BHM The Gardener (~BHM, ~FFA, Romance, ~~WG)

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ellebee

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The Gardener
by ellebee​
Food had always been her passion. Good food, not the crap they can make for you in under five minutes at a fast food joint, but the kind of food people settle down with napkins on their laps and actually enjoy. She could talk about her love for kale and eggs endlessly and never once think that maybe no one else really cared what a great combination they made. Carys liked to feed people. Food brought people together. All of her favorite family memories included sipping coffee with her aunts and uncles, cousins and siblings, as they dove into Grandma’s made-from-scratch coffee cake.

“This is where our staff stays,” Carys’ attention jerked back into place. The older lady, Martha? Maria?, Carys couldn’t remember, showed her to a warmly-lit hallway with a low ceiling and wooden doors lining the walls. “Someone will bring your bags around, don’t worry about it. I’m sure you’re more concerned about seeing the kitchen,” the lady winked and Carys forced a smile. She fought off the sudden feelings of cabin fever. This place was her home for the next year and already she was itching at her skin to get out.

Fresh out of college she had made the worst mistake of her young life, to settle down with a man who, quite honestly had not been worth her time. Carys had been foolish. By the time she realized her mistake he had already convinced her to move halfway across the country and play housewife, despite the fact he couldn’t grow a pair and ask her to marry him. And on a dreary day, mid-spring, Carys found the strength to rediscover her soul. Under all that garbage she had put herself through was a young woman who wasn’t ready to settle on a half-assed attempt at love.

Carys did the one thing she had always excelled at - besides making a mean omelette - she ran. Her tired feet had taken her to some God-forsaken region of Northern California. Carys, a self proclaimed nutritionist and expert gardener, found set out on the task of finding her ideal job.

“We are a self-sustaining unit,” Carys thought that was a nice way of saying commune, but she chose to hold her tongue. Martha/Maria led her through archways of gnarled wood, and hallways made of windows on both sides. The place was an architectural beauty. “We are an organic farm, a bakery, coffee shop, we have artists workshops-”

But Carys had stopped listening. They had reached the kitchen, and although it was humble, and beautiful, and earthy, it was not what had caught Carys’ attention.

Taking a few steps closer, Carys felt drawn to the openness of the land beyond the kitchen. The French back doors, fashioned into large, clear windows, were propped open and the farm rolled out before her. That’s where the object of her attention stood, unaware of his audience, heaving a wheelbarrow full of dirt.

“Jack,” her tour guide nodded, turning her gaze as well to the tanned, curly-haired man. “He’s our resident agriculture specialist. He likes food, not much of a cook though, shockingly,” She chuckled. “Let’s just say, we’re happy you’re here.”

Not much of a cook. That was something Carys could hardly believe. The guy looked like he spent a lot of time in the kitchen. It was clear that he enjoyed eating, maybe a little too much, based on Martha/Maria’s comment. Carys watched, silent and dry-mouthed as Jack’s midsection wobbled ever so slightly as he pushed the wheelbarrow out in front of his heavy stomach. He couldn’t be much older than she was, Carys got the feeling that they were the young blood of this establishment, but he had to be close to two-seventy, maybe even two-eighty. Carys had gotten good at eye-balling weight since she called it quits with Evan.

Her ex had been a rugby player, a solid guy, the kind of thick just about any girl would go for. Carys had doted on his sturdy legs and tree trunk of a waist, but she had always wished for just a little bit more. For years she had told herself that if she married someone like Evan, wide and muscled, that someday, even if it took years, they would grow into a more well-rounded form and she’d get the pleasure of having a fat, happy man to wrap her arms around. But Carys had never really wanted to wait years for something she had always longed for.

“He’ll give you a hand in the kitchen though,” Martha/Maria continued, placing herself between the kitchen doors and Carys, perfectly blocking her view just as Jack paused to wipe the sweat off his forehead. Damn it, Martha, Carys thought. “Just have to make sure he doesn’t eat all the food before it makes it to the table,” the woman laughed. As much as she wanted to find the jab distasteful, she couldn’t ignore the warm feeling that curled around her belly as she thought about his thick hands sneaking food out from under her nose as they cooked together.

Stop it, Carys. She thought, following Martha - it was Martha? Wasn’t it? - out of the kitchen and back towards the dining hall. Carys, against her best judgement, turned back one last time. Jack stood there, one hand resting on the curve of his wide hips, the other rubbing sweat off the back of his neck. He pulled the saturated shirt away from the dome of his belly and glanced up in her direction. Carys felt her stomach drop and Jack’s face soured and his hands immediately found the handles of his wheelbarrow, turning the other way.
 

Tom the pig 8

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I have just read your story, and I really liked it. Thanks for sharing it. :happy:
 

ellebee

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This is my first time writing anything like this, so I'm glad! Thank you :)
Chapter Two​

He had not been expecting someone so young. Or someone so pretty, that was worth mentioning. Other people his age had come and gone, most of them the overly granola type, which was funny coming from him, the organic farmer. Half the girls refused to wash their hair or wear deodorant, something Jack could respect, but definitely couldn’t say he particularly enjoyed. Basic cleanliness was actually important to him, go figure. But the new girl, she was something else.

Jack stripped from his dirt-covered work clothes and threw them to the corner of his room that had been designated as the dirty clothes “hamper.” So maybe cleanliness wasn’t exactly his forte, but at least he showered. His room could have used a woman’s touch, or just a little less laziness on Jack’s part. There wasn’t much to look at, he didn’t hang on to a lot of material possessions, but somehow it was always cluttered.

The young gardener had lived at the farm for three years now, starting from when he graduated University as a young, bright-eyed, slightly thinner version of himself. That was another story all together, one that Jack typically avoided. The only person who really made comments about his size was Martha, and she didn’t have a filter to begin with, so he let it go.

Jack looked down at his bare stomach, spilling out over his chest, and hanging heavily bellow his hips. It had been easy to ignore his weight gain at first. When his shirts started stretching against his growing gut he knew something was off. Instead he came up with excuses. Jack could pretend that the way his work pants didn’t want to button up all the way was due to the fact that Carharts were made from unforgiving fabric or that things were shrinking in the wash.

He hadn’t exactly been a thin guy to start with. If Jack was being honest with himself, he didn’t mind being bigger, he had dealt with it his entire life. Although it was a little ironic, as someone who worked for a group of people obsessed with being green, clean, and healthy. It wasn’t that he ate horribly, he just ate a lot, and who could really blame him? For a guy his size Jack was in more than decent shape.

His stomach growled, demanding attention. Jack patted it gently, “Never ending pit,” he mumbled, heading out the door towards the bath house. The water from the shower came out in what could only be described as a trickle, to conserve water, and Jack secretly hated it. It didn’t exactly make him excited to take a shower. After three years that was the one thing he still wasn’t used to. His stomach let out another growl as he lumbered through the hallway in just his boxers and a towel in hand, headed towards the shower. Forty minutes till dinner, Jack frowned, that was an awfully long time to wait.

________​

“You don’t have to worry about dinner tonight, we’ve got it covered. Breakfast tomorrow, though,” Martha smiled. “That’s on you, baby.”

Carys allowed herself to smile back. “I’ve got it.” Breakfast was her favorite meal of the day.

“Good girl,” Martha replied. “Dinner’s at six. If you need anything, I’m at the end of the hall.”

“Thanks,” Carys nodded. “See you at six.”

And Martha was gone, leaving the door wide open and Carys alone for the first time all day. This was how she liked it, the silence was soothing. She could think clearly without people breathing down her neck. Martha had done a good job of respecting Carys’ space and not overloading her with information she didn’t need, but Carys was still thankful to be alone. She let out a sigh, thinking that maybe she had made a huge mistake coming here.

But then, of course, there was Jack. Carys blushed at the fact that she had shamelessly ogled at him when he walked past her room, half naked and carrying a towel. Carys knew better than to stay somewhere just because she was attracted to a guy. But that belly, and those love handles, Carys couldn’t stop there, she had gotten a fairly good look at his thighs as he strolled past. Forget ex-rugby player boyfriend, he had never had thighs that delicious. Her face turned hot as she thought about it. How was she supposed to make it through dinner knowing he was hiding thighs like that under the table?

________​

Carys could feel the warm atmosphere of the dining hall before she even reached the door. Happiness bubbled up inside of her. This was the reason she had come. Community around a dinner table, simple joy. Martha patted to a seat beside her as Carys entered the room. She took her seat carefully, trying her best to take in everything all at once. Carys’ eyes scanned the dinner table in search of one particular face.

He was sitting diagonally across from her. Carys hadn’t seen his face up close until now, she hadn’t noticed his deep brown eyes, the dimples in his cheeks when he smiled, his eyebrows perfectly framing his face, the way his jawline curved, even with the chub that surrounded it. A big guy with a great looking face. Carys felt her nerves kick in.

A sudden eruption of laughter exploded from Jack’s end of the table and Carys froze. She watched, totally fixated, as he leaned back in his chair, hands rested on top of his belly and laughed. In that moment Carys knew she was done for. There was no going back. Each laugh jiggled his belly more and, even though Carys told herself not to go there, the mental images started to weave through her mind. What she wouldn’t do to make him laugh laying in bed together, but have her hands on top of that beautiful belly, rather than his. Just the idea of her hands touching bare skin made her insides warm.

“I want you all to meet our newest team member,” Martha spoke up, dismissing the dying laughter. “This is Carys, she comes to us from -” Martha paused.

“Oregon,” Carys reminded her.

“She comes to us all the way from Oregon. Carys is going to be taking over as our nutritionist and cook. Let’s make her feel at home.”

Everyone rattled off their names and jobs so quickly Carys could hardly keep up. She’d forget half of them within the hour anyway. Jack, on the other hand, barely looked up from his food to mumble a brief introduction that left Carys wanting more. Nearly everyone was an estimated ten years older than her, except for a handful of college age interns who were greedily bragging about their past adventures climbing mountains in foreign countries.

She spent the whole dinner half-heartedly eating her soup and salad, knowing she could have made it better, and watching Jack grab roll after roll to scoop the remainder of his soup from the bottom of the bowl. His chubby hands greedily grabbing as much as he could, until, with a large sigh, he leaned back in his hair. Carys watched with admiration and a strange sense of pride, she liked a man who could eat, as he placed his hands behind his head, causing his shirt to ride up around his belly. That thin line of flesh exposed between his pants and his shrinking shirt. Carys clenched her hands under the table.

“Dishes,” Martha boomed. Everyone reacted accordingly, stacking their plates and bowls neatly in the center of the table and shuffling away. “Jack,” she said, catching the young man’s attention. He scrambled to sit up again, pulling his shirt back down, a little pink in the cheeks. “Why don’t you show Carys how it works.”

“Sure,” he mumbled, adjusting himself as he stood up and made eye contact with Carys. “This way,” he motioned, and Carys followed him into the kitchen carrying a stack of plates. The last time she had been this nervous around a guy was high school. And now look at her, she could feel her heart beating right out of her chest.
 

Undine

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I'm really liking this so far. This place has such a laid-back, cheerful atmosphere. Very excited to see how it develops!
 

Tad

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This has been an amazing Summer for fantastic FFA/BHM stories, and seeing this new one start--especially given the setting, feels like it is helping to stretch out Summer for me :)

I've really enjoyed the story so far, and look forward to more! :smitten::smitten::smitten:
 

wildandfree

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Love the "commune" atmosphere as a canvas for a good story. The descriptions of the lifestyle are believable... The college kids bragging about their worldly experiences.... ha ha, nailed it!
 

Sweetsally

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"Forget ex-rugby player boyfriend, he had never had thighs that delicious. Her face turned hot as she thought about it. How was she supposed to make it through dinner knowing he was hiding thighs like that under the table?"

Okay, I'll admit it. I don't know how to use the stupid quote thingy in my replies. But this quote--oh my gosh. Love this! Hope you'll continue! =)
 

Tad

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Sally: Hit the 'quote' button in the bottom right corner of the post you are replying too :D

And yah, I love the unabashed enthusiasm of the heroine's thoughts!
 

Xyantha Reborn

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Must add my voice, if only to second those before me...

Love, please continue! The setting is terrific, and I am dying to know more about the sexy Jack who walks half naked through hallways!! (all the naughty FFA's are drooling at the thought)
 

ALS

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Must add my voice, if only to second those before me...

Love, please continue! The setting is terrific, and I am dying to know more about the sexy Jack who walks half naked through hallways!! (all the naughty FFA's are drooling at the thought)
I agree with all of the above!
 

Blackweights

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This is delightful! Your writing is fantastic and quite addictive, and Jack sounds exactly like my sort of guy. I can't wait for more.
 

ellebee

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Thank you all so much for the positive feedback!
I'm sorry I haven't updated in a while, there's been a ton of stuff going on.
I'll try to have an update this week!
 

Xyantha Reborn

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Every time i see a post i frantically scroll to the bottom to see if there has been an update! :)
 

ellebee

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Chapter Three​

The dining room table cleared out within a minute. Dishes must have been the magic word. No one wanted to be stuck after dinner dealing with the mess their comrades had created. No one, except perhaps Carys. To her it felt as if the night had come straight out of a fantasy. The two of them alone in a dark kitchen, surrounded by food, scrubbing away at dishes until Jack’s already too small tee-shirt was drenched, clinging desperately to his large frame. She would watch with wide eyes as he peeled it off and things would escalate heavily from there. Working with Jack would be the end of her.

Carys set down the stack of plates next to the sink and turned to stare at her new companion. Jack seemed oblivious to the direction her eyes took as he squeezed past her in the small kitchen space. To watch him maneuver around the place, always conscious of his size, careful not to knock into anything or bump it with his girth, made all the butterflies in Carys’ stomach kick up at once. She watched, motionless, as he actually attempted to suck it in to avoid their bodies touching.

“So what’s the dirt on this place?” Carys asked as Jack joined her at the sink. He immediately took his place scrubbing the soaking dishes while Carys waited with a dish rag to dry.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Jack said, hardly lifting his eyes to meet her gaze.

“You know, the dirt,” Carys replied, taking a wet dish in hand and going to town. The last thing she wanted Jack thinking was that she couldn’t work hard. “Who to talk to? Who to avoid? Who has the best secret stash of booze hidden under their bed?”

Jack shook his head. For a minute Carys doubted her dream boy would even come close to meeting her standards. The man couldn’t hold a conversation, much less make eye contact with her. But then, and Carys couldn’t help but smile with relief, he turned to her and smirked casually.

“Martha,” he said, a hint of a smile still lighting up the corners of his eyes. “Martha could run a bar from her closet if she wanted.”

“Martha?” Carys exclaimed, gladly taking another plate from Jack’s thick hands. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

He shook his head ‘no.’ The two stood in silence for a few moments, working fluidly like a well oiled machine. Jack washed, Carys dried. Much to her disappointment his shirt remained dry, but the young man was so preoccupied he never once noticed her staring at his gut as it pressed up against the kitchen counter. Carys liked the way it molded so well to the surroundings.

She always wondered what it was like to be fat, to fill out clothes so well, to demand space and attention everywhere you went. It seemed to Carys that it was a rather regal thing to be. As a child she saw nothing wrong with it. Society, years later, would tell her that the way she thought was completely crazy. Thankfully, however, the fat admiring child inside had won out and Carys was experiencing for the first time just how liberating that was.

“So what’s your story?” She asked, after the silence had run its course.

Jack shrugged. “What do you want to know?”

“How did you get here?”

“I came here after graduating university with an agriculture degree,” Jack continued washing. “It was a good fit. I planned to intern for a summer, but they offered me the job.”

Hard working, intelligent, and a clear love for food. She had been expecting a bunch of smelly, hippie men when she came here, not a guy who actually sparked her interest.

“You’re not the kind of person I would have imagined working here,” Carys said, lowering her eyes to the dishes.

“Why?” Jack pressed. “Is it because I’m fat?”

Carys froze. The “f” word. The magic “f” word. For as long as she could remember hearing someone call themselves fat made her stagger. There was something about a shapely guy admitting to himself that he was larger than the average that made Carys want to put her hands on either side of him and dive right in.

“No,” she said quickly, as quickly as she could to cover the awkward way her eyes had fixated upon his stomach. “No, that’s not what I meant at all. There’s nothing wrong with being fat-” This was going down the wrong road. "It doesn't mean you aren't healthy. I just-" Carys was getting flustered, she could feel it. “I mean, I was expecting smelly men who don’t shower and forget to-”

“I was kidding,” Jack said, laughing at her panic. His smile returned, this time very real and very genuine. Carys softened a bit, seeing him act so easy around her, joking about his weight so freely. “Calm down,” he shook his head. “I knew what you meant.”

Carys exhaled relief. “A job right out of school, you must be good at what you do.”

“I like to think so,” Jack replied, meeting her stare a bit easier now. “Food isn’t really something I shy away from,” he laughed, patting the side of his stomach with a wet hand. “It just makes sense to grow it.”

It only took a few sentences and already Carys knew she wanted more of this man. The way he spoke so casually, the comfortableness within his voice, his nonchalant way of describing his love for food, for growing food, it all just clicked with her.

“I think we’re going to be friends, Jack,” Carys smiled, drying another plate as she did so. “I really think so.”


----------​


“So the new girl, eh?” Rick leaned in the door way, staring at Jack sprawled out on the bed. He must have looked like a beach whale, but he was too tired to care. “What’s she like?”

“Way out of your league,” Jack sighed, propping himself up on one elbow and making no effort to hide the way his stomach spilled over his waistband and rested on top of his thighs.

“Says who?”

“Says me,” Jack responded. Rick was the one resident worker who you could always catch chasing after the newbies. He hardly had any preference and tried to play it off as a product of “free love.” Jack knew he should have completely skipped the part of the conversation woth Carys about Martha and her undercover bar, and simply told her to avoid Rick at all costs until he switched his focus to some college-aged girl who couldn’t stop talking about herself. Jack tolerated people like Rick for the sake of the job and not much else.

“Says the fat lard who works in dirt and manure all day.”

Jack couldn’t do much other than shrug. “Stay away from her, Rick,” he warned. Rick only grinned and left, leaving the door wide open behind him.

His whole body ached as he rolled out of bed to go close the door. Jack glanced down the hallway. Most of the bedroom lights were already out. All was quiet, nearly everyone already in bed getting a head start on sleep before the new day began, Carys included. She was different and, personality-wise, not what Jack had expected.

He had been in the friend zone countless times before and Jack knew this would undoubtably land him in the same area. Guys like him didn’t often get a chance with girls like Carys, and Jack had accepted that as his fate. Occasionally there would come along a lady who didn’t mind a little bit extra on her man, but Jack felt like the majority just tolerated it. With Carys, the best he could do was watch out for her, though she probably didn’t need any of his help. Even still, he felt himself thinking about the new girl, her long brown hair and hazel eyes, as he drifted off to sleep, allowing himself to think - just for a moment - what it would be like to hold her.
 
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