To Live Without You
Chapter One

          "Lou!" Kid rushed to her side as she began to sway. "Lou, what's wrong?" he asked,
          concerned. When Lou didn't answer, he scooped her up and carried her out of the barn.

"Jimmy, Buck," he called to the two, where were fixing the corral fence. "Go get Doctor Taylor and Rachel, quick!" One look at Lou's pale face and Kid's frightened one sent the two running.

Kid carried Lou into the bunkhouse and laid her on a bottom bunk. Her eyes were still open, but she wasn't responding to him at all. She just laid there staring into space. Kid held her hand and brushed a lock of hair off her forehead, which was unbelievably hot. He was really scared. He had never seen anyone this sick before; not even his ma before she died.

Rachel came in and shooed him out of the bunkhouse so she could see what needed to be done. Lou's face was deathly pale, and she was burning up. Rachel stepped out onto the porch where Kid and Buck were waiting.

"Kid, Buck, I need you to gather all the rags you can find and bring me some water. I've got to work on getting her fever down." They were all relieved to see Jimmy and Dr. Taylor running through the station yard.

Jimmy joined Kid and Buck on the porch while Rachel and the doctor went inside to examine Lou. Jimmy reached out and put his hand on Kid's shoulder. The friendship the two men shared had been strained ever since just before Kid and Lou's wedding. For the past three months the two had barely spoken to each other, not bothering to conceal their hostility toward each other. But Kid knew that Jimmy loved Lou deeply, in his own way, and so he drew comfort from the support he knew Jimmy was trying to give.

After what seemed like hours, the doctor came out of the bunkhouse and looked at Kid. Kid jumped to his feet nervously, not noticing that Jimmy and Buck did the same thing.

"What's wrong?" Kid asked, trying to read the doctor's expression; but Dr. Taylor had enough experience to keep his expression neutral.

"Louise is pregnant," he began.

"See Kid, that's not so bad," Buck and Jimmy slapped him on the shoulders in congratulations.

"But she has a fever," Kid was even more worried now.

Dr. Taylor nodded. "It doesn't look like anything too serious though. She's just been working too hard lately, and not eating or resting enough. Now that she's pregnant, she'll have to be more careful."

Kid nodded. They had all been working extra hard lately. The runs had been cut back quite a bit, but there were still just as many chores to do, and with Noah dead and Cody and Jesse gone, fewer of them to do them.

"I want her to stay in bed until I say she can get up," Dr. Taylor continued. "I'll come out and check on her everyday." He headed back toward his office.

"Congratulations Kid," Jimmy smiled, his relief about Lou making him forget his feud with Kid for the time being.

"Don't worry Kid," Buck said, noticing Kid was still doing just that. "Doc said she's gonna be just fine. She just needs some rest."

"I know," Kid managed to smile. "I was just thinking about how Lou's gonna react when I tell her she can't get out of bed. She's gonna kill me!"

"Probably," Jimmy agreed laughing. "Now go inside and see your wife."


Kid walked into the bunkhouse and sat beside Lou's bed, where Rachel was placing wet cloths on her forehead to try to bring the fever down. He noticed that she was sleeping now.

"Doc gave her something to help her sleep," Rachel explained, handing Kid a fresh cloth. He put it on Lou's forehead and softly ran his hand along her cheek, looking at her with tenderness. Lou was gonna have a baby, his baby. He was gonna be a father! The thought was both frightening and completely wonderful at the same time. He was going to be a father!

Chapter 2

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