Southern Secrets (Southern #7) - Natasha Madison Page 0,2

not bothering to close my door. I look over and see the red fire truck racing down the driveway. It stops, and the eight firemen jump out of their truck while another truck stops beside them.

It feels like I’m in a movie, and this isn’t real. The heat from the fire sinks into my skin, and the closer and closer we get, the more my eyes feel the burn.

The red barn is engulfed in flames. The orange and yellow flames come out of the top two windows that were my bedroom. The sound of crackling fills the quiet air as all the men at the barbecue stand to the side, watching the barn go up in flames.

The sound of shattering glass fills the air. Two firemen stand on top of the fire truck, their hoses spraying water toward the roof. Six other firemen beside the blaze try to contain it. The heat from the fire hits my skin, but nothing could make me move from this spot.

I watch in shock from the sidelines with everyone else as the firemen do their best to contain it. I hear yelling going on around them, but I can’t move. I hear car doors slamming, and I know more people are arriving, but I can’t look away.

My eyes fixate on the flames coming out of the window, the doors, and the sides of the walls. Yellow, orange, and red mix, making everything in front of me look hazy. How can this be happening? How the fuck am I going to recover from this? I put my hands on my head now as my eyes sting from the flames.

The sound of crackling starts, and all I can do is watch in horror as the roof suddenly vanishes. My hand flies to my mouth as everything I own goes up in flames.

Chapter 2


I look up into the sky and see the black smoke. "Oh my God." I put my hand to my mouth for a minute, turning around in a circle. Or maybe it’s the earth spinning.

The sound of yelling snaps me out of my daydream or nightmare, making me look toward the driveway. The men run to their trucks, the sound of rocks hitting metal as one truck peels out.

"I want someone at each barn." My grandfather walks past me, talking to one of the ranch hands. "I want someone making sure all the horses are okay," he says.

"Grandpa,” I call for him, and he turns around, the worry clear on his face.

"We can take the horses," I say, and he shakes his head.

"Don’t you put any ideas in any of your heads. You do not leave this farm." He points at me, his voice stern like it was when we were younger, and he knew we were going to get into trouble. "And I mean it, Amelia." He turns to walk away.

I wait until he’s far enough away before I turn around and look at Chelsea. If anyone is going to come with me, it would have to be Chelsea. We’ve been stuck at the hip growing up, and if there was trouble, we found it.

"Let’s go," Chelsea says, huffing out, and Willow and Emily both look at her. "You know that us staying here is going to be hell." She looks back at me, and I just nod. "So I’m going. Who is coming with me?"

"Me," I say without missing a beat, and then look back at Emily, who nods at us.

"I have to make sure the kids are alright," Emily says, walking over to my mother and handing her my niece.

My mother looks at my niece and then looks up at me. She shakes her head but then mouths to me, "Be careful."

I nod my head and look back at Willow, who is tapping her index finger on her pants. "He’s not going to like this," she says of Quinn. "He especially said don’t move from here." She looks up at the smoke filling the sky, and this time, it looks thicker than it did before.

I look over at the barn and see them starting to bring out the horses. They take off in every single direction. Some with two riders and some with three but none alone. I see my grandfather race off also.

I turn back to see people packing up the food. Knowing my grandmother, she'll make dinners for everyone and have someone run it over to the men.

Emily runs back to us as we look up again and see