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Branding the Virgin(4)

By:Alexa Riley

Blake just shakes his head as if getting himself under control after his laughing fit. The ball of nerves in my stomach is growing, which isn’t good, because throwing up comes way too easily to me these days.

Seems like the articles calling Ty an asshole might have been pretty spot on. The reality is hitting a lot harder than I thought it would.

“Don’t think you can stay at the bunkhouse.”

“She’s not staying at the fucking bunkhouse,” Ty barks, once again making me jump.

“Would you stop that!” I snap back. My hand goes to my chest as I try to get my heart under control. How can someone so big move without my hearing them?

He just ignores me. “Where’s your shit?”

I have the urge to tell him he can shove it where the sun doesn’t shine, but I stop myself. This isn’t just about you, Mary-Jane. You have to give this a go. Even if only for a little while.

I point behind me to my SUV, not trusting myself to talk because the knot growing in my throat is so big I’m not sure I even can.

“You get gone,” Ty says, pointing to Blake before making his way towards my SUV.

“He doesn't bite,” Blake says as he moves past me towards a black truck. I’m not sure I believe him.

I take a few breaths and attempt to push down the knot in my throat.

“Why aren’t I going to the bunkhouse?” I finally get out as Ty starts pulling my two bags from the SUV.

He just grunts a non-response, moving past me back towards the door. I follow him because I don’t really have a choice.

When I enter the house, I stop short, taking it in. There is nothing. Not one thing hung on a wall, not a trinket in sight. Just the basics a house would need. Two sofas, a TV mounted on the wall, and a medium-sized dining room table that draws my eye to the equally bare kitchen.

I’m not sure how something could feel cold in this Texas summer heat, but it does.

“This way,” he says looking back at me over his shoulder. I follow him down a hallway. He nods to a closed door. “Office.”

I have to bite my tongue from pointing out he said something without a curse word or bark. He stops at a door and pushes it open to reveal a room that looks just like the rest of the house.

It’s bare, with nothing but a simple, king-sized bed with a night stand and a dresser. It’s painted a soft white, making me think maybe it belonged to a woman at one time. It’s the only soft thing about the house. I follow him into the room, placing my car keys and purse on the dresser.

“Bathroom’s in the hallway, and there is food in the fridge.”

I turn to look at him, but he seems to be looking anywhere but at me. I want to knock that stupid cowboy hat off his head. From this distance I can’t get a good look at him. Not like when I was standing right in front of him outside.

“Where should I start?” I ask, feeling a little lost and even more alone.

“The office. Tomorrow.” He turns to leave.

“Do I need to make you dinner?” I ask, knowing I’m supposed to keep his house up. It was part of the job description. Office work with light house duties.

“No, I’m going out.” He grabs my cars keys from the dresser as he leaves the room, his steps hard on the wood flooring. I stand there stunned, then hear the front door slam shut.

I drop down onto the bed, my head falling into my hands. Even at home I didn’t feel this alone, even though it was just me. The coldness of the house brings back an empty childhood I really don’t care to think about.

I reach down, pulling off my sandals and tossing them to the floor, before I lie back onto the bed and cup my belly.

Again I debate leaving but remember he took my keys for some strange reason. Maybe he needed to move my SUV or something. I absently rub my stomach, knowing I have to give this a chance no matter how much I want to run.

I pray that maybe Ty is just having a bad day, but I have a feeling I’m wrong. He really is just an asshole. The small hope I had about finding something more slips away.



I go out of the house and get one of my horses, saddling it up. I had to get out of there before I went crazy. I tuck her keys in my back pocket and head out through the pasture. I use my ranch mostly for a few cattle and training horses. When I was hiring someone new, I wasn’t expecting a woman, and I damn sure wasn’t expecting a little thing like her. As I ride down to the woods and along the edge of the creek, I think about what happened when I touched her.

When I touched her hand I felt it all the way in my bones, and then my cock stirred. Not so much as a twitch all these months, and then I hold her hand for a second and my dick swells up trying to get free. My doctors said maybe one day it could come back, but there were no guarantees. One little touch, however, and it appears I’ve been cured. I was pissed off that Blake was standing there and he knew immediately what had happened. And I was even angrier at myself that I couldn’t do anything about it. I didn’t want this woman on my land, but I wasn’t about to let her go. Not only did I feel my cock get hard for the first time since I can remember, but something in my chest tightened when I looked at her. Something I’d never felt settled in me and it’s got my mind going crazy. I had to get out of that house and get some fresh air.