DOWN THE ROAD
by Melinda Kay Jenkinson
Kaye Leigh walked into the stable;
the scent of fresh hay engulfed her. She breathed deeply,
loving the smell. Curtis was in there doing some nightly
things tonight Curtis?” she asked giving him a hug.
“Great boss lady, how are you?” he
replied. Kaye Leigh laughed, he had called her “boss lady”
since the day she hired him.
“I’m good.” She said.
She made her way down to the stall
that held her mare, Skye. She had bought Skye with some of
the first horses she ever purchased. Skye was a black
thoroughbred. Kaye Leigh took a sugar cube out and held it
out to the horse. Skye took a few steps toward Kaye Leigh and
then took the cube. Kaye Leigh patted her neck and head.
Skye nipped at her pocket, “you just want another sugar cube,
you don’t want my love do you?” Kaye Leigh said laughing.
“I want your love.” Jeff whispered in
her ear as he wrapped his arms around her waist. She jumped a
little when he startled her.
“Sorry.” He added quickly.
“Yeah right, you just didn’t want to
talk anymore football.” She replied as she turned in his arms
and kissed him.
Curtis had come over to say hi to
“Good evening Jeff. Hey boss lady
have you heard from Becki?” he asked casually. “How is the
“When are you going to just call her
and tell her how you feel?” Jeff asked.
“I was just wondering how she was, I
wasn’t suggesting anything else.” Curtis stammered.
Kaye Leigh laughed.
“Good night Curtis.” She said
grabbing Jeff’s hand and leading him out of the stable and
back towards the house.
“He does like her you know that.”
“Of course I do, I know she likes him
also, but until they do something we can’t do anything about
it.” Kaye Leigh said.
“You will probably doing something
about it soon I think.” Jeff said looking sideways at her.
“You’re probably right.” She agreed
One of the boys’ parents was picking
them up as Kaye Leigh and Jeff came up to the house. They
waved to the boys and their parents as they pulled out of the
driveway. When they got inside the kids were in the living
room watching television. Kaye Leigh went in and joined them
sitting down next to Dan on the couch.
“Hey mom.” Dan said.
“I’m going up to bed now; I need to
be rested for all my loyal patients tomorrow.” Jeff called.
Everyone yelled goodnight, and he went upstairs.
“Good thing we did our devotions this
morning.” Grace said.
“He would have stayed up to do them
if we hadn’t.” Josh said. “We do them every day.”
“It’s a good thing we do too.” Kaye
Leigh said. Everyone nodded. Jeff worked hours that
accommodated the average working person, but he had every
Friday off so he could be a rancher, that’s what he told Kaye
Leigh when he set up his hours.
After the program was over the kids
went up to bed, Kaye Leigh watched a little bit of the news
then straightened up the downstairs and headed up to bed. She
assumed that Jeff would already be asleep so she didn’t turn
on any lights, but made her way quietly to the bathroom. When
she finished getting ready for bed, she turned off the
bathroom light and went back into the bedroom. She pulled back
the covers on her side of the bed and slipped beneath them,
turning onto her side trying not to disturb Jeff and shut her
eyes. She felt his arms go around her and him pulling her
close to him.
“I didn’t mean to wake you.” She
“You didn’t, I was waiting for you.”
He replied kissing the back of her head. With that, she
relaxed and fell asleep contentedly in her husbands’ arms.
When Kaye Leigh woke up the next
morning, Jeff was already getting ready for work. She got up,
put on her robe, and hurried downstairs to the kitchen to
start breakfast and coffee. The kids were going with some of
their friends to the lake today, so she wanted to make sure
they had a good breakfast, because knowing them they would not
eat again until they got home at night.
“You were restless last night.” Jeff
said kissing her cheek.
“Was I?” She asked returning his
kiss. “Sorry; I didn’t mean to keep you awake.”
“Were you dreaming about something?”
“Not that I can remember.” She
replied with a shrug. “Want some breakfast?”
“Thanks, but not today. I will just
take some coffee. I’ve got to get to the office early and go
over some charts before the patients come in.” Jeff kissed her
again before grabbing his coffee and keys and heading out the
About five minutes after Jeff left
the kids came down, all dressed for the beach.
“Good morning guys!” She said with a
smile, placing plates of eggs and toast in front of them and
kissing their hair.
“Morning.” They grumbled tiredly.
“Be careful today OK? And you boys
keep an eye out for your sisters.” Kaye Leigh joined them with
a cup of coffee and shook her head as they groaned.
“Mom, you know we all swim like
fishes.” Josh complained.
“Yes you do, but it’s my right to
worry!” She replied.
“When do you stop?” Dan asked.
“Never,” Kaye Leigh retorted, and
they all laughed.
When the kids had left Kaye Leigh
cleaned up the kitchen and went upstairs to get ready for the
day. When she came down an hour later, she had jeans, a
shirt, and her boots on, her hat in one hand and working
gloves in the other. Kaye Leigh normally worked around the
horses, but today she was going with Curtis out on the range
to check on some fences and horses. She put her hat on, stuck
her gloves in her back pocket, and headed to the stable to
Curtis was there and already had Skye
saddled for her.
“You know Curtis I do know how to
saddle my own horse. In fact I do believe it was you who
taught me how to do it.” Kaye Leigh laughed.
“I know but you are way too slow, you
talk more than you work.” He replied.
“Whatever.” She laughed at him. They
mounted their horses and headed out to the range. Kaye Leigh
liked to ride with Curtis if Jeff was not available; they had
become good friends those first few months she was in Texas
and missing Jeff.
“What’s on your mind today lady?”
“Nothing much, I was just thinking
about how good of a friend you are. What about you?” She
replied looking at him sideways.
“Just enjoying your company.” He
“What part of the ranch are we
heading to?” she asked.
“East.” He said.
“Let’s race.” Kaye Leigh said.
“Yeah right, I’m not falling for
that.” He said smiling at her.
“What…” was all she had gotten out
before Curtis took off.
“Hey!” Kaye Leigh yelled as she
spurred Skye into a full run. When they got to where the guys
were working, they reined their horses in.
“You cheat you know that right?”
Kaye Leigh said laughing as she came up next to him.
“What are you talking about? I only
take necessary measures to ensure you don’t get the best of
me.” He replied.
Curtis helped her down; he always
helped her when he was around. Kaye Leigh was the sister he
never had; he would do anything for her. One of the guys came
“Curtis, Mrs. Rutherford.” He said.
“What’s up Tim?” Curtis asked.
“Just repairing fences right now.”
Tim replied. He was looking at Kaye Leigh as he talked to
Curtis. Kaye Leigh hated the way he looked at her; he was one
of the new guys and had only been working for them for a few
months. Curtis did the hiring and firing, although she had
fired a couple of guys. Tim walked away and went back to
fixing the fence.
“What do you know about Tim Curtis?”
Kaye Leigh asked.
“He had great references, is a hard
worker, very respectful from what I’ve noticed. He is
originally from Texas.” Curtis said.
“Why what’s up?” Kaye Leigh looked at
him; she did not want him to think that she was crazy or
“It’s just the way he looks at me
makes me very uncomfortable.” She said shaking her head.
“He probably thinks your beautiful
just like most of the guys here, except me of course I know
the real you.” He said. Kaye Leigh pushed him.
“No one else looks at me like he
does.” She told him. Curtis could see it really bothered her.
“I’ll keep an eye on him.” He said
They were walking along the fence
checking different spots out. Tim was walking with them giving
Curtis information. Kaye Leigh listened but did not look at
Tim, but Curtis watched him. He could see why she was
uncomfortable; he was not looking at her like a man
appreciating a woman’s beauty as most of the guys did around
here, but like she was his for the taking.
When they finished Curtis looked at
Kaye Leigh and said “Kaye Leigh I will meet you back at the
She nodded and said, “Ok, I’ll meet
you there.” She turned and walked back to the horses.
Once Kaye Leigh was out of earshot
Curtis turned to Tim and said.
“I’m going to give you some one time
advice Tim. You just started here and you’re a great worker,
now I realize the boss is a beautiful woman but she is a
married woman and she doesn’t like the way you’re looking at
her.” Tim looked at him.
“I didn’t mean anything by it Curtis
I was just admiring her.” Tim replied.
“Well you need to be more respectful
or you’ll be out of here faster than a bullet.” Curtis said.
Tim nodded and Curtis walked away.
Curtis got over to the horses, Kaye
Leigh was already mounted.
“What did you say?” she asked.
“I told him to be more respectful of
you or lose his job.” Curtis said.
“Thanks for taking care of me
Curtis.” She said smiling at him.
“Just looking out for you for Jeff,
so don’t get any ideas like I like you or anything.” He said
laughing. Kaye Leigh laughed. Tim watched them. He figured
that he would have to apologize to Kaye Leigh later.