“He’s got what?!”
“Forget it. Forget I said anything.” Grace bit her lower lip. When would she learn? Never bare your soul to an outlaw! Never! Not even one as charming as Kid Curry. A soapy dish cloth swirled its way across another plate before she rinsed it and passed it to her drying partner.
The outstretched dish was ignored. “It ain’t the kind’a thing you tell a fella after… Well, after he’s trekked half-way ‘cross the country and spent the last month…”
“I can’t believe you’re making such a big deal of this! It’s nothing, really!” Grace snapped, plunking the plate down on the towel Curry had discarded.
Two arms folded across his chest as the Kid leaned back against the edge of the sink. “How long have you been keepin’ your little…your little… Secret?”
“Argh! Please, would you stop? And it’s not my ‘little secret!” You asked and I…” Grace paused for a calming breath, her voice softening as she sashayed closer, clasping her hands behind the handsome former outlaw’s neck. “Look, March will be over soon and you know I can’t keep you two months in a row, and,” Grace employed the serious batting of big doe-eyes, “I don’t wanna fight.”
“Just for clarification purposes, Grace, it’s the ‘yella bandana’ you-all compete for, not ME. I just done the deliverin’.”
“Yeah, but having you here has been so much fun! So let’s not waste what little time we have left, okay? After all, there’s a whole new crop of writers out there, dying for a chance at…” A finger slipped beneath the yellow bandana tied at Curry’s neck.
“Grace, I said wanna know! How long you been havin’ these ideas about Heyes?”
“But what if Maz wins next month? You could be shot or stabbed, bound and gagged in some damp, dark cellar, or left for dead in the desert, with hungry coyotes on the prowl and…”
“Yeah, but at least if I was at Maz’s place, she wouldn’t spend the whole month moonin’ over my partner!”
“Mooning? You think I’m mooning?” Soft-voiced Grace was replaced with a much crankier version. “I have NOT been mooning! YOU asked and I simply… APPRECIATED the fact that Heyes has a lovely baritone voice! Soft and smooth…” Grace’s hands slipped from Curry’s neck and a funny glow lit her eyes. “Rich. Like chocolate…”
“Deep and rumbly. And his dimple…”
“You ’bout done?”
There was a deep sigh, then, a shrug. “You’re not mad, are ya?”
“Not mad. Little surprised, maybe.”
Panic gripped her. “Oh my gosh, you’re not planning to tell him, are you!? I’d just DIE if Heyes suspected that I… Kid, you gotta promise me you’re not gonna tell anybody! Not Heyes and certainly not that bunch of Heyesienne gals!”
“Gracie, relax! Your confession is safe with me!” A sly grin played at the corner of his mouth and a gleam lit the blue eyes. “I’m sure you and I can come to some sort of agreement.”
“You’re blackmailing me?!”
“Awww, now, Gracie, the word blackmail sounds so unpleasant. I prefer to think of it as… Our little secret!”
Early “April Fool”, gang! C’mon now, you didn’t REALLY think Grace had eyes for that other fella, did ya!?
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.