Here's the first in a wee three-part snippet from early in Beau and Sam's relationship (the bullrider boys from Roughstock: File Gumbo, featuring the Taggarts, who are coming in Roughstock: Tag Team).
The knock at the door had Adam Taggart scratching his head and wondering what drunken cowboy had finally got the nerve up to make a play at two o’clock in the morning. Hell, at this point, he wasn’t sure he cared. He was getting’ too damned old for someone who didn’t buy at least a beer to show up and want a roll in the hotel sheets.
By the time he reached the door, he’d built up a head of steam and pulled on his jammie pants, and he flung the door wide, ready to chew the ass off whoever was standing there.
Beau Lafitte was the last man he ever expected to see at his door these days, but there the little bastard stood, plain as day.
Adam stared a minute, taking in the red-rimmed eyes and unshaven face. “Well, hey, Bud. What you doin’ here at this time of night?”
Beau’s face crumpled a little, a look Adam had only seen there once before. When he and Beau had broken up, and he’d told the best thing that ever happened to him to take a hike.
“I need a place to crash, Tag. You got another bed, or a couch?”
“I got a king, honey. And the couch will be too short, even for you.”
“Oh.” Beau spread his hands. “Me and Sam, we had a bad one. I don’t— Shit, I don’t know if I can go back, Tag.”
His brows went up. Beau and his man, Sam Bell, were solid as a rock. They had to have tied it up pretty damned good for Beau to be looking for a new place to sleep.
“Well, come on in, then. I can keep my hands to myself.”
Adam stepped back and let Beau slide past him, not even feeling the urge to cop a feel. Beau looked down and out, no doubt. Shoulders rounded, head down, it was like he’d lost every bit of spirit.
“Thanks. I just… I don’t know what else to do.”
“Looks like you knew to go get drunk before bringing this to me.”
Beau stopped dead, hands dangling at his sides. “I can go. I know it ain’t right, Tag.”
“Don’t be a pussy, Bud.” Adam finally closed the door, nodding toward the bathroom. “There’s an extra toothbrush in the pack still. Use it. “
“Yeah.” Giving him a ghost of that usual shy grin, Beau went to the bathroom. Adam poured two big glasses of water with ice, setting one on each side of the bed, putting two Advil next to the side he knew Beau slept on.
They’d worked out that side of the bed thing years ago.
Beau came dragging ass back out in just his jeans, that stocky little torso covered in bruises. That bull, J87, had taken it right out on that hide Adam admired so much.
“You can strip to your skivvies, Bud. I don’t mind.”
A hot flush stained Beau’s cheeks. “I ain’t wearing any. I left in a hurry.”
“Oh.” Adam resisted the urge to roll his eyes heavenward and ask, ‘Why me, Lord?’ “Well, strip on down. I promise to be good.”
Beau studied him for a moment, sober as a judge. Then he nodded. “Thanks, Tag.”
The jeans came off, and he had a flash of privates, a hint of ass, before Beau slid under the sheets, chewing the Advil and sucking down the water.
“You want to talk on it, Bud?”
Beau pulled the covers up to his chin. “Not really. You want to go back to bed?”
“Sure. I just want to know that we’re on the same page. You’re gonna get up in the morning and go back to Sam. You’ll do it because he loves you, and you’re good together. So I ain’t gonna be dumb enough to think this means anything.”
“It means you’re my friend, Tag.” Beau held out one rough-knuckled hand. “Come to bed.”
“Yeah.” He slipped his pants off and climbed into bed, turning off the light before grabbing Beau’s hand. He meant to say good night, but it was, “Love you,” that slipped out.
Beau squeezed gently. “Night, Tag. Thank you.”
When he woke up in the morning, Beau was gone.
Just like he’d known the man would be.
Part two to come this afternoon.