Colton couldn’t help but feel elated as he drove home. Those eyes haunted him in a way that he loved and he longed to see them again- to see her again. He didn’t remember driving back through town or traveling the 30 miles outside of it before reaching his driveway because his mind was filled with thoughts of her. She had barely spoken but still she entranced him! He pushed a button as he turned into his driveway and the gates opened up for his admittance. He wound his way up the forest-lined drive and crested the top of the hill two miles later.
As his fifth generation Montana ranch came into view he looked at his lonely home and thought of the unfair circumstances. He resided all alone on his homestead and she was alone in an unlivable shack. He had inherited his family’s thriving ranch business and she moved hundreds of miles away from everything familiar to make a life and still struggled on her own.
He was lonely but his life was fantastic, he just needed someone to share it with. “I can giver her a better life.” He thought out loud. It would take time and patience but he could already tell she’d be worth it. He was a little more outgoing than she was so personality types would interfere some he was sure but it wouldn’t stop him. She was soft spoken and delicate on the outside but determined and untrusting in her heart. Something or someone had made her heart turn like that and Colton was focused on ripping off the protective tendencies she guarded herself with.
He would dig until he found where her timidity was grounded and would uproot those feelings that left her needing seclusion. Somewhere inside of her was a strong and passionate young woman. He had seen a glimmer of that woman in her eyes when she tried to defend herself upon his entry into her residence.
Colton pulled up to the front porch and sat listening to the rain on the roof of the cab as the sound of the engine shut off. She was the one and he was going to make her his own. He never believed in love at first sight and that certainly wasn’t what this was. He couldn’t explain how he knew she was the woman he wanted in just the few short hours they had spent together but he couldn’t be more certain.
He stepped out into the rain, grabbed his bag of parts and got into the black Ford down by the barn. They would need the extra tools in the ranch truck to fix up that broken fence down by the creek. Hopefully none of the cows had gotten out since he ended up being gone longer than he had planned.
Picking up his phone he speed dialed one of his ranch hands and in flawless Spanish told them he was back with the extra screws and heading to the creek pasture to fix the fence.
The entire time he and the ranch hands worked to repair the fence in the drizzling rain Colton thought of what he would do to win over his little southern belle. His parents raised him as a gentleman so he certainly knew how to treat a lady but it was going to take extra effort and planning with this one- strategy too, perhaps.
The rain had lightened and left the air thick with humidity. Steam rose off the men as their hot bodies were covered in cold rainwater and sweat. Suddenly his drill bit slipped off the screw and smashed into Colton’s thumb against the post. He jerked his hand back, shook it, and sucked on his thumb for a moment. “Señor, you are distracted today.” Said Alfredo beside him. “Sí, mi amigo.” Colton replied. The employees on his family ranch had been employed for generations just as the ranch had been owned for generations. Colton was very close to each and every one of his workers, his work family.
“You were also gone to town for a very long time this morning too get more screws and a new fence board. Maybe you saw an old friend while you were out?” Alfredo said smiling while the others started to chuckle. “No, the only old friend was old Mr. Showman.” Said Colton as he finished driving in the last screw. “Ah. Then maybe you met… a new amiga?” Alfredo said as his smile widened into a grin. Colton laughed, “How did you know about the new girl in town before I did?”
“Señor Stonewell, we go out more than you.” Alfredo replied as the grin started to fade away, “You have been far too alone here since your parents passed. Your only trips to town are for supplies and feed now.” Colton couldn’t argue with him. He had secluded himself on the ranch since loosing his family six years earlier. “Maybe amigo, you need one good lady.” Alfredo pushed. Colton chuckled again and clasped Alfredo’s shoulder giving him a friendly shake.
“Sí amigo, I think you are right.” Colton smiled back at him.