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Lumberjack (A Real Man #1)
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He hasn’t been with a woman in five years.
She hasn’t been with a real man … until now.
I’ve had enough of the crap that goes along with living in the city. So, I packed for a weeklong vacation in the mountains. Isolation in a cabin for the next seven days sounds like a good way to recoup and get my life back in order. After getting lost while hiking, I stumble upon a cabin that has me questioning whether to ask for help, or if I should brave staying the night in the woods.
I left everything behind years ago after the woman I was with betrayed me. Now I work as a lumberjack and live my life as a recluse. Being celibate for the last five years says a lot about my self-control, but I’m a man and have needs, and not giving into what I really want is hard as hell. But I can’t let myself get close to anyone, not even for a few hours. Getting close is how I got screwed over before.
As soon as I see Vivian, I know I have to have her. It’s been forever since I’ve had a woman. Because of a storm rolling in, she’ll have to stay with me overnight. We could do a lot of filthy things in that time. I pride myself on my control, but when it comes to Vivian, I don’t know if I can keep my hands to myself.
I know I can’t.
I have needs, and it’s clear Vivian’s in need of a real man to help her unwind. I can certainly help her in that department.
Warning: If you’re looking for a sappy, pull-your-heartstring kind of book … this isn’t it. If you want a short and dirty story featuring an all-around alpha hero who hasn’t had a woman in years, and a heroine who’ll find out what it’s like to be with a real man … this might be for you.
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Sweat beaded on my forehead, but I didn’t deviate from my work. My flannel was soaked, as was the white t-shirt underneath it.
I wrapped my arms around the log I’d just chopped down and cut into three separate pieces, hoisted it over my shoulder, and moved toward my chopping block. After dropping the wood on the ground, I pulled my ax from the wooden block, and started going to town on cutting the log into manageable pieces.
I lifted the ax above my head for only a millisecond before bringing it down on the wood in front of me. It splintered in two and fell to the side.
All around me, the sound of men chopping wood and swinging their axes across tree trunks, echoed around the forest. I was focused, because being anything but that during this kind of work was dangerous.
The sound of the lunch horn rang, and I finished chopping the last log. After gathering what I’d cut, I tossed it into the bin and headed over to where the other lumberjacks were.
Men were gathered around with their lunch boxes in their laps, their food already out and being shoveled into their faces. I sat down on a log away from everyone and took out my sandwich. The sound of the machines running in the distance and the logs dropping into the water filled my head. This is what I’d done for the last five years.
Moving out in the middle of nowhere had been the only thing I could think of doing to get away from my toxic life. After I caught my girlfriend fucking my best friend, I’d cleaned out my bank account, packed the shit that meant anything to me, and left.
Truth was I’d been unhappy in my life anyway, and I’d needed a good kick in the ass to get me moving and leaving all that shit behind.
So, I’d done just that. I told my family what I was doing, and where I’d be if they needed me. Then I went off the grid, thinking about me for once, getting my shit in order.
That seemed like a lifetime ago now, but here I was: still loving every fucking minute of it.
“Jake, you coming to town with us tonight?”
I looked over at one of the men I’d worked with for only a year.
“No,” was all I said and finished eating.
“After all these years of us asking you to come with us, find some women, and let off steam, why do you always say no?”
I stared at Bruce— I’d worked with him since becoming a lumberjack. Bruce had been with the company for years before I came along, and although he was a hard worker, I’d never seen him as a friend.
Hell, I didn’t see anyone a friend, not really.
I kept to myself, did my work, and when my shift was over, I headed home and lived in solitude.
“Because I like my isolation,” was all I said.
“Or maybe you like to jerk off?” One of the newer guys, a younger man who was a prick, said.
I didn’t bother responding; I’d learned long ago I needed to keep to myself and not let shit get me worked up. The only thing violence ever solved for me was a momentary pleasure, like when I’d knocked my best friend’s teeth in after he pulled his dick out of my girlfriend.
I hadn’t gotten into a fight since.
After I finished my sandwich and the lunch horn rang again, I got back to work. The sweat had cooled on my body, but I’d work up another one in a few minutes.
And I sure as hell did jerk off. Not being with a woman might be my choice because I didn’t want to socialize with anyone, but I wasn’t going to get blue balls because I was stubborn.
I’d worry about myself, force myself not to react to some asshole’s jabs, and focus on why I’d come out here in the first place … to get away from all the bullshit.
“This is bullshit, Viv.”
I didn’t bother looking at Russ as he all but shouted right in my face.
“Back off, Russ.” I was annoyed, and I couldn’t be held liable for my reaction if he didn’t give me the personal space I fucking wanted.
“Just stop,” I said and turned around, facing the man I’d just broken it off with. “We have only been together for three months, and in that time you’ve fucked your way through the office and managed to bitch about anything and everything. You and I both know whatever we were doing with each other wasn’t going to last. It wasn’t real.” I rubbed my head, feeling so damn tired all of the sudden. “I’m twenty-nine years old. I’m not staying in a relationship—or whatever the hell we’ve had—when it isn’t going anywhere.”