Horsfall: As the Crow Flies
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by Jade Buchanan
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: Shire horse shapeshifters Bayard and Marshall Stoddard have never been happier. They have a man they both love in safety consultant Oliver Philip, and the common enemy that brought the three together has finally left them alone. Or so they thought... When Oliver travels to the mountains of Alberta to conduct a safety audit on a ski resort, he runs into a completely different animal than the twins he's in love with. The massive crows he spies upon his arrival aren't exactly human, and it seems they have a cautionary tale about a group of men who would destroy the Stoddards without a care. Oliver isn't sure what to believe, until he gets a phone call from Marsh telling him Bay has gone missing. Oliver must find the strength inside himself to fight for the two men he can't live without.
eBook Publisher: Changeling Press LLC, 2009 2009
eBookwise Release Date: February 2010
56 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [106 KB]
Reading time: 66-93 min.
Oliver jumped out of the truck, inhaling deeply. "Man, I love my job."
Jack grinned at him over the hood before turning to look around him. "This is definitely one of the perks. Think we can go skiing while we're up here?"
"As long as you don't mention anything until after the audit, you can do whatever you want. Would be a shame not to take advantage of this, though."
It certainly was beautiful. The sun was just coming up over the tallest peak of the mountains, glistening over acres of blindingly white snow. The evergreens provided splashes of color to interrupt the grey mountains in their pristine coats. The faint sound of music coming from the big speakers outside the ski lodge beside them didn't quite fit with all that natural beauty, but seeing as it was the reason he was here, he wasn't going to complain.
Reaching back into the passenger side of the truck for his notebook, Oliver gave a brief thought to changing his boots to the steel toes that were tucked in under his seat. The rubber froze when it got this cold, but since he'd be touring their facilities, he would need to wear them at some point.
"Steel toes?" Jack asked, mirroring his thoughts.
"Let's leave them and come back when we do the observation tour."
"Sounds good to me."
Oliver slipped his gloves on, rubbing his hands together. Man, it was cold enough to freeze a guy's nuts off. November in the mountains wasn't exactly ideal weather, although he wouldn't mind getting Bay and Marsh up here and sharing a hot tub with them. Just the thought of that was enough to warm him up a bit.
A raucous caw interrupted his musings. Turning to the side, Oliver nearly jumped out of his skin. "What the hell?"
Jack's head popped up on the other side of the truck. "What?"
"Biggest crows I have ever seen in my entire life. They're staring at me."
The birds were seriously the biggest crows he'd ever seen, no exaggeration. They had to come up to his knees. Okay, so he wasn't exactly the tallest person, but he'd never seen anything like it.
"Guess they grow them big in the mountains." Jack snickered. "Careful they don't attack you."
Oliver gave serious thought to firing the jackass, but figured his auditing skills made up for his awful sense of humor. Besides, he wouldn't be able to find another contractor to help him out at the last minute. Jack was lucky they were friends. Oliver bit the inside of his cheek, determined not to ruin the frown he aimed at Jack.
The other man wasn't fooled a bit. He continued to grin at Oliver, grabbing his own supplies from the truck before slamming the door shut. Jack opened his mouth.
The sound of Oliver's cell phone ringing interrupted whatever Jack was about to say. Oliver quickly answered it, recognizing the ring. "Hello?"
"Hey, baby. You get in all right?"
"Bay! How did you know we were here already?" He smiled as he always did whenever he heard one of his men. He still had moments where he wondered what they were doing with him, but the twins were slowly convincing him he was worth their love. He had to pinch himself some days to prove he was awake and this was really happening.
They'd been together for well over half a year now, and they were more in love with each other every day. He had to stop himself before he started getting all mushy, but life was pretty danged good right now. He was almost afraid, actually. Things were nearly too good. His inner cynic was currently waiting for the other shoe to drop.
"Well, I could say that I'm just a genius and know everything..."
Oliver shook his head. "Yeah, but then I wouldn't believe you."
"How 'bout I know how long it takes to drive up through the mountains to Crowfoot?"
"That, I'll believe. How're things? You and Marsh ready to go out and work the ranch this morning?"
"We've been up and working for a few hours now, lazy bones."
"Hey! I'm not lazy. I've been driving for hours, stuck with Jack in a truck."
"How's he doing? He coming to the office Christmas party? I'd love to meet him in person."
Yeah, Oliver still wasn't sure what to do about the Christmas party. He had one every year for his staff and contractors, but this would be the first time he'd actually bring a date. By now all his employees knew he was gay and dating a man, but they didn't know he was actually dating two men. He was grateful they seemed not to have a problem with his sexual orientation, but still... It was one thing to be open minded and another thing entirely to be that open-minded. Oliver had already bitten the bullet and asked both Marsh and Bay to come to the party.
He was planning on introducing just one of the men as his boyfriend, but he wasn't sure what to do about the other. They'd had this conversation before, and both men claimed they understood why he couldn't openly date both of them, but it made Oliver's chest ache to virtually deny one of his men.
Turning back to the conversation at hand, Oliver wrinkled his nose. "I asked him, and I think he's going to make it." Glancing over at an openly eavesdropping Jack, he grinned. "Although, I may have to rescind the invite. He's being just a bit too forward."
Predictably, Jack placed a hand over his chest. "You wound me, Boss Man, wound me."
Oliver was pleased to note he didn't look any different than before. Oliver was still self-conscious about doing something with his men in front of other people. Gay marriage might be completely legal in Calgary and the pride scene alive and well, but there were still a few individuals who weren't exactly supportive.
Laughing, Oliver turned to the side, trying to make their conversation just a bit more private. "I miss you already."
"Really? I miss you, too. I'm standing here thinking about you. Getting hard, actually. Just hear the sound of your voice, and I want to do all sorts of naughty things with you. I can't wait to get my hands on you again, bend you over and ream your ass like I'm dying to right now." Bay growled, the sound making Oliver's nerve endings stand up and pay attention.
Oh, they couldn't do this now. Could they? Oliver risked a quick glance at Jack, seeing the man looking off to the side. Obviously trying to give him some privacy now, but Oliver still couldn't have this conversation in front of him.
"Give me a second here, Jack."
Jack twisted, waving a hand. "No problem. I just want to breathe in this air. Take your time. We're a bit early anyway."
Oliver crawled back into the truck, closing the door with a snap. "You're an evil, evil man, Bayard."