Uncle Plats, page 1
© Copyright 2016 by Aqua Allsopp
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This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person,
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Clean Cowboy Romance
By: Aqua Allsopp
Table of Contents
Sail with Me
What the Heart Wants
Game of Love
On the Outside Looking In
A Mismatch Made in Muscle
Fire in the Heart
In Good Time
Hearts on Fire
Aspen Ice Queen
The Last Cowboy in West Texas
Between Two Worlds
The Champ of Champaneer
A cowboy meets an urban woman who is visiting rural America because she has a deceased uncle who left her a farm. She initially travels to the ranch to inspect it, and make preparations to sell it. While there, she meets Hank – a cowboy who lives nearby — at a town hall meeting.
She is initially driven by money, and is more interested in selling the farm and getting out of town. The town is concerned because they don’t know who will buy it, or what they intend on using it for.
She agrees to hire Hank and seeks his advice and expertise in selling the horses and other livestock on the farm. Hank, a farming cowboy by nature, has a lot of experience in this area.
When he meets her, he challenges her intellectually. Despite his simple, country manner, he’s surprisingly smart, and they begin a friendship. Over time, they develop a deeper friendship, and eventually fall in love. Will his charm and gentlemanly behavior be able to win her – the shrewd city capitalist – over so they can join hands in marriage? Will she commit to spending the rest of her life with him?
“I’ve got no choice. I need to travel out there and arrange this whole thing. Selling a 2,000 acre ranch is hardly a simple task – especially with a lot of livestock, family heirlooms, and other property there” she said and shrugged her shoulders in frustration.
“Have you ever even been to Colorado, Kayla?” asked her manager – the Executive Vice President of Operations – at her banking company.
She rolled her eyes. She always felt like he was a young, chauvinist prick who always questioned her reasoning and intelligence. She was surprised he got such an important position at a mere thirty-three years old.
“Many years ago. It’s been over ten years, but that doesn’t really matter. What difference does that make?”
He sulked in his chair and blew out a deep exhale. He wasn’t looking forward to replacing his Vice President of Marketing, even if the replacement ended up being only temporary. “How much time do you need off?”
She shrugged again and flipped up her wrists to face the ceiling. “I really have no idea. I’ve never even done this before. At minimum, I would say two weeks.”
He clicked the mouse and hit a few keys on his keyboard. “Well, you’ve only got two more weeks of paid time off. Anything beyond that, will not be paid” he gruffly replied.
She sat in the padded chair in his office and moaned in a soft voice. “Does it even matter that I’ve come to work early probably thirty times so far this year? Especially since I didn’t get paid anything for it?”
He turned to face her as he was sitting in his swivel chair and smirked. “Nope. You’re salaried. You get paid the same, regardless of how many hours you work.”
She fumbled her hand around in her pants pocket and located her keys. “Do you need anything else from me?”
He slightly popped his head from right to left in the negative. “Nope. Just let us know if you need to stay longer. That’s pretty much it.”
She did three things. She smiled, nodded, and walked out of the room. It was typical corporate America. Would they cut her any slack and not dock her pay? No. Did it a make a difference that she gave them a lot of extra labor? No. Did she get paid for the extra labor? No. Did her boss even say goodbye or wish her luck? No.
She loved her job, and hated her job at the same time. It sure was nice that she was making close to $200,000 per year. The bad part was that her corporation pretty much owned all of her time and soul. That’s one of the things she didn’t realize would happen when she got her MBA.
She punched out for the day by scanning her keycard, and she left her large office room. While she walked out to her Cadillac Escalade, she felt the cold, January winter that was nipping at her pantyhose legs.
“Brr! Maybe it will be warmer in Colorado.”
Deep down, she knew that was a crock. Colorado is hardly notorious for warm weather. She hadn’t been to her deceased uncle’s Colorado ranch since she was a teen, but she remembered it being very cold.
She put her truck in reverse and started driving down the ramps of the elevated car garage. In a way, she was surprised that her deceased uncle had left his ranch for her. They only rarely talked, and hardly ever saw each other. They didn’t really have much of a relationship.
Beyond that, their goals were starkly different. Her longtime goal was to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. She still had a way to go, but was making fine progress. He, on the other hand, wanted to have a vast ranch with tons of livestock way out in the country.
He indeed succeeded in his goal. He had what he called a ‘small’ dairy section, with fifty cows and just a few steers. He had eight horses, a handful of pigs, as well as turkeys and chickens. There were other animals as well, it was a full working ranch.
She exited the parking garage and drove into her personalized, parking spot just a few blocks from her home. That was another perk that her bank paid for - $30,000 a year for one parking space that only she could use. It sure beat taking the train, though.
She scanned a keycard to get into her plush apartment lobby, then let herself into her apartment after traveling four floors in the elevator. With a flick of the switch, a drop of her keys on an end table, she was home and almost settled – almost.
She selected a bottle of Pinot Markund fine red wine, and poured herself a glass. Back in the day, it would have been a can of Guinness, but she was too sophisticated for that at this point. She poured the wine into an ornate glass, and had a seat on her leather couch.
Sometimes when she got home from work, she would pick an activity that would ease her mind, or release tension. In her 2,000 square foot suite, she had a few exercise machines and a Nintendo Wii that she would sometimes use to exercise. If she really wanted to gear it up, she would go to the local YMCA and push herself.
Today wasn’t one of those days, though. Her mind was completely distracted and clouded over having to travel to Colorado and arrange a complicated real estate deal to sell off her dead uncle’s land. Ironically, she dealt with mortgage loan issues at her bank, but had never sold a home before, nor did she even have her own mortgage.
In short, she strongly suggested that she didn’t need to do that. Doing so would be nothing more than silly, if not ridiculous. She’d never lived on a farm before. She’d never ridden a horse before. She didn’t even like farm animals.
She slowly sipped her wine and set the glass on her mahogany coffee table. As troublesome as the whole matter would be, she knew that she would be able to handle it. It was all a matter of willpower. Her whole life, she had always dealt with great struggles and still come out ahead.
When she was a little girl, her mother died of ovarian cancer. Her father, thankfully, was a good guy who tried really hard. He worked many hours in a steel mill in order to make enough money to support them. He also got a lot of help from his sister to watch and care for Kayla, while he was at work.
She dealt with her mom dying by working hard in school and keeping her eyes focused on her life goal – to become a wealthy CEO. In her mind, it’s what she needed to do to make sure that her mom would always be proud of her.
She slipped off her clothes, slid on her pajamas, and laid in her California king-sized bed. When she was heavily focused on something, or bothered with it, she would often rub her thumbs with her index fingers as she thought of a way to handle it.
That’s what she was doing in this case. Bottom line – even though she was confident that she could figure it out and work hard with it, she knew it wouldn’t be easy. She also wasn’t very optimistic that it would be enjoyable.
She snoozed, but only after her near-fanatical, type-A personality kept her up until 1:00 a.m. It was hardly a good thing, since she would have to leave her apartment in the morning at 8:00 a.m. to catch the plane. Then there would be a two hour layover, then a three hour connecting flight to Denver. Even if everything went smoothly, it would still consume most of her day.
The last thought she had in her mind before she closed her eyes, was a goodbye that she gave to her uncle many years ago. She was a teen, and hugged him tightly and told him that she would miss him, and visit him again soon. She told the truth when she said that she would miss him. She lied when she said she would visit him again soon. Now that he was gone, she knew that was a lost cause.
“Welcome to Denver. What kind of car can I get you?” said the handsome young man behind the Hertz counter. He smiled warmly, but that didn’t make a difference for the shrewd and tired Kayla.
“Just get me something snazzy and comfy.”
He smiled nervously, in part because he wasn’t really sure what she meant. “What do you mean when you say ‘snazzy’?”
She opened her arms and pulled them apart, because she had a picture in her head and was trying to illustrate it. “You know, like a Lincoln, Cadillac, Lexus, something like that. Something that is full sized, and will give me lots of space.”
“Ah. We’ve got an Infiniti J30 here. Would that work?”
She liked the Infiniti and nodded with approval. If nothing else, it would at least be comfortable and have enough space. “That’ll do. I assume it has GPS?”
He smiled and hummed. “Mm hm, it’s built right into the dash. That car has pretty much everything in it. It’s about as modern as they come.”
For the time being, she cared mostly about whether the car had heat, and whether she could find her hotel – the luxurious Grand Hyatt Premium. That only made sense, because it was only ten degrees outside, and she really wanted to get to her room and relax. She just wanted to chill for a while. It was, after all, a long day.
“Alright then. After I pay, I just need the keys, and need to know where the vehicle is. I’ll take care of the rest.”
“Of course. You can pay with either cash or a credit card, then one of my coworkers escort you to the vehicle.”
She nodded and reached into her small, leather purse, and then pulled out a Visa card. “That’s fine” she said as she handed over her card to the young man.
Within just a few minutes, she signed some paperwork, got the keys, and made it outside to the where the car was. It looked nice and ‘snazzy’, as she would say. It had mildly tinted windows, a large trunk, aluminum alloy wheels, and a sleek, partially aerodynamic design.
“Ah! Looks good” she said as she grinned at the car.
She put her luggage into the trunk and started the car. It fired right up. She took a moment to put her destination address into the GPS, and she took off and sped away. The car was smooth, and didn’t struggle to get good speed.
She put on the radio and listened to one of her favorite groups – Nickelback. She liked their music because it was upbeat and fun, but it wasn’t overly profane or filthy. She hummed the lyrics to herself and continued to drive.
She looked around and couldn’t help but notice that the whole area was covered with snow. The snowbanks rose to the side of the road she was driving on, looked like they were about twenty inches high – give or take a few inches. Of course, there were also occasional snowmobile tracks that she spotted off the sides of the road.
She looked at her GPS and it estimated forty minutes until her destination would be reached. “Not bad” she remarked. Then she could get to the hotel and just veg out for a while. She wanted to take advantage of it, because she knew she wouldn’t have a lot of other opportunities to relax.
She pulled into the hotel parking lot, and put her rented Infiniti car in the parking space. She huffed and groaned as she pulled her heavy luggage from the trunk and finally got it out. She was a heavy packer, and loved her stuff. If she wanted to be conservative with her belongings, she probably could have used either a small suitcase or perhaps even a duffle bag.
But that wasn’t the type of woman she was. She had to look professional and attractive. She had a pretty extensive assortment of makeup, tech gadgets, clothes, shoes, and the like. She even took a few dresses with her. Her clothes were classy and beautiful.
One of the biggest principles that she had, was the idea of being prepared. The GPS prepared the route and got her there. Her fancy clothes would prepare her for important meetings. Even her thoughts were heavily prepared, when she got into her hotel room, she prepared responses to questions that she might be asked about the ranch.
And that was another issue for her. There was a town hall meeting that was scheduled for the exclusive purpose of discussing what she would do with the farm. The community was a bit nervous about what would happen. In her mind, it wasn’t really her problem what the buyer decided to do with it. Once she got the money, she planned to take off and never return.
That wasn’t how the town saw it, though. What would happen if she sold the land to a company that wanted to use it to manufacture chemicals, for instance? Or, maybe she would end up selling it to a place that did mining and fracking.
Her strategy wasn’t complicated. She just wanted to convince the town that she would hold their interests to heart, and screen candidates until she found the right buyer. That was a crock, of course. It didn’t matter to her who bought it, as long as she could add a huge sum of money to her bank account.
One character flaw that she had, was that she had a temper, and she really lacked patience. Of course, that was commonplace for people in the corporate world who strived for success and advancement. What she didn’t realize is that many parts of America didn’t work that way.
Out in many places in Colorado, people took their sweet time and were more relaxed about how they handled their lives. They didn’t live in an environment where cars were always beeping their horns, and people jammed themselves into subways. They sure didn’t have parking spaces that sold for $30,000 a piece, either.
She changed into sweatpants and a plain, white stretchable shirt. She almost didn’t put it on, because it made her look too attractive. That is, she noticed that the male exercisers in the room were staring at her breasts. They plumped out because the shirt was skin tight.
She was already tired. In fact, she was just plain exhausted. She kept the workout simple, and just stepped onto a treadmill. As she jogged, she thought about her uncle yet again.
“Why did he leave me his ranch?” she wondered to herself. She just couldn’t make sense of it. She found a way to dissipate the confusion though. She just took happiness in the fact that she would profit after selling it. In just a few minutes, her concern began to slowly melt away.
She also thought about a lover. She had another big character flaw – she was very critical. She would go on dates sometimes, but she always put up a huge mental shield. She felt like she had to protect herself from men, who she conspired were trying to hate her.
When she met men, she was overly critical of them and always found faults. Naturally, the perfect person doesn’t exist, so it wasn’t hard for her to do. Once she found an objectionable fault, she would rid her life of that man. Then, she could just drop her shield and move on.
The problem that she only subconsciously was aware of, was that it turned her life into a cycle of defeat where there was never any gain. Must like the treadmill mat that she was jogging on, it just kept rolling in circles. Much like her jogging, there was no forward movement because she was stuck on the forever rolling belt.
She rationalized it, though. Since she was still fairly young, she had time. She could always do it later. Yes, later. For many people, that later never comes because they keep saying they’ll do it later until it’s too late.