(Part of the Unbreak My Heart series)
Brett Taylor has no complaints about his life. He has his man JT, his health, and a positive outlook on the future. He does have one problem, though. He doesn’t have a clear plan for what he should do with the ranch he inherited from his former lover.
When an unexpected and heart-tugging situation is dropped in his lap, he discovers there are more futures to be considered than just his own. With disclosures, both good and bad, from both his mom and his long-time ranch foreman, and unbridled support from JT, he makes a decision that will change not only his life, but other innocent lives in desperate need of Brett’s and JT’s special brand of love.
Genres: Gay/Contemporary/Cowboys/Western (Modern Day)/Series
Heat Level: 2
Length: Novella (23k words)
Read a short excerpt...
...“Kid!” Brett Taylor took the porch steps in one giant leap, lucky he didn’t trip and break his face. He did, however, swing the screen door open so hard the spring snapped back and the thing hit him in the ass. “Hey, JT! Where are you, babe?”
JT Campbell poked his head around the corner of the family room, amusement curving one side of his mouth. “What’re you yelling about? What did Whiz do now?”
Brett took a deep breath, then blew it out slowly as he took off his hat and rubbed his head. He cursed his long hair for getting in the way. It was hotter than Jesus’ damnation outside and he’d run all the way from the top of the driveway. He wished Whiz the Wonder Dog was the problem this time. “I need you to come with me.”
He slid past JT without paying him any mind, his own thoughts scrambling to figure out what he needed. There were a few dishtowels in the drawer, but something more substantial would be better. “Can you grab those old towels in the closet upstairs? The ones I stored away after Mama bought us the new ones.”
JT didn’t listen to Brett, and that wasn’t all that unusual. Of course, his sweat-drenched, bare torso was a little distracting…which was usual. “What’s gotten into you, cowboy?”
“I’ll um…explain outside. But we gotta git.”
“Okay. Just let me clean up a bit. It was hot in the barn—”
“Gotta be now. Would you grab those towels, please?” He didn’t wait for an answer, just shucked his damp T-shirt for another hanging over the back of his office chair. “And put a darn shirt on so I can think around you.”
With a now-clothed JT in tow, it didn’t take long to gather what Brett hoped would work for what he’d found near the road. He didn’t sprint like before, his flaring nerves tripping him up rather than helping him along. His slower pace did manage to quiet his heart and loosen the rope of anger knotted in his gut just a little though.
Where the driveway met the dusty gravel road, Brett steered JT toward the long grass in the ditch. He tucked him in close with an arm across his chest so they wouldn’t tumble into the hole, then practically tippy-toed into the long blades. Brett felt JT’s breath hot on his back when he stepped up beside him.
Brett crouched beside the flattened-down patch among the overgrown weeds and felt JT do the same. The kid slid a hand across Brett’s shoulders, his voice an inpatient hush in Brett’s ear. “Brett. What are we—holy shit.”
JT’s reaction hadn’t been all that different from Brett’s own not ten minutes before. Of course, Brett had added a few more cuss words and a whole lot of pissed-off Texan attitude.
“Yep. Four of them.”
“But who the hell would do something like that?”
“Hopefully no one we know.”
“Jesus! Did you see any other dogs around?”
“Nope, and the little fellas are lucky they didn’t become coyote snacks.”
Brett knelt closer to the four squeaking, squirming newborns. In almost forty-four years of life, he’d only ever seen such tiny critters once before, and he still thought about them now and again.
The pups couldn’t have been more than a few days old, and just left all helpless and alone...