Valentino's Cowboy [Brac Village 10]

By: Lynn Hagen

Thank goodness the townsfolk had pitched in and donated a lot of the material to rebuild. He had been back up and in business within a few weeks of the fire. Grabbing his exam bag, Valentino headed toward his car. A few people told him he needed to invest in a truck, but he liked his little black Focus. Everything he needed for house calls fit into his trunk.

He didn’t see a need to get rid of the car.

Driving out to the Lakeland ranch, Valentino’s stomach began to grumble. He glanced at his watch to see it was well after two in the afternoon. Once again he had worked through lunch and now he was starving. When he finished here he was going to stop in town and grab something to eat.

Valentino pulled into the Lakelands’ driveway and parked among the many trucks, rolling his eyes. He was not replacing his car. Grabbing his medical bag, Valentino got out and headed toward the barn. He was pretty damn sure the bears would know he was here so there was no need to go looking for anyone.

Entering the large barn, Valentino’s eyes swept over the place, the scent of fresh hay and animals filled his lungs. He batted a few buzzing flies away as he spotted Riley Lakeland and headed toward him.

“Dr. Prayze,” Riley said as he met the doctor halfway and shook his hand. “Glad you could make it on short notice.”

“Not a problem,” he answered as he glanced at the many stalls. “I was just having it out with a nutless dog. I could use some fresh air.”

Riley gave him a questioning look before showing him which horse was Buster. Valentino was used to people looking at him oddly. He was told that he had a strange bedside manner. Quite frankly, Valentino was just being himself. He knew he was a little on the quirky side, but he kept himself entertained.

“Pa sent me out here to help you!”

“Not now, Abe,” Riley said over his shoulder. “I have the vet here. Go see if anyone else needs help.”

Valentino turned to see who Riley was talking to and had to do a double take. The blond man standing there reminded Valentino of a wickedly playful angel. The guy’s eyes were the color of a cloudless summer day and his smile made Valentino’s heart jump an extra beat.

Had Valentino seen another set of lips that had been so perfectly made for kissing? They were full, delicious, and very naughty images came to mind. He knew he was openly appraising the man, but Valentino had never met a guy who looked so damn gorgeous before.

Valentino grinned widely and the little twink turned seven shades of red. Now that was a look he really liked. It told him the small man was very interested in him—which was great considering Valentino was just as interested in the guy.

“Abe,” Riley said as he snapped his fingers in the man’s face. “Did you hear me?”

Abe’s eyelids fluttered rapidly as he glanced from Valentino to Riley. Valentino gave an inaudible groan when he gazed into the man’s cornflower-blue eyes. “What did you say?”

Abe was staring directly at Valentino, not once giving any attention to Riley.

“Sorry, Dr. Prayze. Abe tends to be a little friendly,” Riley said to Valentino as he headed toward Abe. “You can get to work and I’ll take care of him.”

Valentino tore his eyes away from the sexy man as he dug into his bag. He had work to do, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t go find Abe once he was done. Valentino was definitely interested. His brain was already starting to imagine what he and the little imp could do together if Abe gave him a chance. And from the way the small guy was staring at him, he was definitely going to have a chance.

“But I’m not doing anything wrong,” Abe protested with a stomp to his foot. “I didn’t flirt with him or try to get his phone number or anything. Why are you kicking me out?”

“Because you are a very distracting man,” Riley replied, his tone filled with slight amusement. Valentino frowned at the jealous feeling that ripped through him.

Admittedly, the little man was sexy, but why would that strong of an emotion grip him for a stranger? Valentino’s sex life had been less than stellar, but he never became jealous—especially when he hadn’t even slept with the guy. It was a very peculiar emotion indeed.

Valentino straightened, unsure of what he was doing and playing with the idea of having a go at Abe. The man was totally worth it. “Come here, Abe,” he said in a casual tone, although he was feeling anything but calm toward the man. He wanted to gobble Abe up. “I could use your help.”

“Seriously?” Riley asked, his dark eyebrows high on his forehead. “But Abe has no medical experience, Dr. Prayze.”

Valentino tossed a pair of latex exam gloves at Abe. “He doesn’t need any, Riley. All he has to do is stand there and look gorgeous.” Valentino had a very strong urge to purr. He wasn’t sure why though. The flirtatious side of him was coming out, a little too strong.

Riley’s eyes widened as Abe snickered. When the sexy little twink approached Valentino, his senses went wild. His breath froze in his lungs as his heart picked up its pace. Valentino felt his palms become sweaty as his mouth went dry.

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