This is the Sequel to RUMOR HAS IT, also by Donna Ree

Author’s Note: 
I changed one crucial part of the show to fit my story:  Emily Metcalf’s father was the one cheating at cards, not Neville.  Keeping that in mind…happy reading!

Prologue

It had been three months since that wonderful evening Jimmy had proposed to Lou and she had accepted.  Even though they were engaged, Jimmy often brought her flowers…all of them her favorite.  They had pooled their savings together and purchased a small homestead a few miles outside of Sweetwater.  In fact the land was adjacent to the property owned by the father of a girl Ike was sweet on.  Her name was Emily Metcalf.

In exactly three weeks Jimmy and Lou were going to be married.  One month earlier Emma paid them all a visit and she and Rachel began plans on Lou’s wedding dress. 

“Loulabelle, I’ve got just the dress for your wedding.  It’s straight out of the latest issue of Godey’s Lady Book.  Here, take a look.”  Emma shoved the periodical in front of Lou.  “Of course there’s another perfect one on page 10.  And then the one page 12 is wonderful, too, even though it’s really not a wedding dress we could do it in ivory.  We could also move the neckline a bit and then…”  Emma chatted excitedly away and Lou began to tune her out.  Not that Lou wasn’t excited about the wedding.  Just the opposite was true.  She just didn’t see what all the fuss was about when it came to the style of dress she wore.  Of course she knew Emma was overjoyed about her one and only ‘daughter’ getting married, so Lou let Emma take over the details of the dress.  Eventually between Emma and Rachel they had come up with a dress design and after taking Lou’s measurements busily began work on it. 

Jimmy and Lou spent as much time as they could taking care of what would soon be their new home.  Ambrose Riley, the previous owner, had sold it to Jimmy at a bargain.  Ambrose had wanted to just give the property to Jimmy, but Jimmy felt as if he’d be taking advantage of Mr. Riley’s situation of needing to leave in a hurry, so they had finally agreed on a price.  Mr. Riley’s brother had met with an accident that left him wheelchair bound and Ambrose had been called back East to help with his brother’s business.  So Mr. Riley packed up his small family and their clothing and moved, leaving behind all their furniture and household belongings along with two cows and a dozen chickens.  The root cellar was even stocked.

Whenever Ike came to visit Emily, which was often, the two would walk over to the homestead and take care of the animals and the house.  Of course it gave the two lovebirds a chance to be alone also and ‘play house’.  The Express family all silently wondered if another wedding would be planned in the not-so-distant future.

Chapter 1

“Lou, can you come in the house for awhile?  Emma’s a little confused on some of the measurements of the dress.”  Rachel asked her.

“Sure.  But how many more times is she going to check my measurements?  It’s just getting frustrating.  I never knew there was so much planning to getting married.”

“Now Lou, you know Emma just wants everything to be perfect.  Don’t be too hard on her.”

“Oh, no, Rachel.  I appreciate everything Emma and you are doing for me and Jimmy.  I just had no idea a wedding was so complicated.”

“Just wait until you get to the marriage part of it.”  Emma commented from the porch.  “I swear that Sam Cain can really be trying.  He’s lucky I love him or sometimes I think I’d kill him.”

“Emma, he can’t be that bad.”  Lou said naively.

“Oh, just you wait until Jimmy does something that gets on your nerves.  You won’t know whether to hit him, kiss him or just plain ignore him.”

“But I’ve been living with him and the guys for a long time now.  If I can handle all of them, I can certainly handle just Jimmy.”  Proclaimed Lou.

“Yes, but it’ll be different when it’s just the two of you…alone.”

Lou’s blush felt like it came from her toes and worked it way all the way up to the roots of her hair. 

Seeing Lou’s discomfort, Rachel interrupted.  “Maybe we best get onto those measurements now.  What do you think, Emma?”

The ladies moved upstairs to the bedroom and Lou began to undress.  After Emma took her measurements she looked puzzled.  “I could have sworn when I last measured you…oh, never mind.  I must have got the measurement wrong last time.  No matter.  I can still fix the waist.  There’s enough fabric to make it a bit bigger.  See, Loulabelle, this is why I keep taking your measurements so the dress will be sure to actually fit when your big day comes.  Go ahead and get dressed, I’m all finished - for now.”  Lou had to keep from rolling her eyes.

Rachel said, “Don’t you have a run coming up?”

“Yes, Cody and I have a run to Ft. Laramie.  Teaspoon wanted both of us to go.  Some Army papers or something.  Who knows what it’s all about.”  Lou replied.

Lou entered the empty bunkhouse to get her gear together for the run.  She then walked over to Jimmy’s bunk and slipped a piece of paper under his pillow.  Smiling to herself she exited the bunkhouse and headed to barn to saddle Lightning.  Cody was already inside saddling his horse.  He instantly started complaining.

“I don’t see why both of us have to go.  The Indians haven’t been giving us any trouble in that direction.  And besides I was supposed to escort Miss Eloise Haversham to church on Sunday.”  Cody grumbled.

“Church!”  Lou exclaimed.  “Cody you never go to church!”

“Yeah, but that’s the only way Mrs. Haversham will let me see her daughter.”

“Well Miss Haversham will just have to wait Cody.”  Teaspoon said.  “You’ve got a job to do, son, don’t forget that.”

“Yes, Teaspoon.”  Cody relented.  Lou just shook her head at Cody.

“The reason I got two of you on this one is I don’t want anything to go wrong.  The Army needs this information without delay.  Not ‘specting any trouble, but you never know.”  Teaspoon handed over a packet of papers to Cody.  “Now finish up here and git going.  The sooner you leave the sooner you’ll be back.”  He winked at Lou.  “And Miss Haversham can again be blessed with your presence Mr. Cody.”  He mockingly tipped his hat at Cody and left the barn.

“That Teaspoon, such a wise man.”  Lou grinned.

“Wise acre is more like it.”  Cody quipped.

“You better not let him hear you say that, Cody.”  Replied Lou.

Teaspoon quietly chuckled to himself and left his post on the other side of the door.

“Ride safe you two!”  Rachel hollered from the porch with Teaspoon at her side waving at the two young riders.  Lou waved back and spurring their horses they were off.

***

That night at the bunkhouse was a quiet affair, mainly because Cody wasn’t there.  Bedtime was even more quiet since he wasn’t there to snore.  As Jimmy flopped down on his bunk, he heard something crinkle underneath his head.  He reached under his pillow smiling.  This was a common occurrence between him and Lou whenever one was on a ride.  They could always expect a surprise under their pillow. 

Jimmy quickly unfolded the paper before the lamp was turned down for the night.  ‘21 more days.  I love you Mr. Hickok.  All my love, the future Mrs. Hickok.’ The note read. 

“Whatcha got there, Jimmy?”  Noah asked, even though he already had a good idea who the note was from.

Jimmy just smiled.  “Personal.”

“Gee, I wonder who that could be from?” asked Buck.

“I bet I know.”  Noah said in a sing-song voice.

“Just think, in 21 more days you won’t have me here every night to tease anymore.” 

“You’re counting down the days?”  Noah asked astonished.

“Hey, don’t knock it.  Just wait until you find the right woman then we can tease you for a change.”  Jimmy said.

Not having a comeback for that one, Noah simply said, “Yeah, well I’ve got a run early tomorrow when Ike gets back.  Can I turn down the light now, loverboy, or are you going to moon over the note some more?”

Sensing Noah was getting a bit testy, Jimmy said, “Sure, whatever you want.”

Buck just looked at Noah and wondered at what was eating him, but wisely decided not to say anything.

Chapter 2

“Rider coming.”  Jimmy shouted to Noah.

Noah was up in the saddle and ready to take the hand-off from Ike when Ike rode in. 

“Any trouble?” asked Jimmy.  Ike shook his head no as Noah took off.

“We left you some breakfast, Ike.” 

*Cody must not be here* Ike signed.

“He and Lou had to make a special run to Ft. Laramie.  They left yesterday.”

*Good.  Won’t have to listen to Cody snore tonight.*  He grinned and headed into the bunkhouse. 

After he ate, Ike headed over to see Emily Metcalf.  He arrived at the farmhouse, but no one was home so he decided to make a detour into town and get a sarsaparilla.  At the saloon he saw Mr. Metcalf at a table playing poker.  He wondered where Emily was.  He decided to check over at Tompkins store for her.  Sure enough that’s where she was placing an order for some supplies for their farm.  When she turned around, Ike waved at her. 

“Hi, Ike.  I’m glad you’re back from your run safe and sound.  Would you like to ride with me back home?  We could check on Jimmy and Lou’s place.”

Ike nodded with a twinkle in his eye.

When they arrived at the new Hickok farm they sat on the porch and Ike continued teaching Emily some hand signs.  It’s something they had been working on since Emily had asked Ike to teach her.  He would write down a word on paper, show her the sign and she would try to remember it the best she could.  They had progressed to her interpreting whole sentences, but sometimes she got confused on a word and Ike would have to write it down for her.  Ike thought Emily was very bright and a fast learner and was happy she cared enough about him to learn.

It wasn’t long before Ike and Emily gave up the lessons for more amorous pursuits out in the barn.

Afterwards they lay next to each other, fingers intertwined as Emily spoke from her heart.

“Ike, I never want this to end.  I want to be with you like this always.  I’ve never felt like this about anyone before.  You make me feel so complete.  Like something was missing from my life that I didn’t even know was missing until I found you.  Please tell me you feel the same way - that I’m not making a complete fool of myself.”

Ike silenced her with a kiss.  When he broke the kiss off, he beamed at her from ear to ear.

*Will you marry me?* he signed.

Emily didn’t understand what he was trying to tell her.  She knew it had something to do with the two of them but wasn’t sure what he meant.

Ike could see the confusion written all over her face, but before he could ask her again they were interrupted by Jimmy shouting for them out in the yard.

They quickly dressed and ran outside.  When Jimmy got a glimpse of the pair he smirked and briefly thought how funny they looked - their clothes in disarray and bits of straw clinging to Emily’s hair.  ‘I wonder if Lou and I look that obvious after a visit to the barn?’  Jimmy quickly pushed those thoughts away when he remembered why he was here.

He looked at Emily and said, “Teaspoon told me to come get you.  There’s been some trouble in town.  Your father has been shot over a poker game.  The doc’s not sure he’s going to make it.”

Emily started for her horse and Ike and Jimmy quickly followed.  They rode as fast as they could into town with Emily in the lead.  They reached the doctor’s office and Emily raced through the door before Ike and Jimmy were even off their horses.

She reached her father’s bedside and knelt next to him.  Grabbing one of his clammy hands she begged him to wake up.  His breathing was so shallow - she was afraid he wouldn’t last much longer.

The doctor and Ike came into the room.

“I’m sorry, Miss Metcalf, there isn’t anything more I can do except make him as comfortable as possible until…” the doctor trailed off.

Ike put a hand on her shoulder and she broke down and cried.

“Don’t cry baby-girl.”  Emily heard her father say.

“Papa, save your strength.  Everything’s going to be alright.”

“No, Emily.  I’m dying.  I’m so sorry you had to see me like this.  I’ve got to tell you something before…I’m sorry I was always gambling and for leaving you alone so much.  After your mama died, God Bless her soul, I felt so lost and I didn’t know what to do, so I gambled.  I know it wasn’t right, but everytime I looked at you I saw her and it was just too painful so I tried to stay away from you as much as I could.  It just hurt so much.  I know I was wrong and if I could go back and change things I would, but I can’t.  You look so much like your mama, so beautiful.  I love you, Emily.”

“I love you too, papa.”  They both cried.

“Now you’re going to hear some things about me in town and you’re not going to want to believe them so I want you to hear it from me first.  They’re going to say I was cheating at cards and that’s why I was shot.”

Emily started to interrupt.

“No, it’s true.  I was cheating.  That man, Neville, had cause to shoot me.  I know how protective you are of me and I didn’t want you to go chasing after the man that did this to me.  I’m sorry I had to disappoint you like this, Emily.”

Mr. Metcalf looked up at Ike.  “You’ll take good care of her for me, won’t you?”

Ike nodded.  *I want to marry your daughter.*

Mr. Metcalf didn’t understand.

Ike quickly ran outside and dragged Jimmy in with him.

*Tell him I want to marry his daughter.*

“Ike, you’re sure?”  Jimmy asked.

*Just do it.  Please.*  Ike’s look of desperation spoke volumes to Jimmy.

“Sir, Ike says he’d like to marry your daughter.”  Jimmy related.  “With your permission of course.” He hastily added.

Astonished, Emily looked up at Ike.  “That’s what you were asking me earlier, wasn’t it?”

Ike knelt down on one knee next to her and signed, *Will you marry me?*

She hugged Ike around the neck and said, “Yes, I’d love to marry you.”

Mr. Metcalf replied, “Son, I think you have your answer…and my blessing.  I only wish I could be around to witness it.”  He coughed, feeling weaker by the moment.

Ike quickly signed something to Jimmy and Jimmy took off out the door.

It seemed like an eternity later when he returned with the preacher in tow.

“Son, are you sure about this?  It’s awfully sudden and marriage is forever.” The preacher asked.

Ike nodded emphatically.

“Miss Metcalf, do you feel the same?”

”Oh, yes, Reverend Jiles.  I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.”  Emily replied.

The ceremony was short, with the doctor and Jimmy standing as witnesses.  As soon as they were pronounced man and wife, Mr. Metcalf smiled and faded into death.  After Ike and Emily’s first kiss as Mr. And Mrs. McSwain, Emily turned to her father.  “Oh, papa, I’m so glad you got to see…”  She then noticed he was gone.  She quietly began sobbing.  “He didn’t see me get married.”

The preacher laid a comforting hand on her.  “Child, look at that peaceful smile on his face.  I’d say he saw the ceremony to the end and was comforted knowing you would be well taken care of.” 

Reverend Jiles said a blessing over Mr. Metcalf and took his leave.

Jimmy quietly left to find Teaspoon to explain everything that had just happened.

Chapter 3

“Well paint me purple and call me a plum.  I never would’ve thought one of the other boys would beat you ‘ta getting married, Jimmy.  It’s a real shame that girl had to loose her pa though.  I already talked to Neville after the shooting and convinced him to move on or he’d have more trouble than he could handle.  He wasn’t quite as dumb as I thought ‘cause he jumped on his horse and rode outta here so fast you’d think the Indians were on his tail.”  Teaspoon related.

“It must have been your very persuasive way of talking, Teaspoon.”  Jimmy grinned.

“Well guess we best get over to Rachel’s and let her know everything.  She’ll have my hide if she hears it from someone else.  I swear that woman reminds me of one of my wives.  Cain’t rightly remember which one though.  She was a real peach of a girl, but when things didn’t go her way…well best just stay out of the way and let the fireworks go off and settle down or risk getting’ burnt to a crisp.”

***

Cody and Lou had just past through Bridger Station when trouble showed up.  Three men on horseback suddenly appeared behind them and began firing on the Express riders.  Cody and Lou rode their horses in a zig-zag fashion to try to out-maneuver their gunfire.  The men gave chase for a few miles, but were soon outdistanced by the pair of riders.

“I thought Teaspoon said he didn’t except any trouble over these papers.” Cody yelled over to Lou.

Lou just shrugged and kept up the furious pace to keep ahead of their pursuers. 

They quickly changed horses at Glen Rock and headed on toward Deer Creek, ten miles away.  A few miles out of town, they met up with the three men again.

“How’d they do that?”  Cody yelled.  “They must know some shortcut we don’t know about.”

“That or they aren’t the same men.  Must be something important in those papers if they’ve set up an ambush all along the trail.”  Lou pointed out.  “Do you think we oughta split up and meet up at Deer Creek?  Maybe we could lose them that away.”

“No.  We’re going to stick together.  It’s not that much further to town.  If we can get there, they’ll leave us alone.”

“Yeah, and then what after we leave town?”

“We can talk to the sheriff and see if he has any ideas who these men might be.”  Cody replied.

A shot rang out.  The screaming of a horse could be heard throughout the area.  Cody glanced over to Lou and saw she wasn’t there.  He looked back and saw it was her horse that had been shot and she was laying prone on the ground near the horse.  He quickly reined in his horse, turned back and raced over to her.  The men were getting closer, too close.  Cody quickly grabbed Lou, draped her over the horse, mounted up behind her and raced like hell for town. 

Another shot rang out and Cody could hear it whiz past his head.  He spurred the horse to go even faster, but with two riders now, the animal was having a hard time keeping up the grueling pace.  Cody could just make out some of the buildings in the town ahead.  Just as he suspected the men dropped back and left them alone.

He slowed the horse to a canter and headed straight for the sheriff’s office.  It was then that he realized Lou was still out cold.  He walked inside the small building that housed the sheriff’s office and saw a young boy sweeping the floor.  He looked up when Cody walked in.

“Can I help you, mister?”  The boy asked, almost frightened of Cody.

“Yeah, is the sheriff around?”  Cody inquired.

The kid visibly gulped and said, “No, sir, he’s in Ft. Laramie ‘til next week.  Got a deputy, but he’s always in the saloon drinking and taking freebies off the girls.”  The kid’s faced reddened.

“Oh.  Gotta a doc around here?”

”Yeah, just down the street aways, gotta sign out front, cain’t miss it.”

“Mighty obliged.”  Cody tipped his hat to the youngster and walked back out to Lou.  He led his horse to the doctor’s and carefully cradling Lou in his arms Cody walked inside.

“What happened?”  The doc asked.

“Horse got shot and fell off.  Hasn’t woke up since.  It was a few miles outside of town.”  Cody wasn’t sure if he should tell the doc about Lou being a girl so he tried to choose his words carefully.

“Were you the one doing the shooting?”

“Hell no.  If I was, why would I bring her back here?”

“Her?”

‘Uh-oh.  Now you’ve done it Cody’ he thought to himself.  “Yes.  We were being chased by three men and one of them shot her horse.  She fell off and I don’t know what’s wrong with her.”  The whole time he spoke Cody was absently stroking Lou’s hair as he cradled her to him.  His affection for her was strikingly obvious to the doctor.

“Well bring her in and lay her on the bed and let me check her out.”

Cody gently laid her down and with his hand brushed away a stray lock of hair from her forehead.

“Son, you go on and wait outside.  I’ll come back out after I examine her.  Don’t worry, I’ll take good care of her.”

Cody grabbed her hand and whispered in her ear, “I’ll be right outside, Lou.  You’re going to be fine.”  And he went out in the hall to sit down.  After awhile he started pacing back and forth.  ‘Jimmy’s going to kill me if something happens to her.  She’s gotta be alright.  Yeah, she’s gonna be alright.  Just keep telling yourself that, Cody.  Lou’s been through worse scrapes than this.  She ain’t even shot.  No, she just won’t wake up.  What if she never wakes up?  Jimmy’s gonna shoot me where I stand.’  Cody sat down and put his head in his hands bemoaning his fate.

The doctor finally came out and Cody jumped out of the chair.  Seeing the state the young man was in, the doctor put a hand on his shoulder and said, “She took a nasty bump to the head, but you know that much.  She hasn’t woke up yet, but there’s no reason to worry about that yet.  Sometimes a body just needs to heal first before regaining consciousness.  Your wife should be awake by tomorrow.”

Cody started to speak up to tell him she wasn’t his wife but the doctor’s next words stopped him cold.

“The baby should be fine, too, as long as she takes it easy and no more horseback riding.  You’re going to have to invest in a buckboard if she needs to go somewhere.”

“Baby?  Did you just say baby?”  Cody’s words stumbled out.

“Why yes.  I’m sorry, I thought you knew.  She’s about two months along.  Now, don’t worry.  Since the baby survived the fall it should be alright, but she’s really going to need some serious bedrest for the next couple weeks just to be safe.  You can go in and sit with her if you’d like.  If you need anything just let me know.”

Cody walked in and stared at Lou.  She looked as pale as death, but the rise and fall of her chest beneath the sheet consoled him.  He took a seat next to the bed.  ‘Now what do I do?  I can’t just leave her and go onto Ft. Laramie.  And Jimmy needs to know what’s going on.  She can’t stay here for two weeks, she’s got to get married to Jimmy.  Oh, what am I going to do?’  He thought to himself and ran his fingers through his hair. 

He took Lou’s hand and said out loud, “Lou, what did we get into now?”  Sighing, he laid his head on the bed and fell into an exhausted sleep.

Some hours later the doctor crept into the room and lit the kerosene lamp by the bed.  He sadly shook his head at the young man sleeping, tightly holding his wife’s hand.  He hoped the young lady would be alright, but he was beginning to worry since she hadn’t woke up yet.  Only time would tell.  It was a miracle that their baby had survived the mother’s fall, although he didn’t want to tell the husband that.  The young man already had enough grief worrying over his wife.  He walked out of the room and quietly closed the door behind him. 

In the wee hours of before dawn, Lou slowly woke up.  She gazed at the strange surroundings trying to remember what happened.  Her last thought was falling off the horse and now she was here.  She felt someone holding her hand.  She looked down and saw Cody asleep, his head resting next to her arm.  ‘What on earth?  Something bad must have happened to me for Cody to be so worried.’  She gently shook her hand.  Cody didn’t budge. 

“Cody?” she choked out.  Her throat was so parched she had trouble talking.  He still didn’t move.  ‘Now what do I do?  I can’t believe he sleeps so soundly.’  Lou studied him as he slept.  He really was quite handsome.  She wondered why she never noticed it before.  ‘Probably because his mouth always gets in the way.  That and his cockiness.’  She smiled to herself.

“Cody!”  She nudged him in the shoulder with her other hand.  He awoke with a start.

“Lou!  Thank God you’re awake.  You had me so worried.  The doctor thought you would’ve woke up before now.”

“Where are we?  What happened?  All I remember is falling off my horse.”

“You did.  Those men that were chasing us shot it out from under you.  When you fell you must have hit your head, that’s what the doctor thinks.  You’ve been out of it ever since.”  He explained.  “How do you feel?”

“Awful.  My head hurts something fierce.  Can I have a glass of water?”

Cody grabbed the pitcher of water the doctor had left earlier and poured her a glass.  He raised her head and helped her drink.

“Thanks.”  As she laid her head back down the room started to spin around.  “Whoa, can you make the room stop moving around?”

“Take it easy, Lou.  The doc says you need to stay in bed awhile.”  Cody hesitated a moment.  “Lou, there’s something I’ve got to tell you and please don’t get mad.”

She just stared at him and prepared for the worst.  “Go ahead.”

“The doc thinks we’re married.”  He blurted out.

“What?!  Why did you tell him we were married?”

“I didn’t.  He just assumed we were and I didn’t correct him because there’s something else.  I’m not sure if you know or not.”  Cody wasn’t sure how to proceed.  Maybe she already knew about the baby and was embarrassed telling anyone but Jimmy about it.  But then again she was still riding for the Express and she probably wouldn’t be doing that if she knew about the baby, especially since the doctor said she shouldn’t be riding in her condition.

“Just spill it, will ya’?  What could be worse than him thinking we’re married?”

When she registered the hurt on Cody’s face she instantly felt sorry.

“Wait, Cody, I didn’t mean that how it sounded.  A girl would be lucky to have you for a husband.  I just meant…”

“It’s okay.  I know you didn’t mean anything by it.”  He sounded dejected.

Lou sighed.  She’d really hurt his feelings this time.  “I’m sorry, Cody.”  She grabbed ahold of his hand and looked into his eyes.  “I mean it, a girl would be lucky to have you.  Eloise Haversham should be the proudest girl around.”

Cody finally smiled.

“Now what was it you wanted to tell me?”

Cody shifted uncomfortably in his chair.  “Lou, I’m not sure how to tell you…”

“The best way is to just say it and don’t think about it.”  She advised him.

He took a deep breath, “The doctor says you’re going to have a baby.  That you’re two months pregnant.”

Lou just stared at him and her jaw dropped open.

“I take it you didn’t know then.”

She dumbly shook her head back and forth.  She slowly began to smile.  Reaching down to her stomach, she realized she was still holding Cody’s hand.  They both sat there with their hands on her stomach.  Cody began to grin.  “I’m gonna be an uncle!”

Lou hushed him.  “Shhh, we’re supposed to be married remember?  So you’ll just have to play daddy for awhile.  Are you game?”  She decided this could be fun.

Cody laughed.  “As long as Miss Haversham doesn’t find out.  I don’t think her mama would understand.”

“I won’t tell if you don’t tell.”

“Deal.”  Cody grew serious.  “Um, there’s a problem though.”

“Only one?”

“Well, doc says you can’t ride anymore and that if you need to get around I should get a buckboard.  He also said just to be safe you needed a couple of week’s bedrest.  What are we going to do?  I still have to get those papers to Ft. Laramie and I’m sure those men are still out there waiting for us.  And how are we going to get you back to Sweetwater?”

“Um, Cody, I think that’s more than just one problem.”  She paused.  “He really said I couldn’t ride anymore?”

Cody nodded.

“There’s no way I’m staying here for two weeks, especially just lying around in bed all day.”  She said indignantly.

“He said it could hurt the baby if you rode and that’s why he wants you in bed, to protect the baby.  You’ve got to do what the doctor says, Jimmy would kill me otherwise.”

“Alright, alright.  I get it.  We’ll figure something out.  Why don’t we sleep on it and maybe we’ll come up with a solution in the morning.”

“Sleep sounds good to me.”

Lou laughed.  She carefully moved over to one side of the bed.  “Cody, if you want you can sleep here, on top of the covers.  I’m sure that chair isn’t very comfortable.”

He shook his head no.  “There’s no way I’m getting in that bed.  Jimmy would kill me.”

“Would you quit saying ‘Jimmy would kill me’.  He ain’t gonna kill you because he ain’t ever gonna know.  Besides all we’re doing is sleeping, nothing else.”

“Well, okay.  That chair is awfully hard.  As long as you think it’s okay.”

“Cody, it’s fine.  Now lay down and go to sleep already.”  He did as she told him and was asleep within minutes.  His loud snores started filling the room.  Lou put an arm over her forehead and though ‘Ugh, what was I thinking?’

***

Lou awoke some time later to Cody snoring in her ear.  She elbowed him and he stopped snoring.  Slowly she was able to fall back asleep.

A few hours later the doctor came in and smiled at the scene before him.  The young man had his arm draped around his wife’s middle and her head was resting next to his.  He quietly tiptoed out leaving the young couple alone for awhile longer.

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