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The Range Rider, a Free Online Love Story by Sky Taylor - Page 1

He had arrived on a white stallion, riding across the hem of the horizon as the sun sank low in the western sky.   A thick, dark beard had gloved his handsome face - and he looked mysterious and mean.  

The threadbare, dusty jeans were clamped around rugged lean hips and the deep voice had held a southern drawl when he had spoken to the little old dog that had swayed behind him.   And when given commands, the dog had immediately obeyed the deep, clipped voice.

Miranda had detested him on sight, this arrogant cowboy named Blain Scott who had casually drifted into Silver Creek.   The authoritative air that had vibrated from him had made her resentment root even deeper.  

That had been yesterday and today her apprehensions regarding this stranger had gelled to cool dislike.

Yesterday he had applied for the job opening of ranch foreman. And today Mister Scott had spent the past two hours inside the main ranch house meeting with her two older brothers, Matt and Nathan - Miranda highly suspecting that they had hired him due to the length of time that had passed.  

From the shadows she watched the stranger depart, heading toward the bunkhouse - finally giving her the opportunity to confront her brothers on the matter.

“I can’t believe that you hired him!” she complained in annoyance to her eldest brother, Nathan.

He was twenty-seven, the only Brannon of the bunch that had married and sired a son.   Her other brother, Matt, stood erect beside him as Miranda confronted them.

Nathan sighed deeply and straightened the already immaculate desk as he drummed up a reply.   If Miranda had not been so keyed-up she would have noticed the tired lines around her brother’s usual happy face.

“Of course I hired him.   He knows the business and right now that’s as good as gold to the ranch.”   Nathan sighed again then continued, “Miranda, you know the situation.   We need someone with experience to help shape things up at this critical time – and Blain Scott happens to be the right man for the job. So yes - I hired him, and a good decision at that.”

“Well, I wish you hadn’t,” she retorted, still resentful of this stranger.

“And why not?” Matt drawled, settling down into the padded leather chair, his face a questioning mask.

She batted her eyes, not knowing how to explain away her annoyance.   “I-I don’t know.   He seemed so secretive, so… mysterious,” she relayed, her voice lowering a notch and both brothers had to lean forward to hear her comment.   She eyed them intently as she slowly pinched her beautiful face.   “Well?   Couldn’t you both see it?” 

Nathan fingered through the white stack of papers and tossed a stapled lot to her. 

“Everything is there, sis.   The man hasn’t a thing to hide.   It’s just that female imagination in gear again.   An overworked one at that,” he tacked on, his mouth quirking in one corner as if he were hiding a joke to himself.   He sobered then eased out thoughtfully, “Because of your misfortune with Lance, you don’t trust anyone, do you?”

“Men in particular,” Matt grated out, adding fuel to the fire.

Miranda took the sheets that Nathan had thrown towards her and swiftly gazed over them, ignoring her brothers’ untimely accusations.   Her relationship with Lance had been over for two long years now and she only wanted to forget the fiasco.   She had been young and foolish, falling in love with a two-timing loser.

Concentrating on the neatly typed letter of recommendation, she strived to digest all the information regarding Blain Scott.   His background was excellent.   His last job was with the Lazy J, a very prominent ranch to the south.

“As I said - it’s all there,” Nathan supplied, settling back into his chair as he continued to observe his sister.   His mouth quirked again to one side and he eased out, “He’s single, too.”

Miranda jerked her eyes from the paperwork and viewed her brothers who suddenly were sharing smiles. Tossing the papers back onto the desk she rolled out in a mocking tone, “Really?   What woman in her right mind would want a drifting range rider?”

When her brothers did not respond she continued, “I cannot fight the two of you – not teamed together.   But, mark my words, the man is trouble and don’t say that I didn’t warn you.”

Their smiles were instantly erased and she knew that whatever they were thinking she was well respected in their minds.   She was a woman in a man’s world but she had proven her value to Silver Creek many times over by securing business agreements in which her brothers had yielded no success.

With uninhibited grace she stalked past them, her eyes temporarily gazing up at the gold framed portrait of her parents that hung behind her brothers on the mahogany wall, their canvassed images frozen in time.

There had been a striking resemblance, Nathan and Matt inheriting father’s black eyes and dark hair.  

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