~Innocence Lost ~
By Mindy Beazer
Two weeks later her vision blurred by tears her heart broken Katie hopped up into the driver’s seat of a ranch pick up. She was leaving. Nico had turned out to be a total bastard! They had had a huge fight over the fact that he wanted to share her with his bodyguard. Clearly she was just a slut to him to be used however he wanted. Well screw him she was out of here. She would find a way to survive on her own. She had her paycheck from the ranch. Thankfully the ranch paid their employees well. Starting the pickup she tore out of the barnyard.
Will looked up as a ranch pickup sped by him with Katie in the driver’s seat. What the hell was that girl doing? She wasn’t authorized to take ranch rigs off the ranch. Before he could move a second pick up sped by with Nico at the wheel. Dammit had that boy done something to that girl. Will knew Nico hadn’t given up on his pursuit of Katie. Hopefully the girl hadn’t fallen for his advances like every other girl. Stalking toward his pick up Will raced down the road after them.
“Two fucking weeks and still no word on Katie? How is that possible? She couldn’t have just disappeared off the face of the earth.” Dimitry ranted from the back seat of his limo on the way back to the ranch.
“Maybe she’s an alien?” Leonid replied only to receive a deadly glare from Dimitry.
“She’s not an Alien for fucks sake!” Dimitry nearly shouted. He was exhausted having not slept in days. Where could Katie be? Her picture was all over the news. Why hadn’t anyone called bout her yet. He was offering a reward for information. She didn’t have any money so someone must be helping her hide but who? Was her family playing him? Did they know where she was at? We’re they helping her hide from him?
“Fuck look out!!” Leonid yelled as they were nearly struck by a pickup pulling onto the highway from the ranch entrance. The pickup swerved rolling into the ditch beside the road.
“What the hell?” Dimitry muttered. As they stepped out of the Limo.
“Sorry boss, she came out of no where.” His driver told him.
“Katie!!” The horrified cry of his brother Nico racing toward the ditch froze him in his tracks. No it couldn’t be her. How would she have gotten on the ranch and then nearly collided with them in a ranch pickup.
“Boss it’s Katie!” She’s unconscious in the driver seat.” Leonid told him as he returned to Dimitry’s side.
“Fuck, how the hell is that possible.” Dimitry asked as he ran toward the pickup. His brother was trying to wrench the door open to get to Katie. Shoving Nico aside he yanked on the door as well. He could see Katie lying unconscious over the steering wheel.
“What the hell Dimitry!” Nico stumbled to his feet having been knocked over by his older brother.
“Call an ambulance Leonid!” Dimitry ordered as he stared at the blood dripping from a gash in her forehead.
“We’ve got to get her out of there! She’s pregnant!” Nico yelled surprising Dimitry by the panic he heard and saw in his brother’s face. Clearly his brother was aware of who she was.
“How the hell do you know her? And what’s she doing in a ranch rig?” He asked getting into his brother’s face.
“She’s a ranch employee.” Will said as he pushed his way between them with a worried frown as he stared in at Katie.
“What?” Dimitry hollered.
“You knocked up a ranch employee your Father’s going to kill you!” Leonid grinned.
“Fuck off!” Dimitry replied.
“Wait! You’re the guy that got her pregnant and dumped her.” Nico asked. Before decking his big brother. His brother had knocked her up! Dammit all to hell he would kill Dimitry. She was just a kid!!
“She’s pregnant.” Will muttered. “Is this your doing? I told you to keep your hands off that girl.”
“Don’t look at me! He’s the Father!” Nico waved a arm at Dimitry who was rubbing his aching jaw. He couldn’t believe that Nico had hit him. What the hell was going on.
“How long has she been working on the ranch.” Dimitry asked relieved to hear the sirens of an approaching ambulance. His guards were working to pry the doors of the rig open.
“Couple weeks. What does he mean you’re the father?” Will asked in confusion.
“That’s not possible.” Dimitry told him.
“How can you be the father she spends every second with him.” Will was still stuck back on the fact that Dimitry had gotten Katie pregnant.
“What?” Dimitry glared at his brother who glared back at him angrily. What the hell was going on??
“How is she?” Nico asked as he flipped through a magazine in the hospital waiting area..
“The Doctor’s examining her?” Dmitry commented. “We need to talk? How long have you known Katie was at the ranch?”
“Since the day she arrived two weeks ago.” Nico answered truthfully. There was no point in lying to his brother.
“Why didn’t you tell me she was on the ranch?”
“I didn’t know you were looking for her?” Nico replied.
“It’s been all over the news!” Dimitry retorted with a snort of disbelief.
“Yeah that her family is looking for her not you. I didn’t even know you were looking for her.” He replied.
“That’s absurd you can’t expect me to believe that bullshit. We live in the same house my search for her is all anyone is talking about.” Dimitry told him with cold fury.
“I haven’t been around the house. I’m grounded so I’ve been working down at the stables as part of my punishment. Haven’t you noticed I haven’t been at the dinner or breakfast table in a while?” Nico pointed out.
“Don’t give me that. I’m sure Dad told you all about it.”
“No I didn’t. I haven’t seen him since I grounded him two weeks ago.” Sergie told them as he entered the waiting room. “Now Nico I want you to tell me everything you know about Katie and where she’s been hiding.
“I met her two weeks ago down by the stables. She’s the reason you grounded me after Will caught me coming onto her. I started working down at the stables to keep and eye on her. I knew something was off about her as I checked employment records at the ranch and discovered she wasn’t an actual employee. I confronted her and she admitted she was pregnant and hiding from her family. So I helped her hide at the ranch. I got rid of ranch newspapers and cut the cable to stables and out buildings so Will, and the hands wouldn’t find out she’s a runaway. I let her hide out in the Marsh house that’s currently empty.” He told his Dad honestly leaving out the sex part.
“Christ Dimitry you sure know how to pick them.” Sergei muttered shaking his head.
“Why wouldn’t she tell me she was on the ranch?” Dimitry asked ignoring his Father’s comment.
“I don’t know she wouldn’t even tell me who the Father was. I had no idea she even knew you! I would have told you if I knew you were looking for her.” Nico was beginning to feel desperate as the weight of his mistake settled on his shoulders. “All she said was that the Father of her baby dumped her for someone else. So why did you dump her? Don’t you want the baby?”
“I didn’t dump her! Christ where does she get these ideas.”
“Are you going to marry her?” Nikolay wondered aloud.
“Nico let’s go get something to eat.” Sergei said rising to his feet.
“What about Katie? Don’t you want to wait and hear what the Doctor has to say.” Nico complained not wanting to leave without knowing if Katie would be alright. Besides he wanted a word with her. She had gotten him into a ton of shit!
“Katie has….” He trailed off at the look on his Dad’s face. Yup he was in deep shit!
“I expect you to call me as soon as you hear something, or suffer the consequences.” Sergei warned Dimitry before turning to leave with Nico.
“You’re Dad’s going to be pissed when he finds out you’re moving her to the ranch..” Leonid cautioned him.
“I know but he’s left me with no other choice. He’s supporting her mother.” Dmitry snapped.
“He’s trying to do what’s right.” Leonid commented.
“Killing my child is the right thing?” Dmitry glared at Leonid his fists clenching.
“You’re Dad is looking at the big picture Boss. He thinks she’s too young to be a wife and mother.”
“And you agree?” Dmitry grumbled. Christ! His own men were turning on him.
“I didn’t say that.” Leonid shrugged. “She clearly loves and wants to be with you, it’s there in her eyes whenever she looks at you. But you need to start doing what’s right for her and hiding her away from her family isn’t right. She’s scared to death and has run twice now. She needs stability and security, or your going to lose them both.” Leonid wasn’t one for words he rarely spoke but it was his job to protect Dmitry even from himself.
“Christ! Now my own employees are lecturing me.” Dmitry muttered shaking his head. “Go get her family and bring them to the ranch. It’s time to settle things.” Dmitry told him after a moment. Leonid nodded and left the to round up the men.
“Go get her family and bring them to the ranch. It’s time to settle things.” Dmitry told him after a moment. Leonid nodded and left the waiting room to round up the men.
Sergei was in the library flipping through files as he tried to concentrate a difficult task. He was worried about Dima. Losing Katie was going to hurt him bad, but Dmitry clearly wasn’t going to budge on the issue. Hurting one of his brother’s was completely against Dmitry’s nature. He had always protected Dima and Nikolay. Sergei was well aware that Dmitry was in the habit of taking the heat for his brother’s mistakes. His oldest son had a strong protective streak. And now it appeared that protective streak had been extended to Katie. Dmitry would be a good father he knew but he had doubts about Dmitry being a good husband. There was very little gentleness in Dmitry and his bitterness toward women worried him.
“Boss.” Dino greeted as he entered the library.
“Any word on Katie?” Sergei asked setting aside the file in his hand.
“She upstairs in Dmitry’s room.” Dino answered.
“What?” Sergei asked. “That’s impossible I was just up there.”
“She’s there. Arthur escorted a the medical crew up to Dimitry’s room about thirty minutes ago..” Dino reported.
“Damn him he lied to me again!” Sergei ranted rising from his chair. He stormed out of the room and upstairs to his son’s apartment. Entering the living room he headed for the stairs leading up to his son’s bedroom. He found Dmitry talking to the Doctor beside his bed where sure enough Katie lay sleeping.
“Dad!” Dmitry groaned his father looked furious.
“So you lied to me again.” Sergei confronted his son his fists clenching.
“You didn’t leave me much choice.” Dmitry commented.
“How’s that?” Sergei questioned his face darkening.
“You chose to stand against me in this.” Dmitry answered facing his father squarely.
“Dmitry I’m trying to do the right thing for this girl. You had no right to take advantage of her. It’s not fair to expect her to give up her childhood to become a wife and mother. If you really care for this girl you’ll do what’s right for her.” Sergei admonished.
“I am doing what’s right by her. She wants the baby, I gave her the option of taking the morning after pill when I realized she might be pregnant. She not only refused the pill she ran off to keep me from forcing her to take the pill. She wants this baby! And I’m not going to force an abortion on her to suit her mother’s vengeful agenda.” He replied angrily.
“Even if what you say is true you still have to return her to her family.” Sergei stated.
“I sent Leonid and the boys out to fetch her family. They should be here soon.” He replied.
“They’re coming here? Have you lost your mind? Her Mom will have you arrested for kidnapping for sure.” He said as he pulled his phone out. “Dino, have Arthur prepare a guest room for Miss Anderson. Send up a gurney from the med room.” He ordered when Dino answered.
“Dad she’s not going anywhere.” Dmitry told him placing himself between Katie and his father.
“The hell’s she’s not! Use your damn head if her Mom finds her in here it will be all over for all of us.” Sergei said.
“Fine, I’ll carry her to one of the guest rooms.” Dmitry muttered. Maybe his Dad had a point. He needed her mother’s cooperation, and pissing her off further wouldn’t help.
Dmitry stayed in Katie’s room seeing to her comfort. Katie was still drifting in an out of sleep, hardly aware of her surroundings. Dmitry was seated in a chair by her bed, holding her hand. “Katie, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for my actions to scare you.” Dmitry told her quietly. “I was trying to protect you not get rid of you.” Dmitry explained. He wasn’t even sure if she could hear him. Her eyes opened slowly and she looked at him still to out of it to fully comprehend what he was saying. She had suffered a bad head injury in the wreck. He looked so worried, Katie thought studying him. Where am I, she wondered?
“Where am I?” Katie asked weakly in confusion. She was finding it difficult to keep her eyes open.
“You’re in a guestroom on the ranch.” Dmitry answered.
“How did I get here?” Katie asked trying to stay awake. She couldn’t seem to clear her head enough to figure anything out.
“I carried you here from my room. It’s not important right now. You’re safe here.” Dmitry answered afraid of causing her more undo stress. He would answer her questions in time. Katie seemed to accept his answer. Her eyes closed and she drifted into a deep slumber. Dmitry leaned over Katie to place a gentle kiss on her brow, before reluctantly leaving the room.
Tune in for the ongoing saga in the next issue of the newsletter.
Email email@example.com with any questions or comments.