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Raised by her grandparents after her mother and father are killed in an automobile accident, Julie Fallon returns to the ranch she was born on. Fed up with city life and a job that requires too much travel, she returns to the ranch where her grandfather is now all alone.
When she arrives, she is stunned to discover her grandfather expects her to marry the owner of the neighboring ranch, Seth Berrett, who has been helping Gramps with running his ranch. In fact, marrying Seth is the only way she’ll inherit the ranch. The ranch she feels is her birthright and should be hers without having to marry anyone.
Thrown together with Seth in back to back blizzards, Julie loses her grandfather when he succumbs to his illness and learns she has only thirty days to marry Seth or the ranch will be put up for sale.
To add insult to injury, Seth isn’t just your ordinary cowboy. No, he’s the kind of cowboy who’s made it his mission to paddle her bottom whenever he thinks she needs it. Her grandfather’s will states they must be married for at least ten years or the ranch will be sold.
Should she just forget living on the ranch and go back to the job she’s grown to hate or can Julie resign herself to enduring a minimum of ten years of marriage to the spanking cowboy?
Warning: This story contains scenes involving adult spanking, and sexually explicit acts between consenting adults. All characters are adults. This book is not intended for minors under the age of eighteen. If you are or may be offended by such material, please don’t buy this book!
Julie drove down the desolate road and wondered if she’d missed the turn-off to her grandfather’s ranch. She had called him when she got to Flagstaff to verify the final directions but there had been no answer.
The email Gramps had sent said to stay on Interstate 40 and then take the Route 66 exit but stay heading north until it turned into Route 53. She did that and even made note of the highway sign verifying that she was on the right road. But Gramps didn’t say it was going to turn into a badly graded dirt road. He didn’t mention that there’d be virtually no landmarks to help guide her on her way. It’d been so long since she’d been here she had forgotten how rough the road was.
She picked up her cell phone from the passenger seat and saw the No Service at the top where the signal bars would normally be. The cell phone was useless out here. Checking her odometer she told herself to calm down. She hadn’t even driven the thirty-two miles Gramps said she had to go to get to the Fallon Ranch Road.
But the snow was worrisome. In Flagstaff it had been nothing more than a few pretty flakes falling softly and melting as soon as they touched the ground. On the Interstate it had been a little heavier, but still beautiful. Once she was on the state route road, the snow was coming down even more and she felt like she was in a winter wonderland. In fact, she had started singing ‘Let it Snow’ despite the fact that Christmas had been almost two months ago.
Now that her visibility had dropped to about fifty feet she began to worry if the snow would cover the road to the point where she couldn’t tell if she was still on it. What if she drove into the ditch that ran alongside the road? Looking out the passenger window she could see that the bottom of the fence line running along the road was just about even with where the window started. If she used that as a reference, and if the distance between the road and the fence was roughly the same along the entire road, she believed she’d be safe from driving into a ditch.
Glancing at the odometer again she saw there was only about a half mile to go before she reached the ranch road. What would normally take no longer than a minute to cover, now took five minutes with the snow coming down more heavily.
There it was! She put her blinker on out of habit and slowly made the turn. She silently thanked Gramps for putting up the barb-wire fence along the road. Without it she’d have had no idea where the road was under the snow. The house was three miles down after making the turn. Moving along at five miles an hour, she calculated it would take her a little more than a half hour to get there.
This road was even worse than the one she’d just turned off of and she wished the snow could have held off for just a little longer. Her hands gripped the steering wheel as she strained to see where she was going. The music on her satellite radio was driving her crazy and she looked away from the road for a split second to turn her sound system off.
That’s when her front passenger wheel found a protruding rock to run over. The clunk it made was loud and she wondered what it was, but the car kept going so she figured everything was all right. A few minutes later she started having trouble keeping the car on a straight path.
Something was clearly wrong. With no clue about what she might run into on the side of the road, she looked in her rear-view mirror and seeing no one behind her, she stopped where she was, figuring someone could still get around her. She reached into the back seat for her parka and wiggled into it, put on her mittens, and got out. Walking around the car, she looked at the ground and her tires. Everything seemed fine until she saw the flattened front passenger tire.
Having never had a flat before, she had no idea what to do. If she were back in the city, she would have called for road service. But out here her cell phone didn’t even work. Not to mention she was in the middle of nowhere and road service probably wouldn’t even come out here.
The temperature had dropped considerably since she’d left Flagstaff, and she made her way back inside the car where she turned the heater all the way up. Now what? She didn’t think she could walk three miles in this weather.
Opening the glove compartment, she pulled out her owner’s manual and looked up how to change a flat tire. She read through it three times and was pretty sure she could do it. Climbing over the back seat to the rear compartment of the small SUV, she piled her two suitcases and the box of other paraphernalia into the back seat. Then she opened the cover to the well where the spare tire and tools were located. She found the jack and the tire iron and figured out how they work by trying it while she read the directions. Better to figure it out in the warmth of the car than on the side of the road.
It was time to go out and loosen the lug bolts with the lug wrench. The manual said to loosen them before jacking up the car. Once that was done, she planned to get back in the car for a quick warm-up before attempting to use the jack.
Taking the 4-way lug wrench that Gramps had insisted she buy when she told him she had bought a new car, she went out into the snow again. Fitting the end that was painted black (another one of his ideas to keep from having to try all four ends) onto a lug bolt, she gripped the cross bar—now seeing what an ingenious device it was—and tugged. She tugged hard and nothing happened. She tugged again with all her might and nothing happened. Julie placed one foot on the left side of the cross bar, gripped the right side with both hands, and while putting her weight on her foot and tugging with her hands, it finally moved a fraction of an inch. Barely a fraction.
She did it again and it moved more. Her hands felt like blocks of ice and she ran to get in the warm car. Holding her hands to the heat blowing out of the vents, she waited until she wasn’t cold anymore and went out again. This time she loosened the remaining four lug bolts before having to get back in the car for another warm-up.
Julie read the directions again. She’d have to find the flat spot under the frame of the car to place the jack under, then start cranking it up with the tire iron.
What if I can’t do it? What if I do it wrong? She was more creative than mechanically inclined, but she could follow directions.
Stop thinking negative thoughts. You can do this. What do you think women did before road service was such a booming business?
Getting out once more, she quickly found the flat spot and positioned the jack. Slipping the tire iron into the crank, she began working it up and down and was relieved to see the tire slowly lifting off the ground. See there! You can do this!
When the tire had cleared the ground by an inch or so, she took the lug bolts completely off and put them in the pocket of her parka. Zipping the pocket for extra safe-keeping, she wiggled the tire off the wheel and ended up falling on her back in the snow with the tire on top of her chest.
She pushed the tire off and got up, brushing the snow off the seat of her pants. Unsure if it was safe to get in the car with one corner of it jacked up, she skipped getting warm again and went to get the spare tire from the rear. That’s when she realized she should have gotten the spare out of the vehicle before jacking it up. Oh well, too late now. I’m not gonna lower the jack and start over now that I have the flat tire off.
Lifting off the cover of the well, she reached in with both hands to grab the tire and lift it out. It didn’t budge. She tried again with the same results. Is this sucker bolted in or something?
She looked for a lock but found nothing. The tire moved within the well, she just couldn’t lift it. She had no idea tires were so heavy. The tire she took off the car didn’t seem that heavy.
That’s because you didn’t have to lift it. You just jerked it off the wheel and then it threw you to the ground.
Getting the tire iron, she wedged it as far under the tire as she could, and using it as a fulcrum, she leaned on it until the side of the tire was lifted enough so she could get a grip underneath it.
But as soon as she let go of her fulcrum, the tire sank back down into the well. She need something to wedge in there once she got the tire lifted. But what?
Looking around, she spotted the flashlight that was tucked into the side storage space of the cargo area. Leaning on the tire iron once more, when the tire was up, she forced the flashlight under it. It worked! She could just get her hands under the tire now.
But the damn thing was even heavier than she thought previously. She managed to finally push it up and out of the well. Then she had to crawl into the vehicle to push it out onto the ground, hoping the jack would hold while she climbed in.
Exhausted, she scrambled out, stood the tire upright and rolled it to the front. Now she had to get it up and positioned so the bolts on the wheel went through the holes in the middle of the tire.
She tried to eyeball it and line up everything so when she lifted the damn thing it would all line up with no problem. Squatting down, she wrapped her arms around each side of the tire and then lifted, using her legs so as not to hurt her back. The smooth fabric of her parka caused her arms to slide up and off while the tire remained on the ground.
She sighed mightily and tucked her freezing hands into her armpits while she looked around for a solution to this new problem. Maybe that fulcrum idea would work again. If she could use the tire iron to get the tire lifted just a bit, then she should be able to get her hands underneath it and lift it the rest of the way up. If she could get her frozen fingers to work.
Stomping around to warm up the best she could, she retrieved the tire iron from the cargo area and wiggled it underneath the tire. Keeping the tire balanced with her hands, she slowly stepped on the iron and the tire promptly rolled off.
She tried again and this time she managed to get her hands beneath the tire. Just as she started to lift by stepping further on the fulcrum, the tire fell into her, knocking her on her ass again.
“Goddamnit!” She shrieked into the wind.
Again, only this time the holes didn’t line up and the tire fell to the ground.
“Arrrrrhhhhhhggggg! Why is this happening to me?!”