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Ends of the Earth
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A desperate young father. A lonely ranger. A race against time.
Jason Kellerman’s life revolves around his eight-year-old daughter. Teenage curiosity with his best friend led to Maggie’s birth, and her mother tragically died soon after. Only twenty-five and a single dad, Jason hasn’t had time to even think about romance. Disowned by his wealthy family, he’s scrimped and saved to bring Maggie west for a camping vacation. The last thing Jason expects is to question his sexuality after meeting a sexy, older park ranger.
Ben Hettler’s stuck. He loves working in the wild under Montana’s big sky, but at forty-one, his love life is non-existent, his ex-boyfriend just married and adopted, and Ben’s own dream of fatherhood feels impossibly out of reach. He’s attracted to Jason, but what’s the point? Besides the age difference and skittish Jason’s lack of experience, they live thousands of miles apart. Ben wants more than a meaningless fling.
Then a hunted criminal on the run takes Jason’s daughter hostage, throwing Jason and Ben together in a desperate and dangerous search through endless miles of mountain forest. They’ll go to the ends of the earth to rescue Maggie—but what comes next? Can they build a new family together and find a place to call home?
Ends of the Earth is an age-gap gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring sexual awakening, action and adventure, a plucky kid, and of course a happy ending. Note: Previously published as Road to the Sun.
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Harlan didn’t have to turn around to know it was her—he’d recognize Mary Beth’s nauseating giggle anywhere. In the week since she’d walked out, he hadn’t missed her at all. He was better off without that bitch nagging him all the time and sticking her big nose in his business.
The fluorescent light above the bank of refrigerators flickered restlessly, a low rattle echoing through the back of the roadside store. Harlan curled his fingers into the plastic holder of a six-pack of Bud cans. After a moment of debate in the snack aisle, he grabbed a bag of corn chips, a smirk curving his lips as he heard Mary Beth ask the cashier for a pack of smokes.
She’d come crawling back soon. She always did.
Turning toward the cash register, he stopped dead, staring at Dwayne. Dwayne had been his buddy since high school, when they used to pump iron and camp out in the woods, living off the land, practicing for when the world finally went completely to shit.
Now here was good ol’ Dwayne, with his shock of red hair and ugly freckles—and his arm around Harlan’s woman.
Mary Beth had been Harlan’s since they were kids, and Dwayne knew she was off limits. But here they were, giggling and whispering with their heads real close.
Just who in the hell did they think they were? They were making a fool of him. No one made a fool of Harlan Brown.
Ears buzzing with a hot rush of blood, Harlan watched them slide open the ice cream cooler by the counter. Why, they hadn’t even noticed him standing there. Like he was nothing. That little whore had gotten all she could out of him, and now she was making a spectacle of herself with Dwayne, of all people. Digging around for popsicles and laughing like they didn’t have a care in the fucking world.
The steel was cool in Harlan’s hand, trigger smooth against his finger. He’d carried the same pistol in his belt going on twenty years, and ain’t never used it for more than shooting cans off fence posts and putting the fear of God into anyone who sorely needed it.
Mary Beth rubbed herself against Dwayne, her peroxide curls bobbing. When the bullet slammed into her back, she wailed like a calf being branded, staggering against Dwayne and toppling him over. They collapsed on the floor in a heap, Mary Beth’s blood pouring out onto the dirty tile.
Dwayne stared at Harlan, his mouth open but no sound coming out, like a fish flopping on the bottom of a boat, eyes bugging. He shoved at Mary Beth as Harlan approached. Then he started to cry and beg—a sorry sight if ever there was one. Harlan put the bullet through Dwayne’s forehead to save the man’s dignity.
No one should go out crying like a little bitch.
From the corner of Harlan’s eye, he saw the cashier raise the rifle. Harlan was faster, and the man went down hard behind the counter. It was a damn shame—Harlan had no argument with him. Why did people have to go and make him do things he didn’t want to?
With his six-pack of beer under his arm, he returned to his Mustang and tore open the corn chips. The salty crunch was just what he’d been craving, but he belatedly wished he’d picked up some beef jerky too.
As he drove away down route five, distant sirens already echoed. Damn cashier must have tripped the silent alarm. Stupid fucker deserved to die.
Harlan sighed. They’d have his license plate from the surveillance camera before he could make it back to his trailer. Fucking technology. Good thing he always kept his gear in the car. He was prepared.
Harlan drove to his favorite spot out by the old quarry and finished his chips and beer, listening to the CB radio frequencies. Sure enough, soon they were talking about him, although they didn’t know his name yet.
Then a trucker with the call sign Big Papa piped up into a conversation. “My buddy’s a cop out there in Whitefish. The dead woman’s uncle is on the force and they’re out for blood. Said the unofficial order is shoot to kill the bastard. Apparently he was her ex, a loser by the name of Brown.”
As strangers chimed in with enthusiasm for this idea, Harlan crushed his last can. He’d just wanted a fucking quiet night.
He drove the car off the dirt road and hid it in a stand of thick trees. His rusty Mustang had been a good friend over the years. A man couldn’t ask for better. He ran his palm over the trunk and swallowed the lump in his throat. Bitterness roiled in his gut. God damn Mary Beth and Dwayne. Look at what they’d gone and done to him.
Harlan slung his bug-out bag over his shoulders and disappeared into the forest.