“The vein was up here.”
They rode together up the mountain, back to the vein. Judy was tucked in front of him in the saddle.
Judy was just glad to be back in her regular clothes again. She didn’t complain, but he could see it. Sylvia’s clothes were binding and restricting and Judy enjoyed the freedom of the jeans and her cardigan. Stud wasn’t going to say anything, but he liked the shape of her ass, too. The big skirts obscured her figure enough to make it impossible to appreciate.
She leaned back against him in the saddle and he leaned over to kiss the shoulder in front of him. They’d find this vein and they’d work it and with that money, they’d make their way in the world here. It would give them a nest egg and they could live and thrive and survive. They’d maybe find a way to get the message out to Judy’s daughter, so that she would have that closure, that they were happy and things were going as they should.
They’d split the income from the ore fifty-fifty with Kit and Sylvia. They had a growing family. And the progeny that would include Stud. They would get through and survive.
If it was just him and Judy, they’d have an easy time getting by. They’d build their home, a snug little cabin and they’d make a life here. It was late spring. They’d have the summer to build and prepare and then, they’d make a life. Once they accepted it, they’d make a life here and it would be everything they could want. Knowledge of the future, what they should do, what they should buy, invest in. Find a way to invest and leave all that money to her daughter. It wouldn’t take away the pain, but maybe it could soothe it?
His only regret would be that his land would be… What would happen to his land? If he didn’t pay taxes on it long enough, the government would come and scoop it away. And without him there, would the cattle have enough to eat through the winter?
His friends would stop by and when he wasn’t there, they’d look for him and if it really came to it, they’d feed the cattle too.
They had a plan, they had a future here. It wasn’t what he’d planned for his life, but it felt right. He wasn’t afraid of it.
The ride was pleasant. They’d had a few days to recover and decompress from the fight with Butch and O’Keefe. It was easy and right, now. Judy was with him, they were going to build a life. And somehow, he couldn’t be happier for it.
They’d been searching the lower plot of land for space to build a cabin, doing all the things they’d want to do for a home.
“It’s up there,” Judy called, pointing to the small cave.
“Oh yes,” Kit said. “I saw that last year, but didn’t have time to go in and look. I just wanted to check the land right quick.”
They rode up and Stud helped Judy slip off the horse. She gave a Boomer a scratch as Stud looped the horse’s reins over a tree branch.
He held his hand out to Judy and she took it without a second thought. She wriggled into the small cave and was gone.
“Judy?” Stud said. “Judy?!”