Prologue

***Years Ago

Jenson ranch was a bit smaller than the Kirkland ranch beside them, in the front area was the house; back area was the barn, stables, and chicken coop. The entire 4 acres of the farm was fenced in, with a gate at the front. 6-year-old Jake Jenson was tearing around the yard happily; Amalicia Kirkland was coming over to play after saying Hi to her grandma and grandpa. Due to being only six years old, he wasn't allowed to go to the other ranch alone yet, so Alicia usually had to come over to play, so they could all play together rather than having to wait until they got old enough to travel between ranches. The new kid, Zeke was still rather shy about coming over to play, but Jake did not mind. "ALI'S COMING OVER!" He shouted.

Sarah came walking out and smiled gently at Jake as she walked outside, she carried a jump rope she had found in her toy box and dragging a large stuffed doll. "I'm excited too but did you finish your chores you had to do?"

Jake nodded "YUP, Fed the chickens and sheep like I'm s'posed to!"

Sarah nodded. "I'm glad you took care of them, so we won't have to worry."

Jake beamed and ran around a bit more Meeehh...where's Alikins?"

Sarah giggled sitting down on the porch. "She's probably still unpacking and spending time with her aunts. So, it will be awhile.

Jake pouted "Aw, okay." He walked over to his big sister who was also. Sort of his mother figure and sat down beside Sarah "what's the jump rope and doll for?"

"I'm going to play jump rope with Ali today, and this doll is for that I got her for her birthday since we won't see her for a few days." Sarah explained.

"Aaaah okay..." Jake smiled. "I'll watch like always"

"You're not going to play with the new boy?" Sarah asked in surprise.

"He never wants to come over, cause he's shy," Jake replied softly. "So, no"

"Jake..." Sarah said placing her hands on her hips. "You shouldn't be so judgmental, he'll play with you today cause he follows Ali around like a puppy."

"I'm not being judgmental! I never am and you know it." Jake pouted

"I meant don't judge a book by its cover," Sarah lectured, she sighed softly.

"I don't do stuff like that..." Jake frowned "I'm not that mean..." He crossed his arms

Shaking her head Sarah stood up dusting off her pants and took Jake's hand. "Come on let's go next door, I am sure we can play there for awhile."

"But...what about...the rule, I'm not allowed out of the yard til I'm 10!" Jake looked up at his big sister giving her a pleading look. He did not want to get in trouble with their parents for breaking an important rule.

"If you are alone," Sarah explained. "You're going with me."

"...O...okay..." Jake clung to his sister's hand tightly.

Smiling Sarah led him next door, as she giggled. "Jake don't be scared, I'm here with you." she looked around the ranch.

"...okay, sorry..." Jake cuddled into his sister just as the new kid Zeke chased a chicken around trying to get it back into the hen house.

"See, there's Zeke," Sarah said smiling running over. "Hi!"

Zeke blinked and looked up "Hi!" He said happily "ALI! Jake and Sarah are here"

Alicia walked out of the house wearing a new dress with her hair tied in a ponytail. "Hi."

"Ali!" Sarah hugged her and giggled. "Your dress is so cute, where'd you get it?"

"Grandma made it for me," Alicia said.

Jake hugged Alicia closely "You look so CUTE!"

Alicia smiled happily hugging Jake back. "Thanks, Jakey; I made you and Sarah some thing in school."

"Aaawwww you didn't have to Ali-kins!" Jake said happily

"But I wanted to," Alicia said she went over to her backpack and pulled out tiny clay sculptures. "Here, this is yours Jakey, I made you a Horse."

"Wah, it's so cute! Thank you Ali!" Jake beamed at the cute little horse sculpture

Alicia reached into her bag and handed Sarah a kitten shape done. "Here this is yours Sarah."

"A cat," Sarah giggled. "It's really cute thank you Ali!"

Alicia then pulled out another sculpture in the shape of a heart. "Here Zekie this is yours."

Zeke blinked and he took it "...T…Thank you Alicia..." He said softly and smiled "It's really pretty..."

Alicia giggled. "Come on let's go play now!" She said with a giggle. "My grandpa and grandma said that we could play all day but come back in time for dinner."

"Alright, we have to be home before it gets dark too." Sarah said.

Jake beamed and smiled at the horse "So cuuute...Hi Mr. Kirkland!" He waved cheerfully at Jason.

Jason waved back to Jake and resumed his work on the farm.

Jake bounced happily as if he could not contain his excitement. "C'mon Ali-kins,"

"Wait, we have to take Zekie with us too." Alicia stated. "I don't wanna leave him."

"Of course he's coming with us," Sarah said she took Zeke's hand. "We're all playing together."

Zeke blinked and stepped away "I...wanna help grandpa out..."

"Zekie you have to stay with me today," Alicia said stubbornly. "Cause Grandpa said if you didn't play today that I'd be sad."

Zeke fidgeted "O...Okay..." He looked rather uncomfortable

"Come on we don't bite," Sarah said gently smiling. "Don't be shy."

"Okay, okay...fine." Zeke sighed "But…no dollies this time."

"You'll be playing with Jake today," Sarah stated. "You two need to become good friends and besides boys aren't allowed to play with me Ali today because we are gonna have a jump rope contest and play dolls."

"...But..." Jake pouted, he liked doing that stuff, but he did not know really why, he just did. Zeke nodded "Alright." He smiled a little at Jake.

"Alright children let's go!" Sarah said in a motherly tone giggling.

Jake chuckled "Sarah, you're such a mama hen!"

"Don't you forget it," Sarah giggled leading them to their house next door. She looked around and said. "Come on Ali let's go play!" She took her friend's hand and rushed towards the house to get her jump rope.

"Have fun Jakey and Zekie!" Alicia called out.

Jake and Zeke both sighed and proceeded to start talking about practically nothing. Jake was nervous and he was still a bit depressed from his parents dying.

"And then I asked my mommy and daddy if I could have a slumber party with all of my friends." Alicia said with a giggle. "I wanna ask Jakey and Zekie to come too but I don't know."

"We'll have to see if they get along first," Sarah said while jumping rope. "It's going to be a lot of kids from the city there too?"

"Yep," Alicia giggled more.

Zeke and Jake continued to talk, starting to get along rather well.

Alicia called out. "Zekie, Jakey! Come play with us now!" She said rushing over.

"Yes, you can join us now." Sarah said. "Ali wants to ask you something important."

"Huh? Okay..." Jake and Zeke ran over, Jake beating Zeke to the girls

"Aw man...you're almost as fast as Ali..." Zeke pouted

"He runs around a lot," Sarah pointed out giggling, she then said. "Don't worry Zeke, when you get older you'll be faster than Jake and Ali."

Zeke scoffed a bit and shook his head "Me, Faster than Jake or Ali? C'mon, no way"

"You will be," Sarah said. "I can tell."

Alicia pouted and nodded. "And when we all get older let's all be friends forever."

"Yes...friends forever!" Jake hugged Ali, and Zeke hugged Ali as well.

Sarah giggled joining in the hug.