walk around the horse in a large circle to a clearing in the grass. There he turned around and crouched down as if he was looking for something. He then got up again and repeated his action a little bit farther out.
From the corner of his eye, Hunter could see Davenport raise his head and look at Grant. His ears pointed forward and he took a tentative step toward Grant, stopping as soon as Grant got up and moved a little farther away from him. This time, when Grant crouched down, Davenport took another few steps. Clearly, the horse was curious about what exactly Grant was looking at on the ground. It took some time, but eventually Davenport was so close to Grant, as soon as the horse lowered his head to investigate with him, all Grant had to do was raise his hand to grab hold of Davenport’s halter.
“Bingo,” Grant said triumphantly, walking Davenport to where Hunter was standing.
“You’re good at this,” Hunter said, hoping it would be enough of a compliment.
“Nah, Gable’s the master. He would have gotten hold of this lug a lot faster, but he did teach me a thing or two.”
“I think he taught all of us a thing or two,” Hunter confessed. “If it hadn’t been for his support, I don’t think this ranch would have survived.”
They started walking toward the stables.
“He told me a few things about the time your dad died,” Grant said tentatively.
Hunter sighed. “I was way too young to take on the responsibility, but Mom had never worked the ranch. She was a housewife and a mother and, frankly, had her hands full with all of us. Bernie was still a baby, and although Izzie and I were good riders, we didn’t know the first thing about the business side of things. Lisa was a lot like Mom. She barely knew the front end of a horse from the back. All she wanted to do was finish school and get married. Hugh’s dad was a good foreman, but he didn’t have a head for figures, so in the beginning, when we let him run things, we worked at a loss. If it hadn’t been for Gable showing me the ropes, helping me to do the buying and selling and not just the horses, this ranch wouldn’t exist anymore. We would have gone belly-up before I turned eighteen.”
It felt good to tell someone about that, especially someone who knew Gable.
“But now you’re the boss,” Grant replied. “You have this big, prosperous ranch.”
Hunter sighed. “Gable never wanted a big business. He was never interested in making money. He wanted perfectly trained horses that handled like a dream. That’s why he never bred them himself.”
“No patience to wait two years before he could start training them,” Grant chuckled, and Hunter laughed along.
“He had an eye for picking the best foals, though.”
“Oh yes,” Grant agreed.
They had almost reached the stable block when suddenly the skies opened up, and with a big flash and a loud bang, it started pouring down. A spooked Davenport ran straight inside, and both men followed in an attempt to stay dry. It was to no avail. When Hunter turned toward Grant, he couldn’t miss the other man’s shirt clinging to his chest, and it left nothing to the imagination.
“Think it’ll be over as fast as it started?” Grant asked, turning around and looking outside.
“’Fraid not,” Hunter answered, unable to take his eyes off the wet jeans clinging to Grant’s buttocks and long legs. He shook himself out of his reverie and took Davenport’s saddle off, placing it on the saddle rack and taking a cloth to wipe it down.
“I’ll rub him down,” Grant volunteered, taking Davenport into his stable and taking his tack off.
Hunter was surprised at how little grief Davenport gave Grant. Grant had a no-nonsense approach that was both gentle and swift, and he was done in no time.
“Guess I better make a run for it,” Grant said by way of good-bye just before he ran out of the stable.
Later that night, Hunter was just about to go to bed when there was a