A Subtle Breeze
Book One in the Southern Spirits Series
Cowboy M/M - Paranormal
Ezekiel Matthers is a reclusive man, forcing himself into the exile of his ranch after a violent assault in his small home town of McKinton left him wounded. While the scars on the outside fade, the damage inside is much harder to conquer. Zeke resigns himself to a solitary existence, aside from his sister Enessa and, of course, his mama's occasional visits.
Brendon Shanahan has a very meddling cousin, Gloria, who is best buds with Enessa Matthers. When the two women convince Brendon that he should hook-up with the reclusive Zeke, a plan is hatched that sets into motion a series of events with potentially deadly consequences.
Can Ezekiel conquer his fears and accept what Brendon is offering? Or will Brendon walk away, giving up on the love he has waited for? And will the visit's from Zeke's mama-- deceased for four years now--help the two men find their way to each other?
Only time will tell, and that may be the one thing the lover's don't have, because someone is out to destroy everything Zeke and Brendon hold dear-- and this time, the bad guy(s) just might succeed.
Brendon heard the warning in Zeke’s voice and knew he had a couple of choices. He could play along, tell the man he was only going to be here a few days at the most. That would, possibly, result in a continuation of tonight’s fuckfest. Or, he could tell the truth, let Zeke know he wasn’t going to be leaving any time soon, and risk alienating him as well as almost certainly bringing the evening to a close.
The fact that he didn’t have to debate with himself for long should have frightened him, but the truth of the matter was, he wanted more than tonight, more than a few nights. Brendon wanted a relationship with the magnificent man standing before him; for that reason alone, there would be no lies then. He didn’t deceive himself into thinking it would be easy. He would have to fight Zeke and possibly a good number of the townspeople but he was willing to do it. For whatever reason, Brendon knew he couldn’t let Zeke walk away, couldn’t walk away himself.
Brendon had never considered himself a coward and wouldn’t let the fear of rejection make him one now. Shoulders squared, he stared Zeke straight in the eyes, letting the man see his determination. When he spoke, he made sure to keep his voice equally soft as Zeke had.
“Actually, Ezekiel, I’m not going to be here for a night, a few days, or even a week,” Brendon paused, watching the man pale as he realized what was being said. Showing no mercy, he ploughed on. “Not even a month, Zeke. I’ll be here all summer. Possibly longer, if I decide it’s worth it.”
Zeke shook his head, anger apparent in the gesture. “No, no! You need to leave! There’s nothing worth staying here for. Nothing.” He met Brendon’s eyes with a steely glare.
Brendon shrugged his shoulders, unwilling to be intimidated. “I think there is, and I won’t let your fear push me away.”
“It’s not my fear pushing you away, Brendon, it’s me. This…what happened between us, it’s just fucking,” Zeke snarled, flinging a hand through the air. “You’re just a body, don’t you get it? Any man would have done.” He turned and walked to his room, leaving Brendon standing naked and alone.
Brendon stood in the hallway trying not to let Zeke’s words hurt him. He was pretty sure that he’d said what he did to try to scare Brendon off, but still, shit that was harsh! No, he couldn’t allow himself to be hurt this easy, not if he intended to prove to Zeke that he was serious. Hadn’t he just acknowledged that he would have to fight Zeke’s fears to build a relationship? If he ran off the first time he got his feelings hurt then that didn’t speak well for his integrity or the feelings he professed, if only to himself, for Zeke. While Brendon knew he was more emotionally involved than the other man, he fully believed they had a connection between them that could grow into something exceptional. But what should he do, right now? That was the question. He didn’t want to be too forceful and freak Zeke out, but something told Brendon that he would have to be a bit more forward than he was comfortable with, much as he had every since he’d learned of the man.
A sweet scent permeated the air-- right before Brendon felt a faint nudge on his shoulder blade. He jumped, glancing behind him but nothing was there. Feeling a little silly and a lot creeped out, Brendon walked quickly to Zeke’s door. The idea of knocking entered his mind, but that unexplainable nudge had him reaching for the doorknob and twisting it without hesitation. Fuck respecting privacy, he was not going to stand naked out in the hallway a second longer.