Wade Dwyer's life is turned upside down when his father dies and he learns he must marry or he and his siblings will lose the ranch. One last jab of the knife from his father. On top of that, his father's only friend knows about the stipulation and is determined to own the property by any means necessary.
He's facing the very real possibility of being the reason his family loses their home when his brother's best friend, Lance Matthews, offers to walk down the aisle with him. A faux marriage to the man he's loved for years is a torture he isn't sure he can endure.
Can he keep the ranch ... and the man of his dreams, too?
Casey let him know they were going to meet in the great room with Ash and Lance and go over the will, but Wade wanted to make something to eat first. He had a feeling he shouldn't hear anything from his father's will on an empty stomach.
He walked into the huge pantry and looked around.
"Looking for the peanut butter?"
Wade nearly jumped at Lance's voice. "What?" he asked as he turned around.
"You don't think I remember your favorite sandwich?" he asked with a twist of his lips. "Peanut butter and Marmalade."
Wade was shocked and stared at him. "You ... remember my favorite sandwich?"
Lance stepped into the pantry until he stopped only a foot away. "You'd be surprised what I remember about you," Lance whispered, his voice falling over Wade, soft as silk.
A shiver ran through him as Lance reached up and cupped his cheek, his aquamarine eyes staring straight into Wade's. "I just wanted a moment alone with you to say ... everything's going to work out. Please trust me."
Wade had no idea what he was saying. Not that it mattered. Once Lance touched him it took all he had in him to keep himself from leaning into his hand. His eyes closed and he took a deep, shaky breath as Lance's hand slipped from his cheek, gliding down his neck to his shoulder, and squeezing before dropping his hand completely.
"Trust me, okay?"
Wade could only nod as he watched Lance turn and walk away, trying not to notice how sexy his ass looked in those dark gray slacks. He shook his head at the surreal day and continued looking for the peanut butter, finding it on the top shelf. He grabbed the marmalade from the refrigerator and some bread out of the basket on the counter, quickly making his sandwich and eating it right where he stood. If Lorna caught him, he'd be in trouble, but he was too unsettled by everything to worry about that.
Was Lance offering him some sort of olive branch? Were they finally going to get past that night? He chewed slowly as he tried working things out in his head. His favorite sandwich tasted like cardboard to him and he decided to give up on eating.
"Hey, you coming?"
He pulled himself from his thoughts and blinked at Landon. "Yeah. Be there in a sec."
He put things away and washed his hands before taking the side door out of the kitchen and joining everyone in the great room. Someone had thought to start a fire in the oversized stone fireplace, most likely Casey, so the room was already warming up, even as the winds outside increased.
Everyone had already found a seat, but Landon patted the space next to him, so Wade crossed the room, rounding the large circular coffee table and sliding out of his suit jacket. He tossed it onto the coffee table and let himself sink down into the gray suede loveseat. He couldn't wait to peel the rest of the suit from his body and slide into his comfortable jeans.
Casey and Allyson sat together at one end of the matching sofa, his arm around her. He was glad Allyson could be there for him. He was surprised to see Lance's date -- girlfriend? -- seated at the other end, with Lance in the middle. Ash stood in front of the fireplace, the flat screen above the mantle turned on.
"Are we watching something?" Landon asked, his gaze flicking to the TV.
Ash nodded. "Yes." He glanced around the room and reached for a stack of folders. "Because there are so many of you, I've printed everything out as well, so you can all have copies after we talk. I have a feeling you'll all want to read things yourself."
The mood in the room shifted as all eyes looked at those folders. Wade had a bad feeling in his gut and glanced over at Casey, who was clearly just as worried. His face tensed as he stared back at Wade.
Yep. There was some awful shit in the will, he just knew it. Not surprising since their father was an ass.