“My lady’s lips are as soft as roses…”

Lou, hiding around the corner, stuffed a bent knuckle between her teeth to keep her from laughing out loud. On the other side of the door Ike was shaking his head. Buck walked up and looked from one to the other. “What’s going on?”

“My lady’s lips are sweet as wiiiiiine…”

The caterwauling coming from the nearly closed barn door stopped Buck in his tracks. “Is that supposed to be singing?”

Ike shrugged but Kid was a little more honest. “We’ve been wondering the same thing.”

“How long has that been goin’ on?” Buck winced as the noise continued with new fervor.

“My lady’s lips are shaped like cupid’s bow… My lady’s lips are miiiiiiine!”

“Seems like this all started up when Priscilla Sussman stepped off the stage and nearly knocked Cody over.”

“With that parasol of hers?” Buck wasn’t even bothering to hide his laughter.

“Yep, the very one,” answered Jimmy. “Seems like nearly puttin’ a man’s eye out with the tip of a parasol is some kind a matin’ call.”

Lou elbowed Jimmy and shook her head. “At least where Cody’s concerned… right?”

Jimmy gave her a silly look as though he was love struck. “I might be persuaded to fall for a woman who would sweep me off my feet.”

Narrowing her eyes at him she lowered her tone until only Jimmy could hear. “Careful next time you’re standing on a rug, Jimmy… I just may take you up on that offer.”

”My laaaaaady-“ Cody’s volume had nearly doubled and the assembled gallery of listeners dissolved into laughter. Moments later Cody flung the door open and glared at the lot of them. “What’s goin’ on out here?”

“We’re listenin’ to your love song, Cody.” Jimmy coughed when his own words were hard to swallow. “Please tell me that you honestly think that… that… wailin’ you do is attractive to a woman.”

Cody’s chest puffed up like a gamecock and his lips peeled back from his teeth. “Well, if I were gonna give up all my secrets-”

“Singing as loud as you were, it ain’t no secret.” Buck’s expression was smug.

“I’m sorry if you’re jus’ jealous, Buck.” Cody turned to Lou. “You understand don’t you, Lou?”

She blinked at him as though trying to clear smoke from her vision. “Understand what?”

“How romantic it is…”

Lou continued to blink at him, her expression blank.

“For a man to sing to a woman. You’d like it if a man sang to you, right?”

“Well,” she looked away for a moment, “I guess it would be if-”

“See?” Cody swung his arms out wide as if he was about embrace the group as a whole. “Don’t you boys worry; I won’t hog all the ladies to myself. I’ll leave one or two for the rest of you.”

Buck shook his head. “I’m not worried.”

Cody gave him a serious look. “You should be. When I’m through singing to Priscilla at the dance tonight, all the women there will follow me like the Pie Piper.”

Ike shook his head and signed.

“I agree.” Buck answered him.

“What? What did Ike say?” Cody turned to Buck for an explanation.

“He said. ‘It’s PIED Piper,’ but then again you ‘do’ always have food on the brain.”

“I’d ‘want’ it in my stomach,” Cody winked at Lou. “But you know what I’m talkin’ about, don’t ya? How the women’ll follow me home once they hear me singin’?”

“Cody,” Lou gave him a half-smile, “I’m a woman and if I heard that song and thought you were singin’ it for me… I’d run the other way.” She reached out and touched him on the arm. “I’m sorry, Cody.”

He shocked her by patting her hand. “Don’t worry, Lou… I guess not all women are music lovers…”

That earned him a hard roll of her eyes. “Thanks, Cody…”

“No, problem… now,” he addressed the crowd as a whole, “if y’all will excuse me, I’ve got a little more time to practice before I leave for the dance.” Cody stepped back into the barn and took hold of the doors beside him. With a confident smile and a nod he closed the doors on his friends.

Hickok looked at the others. “Now what do we do?”

Ike hit Buck on the arm and made a quick sign that they all understood.

Lou covered her ears and giggle. “Run!”

”My lady’s lips are….”

Cindy’s prompt: It's the first fine day of spring and the riders' thoughts turn to love - but only one gets lucky... Who and what happens?

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