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Horse Daddies | Zahra Owens 2
A “Clouds and Rain” Snippet
GABLE woke up alone. He knew how much Flynn, his partner of five years, loved to sleep, so this was quite unusual, and he hated it when the bed was cold next to him. He tried listening for the telltale sounds assuring him Flynn was still around, but the old, creaking house was eerily quiet. For a moment he tried to decide whether to just get his crutches to move around or whether to slip into his boots and use his prosthetic leg. He looked over at the old clock on his nightstand: 3:00 a.m. He groaned at the early hour, but knew he wouldn‟t be able to go back to bed before he was sure there was no impending disaster keeping his man out of bed. His best guess was that Flynn would be outside, in the foaling stable, so getting dressed was probably the better option. Gable had never intended to breed horses on his ranch, preferring to buy young horses and train them to be good, dependable mounts. Flynn had changed that. What had started out as an experiment, conducted behind Gable‟s back while he was seriously ill, had turned into a rather lucrative side-business, giving Flynn not only extra work, but taking the ranch out of the red for the first time in years because it meant fewer horses needed to be bought at auction. Gable still occupied himself mostly with the training of the horses and left the mollycoddling to Flynn, but he could never get enough of watching his partner work with the mares and their offspring.
Horse Daddies | Zahra Owens 3 There was a light on when Gable approached the barn that housed the mares who were about to foal. Most of the stalls were empty now since almost all the foals were born in spring, but since Flynn preferred the natural way of letting the mares be sired, there were always a few who kept at it until late fall. “Flynn?” Gable called out for his partner. “Back here,” Flynn replied, his voice soft, but not without a bit of strain. “Everything okay?” Gable asked as he approached the stall. Flynn was inside, shirtsleeves rolled up, sweat visible along his brow and the hair at the back of his neck curly from the dampness. Flynn looked up from spreading straw around. “She‟s restless. I think it‟s finally going to happen. The foal is still moving, although I‟m sure it‟s cramped in there.” “Should I call Bill?” Flynn smiled. “No, I think I can handle it. This isn‟t her first.” “Anything I can do?” Flynn shook his head. “Go back to bed.” “Not without you,” Gable said softly, leaning against the side of the open half-door to the stall. Flynn threw Gable the look that always made his knees go week. “In that case, you can stay here with me. Make us a little warm nest with straw and blankets like I‟m making for her.”
Horse Daddies | Zahra Owens 4 “Anything else?” “Some coffee, maybe?” Gable nodded and walked off again, returning with a thermos of hot black liquid, sweetened to perfection just like Flynn liked it. When he looked around the barn, he could see the mare quietly walking in the large birthing stall, and noticed the bales of straw arranged around her for protection. She seemed at ease, if somewhat uncomfortable. He didn‟t see Flynn right away, though. “Gabe?” Flynn appeared from the back, drying his hands on a cloth. “Mmmh, coffee. Just what a guy needs at this hour.” Gable raised an eyebrow, but didn‟t say anything, although he wanted to ask if that was all Flynn needed. Instead he opted for, “Will she be long?” “Maybe. I‟m pretty sure it‟s going to happen, so I don‟t want to leave her alone, but it could well be morning by the time the little one makes an appearance.” Gable sat down on the bale of straw strategically positioned to be able to look inside the stall, but Flynn sat down on the floor in front of it, taking Gable‟s hand and pulling him down next to him. Automatically Gable put his arms around Flynn, and Flynn snuggled closer, pulling the blanket over them. “So this is what? Number twenty-two?” “Twenty-three,” Flynn answered confidently. “Are you sure?”
Horse Daddies | Zahra Owens 5 “Check the books,” Flynn replied. “This is our twentythird foal. Trust me.” “I trust you,” Gable said superfluously. He kissed Flynn‟s hair and inhaled his unique scent, which had a lot of horse mixed in it right now. “So was Hunter happy with the horses you brought him?” Gable nodded. “He waited long enough for them, but then he wanted them fully trained, saying he didn‟t have the time to do it himself.” Flynn looked up, smiling. “He knows you‟re the best horse trainer this side of Idaho. He‟d be a fool to try and do it himself.” “Only this side of Idaho?” Gable jumped as Flynn jabbed him in response. “I‟d say you were the best horse trainer anywhere, but then I‟m a bit biased,” Flynn corrected. “No, you‟re not,” Gable said with amusement in his voice. Flynn moved closer and kissed him. It was a rather chaste kiss, but filled with love and caring and they lingered, reveling in each other‟s taste and feel. When Flynn ended the kiss, he leaned his forehead against Gable‟s temple and remained there. Gable loved the feeling of his man in his arms and often enjoyed falling asleep like this, even if they didn‟t make love every single night anymore. “So now that he finally has his hands on our first foals, I
Horse Daddies | Zahra Owens 6 guess Hunter will be buying more, as long as they‟re sired by Brenner?” “Probably. You know Hunter can‟t be trusted to pick out horses for himself.” Flynn sniggered. “Although I must say Grant has turned Davenport into a manageable horse.” “That says more about Grant‟s talent for horse training than about Hunter‟s talent for picking lousy riding horses.” Gable snorted. “I bet Grant learned it all from you.” Gable reveled in the look of pride on Flynn‟s face. “I suppose he did,” he acknowledged. He liked that they could talk about his ex like that. Flynn seemed fine with it, and since Grant and Hunter had been an item almost as long as he and Flynn had been, it was almost soothing. Between the four of them, it had almost erased the hurt that had smoldered between Gable and Grant for such a long time. For Gable, the only reminder was his lost foot, and even that was something he‟d learned to live with, all thanks to Flynn. “Which reminds me,” Gable continued. He knew he was going off on a tangent, but he also knew that he‟d forget again if he didn‟t tell Flynn. “Hunter and Gable are bringing the kids by for trick-or-treating, so I want to ask Calley whether Andy and Vicky could stay over. They‟re a bit young to go around the ranches, but I figured since we‟ll need to get candy and decorate, we might as well have the little ones to enjoy it.” Flynn smiled. “I‟d love to have the kids over for Halloween. I can make spider soup,” he suggested.
Horse Daddies | Zahra Owens 7 “Well then, my culinary prince, I‟ll ask Calley.” It was nice and toasty underneath the rough horse blanket, and Flynn‟s closeness felt very soothing to Gable. He felt his eyes grow heavy, and then startled for a moment when Flynn looked up at the mare, but when Flynn settled in his arms again, he stopped fighting his fatigue. When Gable opened his eyes again it was still dark, but the birds were starting to chirp outside. He was sore from sitting on the floor for so long, but Flynn was still heavy in his arms so he didn‟t want to move. He heard the mare snort and looked up to see her lying in the straw. When he saw a little head peek up, he shook his partner awake. “Flynn, look.” Flynn groaned. “Wha‟?” “Number twenty-three. God, he‟s beautiful.” They watched in utter silence how the mare got up and nuzzled her little one. The foal was all legs and it was trying to get all of them underneath its body so it could stand up. It was a comical sight to see it fail time and time again. “Should we help?” Gable whispered. “Give it some time. And that‟s „she‟s beautiful‟. It‟s a filly.” “The most beautiful cream color, once she dries up, I think,” Gable said softly. “She has her dam‟s star markings.” Gable nodded as they watched the filly get up on her
Horse Daddies | Zahra Owens 8 spindly legs and wobble over to her dam to nurse. He leaned closer to Flynn and whispered, “Congratulations, Daddy. Number twenty-three is a strong, healthy girl.” “And she has two daddies, Gabe.” “That‟s right,” Gable chuckled. “You can be the pushover and I‟ll be the strict one. When she‟s two, she‟ll need to be whipped into shape.” “And until then, I can play with her.” “You‟re not going to go soft when we sell her, right?” Flynn shrugged. “We might have to keep this one.” Gable gave him a warning stare. “Remember what we agreed. Even if we breed them ourselves, they‟re not pets.” Flynn rolled his eyes. “Yes, Daddy.” Gable wrinkled his forehead. “Call me that again when you fuck me tonight.” Flynn leaned closer and quickly kissed his partner. “I wouldn‟t dare.”
Horse Daddies | Zahra Owens 9 Find all of Zahra Owens‟s titles here. Save 15% on any of Zahra Owens‟s titles by entering the code Owens892 at checkout.
ZAHRA OWENS was born in Europe just before Woodstock and the moon landing and was given a much less pronounceable name by her non-English-speaking parents. Being an Aquarian meant she would never quite conform, and people learned to expect the unexpected. She started writing fairy tales in first grade; the same year she came into contact with her first group of Englishspeaking friends, a group which would eventually grow to include people from all over the world. On the outside she was a typical only child, accustomed to being with adults most of the time. On the inside, she sought ways to channel her wild imagination. During the daytime she earns a living as a computer analyst, but it‟s her former career as an intensive care nurse that tends to seep into her fiction. Maybe this has to do with her weak spot for flawed characters and imperfect bodies, or maybe it‟s just her sadistic streak coming through. You be the judge. Visit her web site at http://www.zahraowens.com/ and blog at http://zahra-owens.livejournal.com/.
Meet Gable and Flynn in Zahra Owens‟s Western Novels: