Orr Loveless is exactly where he knows he belongs, rescuing and training mules. Despite their reputation, which he feels is undeserved, he knows they are smart, sure footed, and great mounts for trail riding and outdoor adventures. The only thing he lacks is a human partner to share the work and the fun, but he knows his lifestyle is not likely to attract one.
Jase Keller has returned to New Mexico, where his forgotten roots remain. With his high finance job destroying him, he desperately needs a big change for this vacation. Only Orr Loveless doesn’t seem to want to take him on a wilderness trip. When they go, it’s the opposite of the farm boy seeing the city for the first time. Jase discovers another life and it’s the one he wants to live ... with Orr by his side.
Can Jase persuade a stubborn mule man like Orr that he doesn’t need to be “loveless” any longer?
While Jase had been sitting, stiffness really set in. He hobbled the few yards to the tent, stooped like an old man, and ducked into the low opening. Which bedroll was supposed to be his? Dropping to his knees, he turned back.
“Hey, Orr, right side or left? I’m not sure which space is mine.”
“Don’t care. Pick your poison. I’m going to let the fire die down a little more and then bury the coals, just to be safe. Soon as that’s done, I’ll be there.”
Since he wasn’t sure how long his window of privacy would last, Jase made a quick choice. “Right, then.”
He crawled to the side and rolled onto the bedding, reaching first to untie his boots and then shedding his jeans once his feet were free. He fumbled for the bottle of liniment and twisted off the top. The stuff had a strange smell, not offensive, just odd. He poured a little of it into one palm. It felt cool and slick. With only a brief hesitation, he began to rub the fluid on his aching thighs. Soothing warmth began to spread at once, and he could have sworn the tight muscles and tender skin felt better almost as fast.
When it came to his ass, he wasn’t sure how to manage. Finally, he shoved down his Jockeys and rolled over to lie on his stomach. Even though rubbing his own ass was a clumsy effort, he tried, juggling the bottle as he rubbed with one hand.
The sudden diminishing of the light in the tent, not much to begin with, alerted him to Orr’s arrival. Oh shit. Oh fuck. There he was with his white buttocks sticking out, almost in the other man’s face as he bent to hunker in. At first he was just embarrassed. Then the sexual overtones soaked in and he went from one kind of heat to another in a flash. This was so not good -- or was it?
He heard Orr clear his throat and then a rustle. That could mean he either pushed on into the tent or backed out in haste. Which?
“Er, do you need a hand with that?”
Orr’s voice sounded hoarse, a bit ragged. And close, very close. “I’m doing the best job I can. My legs weren’t hard to do, but this is clumsy.” Jase’s voice sounded high and squeaky, like a kid caught in some naughty prank. “I guess I’m getting it.”
“Here, give me the bottle. You’re about to spill it all over the sleeping bag.”
The next thing he knew, Orr’s big, work-roughened hand came down on Jase’s abused butt, wet and slick with the liniment as he began to knead the muscles and rub it in. Despite his sudden erection, in an instant so hard it hurt, Jase found the mule man’s touch felt heavenly. Still, his mind insisted on supplying erotic images that made it harder and harder -- both his cock and his ability not to squirm and moan from a mix of frustration and urgent need.