Bound by secrets he cannot share, Rich was forced to give up Jake eight years ago. Now he has a second chance to help Jake realize his dreams. But the secrets that drove them apart haven’t changed, and Rich must face them or risk losing Jake forever.
The image of Rich hoisting his uncooperative leg into the car seemed to be burned onto Jake’s retinas. Even with his eyes closed, he could see the difficulty Rich had getting into the car.
I got off lucky.
He wouldn’t think about the accident. He didn’t want to remember Mick’s blank stare or the pallor of Rich’s skin and the stench of blood as Jake begged him to hang on. It had seemed like hours before the rescue teams had freed him. He’d insisted they get Rich out first, and since he was unresponsive, they’d made Rich their first priority. Jake had been forced to wait until they could get to him, all the while listening to the groans of injured and dying horses. His horses.
No. I won’t think about that now.
These were thoughts he frequently had to force out of his mind. Less so these days, though he sometimes still had nightmares.
Cane aside, Rich looked good. He’d done well for himself, or as well as anyone can do in the horse business without major sponsors. Without his father’s support, Jake knew there’d be no riding career, no shot at the Olympics. And even if he’d never discovered horses, his father would have sent him to an Ivy League school and he’d have landed a cushy job in one of the family businesses. Luck, in the form of money, paved the way for more luck, whereas people like Rich just seemed to get one kick in the teeth after another. Jake was glad to see Rich had made something of himself as a trainer.
There was no use in crying over the fact he’d done it alone, though.
Most people who chose a career in horses struggled to make ends meet. If his clothing was anything to go by, Rich, at least, looked as though he was successful at his change in careers. In many ways, Rich looked better than he had eight years ago. Time had smoothed the sharp planes of his face and darkened his sun-bleached hair. He’d matured, in both feature and manner, even if he did look more like a sleek professional and less like the boy Jake had loved.
He had loved Rich. It was hard, even now, to admit that.
Why had Rich shut him out after the accident? Jake didn’t know. All Jake had known back then was that he had a broken collarbone and Puddle Jumper and Scotty were dead. PJ hadn’t just been his ticket to Beijing; he’d been the horse whose breeding he’d planned with his mother and whom he’d raised from a foal. PJ and the other horses had been family.
So had Mick. And Rich. The Moose was the only horse that survived the wreck. They were survivors together, him and The Moose.
Jake had gone to see Rich in the hospital as soon as they’d let him, only to meet a stranger. The young man lying in bed bore no resemblance to the Rich Evans he’d known.
Sarah Madison is a writer with a little dog, a large dog, an even bigger horse, too many cats, and a very patient boyfriend. An amateur photographer and a former competitor in the horse sport known as eventing, when she's not out hiking with the dogs or down at the stables, she's at the laptop working on her next story. When she’s in the middle of a chapter, she relies on the smoke detector to tell her dinner is ready. She writes because it’s cheaper than therapy.
Sarah Madison was a finalist in the 2013 and 2015 Rainbow Awards. The Boys of Summer won Best M/M Romance in the 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards. The Sixth Sense series was voted 2nd place in the 2014 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best M/M Mystery series, and 3rd place in the 2105 PGR Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best M/M Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series.
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