This week's excerpt is from Forgotten Menagerie, an anthology of non-canine, non-feline shifters.
Dobson has a farm and works construction in town. When Bob's nephew Jim joins the crew, Dobson finds there might be more than work in his life.
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From "Burdens Lightened":
One of the college boys came over and helped him with the bedroom. A pretty kid, strong but smart looking. Dobson was willing to bet he played some sort of sport. He looked like he might be a runner.
"I'm Jim," he volunteered as they worked on a window frame.
"Dobson. The guys call me Hoss."
The kid looked blank. Probably too young to remember Bonanza or even Merle Haggard. Dobson didn't care. His mind was hours ahead, already thinking about getting home and doing evening chores. There were chores and preserving and a little mending where he'd caught his work-jeans on a nail at lunch time. Always too much work and never enough time to do it. He felt like dropping in harness some days.
The kid smiled for him. "Bob's my uncle. Dad thinks I need to toughen up. He doesn't like my major, my grades, my choice of sport or the color of my apartment. Like I can control the landlord putting up pink and purple zigzag wallpaper in the bathroom."
Dobson looked him over and asked the first most logical question, the one all the things on Dad's list led right up to. "Are you gay?"
Jim blanched, going the color of cottage cheese under his just-starting sunburn. That was all the answer Dobson needed. He shrugged. "Doesn't matter one way or another to me. But that's usually the only reason daddies send their boys out to bulk up. The kid is gay or Dad's afraid he is." He couldn't resist a smile and flexing. "Worked on me."