Welcome back to Gentleman's Holiday. Enjoy!
Chapter Three – Caught
"The horror of my truth will make you weep
If I bare all, will you take me deep?
Show me your eyes when I give you a command
Buried within, you surrender to my demands."
Zane dropped the pen on the notebook. Ever since he'd met Alonzo last week, the lyrics swimming in his head had a decidedly sexual undertone. He'd since buried himself in his studio, releasing all the erotic prose that poured from him like an eternal fountain. Not that he hadn't written a few explicit songs already, but usually they were interspersed among rock ballads and pop songs. What he wrote now had a feral sexuality that left him both wrung out and highly aroused.
He grabbed his coffee cup and check the 9 mil at the small of his back before leaving the studio, noticing for the first time the room was much cooler than the main room of the cabin. He had wood stoves in the front and the bedroom. Even though the house had propane heat, he held off turning the thermostat above the mid-sixties, leaving the other rooms cooler. With this being his first year in the mountains, he was still trying to find an acceptable balance between the different heat sources.
In the kitchen, he poured himself another cup of coffee, adding plain half and half. He'd experimented with flavored creamers and found he could taste the chemicals used. He'd overheard a couple customers at the pancake house talk about flavored syrups and thought he'd try those next. In the meantime, he enjoyed the heavy cream in his brew.
Afterwards, he moved to the back enclosed patio that overlooked the mountainside. The view was breathtaking and the room stayed decently warm when the sun shone. Low clouds shrouded the peaks and a couple of inches of snow covered the ground with the forecast predicting another six inches over the next couple of days.
Movement at the edge of the fir trees caught Zane's attention. Alonzo rode into the clearing. Every breath from the horse sent a soft plume into the frigid air. Following behind were another five riders. It looked as if the hunters were going home a couple weeks early. The reasons why were strapped over the backs of the pack horses that brought up the rear.
Zane's cellphone rang, and he answered without checking caller ID, too busy watching how Alonzo rode his horse toward the small cabin at the edge of the clearing. Idly, Zane wondered how strong cowboy legs were? "Hello."
"Zane! I'm so glad I caught you!" Ella's chipper voice cut through his thoughts, jolting him.
He swore under his breath. He'd been dodging his manager since she'd changed gears. Instead of trying get him to attend mixers in Los Angeles, she started hinting that a band, who had bought several of his explicit songs, wanted to meet him.
"I hope you listened to my voicemails. They have already checked into…"
No, he hadn't opened her messages. Now he feared what he missed. Zane cleared his throat, his gaze snared by Alfonzo dismounting. Damn. Damn. Damn.
"They are expecting you for dinner. For the time they are in town, they have hired a local chef. They want to know if you have any allergies or foods you don't like."
"Wait. What?" He dragged his gaze from Alonzo helping his hunting party move the game to the back of a pickup. "I'm sorry, I'm preoccupied. Start from the beginning."
Ella chuckled, sounding very much like a wicked witch. "You've been dodging my calls and ignoring my messages, haven't you?"
Zane wasn't one to lie, even if the truth made him look foolish. "Well…"
"Crimson Comet decided that if you didn't want to leave your mountain, they would come to you. They claimed they needed a vacation and are staying in a resort town not far from you." Zane barely kept from groaning as he closed his eyes and pressed his forehead to the cold glass window. They were in McCall. In contrast, Ella sighed loudly. "Look, you don't have to spend the whole week with them. Just a couple hours here and there. They really like your songs and simply want to meet you. They even requested I show them your new work before anyone else."
Zane tuned her chatter out for a few moments, pissed she'd worked around his nos. But he was partly to blame by avoiding her. When she first brought up Crimson Comet's request, a part of him had wanted to meet the band. Despite what he lead Ella to believe, he did follow those who bought his songs, and Crimson Comet was one that intrigued him. But he still didn't trust the quiet his life had settled into the last couple of months. He waited for the other shoe to drop and the longer it took, the more tense and watchful he'd become. He didn't want to put innocent people in danger. Now the decision had been taken out of his hands. Sure, he could still refuse, but if he was being honest with himself, he could use the distraction.
"I'm sorry, Zane. I took your lack of response as a yes. I won't do that again."
The hunters had loaded their horses into the trailers. They said their goodbyes to Alonzo before climbing into their vehicles, and slowly drove down the winding road that would take them to the valley and highway 55.
"How long are they in town?" Zane asked.
Alonzo watched the hunters leave. Once they were out of sight, he untied his horse and led it toward the small barn. When Alonzo glanced at Zane's cabin, he straightened and raised a gloved hand in greeting. Chagrinned at being caught watching, Zane gave a self-deprecating smile that he was sure Alonzo couldn't see, and waved back.
"A week, as far as I know."
Zane had the sudden urge to follow Alonzo to the barn. He'd never taken a tumble in hay before. He shook his head trying to dislodge the sudden image of Alonzo riding him, showing him how strong a cowboy's legs could be. He didn't know if Alonzo was straight, gay, or bi and finding out would be complicated, possibly disastrous. Besides, Alonzo technically worked from Zane, sort of, and Zane could never—would never make sexual advance when there wasn't a balance of power. It would be unfair to Alonzo. And, Zane reminded himself, he'd made a rule not to have sex with anybody who lived in the area. Again, too many complications.
"Let Crimson Comet know that I'd love to meet them for dinner. What's their address?"
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