[Siren Everlasting Classic ManLove: Erotic Romance, Alternative, Contemporary, Cowboy/Western, MM, HEA]
It is said that a person cannot choose who they fall in love with. Jessup Wylde finds this to be true when he falls for Benjamin Cross. But loving Ben is not an easy thing to do, especially living in Grizzly Ridge where coming out could cost a man his life.
Ben moves to Grizzly Ridge, hoping to start over. It's a chance for a new beginning, until he meets Jess. Ben is fascinated with the cowboy from hello. Everything about the man intrigues him, making living in the closet stifling. But Ben isn’t ready to admit his desire for men, so when he and Jess become closer, Ben pushes the man away.
Life is never easy when the heart is involved. Jess and Ben find this out the heartbreaking way as they experience love, happiness, tragedy, and pain at the Wylde Cattle and Guest Ranch.
Some people believe that life is balanced. For Samuel Cougar, that is the farthest thing from the truth. As Sam struggles to keep the cracks of his life from growing larger, he discovers just how difficult going it alone can truly be. But Carson Wylde is determined to show Sam that behind every good man there is a cowboy.
Crossing the line from friend to lover is as easy as breathing for Carson. He just wishes it was that easy for Sam. The closer he tries to get to the man, the harder Sam runs. Carson knows he has to hold on with both hands or risk losing the one man he wants forever with.
Tragedy can sometimes bring people closer together, or it can tear them apart. Carson walks through hell for Sam in order to find heaven at the Wylde Cattle and Guest Ranch.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
Climbing out of bed, Jessup headed for the shower. He washed up quickly and got dressed, combing his hair before heading out.
Once downstairs, he grabbed a cup of coffee from the sideboard where Aunt Meg always kept it freshly brewed and headed out to the porch. Every morning since Jessup was old enough to drink the brown gargle, he and his brothers had been meeting on the front porch to discuss the day and anything else before work started.
Pushing the screen door open with his shoulder, Jessup handed Elliot the tally sheet and then gazed off into the wide open panoramic range of Grizzly Ridge. It was still dark out, the sun yet to break over the horizon, but the fresh morning air was welcome, filling his lungs as he took a sip of his coffee.
“Forecast is calling for rain,” Aunt Meg said as she stepped out onto the porch. Jessup dropped a kiss on her cheek.
Aunt Meg waved him away, but he could see the smile in her honey-gold eyes. She was fifty-four years young with a head of midnight-black hair that was streaked with small amounts of grey. As usual, she had it in a messy bun on top of her head.
“Those fences need mending,” Elliot said as he set his coffee aside and glanced over the sheet Jessup had just handed him.
“I’ll take care of the fence,” Jessup volunteered.
“Don’t forget you have those new hired hands to settle with,” Elliot reminded him, looking up from the paperwork he had been gazing at. “Take one of them with you and Sam.”
Taking a sip of the aromatic coffee, Jessup nodded.
“Well, come eat breakfast before you fellas take off.” Aunt Meg walked back into the house, the screen door closing behind her. No one argued with her. She was the sweetest woman on the planet, unless riled. Jessup ran for cover whenever she got that pinched look on her face, like she was holding back fire and brimstone, waiting to unleash it with her fury.
After breakfast, Jessup walked back outside to see trucks pulling in, the usual hands showing up. But he spotted an unfamiliar truck and a small car.
Who drove a damn car around here? The repair bills alone from the rough roads would cost a fortune. Jessup watched one guy get out of his truck. He was easy on the eyes, tall, and had a wide jaw that was lined with dark-brown stubble. But Jessup could make out a distinctive cleft.
The next guy got out of his car and Jessup wondered what Elliot had been thinking hiring this guy—or was this the one Carson hired? He had blond hair to his shoulder, big blue eyes, and looked so damn feminine that when Jessup shook his hand, he was careful of his calluses. The man looked dainty.
“Jessup Wylde, but everyone calls me Jess.”
“Courtney Landing.” The blond-haired man gave Jessup a wicked smile. “But everyone calls me Courtney.”
A sense of humor, good. He turned to the other guy and shook his hand.
“Buck McBride,” the man replied in return. He had a strong grip. Too strong. Jessup didn’t like that the guy was giving him a power handshake. It only meant the man was trying to prove something.
Just fucking great.
He didn’t need men like that around here, but would give Buck a chance. A lot of fellas had come and gone from this ranch, most trying to prove they were real men. Jessup never understood the reasoning behind that, but always gave the new hands a fair shot. All in all, he and his brothers were good men, trying to help those less fortunate. Not that they were rich, but they didn’t struggle like some of the other ranches in the area. Plus, they believed in paying a fair wage for hard work.
“I’ll take him,” Elliot said as he moved down the steps, heading their way. He wasn’t sure who his brother was talking about until he saw Elliot’s eyes land on Courtney.
What the hell was up with that?
“Hi,” Courtney said shyly to Elliot as the two walked off. Well, that left him with Buck. He was about to tell the guy that they had fences to mend when a truck pulled into the driveway.
Being late was never a good thing. Jessup didn’t like tardiness. The black truck with a decal of stallions running across an open field on the back window came to a stop, the bright taillights dying.
“Go see Carson,” Jessup said to Buck. “He’s working with the guests on the ranch today, giving them a tour on horseback. That’ll give ya insight into the lay of the ranch.”
Buck nodded and headed away as Jessup turned back toward the black truck. The door opened and out stepped a man who had Jessup moistening his dry lips as his cock gave a fast jerk.
The guy was damn near as tall as Carson and just as wide. He gave Jessup an easy smile as he walked over to him. “Hello.”
Jessup remembered he had a brain and reached out to shake the man’s hand. “Jessup Wylde, but everyone calls me Jess.”
The man’s silver eyes were intense as he stared at Jessup in the early morning light. “Benjamin Cross, but everyone calls me Ben,” he said in return as he shook Jessup’s hand. As soon as their skin touched, an electrical current shot up Jessup’s arm and raced through his body.
Elliot’s rule was a fleeting thought as he gazed openly at Ben. His rugged looks called to something inside Jessup as he felt like he was falling into the man’s silver eyes.
He was in serious trouble.
Ben reached up and grabbed Jess’s hand, pulling him back down to his lap.
“What do you want?” Jess asked, playing coy because they both knew that Jess loved to hear Ben tell him what he wanted.
“Your lips, handsome.”
As he kissed Jess, Ben ran his hands down the man’s back, cupping his ass. He gave a light squeeze before pulling his lips away, pressing them against Jess’s ear. “I want to fuck you, Jessup Wylde.”
Jess’s breathing became labored as his fingers gripped Ben’s shoulders. “Okay,” he said between hard pants.
Ben stood, capturing Jess’s lips once more as Jess wrapped his legs around Ben’s waist. He carried the man into his bedroom where he laid Jess down on his bed.
He stood there for a moment, feeling a bit awkward before Jess shoved his pants down his legs, exposing his hard cock. “You have to stretch me, cowboy. Do you have any lube?”
Embarrassed that Jess knew he jacked off—although every man under the sun engaged in masturbation—Ben reached for the drawer and pulled the bottle free.
Ben was about to ask what next when Jess grabbed the lube from his hand, poured some on his fingers, and then rolled to his hands and knees.
For the next ten minutes, Ben couldn’t move, breathe, or barely think as he watched something so forbidden, so erotic that he was lost in what the man was doing. Jess’s wet fingers slid in and out of his own ass, moaning as he showed Ben exactly how things were done between men.
As he stood there, Ben allowed himself to appreciate Jess’s male beauty, letting his desire for the man build. He was mesmerized by Jess. The cowboy was so handsomely rugged, so charming, and made Ben feel peace in a place that had never felt peace before.
Without being told, Ben grabbed a condom from the drawer before undressing, never letting his eyes stray from what Jess was doing. He wanted this, needed it. After rolling the condom down his erection, Ben moved in behind Jess, pulling the man’s fingers free as he placed soft kisses down his lover’s back. “Ready?”
God, his voice sounded hoarse, strained as he watched Jess’s fingers curl into the blanket below him. “Yes, but go slow. It’s been too damn long.”
With a shaky hand, Ben curled his fingers around his cock and guided the head to the glistening hole. It looked so small that he was terrified he would hurt the man. He was a hell of a lot bigger than Jess, and not just in cock size. In that moment, his lover looked so small, so fragile, and Ben knew he was allowing the voices of his past to enter his mind.
He pushed those thoughts away as he slowly inched into the tightest, hottest space he’d ever imagined could exist. Ben had to take a deep breath and still his body. The feeling was incredible, but he remembered Jess’s request. “Are you okay?”
He traced his hands over his lover’s spine and down his sides, trying to ease any pain Jess might be feeling. He wanted this experience to be pleasurable for both of them.
“Ben,” Jess said with a hard breath. Ben almost pulled out, afraid Jess was in pain, but his lover’s hand reached behind him, grabbing Ben’s hip. “Don’t you dare move.”
Ben did the only thing he could think to help Jess. He reached under the man’s body and circled his fingers around the Jess's erection. Ben began to slowly stroke his lover, watching Jess’s face intently. Jess’s lips parted as his panting picked up, but Ben knew this was from pleasure and not pain.
“Does it feel good?” Ben asked, tightening his grip on the man’s cock. “Do you like when I play with you?”
Ben groaned when Jess began to move slowly back, inching Ben’s cock deeper into the man’s ass. He didn’t move a muscle, letting Jess set the pace.
“God, yes.” Jess spread his legs wider, taking Ben in deeper. His entire body started to shake, his heart jackhammering against his ribs as Jess bottomed out.
Releasing Jess’s shaft, Ben slid his hands over the man’s shoulders. He was a nervous wreck and fearing that he wouldn’t be good enough for Jess. His lover was experienced with being with other men, Ben wasn’t. There was a small tremor inside of him that felt like he was going to be graded for this, like Jess was going to pull a scorecard out and judge him for his performance.
Easing his cock back, Ben thrust forward, hoping he wasn’t hurting the man, but Jess shouted and Ben knew that sound was nothing but raw desire.
Ben clasped Jess’s wrists together and had them pinned above his lover’s head before Jess could gasp in a breath. “How hard do you want it?”
It was like years of pent-up frustration were unleashed and Ben couldn’t seem to get enough of Jess. He couldn’t seem to decide what he wanted to do or what he wanted to touch.
Jess bucked and pushed Ben away. He was confused until Jess turned over. “Come here.”
Ben lowered himself as his cock slid back into Jess’s body. He braced his arms on either side of his lover’s head. Ben liked this position better. It made things a lot more intimate and he was able to stare into Jessup’s gorgeous eyes.
“It seems you’re getting a little too excited,” Jess teased. “Your hands are everywhere!”
Ben chuckled. “Is that a bad thing?” He groaned when Jessup wrapped his legs around his waist and he could feel the hair on the man’s legs rubbing over his sides. It only drove home the fact that he was finally with a man, actually with him.
Sam rushed to get his clothes on, cursing that he was running late. Once again the electricity was off and there was no power in the house. Thank goodness he had a watch.
Flicking his wrist, Sam squinted to see the time. Too bad it lacked the power to wake him up. It was a simple analog watch, nothing special, no alarms or illuminating features. He’d bought it at Walmart a few months back on a whim and was glad he had. It was the only thing in the house that let him know just how late he was running.
“Fuck!” Sam’s eyes watered when he stubbed his toe on the side of the dresser. The pain shot up his leg and then turned into a low throb as he grabbed his socks from the top of his dresser, praying they weren’t dirty. He was going at this blind. Grabbing his boots from where he remembered leaving them at the door, Sam shoved his feet into them and then grabbed his shirt from the bed.
Carefully navigating the dark stairs, he walked into the kitchen to see his father fiddling with the electric box on the wall. “There isn’t a problem with the wiring, Dad. The bill wasn’t paid again.”
His father looked apologetic when he turned his head, and Sam regretted snapping at the guy. His dad was disabled, his back giving him hell. He walked with a cane and that was on a good day. There were times the man couldn’t even get out of bed. “I’m sorry, I’m just running late. I didn’t mean to snap at you.”
“I’ll call the electric company today and see if I can’t get them to give me some kind of payment plan.”
Things were tough around Sam’s house, but he loved his dad with all his heart. The disability checks that came in the mail once a month just didn’t cover all their expenses, but most of the time they got by. Sam worked as a ranch hand to pick up a lot of the slack, but the bills were exceeding the money.
Times were hard and getting even harder. “I’ll see if I can get paid early.”
Sam hurried out the door, shoving the slice of bread in his mouth that he’d snagged from the loaf sitting on the counter. He prayed his truck started this morning. He’d been having a lot of problems with it, but he wasn’t a mechanic and he couldn’t afford to take it to one.
Thank fuck. The damn thing started. He could hear a loud ticking, like someone had put a bomb under the hood, and hoped like hell the damn hunk of junk got him to work. He shoved the gearshift with a hard jam into drive. That was the only way to get it going.
The truck backfired as he pulled from the drive and out onto the main road. The empty oil containers jostled around on the floor as Sam made the turn. His truck ate through so much oil that Sam needed to start buying the stuff by the case.
Sam rolled the window down when he started to smell a strange odor creeping into the interior of the truck. He knew this piece of shit was on its last wheel, but he couldn’t even afford a used vehicle right now.
His dad’s medical bills were taking every extra cent Sam made. The medication alone cost him two hundred dollars a month. Not only was his father’s back out, but he was starting to get Alzheimer’s. It wasn’t bad. Yet. But there were days when he just stood in the kitchen, forgetting what he’d gone in there for, or called Sam by his deceased brother’s name.
I hate when he does that.
Sam breathed a sigh of relief when he pulled into the Wylde Cattle and Guest Ranch, thankful his truck hadn’t given out on him. He jumped from the cab, seeing that the Wylde brothers weren’t sitting on the front porch having their morning cup of coffee.
That meant he was really late.
As he headed toward the barn, Sam saw a stranger leaning into his truck. Damn the man was huge! His size reminded Sam of Carson, the second-youngest Wylde brother.
Curious, Sam took a step toward the truck. “Who are you?”
The stranger pulled from the truck and shut the door. Even though the sun hadn’t risen yet, Sam could see the guy had silver eyes. They were the strangest color he’d ever seen and gorgeous, in his opinion.
He smiled. “I’m Sam. You must be one of the new hires.”
“You a Wylde brother?” Ben asked as he leaned against his truck.
Truth was, Sam had been smitten with Carson since he’d started working here a few years back. Unfortunately, the man wouldn’t give him the time of day. “I wish.” Yeah, he hadn’t meant to say that out loud.
Looking over his shoulder, Sam saw Carson talking with a stranger by the corrals and tried to use his mind to will the guy to look his way.
Nope, didn’t work. “I’m just a hired hand.” He turned back toward Ben. “Well, I better get to work. Have a nice day, Ben.”
Sam shoved his hands into his front pockets, trying not to look Carson’s way again as he met up with Jess.
He spotted Jess getting Ginger ready. The bay horse looked happy that she was getting out of the stall, her tail high in the air. “Mornin’.”
“Morning, Sam. You ready to tackle the fence today?”
“Yep.” Sam leaned against the stall, gazing at Jess and trying to work the nerve up to ask for his paycheck early. He never told the Wylde brothers his business, because it was his own burden to bear, but he didn’t want his father to sit in the dark.
“You’ll have to take the truck. I’m going by horseback this morning. You also have a new hand riding with you. His name is Ben Cross.”
Carson met Aunt Meg in the hallway right after she’d come out of his bedroom. “How is he?”
She patted his arm, nodding. “He’s fine. Soaking wet, still scared to death, and has a bruise on his left shoulder, but he’ll live.”
Carson had never been more terrified in his life. When he rode up and saw that bear charging Sam, everything in him froze. Thank fuck his instincts had kicked in. He’d raised his rifle, aimed, and shot the mangy beast right in the head. But it hadn’t dropped right away. It had kept on charging. Carson had aimed again, ready to shoot when the bear collapsed not twenty feet away from Sam’s curled form. When he’d dismounted, Carson hadn’t been sure whether to kiss the man or kick his ass for scaring the crap out of him.
Aunt Meg walked away, leaving Carson standing there in the hallway. He took a deep breath and opened the door, spotting Sam by the bed, buttoning his jeans. He was shirtless and Carson found it hard to breathe.
“I’m fine,” Sam griped, his head tilted forward, the black hair just long enough to cover the side of his face. “Aunt Meg gave me the green light and lectured me about safety.”
Carson just stood there like an idiot, his eyes roaming over Sam’s physique. In all the years he’d known the man, he’d only seen Sam shirtless a handful of times. But none ever felt this intimate. Sam reached for his shirt that was on the bed and winced. Carson saw the ugly bruise like a splat against Sam’s tanned skin. Hurrying across the room, Carson reached for the shirt the same time Sam tried again. They knocked their heads together.
“Oh, fuck!” Sam shouted, grabbing his forehead.
Carson was rubbing his nose. “Sorry about that.” He rocked his nose back and forth, but it didn’t feel bruised or broken.
“You got a hard nose.” Sam chuckled nervously. “Do I have a dent in my forehead?”
“Yeah, but not from my nose, dork.” Carson tried for levity, but soon found Sam staring up at him, his eyes almost begging Carson to come closer.
So he did.
He hooked a hand behind Sam’s neck, reeling him in. “Don’t ever scare me like that again.” His chastisement was gentle.
Sam swallowed hard, nodding, but his dark-green eyes never left Carson’s. “I’ll try not to.”
With his heart thumping a bit faster, Carson covered Sam’s lips with his, his other hand grabbing the man’s denim waistband. It sounded corny in his own mind, but Carson could kiss Sam all day and not tire of the act. He inhaled sharply when Sam boldly slipped his hands under Carson’s shirt, his fingers planted on his pecs. They moved slowly, grazing lower and lower until both of Carson’s nipples were being brushed over by warm fingers.
A frantic hunger swept over Carson and he turned, using one hand to hold Sam’s back as he set the man on the bed and then leaned in. Their tongues clashed as Carson lowered Sam to the comforter, watching raven hair contrast with his cream-colored bedspread. As they kissed, Carson’s hand spanned down Sam’s chest, his fingers smoothing over hard lines, letting him know for certain that Sam was pure male.
His fingers bumped the waistband and Carson used them to unsnap Sam’s pants. Sam’s hips bucked forward, silently begging Carson not to stop, to take this further. He managed to get the zipper down, his large hand wrapped around Sam’s erection and something in him almost sighed with relief that this was happening, that he was allowed to touch Sam the way he’d been craving for a while. It almost seemed natural, the way the two of them fit together, touching, kissing, and needy. Carson pulled his mouth away from Sam’s, feeling the sweat building on his skin like a fine layer of slickness as he dropped to his knees, pulling Sam’s cock toward his mouth.
Sam let go of a whimper that was close to a whine, his chest rising and falling rapidly as he lifted his head and watched, the tips of his ears and face blushing.
Carson wanted this, really wanted it.
At twenty-four years of age, Carson had never sucked a cock, always on the receiving end, but making sure whoever his partner was got off. Sam made him want to do things he never imagined before, and not just with sex. He wanted forever with this man, a home, a life, love, and happiness.
Carson wanted Sam’s corny dream just as much as Sam wanted it. He took the head into his mouth, licking and sucking, drinking the man’s pre-cum as their eyes stayed connected in intimacy.
Sam made a strangled sound as he dropped back down, his hands curling tight into the comforter. He seemed lost in his own world as Carson fisted the man’s cock, taking away inches he knew he wasn’t ready for. Sam might be average height, but his dick was overwhelming in Carson’s mouth. His lips stretched, taking the man just a little further in, his tongue licking at veins and heated skin. The taste was salty, musky in his mouth, the head smooth and spongy. Carson suckled the flared head, watching as Sam writhed beneath him, the noises growing louder.
Breathe through your nose, dork.
Once Carson did this, he was able to take a little more of Sam, creating a suction like he’d seen guys do to him. He knew what Sam was feeling when the man jerked and grunted, his hands leaving the bed to rub over Carson’s head, nails digging into his scalp.
Carson felt his own dick jerking in his jeans, begging to be set free, his balls shifting closer to his body. He made the damn thing wait, concentrating on getting Sam off.