Saved by a Cowboy
By Elle Radvel
Copyright 2015 Elle Radvel
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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Nobody knows me
Nobody knows my pain, my dreams, my hopes
Nobody knows I’ve cried
For the dreams I’ve lost
For the times I’ve lost hope
From pain when I’ve been let down
Nobody knows my thoughts, my passion, my fantasies
Thoughts to way-out for a traditional way of life
Passion to deep for a world with no feeling
Fantasies to secret for a lady with morals
Nobody knows what makes me sad, happy or what I fear
Sadness that will rip your heart in pieces
Happiness that will bright up the sky with fireworks
Fears that overpower you at night
Nobody knows me
Because nobody really wants to know me
Because nobody really takes the time to know me
Because nobody really cares about me
But then again
Nobody knows me
Because I’m to scared of being judged
Been through that more than enough
Because I don’t trust to be accepted
Because I never felt save enough to share me
Easier to be what they want me to be
Nobody. Knows. Me
What do you mean it’s a she? How can James sell the ranch to a woman? Does she know anything about cattle or horses? Where is she from? No, don’t tell me! Let me phone you back, I need to process this… I’ll phone you later!
Mitch threw his cellphone on the desk. With hands in his hair he starts pacing the floor. He is furious and he needed to calm down before he threw something. There is really nothing he could do about the sale, but hell, James could have warned him!
James gave him a home when he was thirteen just after his mom and dad died. He really loved the crazy old man.
Why would he do this to me! He always said I was the son he never had, his only family! What must I do now? I will not work for a woman! What does she know anyway!
The realization that this was not his home anymore hit him deep in his gut.
What the hell am I suppose to do now? With a deep sigh he sat on the couch. For the first time in many years Mitch felt lost.
I need a drink!
No you don’t!
Mitch jumped up. Who the hell are you? How did you get in here? What the hell are you doing in my house?
Mitch walked over to the stranger. He looked like he was ready to kill as he towered over the stranger.
Okay cowboy! So many questions! Calm down! No need to be so rude! Darren was immediately taken back by Mitch’s dominant masculinity.
You have not seen me rude, yet! Now talk!
With hands in the air Darren walked around Mitch to stand on the other side of the couch, seemingly unphased.
Mitch watched this newcomer with a cautious eye. He does not like surprises and this felt bad, real bad.
My name is Darren, Darren Carstens. I’m the nephew of Sam Carstens, your attorney? He arranged a job for me on this ranch with Mrs Brightan. Apparently I’m to stay in this house with you and you will show me the ins and outs.
I am to what? Who is this woman? Mitch felt like his head was going to explode. He was fast loosing control over this situation.
Don’t worry cowboy. I’m a good person and neat. Joyce gave me the room opposite yours, so you can watch me around the clock.
Mitch gave a snort and stomped off slamming the door as he stormed out the front door towards his truck.
Who the hell does she think she is! She can’t just hire…..Sam….I need to speak to Sam.
Well, that went well!
Darren watched the cowboy jump in his truck and sped of in a hast.
I don’t need that big fella to get angry with me. He will kill me with a look, a bit scary. Why did I deside to do this? Maybe this was not such a good idea. That cowboy is so big and angry. There is an untamed dangerous quality about him.
You like some tea Mr Carstens?
Joyce, please call me Darren and yes a cup of tea will be nice. No, no! Here you drink coffee don’t you?
Well, the boys like their coffee strong and black. Looking at your light skin and lets just say boyish build, it will be awhile before you have enough hair on your chest, laugh Joyce.
Well, I like you. You make me feel at home and at least you are honest in saying what’s on your mind. Darren looked at Joyce and knew that this woman was someone he could trust, someone who would keep his secrets.
Joyce was in her late fifties. You could see she would not let anyone walk all over her, but will go the extra mile for the ones she loved. Black hair that is showing some gray was neatly tied in a bun at the back. She was short and a little on the plumb side. A real mother hen.
Bring me some coffee, I need some hair on my chest and the sooner I start working on that the better.
With a smile Joyce turned around to make some coffee.
Just don’t touch anything while you’re in there, that will send Mitch over the edge!
Great, let me rather go with you! I really don’t need that cowboy mad at me!
Following Joyce, Darren realised that he needed to make sure he knows what is expected of him and he really needed to find a way for that cowboy to like him.
Is he always that grumpy?
He has a lot on his mind. If you look past the bad attitude you’ll find a good-hearted gentleman. He is a hard worker and expect the same from everyone here.
So what you’re saying …. is that he is a slave-driver.
No, he does the same work as everyone else, no … he works harder than everyone else. He never expects something from anyone if he can’t do it himself. He is fair, honest and a great boss. He runs a tight ship but everyone respects him.
Joyce went quiet for a while.
As hard as he works….he can play just as hard. Although since James died I’ve not seen him play once. I worry…..he needs a break.
While Joyce made the coffee, Darren took in his surroundings. The house was magnificent. It was built with rugged stones and had dark wood-panelled finishings. On the stone floors, scattered colorfull patterned-rugs was on display. Lighting was beautifully done to show-off the intricate woodwork. And lots of wood-framed bay-windows that gives the house a cozy home atmosphere. The kitchen had all the luxuries but still felt cozy. This was a real home, a place where you felt welcome.
Sam, explain this catastrophe!
Sam’s secretary came in behind Mitch, flustered and nervous. Sorry Mr Carstens, Mr McBride just stormed passed me!
It’s fine Mary, go make us some tea and close the door on your way out.
Sit Mitch, just give me a minute and I will explain everything James wanted.
Turning his attention back to the paper on his desk, Sam was not really reading. He just needed a minute to calm his nerves.
He has been James’s attorney for over twenty years and he knew this arrangement was going to upset Mitch. But James had his reasons and was prepared for this. What he wasn’t prepared for was his sudden heart attack. Now this catastrophe fell in his attorney’s lap. I really don’t need this at my age, but I made a promise to James. I will do what needs to be done to keep Mrs Brightan’s secret and to keep her save, but I need Mitch to pull this of. Without him this will not work, but I can’t tell him the truth. That was another promise I made. How did I get myself in the middle of this?
Mitch started tapping with his boot on the floor. He was by nature not a very patient man, and today everything and everyone is testing his limits!
Sorry, lets have a chat. Pushing his chair in a position to sit more relaxed, Sam looked at Mitch.
Mitch is not saying a thing, just glaring at Sam. It is taking all of his willpower to not scream at Sam. He wanted to know what’s going on, not chat!
Okay, your guardian, James Rustler, decided to sell the ranch to a Mrs Brightan. She is an artist from South Africa.
Mitch sat up straight and his hands curled into a fists. But…
No, don’t say anything until I’m finished. You can rant and rave after I told you everything I know!
Mitch just glared at Sam, but didn’t say a word.
Sam took a deep breath and went on with his story. Hoping that he will be able to pull this of.
She will not be staying on the ranch for at least another year. She is still in South Africa. James sold the ranch for financial gain. He knew you had big plans with the horse breeding but needed the money. He made a deal with her. You can do the breeding and the running of the ranch. As soon as you have enough money to buy the ranch back, she will sell it to you at the price she bought it.
What does she get out of this?
Well, she is one of those people who helps, don’t want anything in return. She deposited five million dollars in the ranch account and asked me to oversee the account. You will have access to it, for the ranch.
I don’t understand! She bought a ranch, are not going to live on it. Will fund the growth and then just sell it back to me, at the price she bought it? No way, there must be a catch.
Yes, yes there is…. Darren.
O, you met him?
Well, she wants you to train him. Show him the ranch ways. He is my nephew and when he was in South Africa they became sort of friends. He will stay with you and you must teach him everything.
That’s it? Mitch sat there with a dum look on his face.
Yes that’s it.
So I can still draw a salary and run the ranch the way I use to?
Yes, you have what you dreamed of. Enough money to start breeding horses. You love that place and James knew this was a way he could make sure your future is secure. The only thing that you have to get use to is having Darren in your house.
Mitch just sat there. This is unbelievable. Too good to be true! So many things are going through his mind. He wanted to jump for joy, but still something was off.
You sure this is it? No hidden agenda? Can I see the contract?
No! Sorry that is one other stipulation. You’re to trust me.
Well, you see, all Mrs Brigtan’s details are on there and she does not want to be contacted at all. All correspondence will go through me. The contract is as I told you, I promise you. I’ve been the ranch attorney for twenty years and I promised James I’ll look after you, please just trust me. She wants it this way.
This doesn’t feel right. Silence filled the room. Mitch sat back in his chair, staring at Sam. He knew the old man can be trusted but he’s gut tells him there is more to this story. The whole thing is not making sence. He has so many questions but he knows Sam well enough to know that he will not get more out of him, Sam just sat there looking at Mitch as if nothing is wrong.
Okay Sam, Mitch sigh. I leave it as is . . . for now. But eventually I want the whole story.
You’re a good man Mitch. Go do what you do best. James believed in your dream, now go proof him right.
Mitch shook Sam’s hand, put his stetson on his head and before closing the door he looked long and hard at Sam, then turned and left.
Sam sank back in his chair. All of a sudden he felt so tired and old. Hopefully this was the worst of it!
You’re late! Move your ass, the stables needs cleaning!
What’s your problem cowboy. You never told me what time I needed to be up.
Darren, if you call me cowboy one more time!
My name is Mitch and don’t push your luck with me! I’ll make you work right through without lunch.
Okay, okay, what must I do?
Firstly you are dressed to warm. Roll up your sleeves or take of your shirt. Then help me with these haystacks. Without another word, Mitch picked up a haystack and carried it to the barn.
With eyes rond as sausers, Darren started to roll up his sleeves. Look at that man, he is as strong as an ox. There is now way I’m taking of my shirt! Hell, how am I going to lift one of those things?
After rolling his sleeves, Darren went to pick up a haystack.
Put sum back into it, laughed Mitch. In a few months this will be easy to lift, you just need some muscles. Don’t worry, on this ranch with hard work, that will come naturally.
I can lift this! Willpower is far more important than muscles! Darren was fuming. Who does he think he is? I may be small, but hell I can work! And with that Darren lifted his first haystack and stomped off with a grunt.
Mitch just smiled. There is something about Darren that he liked. He is a little on the sissy side but he’s got heart. There is fire in those bones and out here you need something to help you survive.
By eight all the haystacks was in the barn and Darren felt like crying. His arm muscles felt like they were on fire.
Okay, I need to go into town to pick up some supplies. You can clean the stalls and then brush the horses. I’ll be back by lunch. With that Mitch jumped in his truck and was off.
Just great, no rest for the wicked. At least I know how to clean something, this will not be so bad. Darren went to the first open stall and started cleaning. About two hours later the stalls looked great. Darren was just starting to brush the first horse when he heard Mitch’s truck. When he looked up, he saw Mitch jump in another truck with one of the other ranch workers and off they went.
Well, at least I’ll have more peace and quiet time. Don’t need that cowboy to tell me how to clean something. I’ve watched enough video’s and read lots of books on the subject of horses. There is a few basic rules to follow and if I do that, I’ll be fine. Just brush the horse Darsy ! No no no your name is Darren! I better not slip up, if my mind believes I’m Darren so will everyone else! If only I wasn’t so afraid of the darn horse! He is eyeing me, as if he knows the truth.
Good boy, just stand still, pleeeese!
What are you doing?
Giving a squeeky scream, Darren almost jumped on the horse from fright.
Was that nessessary! You’ll give me a heart attack!
With arms crossed, Mitch could not help but laugh. You scream like a girl!
I do not! Darren turned his red face to the horse and start brushing the animal.
Mitch looked puzzled. He can’t put his finger on it, but there is something very strange about Darren. Well, I’ll figure it out! He took the brush from Darren and pushed him to the side.
You’re doing it wrong. Long strokes, it sooths the horse and stand closer.
O okay, let me try. Darren closed his eyes, pushed his fear aside and when he opened his eyes he stepped closer and brushed the horse the way Mitch showed him.
Good, by the time your done here it will be lunch time. See you in the bunkhouse.
Where are you going?
We’re mending fences. I’ll introduce you to the other workers at lunch!
And with that Mitch was of and Darren was alone with his fear and the horses.
What a day! I’m so tired. Think I’ll fall asleep while I’m in the bath.
You go and rest. You’re first day went well. Thanks for all your help.
Night Mitch, see you tomorrow at five?
Jip, that’s ranch hours, smiled Mitch.
Darren went up the stairs and every step was painfull. His whole body ached. Never in his live have he been so tired and so sore. A long bath is all that his aching muscles needed right now.
As Darren walk off, Mitch felt sorry for the boy. He really pushed him today. He’s obviously not use to physical work and he did not complain once. That in itself was remarkable. Mitch had this strange feeling of protectiveness towards Darren. Why he didn’t know. Shaking his head he took a sip of his coffee and went to the study to do the ranch books.
Up in his room, Darren went straight to the bathroom. Looking in the mirror he started laughing. O Darsy, you really look terrible. Look at you! Dressed as a boy and stinky! Ewe! She undressed and sank deep into the water. It was warm and soothed every aching muscle. It felt like heaven. She stayed there for almost an hour. When she eventually got out she put on a t-shirt and climb between the sheets and fell asleep within minutes.
After finishing the books, Mitch went upstairs, passing Darren’s room he smelt lavender. He stopped and stared at Darren’s door. Why would a man… Maybe his gay….. That will explain alot, Mitch thought and took a deep breath, shook his head and went to his room. None of my business. As long as he works like he did today, his private life is none of my business! Just before he entered his room he turned and looked puzzled at Darren’s door and shook his head. He better just stay away from me! He closed his door, took a shower and went to bed.
With a smile Darren greeted Mitch the next morning at breakfast.
Mitch just lifted his coffee cup behind the newspaper as a greeting.
So how did you sleep? What are we doing today? I feel good and is ready for anything.
Darren sat across from Mitch and started on his breakfast. He took a bite from his toast and sigh. This is so good, I’m starving. Think it’s all the hard work that is spiking my appetite. My muscles are a little sore today, but hay, nothing I can’t handle.
Mitch lowered his newspaper and looked at Darren. You’re a morning person, right?
O just great!
What’s wrong with that? Darren asked with eyebrows raised.
Nothing, just keep it to yourself and please no talking at the breakfast table. I’m reading the paper and your yapping is annoying and distrackting!
Well, well cowboy! You’re obviously not a morning person. But hay, I feel you, no talking . . . got it!
Darren went on eating his breakfast without another word.
When Mitch finished reading his paper, he looked up and saw Darrens deep blue eyes watching him.
Darren felt guilty. He’s been staring at this cowboy for over ten minutes, realizing that Mitch was devastatingly sexy. All man, strong hard-boned face, with a big muscular body. He could just not take his eyes of him. His deep gravelly voice brought goosebumps to his skin.
Now feeling uncomfortable with those dark brown eyes looking at him, Darren cleared his throught and had to quickly think of something to say.
I was just wondering, where did you get that cut under your left eye.
Well, that’s for me to know and you not to find out!
Wow, Cowboy, you truly have a bad attitude!
Last warning, my name is Mitch not Cowboy! snared Mitch.
As Mitch stood up, he had this sick feeling. He did not like the way Darren was staring at him. He felt uncomfortable. Hell I don’t need this!
Well….fine….but please can you at least lighten up!
Darren stood up and on his way to the door asked over his shoulder, what must I do today?
Mitch looked at him thinking that maybe he was making more of that look than was nessessary. Darren obviously was not fazed, but darn his attitude!
Well, you can start by cleaning the stables and when your done we will ride out to the western fence. It needs some repair, so saddle two horses.
Darren stopped dead in his tracks. He had a rush of nervousness. No, no, no!
Darren looked wide-eyed at Mitch and shook his head. I’ve never been on a horse!
You can’t ride and you work on a ranch? Mitch laughed.
This is not funny!
Okay, okay don’t worry. We’ll take the truck. I’ll teach you how to ride, but later when we have more time.
No, no those things hate me!
Don’t be such a sissy. You’ll be fine. Now go get started. I will be in the study this morning. I need to do the salaries
Darren glared at Mitch. I’m no sissy!
We’ll see, laughed Mitch.
As Darren worked, he could not get the fact that Mitch was going to teach him how to ride, out of him mind. He was really worried. His body throbbed with scared anticipation.
But the morning went by very quickly and when he was done in the stables he went to find Mitch in the study so that they could go do some fence repairs.
Mitch was just coming out of the study as Darren approached.
Good, you done?
Yes, we can go. Do I need anything?
No, everything is in the truck. Lets get going.
They got in the truck and as they travelled along the dusty road, Darren could not believe his eyes. The western side of the ranch was breathtaking! Far off mountains with limestone peaks watch over the green fields. Wild horses were grazing and everything looked so peaceful.
Darren’s whole body bumped up and down in the truck as they drove over the rough terrain. This place is beautiful, Darren said while staring out the side window.
Yes, I love this place, Mitch replied, deep in thought.
You okay, Darren asked with a worried frown.
It was quite for awile in the truck as Darren waited for Mitch to answer him. But Mitch never answered. There was just this sad quiteness until they got to the fence.
They got out and inspected the fence. After Mitch explained what they must do, they went on with the job with no-one talking. While Mitch wrapped wire around the wooden posts, Darren took the gun and stapled it firmly in place. They worked for two hours as the sun beat down on them, both sweating, but at last the job was done.
Well, that looks good. Lets pack-up and go for a swim in the river to cool of.
Darren chest instantly went tight, he could not breath.
Darren, are you okay?
Darren was as white as a sheet. With eyes wide with fear he said, Yes, I. … I will be. Can we go home so I can take my meds?
Mitch watched Darren with a worried eye. There is more to this asthma attack, but for now he will let it go.
Okay lets get you home. Get in.
On the way home Mitch could see that Darren was more relaxed and by the time they got home Darren’s breathing was almost back to normal. When they stopped infront of the house Mitch turned to Darren looking at him intently.
Darren, next time you don’t want to swim, just say so. I will not forse you to do anything you’re not up for. You have the right to say no. I will not get upset or make fun of you. You are who you are. There is nothing wrong with being gay.
Darren almost fell out of the truck when he heard the word gay. What makes you think I’m gay.?
Mitch, turned his attention to the house. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to put you on the spot. Go inside and take your meds. I’m going into town, I’ll probably be late.
Darren stood there stunned. He didn’t know what to think . . . what just happened? This was getting stranger by the day. Slowly he closed the truck door and took a step away from the truck.
Mitch was off in a flash without another word.
For two days Darren did not see Mitch. He could hear him come home late when he was already in bed. Every morning when Darren went for breakfast, Mitch was already gone. During the day, Darren would do his duties with the horses, but not once was Mitch around to see if he was doing what needs to be done. Darren was getting worried.
Maybe I did something wrong! Maybe he really thinks I’m gay and can’t work with me then! I need to fix this! What can I do to make thing right?
That evening Darren decided to stay up reading in the study until Mitch get’s home. It was almost eleven when Mitch came in. He looked tired and frustrated. As he walked in the study he stopped at seeing Darren.
I thought you would be in bed already, he said as he walked over to his desk and poured himself a whiskey.
I did not see you for two days and was worried that I did something wrong so I decided to stay up and talk to you.
Nothing is wrong. I’m busy, that’s all. Now go to bed, it’s late.
I’m not a kid anymore. I’ll stay up late if I want to! Darren was now very irritated and sick of everyone treating him like a child.
I’m not in a mood for your tantrums. I’m tired and just want to go to bed! Stay up if you want to, I’m going to bed. Mitch drank his last whiskey and turned to go upstairs. But before he could leave the room, Darren jumped in front of him, with arms on his hips.
What is your problem! If you had a hard day don’t take it out on me!
Mitch looked down at Darren and just laughed.
If I was not sure before that you’re gay, now I am sure. You are ranting just like a woman.
Mitch’s face went dark and serious the next moment and when he spoke Darren was frozen in his place with shock.
Don’t you go all clingy on me. I am not gay, so keep your woman tantrums in or you’ll find your ass out of here! I don’t have a problem with you being gay, just don’t make your problem mine, then we will get along just fine!
Mitch took Darren by the shoulders and picked him up. Now get out of my way, I need some sleep.
Darren felt his knees buckle when Mitch put him down. He could not stand up straight. The moment Mitch touched him, he felt sparks go threw his body. He could not think, he could just feel Mitch’s hands on his arms and although it was forseful, it made Darren weak at the knees.
When Mitch was out the door, Darren sat back on the coach with his arms on his knees and his hand in his hair.
What is going on. Darcy what are you doing! Get a grip! This is not good! I need to stay away from Mitch! This can be so dangerous! If you can’t do it for you, do it for Mitch. He doesn’t need the trouble that follows you, Darcy! Darcy stood up and went to bed, frustrated and had a restless sleep.
The next morning, Mitch was already at the breakfast table when Darren walked in. Mitch was reading his paper and just lifted his cup as a greeting as usual. Darren sat down and with a bowed head, he ate his food. When he was done, Darren stood up to leave but halfway to the door he stopped, looked at Mitch and took a deep breath.
I’m sorry about last night. It will not happen again.
Mitch looked at Darren and smiled. No harm done. When your done with the horses, Sam said you must go see him. You can take my truck.
Darren went out and started his day. Mitch went to the study to pick up his breeding charts and went checking on the horses. When he walked into the stables, Darren was busy cleaning the horses. Mitch went over to the bench, spread his charts out so he can work out their next move.
Well, looks like the best way to go is mating Thunder and Chastidy. What do you think, Darren?
Well, they are both beautiful strong horses. Is their bloodlines pure?
Looks like it. The vet, Geoff, you met him? Well, he did some tests and looked at their parents history and everything came back very positive. As from tonight, I want you to put Thunder and Chastidy in stalls next to each other.
Not a problem, I’m almost done here, about ten minutes then I’m of to Sam.
Do you mind if I come with you? I need to go to the supply store and I thought one trip will be best.
It’s fine with me.
After Darren was done, he went to his room. He cleaned himself and put on a clean shirt and then he and Mitch was of to town.
I’ll drop you at Sam’s and when your done I’ll meet you at the diner?
Not a problem, thanks for bringing me anyway.
Darren got out of the truck and went up to Sam’s office. As he entered Sam was at his secretary’s desk.
Great, I’m glad you could come. We have a problem. Come into my office.
Darren followed Sam and went to sit in front of his desk as Sam closed the door.
Sam’s office was furninshed with heavy dark wood furniture. Artwork from paintings to oriental vases decorated his office. Everything was beautifully put together.
What is wrong Sam, Darcy asked with a worried look.
Darcy, someone has been phoning, asking about you and your whereabouts. No I don’t know who he is, but I have this feeling that it’s Scott.
Darcy sat up straight. She felt her chest getting tight and had to breath deep to calm her nerves.
This is not good. No, please don’t tell me he is here.
No, I checked and he is still in South Africa, but we need to get the paperwork ready. Do you still want to put Mitch down as owner of the ranch?
Yes, that way Scott cannot take the ranch and I trust that Mitch will not throw me off any day soon, so I’ll at least have a place to stay.
What about the money? With the farm in his name, we must complete the paper trail. What must I do with the money that you got for the sale of the ranch?
Scott will take every sent, to make sure I have nowhere to go. Donate the money. Donate it to Mitch’s breeding program.
Are you sure? If this is done, you will have nothing to fall back on.
You and James said that Mitch is a good man! I’m putting my faith in you’re words and hope that one day, when Mitch finds out, that he won’t just take the money and throw me out.
When do you intend on telling Mitch?
Not very soon, only if there is no other way.
Okay, now then, lets get these papers signed.
Darcy signed the papers and after a short visit over coffee, she left Sam’s office and went to the diner to hook up with Mitch. When Darren got there, Mitch was already enjoying his burger and chips. Darren sat across from Mitch, ordered the same and stared out the window deep in thought.
Everything okay? What did Sam want?
O, I just needed to sign some papers. Everything is fine now.
Mitch watched Darren and got the feeling that something was not right. There was a worried look in Darren’s eyes.
You know that you can talk to me. If there is anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to ask.
Thanks Mitch, I appreciate the thought but I’m fine, thanks.
Darren’s food came and they ate while listening to the stories of the other ranchers and ranch-workers.
At breakfast the next morning, Mitch asked Darren to saddle two horses. He wanted to check the fences, but on horseback.
Who is going with you?
Well, I was thinking the two of us could go. I promised that I’ll teach you to ride, so today is the day.
Mitch watched Darren closely. First Darren went pale then after breething deeply he looked at his food and just nodded his head.
After breakfast Darren went to the stables to saddle the horses. He was just coming out when Mitch walked up.
Ready as I’ll ever be.
Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. You can take Dancer, she is laid-back and gentle.
Darren watched Mitch get on his horse and everything he saw, he liked. Mitch’s jeans clung to his lean hips and muscular thighs. O, and his ass, it was a work of art! Great Darcy! Focus! How did he do that, with no effort he got on the animal! This thing is huge!
Come on, get up!
Darren looked at Mitch and the look made Mitch roar with laughter. To Darcy that was one of the most beautiful sounds she ever heard. It was warm and gave her goosebumps.
Mitch got of his horse, turned to look at Darren and just shook his head.
Watch me! Put your right foot in the stirrup and your hands like this, one on the horn of your saddle and the other at the back of the saddle. Then you just pull yourself up to stand in the stirrup, then swing your leg over.. See, now your turn.
Darren did as Mitch instructed and with ease he was on the horse. With a satisfied smile he looked at Mitch but when the horse gave one step forward his eyes went wild with fear.
Mitch took Darren’s horse by the reins, to make sure the horse stays put. Now take the reins in your hand. If you want your horse to turn left you pull to the left and right you pull to the right. Nothing to it. If you want to stop you just pull the reins back. Mitch handed Darren the reins and Darren took it in his hands as he was shown.
Now to get your horse to start walking. Just click with your tongue. All our horses are trained like that. Mitch clicked his tongue and his horse started to walk. See, nothing to it.
Darren did as he was told and within minutes he was getting the feel of the horse. It was not as bad as Darren originally thought it would be. As they rode in silence Darren started to relax and was actually enjoying the feeling of being close to nature. Everything around him smelled clean, fresh and the scenery was breathtaking. It changed from green field to fields with spring flowers to rough terrain.
They road until they got to where a tree fell on the fence. In silence they got to work. Mitch chopped the tree into smaller pieces so it was easier to move and Darren carried the pieces out of the way. When that was done, they fixed the fence and was off again.
Their next stop was at a stream where Mitch let the horses drink water while they ate some sandwiches that Joyce packed for them.
Darcy was in awe at the beauty of the place. If only I could sit and paint here. This is the perfect spot. She was so deep in thought that she didn’t even see Mitch getting up and walking over to the stream. Only when he came back with the horses and he spoke did she came out of her trance.
Penny for your thoughts?
Just thinking how beautiful this place is.
Darren looked over at Mitch when he heard the sadness in his voice.
Everything okay, Mitch?
Mitch took a deep breath.
Yeah, come on. Let’s get going. Lots still to do.
It took Mitch and Darren the whole day to check the fences. When they got home, Darren was so tired and sore. Without dinner he went to his room for a shower and an early bed.
Mitch just smiled at him, thinking that the poor boy would be very sore in the morning, if he could get out of bed at all. It would be a miracle. But he did not say a word, just turned to do some work in his study.
Mitch was almost done at breakfast when Darren slowly strolled in, giving an achy moan with every step he took. He looked over his shoulder and just laughed.
This is not funny! I feel like a trainwreck. Morning Mitch.
Mitch watched Darren with laughter in his eyes, but tried not to laugh out loud again. The poor boy was walking funny and every step he take looks painful.
Morning Darren. How you feelin’?
I’ve been better, thanks. Sorry I’m late, but today is going to be a long slow day. I can hardly move. How do you do this?
Be on a horse every day! Darren said with some agitation.
You get use to it?
What, get use to the pain?
No, Mitch laughed. It’s like execise, your body will get use to it.
Hell, I never thought riding a horse could be exercise.
Well, you better eat up, get your strenght. We have lots to do today.
You really are a slave driver with no sympathy!
No, I feel for you, but the sooner you get to work the sooner your muscles will heal.
As Darren ate his breakfast, Mitch watched him with a close eye. Something is off. I just can’t put my finger on it. What is it about this boy that feels so wrong? It’s as if there is something his hiding and he is working very hard to keep it hidden.
Darren struggled to his feet. I better get started, lots to do as you’ve said.
Darren could not get out of the house fast enough. Why was he looking at me like that? He is making me so nervous with those deep intense eyes. But darn that man is beautiful. Dark hair, dark eyes and what a body. Those jeans stretching over that firm bud. O my! Goodness Darsey! You must not fall for this man. It will be the end of you and him!
It’s been six weeks since Darren came to stay on the farm. Mitch was watching the farmhands eating their lunch and he realised that Darren fitted in well. Everyone liked him. He was friendly and worked really hard. At times the other hands would get frustrated at his lack of strenght, but Darren would just make a joke of it and everyone would start laugthing. One thing Mitch did pick up was that although Darren got along with everyone, he never socialized after work hours. He mainly stayed in his room. Some of the guys asked him to go clubbing or even bar hopping but he never accepted, just stayed at home, locked up in his room.
Why is he hiding? Maybe he never accepted who he really is.
Hay Darren, tomorrow is Friday, make sure you have nothing planned! I’m taking all of you for a drink at Jake’s. You guys really worked hard these last few weeks and we, I, need some down time.
Ye you do, we are all worried about you!
Thanks Pete, I’m fine, but thanks for caring.
Mitch looked at Darren and saw that he looked very tense and was playing with his food. Something is really wrong with him.
Darren, I’ll meet you in the stables. We need to update the feeding program.
Mitch took his plate to be washed and left.
Darren never looked up, never said a word.
Pete, who was sitting next to Darren, elbowed him playfully. Mitch is waiting, you better get going!
O ye, Sorry!
Friday morning Darren was up very early, he just could not sleep. He was so worried about the evenings social event, all he could think about was getting out of it, but how. He went to the stables to start cleaning up. I’ll go up for breakfast when it’s time, but for now I need to be busy.
Mitch was late when he came down for breakfast. He had to take some calls and it just seemed as if everyone just wanted to talk and talk. When he came down, he saw that Darren’s plate sat untouched.
Joyce, where is Darren?
He did not come down yet, Mitch. Maybe he overslept. I’ll go check on him while you eat. Sit let me pour you some coffee then I’ll go wake him.
After pouring Mitch his coffee, Joyce went up-stairs to check on Darren. She stopped at his door and knocked. There was no answer. Softly she opened the door. When she walked in, she found that the bed was made just like every other day. She turned to leave but stopped dead in her tracks when she saw something strange on the floor next to the dirty clothing basket. She went over to pick it up and was stunned to see that it was a very sexy lace bra.
This is strange! She sigh. But now she was curious. She opened the clothing basket and inside she found another bra and panties.
So this is why Darren said he does his own laundry! Darren is a she! Joyce could not stop the smile. This is interesting!
When Joyce walked into the dining room, Mitch was just getting up.
So is he awake?
He was not in his room, so I presume his already out!
O well, keep his food warm. I’m of to the stables and will send him up to come and eat. Mitch went to the study to pick up his breeding charts and left for the stables.
As Mitch walked in the stables, he saw that the stalls wasn’t clean.
Where is Darren? He obviously did not come down to work when he woke this morning. He is not at the house, he is not here! We need to start the day. Where can he be?
Mitch walked past the last stall to go out by the back door and heard a strange wheezy sound. He stopped to listen. There it was again. Slowly Mitch walked to the last stall. Mitch pushed open the stall gate and there on the floor laid Darren.
Darren did not move, he was almost unconsious. All that Mitch could here is the wheeze sound, the sound someone with asthma made when they had an attack.
Darren did not answer, he looked Mitch in the eye and then just passed out.
Mitch knew that he had to do something and quickly. He picked Darren up in his arms and started running towards the house. Hell, this boy weighs nothing.
Joyce! Joyce! go see if there are any meds in Darren’s room! He is having an asthma attack.
Mitch went to the study and laid Darren on the couch. He walked over to the phone and dialed Doc Warner.
While he was on the phone Joyce ran in with a needle in her hand.
Doc, it’s Darren. He is uncontious. I think it is an asthma attack. We have his meds. I will inject him and then see you at the clinic. Mitch put the phone down and went to help Joyce.
Is he going to be okay?
Well, lets hope we are not to late. Mitch pushed the needle in Darren’s arm.
Open the door for me, we are taking him to the clinic. He picked Darren up in his arms.
This boy is as light as a feather! Joyce, you need to feed him more!
Joyce only smiled at that comment and went to open the truck door.
I’m going with you. I have all the meds that was on his night stand with me, to show Doc Warner. You can leave me there and I will phone you when we’re done.
That’s fine Joyce, but I’m not coming back to the ranch. I need to go see Sam. I will tell him about Darren. When you are done, call his office.
That will be fine. Why are you going to Sam?
I need to sort out some ranch business with Mrs Brightan. I don’t get why I can’t contact her directly. That would have been so much easier! Is Darren breathing?
Yes, but just.
Keep your eyes on him. I’ll drive as fast as I can.
Joyce noticed that Mitch looked very irritated and frustrated. Something in her gut told her that Darren was this Mrs Brightan. She sat quietly and stared out the window as they rushed to the clinic. Why would a woman with so much money, the owner of a ranch, go to all the trouble not to be known? What or who is she hiding from. Joyce looked down at Darren laying on her lap. Please don’t die, we’re almost there!
Sam, Darren is in good hands! Doc Warner will take good care of him and Joyce is there when he wakes up!
Mitch I need to see for myself! He is family!
Mitch could see the worry in Sam’s face. He must really care for Darren….
Fine, afterwards we need to talk about Mrs Brightan!
Doc Warner opened the door just as Sam touched the door-handle to Darren’s room.
Sam, good to see you. Come in. Mitch sorry just family. I’ll talk to you in ten.
Doc closed the door and Mitch was left standing in the hall. Frustrated Mitch turned went to the waiting room.
Sam looked nervously at Mrs Brightan. Is she, he okay?
She will be okay. She just needs rest, her body really had a shock and needs time to recover
Joyce came closer to the bed and Sam looked at her with shock. He did not see her when he walked in.
It’s fine Sam. I’ll keep quiet, I just don’t know why. I’m the one who asked Doc to keep quiet.
Joyce could see the relieve in Sam’s face.
Sam why is she hiding as a man in her own home?
Sam stood there for a long time just watching Darsy’s chest go up and down. Joyce went over to him and touched his arm.
Sam is everything okay?
At least I’m not alone anymore. I can’t tell you everything. That will be unethical and she trusts me! All I can say is…… she needs protection. Whatever you do, never tell anyone who she is or where she is. Joyce you see her everyday, please keep an eye on her.
Joyce just stood there listening to Sam. He sounded very sad and very worried. All she could do was nod.
Joyce, if you promise to keep an eye on her, she can go home. I’ll give you the meds? Let her sleep and please no hard work over the weekend. Her body needs to recover. Lets make her look like Darren again before she wakes, then we’ll call Mitch to help get her in his truck. She will wake in about fifteen minutes.
No problem Doc, the men know me by now. If I give the order they know better than to argue. Sam left the room so that Doc and Joyce can prepare Darren for his trip home.
As he entered the waiting room, Mitch jumped up. Is Darren okay?
Yes, they are getting him ready to go home. He needs to rest for a few days, but he will be okay. What do you want from Mrs Brightan?
I want to build a facility for the breeding program. I just need to know if that will be okay.
Mitch you know what is needed on the ranch and what needs to be done to make the horse breeding program work. She will not have a problem with what you do.
Sam are you sure. I don’t want her to think that I’m just spending her money.
Sam put his hand on Mitch’s back and watched him for awhile.
Mitch after her meeting with James, she knew that you could be trusted. You are a fair, trustworthy person. Do what you need to do. She trusts you.
Mitch just shook his head, stood up and started pacing the room.
This is very strange. She does not even know me.
She knows enough. James loved you and trusted you and he told her everything she needed to know
Thank you Sam, I hope I will always live up to what James saw in me.
Darren, what are you doing? You are suppose to be in bed, resting!
You startled me!
Well? What are you doing here? You almost died yesterday!
I’m sorry about that, Mitch, but I’m fine now and ready to do my job.
Mitch stood with his arms crossed, looking suspitiously at Darren.
Darren felt a blush coming on and turned around so that Mitch woudn’‘t see. Why is he looking at me like that. He is so sexy. Stop it Darcy! You don’t need any complications!
Don’t look at me like that!
Like I’ve done something wrong!
So you feel guilty?
Yes, you skipped your meds on pupose. You could have told me you didn’t want to socialize last night. What are you afraid of?
Nothing and I would never skip my meds on purpose! Darren look nervously at the floor and pushed the hay with the toe of his boot.
Mitch went closer with an angry frown. You ever do that again, I. Will. Not. Save. You! That was irrisponsible, dangerous and cowardise!.
I did not do it on purpose!
I don’t believe you! Next time use a gun, it will be quick. And it will save me a trip to the clinic.
Darrens head snapped up. It was an accident!
Whatever, now go back to the house and rest!
Your an ass!
Ye, so I’ve been told.
Four weeks later.
Where is she! Open this door! Where is she!
Mitch stood up from behind his desk in the study and looked at his watch.
Who can that be, it’s late!
Again the front door was kicked and again the screaming came.
Where is she! Open this door!
With anger Mitch opened the door. What do you want!
I want my sister?
Now what will she be doing here!
She owns the place!
So, I presume you are Mr Brightan!
No, I am Mr Frost, her step-brother! Now where is she!
Frost stepped up to enter the house, but Mitch stepped in front of him. Frost is a whole head shorter than Mitch, but he is well build just like Mitch.
I don’t know why you are looking for her here, as far as I know she’s in South Africa. This is my home until she gets here and there is no-one here exept me!
I want to see for myself!
If you come one step closer, I will remove you with forse!
Mitch was getting really angry!
I want my sister!
She is not here! Go to the sherrifs office and file a missing persons complain! Now get off my property or I will help you!
Scott looked at the man in front of him. He is very big and would definately hurt him.
I’ll be back in the morning! Scott turned back to the waiting taxi and left!
What an asshole! Mitch slammed the front door shut and stood there just looking at the door. As he turned he saw Darren on the stairs, he was as white as snow. His eyes as big as saucers and he was shaking.
Darren did not respond, so Mitch went to where he stood and waved his hand infront of Darrens face.
Darren just looked at Mitch and then threw himself in Mitch’s arms and started crying!
He found me! He found me! Then it looked like a flood dam opened.
Mitch stood there stunned. So many questions was going threw his mind.
What are you doing! He stepped away form Darren and held him at arms lenght.
Everything that just happened played threw his mind again and again. Mr Frost was looking for his sister! Darren said, he found me! Mitch shook his head. This is very confusing. And why is he holding on to me! Frost said she owns this place. That must mean Mr Brightan. Darren said, he found me!
This can’t be. No, no this can’t be!
Mitch looked at the tear soaked face of Darren.
Is it possible? Is Darren this Mrs Brightan. I need a drink!
Darren? Come, lets go sit and you can tell me everything. I think we both need a drink. I have a feeling this is going to be a long night.
Mitch took Darren by the arm into the study and poured them each a drink.
Mitch went to the couch and gave Darren his drink. Darren just sat there. He looked so scared and nervous. Mitch realised that he needed to be calm so that Darren could talk.
Okay, now why don’t you start by telling me who this Frost guy is.
Darren looked at Mitch. Mitch could see that he was very scared.
Look, I can’t help you, if I don’t know the truth. I figured that Darren is not your real name. So why don’t you trust me and tell me the truth.
Mitch was watching Darren’s, every movement. Yes, I knew it, she is Mrs Brightan.
Nervously Darsy played with her t-shirt. When she started speaking, Mitch had to listen very carefully because it was just above a whisper.
My name is Darsy Brightan. That man is my step-brother. I left South Africa thinking I could get away from him.
Why was there a need to get so far away from him?
He is a very bad man, he hurt and kill people.
So why is he looking for you?
After my mom and step-dad died, I was forced to go and stay with Scott. He hated me, but he wanted me around because of the trustfund. My biological dad died when I was eight and he left me a trustfund and money that paid out on my twenty-first birthday. Scott wants that money.
He is here so you can write him a cheque?
About two years ago, the night of by twenty-first birthday, he came home drunk and started beating me….. He was locked-up and……
Darsy stopped talking, just stared at the wall. It was as if she was looking for words.
He wants the money and revenge.
Now, how does Sam and James fit in all this?
I met Sam and James at the hospital I was in. I remember liking them from day one, we talked and they made me feel special. They came to visit an old lady that was in the room with me, I think she was Sam’s sister?
Yes, I remember them going there. She died in hospital about two years ago.
Darcy nod her head and went on with her story. I was contacted by James about two months after I was released. He told me that he and Sam wants to help me. They came up with this plan where I could come stay on this ranch under another name, but to get my money out of the country was another story. So Sam told me about the plans James and you had for breeding horses. You just needed money. So I bought the ranch and came here.
Darsy stopped talking for a while. Nervously she stood up and started pacing the room.
A few months ago Sam told me someone called asking questions about me. I needed to make sure Scott cannot just take everything so……
She breathed in deeply and looked at Mitch
I sold the ranch and donated the money.
You did what? Mitch was on his feet. How can you do that!
Nevously Darsy backed up until her back was against the wall. Furiously Mitch towered over her.
No, no, no, don’t over-react. I sold the ranch to you and the money I got for the sale, I donated into you breeding program.
Silence fell in the study. Mitch just looked at Darcy with his mouth open.
Darsy stood there, to scared to move.
Why would you do that?
Tears started running down Darsy’s face.
I was told by Sam and James that your a honest good person and during the last couple of months I got to know you, and I think they were right. I figured that just maybe when you find out you will not just throw me out….that maybe you will let me stay. All I ever wanted was a save place to stay.
Why didn’t you just give the money to Scott. I mean you just gave the money to a total stranger.
Darsy looked Mitch in the eye, her jaw was tight. Scott is a very bad man. I will not fund his killing of innocent people!
Silence fell in the study once more. Mitch turned from Darsy to pour him another drink. Darsy just sank to her knees, tired and to scared to move.
Now he found me! Darsy started crying again.
Mitch helped her up and took her in his arms, walked her over to the coach, sat down and let her cry. He was the one now staring at the wall.
How can someone beat a woman? What is he suppose to do now?
Mitch knew deep down that whatever happens, he will protect Darsy. He doesn’t know how or when this feeling came over him, but he just feels like he needs to protect her.
They sat there for about an hour. Darsy crying and Mitch trying to figure out what to do next.
Okay, first thing we need to do, is call Sam, agreed?
Mitch lifted Darsy’s chin so that he could look her in the eye. Agreed?
Your going do help me? After I lied to you? Darcy looked Mitch in the eye.
Wow, but she has beautiful eyes. How did I not see them before?
Mitch swallowed the knot that formed in his throught, and with a shacky voice said, Well, you did what you thought were necessary to survive and yes, I’ll help you.
Darsy almost jumped Mitch off the couch. She wrapped her hands around his neck and cried with joy. Thanking him over and over.
Mitch felt aukward, got out of her embrais and stood up. He went to his desk and phoned Sam.
While Mitch was on the phone, Darcy went to the kitchen to make some coffee.
Darsy was so deep in thought that she did not even see Mitch standing in the doorway watching her. When she turned around her breath caught in her throught when she saw him. Their eyes met and Darsy was the first to break the pull that they both felt.
What did Sam say?
Mitch stepped closer, took his cup of coffee and before he answered Darsy, he took a sip of the coffee.
He is working on a restraining order and will be over early tomorow morning. I think it will be good if we go to bed and get some sleep. We have an early day tomorrow.
Darsy looked wide-eyed at Mitch, smiled then just nod, took the empty cups and went to rinse them.
Well, that’s done. Time for bed then.
Mitch switch the light off and together they climb the stairs. When they reached her bedroom door, Mitch said goodnight and went to his door. He turned, looked at Darsy and for a moment their eyes met again and this time Mitch was the one to break the pull.
Night Mitch and thank you!
And with that they closed their doors and both had a restless sleep.
Mitch and Sam was already busy in the study when Darsy walked in. Mitch looked up as she entered and almost missed his chair when his legs went numb. She was dressed in tight jeans, cowboy boots and a tight fitting t-shirt that revealed her womanly curves. Where did she hide that figure? Her hair was not hidden under a bandena and for the first time Mitch saw her curly shoulder lenght blond hair. She was a stunning woman and he was completely spellbound.
Good morning my dear, Sam greeted with a big smile. How are you feeling this morning?
I’ll be fine, just as soon as Scott returns to South Africa.
Darcy looked at Mitch, who up to that point did not say a word.
Mitch looked away and tensely greeted Darsy with a nod of his head. At least she still sounded the same, but for some reason her throaty voice sounded sexy now. O my, Mitch get a grip!
Sam raised from his seat and walked over to the window. I just told Mitch that we have a problem with that.
Darsy tensed and slowly lowered herself onto the coach. What do you mean?
We can’t find Scott.
What do you mean you can’t find him? He was here last night!
Yes, that I know . But he did not get into the country under the name Scott Frost. There is no hotel, motel or guesthouse with a booking for Scott Frost.
O no……no…….. Darsy’s face went pale.
Mitch rushed over to her and dropped to his knees in front of her.
Darsy please breathe….he took her hands in his and talked to her in a calm soft voice. Darsy please breathe, everything is going to be okay. We are here with you. You are not alone anymore. Darsy look at me, come on baby…..look at me.
Slowly Darsy looked at Mitch, but it still didn’t look like she was registering anything.
Even thow Mitch felt tense, he kept himself calm and looked Darsy in the eyes while with his thumb he made slow circular movements to try and calm her.
Breathe Darsy, everything is going to be okay. I promise I will not leave you out in the cold. Sam and I will do everything in our power to protect you.
Darsy took a few slow breaths and then nodded that she understood.
Mitch released her hands and sat next to her.
Sam went to sit on her other side, took her in his arms and gave her a big hug.
I have a private detective out looking for him, we will find him. In the meantime you stay here where Mitch can keep you save. The two of us already talked to the local sherrif and ranch-hands and everyone wants to help.
Tears run down Darsy’s face. I’m so scared Sam. I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be a sissy.
My dear girl, I know why you are scared. Remember, I was at the hospital. I saw what he did to you. I will not let him do that to you again! Not ever!
Thanks Sam, Darsy took a shy peek at Mitch with her head bowed. Thanks Mitch.
Mitch just nod, stood up and went to his desk. He had this terrible feeling that she did not tell him everything last night.
Darsy can I bother you for a cup of coffee and will you please go tell Joyce that Sam is here for breakfast?
As Darsy left the study, Mitch turned to Sam and the look Sam had in his eyes confirmed his suspitions.
What did Scott do to her?
I don’t think it is my place to tell you. She will have to tell you herself. All I can tell you….. Sam sigh and was quiet for a monent…. She has good reason to be scared. What she went threw, I will not wish on my enemy.
It was quiet for awhile.
Please Mitch, keep her save. She needs you. You are the only man that I trust with her!
I will do whatever needs to be done Sam. But I would appreciate the truth. I need to know what we’re up against.
Just at that moment Darsy entered with coffee. At first she just looked at them, then she walked over to the desk and set the mugs on the table. With that done she went to sit on the coach, folded her hands in her lap and just sat there with a bowed head.
As she started talking, tears ran down her face. Everything she said, was said without emotion, as if she just wanted to get it out and done with.
I was alone at home busy making tea. There was a knock on the door…..my friend next door. As I opened the door she was pushed inside. The door hit me and I stumbled backwards. Scott was behind her, with a pistol to her head. Drunk as usual. As he closed the door he…shot…her…in the head………. she fell on me…..Darsy could not talk for awhile.
As I tried to get her of me and away…. He grabbed me by the hair and dragged me to the bedroom…. I struggled, kicked, screamed but he hit me with the pistol and I fell unconsiouse…… When I woke, my hands and feet were tied to the corners of the bed. He was sitting next to the bed playing with his gun. Darsy fell quite again.
Sam went to sit next to her and took her hand.
Darsy you don’t have to go on.
I need to. Mitch must know what he is up against.
If it’s to hard for you…. It’s okay…. I will stil protect you.
You must know. I already have one persons death on my consiounce. I cannot have you endangering yourself without knowing what your up against. If you are going to help me, your life will be in danger!
Darsy it was not your fault that she died. Sam took her hand as she started crying again.
If she didn’t know me, she would still be alive, Sam. I tried not to make friends but she would just pop in out of the blue. I liked her….she was my first friend…
Darsy lets go have some breakfast. We can finish this talk a bit later.
That’s a great idea, Mitch. Sam smiled and took Darsy’s hand. I’m starving, come my dear, lets get some needed food.
It“s a week later and Mitch is starting to get real worried about Darsy. They never finished their talk, he had the feeling that Darsy’s not ready yet. This morning at breakfast she looked tired and edgy.
Later that morning she jumped almost a meter high when he walked into the barn. He’s been watching her and something needed to be done. She will not be able to take the stress of not knowing where Scott is for much longer.
Darsy why don’t you go get ready for tonight. I’ll finish up here.
I don’t think I can go, Mitch.
It will do you some good. And Sam is counting on you to be there . It is not a big party with lots of people. It’s just you, me, Sam and his wife, at his house, having dinner. Come on, I’m sure his wife already cooked for an army. I will not be able to eat everything, I need help.
I don’t eat that much.
Sure, but at least you can distract them while I do.
Darsy smiled and looked at Mitch. Fine, but you better leave me some dessert.
Mitch laughed. We’ll leave at seven.
Thanks, see you then.
Darsy went up to the house and Mirch just stood at the barn door watching her. He smiled to himself . At least he knows something new, she has a sweet tooth.
At seven Mitch met Darsy in the study. As she walked in, she took Mitch’s breath away. She had her hair down and she had a little black dress on. She looked stunning, but he had to smile at the boots.
No high heel stilettos?
Nope, I like the boots. I’m a cowgirl now.
Well Miss Cowgirl, you know that you still need a hat.
Ye, I know….
Mitch put his stetson on his head and led Darsy to his truck. He opened the door for her and could not miss her sweet peachy scent as she climbed in.
You do smell nice.
Darsy laughed, I don’t need to smell like a man anymore.
Thank goodness, sometimes you smelled like horse-shit.
I did not!
Did to! Laughed Mitch as he closed her door.
Mitch jumped in and of they were.
As they drove to Sams house, both were quiet and deep in thought. Darsy wondering when Scott will strike while Mitch battled to keep his eye of her.
Come in, come in.
Thanks for inviting us, Tess.
No, I must thank you. I wanted to try this new recipe and inviting you gave me the perfect excuse.
You two are in for a treat. My wife is a very good cook. Sam came up behind his wife and gave her a hug.
Great because I’m starving.
Mitch, you’re always starving, laughed Darsy.
Why don’t you come and help me in the kitchen, Darsy. Sam, you and Mitch can go out to the terrace. I thought eating outside would be nice.
Darsy followed Tess into the kitchen.
It smells devine.
I hope it tastes devine.
I’m sure it will. What can I do?
Toss the salad, then we can take everything out.
Half an hour later they all sat on the terrace laughing and joking while they ate. Darsy looked like she was having fun and for once there was no wrinkle on her fore-head, That made Mitch’s night. This was what she needed.
That was fun.
Ye, I can’t remember when last I laughed that much.
It was good seeing you relax.
Darsy looked out the side-window of the truck as they went back home. Sam and Tess made me feel comfortable and save. They have a way of making you forget about all your problems.
Ye, they are great. Never thought old Sam was that naughty in his life. Mitch smiled as he remembered all the stories Tess told them.
When they arrived home, Mitch opened the door for Darsy and together they went upstairs. Both tired and ready to go to bed. At Darsy’s door Mitch said good night and went to his room. Darsy thanked him and closed her door.
Mitch decided that a shower before bed would do him good. So he pulled his shirt over his head and sat on his bed and took of his boots. He stood up and went to his bathroom, but just then he heard a scream.
Mitch ran to Darsy’s room, did not even bother to knock. She was standing in her bra and panty at her bathroom’s entrance.
Darsy? You okay?
She was staring into the bathroom, shaking.
Mitch went passed her and then he saw what scared her. In the shower over the shower-head hanged a noose. Scott was in the house! How the hell did he get in the house!
Mitch turned to Darsy, took her by her shoulders, turned her around and steered her to her bed. As she sat down, one of the many pillows on her bed rolled over and Mitch saw blood. He quickly turned Darsy to him and gave her a robe to put on, still holding her in his arms. He took his phone out of his jean pocket and dialed the sherrif and Pete.
When Pete and Joyce arrived, Mitch was still holding a crying Darsy in his arms.
Joyce take Darsy to my room and give her something for the shock. She can sleep there tonight. Stay with her until I’m done here.
Will do Mitch.
As Joyce and Darsy left the room, Sherrif Monroe walked in with his team.
Mitch told Pete to take a few deputies and check the stables, barns, everywhere Scott could possible hide. Sherrif Monroe and Mitch went threw the house and Darsy’s room.
When Pete came in the room and looked at the blood and shook his head. That is not human blood. He killed Thunder . Not just killed, he sliced him so many times.
Mitch could not believe it. Thunder? Mitch was furious, but he could not loose it now. He took a few deep breaths to calm himself. How did he get in? Who was on duty tonight?
It was Michaels, but we can’t find him. I woke all the other boys and everyone is out looking for him.
Well, my work here is done. I’m going outside, I’ll suggest you burn the linen and don’t let her stay in this room for a couple of days. Mitch. I see you in the morning.
Mitch went to the bed and took of the linen. He gave it to Pete to burn and then he went to check on Darsy.
How is she?
I gave a strong sedatif. She is sleeping now.
You go and have some sleep to. Tomorrow we can clean the rest.
Tell Pete to phone me with any news.
See you in the morning.
Joyce left and Mitch went to sit on the chair by the window, deep in thought. What did this man do to her. He’s a real piece of work. Hell, killing Thunder! That is a real setback. We need to find this asshole! And I need to step up security.
No, no, noooooo!
Darsy, baby wake up. It’s just a dream. Mitch sat on the bed and held her by her shoulders.
Darsy’s eye was full of wild fear and tears were running down her face.
Your save, Darsy. Come on baby, everything is going to be okay.
I’m sorry, Mitch.
Nothing to be sorry about. Why don’t you try to sleep again.
Darsy closed her eyes, but everytime she drifts off to dreamland she wakes with a fright. After the third time, Mitch went to lay next to her. He took her in his arms to make her feel save and slowly stroke her hair.
Everything will be okay. I’m here. No-one will ever hurt you again.
Soon Darsy fell into a deep sleep, in Mitch’s arms.
Just after five the next morning, Darsy woke alone and a bit disorientated. Eventually everything of the night before came back to her. She got out of bed and went to her room only to find Joyce making her bed.
Good morning my dear. I moved all your things to the bedroom next to Mitch’s.
Sherrif said he needed more time in here for fingerprints and so on.
O, I need a shower. I’ll see you down-stairs?
Great, breakfast is a bit late. Another forty minutes.
That will be fine thanks.
Darsy went to her new room and showered.
As she came down the stairs, Sam and Sherrif Monroe entered the house and Mitch came out of the study.
Morning everyone. You’re just in time for breakfast.
Thanks, I’m starving. Did not eat at home, was out to early, Monroe laughed.
Morning my dear. How are you feeling?
I’m fine, thanks Sam.
Mitch led them to the breakfast table, everyone took their seats and dished up.
For a while everone ate in silence.
Mitch was drinking his coffee when Pete came in from the kitchen.
Morning everyone. Sorry, Mitch, can we talk quickly?
In the study. Sorry everyone, duty calls.
If it’s about last night, I would like to know what’s going on.
Darsy, why don’t you let us worry about last night.
Mitch, don’t do this to me. Scott is looking for me. I want to know what’s going on and please, I beg you don’t keep me in the dark!
Mitch lowered himself back in his chair and looked long and hard at Darsy.
Fine, Pete whatever you want to tell me, you can tell everyone here.
Pete looked at Darsy then at Mitch. You sure about this?
Ye, what’s new.
Well, we burned all the linen and Thunder.
What? Why Thunder? Darsy was on her feet, both her hands on the table, her head bowed. Did Scott kill Thunder?
Ye, sorry Darsy I thought you knew.
Mitch I am so sorry! Darsy had tears going down her face.
Darsy, it was not your fault.
Pete, what else.
Well, we found Michaels. He was on his way to Vegas. Apparently Scott paid him to spy on us all. Sherrif your deputies has him in custody now. They are trying to get more info from Michaels as to Scott’s where-abouts.
You’re all targets, because of me. Darsy left the room and went upstairs.
Mitch I think you need to go and talk to her. I have a very bad feeling.
Ye Sam, if you two will exuse me.
Mitch took the steps two at a time. He went straight to Darsy’s room, knocked and went in.
Darsy was busy packing her clothes.
What do you think your doing?
So that I can lead Scott away from here.
No you’re not! You’re just being a coward!
Darsy snapped around and pushed Mitch out of her way.
Who do you think you are? I’m doing this to save your life!
I don’t need you to save my life! I need for you to see this thing threw. Darsy, I know you are scared. I know you think it’s your fault that people are in danger. It doesn’t matter where you go, people around you will be in danger. By staying here, you at least know, the people around you are prepaired and willing to do what needs to be done to stop Scott. We want that man out of your life, just as much as you do. Please let us help you! Don’t let more people die, because you were affraid.
Darsy started crying and Mitch went to her and held her in his arms. Everything will be okay. Together we will figure this out. Please Darsy.
Darsy just knotted her head.
Great now unpack your things, come downstairs to the study. You, me, Sam and Monroe needs to sit and figure out what to expect next and what to do. You know Scott, so your input is important.
Mitch took Darsy by the shoulders, looked her in the eye as if he was looking for an answer.
You need to tell me everything. I need to know who I’m dealing with.
Darsy took a deep breath. I will be down in ten minutes.
Everything I could find on Scott Frost is in that file.
Sam, give us a quick over-view.
Okay, Scott was a good kid, good grades, until he changed from one high school to another, after his dad re-married. He hanged out with the wrong crowd, became a bigshot in a gang called Breakers. They robbed stores, used and distributed drugs, raped woman and even shot a couple of cops. Two years in this gang, the leader got shot and he became leader. Then he joint forces with an Italian Mafia boss. Together they made lots of money from drug smuggling.
If he was making so much money, why did he want Darsy’s money?
Monroe, this is were it gets interesting. He started gambling. He owes two bookies over seventeen million. They are not just ordinary bookies, they are Italian Mafia. Yes, his partner is one of them. He owes his partner over ten million. When he went to jail for what he did to Darsy, they went after him. He was living in fear there until he broke out about three months ago. Story goes that he went straight to his partner, promised him the money if he helps him locate Darsy. How far that is true, I do not know. That’s about it.
Mitch looked at Darsy with concern. Darsy why don’t you tell us everything you know about Scott.
Darsy took a deep breath. What Sam told you is true, although I did not know about the Italian Mafia.
Darsy are you ready to tell me what he did to you?
Darsy looked Mitch in the eye. He could see fear and uncertainty. She looked away and took a deep breath.
I told you that he killed my neighbour and knocked me out with his gun. When I came to, I was tied to the bed. He was sitting on the chair next to the bed…
For a while Darsy did not say a thing, just looked at her hands in her lap. Sam went to sit next to her and took her hands in his.
It’s okay Darsy, everything will be fine. Just go on.
Darsy took a deep breath and went on with her story.
When he saw that I was awake he came to the bed and straddled me. He went on and on about how many woman he raped for less and that by raping and killing me, he would do everyone a favour. He demanded I give him my bank account number and pin. I told him to go to hell, that I new the moment I give him what he wants, he’ll kill me…
So…. So…. So then he raped me….. After that he took a baseball bat and hit my leg. He broke my leg in two places. I laid there in pain crying and he just went to his chair telling me that he could wait. It felt like hours…he just sat there…but then he came again… Same words, same response….. This time he used his gun on me….. He pushed it in so deep, I started bleeding….and he grew more furious. He hit me in my face so many times, I fell unconsious. When I came to, he was waiting in the chair again. Then he took his bat again and broke both my arms. Someone must have heard me screaming, because the next thing I new there was police shouting and in his haste to get away he smashed me in the face with the bat and I fell unconsiouse again. I woke up in the hospital two days later.
And that is where James and I found her and befriended her.
Darsy smiled at Sam, but she could not look at Mitch.
Sherrif Monroe got to his feet and told everyone that he is bringing in the feds. He said his goodbuys and went on his way.
Sam stayed for a while discussing security with Mitch. While they did that Darsy went to the stables to clean and brush the horses. About an hour later she saw Sam leaving. She took a deep shaky breath.
What must Mitch be thinking of me now? I feel so dirty all the time and now to have him know about my shame!
After Sam left, Mitch instrucked Pete to stay close to Darsy. He got in his truck to check on the mare out in the western pasture. She was dew in about a week. But Mitch just needed time alone to digest what he learned today.
While Darsy was telling her story, Mitch just wanted to hold her in his arms. He had the overwhelming desire to protect her. He wanted to shield her from her pain. As she talk he grew angry at Scott, so angry that at this moment he would kill the man with his bare hands. His anger is what’s making him run. He could not face Darsy feeling this way. She has enough to deal with. She needs his understanding, his acceptance of her, not his anger. He needs time by himself to get himself under control.
Darsy came down for breakfast after she heard Mitch leave for the stables. Last night she was so tired she skipped dinner. But she needed to eat this morning.
Good morning, my dear. Trust you slept well?
Good morning, Joyce. Yes, thank you. Is there still some breakfast or am I to late?
Sit, I go get you a plate and some coffee. Mitch said to tell you to meet him in the stables. Something about deciding on a new breeding pair?
Thanks Joyce, will do.
After breakfast, Darsy squared her shoulders, took a deep breath and went down to the stables. On entering the stable, she was knocked on her bum by Mitch as he did not see her when he turned around straight into her.
O, carefull there. He held out his hand to Darsy to help her up. Sorry about that.
It’s fine, no harm done.
Mitch started laughing.
You have a big brown stain on your bum and your hands are dirty to. So don’t whipe your face again. You already have a brown mustach.
O ye, well maybe you need a mustach to. Before Mitch knew what happened, Darsy gave Mitch a brown dirty mustach with her dirty fingers. Then she turned and ran for the house.
Before Darsy even got close to the house, Mitch caught her from behind, threw her over his shoulder and marched with her to the side of the house.
Darsy kicked and fisted at Mitch’s back. Put me down, she laughed.
Mitch I’m sorry! Laughed Darsy.
Ye, not sorry enough.
Mitch went straight for the hose, turned on the tap and let Darsy down. Before she could run he started hosing her down.
It’s cold! Mitch stop!
Darsy dived for the hose, but Mitch was too strong and too tall. They were both laughing, screaming and making a big mess. Both soaked to the bone.
Both Darsy an Mitch stopped what they were doing and turned with quilt on their faces to face Joyce.
Joyce wanted to laugh at the site of the two, but she made herself sound stern.
Your making a mess. Strip down, go inside and get yourselves in a shower!
What? No way!
Yes way, you’re not going to dirty my floors with your wet bums!
Well, actually it’s our house!
Don’t talk back to me, Mitch! You’ll end up going to bed without dinner!
Now Mitch turn around. Darsy you first. Give me your clothes, you can leave on your bra and panty.
Darsy look around nervously.
Don’t worry. Nobody’s around, just hurry up before someone comes around the corner.
Darsy did as she was told, but kept her eye on Mitch to make sure he was not looking. When she was done, Joyce took her clothes, gave her a towel and she ran up to her room to shower.
You can turn around and get those clothes of.
Mitch did as he was told, then went to his room to shower.
Joyce went to the laundry room, smiling to herself. Would this not be grant! Mitch and Darsy, they look good together and I’ve never seen Mitch so boyishly happy.
Up in her room Darsy was having a hard time getting her emotions under control.
What am I thinking! Darsy get a grip . Mitch is a wonderful, caring man. He could be a real good friend, don’t fall in love! Love will complicate things and the way you’ve been ruined, you’ll end up with a broken heart! Why am I doing this to myself? When I was in hospital I made peace with the fact that I’ll never have the happy ever after. Scott took that away from me. Mitch is a good guy, he deserves a clean untouched woman. Someone who will love him and take care of him.
Tears started running down her face as she stood under the shower. I’ve tried to wash the shame away! Stop it Darsy! You are a strong woman. You just bought yourself a life here on the ranch. Don’t go and spoil everything by dreaming of things you can never have!
Darsy straightened her shoulders, took a deep breath and finished her shower.
In the mean time, Mitch was taking a cold shower. All he could think about was how tiny and perfect she felt in his arms when he carried her over his shoulder. And then when he saw her nipples standing on high alert when she was wet and laughing, everything in him wanted to be inside her. He wanted her so bad! If Joyce didn’ stop them, who knows where thing would have ended.
Great, get a grip Mitch. You’re a real pervert. She needs a friend, someone to keep her save! Get your head on right!
Mitch got out of the shower and went to his dresser and got dressed.
Two days later after Mitch showered and was ready to go downstairs for dinner, there was a scream in Darsy’s room.
Mitch went cold. Mitch ran, threw open his room door and then Darsy’s. There is no Darsy in here. He went to her bathroom. There she was, sitting in the corner of the bathroom floor with a towel wrapped around her very beautiful body. Her knees up to her chest and her arms around her knees, shaking like a leave and tears streaming down her face.
Slowly Mitch went closer.
Darsy, are you okay?
She was staring at the mirror . Mitch turned to see what she was looking at.
There was writing on the mirror. Only the steam in the bathroom could show the writing.
‘Bitch, this time you will die!’
How did he get in the house! Again! Mitch was furious, but he needed to be there for Darsy. So he put his anger aside and went to Darsy. Slowly he put his one arm under her knees and the other around her shoulders and picked her up.
You will be okay, Darsy. I’m here, don’t worry. As he walked out of her bedroom with her in his arms, Joyce came up the stairs.
Joyce phone Sherrif Monroe and find Pete. Scott was here again!
Joyce went pale. She turned and started running down the steps.
Mitch took Darcy to his bedroom and placed her on his bed. He took a blanked from the cupboard and covered her. Then he went into his bathroom to get a glass of water and something to help Darsy to calm and maybe let her sleep for awhile.
Mitch went to her and helped her to sit up. She drank the pills and he let her lie down.
She was in shock. She was white as a sheet, staring at nothing and not really registering what’s going on around her.
Mitch sat down next to her and pushed some hair from her face. Darsy, baby…..everything is going to be okay. Close your eyes, I’m here, I will stay with you.
Darsy looked at Mitch, tears rolling down her face. Mitch, I am so scared.
I know baby, but I’m here, nobody is going to hurt you. I will not let that happen. Now, close those beautiful eyes of yours. I’ll be right here.
Darsy closed her eyes but opened them quickly to take Mitch’s hand. Then she closed her eyes again. Mitch sat there for about fifteen minutes before Sherrif Monroe walked in.
How is she?
Shaken, but I gave her something to sleep. Joyce will you sit with her while I go with Sherrif to check her room?
Not a problem Mitch, I’ll take good care of her.
Mitch and Sherrif Monroe went to Darsy’s room deep in thought.
I will send two of my deputies to be on guard here at the house until we find this bastard.
Thanks, I have no idea how he got past us, but I have this uneasy feeling that he is somewhere on the ranch.
Pete came in the room. I’ve rounded up ten men. There is still about fifteen coming from our neighbours. As soon as they arrive we will split up and sweep the ranch.
Thanks Pete. I’m going to help Sherrif out here and will be with you guys in about fifteen minutes, then we can go out.
I think you must be here, Mitch. She feels save with you. Someone needs to keep her save. The guys and I will go hunting. I promise not to shoot him, but bring him here for you to do it.
Mitch smiled at that comment. Thanks Pete.
Mitch and Sherrif Monroe went threw everything in Darsy’s room. About an hour later Sherrif went to town to follow up on some leads and two deputies were patrolling the grounds around the house.
Mitch went back to sit with Darsy while Joyce went to make some coffee and a snack.
Mitch sat on the chair next to his bed just watching Darsy sleep. Something about her was drawing him in. She was stunning, not beauty-queen beautiful, but girl next door stunning. He saw her when this guy wasn’t around, she has inner strenght. There is fire in her spirit. This asshole is the only one standing in her way. She can’t function with him around, he is really scaring her. And after what she told them, she has good reason to be scared. I don’t like it when she is scared. We need to find this guy, get rid of him so that Darsy can live her life. So she can laugh out loud and feel free. She has such a sexy laugh. Mitch smiled as he thought about the day when they both fought for the hose-pipe and got very wet.
And why are you smiling?
Mitch looked up, into Darsy’s stunning blue eyes. You’re awake?
Hi, how long was I out?
About two hours. How do you feel?
I’m fine. Darsy started to sit up but realized that she was naked under the blanket. Where is my towel?
O, Joyce took it of while I was with Sherrif Monroe. She said it was wet. I’ll go get you something to put on and I’ll get Joyce to bring us something to eat.
I can get up and do it myself.
You stay where you are.
Darsy fell back on her pillow. Yes, sir! She stared after Mitch. He could be real bossy sometimes. For some strange reason she liked it. It made her feel save and cared for.
O Darsy, you are so lost! she thought to herself.
Mitch came back with a tank-top, sweatpants and no underwear.
Darsy looked at it and sigh in relieve. She would have gone red as a tomato if he toutched her panties.
Yes, thanks. Will you give me a moment?
Ah, yes. I’m going to find Joyce. You want some coffee?
Thanks, that will be great.
Darsy watched as Mitch left the room. Just before he closed tbe door, he turned to her.
You get back in bed. We’re watching TV in here tonight. I will bring up some DVD’s and popcorn for later. Then he closed the door and Darsy was staring at the door.
Dinner was served in bed. Darsy thought it was a bit much, but Mitch insisted that she stays in bed.
After dinner, Joyce came to take the dishes and said goodnight.
So, what are we going to watch? We have comedy, thriller and action.
No! I’m a man, we don’t watch soppy girly stories. He went to the DVD player inserted a DVD and plompt himself next to Darsy on the bed.
Darsy looked at him with a big smile. And what did you decide on.
Comedy, I’ve decided that you need to laugh more!
Darsy gave him a backhand slap on him arm. Thanks.
Your welcome. Now watch the movie.
Nope, I have no popcorn. Darsy crossed her arms and gave him a pouted sad face.
You better stop being a brat!
Darsy just lifted her eyebrow at his words.
Without a warning and quick as lightning Mitch was straddling Darsy and started tickling her.
Darsy was screaming with laughter. Stop! Mitch….. Stop!
Mitch stopped for a moment. You’re going to pout again?
Mitch tickled her again then stopped. You promise?
Darsy giggled and wiggled under Mitch. Yes, yes I promise.
Good, now it’s time to watch the movie. Mitch rolled of Darsy. With his one arm under his head, lying on his back and feet crossed, he picked up the remote and started the movie.
Darsy wiggled her way up until she was also comfortable.
Before long they were both laughing and enjoying the movie. When the movie was finished, Mitch inserted the action movie and this time they watched while eating popcorn and sipping soda.
About halfway threw the movie Mitch turned to Darsy, wondering why she was so quiet, only to see that she was fast asleep. He watched her beautiful face and smiles when a little snor escaped and then she moaned as she turned on her side facing him.
I can watch you sleep all night long, baby. You are so beautiful and sexy. O ye, I am in deep trouble.
Mitch got of the bed, took all the dishes to the kitchen and when he came back he turned the TV off and went back to the bed and lied down next to Darsy.
I want to watch you, only for a few more moments, he told himself. But before long he fell asleep.
Darsy stretched and gave a satisfying moan the next morning. She haven’t slept this good in days. When she opened her eyes she saw Mitch sleeping next to her. His face was close to hers. She could look at him, without anyone knowing. He was so sexy, he looked peaseful. His lips was turned up as if he was smiling in his sleep. All she wanted to do was touch him.
O Darsy, you are in big trouble. Darsy sighed and at that moment Mitch’s eyes opened.
He watched her, she watched him. The moment stretched out for a while.
Morning, Mitch smiled at her.
Morning, Darsy blushed at looked away. Thank you for last night.
My pleasure, hope you slept well.
Well, I better get going, lots to do today. Mitch rolled of the bed and went straight to the bathroom.
Darsy got out of the bed and went to her own room to shower and dress.
A week later Darsy woke at about four with a very bad feeling of dread. Something feels wrong. She got out of her bed and desided to wake Mitch up. She opened her door softly, peered in the hallway, saw nothing but still felt an urgency to find Mitch . Quickly she ran over to Mitch’s door and softly opened it. As she peered around the door, she saw a shadow at the window and screamed.
Mitch jumped from his bed. Not really knowing what happened, but he ran to his door. Before he got to the door a shadow from the bathroom distracted him. He went for the lightswitch and the moment he flipped the light something hit his back.
Darsy screamed. Mitch watch-out! Behind you!
Mitch turned and there was Scott with a baseball bat in his hand. If Darsy didn’t scream and woke him up, he would most probably be lying in bed bleeding to death.
Darsy, go find Pete! Mitch jumped out of the way just as Scott went for a full head blow.
As if on auto-pilot, Darsy ran. As she ran outside screaming for help, Pete came running from the bunckhouse.
Pete, help, Scott…..
Darsy go to my house! Now! Go to Joyce!
I’ll help him, now go!
Darsy ran as quick as she could to Pete’s house.
Pete ran in the house and up the stairs. He could hear the fighting in Mitch’s room. He desided that Mitch can still hold-out and took his phone and called Sherrif Monroe. After the quick call he went to help Mitch.
Mitch was ducking and diving all around the room while Scott go with forse after him. He is trying to make Scott work hard for every blow, until someone pitches up to help. The moment Mitch saw Pete at the door, he knew it was time to end this.
Hi Pete, care to help?
Scott took his eye of Mitch to see who Mitch was talking to and at that moment Mitch took his chanse. He leaped at Scott and disarmed him. At least now they were on even footing.
But Scott had other ideas. He went for Mitch and as Mitch ducked he turned and jumped threw the window.
Hell no! Mitch went after him in seconds. But Mitch had the disadvantage of not having any shoes on. As he landed the class-splinters from the window cup his feet. He tried to run after him but the glass just cut deeper in his feet and he knew he could not go on.
Pete came running out the house as other ranch workers came running up from the bunkhouse.
Where is Darsy?
Go see if she is okay?
Matt, Brett, he went towards the river. See if you can find him. Hank, you and Tim go see if the horses are fine and check the grounds. Where are those deputies? Gus find them!
Mitch bent down and took some glass out of his feet. The small ones have to wait until he has some light. As he made his way back in the house he saw Pete coming up with Darsy and Joyce. Mitch went straight to the couch and put his feet on the coffee table. Pete came in with the ladies and Joyce went to make coffee. Darsy saw the blood on Mitch’s feet and turned to fetch the first-aid kit.
Pete looked over to the front door and saw Sherrif Monroe. Come in Sherrif.
I’ll be with you in a sec, just want to check on my deputies first.
Wait I ‘m coming with you, this man would want an update on everything that is going on outside anyway. Mitch, you okay?
Yes, thanks Pete.
Darsy came in and sat on the coffee table. Without a word she picked up Mitch’s right foot and started cleaning and pulling out all the splinters.
Mitch sat with his head laid back, just watching her.
You okay? Did he hurt you?
No, if it weren’t for your screams, he would’ve most likely. …..
Don’t say it, please. Tears rolled down Darsy’s face, but she kept on workng on his feet.
How did you know?
I don’t know. I woke up with this terrible feeling that something was wrong and I wanted to wake you……. I don’t know why exactly.
Well, I’m glad you did.
When all the splinters was out, Darsy put some ointment on and wrapped his feet.
Joyce came in with coffee and sandwiches just as Pete and Sherrif Monroe walked in.
Mitch sat up and looked at Pete. So what’s up.
Well he knocked out both deputies. They will live but he really got them good. There is now sign of him, but the guys are still out there turning over every stone.
Thanks Pete. Sherrif, do you have any idea where we can find him or who is helping him?
Sherrif Monroe played with his hat in his hand. I’m checking every lead, but so far nothing checks out. Sorry, Mitch.
Darsy sat deep in thought. Suddenly she stood with her hands on her hips.
Sherrif do you have many drug dealers in the area?
Well, Scott is a drug addict and he would need something to get high.
I thought he was a dealer and a gambler.
He is that too. He uses but he is one of those people that doesn’t show signs of drug usage. But he is a user, that I know.
Well, thanks. I’ll check that out when I go back to the office. Thanks Miss Brightan. Well, I’ll see you later.
Thanks for coming Sherrif. Mitch looked at Darsy. She looked tired and stressed. Great lead, Darsy.
Darsy gave Mitch a weak smile and went to put the first-aid kit back in the cupbourd.
Joyce picked up the tray with coffee cups. I’m worried about her, Mitch. I don’t think she can take much more of this.
Ye, I think so to. This guy is really getting to her. We need to find him fast. Do you think you and Pete can move in here for awhile. I think the more people she can trust…. the better. We can all keep an eye on her and . . . her mind on other things.
Thats a wonderful idea. I’ll get a few things from my house today and Darsy can help me settle in.
I heared my name?
O dear, Pete and I are moving in for awhile. Will you help me get settled.
Darsy’s whole face lit up. That’s great! I’ll love to help!
Well, with that settled, I need to get ready, lots to do today. Mitch stood up,but with every step he makes, pain shot up his legs.
Wait I’ll help you. You will not be able to do much today!
I’ll work in the study today, need to catch up on some paperwork anyway.
Darsy went to Mitch’s side, to help him up the stairs. Mitch looked down at her and started laughing. He was to big to lean on her, she would not be able to hold him up.
And what is so funny?
No, no, just thinking.
Darsy looked up and their eyes met. Mitch saw that she was dead serious about helping him. She realy thought she could help? With a sigh, Mitch leaned a little bit on Darsy. There was now way he could make her feel not helpful. The smile she gave him, was all the convinsing he needed. Together they stumbled up the stairs.
What a wonderful day. It is so peaceful here. Mitch wanted to check the fence and desided to make a picnic of it. They checked the fence and then Mitch brought Darsy to this beautiful waterfall. Surrounded by trees and rocks, it’s like a secret hide-away. All you can hear is the waterfall and the sound brings a peacefullness, something Darsy thought she’ll never experience again.
Look, Mitch look! Mitch looked over to where Darsy was pointing.
A deer came to the stream to drink.
He looked back at Darsy, she’s smiling, a real happy smile. This was such a great idea to bring her hear. It is as if the real Darsy is sitting here. She is so beauty, especially here where she seem to relax and come alive.
Do you think she has a baby nearby?
O and what makes you think it’s a she?
I don’t know…. She just looks like a she.
Well, it is a she. See there is no horns, the big male deer all have big horns. Just stay still, the baby will come out when she feels save.
Really? Darsy looked at Mitch with her big blue eyes, full of exitement.
O sorry. Darsy looked back at the place where the deer stood.
Slowly and very quietly, Darsy moved to lay on her tummy with her chin on folded arms.
Mitch looked at her and immediately felt something hit him deep in his gut. Goodness but she is beautiful and so innocent. She belongs here, here with me! Mitch sat up stunned . Where did that come from?
She looked over her shoulder and fround at Mitch.
Your making to much noise. Come, come lay here. Darsy patted on the blanket next to her.
Mitch gave a silent grunt. If only she knew what she is doing to me. Look at her, who in his right mind would not want her? Slowly he dropped down next to her. This was such a bad idea to come here!
Look, look Mitch, there is the baby!
Darsy was so exited. She looked so young at that moment.
Mitch smiled at her and looked. Ye, there’s the baby you were waiting for.
So beautiful. Darsy was in aww
You like babies?
Yes, I love them and you?
Yes, I love them too.
Darsy looked at Mitch with longing in her eyes. How she wished she could be the mother of his babies. With a sigh she looked back at the deer and her fawn.
Don’t do that, tell me.
So, are we not friends?
Yeah…….o okay! As a child I always fantasized of having ten kids, big house and a husband that loves us.
Now, reality is a whole different story. Dreams have no place here.
Dreams is important and you’re dreams can still come true.
Not for me! Darsy watched the waterfall, she was not really seeing anything, tears falling down her face.
Why do you say that?
Darsy was quiet for a long time. So long that Mitch thought she did not hear him.
They told me in the hospital that I most likely will never be able to have kids.
Mitch was quiet for a while. Then he took her face in his hand so that she could look him in the eye. Darsy you can always try, miracles happen and if it does’nt there is enough foster kids out there that needs love, the kind of love you can give.
Darsy shook her head! No not for me…she whispered.
You don’t get it, I don’t want to do it alone. If I don’t have a husband, there’s no kids.
Mitch let go of her face. And you will find a good man, marry him and live happily ever after.
Ye, right, who will marry a damaged, filthy woman like me.
What! Mitch was almost screaming. What did you just say? Don’t ever say someting like that! You hear me!
Darsy looked confused at Mitch. She stood up, sorry, mmmm. …. I’m going for a walk….
I’ll come with you.
No…..I just need a minute……alone!
Before Darsy could get away, Mitch took hold of her writs. She did not turn to look at him, just waited for him to let her go.
Darsy, any guy would be lucky to have a beautiful girl like you. Don’t ever talk about yourself in that way. Please!
Mitch let her go and she just walked of without looking back. That bastard left deep scars, but I will do anything and everything to help her heel, but first I need him out of her life, for good!
Mitch, I need to talk to you! Do you have a moment?
Darsy, I will always make time for you. Come walk with me. I need to check on the new horse.
Darsy had to almost run to keep up with Mitch.
Is that our horse, the one that came yesterday?
Ye, Pete did good. He has a good eye.
He is beautiful, a bit tempered but strong. What is his name?
What? laughed Darsy.
Ye, I know. I could not believe it either.
Is there a reason they called him bucket?
Apparently when he was young he kicked at all the buckets when the workers were to wash or clean something around him. Only to find out that he didn’t like the smell of their detergent.
That’s interesting. Hope we are using the right fragrance.
Don’t worry, that will not happen here. I don’t like fragrat stuff around animals. A horse must smell like a horse and a stall must smell like hay.
You are such a guy. What must your house smell like?
Darsy burst out laughing. Mitch liked her laugh, especially when he was the one making her laugh.
Mitch put his right foot on the bottom pole of the corral and made a clicking sound, while holding his hand with sugar cubes out so that Bucket can come to him.
Darsy watch in astonishment as Bucket came closer. He has big expressive eyes witch made Darsy froze in place. He doesn’t trust me.
Nah, he doesn’t trust anyone. Come stand here next to me, just walk slowly.
Bucket kept his eye on Darsy as she went over to Mitch.
In a soothing voice, Mitch started talking to Bucket.
Come-on boy. I know you want some sugar. Come now.
Bucket came so close Darsy could touch him, but she kept herself still.
There you go. Now let me just touch you nose, okay. Mitch kept his left hand still so that Bucket could take the sugar and with his right hand he slowly and softly stroke Bucket’s nose. After the third stroke, Bucket pulled back and just looked at Mitch, then he turned and walked of to graze.
Mitch, he his beautiful.
Ye, a month or so and he will be ready for Chastidy.
They just stood there for a while, watching Bucket, both with their own thoughts.
O ye, you wanted to talk?
Ye, mmmm, I have this idea . . . I want to run it by you.
Scott. But please don’t get upset before you hear me out.
Darsy nipped at her bottom lip. She was nervous and that told Mitch that he was not going to like what she says. Mentally he prepared himself not to go of on her, but to listen with an open mind.
Well, I was thinking that we need to catch Scott before I have a nervous breakdown.
She looked at Mitch, but he just watched her, standing with his feet apart and arms crossed over his chest. She lowered her eyes to the ground, took a deep breath and went on.
I was thinking……that we must set a trap or something to get him out in the open. Something like me being alone at home, so that he would try his luck.
No? Why not?
I will not leave you alone to deal with Scott.
I know, but we can let Scott think you are leaving me alone.
And how do you want to get that message through to him, do you have his phone number?
Darsy was getting very irritated with Mitch. She glared at him, folding her arms over her breast.
I’m not stupid, Mitch . We can spread a rumour. He knows what’s going on here, so somehow he gets the messages.
I’ll think about it.
Then Mitch turned and walked of to the house.
Sarcastically Darsy shouted after him still standing with her arms crossed.
Mitch just waved his hand to show her he heard her.
How the hell can she think that I will allow her to put herself in danger! And why did she have to have breasts. When she crossed her arms, his body went in overdrive. What is wrong with me! Hell, what is wrong with her! Why could she not just stay as Darren?
Mitch, grabed the axe from Hank.
Go do something else, I’ll chop some wood.
When Mitch started chopping with more force than nessasary. Hank just smiled. In his fifty-six years on this earth, he knew of only one thing that can make a man look like Mitch, all bottled up, frustrated and bothered.
Woman trouble, son?
Mitch knew to deny was futile. Hank was a very sharp wise old man and nothing goes past him.
Ye what else.
You want to talk?
Hank smiled, pat Mitch on his back and went to the bunkhouse.
For days all Mitch could think about was Darsy’s plan. The more he thought about it, the more he didn’t like the idea that Darsy had a good plan. He just needed to work out exactly what, where and when. But most importantly he wanted her save. So whatever the plan, that must come first.
At breakfast about a week later, Mitch came down only to find Darsy had left already. She has not spoken to him since that day at the corral. He sat down took a sip from his coffee and opened the paper. The rodeo is in town for two weeks, so the newspaper is full of stories and adds about it.
This is it!
What is it?
Mitch looked up and saw Darsy standing in the doorway.
I thought you went out already.
No, needed more coffee. She held her cup up to show him. Did not sleep much last night.
Darsy just looked at Mitch.
Nothing for you to worry about.
Before Darsy knew what was happening, Mitch was by her side. I do worry!
Darsy looked up at him, totally confused.
Well don’t, I can handle my own shit.
Mitch wanted to shake her so hard. He took a deep breath, and it wasn’t a good idea because her peachy smell was screwing with his brain. He turned, went to sit and started on his breakfast.
Darsy took her seat and sipped her coffee.
The rodeo is in town for two weeks. I think your plan must happen now.
Darsy’s head shot up.
Your plan….this is the ideal time. Everybody will be running in and out to watch the rodeo. It will be easy to lose track of someone and it will not look suspisious if your alone on the range.
Ye, but you will do what I say and be where I say. Or this whole thing is off.
Darsy jumped up, ran over to Mitch and through her arms around his neck.
Thank you, thank you so much.
Darsy was nervous. She checked that all the windows were shut, she checked that the doors were locked, just as Mitch told her to. She did it three times already, but still she worried. She was sitting at the kitchen counter listening for any sounds out of the ordinary when her phone rang. She almost jumped over the counter. Taking a very deep breath, Darsy picked up her cellphone.
Hallo, Darsy speaking.
Hi Darsy, Mitch here, hows things? You okay?
Yes, yes the phone just gave me a fright.
What are you doing.
I’m thinking of baking apple pie. How’s things at the rodeo.
Crazy but exiting, we entered Brett for the bull-riding and he is suprizingly not bad.
I’m glad he’s doing so well.
Suddenly Scott stood infront of her. Darsy wanted to scream but he held a knive to her throught and softly whispered in her ear to make as if everything is okay.
Well Mitch, I must go. She tried to sound exited. Need to get that apple pudding in the oven, sweet tooth needs something.
Mitch laughed out loud. Darsy knew it was just for show. Pie meant everything fine and pudding come quick. And with Scott standing with his ear close to the phone and his arm around her throught, she was glad they thought of every small detail. Just pray Mitch would be here before Scott kills her.
Fine Darsy, see you later.
Darsy ended the call and immediately Scott grabbed it and threw it against the wall.
Now, at last we are alone. You’ve been a busy girl, Darsy.
Darsy just sat there, to scared to do anything or say a word. Her heart was beating so fast she feels light headed. Please Mitch be in time, she prayed softly.
Scott grabbed her by the hair and shoved her to the ground. Darsy screamed.
Shut up! Today you will pay! You hear me! You will pay for not giving me my money!
It is not your money! screamed Darsy.
You think I looked after you all those years for free. For years I had to put up with you. I think ten million is a fair payment for putting up with you!
I don’t have the money anymore!
You better be lying.
No I’m not!
Scott smacked Darsy accross her face with his backhand. It was so hard that Darsy fell backwards. His ring cut her cheek and blood is now flowing down her face.
Where is the money!
Darsy glared at Scott. It’s all gone, I spent it, Darsy whispered.
You bitch! Scott kicked Darsy in her stomach and then pulled her up by her hair. Darsy tried to stand up but stumbled. The pain in her stomach was bad. Scott pulled on her hair so that she faced him.
You will pay for this! Then he punched her with his fist on her left eye. It was so hard, the swelling was there instantaniously. Darsy fell back and hit her head hard on the floor. she fell unconsious.
Guys he is there! Mitch was running towards the house. Pete, Matt and Tim not far behind. Hank ran to the truck to phoned Sherrif Monroe. Half of the ranch workers was with Sherrif Monroe at the ranch next door about five minutes away. The ones at the rodeo was on standby, trying to enjoy themselves, but their thoughts were with Darsy. Everyone loved Darsy and didn’t want her hurt, but they knew their job was to make everything believable.
Mitch ran as if his life depended on it. . It was at least a kilometer from the tree covering to the house. He knew that in two minutes a hell of a lot can happen. He just pray that it’s not to late. He and Tim was aiming for the back door while Pete and Matt went for the front door
When they got to the door, Mitch took three deep breaths and then kicked the door open. Tim dived past him to hid behind the kitchen counter. Everything was quiet, slowly Mitch walked in, he saw the blood on the floor then he heard Pete and Matt coming in from the front door. They checked everything downstairs and just as Matt and Pete went up the staircase they heard the range truck start.
O no, you don’t! Mitch ran out the front door towards the truck, but Scott put his foot down and went straight for Mitch. Mitch jumped out of the way as Scott raced down the driveway.
Just then Sherrif Monroe and the other ranch-hands came racing towards Scott. Scott swerved out but lost control of the truck and the truck flipped.
Mitch went cold, he ran as fast as he could towards the truck. There was so much dust, but then Scott came crawling out of the truck. Before Mitch could get to him, Sherrif Monroe had him by the arm and was reading him his rights. As Mitch peered into the truck, his heart almost stopped. Darsy was lying on the floor on the passenger side. Her hands and feet were tied up, her face was swollen and there was blood everywhere.
Call an ambulance!
It’s been two days, Sam.
Mitch you need to sleep. You cannot sit here by her side every minute. Go eat, shower and take a nap.
I slept in the chair there in the corner and Joyce came by with food, so I’m fine.
Well, you still stink.
The docter let me shower here, yesterday. So it must be your mustash that you are smelling.
Fine, will you call me if there is any change.
As Sam left Darsy’s hospital room, Mitch went to sit next to her bed. He picked up her hand and started talking to her just as he did since the operation.
Darsy, please wake up, he whispered.
I’m sorry I didn’t come quick enough. Please open your eyes. I need to see those beautiful blue eyes again. Darsy, please.
Everything was quiet, Mitch bent his head and rested it on her hand. Please Darsy. Then he fell asleep.
About an hour later Mitch woke up. As he looked up he looked straight into Darsy’s beautiful blue eyes.
You’re awake, he said breathless.
Darsy just smiled.
Mitch jumped up, ran to the door and called the nurse.
When he came back, Darsy’s eyes were closed again.
Darsy…. Darsy? softly he took her hand. Darsy please open your eyes again, please.
When the nurse and docter came in, he looked at them so confused and lost.
She opened her eyes, but now…….
It happens, Mitch
Doc Warner looked Darsy over. The fact that she opened her eyes, is a good sign. Give her time, Mitch. She went through hell, her body needs recovery time. Are you going to stay here again?
Ye, I need to be here when she wakes up.
Okay, see you later then.
Doc Warner left and Mitch went to sit next to Darsy’s bed again.
Thanks for giving me hope, Darsy.
He took her hand in his and just sat there watching her.
Two weeks later, Mitch was still not allowing Darsy to leave the house after the doctor made her promise not to do any hard labour when he discharged her from the hospital a week earlier.
I’m so bored! Joyce can you please talk to Mitch? I feel like a animal in a cage. Doc said I’m fine. Why is he still locking me up?
Sorry Darsy, that is just Mitch being Mitch. When he gets in protective mode, he goes all out.
But the threat is gone and I’m fine. Why is he still trying to protect me?
Joyce just smiled. You need some coffee?
Thanks Joyce. I’ll be in front of the TV.
On her way to the kitchen, Joyce stopped at the study to check if Mitch wanted coffee too.
Sorry to bug you. You want some coffee?
Ye, that will be great! Thanks Joyce.
As she turned to leave, she took a deep breath and turned back to Mitch.
I know this is none of my business, but you need to give that girl more to go on.
What do you mean?
She is confused. She thinks you are treating her like a cage animal.
I’m trying to protect her. Her body needs rest!
I know, but she was cleared by Doc. You need to give her something to do or …..
Joyce looked Mitch straight in the eye. You will lose her.
Mitch just looked at her, not saying a word.
Just think about it, please? She can really do more. Don’t let her feel trapped. With that Joyce left to make some coffee. Mitch just sat there stunned. He never thought of what Darsy was thinking. He just wanted to protect her and let her get all her strength back.
Ten minutes later Joyce came back with the coffee and cookies, and Mitch was still staring at the window.
Joyce will you please pack me a picknick basket for two. I want to take Darsy out for Lunch.
That’s a wonderful idea. I’ll get to it.
Where are we going?
Darsy did not really care where they were going. She was getting out of the house and that’s enough for her.
Some special place. I use to go there when I was younger and needed to be alone. I always felt it was my special retreat.
Now, you will share that with me?
Well, this is your ranch, so I thought you would like to see every inch of this place.
I would love to see everything, but this is not my ranch anymore, remember?
O, about that. I asked Sam to transfer the deed back to you.
Why? What about you?
Well, if you still need a foreman, I would love to stay on. But it is up to you. I was thinking that I need to show you the ranch books to, so you can take over.
I don’t want to take over. I like things the way they are.
Well, things change. What if I’m not here tomorrow?
Everything in the truck went quiet. Mitch took a peak at Darsy, but her head was turned to the window.
Darsy, you okay?
Ye, fine she said with more force than she wanted to.
Mitch slammed the brakes of the truck so hard, Darsy almost fell of the seat.
What the . . .
Before Darsy could finish, Mitch was out the truck and stomping around to her door. He opened the door with force and took her by the arm.
Tell me what is wrong, Darsy!
Darsy looked with tears in her eyes at Mitch.
I . . . I don’t want the ranch if it means that you’re leaving. Tears was streaming down her face.
I don’t want to leave, but you did put in all your money. It is just right that you own the ranch. I love this place, but James sold it to you.
Can’t we make it so that we both own the ranch. I don’t want . . . .
You don’t want what?
Nothing. Darsy pulled her arm from Mitch’s hand and looked away. Can we go now, I’m starving.
Mitch looked at her for a long moment, but then just closed her door and went around to get in the truck. They drove for about fifteen minutes before Mitch pulled over under a large big oak tree.
We’re here. You will love this place.
Darsy looked around, but this place looked ordinary. Nothing stood out. Just beyond the tree is a steep hill, but nothing wow. She got out the car and followed Mitch. He was taking the path up the hill. When they got to the top, Darsy could not believe her eyes. She was on the end of a cliff. She could see for miles and miles.
It’s beautiful, ain’t it?
Ye, is that down there, still our land?
Up to the river at your left, but everything to those hills up front and to the right. That is ours.
Wow, this is so beautiful. You can see for miles and miles. Wow
They stood there for a few minutes, each with their own thoughts. Just taking in the scenery.
Thanks for showing me this.
My pleasure. Let’s set up the picknick Joyce packed for us.
You come here often?
Just to busy, I guess.
They set up the picknick and started eating in quiet. After eating, Mitch lied down on his back, put his hat on his face and relaxed. Darsy put everything back in the basket and just sat deep in thought looking over the valley.
What are you dreaming of?
I’m not dreaming.
Well, it looked like a wonderful dream. Your face was so . . . peaceful.
It’s this place. It makes me feel peaceful.
I’m glad. You deserve a life ful of peace and love.
Darsy went red in the face and just looked away, tears forming in her eyes.
Mitch sat up and took Darsy’s face in his hands, turned her head so that he could look her in the eye.
Darsy look at me.
Darsy slowly lifted her eyes up until she looked Mitch in the eye.
I think the idea of us sharing ownership of this place is a wonderful idea. That is if the offer still stands.
Darsy could only let out and breathy, Ye. Her whole body was fired up. The way Mitch was looking at her, the way his hands feel on her skin. She could not think straight.
Before she knew what was happening, Mitch took her in a bear-hug.
Thanks for letting me stay.
You’re the one letting me stay, smiled Darsy.
Well then, I would say we’re even.
Mitch pulled back, held her at arms length. Their eyes locked for a long while. Darsy broke the pull by looking down at her hands.
For giving me a place to call home.
Mitch smiled at her and huged her again. You’re welcome.
You’re a hugger, yeah?
You don’t like hugs?
No, it’s not that . . . I’m just not use to it.
Well, we will change that. You will get use to people looking out for you, huging you, loving you . . .
Ye sure, laughed Darsy.
You don’t believe me? Let’s make a deal.
What kind of a deal.
If you don’t have a boyfriend by the end of this year, I will personally beat every man in town for not opening their eyes.
Darsy started laughing so hard her eyes teared. Mitch loved the way she laughed. It felt like the whole planet was smiling when she laughed.
You are truly crazy. What if I don’t want to date? It will not be fair to beat a man if I’m the one who doesn’t want to date.
Why don’t you want to date.
Darsy looked away. To much heartache.
Ye, maybe you’ve got a point. But I think it will be neck-break.
Darsy looked questioningly at Mitch.
Mitch just laughed. You don’t have to worry, I will not kill them, but if they break your heart, I will wring their necks.
Darsy laughed out loud. You sound like a jealous boyfriend.
Mitch laughed, but deep down he knew that she was right. He truly are jealous and didn’t know what he would do if she dates someone other than him. He truly liked Darsy more than a friend, but he didn’t want to push her too fast. But hell, this was really hard!
For Darsy it was even harder. Every minute she spend with Mitch, she just loved him more. But he just want her as a friend, that was absolutely heart-breaking.
Rather have him as a friend, I don’t think I could live without him in my life, he became my rock.
Every day here on the ranch felt like a dream that came true for Darsy. Standing at the corral, watching Chastidy and Bucket running and playing made Darsy yearn for something she knows will never be hers.
O ye, falling in love with Mitch was inevitable. He is such a down to earth, gentle sole. He is kind, gentle but strong and forceful when needs be. Everything about him, pulls her in. The way he walks, the way he talks, the way he . . . O everything!
What am I going to do?
Darsy got such a fright that she lost her balance on the corral fence and the next minute she was in Mitch’s arms. Her skirt was so high up and the more she tried to get away from Mitch, the closer he pulled her to him.
Just put me down!
Stop kicking or you will fall!
I will stop kicking when you put me down!
Darsy, stop being so difficult! You could have broken your back. Are you always this clumsy?
I am not clumsy! Now put me down!
Then why do I always see you fall?
Because you keep on scaring me! Now put me down!
Jip, N.O. No
Why the hell not?
Because I like holding you.
Darsy’s mouth fell open, she could not believe what she was hearing. She stopped kicking and just stared at Mitch.
Why, you don’t believe me?
Darsy didn’t say a thing. She could not think straight. Why is her brain not working? Come on Darsy, say something! You can be such an idiot. Don’t show him how you feel. Still Darsy stared at Mitch.
Darsy, you okay?
Darsy cleared her throught. Ye, I’m fine. Please put me down.
Mitch please. Don’t do this.
You are making me feel uncomfortable. I . . . I don’t know how to react to what you said. Please, I . . I . . .
You what? You don’t like me? No, don’t answer that. It’s okay, I’m sorry. Mitch let Darsy down, made sure she was balanced and stomped of. He didn’t even look at her again.
Darsy just stood there, confused and lost. She dreamed of Mitch telling her things like that, but when it happened she totally screwed it up. All she wanted to do is cry and disappear.
As Mitch walked away, he could not believe he just told Darsy he liked holding her. What was I thinking? She doesn’t need a guy, she needs a friend. I just screwed up everything! How the hell am I going to fix this?
Mitch was so deep in thought he didn’t even see Sherrif Monroe walking up to him. Hi Mitch. Sorry for just barging in, but we need to talk. Where is Miss Brightan?
Mitch got such a fright, he wanted to nock the Sherrif on his nose.
Sherrif, sorry I didn’t see you. What are you doing here?
Scott Frost escaped about an hour ago.
Mitch didn’t even wait for the Sherrif to continue. He turned and ran to where Darsy was last seen. He needed to get to her, he needed to protect her.
Darsy was not where he last seen her. Where the hell can she be?
Have you seen Darsy?
Ye, I saw her walking to the breeding stalls. What’s up?
Scott Frost escaped. Please help me find her.
Go look in the stalls, I’ll go round up the guys. She will be okay, don’t worry.
Mitch went straight for the stalls. Joe ran up to the bunkhouse to round up the guys. Darsy is a lovely girl and eveyone likes her, so they would kill him if he did not let them help.
As Mitch walked in, he got the strange feeling that something was not quite right. Darsy was not there, but her scarf was lying in the middle of the floor. This made Mitch even more ancious to find her. Slowly he walk to the back door of the stall. As he opened the back door, Scott came out behind a stack of hay, with a baseball bat in hand. He knocked Mitch on his back and Mitch fell to the floor uncontious.
Scott turned, satisfied, picked up the unconsious Darsy and walked out the back door to the truck he parked just behind the stalls. He pushed Darsy on the back seat of the truck, got in behind the wheel and sped of.
Joe was just entering the stalls when he saw the truck spedding of.
Mitch, are you in here?
Joe heard someone moun and went to see what’s going on. He foumd Mitch on the floor slowly trying to stand up.
You okay, Mitch?
Ye, have you seen Darsy?
No, but I think I just saw Scott in a truck heading north.
Darsy must be in the truck. Help me up, we need to go after him.
Joe helped Mitch up and together they went to Mitch’s truck. On their way they gave orders that half of the men stay and watch the ranch and the other half went with them. All together there was four trucks, including Sherrif Monroe chasing after Scott. As they drove, Mitch called his neighbours and asked them to be on the lookout.
Deep down Mitch knew that he would kill Scott today. He will go to jail, but he would do it for Darsy. If it meant that Darsy could be free of the bastard, he would do it with a smile. He wants her to be happy. He wants her to feel save. But most of all he want the chanse to tell her that he loves her.
Darsy could not move. Her eyes was still closed, but she could feel that her hands and feet were tied. Her mouth tasts of blood and her head is acking. What the hell happened?
Slowly she opened her eyes.
Good you’re awake.
Darsy took a deep breath. No, this can’t be happening.
Aaaa, you didn’t expect me?
You’re suppose to be in jail. What are you doing here? What do you want?
O my, so many questions. You know what I want, I want my money!
I told you I don’t have the money.
Well, then you will pay me with your body, sweetheart.
Darsy went cold. The last time Scott looked at her with that cold eyes, he took away her innosence. He ruined her life!
No, Scott please, please . . .
Scott smacked her accross the face so hard she blacked out again.
Mitch, you must eat something.
Joyce looked at Mitch sitting behind his desk. Looks like he aged ten years. He have’nt slept in two days. He’s been looking for Scott since Darsy’s been kidnapped. If he’s not out looking, he was on the phone, but nothing so far. Luckily the ranch can run without him. He taught everyone well and they will do anything to make life for him better. Right now, they know he needs to look for Darsy, so all the ranch-hands are pulling extra shifts to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Mitch, please. I worry about you. You will not be able to look for Darsy if you don’t eat. She needs you and that means you must eat to keep up your strenght. Please Mitch.
Joyce, I feel sick to my stomach. I am so worried, I can’t eat. What if he hurts her again? What if he kills her? Food is the last thing on my mind.
I understand, but please, I need you to eat. I’m also worried about Darsy. I just don’t need to worry about you to. Please I will fall apart if something happens to you to.
Mitch looked at Joyce and saw the tears in her eyes. He stood up and walked over to her and took her in a bear-hug.
Sorry Joyce, I will eat.
Mitch put his arm around Joyce’s shoulders and together they walked to the kitchen. She took his plate out of the low-oven and put it in front of him. Mitch looked at the plate, all Darsy’s favourates was on the plate. Pumpkin cakes, Lamb chops and baked potatoes. Mitch smiled at Joyce and started eating. He didn’t even know that he was this hungry.
Mitch was just finishing his last bite when Pete walked in.
Great, I’ve got something that can be something or nothing.
What is it Pete?
Geoff phoned. He is out at the Whitmore’s. Apparently they have a sick horse.
What does that have to do with us?
Nothing, but while he was talking, he mentioned that the Whitmore’s lost a cow. It was not slaughtered, it just vanished. It got me thinking. What if it is Scott? He needs to eat.
Mitch thought for awhile. You may have something. He could be hiding out on the Whitmore ranch. Do you know the ranch layout?
No but Hank worked there before. I’ll call him. See you in the study?
Ye . . . thanks Pete.
Pete looked Mitch in the eye. . . I’m helping you find her, but you better do what is right by that girl. If you love her, let her know and marry her. You are driving us all nuts. Don’t run away from love, embrace it. Love is a wonderful thing.
Pete turned and left Mitch speachless.
You better go my dear. I’ll bring you some coffee.
Mitch shook his head, thanked Joyce and went to the study. I pray this is not just another dead-end.
In the study Mitch called Sherrif Monroe and asked him to come over. He was just ending the call when Pete and Hank walked in.
Hank and I discussed the ranch layout on our way in. He’s got an idea.
What is it?
Well Boss, a qauter of the ranch is forest. I know there is a winter cottage in the middle of that forest. I think Scott could hide out there.
Could be. Maybe this is the break we’ve been looking for.
I’ll round up the guys. We will be ready in ten.
Thanks Pete. I called Sherrif Monroe and he will be here too. And Hank, thanks. I really hope this is a good lead.
No problem Boss. We all are worried and want’s to see her home again. Okay come on Hank, lets go get the guys. The sooner we get there, the better.
Thanks again guys, see you in ten.
Inside the cottage Darsy was barely alive. Scott haven’t raped her, yet, but her body is broken and she is full of blood. Her eyes are swollen shut and her nose and lips are bleeding. Scott haven’t given her anything to eat or drink in two days. Her whole body ached.
I need to focus. Focus Darsy, you need to live. He must not win. Mitch, please find me, please.
O he is not coming. Before the end of this week, I will make sure that he will never see the light of day again. You gave him all my money! You Bitch!
Please don’t hurt him! He has nothing to do with this.
That is where you’re wrong. He has my money and you like him. Revenge is all I have left. To make you pay for what you did, I will make you suffer. I will break you, your body, your sole and your heart.
You may be able to break me, but you don’t have it in you to brake Mitch. He will come for me and you will pay for what you have done!
You are dreaming bitch. Do you really think anyone will love a piece of trash like you. All you’re good for is a good fuck and you are not even good at that! Now keep your mouth shut so I can think! Mitch hit Darsy so hard on her left eye she blacked out again.
Nice, peace and quiet for a while. I’m sick to death of hearing her calling for Mitch. He must die!
Before Scott knew what was happening, the cottage door flew open and Mitch stormed in. Mitch punched Scott so hard his lip split open, but he recovered quickly and started fighting Mitch. Both got some punches in, they were evenly matched. Scott was just reaching for a gun when Sherrif Monroe walked in.
I don’t think so. Get your hands up.
As Sherrif Monroe and Pete took Scott out of the cottage, Mitch went over to Darsy. Darsy was still uncontious. Mitch took his phone and dialed Hank.
Hank, bring the truck. Darsy is injured and we need to take her to the hospital. He ended the call and picked Darsy up. She did not respond to him at all.
Please, please let her live. Darsy baby, you will be okay. Please be okay.
Outside Mitch put her on the back-seat of his truck. He was just about to climb in the truck when he heard Pete and the Sherrif scream.
Mitch watch out! Scott stop or we’ll shoot!
Mitch was not fast enough. Scott was on Mitch’s back and had him by the throat. Together they fell to the ground. Mitch hit Scott with his elbow in the stomach, which gave him a second to break free from Scott’s grip.
They both got to their feet in seconds, but Scott pulled out a gun from his sock and aimed it at Mitch.
Before Mitch could respond a shot went off and Scott fell to the ground. It was Sherrif Monroe that pulled the trigger.
That bastard had it coming. Just glad I was here to help.
Mitch turned to check on Darsy. She was lying on the back-seat of the truck still uncontious.
Climb in boss, we need to get her to the hospital, fast.
Mitch jumped in the truck, lifted Darsy so that her head was lying on his lap and off they were.
Two weeks later, Darsy was so tired of the hospital, she wanted to scream. Doc please can’t I go home? I will stay in bed, but I need to get out of hear.
Well, if you promise to keep yourself still. No hard work and you keep taking your meds, finish the course.
And I will make sure she does what she just promised.
Mitch, I didn’t even see you there. She must stay in bed for at least another week, then she can get up, but no hard work. She must stay of that leg for at least another three weeks. I will come by the ranch once a week to check in, will that be okay.
Doc that will be great. Don’t worry, she will do what you said.
I can speak for myself, you know. Doc he will most probably make my life a living hell. He is so strict, I won’t be able to do anything fun.
Well, fun will come after three weeks, smiled Mitch.
Okay you two, I will go and get the paperwork ready. Will you be able to dress yourself or must I send a nurse to help you?
I’ll be fine, thanks Doc.
Mitch come with me and I will give you her meds.
Thanks Doc. You’ll be okay?
Yes Mitch. Now go, I need to get dressed.
Yes, thanks. Joyce helped me, I ate and then I drank all my meds.
That’s a good girl. You tired.
No, just bored.
Well, I thought so. So I rented a few movies. You feel like one?
That will be great. Do you have popcorn.
Darsy just laughed. What tipe of movies did you pick?
Well there is comedy, action and romance. What would you like. This is your night to pick. Pick one. I’m going to get the popcorn and some drinks.
When Mitch returned, he put the video that Darsy picked in the machine and went to sit next to her on the bed. Darsy picked a comedy. They laughed and ate popcorn, but every time Mitch’s hand touched hers, when they both went for the popcorn, Darsy felt a spark go threw her body. She was in so much trouble by the end of the movie. Her whole body was on fire. Mitch was making her crazy. She was so in love with him.
After the first movie, Mitch picked the romance. Darsy felt that it was a bad idea, but she was not going to tell him. How was she going to explain that.
The movie was very intense. It was so beautiful and so romantic. Darsy wished she was the one being kissed like that. When she reached for the popcorn her hand touched Mitch’s, she pulled back so fast that Mitch looked her way.
Ye, sorry. I . . . I thought I took your popcorn.
No, you almost took the last one. Mitch took the last one and put it in his mouth. Now you lost it, smiled Mitch.
Well, you’re quite a gentleman. Darsy turned her nose in the air and looked away.
If it wasn’t for your broken leg, I would take you over my lap and give you such a hiding for being a spoiled brat, laughed Mitch.
Ye, that will be the day, laughed Darsy.
Before Darsy knew what was happening, she was lying over Mitch’s lap on her stumach.
You were about to say? Mitch laughed.
You can’t do this, screamed Darsy while she kicked and wrestled to get out of Mitch’s grip.
Lay still, watch out with that leg. You’re going to get hurt.
Then let me go!
Ouch! Cried Darsy.
Mitch let go of her so fast, Darsy almost fell of the bed and then she could not help but laugh.
Oooo, now you’re going to get it!
Mitch tossed Darsy on her back without any difficulty, straddled her and started tickling her.
Mitch! Stop! Please Stop! Laughed Darsy
All of a sudden Mitch stopped. He just looked at Darsy. Her eyes were closed and tears of laughter was running down her face. She had such a beautiful smile on her face.
You are so beautiful, Mitch said so soft, although he thought he said it in his head.
Darsy’s eyes snapped open and she looked Mitch in the eye. Her heart was beating so fast and she wasn’t sure if she heard Mitch right.
Did you say something?
Still hovering over her, Mitch watched her with intensity. He’s not sure what she heard and if he should repeat what he said. What if he screws up? What if she is not ready? It was quiet for a while and you could feel the tention in the air.
Darsy started feeling like a fool. Her eyes left Mitch’s and she tried to push him of her.
Her eyes shot back to Mitch’s.
Don’t doubt yourself.
I said that you are beautiful!
Darsy looked away. She didn’t know how to react to that. She didn’t feel beautiful.
I said look at me!
Darsy’s eyes snapped back to Mitch’s. He was so intense, so serious.
Now don’t you dare look away! You hear me!
With eyes wide as saucers, Darsy just nodded her head.
I’m very serious when I say, you are beautiful Darsy. You have eyes that one can drown in, a smile that light up everyones day. I’ve never met a woman that makes me feel so free, so accepted. You have a wonderful caring personality. You have a big heart and I don’t think there is a selfish bone in your body.
No! Look at me!
Again Darsy just looked at Mitch. Tears were rolling down her face.
You have no reason to cry sweetheart. Mitch used his thumb to whipe the tears from Darsy’s face.
Darsy could not say a word. She was so nervous and so out of her debth. He was saying thing no-one ever said to her. But she wanted to hear so much more. But there was no way she could tell him that. Her heart was so full of love for this man!
Darsy, I don’t know if I’m to fast for you or if I’m doing this wrong. I never felt this way before. So please do not take this the wrong way. Hear what I’m saying and please don’t freak out. I don’t want to push you to fast but …. I need to tell you this.
Darsy looked at Mitch wide-eyed. What’s wrong Mitch?
Mitch took a deep breath and looked her in the eye.
I … I’m in love with you.
Darsy just looked at Mitch. He looked so serious. Everything in his eyes tells her that he is really speaking from the heart. But she was so dumbfounded and so exited that she couldn’t think straight.
Sorry, I …. Sorry.
Mitch started to get of the bed when all of a sudden Darsy jumped on his back.
Where do you think you’re going?
Still on his back, Darsy locked her arms around his neck and hugged him from behind.
Mitch I need to tell you something too……I’m in love with you too.
Without a word, Mitch took her hands in his and turned to look at Darsy as he lowered Darsy back on the bed. He look her in the eye, took her face between his hands and kissed her so soft and gentle. She responded so sweetly. When he deepened the kiss, she melted in his arms. Her whole body responded.
Mitch felt his body react to Darsy. He could not help himself anymore. He pulled her to him and deepened the kiss. Their tongs danced, she tasted so good. He could not get enough of her. But he needed to stop this. Her body is not ready for him. But she is reacting to him so innocently. O, this is heaven, she’s in my arms. Slowly Mitch pulled back. When he looked at her, her eyes was still closed. She was breathing deeply.
Wow, you are so beautiful.
Darsy opened her eyes. She could not think. She looked like she was drugged. All she could do was smile shily.
Darsy, I can’t wait anymore.
Wait for what?
To have you all to myself.
Darsy didn’t understand what Mitch was saying. She looked at him confused.
Darsy’s jaw just dropped open. You want to marry me, she said breathless.
Ye, I want you Darsy. I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life. I love you! Please say yes?
Tears rolled down Darsy’s face. This was her fairytale, her dream coming true.
I need to make sure this is not just a dream.
Mitch just laughed and pulled her in his arms.
I have a better idea.
Then Mitch kissed her with so much passion, Darsy’s whole body turned to jelly. When Mitch pulled back, they were both breathing hard. Their eyes locked and at that moment there was just the two of them in the whole world.
Now, Darsy Brightan, will you marry me?
Darsy smiled, Yes, with all my heart, YES!
Thank you for reading my book. If you enjoyed it, won’t you please take a moment to leave me a review at your favorite retailer?
Darren comes to work for Mitch on his ranch, but Darren has a secret. Mitch can feel that there is something wrong about Darren, but what? Darsy is looking for a place to feel save, a place to call home. Can she find it on the ranch with Mitch?