The Creek (Briar County #3) Read Online Riley Hart

Categories Genre: Contemporary, M-M Romance Tags Authors: Series: Briar County Series by Riley Hart
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Total pages in book: 82
Estimated words: 77980 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 390(@200wpm)___ 312(@250wpm)___ 260(@300wpm)
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Divorced for two years, August Reynolds needs a change. He and his teenage son, Reese, pack up and move to Briar County, the home August left at fourteen. He’s hoping it’ll help him and Reese connect again, that Reese will come into his own there the way August did. For him, it was all because of Clint Jones, his childhood best friend and first crush.

At forty-two, Clint figures he’s probably never going to find the one. He’s dated on and off, but he’s never fallen in love. He has his business, his dogs, his friends and family. Most of the time, that’s enough, but then August moves home—Clint’s first kiss and bisexual awakening—making him realize he might be lonelier than he thought.

Clint and August fall back into an easy friendship. Some of their best childhood memories are the days they spent at the creek: talking, laughing, and learning about who they were. But now they’re adults, the attraction palpable between them. It’s not long before they’re tumbling into bed, stealing moments for secret kisses and spending days exploring each other.

They can’t move too fast, though. Reese misses his other father, and sometimes August worries Reese would rather be with him. They’re just getting their life on track, and the last thing August wants is to shake it up by telling Reese he’s with Clint. But as it turns out, that’s not the only obstacle in their way…

The Creek is a small-town, second-chances, friends-to-lovers romance, with mature men who talk about their feelings, stolen kisses, and nights spent beneath the stars.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

PROLOGUE

Clint

Thirty Years Ago

The middle school backed up to the woods. There was a fence they weren’t supposed to cross, keeping the students in. But Clint knew a spot in the far right-hand corner where the fence was messed up and kids climbed through it, mostly eighth graders going to smoke and stuff like that. Oh, and kiss girls. He’d heard about boys and girls going there to make out, but it wasn’t usually someone like Little August Reynolds (that was literally what people called him because he was so scrawny).

Clint frowned, sitting in class, watching out of the window, as the smallest boy in the sixth grade sneaked through the fence and ran for the woods when he was supposed to be in class. August was a good kid. He was super smart, never got in trouble, but he didn’t have a whole lot of friends. Actually, when he thought about it, Clint couldn’t think of any friends August had at all. Skipping class, risking getting in trouble, didn’t seem like something he would do, but Clint saw with his own eyes that he’d just done it.

He didn’t know why he cared so much. Well, part of him didn’t, but school had never been his thing, and staying present wasn’t always easy. Now he had something to focus on. But the other part of him kind of did care because it was weird. Clint wasn’t a troublemaker, but he also wasn’t a goodie-goodie like August, and he’d never sneaked through that fence and into the woods. Why was—

“What do you think, Clint?”

His attention snapped to Ms. McDonald. Shoot. Now he’d done it. He hated when he was distracted and got called on. He had no idea what they’d been talking about. “Um…”

A few people in class snickered.

“You weren’t listening again, were you?” Ms. McDonald asked. No, he hadn’t been. He knew he could get out of this quickly if he said he saw someone sneaking through the fence, but Clint would never do that. He wasn’t a nark. But he also hated it when he didn’t know what to say, and now everyone was looking at him.

“History always puts me to sleep,” was what he landed on. Some of his classmates gasped, some chuckled.

“That’s not funny, Mr. Jones. You can stay after class today to get your work done. Maybe you won’t want to fall asleep then.” She continued with her lesson, and he popped against his skin the rubber band he kept on his wrist. That helped him concentrate, at least for a little while.

He stayed after class like he was supposed to and listened to Ms. McDonald give him a lecture on not being a smart-aleck, and how smart he was, and how much better he’d do if he just focused. It wasn’t like he was a bad student. He got Cs, and that was okay with him. His older brother was the smart one in the family.

He was still curious about Little August Reynolds, though.

Two days later, he noticed Little August Reynolds a second time. They weren’t friends or anything like that, so usually he wasn’t aware of August’s doings.

That day Clint was walking with one of his friends to the school bus when he saw a group of kids toward the back fence, and he noticed August right away. Four guys surrounded August, and Clint couldn’t say how he knew something was wrong, but he did. Maybe because sometimes people thought it was funny to tease August. Clint didn’t get it. How cool did it make you to pick on someone smaller than you?

“I gotta go,” he said, and jogged August’s way.

“You’re such a dork,” he heard one guy say, then in a high-pitched, mocking voice, “Pick me! I know the answer! I know everything about animals!” They all laughed. Clint recognized the bullies. He had classes with all of them, but they weren’t his friends.

“Ass-kisser,” someone else added. “I betcha he really is. He’s so gay!”

“Screw off!” August replied, which Clint had to admit, was really brave of him. Stupid but brave.

“I bet he’s gay because he doesn’t have a daddy around. He’s just got his mama and sister. Maybe he’s really a girl too.”

The group laughed again, and Clint noticed August’s fists balled up. The odds were not in his favor.

“Hey, leave him alone,” Clint told them.

Everyone turned to look at him, including August. “Why are you sticking up for this loser, Jones?”

“Why do you guys think four on one are fair odds? You scared to do anything yourself?”

“Fuck you,” Ted Smith answered.

“No, fuck you,” August returned. Clint had to give it to him, August didn’t back down. Ted was practically the biggest guy in their class.

Clint went over and stood beside August. His sandy-blond hair was styled neatly in a way most of the guys Clint knew at school didn’t do.


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