The love of animals is unconditional and for many of us we’re lucky to have a beloved pet or two in our lives. I am constantly reminded of joy every single day when I look into the eyes of my two dogs – who are really my kids. Goldie Hawn and MacGyver bring me sheer joy. I’ve had a lot of friends lately tell me they are going through terribly rough times from financial situations to family issues and illness, there are way too many horrible stories. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and lately I’ve felt so overwhelmed by simply hearing the accounts. I also feel blessed. We all have trials and tribulations and I’m no exception. Money is tight and there are times I don’t feel like smiling – but I do.
For me having my animals is a wonderful respite of sharing love and joy when the lights seems its darkest. We’ve all seen or witnessed terrible abuse stories about animals and in my past I’ve been lucky enough to have rescued some animals from a horrible life. We had a back neighbor years who had a beautiful puppy chained to a stake. The cute fur ball was bought in the middle of an ice storm. For a few months I watched as the golden haired creature was barely given water and food and me being the brassy girl that I am – I couldn’t take it any longer.
My neighbor looked and acted like Charles Manson – for those of you who don’t know – one bad murdering dude from decades ago. He was gruff, treated his children badly (in my opinion) and then there was the issue about how he treated animals. So… when I finally saw the little girl playing with the puppy I simply told her if there was ever a time she wanted to get rid of him to let me know. It wasn’t 30 minutes later and the guy opened the door and screamed – ya’ll want another dog? We said yes but needed time to get things for the baby. Oh he couldn’t wait. He was going to dump the dog on the side of the road and all because the little girl wanted a kitten. Don’t get me started.
Blazer came into our life and was a joy – albeit a terrified almost pure golden retriever. He lived almost thirteen years with us dying sadly of a horrible debilitating disease but he had a life filled with toys and leather couches to lie on and food and treats and…. Love. In penning my upcoming piece I wanted to share the joy I felt in how animals not only remind us every day about love but also can help us deal with tragedy. This is a small snippet and not the most heart wrenching part – but I don’t want to give it all away.
Remember every day if you are blessed and lucky enough to have a furry baby to spend time and love them and kiss them and… Just love. They will always by your side.
HEARTS FORGED IN FIRE – Releasing starting tomorrow
For rancher Zeke Parker every day was difficult. Not only was Rattlesnake Ranch falling on hard times but he couldn’t get over the horrible grief plaguing him for over a year. The death of his lover David had nearly stripped away his soul. As Valentine’s Day drew near his sister Sandi was determined to drag him out of his private hell. Agreeing to be a part of a charity auction for the humane society one date with a wealthy woman wasn’t going to kill him. During dinner at Sandi’s house he met movie producer Drake Wilson, who was scouting locations for an upcoming movie, and sparks flew.
Seeing David’s horse Milly and her strong reactions to the mysterious man, Zeke was intrigued. After an impetuous moment of heat both men were skittish and each had their reasons for pulling back. It seemed Cupid had other ideas in mind. When a rouse brought the two men together passion roared between them but damning secrets were too much for either to deal with. Just as Zeke was determined to give up on love forever Cupid intervened again and this time, the arrow went straight through his heart.
EXCERPT – UNEDITED
Zeke was damn glad there were no people on the road and only animals. He was a bit tipsy and more than normal when he made it back to the house. The snow was tapering off but the silence from the blanket was a welcome feeling. Tromping onto the porch he dragged in a few logs to rekindle the fire. On a night like this he needed more than just a warm blanket to drag the chill from his bones.
The fire burning brightly he gazed at it and shook his head. He loved a roaring fire more than anything but the first winter alone he couldn’t start one. Hell, he couldn’t light a fucking candle. It had been too painful. Gazing into the flames he smiled. There was something very vital and more than interesting about Drake and he wasn’t sure why but the man sizzled his blood.
Hearing a whinny from the corral he wanted to make sure Milly was okay before heading to bed. If the foul came in the middle of the night he was prepared but he really liked having the vet close enough. Milly’s first foul was stillborn and she moped for weeks. This one he prayed to God would be all right. Putting on a thicker parka he grabbed an oil lamp and headed outside. The wind was still brisk but at least he could almost make out stars trying to shine through the high level clouds.
Heading into the barn he could tell all the horses were a touch restless but the ranch hands had filled their water and food and none were worse for wear. Turning on a light he headed for Milly’s stall and smiled. “Hey girl. How ya doin’ tonight?”
Whinnying, she headed straight for him, recognition in her eyes. Zeke opened the gate and stepped inside. Holding her head he sighed as he rubbed her nose. “Oh girl. I want you to be okay. I think it will be.” Nuzzling into his neck it was as if she knew what he was saying. “I know. But the doc says you’re doing well. Just a few more days. I’ll be inside but if you need me you know how to call out.” Laughing, Zeke loved this horse more than any he’d ridden in his life. Milly was David’s horse and the very sweet girl who’d allowed a very untrained man to ride her, always gentle and always forgiving. Milly could barely tolerate humans and bore a horrible scar from the wretched night but she loved Zeke and he would honestly die for the horse.
She’d been the reason David perished but David died giving his heart to the creatures he’d fallen in love with. “Okay baby girl. I’m going to go to bed but I love you and David loves you.” Milly jerked back from hearing David’s name. Tipping her head she cried out, her whinny woeful. “I know, baby. I miss him too.” As tears slipped out of his eyes he eased out of the stall, clicking the door shut. His heart heavy he left the light on and walked out of the barn into the cold and for the first time in ages he sobbed in anguish.
By the time he made it into the house he was chilled to the bone and tired. Pouring a brandy he eased down by the fire and studied the intense colorations. Both beautiful and destructive he inhaled the scent of the wood and tried to take comfort in the setting. Zeke took a sip and savored the taste and the almost harsh burn in the back of his throat. Mesmerized by the licking of the flames he swirled the brandy in his glass and remembered the horrible night. He’d been the one to find David’s body and it took Milly a full ten minutes to understand Zeke was only trying to help. By that point David was dead. Pressing the back of his hand over his mouth his body shook. Why did the memories continue to be so painful?
He could envision David’s face as he laughed when they watched stupid comedies and the way his eyes flashed in trepidation the first time he stood in front of Milly. At six foot five David was a formidable man but was nearly brought to his knees by one horse. The thought gave Zeke a smile. Raising his glass he thanked God he had three beautiful years with the man and could somehow feel David’s smile cascading down on him. It was time to let go to a point. He’d never forget but he did want to try and be happy again. Gulping the rest of the brandy he stoked the fire one last time before heading to bed. Cold nights he was used to. Perhaps he’d end up getting a puppy. While he wasn’t a religious man he could feel David’s presence with him almost all the time as if he didn’t want to leave. The feeling was comforting and one Zeke wasn’t ready to lose.
Shaking off the feeling he moved to the window and gazed into the blackness. Sleep. That’s what he needed. But as he turned toward the bed he’d shared with David he didn’t want sleep. No, he wanted to feel again.
Zeke turned out the light and crawled into bed naked and for some reason as he thought about Drake his cock instantly grew hard. Of course he’d masturbated over the last year but always thinking about David, not about another man. Tonight he couldn’t get his mind off the mystery man with the gorgeous body and perfect teeth. Nuzzling into the flannel sheets he eased onto his back and slid the flat of his hands down his chest to his stomach, enjoying the feel as he licked his lips.
As he closed his eyes he allowed himself to imagine being with Drake, tasting his lips and touching his face. Sighing, Zeke slid his fingers down to tickle the soft hairs on his stomach before moving them down to his crotch, grazing the tips through his pubic hair. His shaft throbbed with need and as he teased the tip, grazing his finger across the sensitive slit his heart thumped in his chest. This was as alive as he’d felt in a long time.
Arching his back he opened his legs as he wrapped his hand around the base of his cock with one hand as he cupped and squeezed his balls with the other. The pressure was just enough he let out a strangled moan. Panting, Zeke stroked up and down on his shaft as tingling sensations thrashed through his body. Suddenly on fire, he licked his dry lips and squeezed his seed sacs harder until a slice of anguish trickled down his spine. “Oh…yyyeeess.” It had been so damn long since he’d felt a man’s touch teasing and electrifying him and just the image of Drake’s face was enough to force his pulse into overdrive.
Up and down he stroked, his actions becoming manic as the friction of his hand burned his tender skin and yet he continued. Harder and faster he tugged at his aching cock until he was left breathless, his legs trembling. Tossing his head back and forth Zeke moaned as he opened and closed his eyes, shifting stars floating around his field of vision. “God…yes…oh…” As he pumped harder, he grew desperate for more, his actions bordering on savage and still he continued until beads of sweat poured down the side of his face. As a series of electric current sent wave after wave into his body he was lost to the moment of passion.
Jerking up, he tossed his head back as every muscle in his body tensed, an intense orgasm racing from the tips of his toes up his legs until he couldn’t hold back his raging need any longer. Opening and closing his mouth he let out a strangled hiss as he exploded sending white-hot strings of cum up and across his stomach. “Aaaahhhh!” Roaring into the dense air he panted and tried to focus yet was lost to the savages of his lust.
Minutes later he smiled and traced a circle around his lips realizing he wanted more than just this. No, he wanted to find out if the attraction between he and Drake was real. God help him, he did.
I hope you enjoyed…