Home > Final Stretch (Glen Springs #1)(8)

Final Stretch (Glen Springs #1)(8)
Author: Alison Hendricks

“I don’t know. I crossed a line with that whole stalker thing. I really wanted to clear the air with him, but he was out of here so fast.”

“Yeah, that’s Shane,” he says with a sigh, dipping two of his fries into the homemade sriracha ketchup and taking a bite. He considers me for a second, though, his expression thoughtful. “Do you really want to make amends?”

“I’d rather not have your best friend hate me, yeah.”

“I think I know of a way. As long as you’re not afraid of a little hard work.”

Honestly, a little hard work sounds like a blessing right now. Hard work I understand. Blood, sweat, and tears in pursuit of a goal is something I’ve lived my life knowing how to navigate. Disastrous relationships definitely aren’t.

And even though Jake and I don’t know each other that well, I trust him—I know he wouldn’t lead me down this path if he thought it was going to make things worse.

With all that in mind, my answer is an easy one.

“Bring it on.”

 

 

5

 

 

Shane

 

 

Soft soil gives way as I drive the post holer deep into the ground, using my boot to shove it as far as I need it.

I've built so many fences and paddocks that it's become almost an automated process in my brain. I know how far apart to space the posts; I haven't needed to measure in years. I know exactly how much pressure to exert to get the depth I need. I know how many nails I need, how much give the wood allows, and the myriad of ways to simplify what should likely be a two-man job.

I know how to do what needs to be done, and I do it with quiet efficiency. Unlike Jake, I don't see it as some kind of social failing to decline help. I have a system that I could never explain as thoroughly to anyone else. Maybe that system isn't completely optimized, but it works for me, and it's always felt like the best option for my ranch.

Usually, at least. Until today.

Right now, as the sun starts to inch past the hills and sweat starts to bead on my skin, I wish I had someone to keep me on task; some manager who would bark at me whenever I slow down.

My mind keeps drifting back to that disaster of a day I had yesterday. It started out great. I was up early and made the rounds with plenty of time to draft up a plan for the new paddock and head to the hardware store right after it opened. Knowing I wouldn't really be able to start on the project, I decided to take care of my other errands.

And that was where it started to go downhill.

I'd seen the man from across the produce section, though it took him another few aisles to notice me. He was tall and muscular, his gray t-shirt clinging to his toned arms and chest. I'm a sucker for a guy with nice, powerful arms, and I'll admit I discreetly watched him as he reached for what was apparently an elusive, perfect bell pepper.

Later, I'd kick myself for not recognizing him, but he doesn't look that much like Jake. Only his bright blue eyes give him away as a Morrison, and he had those covered by dark, designer sunglasses that probably cost more than my old truck.

The meeting we had in Aisle 1 was almost… sweet. Until I'd felt his gaze roving over me, and then sweet was the last thing I'd call it. Living in a small town in the south, I've learned how to discreetly check out other guys, but there was nothing subtle about Travis. His gaze even lingered on my crotch—long enough to make me wonder just what we could get away with in the middle of a grocery store—and I'd gladly returned the favor.

Better sense had won out, pulling me away from my fantasies. And while I thought about him after that—mostly while ignoring my aching cock—I hadn't expected anything to come of it. The fact that fate had other plans had been enough to get me to give him my number, agreeing to a date we both knew was just a formality.

I'd thought about it as I drove over to Gracie's Place. We'd get a cup of coffee, talk for a little bit, and then I'd have him in the cab of my truck, out of view from anyone passing by as his soft lips closed around my cock.

I don't really like bringing guys back to my home, but with the heat I'd felt between us, I might have followed him back to his. I would've let him fuck me, no question about it. And depending on how good he was, I might have stayed for round two after a shower or something.

The fact that at any point I could've walked bare-assed out of Travis' bedroom and run into Jake was what eventually threw the brakes on all of those thoughts, even more than Travis' attitude. Arrogance can be hot in the bedroom, but your best friend knowing his brother was balls deep inside of you is less so.

I wish I could say one frustrating night was enough to get it out of my system, but I'm still thinking about it now, even as I work. Every time my muscles strain and tense with the effort of digging out those holes, I imagine him watching me. Coming up to me, the front of his hard body pressing to the back of mine, the thick rod of his erection nestling against the cleft of my ass. It's a huge problem—no pun intended—and one I'm hoping I can cure by seeking out the company of a stranger who's as hard-up for relief as I apparently am.

Glen Springs is a very inclusive community. Several of the businesses are owned by members of the LGBTQ community, including Gracie’s. But it's still a small town, and if you don't want to hook up with a guy you're guaranteed to see the next day, you have to cruise in Lexington.

I set my mind toward meeting some anonymous guy in a bar, but just as I begin to let go of the fantasy of Travis, my back pocket starts to vibrate. The ringer goes off just a few seconds after, and my heart stops as I realize I gave him my number.

He could still be calling on the off-chance I'll change my mind about that coffee date. And I'm not completely positive I'll refuse him.

I reach for my phone, fumbling to swipe it with my gloved fingers. My breath is ragged and I'm hoping I can play it off as work strain when I answer.

"Hello?"

Jake's voice greets me and I let out a breath. "Hey, you busy?"

"Just getting the new paddock dug out," I say, striking the post holer into the ground and leaning against the top of it. "What's up?"

"I'm positive I told you to wait on that 'til the weekend, man. The kids could’ve helped."

We have this talk with every new addition, and I give him the same answer every time. "It's fine. Won't take me long to finish up."

The line's dead for a second, then I can hear the sound of people talking softly in the background. He must be in the teacher's lounge.

"Hey, so I have a counter-offer." The uncertainty in his tone unsettles me a bit. "Let Travis help you."

"…What?"

I feel like I've been caught not only with my pants down, but with my hand wrapped around my dick.

"I know things were a little strained…"

"Strained?" I ask with a laugh, wiping the sweat from my brow. "You were there last night. No way you missed the vibe."

"Yeah, Trav told me what happened after you left."

I freeze at that, a shiver racing up my spine despite the fact that it's a million degrees out here.

"But seriously," he continues, "if you think that was awkward, you should've been at the house last night. We barely said two words to each other, and I'm pretty sure we both tried."

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