Phoebe Tucker pulled her long blond hair into a tight pony tail - the morning promised nice hot weather, perfect for fixing up her new yard of the bungalow hobby farm she had just purchased along with several animals and two horses she wanted to train and show at the local fairs soon. Phoebe had dreamed of her own hobby farm and finally here she was, very ecstatic, the excitement in her blood energizing as she went to the barn. It was early, the sun had just risen over the Montana skies, pinks and orange hues of beauty, the air smelled of farmland and warm summer breezes. Phoebe began by sweeping the barn, then watering and giving her horses their morning mix of grain, listening to them munching in their stall pails. She then took each one out, on a lead rope, and let them loose in the small corral - she would work them after her chores were done.

Butch, her border collie began to bark suddenly, Phoebe went outside to see what was going on to make him excited, he was a great watchdog, and her best friend.

"How do you do ma'am, my name is Randy Orsen and i live next door, the yellow house down the road. Wondering if you need a handyman or anything i would be much obliged." and he took off his dirty cowboy hat, revealing thick wavy hair and big brown eyes. He was quite handsome she pondered, her heart skipped a beat.

"Well, i just moved here and have a lot of chores to do, if you dont mind working half days and low pay? I would give you lunch too providing you do your work well enough." She added, leaning on her pitch fork.

"Ok, i dont mind any kind of work at all. I got my truck and will come by first thing tomorrow? Own my own tools too i might add, so no need to borrow any. " He proudly said, nice white teeth glistening at her, his tall stance towering over her smaller heighted body. She stood up straight then, as if to prove she had to look taller than she was, well, what would she want with a farmer's hand anyway? She came here to escape the heart aches of romance from the city, and needed to focus on her and her animals. No way she would go for a ranch bloke even though he was drop dead gorgeous.

And so, the next morning, he showed up as he said he would, and on time too. Phoebe told him she had to go to town to get supplies, he offered to go for her, knowing how the people were used to him and he could get a better deal than her at the co-ops.

"It would be good for me though to meet them, i like to know who lives here and what's going on. Sorry, i can go myself." She answered back, not wanting to act like she couldnt handle her own affairs.

"Don't say i didnt warn you, they like to take advantage of the newbies around here and charge more than they do the locals, its a bit of a gag with them." He chuckled, rubbing his chin in an absurdly arrogant way. Like he was warning her of danger or something else, she wondered studying him. She remained adamant about her independance and scoffed off to town anyway.

The day grew warm as promised earlier, the haze now over the mountains hovering in hot dry weather. Phoebe made a nice pitcher of lemonade and ham sandwhiches with salad and waved to Randy to join her on the weathered veranda that also needed a new paint job. Randy drank the lemonade she offered right away, thirsty and then grabbed at the sandwhiches she placed in front of him, my goodness, he seemed like he hadnt eaten in days, and now as she did notice he was on the thin side.

"So are you from around here?" She asked just for conversatin sake.

"Nope, around everywhere, born in Nevada though. Came here five years ago stayed ever since." He said after his last swallow of food. he noticed how pretty she was, but he doubted a city girl like him would be his type, no way, he wanted a woman that could handle the rough country of Montana, a "real" farmer's wife, this gal was high maintenance, even down to her manicure, well the one she had last back at the spa at home. Phoebe left the law firm and bought the ranch, after an arduous case she had lost for a client went awry. The case had gone on for months, an attempted murder trial, the evidence lacking in submissability and was eventually thrown out, her life threatened. She had been thinking about the farm life before that however, but at the loss of the trial and threats she went ahead and bought this.

"I know a place down by the creek you can go for a swim or try and catch a catfish or two." He suggested, getting up to get ready to leave for home. He would have preferred full time hours, he thought, the pay here would hardly make his own bills met. "Catfish eating is decent." He added, hardly thinking she would want to go fishing.

"I might take you up on that if you're offering to assist me in the right direction? I hardly know where to find any place like that here, i just moved in after all." She reminded him.

So, the following weeks they spent working in the mornings, and he did his job well, mending this, fixing that, painting her veranda too, a nice white paint that gave it a look that was inviting, and she added the flower hangers filled with wildflowers and impatients, her little farm was starting to look like home. After he left, she worked her horses, and by the end of the day she was so tired and sore all she wanted was supper and a soak in the big giant old fashioned iron legged bath tub.

Then one fine hot day, he suggested they go for a swim.

"The weather is fine enough - you look like you can use some cooling off too." He smiled at her, she had already gotten stronger looking and brown from the sun. Little splashes of freckles dusted her nose and face too, he thought she was adorable, he liked her and he was beginning to have new ideas about her. She was funny too, and they often chuckled together over her delicious lunches, he had never had such good food.

"You must have been a chef back in the city." He complimented her steak and eggs. He licked his lips and drank her iced too or lemondade, whichever she made for the day.

"No, but i was engaged to one back home, and i learned a few tips or two, i enjoy good food too, i believe eating is part of life's pleasures." She beamed at his compliments of her fare.

"Let's go for a swim." He prompted again, hoping for a huge "yes", and she did give in finally.

The creek was as beautiful as he said it was, and she could see the catfish jumping as promised, next time she would bring a fishing rod and try it. The afternoon went by so quickly, and the willow trees hung above them inviting, the moss beneath them soft and begging, Phoebe lay down against the giant tree and closed her eyes, happy and content. She then felt his hand on her shoulder, she opened her eyes to him bearing down, offering her a drink of water from his thermos. She drank in thirst, and handed it back to him. Randy continued to stare down at her, and then, he bent over and kissed her on the lips, much to her anger and surprise.

"W..What do you think you're doing?" She belted out and pulled back in haste. "I dont think i gave you permission to kiss me." She scoffed embarrased now.

"I am sorry, it's just that, well, I really think you are so pretty, and when you had your eyes closed, i thought, i am sorry, i really like you. A lot." He added and looked down at his feet. He never meant to hurt her, he had just been so lonely the last few years. Meaghan his last girlfriend, left him for another man after they'd moved in together, and had been cheating on him. Randy didnt give his heart out so easily.

"I am not sure i want a relationship right now, and i hardly know you except for the work you do for me, and you were kind enough to bring me here too, i enjoyed our day very much. " She started, "But if you want to court me that is another thing altogether." Phoebe finished then, surprised at her own reaction. She had not expected this either, Jack Aslton got abusive with her, after the engagement party he felt he owned her, things went from bad to worse. Phoebe swore never to feel that way about a man ever again. Randy was a ranch hand, OMG, this could not be happening at all, but she liked him too, they were a good team together.

"So, does that mean you will give it some thought?" He eyed her for any clue possible to hope for.

"yes, i think we can figure a way to make this work, but give me time, i wont give my heart out so easily. " She warned him.

"Well, ditto here, i have my own stories." He promised her, grinning from ear to ear, and the two of them sat under the willow tree, just talking and leaning against each other, as the Montana sun set behind the mountains vigorous color.

December 17, 2020 20:35

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Kathleen `Woods
09:06 Jul 30, 2021

I'm kinda cheating with an E-reader so I can be honest, this was nice to listen to, and effectively matches to longform romances that I've listened to from other writers. Thanks for writing!


M. M.
17:32 Jul 30, 2021

Oh so glad u enjoyed it, I would someday love to write a romance novel, like Harlequin, sigh, I still need a lot of work though and studying writing. thanks again.


M. M.
21:52 Aug 04, 2021

I need to get it at "that was cool and original", haha its all good though, honesty is best. Finding our "voices" is a process.


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