Monday, June 9, 2008
New Release: Fortune's Return
Rather than clog everything up last Monday with our new releases, we decided to wait until today to announce our latest release at Liquid Silver, Fortune's Return. If you recognize a similarity to a het release we had earlier this year, that's deliberate. This story takes place in the same world as Fortune's Honor, because we just loved the quiet, honest atmosphere the Putnams evoked for us.
Ryan Putnam has lost everything. Laid off from teaching high school and dumped by his lawyer boyfriend, he has nowhere else to go but his childhood home - the Good Fortune ranch. He plans to take the summer to regroup and start over. He never expects to be smitten with a cowboy. Especially not a cowboy like Teo Mendez, who is everything Ryan's ex-boyfriend is not.
Four years after his wife's death, Teo Mendez has returned to what he loves the most - working the land. He believes the Good Fortune ranch is the perfect place to build a new life for his son, Antonio. When his boss's brother Ryan shows up to work, the other man's haunted eyes reminds Teo of everything he has lost as well. So he offers the only thing he can - his friendship. But it doesn't take long for Ryan to reawaken long dormant emotions and desires.
Ryan doesn't intend to find a relationship. Teo doesn't want to complicate his life with a fling. What they have between them, however, is too powerful to ignore.
Contains graphic m/m interaction, including oral and anal sex.
And now for an excerpt you can't find anywhere else:
The floor was wet, all right. The cupboard doors beneath the sink were thrown wide open, and Teo was on his back with his head poked beneath the plumbing, much like a mechanic underneath a car. His feet were bare, and instead of his usual long-sleeved shirt he wore for work, his chest was bare, covered only by a fine dusting of dark hair that did nothing to hide the sculptured muscles.
He looked up as soon as Ryan entered. For a moment, their eyes locked, Teo’s body going utterly still at Ryan’s entrance. He imagined he saw something flicker in the black depths, but just as quickly, it was gone.
“Be careful,” Teo said, repeating Tony’s earlier warning. “The floor’s wet.”
The wet floor was the least of his problems. He was more concerned about the way his cock was responding to the sight of Teo, half-naked and on the floor.
“Dad says the pipes are old,” Tony informed him from the doorway, and the sound of the child’s voice gave him the cold dose of reality he needed.
“They are old,” Ryan agreed, setting the toolbox down beside the sink and crouching down. “What do you need?”
“Got a basin wrench in there?”
Ryan had to dig around and hold up a couple tools before finding the exact one Teo was referring to. He handed it over, aware of the water dripping down the back of Teo’s hand, but it was Tony speaking up behind him that distracted him from lustier thoughts.
“Does this mean no bath tonight?”
“But the water’s busted.”
“Only in here. Bathroom’s still working.” Something creaked and Teo muttered a curse. “Go get me another towel, Antonio.”
Tony ran out of the room, and Ryan took advantage of his absence to stare shamelessly at the boy’s father again. He knew Teo was broad, of course, with wide shoulders, but the man could probably crush him. Ryan supposed he was naturally a big guy, but being adept at hard, physical labor no doubt helped to sculpt those delicious muscles.
Tony hurried back into the room and slipped when he tried to stop. Ryan reacted automatically, reaching out to catch Tony before he could fall. Tony looked at him with big eyes, and Ryan gently took the towel from his hand.
“Why don’t you go sit on the couch for now, okay? That way, you won’t slip again.”
Before Tony could voice a complaint, Teo spoke up. “You heard him, Antonio. Go.”
The boy sulked as he extricated himself from Ryan’s grasp. He looked like he wanted to argue, but he backed up dutifully until he was gone.
“Sorry you had to come all the way out here. If you want to drop the chest, you could go back to the house if you want.”
“No, that’s fine. I wasn’t doing anything tonight.” Except thinking about you. “It looks like you’re going to need an extra set of hands to clean up this mess anyway. Here’s your towel.”
Teo took it without glancing away from his work. “I think I’m going to have to run into town for some parts for this. Some of these threads are completely stripped.”
“If you can get it to stop leaking for now, I’d be happy to run to the hardware store tomorrow.” Ryan didn’t quite know why he was volunteering. It wasn’t as though running Teo’s errands would increase the time he could spend in Teo’s company. “And talk to Clay about seeing to renovations. If he’s going to be using these cottages again, he should make sure they’re up to code.”
“This one’s my fault. I told Clay I’d take care of the smaller jobs, and I’ve been too distracted with other stuff to get to it.” Another squeak came from the old pipes. “No reason for you to go in alone, though. I need to get some other stuff anyway. If you don’t mind driving, we can go together.”
The thought of spending most of the day in Teo’s company made him feel a little giddy. It wasn’t a word Ryan would ever use to describe himself, except what other word could be used? He was a little lightheaded, and grinning like a fool, and...he was actually acting like a few of his students when they finally got a date to the Prom. That thought was more than a little sobering.
“I don’t mind driving at all. Of course, you realize that Paige and Clay are both going to have lists of additional items to pick up.”
“Yeah.” He thought he caught a glimpse of a smile. “They’ll just have to make up for it by watching Antonio.”
“I’m sure Paige will be happy to.” Ryan ducked his head to try to see exactly what was going on with the pipes. Teo had a flashlight shining on the busted connection, and the water was down to a mere trickle.
“And you?” Water beaded Teo’s brow, and there was a smear of oil across the sharp line of his jaw. “Think you can handle being stuck with me all day?”
“That’s a good question. But I think it won’t be too bad.” This was the understatement of the century, but the best response for Teo. “I think the real question is whether or not you can handle being stuck with me. You’ve probably already noticed, but I’m the talker in the Putnam clan.”
Teo gave the washer one last twist. Handing Ryan the wrench, he used the towel to wrap around the joint before sliding out of the cupboard. “I like your talking. Reminds me I’m not alone.”
Ryan straightened and stepped out of the way, his boots slick on the wet linoleum floor. “Actually, I thought that might be the reason you wouldn’t like my talking.”
Teo frowned. “If I wanted to be alone, I wouldn’t have invited you along for my morning rides.”
“Good point.” And the companionship was probably the only reason Teo invited him along. Ryan decided it was a good idea not to lose sight of that. “Do you have a mop?”
“You’re a guest. You’re not cleaning my house.” Rising to his feet, Teo seemed completely oblivious to the way his jeans were wet across the seat, outlining the curve of his ass even more than usual. “If you want to do something, go keep Antonio busy while I get this mess taken care of. Dinner should be ready in about twenty minutes. You like chili dogs?”
“Yeah, chili dogs are great.”
Ryan would have rather helped straighten up the kitchen, but he ducked out of the room without protest. He had been trained since he could walk to pitch in and help clean up after any catastrophe, great or small. It didn’t matter who the mess belonged to. But that was with family, he supposed. Teo clearly had boundaries, and Ryan knew he shouldn’t be so eager to completely ignore them. He wasn’t family. Ryan wasn’t even sure he was a friend.
Tony was on the couch, exactly where Ryan told him to wait. Ryan sat down beside him and stretched his legs out. “The leak is taken care of. Your dad says dinner will be done in about twenty minutes.”
“You’re staying?” There was no denying the way his eyes lit up. “So you can play a game with me while we wait?”
Ryan smiled. “I sure can. What do you want to play?”
Tony eagerly jumped from the couch and pulled a board game from beneath the coffee table. Ryan slid down to the floor, awkwardly folding his legs beneath him, and listened as Tony explained the rules of checkers...
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