When a rodeo clown, a small town veterinarian and his assistant form a complicated trio, they find it's their choices that determine who finds love.
When rodeo clown Brandt Collins is forced into retirement by an injury in the arena, he heads to long-time friend Kaden Slater's hometown to settle down. As far as he's concerned if that old flame ignites into a wildfire, then all the better.
Kaden is glad to see Brandt, but a little complication in the form of Kaden's new assistant, Mike, throws a wrench in all their plans. Sexy, smart and young, Mike wants Kaden more than he wants his next breath.
Soon, misunderstandings and the past conspire to tear the trio apart before they've even begun. And now it's their choices that will determine who finds love - and who doesn't.
Standing on Sissy Andrews's snow-covered porch on New Year's Eve, Brandt Collins rubbed a gloved hand over the ache in his hip and then winced at the twinge in his rib cage. For the millionth time, he cursed the horn that had speared his leg a year ago and the bastards who'd pinned him down for a good old-fashioned butt-kicking. That was two weeks ago, but his body still hurt. If he'd been even a little younger than his thirty-five years, he could have come back from injuries like that. Granted, his hip only bothered him in the cold, but still, he wasn't quick enough to outrun the bulls. If nothing else, a rodeo clown had to be agile.
Through the door, he could hear Elvis music and laughter. More of both than he cared to be around tonight. Brandt had just talked himself into heading back to his barren ranch house when the door swung open and a petite blonde launched into his arms.
Despite the pain, Brandt whooped and spun her around. "Damn, girl. It's good to see you too."
Sissy threw her head back and laughed as she squeezed him tighter. "You made it!"
"Calm down, Sissy, or you'll knock him clean off the porch." That voice, deep and husky, settled over Brandt like a thick blanket. His insides warmed, and all the aches and pains faded.
"She's all right, Kaden." Brandt dropped his squirming package to her feet.
"Sorry!" She ruined the apology by hopping in place and clapping her hands together. "Come on, it's almost midnight. I thought you were gonna bail on me and make me come and find you. Of course, I would have just sent my brother." She waved a hand toward Kaden before she pulled them inside her small home and closed the door.
Brandt took his time removing his coat and gloves, using the moment of distraction to look his fill at the younger man. This was the first time he'd seen his friend since last winter, when Brandt had been laid up injured. Kaden's coal-black hair and meadow-green eyes melted Brandt's heart while his solid build and masculinity hardened Brandt's cock.
He pulled in a deep breath to settle his nerves. Brandt reminded himself there was no guarantee Kaden was still interested in him. From the moment they'd made their choices all those years ago, Kaden had remained a solid friend—and nothing more. No lingering glances. No accidental touches. Kaden had always wished him well and sent him off with a large thermos of black coffee when he had to head back to the rodeo. Not once had he asked Brandt to stay.
Not that he could blame Kaden. Brandt had been hot on the trail of the nearest rodeo, and Kaden was vet school bound. They had been too stubborn to compromise. Brandt was afraid they might still be.
Brandt smiled and waved at people as they called out to him, but he didn't linger. Hell, he needed a drink. Spotting a large silver keg perched on the kitchen counter beside a collection of liquor, juices, and soda, Brandt made his way across the room, followed closely by Kaden. He pulled a plastic cup from the stack beside the beer, but Kaden snatched it from his hand.
"You still on those meds?"
Damn him for remembering. Brandt glared at Kaden and picked up another cup, holding it out to the sheriff, who guarded the alcohol. "Not your business."
A slight lift of dark eyebrows was the only indication that Brandt's snide comment had hit home. Kaden stared at him for a moment, then dropped the spare cup onto the counter and walked away.