A Forever Kind of Love(Kinds of Love Book 1)(2)

By: Krista Lakes

“The boys broke into Stone Mountain Ranch, ma'am.” The voice was authoritative and uncompromising.

“Grayson and Alexander did what?” Mia came to an immediate and abrupt halt. It was a good thing no one else was leaving the building yet, or she probably would have been hit by a car since she was standing in the middle of the road.

“They broke into Stone Mountain Ranch, ma'am,” the voice repeated. “The boys said the person to contact about this was you.”

“Have the police been contacted?” Mia asked as she started walking as quickly as possible toward her car. If she sped, she might be able to make it to the ranch before the police took the boys into custody. She thought about dropping her groceries and just running to the car.

“No ma'am,” the male voice replied. “We wanted to inform you first.”

Mia threw her groceries into the trunk without looking and slammed the door shut. “I'll be there in five minutes,” she promised. “If you could wait to contact the police until I get there, I would appreciate it.”

“Five minutes,” the voice repeated and then hung up.

Mia cursed and sent a plea out into the universe that there wouldn't be any speed traps on the ten-minute drive to the ranch. She was afraid the universe might put all red stoplights on her route just to spite the boys. It seemed like the universe didn't like them much recently.

She gunned the engine in her small car and flew like a bat out of hell from the grocery store parking lot. She didn't care that her eggs were squished up against the milk or that the pint of mint chocolate-chip ice cream she had treated herself to was going to melt. She was going to save those boys.

Luckily, all the cops seemed to be elsewhere as she flew up the winding road to Stone Mountain Ranch. Mia racked her brain trying to come up with a valid reason for Grayson and Alexander to be at the ranch. Stone Mountain Ranch was a local horse ranch in the small mountain town of Silver Springs with nothing particularly special about it. It was said to be owned by a billionaire, but that he was almost never there. It was more of a local rumor that a billionaire owned the place than an actual fact. Even the name of the supposed billionaire owner changed based on who was telling the story.

There was no good reason for the boys to be there. Grayson was seven and Alexander was eleven, so they couldn't be looking for work. They'd both been raised in the city with their older sister, Lily, and as far as Mia knew, neither of the boys had a reason to want to see horses. Lily maybe, but not the boys.

Mia stepped down harder on the gas pedal, needing to get to the ranch as quickly as possible. If the police were involved, it would be the end of the small family she had worked so hard to save. Lily and her brothers were on their last foster home. If anything happened, they were going to have to be broken up, and that was the last thing Mia wanted.

A girl was walking alongside the road as it turned to gravel from pavement. Mia slammed on the brakes and skidded slightly on the empty road to come to a stop next to the young woman.

“Lily?” Mia called out, rolling down her window.

Lily coughed and waved away some dust. Her shoulders sagged as she saw who it was. “Hi, Mia.”

“What are you doing out here?” Mia asked.

“Going for a walk?” Lily shrugged and offered a fake smile. “You know since I can't drive for another month?”

“Sure. That sounds almost reasonable.” Mia shook her head and gave the girl a hard stare. “Get in the car. I've got to pick up your brothers.”

Lily’s shoulders slumped further as she hurried to the passenger door and got into the car. She belted herself in and stared at her dusty tennis shoes saying nothing.

Mia just put the car back into gear and continued toward the ranch. One of the big horse barns was visible coming up over the hill. Mia was headed for the main house, though. She had been to the ranch once for a fundraiser, so she at least had some idea where she was going.

“Mia?” Lily bit her lip as dark hair fell across her furrowed brow. “How much trouble are Grayson and Alexander in?”

Mia kept her eyes on the road, looking for the sign that pointed to the main house. “I don't know. I'm hoping to beat the cops there, but I'm about thirty seconds late at this point.”