By C. E. Pereira
IT wasn’t a dream. He loved her. For two years she’d tried to forget about loving Byron. But her heart wouldn’t let her. When he left, she’d cried at nights feeling the rejection of love not returned. During the day it wasn’t so bad, she buried herself in her studies and helped Jack in the bookkeeping. But the nights were hard trying not to think of Byron’s rejection. But she had survived.
Feeling restless and uncertain why Byron was taking so long in the study with Jack, Tamara grab her jacket and hat and dashed out towards the corral. Saddling her gray gelding she took off at a fast gallop. Her horse sensing his mistress restlessness galloped like one with the wind.
Tamara rode till she could feel Gray Shadow slowing down. The gelding was tiring and needed to go at a slower pace or Jack will lecture her for pushing the horse beyond its limit.
Bringing Gray Shadow to a slow walk, Tamara realized she’s rode further than she should have. She’d almost reached the rear end of Double Creek Ranch near the steep cliff of Devil’s Face ridge.
As she turned Gray Shadow towards home, her horse spooked as she heard the sound of a rattlesnake. Too late, the gelding was already rearing up in fear. She tried to keep a firm grip on the reigns but soon found herself thrown off from the saddle backwards. Falling she felt her head hit against something, a flash of shearing pain and then blackness pulled her down.
Gray Shadow took off in fright at a fast gallop and didn’t stop till it reached the safety of the corral. Shivering and sweating, the gelding stood with its head hung down, exhausted. One of the ranch hands spotted Gray Shadow and rang the bell.
Jack and Byron heard the bell and ran out to investigate. Seeing Tamara’s gelding rider less sent a cold fear through Jack’s heart. Where was his sister?
Byron felt something trying to tear his heart out. No, he couldn’t lose Tamara now, not when he’d just dared to declare his love to her. His mind was racing on the events of the past two days.
Shouting orders to the ranch hands, Jack was busy saddling his horse. He told his manager to radio for the helicopter to stand by. Hearing Jack’s voice brought Byron back to the present. He saddled one of the horses while voicing out his suggestion on the possible place Tamara could be, judging by the condition of Gray Shadow.
Jack looked at him and agreed but there was dread in his voice. “Devil’s Face is treacherous. What if she got thrown off Gray Shadow and went flying over the cliff? There are rattle snakes up there and Gray Shadow could have been spooked.”
“JACK!” shouted Byron. “It doesn’t do us any good to speculate. Come on! Let’s ride out and search for Tamara.”
Go to Chapter 10