Status: New story I'm writing along with Free Falling will try to update at least once a month


Chapter Four

It only took a few minutes to gather up all the scattered cows and bring them to the house. Ava drove the ATV into a shed and shut it down. "Okay, rides over," Ava called turning to Mijhan and T.J. "I just need to close a couple gates, and we can go into the house,"

The three walked out of the shed and Ava closed the large wooden door. Mijhan don't let your dress drag," Ava grabbed the hem of the dress so it didn't hit the ground.

Mijhan thanked Ava, who gave her a quick smile, before ushering the rest of the cattle down the hill into a cement lot and turned off the water.

"Mijhan you're too trusting," T.J. hissed as he watched Ava close the cattle into their new pen.

"But T.J.," Mijhan started, before T.J. hushed her as Ava walked back towards them.

"Hey, you two coming?" Ava asked. 'I have to close this gate so the rest of the cattle can come in,"

"We're coming," Mijhan replied, as she started to walk forward, making Ava notice her shoes had a slight heel.

"Be careful on the rocks, they might be slippery," Ava called, following Mijhan to catch her in case she fell.

T.J. sighed, then followed reluctantly. They were halfway to the house when a truck and trailer pulled into the driveway, making Ava swear under her breath.

She ran to the house, throwing open the doors, disregarding T.J. and Mijhan. "Dad!" she yelled a couple times only to hear no answer. "Great," she seethed, when a hand touched her shoulder, making her jump.

"Sorry," Mijhan apologized, looking slightly startled herself. "Is there something wrong?"

Ava gave a weak smile, "Yes, but it should be fine...I-I'll be right back." And with that Ava ran outside to confront the truck driver who was now opening the gate to the cattle that were just brought in.

"What do you think you're doing?" Ava yelled, startling the man.

"Time to pay up," the man replied. "Your rents due and it hasn't been paid,"

"What rest?" Ava asked, thoroughly annoyed. "We own this property,"

The man shrugged, "Just doing as I've been told,"

"Yeah, well I'm telling you to leave," Ava yelled. "These cattle aren't yours," Ava jumped onto the gate, and swung it closed.

"Get off the gate," the man stated, calmly, waiting for Ava to comply. "Get off the gate," the man said more sternly, reaching up to pull Ava off.

"We don't owe rent," Ava said, once more, clinging to the gate. "Go tell Damian to keep better records and fuck off,"

At the mention of his name Damian seemed to appear out of nowhere. "Girl, get off the gate," Damian curled his thin lips into an evil smile.

"We need these cattle more than you," Ava hissed, glancing up to see T.J. and Mijhan were outside the house, looking towards her confused.

Damian took advantage of Avas' distraction and pulled her off the gate, throwing her onto the gravel driveway. "Open the gate," Damian barked towards the cattle collector. As he took his hand through his black hair, looking back towards Ava who had gotten back to her feet.

Ava went to tackle Damian, but ran into the trailer, because he moved quicker than she had anticipated. Damian grabbed Avas hair, and threw her once more. Ava tumbled until she ran into a metal gas tank, the wind knocked out of her. "You can't do this, Damian," Ava yelled at him, starting to feel sore from all the times she had hit the ground that day.

Damian walked up to Ava and picked her up by the collar. "Oh, I think I can," he sneered, gazing at Ava with his brown eyes.

"Hey!" T.J. yelled walking up to them. "Put her down,"

"And who's this?" Damian hissed into Avas ear, still holding her in the air.

"A friend just passing through," Ava gasped, trying to break Damians hold on her.

Damian smiled, "Did you register them?"

"They just got here," Ava tried again. "I haven't had a chance."

"Fifty head extra," Damian yelled towards the collector. "For disobedience and lying,"

"No!" Ava shrieked, struggling even harder.

"One more offense, and it'll be the farm," Damian growled, tightening his hold on Avas collar.

"Put her down," T.J. tried again, closer now.

"As you wish," Damian shrugged, letting Avas feet touch the ground, his grip loosening a little, before he punched her in the side of her face, making her fall to the ground with a yelp of pain.

Mijhan ran to Avas side, helping her sit up, as Damian got into the truck, as the cattle were being shut into the trailer. "Twenty-four hours, my sweet," Damian cackled as they drove off.

Ava stood up, her head pounding as she looked towards what was left of their cattle stock. Sighing, she stumbled towards the gate and closed it. "Are either of you hungry?" Ava asked, stopping Mijhans questions.

"I am a little," Mijhan admitted, slowly, looking towards T.J.

"I am also," T.J. finally admitted.

"Let me find you something to eat," Ava replied, walking towards the house.

Ava was quiet for a few minutes after they entered the house. "Thank you for helping me," Ava finally said, turning towards T.J. after pulling a couple pots out. "Not a lot of people do that anymore,"

"It was nothing," T.J. shrugged.

"Actually," Ava started, as she put the pot of water on the stove. " It was something. Because not only do I now have to 'register' you two, but if you stay for a while, Damian will start to feel threatened," Ava ended with a slight grin.

"Why was he taking your cattle?" Mijhan asked.

Ava sighed, exasperated. "Damian, our 'Mayor' just started this system a couple years ago where if you break a law or he suspects you of breaking laws he penalizes you by taking away some of your possessions,"

"So," T.J. began, slowly. "What did you do that's so bad?"

"That's just it," Ava said, relieved to finally be able to put her frustrations into words. "My family and I haven't done anything wrong, we abide by the laws and everything. The only reason he's targeting us, is because he believes I'm working in the Underground,"

"That's because you are," a male voice said, as the back door slammed shut.

"Dad," Ava groaned, "Where-"

"Why are we missing seventy five head?" Avas' dad asked, ignoring T.J. and Mijhan, as he entered the kitchen.

"Damian cam and took them, I told you we should've waited," Ava explained.

"Wouldn't have mattered," Avas' dad shook his head. "There was a watch to see when we went to get Ava I don't mind you trying to bring change, but when it cuts into our money, that's when I need to draw the line,"

"But, dad, I-" Ava started before getting cut off.

"I heard what transpired out there...I can stand losing twenty five head, but not seventy five,"

"I'm sorry," Ava mumbled as she added spaghetti to the water.

"And you must be the young gentleman who stepped in and helped, Ava," Avas' dad turned towards T.J. "Thank you,"

"It was no problem, sire," T.J. replied.

"Ava you better get them registered, so Damian doesn't have a reason to come back out," Ava's dad continued.

"I will after lunch," Ava replied.

"No later,"

Ava nodded her head, as she went to strain the spaghetti and put sauce on it, Avas dad went back outside. "You two can sit down" Ava nodded towards the table.

She scooped up the spaghetti then gave it to the, Ava sat down with a bowl also.

"Why do we need to be registered?" T.J. finally asked, when they were halfway through their meal.

Ava gave a small smile, "Merely a stupid procedure, so Damian can track who comes and goes from the city and what we do in the city,"

"But why do we need to register?" Mijhan pressed the subject.

"Because you were here when Damian saw you," Ava sighed. "As I said before, he associates me with the Underground, so he automatically assumes that anyone I'm with is in the Underground as well,"

"What's the Underground?" T.J. asked.

"A subject for another time and place," Ava replied as a machine with a camera rolled into the kitchen. Making Ava scowl at it. Mijhan and T.J. looked at the machine, alarmed.

"Every house suspected of going against Damian has one," Ava sighed. "Give it a couple days and it'll lose interest in you,"

T.J. and Mijhan nodded slowly, not taking their eyes off the camera. "Come on, let's get you two registered." Ava put the dishes away and then got the car keys.
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Hope everyone is enjoying the chapters so far, let me know if you have any questions as to what's going on and I will attempt to elaborate more on the subject in future or previous chapters where it's needed or fits. Also, I don't believe I will continue the statistics at the top of the page, mainly because it will all be the same for the majority of the book the only change would be the time of occurrence and place where things are happening. Give me your thoughts on that if you don't agree with me. In other words,

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