|Posted on October 8, 2012 at 11:05 AM|
She remembered when she wasn’t a stray, she was his whole world. They had spent whole days in bed together planning a future. They never seemed to get enough of each other. It had been a game with them, trying not to get caught.
“Are you okay Mags?”
Maggie turned and sighed. “Do you remember what you said to me before I left?”
Hunter scowled. “I said a lot of things.”
“That’s true.” She gave him a rueful smile. “You told me that all that glitters is not gold. I wasn’t sure what you meant at the time, but I know now.”
Hunter turned away and stared at the road.
“When did you meet Cindy?”
“She came to live with me about a week after you left.”
“So soon?” It felt like a slap in the face.
“It was the best solution. She can be a bit possessive, but I think you two should get on well enough.”
Maggie nodded and stared out the side window. If she were his wife, she’d be possessive too. She had worried and felt guilty all this time, thinking she had hurt Hunter. Later she realized what a mistake it had been to leave him. She’d known the score when she left. It was all on her. No one else was to blame.
“What does Cindy look like?”
“She’s a sweet little thing that thinks I hung the moon. Her hair is black as night, and her eyes are dark, with a hint of mischief.”
There was no hiding the smile on his face when he talked about Cindy. “You must love her very much.”
Hunter laughed. “She has me wrapped around her finger, and she knows it.”
They past more pastures filled with cattle. Her stomach quivered. She didn’t want to meet Cindy.
“So, what happened to prince charming?”
She’d known that there would be questions, and she had planned to ignore them. There was no ignoring Hunter. “He wasn’t the nice guy I thought he was.”
Hunter slowed the truck until it stopped. He turned and looked at her right in the eyes. “He the one that punched your face?”
“Don’t even try it. I see the bruises. He cut your hair with a knife too didn’t he?”
Self-conscious, Maggie reached up, and touched her haphazardly cut brown hair. She bit her lip and stared at her hands that were folded on her lap.
Hunter stepped on the gas and they were on their way down the road. “I just wish that your mother and your home were still here waiting for you.
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Lone Star Joy--
Stamos stood over his new housekeeper and frowned. She looked a bit young to him. Hell, if she could get Dillon to sleep every night it would be worth it. He touched her shoulder. The panic in her big hazel eyes surprised him. "It's just me," he assured her.
Joy blinked twice and looked around the room. "What?"
"You must have fallen asleep."
"Oh. Well I want you to know that I never fall asleep in the saddle."
"Honey, as long as you can keep us happy you won't have to worry about the saddle." He knew instantly that he must have said the wrong thing. Her pale face turned bright red.
"George never said. I don't do that. I..." She bit her bottom lip.
"Whoa. What's this about George?"
"He said you were on the up and up with your work release program. He never mentioned me making anyone happy."
"I think we're talking about two different things. Here give me Dillon." Stamos leaned down and took the sleeping baby from her. "Now let's start from the beginning. I'm Stamos Walker and you are?"
Her whole body tensed. "I'm Joy Courtland. I'm the horse wrangler. I'm on the prison work release program."
Stamos softly swore. "George sent you here? You're not the new housekeeper?"
Joy shook her head. "Is there a problem?"
"I don't hire women to work on my ranch. George knows it too."
"If you would just give me a chance." Her bright blue eyes were too big for her thin face. In fact, all of her looked down right thin, except for the glorious chestnut braid that hung down her back. It looked as thick as his wrist.
"Listen, can you hold Dillon while I make a phone call?"
Joy stretched out her arms and took the baby, cuddling him to her. Stamos gave her a curt nod and walked to the phone across the room.
"Well, Dillon, I guess it's back to the women's penitentiary." She looked down at Dillon and sighed. "You sure are a cute one, but I guess it makes no never mind to me." Her braid hung over her shoulder and Dillon grabbed it. "Ouch. You little dickens. Give me my hair back." Dillon held on tighter with both hands this time.
"Well if you don't beat all. You are a handful. Full of piss and vinegar I'd say. Cute as a doodle bug, but a handful." She smiled, as she tried to pry his hands from her hair.
Stamos watched, trying not to laugh. Dillon had pulled his hair a time or two and he knew how much it hurt. This little gal acted like it was all a game. She was good with his son.
He picked up a plastic horse that was Dillon's favorite and tried to entice him with it. "Dill, come on now, let go of the sweet lady's hair."
"Dillon," Joy cajoled, "come play horsey with your daddy." She stared at Stamos. “Maybe if you made horse sounds."
Stamos thought she was a bit daft, but he tried it. Dillon immediately let go of Joy's hair, which she put behind her, and reached for the horse. "I'll be damned. It worked," he said.
"I talked to George." He watched her face close and her body tense. "It doesn't make sense. I run a work release program for non-violent offenders, male non-violent offenders. You don't qualify for either. I don't know what to do with you. I feel bad, but you'll have to go back in the morning. Will I have to worry about you running off ?"
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Categories: Tuesday Tales