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In for a Penny

In for a PennyResplendence Publishing
ISBN eBook: N/A
Genre: Contemporary, M/M
Series: Book One in the All In Series
Book Length: Novel
Release Date: February 10, 2009

Read an Excerpt | Order eBook at Resplendence Publishing

What’s the old saying…you can never go home again? Raven Black resigned himself to never returning after being ordered from the only real home he’d ever known. Now, seven years later, Raven is back to face the man who sent him away. Zane Conner is not only Raven’s foster brother but the only man Raven ever loved. Despite his mixed feelings about the situation, Raven can’t deny Zane when the older man asks for his help in saving the Lazy C Bar Ranch. A boy found dead on the ranch clinches Raven’s decision. Why did the young boy look so much like he had at that age—the same age he’d been when his own father had beaten him and left him for dead?

Excerpt

Note for Readers: You must be over eighteen to read this excerpt.

As Ray walked toward the barn, he felt nervous as hell. Flashes of that night so many years ago played in his head. He’d been in the barn crying after Marty’s funeral and Zane had happened upon him. The older man had put his arm around Ray for comfort. There was something in the way that he ran his hand up and down Ray’s back that led him to believe Zane had the same feelings he did. He had totally misinterpreted the situation evidently, because when he leaned in and kissed the older man, his whole world exploded. Zane seemed to accept his kiss at first. Ray swore he even heard him moan. Then he was thrust back and told to get off the Lazy C Bar Ranch and to never come back.

Ray’s breath hitched at the memories of the awful words that had spewed out of Zane’s mouth. He’d lived with those words for the past seven years. He was twenty-seven now, but the rejection dealt by Zane that day still had the power to hurt.

He spotted Zane unloading supplies into the feed shed. His shirt was off and sweat glistened on his darkly tanned, well muscled chest. Ray stopped walking. Looking at Zane all the old feelings came rushing back. He’d never loved anyone the way he loved Zane.

Snorting, he shook his head. A lot of good it had done him. Zane had always treated him like an outsider. Well, that’s wasn’t strictly true. In the beginning, Zane had spent a lot of time with him, nursing him back to health. He’d helped teach Ray how to ride and how to fish. Then when he was about seventeen it all stopped. One day Zane was skinny dippin’ with him, and the next day he was treated as if he were another hired hand.

A year later he’d joined the marines, moving quickly up to Green Beret. At the age of twenty-four the FBI made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. By then he had no one in his life and deep undercover work seemed perfect for him.

Ray smiled as he continued walking toward the feed shed. He couldn’t wait to get Zane’s reaction to his new appearance. Not only was his hair longer, but he’d indulged in some pretty rough looking tattoos, not to mention rings in both his ears and his nipples. Too bad Zane would never get a chance to see the large barbell in his cock. That would really freak the straight laced cowboy out.

Ray stood next to the truck and cleared his throat.

Zane straightened and turned around. He looked Ray up and down. “What the hell happened to you?”

“Good to see you too.”

Zane picked up his shirt and swiped at the sweat on his chest.

Ray could feel the moisture gathering in his mouth. He swallowed the drool that was about to slip from his lips. “You called. I’m here. What do you want, Zane?”

Zane motioned to the house. “Let’s go up to my study.” He jumped off the back of the truck and strode toward the house.

Ray had absolutely no problem following. The beautiful tight ass begged to be followed. Except for a little more silver in his thick black hair, Zane looked exactly the same. At six-one Zane Conner was the epitome of a sexy cowboy. Deep blue eyes rimmed by long, thick black lashes got him noticed by not only every woman he met, but a few of the men as well.

Ray thumped his erection when Zane disappeared into the house. This was going to be a long assignment for his uncontrollable cock. He knew he should hate the sexy cowboy, but he’d spent too many years loving him.

He wandered into the study and took a seat in front of Zane’s big mahogany desk. Crossing his leg to rest his heel on the opposite knee, Ray said nothing.

Zane’s eyes narrowed as he seemed to be studying him. “So tell me. What’s with the changes, Raven?”

Ray smiled and flicked one of the gold hoops in his ears. “Deep undercover for the past two years, and call me Ray. I haven’t been Raven since Marty died.” He didn’t need to tell Zane that he’d in fact been the last one to call him Raven. “Are you sayin’ you don’t approve?”

Zane licked his lips and broke off eye contact. “Just different, that’s all.” He rummaged around in his desk drawer and withdrew a file folder and tossed it across the desk.

“I’m losing cattle every week. Slim and I didn’t notice at first, but the rustlers are getting bolder all the time. Last weekend I lost another thirty-four. That’s a total of seventy-two head in the past four months. Considering the price I can get for good Angus, the loss is crippling me.” Zane set his jaw. “We’ve tripled patrols and hired some off-duty cops to help with security, but so far nothin’. The local law doesn’t seem inclined to do a proper investigation.”

Zane motioned to the file. Ray opened it and looked at the picture of the dead boy they’d found. “We found him in the south pasture with no identification. Sheriff was called and they called the coroner. The autopsy confirmed what everyone already figured out. Death by gunshot to the back, but also dehydration, multiple contusions, and as you can see, multiple wounds to his back.” Zane knew as well as Ray the wounds to the boys back were made from a bullwhip.

Ray couldn’t get over how much the boy looked like him the day Marty had rescued him fourteen years earlier. Unlike Ray, however, this boy had not only been whipped to shreds, but shot. His hands shook as he deposited the folder back onto the desk. Past memories of his father assaulted him.

Roger Black hadn’t tried to contact him in over eleven years. He’d come out to the Lazy C Bar to confront Marty after he’d finally been released from prison. He’d been convicted of child abuse and assault with a deadly weapon. Ray remembered trying to stand in front of Marty as his father spat filth and hatred at his only son. Zane had come running and managed to call the police and run his father off the ranch with a baseball bat. Roger had disappeared after that and Ray hadn’t heard from him since.

He looked up into Zane’s eyes. Was he back? Is that the real reason Zane had called for him? “What would you like me to do?”