Sometimes I get ideas for stories and I have no idea where they came from, Saving Faithless Creek is one of those stories. I did get an interesting idea and wanted to see if I could make it work. As a gay kid, I was bullied, even though at the time, I didn’t understand about being a gay kid and I wasn’t out of the closet in high school. But I didn’t fit in and of course I had some kids who decided that since I was smaller than them, I was someone to be picked on. So I started to wonder about the bully and how they grow up. Some bullies never change and act that way their whole lives. But what if the bully in the story had a hard life? What if after high school his life changed and in the end, he was no longer the same person? What if the bully and the bullied met years later? I’m smiling here just thinking about it.
I wish I could say I used one of my bullies in high school as Royal, but none of the guys I knew then looked anything like him or had the internal compass Royal has to see who he is and was and make a change. At least I don’t think so, who knows, but the Royal that Blair meets in Saving Faithless Creek after all these years isn’t the kid he went to high school with. He’s very different. This Royal has seen life, known loss and pain, and has come out the other end a different person. And after that I wondered if it were possible for the once bullied to fall in love with his former bully.
To my surprise the story really came together. And I have to give a shout out to Mary Calmes, Amy Lane, and my Plotbusters Geri and Heidi for all their help in listening to me talk about this story as I worked through the emotional quagmire.
Blair Montague is sent to Newton, Montana, to purchase a ranch and some land for his father. It’s a trip he doesn’t want to make. But his father paid for his college education in exchange for Blair working for him in his casinos, so Blair has no choice. When he finds out he’ll be dealing with Royal Masters, the man who bullied him in high school, he is shocked. Then Blair is surprised when he finds that Royal’s time in the Marines has changed him to the point where Blair could be attracted to him… if he’s willing to take that chance.
Royal’s life hasn’t been a bed of roses. He saw combat in the military that left him scarred, and not just on the outside. When he inherits his father’s ranch, he discovers his father wasn’t a good manager and the ranch is in trouble. The sale of land would put them back on good footing, but he is suspicious of Blair’s father’s motives, and with good reason. The attraction between them is hard for either to ignore, but it could all evaporate once the land deal is sealed.