Sam passed by the main house and drove around back, parking his little car in front of his mom's house. He knew she would be inside the main house right now but that gave him time to get settled in before the questions began. He needed that time to figure out what he was going to say to his mom. Explaining away the last five years wasn't going to be easy.
Sam climbed out of his car then went to the trunk to grab his stuff. There wasn't much. He hadn't taken the time to grab more than the basics before fleeing. With one wrist in a cast, he had to make three trips to get everything inside. After stacking everything in the corner of his room, he sat down on the side of the bed.
He hadn't expected his room to look the same as the day he had left. He had been hoping to maybe just stay on the couch or something until he could get on his feet. Sam flopped back on the bed and covered his eyes with his arm. This had been unexpected. He didn't know what to think. It was like his mom expected him back at any time.
That was a good thing, right?
Sam smiled when he heard the front door open and close and his mom's voice calling out to him. He jumped up off the bed and raced out into the living room. He stopped at the end of the hallway and just stared at his mom, the woman he hadn't laid eyes on in five years.
"Damn, you just get more beautiful with age don't you?" He grinned when a soft rosy flush filled his mom's cheeks. Gods, he loved the woman. "I hope that's a trait I get from you when I'm older."
Sam didn't try and suppress the tears that came to his eyes this time as he rushed across the room and into the arms his mom held out to him. He buried his face in her neck and inhaled as deeply as he could. Everything in his world settled as the sweet scent of lavender filled his senses.
"I missed you, Son."
"I missed you too, Mom."
Sarah Bishop leaned back and ran her hand down the side of Sam's face, her eyes searching his. "How long are you home, Son?"
Sam shrugged, glancing away. "I'm not sure, Mom. I have some thinking to do before I make any decisions."
Sarah nodded. "Does Jesse know you're home?"
"Jesse?" Sam frowned. That was the same thing that Gabe had asked him. Why was everyone so interested in whether Jesse McCaffrey knew he was home or not? "No, why would he?"
Sarah's mouth pressed together for a moment, a pensive look wrinkling her forehead, and then she shook her head. "You need to let Jesse know you're home, Son. He runs the place now."
"I'm not here to see Jesse, Mom."
"You still need to let him know that you're back, Son. He's going to want to know."
Sam knew that tone. It was the one that said mom was putting her foot down. He could argue with her until his face turned blue but it wouldn't do him any good. "Fine." Sam sighed deeply. "I'll go tell Jesse that I'm home."
Sam didn't understand why everyone was so all fired up about him telling Jesse that he was home but if it would get everyone off his back, he'd do it. Right after he got done throwing up from the butterflies swimming around in his stomach at the thought of seeing the man again.
"He's out on the range right now but he should be back soon." Sarah patted Sam's arm. "Why don't you go wait for him on the front porch of the main house? I'm sure he will want to see you the moment he gets back."
Sam seriously doubted that but who was he to argue. Sam leaned in and gave his mom a small kiss on her cheek then walked out of the front door. His stomach was clenching and his palms felt damp and clammy.
Maybe coming home wasn't such a good idea. He had intended to avoid Jesse at all costs. Now, it looked like everyone was doing everything they could to make sure he was placed right in Jesse's path.
Sam's steps slowed as he rounded the front of the house. He stopped at the edge and looked toward the front of the house. His eyes settled on the long porch that ran the length of the front of the house. His memories of the place were good and bad.
The wide stone front steps that led up to the thick double doors were where Jesse had kissed Sam for the very first—and last— time. The steps were also the place Jesse had been standing the last time Sam ever saw him.
Sam's feet felt like lead weights as he walked toward the steps. He could think of a million different places he would rather be than right here. Well, he didn't mind being home so much. He just didn't want to be in the crosshairs of Jesse McCaffrey.
That scared him more than Desmond did.
Sam walked to the edge of the steps then climbed up to the top. He turned and sat down, resting injured wrist on his thighs. He didn't know what Jesse did around the ranch anymore so he didn't know how long he had to wait.
The cloud of dust coming up the driveway at a break neck speed was a big clue. Sam swallowed hard and pressed his cast against his stomach as he tried to quell his nerves and hold it together long enough to get away without losing his composure.
Jesse McCaffrey was coming for him.
And he looked pissed.
"Jesse." Sam's hand raised up as if he wanted to touch Jesse then fluttered back to his chest. "I…what"—Sam licked his lips, instantly drawing Jesse's gaze—"what's going on?"
Jesse reached up and rubbed his thumb over Sam's plump lips. Damn, they were the softest thing he had ever felt. Jesse still remembered the one brief kiss he'd received five years ago. He didn't think he'd ever forget.
"You figure it out," Jesse murmured right before he lowered his head and took his second kiss from the man meant to be his. The moment their lips met, Jesse groaned. Sam tasted just as good as he remembered, maybe even better.
Jesse licked along the seam of Sam's mouth until the man's lips parted slightly then he dived in, pushing past Sam's lips to explore inside. The tremble that shook Sam's body was like a heady stream of lust shooting right into Jesse's veins.
After Sam had left so abruptly, Jesse had questioned the man's eager response to their first kiss. He wondered if he had imagined the desire he had seen burning in Sam's eyes all those years ago.
Now he knew he hadn't.
Sam wanted him just as much as he wanted Sam. Jesse needed to know why Sam had left. His heart ached for that knowledge. But he wasn't going to ask a single question until he claimed Sam and made the man his.
He knew it was underhanded to claim Sam without his express permission but he wasn't taking any chances. Sam could protest all he wanted once they were bound together, once there was no way for Sam to ever leave him again.
While his lips plundered Sam's mouth, Jesse reached down between their bodies and went to work on the opening of the man's pants. He needed Sam naked more than he needed to breathe. It was imperative. Breathing wasn't.
Regretfully, Jesse leaned back and knelt between Sam's thighs. He really liked kissing Sam but getting the man naked was more important. He grabbed the hem of Sam's shirt and started to work it up his stomach and chest. When he reached Sam's shoulders, he paused and just stared down at Sam. This would be the make or break moment for them.
Sam stared up at Jesse for so long that Jesse felt a growl building in his chest. Despite the overwhelming need that he felt to claim Sam, he knew he wouldn't force him. He wouldn't hurt a hair on Sam's head.
When Sam leaned up and allowed Jesse to pull the shirt over his head, Jesse's legs almost shook in his relief. He tossed the shirt aside then reached for Sam's pants. A long shudder shook Sam's body when Jesse's hand brushed against the hard tent in the man's pants.
Jesse clenched his teeth, trying to keep control of his desire for the smaller man. He hadn't wanted anyone but Sam in so many years that he had almost forgot what it felt like to actually touch someone intimately.
Jesse scooted down to the bottom of the bed and grabbed the edge of Sam's pants. His eyes ate up each inch of naked flesh revealed as he slowly pulled the pants down Sam's legs. Damn, Sam had just gotten better looking.
How was that even possible?
Sam had been a beautiful child. As an adult, he was breathtaking. Jesse had never met anyone that drew him more than Sam. The thought that he would be able to keep Sam to himself for the rest of his life almost made Jesse come where he stood at the bottom of the bed.
Jesse dropped Sam's pants to the floor then shoved his own jeans down his legs. He climbed back up on the bed and scooted up to hover over Sam once again, groaning when their naked skin pressed together for the very first time.
He dropped his head down to rest against the soft curve of Sam's neck and just drew in the heady sensation. Sam's skin was silky smooth. It was meant to be touched, caressed, and licked. Jesse had every intention of doing all of that and more.
And he needed to do it soon before he embarrassed himself and came before brining Sam any pleasure. He was holding on to his control by a thread. Just touching Sam after all of these years was a wonder.
Jesse leaned over Sam and reached into his nightstand for the small bottle of lube. He dropped it on the bed beside Sam. His hand trembled slightly as he reached for Sam, trailing his hand from the top of his collarbone down his chest to his abdomen.
So silky smooth.
Jesse just had to taste. He needed to see if Sam's skin tasted just as sweet as it felt. He leaned down and licked a path from Sam's collarbone to his shoulder.
He couldn't stop. One lick turned into another and then another until Sam's entire chest had been lavished and Sam was trembling beneath Jesse, which was just the way Jesse wanted him. Sam needed to lose his mind. That was Jesse's goal. He wanted their first time to be so mind blowing for Sam that he never thought of leaving again.
As he slowly worked his way down Sam's body, Jesse reached for the bottle of lube and squirted some out on his fingers. Despite his overwhelming need to claim Sam, he wouldn't do so until the man was completely ready for him.
When his fingers trailed down between Sam's ass cheeks, Sam groaned and spread his legs, giving Jesse more access, better access. Jesse was elated, and so aroused that spots danced in front of his eyes.
Stretching Sam's tight entrance out took very little effort as if Sam's body seemed to know who Jesse was and welcomed him in. The fact that Sam seemed to need each thrust of Jesse's slick fingers in his ass was just a bonus.
Jesse was almost loath to pull his fingers from Sam's ass knowing how much pleasure he was giving the man. Almost. But the knowledge that he could give Sam even more pleasure when he claimed him gave Jesse the control to withdraw his fingers and replace them with his aching cock.
He hooked his arms under Sam's legs and yanked the man's lower body up into the air. He watched between their bodies as his cock penetrated Sam's ass, pushing past the first ring of muscles and then he looked up into the most beautifully astonished amber eyes he had ever gazed into.
Sam's eyes widened the more that Jesse slid into him. Jesse didn't see pain in them, or he would have stopped. But the pleasure blossoming across Sam's flushed face was stripping his control away faster than Jesse could hang on to it.
Jesse raised his face to the ceiling once his cock was fully seated inside of Sam and let out the loud groan that had been trapped in his chest. Sam was finally his. Granted, there was just a bit more to claiming the man but in this at least, Jesse had accomplished something he had been seeking for more years than he cared to count.