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I’ve been writing to my stepbrothers, Dean and Vale while they were away. It was easier, then I didn’t know if or when I would see them again. Now, they’re back home. They no longer pat my head and treat me like the little kid they used to. They’ve changed and become full of darkness. I should be scared and want to keep away from them. But I remember them as the teens before they left to go to war. I know I can mend them. I’ve been doing it for so long here on the ranch, fixing everything that goes wrong. Yet, I worry my heart could get caught in the crossfire and end up damaged.

Chapter 1


They were home today, I was so nervous. I hadn’t seen them in five years, but they were back. When they left I was only sixteen. Too scared to tell them how I felt, I wrote letters. I told them they were in my thoughts all the time. At first, they didn’t reply, and I assumed it was a little weird for them getting letters from someone they’d never met.

Mom died, dad remarried and Mary was lonely. She had two sons, not only had one of them joined the Navy but both of them. She’d spent all her life on the ranch but her boys weren’t interested. Something which had been in her family for years.

Dad offered to help and the next thing I knew they were getting married. It was nice at first, having another woman in the house. I didn’t have a wave of jealousy, but it was clear I wasn’t dad’s little girl anymore and I started to become a rebellious teenager. Until I graduated high school and left.

That was when things changed and ended up back to the one place I’d run away from, but this time there was no Mary and no Dad. I could have let the place sink. I wanted to leave, but guilt drew me back here. Running the ranch, the one that Mary left behind, and making sure it ran smoothly and grown some. Their livelihood was triple what it was when they were alive. I grew up more in the six months I’d come back home than I’d done in a lifetime.

Ranch-help came to help with the ranch and at times, they would think I would be part of the package. I was naive, but not dumb. I knew they thought if they got with me, they would not only have a roof over their head, but in time they would be running the ranch. I knew they didn’t want me, but just someone to f*ck and get money from. I was seen as the rich one. The one single men no matter what form they were could get if their hearts desired.

I heard a couple of them talking, claiming that I was most likely a lesbian because I spent all day wearing dungarees and ranch clothes. Yeah, cause I worked on a ranch!


I didn’t bother correcting them, I let them think whatever they wanted and the only way I could think about something other than the ranch was to talk to my brothers. I told them things, my feelings, my life here hoping one day they would come back and run into my arms. They were my fantasies, my everything, partly out of guilt and the other part was because they weren’t here. There was something erotic about life outside the ranch. Everything felt s*xy, even if I knew they were on the field and they were in danger all the time.

I knew they would survive, that they would come back, but I didn’t realize that day would be today. The pair of them are here at the same time. All I knew was that today was the day, I had to get everything ready, the house cleaned, ranch working like it should do, without me having to check everything, but then I heard Bex. She was the one person I trusted on the ranch running up the stairs, she wasn’t light-footed, and I hoped something was wrong with the ranch and they weren’t here yet.

“They’re here!” She screamed as she opened the door. Her short red hair stood up, and it made it look as if she was on fire. Her green eyes were bright, and even though I didn’t want her to know about the little crush I had on them. It was hard to hide it when I’d spent the week visiting the stylist, something I hadn’t done in over a year, not since Abe, one of the ranchhand’s wedding. Nor the manicurists, nor the spa which was over twenty miles from the ranch. She’d watched me get ready for their return home, and she let me know she knew. Even if I hadn’t told her.

'Actions speak louder than words,’ she winked at me, after telling me what I’d already known. I had it bad for my stepbrothers, I couldn’t deny it, even if I tried.

“How do I look?”

She giggled as she approached me. “A million dollars. I’ve never in my life, see your legs. I didn’t even know they existed.”

I nodded, as I stroked the dark red feathers which were halfway down my leg. I loved the sleeveless black dress with a few red feathers at the rim and completely risky to anything I have ever possessed. I had one black dress, which covered every inch of my body.

I turned and faced the mirror, thinking about the light highlights I’d had put into my hair. I’d trimmed, not cut it, but even then the stylist said it could do with more of a cut. She kept as much as she could, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d conditioned my hair. All this for them. I shook my head at the idea of it, it should have been for me. She told me that I had the most beautiful and darkest hair that she’d ever seen on someone from town. I should have taken it as a compliment, but in high school, everyone teased me about having gypsy blood. Everyone in town was either brown-haired with matching eyes or blond with blue eyes, there was no in-between or a mixture. No, that would only be present in people outside of town. I was associated with that trait with dark hair and blue eyes, and they let me think I was strange. The main reason I was dying to get out of this town.

“Are you ready to face them?”

She winked, “You look ready on the outside, apart from the red s*xy heels you bought. Here, here, take it!” She shoved it in my hand still out of breath. Between her heart and mine, pounding out of control, I felt as if there was a bomb in the house.

“Go get them tiger!” She shouted as I put on the heels and tried to leave the room. The number of times I’d worn heels could be counted on one hand. I nearly fell down and found myself holding on to the door handle for life.

“I can’t do this.”

She shook her head as she came to my rescue. “Yes, you can. You’ve been working for this day for the last month. Don’t let me down now.”

It wasn’t about letting her down. I had to do this for myself. I’d planned it, and she was right. As tempted as I was to rip this dress off me, which left nothing the imagination, and just get my d*mn dungarees and sneakers. No, I couldn’t do it. I had to be brave. I ran a ranch single-handed, I could do this, I just had to have a little faith.

Chapter 2


Fire, that’s what we called Bex when she was little. yeah, she was all grown up, but those green eyes and spiky red hair hadn’t changed since she was a little kid, not that she’d grown much over the last six years. She wasn’t wearing a bra. Her breasts bounced as she began to talk. It amused me slightly a lot more than I thought it would come back to this place.

Vale winced, the same way he did when he was a kid whenever we came home. He loved being on the ranch, at school, anywhere but between these four walls. As soon as he turned eighteen and could join the Navy, he didn’t hesitate in signing up, not that he had any choice. I joined too. I knew he wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t with him. A burden I’d had since I was a kid. Vale relied on me to do everything, he said I was his right hand, and he couldn’t do it without me. Now, I was a lot more than that, I didn’t mind, he was my brother and I would give my life for him, even more so to turn back the clock.



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