Becki was the first one up the next
morning. She had a fire started; coffee made, and was cooking
breakfast by the time Kaye Leigh got up.
“How are you today?” Becki asked
taking in her swollen eyes.
“Terrible, how are you?” she replied
holding her head.
“Feeling really stupid for accusing
the guys of being afraid of Jeff.” Becki said laughing.
“That would have been funny to see.”
“What are we doing today?” Becki
asked. Kaye Leigh took a sip of coffee before she answered.
“I don’t want to go back, if you do
you can.” She said.
“I’ll go back and let them know
you’re ok and then I’ll come back and find you.” Becki said.
“I’m not staying here so I’m not sure
where I’ll be.” She said.
“I’ll find you, are you sure you want
to be alone?” Becki asked.
“I’m sure; I’ll be fine don’t worry.”
Jeff got up, took a shower, and went
downstairs. Jon had made coffee and handed him a cup.
“Thanks.” Jeff said.
“No problem, did you get any sleep
last night?” Jon asked.
“A little.” He said. “Any word from
“Nope, no one has seen them since
yesterday when they left the stable. Curtis talked to the guys
who were in there when they left, but then again you don’t
care remember?” Jon said.
Jeff looked at him.
“You said it yourself last night.”
Jon reminded him.
“You’ve never said anything when you
were angry right?” he said.
“I didn’t say that.” Jon replied.
“Then what is it that you want Jon,
do you want to fight is that it?” he said wearily.
“No not at all, I want you to get
your temper under control, find your wife, and make things
right. We are working on the situation with Morgan and that
can only go so fast. I know that Kaye Leigh can be trying at
times.” Jeff laughed.
“But Kaye Leigh loves you more than
life, I believe that you would never cheat on her, but last
night you hurt her intentionally out of anger. We’ve all done
it before but we know Kaye Leigh is different, she’s going to
run to keep from being hurt, and you need to catch her before
she disappears.” Jon finished. Jeff nodded.
“How’s Curtis?” he asked.
“Still in shock that we were accused
of being afraid of you, which by the way we’re not.” Jon
replied laughing. Jeff laughed.
“That would have been interesting to
see.” He said.
“It was actually because she was so
serious.” Curtis said as he came into the kitchen.
“She was extremely upset, she thought
that you would really hurt Kaye Leigh I think.” Jon said.
“Actually I knew he wouldn’t hurt
her, I just didn’t want to see them fight like that.” Becki
said from the doorway.
“You’ve come back?” Jon said smiling.
“I’ve come back to let you know that
Kaye Leigh is ok, but I am going back out there because she
isn’t ready to come home yet.” Becki said.
“Will she ever be ready?” Jeff asked.
“Eventually she will.” Jon said.
“I’m going to try to get her to come
back soon.” Becki assured her.
“We’ll all go get her in a little
while.” Jeff said. “She doesn’t need to be out there anymore.”
“Are you sure you want to force her
to come back?” Becki asked.
“What I would really like to do is
shake her until she accepts the truth, however no matter what
she belongs here at home.” He said. Jon and Curtis laughed.
Kaye Leigh was riding when she
noticed another rider coming towards her on her left. She
reined in Skye to try to see who the rider was, when she could
tell she seen it was Tim, and let out the breath she had been
holding. Had it been Jeff she was prepared to put Skye into a
full run the other way. Tim came up beside her and stopped.
“Hey boss, what are you doing out
here?” he asked.
“You weren’t sent after me were you?”
“Afraid not.” He replied. Kaye Leigh
set Skye into a trot.
“Good then don’t tell anyone you’ve
seen me.” She said.
“Why are you hiding?” he asked
“Just don’t want to be found yet.”
“Mind if I ride with you for a
while?” he said.
“No not at all.” She replied
continuing in the direction she was heading.
“Anything you want to talk about
boss, I’m a great listener.” Tim said.
“No not really it’s just a marital
thing.” She said laughing.
“Ok then.” He said laughing. When
they came to a creek, Kaye Leigh suggested that they take a
break for a while. She dismounted, went down the bank of the
creek, took her boots and socks off, and put her feet in the
Jeff and Becki were sitting on the
porch when Jon and Curtis came and said that they had horses
ready to go collect Kaye Leigh. When they headed out, Jeff
silently prayed that they would not have another day like
“Where did she say she would be?”
“She didn’t I just told her I would
find her.” Becki said. “I didn’t think it would be that hard.”
Curtis looked at her and laughed. “What?” she asked.
“This ranch is huge how were you
planning on finding her? Yelling her name and hoping she
answered?” Curtis said. Jon and Jeff laughed.
“Well, so I wasn’t really thinking
about it.” She said.
They went to where they camped the
night before and followed tracks they figured were Kaye
Leigh’s. After a half hour, they came across tracks joining
the ones they had been following.
“Looks like someone joined Kaye
Leigh.” Curtis said.
“One guess who?” Jeff said.
“Who?” Becki and Jon said together.
“Tim.” Curtis said.
“The stable hand?” Becki said.
“Oh you’ve met him?” Curtis asked.
“Yes, I met him my first day here, he
was in the stable when Kaye Leigh and I went out there.” She
“Well I think he has taken a liking
to her.” Curtis said.
“He’s attracted to her.” Becki
laughed. “Who isn’t?” she said.
“Me.” Jon and Curtis said laughing.
Becki rolled her eyes.
“He better not be with her, I’m not
sure my temper can take that today.” Jeff said.
When they rode up, they saw Kaye
Leigh sitting by the creek and Tim leaning against a tree.
Jeff was angry.
“Stay calm.” Jon said. They had not
heard them ride up; Jeff went to get off his horse.
“Stay there.” Jon said. “You hurting
the man isn’t going to help especially when they are just
“Kaye Leigh we found you.” Curtis
said. Kaye Leigh turned around and looked at them.
“Lucky me.’ She said sarcastically.
Kaye Leigh looked at Jeff and could
tell that he was extremely angry, but she did not care.
“Kaye Leigh get on your horse.” Jeff
“Um, no I don’t think I will but
thanks for asking so nicely.” She replied. Tim stood up and
looked at Jeff.
“Kaye Leigh do what your husband
said.” Jon said quickly.
“When I have a husband I will.” She
said stubbornly putting her boots back on and gathering up the
few things she had out.
“Until we’re divorced you have a
husband.” Jeff said coldly not taking his eyes off Tim.
Jon and Curtis got off their horses.
“You know I love you sis, but at
times you can me just plain stubborn.” Jon said. He picked her
up and carried her to Jeff’s horse, and with Jeff’s help put
her on the horse in front of him.
“Jon stop it!” she yelled at him.
“You’ll thank me later.” He said.
“Don’t ever come to my house again!”
“Be quiet Kaye Leigh.” Jeff said as
he turned the horse around.
“Let me off this horse now, you can
barely ride by yourself.” She hissed.
“You can insult me all you want Kaye
Leigh.” He said. Kaye Leigh was struggling in his arms. “If
you jump off this horse or fall off and I have to chase you I
can promise you that I will be a lot angrier than I am now.”
He warned her.
“Do you think I care how angry you
are Jeff?” she yelled.
“You should.” He replied.
“What are you doing out here Tim?”
Curtis asked as they were heading back to the house.
“I was out checking fences and
horses, then I saw a rider and wasn’t sure who it was. When I
saw it was the boss she looked upset and said she didn’t want
me to tell anyone I had seen her so I asked if she wanted some
company.” Tim replied. “Nothing more than that, I swear.”
“What are your thoughts on Kaye
Leigh?” Jon asked seriously.
“What do you mean?” Tim replied.
“Are you trying to come between her
and her husband? Are you flirting with her to upset her
husband or what?” Jon said.
“That’s a little extreme Jon.” Becki
“No it’s a question he needs to
answer.” Jon said.
Tim shook his head.
“Kaye Leigh is a great boss, and I
hoped that we could be friends, maybe not like her and Curtis
but you know. I don’t mean to flirt with her if that’s what
you call enjoying her company, she is a remarkable woman.” Tim
told them. “I don’t mean any disrespect to any of you but do
you really think that Kaye Leigh would hang around me if I was
hitting on her. I mean she didn’t even like the way I looked
at her and until I apologized she barely said two words to
“Good point.” Becki said. “See he
isn’t doing anything wrong, trying to be a friend isn’t a bad
thing just because he’s a guy and she’s a girl.” Jon and
“Just make sure you let Jeff know
that it’s a friendship and only a friendship you’re interested
in, because if you cause problems intentionally for them it’s
not only Jeff that you’re going to have to deal with.” Curtis
“Gotcha.” Tim said.
Jeff did not head in the direction of
“I want to go to the house.” Kaye
Leigh snapped. She was a little afraid of him right now, and
she did not like that feeling. Jeff took her to the meadow,
where he got off the horse and helped her down. She
immediately tried to put distance between them but he grabbed
her arms, pulled her to him, kissed her, and then pushed her
away. Kaye Leigh rubbed her arm that was bruised from last
“You’re driving me crazy Kaye Leigh!”
he said running his hands through his hair.
“You’re scarring me.” She said
backing away from him.
“I’m not going to hurt you Kaye Leigh
you know that I never would.” He said quietly.
“You did last night.” She said
accusingly pulling up her sleeve so he could see the bruises.
His face went pale.
“I’m so sorry Kaye Leigh please
forgive me, I am so sorry.” He said. “It’s fine.” She said.
“Did Tim stay the night with you?”
“No.” she said shocked that he would
“Why was he with you?” he said.
“He found me while I was riding and
asked if he could join me for a while.” She said backing away
from him some more.
“Kaye Leigh please stop moving from
me please.” He said.
Kaye Leigh stopped but watched him
carefully. Jeff could see the fear in her eyes and he hated
himself for putting it there.
“You would rather have him near you
than me?” he asked looking at her.
“Jeff why don’t you cut to the chase
and ask me what you really want to know, am I attracted to
Tim? Do I like him? Am I having an affair?” she said.
“I know that you would never have an
affair.” He said.
“But you think that I’m attracted to
him?” she said.
“No Kaye Leigh I know that you love
me. I want you to believe that I love you too.” He said.
“Come here Kaye Leigh please.” He
held out his hand to her.
Jeff sat down and pulled Kaye Leigh
down with him. “Kaye Leigh I am really sorry about last night
and I am asking you to forgive me. I said and did a lot of
things I shouldn’t have and I didn’t mean.” He said quietly.
“I was angry because you attacked me without even asking me or
listening to me. I’m running out of ways to try to convince
you that I didn’t have an affair.” He shook his head. “Then
you were with Tim after hiding from me all night.”
“I wasn’t hiding from you Jeff, I was
tired of fighting.” Kaye Leigh said moving so that she was
sitting in front of him. “And no matter what Jeff I would
never hurt you by having an affair.”
“Like you think I did.” He added
“Jeff I’m sorry, but I have only seen
the pictures and receipts that say otherwise, I have no proof
it didn’t happen and overwhelming proof it did.” She said.
“You have my word.” He said angrily.
“I would love to say I believe you
and it didn’t happen, but I can’t and won’t lie to you Jeff.
What would you do if the situation was reversed? Would you
accept my word when pictures that you couldn’t disprove were
starring at you?” she said.
“I would like to think that I would
accept your word, but I can’t honestly say that I would.” He
said. “Then Kaye Leigh help me prove it to you, don’t kick me
out, leave me or push me away. Let me love you like I want to,
lets pray together, talk with Pastor Mark, talk with each
Kaye Leigh had started crying. “Jeff
I want to be with you so much, but why would you want to be
with me when I have nothing but doubt? What if I wonder
sometime who it is you are really thinking of when were
together? I can’t pray right now and I have no desire to talk
to Pastor Mark either, I know that I shouldn’t be angry at God
but I am.” She said.
“Kaye Leigh every time we’re together
I know that you know you’re the only person on my mind, when
we’re together you consume me fully, just like I know I
consume you.” He said pulling her into his lap and holding
her. “I understand your doubts even if I don’t like them, but
if we’re together then I know you haven’t completely given up
on us. I am sorry that you are angry with God, but you know He
is not the cause of this and I will pray for us until you can
again. Just please don’t push me away or leave me.” Kaye Leigh
looked at him and saw the tears in his eyes.
“I love you so much Jeff, I can
promise that I won’t leave or attempt to kick you out, but I
can’t promise I won’t try to push you away, I can say that I
will try not to.” She said.
“I’ll take it.” He said kissing her
tenderly. “I am so sorry about your arm, please forgive me. I
love you Kaye Leigh always.”
“I forgive you for everything, it
was from me trying to pull away more than you holding it
anyway I’m sure.” She said smiling at him.
He stood up and said, “Let’s get back
to the house before your brother thinks I’ve strangled you or
something.” He pulled her up, helped her onto the horse, and
climbed on behind her. Then set off in the direction of the
When they got back up to the house,
Curtis, Jon, and Becki were all sitting on the porch.
“Are you ok Kaye Leigh?” Curtis
“No marks on her neck so he didn’t
strangle her.” Jon said. Everyone laughed. Kaye Leigh sat down
next to Jon.
“Does this mean I am welcome at your
house now?” Jon asked smiling at her.
“You’re always welcome even when I
don’t like you so much.” Kaye Leigh said hugging him.
“We’ve decided that we’re going to
stay together while we prove this isn’t true, and she’s not
going to kick me out, leave or push me away.” Jeff said taking
“Well good luck with all of that.”
Jon said laughing again.
“We’re firing Tim.” Jeff said.
“Sounds good, I’ll get right on it.”
“No you won’t, we’re not firing
anyone.” Kaye Leigh said. “He’s a good worker and it’s not his
fault that everything is going on.”
“He’s hitting on my wife.” Jeff said.
Kaye Leigh started laughing.
“He isn’t hitting on me, he was
talking to me. Do you really think if I thought for a moment
that he had other ideas in mind, that I would have allowed him
around me?” she said.
“We already talked to him Jeff; he
says he had no ideas on Kaye Leigh other than being her
friend.” Becki said.
“See Jeff, he wants my friendship
that’s all.” She said.
“Don’t worry.” Becki said. Jeff did
not look happy at all.
“I’ll watch over him.” Becki added.
Jeff and Curtis laughed.
“Who will watch over you?” Curtis
“That would be you Curtis.” Jon said.