Genres: Gay, GLBT, Historical, Romance, Western
Collections: Clandestine Desires, Empassioned, Midsummer Nights, Rawhide
Editor(s): Lon Sarver
Cover Art Credits: Photos from sad444 and DesignPics at Pixmac.
Production Editor(s): Erika L. Firanc
Proofreader(s): Jae Knight, TM McKee
Length: Novella (24,000 Words)
Publication Date: June 29, 2012
Serialization Date: January 10, 2016
Archive(d) on March 7, 2016
Tags: cowboy, m/m, Novella, sherrif
Content Labels (What they are and why we use them)
Sam heard the soft sound of footsteps and the rustle of leaves as someone moved through the potted plants. He has his pistol in his hand, cocked and lifted before it even occurs to him that he might be pointing a loaded weapon at the daughter of the house. He opens his eyes and stares. It’s not Martha.
The young man at the other end of his weapon reddens, his eyes lowering shyly to the floor before creeping back up to the gun pointed at the smooth, pale flesh of his chest. Sam runs a quick glance over him before he stops and does a double take. He looks somehow familiar, but Sam can’t quite tell from where.
Bare feet lead up to slender legs, encased in soft cotton pants. The pants sit low on the boy’s hips revealing the sharp cut of muscle, the jut of his pelvic bone. A dark trail leads up to the indentation of his navel. He’s slender, but his entire frame is muscle, the hard curve of his biceps popping as he steps forward and raises an arm to place a finger gently against the barrel of the gun.
Sam swallows hard against a brief flutter of arousal, as the finger tracks up the length of the barrel and then back down. He flicks his gaze upwards to meet the boy’s eyes. He expects to see surprise, maybe fear at having a gun pulled on him, but he has to swallow again at the heat he finds in those pale gray eyes. The kid’s eyes are fascinating, dark rings around irises the color of the sky as a thunderstorm moves in. Sam sees the pupils expand as the boy inhales, pushing his chest against the weapon.
Cheeks flushing, the young man drops his gaze to the floor in what appears to be shyness, before darting a look from under his lashes. He lets Sam look his fill, standing silent beside the bath. Sam’s distracted from his perusal as the boy brings his hand up to the gun pressed against his chest. He runs his finger up and down the barrel, admiring the craftsmanship of the weapon.
Sam waits until the young man’s gaze comes back to him and he meets those soft gray eyes with his own hazel ones. His attention flickers down as the other man breathes in the warm, damp air, watches as his skin dimples around the small circle of the gun’s barrel. He pushes his finger against it, and it moves away from his heart.
Sam observes the slender fingers as they push at the gun and he lets his hand flow with the movement, off to one side. He raises it as he does to drag the metal across the pale chest, the edge catching on a small nipple, scraping at the sensitive skin.
The young man sucks in a breath at the teasing drag and drops his eyes again. After a long moment, he meets Sam’s eyes again and licks nervously at his lips.
“Sorry. I didn’t know the bathhouse was occupied. I didn’t mean to startle you.”
Sam feels his cock stir in the water at the low, husky voice of the intruder and fights the mingled feelings of shame, excitement and the fear that comes with being found out that he is attracted to other men. He revises the age of the boy upwards a little. It’s definitely a man’s voice.
“No, I think I should apologize for nearly shooting a hole right through you for no reason. I’ll just get out and leave….”
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