Cody CampbellCody Campbell

There isn’t a damn thing I don’t know about running a ranch. We might not have electricity yet, but we’ve lived without it this long, I don’t see how it can change our lives like they claim. I told my crew to tear down the line that runs between our acreage and the V-Bar–no one’s lived there for years–and start herding the bulls there to summer. Turns out some snooty eastern woman shows up claiming to own the place. I know that dad had finalized the deal with Edward Vickerson. It should be a done thing. So why is Edward’s daughter out here thinking she can fix the place up and sell it? If she thinks she can sell something that isn’t hers, she doesn’t know a damn thing about me.  I’d love to go over there and throttle her, but every time I get close to Elise, I want to protect her from anything that might hurt her. Something tells me she’s been hurt before.

 

 

 

 

Photo copyright Erkki MakkonenElise Vickerson

I had to leave Virginia. If I were to stay, Jonathan would eventually have killed me. I’ve been close to death at his hands on more than one occasion, and it pained me to call him husband. Daniel, whom I love like a father, escorted me to Wyoming. I spent most of my childhood here, and I knew I’d be safe at the V-Bar, it is quite isolated.  As soon as I make the necessary repairs to the homestead, I will be able to start a new life.  I’m not afraid of hard work, but the chores on a Wyoming ranch are quite different from keeping house in Virginia. I can do it. I have to. If only the owner of the neighboring ranch didn’t insist that my father had already pledged the property before his death. I don’t have time to decipher that when there is so much work to be done.  It would certainly be easier to focus on my goal if Cody Campbell hadn’t crawled under my skin and invaded my dreams. Nothing can come of such infatuation. I’m married, after all.

Portrait by Erkki Makkonen. Click to go to the photographer’s website.

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