Can a bad reputation hide a good heart?
After realizing everyone he has been with only wanted him for his money, Rich Buchanan, the billionaire’s son, gives up the dream of a serious relationship and gets his kicks sleeping around. He prefers men, but he only brings home women, since his father would be horrified to find out Rich was gay. But secrets are hard to keep among the rich, and his antics soon earn him the nickname “The Red-Light Wrangler” when people discover that money exchanges hands whenever he sleeps with a guy.
When Nate Walker starts work as Assistant Foreman at the Buchanan Ranch, his good looks and gorgeous body immediately pique Rich’s interest. And despite the gossip, Nate can’t help falling for him, either. But when Rich’s cousin Joey decides to blackmail Rich to pay off his debts, he soon realizes he could get much more out of the situation. Outing his gay cousin and causing a rift between Rich and his father could be just the thing to secure his own position as Frank Buchanan’s sole heir.
Rich has no one to turn to but his lover. But Nate has secrets of his own, and his reasons for being at the ranch are not entirely honorable...
Rich pulled up his pants and rummaged about for his shirt. He grinned at the blond-haired guy who lay slumped on the bed, panting for breath. “That was great, friend,” the cowboy said with a nod as he dragged on his boots. “Friend” was much easier than trying to remember the name of everyone he fucked. “Will I see you again?” The blond guy sat up slowly. The candlelight glowed over his ripped body, outlining his muscles. Rich had been very taken with the guy’s body when he’d seen him in the bar, and found his face quite handsome to look at. However, once he’d brought Rich back to this shithole the cowboy’s perception of him changed in a heartbeat. He’d stuck around for a fuck though—it was late and he was horny as hell. “Never know your luck,” Rich smirked as he threw a pile of notes on the nightstand. “Hey, now, I’m not a…” the guy began, but couldn’t hide the way his eyes widened when he saw the denomination of the cash. “Never said you were. I just thought you might do me the courtesy of keeping your mouth shut about all this. I don’t want folks knowing my business if you catch my drift?” Rich winked and left the crummy apartment. It was dark, but he welcomed the cool breeze which whipped around him as he hurried over to his car. The night air was a lot fresher than the stench in that rank apartment. The engine of his cobalt-blue Bugatti Veyron purred as he backed out of the tiny yard and swiftly made his way to the interstate. His rule of never crapping on his own doorstep sure was a bummer on nights like this when all he wanted was his own bed. He couldn’t conceive staying in that place any longer than he had to though, and pitied the blond guy. He seemed real nice; it made him wonder how he’d ended up in a hellhole like that. About a half hour later, he was driving through the deserted main street of Moone, with the majestic Moone Mountain towering over it. At the foot of the mountain he veered off to the right and pulled into the long drive of the Buchanan Ranch. His was the cabin in the grounds not far from the entrance. Although “cabin” was probably an understatement as it was bigger than most folks’ family homes. As he got out of the car he glanced over at the massive ranch house. A light was on in the study window. Looked like Dad was burning the midnight oil again. The old man hardly seemed to sleep at all these days. He shrugged and let himself into his house, not bothering with the lights as he hauled his tired ass up the stairs to his bedroom. He wasn’t too tired for a shower though. Afterward he flopped onto his freshly made queen-size bed and crashed out.
Rich was up at dawn when the bright orange sunlight streamed through his open window. He pulled on his plaid shirt and clean Levi’s before heading to the kitchen for some much needed coffee. He took his mug with him to the stable block where he met up with Lucas Hammond, the ranch foreman. Lucas was leading out a couple of grays and grinned when he saw him approach. “Morning, sir, your dad’s looking for you. Said something about you being ready for the wedding in a couple of hours.” “Dang! I clean forgot it was today. We’ve got a new guy, the assistant foreman, starting around mid-morning. I was hoping to show him ’round. Dad said he came with some good references, should be a boon to the ranch. I haven’t got time for cavorting at Emma-Leigh’s weddin’ today!” Rich cursed as he slammed the stable door shut. “Your dad seemed quite insistent on it,” Lucas explained apologetically. “Yeah, I’ll bet he did. Emma-Leigh’s the daughter he never had. He always envied Uncle Ted getting a boy and a girl.” Rich sighed. “Well, I can take the new guy around if you want? Show him the ropes? I need to get to know him anyhow as he’ll be my assistant,” Lucas offered. Rich ran a hand through his tousled, dark waves in frustration. He had caught a glimpse of the new guy when his dad interviewed him and couldn’t wait to meet him. From what he’d seen, the guy was HOT! He was hopping mad that he hadn’t been allowed to sit in on the hiring procedure, but his dad had insisted he was needed out on the ranch to deal with the whole missing horse situation. What a mess that’d been so far. “All right. The guy’s name is Nathan Walker and he’s due in around ten,” Rich relented. “I’ll get away as soon as I can. If I don’t catch him today, we’ll have to meet up tomorrow. There’s a few things I need to go through with him about the job.” Lucas frowned. “Everything OK, boss?” “Sure.” Rich nodded. “I’m gonna take Sparky out for a bit,” he added and made his way over to his favorite horse’s stall. The sun was rising fast and the day was set to be a scorcher. They didn’t have many really hot days here in the foothills of the mountain, but this summer they seemed to be enjoying quite a few. Rich tipped his hat back slightly to keep the heat from the back of his neck. He took a good look at the massive ranch which would one day be all his. He couldn’t wait—not that he wished anything bad on his dad, of course. He just felt sometimes that the hands didn’t respect him the way they should, and his dad didn’t give him all the responsibility he wanted. He was good at his job, he knew that. Heck he’d been doing it all his life. He was in the saddle before he could walk. His mother had seen to that. He’d ridden all his life and enjoyed working as a wrangler on the ranch as soon as he’d been old enough. He’d been proud of his job, and still regarded himself a wrangler even though nowadays he spent more time sitting at his computer. He supposed that’s why he didn’t seem to get that much respect from the hands. Some of the older guys in particular still regarded him as Rich the Wrangler instead of Mr. Buchanan, the boss’s son. Rich looked over to where a couple of the experienced hands were breaking in a young stud. His mom used to help with that. She had the patience of a saint, and everyone loved her. It had been fifteen years now since the cancer killed her. Dad had become a different person after her death. He seldom laughed any more. He was real fond of his niece though, and had been looking forward to her wedding for months. Rich grinned. He daren’t tell his dad he didn’t really want to attend, and certainly couldn’t tell him the reason why. “I hope you’re planning on making an effort today, son.” Frank Buchanan’s voice boomed from behind him, and he turned from where he was idly stroking Sparky to face him. “Morning, Dad. Yeah, I was just on my way now to get showered and changed,” he lied. “Well, I hope so, son. Your Aunt and Uncle are relying on us for some support today. It’s a big day for them—hell, for everyone! The only girl in the family. Your Aunt Millie’s bound to be a bag of nerves, mother-of-the-bride and all that. Women get very emotional about these things.” Frank’s voice was gruff, but Rich detected a tear in the corner of his eye. It was a bigger day for him than he was letting on. “Yes, sir, I’m on it,” he promised his dad and strolled back to the cabin to get ready.
The wedding was an enormous affair, with what looked like the whole of Moone County and neighboring Reedlake County in attendance. It took place on the Meredith Ranch, which Uncle Ted and Aunt Millie owned, and was home to their twins, Emma-Leigh and Joey. A massive tent had been set up by the lake and the whole area was decked out in pink and white roses to match the bride’s bouquet. Rich smiled at everyone and made polite conversation until an acceptable time to find the bar. He downed a couple of rum and Cokes in quick succession, reveling in the burn in his throat. It had been quite a day and it wasn’t over yet. “Thought I’d find you here,” Joey Buchanan sneered as he came up behind him, a glass of champagne in his hand. He looked very dapper in a navy suit and a light brown crew cut. He wasn’t a bad-looking guy, but whenever Rich saw him he always grimaced which made him look quite ugly. “Yep, I needed a real drink,” Rich replied without looking up. He studied the glass in his hand. “We were reserving those for the real men,” Joey sniped. Rich slammed the glass on the counter and stood up. “Just what in heck is that supposed to mean?” He felt his blood boil as he towered over his cousin. He had had just about enough of him already. The young guy had been scowling and frowning at him all day. Joey squared up to him. “What do you think it means?” he demanded angrily. The tent went quiet and people started staring their way. “Don’t you dare ruin your sister’s wedding,” Rich growled. He finished his drink in one gulp and smiled to the guests as he made his way toward the buffet. “You OK, Aunt Millie?” He put an arm around the little round lady. She had had a very emotional day, and was now smiling brightly at everyone. Her face shone up at him and her eyes twinkled. “Oh, Rich, I’m so glad you came. I’m fine, my dear, just a bit teary-eyed back there for a bit. It’s not every day your daughter gets married. Now when is it going to be your turn? You should have been first, being the eldest and all.” She hooted with laughter and Rich grinned back at her. How many times had he heard this? “Ha. That’ll be the day,” Joey sniped from behind them. Rich’s jaw tightened and his fists clenched. “Now, Joey, don’t be awful. Your cousin’s a good-looking guy. I’m sure he could have any woman he wanted, couldn’t you, dear?” She stroked Rich’s cheek tenderly. “Trouble is, he doesn’t want a woman, do you, dear?” Joey chided and pinched Rich’s other cheek hard between his finger and thumb. Rich seethed, but was determined not to make a scene. Just then there was a clanging sound as the emcee hit a glass with the back of a spoon to signal the start of the speeches. There was a flurry of activity as people rushed to their seats, and Millie dragged her son with her. Being at the top table, Joey was facing into the room, glaring daggers at Rich. Rich remained standing and took a glass of champagne from a passing waiter, which he tipped pointedly to his cousin. The speeches gave Rich a welcome opportunity to take a good look around at the guests. He knew most of them—heck, he was related to a good many—but there were a few new faces. A handsome guy with sandy-colored hair and big green eyes caught his attention, and he made a mental note to catch up with him later. The guy looked his way and smiled. Rich nibbled at some more of the buffet until Uncle Ted’s speech made him look up. He had said all the usual stuff about how wonderful his daughter was and had now turned his attention to the ranch. “I will be retiring in two years’ time,” he went on, “and I will be handing over the reins, so to speak.” There was raucous laughter at this. “Anyway, the Meredith Ranch will be given to my children, half of it going to Joey and the other half to Emma-Leigh and Ryan. I need them to start taking over while I’m still around to keep an eye on things, so after the honeymoon I am going to start taking a backseat. I trust that Joey and Ryan will make a good job of running it and allowing me some peace and quiet in my old age.” Again the audience laughed. Rich looked over to see Joey fuming, and he grinned. He had always claimed that his dad would leave the ranch to him, as Emma-Leigh had shown no interest in managing it, but now that she was married to Ryan things were a little different. Ryan Randall practically ran the Meredith already, which until now hadn’t been a problem to Joey. It allowed the boss’s son to flounce around the estate with his nose in the air, giving out his orders to anyone he saw. Rich couldn’t help sniggering at the look on the young guy’s face. Emma-Leigh jumped up and hugged her dad, and Ryan shook his hand happily. Joey didn’t even try to smile when he stood to shake his father’s hand, but Ted didn’t seem to notice. The congregation were all clapping and cheering. It was a terrific start in life for the newlyweds. The more Joey seethed, the more Rich chuckled. Fed up of all the filthy looks he was receiving from his cousin, Rich took another Bacardi and Coke from the bartender and headed outside. It was quieter out there, with just a few guests milling about. He took a leisurely stroll down to the lake and sat on the grass to enjoy the peace and the warm sun. He chuckled as he thought how pissed Joey looked that he was having to share his inheritance. It was a well-known fact that the Meredith Ranch wasn’t doing as well as the Buchanan, and Rich knew that irked his cousin already. “Mind if I join you?” A cheerful voice pulled him from his thoughts. Rich squinted as he looked up, straight into two bright green pools of lust. He cocked an eyebrow in invitation to the stranger, whom he had seen earlier. “Dan Robertson,” the guy said with a grin as he sat next to him, holding out his hand. “Rich Buchanan.” Rich shook his hand. Dan’s hand was softer than his own. “So you’re Frank’s son?” Dan raised his eyebrows. “Yes, sir, I am. And you are…?” “Friend of the groom. I know all about the Buchanans though. Your family owns about half this county and practically the whole of Moone.” Dan whistled, obviously impressed. “Yes, we do. I’ve got the Moone part. Uncle Ted and Uncle Patrick have Reedlake.” Rich couldn’t help feeling smug. “Yeah, I heard that.” Dan nodded. “You a wrangler?” Rich was intrigued. This guy had done his homework. “Sure am. I work over at Tall Trees. D’you know it?” Rich sniggered. “I know every ranch in Moone and Reedlake and quite a few beyond,” he told him. “Tall Trees is Raymond Maddox’s place out toward the east.” “You do know your stuff.” Dan smiled. Rich took another swig of his rum and leaned back on his elbows, looking at the lake. The sun was beginning to set, throwing a pinkish hue all around the ranch, glistening off the lake like tiny diamonds. Dan leaned back too, idly running his finger over Rich’s hand. Rich sighed. This guy sure was handsome and was obviously interested in him. He sat up after a few minutes, looking around them. The speeches must have finished as there were lots more people milling around outside now. “You wanna go somewhere?” His heart thumped loudly as he gazed into Dan’s brilliant green eyes. Dan nodded and followed him around to the other side of the lake. There was a small copse which was quite shaded, offering them privacy and darkness. Once they were far enough into the middle of the woodland, Rich pinned his partner to a large oak tree and devoured his mouth while unbuckling the guy’s belt. Dan’s lips were thin and he willingly allowed Rich’s tongue to delve into the depths of his mouth. Rich felt Dan’s fingers on his zipper and Dan soon had his heaving cock in his hand, tugging eagerly. Dan’s cock sprang free and Rich pumped it hard. Dan groaned, throwing his head back against the tree. Rich saw him arch his back, thrusting his cock hard into Rich’s large, calloused hand. He obligingly tugged at Dan’s hard cock, eliciting a surge of thick juice which trailed lazily over his hand. “Turn around,” Rich growled, letting go of Dan’s dick. Dan turned to face the tree trunk and Rich yanked down the guy’s pants. Dan grabbed his own cock and continued the rhythm Rich had started. Rich kicked Dan’s legs farther apart and primed his lily-white ass while pumping his own heaving erection. Whipping a condom from his pocket, Rich sheathed himself before thrusting hard into the guy’s waiting hole. “Fuck!” Dan cursed as Rich’s massive cock impaled him, stretching his tight rim, barging its way through his ass like a red-hot poker. Rich hissed at the tightness, giving them both a moment to adjust, before beginning his rough assailment on his partner. Rich held onto Dan’s hips, pounding him hard over and over. “Ahh… I’m gonna blow!” Dan howled, jerking his own dick like mad. “Me too, brother,” Rich gasped. There was a loud groan from Dan as his dick exploded over his hand and dripped down the tree trunk. Rich grunted as he shot his seed, hammering into his partner over and over again until they both fell on the bracken, panting hard. Rich found Dan’s mouth and his tongue lapped at his lips before plunging into his hot, wet cavity. He closed his eyes as he held the guy in his arms, his hands trailing through his straight, sandy-colored hair. He could feel Dan’s moans reverberating through his chest. “Our little secret, OK, friend?” Rich grabbed a handful of notes from the pocket of his Levi’s and handed them to Dan, who gawked in surprise. Suddenly a bright flash pulled them from their reverie. Rich leaped to his feet and stared into the shadows. “Well, well. Just as I always thought.” Joey’s face sneered at them triumphantly as he clutched his camera.