Authors: Vanessa Vale
Montana Maiden Series, Book III
©2014 by Blushing Books® and Vanessa Vale
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. Spanking and other sexual activities represented in this book are fantasies only, intended for adults. Nothing in this book should be interpreted as Blushing Books' or the author's advocating any non-consensual spanking activity or the spanking of minors.
Table of contents:
Old Man Jenkins was a wily bastard. Somewhere in his seventies, he'd spent his last years as a recluse, a veritable hermit on his ranch. It had vast amounts of acreage, greater than ten thousand if I had to venture a guess, which meant he had vast amounts of money. He had ranch hands to tend the cows, the horses and maintain the property. He had a wife, young and biddable. Devney. She had to be in order to survive the long winters isolated with an old geezer like him. He also had a daughter, Sarah, close in age to his wife. He'd pulled her from school when she was twelve, kept her on the ranch and no one had seen her since. It seemed he controlled everything with a ruthless hand, everything except death. Adam Graham, my good friend and town doctor, had said it was most likely his heart that finished him off.
I wouldn't have been surprised if it had been either the wife or daughter who'd done him in for keeping them so isolated, and Doc wouldn't have reported them to the sheriff, Ian McKenzie. Hell, McKenzie would have helped dig the hole to bury the man if he had.
It was the three of us who rode to the Jenkins ranch to bring Devney and Sarah back to civilization that was Liberty, Montana. Without neither a will nor son, Devney, as wife, inherited it all. She'd be hounded by leeches who wanted nothing more than her money and her land, once word spread. And her land held power. The Yellowstone River bisected a section, which gave her water rights that were crucial to survival in Montana. She'd have to marry. So would Sarah. They had no other choice.
We rode in silence, side by side across the open prairie south of Liberty. We'd left while the townsfolk were in church, hoping to return with the women before dark. The day was hot and the sun blazing. After an hour, we let the horses drink from a creek.
"There's only so much we can do to protect them once they get to town," Doc said, wiping a bandana against his neck. "They'll have to marry." It seemed Doc and I were thinking along the same lines.
"I have no idea what to expect." McKenzie took a swig of water from his canteen. "No one's seen Sarah for six, maybe seven years. Devney's only been to town once, and that was to see you." He looked to Doc.
"She got a sliver in her foot and it got infected. Could have killed her if she’d let it linger, but somehow she managed to ride in with the foreman who was collecting supplies. This was about six months after she married. I haven't seen her since. It's possible she's got a herd of kids by now, for all the news that comes from their ranch."
I hadn't met either woman and felt sympathy for both. I was all for protecting a woman that was legally mine. Hell, I was heading to a ranch to protect two women unknown to me. But keeping them so restricted took this stance too far. Jenkins might have protected them, but cut them off from the world as well.
"The land is hers. The water rights are hers. Once words spreads that Jenkins is dead, she'll be fair game," I said, thinking about the vultures soon to circle Devney Jenkins. "This country is rough on a woman. But without any contact like they've had to endure?" I just shook my head imagining two women wild and potentially a little insane.
I hadn't wanted to spend time with Old Man Jenkins whenever our paths crossed in the past. The idea of the things Devney Jenkins had been subjected to left a bad taste in my mouth. The rules for wives in Liberty were definitely strict, but I could only imagine what Devney had endured.
McKenzie bit off a piece of jerky. "What about the ranch hands? They have to know her worth. This might not be a good scene.”
Our mood was grim on the way to the main house. As we approached, we gave each other knowing looks. The place was pristine. The white paint was fresh, the fences in working order around the corral. The barn also had a fresh coat of paint and the roof appeared to be in good condition. Several horses were in the near pasture and cows dotted the hills beyond. All was quiet. Too quiet.
We rode up to the house, tied our horses to the rail at the base of the steps and looked around. "What's that god-awful smell?" I asked. I covered my mouth and nose with my hand.
"Dead body," Doc replied grimly.
McKenzie nodded his head, his jaw tight. Were the women dead? There was only one way to find out. He pulled his gun from his belt and we followed him around the house to where the stench was stronger. There on the ground about thirty feet from the house was a dead man. By the way the birds were picking at him, flying off only when McKenzie shot into the air, he'd been there awhile. The ladies were nowhere in sight.
I heard the cocking of a gun and it wasn't the sheriff's. I froze and so did McKenzie and Doc.
"Who are you and what do you want?" a woman shouted.
Carefully, we all turned in unison toward the voice. Through an open window, I could make out the shooting end of a rifle, the white curtain blowing around it.
"It's Doc Graham, Mrs. Jenkins. I've brought the sheriff and Sam Bridger with me. Looks like you've had some problems." Doc's voice was calm, clear and loud.
After a fashion, the rifle lowered and then disappeared back into the house. I exhaled deeply and lowered my hands. I glanced at McKenzie, who'd lowered his gun, but held it still. Sweat dripped down my temples; the glaring sun was hot on our backs.
The front door opened and a woman in her twenties stepped out onto the porch. She had brown hair pulled back in a neat bun at the nape of her neck. Her eyes were equally dark, yet with an exotic tilt to them, and were fringed with thick lashes. Her nose was pert and her mouth was full. She wore a simple blue dress that by contrast made her skin creamy and pale. It also did not hide her surprising height and womanly curves. Long legs, trim waist, full breasts, tapered neck. She was...beautiful. But she was also wary, armed and dangerous. Definitely dangerous.
As she'd never met me or McKenzie, I let Doc do the talking.
"Hello, Devney. You look well, considering. We heard about Jenkins and I am very sorry for your loss."
"No loss, Doctor Graham." Her voice was clear and deep, like a spring fed pond. If she was in mourning, she sure didn't show it. Her rifle pointed to the porch floor, but based on the fact there was a dead man on the lawn, I wouldn't put it past her to be a quick shot.
"I'm guessing the man over there doesn't need any of my services," he replied benignly.
"No, I don't reckon he does." She did not appear to be a woman bent on hysterics.
"May we come in out of the sun? It's been a long ride and we're all mighty parched."
Devney looked at us with clear, cool eyes. Assessing. She nodded and went back inside, assuming we'd follow.
The interior of the house was just as well maintained as the exterior. It was immaculately clean, the furniture old but well-maintained, the air cool and calm. The stench of the dead man didn't reach the interior, thankfully. I could hear her in the back of the house where I assumed the kitchen was located. A few minutes later, she brought a tray holding some glasses and a pitcher of water. She no longer carried the rifle. We stood in the entryway, hats in hands.
"Please, sit," she said, moving to place the tray on a low table near the fireplace. I couldn't help but notice the sway of her hips and how they flared from her trim waist. When she bent forward to place the tray down, her ass was displayed to me in an innocent, yet unbelievably carnal way. This was how she'd position herself for me to spank her, to fuck her. Even seeing her covered completely in a modest dress, I could envision it. And that made me hard. Rock hard.
We sat once she did and she passed us each a glass of water. When she handed me mine, our fingers brushed. Her skin was warm, soft and her eyes lifted to glance at me in shock. Surprise. The color there wasn't just brown, but a whiskey color, with flecks of black and gold mixed within. Her lashes were longer than at first glance, darker too. Darker than the hair pulled back in the bun. Would it be equally dark on her pussy?
"I need you to explain the dead man, Devney," Doc said, his voice in a lower pitch that meant he was done with idle chit chat. "The sheriff's here to help."
"Ma'am, did you do the shooting?" McKenzie asked.
Devney sat at the edge of her seat, her posture straight – although not the straight posture of a woman whose ass was corked - her hands folded in her lap. She was so calm, so placid. So mild. "I did. Once Jenkins was dead and buried, the ranch hands decided that Sarah and I could provide them with...services. As we did not want to provide or participate in these services, I shot Hank."
"I assume Hank's the man lying out there. The other men weren't successful in their attempts for these...services?"
It had been what we'd imagined. Without Old Man Jenkins alive and the ranch being miles from town, if the hands wanted to rape Devney and Sarah, there would have been no one to stop them. I clenched my fists tightly at the idea of those bastards touching them.
"No, they did not," she replied primly. "The others left a few days ago. There was another man, Mr. Wainright from Billings, I believe, who came on his own last night. I only shot him in the arm, so I doubt he's dead. He rode off."
Good. That threat was gone, at least for now. There'd surely be another just like him soon enough.
"They could have just waited for you to run out of bullets," McKenzie countered.
Devney tilted her head and looked the sheriff square in the eye. "You've never been here before Sheriff, otherwise you'd know that Mr. Jenkins was not a man to trifle with. He kept a very large cache of weapons and ammunition here in the house. The hands knew it and the others--besides Hank--were smart enough to realize they were safer to go to Rose's in town with their baser needs than focus on Sarah and me to provide them. As for Mr. Wainright, well...."
Rose's was the brothel in town.
Doc glanced around the quiet space. "Do you have children?"
She shook her head.
No children? What the hell was wrong with Jenkins? With Devney in my bed, I'd fuck her five ways to Sunday. Unless Jenkins' cock didn't work or he took her ass instead, she should have a passel of young ones.
"Then it's true, isn't it, Devney. About your husband?" Doc focused his gaze on the woman, their eyes meeting, holding. It was a standoff without weapons.
I had no idea what Doc was talking about, but it seemed important. I glanced at McKenzie and he gave a slight shrug.
"Devney," Doc said, his voice an octave lower.
She lowered her gaze. "Yes, it's true."
Whatever the hell it was must have been pretty important, but why hadn't Doc shared what he'd surmised with us?
"Where is Sarah?"
"She should be upstairs, although I'm sure she's listening instead," she replied. Turning her head, she called out, "You can join us now, Sarah, if you wish."
Soft footsteps approached. Around the doorway came Sarah Jenkins. Tessa had mentioned the other night at dinner that Sarah had red hair when she'd been in the schoolroom with her. This tiny thing that stood near us had hair the color of fire and was so small she wouldn't have reached my shoulders standing in her bare feet. She looked to be around fifteen, although I knew her to be close to twenty. We stood at her appearance.