So this is the first chapter of my first story on here. I hope it's alright. Let me know (nicely) if anything is wrong. It's not in any specific year, just in the wild west-like time period.
SLAM! I ran face first into a poplar tree and fell onto my arse. I should have known to watch where I walked. My head throbbed but I pushed myself to my feet and glanced around at the thick trees of Cypress Hills.
"Where the hell is the path?" I muttered.
A small stream bubbled beside me but I couldn't find the dirt path I had been walking along moments ago. With a sigh of frustration I began following the stream downhill in hopes that I would come across a path or familiar landmark. Minutes turned into hours as I climbed over trees and rocks following the stream. The sun was beginning to set when I finally flopped down onto a large boulder, sighing in defeat. Moments later a large bear lumbered past. I didn't move, hardly daring to breathe, when a shot rang out and the dear fell onto its side with a hole in its head.
Men yipped and whooped and hollered as they led their horses to the bear and dismounted. They all wore old cowboy style clothes and carried old muskets and pistols. One tall man, they were all taller than my 5'7", with shorter brown hair covered by a black cowboy hat, brown eyes, and a clean shaven face noticed me and walked over.
"Well 'ello there." He said in a country accent that nearly made me melt.
"Hi." I answered softly.
He looked over at the other men that were still being loud and beginning to cut up the bear. "Will y'all stop what yer doin' for a half second!"
"What d' ya want William?" Another man yelled back. He had black hair that was covered by a tan cowboy hat and a bit of stubble along his jaw and upper lip in a sort of goatee that was interrupted on one side by a scar.
"You boys are bein' loud 'n completely ignoring our company."
Now all the guys looked at me sitting on the boulder and I became very conscious of the dirt on my jeans and the strip of stomach my off-white, button up shirt showed. I tightened the ponytail holding my mid-back length, brown hair and looked at them with deep green eyes.
"This is Charlie," a man with wavy black hair, stubble along his jaw and a white hat waved, "Bud," a tan man with curly blonde hair, a black hat, and stubble along his jaw as well nodded, "and Danny." The man with the mustache nodded and William turned back to me. "And I'm William."
"I'm Prairie Rose, but most people just call me Rose."
"So what ya doin' out in th' middle o' th' forest alone?" Danny asked.
"I was walking and not really paying attention and ran into a tree. Then I realized I couldn't find the path I was following and started following the stream hoping to find my way back."
"Back where?" Bud asked.
"Back to somewhere familiar so I could get back to the cabin."
The four of them shared a look and Bud spoke again. "This is why women shouldn't be out in the wilderness. They get lost and get silly notions in their heads."
"I wouldn't be lost if I could just find the path. And I know I'll come across it soon 'cause the stream goes right past it." I gave Bud a dirty look. "And what exactly do you mean 'silly notions'?"
"Do ya honestly think there's a cabin in these here woods?" Charlie asked.
"And who's in that cabin with ya?"
"Me, my mom, my grandma, and my brother."
"No one else?" Danny asked in surprise.
"No. Why would there be anyone else?"
"No wonder she ain't talkin' sense! She ain't got any men to show her what real life is like." Bud laughed.
"I know what real life is like."
Bud brought his face close to mine. "No ya don't sweetie. Other wise you'd know there ain't no cabins out here, it's all wilderness."
I pushed him away from me. "Don't go putting your face in mine, unless you want me to hit you."
Bud laughed and grabbed my wrist roughly. "Oh really? What can you do?"
I tried to yank my wrist free but Bud was too strong. With a low growl I threw my other fist at his face but he grabbed that one too. I struggled for a moment then threw a foot up into his crotch, making him hit the dirt, then another into his stomach.
"Don't mess with me." I snarled.
Danny grabbed my upper arm painfully. "That was very rude."
I was about to snap at him but before I could even open my mouth he threw me onto the dirt. With one quick movement I swept his legs out from under him and landed him on his back. My rear stung but I smirked at him and jumped up.
"Anyone else wanna mess with me?" I glared at Charlie and William and they shook their heads. "Good."
"That was impressive." Bud laughed as he helped Danny up. "I've never seen a girl that could take two grown men down."
"I call a truce!" Danny called and Bud agreed.
"Well, now that we have that over an' done with, can we get back to the bear before it rots?" Charlie asked and the guys laughed and agreed.
What a strange bunch of men, I thought, it's almost as if they're stuck in the wild west or something... Ah shit! I better not be stuck in the past!
It all seemed to add up now. The old clothes and guns, the way they talk and act, the way they treated me. I somehow went back in time. All because I ran into a freaking tree!
"Ya ready t' go?" Danny asked me.
"Go?" I glanced up at him.
"Back t' our camp. Ya can't stay all alone out 'ere with a bunch o' wild animals and Indians."
Nodding I followed Danny to a beautiful gray mare. "Her name's Rain."
Smiling Danny put his rough hands on my hips and lifted me onto her back then swung on behind me. Adjusting himself on the saddle Danny pulled me right up against him before leaning forward to grab the reins. A blush crept up my cheeks as I felt the length of his body pressing against my back.
"Stop rubbin' up against the girl and let's go Dan!" William called.
Danny nudged Rain into a walk as he fired back. "I ain't rubbin' up against 'er, I'm makin' sure she don't fall off!"
"I do know how to ride. Not well, but I can manage not to fall off." I murmured to Danny.
"Well they don't need t' know that." Danny's warm breath fanned over my neck.
"Damn it Danny. D'ya have to do that?" I asked.
"Do what?" He asked and I could hear the smile in his voice. He leaned closer and I felt his lips brush the curve of my neck as he spoke, "This?"
My head lolled to the side to allow him to place his lips on my neck but I snapped out of it pretty quick and shook my head. "I meant making me ride double all the time."
"I'm sure you did." He chuckled.
I looked over to Charlie for help. "Can I ride with you? I fear for my virtue around him."
He laughed and shook his head. "You're virtue is much safer with him, trust me."
"At least he's honest." I grinned and the two men laughed.
We rode for a while and by the time we made it to the camp I was half asleep against Danny's chest. I woke up fully when he swung down and I almost fell.
"Ya sure ya know how t' stay on a horse?" Danny asked.
I swung off and glared up at him. "Yes I do. It's not my fault you got off without warning when I was half asleep, Danny."
"Call me Dan." He grinned. "My real name is Daniel so you can just call me Dan."
I nodded and smiled up at him. "Alright Dan. Now were am I supposed to sleep? I've been walking all day and I'm tired."
Charlie heard me and led me to the fire. "First ya need somethin' t' eat. I reckon you haven't had a bite all day."
"Not since 'bout 10." Now that he mentioned it I was starving.
Nodding he passed me a dried piece of meat. "Chew on this 'till we have somethin' ready. It's deer jerky."
Thanking him I started pulling it apart and popping the pieces into my mouth. It was amazingly good but the more I ate the hungrier I got and all too soon the jerky was gone. Dan passed me a skin of water and I took a sip.
"Do ya not have a horse or any supplies?" Bud asked as he cooked some sausages.
"No to both. I just went for a walk, ran into a tree, fell over and when I stood back up the path was gone."
"And you're sure there was a path?"
I nodded. "A wide dirt path. Two people could walk side by side."
"Hmm... I ain't ever seen a path like that in here. It's all unsettled." Charlie said.
I thought about telling them about the possibility of time travel but shot it down. I liked these guys and I would hate to ruin it. "Maybe I hit my head harder than I thought and I'm confusing here with somewhere else."
"Maybe," William agreed. "But that don't explain why ya were alone in the middle of th' forest."
"It don't matter. Rose is with us now so let's just leave it and enjoy the company." Dan told them and they all nodded.
After we were done with supper William gave me a blanket and the guys laid down around the fire. I followed suit and lay down between Charlie and Bud and quickly fell asleep.
So what do ya think? I'm new to this genre and this site but I've been writing on so I'm not a total n00b. Reviews would be nice and I'll be posting the next chapter as soon as I get it done.