Lou and Jimmy were in the barn unsaddling the horses after a ride together.The ride itself was relatively quiet.Jimmy spent most of it admiring how beautiful Lou looked,even dressed as a man.It was hard to beleive anyone could think Lou was a man,but he rememberd being fooled.Jimmy knew he was falling deeper and deeper in love with her.He had always fancyed her,but his feelings had grown.The were becoming a love and not the same love he'd always had for her.Not the same one all the riders felt for her.It wasn't that"I'm your big brother" love.It was definatly the"I want you for my girl" love.He knew she and Kid were a couple but why Kid?What made Kid so special to Lou?Was it that Kid found out Lou was Louise first?What did Kid have that he didn't?Hickcock watched Lou as she finnished tending to Lighning.She was so adorable,he thought.
"Can I- well could I talk to you?"
"Yeah Jimmy-what is it?"
"Well,I know you and Kid are...together,but do you ,ya know,love him?"
"Well,yes.But I love you all.Yer all my family,my best friends...my brothers.If you mean do I love Kid differently,yes.I am in love with him,if thats what you mean?"
"Yes,but Lou...why?I mean Kid is my friend and all,and all us riders are family,but I don't get it.Why Kid?I don't see why Kid?Lou,I love you.Why don't you wanna be my girl?What sets me so far apart from the Kid?"
"Well,Hickcock---Jimmy you don't just get to pick who you fall in love with.Jimmy,I look at Kid and my body gets all tingly."
"You don't get tingly when you look at me I take it?"
"No,No I don't."
"But what if I get tingly everytime I look at you?And when everytime I see you with Kid I feel like somebody has gone and kicked me in the gut?"
"Don't what?Don't tell you how much I love you?"He stepped closer to her."Don't tell you how beautiful you are?How much I want to love you,don't mention how badly I want to kiss you?Is that what you mean by don't ,Lou?Is it?!"
"But it's okay for Kid to tell you?"He replied softly and more to himself than her.
"Yes,yes Jimmy."She said quietly."I guess so.I love the Kid.I really do.I know our relationship seems to have it's rough spots but I love him.I mean,When I'm with him I feel safe,secure,loved...and special."
"And I couldn't make you feel those things?"
"To some extent,in the general sense that all you riders could,but no.When I look at Kid the whole world at times dissappears almost.And All I can think about is Kid.
"Lou."Jimmy took her hands"Kid is my friend,I respect him,he is honorable,good,kind and is a wonderful man,but Lou I love you.I really do.I've wanted to say it for a really long time,but couldn't.I never could really make you understand that because Kid was always around,but Lou...I love you so very much.I never thought I'd find a woman who could make me actaully want to settle down and be a husband and a father and a plain simple man,but you,Lou...I would love to settle down with you someday.Louise,I am madly,passionatly and deeply in love with you and it needs to be said and heard,Kid or no Kid.I love you."Hickcock pulled her closer to him.He gently raised her chin.Lou knew what was coming.She wanted desperatly to stop it but she had never seen Jimmy behave so valnurable like,she raced for thoughts to gently escape the embrace ahead,but it all happend to quickly.Before anyone could speak of move it happend.Jimmy had hus lips pressed firmly against Lou's.Lou was shocked by his display of emotion.She had to break the kiss,but how,she wanted to be gentle,and firm...at least enough for him to actaully get the message.Before she was able to end the kiss Kid walked in the barn to see what was taking the riders so long.Kid walked in to find his girl and Jimmy in a manner of passion. It hit him like a ton of bricks.
"I wonderd what was takin' you both so long.I'm sorry I know."His voice was cold and hurt.He left abruptly with Lou chasing after him. Kid turned to face her.
"No,Lou don't.Don't tell me,spare me the mushy details.Forget about the whole thing.Go back to Jimmy or,whatever! Just get away and keep away from me!"
"Kid listen please!Hear me out!"
"Lou,I don't want to hear a story about how you and Jimmy didn't mean for it to happen.You never wanted to hurt my feelings and that yer sorry.I dont wanna hear about how you wanna be my friend and how you value our friendship,but you and Jimmy wanna be together now.Just save it! Maybe one day.Oneday I'll be able to be yer friend again.I don't wanna lose that Lou,but right now I don't even wanna look at you,so have a heart.You and Jimmy just leave me the hell alone."Kid stormed off with a persistant Lou trailing behind him.He dashed into the bunkhouse to find Ike reading and Buck and Cody playing cards.
"Whats the matter Kid?You seem up..."Cody didn't manage to finnish his question.Lou walked in before the words could get out.She had a flusterd look on her face.
"Trouble in paradise?"Cody asked.
"Shut-up Cody!"Kid snapped."And Lou,I though I asked,not actually I'm pretty sure I TOLD you to leave me the hell alone!"
"I can't do that! You don't understand."
"I understand.I understand that you don't think this relationship means anything.You think it's a game.I understand that you took my heart and have decided to break it!You could have atleast told me about how you felt instead of me finding out my by bustin' in on you and Hickcock in the middle of yer passion!"
Cody,Buck ,and Ike were now very interested in the conversation.They were curious before,but this huge!
"It aint like that!"Lou yelled."Jimmy kissed me! I don't love Jimmy,not that way.Thats what I was tryin' to explain to him.Thats what was takin' so long.He kept questioning my feeling.He won't take no for an answer.He insists he's in love with me.How could you think that I don't love you?Kid,by now,after all we've been through,you know how miserable I am without you."
"I get scared Lou.I get awful miserable without you too.Jimmy has always has special feeling for you.I don't like seein' you in another man's embrace,especially Hickcock's. It didn't seem like you were very reluctant to stop the kissin'"
"Kid,I have never known Jimmy to put himself in such a valnerable state like that.I tried to think but I couldn't.
I wanted to be gentle with him." Buck,ike and Cody were growing more shocked at the situation.There was always tension between Jimmy and Kid over Lou,but not like this.Hockcock,valnurable? It was unexpected.
"Kid,please-beleive me.There is nothing goin' on between me and Jimmy.I love him,like I do everyone.I--"
"Lou,I'm sorry.I'm sorry I yelled.i do beleive you.I just worry bout loosin' you.We've had our ups and downs but..."
Kid finnaly stopped to realize that Buck,Cody and Ike had been there listing to the whole thing.Lou and Kid had been so worked up they never really noticed the audience.They would have exused themsleves otherwise.
"Cody,Ike,Buck-do you mind?"He asked.
"No,not at all Kid,You aint buggin' us."Cody informed.
"Where goin'"Buck said playfully.The three left.Once the door was closed Kid turned back to Lou."Lou,I'm so sorry.I never should have doubted you,I am so sorry I ever said any..."
"I know.Look I just got back from a long ride and I haven't seen you much lately.Do you think maybe we could just forget this and move on?" She asked with a tiny coy twist in her voice.
"Yeah."Kid mutterd as he moved towards her.He slightly lifted her chin and lowerd his lips till they met hers in a pssionate kiss that intesified by the second. The boys were sitting outside when they saw Jimmy approach the bunkhouse.He enterd as the others stared.Jimmy was shut the door and Kid and Lou never heard or saw him.Jimmy grew annoyed as he watched Kid's lips making their way along the nape of Lou's neck. Kid began sucking softly on her collarbone when Jimmy cleared hi throat to gain their attention.They turned to face Jimmy.
"Jimmy."Kid said as he tightend his grip around Lou's waist almost instinctively."Hello Kid."He answerd monotone.
"Whadda ya want Hickcock?"
"To talk with you."He answerd flatly back.