“Basically you’re tellin’ me to butt out.”
Cash believed Colby was right on some level. But it also made him wonder how well Colby knew his brother. Carter McKay wasn’t the love ’em and leave ’em type, which was why Cash was so worried about Macie.
You can’t have it both ways. You’re afraid she’ll settle down with him; yet, you’re afraid he’ll leave her high and dry.
No. Cash was afraid that no matter what happened with Carter, Macie would leave him.
“So as long as I left my subtlety at home, how’s it goin’ with you and Gemma?”
Colby sighed. “That’s it?”
“Married life has made you gossipy as an old hen, McKay.”
“Come on. You and Gemma have been circlin’ each other for damn near two years.
Now you’re workin’ on her ranch and sleepin’ in her bed?”
“I know you sent her my direction because you knew I was lookin’ for work, and I appreciate that. But that don’t mean I’ll be spillin’ my guts to you or anyone about what happens behind closed doors.”
“Fair enough. Then tell me what’s happening with her stock contracting business.”
“It’s pretty much dead. Appears no promoters wanna give her a chance.”
“This ain’t because of what happened with Mike Morgan last summer?”
“Not entirely. The last guy she had helpin’ bad-mouthed her to everyone in five states. Evidently he was pissed off she wasn’t payin’ him more. He took a job with one of the bigger stock contractors and even the little rodeos won’t return her calls.”
“That sucks. What’re you doin’ to help her get back in the game?”
Cash scratched his chin. “Honestly? Nothin’. I don’t know why she’d want to travel when she’s got this beautiful chunk of land to call home. Hell. I’d never wanna leave here.”
Colby nodded in understanding.
“She finally let me look at the books last month. Even during the busiest month last summer when she supplied stock for two rodeos a week, she was barely breakin’ even.
Add in the fact she has to hire an overseer for the Bar 9 when she’s gone, and she’s flat out losin’ money. I told her she’d be better off breedin’ the stock and sellin’ it off. Let some other fool take on the headache of draggin’ animals to rodeos all over the damn country.”
“She’d come to the same realization right before she hired me. She wants to focus on buildin’ a breedin’ program, with both broncs and bulls. She’s smart. She runs a damn fine operation and I’m lucky to be a part of it.”
“She’s lucky to have you helpin’ her, Cash. You know your shit and aren’t gonna feed her full of none. Which was one of the reasons I recommended you.”
Embarrassed by Colby’s praise, Cash changed the subject. “How’s your leg?”
“Hurts like a sonuvabitch most days.” Colby gave Cash a cool look. “You repeat that to Channing and I’ll kick your ass.”
Cash laughed, mostly because he figured Channing already knew. “I noticed her watchin’ you like a hawk yesterday around that buckin’ bull. She’s afraid you’re gonna get on and show us all how it’s done, eh?”
“Yeah. Well. She don’t understand why I can’t sell the whole shootin’ match outright.” Colby stared off into the distance. After a while he said, “Do you miss it?”
Cash knew it meant all that went along with rodeoin’ and being a professional rodeo cowboy. “Sometimes. I don’t miss the bruises and the constant body aches.”
“Or all the boring hours spent in the truck on the road between events,” Colby added.
“Or the bad food.”
“Or the bad draws.”
“Or the low scores.”
“Or the low payouts.”
“Hell yeah, I miss it,” Colby said with a laugh.
“Me too.” Now was as good a time as any for Cash to broach the subject he’d been wrestling with all morning. With any luck it wouldn’t tip Colby off. “You keep in touch with many of the guys on the circuit?”
“A few. Why?”
“Just wonderin’ what Trevor’s up to these days.”
“He’s still chasin’ the Finals dream. Though, he had a pretty serious fallin’ out with his dad about it. I’m surprised you haven’t seen him this year.”
“He ain’t been competin’ in the rinky-dink rodeos I’d been workin’. You have his number? I accidentally tossed it. Thought I might give him a call. I need to ask him a favor.”
“Sure. This favor anything I can help with?”
He nearly choked. “Nope.”
Colby sat up taller and grinned from ear to ear. “Hey, shug, you lookin’ for me?”
Cash turned around and watched Channing crook her little finger at her husband.
Colby jumped off the fence like it’d suddenly caught fire.
Cash grinned. Maybe someday soon, if he played his cards right, Gemma would look at him like that.
Gemma. Lord, thinking about the smokin’ hot sex last night still made his dick hard.
He’d figured once they’d retired to their room, she’d be too worn out to make love.
Or she’d be worried about having sex with other people staying in the house.
Had he been wrong.
They’d started messing around, and the need between them flared as hot and urgent as it always did. He’d gone down on her—man did he love going down on her, the sweet noises she made were music to his ears, but she’d literally turned the tables on him. She’d flipped around so she could suck his c**k while he ate her pu**y. He’d never been especially fond of sixty-nine until last night when the law of averages caught up with them and they’d actually come at the same time. Explosively. Feeling his c**k throb hot spurts in her suctioning mouth while she came, undulating against his face… Well, he’d have to rethink his position on that particular position.
But Gemma hadn’t been satisfied. She wanted to make love face to face. With the lights on.
He’d said no. She’d insisted. When he offered a compromise of making love with her blindfolding him, she offered a new threat: One of these nights she’d wait until he fell asleep, then she’d hog-tie him, turn the lights on and f**k him exactly how she wanted.