Crossfire – major expansion

I’ve sent off the edited and expanded version of Crossfire. A major expansion–300 percent–and a more detailed look at the guys.

So it seemed like a great time to celebrate. The local microbrewery was a good choice. As a result I’m stuffed with BBQ brisket and ready for a nap.

Yes indeed, a nap sounds delightful.

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Double Trouble: Chapter 103

 

Wednesday Briefs

The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.


Chapter 103

Danny sat at the dinner table with Trent and Josh flanking him. He looked about as unhappy as it was possible for a person to look. His face was a toxic mix of righteous anger and teenage angst. Josh wished Trent had already taken care of it before he got home, but as it seemed to go too often recently, Trent had waited until all of them were home. Apparently, Samantha had showed up from school, saw the situation and ran. She’d used the excuse of going to a study session, but Josh understood what happened. One glance at the family meeting expression and she was gone.

Josh braced himself against the whiplash he was about to experience. He had no driving need to gang up on Danny, or at least he didn’t want Danny to feel like he was being out maneuvered. Josh hated it when Mitch and Darrin did it to him when he was about Danny’s age.

“We need to talk with you, Danny,” Trent said.

Josh braced himself, this whole thing wouldn’t go well. But there wasn’t much else than support Trent… even if he was worse than Danny when he was a teenager. But that seemed to have escaped Trent’s recall.

“Fine. What horrible, offensive, earth shattering thing did I screw up this time?”

Trent adapted the condescending tone to his voice that sometimes makes me want to punch his face.

“Now Danny. It isn’t that we think you’ve done anything terrible. But we noticed behavior patterns and we find them… concerning,” Trent said. Continue reading

“Showstring” early download

Showstring is available for early download from Pride Publishing.

A little preview.

Ben had told me to be there around seven-thirty in the morning and I wasn’t going to be late. I’d left a little after six to cover the distance from my apartment. My watch said seven-fifteen, but I could already see Ben with the cows. No. Cattle. I grinned. I am trainable.

As I got close, I could tell something was wrong. “What’s up?” I asked.

Ben’s face was laced with concern. As I stepped beside him, I could see why. Norman didn’t look right. Even I knew he shouldn’t be lying on his side with his legs sticking out. “What’s wrong with him?”

as he stroked the bull’s neck. “I’m not sure. I put a call in to the vet right after giving him some antibiotics, just in case.”

I knelt beside Ben and cringed at the massive bull’s labored breathing. “Is there something I can do?”

He looked at me for a minute before reaching a decision. “Yeah, I’d appreciate some help this morning. If you’d feed and water the heifers, then I can stay with Norman.”

I recoiled at the responsibility but pushed myself to do whatever Ben needed. “Okay, but I’ve never…”

After a moment, Ben turned and his eyebrows shot up. “Oh, sorry. Feed ’em first. Then bring ’em each a bucket of water. Then if you’d walk ’em? They haven’t been off the tie rack since yesterday. Most people don’t bother, but I don’t like to leave ’em tied up all the time.”

I nodded, numb with worry. I wasn’t sure I could handle even such a simple thing. I followed Ben’s instructions and soon had one of the tubs loaded with grain and stuff that looked like the pellets I’d fed the guinea pig I had as a kid. I topped it with a piece of hay before maneuvering the tub to the first animal. When I bent to give it to her, she rammed her head in and knocked the pan out of my hands.

“Hey! I was trying to give that to you!”

The deep chuckle from Ben rolled over me and my stomach tightened again. I knew with all my being that no number of times through conversion therapy would ever change my true feelings. I refused to believe straight guys would get a knot in their stomach from Ben’s sexy laugh.

“Sorry, I should have warned you. They all think they’re about to starve, even though you’d be hard pressed to find a rib on any of ’em through the extra padding they have,” Ben said.

“Okay…” I lifted another tub, prepared the same mix then moved to give it to the next animal. This time, when I worked my way between two of the heifers, they pinned me between them. I grunted as they squeezed tightly, but I managed to shove my way through and get the food in front of one of them before she knocked it out of my hands.

I repeated the same process for the next two heifers then watched until their long thick tongues polished the bottom of their tubs. I brought the first animal a bucket of water. She put her nose to it, snorted a couple of times then slurped like a kid with a vanilla shake. A minute or so later, she lifted her head and water ran from her muzzle. I refilled the bucket for each heifer until they’d all drunk their fill. I glanced over to check, and Ben still sat stroking the bull’s shoulder. He glanced up at me and smiled faintly. “His breathing doesn’t seem as labored. I hope the vet gets here soon.”

“Me, too. I’d hate for anything to happen to him.” I watched them for a second, but the moment felt too personal. “What should I do now?”

One of the heifers flipped over her feed tub to scrounge for more grain. “I’d like to get ’em out and walk ’em.” He studied me for a moment. “You think you’d be okay leading ’em?”

I let out the breath I’d been holding. “Okay, I’m sure I can do that.”

“Just hold the lead close to the halter. Otherwise, they’ll play crack the whip with you.”

Double Trouble: Chapter 102

 

Wednesday Briefs

The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.


Chapter 102

Danny stepped into the entryway and stopped to listen. It surprised him when he’d pulled into the parking spots in front of the house to find no one at home. It almost never happened that he had any privacy. He and Rob hooked up more often at his home because Rob’s older sister was away at college, and both of his parents worked in town. So there was a lot less chance of someone interrupting their fun.

But now he had time alone. At least, he thought there was no one around. But he had no intention of doing anything without checking the house to make sure. He worked his way through the living room and kitchen and found nothing. So far so good.

“Dad! Sis. Josh. Trent.” Continue reading

Preorder and Cover Reveal for “Showstring”

Showstring“Showstring” has a facelift and expansion for a new release from Pride Publishing. I love the cover. They nailed Jayden.

The short story is available today for preorder and will early release from Pride Publishing on March 21st.

Want to read a little teaser? Okay.

I grinned as I helped move the bull to his spot. Suddenly he shifted, a black hoof swept out and the next thing I knew I was sitting on my backside, feeling idiotic. I started to crawl out of the way, then realized the bull had kept walking and was already tied into his spot. The handsome cowboy trotted back, squatted beside me and tilted his cap to the back of his head. “Sorry, man. You okay?”

Heat radiated from my face. How could I be this clumsy “I’m fine. I guess I fell.”

“No, Norman kicks the shit out of anyone. You sure you’re okay? Let me help you up.” He stuck a deeply tan hand in front of me and I reached up to take it. When our hands touched, a jolt of electricity shot through me. I knew the drill. I had to resist these desires. They were unnatural and sinful. Then I lost myself in his obsidian eyes. He darted his tongue over his lips as our gazes met, and his sexy white smile washed over me like April sunshine. My daze lifted as I held onto his hand to pull myself to my feet.

“Thanks. Sorry about everything,” I said.

“Hey, you were helping me. I’m the one who should be apologizing, not you.” He flashed that million-watt smile again. “I’m Ben Ramos, by the way. I really am sorry you got hurt. Can you walk?”

“I’m sure it’s fine. I’m Jayden Laine.” Pain lanced through my knee at my first step and it buckled. Ben reached out and kept me from pitching to the ground again with his muscular arms. He held me tightly against him and my traitorous body responded with stiffening in my groin.

“Hang on,” he said. “I’ve got a couple of chairs. Let’s get you off your feet.”

At the next step, pain stabbed me again and any bit of ardor evaporated. Like the punishments the sodomites in my father’s sermons had earned, the pain burned along my nerves as Ben helped me into one chair while elevating my foot on the other. He pushed the leg of my shorts up slightly and pressed his fingers against my knee. The instant pleasure of his touch filled me as my face heated and my breath came faster. If he touched any higher, I knew I would have an orgasm. But his next contact hit a spot just above my knee and the intense pain drove the pleasure away.