Old Wounds New Beginnings

Part 8

By Kim (KP) Pritekel


Disclaimers: These two lovely ladies may seem a bit familiar, but that's about it. You don't know 'em, honest.

Subtext: Yes, this story is of an alternative nature, what else would come from me? So, basically if you aren't old enough to buy me a beer, wouldn't buy me a beer, or live some place where they don't sell beer, go away. Otherwise, sit back, relax, and let me entertain you.

Violence: Well, folks. I'm going to be honest here. I'm not real sure how far I'll take this, but know that part of this takes place in a prison, and it's not a pretty world. There will be violence, including murder, and also some scenes dealing with rape. If this bothers you, then please move on, or cover your eyes during the scary stuff. I think it'll be more disturbing than graphic, though.

Language: Yup. Be warned.

Note: The depiction of the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) is accurate in this story, however some names and possibly some aspects have been changed to protect the innocent, and also my butt. Hey, I wanna keep my job, okay?

Note 2: I have changed LaGrange, Texas to fit into the story, so if it is not like the real thing, just pretend, and don't hurt me. : )

Thank you to Barbara. Your ideas and knowledge of the Gaelic language was beyond helpful. : ) Slan.

If you'd like to tell me what a wonderful writer I am, or that I royally suck, feel free at: XenaNut@hotmail.com

© Kim Pritekel 2001

For Jen. I love you.

saoire (see-re) freedom

Part 8

Old, tired green eyes opened followed by the slight wrinkling of the nose, and raising of the upper lip in a grimace. Larry McClure sat up in his large bed, one hand held over his chest as he struggled for a breath. He looked around the dark room, trying to figure out what had woken him in the first place, then the pain shot through him again, starting in his chest and shooting down through his left arm.

“Argh.” he stammered as he threw the sheet off of him, swung his legs over the bed to rest on the chilled hardwood floor. The old rancher ran large hands over his face, and through nearly all gray hair. He took several deep breaths as the pain shot through him once more. “Damn chili gave me heartburn.” he muttered as he laid back down, and closed his eyes. Too early to get up.

Rosa glanced over at the clock. The boys would be in soon. She wondered if Jamie would decide to drag her butt in finally and regale them with her tales of heroism. She chuckled to herself as she held the lid of the carafe closed so she could pour the old man's coffee. That one was definitely a mystery. Sure had Tyg all tied up in knots. The housekeeper had heard Tyg walk down the hall the night before, and at the pace she used, she was sure the blonde had gone for either a late night ride with Hazelnut, or one of her runs. Either way, she knew the girl had been able to burn off all that excess energy.

Rosa piled everything onto the tray to bring up to Larry; a stack of golden pancakes with a tiny pitcher of heated maple syrup, a plate of eggs, done over-easy just like he liked them, and three links of sausage, three slabs of bacon, and a side of Texas toast. Tyg sure came by her appetite honestly. The housekeeper placed the mug of steaming black coffee on one corner, a tall glass of orange juice on the other and heaved it up to head upstairs.

Rosa walked down the dark hall, and balanced the tray on a knee as she opened the door to old man McClure's room. Try as she might, she could never be mad at him; she loved that old goat. He had been like a father to her.

She was surprised to see that the room was still dark, and the rancher was still in bed. Usually by this time he had himself up and dressed, and was either playing one of his endless games of cards, or staring out over the early morning.

“Larry?” she asked, a pang of concern passing through her. She set the tray on the card table, and hurried over to the large bed where the still form of her boss of more than a quarter century laid on his side. She placed her hand on his shoulder, shaking him slightly. “Larry?” she asked again, leaning over to see just past an ear, to the leathery skin of his face. “Larry?” she asked again, her voice raising half a pitch as worry really began to grip her gut. “Lar-“

“What, woman? I ain't deaf, ya know.” the old rancher half turned to glance over his shoulder at Rosa's surprised face. The housekeeper blew out a deep breath ad smacked him on the arm.

“Damn you, old man! You just about scared the holy water outta me!” she helped him turn over onto his back, and sit up.


“Why ain't you up yet, lazy bones?” she grabbed his jeans off the floor where he'd tossed them the night before, and threw them onto the bed before digging a clean shirt out of the drawer in the dresser across the room. “Here. Get dressed.”

“Sorry, Rosa. Ain't feelin' too good this mornin', s'all.” the old rancher yanked his sleep shirt over his head and pulled the clean one on. Rosa helped him stand, then turned away as he pulled on the jeans, then she helped him to the bathroom in the room, organizing his plates on the card table as he did his business.

“Why? You gettin' sick, or what?” she asked, loud enough to be heard in the other room.

“Hell if I know. Just got heartburn, I think.”

“Well, I ain't feelin' too sorry for ya. I tole ya not to eat that chili, old man.” she set the napkin and silverware next to the plate and gathered the tray and ever present dish towel under a fleshy arm. The door opened, and Rosa wrinkled her nose. “Damn! I'd say you had heartburn or somethin'.” she walked to the door and stopped. “You sure you okay?”

“Yeah, yeah. I'm fine.” the old man said sitting at the table with the wave of his hand.

“Well, you need anything, you holler.”

Rosa left the room and walked down the few feet to Tyg's door, hand raised, poised to rap on the girl's door with her knuckles, but decided not to. Let her sleep. She'd had a rough couple of days.

Emerald eyes opened to see the orange-pink light of early morning flowing through the open windows on a breath of cool breeze. Tyg felt heat along her back, and curled up under her bent legs, and smiled as last night dawned into her sleep-fuzzy brain. She sighed deeply, pulling the forearm that she held closer around her waist, a large hand opening to spread long fingers across her hip. The blonde smiled when she heard a soft sigh behind her, feeling the warm puff of air that followed against the back of her neck. Jamie. She had never felt so comfortable, so at peace, so at home, in her whole life as she felt in Jamie's arms. She remembered feeling a soft touch at the swell of her breast, and had opened her eyes to see it still in the deep of night, and met soft lips and exploring hands. Tyg's body tingled all over again as she once again felt the brunette's hands slide down her body, caressing her, and finally slipping through curls to bathe in a spring of pleasure, then she cried out softly as she was suddenly filled.

Tyg turned over to her back, taking Jamie's hand in hers, and kissing the palm as she stared into the beautiful face, so at peace in her sleep. She smiled as she could still smell herself on soft fingertips. Jamie's dark lashes were closed, her lips pursed ever so slightly. Tyg ran a finger over those lips, and up a high, chiseled cheekbone. Dark brows drew together a second before blue eyes opened, leaving the rancher speechless with their incredible color and depth. The hand smiled, the tiniest lines appearing around the corners of her eyes.

“Hi.” she whispered.

“Howdy.” Tyg smiled back. She ran her hand through the hair at the brunette's temples, combing it back from her face, tucking it behind an ear. Jamie kept her eyes on green the entire time, so lost in her own emotions that she could not imagine her life without the rancher now. Last night Tyg had planted something within her that was embedded forever in her heart. Even if she were to leave the ranch at that moment, never to return, she was changed. She lacked the words to say to Tyg, so she said nothing, instead hoping that the blonde could read everything in her eyes.

Tyg turned to her side, facing Jamie, their legs entwined. Jamie's hand began to caress Tyg's hip, moving up to her waist to settle in the soft curves there. Neither felt the need to say anything. Words could only serve to destroy the perfect peace that filled each. Besides, nothing could be said that hadn't already been said through touching and being touched; skin being the parchment, hands the quill. For the first time in her life, Jamie did not feel scared or alone, and Tyg saw someone before her that she could lean on, depend on, and knew would love her as much as she loved. It was exhilarating and calming all at the same time.

The truck idled quietly in the circular drive as he sat. And thought. How could this happen? He'd given up one job for another, now he had neither. This was not how it was supposed to go down! Well, nothing usually does, a little voice in his brain chirped. No! The truck shook slightly as the heel of his hand met the steering wheel, a dull thud filling the cab for a moment. He took a deep breath and looked around the immaculate grounds, knowing he wouldn't have a chance there. So instead he looked out toward the main road, a white car passing going to some unknown place. Probably a good job that paid really good. Fresh anger filled him.

“Bastards.” he snarled, tapping impatient fingers on the dash just beyond the wheel. He glanced down at the envelope on the seat next to him with his “final pay”. He hadn't even bothered to count it.

“Final pay, my ass.” he breathed as he put the old Ford in gear, and drove off the grounds. He had an idea.



“Well, do you think maybe we should get out of bed before Rosa comes looking for you?” Jamie asked with a grin, holding the bundle that laid half on top of her closer, wild blonde hair under her chin, a wisp flying up to tickle her nose. The blonde hair nodded, and the hand chuckled. She waited a few minutes, but when the rancher made no effort to move, she squeezed a bit harder. “Like, today?” again a nod, but nothing else. “Come on, lazy. Let's get up.”

“Don't wanna.” Jamie found herself with even more of Tyg's body holding her down, but could not bring herself to move out from under her. Truth be told, she was perfectly content and comfortable acting as a human pillow, but her bladder and stomach had other ideas. She was quiet for a moment as she took in the bed that was utterly destroyed, blankets and sheets hanging off everywhere, the bare mattress showing at the foot of the bed. She inhaled the smell of sweat and sex that permeated the air.

“Okay. If I give you a kiss will you get up?”

“No.” was mumbled into the skin of Jamie's neck.

“If I tickle you?”


“Hmm.” Jamie thought for a moment, then a grin spread across her features. “How about if I get you the biggest, most succulent breakfast there is?” a blonde head popped up, and Jamie found herself looking into smiling green eyes.


“You're terrible.” Jamie chuckled, running her knuckles along Tyg's neck.

“Yes, but I'm hungry, too.” Tyg leaned in and kissed Jamie sweetly on the lips, then slowly pulled herself up to straddle the brunette, looking down at her with hands resting on the mattress on either side of the hand's shoulders. “So are you going to make me this biggest, most succulent breakfast?” Jamie chuckled deep in her throat, an almost evil sound. Tyg raised dark gold brows in question.

“You don't want me to do that.” the brunette said with a lop-sided grin.

“Oh? And why's that?”

“Because my cooking might kill you, and-“ before Jamie could finish, Tyg was off and running toward the kitchen. A few seconds later,

“Honey, you ain't got any food in here!” was yelled back. Jamie chuckled.

“And because I don't have any food.” she finished quietly. She glanced over to see a very naked Tyg standing in the doorway of the bedroom with arms crossed her over chest, an accusing look on her beautiful face. “What?” Jamie asked, placing her hands behind her head with a guilty grin.

“What, nothin'. You tryin' to starve yourself, honey?” the blonde walked over to the bed and looked down at her lover, hands on her hips. Jamie looked up at the mother hen and shrugged again. She sat up, whipping long legs over the side of the bed, pulling the rancher in between and wrapped her arms around Tyg's waist. Tyg sighed and pulled Jamie in so her cheek rested against the blonde's stomach. “We gotta change that.” Tyg closed her eyes and sighed as she gently stroked Jamie's long, dark hair.

Rosa stared at the two empty chairs; one at the head of the table, the other to the left of it. When neither Jamie or Tyg had showed up for breakfast, she had had a pretty good idea what happened, and couldn't keep the smile from her lips. The boys seemed to pick up on it, too, as no one had asked a single question, but looked at each other with twinkling eyes, and silent nods.

The housekeeper made one more round of food before she started to kick the boys out, grabbing Marty by his arm. He looked at the older woman with dark, guilty eyes.

“Don't think you're gettin' away, 'cause you ain't.” the hand sighed, and waved to his buddies as they all marched out the door.

“Dish duty again?” the boy asked, walking over to the table and beginning to gather plates and glasses.

“Not yet. Gotta feelin' I'm gonna be feedin' two hungry gals.” Rosa winked at a smiling Marty over her shoulder.

“Do ya really think that's what done happened?” the boy asked with wide-eyed wonder.

“I sure hope so. At least one person in this house should be happy.” she grumbled as she began to beat a half dozen eggs. “Tell ya what, boy, why don't ya go on out an see if Bobby has anythin' for ya to do today.”

“Later!” Marty yelled over his shoulder as he pushed a chair out of his way. The older woman shook her head as she pulled a whisk out from her utensil jar.


The back road behind the ranch near the stream was a good thing. Good place to do this. No one really knew about it except for maybe that bitch and her old man of a grandfather. No one knew that place like her did. No one could work on machines; fixing them, or otherwise. That stupid kid was never supposed to get on that damn baler. That was usually Tyg's job. Oh well. Into every war is thrown some casualties.

The old Ford bobbed its way up the less than dirt road, the large farm house finally coming into view, the horse corral off to the left a good pace. He pulled the truck to a stop for a moment, trying to decide what to do. With a grin he put the vehicle in gear, and pulled up to the front of the place. He knew that all the boys and that bitch would be gone by now, out in the field, humpin' cows, or whatever. Now in the house was that old bitch and the old man. Perfect.


Rosa whistled an old Mexican tune she remembered from her childhood that her mother used to sing to her. Humming quietly, she grabbed the egg timer, and set it for fifteen minutes. She was surprised that the girls still hadn't shown up yet. She knew in her gut that everything was okay, so she didn't bother heading to Jamie's place. They deserved their privacy. She smiled as she pictured the two of them. So different, yet so much the same. Where one ended, the other picked right up. The housekeeper thought back to one night not long ago when Tyg had come in from another hard day, and had plopped down on her stool, cold beer in hand.

“What's goin' through that pretty head of yours, child?” she had asked to which Tyg had answered with only a sigh. “Don't you sigh at me. Tell me what's goin' on.” Tyg took a swig of her beer and stared up at the older woman who was kneading dough for the morning biscuits.

“Hell, I'm just tired of wonderin', is all. Ain't worth it.”

The next morning Jamie had disappeared. Rosa chuckled when she heard the back door open. She grinned.

“About time you two got your lazy asses outta bed. Ya'd think ya'll were rabbits, or somethin'.” the hairs on the back of Rosa's neck stood on end as she heard heavy footsteps coming down the hall. Her gut clenched tight.

“I ain't no rabbit, but I'll sure as hell skin ya like one you make one sound.”

The older woman shivered at the deep voice, and the hot, bitter breath that tickled the little hairs at the back of her neck. She felt something poke her in the shoulder, then a sharp pain to the top of her head, and all went dark.

Jamie stood in front of the steamy mirror, wiping a hand across it's smooth surface. She picked up the brush from the bathroom counter, and ran it through the thick, wet strands, tugging through the tangles.

“Ya about ready, baby?” Tyg asked, wrapping her arms around the brunette from behind, watching the hand's reflection over her shoulder. Jamie nodded.

“Yup.” Jamie grabbed the hand that rested on her hip, and kissed the palm before she tossed the brush to the counter, and turned in Tyg's embrace to smile down at her lover who still had wet hair, too.

“Let's go get some breakfast.” the blonde whispered against the taller woman's lips.

The day was beautiful and bright, the full blast of summer heat had not quite hit yet at eight-thirty in the morning. Tyg and Jamie walked down the main path from the hand's cabins. Tyg reached out and grabbed the brunette's hand, smiling at the raised brow. They walked on in silence, basking in the stillness of the day. As they got closer to the main house, Jamie could feel Tyg's whole body change. She glanced over at the rancher to see her staring at the house, green eyes turned hard. Jamie followed her gaze to see an old green Ford parked in the drive, and turned back to the blonde just in time to have her hand dropped back to her side as the rancher began to run toward the house. Not sure what was going on, the brunette followed, her longer legs quickly catching up.

Tyg could hear her heart pounding in her ears as she neared the house. She had the worst feeling assail her gut. She flew up the few stairs of the porch, and nearly ripped the screen door from its hinges. Her mind seemed to cut off, and everything became like tunnel vision, only seeing what lay ahead of her, her thoughts strictly on her family.

Jamie nearly plowed into the blonde who had stopped short just inside the door. Tyg looked toward the stairs, then headed through the hall to the kitchen instead. A small gasp escaped the rancher's throat as she ran into the room to find Rosa laying on the ground on her side, one arm partially covering her face. Tyg knelt next to the housekeeper, dread running through her gut giving her a bitter taste in her mouth.

Jamie stood in the doorway, not sure what she should do. She could feel anger building inside her like water bubbling from a geyser.

“Rosa.” Tyg breathed, turning the large woman over onto her back, and feeling for a pulse at her throat. The blonde closed her eyes with a sigh of relief when she felt the steady beat. She was just knocked out. The rancher smoothed the salt and peppery hair away from the housekeeper's face, and drew her hand back to see her fingertips covered in blood. “I'm so sorry, Rosa.” she whispered. She looked up at Jamie who watched with her arms crossed pensively over her chest. She looked like she was about to explode.

“Who did this?” Jamie demanded, her voice low, dangerous. Tyg opened her mouth to answer when overhead they heard a loud thud.

“Granddaddy!” Tyg jumped up and followed Jamie out of the kitchen up the stairs where the hand took them three at a time, her long legs carrying her down the hall in a second, barging through the closed door of Larry McClure's room to see the old man on the ground, kneeling on one knee, a hand raised to protect himself from another blow, his other hand clutching his shirt at his chest. He couldn't breath, and was gasping for air.

Jamie saw the back of the man standing over the old rancher, a small hand gun in his right hand, the weapon pointed point-blank at McClure's forehead. Without a thought she spun around and gave him a roundhouse to the ribs. The gun flew from the man's hand, and he was nearly knocked to the floor. He turned to face his attacker.

“Cal.” Jamie growled as she prepared for his rage as he charged her, grabbing her around the middle and knocking them both into a wall. Jamie was stunned for a moment as the air was knocked from her lungs, but she knew there was no way she could let the bastard get the upper hand. He would kill her. She had seen that look in his dark eyes, and knew it well. He was on a suicide mission. Vengeance, or die trying.

Tyg ran into the room.

“Granddaddy!” she cried as she saw the old rancher collapsed near his chair, his breathing labored, his face as pale as she'd ever seen it. “Oh, god.” she breathed, and ran over to him, moving him out of the way of the fight that was moving around the room. The blonde gathered her grandfather in her arms, cradling his head to her breast as she prayed Jamie would be okay as she battled what looked like a lion in captivity too long. She knew Cal was dangerous; he was a big man, and she wasn't sure if Jamie could stop him.

Jamie closed her eyes a second before she saw the fist coming. Stars flashed behind her lids, her head rocking on her neck like a jack-in-the-box on its spring. The hand had made a terrible mistake though, as he stood with his legs wide for better balance and power behind his throw. Jamie used his own hand pinning her against the wall as leverage as she raised her leg, and kneed the bastard as hard as she could Cal's eyes flew open, and she was instantly released as he grabbed his damaged parts, a small cry escaping his lips. Jamie scooted out from the trap of him and the wall as she spotted the gun that had ended up near the bathroom door. She ran to get it when her ankle was caught, and down she went, hard enough to jar her teeth in her head.

“No ya don't, ya bitch.” was growled behind her. She squirmed around to see Cal lying on his side, one large hand wrapped around her foot, beginning to pull her toward him. She turned back toward the gun, her arm reached out as far as she could, her fingers stretched, but not enough. “I ain't gonna give ya a chance ta kill a second time.” he sneered. As she was dragged toward him, she drew her other leg back, and planted her shoe in his face. She heard the tell-tale crunch of his nose breaking, and a scream filled the room. Jamie was released, and scrambled to get the gun. She picked it up, and stood when she was slammed into the wall, an arm locked across her throat. “Gimmie that, ya cunt.” he hissed, grabbing for the gun. The struggle began again as Jamie sucked in shallow breaths as her air was steadily cut off.

“Cal!” Tyg cried out, terrified as she saw the veins popping out of Jamie's neck and forehead from the strain and lack of oxygen.

“Shut up, bitch! Yer next.” he said, baring blood-stained teeth as he applied even more pressure. Jamie twisted her arm until she was able to get the gun free, and raised her arm, cocking back the hammer. Cal grinned as he saw her. He wiped the blood that gushed from his nose away from his mouth with his free arm before he grabbed Jamie's gun hand. Jamie closed her eyes as she felt her hand being nearly broken as Cal put pressure on it to turn the gun on her. She opened her eyes and glanced over at Tyg as things were beginning to get fuzzy and gray. The blonde stared back with desperate, pleading eyes. The hand summoned up every last ounce of strength she had in her body, and began to push back against Cal's hand until the gun was nearly in his chest. He put even more into it until finally Jamie was looking down the barrel of the gun. She could hear Tyg crying in the background. This was not how it was supposed to happen. She couldn't leave Tyg like this. Not like this. The world was steadily becoming darker, fading into some strange tunnel where sound and light didn't exist.....

PING!!! Thunk.

Jamie felt the pressure suddenly let up on her throat, and with a rush of blood, her vision began to slowly clear, and sounds were erupting throughout the room, almost deafening as she clutched her throat, and opened her eyes to no longer see Cal standing in front of her, but Rosa. Jamie quickly glanced down, and saw the hand laying on the floor in a heap, eyes open wide in shocked pain, blood gushing from his fatal head wound. The cast iron frying pan that Rosa still held in her hand had crushed his skull, killing him instantly. Jamie looked up again to meet the older woman's dark eyes, and they both let out a long, slow breath, and a slight smile of relief and thanks.

“No!” Jamie's aching head snapped over to where Tyg sat on the floor with Larry McClure in her arms, his face drawn and pale, mischievous green eyes closed. Forever. “Oh, granddaddy. No.” she cried into his hair as she held him close, rocking his still body in her arms. “I love you.”

Rosa and Jamie hurried over to the rancher, Rosa whispering soft words into Tyg's hair as she held her close.

“Let 'em go, baby.” she cooed, trying to hold her own tears back. Jamie stood, stunned as blood trickled down the side of her head, down her cheek. She brought her hand up to rub her neck when she was nearly bowled over by the small blonde. She pulled Tyg close, breathing in her scent, the scent of life. The rancher cried in her arms, her sobs rocking them both. Jamie buried her face in Tyg's hair, her own eyes filling, but the tears refused to fall. Now was Tyg's time to grieve.

The back door of the station wagon closed with a loud bang of finality, the word CORONER stenciled in white against the dark blue of the car. Jamie watched from the porch as another wagon door was closed, then those of the ambulance, Rosa's voice filling the early afternoon air.

“I'm fine, you fool. Let me outta here!”

The brunette smiled as the paramedic knocked on the closed door of the van, bright lights and sirens whooping to life, threatening to split the hand's skull. She took a deep sigh, resting her forearms against the wood railing.

“Hey.” she turned to see Tyg standing next to her, thumbs hooked into the back pockets of her shorts.

“Hey.” Jamie said quietly. She stood and faced the blonde. “Listen, Tyg. About what Cal said, about me-“ Tyg covered the brunette's lips with two fingers.

“Shhh. Another time.” she whispered. “Hold me.”

Jamie smiled as she took the precious bundle into her arms, never more grateful for anything in her entire life. She took a deep sigh as she stroked Tyg's hair, smoothing it down the rancher's back.

One year later

Jamie paced around the large room, waiting. She hated to wait, but that was the way it was. She glanced often at the bathroom door in their bedroom, waiting for Tyg to come out.

“Aren't you done yet?” she asked, for the seventh time in an hour.

“Nope.” came the standard reply. The brunette threw her hands up in exasperation. She could not believe Tyg was making her go. She hated these things. She stopped pacing as she stared at a picture from last spring of them together. That had been the most nerve wracking day of her life, but the happiest. She smiled and remembered how beautiful Tyg had looked in a white sun dress, her bare shoulders and arms bronze and strong. So beautiful. Jamie herself had worn a white, light weight summer pant suit. She had felt ridiculous, but knew she looked good, and that was what Tyg had asked her to wear. Who was she to deny the feisty blonde anything?

Jamie looked down at her left hand, caressing the gold band that had not left her finger since that day, and would never leave it.

“Okay. Ready.” Jamie turned to see her lover and life partner standing at her side, as she always had. Jamie smiled. Tyg was stunning in a long summer dress that was light green with tiny dark green flowers sprinkled all over it, that reached to just below her knees. Her shoulders and arms were bare with the thin straps, and sandals covered her feet. Her hair was long and free, shiny from the recent washing and endless brushing.

“You look beautiful, baby.” she said as she tenderly kissed the rancher, pulling her close for a quick, but tight hug. “I think we should just stay here.” her hand wondered down to cover Tyg's butt. “We could-“

“No, no. You ain't gettin' outta this, Jamie. You promised.” Tyg looked up at Jamie with pouting lips and pleading eyes. With a sigh Jamie gave her a quick kiss, and led them out of the bedroom.

They walked out of the main house hand in hand, and headed for the old Chevy parked out front.

“Oh!” Tyg turned to Jamie, eyes wide. “I nearly forgot. Marty is gonna ride on over with us. He's over at the barn fixing that wall rail that came lose again. Would ya go'n get him, honey? I need to run inside for a sec.”

“Sure.” Jamie tossed the keys to Tyg. “Pick us up over there when you're done.” Tyg nodded with a smile, headed back into the house.

Jamie whistled softly as she looked around the ranch in the late June evening. The day was cool, and pleasantly breezy. Perfect weather for a carnival. Things had been so peaceful in the last year. Jamie had never thought she'd find such happiness with such a simple life, but then she had to chuckle. Life with Tyg was never simple. The little blonde kept her on her toes, and things were never dull. She loved Tyg with her whole heart. She thought of the short list of people in her life that she had loved. The majority of that list lived at that very location. Rosa had become the mother that the brunette had lost so young, and Marty her friend, and confidante. Then her thoughts turned to Johnny. She had talked to him a few times, the last being just before he was sentenced. She sighed, knowing it would be a matter of time. Twenty years was a long time. Maybe they'd go and see him sometime during the year. Tyg always wanted to see Colorado anyway.

Jamie saw the barn just ahead, and craned her neck to see if the kid was still on the roof, or had finished already. She walked to the side and saw his ladder leaning against the side of the building, but no Marty.

“Hey, Marty?” she called out. “You done yet?” no answer. She drew her brows and walked around the side of the old structure, but no luck. Maybe he went inside to put his tools up. The old barn had become a make-shift tool shed. She walked to the two heavy double doors, and pulled them open with a grunt, and stood frozen. Jamie's jaw dropped, and she ran a nervous hand through her hair. Her 1980 FXB Sturgis.

Jamie felt someone walk up behind her, warm body heat pressed to her back as two arms encircled her. “Surprise.” Tyg whispered into her ear. Jamie pulled away, and turned to stare down into smiling eyes filled with love. Jamie glanced back over her shoulder, then back to Tyg. Finally remembering to breath, a slow sigh escaped her lips. The brunette could feel her eyes beginning to well. “Go.” Tyg said, running her thumb under one of Jamie's eyes to catch the liquid that was just about to fall. Jamie turned back to the barn, and stared at the bike, so regal and powerful with its chrome polished to a blinding shine, its black tank gleaming. She walked into the hot barn, running her hand tentatively over the handlebars, slightly squeezing the break. She choked up again when she saw the gold lettering, and ran her fingers over it: saoire. Freedom. She continued down the length of the Harley, touching everything as if it were all a dream and would disappear in an instant. She felt Tyg enter the barn, standing just behind her. The brunette climbed onto the seat, straddling the monster, kicking up the stand so it was balanced between her legs. She looked over every inch as she felt its familiar weight that she had missed.

Tyg watched in wonder as Jamie looked over the bike with a child's awe. She knew then that any doubts or uncertainty she had had about getting the bike had been completely unfounded. She just wished Fred and Butch could see the result of all their hard work in locating an exact model of Jamie's beloved Harley.

“Ya know, ya'll still owe me a ride.” Tyg said quietly. Jamie looked up from her new toy, and met twinkling green eyes.

“That I do.” she said with a lop-sided grin. She reached out a hand which Tyg gladly took, and helped her onto the bike behind her. Jamie turned in the seat, and cupped Tyg's chin, bringing her face to her own. “I love you.” she whispered, and kissed her lover, pulling Tyg in deep, slow, filled with love. Jamie pulled back to see Tyg still sitting there with her eyes closed.

“Wow.” the blonde breathed, and slowly emerald eyes opened. “Let's go.” she smiled, and wrapped her arms tightly around Jamie's waist, holding close, feeling Jamie's body heat fill her.

The lights all began to come on as night began to fall in earnest, swarms of people filling the mid-way, playing games at the booths, talking, laughing, eating, most drinking. Kids of every age ran around with big things of cotton candy all over their hands and faces, begging to go on the Ferris Wheel just once more.

Tyg and Jamie strolled through the madness hand in hand. Jamie still could not get over what Tyg had done for her. She had made a vow that someday she would get her bike back, but was pretty sure that someday would be years into the future when they were able to get the ranch back to its former glory before Hector had started to take land. It was a long road, but one that Jamie would happily travel.

Just up ahead they saw Rosa surrounded by the hands. Jamie spotted Marty and gave him the evil eye for ditching her when she could have most used his back up. He and Tyg had come up with the whole scheme to get Jamie to the barn. He grinned at her and shrugged his shoulders, but then took a step behind Rosa.

The group walked on to play tossing games where Jamie was able to win a huge stuffed Tigger for Tyg who was beside herself. The blonde walked beside the hand with her new furry friend in one hand, and a large vanilla cone in the other. She could feel the excitement flowing off her lover in waves. Jamie had been so surprised, and that was not an easy thing to do. It had been worth it. Fred and Butch had known right away what Tyg was looking for, and had set out for months to find it, and once they had, it had needed some repair work, and the paint job. The day Tyg and Marty had gone to pick it up at Fred's store, Tyg had been stunned. If she hadn't known better, she would think she was staring at Jamie's original Harley. It was beautiful. The price tag had been steep, but with the money her grandfather had left her in his will, it had been more than worth it.

Tyg thought of the last year. Jamie had opened up so much, and had told Tyg everything about her parents, her brother, and her past. It had mattered little to the rancher except for bringing them closer. Jamie's honesty, and Tyg's unconditional love had wrangled her the best prize of all; Jamie's trust and love.

The blonde was pulled from her reverie when she heard music start up in the distance. A wide grin spread across her face as she turned to look up at Jamie who was already scowling.

“Please?” she begged. Jamie shook her head. “Oh, baby, come on! For me?” Jamie was done for. She could never resist that look.

“Okay.” Tyg jumped excitedly, and kissed Jamie's cheek.

“Thank ya, baby.”

Jamie led the group toward the music, and the familiar raised dance floor with the sexy red head and her band belting out an old Lori Morgan tune. Tyg saw an abandoned spot, and quickly walked over to the massive tree, her huge Tigger held close as she pushed through the crowd, Jamie following. Tyg stopped and turned to the crowd, her feet not able to stay still with the excitement of the loud music, and whooping of the dancers. Jamie looked around, then turned to Tyg.

“I'm going to go get a beer.” she said above the noise, pointing to a beer stand fifteen feet away. Tyg nodded, and turned back to the music.

“Where'd she go?” Marty asked as he and Rosa and Bobby stepped up next to the blonde.

“Ta get a beer.” she said, setting Tigger down next to the massive trunk of the tree, and grabbing Marty's hand, beginning to two step with him in place. Rosa laughed as she watched the blonde try to teach the completely uncoordinated hand how to dance. She drew her brows and looked around when she realized that the song was nearly over, and Jamie had not returned. Tyg seemed to think the same thing as she held on to Marty's hand, but began to look around through the crowd. The Lori Morgan song came to an end and was met by loud shouts and applause.

“Thank you!” Tanya's deep, sultry voice said over the speakers. “Thanks so much. Okay, ya'll. Got a special one for ya.” the crowd grew silent in anticipation as the strands for the song began. A smiled tugged at Tyg's lips and heart as she recognized the sweet, tinkling piano. “Crazy. Crazy for feelin', so lonely. And I'm crazy, crazy for feelin' so blue,”

Tyg glanced up at the dance floor as she saw people beginning to part, and Jamie stood at the top of the stairs, looking until she found her feisty little blonde. She smiled down at Tyg, and reached her hand and her heart out. Tyg felt the sting of tears at the back of her eyes, and swallowed the emotion down. She felt a hand on her arm, and turned to see Marty smiling down at her. He nodded toward the raised platform, and began to walk through what seemed a pathway of smiling faces leading up to Jamie. Tyg took each step slowly until Marty delivered Tyg's hand safely to Jamie's.

“You're forgiven.” Jamie growled at the hand, then winked. The kid smiled shyly, and left, walking back to Rosa and Bobby who watched breathlessly.

Jamie led the rancher to the center of the dance floor, stopping them and grabbing one of Tyg's smaller hands in her own, and placing her other hand at the base of the blonde's back, drawing her close. Tyg stared up into the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen, the eyes that kept her safe, the eyes that loved her fully. The eyes that she loved with her soul, trusted with her heart.

Jamie felt a hand slide around her shoulder to rest at the base, Tyg's thumb on the side of her neck, the other resting comfortably inside her own. Their bodies fit perfectly together, no one else existing, the world around them ceased to be. Only the two of them. Forever.

Marty glanced over at Rosa and saw she was struggling to keep her emotions under control, and reached into his pocket to hand her his handkerchief. The housekeeper took the white cloth, and blotted her eyes as she felt the first of many tears begin to fall. The hand looked back up onto the stage and saw the way Jamie and Tyg looked at each other. He had never seen anything like it in his entire life. It was so beautiful, so moving. He turned back to Rosa and grabbed the hanky just as she was about to blow her nose, and wiped his own eyes.

Jamie moved them around the dance floor that was only for them, the words and melody of the music filling her ears as Tyg filled her eyes and her heart. Together they would make a life, and together they would heal old wounds with new beginnings. Forever.

The End

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