Author’s Note: This is a gapfiller, a moment of experience, set within the events of Fighting For Love, while Lou and Kid are in the Confederate Army in Virginia. While reading the longer story can help with understanding points in this one, it is not necessary.
Lou paused her horse at the top of a rise and sighed as she looked out over the verdant vista before her. She’d never seen anything like it. She could understand why Kid loved this country so much. She’d ridden and lived throughout much of the West, from Texas to Wyoming Territory, Colorado to Nebraska Territory, Kansas and Missouri. She hadn’t thought there was anything the land could do to surprise her, but Virginia, ah, Virginia, was constantly doing just that.
“Pretty, ain’t it?” Kid asked as he paused his horse next to her.
“What makes them hills look all blue like that?” she asked curiously.
“I dunno,” Kid shrugged. “They just do. You should see it down south of here, two, three days ride. That haze gets so thick it looks like the slopes must be on fire. They call ‘em the Smoky Mountains.”
Lou laughed lightly, reaching over to squeeze Kid’s hand. He turned his bright blue gaze from the mountains to her and grinned. Slipping his fingers between hers he lifted her hand to his lips and kissed the palm softly.
“Ain’t half as pretty as you, though.”
Lou blushed a fiery red to match the sun setting in the western sky. Pushing Kid away with a laugh, she urged her mount into an easy lope that quickly ate up the green fields surrounding them.
It was nice to have this time alone with Kid. These moments of peace, and the relief that came of being able to be herself, not having to worry any of their fellow soldiers would find her out and betray her, were all the happiness she could ask for in the middle of this dreadful war.
Refusing to give free reign to thoughts of the death and destruction that surrounded her, that she’d agreed to participate in to be able to stay at Kid’s side, she lifted her face to the sun and smiled, determined to enjoy this time they had.
Gen. J.E.B. Stuart had sent them out, alone!, to scout for any signs of McClellan’s men in blue. And he didn’t expect them back for at least a couple of days. All of which meant she was free for the moment. Free to be a wife and lover. Free to enjoy this beauty around her, to better understand Kid’s fascination with this land. Free to ride with the wind.
The sound of pounding hooves closing the distance told her Kid was catching up and she urged her horse faster with a laugh.