Lou walked away from The Kid and Katy with a grin on her face, and her heart beating fast. She couldn't believe that Kid had kissed her, but it felt wonderful. Not only was it a great kiss, but he'd finally promised to keep her secret from Teaspoon and the others. She didn't have to worry about losing her job or Teaspoon finding out that she was a girl.

Lou went into the bunkhouse and climbed onto her bunk. Closing her eyes, she let the kiss replay in her head. She liked the Kid the moment she'd laid eyes on him. He wasn't like the other riders. He was kind, honest, and very good looking. He made her feel things she'd never felt before. Emotions she didn't know she had. She was glad that he was the one to discover that she was a girl. The other riders were okay, but they might not have kept her secret like the Kid was.

The door opened, and Lou looked over to see who had come in. She smiled when she saw that it was Kid. Her smile grew and she felt her cheeks warm, when he smiled back, as he headed towards their bunks, since his was on the bottom under hers. She was about to roll over and talk to him when the others came storming in for supper. She sat up instead and tried to hide her embarrassment.

When Kid walked in, he saw Lou laying on her bunk, smiling at him, and returned her smile as he walked over to where their bunks were located. He loved the way she blushed, thinking how much prettier it made her. He was about to ask her if she'd like to go for a walk, but the other riders came in, and ruined the moment. He got into his bunk instead, hoping to get a chance to talk to her later.

Lying down on his bunk, he glanced upward, gazing at the bottom of her bunk, and remembered how it felt when she'd kissed him on his cheek. It had seemed natural to him to, kiss her back, and it was wonderful. He liked her a lot, and he would like to kiss her again...right now. Of course, there was the problem with the others thinking she was a boy, though. He'd have to be careful not to let her get hurt or found out. He had to protect her secret at all costs.

Lou was surprised at how much she wanted to kiss the Kid again. She'd never felt like this. She'd spent all this time trying to hide her true self behind the disguise as a boy, and one kiss from Kid had brought her feminine emotions rising within her. What was it about him that made her feel safe and secure in being a woman? Even though what she was feeling was different than anything she had ever felt before, Lou was enjoying it. She was even liking this feeling, and What she liked even more, was that the Kid might really like her too.

Everyone assembled for supper and Lou sat next to the Kid. All through the meal they were both pretty quiet, even though the others didn't notice. Cody talked enough for all of them, keeping everyone entertained. Lou grabbed a roll from the basket on the table, and felt her arm brush against his. Her arm tingled where it touched him, and she had to hide her smile and blush. She'd never felt this sensitive to anyone before. Lou finished supper and excused herself, telling Teaspoon that she wanted to take a treat out to Lightning. She grabbed a couple of carrots and headed out the door. Lou knew that if she stayed in there another minute, then she'd give herself away that night. She entered the barn and headed for the stall in which her horse, Lightning, was housed. Lightning welcomed her with a soft neigh. She pulled out the first carrot from her pocket and fed it to her horse. Then she walked over to Katy's stall and pulled out the other carrot for her.

The Kid also excused himself, telling the others that he wanted to check on Katy's bullet wound before turning in. They knew that he was still worried about her. He walked to the barn and entered it in time to see Lou giving Katy a carrot. He stood there watching the two most important ladies in his life. He may not have known Lou long, and had only recently found out that she was a girl, but he liked her a lot and he loved Katy. He was happy to see that they were getting along.

"Whatcha doin' Kid? Katy's happy to see you." Lou said without looking at him.

"How did you know I was here Lou?" He asked her as he moved towards them.

She smiled as he reached them. "I sensed you I guess, and Katy's ears perked up when she felt you come in."

"You could sense me Lou?" He asked as he moved closer to her. He liked hearing that.

She blushed and smiled at him. He sure knew how to make her smile. "Yeah, I guess I can. It's been like this since we got here. I've been able to feel when you're around."

He smiled at her. "Is that a good thing or a bad one?"

"I think it's a good thing Kid." She replied as she turned away from Katy to look at him.

"Oh."

"Why'd you come out here Kid?" She asked him.

"I just wanted to see you." He replied.

"You saw me at the table, and you see me all the time in the bunkhouse." She said as she looked down. "Yeah, but that's Lou the rider, I wanted to see Louise. You know, the girl I kissed earlier." He said as he lifted her chin to look at him.

She blushed again. "Oh."

He bent down and lightly touched his lips to hers. Lou returned the kiss and felt tingles all the way to her toes. When they finally parted, they both smiled at each other. They knew that they had to get back to the bunkhouse before someone came looking for them, but they didn't want to go just yet. They just stared into each others eyes.

Lou jumped when Katy nickered. "I guess we'd better get back before Teaspoon sends someone out for us."

He took her hand and squeezed it. "Yeah, you're right. I just don't want to yet."

"I know Kid, I feel the same way. I just don't want to get caught by anyone and have to explain why you're kissing a boy." She said and laughed at how that sounded.

He nodded. "Yeah, that would be hard to explain. Come on, let's get back. Emma's bound to stick around until we're all there and ready to bunk down. She'll probably send Teaspoon out to look for us soon." He replied.

Lou grabbed his hand as he turned to walk away. She pulled him back to her and kissed him, then pulled away, and headed for the door. He ran after her and they walked out into the night together. Halfway to the bunkhouse, they ran into Cody, who was sent out to get them.

Together the three of them headed back into the bunkhouse to get some sleep. The Kid was up for an early run the next morning. Lou and Kid shared a smile before getting into their own bunks. Lou knew that she would dream about the Kid that night, dreams of the Kid and Louise...not Lou.

The end

Author's Note: I'd like to thank Wendy mills for being my beta reader on this story. This is my first Young Riders story.

Email Trisha Steere

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