Authors: Sawyer Bennett
Tags: #Contemporary, #Wyoming, #cowboy, #steamy, #Romance, #Erotic
By Sawyer Bennett
All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2015 by Sawyer Bennett
Published by Big Dog Books
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
No part of this book can be reproduced in any form or by electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without the express written permission of the author. The only exception is by a reviewer who may quote short excerpts in a review.
I trot up the porch steps, my boots clunking loudly as heels meet wood. It looks like I’m walking into an ordinary log cabin home—one story, knotty white pine weathered to a burnished mocha color. It is, in fact, my home office. And by home office, I mean the place where I conduct my business as I sit on top of a dynasty built upon the backs of cattle and fueled larger by oil sucked from the ground.
My office looks like a home because it used to be one. More specifically, this used to be my great-grandfather Jared Jennings’ modest log cabin. He built it upon the initial acres of the Double J ranch, which he founded upon just a measly ten-thousand acres at the base of the Teton Mountains in Wyoming.
And yes, ten thousand acres is measly when you consider that JennCo—the parent corporation that holds the cattle and oil businesses—now owns just over three hundred thousand acres between Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
It’s no wonder my shoulders always seem to sag under the weight of the monstrosity I manage. My father, Jake Jennings, died almost eighteen months ago and since my mother had passed a long time ago, the burden of JennCo fell to me and my brother, Tenn.
At thirty-four, Tenn is older than me by two years and should rightly be JennCo’s CEO, but he doesn’t want any part of it. He’s happy living his quiet existence clear across the country with his wife, Casey, their three-month-old daughter, Bree and his daughter by another marriage, Zoe. While Tenn spent the first year after my father’s death helping me transition into the driver’s seat, he’s been gradually backing away from the business end of it.
I can’t say I blame him. He just doesn’t have the passion that’s needed to run this empire, and he’d rather tinker with the motorcycles in his custom shop.
Not only do I not blame him, I’m actually a bit envious.
Everyone turned their eyes to me the minute Jake Jennings bit the dust after taking a fall off his horse and an errant hoof to the center of his chest. While I watched Lucky, one of my father’s longtime ranch hands, perform CPR on him, I felt the keen loss of my most influential mentor. I also immediately felt the weight of responsibility press down up on me, because Tenn had already made his break away from the family. I knew that I would be expected to take up the reins and lead JennCo forward.
And that is the last thing in the world I wanted.
People would be surprised to hear that because I never ventured forth from the ranch. Minus the four years I spent at the University of Wyoming, my life has been here at the Double J. I’ve been working cattle since I was old enough to ride a horse, and I love it. I mean, I absolutely love the work.
I just didn’t want it to be my
Like Tenn… I had other desires.
Unlike Tenn… mine are a bit darker.
A bit more lecherous.
They are altogether nasty at times.
I unlock the door and step into the converted log cabin. It’s been modernized and upgraded over the years, once serving as one of the homes offered to the foremen before becoming an office. This cabin became obsolete as a family home once my grandfather, Louis Jennings, took over the Double J. It was his vision that catapulted the modest ranch into JennCo and put us on the Forbes list. And of course, you can’t rub money elbows with other tycoons and not have a western-styled palace to show off. Said palace would be just to the west of us… the home where I was raised and now live.
Fifteen thousand feet of treated lumber, slate stone, and glass that is built on top of a large butte. It looks like a long, sprawling cabin from the front, but the house practically dribbles down the back for three stories. It’s a behemoth, but it’s also what I’ve called home for my entire life.
I flip on the lights as I walk through what used to be the living room but has now been converted into a secretarial office. I currently do not have a secretary because I can’t seem to keep one employed for longer than a few weeks at a time. I don’t think I’m a hard taskmaster even though I might wield a riding crop quite well on a woman. But I am a hard worker who has always gone balls to the wall from sunup to sundown most of my life, and while I never expect the staff to keep pace with me, I do expect them to have a work ethic. It seems like every woman, and even the one man, that I put into the position of my administrative assistant was more interested in posting selfies on Instagram than doing the fucking work I assign them. At least now, I’ve vowed to myself to use a temp agency and let them vet out the candidates because I just don’t have time for this shit.
I walk down a hallway and back to what was the largest bedroom in the house. It was my father’s office, and it’s now mine as evidenced by the wooden plaque on the door that says
. My mother was a lover of literature, a high school English teacher by trade. Even though she married into immense wealth, she loved to teach.
And she loved Lord Alfred Tennyson and Virginia Woolf the most, so goes the story of how Tenn and I were named.
Pushing the door open, I flip the light switch, taking off my Stetson and hanging it on the peg beside the door. The office is richly appointed with lustrous, reclaimed wood flooring, heavy pine furniture in a Native American design, and cowhide-covered chairs recycled from some of our own cattle. It’s masculine and still bears the faint odor of my father’s cigars in the air.
The unmistakable, heavy boot steps of Bridger echo down the hallway, and I can smell the coffee in his hands before I see him. He steps through my office door, which is almost a squeeze for him as the guy is massively built at six-foot-six inches of honed muscle and tattoos. On the quickest of glances, he looks like he belongs on a cattle ranch. Thick denim jeans, plaid western shirt, appropriate shiny belt buckle, and brown Stetson. His face is tanned from riding range on hot summer days and his hands are roughly calloused from roping cattle or mending torn fences. He’s a true cowboy in every sense.
Except he’s not.
Look closer and you see a man that, like me, entertains the thought of living another type of life.
“This is the last time I’m bringing you coffee,” Bridger mutters as he hands a tall thermos to me. “Buy a fucking coffee pot for this office. It’s not like you don’t have the money.”
I accept the container, pop the top, and take a quick sip. “True enough. But what I don’t have is an assistant to go out and buy a fucking coffee pot. You think I have time to drive the thirty miles to town to do that?”
“Pansy-assed whiner,” Bridger says affectionately as he takes his own hat off and hangs it on the peg beside mine.
Bridger is the only one that would ever get away with calling me that, and that’s because he’s closer to me than anyone. Even my brother, Tenn.
We met our freshman year in college, pledging for the same fraternity. We survived Hell Week and made it through together. We bonded first as fraternity brothers and classmates. Later, the bond grew a bit deeper when we fortuitously found out we shared some common interests of an indelicate nature.
I set the thermos down on my desk and walk over to a set of rolled building plans on one of the built-in pine shelves.
“I got the final renderings,” I say as I unroll them out on my desk, securing each of the curling corners with a stapler, my coffee, my cell phone, and my right hand at the corner that rests near my hip. Bridger steps up next to me, sipping at his brew.
We both stare down silently at the plans, our eyes roving over the blue lines with tiny descriptions and measurements etched in. In the upper right corner, in deep blue ink—The Wicked Horse. Next to it, the brand I developed. A round circle with an inner circle and eight spokes dividing the outer ring into seven sections. It’s simple and to the casual observer, it sort of looks like a wheel.
“So take me through it,” Bridger commands.
I point down at the large structure on the top sheet. “This is the main club area. I don’t have the specs on the exterior plans yet, but just envision a weathered barn.”
“Like it could be any old building on the Double J,” Bridger says with a satisfied grin.
“Exactly.” I slide my finger along the lines. “Main bar here… stage for weekly bands… dance floor. I figure this area here can hold at least thirty tables. We’ll put another bar back here, a small built-in store to sell merchandise, and this area back here will all be storage.”
“And this?” Bridger asks as he points to a large room.
Bridger moves his finger to an exit door. “And this is how you get to The Silo?”
“Yup,” I say as I pull the top sheet of the plans off. I lay it on the floor, and I don’t give it another thought. Because the truth is, it’s really not that important. What I just showed Bridger is nothing but a front.
It’s a lie called The Wicked Horse. A western-styled nightclub sitting on the very border of the Double J ranch that is closest to the town of Jackson. It’s sure to be a big hit with the tourists that flock to this area year round for the abundance of summer and winter activities.
I glide my fingertips over the next sheet of plans, because this is actually what’s really important. This is what I envisioned when I came up with the concept of The Wicked Horse and asked Bridger if he wanted to go in on it with me.
We have no interest in running a nightclub. They’re a dime a dozen. As I said… the barn-styled club is nothing but an image for people to believe that what I do is respectable.
Because there is much more to The Wicked Horse than just meets the casual observer’s eye.
“It’s amazing,” Bridger says in a low voice as he takes in all that encompasses The Silo.
It’s a separate building that sits behind the main club. It looks like a common variety silo that would store silage for the cattle. Except it’s enormous in size, at least one-hundred and fifty feet in diameter and constructed of concrete staves. It has the classic white-domed top and even has an authentic-looking grain elevator that isn’t really an elevator. Purely aesthetical, of course.
The Silo is really what it’s all about.
It’s round… it’s a hub.
It’s the center of everything that The Wicked Horse really is.
It’s where our fantasy sex club will start.
“They’re ready to start construction next week,” I tell Bridger.
“It’s a fucking brilliant design,” he says with admiration.
And I couldn’t agree more as I look at the architectural drawings. The outer perimeter of the silo will be seven rooms. Four on one side and three on the other. Concrete walls will keep the rooms separated, with an outer hall that runs behind them around the entire perimeter. There is one large, floor-to-ceiling glass wall that is open to the interior of the round building. No curtains. No blinds. No way to hide anything that happens inside one of those rooms.
That’s because this building was designed in mind to meet the needs of those people—like Bridger and I—who enjoy the kinkier side of sex. This building will serve all of those people that like to be exhibitionists and voyeurs. The watcher and the watched.
The exact center of The Silo will be anchored by a round bar. The decor will not be western like the night club area, but I envision sleek chrome, black leather, and red velvet. It has to be upscale, because frankly… only the wealthiest of people, and those they choose to bring with them, will ever see the interior of this building.
“These three rooms will be the bondage rooms,” I tell him as I point to the drawing. “That’s your area of expertise, so I’ll need you to start thinking about how you want to outfit them.”