A Cat Named Hercules
#5, The Men of Marionville
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New in town, Shiloh Rudy joins a group of civic-minded volunteers to better acquaint himself with his recently adopted community. It’s a good way to make friends, network, and help make a difference, not to mention perhaps meet someone interesting—in a romantic sort of way. The one thing Shiloh didn’t expect was a love to rival all others to come with four white paws.
Gale Widmyer is on his feet and moving forward after piecing his life back together following a series of wrong choices. The one bright spot in his existence, even in his darkest moments, was the fulfillment of his dream to become a veterinarian. Gale’s making good on a promise to himself when an abandoned kitten leads him to Shiloh Rudy and a chance at the happiness he never hoped to have.
Laying the cornerstone for a developing relationship comes easy for Shiloh and Gale. But the wounds of the past often remain unhealed at their deepest point. A few careless words erect a wall of silence between the two men, one Shiloh has to breach if he hopes to win Gale back. But it will take more than apologies to win Gale’s forgiveness and put old fears to rest. It’ll take a cat named Hercules...
* * * * *
…The abrupt weaning I understood, but the other? Who would do that to such a helpless creature? “Then I’m keeping him.”
“In that case, your kitten has fleas, ear mites, and a touch of conjunctivitis. He’s also under nourished and almost surely has worms.”
My heart pounded as I snatched the kitten from Galen’s hands and tucked him safely against my chest. “Is he going to die?”
Galen pushed his sunglasses up to rest on top of his head and grinned at me. I fell into his gorgeous hazel eyes as he stared into my sky blue orbs with open curiosity. Damn, the man had long eyelashes.
“He’ll be fine. Do you think we can finish our chores here this morning, or do we need to go straight to my clinic so I can treat him and fix you up with what you need?” He poked the kitten’s paw and those tiny, wicked claws popped out again. “You’re in for a real treat with this little guy.”
I’d go anywhere he asked me to go, but I didn’t want to appear too eager. “Oh? Why is that?”
“They call cats with these black and white markings a ‘tuxedo’ because, obviously, they look like they’re wearing one. This fellow has the added bonus of white ‘gloves.’ Tuxedos tend to have a lot of personality.” Galen squeezed my elbow. I thought his hand lingered a moment too long, but perhaps it was just wishful thinking.
“C’mon. I’ll tell the other work crew they’ll have to finish pulling up these bricks and we’ll go to the clinic.”
“Thanks, man. I owe you.”
I knew I was in two kinds of trouble when he nodded and grinned. “I’m afraid you will…”