Hey all! It's here. It's release day for Wilder Acres. I am on second coffee. I've been up since 7:30am. Have worked out. Am listening to the Unplugged version of Heaven by Brian Adams as I type out a VERY short story for a thing I was asked to do. I was actually gonna write it in March, but they are in my head. I really need to work on so many things! Ha! I will also have another chapter of Full House Winchester out soon. It's almost done! I am in #Mockmachine Beast Mode right now.
But I wanted to drop by and post the first chapter here for you so you could check it out.
I think it's hilarious about the number of animals that work their way into Cord's home when he originally wanted no one there. Barely even himself! I said to a friend, I want to see how many he'll allow in before he puts his foot down.
In this book, I get into the Head of House, Taken In Hand dynamic we love so much around here. It is "Spanking Lite" as far as books I write go, but these two are a bit different. Marley actually isn't a brat. He's just somewhat playful when it's Cord. He's a good boy! LOL This means less spankings overall, however, there are STILL plenty of the dynamics we love and Cord is slightly evil in the way he concocts "learning experiences" for our boy.
In other words, all the discipline is still very much there. Some members of the Winchester (now Ashley) cast visit. Note to my readers of Fan Fiction. The one who you know as "Jude" in Full House Winchester had to have a new name since I took the name for Dragon Tamer. In Wilder Acres, he's Jayde.
Sorry, a tiny spoiler ... but you won't know what he does so it's not that much of one.
I've really fallen in love with this found family. I know I said three books, but I could easily be talked into more.
If you'd ever like to ARC for me, shoot me an email here: email@example.com I have this and MORE books upcoming I'll need ARC readers for.
Without further ado! Enjoy!
Chapter One Wilder Acres. Copyright 2022. Mockingbird Publications
So how did it happen? Was it a car accident? Did we Gatsby and end up in a ditch after a flutey-plutey party? Or did we both have heart attacks at the same time?
Because the only way you’re reading this if both Eve and I have been offed.
Look, I know you’re gonna be pissed with what we chose, but as much as you and I were alike, so are Eve and Marley. We wanted Bowie to have one of each, a me, and an Eve. It’s a big ask, I know, but I also know if you were to have a kid, you’d want the same, so you’ll get it.
I’d love it if you could be his daddy. He’s going to need that. Marley, he’s kinda the mom sort—don’t ever let him know I said that. He’ll pull me back from the grave and roast me alive.
Look, I’m keeping this short because this is a letter I hope you’ll never see. If you do, know that I’m feeling good wherever I ended up knowing a piece of me will always be with him and that’s you brother. I can rest in peace.
Now tell Elaine you say yes or I’m haunting your ass.
I have to read the letter six times a day these days. It reminds me why I don’t kick Marley and crew out, though I have to admit having them around has made life easier in some ways even if it’s hard in others.
The days begin with breakfast, which Marley insists he cooks. Sometimes he’ll enlist the help of Darcy or Cheyenne, but never me.
“That so I don’t bug you about your dumb tea?” I asked him. I might have had my hands on him—one inching under his shirt, one sliding down the back of his pajama pants—and was maybe sucking on an area of his neck I discovered makes him close his eyes, inhale, and then exhale real slow. Feeling him let go like that goes straight to my dick.
“No—though it’s a side benefit. It’s because you do all that work out there,” he says, pointing to the farm.
“So do they.” I spun him around and sat him on the counter. If Bowie wasn’t nearby, I would have had Marley’s cock in my mouth. The flush of his skin told me he knew it.
“Yeah, but one’s my brother—I’m not cooking for his ass—and the other, I don’t have a kid with.”
The flush I got when he said that. Some days I wonder if my attraction isn’t based on that we’ve got Bowie. I thought that kind of thing was only for women, but now it’s women and me, Cordell Wilder.
“You’d better be careful of that dirty mouth,” I said, and I pulled him down so I could kiss it.
His reasoning still didn’t make sense to me in terms of fair labor, but I didn’t feel like arguing with him over that. There are plenty of other things for us to argue about and we were getting along for five seconds. It’s more than that though. A brand of accomplishment shines in his eyes when he does stuff for me that’s just not there for the others.
Believe me, I’m looking and if he looks at Cheyenne that way, I’m gonna lose my mind.
There’s just something to it for him.
So, I sit at the table drinking my coffee while everyone runs around. Sometimes with Bowie in my lap and sometimes just with my phone, ordering what we need for around the farm.
Bowie is a million times easier with Marley’s help. It’s an area of expertise of his I just don’t have. I did okay when I had to, but he makes it look like a cakewalk even though I know that’s not the case. When Bowie angled for a third inside cat, Marley let him pitch a fit about it without giving in. Can’t believe I’m going to say this, but he reminded me of Momma. He stood there waiting for him to finish, talking in soothing tones but never wavering. The boy actually ran to him for a hug after.
Meanwhile, I was about to strangle Marley because we already had two inside cats, what’s one more if it’ll stop Bowie’s hollering? I was grateful later of course. Didn’t really want a third inside cat, especially when it was likely to turn into a fourth and a fifth. Was nice knowing he wasn’t going to let that happen.
He’s also good at getting Bowie to do things like put his shoes on when we go out and eat his food and go to bed. He always seems in control of the Bowie situation—whatever presents itself—and it’s a comfort.
I asked him, “You need a day off looking after, Bowie?”
“You gonna take a day off the farm?” he fired back. There was a little threat behind it, if you wanna know, and maybe something self-satisfied.
Still didn’t make me back down. “No.”
“I’m good then, but if I need a doctor’s appointment or something like that, I’ll call your momma or Darlene.”
He’s too good friends with Momma and my friends. But in other words, “fuck you and the horse you rode in on because I’ll get everyone else to help me before I ask you”. Seems like a pride thing. Protective. He’s gotten territorial over “his” domain. I’ve backed off—mostly—of reminding him it’s not his kitchen.
I think it’s his kitchen whether I like it or not.
“There’s also Benji,” he reminded me, driving the point home that my presence is not required for anything he’s in charge of.
Benji, I hired before Marley and Darcy showed. A young man in his early twenties, around Darcy’s age. Medium height and build. Dark complexion. Dark eyes. Sunny disposition all around. I’ve never met a happier kid. Or well, guess he’s not really a kid, but most people feel like kids to me, so I call him that. His full head of tight springy black curls adds to his overall exuberance, giving him extra zest to his aura.
When I told him we wouldn’t need him anymore—though I would still pay him for two months so he wouldn’t be left without—he begged me to let him stay.
“Please, Mr. Wilder. At least let me work around the house. I can clean or do farm work.”
I inquired further—because what kid wants to work for money when he can have it free? He’d be one step closer to the schooling he wanted to do with the money, and free to take on another job.
“I uh, I don’t have a place to live, sir.”
He’d let go of his apartment, the only one in town he could afford. He needed at least the month to find something new, maybe longer if he had to find roommates. Even I didn’t have the heart to turn him away. Marley set him up in one of the spare rooms. It only took two weeks for everyone to love him, and all stated their case for keeping him around.
I was outnumbered so what could I do?
He’s one of us now. Another mouth to feed but he does more than earn his keep. I can’t afford to keep paying him what I was, but I give him room and board and a little something so he can save for college. It leaves him free to take on any side jobs, but he hasn’t yet. His love of this place is genuine, and it keeps him around though I hope I can persuade him to expand his horizons.
I guess I have to admit the kid grew on me quickly too. He’s good with Bowie. Eager to learn on the farm. Also, he sides with me over Marley, and I need someone on my side. Lord knows no one else is.
Cheyenne is the most relieved by these new developments. He takes more time off and if I try to complain, he points out how at least he’s not charging me for the “teaching hours” he’s been giving to Darcy and Ben.
Teaching hours my ass, but my hands are tied there too. I can’t piss Cheyenne off. Besides me, he’s the only one of us who knows what they’re doing on a farm.
Darcy has been … well he has been. It’s only been two months so it’s hard to say anything about him. I’m left to make a lot of assumptions. Like withdrawal. The kid seems fine in that regard so I can only imagine Marley took care of it somehow before they came here, or he got fucking lucky and it’s been mild and manageable for him.
Not that I’m not up front with Marley, and unlike before, he tells me everything I want to know trying to prove he’s trustworthy. But there are some things I don’t need to know and a man’s entitled to some modicum of privacy. Those are the things I assume about.
Blinding white sun shines into the kitchen, casting a glow over the white marble of the large kitchen island. Marley hums a song I don’t recognize as Bowie runs under foot and he moves around him in a dance that appears orchestrated even though it can’t be. He’s found a white apron that used to be Momma’s with a ruffled trim he wears while he prances around stove.
I sneak up behind him so I can whisper in his ear because I definitely don’t want Bowie hearing what I’m about to say. “I’m gonna bend you over the counter in nothing but that apron, darlin’, and fuck you till you beg.”
He turns to kiss me. “Jesus, Cowboy.”
Popping my hand across his backside, grinning, I move past him to see if he’ll let me get my own coffee. I dunno what it is about him. We also have some kinda dance happening. Predictably, he clears his throat. “Touch that and see what happens, Wilder.”
I make room, pulling my hands far away from the coffee machine as he slides past me, retrieving my favorite mug—the large white one with a gold “C” on it—pouring my coffee and fixing it up for me. Bowie walks up to him in the middle of him stirring the cream in and without missing a beat, he tends to Bowie’s needs while finishing my coffee and sliding it over to me.
“Good morning, Swayze.”
That’s all the privacy we get. The crew barrels in from everywhere. Benji and Darcy from upstairs and the back of the house. Cheyenne from his house on the property. It’s noisy and hectic. Darcy has Bowie in his lap, coaxing him to eat pancakes. None of that’s orderly enough for me. I think he’s better off in his booster chair. I give a look to Marley for his opinion. He’s better at kids than I am, but surely I can’t be too far off base? Daddy always liked me and Jesse seated nicely at the table.
Marley shrugs and when he walks by, I snag him, pulling him into my lap. He’s tall, but I’ve still got a good five or six inches on him. “He’s fine there, but I can sit him in his chair if you want. Must grate on your nerves.”
“A bit. It’s messy.” I wrinkle my nose.
“The first thing they teach you in kid one-oh-one is that no matter what you’re doin’ with them, it’s a messy affair.”
He kisses my cheek and steals Bo from Darcy, sliding him into the red booster seat and setting chopped up pancakes on a plate for him. I catch Cheyenne staring at me. Great. Now’s he gonna think he’s responsible for the greatest hookup in history. Me with … anyone. Only because it was never supposed to happen. I’m gonna have to remind him we’re not together.
It just looks that way. We’re unconventional. Mold breakers.
Once we’ve been shipped off with snacks and water bottles, Chey starts. “So? You finally letting this one stay?”
“He’s Bowie’s other guardian” is ready to fall off my tongue, but I remember it’ll only be a waste of breath.
“Don’t jinx it, Chey,” I say forking hay over for the cows who meander over. They also graze the pasture, but we give them a mix. Very little grain. Cows weren’t meant to eat grain. “He’s scared for some reason. I don’t want to scare him off.”
“Here’s an idea, talk to him about it.”
“I’m planning on it, but it’s too soon. We’ve only just reached the stage where we can get through breakfast without arguing.”
He raises a brow. “Noticed that, Cord. You two are … somethin’. Can’t put a name on it.”
“We’re not your business is what we are even though you keep seeing fit to make us your business.”
He gives me his Cheyenne grin, which means he thinks he knows better. “You’d still be miserable without him if it weren’t for me. Yeh are my business, friend. Deal with it.”
Leaving pretty quick after a comment like that is smart. But I guess I am grateful for his interference. I wouldn’t have done anything myself. I get caught up in my head. Whistling a tune gets me back to work and takes my mind away from what I don’t have with Marley. Already, we have a lot more than I had before and it’s fine.