Yellow Rose Publishing
October 28, 2019
His Convenient Husband
Micah Jiminez is no stranger to loss. Orphaned at the tender age of seven, Micah was taken in by the Delany family. They opened their hearts and their home to him, treating him like one of their own. Now the impending death of the Delany patriarch brings an unsavory relative out of the woodwork, threatening Micah's beloved adopted family.
As the oldest grandson of the Delany dynasty, Tucker Delany, strives to always be a responsible and honorable man and uphold the family’s upstanding reputation. But a night of passion with Micah, sent him running to Dallas fearing he’d taken advantage of the man he has always considered his best friend.
Saving the Bar D from being yanked out from under them is going to take all the help Micah can get, including Tucker and that means Micah has to convince the man to come home.
To Micah’s everlasting surprise, it's Tucker who comes up with the perfect solution: a marriage of convenience. His gut tells him Tucker's motivation involves nothing more than saving the ranch. Now he just has to convince his fragile heart.
Blinking his eyes open, Micah stared at the dust motes floating in the stream of early morning sunlight as it filtered in through the closed French doors. A rooster crowed and a calf called for his mama. A car door slammed and the floor above creaked. Was there anything more beautiful than waking up to this? Wait. French doors? He didn’t have French doors in his room.
Ah shit. He’d fallen asleep in the office again. All at once, his body seemed to recognize what his brain had just learned because a sharp pain shot down his spine and a dull ache settled in his lower back. “Ugh.” Planting his hand on the desk, Micah intended on peeling his face off the polished oak but it slipped in something. Oh lovely. Drool. He must have been more tired than he’d thought.
After pushing up, he yawned, stretched and wiped his hand on his jeans. His back creaked then popped. Ouch. Sleeping in a chair all night sucked big fat hairy donkey balls.
Micah groaned and looked at the monitor. He had email from Duncan Delany. Great, that was all he needed. He couldn’t figure out how to pay the tab at the feed store and here was Ferguson’s oldest son bugging him about the ranch again. “¡Cabrón!” The son of a bitch didn’t even have the decency to wait until his father died to try and screw the rest of the family out of their inheritance. How could people be so cruel? A death in the family really did bring out the worst in people.
Pushing his glasses back up on his nose, he opened the email. It was short and sweet.
I expect the ranch’s books to be turned over to me before I get there next week, or I’ll get my attorney involved. You aren’t blood and this doesn’t involve you. I want to know what I’m dealing with when my father is gone. I’m sure I’ll have to fix the mess you’ve made of things after my father was no longer able to deal with them.
“Over my dead body, pendejo.” Micah hated people who tried to bully those with less money or importance. He would do everything he could to keep his loved ones from losing their inheritance, like he’d lost his. Duncan didn’t know squat about family loyalty or running a ranch. No way in hell Ferguson would leave the ranch to him, he’d as much as told Micah so. Micah didn’t know who was getting the ranch, but Ferguson had hinted it’d be his younger son, Jeff, or one of his two grandsons.
After dragging the note into his personal folder, Micah closed the email program. On the screen was the row of red numbers he’d been working on the night before. The nauseous feeling he’d had for the past two months flared to life. Duncan wanted to know what he was dealing with? Did he honestly think Ferguson would leave him the ranch? Duncan lit out of Texas over twenty-five years ago with his younger brother’s wife and never looked back.
Squashing down the anger, Micah looked back at the screen. No matter how many times he added the numbers they still came up negative. What was he going to do?
He leaned back in the chair he’d come to think of as his since he took over management from Ferguson two months ago, and mashed a fist into his stomach. Where had he put those Tums? God, please don’t let me be out.
The office door creaked open and AJ stuck his blond head in. His gaze settled on Micah, then he yelled over his shoulder, “He’s in the office!”
“Tattletale,” Micah mumbled. All he needed was for Jeff or Tio to lecture him about working too hard again. As if everyone wasn’t working their asses off lately.
Sticking his tongue out, AJ pushed the door open fully, and his shoulders sank a little. “Busted. Did you sleep in here again?”
Micah grimaced. “Coffee. I need coffee.” Coffee and Tums, then he’d see what he could do with the accounts before he helped with chores.
“Bring him some coffee,” AJ shouted toward the door and flopped down in one of the chairs in front of the desk. “Granddad was asking for Tucker and Duncan again this morning. He was asking for you too. He wants you to go up and see him later when you get the chance.” AJ was silent for a few moments. When he spoke again it was quieter, sad. “He’s not looking so good. Doc just left. He said he didn’t think Granddad would make it through the week.”
“Damn.” The pain in Micah’s stomach intensified. Pushing harder on his abdomen, he sat back and closed his eyes. Tears welled up behind his closed lids, but he held them back. He was a traitor. Ferguson Delany had welcomed him to The Bar D with open arms fourteen years ago when Micah’s parents had died, and all Micah could feel was relief. Micah hated to see the man, who was essentially his grandfather, hurt any longer. Ferguson had treated Micah like one of his own grandsons, not his foreman’s orphaned nephew. Tio Juan was a great man and had done his very best for Micah, but Micah was no fool. The Delanys had gone above and beyond what they should for an employee’s kin, even if the employee was Ferguson’s best friend. They’d made Micah a part of the family and taken him in when his mother’s family had swooped in like the vultures they were and used their money to rob Micah of everything. His grandparents had never forgiven his mom for marrying “beneath her”, and when she was gone they’d wasted no time discarding her “half-breed” son.
“Don’t start, brat.” AJ’s voice cracked a tad. “We’ve known it was coming for months now.”
Once he had his emotions under control, Micah opened his eyes. “Yeah. I know, but—”
“I know…” AJ squeezed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger. He was on the verge of tears, and it tore Micah up to see it. AJ was always so strong and tough.
“Have you gotten a hold of Tucker?” Just saying the name made a whole heap of emotions run through Micah. Anger, regret, love and…yup, mostly anger. Tucker had abandoned them, abandoned Micah.
“I talked to his secretary. She’s supposed to be getting him a message. Said he’s out of town.”
Nodding, Micah brought his feet up into the chair, trying to alleviate the pain in his stomach. His feet were bare. Where had his boots gone? He looked under the desk as he settled his feet onto the edge of the seat, hoping like hell he didn’t seem like he was doubling over in pain. He wasn’t going to let Tucker Delany get to him after all these years.
“Looking for this?” AJ’s hand came into view under the desk and flipped Micah the bird. Juvenile. “Okay seriously, what are you looking for?”
Micah grinned, the tension fading. “My boots.” Above the desk, he shot AJ the middle finger right back before sitting straight again.
“They’re on the kitchen floor.”