There is a lot of history behind this one. I've been a big railfan since I was a kid and my younger brother even more of one. In fact he worked for the Rio Grand Western, the merged Southern Pacific- Rio Grande and finally the Union Pacific when it absorbed the other combined lines. He spent a lot of time out on the track in various positions and finally wound up a general chairman for the labor union to which these people belonged. So there is my 'tech expert' and I consulted him often to be sure the background in this story was spot on. To the best of my ability, it is.
Both of our grandfathers were railroad men, our Mom's in the clerical and administrative side and our Dad's in train crew. Then my first adult relationship was with a B&B foreman (bridge and building) which is the other main division of track maintenance. In short, railroading is in my blood and spirit!
I write quite a few blue collar heroes and have to assert I respect these people highly. They are the real backbone of America and in the current technology-driven environment often do not get the respect they deserve!The rest of the population would be in sad shape indeed if it were not for the men and women who maintain our vast infrastructure of rails, highways, and electric lines, keep the assembly lines going, do the oil drilling, hard rock mining, farming, ranching and much more. Their efforts make our lifestyle possible. So I salute them as the real heroes they are along with our military and first responders. That's the 'roots' of Workin' on the Railroad and many other of my tales.
Here is the blurb and an excerpt from this one. The cover--which I really like!--follows too.
Blurb: Roane Wellman only intends to work one summer on railroad maintenance to pay for his next semester of college after his party guy ways cause his grandfather to stop supporting his schooling. In a summer of hard work, adventure and danger, he matures and finds a new course for his life. Before the season ends, he knows he’s meant to be workin’ on the railroad as he fights to build a career and a partnership that just might last for the rest of his life.
Alden Prescott is a loner, content to operate his big crane and shrug off the added responsibilities of being a gang foreman. However, his current foreman is a drunkard and so close to worthless that Alden ends up doing a lot of the functions he has tried to avoid. Although he’s strongly drawn to the handsome new summer hire, memories of a past tragedy make him afraid to pursue the relationship. What will it take to convince him that Roane is not going to let him repeat past mistakes? And what will happen when the current foreman winds up busted for his illicit drug use? Workin’ on the railroad packs a lot of danger, challenge and some very hot times—days at work and nights at play.
Roane’s face held only sympathy and anguish. “Holy shit, man. Oh my God. But you shouldn’t blame yourself. Shit happens. Accidents. The world isn’t always nice or fair.” He plowed to an awkward halt as if aware that platitudes only begged the question.
Then he reached across and laid his hand, cold from holding the beer, over Alden’s clenched fist. “I’m sorry. I wish I’d known. Maybe things would have gone down different that night.”
Alden didn’t feel easy with sympathy. He didn’t even think he wanted it. He only meant to take away what he sensed was Roane’s notion that the sudden chill was due to something he had done wrong. “It’s not your fault, none of this, just…well I don’t want to see history repeat itself. I don’t think I dare try to handle mixing work and pleasure that way. It’s too risky.”
Roane’s grip tightened on Alden’s hand. “Wait a minute. I’m not that guy, not just out for kicks or a wild ride or two. At least that sounds like what he was doing. I won’t flirt when its time for business. We’ve been working together for a month now and it’s been okay, hasn’t it? From what you said, you and this guy Jason, had just hooked up and you were new with the crane, too.”
Alden nodded, not sure where the other man was going with his arguments. “Yeah, that’s true. And yeah, Jason liked to flaunt his looks and sex appeal and he did it all the time. I was prob’ly scared he’d move on to someone else, maybe someone more cool and macho than I was so he kept me going.”
“Well, then, why should something bad happen again? This is different. Why not give me, give us a chance?”
“Are you sure you want to take that risk?”
“If I wasn’t I wouldn’t be asking.”
Alden closed his eyes for a moment. He heard Roane stir; the gripping hand released. Then the next thing he knew he was bodily hauled out of the chair and into the demanding circle of Roane’s arms. Shock jolted through him. He’d always been the one to make the first move, even with Jason.
Jason had very blatant about showing his interest but it had still been Alden who reached the first time. A few minutes ago, Alden had admired Roane’s obvious strength. Now he experienced it. He could no more stop this than he could block a runaway train.
The other guys could return any time but that didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was Roane’s hard hot body crushing against his and then Roane’s avid lips. The kiss tasted of beer and something with cheese and chili that Roane had probably eaten for lunch. The other man’s mouth sealed over his with so much heat and force and intensity Alden wondered if he might go up in a flash like an arc welding rod touching grounded iron.
Roane maneuvered him in a circle, almost like dancing. Then with a shove he sent Alden sprawling onto the sagging couch. Dropping to his knees on the still-wet floor, Roane went to work on Alden’s belt, almost ripped the buttons undoing his Levis, and stopped only for a split second when he apparently realized Alden wore no underwear.
Alden’s cock sprang free, bursting past the open fly of the jeans and into Roane’s waiting hands.