Part 1: The Unicorn Ranch - Texas - Five years ago

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The Unicorn Ranch - Texas - Five years ago.

Jennie Taylor put the finishing touches to the brightly colored decorations on the porch. This birthday was particularly poignant. Never mind that it was her eighteenth, it was also the first since her parent's tragic accident. "Annie, is that okay?"

 Annie Stewart matriarch of the Unicorn ranch stood with her hands bracketing her hips, beaming. "Looks just fine, Jennie."

"Oh my God, I'm so excited about tomorrow." Jennie jumped down from the steps.

"Jared, I need you and Jennie to pick up her birthday cake from the bakers in town," Annie shouted to her son as he secured the large white marquee, they'd erected at the side of the ranch house.

"Sure thing Momma, I don't need Jen. I'm sure I can manage." Jared joined them on the porch and gave his mother an affectionate squeeze.

"You need Jennie with you son, she knows what we ordered. I can't expect you to notice if the decorations are the right ones." Annie's smile softened the impact of her words.

 Jared raised his hands in surrender, "Okay we'll both go." Jennie looked away before he saw the blush heating her face. "Can you be ready in fifteen minutes kitten?" Jared looked across at her.

 Jennie smiled. She wished Jared saw her as a sexy cat rather than the cuddly kitten his use of her pet name suggested. She gathered up the leftover decorations and nodded. "I'll just get my bag."

  Jennie and Jared picked up the last of the supplies Annie asked for, including the elegant cake, which was a masterpiece of pink frosting and silver stars. "It’s such a hot, sultry afternoon Jared can we stop for a swim in the old creek before we head back?" Jennie risked a wary glance at Jared, not sure if he would agree. Their much treasured, easy going relationship wasn't the same anymore. Jared behaved differently towards her.

"It's tempting but what about the cake? Momma would never forgive us if it melted into oblivion." Jared's gaze danced with amusement.

 Jennie sensed he was going to give in. "True but a quick swim won't make much difference and your truck is air conditioned." He must agree or her scheming would be pointless. Tomorrow may be her eighteenth birthday but the only present she desired sat next to her. At twenty three Jared epitomized everything she desired in a man. He dominated her dreams both sleeping and waking. They would be so good together if only he saw her as a woman rather than a surrogate kid sister. Today for sure, she would make him see her as a woman.

"Ten minutes, no more or momma will have my six," Jared pulled into the clearing at the side of the creek. His mobile rang. He motioned Jennie out of the truck and signalled he would follow her.

Jennie opened the door and jogged down to the creek. She slipped out of her jeans and top and after a moment's hesitation her lacy bra and panties joined her outer clothes, on the flat rock at the side of the creek. The truck door clicked shut. She ran to the water's edge and jumped in. Parts of the creek were deep and dangerous, but here the water was relatively shallow and perfectly safe. She swam up and down enjoying the caress of the cool water on her naked body. Jared appeared. He stood at the side of the creek and removed his boots and socks. He turned away, undid his jeans and stepped out of them, pulled his shirt over his head and walked to the water's edge. Jared's body was fit, ripped abs and long muscular legs sculptured by the long hours of ranch work. Jennie ducked under the water, flustered. She surfaced and looked for Jared in the creek, he wasn't there. She swam to the edge, his clothes were gone. The slam of the truck's heavy door and the roar of the engine coincided with the knots building in her stomach, something was wrong and if she didn't hurry he would leave without her.

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