Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sweet Talking

Talking In Your Sleep, Bon Jovi

Author's Note:  This story falls between the end of Color Blind and the beginning of Old Scores, late in the second season.

This story is Part 1 of the Sweetwater Romance series.

Kid sighed deeply as he stepped up onto the bunkhouse porch and tried to quietly open the door.  It wasn’t often he had a ride that got him home after midnight, but that’s what had happened today.  The rider he was supposed to take the relay from had been delayed by Indian troubles further West.  Then, his first mount had lost a shoe, forcing Kid to walk more than half of the mountainous five mile stretch to the next waystation.  Now, Kid wanted nothing more than to drop into his bunk and sleep for a week.

Taking off his hat and coat, he carefully hung them on their hooks before prying off his boots.  Holding the footwear in one hand, he turned toward his bunk, prepared to tiptoe across the room, and froze.

She was here! 

Ever since that fiasco with Samantha, Teaspoon had kept him and Lou, and Jimmy, riding in different directions.  He’d catch a glimpse of her horse’s tail as she galloped away when he was arriving, or her slender hand as she tossed him the mochila and he raced off.

The sight, now, of her sweet face snuggled against her pillow in sleep the way she’d once snuggled against his chest made his breath catch in his throat.  He’d tried so hard to move on, even chasing after a woman who was Lou’s complete opposite in an attempt to forget her.  But it hadn’t worked.  Every time he saw her he was forcibly reminded of what he’d known since that first kiss, she was the only one for him, now and forever.

He loved her independent spirit, her willingness to fight alongside him and the other boys, even her stubbornness.  He didn’t want to wound her spirit or change her, no matter what the others might think.  He just couldn’t stand the thought of losing her.  And with the risks they all took that was a daily concern.  But, in trying to keep her close, he’d only pushed her further away.  He wasn’t even entirely certain how.

He stood there for countless moments, content to watch her chest rise and fall with the slow even breaths of sleep.  One hand was tucked under her cheek, the other flopped over the side of her bunk.  She was so close, yet so far away.  He could feel the gulf that separated them as if it were a physical thing and he had no idea how to cross it.  Sometimes he’d swear he could even hear her calling to him.

“Kid,” she mumbled, turning over to face the wall.

Like now, he thought, surprised to hear his name come tumbling from her lips.  What was she dreaming about, he wondered, that would have his name on her tongue?

Her feet kicked free of her blanket as she restlessly moved again.

“Don’t go, Kid,” she half-moaned, half-pleaded.  “I need you.  Please… don’t leave me.”

The sudden plaintive tone of her voice spurred Kid into action and he fairly flew across the bunkhouse floor to her side.  Tentatively, he reached out and rested his hand on her cheek, like he’d used to do.  Before.

“I’m here, Lou,” he whispered to her.  “I’ll always be here.”

One small hand reached up to caress his much larger one and a satisfied smile crossed her slumberous features.  It felt so right to be here, by her side, he thought.

“I love you, Kid.”

“I love you, too, Lou,” he answered, pressing a soft kiss to her forehead.

He could feel her body relaxing as she sank once more into the deep sleep of the truly exhausted.  Reaching over, he grabbed the blanket she’d tossed off and gently pulled it back up and over her.  He waited a moment to be sure she really was asleep, then softly moved his hand away from her face, leaving a caress in its wake.

Slipping into his own bunk, he lay back, hands behind his head, and stared up at the thin boards separating him from her.  He was done with all the games, the hide and seek that had been going on.  He’d demand Teaspoon stop messing with the riding schedules first thing in the morning, even Cody was starting to get annoyed by them. 

He knew he’d hurt Lou badly with his actions.  But he couldn’t start trying to make things up to her until they were actually spending time in the same room again.  He didn’t know how, but someday, someway, he’d win her back.

Kissing his fingers, he reached up and placed the palm of his hand flat against the boards of Lou’s bunk, right where her head was resting.

“Night, Lou,” he whispered.


An unidentified sound roused the restless Lou.  She rolled over with a groan.  She never slept well when one of the riders was late coming in, especially the Kid.  Stretching her arms over her head, one hand hit the post in the corner.  It slid down the side of the post, her fingers coming to rest on a gunbelt, a gunbelt that hadn’t been there when she’d turned in.

Raising her head slightly off her pillow, she squinted across the room in the dim light.  The sight of
Kid’s coat and hat hanging on their hooks was a welcome relief from the worry that had invaded her rest.

Slowly, quietly, so as not to wake the others, she slid her hand under the corner of her mattress to the bare boards of the bunk.  Peeking through a small gap between two of the boards, she saw Kid, slumbering away.

Closing her eyes, she pressed her flat palm against the boards, savoring the knowledge of his safety and nearness, even if he was out of her reach now.  She longed so for his presence she could swear she’d felt the warmth of his hand on her cheek in the midst of her dreams.

“Night, Kid,” she whispered, closing her eyes once again.

Talking In Your Sleep by Bon Jovi

Locked up inside your room
You play your lover's tunes
You dance all night, but you run out of moves
You're so close but out of reach
Your voice is haunting me

You've been talking in your sleep again
You talk in your sleep baby
You're talking in your sleep again
You talk in your sleep

You play so hard to get
I know you'll never change your ways
You make the minutes seem like hours
The hours seem like days

You know I'll come when you whisper
I'll run when you call
And when I'm calling out to you
Oh baby, I got no replies at all

This hide and seek we’re playing
Is such a vicious game
But it don't matter what you say
I love you anyway

Cause you've been talking in your sleep again
You talk in your sleep baby
You're talking in your sleep again
You talk in your sleep


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