Author’s note: Hi! I hope that someone remember me. I’m the Italian author that, some months ago, wrote a short story about Lou’s feelings during her first night with the Kid. I received only few reviews but I hope that there were readers that didn’t comment it.

If you want, you can’t send an e-mail also to my beta-reader Peanut, she helped me very much my English.

Let me know what do you think!

***

I stare at the ceiling. I can’t stop thinking about Kid this night…oh, who am I kidding? I never stop thinking of him. And yet, it’s been months since we’ve broken up.

But this evening is different; I continue to feel his arms around my waist and his muffled sobs against my lap. Today was Doritha’s funeral. Kid has been devastated by her death; after Jed, she was the last bond with his past.

I found him at his thinking spot. He clung to the hand that I offered him and he drew me to him, hiding his face against me, weeping. I wrapped my arms around his shoulders. I wanted desperately to comfort him. I murmured incoherently words of love until his sobbing subsided: that I would always be with him, that he isn’t alone...

He took me in his lap then, still holding onto me. I kissed away his tears and we remained simply like that. In that moment I was happy, guiltily happy; because he needed me, because it was as if nothing changed between us. For the first time he talked to me about his life in Virginia, about his childhood marked by his father’s abuses, about his friendship with Doritha that helped him to get through many hard times.

I was jealous. It hurt me to know how close they were; but I never wanted it to end like this. Now she is dead, and Kid has lost another important person in his life.

We returned at home hand in hand. He thanked me, and he kissed me briefly on the forehead. And now I’m here, with my heart that beats fast and tears in my eyes.

I told myself that we could be only friends, that it was better for both of us. But I can’t go on like this; we can’t be only friends, we’ve never been only friends…

I want him to take me in his arms again, to confide in me, to smother me with his worries, to tell me that he loves me…

When I left him, my heart broke. I hated myself because I wasn’t ready to share my life with him, and because I wasn’t able to tell him about my past. And I cried for hours because of Samantha. I told myself that he never really cared about me; and it was my fault because I didn’t …couldn’t…allow him to get too close to me.

I missed him terribly but I was so angry, so grieved that I could barely stand his presence. Because every time I saw him I re-heard in my mind those horrible words. “How long am I supposed to brood over something that just wasn't meant to be?” My heart still aches at the thought.

It took a lot from the both of us, but at last we made things clear between us. I was able to watch again into his eyes, and I saw in them the same pain that I felt. I understood that the words he said hurt him almost as they hurt me then, and so I could forgive him and I let him explain his feeling.

We saved our friendship at least; I thought that I wouldn’t be able to face everything another time, so I did what I thought was best: I hid my feelings deep in my heart, and I pretended that between us there’s nothing more than friendship.

But now I can’t be content with that. Now my only desire is to be with him; even if it won’t be easy, even if we’ll argue, even if I must find the strength to be completely honest with him.

******

I wake up suddenly, the others have already risen and they’re eating their breakfast.

“Better late, than never!!” Cody greets me sarcastically.

I pout, for the one time that he isn’t the last to get up…he surely doesn’t have much room to be witty…

I get out of my bunk, trying to dispel the last remains of sleep. I look for Kid. He isn’t at the table with the others. I turn to look at the bunk behind me. The bed is made and his things aren’t around.

“Where’s the Kid?” My voice sounds more alarmed than I want to show.

“Hey, Lou, don’t worry.” Cody doesn’t even try to hide his amusement. “Kid is getting Katy ready. He has a run in few minutes.”

I move towards the door hurriedly. I don’t want to risk him leaving before I get the chance to speak to him.

Noah stops me with a grin. “A-hem …Lou, “But not for a few minutes…” I stare at him. I don’t understand what he wants. I was upset enough on my own; I have no need of his jokes. Some seconds pass, and at least Buck tries to be civil.

“Lou…you’re still undressed…”

What!! I look down at myself: I’m still in long johns! I blush furiously, after this they won’t give me any respite for weeks!

I turn toward my bunk. I grab my clothes and begin to dress. The faster I can get out of the bunkhouse, the better.

I go toward the barn. Kid is arranging his last items and I observe him secretly. I never tire from watching him: all his little gestures, his habits, I know them like I know my own.

I approach him and call him softly. “Kid.”

He lifts his head, and he smiles sweetly when he sees me. ”Hey.”

My heart skips a beat, his voice is still so sad…

“Hey.” I smile, but I’m scared now. If he doesn’t want to try again with me… what if what we’ve gone through discourages him from even thinking about a future for us? And what if, after Doritha’s return, he understood that she’s the type of woman for him? He deserves a fine lady, not a proud, stubborn tomboy like me.

‘Stop!’ I chide myself mentally, I can’t continue in this way. I must tell him what I feel and I must accept what he says in response to me, for the better or for the worse.

“Lou…” he calls me again. “Lou, you ok?”

“I have to talk to you.” My expression must be awful because he looks at me worried. “Kid.” I look at him for the last time. “I know that I haven’t any right to tell you this after what I’ve done to you…but I can’t go on in this way...” My voice trembles, but it doesn’t matter. “I can’t be only a friend to you. I want…I would…would like it if we went back to the way we used to be.” I’m talking in a hurry; but I want to tell him everything before I lose my nerve. “Please think about that, I ask you only for this…”

I look at his face; he’s shocked. I look away immediately. “W-well…I should go now…you need to get Katy ready for your run.”

I leave before he can say anything. Suddenly he takes my wrist and I find myself in his arms. “Are you serious?” I feel his warm breath on my ear. “You wouldn’t leave me again, would you?” his voice trembles. I watch him; in his eyes I see hope, love and fear, all mixed together. I feel my own eyes prickling with tears.

“Kid, leaving you is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. I can’t be without you. I don’t know why I only understand it now after everything.”

He silences me with a gentle finger on my lips. “Because I was wrong. I suffocated you. I wanted you only for me. I thought about only doing the right thing, not about what was right for us.” He finishes with a sad smile.

I shake my head and take his hands between mine. “You were worried about me. Maybe a bit too much…” I grin. “But I didn’t even try to understand your feelings, I was unbearable sometimes.”

“It’s true. You can be a pest if you want.” He grins too, “But I don’t know what will be left of me if something happens to you…” his expression turns serious. He caresses my cheek and he stares deeply in my eyes.

“I promise that I’ll try not to make you worry ever again …” I say.

“And I promise that I’ll try to not be so overprotective…”

His sky-blue eyes are sparkling with the love I thought I’ve lost.

He bows to kiss me, and hurriedly I rise onto my tiptoes to meet him. Our lips almost crush together, and he chuckles at my impatience. But I cling firmly his neck and deepen the kiss. He moans then, and he presses me to him. How much I missed all of this…

After few minutes he gently breaks the connection, leaving a last sweet kiss on my lips. His face is saddened now, and it scares me a little.

“Lou, can you forgive me for the other day?” he says to me worried “I shouldn’t have yelled at you like I did.”

“You were worried about Doritha and I wasn’t giving you your space…” I say to him, but my voice cracks. I mean what I said, how many times have I treated him in the same way? But I can’t forget his angry face when he yelled for me to go away.

It was like he hit me physically. I felt myself so rejected by him only one other time, when I heard him talking about Samantha. I bow my head; I don’t want to think about that now. But I know him, He will carry the guilt of his actions, until he’s confident that he’s reassured me. And I will let him reassure me because that is what he needs. And I think I need it too.

“Listen Lou.” He lifts gently my chin “Doritha was important to me, but not like you. She was the first that made my heart beat fast. Sometimes she made me feel better simply with her presence. But you, you make me understand what means to really love someone; even if you make me mad with worry and you don’t listen to me, even if I have suffered in the past. But even if I hurt you. I never stopped loving you.”

“I didn’t want to make you suffer, Kid…” My eyes fill again with tears.

“Neither did I Lou.” He cups my cheeks “We made a lot of mistakes, we hurt each other, but I want to start again with you.”

“We’ll take the things slowly, this time, bit by bit.” I respond “And I won’t run away. We’ll face our problems together, instead of alone.”

“I can’t wait…” he smiles.

The last tears roll down my cheeks and he wipes them. I put my hands on his chest. I want us to be able to stay like this for a little while longer, but a shout interrupts us:

“Rider coming!!”

I can’t help a sigh of disappointment. We share a brief kiss before we exit hurriedly. Kid mounts up, waiting for Jimmy’s mochilla.

I lay a hand on his knee “I love you Kid.” I hadn’t said it yet, and I don’t want him to ride away without telling him.

He squeezes my hand. “I love you too, honey.”

He smiles at me for the last time and then he spurs Katy and takes the mochilla.

I sigh. I look at the prairie until his figure disappears in the horizon. When I return toward the bunkhouse I feel my stomach full of butterflies and my lips parted in a silly grin that I can’t avoid.

On the porch I meet three amused pairs of eyes that stare at me, four because Jimmy has joined the others. This will be a long long day…

THE END

Email DD (Paola)

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