A | A

Scarred

ScarredPride Publishing
ISBN eBook: 978-0-85715-251-0
Genre: Contemporary/ Gay MM
Series: Book eighteen in the Cattle Valley Series.
Book Length: Novel
Release Date: August 9, 2010

Read an Excerpt | Order eBook at Pride Publishing

Zac Alben loved his life in Cattle Valley until he made the ultimate mistake and introduced his partner in life, Terry, to his on-the-job partner, Jakob. He hoped the two men would hit it off, but he had no idea the meeting would forever change his life.

Scarred and broken, Zac shows the facade of a man on the mend. He returns to work, joins the community in celebrating Cattle Valley Days and wakes nightly in a cold sweat.

Pushed away at every turn, Jakob Cox still doesn’t know what happened the night Zac nearly lost his life. Despite Zac’s cold shoulder, Jakob takes it upon himself to drag the man he loves back into the land of the living.

Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.

NOW IN PRINT!
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 1 (Book 1 & 2 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order as Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 2 (Book 3 & 4 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order as Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 3 (Book 5 & 6 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order as Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 4 (Book 7 & 8 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order as Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 5 (Book 9 & 10 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order as Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 6 (Book 11 & 12 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order as Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 7 (Book 13 & 14 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order as Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 8 (Book 15 & 16 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order as Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 9 (Book 17 & 18 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order as Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 10 (Book 19 & 20 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order as Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 11 (Book 21 & 22 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order as Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 12 (Book 23 & 24 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 13 (Book 25 & 26 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 14 (Book 27 & 28 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 15 (Book 29 & 30 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing
and
CATTLE VALLEY VOLUME 16 (Book 31 & 32 in the Cattle Valley Series)
Order Trade Paperback from Pride Publishing

Excerpt

“Good morning, zipper face,” Zac Alben whispered to his reflection. He plugged in his electric razor and touched it to his left cheek. The left side was easy. He didn’t have to worry about being gentle like he did with the right.

Zac turned to the side like he did every morning, and began shaving off the dark overnight stubble. He hated the electric razor, it never shaved close enough for his taste, but his skin was still too sensitive for a real blade.

“Breakfast is on the table,” his father, Butch, called.

“Be there in a minute,” Zac returned. He ran his hand over his left cheek, satisfied. Before turning to shave the other side of his face, he took a moment to stare at his reflection in profile.

Although he’d never thought of himself as gorgeous, he’d always known he was good-looking. Perhaps it was karma that he’d lost whatever beauty he’d once possessed. Zac mentally said goodbye to the handsome man in the mirror and turned to fully face the mirror.

The right side of his face always took three times longer. He’d tried growing a beard shortly after the accident that had left him freakishly scarred, but quickly found it made the jagged scars more pronounced instead of the other way around.

A noise to his left got his attention. Zac noticed his father standing in the bathroom doorway. “Do you need in here?”

“No. Just wondered what was keeping you. Scrambled eggs suck if you let ’em get cold.”

“Well excuse me if I can’t get ready as fast as you can anymore,” Zac barked.

Butch shook his head and left without saying another word. Zac cursed himself. He needed to stop taking his anger and frustration out on his dad, a man who’d dropped everything to fly to Cattle Valley after Zac had almost lost his life.

He finished shaving and shoved the razor under the sink, knowing he wouldn’t be back to the house until Monday. It was Cattle Valley Days weekend, and Zac had volunteered to work through it, giving the other EMTs the time off.

Zac entered the kitchen of the cute bungalow he’d fallen in love with on sight and stood beside the table. “Sorry about that.”

Butch shook his head and took another bite of his bacon. “I’m getting used to it.”

“Yeah, and that’s the problem. I need to stop taking my mood out on you or else I’m going to run you off.” Zac took a seat and reached for the salt and pepper.

“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that,” Butch began.

Zac could tell by the look in his dad’s eyes he was leaving. “When’re you going?”

“My flight leaves Tuesday morning. I thought I’d stick around this weekend and see what all the fuss is about first, though.”

Zac nodded. Cattle Valley Days had always been a big celebration, but since the grandstand collapse the previous year, they were expecting the crowd-size to double with out-of-town guests. Zac knew most of the strangers who’d show up were good people, but there would be the inevitable crowd of morbid folks coming to see the site of the worst disaster in Cattle Valley’s history.

“Sammy’s off today and tomorrow. You should give him a call.”

“Oh, I’m sure he’ll be with his fella. I don’t mind wandering around on my own.”

Zac shook his head. “Leo works today, so Sammy’ll probably be thankful for the company.”

Butch shrugged noncommittally and continued eating. “Jakob called again this morning.”

Zac’s head popped up from concentrating on his breakfast. He hated that his first reaction to Jakob’s name was always one of excitement. Zac schooled his features quickly. “What’d he want?”

“To know if you were on shift today. I told him you were working all weekend.”

Zac went back to his cold eggs. “That all he wanted?”

“Well, he asked how you were doing, and how I was doing.” Butch set down his fork and leaned his forearms against the edge of the table. “You ever gonna tell me why you keep pushing that boy away?”

“Nope. That’s between us. Believe me, it’s better this way.” His appetite gone, Zac stood and carried his plate to the sink. He scraped the uneaten food down the disposal and set his plate in the dishwasher.

“Stop by the firehouse if you get bored.” Zac gave his dad a quick kiss on the top of his cleanly shaven head. “I’ll call ya later.”

“Be safe,” Butch said.

Zac grabbed his duffle and walked out the door. On the front porch he stopped and took a deep breath. It was going to be a scorcher of a day. Thankfully he’d be either in the air conditioned firehouse or riding around in the ambulance.