Authors: Stacey Espino
Iron Spur Ranch 1
The Private Stable
Rachel Price finds refuge from her abusive boyfriend on the Iron Spur Ranch. After applying as a horse handler, Wyatt Black and Ethan Ryder are the cowboys assigned to show her the ropes.
It’s difficult for Rachel to understand why any man would be interested in her. She’s battled weight and self-esteem issues for as long as she can remember. But the men can’t seem to get enough of her—curves and all.
When the two cowboys seduce the timid brunette, she easily slips into their world of dirty sex. They introduce her to new possibilities and teach her what it is to really live again. As their relationship develops, she is continually curious about what goes on in the private stable. When she finally discovers the exclusive BDSM club at the far corner of the ranch, she craves to learn more—and the men deliver.
BDSM, Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Western/Cowboys
Iron Spur Ranch 1
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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IMPRINT: Ménage Amour
THE PRIVATE STABLE
Copyright © 2012 by Stacey Espino
E-book ISBN: 978-1-62242-116-9
First E-book Publication: December 2012
Cover design by Harris Channing
All cover art and logo copyright © 2012 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
Siren Publishing, Inc.
Letter to Readers
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The Private Stable
by Stacey Espino from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.
Regarding E-book Piracy
This book is copyrighted intellectual property. No other individual or group has resale rights, auction rights, membership rights, sharing rights, or any kind of rights to sell or to give away a copy of this book.
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This is Stacey Espino’s livelihood.
It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Espino’s right to earn a living from her work.
Amanda Hilton, Publisher
This book is dedicated to the two winners of my Name That Cowboy Contest.
Crystal Hynds, who came up with
, and Susan Foulkes, who came up with
Thank you, ladies!
THE PRIVATE STABLE
Iron Spur Ranch 1
Copyright © 2012
The glass shattered only feet from her head, a few shards grazing her cheek and bare shoulder. Rachel’s entire body tensed, her heart pounding in her ears. She dared not breathe.
“You couldn’t remember to put cheese on my fucking sandwich?”
“We don’t have any left,” she said, her mind racing as she tried to think of ways to pacify him.
Jason breathed so heavily it sounded like an enraged bull pacing in front of her, not the man she had planned to spend the rest of her life with. “And you couldn’t think to get your fat ass out of the apartment to buy some yesterday?”
“We–we’re out of grocery money.”
Mentioning their financial troubles when he was borderline drunk wasn’t the best idea. He reached for something else on the table, and she instinctively squatted down and covered her head with her forearms.
I can’t believe this is happening to me.
And it wasn’t the first time.
“Stupid bitch! I don’t know why the fuck I put up with you.” He kicked over her plant stand before storming out of the apartment. After slamming the door forcibly behind him, the pictures on the walls rattled in protest. At least he hadn’t tried to hit her today. It always felt more demeaning when he struck her with his hand, the violation somehow more personal.
Silence settled over the apartment, like a blanket of snow on an abandoned field. She wasn’t sure how it happened, but he always made her feel like the bad guy. Was she supposed to feel guilty? Shouldn’t she be more important than a slice of cheese? Rachel’s world was so isolated and sheltered that she wasn’t sure what she should feel any more. Jason only succeeded in making her feel ashamed of her life and very, very alone.
She stayed rooted in place for several minutes, too afraid to move until she was one hundred percent sure he was gone. When all remained silent, she dared to peek open her eyes.
Her favorite plants were strewn across the beige carpet, dark soil everywhere. She crawled over on her hands and knees and began to gather the mess into a makeshift pile. Tears welled up in her eyes, not for the damage to her things, but for the life passing her by. Rachel mourned for the girl she used to be, one full of hopes and dreams. One who would never put up with an abusive boyfriend. Now she felt violated and angry, hurt and scared. It had been the same cycle for the past few years. He’d get drunk and go into a rage over the slightest thing, everything negative in his life suddenly her fault, and then he’d apologize and shower her with sweet words and false promises. After a few days he would be back to his old ways—insulting, demeaning, and threatening. He had her confidence at such a low that she didn’t even have the balls to stand up for herself anymore, certain there was nothing for her beyond the four walls of their apartment.
Rachel got to her feet and looked out the fifth-story living room window. The skies were gray, but the city always seemed to be covered in a somber haze. It was her perpetual prison.
Where could Jason be going at this hour?
Why should she even care after the way he’d treated her? These days Jason didn’t even need a drink to be an asshole. She wondered what she ever saw in him at all and doubted she even knew what love was at this point in her life. A good day was when she managed to keep his anger at bay. Dreams were a thing of the past.
She had no family for miles, and Jason had successfully alienated all her friends. Rachel wanted to leave, but how? Without a penny to her name, no formal education, and no family support, she was essentially trapped. Although, she knew the biggest hurdle was within.
After she finished cleaning the mess of glass and soil Jason had made, she trudged to the bedroom. She undressed in front of the full-length mirror, something she rarely did these days. Today she was celebrating a full-blown pity party, so getting a full view of her excess pounds and imperfections seemed appropriate. She couldn’t complain too much, not when her expanding figure kept Jason away from her at night. In fact, she couldn’t even remember the last time he’d made a sexual advance toward her.
Unfortunately, she doubted any decent man would give her the time of day, either. And Jason was sure to remind her of the fact.
Her best days were behind her, and she had little to offer besides more baggage than one woman should carry at twenty-eight. What did she have to show for her life thus far? She had no husband, no children, no career…and nothing remotely satisfying to reminisce about. It would be nice to have something to wake up for in the morning or to experience the peace and security of true love.
She stepped close enough to the mirror to see the pupils of her green eyes. She felt haunted, witnessing a shadow of herself that needed help to be set free. “What are you doing with your life, Rachel? Why do you let him treat you like this?” She grew angry at her reflection for the injustices she let her boyfriend commit against her. But in actuality, she only had no one else to blame.
When she heard keys in the lock, her blood ran cold. She rushed to turn off the bedroom light before Jason realized she was still awake. She tugged on the nightgown she’d set on the end of the bed, struggling to get her arms in the sleeves, and then slipped under the blankets. If she pretended to be asleep, she wouldn’t have to deal with him. Rachel was tired of fighting and even more tired of cowering. Her zest for life had vanished once she forgave Jason the second time. Deep down, she knew he’d never stop mistreating her, but she held on to the dream, the slim hope he’d change his ways. Now she was surviving each day rather than living life.
He didn’t try to keep quiet. His heavy footfalls approached the bedroom, making her nerves fire hot. She clenched her fists so hard that she swore her nails would leave permanent impressions in her palms. It was a comfort measure her body relied on in times of undue stress.
When she was a little girl, her mother would let her squeeze her hand as hard as she could if she was scared. Only this wasn’t a visit to the dentist. She was terrified of the man who was supposed to be her white knight, the one to dry her tears, not create them.
He didn’t even apologize or ask her what was wrong like he usually did within hours of a fight. It was then that she knew their relationship had crossed a new line, and things were only bound to get worse.
* * * *
The next morning she walked to the gas station at the corner and made a collect call to her mother. It was something she had to do. “Hi, it’s me, Rachel,” she said. They hadn’t talked in months because Jason said her mother was a bad influence, only trying to break them apart. Rachel was afraid he’d find out she called, so she didn’t dare use the phone in their apartment. Rather, she waited until he left for the day before heading out.
“I’m glad you called. How have things been lately?”