Hello followers of Guys Like Romance, Too!
Jaxx Steele is here again this time to share my cowboy book Part of the Posse. This book is one of my favorites because I have always loved cowboys. They are usually tough men hardened by their choices they’ve made in life. Cowboy law is simple and just. “Don’t fuck with mine and I won’t fuck with yours and if you do, I’m gonna kill you.” Simple and to the point. I love that. There are no misunderstandings when a man comes to you like that. This book also won first runner up in the 2013 Swirl Awards. I was very pleased and humbled that others liked my story too.
I wrote this book because I thought it was time that I showed my love to these leather wearing, horseback riding, dusty trail hardened men. Part of the Posse gives a behind the scenes look at cowboy life. My version, of course. A few of my favorite cowboy movies are Wyatt Earp, Unforgiven, Posse and Tombstone. I never really need a reason to have a cowboy marathon, but I had one to get the terrain, time frame and mannerisms for my main character, Les Browning. As this story took form in my mind, I pictured Les being like a younger version of Clint Eastwood's character in Unforgiven. Not his life or deeds, but the same abrasive no-nonsense attitude that comes when a man has comes to terms with being alone and only getting what he needs to survive in life but never the frills that make life worth living. Les is a cattle runner in the late 1800s. He leads a small posse of men that are more family to him than friends. The world spun at normal speed until Colt walked into the bar. Suddenly Les’s world spun out of control knocking him off his feet.:-)
Les Browning traveled with his trusted group of men for years. As the company made a cattle run from Texas to Kansas Les met Colt, a young cook looking to find his way in the world. They hit it off immediately, but Les couldn’t get too close to Colt until the men in his party gave the okay for Colt to travel with them. Can Colt ultimately prove himself worthy to be a part of their clique so that he and Les could be together?
“Where you off to this time, Les?”
Les Browning lifted his eyes from his cards to the man across the table from him. Flint—a fixture at Tilly’s and always up for a game of poker—waited for him to answer. A dangling cigarette smoldered at the corner of his mouth as he shuffled a deck of cards in one hand.
“Wichita,” Les answered. “The men are ahead of me a couple of days or so. I’ll be pulling out of here soon to make sure I don’t fall too far behind.” He paused to look into the stern faces of the men at the table. “I’m starting to think my welcome is worn out around here,” he said on a chuckle. “Give me two.”
Flint took the discarded cards and dealt Les two before turning to the other men. Les followed Flint’s gaze looking left. Bruno—a tall, brawny man with a pudgy face and squinty eyes—stared into space. He had a reputation for having a bad attitude, not being able to hold his liquor and not contemplating his options before acting.
“Two,” Bruno grunted then took a long swig from his beer.
Flint dropped the cards before him and turned his body to the other man at the table, a Mexican they called JC. The regulars at Tilly’s had given him the nickname a while back. They thought he had too many names for just one man.
“Well?” Flint asked.
JC dropped his cards. “Tres.”
Flint handed him replacements before taking the ones he needed for himself. Les inspected his new hand. The splattering of water on the outside window behind him calmed him and helped him concentrate. Satisfied with his cards, he was careful to keep his expression neutral. One crack in his demeanor could lose him the game. Les examined the faces of the other players. Nothing in their appearances stood out to distinguish if the man had a good hand or a bad one. Before he could bring his gaze back to his own cards, the door to the saloon swung open, catching his attention.
Water rushed in along with one lone patron. Les’s cock came to life at the sight of him. The drenched man shut the door behind him. He was young but not a child. Les’s gaze followed the young man’s casual, confident saunter. His boots made slow, clunking noises across the wooden floor. The water-soaked blue jeans looked dark as they showed off his ass. He pushed his brown Stetson from his head and wiped the excess water from his face, flinging the liquid from his fingers. Sliding onto a stool at the bar, he nodded a greeting to the bartender.
“What can I get you, stranger?” Tilly asked.
“Whiskey, double,” came the soft reply. “Let me get a beer too.”
Les scoffed to himself. Although the plaid shirt clung invitingly to his torso showing the man’s small build. His slender physique didn’t look like he could handle such a drink, let alone a double. Les strained his peripheral vision to observe him. To his surprise, when the drink arrived, the newcomer took the glass between his fingers to down the liquid in one gulp. Les smirked but swallowed an impressed chuckle. Les’s eyes shifted from his cards to the stranger. The young man accepted the beer from Tilly then turned around to watch the card game in progress. The new position gave Les a full view of the newcomer. Les shifted in his chair uncomfortably, trying not to gape openly at the boy. The stranger was handsome with high cheekbones, a straight nose, full bow lips and eyes black as coal. Long ebony hair pulled back into a neat ponytail hung down beneath the hat resting on his back. Les could tell his tanned skin didn’t come from the hot July sun. Its darker hue was a natural occurrence like Juan’s − his last lover from Sausalito− who had similar coloring to the stranger’s.
“You playing today, Les, or what?” Flint asked, bringing Les’s awareness back to the game.
Les snorted. “I didn’t realize you was in a hurry to give up your money, Flint.”
“You been taking our money all night,” he said with a friendly chuckle. “Since you gotta go soon, I’m trying to win some of mine back!”
Les reached down to adjust his growing erection. Bruno abruptly slapped the tabletop, rattling everyone’s drinks and making the men jump.
“What the hell—” Flint started. Bruno cut him off.
“Hands on the table, Les. Don’t want another reason to think you be cheating.”
“There is no need for me to cheat, Bruno. I’m already winning,” Les reminded him, returning his hand to the surface.
“Maybe that’s why you been winning.”
Les turned narrowed eyes toward his accuser. “You callin I’m a cheater? That sounds a lot slander to my ears. I don’t take kindly to being insulted, Bruno,” he said tightly. “I’ve shot men for less.”
“The man ain’t accusin’ you of nothin’, Les,” JC said in his heavily accented English. “Bid’s on you. You in or out, hombre?” he asked, shifting his cards around.
Les swiveled his head around. JC was never one to support a brawl. He only wanted to gamble. Bruno, however, was drunk, and he usually talked shit while he drank. Les only fought when he had to. With a slow deep breath, he turned his attention back to the game and tossed his money to the center of the table.
“Yeah, man. I’m in.
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