Ch. 1

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I hear the purr of an engine coming up the driveway as I'm washing Duke; my two year old black lab. Actually, he's not all mine, I have to share him with my three older brothers. I try to restrain Duke from running over to the person in the Land-Rover.

    I watch as Paxton West exits and turns to me. What the hell is he doing here? He looks out of place in his grey Italian suit standing in front of our modest ranch style home. I wait for him to turn around but he stares at me until my father comes out from the house. Weird. I start rubbing the shampoo into Duke's fur. Why would my father have to meet with that man?

Paxton West is known to be a ruthless businessman at the young age of 29, that's six years older than me, it's impressive. The talk around town is that he takes what he wants and doesn't have much regard for anyone or anything. Handsome and rich; he's the most sought after man in the county, hell, probably the state. I know most of the women in town swoon over him. I get it, he's good looking and wealthy but his steel grey eyes are ice cold. I don't get how women find that attractive. He looks like he's always plotting or planning to destroying something or someone, likely both.

I finish washing Duke and towel dry him. I hold on to him until we get into the house; I know if I let him go he'll roll in the dirt. I release his collar and walk to the back of the house into the kitchen. I smell my mother's chilli shimmering on the stove and my stomach growls.

"Need help?" I ask, going to the refrigerator pulling out a coke.

"Nope it's all set now. Just waiting on the cornbread."

"Where are the boys?"

"Trevor and Brent are with your father and Mr. West in the study." She states, annoyed with my questions.

Trevor, Brent and I still live at home and help with the farm. Liam lives with his wife Ashley in a house on the property, but a few miles down the lane. Liam never had any interest in farming. He got his degree in accounting and went to work at a law firm outside of town. Trevor will be the next to move out. He started building his house on the property my father owns as well. It's almost complete but Trevor is a perfectionist, the wood work alone took him months. After the floors are strained and walls painted, he'll be gone.

"You need to change, Addie. You're as wet as Duke and you smell like him too." I roll my eyes.

    My mother and I couldn't be further apart, in looks and personality. My brothers were lucky enough to look like her; auburn hair that shines, deep brown eyes and an olive complexion that I'd kill for. She's really is gorgeous. I, of course, would get all my traits from my father; golden hair, blue eyes, and skin so light I burn to a crisp if I'm not careful. Everyone makes fun of the fact that all my brothers look like my beautiful mother, but me, the last born, looks like a dead ringer for my manly father. I don't mind too much though, I'm used to it.

I walk out of the kitchen and head to my room. Passing my father's study I hear arguing and something slam on the desk. I'm about to go in when I hear Trevor yell, "You have to give us more time! We can get you the money; we just can't lose the farm, it's all we have!" I back away from the door in shock. Lose the farm. Where would we go? Why didn't they tell me about this? I'm a part of this family too; this farm is as much my life as it is their's! Pissed off, I enter the room without knocking and everyone turns to me.

"What the hell is going on in here?" I question the four men in the room.

    I don't care who answers me. I glance at my father who looks down at his desk. I look to Trevor and Brent and they are both studying their boots. I chose to ignore the man about to make me is homeless and glare at my father.

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