Title: Rockin’ Around The Ranch
Author Name & Publisher: Laurie Terson (MLR Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 11, 2015 – 16, 000 Words
There a storm is coming. And Christmas is on its way. Jace is supposed to be on his way to Florida. But Jace’s boyfriend Taylor isn’t coming. Taylor’s on a last minute business trip. Hunkering down and taking care of things on the ranch, Jace is trying to make the best of his sorry Christmas. But where the heck did this baby come from?
Taylor is on a business trip when a co-worker’s flu extends his trip. When he should have been heading on vacation with Jace, giving him the best Christmas present ever, he’s stuck in an airport talking to some old guy with a white beard.
Jacen Assante hurried past the split rail fence toward the barn. He’d told his co-workers, Shep and Carl, that he’d take care of the barn animals if they took care of the horses. They’d been out riding along the fence line all day looking for holes. Pausing at the barn door, he removed his gloves, pushed his battered Stetson back, and wiped a trickle of sweat from his brow. Even in the dead of winter, riding hard and pulling barbed fence wire could cause a body to sweat. He glanced around taking in the stark beauty of the world surrounding him. Nestled in the closed end of a wide valley and in the distance, mountains rose on three sides. This late in December, other than the pines, the trees were bare of leaves. The late afternoon sun glistened, reflecting from the few patches of snow on the ground. A few still clung to the tree branches. They had gotten their first dusting of snow just a couple of weeks ago. Jace knew they had a lot more snow to come.
They’d moved the cattle to the lower pastures a while back. Keeping them closer to the ranch buildings made sense—easier to get to and care for them. This late in the year, the only ones remaining were the few breeding stock animals his boss, Conner, wanted to keep. His boss sure had his own way of wanting to do things. Not like any other boss Jace had ever worked for.
Like the animals in the barn. Jace shook his head. No weathered wood for this barn. The barn was so darn fancy it was better than a lot of people’s houses. Got to love people with more money than brains. The critters in there had lights and heating. Hell, Conner had even put in central air conditioning. And all for a frickin’ cow, a goat, an ornery mule, and a miniature horse. The cow no longer gave any milk, just stood there chewing her cud. The goat head-butted anything that got close enough, and the mule tried to bite everything it could reach. Useless damn animals.
Their horses had their own barn, not as fancy as this one but what the hell. The horses weren’t considered pets. Jace guessed he didn’t care except caring for them took up time when other things needed doing. There wasn’t enough time to get all of the work done. With just a few hands, as soon as they finished a chore they had to start all over again.
Laurie Terson grew up in So Cal, where she lived most of her life. She met her husband of thirty plus years there. A victim of the empty nest, when her daughter and son moved out, she has replaced them with a 5 lb dog named Peanut. The three of them currently live under the bright lights of Las Vegas.
Always a daydreamer, stories of one kind or another have lived in her head. She has always been and still is avid reader. She decided to try her hand at writing when she was challenged by a friend after they discussed how she was re-writing scenes from books to make them go the way she thought they should go.
When not reading or writing she can be found watching sports, of all kinds. A tomboy while growing up, she loved fishing, camping and traveling. She also enjoys going to the movies, cooking, wine tasting and crafting.
She is a believer that love is love, no more, no less. And that gender doesn’t matter because everyone deserves a happy ever after.