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A Long While

By Katie
Copyright 2000

Chapter One

“Hey, boys! Don’t you have chores to do!”

The staff of the Rock Creek Pony Express Station groaned as the station manager, Teaspoon Hunter, caught them standing near the corral enjoying the unusually nice weather.

“Sure Teaspoon!” yelled Kid, “We were just taking a short break that’s all.”

“A short break ain’t gonna get you boys nowhere” Teaspoon responded as he strode over to where the boys were supposed to be fixing a break in the fencing of the corral.

The ex-Texas ranger stood with his legs slightly apart in a stance familiar from the many years spent carrying a gun. His eyes narrowed as he surveyed the group of hot, sweaty, tired boys in front of him. “Ok, here we have Kid, Jimmy, Cody, Noah and Buck, I know, is out on a run. Where would Lou be this morning?”

“I think she’s in bed Teaspoon,” Kid replied, “She felt sick this morning. She just hasn’t seemed like herself lately. “

Cody, always the joker, couldn’t let that one slide and replied, “Kid, the only reason you think she hasn’t been acting like herself lately is because she didn’t snap at you when you suggested she try and get a few extra hours of sleep this morning.”

The rest of the riders, seeing the truth in Cody’s comment, laughed a bit uneasily. They knew that Lou was still a sore spot with Kid even though they had officially broken up several weeks ago.

“Don’t worry Kid”, Teaspoon said as he tried to ease the troubled boy’s mind.

“Women just feel funny at certain times of the month. Give her a week. I’m sure she’ll be good as new.”

“It doesn’t matter to me Teaspoon. I have no claims on her anymore. But it still worries me when she gets like this.”

“It’ll be fine Kid. It’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to. Now you boys get back to work. That fence ain’t gonna fix itself!” However, even with that final statement Teaspoon couldn’t help but smile and shake his head as he turned to go back to his office, “Those two kids are meant for each other whether they know it or not. I just hope they figure it out and get back together before that boy goes any more nuts than he already is.”

Chapter Two

Lou lay in bed and thought about how odd it was that she had been feeling so horrible. She had very rarely been sick in her entire life and the very thought of true sickness made her shudder. She closed her eyes and tried not to think about how ill her mother had been during the final days of her life. Lou knew she wasn’t by any means as sick as her mother had been, but she couldn’t help but remember and worry. She rolled over onto her back and groaned as Rachael opened the door to the bunkhouse.

“Louise , are you ok?”, Rachael exclaimed as she entered the room. “I was a little worried when you didn’t show up for breakfast this morning. I mean, you’re not Cody, but it’s unlike you to miss a meal.”

“Rachael, I’m fine. I just feel a little sick that’s all.. I’m sure I’ll feel better in a few days. I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“Do you want me to make you some broth or anything like that?”

Lou forced herself to smile at Rachael’s kind suggestion and tried not to show that even the thought of food made her want to throw up.

“No thanks Rachael. I appreciate it, but I’m just not horribly hungry right now.”

“Well, alright then. But if you decide that you need or want anything just give me a holler. I’ll be right in the house doing laundry, alright.”

“Alright. Thanks.”

On to Chapter Three

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