Chapter Five

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Zachary pulled the reins up sharply and motioned across the hills.

"Smoke coming from the direction of the house!" he yelled. Tim grabbed the lead lines, for the two new mares they'd caught, from Zachary.

"Go on and make sure she's okay. I've got the horses." Zachary urged his horse as fast as it could go. His mind was racing faster than the scenery. What if something had happened at the house? Samantha was the first person to make him happy in years. She made him smile and imagine a possibility for a future.  He couldn't lose her!

As he neared the ranch he saw that the smoke wasn't coming from the house but from a pile of ash in the yard. What in the world would she have been burning.

"Samantha!" he yelled, "Where are you?" His voice and the fear that was in his voice reached Samantha's ears down at the river.

"Zachary, what's wrong? I'm down at the river." she shouted back. Zachary jumped from his horse and ran down to the edge of the river.

Relief flowed through him when he saw her standing on the bank safe but it was quickly replaced by a raging desire.

Her long red hair was soaked and laying over her shoulders. Her white underclothes were wet, see through and plastered to her body. Every curve of her luscious breasts and hips were visible. Her nipples were hard and jutting through the fabric and her womanhood was dark and seemed to be calling him.

Samantha saw the look in his eyes and knew enough to know what it meant. Her breath caught in her throat as he quickly walked toward her taking her in his arms and kissing her passionately. Possessively.

She pressed her wet body long against his. His hardness was clearly evident through her wet underclothes.

He ran his hands down her back gripping her ample bottom and pulling her into him. He pulled his lips away from hers quickly and cupped her face in his hands.

"We can't do this here. Tim will be here any minute." he said his voice was gruff and deep and Samantha was finally beginning to understand what that meant and she smiled.

"My dress is over there." she managed to say after a moment. Zachary nodded and picked up her dress.

"This thing is filthy." he said eyeing the dirt, grime and … was that blood?

"Did you hurt yourself today?" he demanded looking her up and down again but this time it was to check for injuries.

"No. Why?"

"This blood." Zachary said pointing at the dress. "Where did it come from?" Samantha looked away from his eyes and kicked at a rock with her toe.

"The house was pretty dirty." she replied. Zachary thought for a moment and then his eyes widened in horror.

"And the things you burnt?"

"Some bedspreads and mattresses that I couldn't get clean." Zachary closed his eyes and ran his hands over his face.

"I'm so sorry Samantha. I didn't realize the house was still like that. I paid Judith Channing to have the church pitch in and clean it but I guess when I left and didn't come back nobody bothered." he hugged her tight. "I never would have sent you in there. Are you okay?" she nodded.

"I'm just glad that you didn't go in there." she replied. They stood there holding each other a moment and then Zachary slowly pulled away.

"Well I can't let you wear this one back to town. You can change into one of my mothers old dresses. They should fit you."

The two of them walked back up toward the house. Tim came up and met them on their way still leading the two mares. He stopped suddenly when he saw Samantha and her soaking wet, see through under clothes. Zachary quickly stepped in front of Samantha, blocking Tim's view.

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