**1st Chapter Excerpt available at All Romance Ebooks
This is the first meeting between the heroes - Doctor Evan Sampson and Joshua Holmwood. I hope you enjoy...
Not following immediately, Evan returned to the Jeep and gathered the backpack. He carried the tablet and cell phone in his free hand. He clicked the locks with a beep.
A warm rumble of a chuckle rose behind him. “You’re not from around here.”
Looking away from his Jeep, Evan noticed Josh hung back. His lower body clenched against the rising heat. What was it about this lanky cowboy? “Pardon?”
“No one locks up around here. We’re so far out, it’s hard for most folks to find us. Almost everything here remains open,” Josh said. “Where are you from?”
“Born and bred in Montana. When we’re not in foaling season around here, I live with my family closer to town.”
“Do you work here with the others?”
“Yeah, my dad owns a store in town, but I’m not an indoors type of fella for work. I need to be under the sun and closer to nature.” Stepping forward, Josh held out his hand. “I’m Joshua Holmwood, cowboy and fiddle player for our band.”
Shaking hands, Evan said, “Evan Sampson, just a regular doctor.” Releasing the shake, he tugged on the breast of the coat where his name was stitched.
Josh chuckled and stepped closer, almost brushing against Evan’s coat. “You're a small fella for a doc.”
“Size doesn’t matter when it comes to medicine,” Evan said, glancing up at the taller man. “It seems you’re stretched out a bit.”
Evan flushed at the outrageous thing. Where the hell did my filter go? “What’s the name of the band?”
“Midnight Twang. We’re starting to get a name for ourselves, a couple of hits on iTunes according to our sound and network fella, Thomas.”
Several loud whinnies and pounding of multiple hooves came at them from one side of the ranch.
“Missed that. Listen to that sound,” Josh said, a full smile filling his face.
Evan lifted a hand over his eyes. “What is that?”
Stepping toward the edge of the house, Josh leaned to the side. “You need to take a look at this, Doc. It’s a wonderful sight not many get to see.”
Curious about the sound and Josh’s reaction, Evan followed him.
They were in time to see a band of horses running through the large corral, a golden stallion in the lead. Several foals followed their mothers with others around them.
“Oh wow,” Evan said in a reverent whisper at the sight. “Do they belong to the stables?”
“Not quite yet, Doc, those are wild mustangs culled from one of the larger herds. Every couple of years, the government sends wranglers to cull some of the younger horses from the various bands. They offer them up for auction.”
“Do the Wallstatts purchase them?”
“Every time they see some positive lines, yes.”
“Are they trainable?”
“Given time, some of them can be especially the younger ones. Triple W specializes in combining mustang and quarter horse lines. They breed the best of both into the foals.” Josh smiled as he watched the band turn, following the stallion. Leaning closer to assist Evan in learning about the mustangs, he pointed toward the corral with his good hand. “See the golden fella in front?”
Almost unable to concentrate upon feeling the heat rising from Josh’s body and the simple scents of sweat and man, Evan blinked and focused on the horses. “Yes. Is he a stallion?”
“Yup. He’s the new leader of the band. The mares follow him and are his harem. In the back will be the lesser stallions.”
“They're from a different leader of the herd, possibly more than one. It depends on how this group was culled from the majority. Soon as the mares come into heat, the golden will mate with them unless the Wallstatts have other plans for him.”
“Continuance of the line and species.”
“Yeah. Aren’t they magnificent? The last of the wild ones are from the original lines of those from the Iberian horses brought to Florida and Mexico by the Spanish. Some were sold, escaped, or captured by Native Americans who adopted them as their transportation. The other wild horses run along the beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. One day, I’d like to travel and see them in their natural habitat,” Josh said, his voice lost in his respect and adoration of the creatures. He glanced down at Evan, lowering to his lips, and back to meet Evan’s gaze.
“Do you work with them?”
“I do. It’s a risk and a thrill." Josh turned to Evan and smiled. “If you swing back this way, we’ll show you how things work around here.”
“Perhaps me,” Josh said and winked. “You didn't seem shocked or disgusted by the sight of Sage and Kaden holding hands.”
“Why would I be?”
“You’re not offended.”
“It wouldn’t help being offended when I’m also gay. I didn’t know many gays were out and proud up here.”
“We’re getting stronger and more confident of ourselves.”
“You?” Evan asked, confirming his suspicions.
“Yup.” Josh drawled out the popped ‘P’ at the end. “Hope you don’t mind, but I’m dying for a taste.”
“Taste—“ Evan stopped when Josh lowered his head and captured Evan’s lips in a soft kiss, testing the heat between them, and learning about one another. Evan found himself swept up in the kiss. Damn, he can kiss. A soft whimper of pleasure escaped as Josh licked along Evan’s lower lip. He tilted forward, almost going off balance as Josh released their kiss. Blinking, he stared up at him. “What—“
Lifting his hand, Josh rubbed his thumb against Evan's lower lip. “Hmm. Taste delicious, Doc.”
Chuckling at Evan's stumbling attempt to recover, Josh gave him another wink, showing his attention and interest. “I could do that even more with you.”