Please say hello to Andrew Grey and
Planting His Dream
Foster dreams of getting away, but after his father s death, he has to take over the family dairy farm. It soon becomes clear his father hasn t been doing the best job of running it, so not only does Foster need to take over the day-to-day operations, he also needs to find new ways of bringing in revenue.
Javi has no time to dream. He and his family are migrant workers, and daily survival is a struggle, so they travel to anywhere they can get work. When they arrive in their old van, Foster arranges for Javi to help him on the farm.
To Javi s surprise, Foster listens to his ideas and actually puts them into action. Over days that turn into weeks, they grow to like and then care for each other, but they come from two very different worlds, and they both have responsibilities to their families that neither can walk away from. Is it possible for them to discover a dream they can share? Perhaps they can plant their own and nurture it together to see it grow, if their different backgrounds don t separate them forever.
Thank you so much for having me. I thought I’d talk a little about the story behind the story. Years ago I wrote the Love Means… stories and they were where I went when I needed some peace and quiet in my writing and I’ve missed that. So I decided to write another farm based series. When we lived in Michigan, one of my mother friends that she worked with, lived on a dairy farm. I remember visiting as a kid and spending time with all the animals, so when I was looking for a farm, I didn’t have to look very far.
I really wish I could tell you where the characters came from because they had no specific beginning. I think Javi came to me from the very beginning of LaBamba when Ricky’s family is picking oranges. I think there’s a lot of myself in Foster. I think he’s really the kind of man that I wish I’d like to be. He’s strong and willing to take on the challenge of saving the farm for his entire family.
Once again, thank you having me. It’s always a pleasure.
Please enjoy this excerpt Andrew has graciously provided:
Javi shrugged. “When I’m working, I do one thing, make sure it’s done, and then move on.”
“I know about that. But I’m supposed to do the chores, sell what the farm produces, plan how to make the business more successful, and somehow keep from working my mother and grandmother to death.” Yeah, he was feeling sorry for himself, and that had to stop. It was counterproductive.
“At least you have a place to live,” Javi said, looking around. Foster stared at him. “I haven’t ever lived in a house like you have. My family has moved from place to place with the crops for as long as I can remember. Sometimes we stay in the van, like we are here. Five people in a van. Other times there’s quarters that the farmer lets us use. The last one had a dirt floor and was overrun with termites and scorpions.”
Foster nodded, knowing he had very little to complain about, really. “You’re right.” It put a lot of things in perspective. “Let’s go check the fields, and then we can have lunch.” There was always more work to be done. “How are you with tools? Building things.” “I’ve done just about anything I’ve ever been asked.”
The equipment shed needed some repairs, and it would be much easier with some help. They got in the truck, and Foster pulled away and down the drive. He turned right and took the road toward the back of the property. He pulled to a stop at the edge of the first field. He got out, looking across the largely flat area that was just greening up, the corn spreading its first leaves. He checked that soil, rolling it between his fingers. The soil in their area could have a sandy consistency, but Foster and his family had been blessed with just a small amount of clay, and that helped hold the moisture rather than letting it wick away. “Is it okay?” Javi asked.
“Yes. Everything is growing.” And the weeds hadn’t had a chance to get much of a start. It wouldn’t be long before the corn took all the sun and made it impossible for weeds to have a chance except at the edges of the field. “I hate using a lot of pesticides and chemicals. They end up in the cows and then in the milk.” Quality was their stock-in-trade, and he didn’t want to jeopardize that. “Let’s move on.”
They got back in the truck and went from field to field, with good results. It seemed that the hours he’d spent in the tractor planting were going to pay off. But he had to caution himself that it was still early in the growing season and there was a lot that could happen. He wondered if Javi wanted to check in with his family, but he said nothing, so Foster drove back to the farm. They went right inside for lunch. His mother had made sandwiches. It was an easy lunch, but Javi didn’t seem to mind, judging by the way he ate. Foster didn’t want to pry.
His mother had no such compunctions. “Do you always eat that much?”
“No, ma’am,” Javi answered, clearly embarrassed judging by the red that colored his otherwise bronze cheeks.
“I like a man who eats. Tells me that the food is good.” She gave Foster one of those looks and then shifted her gaze to Javi. Foster rolled his eyes and thought that his mother might have made a nice save. Then she passed Javi the plate. What began bothering Foster was that if Javi was hungry, what about the rest of the family? Yes, he and Javi had done a lot of hard work and that brought on an appetite, but he didn’t think that accounted for the amount Javi was eating. Javi had told him things had been rough for his family, but Foster wondered if there was more going on that Javi hadn’t shared or wasn’t privy to.
“I should get the supplies together,” Foster said once he was finished and pushed away from the table.
“What are you doing?” his mother asked.
Giving you the few minutes with Javi you seem to want. “Dad got asphalt shingles a few weeks ago, and we were going to fix the toolshed roof….” He didn’t need to continue and upset his mother. “Finish your lunch and join me in the yard,” he added to Javi and left the kitchen.
The sun was strong and hot. June could be a fickle month. Sometimes, if the wind was strong off the lake, it could be wet and cool. This year had been sunny and warm so far, but Foster knew to take advantage when the weather was good because that could change fast. He found the shingles in the shed, so he got them out and stacked them to the side of the door. He’d thought about putting the new roof over the old but was concerned about the weight, especially mixed with snow in the winter, so he got a ladder and began tearing off the old roof. He was well into it when Javi climbed up to join him and they each took a side.
“I always hate jobs like this,” Foster confessed.
“Why?” Javi dropped a load of shingles to the ground and then went back down the ladder. Foster peered over the side, watching as Javi brought a wheelbarrow to his side of the roof and then parked another on the other side.
“Good idea.” The shed wasn’t that large, but the cleanup of all the old shingles was going to be a mess. Javi climbed back on the roof, and they finished clearing it off, filling the wheelbarrows and then dumping them in the trash containers. The wheelbarrows filled quickly, and it took a while to rake up the old nails, which they had to be pretty careful about.
“Have you roofed before?” Foster asked.
“Not really. I’ll haul up the shingles so you can get started.” Javi tugged off his shirt, shoving it into his back pocket before hoisting a bag on his shoulder and slowly climbing the ladder. Foster got the nail gun and compressor before climbing up himself. He set the first row of shingles, making sure they were straight. He wasn’t nearly as proficient as the guys who did this all the time, but it didn’t take him long to get into a rhythm. It was a simple, two-sided, pitched roof, so there was little cutting, and that could mostly be done at the end. He took off his shirt, dropped it to the ground, and settled in to work.
Javi reached the top of the ladder and set down another bundle of shingles.
“Dammit.” Foster needed to be careful. He had let his attention wander and nearly nailed his hand, yanking it back just before the nail gun got it. He needed to be paying attention to his work instead of the smooth copper skin and perfect small nipples that stuck out just right from the planes of Javi’s chest. Foster knew he shouldn’t be looking at the lines on Javi’s belly or trail of dark wispy hair that started at his belly button and disappeared into the top of his thin jeans.
He lowered his gaze, trying not to make too big a deal of it, and grabbed the next sheet of shingles. He placed them, put in the nails, and reached for the next sheet. He thought Javi had descended and chanced a look. This time he saw Javi look at him and then turn away before climbing down the ladder.
A fluttery warmth started in Foster’s belly, spreading though his legs and up his arms, settling at the base of his brain like the buzzing of a bee. He was glad to have a second to adjust his dick because it was hard, aching, and he didn’t want to be obvious. The last thing he wanted was for Javi to go running back to his family thinking Foster had been perving on him. Granted, the thoughts Foster was having were most definitely pervy and involved finding out if Javi’s skin was as soft and his muscles as hard as they looked.
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About the author:
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
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