Okay, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is I’m writing the last Pickleville book of the series. There will be only Nine books. Coming Back Home (Pickleville #9) will come out in October. The good news is we’re revisiting Pickleville in December for a smaller Christmas story. Comment on this post with who you’d like me to focus on for the Christmas story.
(Please note that this is an unedited Excerpt)
“I’ll be right back, Issy Bug,” Carter said, turning to address her. He turned back and quickly opened the door to his dads’ house. Carter had no idea where his dads were at in the house or even if they were home. He didn’t look around enough to even really tell if they were somewhere nearby. He just knew that they didn’t seem to be in the common areas in the house. He grabbed the bridle off the hook.
He was grateful he had left it there now. He meant to polish up the leather on it and replace a small strap. It was functional for what they needed though.
He turned and made his way down to Sam. Issy stopped crying the instant she saw him. She gave him a great big watery smile. Her eyes were red and she looked tired. “Daddy.”
“Oh, Issy Bug. You look so tired,” Carter said even as he tried to get Sam to take the bit. Carter started chuckling when Sam clamped his teeth together. Carter turned to where Jackson and Dakota stood on the porch. His arms were around Dakota and his face was buried in Dakota’s neck. “Jackson, I think Dakota’s right. You do spoil him too much. When’s that last time he’s had a bit in his mouth.”
Jackson shrugged. Carter rolled his eyes at them and turned back to Sam. He wasn’t going to get any help from them that was for sure.
“How are we going to get the bit into his mouth?” Seth said softly.
“I have a trick,” Carter said. He pulled a mint candy out of his pocket. He had put a couple in there as a treat for the two horses on Seth’s farm. Carter felt sorry for them because he wasn’t able to give them a lot of attention. He vowed to talk with Seth about bringing them here so they’d have some type of companionship, maybe putting them out to pasture or something.
Carter unwrapped the candy and then licked one side of it. He stuck it to the metal bit and put it up to Sam’s nose. Sam sniffed and then started licking it right away. Carter hurried and stuck the bit into Sam’s mouth. “Ha! Outsmarted you this time, Sam.”
Sam blew out at Carter and his ears twitched, which was a sure sign of his displeasure.
“Hey, don’t be mad. Just realize you’re a horse and your life will get so much easier,” he said.
Seth chuckled. “You have officially lost your mind, Carter Heath.”
“Hey, this horse understands me better than most people do,” Carter said. He tried to sound harsh, but he could help the smile that came.
“That I can believe. He definitely understands you better than I do,” Seth said and winked at him.
It was the wink that let him know Seth was flirting with him. Carter hadn’t paid attention to that sort of thing, or even been anywhere that made flirting a necessity. No bars or clubs since his rape. Nine months after that Issy had been born and he was a single dad for the first time in his life. He didn’t have time for anything as small and harmless as flirting. So, to say he was out of the loop was putting it mildly.
Seth initiating it was also something that would have never happened before he had left for college. He wasn’t sure he liked the fact that Seth was doing it so effectively now. Rather, he wasn’t sure he liked what it implied about Seth, which made him a jealous asshole. He had no right to be jealous considering he was the one pushing the guy away. He had always been pushing Seth away it seemed. There was something about Seth that scared the shit out of him and he had never wanted to examine that too closely.
He finished putting the bridle on, buckling it in all the right places. He handed the reins to Seth and then placed a hand on his thigh. He swung up behind Seth without too much effort. Taking the reins from him with one hand, he put his other hand around Seth and Issy, holding them close.
Maybe it was time to analyze his feelings for Seth. Figure out why he was always pushing him away.
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