Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 -

Love is Where You Find It

by Leigh Smith
Published: Nov 22, 2013
Words: 22,272
Category: romance
Orientation: M/F
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Randy Colburne had been on the rodeo circuit since he was seventeen, and after eighteen years and more broken bones and bruises than he cared to count, he was done. This had been his last circuit. He was ready to settle down and work the ranch he had purchased with money he had set aside over the years. The land abutted the Bar C Ranch which had been in his family's hands for generations. His family wanted him to take over ranch operations at the Bar C when he graduated from college but instead he had chosen the rodeo circuit. He and his father had differences of opinion on many things, and although he loved and respected his father, Randy knew he could not work under him. To his dad he would always be a 'little boy' no matter his age.

He was loading the last of his equipment into his truck when he heard what he thought was an animal mewing. What he found was a girl sitting on a bench, head in her hands and crying her eyes out. She was about twenty-five and didn't look at all familiar. Going over to her, Randy placed a hand on her shoulder and she jumped. When she looked at him she cowered.

"I won't hurt you sweetheart. Can I help?"

She didn't answer, so he kneeled down in front of her and offered her his handkerchief. She took it and wiped her eyes and blew her nose. She handed it back to him and he told her she could keep it. As he looked at her he could see bruises on her face, and looking closer saw bruises along her arm. He put his arm around her shoulders and once again asked if he could help.

"I need a ride."

"A ride to where, sweetheart?"

"Anywhere, away from here."

Randy said he was traveling as far as Reno and he would be happy to drop her somewhere along the way. When she climbed in the truck she hugged the passenger door and kept her hand on the handle so as to provide a quick escape if it became necessary. She had no belongings and when he asked her about them she told him they were gone along with everything else. He decided he wouldn't ask any questions. The silence between them continued as he drove down the road. Randy's stomach was beginning to grumble and he asked her if she would like something to eat.

"I don't have any money."

"That's not what I asked. You don't need money. I will pay for your food."

"Just so you know mister if you buy me dinner don't expect me to be dessert."

The way it sounded she had been down this road before.

"I'm stopping to get something to eat. If you are hungry I will be glad to treat you. I don't have any other expectations."

She nodded. He pulled into the next roadside eatery. The parking lot, as usual, was filled with truckers.