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Authors: Jacqueline Colt

Ms. Got Rocks

BOOK: Ms. Got Rocks
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Ms. Got Rocks

By

Jacqueline Colt

 

Ms. Got Rocks

 

Rocky Clancy was a freight hauling pilot in Alaska. She becomes a gold miner after inheriting a gold claim located in California. Her attempts at pulling a living out of the American River are seriously complicated when her gold claim is jumped by the most gorgeous man ever born, her new best friend is a world class bad girl who accidentally leaves a body lying about near Rocky's cabin. Then, making things worse, the high school buddy she hopes to make her next man, won’t give her a second look and the Feds suspect she is up to no good on a world wide scale.

As if that isn't enough, her gold claim gives up a monster gold nugget and takes a huge price in exchange. While recuperating Rocky’s adventures continue with a claim jumper who is not what he seems, her dogs, and a buffalo loving jackrabbit. The law officers who suspect she is a Mafia Don-ette make her long for the peace of a forty mile ski trek in sub-zero weather up home in Alaska.

Ms. Got Rocks

Jacqueline Colt

 

Copyright (c)2013 by Jacqueline Colt.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic form or by any means including information storage and retrieval systems-except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews without permission in writing from its publisher, Colt Publications.

All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious and used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author or publisher.

Published by Colt Publications

ISBN 9781301520367

Boxer dog (c)CanStock Photo Inc./GELPI

http://www.canstockphoto.com/boxerdog 3887351.html

Black Lab dog (c)CanStock Photo Inc./ESIGHT

http://www.canstockphoto.com/blacklisting 3188995.html

Handsome man (c)CanStock Photo Inc./curaphotography

http://www.canstockphoto.com/handsome man 5206310.html

Portrait of beautfulwoman (c)CanStock Photo Inc./Anderson

http://www.canstockphoto.com/portraitofbeautifulwoman 3618389.html

Gold Nuggets (c)License Agreement http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php)
(c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / ROMS

 

Friends and Family

I want to thank my son, Craig Colt for talking constantly about gold dredging,hard rock mining and geology for all these years, while he worked at dredging. This one sided conversation made writing the gold dredging by Rocky possible.

To my son Brian Colt, for always listening to my ideas, for his smart and correct editorial choices, for knowing how to punctuate, and because he can make me laugh out loud. I thank him so much.

To Becky Erisch, Camille Pratt, Denise Washburn and Mary Blackburn who read the first draft and refrained from laughing themselves silly, I dedicate this book. For their years of encouragement and undiminishing love, I thank you forever. You guys are the very bestest.

If you liked Ms. Got Rocks, you might like Jacqueline's adventure, set in the future, a shorter story. Star Hunter is available at Amazon.com.

In July 2013 watch for the first edition set of short contemporary romances. One is a bit naughty. The set will be available at your favorite e-reader store.

 

C
hapter 1

"
G
et in the plane. Take it back to Anchorage where it belongs." He was walking still closer to Rocky.

“No, the plane is staying right here. Get out of here Tony, it isn't yours. You have no legal right to it." She was firm but calm.

"I’m still your husband and I want that plane, take it back to Anchorage now or I will make you pay,” Tony  hissed through his teeth at Rocky.

"Why do you want the plane, you can't even fly, in fact…"

"Shut up bitch, and get into the plane," he was starting to yell but there was no one within miles to hear him in the Alaskan night.

"No, I'm not taking this plane anywhere, and neither are you. Leave Tony. Don’t make this harder than it already is." Rocky was still calm but just barely.

Tony taunted her in a mocking voice.

“I'll show you harder...”

He punched Rocky in the soft spot in the middle of her stomach. She doubled over barely capable of breathing. Then, she definitely could not breathe.

Rocky heard Phoebe growl and felt the dog’s body come off the tarmac. Lovie, the big Boxer dog, had screamed. Rocky felt Tony land against her, he was stumbling. He recovered and grabbed Rocky by the hair pulling her toward the plane's hatch. Rocky landed against the sharp edge of the door. Tony pulled his arm back to hit her again.

There was a terrible howl, as Lovie had caught and bitten Tony’s arm. The big dog pulled and shook him like a rat. Lovie dragged him a foot from Rocky. Tony had to let go of her hair. He was trying to shake the dog off of him. Rocky threw the cockpit door open. She fumbled inside looking for the tire iron she used to knock ice off the plane skis in the winter. It was somewhere on the floor.

Tony was howling for Rocky to help him. Phoebe, the short Lab mix mutt, was moving in. The man was half way to the ground with Lovie still on his bare arm. The big dog shook it with intent to kill. Phoebe jumped for his face, which was finally in her range. She clamped her jaws around Tony’s throat. Phoebe was the more dangerous of the two dogs, by far.

"Rocky get these fuckin' dogs off me before I kill them," Tony screamed.

Rocky had the tire iron, and her second wind. Action movies are wrong. You can’t kick a man after being slugged in the stomach. It’s not a happening thing. You can barely breathe, much less stand up straight, Rocky thought. But, thanks to the dogs, Rocky was upright and Tony was down on his back. He was trying to push himself toward his truck with his heels.

As fast as Rocky could move she lurched her way to the truck and jerked open the passenger side door. That was when she spotted the gun on the seat. Grabbing it, she staggered a few feet from the truck, then threw the gun as hard as she could across the dark runway.

The injured man had scooted himself to the running board of the pickup. He opened the driver side door with his free arm, and pulled himself into the truck. Getting leverage there he brutally kicked Lovie in the stomach. That infuriated the big dog further, she dropped his arm and attacked his leg with a renewed vigor.

As Rocky hurried around the bed of the truck to help the dogs, she could see blood glimmering as it ran down Tony’s arm and throat. Phoebe was not letting go of his throat. The little dog was standing on her hind legs on his lap. Tony had most of his body in the truck now. Rocky rushed over and tore loose Phoebe’s grip. Lovie let go of his leg after a final furious shake and tear. Rocky slammed the door on him as hard as she could, and forced it open again.

Tony moved further into the cab of the truck. Rocky slammed the door as hard as she could again, it caught Tony’s hand across the knuckles. She could see him screaming, but she did not hear any sound. Pushing the door open again with his swelling hand, Tony frantically threw himself onto the seat while trying to turn the ignition key.

Rocky pushed the door closed again. Getting her feet under her, she re-opened the door and smashed it into his ankle. Quickly, she pulled it back and punished his ankle again. She could hear someone screaming in front of her.

Tony was completely in the truck. As Rocky moved the door to again smash into him, he gathered his strength and yanked the door from her hands, locking it.

The panting, frantic, angry dogs and Rocky stumbled to the plane. She boosted them into it and locked the door. Rocky swung into the cockpit and began the engine start up. Again she heard someone yelling.

“I will mow the bastard down with the plane. It won't be of any use to him and not worth a plug nickel.” Rocky did not realize that it was she doing the yelling.

While she was automatically running through the start up procedures, her brain reconnected. She was appalled at what she had done. She even could acknowledge that the wild thing moments ago was her, and felt a momentary twinge of guilt.

Her husband had managed to start the truck and instead of ramming the plane, as Rocky expected, he raced the truck down the only road from the Palmer airport.

Rocky reached around and turned on the cabin lights to check the dogs for injuries. Phoebes’ mouth was running with blood, and Lovie was whimpering softly. Phoebe had a loose tooth and numerous tears in her mouth and Lovie must have internal injuries. When the plane was warmed up she flew with shaking knees and arms the twenty miles back to Anchorage, Alaska.

*   *   *

Rocky was her nickname; her name formally was Rochelle Siobhan Clancy Hardwyn. The name Rochelle blurred into Rocky after she panned her first little gold nugget on her Daddy’s gold claim. The name stuck as she grew older, and the nugget still hung on a chain around her long elegant muscled neck.

Her husband, Tony, decided after ten years of marriage that playing the field with a co-worker was better than marriage. To symbolically rid himself of Rocky and their marriage, he moved all of Rocky’s belongings to the Anchorage land fill. Then, using the next month’s rent money, he took off for a Mexican vacation with his latest amour.

Rocky was left without a place to live, with her two dogs, her SUV and her airplane that she uses for her job as a bush pilot carrying freight for Richland Air Service. Returning from his moment of love in Mexico, Tony was demanding the rest her possessions.

Later in Anchorage, she gently carried the dogs to the SUV and drove like a mad woman to the pet ER just blocks from the Merrill Field airport. Rocky spent the rest of the night there, being with her dogs as they were stitched and made comfortable.

Shortly after four AM, the ER office was a hub of activity. The vets had called the police to report the abuse of the dogs. Rocky was signing a complaint against Tony on their behalf. She signed an attempted burglary and assault charge against him for herself.

The officer was insisting that Rocky go to the ER and have X-rays taken and be checked. As soon as both dogs were sleeping under medication she allowed the cops to take her to Providence Hospital ER.

Rocky was going to be fine, no broken bones, but she was certainly bruised. She did not remember getting the huge scrape on her face. The left side of her face looked like five day old ground meat.

The color was not a complement to her freckles nor to her hair which is the color of the embers of a bonfire. Her slightly up tilted eyes are like frosty root beer on a hot morning. The angles and planes of her face are athletic and strong. She is used to physical work. The cop later described her to his partner as a babe with hot curves.

It was now eight AM, and she had been awake for most of the past twenty-four hours. The reporting metro cop gave her a lift to the vet hospital. She picked up the groggy dogs and settled them in the SUV and carefully drove to Merrill Field Airport in eastern Anchorage.

*   *   *

“What the hell happened to you, for God’s sake, sit down?” Betty, the admin. assistant, was pushing Rocky into her office chair. "Mr. Richland, get in here pronto, now."

Rocky explained as best she could to the gang at the flight service office, while Doc Martin, the other pilot, was finding his Ibuprofen.

“He isn’t getting the plane and after last night, I don’t want him back. No way, done for, ended,” she said very loud convincing herself and everyone else she meant it.

Doc and Talltree, her mechanic, gently carried the heavy weight of a half sleeping Lovie into the office, laying her and the barely conscious Phoebe on their beds, next to Betty’s desk. Both the dogs made an effort to thump their tails, happy to see the men. Rocky was tired enough she could curl up next to them and sleep for years.

C
hapter 2

R
ich Richland, the flight service owner, was making plans for Rocky. She was too exhausted to quibble.

The SUV was being ferried to his home garage and the plane now had an armed security guard posted on it.

Mr. Richland bundled her into his car where she instantly fell asleep, only waking when the passenger side door opened. Mr. Richland helped her into the Captain Cook Hotel lobby. She could get some sleep and be out of the way, while the police handled the situation. The dogs would stay in his office and go home with him that night. The last thing Rocky remembered as she double locked the hotel room door was Rich Richland telling her the dogs would be safe. She wanted to stay awake long enough to take a bath.

"Ah, a bath, that feels good, sorta, ouch." Rocky murmured as she slid into the big round tub. Easing her very sore, multi-colored body under the hot, waterlily scented, bubbly water she closed her eyes and tried not to think of Tony and the divorce.

"I want to stay here forever, well, at least for the day,” she told her toes which were propped on the tub rim. At that point she was not entirely sure what day it was.

The water was cold and Rocky realized that she had drifted off to sleep again. She hauled her body out of the chilly water feeling as big, swollen and ugly as a walrus hauling out on the beachhead.

Later, wrapped in the fluffy hotel robe, she called room service and discovered she had slept twelve hours. They would send up a small steak and salad dinner.

Her clothes, in a heap where they were dropped, were covered in human and canine blood.  Her new jeans were practically in shreds on the sides. She could wear them long enough to eat and get back to the airport and her plane. The spare set of clothes waiting for her in the airplane was all she had to wear, since Tony had thrown all her earthly possessions into the city dump.

The office was locked when the taxi dropped her off at Merrill Field. She walked around to the back side. The guard scared her when she came around the plane. The guard was making lots of noise regarding proper ID.

Minutes later, he watched over her as she got her one shirt and jeans from the plane. He loaned Rocky his cell phone and Mr. Richland was at the airport in minutes with the dogs.

Rich Richland opened the office and Rocky made a small pot of coffee. After she changed clothes, she took a mug of coffee out to the guard.

Rocky returned to watch the dogs settle down on their new beds that she had spent practically her entire last paycheck to replace. They were a sorry looking little crew, with stitches and swellings over them much more than her. They never looked more beautiful and wonderful to Rocky as they did then.

“Rocky, we have to get you out of here. There is no way that we are going to keep you safe for as long as it takes with your ex. I think that he is in jail at this moment. He only needs to be arraigned and post bail and then we are back to square one keeping you safe again.”

Rich Richland kept talking when he was on a roll. A person had to wait for him to wind down. It had always amazed Rocky how he could talk so fast. But then, most Alaskans talk fast.

“Rich, I sort of accepted the offer of the crop duster down in the lower forty eight, I think I better get serious and get the SUV sold, and get down there.”

“We hate to see you go, sweetie, but we hate more to see you like this, all beaten down. Has Tony always been violent with you?” Rich asked, obviously hurting as much as if Rocky were one of his daughters rather than an employee.

“No, he is certainly angry a lot with the whole world and especially me. He has never liked the dogs, but he has never hit me. There have been a couple times, recently when I was sure that he was going to, but he didn’t. Honestly, Rich, I think he was going to kill the three of us, if that is what it took to get the plane and the car.” Rocky was pacing the small office, even though she hurt everywhere.

“Yeah, I think so too, it sure looks like it. The cops told me that they found the gun that you threw onto the runway. It is registered to the girl friend.”

Rocky’s head popped straight up and the pacing stopped.

“Well, how stupid is that? I mean it is pretty damn stupid to try to take a plane away from me by force, but to use your girl friend’s registered gun. He is losing it.”

Rocky rolled her empty coffee mug around in her hands, to keep them from shaking as much as to warm them.

“Rocky,” Rich looked at her, with his I’m the parent look that he used on his daughters.

“Whether it is losing it or stupid, it is obvious that it is too dangerous for you to be hanging around here waiting for him to try it again. In my opinion, which nobody asked for, of course, if he is stupid enough to try that kind of stunt once he will do it again. You need to leave, and very soon, like tomorrow, while he is still in jail,” Rich was giving Rocky the straight scoop.

“But Rich, he will know that I’m going to California, he knows that Dad is sick and I want to get there. He will follow me,” Rocky was beginning to realize what a mess that she was really in.

“Besides, I’ve never run away from anything in my life,” Rocky was sounding concerned, but not stymied.

“Rocky, he can’t go out of state when he has posted bail, he can‘t leave, he can’t follow you,” Rich explained.

“Sure, he can, he can’t do it only if he gets caught doing it, and there is no one to watch him 24/7. Oh my God, what am I going to do?" Rocky was close  to panicked, her bravado slipping rapidly.

“How much do you want for the SUV?” Rich asked.

“Huh?”

She did not get her brain turned around quickly enough to keep up with Mr. Richland’s train of thought.

“I said, how much for the SUV? Sherry, our oldest daughter is expecting again and with her oldest two, there isn’t enough room in the sedan for her and three little ones and the junk she hauls around. The Missus and I thought that we would like to buy the SUV and give it to her. How much do you want for it? We cut a deal here, and you can be gone tomorrow morning,” Rich was grinning and not in the least breathless.

“How about fifteen eight?”

“How about eighteen five?” Rich said.

He leaned back in his chair and grinned some more at Rocky, he looked like some old horse trader closing a great deal.

“Done deal, we can go to the bank tomorrow and get the money and that will give Talltree enough time for the final workup on the bird,” said Mr. Richland while they signed the papers for the SUV.

“I had better get to the store, get supplies and some clean clothes on, and I need to get health certificates for the dogs and get their stitches looked at.”

“Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Jen Martin called,” Rich said.“Meet her at the knit shop before nine tonight. She has a safe place for you and the dogs to stay tonight."

“I can get there on time, if I don’t get stuck in the grocery checkout line.”

Jen Martin is Doc’s sister, and other than being a little on the wild side for Rocky’s taste, her heart was in the right place all the time. Jen was to the willow as Rocky was to the oak. They have known each other forever. Jen taught Rocky to knit.

The supplies for the trip were purchased including new jeans and a T-shirt, something more girly than the Alaskan flannel lumberjack look or imprinted pizza delivery ad.

The dogs went back to the doggie ER and got their health certificates and a re-check on their stitches. Lovie went into a hot tub whirlpool bath for a treatment for her sore muscles. Phoebe was too suspicious of the bath looking part and took a pass on that. The stitches in her mouth were doing well, the vet was pleased with her progress. Phoebe only glared at him when he wanted to shine the light in her eyes. She must have liked this vet a lot.

Rocky left with a bag of ointment samples for the dogs. The vet tech pointed out that it would not hurt a human, either, nodding toward her 3-D full color, surround sound face.

They spent the night in Jen’s yarn shop at the corner of International and Old Seward Highway, the dogs had their beds with them and were acting like this was a very good idea, why can’t they live there?

Much, much later after closing the shop, Jen Martin and Rocky sat with a glass of wine and talked of nothing more important than knitting socks and which yarn should be used for knitting up the samples for the next few months. Rocky splurged with some of the SUV sale money. She bought yarn for a sweater.

Jen commented, "Does California get cold enough for a sweater?"

“Does the Donner Party, sound familiar? Jen, Dad’s cabin is really close to Donner Summit, and you can definitely freeze to death there, even nowadays. I will have to rig up a plus size dog coat for Lovie, and something that will stay on Phoebe, Missy Wiggle Worm. Tony dumped their winter gear, too,” Rocky said.

“Good thing you knit, that will be something to think about other than that dick face Tony,” Jen suggested, holding up some Hills of Scotland green wool.

“I have a great idea, why don’t I make a takeout bag for the dogs and you just get comfortable for the night?” Jen said.

“Good idea Jen, my eyes are about to slam into the locked down tight position,” Rocky had been yawning for the past few minutes.

“That wine hit me like a ton of bricks, I should have had some dinner, I better get home while I still have eyes open enough to drive,” Jen said this, but she was putting things into bags and clearing off the front counter.

Rocky was still asleep on the parlor couch when Jen arrived to open the store in the morning. She rolled off the couch and slung herself together.

The dogs helped Jen look over the back of the store and they left for a walk, while Jen started her work day.

The SUV was parked for the night behind the small store where it did not show from the street. The vehicle looked untouched, although it had acquired a parking ticket.

How Rocky hated this part, the part when you finally have to say goodbye, Jen was so much a part of her life here. Her heart was being pulled out of her chest again.

Phoebe seemed to know what was happening and stood as close to Jen as the dog's abused psyche would allow while she said goodbye to her human friend. Phoebe gave Jen the tiniest kiss on the cheek. Phoebe could not bear to do that any longer and ran pell mell to the car. The women looked at each other in astonishment.

“Wow, I’m honored, and after all she has only known me for five years.” Jen had tears in her eyes because the shy, spooky formerly abused dog had finally made a warm and emotional action toward her.

“Wow, I’m flabbergasted, she doesn’t even kiss Talltree, he feels rewarded if she hasn‘t bitten him,” Rocky explained.

Those emotional partings were going to be spread out, fortunately it will be at least another day before she must say goodbye to her beloved Alaska.

There was trouble standing in the parking lot. The SUV pulled into the open space in front of the flight service building. The dogs were growling a low rumbling sound at the side door. They, too, saw Tony, and they had plenty of unfinished business with him. Rocky opened the car door wide enough to get herself out of the vehicle, and walked straight up to where her husband blocked the office door.

“Hey Baby, you look a little rough around the edges,” Tony said as he rocked from one hip to another like some wannabe boxer.

Rocky was four feet from him when she stopped and stared at him.

“What do you want Tony?”

“I want the keys to my plane, you know what I want Rocky,” he took a step toward her.

“No.”

Rocky covered the distance between them and he took a half step backward.

“Yeah, it is mine and I want the keys now,” he looked straight at her, his hands curled into fists. He threw a punch at her middle with his uninjured right hand.

This time Rocky was expecting it and ducked. Coming up she lead with her left and connected with his body square in the soft belly and he went down to his knees.

“You brain dead bastard, get off the airport now, I’m calling the cops,” Rocky was yelling and she could hear people running inside the building. She surely hoped they were running to her, not away from her.

The door to the office building burst open. Rich Richland and Talltree were scooping Tony off the ground as the sirens were getting louder and the police cruisers pulled into the parking lot. As the officers swarmed out of the cars, Talltree mumbled to her.

“Damn, Sis, where did you learn a left upper cut like that?”

“You saw that? My big brother taught it to me on my twelfth birthday, he said someday I might need it,” Rocky answered quietly while rubbing her knuckles.

While Tony screamed at her, Rocky walked away from the melee of people. She retrieved the dogs from the SUV, walked them to the plane, and tied them off to the tire strut. Both dogs were still agitated.

With filing the police report and wondering if Tony would file assault charges against her, the day had melded into late afternoon. Even though both the plane and Rocky were instrument rated and could safely fly at night, Rocky was feeling that worn out feeling again.

When she started her preflight, she finally noticed that she had not put the floats on the plane.

BOOK: Ms. Got Rocks
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