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This is a story about love and how two people falls for each other and, this is my story... Long time ago but not too long, my mother and I lived on a farm. I loved the farm, I would get up every morning and would take a walk, and sometime I would sing, dance or both. My mother was lonely and she was getting older, after my father’s death, she took matters in her own hands. One day she went in to the town to get some things for the house. She stopped at a gas station to fill up the car, she heard the owner talking to some men. “Please Sir, my brothers and I want this job, where else can we go?” said one of the men. They wanted a job but the owner doesn’t have jobs for them. She thought after a moment, they can help her in the house and she could help them in a way. She went up to the man who was talking to the owner and said, “Sorry young man but I was listening to your problem and wondered if you and your brothers wanted a job? You could help me on my farm. You could stay in the guest house for free.” said the Women. The men stood up and greeted the lovely lady. The man who was the leader of the group went to the lady and said, “You have got yourself a deal.” “So what is all of your names?” asked the lady. “This is my brothers, Jake he’s the youngest, Toby and Travis and I am Clark.” “Nice to meet all of you, I am Ursula. Follow me to the farm then you can settle in.” When they arrived at the farm, they helped her unpack the things out of the car into the house. I came out of my room to see if I could help my mom, when I went outside, I froze and saw Clark. “Hh-hi” I mumbled. “Hi” he said with a smile. My mother came outside and said, “Aria, this is Clark and his brothers, they are going to help us and going to stay in the guest house.” “Yes I am Clark and this is my brothers, Jake, Toby and Travis.” “Oh okay hi Aria, welcome.” I said in a fast confusing way. I turned around to go speak to my mom but then she ordered me to show them the guest house so, I did what I was told to do. When I went back to the house I didn’t know if I must be angry or happy. “What are you thinking? Letting strange men live here.” “What? This is my farm and I will choose who will live here and who will not. And besides we need the help and you know that.” said Ursula. “Yes I do but still, they can be killers or something, just look at them with their motorbikes.” “Aria please I am getting older, not younger, stop this nonsense. They are staying and that’s final.” “Fine.” The next few weeks was great, everyone was happy and for the first time in a year I was happy. “The last time I saw my daughter laughing and smiling like that was when she was with Luke.” said Ursula to Clark, one night when I was sitting outside looking at the stars and Clark was looking at me throw the window. Two weeks later Clark and his brothers took Ursula and me to the entrance. He told my mother to get on his bike and his brothers must take me home. Ursula told Clark, “Please don’t do this, we can work something out.” “No it’s too late, Ursula.” said Clark. “I am afraid of bikes please don’t do this.” I went up to my mother, wondering what are they talking about and asking why is she crying? “Don’t worry mom it’s just a motorbike ride, if you don’t want to ride I will take your place.” “Sorry Aria but your mother doesn’t have a chose, we will take you home now, say your goodbyes.” said Travis. “No, let Aria take her mother’s place.” said Clark with a grin on his face. I climbed on his bike holding him tide. We went through the town, to a lookout point. I was amazed by the nature. Clark was sitting on a rock, he was tipping to Travis that said “The plan has changed, kill the mother.” When we went back to the house, we went for a walk; we stopped under a tree and sat there for a while a talked. “I am glad you and your brothers are here, helping us. I thought it was a terrible idea but my mother didn’t.” “Why? Do you still think it’s a terrible idea?” “No…” I said with a smile. Clark looked up so he could look in my eyes. Our lips were just about to touch when suddenly we heard a gunshot. It came from the house, I jumped up and ran towards the house as fast as I could. “ARIA, ARIA WAIT. ARIA” Clark shouted my name while he was running after me. I arrived at the house and saw my mother lying there in her blood. Clark was behind me; his brothers were running out of the guest house to see what happed. I went closer to her mother’s body, I began to cry and I fell on my knees, “Why? No… mother you can’t die on me” suddenly I turned around and saw a black man holding a gun at me. Just about when the man wanted to shoot me, Travis shot him. Clark ran towards me, holding me, making me calm down. I have changed. I didn’t want to do anything. I was smiling and laughing but Clark could see it is hard for me and I was faking it. A month gone by and everything started going back to normal. I went outside to look at the stars every night since my mother’s death. I began being close to them like if they were my brothers. They treated me like a sister. Suddenly Clark was busy ignoring me or was being rude. I cried myself to sleep every night since Clark has changed. Toby couldn’t stand it anymore and went one night to speak to Clark. “Why are you doing this Clark? What did she ever do to you?” Toby asked. “Nothing, just leave me alone.” Clark said cross. “No I can’t, you are my brother and you are breaking that girl’s heart.” I woke up and wondered what was happening. I went out of my room and listened in to their conversation. “Then tell her about everything.” said Toby. “Are you crazy, she will never forgive me?” “Clark, we both know how you feel about her. Stop this madness and go tell her or you are going to lose her.” “How?” “First start with the truth” “Ya Toby, hi Aria sorry to tell you this but I hired someone to kill your mom. Ya that would work, she would never forgive if she knows.” “Okay you have a point but still then just tell her how you feel then.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I got a fright by Travis, I fell on the floor. Travis saw me, he wanted to help me up then I said in a scared voice, “Don’t touch me!” I ran towards my room. I heard Toby and Clark coming out of the room and asking Travis what happened? “I woke up because of you two fighting and when I opened my door there she was crying on the floor like she’s afraid of me suddenly.” told Travis. “Do you think she heard everything?” asked Toby. “I don’t hope so.” said Clark. I didn’t come out of my room, I was too afraid they would kill me too. They tried everything so I would come out, except Clark. He was still mad at himself for what happened. One night when everyone was a sleep I climbed out of my window to escape from the brothers. I ran as fast as I could. I took a bus into town. They never saw or heard from me again. I changed my name and dyed my hair, so nobody would recognize me. I left town and went to a place where I knew I was safe. I went where I grew up, Struisbaai. I hid there for a while, nobody knew me, just the locals. There were not a lot of people/friends in my life; I didn’t trust many people, just my neighbors and one of my friends Hanna. I told her everything except for killing the mom part. I told myself to forget of all those things and just focus on the further. It has been four months and nothing bad has happened, until now. There were some bikers outside the hair salon where I have been working. It was my last day before I went off for holiday and someone came in to the studio to get a last minute hair cut. “Hi sorry to bother you but can you please cut my hair quickly” said Jake. Michelle looked up and then she asked “Spencer would you mind doing this customer hair please before you go.” “No, it’s fine. I will be there in a sec.” I looked up and saw Jake. I froze and went along as if I was Spencer and not Aria. “Hi I am Spencer, what type of hair cut are you looking for?” “Just a short trim.” “Okay, just a short trim then.” Jake nodded and went for a seat. He looked throw the mirror to see throw a window. I knew what was going on… they found me or I think so. I acted like I didn’t knew him. “There you go sir, a short trim” “Thank you miss enjoy your holiday.” “Thank you Sir.” I was afraid. How did he know I was going on holiday? I wondered. I couldn’t stop thinking about Jake and wondered what was he doing here and did he recognize me? Was the other bikers his brothers of was he alone here. “Goodbye Michelle, enjoy your holiday.” I said well walking towards the door. “Goodbye Spencer, you too and enjoy the time with your family.” I looked at her and gave her a smile that faded after I turned around and walked away. When I was home, I was watching TV and suddenly I heard motorbikes outside my house. I stood up and looked outside and saw them or I think so. I went outside and saw my neighbor talking to one of the bikers. When I went to talk to them to know what was going on, they drove off. “What was that about Mr. Johnson?” I asked. “They were looking for someone called Spencer and I told them there wasn’t Spencer staying here.” Mr. Johnson said with a frown on his face. “Do you know someone named Spencer, Aria?” “No, sorry.” “Okay, uhm before I forget, my wife and I are going to see my son in Australia, so we are not going to be home for the next few weeks.” “Oh, okay enjoy the time there. Don’t worry nothing will change.” “Okay then enjoy your day.” “Thanks, you too.” I walked backed to the house and wondered about those men. The next day I went to the beach, to clear my head. When I went back home, I saw the door open. I thought I had closed the door but my mind was playing tricks on me. I went inside; suddenly there was a hand over my mouth and a arm around my body. Somebody was holding me. I closed my eyes, I was too afraid to open it. “At last we found you.” said the one holding me. “You don’t know how long it took us to find you, we thought we lost you.” said a familiar voice. I opened my eyes and saw all four boys in front of me. “What are you guys doing here? I didn’t tell anyone about you guys and I won’t please just leave me alone.” I said with a scared voice. “Aren’t you glad to see us? We almost thought you were dead.” said Toby. “No, I was hiding from you guys, why did you look for me? Please I won’t tell anyone of any of this, I just want to forget about this.” “She’s afraid of us, she will never forgive us, I told you guys it wouldn’t work.” said Jake and then he said again “Hey, no wonder she doesn’t like us, let her loose, she is not a prisoner, she someone we know and she is family.” “Thanks Jake but please.” “No, sorry but you know too much, we can’t just leave you alone now.” said a voice in the shadows, Clark. When I was loose I had hit Toby and ran outside, I ran towards the beach. Travis caught up with me; I have forgotten that he was fast. Travis caught me and held me until Clark arrived. He told Travis to let me go. He didn’t and I kicked him where the sun doesn’t shine. Travis fell on his knees and I tried to ran off again but then Clark caught up with me. “Stop this Aria, why are you doing this, you know you are going to lose.” “I just want to be alone; everything was just fine until you guys came.” “Sorry… I know but we don’t have a choice.” “Everyone has a choice Clark.” “No not us.” I went closer to give him comfort. I could see the sadness in his eyes. “Why did you left Aria.” said Clark and took my hand. “I was afraid, I am still afraid.” I told him and then I took my hand away. Clark knew I won’t trust him after what happened. “Aria, I would never hurt you, I don’t have the heart to do that.” “You don’t have the heart to hurt me but you killed my mother; the only family that I had left and you killed her.” I said with a mad/crying voice. “I am sorry.” said Clark with a regretting tone. “Yeay, I am also sorry. Even though what happened, I still forgave you and had this ach in my heart to be with you… I had loved you… that’s why I left.” Clark stood there, breathless, blown away from what he just heard. I looked at him and walked away. I saw them walking behind me. When I got back from the beach, Jake was mad, he was screaming at me but I didn’t give him any emotion. I went towards the fridges, got some ice cubes and two little towels and gave one to Toby and said, “Sorry… but you have to see it from my point of view.” then turned towards Jake and said, “Don’t ask but give this to Travis, he will need this…” then I went towards my room. Jake couldn’t believe what I just said to him and gave it to Travis when they got back. “Where is Aria?” asked Clark. “She’s in her room.” said Toby. They left me alone for the night. The next day I made peace of it and made them breakfast but I didn’t said a word to them and I kept my distends from them. That afternoon someone was at the gate, I went outside to see who it is was…It was Hanna. “The girl’s day.” I said with a shock face when I saw Hanna. “Ya girl. You forgot, didn’t you? No it’s fine we can just hang out.” said Hanna “Are you sure but I have to tell you something.” Suddenly Clark and his brothers came out to see whom I was talking to. Hanna looked up and saw them. “Ya I forgot to tell you, Clark and them were coming to visit me.” I turned around and saw Clark and he wasn’t impressed when I said his name in front of Hanna. I looked at Hanna and said “Do you want to come in and drink coffee?” “Okay sure.” “Hanna I want you to meet my good friends, they are like brothers, Jake, Travis, Toby and Clark.” “Nice to meet all of you, Aria has told me a lot of things about you guys.” “Oh she told you about us but she didn’t told us about you, so what did she told you about us?” said Clark sarcastically. “Forgive him he’s in a bad mood.” “No it’s fine Aria, I can handle it.” Clark gave Hanna a look, it’s the same look he gave my mother. I pushed Hanna so she can walk and we went inside and the rest followed us. I turned around and gave Clark a look and told him “If you do anything to her I will personally kill you.” Clark gave me a smirked and walked away. Toby made coffee for everyone. “So what did she told you Hanna?” asked Toby when he gave her, her coffee. “About you guys? Not a lot, just that you worked for her mom and after her mom’s death you guys were there for her.” “Did she tell you how her mother died?” “Yes, it was a normal farm attack and the person who shot her mom wanted to kill her too and I think Clark shot him before he could shot her.” “Travis.” I said. Hanna looked at me. “Travis?” “It was Travis who shot him not Clark.” I said uncomfortable. “Oh sorry.” Everyone was quite for a moment. “So how do you know Aria?” Travis asked. “Uhm. We knew each other from high school.” said Hanna. That night I laughed for the first time and Hanna saw it. “It’s the first time I saw Aria really laugh. It took me forever to make her really laugh and you guys suddenly pops up and she’s happy.” said Hanna to Clark later that night. “It’s that so. I don’t know but my brothers could always make her laugh. It took them three weeks to see a real smile after her mother’s death.” said Clark sadly. “Why them?” “Excuse me?” “You said “It took them three weeks.” Why not us? What happened between you two?” “It’s a long story and how do you know about us?” “So you still have feelings for her?” “I never stop.” “So what happened?” “I started to grow up and besides she doesn’t want a guy who’s five years older than her.” “How would you know? Did you stopped and asked her what she wanted. Because I can’t believe that this is the Clark that she was telling me about and besides her fian, I mean friend was five years older her.” Clark gave a look and said “What did she tell you?” “Just the basics and that you are really an awesome guy and not this control freak.” Hanna looked at him and left. Clark looked surprised, as she walked away he glands at me. He knew he must make it right between us. I glands at him back but then I looked at the floor in front of me. Later that night Hanna and I went to bed but end up talking. “So can I ask you something?” Hanna asked. “Ya, what do you want know?” “Okay, what happened between you and Clark? What’s the story about that?” “Hmm, Honestly I don’t know. I was so in love with him.” “Was?” “Hahaha, no we are like water and fire at this time, I don’t know, I will all ways find a way to love him.” “So you do still love him?” “You can say that.” The girls laughed and Hanna knew how Clark felt about me and how I felt about him. “Now why are you not doing anything about it?” “What? No, it won’t work. We are too different.” “Oh really, now why am I getting a different feeling about it.” “I don’t know, we changed and it will never work.” “Okay if you say so but I am telling you he still loves you, that haven’t change, I can see it.” “Okay I don’t see it but anyway good night see you tomorrow.” “Come on Aria you know I am right.” “Good night Hanna.” “Okay be like that but I am still awake so I am going to make coffee. Do you want?” “No thanks, I am going to sleep, see you in the morning.” “BORING. But okay see you tomorrow.” “Okay.” Hanna walked out of the room; she made coffee for herself and went outside. Hanna was in her own mind then suddenly she got a fright by Clark and Travis. “Where is Aria? Surly she didn’t left you alone here.” “No, she is good friend and she is sleeping.” “Oh okay so you don’t mind if we smoke?” “No, but I didn’t know you smoked, Aria never told me that.” “Well she doesn’t know. A lot has changed in the past five months.” said Travis to Hanna with a smile.“So how is she doing?” asked Clark “Who? Aria. Well after what happened to her, I think she is doing great but then there are days like she couldn’t breathe and some days she didn’t want to do anything. She stated to get better but we all could see it was hard for her and that. To be honest I can see she is really happy now.” “Did she ever have a…” “What shht be quite, do you hear that.” “What?” “Aria!” Hanna stood up and ran towards my room. Clark and Travis ran after her to see Hanna holding me. I was crying but I resisted Hanna from holding me, it was like I didn’t want Hanna calming me down. “Help me hold her and to make her calm down.” Clark went towards me. He was holding tide when suddenly I was calming down. “Look she calming down.” “Ya, she is.” Clark said smiling taking the hair out of my face. “The last time she did that was when she came here.” “She did it too when we started working with her mom.” said Clark “We could hear her from the guest house at night and suddenly she stop, when Clark went over to see if he could help her and when he held her she stop.” Hanna smiled and said “He is her lucky.” Clark and Travis looked at Hanna confused. Hanna shook her head and went outside. Clark was with me all night, holding me. The next day Clark woke up; for a moment he thought I was still in his arms but when he opened his eyes I wasn’t there. He climbed out of bed and went to the kitchen. “She’s fine, she’s at the beach.” said Hanna. “Oh thanks.” Clark went to his room to change when suddenly he turned around and said, “How did you know I was looking for her?” “Easy, I can see how you feel about her. It’s like you can’t lose her again right?” Clark looked at her and laughed. After he had changed he went to the beach, when he arrived at the beach he saw me crying and sitting alone. He went towards me and sat next to me holding me tide. “Shht. Don’t worry I am here.” I have stopped crying when he was holding me. “Now tell me what’s wrong?” “It’s nothing.” “Don’t be like that.” “Like what Clark?” “This. Don’t be like this. Don’t be a bitch all of a sudden.” “A bitch, wow sorry then but I just can’t do this anymore.” “Do what anymore?” “This. Us. Life.” “Aria, look at me. I will never leave you alone again. Please just give me another change.” I looked at him and smiled. “See that’s a real smile.” Then Clark kissed me. “Stop, I am sorry but I am not the type of girl you fell for. A lot has changed.” I told Clark while looking down. “Aria look at me… I know but I don’t want to lose you again.” I looked at him. “Aria, I know it will take time to forgive me and that but just don’t ignore this. This, what we have. I can’t live without you.” “There is nothing between us, there never were. And you can live without me because you did it for six months.” I stood up, wiped my tears away and walked. When suddenly Clark took my hand and said, “It was hell.” I turned around to look at him. “It was hell without you.” “What? What are you talking about?” “Well if you want to hate me, hate me for the right reasons. That night you left, I was planning to go in your bed room and tell you everything but when I came in, you were gone and knew it was my fault.” I sat down again to hear what was he going to say next. “What is everything Clark?” “Everything, my brothers and I were planning to kill you but I was busy falling for you without knowing it but my brothers could see.” “Why did you want to kill me?” “Well we all knew you were trouble and we knew you didn’t trust us.” said Clark smiling. “But your mom was on to us. She heard us talking and she had threatened us to go to the police, so we decided to kill her to. I would have killed her at the looking out point and my brothers would have killed you at you house.” “But why didn’t you kill me at the looking out point?” “That day you decided to take your mothers place, so innocent. I wanted too but I couldn’t, so I texted Travis saying the plan has changed they must kill your mom and when we went back I knew it will break your heart but I would have you to myself.” My eyes filled up with tears. Clark took his hand and wiped the tears away and said, “After your mother’s death you changed but you still had made time for me and for my brothers.” Suddenly Clark had tears in his eyes. I looked at him and gave him a hug. “I don’t hate you, I could never hate.” “What? After what I just told you?” “I am mad as hell but I don’t hate you. You could have killed me too but you didn’t.” Clark looked in my eyes and then he kissed me again. I pulled back and didn’t look up. “Aria please, I promise you I won’t hurt you again.” I smiled and gave a little laugh and then I looked in his eyes and said, “It’s not that.” “Then what is it?” “I trust you.” Clark looked at me with a smile and kissed me. We went back to see Travis laughing with Hanna outside. “Look who is back” said Hanna smiling. “Haha, so where is Jake and Toby?” “Inside, Jake is talking to Nicole and Toby is talking to Lisa.” said Travis while looking at Clark. Clark shock his head and smiled. “Nicole, Lisa?” I asked confused. “They met them after you left, nice girls, they are like you two.” I laughed and looked at Hanna. “Well if they are like us then I am glad they found someone.” I told them and put my arms around Clark’s body. Clark looked at me smiling.That night everyone was talking and laughing. Hanna and I went inside then suddenly I said, “Let’s go to the bush.” “The bush?” “Yes the bush, the game reserve, you know.” “Oh ya, the one the ex fiancé gave you.” “Shhttt they don’t know about it.” “Aria how don’t they know about it he was your first love and you are still wearing the ring.” “Yes I know but I never told them and they mustn’t know, they can’t find out about this Hanna.” I saw Toby’s and Jake’s phones on the table and got an idea. “Wait here; give me that piece of paper.” “Paper for what.” Hanna saw what I was doing and said, “What are you doing?” “Well I am getting Nicole’s and Lisa’s number.” “For what?” “Got it, let’s go.” Hanna and I went to my bed room and started to text Nicole first. “What are you doing?” “Well I am thinking to let them surprise Toby and Jake. And besides I think it can be fun, don’t you?” “Okay, let’s do it.” Hanna and I laughed and texted them “Hi I am Aria Hale and I want to surprise Jake/Toby because they are like brothers to me and that, so I own The Bush Game Reserve and I wondered if you won’t mind packing your bag and wanted to come with us. It will just be you, Nicole, Jake, Travis, Toby, Clark, one of my friends Hanna and me. It will be free and I know you and Nicole live in Polokwane so I will sent the private jet and its free.” “See as easy as that Hanna.” “Okay Aria.” They went outside and sat down when suddenly I said, “Let’s go to the bush.” “What?” said Jake. “Ya, let’s go to The Bush Game Reserve.” I said again. “And where do you have the money? That place is so expansive Aria.” said Travis. “Ya so and besides I have made reservations before you came, so let’s pack our bags and go tomorrow.” “Aria we can’t just pack our stuff and leave.” said Jake. “Yes we can. Please we can’t sit here all holiday.” “Okay, but we better start now.” said Clark. “What are you for real now?” asked Toby. “Yes, I think it can be fun.” Everyone was happy and started packing. The next day we drove off to The Bush. Jake, Travis and Hanna drove in one car and Clark, Toby and I drove in another car. We were in front and Hanna and them were behind us. Later that day we arrived at the gate. “Miss Hale welcome back.” “Thanks Jeff, I am glad to be back.” “It was not the shame here, while you were away but we are happy you’re back from holiday.” “Thanks Jeff and…” “They are here.” “Thanks.” “Enjoy The Bush Miss Hale.” I nodded and went in and Hanna followed us inside. “Who are they? And back from holiday.” asked Clark. “Just some friends that’s all.” “Aria don’t lie so me.” “Clark I am not lying.” I looked at Clark and said, “But you don’t believe me.” Clark didn’t looked at me, he was looking outside the window. When we arrived at the lodge, we were welcomed with refreshments. “I am going to book us in, stay here.” I told them. I went inside and came out with two girls. “Nicole.” said Jake. “Lisa.” said Toby. “What are you doing here?” asked Jake. “Well it’s all thanks to Aria; she flew us over and that.” “Thank you Aria but how did you know?” asked Toby. “Well easy don’t leave your phones on the table in the kitchen and your brothers told me about them.” Everyone laughed and went inside. “Miss Hale your rooms are ready.” said the lady at the desk. “Thanks.” I smiled at the lady and turned around and said, “Let’s go freshen up and get ready for tonight and meet each other here at five.” “Okay that can work.” We went to get our bags and go to our room. “Hey why are they packing your bags in their car, Aren’t you staying with us Aria?” asked Clark. “Uhm, no I am on the other side so I have to take their Jeep. Sorry but see you tonight.” “No, it’s fine but okay see you tonight.” Before I climbed in the Jeep Clark took my hand, turned me around and kissed me. We have stopped for a minute so I could breathe and then I turned red in my face. He gave me a hug and whispered in my ear, “I do trust you.” I looked at him smiling and climbed in the Jeep and drove off… I arrived at my house. I felt I was really at home for the first time. I went inside to find a leopard in my house with only three legs. “Luckyyyy.” I said when I saw the cat. Lucky ran towards me; jumped me and started to play with me. “Look at you girl, I have missed you.” Lucky licked me and followed me to my room. I started to unpacked and got ready. Before I left I went to the fridges and got a piece of meet and gave it to Lucky. We all met at the bar. We were having fun when suddenly hands were over my eyes and I couldn’t see. I turned around and saw Josh. “Hi” I said and hugged him. “Hay, what are you doing here, long time no seen.” said Josh. “Ya, I know… a year ago.” “Really is it all a year, man it felt like forever.” “Ya, but talk later, we have a game drive.” “Oh really, enjoy it then.” said Josh smiling. Clark didn’t know what was going on because I didn’t stop smiling after I saw Josh again. “What?” I asked smiling. “Who was that guy and happen a year ago?” asked Clark jealous. “What are you jealous; no he is just a friend that’s all.” Clark looked at me; kissed me and whispered, “You are mine.” I laughed and Clark Smiled. “Hi I am your ranger for the night, my name is Seth Mapukla. Enjoy the night and please if you see something tell me, I will stop.” We drove to a river and saw a beckon. We stop next to it. “So the story begins here… Miss Hale.” I climbed out of the Jeep and walked to the passenger side to get some roses, one red, one white and one black. I placed it on the beckon; I climbed back in the Jeep where I sat. “Like I said the story begins here, Ladies and Gentlemen, some of you know the story about The Bush and some of you don’t. Two years ago the game reserve began. Miss Hale do you want to go on with the story or should I?” “I don’t mind Seth.” Everyone looked at me and Clark and his brothers looked confused. “Yes The Bush started two years ago. If you can read on the beckon, it says, “1990.09.19 – 2014.09.07 this is where we found the body of Mr. L. H. Wesley son of Mr. and Mrs. Wesley and fiancé of Miss A. Hale the owner of The Bush.” He bought the game reserve for me as an engagement present. We were engage for a year and two weeks before the wedding, he and some of his school friends decided to go river rafting and this river has the lowest present of crocodiles in all of Africa. I don’t know what happened exactly but the boat flipped and they fell overboard. Luke got killed by a crocodile and his friends just got bitten. We found the body in the crocodile’s mouth; I am not going to tell you the details. When we found him we shot the crocodile and if you want to see how long the croc was, you can visit the museum, the bones of the croc are there in full length.” “And just to add it will be a year tomorrow.” said Seth. I nodded but Clark could see it was hard for me telling the story but I could see he was mad that he didn’t knew. The end of the night drive, we were back at the lodge, I took Clark’s hand and took him to the fens. “Scream.” I said. “What are you talking about?” “Aren’t you angry at me?” “Yes I am mad but it doesn’t change how I feel about you. Okay you were engage to someone, he isn’t here right now. Not to be disrespect or something but we are here right now.” Clark looked at me and kissed me on the forehead and hugged me. “I will always love you.” We went back to the camp. Before Clark kissed me goodnight, Josh appears. “Aria, I was looking for you. I went to your house but you weren’t there. But anyway I wondered if you want to have coffee tomorrow?” I looked at Josh and then at Clark. “Josh, thanks but.” “Go.” I looked at Clark confused. “Go, nothing will change if you just go drink coffee with your ex fiancé’s brother.” said Clark sarcastically. “See, come on Aria.” I looked at Josh and said yes. I laughed and kissed Clark a long good-night-kiss in front of Josh. Hopefully he got the picture that I am taken again.The next day I went having coffee with Josh. We laughed and talked for hours, after just having coffee we went to the private part of the park where just the family are allowed and the veterinarians. It is where animals were taken if something happened to them, but there was only one pride what was hand raised. The pride is like lucky the leopard, protective over me. “So, how do know Clark?” Josh asked. “Mmm, I wondered when were you going to ask that?” “Oh really. No I am serious.” “We met on the farm, he worked for my mom and after my mother death they were just there for me.” “Why didn’t you come back after his death, like you said?” “I don’t know, after his death I changed and then it was my mother so I wasn’t myself but Clark brought me back. He makes me feel human again like Luke did. Don’t take this the wrong way. I missed the bush but this place was always us, your brother and my place.” “It still can be but our place, you and me Aria.” He took my hand and pulled me close. “Aria you are making a mistake being with that Clark guy, you are meant to be with me.” Josh looked in my eyes and kissed me. I pulled back and pushed him away. “What are you doing? I am with someone.” “Aria we both know it won’t work.” “You are wrong, I love him.” “What about the game reserve then, are you really going to sell it to be with him?” “What? No, I will never sell this place; he bought it for me to show his love. I will never.” “Open your eyes Aria we both know he wouldn’t be with you if Luke didn’t died.” “Yes I know but Luke did die. We have to move on Josh.” “I want too but not without you.” “Josh I already have and it’s with Clark. You have to do it yourself, I can’t help you and you know that.” I looked at Josh and turned around and walked away. I didn’t look back. I went back to the house to see Hanna standing there. “I see you met Lucky.” I asked. “Ya, where wore you?” “I was with Josh, why did some happen?” “Aria, it’s Clark.” I looked at her. My eyes were just about to full up with tears. “Hanna what happened.” “He. He.” “F**** Hanna, tell me.” “He is madly in love with you.” “Hanna, how could you?” “Hahaha, I just wanted to see if you are really in love with him like he is with you.” The girls laughed and talked all night. “What do you think of me staying here?” “What do you mean Aria?” “I mean like you and Travis or just you staying in my house in Struisbaai and Clark and me staying here.” “That can work but is that what you want or is it what he wants?” “I want it. I want to be with him but I can’t leave the bush and that.” “Okay, let’s say he stays with you, what will he do because we both know you can work if you want to.” “That’s the surprise I am going to offer him a job as a veterinarian.” “And what if he doesn’t want to work here or what if he does and it doesn’t work between you two. What will you then?” “Well, I will work around it. I won’t fire him or something.” “Okay but promise me I can live for free.” “Hanna how do you know me?” The next day Lucky and I went to the lodge. Clark and them were frighten by the leopard but the staff wasn’t. “Clark, this is my baby, Lucky.” “She’s a cat, a really big cat.” “She’s a leopard.” “But still a cat.” I shook my head and went to kiss Clark. Lucky went and sat in the shade; Clark and I went after her and sat on the steps in front of Lucky. Clark and I talked about life and what we want from it.Suddenly Lucky brought his fluffy toy. “What? Why do you look so shock? Aria.” Clark asked confused. “It’s the fluffy toy he gave Lucky.” said Josh suddenly. “What? So it’s nothing, she properly do it with you guys two.” “No, it only was Luke and now you.” said Josh. “Congratulation Clark you have won them both over.” said Josh not impressed. “Really.” I looked at Clark with a smile. “Do you want something to drink Clark?” I asked. “No thanks.” I went in the kitchen to get something to drink. When she suddenly heard, “Mommy what is that?” said the boy. “Is a leopard darling.” I turned around and went to the little boy and asked, “Do you want to pet her?” “Really, wouldn’t she bite us?” “Well she was hand raised. She’s not like the other leopards around here.” The boy looked at his mom and so did I. “What’s your name?” “My name is Edward.” “Well Edward, give me your hand, while mommy gets the camera ready.” I took the boy to the steps and told him, “You have three choices, you can stand in front of me or you can sit on my lap or you can stand behind me.” “Can I stand in front of you?” “Yes you can.” I looked at him and smiled. “Are you ready? Edward nodded at me and smiled. “Lucky come here girl.” Edward looked at her and asked, “What happened to her leg?” “Well, it was trapped in a fens and there was no other way to get the fens off her so we decapitated her leg.” “Oh so she like me.” “Excuses me?” “I only have one leg too, but I was born like this.” I was amazed and I looked at the mom and then to Clark. “Well, then you are a little Iron Man.” “Like my shirt.” “Yes, let’s go to Lucky. Let your mommy take a photo.” I took the boy’s arm and walked towards Lucky. “Wow she’s so soft.” “There fur is suppose to be soft little boy.” said Robert Downey Jr. The boy looked up and started to smile. “You are Iron Man.” Everyone laughed and smiled. Luckily no one heard it just us. “Haha, nice to meet you and you are?” “I am Edward Cullen, the Little Iron Man.” He looked at me and smiled. “Well, Little Iron Man may I take a picture with you?” “With L-L-Lucky.” “Yes.” I stood up so they can be in the picture alone when suddenly, “Miss, excuse me but can you come back in this picture please.” I turned around and sat behind Edward. After the photo I went to talk to the mother about her son. “Sorry to interrupt but is it okay that I post this pictures of your son on facebook and on my instagram.” “Yes you may and thank you.” “For what?” “For this, it is an honor to meet you.” “Miss Cullen your son is the reason why I make my movies like Iron Man. So I should be thanking you.” Misses Cullen laughed and went to get her son. “Thank you Mr. Downey it meant a lot for that little boy today.” “Oh please call me Robert and if I didn’t heard your conversation I wouldn’t have done it.” Clark came towards me and notes the actor. “You are Robert Downey Jr.” I looked at him with amazement. “And you are?” “This is my boyfriend Clark Jefferson.” “Oh and?” He looked at me, waiting for an answer. “I am Aria Hale.” “The owner of this lovely place.” “The one and only.” “I see. I just want to say my wife and I love this place and everyone is so kind we will like to come back again and we will tell all our friends to come also.” “Oh thank you. Well Mr. Dawn sorry I mean Robert enjoy the rest of the trip.” “We will Miss Hale.”I looked at Clark with a smile. “You are great with kids. You are so amazing.” I looked at him and took his hand. “Come with me, I want to show you something.” “Where are we going?” “Some where, you will see.” I took him to the park the private park. I closed his eyes and leaded him to the middle of the park. I opened his eyes and he was amazed. “Where are we?” “This is my special place. If I am not at home or at work, I will be here.” I showed him everything and he meet everyone except the big pride. “Where are we going now?” “Close your eyes, and don’t open them until I say so.” “Okay.” I took him to the pride. “You can open them.” He was breathless, blown away. “Aria there is a really big cat behind you and I really mean big.” “I know, his name is Simba and this is his pride, the bush pride.” I looked at him and smiled. “Simba attack.” “What no.”Clark looked at me and ran toward the gate but the pride was already around him. “Aria, darling you don’t want to do this. What did I ever do to you?” “Everything you made me fall in love with you.” I smiled, he knew he did something but did know what. “Simba jump.” “Aria no.” Simba jumped him and started to lick him. “Plea plea get him off me.” I helped him up but I could see he wasn’t impressed. “What were you thinking he could have killed me Aria!” “Sorry but you have to admit it, it was funny.” I took his hand and laughed at him. He shook his head and walked with me to the gate. “Now you have met everyone here and want to give you this.” I gave him an envelope which I hid at the gate. “What is this?” “It’s a job. Don’t give me that look it’s to be a veterinarian here at the bush. I know you think it’s crazy but I am crazy about you and I am crazy about the bush field and I don’t want to lose one of you.” “Thanks but I want to think about it please, and besides how did you know I studied veterinarians?” “Easy, I asked your brothers.” We went back to the camp, he hugged me goodbye when suddenly I said, “Let’s have dinner at my place tonight please.” “What? Why?” “Well we are every night with Hanna and them. Please just you and me.” “Okay fine.” I smiled and watch him walked away.I went back to the house and started to make everything ready. Later that night Clark arrived at the house. “WOW Aria you look AMAZING.” “Thanks you don’t look bad yourself.” He smiled at me and took my hand. We went to the patio and had a wine glass in our hand. “Wow this is beautiful, and this is you every day view?” “Jip, if you think this is beautiful you should see it in the morning.” “I believe you.” We went back inside and talk about life and where we stand.” “Clark what are we doing?” “What do mean?” “I don’t know. This because every time I say you’re my boyfriend or some you get uncomfortable.” “Hey… Where is this all coming from?” “I don’t know… sorry. Excuse me.” I went outside and took a deep breath. Clark came outside and putted his arms around me and held me tide. “Talk to me Aria.” “It’s just. I don’t want to lose someone I love again.” He turned me around and looked in my eyes. “Aria I will never leave you and just being a part of you makes me crazy.” I smiled and had an idea. “Where is your phone?” “It’s on the table why?” “Oh no I just want to know?” I hugged him but he got the feeling some is going to happen. “What? I am just giving you a hug.” “Mmm, trust you.” “That’s mean.” I looked at him and walked away. He took me hand and turned me around and kissed me. While he was kissing me I pushed him into the swimming pool. “I am so sorry or not.” “I knew you were going to do that.” “Hahaha. No you didn’t.” He gave me a look that said I will get you next time. “Darling come in the water, it’s lovely.” “Haha I know what you are doing and that’s not going to work.” “Oh really, well then bring me a towel please.” I brought him a towel but when I came outside he was gone. “Clark, Clark where are you? Clark.” “I right here.” I turned around and saw him running towards me. He hugged me and we fell in the pool. “Haha I can’t believe you just did that.” “Yeay I got you back. Now where can I put me bags and all that.” I looked him and swam towards him. “Really… well you can put it in the guest room.” I rapt my body around his and whispered, “Or you can put it in my room.” He looked me in the eyes and smiled. “What happened to take it slow?” I kissed him slowly and with passion. “I want to but with you time stops.” “I don’t want to do things you will regret.” “I trust you.” That night we talked and kissed. The next the day we told his brothers about the plan. “What about us, Clark?” asked Jake. “Jake you can start over. We all can start over.” “It’s not that easy, sorry we don’t have someone like Aria, Clark.” said Travis. Clark got mad at Travis. “Hay stop this. Clark they are right and you know that.” I said. “But I have an idea. But if you don’t like it fine.” “What’s your idea Aria?” “Well, I still have the farm and the beach house and more… Travis don’t look at me like that. I know Jake and Toby loved the farm and well I was gone I know that they looked after the farm while you two were looking for me. And I know you loved the beach with Hanna.” “So we all work for you or what?” “No Travis, I want your brothers to take over the farm and I want you to look after Hanna… And someone must look after the restaurant.” “Which restaurant?”asked Travis. “Well you know the one in front of the beach you liked so mush…” “No way.”Travis said with a smile. “There is a lot of things I own, you don’t know about.” “And I am going to own the restaurant now right.” “Jip, and your brother’s the farm.” “That can work.” The next day we went back to Struisbaai. We stayed at the house for a week to get everything ready. The last day we said our goodbyes. “Hanna, please look after him and if anything happened please call.” “Aria don’t worry nothing is going to happen I promise you that.” “Travis, look after my best friend.” “She’s your only best friend Aria.” I looked at him and smiled. “Goodbye Toby and Jake please be safe and keep everything in control.” “We will Aria, you can trust us.” “That’s what I am afraid of.” They gave me a look. “And nice to meet all of you.” “Goodbye Aria it was also nice to meet you and we will take care of them.” said everyone. Clark and I drove back to the game reserve. “I am going to miss them.” “It’s not like we are never going to see them again.” “I know.” I looked outside the window and fell asleep. “Aria, Aria wake up. We are home.” I woke up with a smile when I heard his voice and those words. We started to unpack his stuff, luckily he didn’t have much. “Okay, we’re done. So what do you want to do? We can go horse riding or go for a ride.” “Mmm Aria that is a tuff one.” He came closer, pulling me towards him and started to kiss me, from the lips to the neck and back to the lips. “Okay we can also do that Clark.” I said with a smile.The next day I showed him everything and who he will working with and that. “Clark I want you to meet Dr. Nolan Severed, you will be working beside him for the next few weeks. Dr this is the man I was talking about.” “Ahh, I heard a lot about young man. Welcome.” “Thank you Dr.” “Well have a nice day you two.” “Thank you Dr. you too.” We went back to the house. “I think I will like it here.” I smiled and hugged him. The next day we went to work. “Good morning everyone. The rumors are true I am back for good and I am going to be everywhere like always.” I smiled and the staff smiled and clapped their hands. “And before I forget, we have a new member, he is our new veterinarian. Dr. Clark Jefferson. Make him feel welcome. Thank you guys.” Everyone went back to work. The end of the day I waited for Clark. “Hay you are back. How was your day?” I went towards him and gave him a kiss. “It was… Aria it was Amazing. Thank you. I missed it.” “I am glad. Your dinner is in the oven if you are hungry.” “Thanks but I am first going to shower.” “Okay Lucky and I am going to watch TV if you are looking for us.” Lucky and I were on the floor playing. “Are you enjoying yourself on the floor darling?” “Yes we are and Darling.” “Why got a problem with darling?” “No, it’s just every time you call me that something is going to happen.” “Like what?” “I don’t know, you tell me.” He came closer and sat on the couch behind me. “So Clark what did you do today?” I stood up and went towards him and sat on his lap. “Well, I washed the pride today and they found a cheetah with a broken leg and Dr. Nolan told me I must operate on the cheetah and that was my day.” “I am glad.” He looked me in the eyes and then at my mouth and then back into my eyes. He came closer and kissed me. “And you how were your day?” “Mine… well boring like always haha no it was great, I felt home.” “Okay then, let’s take you to bed because you are tired.” “No I am not.” “Lucky what do you think girl?” Lucky looked at him and stood up and walked towards her bed. “See even the cat is tired.” “She’s a leopard and fine.” We laughed and went to bed. A month has gone by and most of the staff knows about me and Clark even Luke’s parents. “Hi Aria, how are you?” I turned around and saw Luke’s father. “Hi Mr. Wesley.” I hugged him, “What are you doing here?” “My wife and I missed the bush a little. So the rumors are true, you are back.” “Yes Sur.” “Please Aria call me Jack you know me.” “Ya, sorry.” “So what do I hear you have someone in your life.” I smiled “Jack let’s talk in my office.” “Okay.” We went in to my office and sat down. “So who is he?” “Where do I begin. He is… He is good for me.” “I can see that. You are really happy.” “After his death I thought I would never find someone again but he brought me back to normal.” “I see, so he is here?” “Yes, he is the new veterinarian here.” “Oh him.” “You met him?” “Yes he is the Dr. who saved the cheetah, I was there, he reminds me a lot of Luke. Passionate of his work and now I see about you too.” “Yes but you know you are like a father to me.” “Yes.” “Jack do you think I made the right chose.” “Aria, you will always be a daughter to me/ to us and I think you did.” I smiled , “Thank you.” “What are you two doing tomorrow night?” “Nothing why?” “Okay then it’s settled you and Clark are coming over for dinner.” “Thank you.” We hugged goodbye. I went to the park and saw Clark in action. He didn’t saw me. I saw that he is really busy and that. I saw Seth and asked, “Where is the pride Seth?” “Miss Hale they are at the watering hole.” “Thank you Seth.” I turned around and walked away. I arrived at the watering hole, Karri and Kerri jumped me and I fell down on my knees. “Hay you two.” I turned around and saw I was bleeding. They looked at me and started to walk backswords. “Hay you two don’t worry it’s just a few scraps, come let go play.” I stood up and went to the water to clean up. We climb trees and play in the water or they jumped me or I jumped them. Suddenly Simba was in defense mode then they all were jumpy. I turned around and saw a leopard coming towards the water hole. I ran towards the tree and climbed it as fast as I could. When I was in the tree they were calm again but still in a mood. The leopard arrived and saw the Lions. He was calm but afraid. He went closer and started to drink water and after he drank he left. I sat in the tree for a while longer just to make sure. When I jumped out of the tree I saw a jeep coming towards me. It stopped in front of the water hole. Clark got out the jeep. I could see he wasn’t impressed. “Hay.” I said smiling. “What were you thinking coming here without a weapon?” “How did you know I was here without a weapon?” He pointed at the tree then I saw the camera. “Crap I forgot.” “You forgot Aria, that leopard could have killed you.” “He didn’t and I was being protected.” “Aria stop I could have lost you.” “Ya but you didn’t, all thanks to them. And besides I was in a lot of worse situation than this. You can asked anyone here.” He looked at me and walked towards me and hugged me tide and kissed me on the head. “Go, you are working, I will be fine and besides we are going back now anyway.” “Are you sure?” “Yes Clark and before I forget we are having dinner tomorrow with Jack and them by their house.” “Okay but who are they?” “Josh’s parents.” “Oh okay.” He climbed back in his jeep and drove off. The pride and I started to walk back. When we arrived at the park, Josh were there waiting for me. “Hay what are you doing here Josh.” “Just seeing if you are okay, heard what happened.” “I see. But I’m fine. You don’t have to worry about me. I all ready got the talk about my safety so please.” “Aria, I know you are safe with them but still. Look at your knees you are bleeding.” “I know, it happened before the leopard came. I’m fine. And besides everyone gets hurt now and then, its part of life.” “I heard you and Clark are having dinner with us tomorrow night.” “Yes we are. Do you have a problem with that?” “Oh no, it’s just he doesn’t fit in here. I mean with us and you know that.” “Why are you jealous of us, we never did something to you?” “Yes you did, you fallen for other guys and for years every time you got your heart broken I was there for you. You asking me when is the right guy coming and why isn’t there any nice guys out there. But you never opened your eyes to see I was that guy.” “Only reason why I didn’t fall you was, you were like a brother to me and you are still like a brother to me, you’re the best guy friend I ever had.” I smiled at him and walked away. I went back at the house and started to make dinner. I heard Clark coming and pored him some wine, “Hay, how was your day?” “Besides you all most got killed, it was great.” “The pride wouldn’t let him touch me and you know that.” “Ya but still.” “Fine but next time you are coming with. And see the nature how I see it. Okay.” “I don’t have a choice, do I?” “Nope not when you are with me.” He came closer and kissed me on the head. The next day was like a normal day or normal as it could be. That night was the dinner with the Wesley family. We arrived at the guest house. I could see Clark was nervous, I smiled at him and took his hand. We went inside and saw everyone laughing and drinking. “Ah, you’re finally here.” said Jack. “Mr. Wesley thank you for having us.” said Clark. “No the pleasure is all mine.” “Okay I going to the kitchen and you can go with Jack and meet everybody; I will be with you in a sec.” Clark looked at me then said, “No, let me take it, it’s anyway heavy.” I shook my head and gave a little laugh. “Well if you really want to help, I will show where it is.” I smiled and walked away with Clark. “Aria welcome, I’m glad you are here.” We just came out of the kitchen when we heard the voice. We turned around and saw Mrs. Wesley. “Mrs. Wesley hi, thanks for having us.” “No man it is always a pleasure to have you here.” I smiled at her. “Oh ya Mrs. Wesley this is my boyfriend Clark and Clark this is Mrs. Wesley.” “Nice to meet you, Mrs. Wesley.” “Same here, Clark.” She smiled and walked past us. Clark and I looked at each other and went outside. I introduced Clark to everyone, he was busy settling in his own skin and I could see he was enjoying himself. “What are your intentions with Aria? Clark.” “What do you mean Sur?” “I mean why are you with her?” “Well Sur, I love her. I don’t want her ever to get hurt. I don’t know how she felt about your son. No disrespect or anything but I don’t want her to go through that again.” “I see, I am glad to hear that.”Clark looked at me and smiled. “Aria can you help me in the kitchen?” asked Mrs. Wesley. I turned around and nodded. We went inside and I helped her with the salad. “Clark seems to enjoy himself.” said Mrs. Wesley. “Yea, he is.” “Well how long do you think he will be around?” asked Mrs. Wesley looking down. “Excuse me?” “Aria, you know he doesn’t belong here, he…” “He is what, Mrs. Wesley? He is not your son and can’t you be happy for me that I found someone again.” “I am happy for you my dear. It’s just…” “Mrs. Wesley you don’t have to like him but he is someone I love and someone I want to spend my life with. Luke was the one but he is not here anymore and I have to move on. We all have to move on.” “I see. Well then I am happy for you.” “Thank you Mrs. Wesley.” We went outside but before I could go, Josh came in. He was a little bit drunk. “You are making a joke about this. He doesn’t belong here and you know it.” “Josh, you’re wrong and he does belong here.” Josh looked at me and walked away. I shook my head and went towards Clark. “What was that about?” asked Clark. I looked at him and said, “Nothing he’s just not himself.” Clark looked at me and kissed me on the forehead. The rest of the night was great. We enjoyed ourselves. The next day Clark and I went for a walk. Clark and I went on a tagging trip with the veterinarian services’. We went after leopards and lions. I could see Clark was amazed. “I see you have done this already and not once but many times.” I laughed at him. “I can do this in my sleep, Clark.” He smiled at me. At the end of the day we got home and went straight for bed… A week has gone by and Clark became jittery. “What wrong Clark? Why so jittery?” “Who me? No I am not… by the way I called my brothers and told them, they should come visit us.” “Oh that’s a great idea.” That afternoon Jake and them arrived. That night everyone was at our place even Mr. and Mrs. Wesley and Josh. I went inside to get my jacket and when I came out everyone was quite. “What’s going on?” I said with a confused face. “Aria Hale. You are one in a million and I don’t know how you can love someone like me. The first time I saw you, I thought you were a normal childish girl BUT my brothers could see something else happening and they were right. I fell for a amazing girl. A amazing person, who will do anything to protect her family even if it is a small animal like a mouse. I love you and I will be with you for the rest of my life. I know, I won’t be like Luke but I will try. Aria Hale will you marry me?” I looked at him with tears in my eyes and said …