Friday, January 1, 2016

Spotlight: Texas Chaos by Sable Hunter

The letters C. H. A. O. S. don’t just refer to reality out of control, it’s an alert–the Chief Has Arrived On Scene! Logan Gray is that chief. He covers the ground he stands on and people show respect when he walks by. In his late thirties, Logan is a confirmed bachelor. While he may adore the young Jenna from afar, at 18, he considers her to be a lifetime too young for him.
Jenna is of another opinion. Logan Gray is everything to her. He rescued her from a fire at 16. His parents took her in when she had nothing and no one. Raised on his Gray Wolf guest ranch, Jenna learns how to trick-ride and perform in the rodeo. When Logan’s not looking, she even loves to try her hand at bull-riding. And now, she is ready to go after what she wants most–Logan Gray. 
Ignoring the fact that his heart and body craves Jenna like a drug, Logan does what he thinks is best and gently turns her down. What happens next turns his world on end. Logan learns that love can’t be defined by a number and life without Jenna is no life at all.

“I’ll survive. I’m just glad to be alive.” Logan shut the car door to his parent’s black BMW luxury sedan. “All I need is a little rest.”
“Here, come up on the porch and sit down.” Louisa Gray was fussing over him. “I can’t believe someone killed that woman and then set her house on fire. Who would do such a thing?”
Logan shook his head. “I don’t know. Whoever did it didn’t intend for there to be anything left to investigate. He doused that entire house in gasoline.” Logan winced. When the propane tank exploded, he’d been knocked out. If it hadn’t been for his turn-out suit and the quick actions of his men, both he and Chris would've been hurt badly. As it was, Chris had escaped with a broken arm and he just had a few burns on the side of his neck and shoulder. Nothing he couldn’t live with.
“I hope the authorities find him soon. Knowing there’s a killer on the loose is nerve-wracking.” As she spoke, his mother put pillows behind his back and handed him a glass of tea. “At least you’ll be able to get some rest. I hate it took a tragedy to get you to slow down.” His father gave Logan a knowing smile. Louisa Gray would take full advantage of his downtime. 
“Well, I’m here now.”
“You just rest, I’m going in to put on supper.”
Logan felt a bit of relief when his mother quit hovering. The pain wasn’t bad. Getting hurt wasn’t the worst part. He’d known the victim. Not well, but Faye Williams had been a familiar face. It was little comfort, but at least she hadn’t burned to death. The police said she’d been shot, murdered. Dead was dead, he just hoped she hadn’t suffered.
“So, where’s Jenna?” He knew she must be gone. Otherwise she would’ve been at the hospital with his parents when they’d picked him up from the emergency room.
Yea, he’d looked for her. He couldn’t help it.
Earl folded his hands over the shelf of his stomach. “Well, you’re not going to like it.”
“Like what?”
“I’ve tried to stop her. Threatened to tell you.”
“Tell me what?” Logan was getting impatient with his father.
“When Jenna’s not practicing her trick riding, she’s been trying her hand at riding…bulls. She left with Dixie yesterday to attend a rodeo up near Fort Worth. They had plans to meet with another little lady from Michigan who’s been professionally competing with men on the professional bull riding circuit. Said she wanted to get some pointers. ”
Logan jerked, hurting his neck. “What do you mean?”
Earl eyed him, no expression on his face. “Just what I said. She’s been sneaking rides on some of your stock.” He folded his arms and looked off in the distance. “She’s pretty good too, the men tell me. All that trick-riding gives her an advantage. Nice form.”
“What the fuck do you mean letting that tiny little thing on the top of a fuckin’ bull?” Logan practically raised the roof on the porch. “Bushwhacker is unridden!”
His father shrugged. “Nobody said she got on Bushwhacker. The men wouldn’t let her do that, she was trying her hand at some of the more docile ones.” As Logan gave him the eagle eye, Earl had to hide a grin. “She’s taken a spill or two, nothing serious. Cecil and Robert have been looking after her. They even put out hay for her to take a tumble on.”
“Over my dead body.” Logan grumbled. “I’ll fire the next idiot who encourages her.” At Earl’s snort, Logan sat up too quickly and winced. “I’ll talk to her. She won’t be doing it again.”
“Hmmmph,” Earl mumbled, “I’d like to hear that conversation.” He’d no more than said the words when the roar of an engine caught their attention. “Speak of the devil and she appears.” They both looked up to see a white streak of lightning come careening down the drive.
Standing up, Earl yelled. “Louisa, we need to visit some friends.”
Hearing the commotion, Logan’s mother rejoined them on the porch. “What? No, that’s Jenna. I want to talk to her.” Letting herself be led by her husband to the car, she grumbled. “Will you turn me loose, Earl?” She went, but she didn't go quietly. “This isn’t the time to leave. I need to cook supper.” Even after he shut the door, she still kept on. “I need to stay. I have work to do.”
Logan sat up. He’d just been abandoned by his folks while the person who mattered the most in the world to him was descending on him like a Texas windstorm. Oh well, he’d get her mind off his injuries by letting her know exactly what he thought about her riding damn bulls. 
Jenna slammed on her brakes, cut the engine, and was out the door in a flash. She ran to the porch as fast as she could, throwing herself at Logan’s feet. Tears had left wet streaks down both sides of her face. “God, Logan. Are you all right? I’m so grateful you’re alive. Are you hurting? Can I touch you?”
“I’m fine.” He said the words calmly, but the sight of her made his insides feel like someone was stirring them with a sharp stick. “If you drove like that all the way from Fort Worth, I’m surprised you didn’t get a ticket.”
“I got two,” she confessed, her hand moving upward to touch his cheek. “You are hurt.” Jenna began to cry.
“No, no, I’m not in pain.” He sought to assure her. “They gave me drugs.”
“Which you haven’t taken, have you?” While Logan battled with his own private demons, she laid her head in his lap. “I was so afraid, so scared. When I heard you’d been hurt in the fire, I nearly went crazy. If anything ever happened to you I couldn’t go on.”
“Oh, yes you could.” His hand hovered over her head. “You shouldn’t have hurried home.” She was like a breath of fresh air for his soul, but he couldn’t let his guard down for even a second with her. Jenna was just too big of a temptation for him to resist. She’d never know how hard he’d fought to keep their relationship that of a brother or a sister, or an uncle and a niece. Shit, their age difference would make them closer to being father and daughter. But he couldn’t think of her that way – he had never felt paternal toward Jenna Travis. From the moment he’d laid eyes on her, he’d wanted her with every fiber of his being. But he didn’t intend to ruin her life just to make himself happy. He'd learned from Chief Hodgins mistakes.
“Of course I had to come. You’re my Logan.” She pressed her hand to his chest, finding comfort in how solid it was. “So you're really okay?”
“Yes,” he assured her. “Just a few burns. See?” He moved his shirt aside so she could inspect the small places that had been doctored and dressed.
Wrapping her arms around his waist, she hugged him tight. 
Seeing a scrape on her arm, he picked it up. “What happened?”
“Nothing, I just bumped up against something.”
“A fence?” Her evasive answer ticked him off. “What’s this I hear about you riding a bull? That’s the most insane thing I’ve ever hear of and I expressly forbid you to do it again!” His voice had raised with every word. By the time he was finished, Logan was shouting.
“Forbid?” Jenna raised one delicate eyebrow. “Only fathers and husbands can forbid and you, dear Logan, or neither.”
Logan growled. “I’m someone who cares about you and I’m telling you NO MORE BULLS! Do you hear me?”
“Yes, I hear you. I think people in the next county heard you.” She smiled at him sweetly. “And for the record, you’re the only man in the world I want to care about me.”
Logan steeled himself to her charm. “I’ll always be here for you. Whatever you need, Jenna, you know that.” Trying to reestablish boundaries was difficult.
“You know what my answer is.” She picked up his hand and kissed it, but he gently removed it from her grasp. “I told you the other day. I need you.” She sat back on her heels, her eyes still shimmering with tears.
“Jenna, that’s not possible.” Unable to keep his hand to himself, he pushed a lock of hair gently over her shoulder. “You have your life to live. You don’t need some older man taking up space in your world.”
“Older man?” Jenna rose up on her knees, bringing herself closer to him. “You’re not even forty. You’re in the prime of life. You’re perfect!”
“You’d feel differently after a few years.”
“I would not. I am an adult now, a fully grown woman.” She thrust out her breasts and Logan almost bit his tongue.

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