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Lion of the Hills a Free Online Love Story by Sky Taylor - Page 1

 

Chapter 1

See here, young woman! Sir Stafford will certainly hear of this!”

The voice was clipped and direct as the stranger flung out his warning to Rose’s back, the fact that she was ignoring him only flaming his anger.

Unloading the box from her small car, she proceeded to walk to the disintegrating cottage resting in the short distance, her shoulders squared and determined.

She had traveled too far to be intimidated by an idiot - a severely dressed idiot, to be exact, and one who held an English accent.

He was hot on her heels and she supposed that if she were to suddenly stop, he’d wind up about two inches into her bru-ha-ha.

“Why don’t you get a life?” she tossed over her small shoulder.

He’d been badgering her for the past half hour, intent upon her vacating the premises, although she had every legal right to be here. Unfortunately, knowledge of the property had been the result of her mother’s death as it had been outlined in the Last Will and Testament. And the news of the cottage had come as a complete shock to Rose.

Her attention was flung back onto the stranger as he sputtered anxiously beside her.

The obnoxious man was overly tall and appeared extremely undernourished. Amid the western setting, he looked totally ridiculous - totally out of character. His hair was raven black - slicked back, his forehead stamped with a prominent widow’s peak.

And his outfit…. He looked like an undertaker and she silently wished for the tenth time that someone would come and take him away.

“See here, madam!” he continued to rant as she silently mocked, ‘Home sweet home.’

Blocking out the continued protests, she mulled silently through her thoughts. No doubt, the cottage was in poor condition and would require countless hours of elbow grease. Even so, it and the three surrounding acres belonged solely to her.

Other than the state of the cottage, the only other downside was that it was smack-dab in the middle of the monstrous cattle ranch, The Golden Spur - which included the idiot who was still ranting at her. From what she understood, he was the caretaker of the ranch and apparently he assumed his duties extended to taking care of her.

“Madam! Must I personally remove you?” he tossed out, his anger flaring to new heights.

“Touch me and you’ll regret it,” she warned, setting the box by the front door. Then, “Look. How many times do I need to impress to you that I have all the legal documents to prove that the cottage is mine?”

“But Sir Stafford-”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” she mocked, frustrated and anxious to get to work on her cottage.

Then, “You can tell your Sir Stafford that I’m here to stay - whether it suits him, you or-or the man in the moon. Who does he think he is anyway? Some-some territorial lion? Now, if you’ll please take leave,” to told him, her eyes drifting from his outraged face to calmly scroll over the hills in the distance and then they settled on the area surrounding the cottage.

She’d put some petunias in the empty bed in front of the cottage as soon as she could arrange a trip to the nursery, she decided amid her short study.

And when she went to address the idiot again, he had vanished - so suddenly that for a moment, Rose thought that she had only imagined him.

Ignoring those thoughts, she again concentrated on the cottage. Small, but definitely doable. After all, she was single.

Once inside, she decided that the bedroom would more than accommodate her twin bed and small matching chest.

Rose continued her inspection of the property, going outside into the back and was pleasantly surprised to discover a small stream about 500 yards from the main cottage. Charming. And soon the cottage would be charming as well - after a coat or two of paint on the trim. The stone appeared to be in excellent shape.

On the downside, the interior would require a great deal of work. Money was tight, so most of the repairs would need to wait. But Rose was filled with patience. In time, she was certain she could bring the cottage back to its charming state.

And the rest of the puzzle was quickly falling into place. Only this morning she had been apprised that she had secured the teaching position in the nearby town of Yellowdeer.

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