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Copyright � Carol Lynne, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Total-e-bound.
Opening his eyes, Matt sat straight up, a scream still resonating through the room. He rubbed his eyes as he tried to even out his breathing. It was always the same dream, different soldiers, same outcome.
Matt flung back the sweat drenched sheet and swung his legs over the side of the bed. He knew from experience there wouldn’t be any more sleep for him. After slipping on a pair of sweats and a T-shirt, he opened the door to his garage apartment, and stepped out onto the small landing.
The night was cool, cold actually, but it was just what he needed. He walked down the stairs to the little courtyard at the back of Isaac’s and Sam’s house and took a seat on the comfortable chaise.
Trying to push the dream from his mind, Matt focused his attention on his schedule for the coming day. Kyle was making great progress in his therapy, pushing himself harder in each session.
Who could blame the guy? Kyle’s desire was to walk down the aisle with his husband-to-be on his wedding day.
A sound from the open window above him drew Matt’s attention. There, silhouetted in the moonlight, stood Isaac. Damn. He’d been busted. It wasn’t the first time Isaac had caught him up and about in the middle of the night. At least this time he was wearing clothes.
A week after he’d started working for the Doctors Browning and Singer, he’d awakened after yet another nightmare. Seeking refuge in the garden, he hadn’t bothered putting on anything but a robe.
It had been a Saturday night, and his bosses had gone to Sheridan earlier in the evening to some kind of dinner party. They’d asked him to go, but he felt uncomfortable spending too much time with the couple. It wasn’t that he didn’t like them, it was just the opposite. His daydreams were filled with visions of the two of them in various states of undress.
Stretched out on the chaise, Matt tried to think of something, anything, to get his mind off the dream. That night, like now, he’d heard a noise coming from the perpetually open window above him.
What started as voices, talking too softly to be understood, quickly turned into moans of pleasure.
Closing his eyes, Matt had pretended he was in the room with them. His hand reaching down to untie his robe, he fisted his erection as the noises grew louder.
“Fuck me, goddammit!” He heard Sam yell.
Matt’s available hand went automatically to his long neglected hole. He rimmed the tightly puckered skin with the pads of his fingers as the sounds of flesh meeting flesh echoed in the cool night.
Bringing his hands to his mouth, he spat on both of them. One returned to its place wrapped around his cock, the other smoothed the moisture onto his ass.
As he worked in two fingers, Matt jerked his cock faster, trying to keep up with the sounds coming from above. He was on the edge of bliss when he heard two voices cry out in ecstasy.
The howls of pleasure from the men upstairs, had his hands working at lightning speed. His fingers seeking out the void in himself that so desperately needed to be filled. His mind drifted and he could see himself sandwiched between the two doctors. His climax roared through him, painted his chest with his own seed. He hadn’t realised he’d cried out, but when his breathing returned to normal, he saw something that put a hitch in his breathing. Isaac stood above him at the window completely nude. Their eyes locked for what seemed like hours but was actually only a matter of seconds.
Suddenly embarrassed, Matt quickly closed the robe over his sticky chest and retreated back to his apartment above the garage. They’d never spoken of that night and Matt was eternally grateful. It was one thing to have fantasies about ones bosses, but it was completely different to beat off while listening to them fuck.
Shaking off the memory, Matt looked back up at the window. He heard Isaac say something over his shoulder before disappearing back into the darkness.
Turning his attention to the spring flowers visible in the moonlight, Matt tried to figure out what to do. He’d already put out feelers for another place to live. Kyle said he could rent the apartment above the bakery since he’d moved in with Gill, but Matt was holding out for a house. Of course, if things got much worse between himself and his present landlords, he might have to make the sacrifice.
Leaning his head back on the chaise, he couldn’t keep his eyes from glancing up once more. To his surprise, it was Sam who now stood looking down on him.
A noise from directly behind him had Matt out of the chair and dropping to the ground. He closed his eyes as he fought the images trying to swallow him whole. Visions of sniper fire and Danny’s death. Danny.
A cry rent the air around him. It wasn’t until comforting hands began rubbing his back, that Matt realised the cry had come from him. He looked up into Isaac’s concerned face.
“You okay?” Isaac asked, as Sam burst through the open French doors.
Matt closed his eyes and nodded. “I’m fine. You startled me.”
Isaac helped him sit back up on the chaise and took a seat beside him. “Need to talk about it?” Isaac asked.
“No,” Matt answered. “Just one of the many presents I brought home from the war.”
God help him, but it took every ounce of self preservation not to lean into Isaac and accept the comfort the man was obviously willing to provide.
He couldn’t help but notice the look the two doctors exchanged. Matt hadn’t officially been diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), but that was only because he’d refused to see a doctor. Funny, he was now faced with two. Two doctors who were both looking at him with pity in their eyes.
Out of the Shadow
“Hey, boss. You want to sign off on this list of stock for the Rodeo Days?”
Shep looked over the top of his tiny reading glasses. He’d been trying to figure out where he’d screwed up the books, and damned if he could find it. “You’ve got a list together already?”
Rance grinned and tilted the white straw hat up higher on his forehead. “It’s the beginning of June. We barely have a month before the rodeo.” Shep looked down at his desk calendar. “Damn. Where the hell has the time gone?” He took the list from Rance and glanced over it. “Looks good. You sure about Tabasco Red?”
“He’ll be ready. Jeremy’s been working with him.”
“Jeremy?” Shep stood and put his hands on his hips. “You trying to get me sued? That boy’ll fall off and break his damn neck.” An image of the lean dark haired boy lying on the ground twisted and broken, caused an ache in his gut.
Rance chuckled and shook his head. “You haven’t been paying enough attention lately. Jeremy is the best bull rider we’ve got.”
Shep narrowed his eyes and gave a mock growl.
“Well, except for you that is.” Rance quickly amended with a cheeky grin. “He’s not a boy anymore either. Why he’s working here instead of out on the circuit I’ll never understand. You’d think with his connections he could write his own ticket on the pro tour.”
Shep sat back down and handed the list to Rance. “He has his reasons I’m sure. The list looks fine.”
Rance nodded and started to walk out of Shep’s home office. “Rance,” he called after the cowboy.
Rance turned. “Good job,” Shep said with a nod of approval.
“Thanks,” Rance said and continued out the door.
After his foreman left, Shep tried to go back to his books, but thoughts of Jeremy kept filtering through his mind. He’d always thought Jeremy chose to live at the Back Breaker because of his sexual orientation. Life must be hard enough being the son of the reigning world champion. To be the gay son of the same man would be intolerable out on the Professional Bull Riders circuit. Shep knew what it was like. He’d lived the life for years, always afraid he’d misstep and out himself.
He took off his glasses and tossed them to the old scarred desk. He was forced into retirement once Devil’s Due had tossed and then trampled him. Building the ranch seemed like the logical thing to do at the time. Shep chuckled to himself. I thought my lonely days were over.
Shaking his head, he reached for his glasses once more. He’d loved to look at the young slim cowboys on the tour. It was his hope that being the boss of his own ranch would make him feel like a kid in a candy store. And he had been that kid, for a couple of years at least. He’d discreetly indulged himself in the bow legged men as they filtered in and out of his employment. Until...
“Boss!” Rance shouted, running back into his office. “I think you should come out here.”
Shep stood and was already on his way out the door before he’d even given Rance a chance to tell him what was wrong. In this business, seconds mattered. A slow response time could mean the difference between life and death. “What’s up?” he asked, opening the front door.
“When I left your office, I noticed Jeremy’s truck parked out back. I went to the bunkhouse to see how his trip up to see his dad went and found him in bed.” Rance reached out and grabbed Shep’s arm, pulling him to a stop.
“He’s been beat up, Boss.” Rance motioned to his face. “He’s holding a bloodied rag over his cheek. I think we might need to get him to town.”
“Shit,” Shep spat out and raced towards the bunkhouse. His chest tightened as he threw open the door to the room Jeremy shared with the new hired hand, Bo.
Luckily, Bo was out in the hayfield. It would’ve been hard for the kind-hearted man not to try and help had he been present.
He stepped into the room and went immediately to one knee beside Jeremy’s bunk. Rance was a little off in his assessment of Jeremy. He hadn’t been beaten, merely hit once it appeared. The left side of Jeremy’s sweet face was bruised and swollen from what he could see under the bloody rag. “Let me see it,” Shep commanded as he reached for the cloth.
“I’m fine,” Jeremy mumbled. “Just opened my mouth when I shouldn’t have.”
“I’ll be the judge as to whether or not you’re fine,” Shep said. He covered Jeremy’s long fingered hand with his own and forcibly lifted the rag from his face. The cut was still open and about an inch and a half long, but because it was on his cheekbone, Shep knew it needed stitches.