When Anya reluctantly agrees to a year on her family’s ranch, a rite of passage for all who are born into the great Brandywine Empire, she expects to be met by a driver in a limousine but instead sees a pickup truck covered with dried mud. As she is helped into the dirty vehicle that smells of manure, she silently curses her father for imposing such hardship upon her, but one look at the sexy cowboy whose hands are on the wheel of the aromatic vehicle and Anya decides that a year away from the arrogant moneyed men of her world may not be so bad.
The first morning on the ranch Anya was awakened at five in the morning, which was in stark contrast to her usual ten in the morning awakening followed by a leisurely brunch at the Brandywine Country Club. She looked at Dylan through half opened eyes. “Are you crazy?”
“Nope. I will see you outside in ten minutes.”
Anya placed her feet on the cold floor. “It’s dark outside,” she whined, but Dylan was already gone. She thought about pulling the covers over her head and ignoring him, but she didn’t want to be sent back home, so she forced her cold body to move. Dylan was in the barn, well into the morning chores, when Anya caught up with him. After an hour of following Dylan around, she yawned and asked sleepily, “When’s breakfast?” She was starving and it seemed as if she had been awake for a full day already.
“Breakfast is at seven and not before”, was the answer muttered by Dylan.
When Dylan brought her a plate filled with steak and eggs, hash browns and toast, accompanied with a steaming cup of coffee, she turned up her nose at him. “Do you have any idea how many calories are in that?” She pushed it away and asked for her usual… fresh fruit and yogurt.
Dylan leaned across the table until they were nearly nose to nose. “I would rethink that, Anya. Got a busy day ahead of us.”
Anya met him stare for stare but decided she should eat a little of the high calorie meal. She pushed the potatoes around some and poked at the steak, ate the whites from around the fried eggs, and gulped the coffee. They ate in silence, but Anya could hear the unmistakable sounds of meat being chewed and the gooey yolk of an egg being sopped up by a burnt piece of toast and she thought she was going to gag.
Anya thought Dylan was joking when he said they had more chores to do, but she went with him. By noon she felt as if she had been up for two days straight and she thought of the leisurely afternoons spent by the pool of the Brandywine Estate.
“Lookin’ tired there, girlie,” Dylan quipped.
Determined not to let the sexy cowboy get the better of her, Anya tried to act tough and assured him that she was fine. With the noon sun overhead casting its hot sultry rays down upon both of them, Anya didn’t feel so well, but she would rather die where she stood than admit to Dylan that she couldn’t keep up.