Chapter One

As the sky above opened it's gates and let the torrents of water fall down on Sweetwater, one lonesome rider barreled full pace into the Pony Express Waystation where an exchange occurred and another rider was on their way to the next stop, hoping to ride out of the storm.

Lou McCloud dismounted her wet steed and led him into the barn where they would both be out of the Autumn storm. As she removed his saddle, she heard fast approaching footsteps. " Oh great, someone to talk to! Just what I wanted!" she sarcastically grunted to herself. She was in no mood to talk. All she wanted was a nice hot bath, climb into bed and have a reasonable night's sleep.

She turned around to find herself looking into two deep pools of darkness.

"God I've missed you!" Buck whispered as he placed soft gentle kisses on her neck.

" Hey darlin', I've really mith…." She replied, but was cut off mid sentenced by her own yawn.

"Here, why don't you go in and I'll take care of Lightning for you?" Buck offered, giving her a loving wink.

"Now that's an offer I can't refuse. I'm so cold and wet and tired and …ah…ah…achoo. Great, now I'm getting a cold. I'm gonna run over to Rachel's and have a hot bath before I get any worse." Lou sniffled

"Hmmm, sounds tempting. Keep talkin' like that and I might consider joining you" Buck teased.

Lou was mesmerised by the man that stood before her, but a cold wind blew through the barn at that minute, reminding her that she still stood there in her wet clothes. She shivered as she walked over to Buck and gave him a kiss on his cheek, then she ran out the door into the cold rain to the main house to have herself a nice hot bath.

Rachel and Teaspoon were enjoying each other's company in the sitting room when they were suddenly disturbed by a loud knock at the door.

"What could anyone possibly want at this hour?" Teaspoon quizzed noone in particular as he arose to answer the door.

"Maybe something's wrong with one of the boys!" Rachel explained, worry evident in her voice as she got up and followed Teaspoon to the door.

"Why, Louise, honey, when did you get back?" Teaspoon asked, staring at the dripping wet girl he had come to love as a daughter.

"I, ah, got back about ten minutes ago. I was wondering if I could use the bath… you know, just to warm up a bit?" Lou explained uneasily. Although she loved both Teaspoon and Rachel dearly, she felt like she was intruding when she came over to the house. Ever since Rachel and Teaspoon found a lover in each other. They had been married for almost eight months now and Rachel's stomach had only just started to show the bump their love's power made over five months ago.

"Of course, Louise. Come on in" Rachel stepped forward, "My goodness, Louise, why did you try coming home in this weather? We didn't expect you for another week…it is, after all, your time off!"

"Well, Rachel, I really wanted to get back before the storm hit. I knew once it hit, it was here to stay for a while. I guess I miscalculated, coz I got about two miles out when it started, and ah…ah…achoo, sorry" Lou was cut off by another sneeze.

"Oh hush now. Excuse us Teaspoon." Rachel led Lou into her wash room and proceeded to get everything ready for Lou's bath. Meanwhile Teaspoon prepared some water on the fire for the bath. He tried to do all the things he considered too heavy or not suitable for Rachel in "her condition" as most folks referred to pregnancy as.

Chapter Two

3 months earlier

"Lou, Buck. I've got a special delivery to St. Louis. You need to head out at first light, so you better get an early night. They expect you the day after tomorrow. Oh and ride safe, boys!" Teaspoon announced just as he was heading over to the main house with Rachel after supper.

"But…" Lou was cut off by the slamming of the door. Teaspoon knew the protests that would follow his announcement, so he made a hasty retreat.

"Oh, come on Lou, I promise I'll make it fun. Ever since Kid started dating that Victoria woman, you've been really quiet and distant. Will you please let me try and help you to smile again? We all miss your smile and laughter around here, don't we boys?" Buck questioned his fellow bunkmates. His answer was replied with nods and "Yeah, we sure do" 's

"Okay, Buck, only for you boys. But if Kid comes in here tonight all giddy as a school girl, I may be forced to hurt him!" Lou stated, a little smile forming in the corners of her mouth. Ever since her former love broke up with her after his latest proposal was knocked back, Kid had become a big hit with the ladies. His new flame, Victoria Hollow, was the daughter of the town's new blacksmith. Her looks, according to the boys, were not nearly as pretty as Lou's, but resembled her own features - stubborn and petite. Cody's belief was that Kid was trying to substitute for the real thing, trying to make Lou jealous. It was working, Lou was jealous, but it was also driving her farther away from the Kid. Whenever Kid was around these days, Lou wasn't.

~ Come on you two, you'd better get some sleep. You've got a long ride ahead of you both tomorrow. ~ Ike signed. He too had become worried about Lou. He had noticed that she had been eating and sleeping less since Kid met "Tori".

"Yeah, come on Buck! Hey Jimmy, you gonna read us a bedtime story?" Lou asked her best friend and confidant who had his nose stuck in a new book Lou had brought him on her last run. She had been giving him private reading lessons, which he had become quite good at. He was now at an adult reading level and seemed to enjoy reading more these days than polishing his guns. Lou had also brought him a dictionary so he could practice his reading when he wanted, looking up the meaning of words he wasn't sure of.

"Sure Lou. Once upon a time, there was a woman who rode for the Pony Express. One night she asked one of the other rider's to read her a bedtime story, so he shot her. The End! Goodnight Lou." Jimmy teased.

"Okay, I can take a hint, goodnight boys. Thank goodness Cody isn't here, coz then I'd never get any sleep over the sound of his snoring.” Lou stated.


The next morning Lou and Buck left for St. Louis. Lou had taken a dress along with her so she could have some fun as the true woman she is, instead of the boy she pretended to be. By mid-afternoon she and Buck stopped for a bite to eat before finishing the journey to St. Louis.

"We should be there by suppertime. How about we get a couple of rooms at the hotel?" buck inquired.

"Hmmm, sounds great. So what's happening in St. Louis that's gonna make it so fun, Buck?" Lou questioned.

"Hehehe, you'll see!" Buck giggled at his little secret.

"Buck -" Lou cautioned placing her hands on her hips.

"Lou -" Buck echoed, copying her stance.


St. Louis was bustling with activity when Lou and Buck arrived. They delivered Teaspoon's special package to the Pony Express Station at the edge of town, then headed for the hotel on the other side of town. The further away from the Pony Express station the better.

"Good evening, may I help you?" the desk clerk asked, looking over his glasses at the two dusty riders.

"Yes, we'd like two rooms please." Buck answered

"We only got the one. Yer better take it 'fore it's gone." The desk clerk arrogantly stated.

Buck looked at Lou who had a slight grin on her face. "We'll take it" he announced boldly.

"Here you go. Room 118. Up the stairs to the right. It's the last door on the left. The bed's big enough for the two of you, with plenty of room to spare." The clerk said.

"Thanks." The two riders said in unison. With that Buck lead Lou up the stairs to their room. "This should be fun, huh Lou?" Buck asked as they entered their room and closed the door.

Shrugging, Lou replied "Could be. So what are we gonna do while we're here?"

"Well, how about I take care of the horses and you get ready and meet me down stairs in say…ahh…45 minutes? The fun starts tonight Louise!" Buck snickered, giving Lou a wink.


Forty minutes later, Lou met Buck outside the hotel dressed in her blue dress in which Jimmy brought her not long after she and Kid broke up. Her hair was half swept up and held in place with a beautiful clip, which Cody had given to her for her last birthday. She also wore her mother's pearl necklace, bracelet and earings. She was the vision of a goddess, one that stole the air right out of Buck's lungs. Buck had secretly loved Louise more than just a sister for too long. He loved her like Jimmy and The Kid loved her… as a future wife.

"WOW! You look…wow…amazing!!!" Buck stuttered

"Why, thank you Buck. I aim to please!" Lou remarked " maybe this is going to be a special night after all."

They walked along the busy streets and came upon a crowd surrounding several wagons. They decided to see what the fuss was about and found it was a circus.

"Fortune Teller - Madam Heart sees all" Lou read, looking at the side of a wagon. "Hmmm I don't think so, what else is there?"

As they looked around, they kept up a steady conversation, discussing all the sights, sounds and smells they were experiencing. Buck and Lou didn't want this night to end, they were having so much fun. As the crowds became thicker, they took each other's hand and weaved through the crowd until they were finally free from the hoards of people. Laughing, Lou looked behind them at the noise. "Oh my god, Buck, promise me we won't have to go back through that again." She couldn't contain her laughter any longer as a clown began following them, overstating their actions tremendously.

"I promise, Lou." Buck replied, glancing at the painted fool standing before them. With this, the clown pulled a bunch of flowers from behind Buck's ear and handed they to Lou.

"Why, thank you." Lou said. The clown nodded and moved on to other couples. "I want to thank you too, Buck. I've had the time of my life."

"I'm glad, Lou. My plan worked…you're smiling again, not to mention laughing" he smiled.

Lou leaned over and gave Buck a kiss on the cheek. Just as she was standing upright, she looked into the deep black pools of his eyes and was swallowed whole in the passion she found there. They both leaned forward and engaged in a loving kiss, neither wanting it to end.

When they finally parted, they were again lost in each other's eyes. Their candle of love had finally been lit.

Chapter Three

"Hey Lou, feeling better?" Buck asked as Lou climbed into her bunk.

"Yeah, thanks Buck, but how did you know I was back?" Lou questioned. She knew that he was out waiting for her when she rode in. She promised him she'd be back before the dance tomorrow after all.

"I was just out watching the rain and then I saw you ride in, so I thought I'd come out and see if you needed a hand." Buck lied.

"You're such a gentleman!" Lou mocked. " Well I'm beat. Night boys!"

"Night Lou" came the chorus of voices as she slipped into a beautiful dream of what has happened over the past three months, and how happy she was.


The next evening the bunkhouse was busy with the boys preparing for the dance in town. Each trying to use the small mirror hung on the wall, tying their bowties, fixing their hair and just trying to look good for their future "prospects"….if only Cody would move out of the way!

Meanwhile, Teaspoon was in the barn getting the carriage ready and Rachel and Lou were in the house putting the finishing touches to Lou's Hair. She had decided to borrow one of Rachel's good dresses for the dance. The burgundy dress had matching lace around the wrists, and neckline, which was cut lower than what she was used to, but she really wanted to impress Buck. Over the past three months Lou and Buck's relationship, although somehow still a secret, went far beyond that either had expected or experienced. Lou didn't think it was possible to love anyone as much as she loved The Kid, until she realised her love for Buck on their ride to St. Louis. The Kiowa had opened her eyes to a love much deeper than any she had seen or felt in her lifetime.

"There you go. So who's the lucky man? Rachel inquired, seeing the sparkle in her best friend's eyes. She had noticed there was a certain skip in Lou's step for over a month.

"Ahh…ahh…noone Rachel. What gave you that idea?" Lou fumbled.

"Come on, Louise. I'm pregnant, not blind. I've seen the way you've been behaving. It's been this way for over a month now!" Rachel exclaimed with raised eyebrows.

"Noone Rachel. I've just been in a good mood lately!" Lou tried to explain. "We'd better go or we'll be late. I'm sure Teaspoon and the boys are waitin'!"

"Yeah, okay. Come on."

The ladies walked out to the awaiting carriage and men on horseback. Lou had wrapped a shawl around herself, so the boys wouldn't stare at her courageous new look. Buck would get his surprise at the dance, accompanied by her "father and step mother" as she had been introduced to the town as at the last dance.

Chapter Four

When the Pony Express family arrived at the town hall of Sweetwater, the dance was in full swing. The boys quickly dismounted from their trusted steeds and almost ran inside, while Teaspoon help his wife and "daughter" out of the carriage. Lou heard a horse whinny and looked over to the boys horses, where she also noticed Katy was among the crown attached to a carriage. 'Oh boy. This should be fun' Lou thought to herself.

The Hunter family entered the hall and was amazed to see all the people that had come to the dance. Lou began feeling nervous as all the single men, and a few that weren't, looked on in amazement at the marshal's extravagant daughter. She moved closer to Buck, Ike and Noah who were standing close by, just to feel a little safer.

"May I have this dance?" the soft voice asked her.

Lou looked up startled until she saw the gentle and kind eyes of her love. "Why, certainly, Buck!" she answered, removing her shawl and exposing her dress in full just as Kid and Tory danced by. Buck's eyes widened, as did his smile. For that matter, all the men close by her did similar things just like Buck:- Kid tripped over his own feet, Cody dropped the glasses of punch he was carrying over to his dancing partner, Jimmy froze in his steps, Ike and Noah stared unbelievingly, Rachel smiled on encouragingly and Teaspoon almost fainted. They all couldn't believe how gorgeous their sister/daughter truly was.

Buck gained control of his senses and escorted Lou to the middle of the dance floor just as a waltz started up. The two held each other close and gazed into the other's eyes, love reflecting from both pairs.

Rachel glanced over at the couple while dancing with Teaspoon, and noticed the look of love between the two. "Oh my goodness…there is definitely something going on there" Rachel whispered to herself, smiling

"Sorry, sweetheart. What was that?" Teaspoon asked, interrupting her thoughts.

"Oh, nothing. I was just talking to myself." Rachel explained. She didn't realise she had said it out loud.

As the night went on, Rachel got caught up in conversations with the other women from town that she didn't notice the disappearance of Lou and Buck. Now that she was with child, everyone had a story, anecdote or suggestion to give to her about raising a child. She was seen as a respectable woman now that she was married to their town's Marshal.


Lou and Buck left the dance after about 7 dances. Originally it was to get some fresh air as the dance hall had become hot and stuffy, but as they walked under the stars, they both felt a desire to be together, so they let Ike know they were leaving due to Lou having a "headache". Ike knew that wasn't the real reason because he could see it all over his best friend's face…there was more to it than meets the eye.

Chapter Five

At the Waystation

As Buck rode his horse into the waystation, Lou pointed out the horse and rider in front of the bunkhouse. Buck slowed the horse down, cautiously approaching the stranger. This was his and Lou's night, and he didn't want anything spoiling it. As he came closer to the stranger, Buck noticed the buckskins. He quickly dismounted and went, almost running, to the stranger's side, welcoming him in a bear hug. When Lou dismounted and approached, Eagle Feather was the first to look up, just as Buck remembered the beautiful vision that was Lou left on the horse. Buck turned red under the stare of his brother's knowing look.

"Eagle Feather, I'd like you to meet Lou. Lou, this is my brother, Eagle Feather." Buck introduced.

"Pleased to meet you Eagle Feather. I've heard so much about you." Lou explained, extending her hand. Eagle Feather looked at her, then at her hand and finally to Buck with a questioning look. Buck just smiled, and Eagle Feather pulled Lou's hand towards him, and gave her a hug.

"It is very good to meet you too Lou!" Eagle Feather replied in his broken English. He was used to speaking Kiowa, not English. Lou just smiled and cuddled up to Buck who had stepped behind her and wrapped his arms around her.

"So Eagle Feather, what brings you here?" Buck asked, worry evident in his voice.

"It is my son, Swims Like Fish, he been taken by Dog Soldier. I afraid for him, brother." Eagle Feather replied. As he then explained to Buck what had happened in Kiowa, Lou decided to take care of the horse and let Buck and his brother talk. She knew he missed his brother and they needed to talk. When she had finished taking care of the horse, Lou walked out of the barn and saw that Buck and Eagle Feather had gone for a walk, so she continued into the Bunkhouse and got changed back into her riding gear.

Buck and Eagle Feather returned as Lou was boiling some water for a coffee. As they walked in, Buck gave her an understanding smile. He knew the rest of their family would be returning soon, and if she stayed dressed as a lady, he might not be able to keep his hands off her when they return and their little secret would be found out. It wasn't that they didn't want the family to know, but it was a habit for hiding it in order for them to remain working for the Pony Express.

Chapter Six

Buck bid farewell to Eagle Feather just as the others arrived home. He went and greeted them as they dismounted, saying goodnight to Rachel as she retreated to the house for the night.

"Hey Buck, how's Lou? It ain't like her to leave early from one of her few chances to dress like a lady. She really must of felt awful!" Cody asked.

"She's okay. She's asleep now, so keep the noise down, okay!" Buck warned. He felt bad that they didn't get to spend their night together as they had planned and he hoped Lou understood that his brother really needed his help. "Teaspoon, is there any chance I could have a couple of weeks off? My brother needs my help." Buck asked the man who had become a father to them all.

"Well, Buck, son, what's so important that you need to rush off?" Teaspoon queried.

"My nephew, Swims Like A Fish, has been taken by Dog Soldiers and I need to help my brother find him before something happens and it's too late." Buck explained, as the rest of his 'brothers' sat out on the porch of the Bunkhouse.

"Well, Buck. It sounds like a reasonable request. When yer leavin'?" Teaspoon replied.

"Tomorrow if that's okay?" Buck answered.

"Well, it's short notice, but I think we can handle it. Just be careful and please wait till you see Rachel in the morning before you go. She'll be heartbroken if you leave before hand and she is in a condition not to be messed with right now, so send word every so often, please?" Teaspoon sincerely acknowledged.

"Sure Teaspoon!" Buck answered. Inside he was silently beating himself up because he hadn't told Lou anything yet. 'How's she gonna take this? Just when everything started to be perfect. Damn!' he thought to himself.


Inside Lou was just getting to sleep when she heard Buck ask Teaspoon for time off. He couldn't be serious. He's leaving me? How could he do this to me. Everything was so perfect. Arrrgh! She turned over and covered her head with her pillow, and let the tears silently trickle down her face, then made plans of her own.

Chapter Seven

After the boys were asleep, Lou got up and sneaked out to the barn. She needed to let the silent tears out and cry. As she left the bunkhouse, Buck got up and followed her. He needed to tell her what he was going to do and why he was going.

As he silently entered the barn, he heard the sounds of crying and his heart almost broke. 'She must of heard me' he thought. "Lou?" Buck whispered climbing up to the hayloft.

"Leave me alone, Buck." Lou sobbed.

"Lou, I wanted to tell you, and I was going to when Red Bear left, but everyone came back, so it was hard to explain to you what I was doing without everyone knowing! Please understand. I really wanted to tell you!" Buck pleaded. He hated the idea of hurting Lou. She had been hurt too much in her life already, now he was one of them.

"Look Buck, I can't live without you, and I'm going to worry about you everyday while you're gone. Everybody, especially Rachel is going to figure out why sooner or later, and I don't care. I just want to be with you, so when you come home, it better be in one piece!" Lou explained.

"I know sweet heart. I promise I'll come back in one piece, and I'll try to be home as soon as I can!" Buck encouraged.

"You'd better!" Lou replied, cuddling up to Buck. Buck nudged her head up to look at him, and kissed her with a deep hunger. In that kiss, he placed all his feelings in that kiss…feelings of desire, longing and passion. He was truly going to miss her.


As Buck prepared to leave, Lou remained quiet. Kid noticed this as he set about preparing for his run. "Hey, Lou. Are you okay?"

"Huh? Oh yeah, sure Kid. Couldn't be better!" She announced, mock happiness plastered across her face.

He came over and sat beside her, feeling as if nothing had changed between them. "Lou, come on. I can tell there is something wrong. We were together for quite a while, remember?" Kid questioned.

"Look, Kid. Stay out of my business, it ain't your concern!" She yelled, standing up and pushing him away from her and running out the door, slamming the door behind her.

"Hey Buck, maybe you can talk to her. She seems to be pretty close to you these days" Cody exclaimed as the boys looked to the door.

Buck looked up startled at Cody's suggestion. Had they been that obvious? "What makes you say that, Cody?" Buck asked.

"Come on, Buck. You were the only one able to dance with her last night, and she finally looked happy. The happiest we've all seen her in a long time." Cody explained, looking at Kid with an accusing look.

"Why are you looking at me like that for, huh? She was the one who didn't want to marry me, so we agreed to go our separate ways. Don't blame me for movin' on!" Kid bellowed.

"Well it seems pretty convenient, Kid. You can move on, but when she's supposed to be a guy that doesn't give her much of a choice now does it. She has the pick of one of us. That ain't real fair!" Jimmy spoke up from the table where he was playing a game of poker with Cody, Noah, and Ike.

"What's wrong Jimmy? Jealous she's not in bed with you yet?" Kid said spitefully.

Jimmy jumped up from the table ready to finish this argument once and for all when Lou stormed in. She walked up to Kid, looking him in the eyes and then gave him a right hook. "How dare you. Who the hell do you think you are Kid? I'm glad I didn't marry you. I'd be hanged for murder by now. After I told you what Wicks did to me, I thought you'd be the last one to imply I'm a whore. You're the whore, you worthless ass." She glared at him, turned toward Buck, walked up to him and kissed him in a passionate fury. She couldn't deny she loved him any longer. Her kiss let him know that she would miss him and also that she was scared.

Chapter Eight

When they parted, everyone was staring at them in complete shock, including Rachel and Teaspoon who had walked into the bunkhouse to find out the reason for the fighting this time. Rachel was the first to speak, looking around the room and then at Buck and Lou, "Okay, that's enough. Louise, boys…what's going on here? What was the commotion all about and what have you two been hiding?"

Looking around at the people that had become his family Teaspoon interrogated "Well? Rachel has asked you all a few questions and would like some answers! What have you got to say for yourselves?"

Looking around, Buck took a deep breath and explained "Well Lou was being quiet, so Kid asked if she was okay. She got a bit angry and left. Then…." he was cut off by Jimmy.

"Then Cody suggested Buck go after her because they seemed to be close these days. Now we can guess why, and anyway, Kid went off at Cody because Cody said Lou seemed to be really happy last night, and then I got angry at Kid and said a few things, then Kid started on me, and then Lou came in and gave Kid what for. He deserved it for what he said about Lou though, Rachel." Jimmy finished, his face red with anger.

"So you two" Rachel said, turning towards Lou and Buck "How long has this been going on?"

"Well, ah, Rachel." Lou looked at Buck who gave here an encouraging smile. "I guess you could say it started when Teaspoon sent Buck and I on the run to St. Louis about 3 months ago."

"What? How could you two keep this a secret for so long? and why didn't you tell me Louise?" Rachel admonished.

Lou looked down at her feet embarrassed, so Buck replied for her "well Rachel, to start with, neither of us knew where this was going. Then after a while it became habit." Buck stopped and looked at Kid for the next part " I mean we didn't want to hurt anyone."

Rubbing his jaw Kid looked at Lou. "Lou, Jimmy, I'm sorry about what I said. I don't know what got into me and you're right Jimmy. I did deserve what Lou gave me. I was acting stupid. I hope we can still be friends?" He said, putting his hand out for Jimmy to shake.

Jimmy looked at Kid's hand, then to Lou's face, then placed his own hand out and shook hands. Although they have their share of fights, Kid and Jimmy were best friends, and there was only one thing that would ever come between them, but she was with Buck now.

Chapter Nine

Kid left on his run shortly before Buck left to go back to the Kiowa. Lou couldn't help but miss him, thought she tried to keep herself busy with the daily chores, taking on not only her own chores, but also Bucks and a portion of Kid's too. By lunchtime, Lou was worn out and Rachel sent her for a rest. After a little while of lying down, Lou decided that she might as well start putting her plan into action. She packed her clothes into her saddlebags and her bedroll. When she was sure noone was looking, she hid them under the porch, where they would wait until tonight. Then Lou went back inside and rested some more. She needed all the rest she could get before her journey tonight.

At dinner, Lou was too busy filling up on food to join in the ongoing conversations.

"Hey Lou, what's wrong? You're not yourself. We all know you're missing Buck, but you never acted like this, even when you were with Kid and he was away. With all the food your eating, you've made me ask this question…are you related to Cody?" Noah teased, laughing at his own joke, but Lou was too preoccupied in thought to hear him. Noah leaned over and knocked Lou's arm out from under her chin, and Lou stopped just before she landed in her food.

"Damn it Noah, what did you do that for?" Lou asked heatedly, standing up like she was ready for a fight.

"Sorry, Lou, but you were in a world of your own, and I just wanted to make sure you were still with us. What's wrong Lou?" he asked concerned for his 'sister'.

"Nothing, just got things on my mind…I'm gonna go for a walk, if that's okay?" With nods for Teaspoon and Rachel, she got up and left. She went to the barn and proceeded to write the letter she would leave on the bunkhouse table tonight.

An hour after the boys had fallen asleep, Lou got up from her bunk, placed the letter on the table, looked around at all the boys sleeping, and walked out the door. As she got to the bottom of the steps, she reached under the porch and gathered her belongings. Then went to the barn, got Lightning and on the way out looked over to the dark house where Teaspoon and Rachel were sleeping. She whispered "goodbye. I will see you all again" Then she headed in the direction of her beloved's tribe, hoping to find him soon.

Chapter Ten

"Everyone,

I'm sorry to leave like this, but I know it would have been too hard any other way. I have gone to find Buck. I really want to be with him and can't stand being away from him. I hope you can all forgive me and that I still have a job when I return. I guess I'm leaving also because I want to get to know Buck's family. I hope he likes the surprise.

Take care and remember that I love you all,

Louise."

"She can't be serious?" Kid announced as he read the letter aloud for the third time. He arrived home the evening after Lou left and was shocked to hear that she had run off after Buck. He couldn't believe it…'she never did anything like that when we were together!' he thought, jealousy running like a river through his body.

* Well, Kid, she's serious alright. Seems Lou's also good at covering her tracks. Buck taught her too good. * Ike Signed. *I couldn't even find her tracks after she got to Medicine Rock and I wouldn't even know where to look for the Kiowa. But Lou always seemed to have a sixth sense about these things. *

"Yeah, woman's intuition" Rachel spoke up just as there was a knock at the door.

"Hello, Mrs. Dunne. I was wondering if Kid was back yet. He said he'd come for supper, but he never arrived, and I was worried something happened." Tory explained in a rush.

"Oh sorry sweetheart. I got back a little while ago and my mind hasn't been with it." Kid apologized, stepping forward the minute he heard her sweet voice. The boys thought that she sounded like a high pitched snake. They were all in support of Lou, the minute Kid's eyes turned to Victoria. They couldn't stand her, including Teaspoon and Rachel, but they were polite when she was around, unlike the boys and Lou.

" Why Kid, what's wrong? Is something the matter with Katy?" She asked, her concern seeming insincere. It was beyond her how a man could love a stupid animal as much as Kid loved that darn horse, which had thrown her more times than she liked.

"Oh no, Katy's fine. It's Lou. Sh…He ran out last night and noone knows where to look for him!" Kid explained, getting evil expressions from his family at the almost slip of his tongue.

"Oh dear. I hope he'll be alright. So how about that supper? You still want to come?" She queried, shrugging off the concern for the missing Lou. 'He was a little unsociable pest anyway. They'd be better off without him.' She thought to herself.

"Well, Victoria, I'm just about to serve it up here, so why don't the two of you stay here?" Rachel asked. She knew Kid was deep down worried about Lou, but wouldn't admit it, especially to Tory.

"Well, thank you very much, Mrs. Dunne for the offer, but I was kind of hoping Kid and I could spend some time together. After all, we haven't seen each other all week." She exaggerated.

Kid looked at Tory, who smiled a smile that made the boys want to be sick, then back at Rachel "Ah thanks Rachel, but I'd like to spend some time with Victoria. She's right. I haven't spent nearly enough time with her, as I should. I'll be back later, so I'll see you tomorrow. Night Rachel, Teaspoon." He tipped his hat to his boss before closing the door behind him.

Chapter Eleven

After Kid was out of earshot, the boys started voicing their dislike of Tory. They couldn't believe how much she had Kid wrapped around her little finger. Jimmy was the worst because he felt more for Lou that the other boys, and they all knew it. He couldn't believe Kid. It's as if Tory had used some kind of witchcraft on Kid, and it was starting to make Jimmy a little jumpy. He decided to have a little talk with Kid, before he did something stupid.


Meanwhile

Lou rode hard and fast toward the last place she knew the Kiowa to be. Buck had told her on one of their walks that his tribe had the one place they liked coming back to every year, which was where she was headed. As she rode over the crest of a hill, she could see the teepee's poking up behind a small hill in front of her a few miles away. The fading sunlight guided her towards them. Butterflies formed in her stomach as she mounted the final peak, where she heard b rhythmic beating of drums and the singing of the tribe.

All of a sudden, she became worried. 'What happens if Buck's already left to find his nephew. They might kill me. I'm a stranger to them. Only Red Bear knows me, and even then I was dressed like a lady then. Oh god, what was that?' thoughts ran through her head as she heard a twig snap to her right. She squinted into the darkness to try and make out what made the noise, when all of a sudden she was knocked off her horse.

She landed with a Thud, and was quickly getting to her feet when she felt the cold blade to her throat.

Chapter Twelve

(Author's note: I may not be entirely accurate about the Indians, but please bare with me, I am after all an Australian and don't have the chance to visit an historical museum or the like. I am solely working off 4 books I own and am hoping I will be forgiven for any incorrectness within my story. Thanks!)

Lou was frozen in her steps. 'Oh, god. I wish I could have just told Buck I love him' she thought as her captive spoke the almost foreign language to her still holding the blade to her throat. She spoke in English, hoping that her captive might understand some. "Please, I ride for the Pony Express. I'm looking for Buck Cro… Running Buck." She stuttered. She thought that with the use of his Kiowa name, although in English, they might take her to Buck. She then tried to pronounce his name in Buck's native tongue, just like he had taught her over the past few months. With the sound of the Kiowa language, her captive removed the blade from her throat and turned her around to look at her face. His face was covered in war paint, and it scared Lou. She didn't know what was going to happen to her or if she'd ever see any of her family again, including Buck.

The Indian spoke to her in Kiowa and she couldn't do anything but shake her head and say the few things Buck had taught her that might make sense to the Indian - she asked him for a drink of water.

He grabbed her roughly by the neck and led her and Lightning to his camp, where he threw her to the ground and handed Lightning's reins to a child who tied Lightning to a piece of rope with several other horses attached to it. These horses too were adorned in the tribal war paint.

The Indian then looked over his prisoner and turned to another man, donned with a rather large feather headdress and spoke in a low tone to him, then the man with the large headdress looked over at her. When she saw his face, she thought she knew him, but how could she. She only knew Buck and his brother Red Bear. She swallowed hard as he started to walk away from her, and feelings of anticipation overwhelmed her. Tears started to run down her face as another painted warrior came over to her, pulled her up, knocked off her hat and glasses and started to walk around her, like a Vulture surrounding it's prey. Lou wasn't sure what to do but stand there, scared out of her skin.

All of a sudden the man pulled her towards a tepee. Lou knew instantly what was about to happen and started to struggle, screaming out for Buck.

Chapter Thirteen

Buck was dancing around the fire, when he suddenly heard his name be called by a familiar voice. He looked around him, trying to determine where the voice was coming from, but he couldn't see into the darkness due to the firelight. He moved towards his brother who seemed to be calling him as well.

"Brother, your Lou is here. Dark Sky has claimed her. You must stop him. Please?" Red Bear pleaded with a distressed look across his face.

"Where is she? Is she okay?" questions rushed out of Bucks mouth. Red Bear placed a calming hand on his arm and motioned Buck towards Dark Sky's tepee. Buck ran to the tepee, and stepped inside.

What he saw enraged him beyond belief. Here was Dark Sky cutting Lou's clothes from her and about to have his way with her. Buck didn't think. He removed his knife from its sheath on his leg and threw it at Dark Sky.

Dark Sky stoped his actions then fell on top of Lou. Lou continued to scream Buck's name, as images of Wicks ran through her mind. It wasn't until Buck wrapped her in his arms and rocked her, whispering soothing words into her ears snapping her out of her torturous memories.

"Oh Buck…stop him, he's going to kill me!" She cried, frightened.

"It's okay now Lou. He's dead. He's not going to hurt you anymore. I'll die before anyone hurts you again." Buck promised.

Chapter Fourteen

Back in Sweetwater

"Hey Kid, can we talk?" Jimmy asked his best friend as he walked into the barn and saw that Kid was busy with Katy. 'What else is new?' he thought to himself, smiling at his best friend's never ending adoration for his horse.

"Sure, what's on ya mind, Jimmy?" Kid asked, stopping his work to look at Jimmy, trying to figure out what was wrong.

"Well, Kid. It's about Tory…"he paused when Kid gave him a look that could kill at 100 paces.

"What about Tory?" Kid asked, anger beginning to flow through his veins.

"Well, Kid. She's got you so wrapped around her little finger that you're blind to the fact that she can't stand to be around us, your family. I mean you're always running off to her, but when you're out in town together, she completely ignores you. Kid, don't go denying it, I've seen the way she treats you, and a rat gets treated better than you do!" he explained, annoyed at how Kid was allowing this to happen. "I know deep down you still love Lou, but you're the one who wanted to move on, and now I think she ain't coming back…" Jimmy's speech was cut off by Kid's fist hitting the right side of his jaw.

Jimmy wasn't gonna let Kid stop him from speaking his mind. Not this time. So Jimmy knocked Kid to the floor, pinning him there by sitting on top of him and pinning his arms down by his sides with his knees, then continued, "She's finally found someone who understands her and respects her. So if you decide to brag about your little fling with Tory, don't expect Lou to get jealous anymore. You had your chance and ruined it. Don't hurt her, Kid. It ain't easy. She can't go into town and choose a man, like we choose women. Instead she has the choice of one of us. I'm just glad she's finally happy, even if it's Buck and not me." With that said Jimmy gave Kid a stern and meaningful look, stop up and walked out.

Chapter Fifteen

Back in the Kiowa Village

As the sun was rising, the tribal warriors got ready to fight the Dog Soldiers for the sake of their tribe's future. Since Swims Like Fish was taken, the rivalry between the two groups had become worse.

Buck quietly got ready, leaving Lou to sleep. He couldn't bare waking her, she looked so peaceful and beautiful, especially wearing the Buckskin dress which was given to her from Red Bear's daughter Little Wing. She looked like the princess Buck believed she must have been in a previous life. He couldn't believe how lucky he was because she would follow him anywhere!

As Buck stepped out of his tepee, the sunlight shone on Lou's face, awaking her from her slumber. "Buck where are you going?" she called to him.

Stopping in his tracks and turning around, Buck looked at his girlfriend lying on his bed and his heart melted. He couldn't leave her again, but he had a duty to his family. He had to help them. Summoning the courage, Buck answered "Lou, today is the day we go to get Swims Like Fish back from the Dog Soldiers."

"You were going to leave without saying goodbye?" She asked, hurt strong in her voice. "Buck you might die and I'd never see you again, then I'd be stuck here without you, and I never want to live without you here with me!" Tears began rolling down her cheeks and she turned her back on him.

It broke Buck's heart to see Lou in tears, but he knew he had to go. "Lou, I promise to come back here to you and…" Lou cut him off.

"Buck if you're not going to stay here with me, then I'm going with you.

I don't care what you say, you know I can look after myself!" She stated, crossing her arms in defiance.

Buck just rolled his eyes and smiled at the familiar comment. 'Am I turning into Kid?' Buck asked himself. He never thought he'd live to hear the day Lou said that to him. "Okay Lou, but promise me to be careful. I don't want to live without you either. Promise?" Buck replied.

"I promise!" Lou answered, crossing the tepee and kissing Buck on the cheek. "Ah, Buck…what am I going to wear? I can't go and fight in this!" she asked, holding out the sides of the dress.

"Stay here, I'll see what I can find" he laughed, kissing her forehead and walking out over to his brother. After about five minutes, Buck returned to see Lou lying on her stomach reading a book. 'She must have bought it with her' he thought to himself, amazed by her never-ending surprises. She truly was an amazing woman. "Here you go, Lou. I hope these fit! Little Wing is just like you, always looking for trouble!" he joked.

"Oh ha ha. Thanks." She stopped, looking at him. He just smiled back at her. "Ah, Buck, if you want me to hurry, do you think you can turn you back or something?" she asked.

Buck looked down at his feet, embarrassed. "Sorry" he replied, turning around. He was tempted to take a peek, he knew he shouldn't, but the sounds or her changing tempted him beyond belief. He casually flicked his hair back, peeking at Lou changing while his head was turned in the process of flicking his hair, then after quickly taking in her breath-taking beauty in all her glory, he turned his head back. He sighed deeply. Oh how he wanted he to be fully his.

Back in Sweetwater

"I'm glad you're all here. I, well we, have an announcement!" Kid announced to his family. They were all sitting in the bunkhouse, with Kid and Tory standing at the opposite end to Teaspoon, who sat, looking perplexed. " I have asked Victoria to marry me and she has said yes!" The bomb was dropped! Mouth's opened all around the table, as shock overwhelmed all in the room.

"You're WHAT????" You're marrying her? You're marrying this whore? Kid she's chasing everything remotely male in this town, including Lou!!! Wake up, Kid!!!" Jimmy bellowed, then stood up and walked out. He couldn't believe it. After everything he had said, Kid went and got engaged to her!

What a fool!

Chapter Sixteen

The fight between the Dog Soldiers and the Kiowa was short and successful. The Kiowa had a few fatalities and several wounded, while the Dog Soldiers retreated after the majority of them were killed. Swims Like Fish was badly beaten, but Buck knew most of his wounds would heal, but his eye did not look good at all, even after they cleaned it up. "He'll probably loose that eye!" he told Lou who was bandaging a cut on Bucks arm. She too was injured, but didn't want to worry Buck. He was worried enough about his nephew. After she finished tying off his bandage, Buck turned and gave her a kiss. It was long and tender, their soft lips massaging the others. Buck wrapped his arms around Lou's waist only to have her yelp in pain.

"Lou, what's wrong?" he asked, lifting up her jacket to reveal her blood-soaked shirt. "Oh, Lou, why didn't you say anything? It could be infected!" Buck cried.

"I didn't want to bother you. You've been so worried about Swims Like Fish, that I didn't want to worry you more. I'll just go down to the river and wash it. It'll be fine." She explained.

"Like hell it will be. Lou, just give me a look." Buck ordered, ripping her shirt up the back. "Oh my god, Lou. I can't get that out. I'd better get Red Bear" he stood up and left before she could object.

When Buck returned, Lou looked terrible. Within just a few short minutes, Lou had become pale, was sweating and seemed to be unconscious. "Lou!" Buck screamed as he saw her. She started fitting as he stepped closer. Feeling her forehead, she had a souring temperature. Her wound was definitely infected!

Buck wasted no time in gathering Lou up into his arms, and holding her, whispering to her to come back to him. "Please Lou, Don't leave me. You're my light. If you leave me, I will forever be living in darkness. Please Lou? " He sobbed, hoping to all the gods that he believed in to help Lou.

As Red Bear removed the bullet from Lou's back, Buck refused to leave her side. "If something happens, if she dies, I want to be there. Hopefully she wakes up. I can't live without her, brother!" Tears streamed down his face. How was he going to tell Teaspoon, Rachel and the boys, if anything should go wrong? How was he supposed to face them? Jimmy would kill him before he finished telling them the news. He swallowed hard at the thought of losing Lou. She had become his life.

Chapter Seventeen

Three Days Later

Buck refused to sleep, eat or leave Lou's side. The bullet had been removed, but she had lost a lot of blood. Red Bear gave Buck a special broth to give to Lou, it was to help her infection, he only hoped she would live. He knew that if she died, Running Buck would die along with her, and that thought broke his heart. She had become known throughout the tribe as "Fists Of Thunder " since the warriors had returned and told the story of how Lou fought just as any other warrior would have.

As night fell, Lou began to stir, causing Buck to jump to her side and hold her hand. As her eyes fluttered open, her eyes darted about the tepee, trying to figure where she was and what had happened. Then the pain hit. She cried out in pain, making Buck more concerned for her. He wanted to take away all her pain and see her smile again.

"Buck? What happened? Where are we?" she sobbed as she tried to sit up and the pain increased.

"We are in my village. We fought the Dog Soldiers who had kidnapped my nephew. Do you remember?" Buck asked, helping her up, trying not to cause any more pain.

"Oh, yeah. Are you still mad at me?" she asked, looking into his eyes.

"Of course not. If you had died, I would be! You should have told me you were hurt. We all thought you wouldn't make it when Red Bear was removing the bullet. You almost stopped breathing several times and scared the hell out outta me. I don't ever want to lose you Lou." Tears formed in bucks eyes, and he laid down on Lou's legs and finally let the tears fall silently. She was the only one he would allow to see him cry. Not even Ike had seen him cry.

"Shhh. It's okay. I'm here and I promise I'm not going anywhere without you Running Buck Cross!" She vowed, smiling at him as she used his full name.

He sat up, wiping the tears away and kissed her. This was a promise he knew she would keep. "What do you say we go home?" he asked.

"Are you sure? Don't you want to make sure Swims Like Fish is going to be okay?" she queried. "Besides, it means we can spend more time together ……. all alone!" she hinted.

"Hmmm, sounds great. I think I'll take you up on that offer. Besides, you still need time to rest and heal up!" He announced, the protective side showing again. "I'm just gonna tell Red Bear, and make sure it's okay with him." He nodded to Lou, giving her a loving kiss, stood up and walked out.

When he returned, the smile had been wiped off his face. "Buck…what's wrong?" concern and fear welling up inside her.

Chapter Eighteen

"Ahh, Lou. There's a problem. It seems several of the braves have taken a liking to you because of what you did in the fight and won't let you leave unless we get married, or you marry one of them and stay here forever. If we marry, we have to do it before the end of today, otherwise they will fight over you tomorrow at dawn. Red Bear has at least given us the chance to marry tonight, otherwise I'd be in the fight tomorrow." He took a deep breath and looked at Lou. Her expression was something he had never seen before, and it scared him. "Lou?"

"I'm sorry, Buck. It's just a lot to take in. I'm not ready to be married, but if I have to be, I know you're the one I would choose. I've never loved anyone as much as I love you, not even Kid. But I don't want to quit riding. I love working for The Pony Express, and I haven't got nearly enough money saved to get Jeremiah and Teresa out of the orphanage and…"

"Shhh, Lou. It's okay. Think about it for a while. I'm not asking you to stop working for The Express because I love it too. I want to help you get Jeremiah and Teresa from the orphanage. I know how much all this means to you and I'm glad you would choose me. Why don't I let you get some rest, and we'll talk about this later?" Buck interrupted, standing up.

"No, Buck, please don't leave…for long anyway. I mean, I guess you'd better go and tell Red Bear to prepare for the wedding. To prepare for OUR wedding." She looked up at him and smiled. Today was her wedding day, and she knew it was their destiny.

"Are you sure? You really want to go through with this and marry me?" Buck questioned.

"Yeah. It is after all, our destiny." She announced thoughtfully, smiling at her fiancee. Although she hadn't been with the Kiowa long, she quickly adapted to their ways and beliefs. It amazed Buck how much she really loved him.

"Okay, I'll be back soon." With that, he left to tell his brother.

Back in Sweetwater

The wedding plans were under way. Tory had designed her dress and was hurrying the dressmaker to finish it. She had organized the whole event without even asking Kid's opinions or for his help. He didn't even know when he was getting married. Nobody told him anything. He was feeling left out, both of his wedding, and with his friends. It seemed that ever since he announced his engagement, his family had been avoiding him. He needed his friends around him, he needed his FAMILY around him, now more than ever! 'Am I doing the right thing, marrying Victoria?' he asked himself.

"Course not. You're a fool." Came the reply from behind him. He turned around and his face met with a familiar fist, knocking him to the ground.

"Jimmy, damn it. What did I ever do to you? Why the hell do you keep using me for you're punching bag?" He bellowed.

"Why do you think. You need it. You've been blinded by her witchcraft long enough and everyone here is sick of it. She doesn't love you she just wants something. Only thing is, I don't know what that is!" Jimmy replied.

Kid just stared at Jimmy and then walked away. He knew Jimmy was right, and he intended to find out what Tory's real reason was. He walked to the barn, saddled Katy, and rode off in the direction of Sweetwater Hotel.

Chapter Nineteen

As Kid arrived at the hotel, he saw Tory walking back from Tompkin's store…arm in arm with a stranger. Rage consumed him, just like it used to with Jimmy over Lou. He wanted to march over there and punch this guy, but then he thought there could be a completely reasonable explanation, after all she was his fiancee. That was until they reached the hotel where Tory and this stranger engaged in a kiss that was not one that friends would share. That was all it took for Kid to ride out of town, destination unknown. He just wanted to get away from this heartache. He couldn't believe it…Jimmy was right.

He kept riding well into the night without stopping. When he realized it was dark, he felt guilty for not slowing down his pace. He pulled Katy up to a slow pace and tried to figure out where he was. Then he heard the ceremonial drums of Indians.

"Oh boy, Katy. What have I gotten us into?" He whispered into his horse's ear. He was replied by a nod of the head by his horse, as if to agree that he had gotten them into some sort of trouble.

He decided to sneak up and take a look at what the tribe were celebrating, and try to figure out if they were a friendly tribe. He didn't know where he was, so he couldn't figure out what tribe this was. There were a variety of Indian tribes around the plains, so unless he knew where he was, he couldn't tell what tribe he was about to encounter.

He snuck up behind some shrubs and took a peak. What he saw was a beautiful image that blew his mind. She was gorgeous.

Chapter Twenty

Back at the Kiowa Village Lou was taken into Red Bear's tepee by his wife and daughter to prepare her for the wedding, whist Buck was helped by his brother and his nephew. Both Lou and Buck were having second thoughts, but then thought of how they needed the other as part of their life, and the bad feelings disappeared.

Little Wing's mother, Kicking Bird, gave Lou a beautiful white buckskin dress in which she wore at her own wedding, and together with Little Wing, they added flowers to her hair, and even lent her a beautiful beaded necklace and bracelet to add to her beauty. She was truly a vision Buck would never forget.

Buck was wearing his warrior outfit and his gorgeous smile with those white teeth. He waited out in the clearing with other members of the tribe for his Bride-To-Be. The butterflies in his stomach were going berserk. It was a picturesque night, the stars shining brightly and the full moon smiling down on them. He felt guilty that his family wasn't there to witness this amazing event. He decided to ask Lou to marry him again when they returned to their family. That way they would be married in both worlds. This thought only brought about more butterflies and he let out a nervous sigh. 'Maybe I should just get through tonight first' he thought to himself.

"Ahem. Ahh, brother, I think it is time" Red Bear announced as singing started and Lou appeared at his side. Buck couldn't believe his eyes. She was completely beautiful. Lou was thinking the same thing as her gaze drifted over his outfit and then to his eyes, those amazing eyes. They captured everything – the stars, moon, trees, animals and her.

The ceremony was a quick one, compared to the white man's wedding. Soon they found themselves dancing around the fire and finally kissing under the stars.

All of a sudden the celebration was silenced by Touch The Cloud's scream of an intruder, who was pushed over near the fire. He landed with a thud, and tried to get up, but was pushed back down again. Buck, Lou and Red Bear stepped forward to stop the beating of the intruder, who appeared to be white. When he was turned over to face the tribe, Lou and Buck gasped "KID?"

Chapter Twenty One

Coughing, trying to regain his breath, he looked up into his friends' eyes and winced in pain. "Buck, where am I?" he breathed.

"Kid, you're with my tribe. What are you doing here?" Buck asked. He had a feeling something was wrong back home. Maybe Kid had been looking for them. Maybe someone's been hurt back home. Buck prepared himself for the answer.

Gaining his breath, Kid finally answered "Ahh, Tory was using me. She's got someone else. I saw them in town, and FRIENDS don't kiss like they did. I just took off and then I found myself here, hearing the drums I tried to figure out where "here" was, and tried to figure out how safe I was." he reminisced.

"Oh, Kid. I'm so sorry." Lou apologized. She saw the hurt in his eyes and felt bad for moving on and even getting married.

"So what's happening here? Lou that's a nice dress…you becoming Pocahontas on us now?" he asked, laughing.

Buck and Lou just looked at each other, unsure of how to explain to Kid that they had just married. Lou looked down at her feet trying to sort out what she was going to say, when she heard Kid's voice " Lou, what's wrong?"

She looked into his eyes, seeing only concern in them, then she decided that she would just tell him, no beating around the bush. " Well, ah, Kid…Buck and I, well… well…" "we just got married, Kid. So Lou can come back to Sweetwater with me. Otherwise she was to marry someone in the village, and I couldn't let that happen." Buck interrupted. He looked up at Kid's face as the news sank in. He knew it would hurt him, but maybe he'd understand…hopefully!

"Oh" was all Kid could muster. He felt his world was crumbling down around him. First Victoria had used him, now the only other woman he thought he could spend his life with had gotten married secretly. He felt sick.

"Brother, the elders say you must leave tonight, otherwise they believe something bad will happen!" Red Bear exclaimed. Buck looked at his brother, understanding what the elders had foreseen – Kid's arrival at the village had brought a possible threat to his people, and they had to leave. Lou moved to her and Buck's Teepee to pack their stuff and prepare to go home – back to the white world. As she packed she thought of her family back in Sweetwater, and of her brother and sister. She made up her mind that when they got home, she was going to get them and bring them to live with her. Over the time she had spent with the Kiowa, she had learnt that a family should stick together, no matter what the circumstances. As Buck came in to help her, with kid following behind, she was finishing the last of their packing. She was ready to start a new life, with her new husband and with her family starting today!

As day became night, the trio left the village and headed for home. Lou decided to ride double with Buck, and let Lightning carry their belongings. After all, this was a new beginning for both of them as husband and wife. After a few hours, Lou dozed off in Bucks arms and dreamt of their future…their future together.

Chapter Twenty Two

"Lou, wake up" someone called to her. "Come on, Lou. You'll sleep the day away!"

She fluttered her eyes open, not wanting to awake, but knew that she had to get up. "Okay, I'm up. What do you want? I only got back last night, why can't you let me have a bit of sleep?" she pouted.

"Lou, you haven't ridden in three days. You hit your head last night or something?" Cody asked. Lou was sure acting weird today.

"What are you talking about Cody? I got back last night with Kid & Buck from the Kiowa village!" Lou couldn't understand what Cody was talking about.

"Ah, Lou, you must of hit your head, Buck's on a run, & Kid's on holidays with Tory somewhere, remember?" Cody explained, getting worried. "I'll just go & get Rachel." With that, Cody ran over to the house to get Rachel, Lou's behavior was scaring him.

Minutes later, he came back in with Rachel & Teaspoon hot on his heels. "Lou, honey, what's wrong?" Rachel asked.

"I don't know Rachel, I went after Buck when he went to help his brother get his nephew back, we got married, Kid arrived & we left & came home last night! But Cody's going on about Kid being away with Victoria on a holiday & Buck being on a run!" Lou remembered.

"Ah, Lou, honey, Buck didn't go & help his bother, & what Cody said is true. I think you were dreaming Lou." Teaspoon explained.

"What? You mean I dreamt it all, but it felt so real, Teaspoon. It was like I was really there …"a knock at the door interrupted her. Teaspoon went & answered it.

"May I help you, sir?" he asked the man at the door.

"I am looking for my brother, Running Buck" the man explained.

Lou raced to the door at the familiar voice. "Red Bear, what is it? I'm Lou."

"I know. I saw you in my vision. You & Buck need to come back with me, Fists Of Thunder. My tribe needs your help." Red Bear explained.

"I know, I saw it too. Don't worry, Swims Like Fish will be okay." Lou explained, comforting Red Bear. " Buck should be back by tonight, you wait here until then."

"That would be good. Thank you." Red Bear followed Lou wordlessly outside to help take care of his horse, leaving Teaspoon, Rachel & Cody staring in disbelief.

"How did she know what had happened?" Cody asked.

"Well, son, I believe Lou had a vision." Teaspoon announced, not able to believe it himself.

"Maybe she & Buck do belong together after all!" Rachel pondered, then walked back over to the house to prepare something special for Lou & Buck's big adventure. According to Lou's dream, Lou & Buck would be married by the time they came back, so she had a few things to prepare for, like a Wedding, & getting Lou's brother & sister back here…to live permanently.

The End

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