As the sun started to peak over the snow covered Teton Mountains in Moran, Wyoming...Callie Carisi was starting her normal day on her seven acre ranch. Her rooster was crowing, letting her know, ‘It’s time to start the day.’.
A cup of hot coffee in her hands, she looked over the the mountains in the distance. That’s why she loved it out here. The view was not only beautiful but she's the only one that dares to live right next to the mountains. With her wool coat zipped up, boots and spurs on. Her gun belt fitted to her left side, and her worn out black Stetson covering her brown curly hair. Callie was ready to start the day of being in the middle of winter in Wyoming.
With those things she needs checked off, she went out to do her chores before heading to town. Whistling to her black and tan bloodhound, Deathrow, to go out with her. Her furry husband as she called him. Once he was outside, he honed in to go chase the chickens through the snow. A regular thing he did, and she couldn’t help but chuckle at her fierce protector.
After watching her dog for a few minutes, Callie decided it was time to go check on her other animals on the property. Going to the barn to make sure the horses were nice and warm. Feed, and clean the stalls. Check the cows and calves in the second barn on her property. Make sure her pregnant mare, Nellie, is sound and warm. With it being in the dead of winter, she needed to make sure her mare, and all of her animals was perfect before she went off on a hour journey to and from town.
Her animals were her life. She didn't want to know what she would do if anything happened to them.
Callie tacked up her dapple stallion, Valentino, whistled for Deathrow and headed for town. A trip she always dreaded.
Not only are the territorial bison, bears, occasional wolves howling in the distance that made her uneasy. They’re always sorrowful looks were honed in on her once she got into town. The reason for those sorrowful looks? The young woman of twenty-three was already a widow. Her late husband, Brandon Carisi, wasn't the best husband. Especially since her mother sold her off to him so they wouldn’t loose the farm. Callie honestly didn’t care that he had died, he was an awful man. She looked at it as a way out, a new beginning for herself.
But people still give her sorrowful looks. No matter how many times she has proved that she didn’t need a man to be successful. But still, the townsfolk talk behind her back about how weird she is for wearing trousers. Working a very successful ranch by herself. Training horses by herself. Hunting and butchering animals to fill her smoke house. Never looking for the warmth of a man. Especially the warmth of Christian Jushion. The towns heartbreak. Also the towns sheriff. Ever since his best friend died, her late husband, he’s lusted over the independent cowgirl.
Callie shook her head, getting those thoughts out of her head. She didn’t need to worry about other people. Only worry about her success, and how it came from her. Not from any help from a man, do anything a man can and do it better then them. Only worry about her mare, Nellie, who’s about to give birth and how she’s going to castrate Valentino for getting her mare pregnant during winter. That’s the last time she let’s one of her friends watch her ranch while she goes for a cattle drive.
As the clouds roll by, the young woman strolled into town after a long journey of passing bison, elk, and foxes. A satisfied knicker came from Valentino. Almost his way of saying, ‘Oh thank God.’. All the while, Deathrow’s demeanor changed from happy go lucky playing in the snow, to grim and alert. From having fun in the few inches of snow, to ears perked and alert. He never understood why his owner came to town. Always scared, anxious. The hound doesn’t understand it, but he doesn’t leave Callie’s side. He gets a few cinnamon candy’s for coming, so it was a win win in the dog's eyes.
As Deathrow follows beside the dapple stallion, Callie pulled her hat down further so her hazel eyes couldn’t see the looks from the other townsfolk. But she could still feel the stares burning in her back as Valentino walked by. She stopped her stallion in front of the General Store and dismounted, tying him up to the post just for that reason. Callie walked in, the bell rang their presence was known. She looked back making sure her dog was behind her before turning and seeing her friend, Missy Kindred, at the register. Missy and her husband, Ed, owned the General Store. Ed was also the pastor at the church in town. Something Callie never went to. Something she doesn’t believe in and something she doesn’t care about listening to or talking about.
“Oh my gosh! Ms. Callie Carisi! I haven’t seen you in so long Dear! Oh! Look it’s your trusted boy, Deathrow. I have a few pieces of jerky left over that I was going to throw away, I’ll sneak it in with whatever you’re getting sweetie. So what brings you down here?” Missy said as she scooped Callie’s small frame into a bone crushing hug and kept talking like it was going out of style. Callie couldn’t help but chuckle, Missy was going to make her hound fat with all the spoiling she does. But, on the other hand she does drag him to town she he can protect her. ‘I guess he can have some extra treats.’ was all she could think before Missy started rambling again.
Callie was putting her list of supplies for Missy to get ready when something caught her attention. The sound of firecrackers popping outside, the sound of wood breaking, and the sound of hooves pounding on the ground away from the store immediately caught Callie’s attention. “Cazzo.” Callie cursed as she ran outside and saw her prized stallion galloping towards a crowd of people waiting for the stagecoach to come. All the young woman could do was try to catch her spooked stud, while her trusted hound ran forward to try to get in front of Valentino. Although the piece of wood tied to his reins, following behind him, hitting his hocks, was not helping the situation. Only making it worse.
Missy was screaming for the soon to be victims to get out of the way. Callie chasing after Valentino. People trying to grab the reins as he raced passed. While Deathrow caught up to the beast and jumped in front of him, barking at him, causing the dappled stallion to rear.
They looked a sight.
When some man, who no one has seen before in the town including Callie, came up and grabbed the reins. The man looked into Valentino’s big blue eyes and ran his left hand down his face with his right holding the reins. Instantly calming the huge beast.
Everyone was in awe. The whole town knew to not touch Callie Carisi’s horse. Scratch that. Don’t touch anything of hers! She will hit first and ask questions later. That woman did everything on her own and showed some of the toughest men in this town that she can do what they can do with a passing smirk, basically saying, ‘I told you so.’.
Everyone was silent. Even Deathrow was in shock, his jaw wide open, but then it turned into a growl with hackles up at the man who dared to touch his master’s horse. Callie’s hands turned into fists at what she was seeing. She couldn’t believe this man had the nerve to grab her reins. She doesn’t care if he was spooked and racing towards people.
Deathrow had him stopped. She was almost there. Everyone in the whole damn town saw that! This man doesn’t need to be doing that!
All Callie could do was yell while walking up to this stranger who was handling her horse , “Get the hell away from my horse or I’ll kick your ass!“. She didn’t recognize the man, so obviously he must be new to town.
The man turned his head, his deep brown eyes mesmerizing her, she quickly shook her head, ‘Oh hell no. Not gonna happen. No man for me.’. The man with the black cowboy hat covering shaggy brown hair turned, giving Callie his signature smirk, “Well doe, I was just helpin' ya here. The beast was gonna run these townsfolk over. He seems like a huge horse for your tiny self. ” The man drawled out as he gave the reins back to Callie and held his hand out to shake. “The names Ace, Doe.”
Callie only glared. Wanting this man to be six feet under for trying to smooth her over with his charm. “Tu non mi conosci! You get back to your whores and leave me alone to my business, mister. Also the name isn’t Doe!” Callie hissed, making sure Valentino was okay before she decided to make this trip to town short and head to the Doc’s shop before going back to the general store. She needs her medication. Callie has seizures and bromides are a widely used epileptic drug, it’s supposed to help calm the seizures. It didn’t really help her, but she didn’t have any choice. She had to try something.
Better then what could happen to her if she didn't have them.
Franko ‘Ace’ Callaway looked on as the spitfire walked away with her beautiful dapple stallion, and her hound. She sure was something. Something he wanted to make his.
Although, he could tell something was wrong when she stopped at the what seemed to be the Doc’s shop. He planned on finding out what was wrong. First, he had to find out her name. Ace walked over to a random townsfolk smiling ,“Howdy there, I’m Ace. I’m new in town. I’m just wondering. Uh, who is that spitfire?” He couldn’t believe himself. He was loosing his train of thought asking about her. Get a grip man!
The man before him looked up him up and down. Reading him like a book. “Hello. My name’s Christian Jushion. I’m the sheriff around these parts so you better not stir up trouble.” The man, who is apparently the sheriff with a badge on his shirt, shining in the sunlight. “So you’re interested in Ms. Callie Carisi? I’ve had my eyes on her for awhile. She ain’t wanting a man or his help. The woman hunts. Owns her own ranch up close to the mountains, alone. Breeds her own horses. Butchers her own cows and chickens. If you need any help, just come find me. Nice to meet ya.” With that, Christian went on his way.
Ace was kind of dumbfounded by what he said. Alone? On the mountains? She sure is something else. Ace looked at the dapple stallion tied in front of the general store. She must have moved from the docs to the general store when he was talking to the law man. Callie came out with her hound, mounted her beast, and galloped through the snow back to wherever in the mountains she called home. She sure did know how to ride. ‘Callie want’s to play games, let’s play games doe.’ Ace thought as he walked over to the saloon for drink.
Tu non mi conosci: You don’t know me.
A/N: Hello Everyone! I hope you like my story! Just so you know, yes there is some italian thrown in there. I will give translations don’t you worry! Votes and comments for next chapter!!!!!!