Chapter Three

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Zachary couldn't sleep at all that night. The thought of Samantha alone over in that saloon had him tossing and turning.

Thinking of her in that red corset with those beautiful ivory breasts all but hanging out. Those tight silk panties hugging her firm rear. Those long lean legs that seemed to never end….

He groaned and walked over to the nightstand, splashing his face with cold water. He looked at his reflection and sighed. He looked different than he had five years ago.

Hard trails, sleepless nights, getting shot and shooting back had taken their toll. He had a hard look about him. His left shoulder still pained him when it rained and the scar on it stood out pale and ugly against his tanned skin.

Five long years it had been since he had laughed or been happy. He had lost all his happiness when he had walked into the ranch house and found the body of his mother bloody, naked and mutilated in front of the oven. His father shot in the head still holding the pistol he had tried to use to defend his wife and daughters.

Up the stairs in the back bedroom he had found his three beautiful sisters bound, gagged and shot dead in their beds.

Their killer had left a paper on the kitchen table. Zachary had shown the sheriff the paper which was signed by Marshall Matthews. The sheriff had said he'd look into it but the drunk lazy man hadn't so Zachary had taken it into his own hands.

He had followed Marshall Matthews trail all over the country. He had hunted down and killed any man who worked for Marshall and he had been close to catching Marshall himself when he had taken a bullet. He had nearly died from the fever that had followed and when he had recovered Marshall's trail had disappeared.

Zachary had failed his family. He had no family and no hope of a future with the woman who was occupying his mind. The best thing for him to do would be to forget about Samantha and focus on getting the ranch up and running again. But as he laid back down on the bed and closed his eyes her face, her body,  was still there.

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Samantha walked out of the sun and into the general store. She let her eyes adjust to the darkness inside and walked to the fabrics on a dusty table in the back. She was flipping through the different patterns when Judith Channing, the preachers wife, walked up to her.

"Good morning, Samantha." she said with a tight smile.

"Good morning, Mrs. Channing." Samantha replied.

"How are you doing now that Hank and Sharron have left for the east?"

"I'm okay." Samantha replied feeling uncomfortable. Judith was known as being a spiteful, gossipy woman.

"I heard that dreadful new owner has given you a new job at the saloon." Samantha sighed. It was already out around the town that she was working as a whore.

"That's right." she replied. Judith gasped and covered her mouth with one hand while laying the other on Samantha's arm.

"My dear, I had hoped it was only an ugly rumor! My dear, don't you know that the Lord is watching you?" Judith exclaimed. Samantha didn't know how to respond.

"I um… uh.. I…" she stammered. Judith was about to say something else when they heard boots scraping on the wooden porch and a figure blocked the sunlight in the door.

Samantha couldn't hide the smile that lit up her face when she saw that it was Zachary. His eyes met hers but then he turned away without acknowledging her and walked up to the sleepy old store keep Thomas Whitaker. Samantha didn't have time to wonder about his avoidance because Judith was already talking.

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