broadsword_babe: (Stock (cowgirl))
Where: Eastern New Mexico
When: February 14, 1983
Alias: Elaine Brown


"Marry me."

I nearly choked on my mouthful of hashbrowns, and stared at him. "I... Uh... What?"

He smiled at my nearly being speechless. "I know this isn't the most romantic spot to ask and all, but you know the kids love you."

He was right about that. A Waffle House somewhere in the middle of eastern New Mexico wasn't exactly a ritzy restaurant in Paris. I stared at him and then looked over at the two kids swinging back and forth on the counter stools.

Truth was, I loved them, too. And they needed a mom. And I liked feeling needed.

I looked at him again, speechless. There he was, in a faded cotton shirt, his best jeans, the belt buckle he'd just won, and his brown sweat-stained hat on the seat next to him, upside down. I watched as he dug around in his pocket, not an easy thing to do, given the fit of the Wranglers. He pulled something out, but kept it in his hand so I wouldn't see it.

"This was my granma's," he said softly. "It's the only thing I have of hers. Normally, I'd wanta ask your daddy first, but since he ain't here..."

My throat closed on the lie. I'd tried to avoid him out on the circuit. I wanted time to myself, time to forget about the past ninety years. But he was always there, every rodeo, every town, every motel. That had lasted all of three months. The next three months were spent getting to know him and his two kids.

"Wade, I..." I tried to protest.

He then showed me the ring: a deep green emerald in a platinum setting. My heart stopped. I didn't realize he was serious.

"But... I... you don't know anything about me," I finally managed to say.

"The way I figure it, we've got the rest of our lives to sort all that out," he answered simply. "Besides, Elaine, no one's supposed to be alone. Even you."

The small restaurant turned into a massive watery blur as I realized he was right. So what if he was a mortal and I wasn't? We could make it work, couldn't we?

Two weeks later, we were standing in front of a Justice of the Peace in Albuquerque, and I hadn't known him for a full year. Funny how things work out.
broadsword_babe: (Stock (cowgirl))
Where: Lubbock, Texas
When: August, 1982
Alias: Elaine Brown


I was standing by the trailer, brushing down Falling Water, when a child squealed happily. I looked over my shoulder to watch as a man swung a little girl up from the ground and almost over his head in one swift move. The girl, probably no older than four, shrieked with glee.

"Again, Daddy!" she demanded.

I smiled to myself as I went back to grooming the buckskin. Falling Water and I had been together almost a year and a half. He'd been named for a Cheyenne friend from long ago, and I knew he would be honored to have his name passed to such a beautiful animal.

Falling Water's last owner and I hadn't quite seen eye-to-eye. John Clark's original intention was to turn the buckskin into a saddle bronc. Anyone with eyes could see the horse didn't have a mean bone in his body, and that made training him all the easier. It had taken a few months, but Falling Water went from a skittish, abused, ex-bronc to a much happier cutting horse; once he got over his fear of saddles, of course.

"Nice horsey."

I looked down to see a small boy, probably not much older than two and a half standing close to the horse's left front leg. My back went stiff as a board. Falling Water hadn't been around kids at all and I didn't know how he'd react to the youngling.

With my heart in my mouth, I watched as he swung his head down to inspect the boy, whose shirt was covered with sno-cone syrup. The buckskin lipped at the material, but didn't bite him. The boy laughed and tried to cover up his belly.

"Tickles!"

I couldn't help smiling as Falling Water gently blew into the tyke's face before turning away. I breathed a sigh of relief and looked around for the child's parents. Luckily, I didn't have to look too far.

"Scotty!" I heard a man call out.

I turned to see the father and daughter I'd spotted a few minutes before. The little girl was now on his shoulders as he hurried over to his son.

I had to admit, he was kinda cute. He wasn't really all that tall, most bullriders weren't, and judging from the belt buckle, he'd won a few go-rounds. He was wiry, another characteristic of a good bullrider, with bright blue eyes and a chiseled face. Yeah, he was definitely cute.

"Scotty!" he scolded the young boy, as he set down his daughter. "You know better than to wander off like that!"

Immediately, the boy's face fell. "Just wanted to say hi to horsey."

"I know, but not all horseys like little boys," his father replied, then turned to me. "Sorry if he's been any trouble."

"Don't worry about it," I replied, tossing Falling Water's brush into a bucket that I used for all his currying things.

"By the way, I'm Wade Jameson, and this here's Erin," he said, patting the little girl on the head, "and you've already met Scotty."

"Elaine Brown," I replied, shaking the hand he'd offered.

"Nice to meet you," he said smiling.

It was a nice smile that lit up his face under the dark brim of his cowboy hat, and I found myself smiling back.

"You too."

"You from around here?" he asked.

"Nah, Colorado," my mouth lied easily. "Manitou Springs."

Well, it was partially true. I'd lived near there under the alias Kate Darcy for awhile, but that was over a century ago.

"So, what brings you out on the circuit?"

"Woman's gotta make a living," another lie. "Trained Falling Water and if I can make a name for myself as a trainer, I'd like to start up some kind of ranch. Maybe do a bit of stock contracting."

Sometimes, I just don't know where my mouth comes up with things like that, but as my head thought about it, I realized it wasn't such a half-bad idea after all. Wade, in the meanwhile, looked impressed.

"What about you?" I returned the question.

"Got these two to feed," he answered, looking down at his kids.

"Where's their mama?" I asked impulsively.

"Gone," Wade answered simply, looking back up at me.

I could tell by the look in his blue eyes that she wasn't "dead gone" but definitely wasn't around anymore. I felt an upsurge in anger that anyone could throw away not one, but two, kids she'd given birth to. For someone who couldn't have any kids, it just pissed me off, but I quickly got my temper back under control.

"Sorry to hear that," I replied.

"Not your fault," Wade answered. "You gonna be in town long?"

I shook my head. "Heading up to Pueblo after tomorrow."

Wade smiled, and I could see a bit of mischief behind it. "Alright, we'll probably see you there."

Just then, the loud speakers blared with an announcement for all the cutting entries to make their way over to the arena.

"That's me," I said, picking up Falling Water's saddle from nearby. Wade nodded.

"C'mon, let's go find some seats," he said to the kids, then plopping Scotty down on his shoulders, he took Erin by the hand.

"Bye, horsey!" Scotty called, waving.
broadsword_babe: (Default)
{For Mun/Immortal/Watcher Knowledge Only}

January, 1980
Studio 54, New York City


The music was loud, the drugs high quality, and the club was packed. If you could get in, you were pretty much guaranteed to bump into some of the better-known celebs of the day. I had barely walked through the door when my club friends descended on me en masse. There were, of course, the usual greetings of hugs and air-kisses before everyone climbed the stairs up to the balcony where we could see, be seen, and fly high.

I was just beginning to get a buzz from my first line of the evening when Danny plopped down on the couch next to me. He was already giddy from a cocktail of booze and probably a half-dozen or so different meds.

“Ever been to a rodeo, Nickie?” he laughed. “With actual by-god cowboys?”
Read more... )

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