Cowgirl Up! Ch. 3


Cowgirl Up! Ch. 3It was late Saturday evening when J.D. and I pulled up in front of the barns at the Double D. We didn’t waste any time getting the horses unloaded. After walking them around to limber up their tired legs, we put them in adjoining stalls with plenty of water and feed.“She’s beautiful, isn’t she?” I commented to my grandfather, standing at Indian Summer’s stall.“They’re both beautiful.” J.D. responded, putting his arm around me. “I’d say you made two good decisions today.”“You’re gonna do all right expanding our operations.” He added. “You’ve got a good eye for horses.”After grabbing a quick shower and opening a cold beer, I sat in my grandfather’s office going through my emails. J.D. had already gone to bed, leaving me to tend to business.“Want me to unhook the trailer?” Cody inquired, stepping through the French doors from the patio.“No. Leave it hooked up.” I replied, pulling my robe around me. “I may need it tomorrow.”“Saw you bought two horses.” Cody remarked, sitting down across from the desk. “How many more are you planning on buying?”“Enough to fill both barns and keep them full.” I replied. “Depends on how well the horse market performs.”“With the economy improving, I expect people will be doing a lot more buying than selling.” I added. “Speaking of performing, how about you and me headin’ down to my place for the night?” Cody suggested with a grin.“I thought I made myself perfectly clear about that yesterday.” I declared. “Evidently, you didn’t listen.”“I didn’t take it seriously.” He asserted. “I figured you were just ticked off at me.”“Do yourself a favor. Take it seriously.” I declared. “My advice to you is get yourself another girlfriend… or get yourself another job.”Cody realized I wasn’t k**ding. My icy cold stare and stern look emphasized the words I’d spoken. He stepped out of the office, making his way hurriedly back to his trailer.“What a jerk!” I thought. “You’d think he’d take what I said seriously.”It was well after midnight before I finally shut down the computer and went to bed. I slept through the night into the late morning hours. It was approaching 10am when I finally woke up. Slipping a light robe around myself, I sauntered out to the kitchen, still half asleep.“Thought I’d let you sleep in this morning.” My grandfather remarked, pouring me a cup of coffee. “Hope you didn’t have anything planned.”“Not really.” I responded, looking out the kitchen window toward the barns. “Thought I’d do a little shopping over the internet. See if I can find us some more good horses.”“Michelle, why don’t you take the day off?” J.D. suggested. “Or, work on your book. You haven’t taken any time for yourself since you got here.”“I know. I know.” I replied. “I prefer to write of an evening, not on the weekends.”“There’s a big sale down in Lincoln next weekend.” My grandfather stated. “Three days actually. Starts on Friday.” “Really! Let’s go!” I exclaimed excitedly. J.D. informed me about the sale which was to take place at the fairgrounds in Amarillo. Along with afternoon and evening auction events there were several barns set up for direct selling and expo halls with vendor and manufacturer displays. It all sounded very interesting.“I’ll book us a couple of rooms.” I suggested. “Maybe we can get something close to the fairgrounds.”“Hah!” J.D. laughed. “You’ll be lucky to get a hotel room close to Amarillo! This horse sale draws people from all over the U.S.”Logging onto the internet, I found out just how true my grandfather’s statement was. It took over an hour of searching through hotel bookings before I finally received confirmation on two adjoining rooms at the Sheridan Inn on the west side of Amarillo.With the trip being only three-hundred and sixty miles for us, my grandfather and I decided to leave early Thursday morning. J.D. suggested we take the four-horse gooseneck trailer instead of the one I’d gotten used to. Pulling it with the Chevy flatbed truck would also be another new experience I’d have to endure.Monday morning, right after breakfast, I started prepping for the trip. Contacting the auction company and setting up an account was my first accomplishment. Getting the Chevy extended cab truck serviced in Lincoln was my second. Tuesday, I spent the better part of the day getting the four-horse trailer prepared for the trip. After putting fresh straw and sawdust down for bedding, I stacked several bales of hay in the tack room. Filling the onboard water tank and making a comprehensive check of the trailer completed the task.Wednesday, I did laundry and packed clothes for the trip. My grandfather insisted on my wearing dress clothes for the events instead of casual clothing. It was easier to comply with his wishes rather than argue with him.“This ain’t no local horse show!” He declared. “This is the big time! Lots of buyers and sellers are gonna be there for this event. I want you lookin’ like a ranch manager, not a stable-girl.”By Wednesday afternoon, we were ready for our trip. Even with all the work I’d had to get done for our trip, I’d still managed to find time each evening to work on my book. With my grandfather relaxing in his favorite recliner, watching one of his many favorite westerns, we were falling into a comfortable routine. Shortly after 9am Thursday morning, we drove through the entrance to the ranch on our way to Amarillo. The Chevy truck, with its diesel engine, handled the large trailer effortlessly. It took awhile for me to get used to pulling the lengthy trailer. I kept an eye on the rearview mirrors for several miles before finally relaxing. Traveling through southern New Mexico gave me a chance to see a part of this beautiful country I’d never seen before. Cruising along at seventy-five miles an hour, my eyes took in the picturesque scenery and small towns that dotted the interstate. By early afternoon, J.D. had dozed off after reclining his seat back. At least he wasn’t distracting me with his constant pointing out of minute details about the landscape. The trip went smoothly with us making our arrival in Amarillo around 4pm in the afternoon. The skyline of the city reminded me a lot of Chicago, except on a much smaller scale. Getting the horse trailer parked amongst the others in the hotel parking lot was a little nerve-racking. Thankfully, my grandfather slept through the entire ordeal!Our adjoining rooms were on the fourth floor of the Sheridan with a view of the interstate and every fast-food restaurant known to man. After getting situated in our rooms, we decided on dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. The excitement of being in Amarillo and attending the horse expo and sale was quite evident in J.D.’s demeanor. I felt the trip was as beneficial to his health and well-being as his medication.Early Friday morning, after a good night’s sleep and a light breakfast, J.D. and I headed over to the fairgrounds. The traffic was heavy but flowing smoothly. After being directed to one of the numerous parking areas, we donned our western hats and proceeded to the main exposition hall.Entering the huge building, we found the registration center for the auctions and picked up a sale catalog along with brochures detailing all the events. From there we strolled casually through the building, looking at all the displays. Everything from saddlery and equestrian equipment to horse trailers and trucks designed for towing were on display. My grandfather was particularly interested in the saddlery dealer’s and vendor’s displays, looking at all the latest in show equipment. While some were quite expensive, much of it was marked down during the expo. The only things we picked up were catalogs and business cards for later reference.Walking among the newest in horse trailers, we found everything from the bare basics to the absolutes in luxury. J.D. was especially intrigued with the horse trailers equipped with living quarters.“I’ve always wanted one of these.” He stated. “Maybe we should look into getting one. Whatta you think?”“They’re nice.” I replied. “But they aren’t cheap. It’s something to think about though. They’d be nice for horse shows and overnight trips.”The Sundowner four-horse trailer with living quarters that we were standing in was priced at just over sixty-thousand dollars. The same trailer without the living accommodations was a lot less than half that price. I didn’t want to discourage my grandfather’s interest but I didn’t want to promote it either.The two of us spent most of the morning strolling through the display booths and vendor sales areas. We stopped for lunch in the food court, resting our tired feet as much as fulfilling our appetites. I’d worn high heels with my black dress slacks. My feet were starting to pay the price.“Whatta you wanna look at next?” My grandfather inquired. “I saw some ATV’s that might be useful on the ranch.”“We should probably look at the horses going through the sale this afternoon and evening.” I suggested. “That’ll give us a better idea of what we might want to bid on.”Ambling through the barns, we stopped and looked at almost every horse that was going through the auction. The stallions were absolutely magnificent but nothing I’d want to have on the Double D. They were too temperamental and often destructive. Although I wanted to breed our own line of horses, I wanted to use different studs and utilize artificial insemination procedures. It was safer and easier for the mares.“J.D.! You ole’ horsethief!” A voice yelled out as we were looking at an Appaloosa gelding in his stall. “Roger! Roger Garrett!” My grandfather exclaimed with a grin. “What the hell are you doin’ here?”I turned to see two men approaching, both wearing dark western style suits and black western hats. One of the men, whom I guessed to be in his late forties, extended his hand toward my grandfather. The other man, much younger, couldn’t have been much more than twenty-five.Both men shook hands with my grandfather and exchanged pleasantries.“This little filly can’t be the granddaughter you’re always bragging about?” The elder of the two men asked with a grin.“You bet she is!” J.D. exclaimed, beaming a big smile. “This is Michelle Green and she’s my new ranch manager.”“What?” Roger Garrett questioned. “I thought you were a famous writer?”“I’m still writing.” I explained, shaking hands. “I’m doing both.”“This is my son, Wade.” Roger stated, introducing the younger man. Wade tipped his hat while we shook hands. His gesture caught my attention since it’s something you rarely see except in old western movies.“Ms. Green.” He muttered, while we clasped hands. “It’s very nice to meet you.”“Nice to meet you too.” I responded, smiling softly.Wade Garrett stood a few inches taller than me, close to six foot. His western suit fit him perfectly, accenting his broad shoulders and slender waist. I could see his hair was short and dark brown in color. His eyes were shaded by his light tinted sunglasses but I could see he was looking me up and down.“How’s your father doing?” My grandfather asked Roger. “Is he here with you?”“Dad’s ataşehir escort not doing too well.” Roger answered, sounding quite disheartened. “He’s about given up since his last stroke.”“You oughta come down to Fort Worth and see him sometime.” He suggested. “You know, before something happens to him.”“I’ll do that.” My grandfather declared. “Maybe I can cheer him up a little.”“Speaking of cheer, how about coming out to the motor-home with me and having a beer?” Roger suggested.“Sounds good to me!” J.D. exclaimed. “Michelle, you wanna join us?”“Oh… no.” I responded. “Think I’ll look around some more, then go on to the auction arena.”“Wade, why don’t you accompany the little lady?” Roger suggested. “That won’t be necessary. I can find my way around.” I quickly responded. “Unless, Wade really wants to accompany me.” I added, muttering the words.“It’d be my pleasure.” Wade asserted, smiling. “It’ll give the two of us a chance to get acquainted.”While Roger and my grandfather proceeded out to the motor-home, Wade and I went our own way. With the handsome young man walking alongside me, it was difficult to concentrate on looking at the horses. “I take it your family has a ranch in the Fort Worth area.” I surmised. “How many acres do you have?”“One.” Wade replied with a laugh. “One!” I exclaimed.“Yeah. My parents live in one of those gated communities.” Wade explained. “I’ve got an apartment on the west side of Fort Worth.” “We board our horses out by Weatherford, about forty miles from Fort Worth.” He added. “How do you like living on a real ranch?” Wade asked. “It’s got to be awesome!”“It is!” I replied. “It’s so much different than Chicago. Almost like another world.”We kept chatting as we continued looking at the horses. I sensed Wade wasn’t near as happy as he let on. He worked for his father, who was a real estate developer. From hearing him talk about his work, I could tell his heart wasn’t in it.I’d reserved a private table with a computer for the auction events. I felt the additional fee was well worth the money. It afforded a great vantage point of the arena as well as comprehensive details about each horse as it came up for bid. I was a little nervous since this was my first time at any kind of auction.“What kind of horses are you looking for?” Wade inquired. “Quarterhorses.” I replied. “And, Appaloosas and Paints.”“What about you?” I asked. “What are you looking for?”“Dad and I are lookin’ for a good cutting horse.” Wade responded. “We’re thinking about going out on the circuit. Just on weekends and holidays, not full time.”Wade and I watched the first few horses run through the auction. It gave me a chance to see how the bidding was conducted as well as get a grasp of the computerized information system. When a registered sorrel mare was led into the arena, she grabbed my attention. The computer listed her as three years of age and fifteen hands high. The owners had her billed as highly suitable for western pleasure and show events.“She’d be perfect for the ranch.” I stated, looking at Wade.“Bid on her!” He exclaimed. “See how your lucks running!”The bidding started at three-thousand dollars, then quickly escalated to thirty-nine hundred. Catching the eye of one of the auction assistants, I raised the bid to four-thousand. There were four bidders competing for the horse. I waited till two of them dropped out before placing another bid. The auction assistant kept his eye on me as the other bidder and I bantered back and forth. I eventually won out with a winning bid of fifty-five hundred dollars.“Sold to the Double D Ranch!” The auctioneer shouted over the public address system as he slammed his gavel down on the podium. It was a statement he’d make a few more times during the afternoon.My grandfather and Roger Garrett joined us as I was bidding on a beautiful four-year-old chestnut mare with a standing foal by her side. At a little more than fifteen point two hands high, her conformation and markings were outstanding. The young filly, identical in color to her mother, pranced freely around the arena. She was putting on quite a show as the bidding became heated between me and five other bidders. When the bidding reached fifteen-thousand, all but two bidders dropped out. It was between me and a middle-aged couple from Oklahoma. I bid with a slight nod of my head immediately after being outbid by the couple. The bidding reached twenty thousand dollars and kept climbing in five-hundred dollar increments. I was seriously considering dropping out and conceding the auction. I noticed the couple started discussing the bidding between themselves. I took it as a sign they were reaching their limit so I decided to stay in. The auctioneer was asking for another five hundred but the couple declined. We won the auction with a bid of twenty-four thousand dollars for the pair.“Sold to the Double D Ranch!” The auctioneer shouted, pounding his gavel down on the podium. “The little lady wins another one!”“You oughta come down to Fort Worth and work for me.” Roger jested. “I could really use you in my real estate business.”“No thanks.” I responded, grinning. “I’m happy right where I am.”“How about joining us for dinner this evening then?” Roger suggested. “There’s a great steakhouse not far from here.”I could see my grandfather liked the idea so I agreed. The four of us left the auction arena proceeding out to the Garrett’s motor-home. Parked among others in a special area set aside for campers, their Holiday Rambler motor-coach was the absolute in luxury. Light oak cabinetry and leather furnishings, complimented by textured tile flooring and thick carpeting, gave it the feel of a home rather than a camper. Expanding sidewalls at the livingroom and diningroom with another in the rear bedroom gave it spaciousness and allotted for more amenities.“Maybe we should look into gettin’ one of these motor-homes.” J.D. suggested. “Sure make it nice traveling and pulling them horse trailers.”“Thought you wanted a horse trailer with living quarters.” I responded, sitting down on the leather couch.“Well, I did till Roger showed me around this rig.” My grandfather replied. “This might be a lot more suitable. Sure be a lot more comfortable.”I surmised it’d also be a lot more expensive. Either way, both had their pros and cons.Wade joined me on the couch, handing me a glass of cold beer. Kicking off my high-heels, it was the first chance of the day for me to really relax. While Roger and J.D. discussed old times, Wade and I talked about his prospects for buying a cutting horse. Since I was also in the market for cutters, it put me in an awkward position in that I might end up bidding against him. Hopefully, he’d find his horse early in the auction proceedings.Saturday’s auctions were much more crowded than the day before. Sitting at our reserved table, the four of us watched as several horses went for extremely high bids. The outlook for being the successful bidder looked dismal at best. The longer we sat there, the more discouraged I got.“Let’s go look around the expo for a while.” I suggested to Wade. “Doesn’t look like we’re going to do much good here.”“I was thinking the same thing.” He assented. “I’d like to look at some new saddles and bridles.”Leaving J.D. and Roger to sit through the auction proceedings, the two of us strolled through the sales areas. Wade found a show saddle and bridle he liked without much trouble. Priced at nearly four-thousand dollars, he didn’t hesitate to spend the money. I saw some items that we could use at the ranch but I thought it best to wait till the final day to see if the prices would come down a little.Back at the motor-home, Wade stored his new show saddle in the storage compartment underneath the motor-home.“How about something cold to drink?” He offered, opening the door to the motor-home.“Sounds like a good idea.” I responded. “I’m dying for a cigarette.”Wade poured us some iced tea while I lit up a cigarette. Being alone with him, I sensed something was about to happen between us. If he tried something, I wasn’t sure how I’d react. I didn’t have much time to think about it. Wade pulled me into him, kissing me softly on the lips. My lips responded to his, sharing the intimate moment. I could feel his hands rubbing lightly over my back as we embraced and prolonged our kissing. My hands on his shoulders, grasped him tightly, not pushing him away as they should.“I’d like to make love to you.” Wade muttered. “It’s all I’ve thought about.”“What about your father and J.D.?” I questioned. “They could come back here at any minute.”“I’m willing to take that chance if you are.” He replied. “I don’t want to put you in an uncomfortable situation.”My wanton desires took precedent over my better judgment. I knew that it was nearly impossible for the two of us to be together if we didn’t take the opportunity, even thought it meant risking getting caught. Within moments we were in the bedroom, helping each other out of our clothes. Seeing Wade’s muscular body for the first time, I found it hard to take my eyes off him. He made quick work of my bra and panties, tossing them across the bedroom. Shoving his black briefs down his legs, I gasped at the size of his magnificent cock. He was bigger than anyone I’d ever been with.“Things really are bigger in Texas!” I nervously k**ded.“And, better!” He countered with a grin, climbing onto the bed with me.Our lips pressed hard against each other’s as our kisses grew extremely passionate. Worries of being caught dissipated from my mind. Our tongues toyed with each other, taunting and teasing our deepest desires. Wade’s passionate kisses were like none I’d ever experienced or dreamed of. I could feel my strong sexual desires peaking right away.Wade’s lips and tongue, working over my hard nipples, had me nearing an orgasm. I mumbled his name constantly between moans of sexual pleasure. My juices were flowing freely, dampening the sheets between my legs. The handsome young man was quite a lover, sensing my needs and desires. He was taking his time, not rushing our sexual encounter.Wade’s strong hands slipped between my legs, toying with the moist lips of my pussy. I had an orgasm that sent my body trembling uncontrollably. Wade held me tightly till the orgasm faded to memory. Spreading my legs apart, his face disappeared between them. My hands clutched the back of his head, forcing his mouth into my pussy. His tongue snaked into me, making me buck wildly and moan aloud. His lips nibbled at my sensitive clit, sending me into sheer ecstasy. The orgasm had my cum flowing and my body trashing about on the bed. I screamed out, unable to control myself. The sexual bliss lasted on and on, zapping all the strength from my body.I was still gasping for breath when Wade positioned my legs around his slender waist. His huge cock looked like it would rip me apart but I wanted him inside me more than ever. Working the head of his cock between the folds of my pussy, he pushed gently into me. My eyes rolled to the back üsküdar escort of my head as the hard shaft slipped deeper and deeper into me. My pussy was stretched to its limits. Wade took me gently, fucking me with slow, long strokes of his steel-hard cock.We weren’t fucking so much as making love. Our bodies became one as we rode each other towards absolute sexual bliss. Our lips meshed together as our bodies bucked and convulsed. My orgasms were not as powerful as before but they were coming one after another. It was something I’d never experienced before. My fingernails clawed into Wade’s muscular legs as we fucked each other for what seemed like an hour. Wade’s grimaced face signaled he was nearing his climax. His hot cream disgorged into my pussy, sending us both into another world we’d never experienced. He kept spewing his cum into me, like it was never going to stop.We held onto each other for dear life, waiting for our sexual bliss to gradually fade. For me, it was the best and greatest sexual experience of my life. Wade collapsed on top of me. I could feel his heart pounding in his chest, thumping hard against my breasts. My legs tightened their grip around his waist and my hands held him firmly to me. We lay together, embracing our bodies to one another. Neither of us wanted our sexual encounter to end but we both realized we were pressing our luck.After getting washed and dressed, making sure we were both presentable, we changed the sheets on the bed. Wade couldn’t wipe the smile from his handsome face. I couldn’t either, remembering our intimate encounter.Before exiting the motor-home to return to the auction, we kissed again. Our lips seemed to speak for themselves, knowing there was something much more meaningful between us. We may have come close to verbally expressing our affection for each other but we didn’t speak of it.“Thought you two got lost!” My grandfather exclaimed when we rejoined them at the auction arena.“We just lost track of time, I guess.” I responded, suppressing a grin. “There’s so much here to see and do.”“Find something you liked?” Roger asked his son.“Oh yeah!” Wade replied, smiling. “I bought a show saddle and bridle too!”Neither his father nor my grandfather caught onto Wade’s real meaning. Although we sat and watched the stallions go through the auction, we both were thinking only about each other.That evening, at dinner, Wade and I sat close together. My grandfather noticed our increased attentions toward each other.“You know Roger, we might be looking at a future married couple.” J.D. k**ded with a big grin.“Think we oughta break out the shotguns and force the issue?” Roger jested with a laugh.Beneath the table, I felt Wade’s hand giving mine a light squeeze. I squeezed back, entwining my fingers into his. It was an expression of our fondness for each other, certainly nothing more.Returning to the fairgrounds for the late evening auction event, Wade found the horse he felt was perfect for him. The beautiful six-year-old dun mare had all the characteristics and breeding of a great cutting horse. There were numerous bidders for the horse, raising the bids hundreds of dollars at a time. It was quite evident, all the bidders had the same consenting opinion on the horse.“You gonna bid on this one?” Roger asked his son. “She sure looks like a winner.”“Whatta you think Michelle?” Wade questioned. “Think she’s the one for me?”“If you don’t bid on her, I will.” I replied, squeezing his hand.Wade joined in on the bid after all but two others had dropped out. The bidding went to fifteen-thousand dollars then past twenty-thousand. Wade was getting a little nervous as each of the bidders seemed more adamant to buy the horse. At twenty-three thousand, Wade reluctantly dropped out of the bidding. The bidding slowed down as the last two bidders raised the price to twenty-four thousand, five-hundred dollars. The top bidder was a group of three men, impeccably dressed in western suits. They looked more like investors than horsemen. The auction assistants scanned the audience for last bids as the auctioneer called for a twenty-five thousand dollar bid.“Twenty-Five!” I yelled out.The three men looked our way with very disgruntled looks on their faces.“That’ll show ‘em!” My grandfather exclaimed. “Make ‘em pay for her!”After a quick discussion among themselves, the group outbid me by five hundred dollars. I immediately countered, raising the bid to twenty-six thousand. The crowd of onlookers were enjoying the auction, applauding the bidding. The bidding continued in hundred dollar increments as we bantered back and forth, try to outbid each other.At twenty-eight thousand, the group finally conceded the auction. It was a relief seeing them walk away.“I should have bought her.” Wade remarked. “She obviously had great potential.”“I was bidding on your behalf!” I asserted. “You’re paying for her, not me!”For Wade, it was twice in the same day, I’d made him happy. His brief kiss was unexpected but certainly welcomed. I didn’t care who was watching or what our families were thinking. His display of appreciation was more important.“I think Roger’s son has more than a passing interest in you.” My grandfather commented on the way back to the hotel that evening.“As I recall, you said almost the same thing about Cody at one time.” I responded. “I know but I get a whole different feeling with Wade.” J.D. stated. “I also noticed you haven’t stopped smiling since you two went shopping this morning.”I didn’t know what to say next so I changed the subject to the next day’s activities. I felt we’d bought or at least bid on all the horses I was interested in. Strolling through the sale barns the next day might prove worthwhile, though.“I’d like to look at that horse trailer again. The one we looked at Friday afternoon.” My grandfather remarked. “Unless you’d rather not.”He was obviously fishing for a decision. I wasn’t all that sold on a horse trailer with living quarters but I could tell my grandfather was. Of course, he also like the motor-home too. That, I was giving much more consideration.“Do we really want another horse trailer?” I questioned. “We’ve already got three plus the stock trailer.” “Maybe we should go the motor-home route and save ourselves a bundle of money.” I suggested. “It would give you a lot more room and amenities.”“Yeah! Let’s go with a motor-home instead.” J.D. quickly agreed. “One like Roger’s would be great!”“You really want one that big?” I asked. “How about a small one?”“Hell no!” My grandfather exclaimed with a grin. “Let’s go big! The bigger the better!”I had to laugh at my grandfather’s remark. It was quite evident he was just trying to compete with Roger Garrett.Sunday morning, J.D. and I hooked up the horse trailer for the last day’s activities at the horse exposition. Arriving at the fairgrounds early, we managed to get a parking spot I could maneuver into without a lot of difficulty.Meeting up with Roger and Wade, the four of us strolled through the sale barns. I didn’t see any horses that caught my interest, neither did Wade. I still had to make arrangements to ship some of the horses back to the ranch since I could only take four of them with us. I wanted to make sure the chestnut mare and her foal went with me.Informing the men of my plans to take care of the transportation and then do some shopping, Wade and I separated ourselves from Roger and J.D. They decided to sit in on the last of the auctions before waiting for us at the motor-home.Strolling through the vendor’s areas, Wade found a cutting horse saddle he liked. I purchased several saddle pads and grooming items we needed at the ranch along with a saddle and matching bridle for myself. I also found a pair of square toed boots that fit me perfectly.“I want to get you something special.” Wade commented. “Something to signify a relationship.”His comment caught me completely off-guard. I wasn’t sure what he was getting at by his reference to a relationship. I wasn’t as alarmed as much as I was confused.Wade guided me towards one of the many western jewelry counters. Asking for one of the salesclerks by name, I quickly surmised he had this all planned. “We’d like to see that ring I was looking at yesterday.” He said to the salesclerk.The saleslady reached below the counter, removing a beautiful sterling silver ring with turquoise accents. Wade took the ring from the lady, slipping it on my left ring finger. It fit perfectly and looked fantastic on my hand. I was speechless, not knowing what to say or think.“You like it?” Wade murmured.“Of course I like it.” I muttered. “I don’t know what to say. It’s so beautiful.”I knew the ring was more than just a gift. Along with his mention of a relationship, the ring had to signify he had more than just a casual interest in me.After paying for the ring, the two of us made our way to the food court to relax and get something cold to drink.“I wanted you to know you mean something very special to me.” Wade avowed. “I hope you feel the same about me.”“I’ll never forget what happened yesterday.” I muttered. “But I’m not sure what you mean by a relationship.”“I know it sounds dumb.” Wade responded, taking my hand in his. “We’re so many miles apart and all. But, I hope we can maintain a close relationship.”“Are you talking an exclusive relationship?” I asked. “One where neither of us sees anyone else?”“Yeah.” Wade muttered. “You’re not gonna laugh, are you?” He quickly asked.“No. Of course not.” I replied. “A relationship isn’t something we should take lightly.”“I know you’ve been married once. Your grandfather told me.” Wade commented. “I hope someday you’ll consider getting married again.”“I don’t know.” I mumbled, shrugging my shoulders. “I’m not sure if I’d ever consider it or not.”After finishing our refreshments, Wade and I ambled out to the motor-home. Roger and J.D. were chatting about our ideas for a boarding stables and campground on the Double D. Roger had taken a serious interest in the idea. We discussed the idea in general since I didn’t want to divulge too much about the details. I liked Roger but he was a businessman, not a rancher. From listening to him talk, I could tell he was more interested in profits than accommodating horse enthusiasts.It was late in the afternoon before my grandfather and I were back on the road to Lincoln. Wade and I had only gotten a few moments alone before parting. Time enough for a few kisses and an intimate conversation. As the miles between us grew more distant, I was already feeling down.“Nice ring!” My grandfather exclaimed. “Wade buy that for ya?”“Yep.” I replied. “Sort of a thank you gift for helping him get that cutting horse.”“Bullshit!” J.D. bellowed. “He got you that ring because he wants you to know he really cares about you.”“Well… maybe.” I muttered. “I’m not sure exactly how he feels about me.”“I bet he asks you to marry him.” My grandfather asserted. “Wouldn’t surprise me one bit.”“Maybe, maybe not.” I responded, grinning.“If he does, make sure you get him çekmeköy escort to sign a prenuptial agreement.” J.D. warned. “I want your interests protected.”“You sound like you’ve already got me accepting his proposal.” I jested.“I proposed to your grandmother on our first date.” J.D. stated. “I knew the instant I kissed her goodnight, she was the only woman I wanted in my life.”“Is that why you never got remarried after she passed away?” I questioned. “Yeah. I could never love another woman like I did Catherine.” He replied. “I didn’t even want to go out socially with anyone. No one could ever take her place.” Listening to J.D. talk about my grandmother gave me a lot of insight about their close relationship. Not all marriages were like the one I’d suffered through. My grandfather’s statements had renewed my faith that love still existed and that some, but not all marriages, could be happy ones.It was close to midnight when I wheeled up in front of the barns at the Double D. We’d made the trip home safely with just stops for fuel and a quick nap at a rest area. Stepping down from the truck, I noticed Cody’s trailer was dark except for the exterior light near the front door. A fairly new Chevy Impala was parked next to his pickup.“You want me to see if Cody’ll help us get unloaded?” J.D. inquired.“Nah. We can handle it without him.” I replied. “Besides, it looks like he might have an overnight guest.”By 1:15am we had all four horses bedded down in their stalls with plenty of hay and water. To say the least, both of us were extremely tired. Pulling the rig away from the barns, I parked it next to the corrals.“Don’t forget. Breakfast is at 6:00.” My grandfather k**ded as we entered the house.“How could I ever forget?” I quipped, grasping his arm.After grabbing a hot shower, I slipped into bed. It felt great being home but sleep didn’t come quickly. Maybe I was just too tired to relax or maybe it was the short nap on the way home that kept me awake. I thought about Wade sleeping alone down in Fort Worth. I couldn’t get him off my mind. “This sleeping alone really sucks!” I thought. “I’ve got to get a steady sleeping partner.”The alarm clock’s loud ringing startled me awake Monday morning. “Oh God! It’s another day already!” I thought, wiping the sleep from my eyes. Smelling the aroma of fresh coffee wafting through the house, I stumbled out to the kitchen. “Good Morning, Ms. Michelle.” Juanita greeted. “It’s good to see you back home.”“Morning Juanita.” I responded. “It’s good to be home!”After fixing myself a cup of coffee, I lit up a cigarette. I made sure I stayed out of Juanita’s way as she went about preparing breakfast for the ranch-hands.“There’s a strange car down by Cody’s trailer.” Juanita commented. “Think I should set an extra place at the table?”“I doubt if number seven will be joining us for breakfast.” I muttered. “She’ll probably be leaving shortly.”“Who? Number seven?” Juanita questioned.“Oh… ah. Forget I said anything.” I answered. “I didn’t mean anything by it.”While I was getting dressed, Cody’s latest girlfriend must have left. Joining my grandfather and the ranch-hands at the breakfast table, they asked about our trip to Amarillo. I sat quietly, nibbling at my food, while J.D. gave them all the details about the trip. “We bought f******n head of horses!” My grandfather declared. “Michelle bought ‘em all at auction and got them at a damn good price too!”“There’ll be six horses coming in today by transport.” I added. “The last four won’t make it here till tomorrow.”“You buy any horses for breeding stock?” Cody inquired. “I bought a few.” I replied. “One’s a chestnut mare. She’s got a spring foal with her now.”“We may need to hire another ranch-hand to handle the extra work.” Cody remarked. “Have you thought about that?”“We’ll wait and see if we need to add anyone to the payroll.” I responded.I figured Cody was about to argue the point but he didn’t. I wasn’t up for an argument, especially in front of everyone.After breakfast, I started to work putting the information on the new horses into the computer system. It was a tedious task but one that had to be done. My grandfather and Juanita drove into Lincoln to shop for groceries, leaving me alone in the house. Looking down towards the barns, I could see the chestnut mare and her foal in the corral. The little filly colt was prancing around, enjoying her new surroundings.The phone on the desk rang shortly after 9am. The caller I.D. listed Garrett Development Corporation as the caller. I anxiously answered the call. It was Wade, calling from his office in Fort Worth. To hear his soft voice was almost as good as having him there with me. We chatted about the weekend’s activities, not mentioning our intimate encounter. I could tell he was still excited about his new cutting horse. As we talked, I sensed he was feeling as lonely as I was.“I may be able to get away the weekend after next.” Wade remarked. “How about I fly up to Lincoln and spend some time with you at the ranch?”“That’d be great!” I exclaimed. “Except, I’m not sure if I can wait that long.”“This being so far from each other really sucks.” Wade asserted. “We’ve got to figure out a way to be together on the weekends. Every weekend, not just an occasional one.”“I know. I know.” I responded. “We’ll just have to live with it for now though. There’s too much to do around here for me to get away. I don’t see it letting up very soon either.”“I’m afraid I’ll lose you.” Wade muttered in a distraught tone. “I don’t want that to happen.”“Whatta ya mean, lose me?” I asked. “To whom?”“To someone up there.” He replied. “There’s bound to be a lot of lonely cowboys around Lincoln.”“Damn it! I should have asked you to marry me!” He exclaimed. “But I knew that’d just make me look like a dumb-ass.”“Is that a proposal?” I jested. “I don’t recall hearing you say you loved me.”“Michelle, I do love you.” Wade stated, choking out the words. “I knew it the minute we met.”His bold statement shocked me. I didn’t know what to say in response. My eyes started to well with tears and my hands began to tremble. We both remained silent, not uttering a word. Remembering what my grandfather had said about my grandmother during the trip home passed through my mind.“Michelle! You still there?” Wade asked, breaking our silence. “Are you all right?”“Yes. I’m… all right.” I stammered.“I thought maybe you’d hung up on me.” He mumbled.“Do you really love me?” I asked. “Are you really sure?”“Yes, I’m really sure.” Wade answered. “I love you more than anything. Being so far apart is tearing me up.”“I’m gonna catch a plane and fly up there right away.” He affirmed. “I want to hold you in my arms.”“Wade! Just hold on a minute!” I exclaimed. “Don’t go off half-cocked!”“Let’s talk about this calmly.” I spoke softly. “We can work this out over the phone.”“Let’s get married!” Wade suggested in a raised voice. “Let’s fly to Vegas and get married right away!”“I said calmly, not irresponsibly.” I asserted. “We can’t just up and get married without discussing things. A lot of things!”“How about we get engaged?” I suggested. “That’ll give us time to work things out and see about being together all the time, not just the weekends or whenever.”“Will you marry me, Michelle?” Wade asked. “Of course I’ll marry you.” I answered. “I’d be a fool not too. But, we’ve got to work things out first.”“Wade, I love you.” I affirmed. “I should have told you that yesterday when we were together.”“How about I pick up an engagement ring and fly up there so I can put it on your finger?” Wade proposed.“How about I fly down there so we can pick out a ring together?” I countered. “I’ll see how soon I can catch a flight from Lincoln.”After agreeing to call Wade with my flight number and arrival time, we spoke words of intimacy, professing our love for each other. Neither of us wanted to end our phone conversation but I had a lot of things to get done.Luck was on my side as I was able to book a 1:15 commuter flight for that afternoon. Departing from the airport in Lincoln, it would get me into Dallas at 3:30. After calling Wade with the information, I set about packing a few things for the overnight trip.I was just about finished when my grandfather and Juanita returned from their shopping.“I saw a motor-home at a dealership in Lincoln that would be perfect for us.” My grandfather commented. “How about we go take a look at it after I help Juanita put the groceries away?” “I can’t go today, Grandpa.” I replied. “How about the day after tomorrow?”“Ok. I can wait if you want.” J.D. responded, sounding a little dejected. “It doesn’t have to be today.”“I’ve got a 1:15 flight to catch for Dallas.” I asserted, grinning.“Wade? Wade called?” J.D. asked, quite stunned.“Yeah. Wade called.” I answered. “He told me he loved me and asked me to marry him.”“HOLY COW, Michelle! You can’t marry him!” My grandfather shouted. “I absolutely forbid it!”“Forbid it!” I exclaimed. “What the hell do you mean, forbid it?”“You cannot marry Wade Garrett without getting him to sign a prenuptial agreement first.” J.D. declared. “It’ll ruin everything if you don’t.”“We’re just getting engaged for now.” I stated. “We’re not going to get married till we work things out.”“Ok. I’ll allow you to do that. But that’s all I go along with.” My grandfather affirmed. “We need to sit down and talk with my attorneys as soon as you get back from Dallas.”“Ok! Ok! We’ll sit down and talk with your attorneys when I get back.” I agreed. “I promise I won’t do anything stupid.”Grabbing my overnighter and purse, I rushed out the door. J.D. was right on my tail.“You really love this guy, huh?” He asked.“Yeah. I really do love Wade.” I replied. “I know in my heart he’s the one man I truly love.”Arriving at the airport in Lincoln, I nervously paced the waiting area. My flight was still on schedule. It was just that I couldn’t wait! Once I was seated on the plane, I started to calm down some. The flight was smooth but it seemed like we were never going to get to Dallas. I kept looking out the window, trying to figure out where we were. “You seem a little nervous.” The woman sitting next to me remarked. “Does flying scare you?”She looked like she was somewhere in her fifties but I wasn’t sure. Her tailored suit led me to believe she might be a businesswoman.“Oh no. Flying doesn’t bother me.” I answered. “I’m just anxious to get to Dallas.”“Bet there’s someone waiting for you when you get there.” She surmised with a grin. “A lover perhaps.”“My fiancée.” I replied. “He called me this morning and asked me to marry him.”“How long have you known each other?” She inquired. “Two days.” I mumbled. “Bet it sounds really dumb, doesn’t it?”“Not really.” The woman responded with a laugh. “I met my husband at a friend’s wedding. I guess we got caught up in all the excitement. Flew to Vegas that night and got married.”“Really!” I exclaimed. “Are you two still married?”“Thirty-one years next month.” She replied. “I couldn’t be happier.”“Course, the Viagra really helps too.” She murmured in my ear.“I’ll have to remember that.” I whispered back. Our conversation seemed to wile away the time. Before long, we were touching down in Dallas.“Good luck, Hon!” The woman asserted as we walked the narrow hallway into the terminal. “Don’t let your love for this guy falter.”***

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