Lynch by Peter J Merrigan Read Free Book Online

Book: Lynch by Peter J Merrigan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Peter J Merrigan
inside the house, Clark said, ‘You have no one to blame for your laziness but yourself.’
    His voice carried out from the darkness within. ‘I heard that.’
    Clark settled back in her chair and Jesse sat on the steps. ‘Where are you taking him?’ she asked.
    Jesse grinned, a wide, honest smile. She liked him. ‘Don’t tell him, but I’ve packed a picnic. We’ll take the horses out across Harrogate and find a nice spot somewhere.’ He paused. ‘Unless you think he wouldn’t like that? You know him better than I do.’
    Clark smiled back. ‘I think he’d love that.’ She chewed the inside of one cheek for a moment, weighing up how to say her next words. Eventually, she said, ‘Be nice to him, Jesse. I know it’s only your second date—first if you don’t count dinner with me and Katherine—but just…be nice to him.’ She couldn’t put it any other way without it sounding like a threat. Which it was.
    Jesse smiled again, a faint blushing heat rising in his cheeks as he lowered his eyes from her. ‘I will,’ he said. And he sounded like he meant it.
    He sat in the passenger seat and breathed in the smell of wet dog. It was one of those heady smells that was equal parts pleasant and unpleasant. He and Ryan had often talked about getting a puppy, although they could never agree on what breed—he’d wanted a golden retriever, Ryan had wanted a great Dane.
    At the thought of Ryan, here in Jesse’s car, Scott mentally berated himself and sucked his lower lip into his mouth in a sulk. He had been grieving since London, and while it had only been a year and a half since his death, he had concluded a couple of months ago that no matter how much he wept or how much he reminisced, nothing would bring Ryan back from the dead. He knew he’d always carry him in his heart—nothing could replace the totality of the love they had shared—but he now knew that, one day, he might love again. He just had to remind himself to look beyond the past.
    Jesse had been largely silent on the car journey, refusing to tell Scott where they were going in an attempt to cloak the day in mystery, and so to break the silence, Scott now said, ‘What kind of dog do you have?’
    ‘I’ve got two completely insane chocolate labs but they stay at my mum’s. Einstein and Nietzsche.’
    Scott laughed. ‘Sensible names,’ he said.
    ‘I couldn’t have picked worse names for them, they really are mental.’
    ‘Well, Nietzsche had a mental breakdown, and just looking at Einstein shows he was clearly insane, so maybe it’s not such a bad fit after all.’
    Jesse raised an eyebrow. ‘Look at you,’ he said, clearly impressed. ‘They had history books in Ireland ?’
    Scott slapped Jesse’s leg and said, ‘Cheeky. We even had electricity. And they recently introduced that Eighth Wonder of the World: running water.’ He had noticed the direction they were heading in—towards work—and now that they pulled onto the country lane leading to the Silverwood Centre, he said, ‘Where are you taking me?’
    Jesse beamed. ‘I called Sylvia this morning. She has Blossom and Lea tacked and ready for us. As long as we have them back by six, we can go where we like.’
    When they had parked up and Jesse had transferred some things from his car to the saddle bags on Blossom that Sylvia had placed there at his request, Scott pulled on the riding boots he kept in the office. He swung his leg up over Lea and tipped an invisible hat to Sylvia.
    ‘You boys have fun,’ she said. ‘None of that Brokeback Mountain stuff out there, you hear?’
    ‘Sylvia,’ Jesse laughed. ‘How dare you!’
    Scott looked out across the land. ‘Let’s find a sunset,’ he said, raising a chuckle from Sylvia.
    Jesse spurred his horse forward. ‘This way into the night.’
    ‘Have them back by six,’ Sylvia called after them.
    When they trotted off the grounds of the Silverwood Centre and out onto the country road, Scott asked, ‘Which

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