Dillon was pooped. He’d just gotten back from Australia, where it had been balmy and beautiful. The event had gone swimmingly, and the swimming had been awesome.
Too bad Coke hadn’t gone with him.
On the good side, he was home early. He’d thought he’d be flying in on Christmas Eve. He’d got in on the twenty-third instead.
He pulled into the driveway, frowning as he drove past a travel trailer, a dualie, a Dodge Ram that wasn’t Coke’s. Weird. Coke and him had Skyped right before he got on the plane, and no one had mentioned a party.
He knew the trailer belonged to Sammy and Beau, and the duallie was the Taggarts’, but he wasn’t sure about the new pickup, though, and...
He stood in the doorway, staring. Dillon was surprised that no one woke up. To him, his jaw dropping sounded like a champagne cork popping.
Coke lay in his easy chair, one basset hound across his legs. the other stretched out on his chest. That wasn’t unusual at all. The amazing thing was the pile of cowboys strewn about the front room floor.
Balta was upside down in the inversion table, Joa sleeping on the biggest Fila Braziliero he’d ever seen. Raul was sprawled between them, on hand tangled with Balta’s, the other around Joa’s ankle. They were all naked, and it was like the progression of caveman to modern man. Joa looked smooth and waxed, Raul fuzzy but neatly manscaped, Balta an explosion of black hair.
The Taggarts were on the floor in a puppy pile, legs and arms tangled, all sleeping soundly, Adam holding Bri and Chrissy both, each of them with their head on one of Adam’s shoulders.. God, the cuteness.
In the hallway, he saw two sets of bare feet. When he peeked, he saw Beau Lafitte and Sam Bell, a pair of stocky, tiny cowboys. There was a couch cushion under Sammy’s poor broken head, carefully placed. The guys’ bloodhound, Boudreaux, lay across Beau’s feet, head on Sammy’s leg.
Oh, God, he couldn’t bear it. He grabbed his phone and started shooting pictures. Naked cowboys everywhere. He wasn’t even getting blackmail material. He just needed to records this for his own personal scrapbook. Did everyone’s clothes explode? There wasn’t a stitch of cloth anywhere. Not even a robe.
There were pizza boxes from the little joint right on the outskirts of town. Beer bottles. Four empty boxes of honey buns were stacked on top of a case of cherry fried pies. There was a box of chicken fingers from Whataburger, too, in the refrigerator. Those were so his.
When he closed the refrigerator door, two bassets, a bloodhound and the giant mastiff-hound looking fila Brasilero stood there, all looking particularly hungry.
“Didn’t get any pizza, huh, guys?”
Four tails wagged. Thump thump thump.
“Bad cowboys, not feeding the pups.” He peered at the fila’s nametag. “Are you hungry, Paulo?”
A deep bark answered him, and he laughed, passing out chicken fingers and grabbing four pounds of bacon to cook off. Those guys could eat. He plopped them on the counter.
“Cowboy? You’re early.” Coke stood there, naked and grinning, looking pleased as fuck to see him.
“Hey, babe!” Dillon put the chicken down high up on the back counter to keep the tall dogs out of it, and held out his arms to Coke. His bullfighter came right to him, kissing him happily.
“I missed you, too. Got home early. What’s with all the naked?” Not that Dillon was gonna complain.
“We went for a swim around two a.m. and no one else brought suits.”
“Ah. Pool’s nice, this time of year.”
“It is. You shoulda seen Old Man Taggart, swimming with one basset under each arm.”
Dillon couldn’t help but notice that Coke was...appreciating that he was home. Dillon was appreciating it, too, but this was awful public.
“Anyone gonna get mad if we get up late?” He abandoned the chicken to the dogs, tugging Coke toward the bedroom.
“Uh-uh. Told the Cajun and Sammy they could stay ‘til the New Year. Taggarts and the Brazilians are leaving today after the barbeque competition.” Coke followed, hands on his ass.
Dillon squeaked. “Competition?”
“Uh-huh. Sammy and Balta. Brisket and chicken. Noonish. Later.”
“Maybe two-ish? It was was an eighteen hour flight.” He got Coke in their room, locking the door.
“Works for me. If the Taggarts have to leave, they do.” Coke tilted his head for a kiss.
“Mmm. I’ll make it up to them.” He kissed that amazing mouth.
“Uh-huh.” Coke grew him close. “Later.”
“Much later,” he agreed. Really, when it came down to it, Coke was the only naked cowboy he needed.
Merry Christmas, y'all! Peace and much love,