Sequel to The Heart of Texas
Published by Silver Publishing Publisher of Erotic Romance
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Texas Winter © 2011 RJ Scott ISBN # 9781920502645
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For all those readers who wanted more Riley and Jack.
For Phil Cooper, without whom the Texas books would not exist.
And always for my family.
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"The phone," Jack mumbled. Blindly reaching past Riley and fumbling for the offending item, he managed to grab and check who was calling—unknown number. Irritation shot through him, but he wasn't sure if it was at the offending caller or that Riley's phone wasn't on silent for their precious two hours of sleep. He could just imagine it was a freaking reporter, still after interviews even after all this time. A whole year had passed since Jeff's shooting, and the tabloid press remained hungry for Campbell-Hayes stories.
"What?" Riley was about as lucid as Jack and raised his head with half-open eyes. His blond hair was sleep mussed, and probably, Jack considered, sex mussed. His hazel eyes looked bloodshot, and in a second, it wasn't irritation Jack felt for Riley's inability to turn off his cell, but affection and love.
"Go back to sleep," he ordered. Riley didn't argue, and he lay back down on the pillow and resumed the rhythmic heavy breathing Jack had become used to. Jack tried to sleep himself, but even though the instant panic he had felt at the call had subsided, his brain refused to stop thinking. Cautiously he edged out of the huge bed and snuck a quick look at the early morning outside their villa. The Caribbean Sea was a sparkling sapphire blue, and the beach to the shore line was empty of a single soul.
When Riley had presented Jack with tickets for what he enthusiastically called a honeymoon, Jack had every single excuse under the sun ready to go. The horses needed him. His mom was getting too friendly with the veterinarian they used. Emily had started to talk, and they didn't want to miss that. Josh was busy with the newest addition to his family, baby Sarah, and couldn't watch the D. The ranch itself, the Double D, needed new fencing, and Jack had to be the one to do the work. Riley listened to every one. In fact, the excuses filled a good ten minutes. Jack said it wasn't even that he didn't want to go. Hell, the thought of any time alone with Riley sounded good to him. It was just… Kicking back and doing nothing? It would be a first for Jack, and the thought of it didn't sit comfortably. Riley, the bastard, did what he was good at. He said nothing at all and simply allowed Jack to get it all off his chest. Then he just looked at Jack with soulful eyes and a pleading expression on his face.
"It's only ten days, and I need the time with you." It had been such a simple statement, but it had been enough to win Jack to Riley's way of thinking in an instant. The last year had been full of ups and downs, but Jack's worries were so small compared to everything Riley had been through. His brother dying, his sister-in-law being responsible for his murder, and his father taking the blame before succumbing to cancer himself. Then there was the whole parentage issue with Beth's baby. Riley worked hard, and he and Jack played hard, but so often Riley would get lost in everything that had happened and guilt tripped him up on his face. Added to this, Riley was hip deep in working on the auction for exploration rights of tens of millions of acres of undersea minerals in the western Gulf of Mexico. As young as he was, Riley's expertise, and his position on the board of HayesOil was enough for his fledgling consultancy in ethical exploration for oil to grow exponentially. There had been too many days apart, and Jack didn't like to think of himself as clingy, but jeez, at least one full weekend together would be good.