Pooh Corner is the second volume of stories about Winnie-the-Pooh, written by A. A. Milne and illustrated by E. H. Shepard. It is notable for the introduction of the character Tigger. 
Originally published: 1928
Author: A. A. Milne
Illustrator: E. H. Shepard
Genre: Children's literature
Publisher     Methuen & Co. Ltd. (London)
Preceded by: Winnie-the-Pooh

(Information by Wikipedia)