Mandy's Homebound Cowboys [Casanova Cowboys 2] (Siren Publishing Ménage Amour), page 1
Casanova Cowboys 2
Mandy’s Homebound Cowboys
Mandy Pearson has fantasized about brothers Brody and Craig Ryder for years. Problem is, Brody has never paid her mind and Craig wants nothing more than friendship. When the two brothers return to Ryder after the unexpected death of their father, nothing can prepare her to become the center of their hungry attention. Her excitement is overshadowed by the potent bad blood, caused by Craig’s ex three years prior, that still runs between her sexy cowboys.
From the moment he returns to Ryder, Brody has his eye on Mandy. The once-scrawny, redheaded tattle-tale from his youth has blossomed into a hot, young woman he desires more than a riled crowd at one of his concerts.
When Brody and Craig learn they are vying for the same woman’s heart, will the betrayal from their past destroy their chance of a future with Mandy?
Note: There is no sexual relationship or touching for titillation between or among siblings.
Genre: Contemporary, Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Western/Cowboys
Length: 58,037 words
MANDY’S HOMEBOUND COWBOYS
Casanova Cowboys 2
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Ménage Amour
MANDY’S HOMEBOUND COWBOYS
Copyright © 2013 by Rhea Regale
E-book ISBN: 978-1-62242-792-5
First E-book Publication: April 2013
Cover design by Harris Channing
All cover art and logo copyright © 2013 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.
All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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MANDY’S HOMEBOUND COWBOYS
Casanova Cowboys 2
Copyright © 2013
The crowd roared as Brody strummed the last chord on his guitar, ending the song and his set. Sweat beaded along his forehead from the sticky Florida night heat and the blazing stage lights. He flicked his Stetson off his forehead. The musty aroma of dirt and beer wafted up to the raised stage platform.
He was living his dream, the adrenaline potent and addicting. The screams of his name from the scantily dressed women clamoring at the stage front, signs bouncing over heads proclaiming love for him. Most of all it was the knowledge that he gave up everything, scrounged the streets of Nashville begging for a gig, and worked his ass off to get his first record deal, which ultimately put him here tonight. He was proving himself to everyone back home in Ryder that he was more than a rancher.
He was Brody Allen, rising country star sure to leave a mark on the charts in the very near future. If the turnout for his set predicted anything, he was well on his way to walk the line with those like Jason Aldean and Eric Church before the next CMAs.
Brody yanked off his hat and flung it Frisbeelike into the crowd. “Thank y’all for coming out tonight! Keep it real, one strut at a time!”
He bowed and stepped back, soaking in the magnitude of his accomplishment in the chants and cheers before leaving the stage. The lights dimmed and the stagehands began switching out gear for the real star of the night.
Mark hustled through the fast-moving stagehands and clapped him on the shoulder. “Awesome, man!” He gave Brody a firm squeeze and nodded toward their trailer. “Gotchya some cold beers waitin’ in your house on wheels. Gotta love ’em groupies hangin’ around, too.”
“I’m in need of a shower first.” Members of Brody’s crew worked around them, packing up his equipment.
“That was your best show yet, Brode. You got yourself one helluva followin’,” Mark said, giving him a little shake. His wide smile and excitement quickly fell. Brody paused, squaring his shoulders and narrowing his eyes on his friend.
“Somethin’ must’ve gone haywire for that look. What’s going on?” Brody asked. Mark opened his mouth to start when Greg, spotlight star of the show, stepped behind Mark. Brody’s mood instantly lifted as his touring partner gave him a hard handshake, and an equally hard clap on the shoulder.
“Great performance. See ya when I’m done?” Greg asked.
“Greg, five-minute warning. This crowd’s not gonna take late tonight!” a crew member hollered from the stage equipment. Brody cast a glance over his shoulder. No way was this crowd taking late. They were still screaming and dancing and sitting up on shoulders. Sticky heat and bugs weren’t a bother. Water bottles and beer cups were raised, shirts were coming off, and people were just damn happy.
“Good luck, man.” Brody cast a perusing glance toward the small group of women hanging around the front of his trailer and winked at Mark. They’d be getting themselves some goodness tonight.
Mark cleared his throat, bringing Brody back to where they left off.
“Got a call from your mother while you were on stage. She said you need to call back ASAP,” Mark said close to
Brody’s gut wrenched, the news sobering his adrenaline high. The sudden influx of blood to his head muffled the riled crowd at the amphitheater. His momma didn’t call on nights he performed.
“She say why?” Brody asked. Mark’s brow cinched, and the corner of his mouth sagged.
“No, just to have you call the minute you’re off stage.”
Brody picked up his pace back to his trailer, ignoring the women who greeted him with their devilish smiles and sexy little waves. Mark followed at his heels. Once secured inside the roomy mobile living quarters, Brody fished out his cell from his nightstand table and pressed his momma’s number on speed dial. Mark waited toward the head of the rig, watching him nervously.
“Brody?” His momma’s thick-laced voice cracked at the end of his name. Brody’s throat tightened. He lowered his gaze from Mark and closed the bedroom door.
“Momma, Mark said you needed to speak with me. Is everythin’ okay?” The question came, but the tremble in her breath gave him the answer. “Momma?”
“Oh, Brody. Your pa had an accident.” Her fragile composure shattered on a tide of sobs. “He lost control of the tractor when he was haulin’ hay to the barn.”
Brody tried to swallow. The trailer shook around him. A faint tremor whipped through his legs, leaving him sagging onto the edge of his bed.
“The doctors…” Momma sniffled. Brody blinked, trying to clear the gray edging along the perimeter of his vision. “The doctors worked on him for hours. He came out of surgery—”
“Pa’s okay?” Brody interrupted.
“Baby, he was doin’ better.” Another pause. His momma staved a sob.
Brody stilled. “Momma, you’re speakin’ past tense.”
“Apparently he suffered internal injuries and started bleedin’ this mornin’.” A heavy breath hit his ear. “The Lord took him while the doctors were operatin’.”
“Yes, baby. I–I knew you were performin’ tonight. That’s why I waited to call you, but baby, I need you home. I called Craig. He’s arrivin’ in the next hour.”
“Yeah, okay. Of course.”
Brody dropped his head in his hand and sighed. His pa was fifty years experienced on the tractor. He hauled hay every other day. He took the same gravel road from the field to the barn since Brody was a kid. How the hell could he be dead?
It wasn’t bad enough his pa was dead and he never had an opportunity to mend their broken relationship, he’d be facing his brother after three years of estrangement, too. Fuck.
“Momma, who’s stayin’ with you?”
“Bess and Colette are here. They’ve been helpin’ set the arrangements.”
“I’ll hitch outta here and see if I can catch a late flight outta Tampa. If you need me for anything—anything, Momma—you call me, you hear?”
“Yeah, baby. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Momma.”
Brody disconnected the call and stared at the blank screen. No roaring crowd could penetrate the muffled grief that swelled inside his chest, expanding and thickening with each breath he took. Over the past year, he’d lived up this new, glamorous life. Never in a hundred years did he think anything could lend a lethal blow to his dream.
His momma’s call did just that. Like a switch in the dark, his devoted following that fed him the best drug while he performed on stage didn’t matter a speck. His heart throbbed as the news of his pa’s accident really sunk in.
Pa’s dead, and you left him with vicious words you’ll never be able to take back.
Brody growled, slamming the phone against the mattress. He grabbed his date book and paged through the month of September. He had a week and a half before his next concert. He and Greg had been long hauling it, getting in as many concerts as they could before summer ended. The break couldn’t have come at a better time.
Or worse time.
Grabbing a duffel bag from the small closet, he swiftly packed the bag until he thought the zipper would split. He slid his phone in his pocket and left the bedroom.
Mark straightened off the wall, concern glinting in his eyes and a solemn expression over his face.
“You’re packed,” Mark noted. Brody gathered a few bottles of water from his fridge and nodded. “What happened?”
“I need to go home for a few days. Can I get the keys to your car? I’ll be back before we’re due in Alabama,” Brody said. Mark dug out his keys and handed them over. “Tell Greg to give me a call when he’s done. I’m slippin’ out before brows rise. Don’t be tellin’ nobody where I’m headin’. I don’t want paparazzi.”
“Brody, what happened?” Mark asked.
Brody threw open the trailer door and tossed him a glance. “It’s not good news.”
He made his way across the dusty grounds, ignoring the whiny calls from the groupies and the curious glances from stagehands. No bright lights, no handmade signs, nothing could keep him here tonight.
Craig spotted Rylan waiting for him by the exit doors behind the baggage claim. His cousin’s solemn expression was the final spear through his chest. Momma’s devastating news hadn’t quite sunk in until he spotted Ry, all dressed in his fancy sheriff uniform. Craig slung his bag over his shoulder and wove through the dense crowd of travelers.
“Hey, Craig. How was the flight?” Ry asked as Craig finally stepped up to him.
“Bit rough. How’s Momma?”
Ry led Craig through the automatic sliding doors. Kansas’s night air left his lungs heavy and slapped his skin with a layer of sticky. He spotted his cousin’s police cruiser parked along the curb.
“Think she’s still in shock. Miss Bess and Colette are with her now.”
Craig tamped down the sour bite that preceded his next question. “Where’s Brody?”
Ry unlocked the cruiser doors. He looked at Craig across the roof of the car and pressed his lips together.
“You know, we were all tight years ago. A woman should never come between family. You and Brode better learn to get over the past. This ain’t the time to be shootin’ bullets at each other.”
Craig sighed and slid into the cruiser. Rylan had a point, but it didn’t mean he’d take seeing Brody well.
“Were you the one called to the accident?” Craig asked, sidestepping one undesirable topic for another. Ry nodded once, pulling out into the line of cars leaving the airport. “What happened?”
“When the trailer haulin’ the hay unhitched, the momentum caused Uncle Leroy to lose control of the tractor. He went into a ditch and got banged up.”
“A little more than banged up.”
Ry shrugged a shoulder. Craig raked a hand through his hair, stray strands dropping over his forehead. He dropped his head against the seat and groaned.
“I left two weeks ago and he was fine,” Craig said. “Did anyone look into a medical reason that might have caused driver error?”
“Craig, your pa was in fine shape. This was an accident. Sometimes accidents can be explained through forensics, but it doesn’t mean the explanation will comfort you any more or any less. The hitch failed. That’s what it comes down to.”
A small piece of metal caused the accident that took his pa’s life. Craig wanted to hear something bigger, something that was life-threatening, not a fucking piece of scrap.
Switching to the third undesirable topic of the evening, Craig asked, “Caroline still keepin’ out of Ryder?”
“Not a word from her in three years.”
Craig chuckled. “Good.”
Ry guided the car along the interstate until they reached the exit heading toward Ryder.
“Brody in yet?” Craig asked.
“He had a concert in Tampa tonight. Your momma said he’ll be tryin’ to hop a red-eye.”
Craig rolled his eyes to the star-studded sky. His breath fogged the glass, obscuring the shadowy fields of wheat and corn. His fingers curled in his bag. Memories of him and his cousin
Then Caroline stormed Ryder and tore up his life worse than an F5 tornado in the dead of night.
“Hey, would you mind drivin’ by the Pearsons’ house?” Craig asked. Ry cast him a sideward glance and Craig shrugged. “My phone’s dead. Otherwise I’d call first. Amanda works the morning shift tomorrow. Chances are she’s home.”
Craig watched the closed-up shops of Ryder drift by as Ry steered through the quiet streets. He veered the cruiser onto a narrow side road after they passed the last storefront before the street led into the rolling meadows that led up to his parents’ home.
Momma’s home now.
The cold truth stabbed deep into his chest, lending a physical ache that left him rubbing the dip between his pecs.
“You know, cuz. This might be a good time for you and Brode to work things out. Ain’t nothin’ more important than family. They stick by your side through everythin’.” Rylan cast him a glance he barely caught from the corner of his eye. “Your parents aren’t gonna be around forever, which leaves you and Brode. If you don’t have your family, who do you have, Craig?”
Craig scowled. “I’m not the one who fucked my brother’s girlfriend.”
Other author's books:
- Regale, Rhea - Wild Hunts [Blood Moon Legacy 3] (Siren Publishing Ménage Amour)Lexi's Untamed Cowboys [Casanova Cowboys] (Siren Publishing Ménage Amour)Brianna's Sinful Cowboys [Casanova Cowboys 4] (Siren Publishing Ménage Amour)Mandy's Homebound Cowboys [Casanova Cowboys 2] (Siren Publishing Ménage Amour)
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