HE WAITED an hour by the mill before Chip showed. The cowboy slid off his horse and into Simon’s waiting arms, his hat tumbling off his head as Simon held on to him tightly. Simon pulled him into the shadow of the mill, pleased that he could finally bury his chilly face in Chip’s neck, his nostrils full of the strong, rich scent of his man.
“I thought you weren’t coming,” he managed eventually. “Didn’t know if you’d get my note.”
“I nearly didn’t,” Chip said. “Lorne and Brad were waiting for me with rifles before I left.”
“How did you get away?”
“Lofty and I jumped them and knocked ’em both out before they could shoot me.”
Chip shuddered with the emotion, and Simon hung on even tighter, aware of just how close he’d come to losing him.
“I love you, Henson,” Simon said gruffly, feeling Chip dig his fingers almost painfully into Simon’s back. Simon relished the pain. It reminded him they were both still alive.
“Love you too, Woody.”
Simon huffed into Chip’s neck at the nickname. “Next time we go together.”
Chip pulled back to look at him. “Don’t be stupid. We can’t take that risk.”
“I’m not leaving you again,” Simon insisted stubbornly.
Chip stepped back and slid his hands down Simon’s shoulders to grasp him around the upper arms. “Don’t, Simon. You know we can’t risk anyone finding out about us. I only just escaped this time. Next time it could be you, and I can’t have that.”
Simon stared at Chip, seeing the lines around his brown eyes, carved deeper into Chip’s face in the year he’d known him. “And I’m not gonna to spend my life wondering if you’re goin’ to turn up. We can’t be together as lovers, but we can be together as friends.”
“What are you saying?”
“If keeping us safe means we stop fucking, then….”
Chip pressed his lips together, then gave a short nod. “Friends.”
Simon went to step away, but somehow he ended up with his mouth mashed against Chip’s, his hands tangled in Chip’s hair, and Chip’s erection a rigid line pressing into his hip.
The throaty noises Chip made as they kissed just ramped up his excitement.
Simon growled deep in his throat and pushed Chip against the mill wall. “Fuck, I’ve missed you so much.”
“Missed you too.” Chip hauled Simon down to kiss him again.
“No lube,” Simon groaned.
“Ya got spit.” Chip’s hands were busy at Simon’s flies.
“It’s gonna hurt.” Simon was just as busy, dragging Chip’s jeans down his legs.
“Don’t care, not now. Just want you.” Chip turned in Simon’s arms and placed his hands against the rough wall.
Simon pulled Chip’s ass toward him, bare and beautiful, and all his. He ran his work-roughened hand over the tight asscheek. “You’re so fucking beautiful.”
Chip laughed roughly. “You need to see the doc, Woody. I ain’t beautiful.”
“You are to me. You’ll always be more beautiful than any of them painted whores in the Drink.”
“Thanks, I think.” Chip gasped as Simon spat on his fingers. “Hurry.”
Simon held Chip’s shoulder and slowly worked his fingers into Chip’s ass. “Just you wait. I’m not gonna hurt you.” He withdrew his fingers and spat on them again. He worked Chip until he was as prepared as he could get him.
Chip smacked the wall as Simon pushed in.
God, he was so tight. Simon wanted to ram in until he couldn’t go any farther, but he wouldn’t hurt Chip. “Too much?”
“Faster,” Chip gritted out. “I’m not gonna break.”
Chip might not, but Simon felt he was about to fly apart at the seams. He sank into Chip’s heat until he could rest against Chip’s back. He breathed across Chip’s ear, feeling the man shiver.
“Don’t let me go,” Chip whispered.
Simon held him tighter. “I’m never gonna let you go.”
“That’s all I needed to hear.”
Simon needed to move, but for a moment he just wanted to stay exactly where he was, Chip’s body tight around him and Simon’s senses full of his man.
Simon Wood arrives at Tamar Ranch looking for a job after being fired from his last position for seducing the boss’s son. It doesn’t take much for him to prove his skills with horses, so he’s taken on, but soon he clashes hard with Chip Henson.
The animosity between them hides something very different, but not for long. No matter how hard they try to resist their attraction, eventually they give in to their need. They start leaving notes for each other, and others notice and warn them to be more careful.
Fearful of discovery, Simon leaves Tamar Ranch to save Chip’s job. When he learns that his departure sent Chip off the rails, he knows he needs to risk everything and go back for him.