About Cowboy Logic
Author: BA Tortuga
Word Count: 64200
Page Count (pdf): 278
Date Published: 07272021
Publisher: Turtlehat Creatives
Heat Rating: 3 rainbows
File Types available: pdf epub mobi
This title has been moved to Kindle Unlimited
When Anderson “Logic” Whitehead gets a call from his sister that she’s in a dangerous situation, he leaves his California home to head back to Texas for the first time since high school. He’s a different man now, a well-known author and creator, as well as out and proud, so he’s not about to let anyone intimidate him, whether his sister’s stalker or an old nemesis from his bad old days.
Cowboy Jericho Yeager has his land, his kids, and a lot of conflicting emotions about his hometown. When his neighbor Bailey starts having trouble with what his daughter calls a “bad man” Jericho mounts up to help, but he doesn’t find a stalker, he finds Logic, who used to be a skinny, pimply kid. Now Logic is everything Jericho could ever want, but he knows he can’t just grasp the brass ring.
Guys like Logic don’t fall for men like Jericho, and relationships that begin under high stress never last. At least that’s what Jericho tells himself. Logic is used to going after what he wants, so he’s wiling to ask Jericho to give him a try, but even he’s not sure he can get past all of their history with each other, and with their deep East Texas hometown.
Honestly, it wasn’t the fists that hurt the worst.
It was the boots.
Anderson protected his head with one arm, grabbing at someone’s — Quint Bellamy, maybe, the bastard liked shit kickers — legs and going in for a bite, even as he thrust out as hard as he could with his legs, praying that he made contact with one of the other assholes.
He wasn’t sure what he’d done today — maybe he’d been caught reading, maybe he’d looked at the wrong guy the wrong way, maybe he’d just shown up here in the gym after any teachers who would stop this shit had left.
Regardless, there were five rednecks kicking his ass, and not very many people seemed to give a shit.
In fact, he heard no protest save his own. Fuckers. All of them. People tended to disappear like smoke when someone was beating him up instead of chanting about fights.
He got in a handful of blows, three good bites, and a kick that had to have hit someone’s balls, because damn, the screaming. Then he heard Miss Garces, her voice snapping through the air.
“All of you leave him alone right now! I will kick all y’all’s asses. You little punks want to graduate? I can assure that won’t happen!”
Thank God. The cavalry had arrived.
He landed hard when the kid holding his shirt let go, but the assholes all scattered like roaches, running from the authority of a teacher. Anderson groaned, trying not to curl back up in a ball, even though he hurt all over.
Acting like a pussy didn’t do him any good. Not at all. He swallowed some blood and counted his teeth with his tongue. Nothing seemed shattered or missing.
“Come on, Anderson. Let’s get you an ice pack. It’ll help the bleeding.” Miss Garces wasn’t but a few years older than him, and sweet as pie. She tried to be all efficient and stoic, but she had to be upset.
“Thanks.” He sounded like he was gargling salt water, which was what he would have to do later. “Sorry.”
“No, sir. You don’t apologize. You didn’t do anything wrong.” Her voice was fierce, but her hands were gentle as she helped him to his feet. “Come with me. We’ll fix it. Can you walk?”
“I have no idea.” Anderson swayed, bile rising up in his throat. He was gonna puke up a scene from the Shining.
“Jesus. Honey, I think we should call the police and your parents. Maybe an ambulance.”
“You can’t. The guys will never let up if you call my parents.”
“Then we expel the little shits. This isn’t normal. This is nasty.” She looked up, glancing around a little wildly. “Jericho? Jericho, I see you over there. Come help me get Anderson in the office. Did you see this?”
“Liar.” He lifted his head, trying to see. “You run with them. You knew.”
“No I don’t. They ain’t friends of mine.” Jericho Yeager was… well, he was already the kind of cowboy the girls read about in romances. Lean. Stoic. Off to work on the family ranch as soon as school was out. He never once stood up for Anderson, though. Not once.
“Just help me get him up so I can get him to the office!”
At Miss Garces’ voice, Jericho jumped and trotted over, boots clicking on the gym floor.
“Yes, ma’am.” Jericho slung an arm around him, supporting most of his weight.
Miss Garces muttered, all the way to the office, where Mrs. Maydel stared at him as if he’d grown too heads. “Call 911. I need an ambulance and the police. Also, get Anderson’s mother on the phone.”
Oh, Momma was gonna cry and fuss so hard. Daddy would just ask whether he needed to kill someone. Maybe he would let his dad kill Frank Nedry. The asshole was the one who’d started it all. Then again, Quint did have those pointy toes, and they’d done the most damage.
He grabbed his phone from his backpack, flipped it open, and called his sister Bailey. She answered and before she could get out more than, ‘hello’, he said, “Got my ass handed to me, Sister. Cops are coming. Ambulance. Help?”
“Oh my God. I’m coming. You’re still at school?”
“Uh-huh.” He started shaking, and he was terrified he was fixin’ to break down and blubber. “They called the ambulance, Sister.”
“We can’t afford that, Bubba. You tell them you won’t go with them. Then they can’t charge you. I’ll take you to the hospital myself.” She had to know all this from when Daddy’d broken both his ankles in a drought crack. God.
“Okay. Okay, hurry. Please. Please. I cain’t breathe.”
“I’m in the truck. Just hold on, Bubba. I’m coming.”
The line went dead and he tried to do just that. Hold on. Breathe. He felt a little like he was underwater.
“Hey, he don’t look so good.” What was Jericho still doing here? “He’s wheezing like he’s got a broken rib.”
“Sister says no ambulance. We can’t afford it.” Anderson coughed, blood on his tongue.
“Honey, you have to go to the hospital. Why can’t we get your momma on the phone? She just won’t answer.”
She probably couldn’t. Denny’s didn’t allow personal calls. “Sister’s coming.” Bailey would fix it. She always did.
“Now, now.” The principal was there suddenly, leading everyone else away. Mr. Meeks was always so kind but firm. “He has family coming.”
Please God. He thought he needed help. Soon. This wasn’t like the other beat downs he’d had. This might make the newspaper.
He didn’t hear sirens, so he guessed that was good. Anderson floated, trying not to fall asleep. What if he had a concussion?
“Bubba? Oh, my God. Bubba.” Bailey was there, taking his hands. “Someone help get me in the truck. Now, goddamn it!”
“I’ll help.” Jericho again. Shit, was he ever going to go away? Did he have to see this humiliation?
“Thank you. Be gentle with him. He’s fucked up.”
“Shut up, Bubba.”
He coughed, wet goo running down his chin. The blood was bubbling now.
“Here.” Jericho eased him into the truck. “You get them to come out and put him on a stretcher when you get there. That way they can start giving him some air.”
“I will. Thanks.”
He looked up, the world streaked with red. “I’m going to California, and I’m never ever coming back here. Ever.”
“Good luck on that, buddy.” Jericho let him go and finally disappeared like a magician’s bunny.
“I’ve got you, Bubba. Just keep your head above water.” Bailey touched his arm before getting them moving.
“Love you, Sister. I’m going to show them all. I swear to God.”
“I know you are. I can’t wait to see what all you do.” She never condescended. She meant it. She was his number one fan.
“I’m going to make you proud.” He swore it. He was going to get out of here and make them all proud.
No matter what.