Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Jaxon Altieri
Word Count :20410
Publication Date :2021-04-02
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-3231-7
A roll in the hay is about to take on a whole new meaning for Levi Taylor.
The long, hot days on his father's ranch becomes a lot hotter when his father hires ranch hand Curtis Whitley. His hair is more golden than the sun, and his smile sends Levi's heart to the moon. The connection between the pair is instant and undeniable, and fate has them falling into each other's arms in no time.
However, Levi's newfound romance with Curtis isn't all fun and sweet nothings. Hoping to inherit his father's ranch someday, Levi is terrified to tell his overbearing father who he truly is and who he loves. Through it all, Levi must find the courage to fight, not only for love but for himself. He will have to take risks, play the odds, and put it all on the line for Curtis and his father.
If not, he might lose them both.
"Damn it, Levi! Hold the damn fence post steady."
Levi bit his bottom lip so he wouldn't say anything disrespectful or sarcastic to his father. "I can't hold it any more steady, Dad."
The summer's heat beat down hard, and Levi didn't want to have to deal with his father's insistence on riding him over ranch repairs. Both knew they needed more help, but convincing his dad would take some time. He held the fence steady as Graham, his father, tamped dirt around it to keep it in place.
He glanced at his dad. As much as he loved his father, they couldn't be any more different than night and day. Levi's dad was his height but stockier. It was more muscle, but the years had softened him up a little in the mid-section.
Levi pulled off a glove and ran a hand through his dark hair. The color was the main thing that showed a resemblance to his father. Levi knew he took more after his mother. He had a leaner build but still kept an athletic frame because of the ranch work. His father would continuously berate him, complaining that Levi looked at him with his mother's eyes.
He slipped the glove back on. "You know, Dad, if we had more help, you could take it easy. Maybe work on the books instead of being out here in the heat."
His dad stood straight and glanced hard at Levi. "You sound like your mother."
"You always say that."
Graham wiped the sweat off his brow and slumped. "It's true. From the minute you learned to walk, I could tell you'd take after her more than me."
"You miss her, don't you?"
Levi's dad glanced at him out of the corner of his eye and smiled. "I do, not as much as I used to. That's because I have you harping on me to take care of myself."
Levi laughed. "You ride my ass, too, so we're even. I'd say this is a gift I got from you."
"No more of that sentimental shit. You need to finish this fence today so the horses can graze. They've been in the stables too long."
A bark from his dog, Hazard, stole his attention. The German Shepherd was chasing a grasshopper with glee, and his barks sounded like pure joy. Oh, to have the life of a dog right now. Hazard barked again, but this time in the house's direction. Someone was driving toward them in an old pickup. A cloud of dust followed the truck.
Levi shielded his eyes from the glare of the sun. He knew he should've worn his hat. "Looks like we got us some company."
His dad looked back and waved at the figure in the truck. "That's the help you keep whining about me not getting you. I figure if I want anything done around here, I needed to hire some help."
"About time you listened. I know what I'm doing."
"I know it's easy for an old man to forget. Maybe I don't want to admit that you're old enough to take over."
"All that matters is that we have help. Hopefully, this new hire will work out."
"I think you'll like him. Both of you boys are around the same age. You need a friend anyway, always on the farm. Levi, you need to get out more."
Levi snickered. "Now, who sounds like Mom?"
The man in the pickup pulled up to Levi's dad's truck. The man got out and slid his Stetson off before coming over. Levi stole a glance, and a warm sensation spread over his face as blood rushed to his head. The new ranch hand stood a bit taller than his own six-foot frame and was more muscled, like he worked out regularly. I wish I had my sunglasses on right now. Damn, this man is so handsome.
The stranger smiled widely, and Levi didn't bother to resist smiling back. Levi found the other man attractive, with what looked to be short blond hair and eyes the blue sky's color. The man strolled over in a pair of tight jeans, boots, and a white t-shirt that fit skin-tight over his chest. One false move and the shirt would tear. I'd be okay with that.
Graham cleared his throat to get his attention. "Levi, this is Curtis Whitley. He's the new ranch hand." He glanced at Curtis and motioned directly at Levi. "Curtis, this is my son, Levi."
Curtis smiled more and stuck out his hand, which Levi gladly took. They both shook. "Pleasure to meet you, Levi."
Levi returned the smile. "Same, Curtis. Glad to have an extra pair of hands on the ranch."
Levi's dad handed the tamper to Curtis. "The rest is for you both to finish by dinner. I want the horses out to pasture tomorrow after feeding time. They need exercise."
"Sure thing, Dad. We'll get the fence up and ready for the horses."
Curtis nodded. "It won't take us too long, Mr. Taylor."
Levi's dad shook his head. "It’s Graham. I'm not that formal. Remember, you boys better finish the fence today."
"Dad, we got it."
Graham got in his truck and drove away, leaving Levi and Curtis alone. Hazard barked and sat in front of Curtis, hoping for attention, which Curtis quickly gave to the dog. The dog panted happily before bounding off toward the house.
"That's Hazard. I rescued him off the side of the road outside of town a few years ago. He was just a pup when I found him."
Curtis glanced at him with a smile. "Hazard? Odd name for a dog."
Levi wiped some sweat off his brow and nodded. "It is, but I named him after my favorite TV show growing up."