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. In the distance, a car door slammed and above his head the floor creaked. Was there anything more beautiful than waking up to this? Wait. French doors? He didn’t have French doors in his bedroom.
Mierda. 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.” Intending to peel his face off the desk, Micah planted his hand on the hard surface 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 computer that seemed so insistent on getting his attention. It was an 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 now Ferguson’s oldest son… Micah had been hoping the man would ignore the email he’d sent telling Duncan that his father wanted to see him one last time. Hell, he’d expected Duncan to ignore the email.
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 a relative 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.
“Over my dead body, pendejo!” Anger blazed though Micah like an inferno. Duncan wanted to know what he was dealing with? Was he serious? He’d lit out of Texas over twenty-five years ago with his younger brother’s wife and never looked back. The man was lower than a snake full of buckshot. Micah didn’t know who was getting the ranch, but it sure wouldn’t be Duncan. Ferguson had hinted it’d be his younger son, Jeff, or one of his two grandsons.
“Cabrón.” Micah whispered as fear overrode his anger. His stomach cramped and an itchy sensation clambered up his back and into his neck. He read the email again and his unease increased. It reminded him of his past…of his mother’s family and how they’d swooped in like the vultures when his parents had died. They’d used their money to rob Micah of everything, just because his grandparents had never forgiven his mom for marrying “beneath her”. They sure hadn’t wasted any time discarding her “half-breed” son. Why did death bring out the worst in people?
After dragging the note into his personal folder, Micah closed the email program and angry red numbers from the ledger glared up at him. The nauseous feeling, he’d gotten after reading Duncan’s comments flared making his stomach gurgle. The sensation had become his bosom buddy over the last two months, flared to life. No matter how many times he added the numbers they still came up negative and he didn’t know what he was going to do about that. And now on top of that he had Duncan to worry about.
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.
As he was rifling through the desk drawers, the office door creaked open and AJ stuck his blond head in inside. His gaze settled on Micah and he yelled over his shoulder. “He’s in the office!”
“Tattletale,” All he needed was for Jeff and 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 came inside. “Busted. Did you sleep in here again?”
Micah grimaced. “I’m not talking to you without coffee.” Coffee and Tums. Then he’d see what he could do with the accounts before helping with chores.
“Bring him some coffee,” AJ shouted and flopped down in one of the chairs in front of the desk. “Granddad asked 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 then when he spoke again it was quieter, sad. “He’s not looking so good. Doc just left and he said he didn’t think Granddad would make it through the week.”
The pain in Micah’s stomach ratcheted up a notch. “Damn.” Pushing harder on his abdomen, he sat back and closed his eyes. He wished the end would hurry and come which made him feel like a traitor.
Ferguson Delany had welcomed him to The Bar D with open arms sixteen years ago. He was essentially Micah’s grandfather, or at least the closest he’d ever had to one. Ferguson had treated him like family, 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.
Tears welled up behind Micah’s closed lids. Dios mio, he hated seeing the old man in pain.
“Don’t start, brat.” AJ’s voice cracked a tad. “We’ve known it was coming for months now.”
Taking several deep breaths, Micah got his emotions under control and opened his eyes. “Yeah. I know, but—”
“I know…” AJ squeezed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger. He too was on the verge of tears.
“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.
“I talked to his secretary and 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. He wasn’t going to let Tucker Delany get to him after all these years; he had more pressing issues at hand. Like, where were his antacids? And where the hell 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.
“Looking for this?” AJ’s hand came into view under the desk and flipped the bird.
“Okay seriously, what are you looking for?”
Above the desk, he shot AJ the middle finger right back before sitting straight again. “My boots.”
“They’re on the kitchen floor.”