top of page

Nona's Garden- Chapter 11

Hunting on the Farm

When we turned onto the small road that was the entrance to the farm’s land, we were immediately taken back in time… it was like its own early 1900’s small village. I noticed single homes, a playground, the tiniest post office I had ever seen, a church, and other buildings that weren’t marked. Another building was being built, it looked like it might be a school by the structure of it. As a backdrop to all the buildings, large amounts of land dotted with trees, surrounded the mini town. You could see various animals grazing and lounging in the distance, under the watchful eyes of diligent work dogs of different breeds. Horses, cows, chickens and hogs… we had entered another world. It was peaceful and quaint.

We continued our drive until we reached what you might call an intersection but with no stop signs or lights. A large building sitting at the center of it that read, General Store. Modelled after the look of what you think of as an old western saloon… it looked to be the center of the town, and probably where we should start.

Feeling buzzed, I had way more confidence than I should… this could turn out to be a mistake on my part. I had no idea who or what Mateo was, I just couldn’t stop myself from seeing this through now that I started it. Nikki beside me was trying her best to look normal but her usual serious look kept faltering… she almost looked relaxed. I wonder what kind of trouble we’re going to get into yet.

The SUV came to a stop in front of the store, “Driver, go fill up the tank and wait for us over in the parking lot… I’m not sure how long this will be.” Still deeply under my influence, he just smiled and nodded in confirmation.

We walked up the one stair to the porch and pushed the swinging doors open… inside was a very large space with a wraparound register that sat in the middle. We meandered around the edges of the store. Surrounding the center check-out station were walls lined with merchandise that they either made or sourced locally. It was now later in the afternoon and there were a few people shopping. Along the right-side wall, a large opening broke up the shelving, it led to a small casual restaurant… the sign saying the food served here came from the farm and to seat yourself. Hmmm…. definitely not what I’d expected.

“Is this a farm or a town?” Nikki whispered next to me, sticking her head into the restaurant to check out the space.

“Both maybe?” I said in admiration… “Reminds me of days I thought had long passed.”

“Can I help you ladies?” A cheerful associate said from behind the counter… he looked to be in his late teens. “You look lost.”

I walked toward the counter, to get closer to the boy, and noticed the man standing next to him… seeing him more clearly now- he was the older man from the farmer’s market. He was Will’s father, so that would make him Mateo’s father… they must have different mothers then. This man looked intelligent and sturdy… like he was capable of running this whole farm himself and did so for many years, until age kicked in. Lee Jung-Jae, but his friends just called him Jae- even if I couldn’t read him, his name tag gave me that much… he seems to have a good soul. Why can’t I read your son so easily Mr. Lee?

I gave, what I hoped, was a bright smile and not a creepy one… his smile faltered a bit so it might have been on the creepier side. “Yes.” I glanced at Jae briefly then back to the boy, “I’m looking for a Mateo Lee?” For some reason it felt wrong to just make these men do as I said, so I was asking the hard way… letting them answer the way they saw fit. I saw the questioned look from Nikki out of the corner of my eye. I know, I know… shut up.

“Kian has two beautiful women asking about him?? What is it, Tuesday?” A bored looking blond holding a serving tray walked past us as she threw her two cents in. “Stand in line girls…” The woman had on a heavy set of false lashes and weave that almost hit her butt… her name tag read Tattie. From her memories you could tell that even though she gave off a bored front, she was anything but. She was jealous… jealous because she’s tried ‘hooking up’ with Mateo a few times and has been rejected each time. She still has hope though… strong hope.

I felt Nikki’s hand slide into mine… I looked down to see she was covering the sight of my claws that had come out. I didn’t even notice the change; they barely did that these days. Ignoring the human is probably best... or this innocent would find herself in my trunk, on her way to my garden.

I turned back to the boy, “Do you know where he is?”

“K… Kian? That is, Mateo? He doesn’t like to be bothered while he’s working Ma’am.” The youth looked scared to say this. Probably sensing I had gone hostile in a matter of seconds.

“Is that so?” Even more reason to bother him, I thought… “No problem then.” I said tightly… I’ll find him myself. I turned to leave but before I did, I saw the look on Jae’s face… he was staring at me like he couldn’t understand something. I softened a little and smiled, this time a normal smile and walked out the door. This man had the gift of sight… he knew I wasn’t the usual female looking for his attractive son.

“Let’s split up!” Nikki announced with a clap of her hand… she was gearing up for a hunt. “We can find him quicker.” Oh, my goddess she was smiling…

“I’m not sure I want you to find him first.” I laughed at that thought. “But you’re right. You take the left buildings; I’ll take the barns on the right… Mateo can’t be far.”

Or was it Kian? What was up with the woman calling him that… was it a nickname?

I watched as Nikki made her way to a building that had a huge art statue in front of it… the statue was of a horse made from colorful strips of leather and metal. I wonder what was in there and if it was safe from a tipsy Nikki, her walk wasn’t looking very sure. Eh… no matter, I have my own section to search. And with that, I turned and walked toward the first barn that was located across the large yard next to the store. A slight hop to my step because… I was also hunting.

I didn’t find him in the barns… but I did find some horses, so I spent a little time there. As I stroked the long soft muzzle of each riding pony they kept in their barns, I contemplated letting the animals free on the property… let him see how it feels to have them run amuck around his business. But that might put the animals at risk, so I thought against it.

Not sure where to go next, I just started walking. I always get to where I need to be if I just start moving. About thirty minutes of searching later, I came across a small building at the edge of the town’s limits… it looked as if it stored equipment or supplies. I let the nail on my right pointer finger grow out into a long talon and scraped it along the buildings side wall as I walked lazily towards the back of the building, planning on circling the building before I checked inside. It made a loud scraping sound as well as leaving claw marks, as I walked. Claw marks I left on all the buildings I had checked so far. Was I damaging his property or marking my territory? That was an interesting question… why would I ever need to mark my territory? My behavior was perplexing.

Lost in my thoughts and beginning to think I was never going to find him; I was completely caught off guard when I turned the corner of the building and ran straight into a chest. A bare male chest.

We had made the usual startled sounds people make when they collide by accident… mumbling apologies at first, until we realized who each other was…

Up to now, I had planned all the things I was going to say and how I would say it… being as confident as I always am. All of it left me as I took in the complete sight in front of me… and for the second time that day, I was speechless.

Mateo Lee was standing in front of me, shirtless and looking as shocked as I was. He too was dumbstruck… he didn’t expect me to just pop up on his property today, let alone find him on this vast land.

And I didn’t expect to run into him physically.

“Nona?” He said unsurely, like he could have mistaken me for someone else.

“Mateo.” I said breathlessly as I jumped backwards to make some space between us. His name felt odd saying… like it was somehow too personal. Being so close to him without a shirt on also seemed too personal, so I took another step back to make some space between us.

He just took a step forward to close the gap again… “What are you doing here?” He said as he seemed to recover from his shock. “Come to bring back the boys?” His voice was smooth as a river, and it called to me. I almost didn’t understand what he was talking about… boys?

“Oh… the piglets!? No. They are mine now.” I said matter-a-factly. I too was recovering now, barely, and was able to speak again.

I placed my hand on the building next to us… looking as if I was trying to steady myself. A small burst of my energy flowing into the wooden wall and down into the ground.

Mateo smiled one of those cute guy side smiles and cocked his head at me. “Really? You’re going to keep three piglets that will turn into large hogs when they grow up?” He sounded skeptical. But he didn’t know me, did he?

I smiled back at him sweetly. “Ah, your note mentioned you don’t think I could handle it right? Well, you’d be surprised by what I can handle Mr. Lee.” I taunted.

“Oh you seem capable Miss Distaff, but that’s a lot of work for a little woman like you.” He said as he stepped even closer to me, causing me to back up against the wall of the building as I attempted to move further away. “Maybe the guy who answered your phone will help you?”

The guy… who? Linus?? I snorted a little as I laughed at that… was he jealous? “Linus did help but I don’t expect much from him in the future… he likes to keep to plants and housework, not animals. He finds them uncooperative.”

Mateo’s smile grew bigger like he somehow won something, “So you’ll care for them all by yourself?”

“Yes. This little woman will take care of them. Like I took care of the mess you created when you had them delivered.” I said hotly. This man really didn’t know that he was an infant as far as I am concerned… he’s been on this planet for a few decades compared to my eons. He was an infant… with a well chiseled chest. Goddess… working on a farm did wonders for the body.

“Oh, it couldn’t have been any more a mess than you had delivered to my home.” He countered.

“It was what you deserved.” I accused; I was warming up to having him so close. “You shouldn’t have challenged me or messed with those women.”

“Those busy bodies were from PETA and they have been harassing me and my business for the past year.” He threw back… “They want to shut us down for no other reason than because we sell meat and dairy. They've never found anything wrong with how we run our farm, but they just won't leave us be.”

“What?” The shock on my face was most likely noticeable.

“You were standing up for the very people who were bullying me.” He put his hands on both sides of my head, boxing me in his space for good. I had nowhere to run and since he didn’t respond to my energy, I could do nothing about it. My heart rate kicked up a notch, god he smelled so good, even after a days work.

“I don’t understand… they looked scared.”

“They were filming it Nona… it was all an act.”

I thought back to that day, I hadn’t even bothered to read the girl’s intentions… I was so caught up in my mission. And then I was too focused on him to even consider questioning the situation. But remembering their smugness and their unwillingness to leave a hostile situation… it had seemed odd at the time.

“I… I didn’t know. I’m sorry.” I shifted my weight uncomfortably as I looked away… I completely misjudged him. “I’ll pay for whatever damages I caused.”

I looked back into his dark eyes when he didn’t respond right away, he just stared right back at me. “You are a mystery, Nona. There is something about you, I can’t seem to get you out of my head… Your eyes, they are like so many shades of gold, blue and green. I’ve never seen anything like it. They are intense. I want to fall into them. Fall into you.” His face got closer with each word, while he had ignored my offer of payment. I could feel his breath as he spoke. My heart was pounding in my chest... I closed my eyes as bizarre emotions raged through me. It was like my body was waking up from a long sleep I didn’t know I was in.

Then a strange, gargled noise broke the hypnotic trance… I popped my eyes back open. Mateo was being pulled off me slowly… a heavy arm wrapped around his neck in a choke hold he couldn’t break. After a moment of struggle, he went limp, his eyes closing as his body collapsed into a heap at my feet.

Please join us and continue Nona's story with Chapter 12, 'Good Girls Don't...' in the next blog post.

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page