Standard Disclaimer: The character of Xena doesn’t belong to me, she belongs to Renaissance Pictures/MCA. I’m just borrowing her for this story. Also there is a character, of the four footed variety, who oddly enough, resembles Argo a great deal. All the other characters herein are mine.

Violence Disclaimer: None

Sex/Violence: This story deals with two women who are falling in love. There are sexual situations depicted in this story between the two of them. They are building a relationship, and that relationship manifests itself deeply, explicitly, and sometimes graphically. If this kind of relationship is not your cup of tea, then please do not read my stories; you won’t like them. If you are not 21, don’t read my stories. If you live in a state or province where this sort of thing is illegal please don’t read this story. Also I advise you not to read this at work, unless of course you own the joint.

Hurt/Comfort: There is some healing that needs to take place with the two main characters. This story deals with life, and sometimes life is very sad. But we have to deal with all of life’s speed bumps as do our characters then move on. But I advise you to keep the box of hankies handy.

This is the third story in the Real Dreams Series. If you don’t read ‘Daydreams’ and ‘From Dreams to Reality’ this story won’t make any sense. I really need your input to see if I’m on the right track. All constructive criticism will be taken seriously. I have a new addy Now, on with the story. Soul Mates… takes place at the end of From Dreams to Reality Part III.

Soulmates? Maybe So



November 10, 2000

Chapter 1: Getting Your Ducks in A Row

Most of the rest of the day was spent getting our gear together for the two-day trip up into the mountains. We would simply mount up and ride directly north from the ranch; no motorized vehicles would be involved in this trip at all. It had been a while since I had spent the night sleeping out under the stars, and the middle of June was still quite chilly in the Canadian Rockies. I was sure I would need some long winter woollies. I wondered if I could find a ‘current bush’ to plug my electric blanket into. Well, I had done it before, and I could do it again. Besides, I would have something, or more accurately, someone to snuggle up next to, to stay warm. That was the best part of the whole trip. De and I would be alone together for two days without another soul around for miles. This trip would be an opportunity to get to know each other a lot better. A whole lot better! I was lost in my thoughts when Hank came into the tack room carrying a packsaddle.

"I finished checkin’ this thing over good. I replaced the offside latigo, it was damned near tore clean through. I put on a new felt lined cinch too. You shouldn’t have to worry about sorin’ up ol’ Jake." I took the packsaddle from Hanks hands and set it down on the saddle rack.

"Thanks Hank, you always did do good work."

"Yeah well I’m doing more saddle repairs and even built a few saddles for folks here ‘bouts. I don’t need to be bending over breaking my back shoein’ them damned old crow baits any more." As much as Hank badmouthed horses, he would never be happy doing anything else. It was a well known fact he was a darn good hand when it came to training, and there wasn’t a better farrier anywhere around these parts.

"Right," I said, "where’s De have you seen her?"

"Yeah she was down by the bunkhouse talking with Stan a few minutes ago. I think he’s about to go nuts. Bein’ laid up is not an easy thing for him ta bear. De gave him damned clear orders he’s not to be messin’ with the horses while you two are gone."

"Aahh that won’t be easy for Stan to swallow. I think I’ll wander on down and see what’s goin’ on."

"Wait up, ya don’t have to, here comes the boss now." The boss, it’s just natural to call her that. She has a natural presence about her that commands respect. You just automatically want to do anything she says, do anything to please her. I can see how it would be easy for her to take control over people. She had certainly taken control of me, body and soul, in a very short period of time. De was shaking her head as she walked in.

"I swear Stan has to be the most stubborn individual I have met in a very long time. A damned bull hands him his head, and in a few weeks he figures he’s in shape to start riding colts again. Is it just me or are all bull riders a half a bubble off plumb?"

"No hon," I replied, "all of them are a brick shy of a load if ya ask me." Hank just snorted.

"Ya got that right. Don’t make no sense to me why you’d want to climb up on the back of a 2000lb animal bent on making ya into one big grease spot in the dirt." With that, Hank wandered off toward his workshop.

"So have you got just about everything ready to go?" I nodded.

"Yeah, there is one thing though."

"What's that?" De asked a puzzled expression on her face. I pushed De further back into the tack room.


I tangled my fingers deep into black tresses and pulled De's lips down to meet mine. Our lips joined in a searching, learning mission. I licked the full sweet lips of my lover asking and gaining admittance to her warm wet mouth. I loved kissing De. She may have been with many partners, but each time she kissed me it was as though she had never kissed another living soul before. She was tender one minute and demanding needing the next. When at one minute she was soft and gentle, the next she was fierce and wanton. This kiss was one of the latter. It was a kiss full of hunger and need. Our tongues twisted and writhed in each other's mouths. I sucked and nibbled her oral muscle and recieved the same loving treatment in return. Our need was rapidly escalating to the point of no return. Luckily, I heard a loud thump on the adjoining stall wall, and the kiss was broken. It was just as well for I found myself gasping, desperately trying to pull air into my lungs. Unc found two very breathless, panting women frantically trying to regain control of their emotions. My uncle was thoroughly enjoying our discomfort. Just wait Unc, what goes around comes around, I thought.

"You two ready to go?"

"Yep, I think so," De said trying to show as little emotion as possible.

"I was just going to ask Cody if she wanted to go to my place with me to collect Elan." Both Unc and I raised our eyebrows in unison, but for different reasons.

"You think she's ready for a long trip like this?" I listened intently to the conversation. What wasn't said spoke volumes.

"Uh sure, I mean nows as good a time as any. She's four now, and she's big and strong. She'll be fine."

"She's pretty inexperienced in traveling around in them mountains."

"Doan, listen I know what I'm doing, she'll be fine, I'm sure of it."

"All right, I know better than to argue with you. You're just as stubborn as somebody else I know." Unc kissed my head and briskly walked back the way he came.

"Ya wanna tell me what that was all about?"

De looked at me like she didn't want to have this particular conversation. She took me by my shoulders and hauled me bodily to the truck and trailer parked by the barn door.

"Nope, but I suppose you'll badger me about it until I talk to you right."


"Okay, about two months ago I took Elan on a short trip up into the foothills. Sorta to test her trail legs you might say. We ran into a little trouble. We jumped a cougar, and she spooked and rared. I fell off," De said softly. So softly I almost didn't hear her.

"What was that, I didn't quite catch that?"

"I said I fell off. I knocked my self out cold when I hit a rock, cracked a couple of ribs. But Elan never left my side. She stayed by me until I came around. I managed to use her to pull myself up. I climbed up onto a rock, and then into the saddle. I blacked out and how I kept from falling off I'll never know. Anyway, she found her way back here. She'd never been here in her life, but somehow, instinctively, she knew help would be here. Anyway, Doan is afraid she can't be trusted, but I trust her. I trust her with my life, she's already saved me once, and I know she'd do so again."

"Well Doan has been a little over protective of me too from time to time. It just means he cares. Besides, we'll be together to look after each other, right."


De turned the truck into a narrow dirt lane on the far end of the tiny reservation town. At the end of the lane was a small, rustic cabin and a couple of outbuildings. The sturdy rail fences were in good repair as were the cabin and barn. De killed the engine, climbed out of the cab, and walked around to join me on the passenger side of the truck.

"Ya wanna go inside? It's not as fancy as Doan's place, or my apartment either for that matter, but it's mine, all paid for. I got ten acres of good pasture with a deep well and a couple of stock ponds. It's a good place to build a home." The innuendo for a lifetime together wasn't lost on me.

"You're right. It's beautiful here De. Looks like you've done a lot of work here."

"Yeah I have, but there's a lot more to do yet. C'mon, let's go inside and I'll get some gear we'll need for the trip."

My lover led me inside to the small, but cozy living room. There was a massive rock fireplace to the right on the far wall. Just to the left of the fireplace was a staircase that led to the loft where the single bedroom was located. The bedroom loft consisted of a bed, closet, and bathroom with shower and jacuzzi. In the living room, a nice comfy leather couch sat opposite a large entertainment center complete with big screen TV, DVD player, and CD stereo system.To the right of the front door was a office area where De's computer system sat. The hardwood floors were refinished recently and shone brightly from the frewshly applied wax. There was a set of double French doors that led out to the yard. Straight through was the kitchen and dining area. The kitchen was a marvel of modern technology, the chrome fixtures and appliances gleamed brightly in the early evening sunlight. To the left of the dining area was a pantry. The backdoor next to the dinning table led out into a huge backyard. I was speechless. From the outside, the cabin looked like any other cabin one might find out in the woods, but inside, wow, it was fantastic. De disappeared into the kitchen.

"Would you likesomething to drink?"

"Sure I'd take a Kokanee if you have one. De this place is so beautiful!" A picture of a beautiful Indian maiden with a family of wolves hung over the fireplace.

"Thanks, I've done a lot of work on it. I managed to save some money. I came into some money from a computer deal I made." I tried not to look suspicious, but evidently wasn't very succesdsful. "Don't worry, it was legal."

"De I wasn't thinking anything really."

"I know, I guess I'm just being overly sensitive. It's just...I want be proud of me." I walked over to my lover and took the beer from her hand and set it on the end table.

"I am proud of you, don't ever think otherwise. De, this painting is beautiful; who was the artist?" I walked closer so Icould read the signature. "Who's Alexsis?"

"Uh that would be me..."

"You?! De do you have any idea how beautiful this painting is? De you are really talented. Do you have more? Where did you learn to do this? Will you paint someth..." Warmlips captured mine in a sweet loving kiss.

"Oh I really like the way you shut me up. I love you so much. Kiss me again." De's gorgeous lips descended once more onto mine, and strong arms pulled and held me against soft firm breasts. The kiss seemed to go on forever, and I decided right then I could get lost in this beautiful, dark, mysterious woman and be perfectly happy if I never came out again. The kiss ended with a husky whispered vow.

"I love you too baby, God so very, very much. But we better stop this now or I won't have the strength to if we let it go on." I nibbled the tanned skin covering De's collarbone.

"And that would be bad because?"

"Because when we have our first time together I want it to be special."

"Baby anywhere we make love will be special as long as we are in love like this. I don't care where we are as long as we are together. But I know what you're saying, and I'll bow to your wishes, but don't make me wait too long, or I might just have to ravage you to get what I want."

"Oooo, that sounds very much like a challenge."

"Believe it baby, believe it."

"C'mon. let's go out and get Elan loaded up and get back t0 the ranch before Doan and Maggie send out a search party."

"They'd probably do it too," I smirked.

We walked out through the back door, across the back yard to the gate that led to the back pasture. There was a three stall barn with tack room, and a detached hay shed. As we entered the barnyard, I could see a golden form standing on a slight hillock at the far end of the pasture. A shrill whistle rent the air, and golden head snapped to attention. The animal looked in our direction and in an instant was doing airs above the ground and then charging toward us as fast as she could go. Periodically the mare would leap in the air and kick out behind, her youthful exuberance getting the better of her. I looked at De thinking she had more guts than good sense. I had been around horses all my life, and even if I do say so myself, I was a really good hand. The horses I raised and trained were national and international champions. I had a full trophy cabinet to prove it. However, I knew my limitations. I had numerous aches and pains which attested to that hard learned knowledge. So I was not some greenhorn asking the question.

"You actually ride that thing?" De's response was somewhat predictable given her stoic demeanor. She simply shrugged.

"Yeah she's fine, gentle as a kitten really. Besides I'd rather have her work her energy off this way, than while I was on her back." And as true as De's word, the filly slowed to a walk and sauntered over to where we were standing. Gently she reached out her muzzle for a gentle scratching.

"Hey girl, how ya doing? Did ya miss me? Here, I have something for you." De reached into her pocket and retrieved a favorite treat. Elan took the offered reward gently and easily from De's flattened palm. "That's a good girl."

I marveled at the gentle nature of the woman who had become a daily requirement in my life. I would hazard a guess that no one else on earth was privy to seeing this side of this beautiful complex woman.

"There's someone here I want you to meet." The filly looked me over carefully, and cautiously extended her nose inside my jacket. She drew in a healthy dose of my scent, decided I passed muster and gently rubbed her head againt my chest. "Just a minute there girl," De said indignantly, "those are already spoken for." Indicating my breasts. I couldn't help but blush at the obvious possessive remark, but at the same time was glad to hear it.

"Hi Elan, glad to meet you too. I have a friend very much like you too. A little younger though; maybe you could teach her a thing or two. She could use a little equine education. Her name is Dawn's Sunrise." De looked at me the surprise registered in her eyes and dark eyebrows poked up into black bangs.

"You named the filly?"

"Uh well, actually, Unc named her. Her papers were all filled out but never sent in. That was the name he had picked as a first choice. I sent the paperwork in to the Appaloosa Association the other day. I should get her papers back in a few weeks. Why, don't you like the name?"

"Oh no, I think it's great. You gonna call her Dawn?"

"I was thinking so yeah." De encircled my shoulders with her arm and kissed my temple.

"I like it. Shall we get the little girl here loaded up?"

"Little! Jeez De, she's sixteen hands if she's and inch. There's nothing little about her. But she sure is put up well." De nodded and then smirked.

"Hon, she's not that tall to me, you're..."

"Yeah, yeah, I know just short. Don't rub it in. Is it my fault I don't have legs that go on forever?"

"Hey you wound me deeply! I wasn't gonna say short, you're just vertially challenged." I cuffed De lightly on the shoulder.

"You're a laugh a minute ya know that? Let's go shall we?"

De haltered the mare and led her to the trailer entrance. I had the door to the three horse slant load opened already. De tossed the lead rope over the mare's back and she hopped right in on her own. De followed Elan inside and fastened her halter to the quick release snap securely fastening the mare in place. The quick release fasteners were a godsend to horse owners, particularly to those horse owner who hauled horses over great distances frquently. In case of an accident, the horse could removed quickly to get him to safety. I had seen all too many tragedies where horses suffered and died because they couldn't be freed from a wrecked horsetrailer.

"Shall we?" De asked as she stepped out of the trailer and checked to see the door was securely fastened.

"Yep, if we hurry, we can make it back in time for supper. We're having roast beef with potatoes and veggies in a thick gravey. Homemade bisquits too." My stomached growled appropriately as my mouth watered. "In fact, I bet there will be strawberry shortcake for desert too." De just shook her head.

"Is that all you ever think about?" I leered lecherously.

"Hell no, in fact if Sister Mary Francis could read my mind right now, she'd wash it out with soap. "She always said I'd come to no good, always daydreaming during catechism class. My penchant for daydreaming followed me right into high school too. My teacher Mrs. Jackson said I could have been a straight A student if I'd have paid better attention to class discussions. I showed her. I graduated from the University of Montana with a 4.0. Do you ever dream De?" De never took her eyes off the road.

"I never used to, didn't have anything to dream about." Then she turned to me lapis pools pinning me with her love." I do now. For the first time in my life I have something to live for. I love you." She took my hand, entwined our fingers, and kissed the back of my hand gently, tenderly.

"I love you too baby, so very much." I slid over to sit in the middle of the bench seat. I kissed my lover's cheek, then rested my head on her strong shoulder. A strong arm encased me in love and warmth and we rode the rest of the way back to the ranch in companionable silence, each lost in dreams of our love for each other.

"Me too."

When we arrived back at the ranch, De unloaded the mare and led her into the barn. The stall next to Dawn was empty and De led her inside and removed her halter. The heavy five feet tall wood planks with the steel mesh stall dividers allowed the horses to get each other's scent and be able to visit with each other, without all the nonsense horses tended to do to each other given the opportuinty. Like chewing each others manes and tails off or nipping each other's flanks and necks, sometimes taking off the hair and hide too. That was okay in a broodmare band, but death on valuable show hoirses who had to look their very best for the show ring. Missin hide or chewed manes and tails were frowned on by the judges. The evening shadows were beginning to extend and lengthen to the east signally the onset of sundown. I glanced at my watch, an action that didn't go unnoticed by my partner, who never wore a watch.

"Why do you wear those ulcer makers?"

"I just like to know what time it is. Don't you?" A whistful, sad smile crossed my friends face.

"I never needed to know what time it was up til a couple years ago. In prison, time loses its meaning. One day just drags on into the next. You have nothing to live for and certainly no where to be, so there's no need to know the time."

"What about now? Doesn't it bother you?"

"Nope, 'sides I know what time it is." As if on cue my stomach growled loudly. "See? It's super time," De laughed.

"I hate you, ya know I really hate you." De retaliated with a swift swat to my behind and sprinted off toward the house.

"Ya better hurry or there may not be anything left. I love roast beef and spuds!"

My stomach growled once more. Oh shut up, I groaned to my own gut. I really have to train you better that's all there is to it.

"Dammit De wait up! No fair! Your legs are longer than mine." My shorter legs churned and chugged faster and faster like the pistoning effect of a train on a track, slowly eating up the distance between the two of us. I sprinted quickly forward darting right in front of my longer striding friend causing her to have to stop abruptly or fall on her face.

"Heh heh, gotcha there legs." I charged up the steps and darted around the corner of the house into the back door into the kitchen, panting and sputtering totally out of breath.

"Ha ha ha, I win! Hot damn! I did it!" Maggie wasn't the least bit impressed.

"That isn't the way a lady enters a house for supper. Where's your manners. Why can't you be more like De." It was in that instant De sedately strolled into the house, a broad cheshirelike grin on her face.

"Bitch," I whispered in De's ear as I passed her.

"What who me?" She smiled sweetly.

"Just remember, paybacks are hell, Miss Thing."

"Be careful not to promise what you can't deliver."

"We'll see," I purred. Unc walked into the room giving us both the once over and just shook his head.

"Eve'nin ladies," he grinned, "you two got all your possibles packed for the mornin'?"

"Sure thing Unc. We should be ready to leave by first light huh De?"

"Yeah I'd like to be well up Blazer Creek by noon."

"That's quite a ways by noon. What's your hurry?" Unc was a little surprised by the speed with which De intended to travel.

"We've got a lot to do and a short time to do it in. Cody and I decided to take some salt blocks along too. We might as well kill two birds with one stone."

"Yeah Unc, we think now would be as good as time as any to check the herder's cabin and the fences on the north slope too. If we're gonna be up there anyway, we might as well make it worth our while. Besides, we need to figure whether it's a natural or man made reason we're losing stock. De has a plan to draw out whatever it is so we can have a look see."

"Really De? Are you going to enlighten me never mind, I don't think I want to know. You two just be careful."

"Hey Doan. Don't worry, I've got too much to lose now to do anything foolish," my beautiful love squeezed my hand under the table, and I couldn't help but smile.

"Uh huh? Well just the same, take the dogs and my 408 Browning. No sense in taking any chances."

"Doan do you think that's really necessary?" Maggie asked. "Knowing those two they're more than likely to shoot their own toes." Maggie tried to make light of the suggestion, but it was a well known fact Maggie hated guns. Her youngest son had been killed in a bank robbery gone wrong down in San Francisco. He was an innocent victim, killed by someone's greed and ruthlessness.

"Don't worry Maggie, both De and Cody know how to handle a rifle. Cody grew learning how to respect guns, not abuse the right to own them."

"Right Unc. It's just a precaution. Besides if it's a cat harassing the stock, we'll need something to protect ourselves with."

"It's just too bad anything that beautiful has to die. He's just trying to survive."

"Maggie if it is a cat, we can try to find its den and then get Warden Barten up there to relocate him." I supplied part of De's plan. "I don't want to have to kill it anymore than you do, but if it's a choice between us and him, well..." I couldn't finish the statement, so De took over.

"Maggie, we're trying to make a livin' in the cattle business. There's a very fine line between profit and loss and one cow can make a difference in success or failure some years. And it isn't just us. Other folks a lot worse off than us will be affected too. A cat's range can encompass thousands of acres. But you know if we find him first, he has a better chance of survival."

"Ain't that the truth. At the cattlemen's meetin' in town Dan Haskel offered a $5,000.00 bounty on the cat, dead," Unc added, "That sorry son of a bitch would just as soon see everything wild killed off and developed. Why if he had his way, this whole prairie 'id be nothin' but oil derricks and natural gas wells."

"Well, we just won't let that happen Unc. I can promise that," I stated firmly.

I could feel De's hand tense up in mine. I brought our joined hands out from under the table and kissed her hand. The blantantly affectionate display caused her cheeks to grow red instantly. Our other two dinner partners only smiled knowingly. I started to replace our hands under the table, but De wouldn't allow that. Instead she brought our hands down to the tabletop only after she returned the kiss to my hand as well. The rest of the meal went on in companionable silence for the most part untill Maggie asked.

"So Cody what do you think of De's place on the reservation?"

"Oh Mag's it's beautiful," I gushed while De blushed, "De has done so much work. And have you seen that picture she painted over the fireplace? It's absolutely the most beautiful woman I've ever seen." I turned to my new love. "Well the second most beautiful."

"Hell yes I've seen it," Unc replied, "who do you think painted the wariors buffalo hunting that hangs over our fireplace?" I was shocked.

"Really, I saw it when I first came back home, but I never thought to ask. Of course it's De's work, the similarities are remarkable."

"Why yes. Doan and I have been trying to get De to do more painting, and have a showing at the Stegman Gallary in Calgary like they asked, but so far she has refused."

"The Stegman Gallary. My God De, they want you...and you...well...why don't..."

"Maggie that has got to be a first," De laughed, "someone has made Cody speechless!"

"Oh ha very funny. But De why did you turn them down? Honey your work is so good. You should be very proud..." De silenced me with a wave of her had.

"Look it's really very simple, I just don't have time right now to give the proper attention my painting needs. And I won't just do something halfway. Besides, I paint just because I like to paint; it relaxes me. I don't paint for money." I was amazed. This complex, sometimes remote, oftentimes exasperating woman was totally fantastic, and the more I learned about her, the more deeply I fell in love with her.

"Huh, well I'll be damned," was all I could say. She smiled a coquettish smile, and wormed her way a little deeper, a little more thoroughly into my heart.


We finished dinner and De and I helped Maggie clear the dishes and finish cleaning up. Maggie wished us all goodnight and retired to her room just off the kitchen. De left to check on the horses and do some last minute checking on our gear before we left at sunrise. I kissed her by the kitchen door and said I'd join her in a bit if she wanted...

"Of course I want you to spend the night with me. Tonight and every night for the rest of our lives. I love you Cody. I didn't think it was possible to fall in love this deeply this quickly, but I have. I...I...well I'll understand if..." I placed two fingers over my love's sweet lips to halt her stuttering.

"Understand this. I love you with every part of me. I admit, it is a bit fast, but I can't, nor to I want to go back. I meant what I said before. You're stuck with me for life." I punctuated my vow with a sweet kiss. "Now go on; I'll be there in a bit, I want to say g'night to Unc."

After another sweet, wet kiss, De walked off into the shadows toward the barn. I went back into the kitchen and into the living room where I found Unc in his favorite chair reading. One of Pavarotti's CDs was playing on the stereo.

"Hey Unc, I just came in to say g'night. I'm gonna spend the night at De's. Then we can leave from the barn and not disturb anyone."

"Uh huh?"

"What'dya mean uh huh?"

"Oh nothin', I was just wondering if that was the only reason."

"I see, like what for instance?"

"Oh I don't know; s'pose uou tell me?"

"You mean like whether the fact that she's tall, incredibly beautul, sexy, gorgeous, and I love her very much might have something to do with my decision?"

"Oh I'd say so yeah."{

"That obvious huh?"

"A deaf, dumb, and blind man could see it honey."


Unc opened his arms to me and I crawled into his lap much like I did when I was a child and he would read me a story. For a man who never married and had children of his own, he was an excellent father. I always thought he would have made some youngster a great dad, but their loss was my gain. I had two dads. The best of all was they thought I was "...sweeter than fresh natural honey."

"You okay with this Unc?"

"Don't matter what I think, or anybody else for that matter. It's only important what you think. What do you think short stuff?"

"I think I have found the person I always dreamed about. It's like we were meant to be together. We seem to know what the other person is thinking. It's like we've known each other forever. Still...I don't know what to do." I didn't quite know how to explain the rest.

"Do what pumpkin? What's bothering you?"

"De's past. I told her it didn't bother me, but I...well... it's just...I don't know..."

"It kinda scares you huh?"

"Yeah I guess. Oh Unc, I know she'd never turn on me. She'd never hurt me, but the things she's done, the things she been through, and the things she's capable of. I just don't know."

"Honey listen to me. A long time ago, I had the chance to marry someone I loved very much, but I was scared. I was afraid of my feelings, her feelings, what her parents thought. All of it. I chickened out and left her. Your ol' man just about kicked me clear into the next county. Told me I was a stupid fool. He said I may never get the chance to love again, and I let it slip through my fingers. I've been alone ever since."

"Who was she Unc, someone from around here?"

"No, someone I met in Cheyenne when I was still rodeoing in the fifties. She was a wealthy Wyoming rancher's daughter, and he had no use for rodeo bumbs. We didn't know each other very long. Her father forbid her to see me, but she wouldn't listen. So one night, she snuck out of the house and took off after me. She was killed in a car accident that night trying to get to me. I always thought if I had taken her...well, that was a long time ago. The point is if you love someone enough, don't let your fears get in the way. If De is truly the one for you, go for it. If it is really meant to be, there's nothing that will keep you apart and nothin' you can't handle together. But you have to be honest with her and yourself. If you can't do that, then neither one of you have a ghost of a chance."

"I know that Unc, and that's the problem. She's spilled her guts to me, told me everything about her past, but I haven't told her anything about Amanda and I. I guess I was too scared she'd hate me. She told me everything and I couldn't tell her that much about me."

"Sweetheart, you have to trust her, trust yourself, and trust your love. If you can do that, then things will work out. Can you do that? She she important enough to you to do that?" I nodded.

"Oh Unc she is the most important thing in my life. I love her more than I have words to express."

"Well then, you've just answered your own question. You know exactly what you need to do. Talk to her, be honest, love will take care of the rest."

"Your a pretty smart fella ya know that?"

"Yep, that I am."

"Then why don't you practice what you preach?"

"What the hell are you talkin' about?"

"Oh don't you play dumb with me Mister. Maggie that's whom I'm talking about."

"That cantankerous, exasperating, bossy woman?"

"That's the one. What's the matter, scared?"

"At my age, I ain't scared of nothin'."

"Right, I can see that."

"You get the hell off my lap and get to bed, cause that's where I'm headed. Meddling females, always poking their noses where they don't belong. Trying to change a man..." I drew Unc's head down and kissed his cheek.

"Methinks thou dost protest too much," I whispered, "g'night Unc, I love you, and thanks."

"Yeah," Unc mumbled, "you just get some rest. I love you too. Now get goin'."

I walked out into the still Canadian night and watched as a shooting star passed swiftly through the night sky. My decision was made. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

This is the end for now. To be continued in 'The High Lonesome'. Let me know what you think?

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