Saturday, 1 November 2014

Saturday, November 01, 2014 - ,

Prairie Fire

by India Heath
Published: Aug 25 2014
Words: 35,029
Category: western, romance
Orientation: M/F
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Floresville, South Texas, 1888.

Cash Alexander tethered his horse on the coral fence and walked up to the Rosetta Ranch house with quiet, self-assured ease. A giant of a man at 6ft 4, his stealthy approach belied his muscled bulk. Dark wavy hair was brushed back under his Stetson and intelligent grey eyes narrowed as he heard angry words carried on the warm Texas breeze.

"Pack up your stuff, Rowdy - and get off my ranch. You're fired."

"You can't fire me, little gal. Your daddy hired me over ten years ago. I put blood, sweat and tears into this place and you ain't kicking me out just because you're too prickly to enjoy a real man's touch."

Cash watched in fascination as the petite blonde girl on the porch squared her shoulders and stood up to the tall angry cowboy in front of her without an ounce of hesitation.

"Daddy isn't here any more," she snapped, and for just a second there was sadness in her azure glare. "The Rosetta belongs to me now and nothing and no one is gonna stop me running it my way. Not Cavan Macall and certainly not you, Rowdy Briggs. And I choose not to have you pawing me like a piece of meat any time you see fit. I want you off my property now!"

Rowdy, a tall lean cowboy with scruffy brown hair and stained teeth, spat onto the wooden floor in defiance. "You need a foreman around this place," he sneered. "You need me. You think any of the hands will seriously listen to your orders? They'll laugh at you, that's what they'll do. Without me, this place will fall down around your ears in no time." He leaned down over the little blonde and leered. "In six months time the Macall's will be taking over this land and your daddy will turn in his grave."

The small girl lifted her chin in mutinous outrage. "My daddy would rather see me homeless than mauled by thieving scum like you. You think I don't know you skim off the ranch profits whenever you take cattle to market?"

Rowdy's eyes narrowed dangerously. "You accusing me of stealing, bitch?" He took a small threatening step nearer.

"You may have pulled the wool over Daddy's eyes but you don't fool me. You're a cheatin' bastard, Rowdy and I want you gone before sunset or I'll shoot you."

Rowdy made a low guttural growl and raised his arm ready to slap her.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Cash advised in a low steel drawl. "Not if you want to leave here with all your teeth."

Two pairs of eyes spun round to stare at Cash. Rowdy sized up his new opponent and slowly dropped his arm. Cash walked up the porch steps and gave a brief nod of approval. "Wise move there, Mister. Now I suggest you do what the little lady says and clear out."