Raising Funds

by KT


Disclaimer: Don't own them, never did, never will.

Note: This story is very similar to Heather M's For a Good Cause. This is entirely coincidental - the idea was given to me by a fellow Brit some months ago, but Heather's wonderful story finally spurred me in to writing this one down. Like that fic, this has been proof read by the wonderful Helen.

"No way!"

"Oh come on Chris, if you do it the others will, they'll follow your lead," Josiah reasoned.

"I don't think so - Vin? No way is he gonna do it! Did you even ask any of the others?"

"Well… as it happens, yes."

"And," Chris suddenly turned back to face Sanchez and Nettie Wells.

"And he said yes."

Chris raised and eyebrow then suddenly frowned. "Wait - you asked Buck didn't you?"

"Well…yes, we were testing the waters you might say."

"And he said 'yes'?" The other two just nodded. "How long did he think about it? No wait …let me guess, about two seconds?" He could see from their faces he was right. Throwing up his hands he began to stalk around the large kitchen table. "Typical! The man has no shame."

"He's got nothing to be ashamed of - neither have you." Both men turned to stare open mouthed at the elderly woman. "What?" she asked innocently. "I've seen you both at the beach, and…" She turned to Chris with a look of pure devilment. "…I powdered your bottom more than once Christopher Adam Larabee."

While Chris turned an interesting shade of beetroot, Sanchez changed tack. "Look we still have a high profile, we can make a lot of money; sure, the boat's new and all its fittings - but there is still stuff we need and you know it."

"Like what?" Chris asked, still trying to get the memories of Nettie Wells babysitting him out of his head.

"The boat house roof leaks, the showers are falling apart."


"It'll be very tasteful, very artistic." Nettie explained.

Josiah fixed Larabee with his 'I'm a priest, you can't say no' look.

"Well, I'll think about it." The lean farmer finally agreed.


It all started just two days before at a fundraising committee meeting. The committee consisted of seven women and one man - Fr Sanchez - he had been co-opted on to the committee when he retired from the crew, when he returned to the crew he somehow never got off the committee. The monthly meeting went as it usually did; finally they got to 'any other business'.

"I have an idea," Nettie Wells announced, looking at the chairwoman Mary Travis, who nodded.

"I think we should produce a calendar, in time for Christmas."

Mary frowned. "Well if we want nice summer weather pictures we really would have to hurry, it's a bit last minute."

"I wasn't thinking of views of the town or even the boat, I was thinking of the crew. There was a crew in Kent who did one, they made a fortune, I have one …if anyone is interested?"

She had all their attention, so pulled out the old calendar and placed it on the table. For a long time no one said anything, they just passed the glossy black and white pictures around the table.

"I don't think this is the kind of thing we want to see…" Mary started to say.

"Speak for yourself dear," Sally Pascoe announced as she turned one picture through ninety degrees as she studied it.

"Come on Sal, pass it on," Eve Travis urged.

"Evie!" Mary gasped.

"Oh Mary, don't be such a prude, have you seen some of our guys, they look like models as it is, we could clean up - besides I'd love to see what Ezra has under those designer clothes."

"Mmmm I'd like to see what Buck's hiding," Sally added.

"You mean you don't know? Hell woman you must be the only female under forty in the place who doesn’t!" Nettie observed.

Six of the people in the room dissolved into hysterical giggling, Mary fumed silently while Josiah tried to keep a straight face. It was his reaction and not that of their chairwoman that finally stopped the hysteria.

"Oh goodness, Father, I'm sorry, that is we…" Nettie suddenly blurted out.

He held up his hands. "Don't apologise - may I see the calendar?"

A hushed silence descended as the calendar was passed to the priest and he thumbed through it. Finally he looked up.

"I think," he began. "that the Cardinal would not agree to my participation in such a venture - but…"

"Yes?" Nettie prompted.

"It's a very good idea, if, and I emphasise, if, you can get them to do it."


Mary had been against it, she thought it demeaning, but she was out voted. Nettie and Josiah were dispatched to get the crew to agree to the plan. Mary had been right about one thing; they were short on time. A day’s research had revealed that if they wanted it in the Christmas catalogue they had just three weeks to find a photographer, have the pictures taken and get them to the printer. They needed a positive response to take to the others, and if anyone was going to say yes - it had to be Buck.

"Sure, why not," was his response, he didn't even stop to think about it. "What did the others say?"

"Well we thought we would ask you first," Josiah admitted.

Wilmington looked up; he had been hosing the back yard - shirtless naturally. "I see," he said enigmatically.

"Buck?" Josiah had caught the slight change in his friend’s tone.

"What? You thought I'd be the easy one, shameless. Buck, he's got loose morals, he'll say yes," the tall man accused.

Damn! Josiah swore inwardly, as he walked up to stand beside his friend and crewmate. "No my friend, not that. We know that you are open minded, free thinking, and well - less inhibited than some of the others," Buck was after all standing there in nothing but a pair of shorts and sandals. "But not loose, never that."

"Yeah? Well okay, but only if Chris says yes, he's the boss - clear?"

"Of course, always. Thanks Buck." Josiah patted his friend on the back.

"Thank you Buck," Nettie called, from the back of the yard where she had waited when Buck's attitude had changed.

The two of them were just about to exit the yard when Buck called.

"If Chris says yes, I'll work on the kid for you - let me know."


With Chris still undecided, there was no point talking to Vin, so the two recruiters set out to speak to Doctor Jackson. They found him at home with his common-law wife Rain, who opened the door.

"Hi Josiah, Nettie, were you looking for Nate?"

"Um, yes, could we speak to him?"

Five minutes later they were in the couple’s exotically decorated living room, drinking red wine. Nettie explained why they were there. She thought the tall doctor was about to refuse when Rain moved to pick up the old calendar Nettie had brought to show Nathan.

"This is so cool, you have to do this," she gushed.

Nathan appeared totally blindsided, unsure how to respond, as he watched his wife flip through the calendar. Finally she looked up, and took in her husband's expression.

"Honey you have a great body, I want people to see what a hunk of a husband I've got," she explained.

"Well thanks darling, that’s all well and good but what about my patients? I might undermine my, my…that is my…er."

"Credibility?" Josiah offered.

"Yeah, that's it, thanks Josiah."

"Oh darling, you see a hell of a lot more of your patients than their gonna see of you. Think about it, next time you need someone to strip, they can picture that fine bod of yours while you do what you gotta do. You know what they say about relaxing in a situation by thinking about the other person naked. Don't you think?"

Nathan hadn't thought of it that way, he really couldn't refuse to do what he asked patients to do all the time.

"Yeah, I guess you're right; okay, count me in."


The next day they recruited six other members of the crew, which left Chris, Vin, JD and Ezra. Seeing that so many of the crew were happy to do it, Chris felt he had to do the right thing, as their leader, that decision made, he was faced with persuading the notoriously shy Vin to join the project.

As promised, with Chris onboard, Buck went to work on JD.

"Kid?" he asked as they sat watching a rather boring European football match on Euro Sport.


"Did you ever see that calendar the England rugby team put out a few years back? You know the 'raw' one?"

"Um no, don't think so?" JD admitted.

Buck got up and retrieved the old calendar from his desk draw; he'd borrowed it from one of his female friends, promising on pain of death to return in undamaged.

"Here, take a look."

He sat in silence while JD leafed through the large calendar. Finally the young man looked up.

"Why are you showing me this?" he asked.

"Well, we, that is the committee, are thinking that we - the crew - should do one, to raise money, you know? What do you think?"

"No way!" JD spluttered. "No way in hell, nope, not a chance, no way Jose!"

"Oh come on JD, it'll be a laugh, the women will love it," Buck encouraged.

"Yeah the women will love you and the others, Mister hard body, Mister star rugby player. What about me, short, white and very average, they’re just gonna laugh at me!"

Buck's heart fell as he heard JD's words of self-doubt. He had no idea the teen felt this way about himself, especially in comparison to the rest of them. He was only a teenager, he couldn't expect to have the same physical maturity as the rest of them, besides he had been either studying or caring for his ailing mother for years, when did he have the time to work out? Since coming to live at the pub Buck had been teaching him how to use the weights and he had started to do some running, though not with Buck, who liked to run alone - save for the dog. With both men taking him out on runs poor Mac was getting more exercise than he knew what to do with.

"JD, you're just fine, girls find you attractive, look at what happens in the shop," he reassured.

JD worked in the shop Rain Jackson ran. Ever since the publicity surrounding the crew's rescue of a catamaran, girls had been coming into the shop with the hope of being served by the 'famous' JD Dunne, they tended to get giggly and tried to find some way to make contact with him. It wasn't as bad as it had been, but it still happened. And it wasn't just girls who knew of his hero status, who hit on JD, he was a good-looking boy. He was also taken, he and Nettie's niece Casey were 'going steady'.

"Well, I know, but I have my clothes on Buck! They don't know what I look like underneath."

"From what I've seen you look just fine."

"Fine, yeah, fine, but not like you guys."

Buck could see he wasn't going to win this, so he decided on a new tack. He picked up the abandoned calendar, he flicked through and found the picture of Johnny Wilkinson, it was basically just a head shot, you could barely tell he had no shirt on.

"Hey kid! What if your picture was like this one?" He showed it to his young friend, who he thought of as a brother. JD studied the picture. "Well?" Buck prompted.

"Um, well, I mean, that's not too bad, I s'ppose it would be okay - but…"


"Can you guarantee they'll let me do one like that?" he asked worriedly.

"If they don't they'll have me to deal with, besides I was talking to Mary today - she's sorting out a photographer - she says we get full editorial control, okay?"

"Well, yeah, I guess, if you promise, I can say no and I don't have to take my trousers off."

"My word on it JD, and a Wilmington's word is…"

"As good as done," JD finished his friends often stated promise.


Buck stepped up to Ezra's door. He still wasn't sure why he was doing this, he just some how got roped in.

One day Buck, you're gonna have to learn to say no, he chided himself.

The retired City banker opened the door, a smile of surprise and welcome on his face.

"Welcome to my home, Buck, do come in, I was just about to take a drink into the garden, would you care to join me?"

They took long drinks out into Ezra's small sun-trap garden, Ezra had a Pimms, Buck stuck to beer. The garden had clearly been recently re-designed. There was a deck area outside the living room French windows, with decorative pots around it full of herbs, the small lawn was circular with a reflecting pool at the far end and against the wall, a mirror framed in roses made the whole garden look bigger.

"Ez this is lovely, I had no idea you were a gardener," Buck complemented as he sat back on one of the antique 'Plantation' chairs on the deck.

"I can not claim responsibility, I merely employed the landscape gardener. So to what to I owe the pleasure of your company, my friend?"

"Can’t I just visit you?"

Ezra raised an eyebrow, as if to say, 'give me credit'. "No Buck, you want something, you are quite transparent my friend, out with it man, come on."

Buck supped on his beer, he never could fool Standish, so he went on to explain the project. Ezra nodded sagely.

"If it can be accomplished in time, it should be a real money spinner, I have some contacts who could help with the publicity, closer to the festive season."

"Cool, that'd be great, so Ez, are you, that is will you be… you know? With the rest of us?"

"Ez-Ra, my name is Ezra, two syllables, how many times do I have to explain it to you heathens?"

"Sorry mate, so will you?"

"Will I what?" Ezra asked innocently, enjoying his friend’s discomfort.

"You know damn well what!" Buck fumed.

"Yes, I will."

Buck stopped, his glass halfway to his lips. "What? Just like that?"

"Why not, I have nothing to be ashamed of and I feel I should show solidarity with my crew mates, besides it won't be the first time."

Buck all but choked on his beer. "You've done it before - posed…naked?"

Ezra sat back and sipped his Pimms, stretching out the moment for dramatic effect. "My first year at Oxford, I was enamoured of a girl called Carrie, she was studying fine art. In an attempt to curry favour with the fair Carrie, I offered my services as a life model, for her class."

"And?" Buck prompted.

"And what?"

"Did you win the fair Carrie?"

"Well," he winked at Buck. "the ladies were most appreciative, except mother - when she found out - she thought it demeaning." And if I do it again, she'll go spare, which is all to the good! Ezra mused to himself. "But the fair Carrie it turned out, was batting for the other side."

"Yeah? Well that happens, nothing you can do." Buck commented philosophically. "Mary thinks it's demeaning as well, but she's helping anyway, getting some photographer from London so I hear. God that woman is a prude, how the hell she ever got pregnant is a mystery."

Ezra smirked. "It's the Victorian ones you have to watch in the bedroom," he observed.

"And that's the truth!" Buck agreed. Then he sat back to enjoy the garden and the beer and to revel in the thought of Chris trying to talk Vin in to participating.


The Lone Star cut through the waves with an easy grace, she was old, but her lines were sleek and smooth. Vin loved to feel the way she rose and fell gently with the wind behind her. He had always sailed alone, but he had to admit sailing with friends was okay, especially Chris. The lifeboat coxswain was happy just to sail, he didn't feel the need to talk, and that suited the Welshman. The sun was starting to get low on the horizon and he prepared to bring the Lone Star around and head for home.

"We headed back?" Chris asked.

"Yeah, ready about."

"Ay ay captain."

Chris had been putting off the conversation for as long as possible, but now they were headed home he had to say something. To start with it went alright, he explained what was proposed, then asked Vin if he would participate.

"No," was the flat reply.

"All the others are doing it - well except Josiah, the Cardinal wouldn't let him."

Vin sat back, using his foot to control the wheel with a deft touch. "Don't care, not gonna do it man, no way."

"Why not, you got nothing to be ashamed of, you were a Marine, you can't be that shy. So why?"

"I'm not discussing this with you Larabee - alright - so just drop it."

"Look it's not going to be the 'Full Monty' or anything like that, no one's family jewels are gonna be on display, no even Buck's!"

Finally this brought a smile to Vin's face. "Reckon he's got anything to be ashamed of?"

"No, not from what I've seen," Chris admitted with a blush.

"How the hell would you know?"

"Communal changing room at the rugby club you know? Trust me - and you tell anyone I said this and not only will I kill you…"

"You wish."

"…but I will deny it to my dying day - but there is a good reason all those women love Buck."

"You mean he's not all piss and vinegar?"

Chris smiled ruefully. "Honestly?"


"No I don't think so, I reckon he's pretty straight actually. I know he sounds like he's just making most of it up, but from what I've seen, he's not. Basically I don't think he would ever lie about a girl - he respects them too much." Vin was stirring the conversation away from the topic of the calendar, and Chris knew it. "Look, you must have stripped off in the army…"


"Sorry, Marines, doctors, barrack room, camp …"

"Communal showers."

"Exactly, so what is the problem?"

"No one was taking pictures! Besides…" his voice dropped to almost a whisper. "…what if the photographer is a woman?"

Chris tried not to laugh. "Well, what if it is, you have been naked with a woman before - haven't you?"

"Course I bloody have! Duw, man! I'm not a virgin you know?"


"So… it's not the same, okay?"

Chris had no option left; he had to use the secret weapon. Buck had pulled him aside before he set of to meet Tanner at the harbour. He imparted a piece of information about Marines, ex or otherwise.

"What's the matter Tanner, can't you hack it?" According to Buck, saying a Marine 'can't hack it' was like calling him a Jessie or 'big girls blouse', hacking it meant you were a Marine, and since Vin had been a commando, it was a double insult.

"Hey! I can hack anything you got Larabee, you can do it, I can do it! Bring it on."

"So you're in?"

"Yeah I'm in…Shit!"


"Buck put you up to that didn't he?" Vin asked realising the ex-navy chef was behind the ploy.

"Yeah, but it's too late now, you said yes, not gonna go back on your word are you - Marine?"

"Duw! I'm gonna kill Buck!"


Outside the participants and the committee the only person who knew about the project was Rain, even Casey didn't know. Two days after they had all agreed each of them received a questionnaire to fill in. Mary had engaged a pair of photographers; a married couple called Foran. She had know Glynn when she worked in Fleet Street, he and his new wife, Millie were just starting out as freelance photographers, a contract like this could get them noticed. The questionnaires had been hastily put together and distributed by Mary. They were intended to give the Forans some feel for their subjects, since they would have only one long weekend to take thirteen pictures, having some idea as to how they wanted to shoot each subject was essential.

Some of their replies were interesting, some informative and others amusing. In response to the question "Describe your personality" someone called Vin Tanner had just put a question mark, Buck stated he was a 'lover not a fighter', JD said he was 'kind of geeky in a nerdy sort of way', Ezra described himself as 'resourceful' Nathan said he was 'calm' and Chris just put, 'strong'. In response to "How are you known?" Ezra P Standish had made it very plain that he was known as "EZRA and not Ez - ever!" and Buck had pointed out that Buck really was his name and it wasn't short for anything else. To the question "What do you do to keep fit?" Chris wrote, 'I work'. Nathan admitted his middle name was Roland but promised instant death if that information was passed on and Buck listed women as both a leisure interest and a way to keep fit.

The pictures were to be taken on the top floor of the sailing club. The club was located in the only remaining warehouse on the quayside, left over from when Four Corners was a thriving port with a fishing fleet of its own as well as shipping out tin from the local mine. The top floor was basically empty in the summer, being used as a sail store during the winter. The Forans would bring all their equipment down on the Thursday, while they were working a guard would be on duty at the bottom of the stairs, to ensure both privacy and secrecy.

On Friday afternoon the first two men turned up. P.C. Pete Cornell went first, so he could stand guard at the bottom of the stairs for the rest of the day; when he wasn't available, Ezra would do the duty, he was after all a man of leisure. Pete was followed by Joe Trerees, a painter and decorator. After lunch Clive Dean, a teacher at the local school and plumber Mac Jones went up. Saturday afternoon saw shopkeeper Jim Penhaligan and hotelier Rick Pascoe took their turn. Then on Saturday afternoon, with some trepidation, Nathan Jackson mounted the open wooden staircase to the old loft.

"Doctor Jackson?" Glynn extended his hand. Each of them had been given the option of having either of the photographers present or both, everyone had chosen to have Glynn take the pictures except Buck and Ezra, who wanted Millie.

"That's me," Nathan confirmed.

"If you could strip to the waist I'll have a better idea of what we could do, I do have one idea though…" Nathan pulled off his shirt. "….wow!" The photographer breathed. "Yeah we can definitely do something interesting, very impressive doctor."

Nathan blushed. "Thanks."


Nathan came down the stairs with Glynn, he was chatting and seemed relaxed.

"Everything go okay?" Ezra asked.

"Yeah, fine," Nathan responded, "actually it was quite interesting."

"Go on up Mr Standish, my wife will be up in a second," Foran encouraged.

Ezra occupied himself examining the cameras; they were standard, professional studio cameras with top viewfinders, made in Germany.

"Know anything about cameras?" a light feminine voice behind him asked.

Ezra spun around. Glynn Foran was a slight man of average height and delicate features. Millie was slightly shorter, somewhat plump, with blonde hair and grey-blue eyes.

"Enough to know these are the real business."

The two of them talked calendars and life modelling for a while, then Millie asked him to strip to his underwear. "Just stand there and look straight at me," she instructed. After taking a few shots and playing with the light a few times she asked him to place his hand over his chest. "Just push your boxers down a bit more," she instructed casually.


Sunday morning, a very nervous Vin mounted the stairs with Chris behind him. The pictures were meant to be secret, even from each other, but Chris just knew Vin would bolt if he was left on his own. Glynn had been pre-warned that of all of them, Tanner was the most nervous.

"Why don't we get ready, I need to see what I have to work with gents, so lets have both of you topless," Foran announced. He had decided to be brisk and business like, the quicker they got on with it, the less time his somewhat reluctant subject had to think about what he was doing. "In fact Mr Larabee could you undress completely and put this on?" He held out a large white towel. "there's a screen over there." This was another tactic to make Tanner relax, if he was half dressed while his friend was all but naked, that gave him a feeling of increased security. Chris glared, but complied, he had agreed to this, he had talked Vin into it, he had to comply and go through with it. Finally Glynn rooted around in a box for a prop, giving a nervous subject something to hold was another way to relax them. "You're the mechanic - right?" he asked.

"Um…yes," Vin admitted quietly.

"Then why don't we get you to hold this."

Vin stood there stiff and rigid as the camera clicked and whirred a few times. "Relax Mr Tanner, no one is going to bite you," Foran encouraged. "Drop your shoulder…good…how about a smile, just a little one …see that didn't hurt." Vin was beginning to relax.

"Hey boy-oh, at least you got your trousers on, better then me!" Chris called over.

That made Vin laugh at least, and the cameras clicked a few more times. "Mr Tanner…"

"Call me Vin."

"Okay, Vin, could you take your belt off, it's spoiling the line of the picture."

Vin hesitated but complied, tossing the old, warn leather belt off to one side. Instantly the old, faded jeans slipped down even further, onto his narrow hips.

With the motorised shutter barely pausing Glynn swung the camera through ninety degrees on the tripod, to face Chris, dressed in just the fluffy while towel and standing by the top of the stairs. Then the shutter was whirring again as Glynn looked down into the viewfinder.

"What the hell are you doing?" Chris asked when he suddenly realised what was happening.

"Taking your picture Mr Larabee, that's why you're here - isn't it?" He looked up as the camera fall silent. "Forgive me, but you strike me as a man who doesn't take direction well, you would probably be as stiff a board the whole time, if I stood you here." He indicated the area were Vin stood in front of a black backdrop. "These should do, if not, hopefully you can come back tomorrow, but I reckon I have what I need."

Chris fumed, but he wasn't sure why, mainly because he hated not to be in control of a situation, and Foran had momentarily taken control form him, but he had to admit the photographer was probably right.


Come the afternoon JD left Buck at the bottom of the stairs and headed up to do his duty as he saw it. Josiah had already spoken to Foran about JD's fears and conditions. As the clearly nervous teen took off his shirt, Glynn thought he was worrying unnecessarily, but then given the man who had preceded him, maybe not. In the end it wasn't as bad at JD imagined. Glynn talked to JD the whole time, further putting him at his ease, he used strong lights which made JD looked even younger, but emphasised what muscle definition he had. Photographing him not against a plain background, but against the wall of the loft, where some scaffolding was stacked, gave the picture some texture.

"So how was it kid?" Buck asked as JD bounced down the steep stairs two at a time.

"Okay, really easy actually."

Millie Glynn had been very disappointed only two of the men opted for her to take their picture, but not surprised. At least she was getting to do the last one. People had warned her about the tall publican and she wasn’t sure how she was going to handle him or get what she wanted.

"Hi there," he greeted her warmly as she arrived in the loft where he was waiting.

"Hi," she responded automatically. "Mr Wilmington?"

"Call me Buck. So what do you want me to do, how much kit do you want off?"

"All of it hun," she tossed, jokingly, except Buck didn't take it as joke.

"Okay." And before she could stop him or point out the screen in the corner he was shedding clothing until he was quite naked.

Buck was not loose - as he pointed out to Josiah - but he was shameless, in the true sense of the word. It just didn't bother him to be naked, he had spent plenty of time on naturalist beaches, in Cornwall and around the Mediterranean.

"Good camera," he commented, looking at the equipment, apparently oblivious to his naked state.

Millie wasn't sure she liked this, he had taken away her control. Normally, the photographer was the one who called the shots, not the subject, especially buck-naked subjects. Buck naked Buck she giggled.

"What?" Buck turned around.

"You’re buck naked."

"Like I haven't heard that one before," he quipped. "So what do you want me to do?"

In all honesty she wanted to photograph him in all his full frontal glory, just as she saw him now, but that wasn't allowed.

"Come over here." She pointed to a shaded dark grey backdrop. "We can use the lights to make the necessary shadows. You can hide a lot in a shadow."

Buck winked at her. "It'll need to be a big shadow."

He stood where she placed him and then froze; it was as if he suddenly got stage fright. His right arm came up and over - not his manhood but the left side of his chest.

"Buck, is something wrong?" she asked, seeing his sudden discomfort and unease.

"I …er …that is I hadn't thought, I don't want…" He lifted his hand away, and for the first time she saw the fresh-looking scar on his chest. It looked surgical to her, starting just to the left of his nipple running down and curving in slightly, in total it was about ten inches long.

"Oh, okay, don't worry, we can work around that, no problem," she assured. In response he dropped his arm, his previous easy manner back once more. "In fact, we could hide it completely if we were to concentrate on another feature altogether."

People were funny about scars. Some didn't care; some wanted to show them off, while others - like Buck - were selective. He wanted to hide a new scar on his chest, but didn't seem to mind about the very obvious scar she was looking at now, it looked like a knife wound to her and it must have been life threatening, going by its position. Nevertheless she took the shots, they even ended up using a rugby ball as a prop.


The shoot was completed in time for the calendar to go into the RNLI Christmas catalogue. Supporters of the RNLI got the catalogue a week before it was inserted into lots of mass circulation magazines. If you paid extra and ordered on line or by phone, you could have your purchases delivered the next working day. The catalogue arrived on the first Saturday in October, the calendars arrived on Tuesday. So many arrived, the post office had to lay on a second delivery that day. Later it would be available in shops and Christmas calendar stalls up and down the country. Through Ezra's contacts it was featured on T.V. and radio and became that year’s top selling calendar; but none of that had the same impact that it had that Tuesday.

JD appeared as July. In truth he had warned Casey, he felt he owed her that. She was sceptical - not about the calendar - but about the way JD was so down on how he would look compared to the others. He couldn't have been more wrong, he looked great, and it wasn't just her, that very afternoon in the shop it seemed like the entire female population of the local school came in with their calendars and pen's looking for JD to get an autograph.

August was Nathan, at eight o'clock he had ten patients with appointments, by nine o'clock he had appointments lasting through to six o'clock, all female. People stopped Rain in the street or in the shop to complement her. Finally people knew what a hunk her husband was, and she was very happy about that.

September was Chris; he stared out of the page almost malevolently. Women loved it, but they weren't about to go and ask him for his autograph, they weren't that mad. Nonetheless there were noticeably more women at the stables, who were more interested in watching Chris mend the barn door than ride a horse.

October featured Vin, some sixth shyboy instinct warned him what was about to happen and he took the Lone Star out for the day, but God was against him. It was after all October and a storm came up, forcing him to turn back. He decided to seek out mutual support and hide out at Buck's. Despite the weather, even as he walked up the hill, lots of women and at least two men made eyes at him, he just kept his eyes down and quickened his pace.

Ezra stared poker-faced out of November, it was clear despite the harsh lighting, that he was wearing very little, if anything. The others kept asking him if he really had stripped, and no matter how often he told them his boxers were just out of sight, they didn't believe him. He too was in the pub when Vin came in; several women were watching him from across the room but hadn't approached.

"Are we safe here?" Vin asked, sitting down beside him, pint in hand.

"So long as Buck can hold out, I think so." Vin followed Ezra's gaze to where Buck was revelling in the attention, his highly revealing, December picture had been pinned up by someone over the bar and he hadn't bothered to pull it down. Women clustered around the bar, high-pitched giggles were interspersed with Buck's infectious laughter.

"Who’s your money on?" Vin asked.

"Well the blond with the tight jeans is persistent, but the little brunette in black is getting the most attention. Mind you they will have to get past Inez, who right now looks ready to make this a men-only bar!"

Buck's fiery manageress was doing her best to serve the men and work around the harem at the bar but she was hiding her contempt badly, at least her anger was hiding her true feelings - she hoped.


It took a long time for the fuss to die down, but it did, the calendar made over a million in profits, some of which paid for a new roof on the boat house and a re-fit of the shower room. The rest went into RNLI general funds. They all got fan mail, most - but not all from women - Vin seemed to get the most gay fans, something he was unsure how to handle, until Josiah pointed out he should just be flattered because gay men were some of the most discerning appreciators of the male form. But the unanswered question was who had posed for the stylised front cover - no one would own up. It was a man, he was naked, but that was all you could say - except his was big man. Several times they had asked Sanchez, but he just smiled enigmatically and said his lips were sealed.

The End

Oh - did you want to see the pictures as well? You did… are you sure? Well if you say so...

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