Kyle MacDonald keeps his head down and tries to avoid making his father angry while traveling on the professional bull riding circuit. He's learned the hard way how his father deals with being upset. The only rebellion Kyle's allowed himself is helping out with the bulls after the event. It's on one such night that Kyle meets Duncan Hornsby.
Duncan's the reigning world Champion, and has everything he could want. Yet the shy young man whose father is Duncan's biggest rival catches his eye. Kyle makes Duncan feel protective and passionate. Even though he's fourteen years older than Kyle, Duncan's ready to risk rejection to see if Kyle's lips taste as sweet as they look.
Could a relationship grow between them amidst the macho atmosphere of bull riding and the danger presented by Kyle's father? Or will Kyle and Duncan prove that age doesn't count in matters of the heart?
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Amber Quill Press, LLC
September 19, 2010
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Excerpt from Duncan's World by T.A. Chase
...When only a few trucks remained in the parking lot, Kyle figured he was safe to go back in. He slipped inside and headed to where they corralled the bulls for the event. The men bedding down the animals grunted at him and handed him a pitchfork. All they knew about him was he did the heavy work without complaining, all for the chance to spend some time with the bulls.
"Hey there, Blackie," he murmured to the one-ton bull in the pen closest to him.
The large Brahma-cross snorted at him, and Kyle smiled. In the event's program, they listed the bull as Texas Tornado and he was one of the rankest bulls on tour. He had a tendency to hook a rider once the man was down and try to gore him. That was the reason Blackie no longer had horns. His owner cut them off so he wouldn't hurt any more cowboys.
Kyle forked a quarter bale of hay into the bull's pen before resting the fork against the bars and reaching in to rub Blackie's nose.
"You're the only one he'll let do that."
Jumping back, he grabbed up the pitchfork and ducked his head. No one was supposed to touch the animals, except the owners and their workers. It ensured no one poisoned them.
"Sorry, sir," he mumbled, not bothering to look up.
A pained grunt drew his attention, and he peered up from under his hat brim. The tall man slowly straightened from the wall and stepped into the low light shining over the bulls' pens. Kyle's jaw dropped. Holy shit! Duncan Hornsby spoke to him.
"Don't worry, kid. I've watched you a couple times after one of my guys told me about Tex letting you touch him. I know you're not going to do anything bad to him."
Duncan took his time walking toward Kyle and, peering through his lashes, Kyle stared at the bull rider. Duncan was only five years younger than Kyle's dad, making him seventeen years older than Kyle. Yet where Clayton was slowly allowing his body to fall apart, Duncan kept in shape. A shape as gorgeous as most of the younger men on the circuit. As he studied the man, Kyle realized he was limping badly.
Where he found the courage to do what he did next, Kyle never knew. Setting aside the pitchfork, he hurried over to Duncan and eased his arm around the man's waist.
"Put your arm over my shoulder and lean on me. We'll get you to the bucket over by Blackie's pen."
"I don't think I should lean on you, kid. I might cause you to break like a toothpick."
"I'm tougher than I look. What did you do to yourself?"
One step, accompanied by a sharp in-drawn breath. Duncan leaned on Kyle, who stiffened his back to take the man's weight.
"Old back injury. Acts up from time to time. I need to remember I'm not as young as I used to be."
"Is the bucket too low? There's a bench a little farther down the aisle." He gestured to where the bench was located.
"The bench would be easier." Duncan grimaced. "I'm going to kill that jackass MacDonald one of these day. The man's been gunning for me since I came on tour."
Kyle bit his tongue. Hell, yeah, his father would be gunning for Duncan, who was the top-ranked bull rider on tour and had been for the past three years. He stole Clayton's glory and his crown. Kyle's father wasn't above fighting dirty to get it back.
Once they got Duncan situated on the bench, Kyle went on with his feeding. The bulls snorted and bellowed at him as he moved along. He petted the ones who allowed it and avoided the dangerous ones.
Duncan watched him, and Kyle could feel his cheeks heat because of the way the man stared at him. Don't get any ideas, boy, his mental voice sneered at him. There's no way that man is gay, and even if he was, why would he go for a skinny kid like you? He hated it when his inner voice was so logical.
"What did MacDonald do?"
The question was more to take his mind off Duncan's presence than to find out what childish trick his father pulled.
"He slammed me into the chutes after the round. One of the rails was just the right height to aggravate my back."
Shaking his head, Kyle frowned. "Why didn't you do something about it?"
He would have heard if Duncan and his dad had gotten into a fight.
"Beating him in the arena is punishment enough for a guy like that." Duncan's laugh was deep and settled low in Kyle's groin. "I'll be paying for it tonight, though. Hope I can move tomorrow. It'll suck if I tighten up and can't ride."
"I have some liniment you could use. I put it on my horse after we're done riding. He's pulled a few muscles in his legs and it keeps them loose and warm."
Duncan's chuckle drew Kyle's gaze and he met the man's sparkling dark eyes with his own smile.
"Great. Now I'm an old horse who needs to be babied along..."