Disclaimer:  This is a work of fan fiction based on characters created by Ed Spielman and owned by Ogiens/Kane Productions.  Neither the author nor the webmistress claim any ownership or any profit from the creation of this work.  This story may not be posted elsewhere except with the express permission of the author.

 Chapter 1

 “When are you going to be home?”  Louise Zimmerman asked her husband.

 “By the end of the week, at the latest.  You know that it takes two days to get there.  And I have no idea how long it will take with the horses.  I really hate to leave you in your condition.  But, Buck and I always find the best horses at this time.” Kid answered.

 “I know,”  Lou sighed.  “Lilly will be here.  And Teaspoon and Rachel will be here in a few days.”  Lou placed a hand on her relatively large stomach.  “Besides, the baby isn’t due ‘til the end of the month.”  Lou said.

 Kid looked at his wife with all the love he could.  She was always trying to be brave when he went off to look at horses.  “You’re right.  And the doctor did say that this baby is going right on schedule.”  Kid said then turned to
 boy next to his wife.

 Kid picked the boy up and looked right into his eyes.  They looked just like his own eyes. Bluer than blue and you could see the world through them.  “I want you to take care of your Ma.  Be a big help and when I get back, Uncle
 Buck and I will take you out to get the Christmas tree.  How does that sound?”  Kid asked.  When the boy nodded his agreement, Kid gave him a hug then set him down.

 “Ready, Kid?”  Buck asked mounting his horse.

 “I’m coming.”  Kid called on the turned back to Lou.  “Be careful.  I love you.”  He pulled her into a tight embrace.

 “I love you, too.  Ride safe, Kid.”  She wispered into his ear.  When he finally pulled away Lou added, “Don’t forget to give Noah and Cassie the gifts.”

 “I won’t.”  Kid assured her.  Kid gave her one last kiss then mounted ontop of his paint horse, Katy.  Then he and Buck took off tord the Eastern horizen.

 “They’ll be fine.”  Lilly said walking up and placing her arm around Lou.

 “I know,”  Lou wispered then turned to Lilly.  “Come on, let’s get inside out of this cold.  Why don’t you three stay for dinner?”  Lou said.

 “Sounds good to me.”  Lilly followed her inside.  Lilly also admired how strong Lou was being.  She knew that she would be crying herself before she went to bed that night.

 That eveing the kids were playing on the floor in front of the fire place while Lou and Lilly had their tea.

 “So, have you told the Kid yet?”  Lilly asked after taking a sip of her tea.

 “Told him what?”  Lou asked innocently looking at her.

 “That you are having twins.”  Lilly said.  “Come on, Lou.  You did tell him, didn’t you?  Lou...”  Lilly presisted.


 Chapter 2

 Lou looked at her cup and softly replied, "No,"

 "Why not?"  Lilly asked.

 "I will when he gets back.  I knew that if I told him he would not have left.  Besides I found out yesterday
 and it will make a good Christmas gift.  At least I think it will."  Lou said looking back up, but not making eye contact with Lilly.

 "Yeah, and he will be on your case when you tell him that you knew when he was gone."  Lilly said in a stern voice.  She regretted it when she looked up at Lou.  "I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t’ve said that.  Just promise me that you will tell him when he gets back." Lilly said in a softer voice.

 "I promise,"  Lou answered.

 Lilly stood up and stretched.  When she looked at the clock on the mantel she decided it was time for her to leave.  "Well, I’m going to run and check the horses. I will be back in a few minutes to take my children home and put them to b-e-d."  She said smiling.  For her two oldest children being 3 and 1 years-old the sure knew what the word ‘bed’ meant.

 "Okay, I’ll be happy to watch them for ya."  Lou said.

 Lilly put on her coat then left the house.  True to her word she was back with in a half hour to pick up her children.  "I think I’m going to sleep in a bit tomorrow, so we will not be here for breakfast.  But, don’t worry about the horses.  I’ll take care of them."  Lilly said.

 "Thanks, Lill,"  Lou said.  She walked with Lilly to her back door and gave her a quick hug before she left.

 When they had left Lou went back into the living room, added a few more logs to the fire and turned to Jami. "Well, young man, if you are going to be the man of the house for the next few days you need your rest. Let’s go on up to your room."  Lou held out her hand for Jami to grab.  When he did she led him up the stairs and down the short hall way to  his room.


 Chapter 3

 "Ma,"  Jami said when he climbed into bed.

 "Yes, honey?"  Lou replied tucking him tightly under the covers.

 "Are you going to read me two bed time stories and sing me two songs?"  He asked innocently.

 Lou chuckled a little bit.  "Of course, dear."  Lou said.  Lou and Kid each took turns reading and singing to Jami.  Since Kid was gone, Lou had ‘double duty’ as she called it.



 It didn’t take long until Jami was fast asleep and Lou was laying in bed wide awake.  She could not sleep at all.  Why?  She did not know.  The room did seem a little too warm for her, so she opened the window just a bit.  At about midnight she went to check on Jami.

 She had to avoid all the soft places in the wood floor the creaked when stepped on.   Jami was a light sleeper, just like his father, and always sleep with the door open.  When she looked into Jami’s room she saw the blond hair boy curled up with a teddy bear that was given to him by Teaspoon and Rachel last Christmas.  A lock of hair had fallen in his face and Lou reached out her hand to tuck it behind his ear.

 'He looks so much like his father'.  Lou thought.  In fact if it wasn’t for Jami’s temper, you would have thought that Jami did not belong to Lou at all.  After a few minutes of watching her only son and child, so far, she went back to her room.

 She sat down on the rocker Kid had made her when she was pregnant with Jami.  She let her eyes wander over the room her and Kid shared for the last four years.  Her eyes then fell on her old chest that she had keep in the bunkhouse during her days of riding for the Pony Express.


 Chapter 4

 Lou moved the rocking chair closer to the chest.  Slowly she opened the lid and looked at all her memories.  There were a few articles and letters written to her for both her brother and sister, Kid and even a few from Emma.  She had also keep her old riding clothes.  For ‘some strange reason’- as she had put it to Kid- she could not part with the old clothes that didn’t even fit her any more.

 At the bottom of the chest was her old gun.  The gun she has not put on since the day the went after Pierson and his mend.  The same men that they had thought killed Noah.  Lou was ever so happy to find out that he was not dead.  As was the rest of the riders.

 Laying upside down at the bottom of the chest was a photograph that was laying upside down.  Lou picked up the photograph and sat back against the back of the rocker.  The photo was of her Express family, including Ike.

 Lou’s mind started to wander about ‘her boys’.  Sure, Buck and Kid were only a yell away.  And Noah was in
 Denver.  Plus Teaspoon and Rachel were in Rock Creek.  But what about Jimmy and Cody.  Last Lou heard was
 that Cody was out scouting for the army and Jimmy was sheriff in some town up North.

 She has not really communicated with either of the in the last five years.  When they had told her that they would be leaving, Lou couldn’t eat for days.  This did not help her because she was pregnant with Jami and she became ill.  After she was back on her feet, Jimmy and Cody had chose to leave then.  They had exchanged a few letters for about a month, then they quit coming.  Lou didn’t know if they knew about their nephew or the two little ones coming.


 The next thing Lou knew was that the sunlight was shining into her somewhat now cold bedroom.  She rubber her stiff neck and looked out the window.  With the sun rising the way it was glimmering on the freshly fallen snow, it was a promise for a beautiful winter morning.

 Lou saw two riders over the horizon.  At first she thought it was nothing.  They were use to people passing though this area.  She then realized that the travelers were coming her way.  Lou hurried to get dressed.  She ran a comb through her matted hair, and then said to her reflection in the mirror, "I guess I better go down and greet my visitors."

 When she stepped outside, the two figures had their backs to Lou.  "May I help you-"  Lou stopped what she was going to say when the two men turned around.  "Jimmy?!  Cody?!"  Lou almost yelled in shock.

To be continued....

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