Rough, Raw, and Ready (Rough Riders 5) - Page 62

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“So I’m also hopin’ when you and Cassie start havin’ babies you’ll be close by so we can get to know ’em.”

“My wife’s name is Chassie, not Cassie, Pa,” Trevor said tersely.

Tater waved him off. “Don’t matter just as long as them kids have the Glanzer last name.”

His father started to cough. He kept coughing. Trevor handed him a glass of water and his dad choked on it. Just as he was starting to panic, the door flew open and Lianna raced in. She yelled, “Move,” and Trevor did.

Lianna rolled their dad to his side and slipped an oxygen mask over his face.

Immediately, Tater calmed down and closed his eyes. “Slow and deep, Daddy. I’ll be right back.” She jerked her head toward the door as a sign for Trevor to leave.

His sister stormed to the dining room and spun around so fast she clipped him with her big belly. “Do you see now? How he pretends to be fine but he’s not?”

“Yeah, I see. What’s the coughing from?”

Lianna rested her hands on her protruding stomach. “Emphysema.”

Trevor lifted both brows. “And yet Ma is still smokin’ around him?”

“Like that oughta surprise you. She’ll damn well smoke in her own goddamn house if she wants to.” Lianna looked over his shoulder. “Ma’s words not mine.”

“She puffs away while she’s takin’ care of him?”

“She don’t take care of him. Guess who gets stuck takin’ care of him? Me. Tanner’s gone most the time. Molly is a coupla bricks short of a load and Brent wouldn’t rock the boat for nothin’. I’m not supposed to be doin’ half this shit anyway.”

Lianna practically invented martyrdom, but it was her own damn fault. “Then why are you doin’ it?”

“You see any other able-bodied family members lining up?”

“No. But it ain’t like Ma and Pa don’t have the cash to hire a full-time nurse.” Trevor looked Lianna straight in the eyes. “You know why you’re stuck doin’ this? Because you don’t have the balls to stand up to them both and flat-out refuse.”

Lianna’s mouth opened. Snapped shut.

“I know I ain’t been around, so feel free to tell me to blow it out my ass, but if you don’t take a stand, your only function will be takin’ care of him while Ma smokes in the living room and does word searches all damn day. Is that the contribution you wanna have to the ranch? Think about it.” Trevor snagged his coat and wandered outside. Damn cold. He stamped his boots and had no idea why he’d left the warm comfort of the house.

Comfort. Right. Not a word he’d ever associate with the Glanzer abode.

He noticed Tanner’s horse trailer and ambled over, beating his fist on the door to the living quarters until a thump sounded inside and the door swung open.

A shirtless Tanner squinted at him. “What the f**k, Trevor? I was sleepin’.”

“It’s four in the afternoon. Why ain’t you helpin’ Brent with evenin’ chores?”

Tanner laughed. “Right.” Then he yawned in Trevor’s face and scratched his ass.

“I’m up. You might as well come in.”

“Gee, thanks.” Trevor set an empty cardboard thirty-pack of Keystone Light on the floor so he could squeeze into the bench seat of the dinette table.

“Wanna beer?” Tanner asked, cracking open the mini-fridge.

“Nah. I’m good.”

“Little wifey gotcha on a tight leash these days?”


Tanner popped a top. Then a shit-eating grin broke out across his face. “Yeah right.

The day you let anyone control you—least of all a woman—is the day I eat my hat.”

Trevor studied his brother. Tanner’s dark hair stuck up every which way. Dark stubble covered his jaw. Hickeys dotted his neck. Tanner’s body frame was slight, and Trevor, at four inches taller, had always outweighed his brother. Not these days. Tanner packed on some serious poundage. His beer gut hung over the unbuttoned waistband of his jeans.

“So the old man called you back here.” Tanner plopped on the other end of the bench seat.

“Woulda been nice to know about Pa’s heart attack right after it’d happened, not a week later.”

Tanner shrugged his thin shoulders. “Maybe if you called to check in once in a while you’d’ve known.”

His brother’s attitude was another reminder on why Trevor had chosen to stay away.

“Anyway, we all know why you’re here.” Tanner chugged the beer. “Pa’s offerin’ you full control of the place, ain’t he?”

Trevor didn’t answer.

“You’ve always been his favorite.”

“What the f**k are you babblin’ about? Favorite. Right.” Trevor snorted. “That’s why I ain’t been home in years. Because I’m his favorite.”

“He ain’t puttin’ Brent in charge, or neither of the girls. So it leaves you and me as front runners.” Tanner twisted the metal tab off the beer can and flicked it at the garbage, yelling, “Score!” and pumping his arms in the air when it pinged into the can. “So I propose a compromise. We tell Pa we’re a package deal and we’ll both run it.”

“What about your rodeo career?”

“I’m havin’ a bad go of it. Truth is, if it wasn’t for all the free pu**y I probably wouldn’t be doin’ it.”

“Don’t seem like the pu**y is so free if you’re knockin’ up women all across the country and payin’ child support,” Trevor said slyly.

Tanner’s eyes narrowed. “That ornery f**ker told you?”

“Yeah. Four women? You think you’d know what caused that condition by now, Tanner.”

“I was drunk. What can you do? Besides, I’m tired of livin’ on the pittance Pa gives me every month.”

Trevor froze, even as his heart rate spiked. “Pa is payin’ your way on the circuit?”

“Well, yeah. Didn’t he pay yours?”

Some favorite son. All the years he’d scraped by, living on next to nothing, and his father had basically given Brent a blank check? That went beyond unfair to plain damn sadistic. “Hell no. If I didn’t have enough money to pay the entry fees I didn’t compete.

Which made it important for me to win.”

“But you didn’t win.” Meanness glinted in Tanner’s bloodshot eyes. “You never brought home that all important World Championship belt buckle, didja?”

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