Sweet Mercy - Lynn Hagen

Chapter One

“I’m off to run my errands,” Mercy said from the hallway outside his stepbrother’s office. “Was there anything you needed while I’m out?”

Mercy rolled his eyes when he saw that Lincoln had Red pinned against his desk, the two making out like horny teenagers. They’d been that way since Red had finally given Lincoln a chance, and the two had been hard to separate since.

Lincoln had also made Red his new tech guy, which Mercy had talked his stepbrother into doing. Red’s talents had been wasted as a ranch worker.

Now the books were digitally caught up, and Lincoln was a happy man instead of threatening to throw his computer out the window.

“Do you mind?” Lincoln asked when he came up for air.

“If you wanted privacy, you should’ve closed your door,” Mercy huffed. “I’ll be back later. Try not to suffocate each other while I’m gone.”

Of course Mercy was a bit jealous that he didn’t have someone pawing him like that, but after his last boyfriend, he wasn’t ready to jump back onto the dating wagon. He wasn’t sure if he ever would be.

It had been three long years since he’d come to Wheeler Ranch to recover from what Lloyd had done to him, and Mercy was still struggling with the physical, emotional, and mental abuse he’d suffered through.

Lloyd Carrington had been the epitome of cruelty, and even to this day Mercy still had nightmares about his past with his ex. He had a hard time trusting men when it came to his heart, and sadly, Mercy didn’t think that would ever change.

He stepped outside to the bright afternoon and waved at Brett, a guy who had been a simple ranch worker but was now the new foreman. The last one turned out to be a psycho twat who had tried to kill Red.

Thank goodness Red had survived. Mercy couldn’t say the same for Adam.

Mercy paused when he noticed strangers next to Brett. He knew Lincoln had told Brett to hire new ranch workers, but Mercy had yet to meet them.

His gaze zeroed in on the one to Brett’s left. The guy was what wet dreams were made of. He was thick with muscles, and from where Mercy stood, he saw the stranger had a head full of blond hair. Mercy was dying to see him up close but quickly turned away and headed for his dark green Jeep, which held a few rust spots here and there.

It was still in great condition, so the body didn’t really bother him. Mercy wasn’t one of those people who had to have the latest, the greatest, and expensive things.

As he walked across the yard, his gaze drifted back to the new hires.

He wasn’t going to lust after a hired hand. Mercy wasn’t going to lust after anyone. He was perfectly happy cooking and cleaning, safe in his little bubble.

He bit his lip and forced himself into his Jeep, ignoring the hot stud standing not twenty feet away. Nope. Mercy wasn’t going to ogle the handsome man. He was going to keep as much distance between them as possible.

He pulled out from where he’d parked the night before and drove down the long driveway, refusing to look in his rearview mirror. Jesus. Of course Mercy missed sex. Three years dry was enough to make any man turn into a scowling, bitter person, but thankfully he hadn’t.

Still, Mercy wasn’t the type to have one-night stands. He was a forever kind of guy, and since Lloyd had left a nasty taste in his mouth, Mr. Sexy could tempt someone else.

Mercy yelped and gripped the wheel tighter when he heard a loud pop and the Jeep veered toward the woods. He managed to get himself to the side of the road, though at the moment, there wasn’t another vehicle in sight.

“What the hell?” He got out and walked around his Jeep, groaning when he saw the flat tire. He’d known for some time that the tire needed replacing. A bubble had begun to form on the wall. But Mercy had put off getting it replaced, telling himself he would do it tomorrow.

That had been a month ago.

That was what he got for procrastinating, a flat tire on a country road with no traffic and no passersby who could help him.

Dang it.

Mercy took out his phone and called Lincoln. He wasn’t even sure Lincoln would answer his phone. His face was stuffed against Red’s, and he might not hear the phone.

“Forget something?” Lincoln asked when he answered.

Mercy nearly