Chapter 3

Sam reined Ace up when the turned into Three Ponies, and dodged a football coming from the pasture. Nate, Bryan, Quinn and Jake were having a game of football as they did most days after school; Sam dismounted from Ace and threw the football to Jake who caught it and continued playing.

'Hey Samsy' Quinn shouted, Jake chucked the ball to him as he shouted to her and ended up being tackled by Nate.

'Nate get off, you're gaining weight' Quinn puffed.

'Maybe you don't want Jo to see you with a black eye' Sam said and tied Ace up and went to sit on a fence post near the boys.

'Jo?' Nate and Bryan asked; Nate grabbed his shirt next to Sam and put it on; he chucked the other to Bryan.

'A friend from school' Sam said, she jumped of the fence post and grabbed Jake's hat off the one of the posts she ran for Ace, knowing that Jake was right behind her she launched into her saddle and wheeled Ace towards the range.

Jake ran and got Witch while his brothers grabbed their horses, they were all cleared out within 5 minutes chasing after Sam. Jake was hunched as low as he could over his saddle horn; Sam still had a lead and was flapping his hat against Ace to make him go faster.

'I'm going to catch you Sam' Jake yelled, he saw that Ace was tiring and Witch started gaining, Sam swung Ace around and galloped back towards three ponies. She pulled Ace up in Quarter Horse fashion when she saw Jo, Jake stoped just in front of Jo and the rest of the Ely's slowed to a walk where Sam was.

'Hey Jo' Quinn called, he swung off Chip and walked towards Jo opening his arms up wide.

'It's Quinn right' Jo said raising her eyebrows, the rest of the Ely's and Sam laughed Quinn huffed and got back on Chip.

'Nate, Bryan this is Jo, Jo this is Nate and Bryan. The other person is a prick called Jake that nobody will talk to' Sam introduced, ignoring the expression on Jake's face. Sam looked at Jo she looked so different from what she looked at school that day, her hair was in a messy base neck pony tail. She had on Black jeans that were torn at the knees and red flannel shirt tied at her waist and a black tank top.

'Nate, Bryan, Prick' Jo said and nodded towards the Ely's, she grabbed her black Stetson looking hat off the fence she was working on and swung up on her horse.

'Well people with Sam who wants lunch?' Jo took a swig of water from her canteen hanging on her saddle.

'I'm in' Bryan and Nate said at the same time, Jake nodded and Quinn was already head towards the old house. The rest followed Quinn but Jo soon overtook him leading them to a hedge with three square pen type corrals, she dismounted and took off her horse's saddle and slipped her bit.

'Come on guys' Jo said she put the tack on top of the railing and climbed over, the others were behind her. She led them around the car shed to the front of the house; the Ely's stopped dead in their tracks they all looked at the new house in amazement.

'Do you want food or would you rather stare at stones all day?' Jo asked and walked into the house, the Ely's and Sam followed behind her. Jo led them into the kitchen where there was an assortment of food made for twelve or more people.

'Help yourselves' Jo said she went to the fridge and grabbed drinks, Quinn grabbed a plate from another bench and started piling it with food.

'How can you eat that much?' Jo asked when she turned around all of the Elys' had a plate nearly half a metre high full of food, she immediately went green.

'There pigs just ignore them' Sam said she had reasonable sized amount of food on her plate, and was sitting crossed leg on one of the high stools in the big kitchen.

'Right' Jo said she grabbed a plate and barely put anything on it. 'I need some help in a week, my father has sent in all our stud cattle and horses over from Australia plus our new ones and we need to send almost all of them into the range' Jo asked she sunk onto a stool near Nate.

'I'm up for it we have to go and check our stock in a few weeks' Nate said looking at Jo he flashed her a quick smile.

'Thanks. Anyone else?'

'Exactly how many head are we talking about here?' Bryan asked.

'A thousand will stay here and err… three thousand will go out onto the range' Jo stammered looking down. Quinn choked on is food.

'You want to muster three thousand head?' he spluttered.

'Yea' she grinned sheepishly.

'Don't we have the round up not this week but next week?' Sam asked, trying to remember the dates.

'Yea its term break in two weeks we can do it then, cause all of the ranches have to move their cattle out to the range for summer' Quinn answered dumbly trying to impress Jo.

'Right' Jo clicked at the 't' and looked down; they were all interrupted by the shrill ring of Jo's phone. She ran to grab it and when she did, she kept sliding.

'Freedom Ranch' Jo said grabbing the door to stop going any further.

'You always do this!' Jo yelled.

'No you listen!' Sam looked at Quinn and quirked her eyebrow, she mouthed 'any idea?'

He shook his head, 'I don't care, go bother your boyfriend!' Jo screamed and hung up the phone. 'Don't ask' she pleaded.

They nodded, Jo sighed and looked at the time on the clock. 'I have something to do, finish up the food and wander out whenever' she said and stormed out of the kitchen, a few minutes later they heard the distinct sound of a Chevy start up.

'She must be mad' Sam's voice broke the quietness that had settled over the Freedom Ranch Kitchen.

Quinn stood up and walked out of the kitchen.

'What are you doing Quinn?' Sam yelled.

'Looking around' he answered, Sam groaned. 'Who's the guy?' his voice came from the living room.

'Describe' she called back.

'Tall, same colour hair as Jo maybe a bit lighter, short cut possibly shaved' he answered her call.

'That's Jase' she finally answered his question.

'Looks like some competition' Bryan commented, he wasn't interested in Jo surprisingly. For one he didn't want to be jailbait and two his girlfriend would kill him, yes Bryan Ely has a girlfriend.

'Don't you like her?' Quinn shouted, he had moved further into the house.

'Bro I don't want to be jail bait' he shouted back.

'Someone better go after him he's going to get into trouble on his own' Nate commented and sighed as Jake, Sam and Bryan looked at him. 'Fine' he said as he got up, he walked out.

'He sounds "unhappy"' Sam commented.

'That's cause he only wants to go into Jo's room' Bryan smirked.

'Bryan' Sam groaned, now knowing what Nate was thinking when he met Jo.

'I'm going to stop them going crazy' Sam stood up and walked towards the living room. 'Quinn, Nate' she called, neither of them could be seen.

'Marco' she yelled, her polo's were returned, one upstairs the other further into the house.

'Oh god' Sam mumbled, 'Get back here now!' she yelled, Nate came down the stairs.

'Why? Hey I found bank statements' Quinn called, he whistled. 'Whoa, loaded much' he commented.

'Quinn' Bryan yelled at his younger brother

'Fine!' he muttered and came back into the living room, he had his arms crossed like a two year old.

'You sound and look like Rachel' Nate commented, Sam snorted.

88

A chapter done, sorry for the forever-long update! Somehow, I've forgotten about my phantom stallion fanfictions lol sorry! Enjoy!