“His anxiety ran him. He had no control over it and he’d
found out quickly, after his discharge, that a stressful job
only tripled the monstrous anxiety that was always there,
always waiting to leap upon him and scatter his thoughts,
As he bit into the burger, he closed his eyes, made a low
sound of pleasure in the back of his throat, slumping against
the metal chair, in Nirvana. Reese knew if he gulped it down,
he’d more than likely throw it up, so he tamped down on the
animal desire to gulp. He chewed it slowly, savoring every
last bite of the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cheddar cheese,
and bacon on it. It took him thirty minutes to clean up
everything. The apple pie was melt-in-your mouth, reminding
him of his mother’s own home-cooked pies.
An old ache centered in his heart. His parents wanted
him home, but God, that had been a disaster. Reese wasn’t
going to make them pay for his PTSD, and they didn’t understand
why he had to leave. He wasn’t the best at talking
about his shame over the symptoms that he couldn’t control.
His father had been in the military, retired, and was
now a hardworking mechanic. He had saved all his life for
retirement, and Reese wasn’t about to take his money that
he’d offered to him. He had to stand on his own two feet,
pull himself up by his bootstraps, and not accept handouts.
As he rose and placed the chair against the wall, he saw
the door open. A young woman with light brown hair,
slightly curly around her oval face, walked in. All his acute
senses focused on her. She was wearing a black baseball
cap, a blue chambray shirt like the one he wore, a heavy
Levi’s jacket, and a pair of loose-fitting jeans that indicated
she had a lush figure hidden beneath them. His heart
jolted as their eyes met briefly. She had sky-blue eyes, just
this side of turquoise, wide set and intelligent. She was
attractive, wore no makeup, but her high cheekbones were
flushed, as if she’d been running or working out hard.
His stomach clenched, and suddenly, Reese worried that
if she was the owner of the Bar C, he might not get the job.
That she’d be afraid of him like so many other women were,
once they saw him. In the Corps, wearing his uniform or
utilities, women had always given him a pleasing look,
scoping him out, their gazes telling him they’d like to know
him a lot better. He almost laughed as he struggled to get
his anxiety corralled. Since he’d fallen from grace, his
scruffy, bearded, homeless look scared the hell out of females.
Reese knew he wasn’t a bad-looking man, but
somehow, no woman could see the real him in his present
state of dishevelment. He would never hurt a woman or
child. But the look in their eyes spoke of exactly that: fear
that he was capable of violence against them. It was a bitter
pill to swallow to be judged by what he wore on the outside
instead of who he really was inside.”
COMING SOON! Wind River Cowboy, Book 3 on 3.28.17!!