A landscape of heat waves shimmering off fields of dried withered hay. Slow moving cattle clustered near the shrinking pond or stream. A lone rancher leaning against a weathered barn.
These images were ones I’ve seen on several occasions while driving along Texas back roads. As a writer, I always have a notebook in my purse and jot down striking visuals or descriptions. When I moved away from Texas in mid-2012, the state was in the midst of a bad drought—not the first one experienced in the twelve years I claimed a San Antonio address. The Sunday newspaper ran series of articles relaying information on how hard drought hits the farms and ranches in its path.
When I saw the guidelines for intense short erotic stories for The Edge series, all those images tumbled through my mind and I had my plot. I remembered the languor of the cattle and had talked with enough long-time residents to know the person who was responsible for those animals would give a lot to keep them alive. Especially if their survival is tied to the viability of her ranch.
Enter Trixy. A stubborn widow clinging to the hope she can keep her ranch alive by sheer determination finally has to admit she needs help. Her cattle are on the verge of dying of thirst and she has to barter for water rights. Unfortunately, she has history with her neighbor, Garth, the logical person to turn to for this water. His agreement doesn’t come easy and, with a thrill, Trixy realizes she wouldn’t have things any other way.
I’m giving away a free download of the story to one lucky person who friends my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/#!/layla.chase.52) and leaves a comment with their email. Winner to be announced on Sunday, February 3. My hope is you have as much enjoyment reading Setting Boundaries as I had writing it.