The Mountain Man's Mate

By: Charlie Richards
Out of the Cage: When taking on a wild animal, prepare to be bit.

Persecution from Jason Truollo’s immediate family becomes too much—his stepfather’s backhand to the jaw is the final straw—and he heads toward the only family who had understood when he came out, his Uncle Raul Braga. When he gets there, he’s shocked when not only does his uncle welcome him with open arms, but he finds his uncle in a committed relationship…with a man. Not only that, but many of Uncle Raul’s friends are gay, too.

Finally, Jason feels like he’s found a place he fits in. Even better, he meets a man who pushes all his buttons, Michel McDover, but surely the sexy rugged mountain man can’t possibly be gay. Except he is, and he makes his interest in Jason plain. Deciding learning the joys of sex from an older man is perfect, Jason begins a torrid fling with Michel. A surprise encounter with some strangers in the woods makes Jason realize he may have far more to learn than he ever thought possible. For the hope of love and acceptance, is he willing to keep an open mind?

The Mountain Man’s Mate

Wolves of Stone Ridge: Book Twenty


Charlie Richards

To all those people that actually read these dedications. We appreciate you, because sometimes coming up with these is tough.

Chapter One

Jason Truollo stepped off the Greyhound bus, quickly grabbed his bags, and moved out of everyone’s way. He took his time looking slowly around the depot, watching as everyone seemed to be greeted by some loved one—complete with hugs and kisses—and disappeared out of the building.

Would I be greeted like that if I’d told Uncle Raul I was coming?

Rubbing his forehead, Jason realized he didn’t really know. Sure, five years ago when he’d come out, and his mom had picked up the phone and started crying into the line about her degenerate son and his proclivities, Uncle Raul had been kind and calmed his sister. Never once had his uncle asked to speak with him. Instead, he’d received a letter—an actual hand written letter—from the man.

Uncle Raul had told him to give his mom time and he’d encouraged him to be himself, no matter what anyone said. He’d also left his phone number and address. Almost three months ago, when the threats and abuse started from his stepdad Arthur Barringer, Jason had tried that number. It hadn’t worked. A letter to the address had been returned. It had taken another two months to track down his uncle’s current whereabouts.

Sighing, fear and concern flooded Jason. He blinked back tears. He knew exactly how much was in his wallet, and it wasn’t much. If his uncle hadn’t been sincere…or if he didn’t actually live around there anymore…Jason didn’t know what he’d do.

Jason slung the duffle’s strap over his shoulder and headed toward the taxi stand near the south exit.

He was the only one in line.

Forcing a smile to his lips, he turned to the waiting cabbie and pulled out his wallet to reveal the slip of paper with his Uncle Raul’s address on it. He’d swiped the info from the last birthday card his uncle had sent his mom, Raul’s sister, Brianna. The fact that he’d needed to dive into the garbage to retrieve it totally sucked, but had been worth it…he hoped.

“I need to go here,” Jason said, holding out the slip of paper so the large, dark-haired guy could read his cramped script.

For just a second, Jason thought the cabbie opened his mouth as if he planned to ask a question. However, he just nodded and popped open his trunk. He grabbed Jason’s bag and easily tossed the crammed, heavy bag inside his vehicle.

Jason bit his tongue to keep from asking that he keep his bag with him.

Inside that black and tan flannel bag were all Jason’s worldly possessions…and most of them weren’t actually clothes. At this point, Jason couldn’t give a shit about jeans and t-shirts. He could get those wherever, if he found a place to settle.

Instead, he wanted the things that reminded him of better times…like the ball he’d caught at the baseball game his father had taken him to when he was ten. That had happened two weeks before his pops had split, leaving his mom to care for him and his two younger sisters.

He wished he knew what had happened to the man. His mom never talked about it…making him wonder if she’d heard anything about what had happened to him.

“That’d be typical,” he whispered. His mom had never been the most maternal woman, but it had shocked even him when she’d just stood by and watched his stepfather issue his ultimatum. Jason had come out five years before, so it wasn’t like he was going to change now just because Arthur said he didn’t want a fag son. Be straight or he’d disown him certainly wasn’t something Jason had cared about.