I’ve been back in town less than 5 days and already I’m antsy to move on. I’ve worked with Bullet every morning and tried to help Randy some with the bulls, but he always tells me ‘no’.

“Randy,” I looked up from my coffee.

“Yeah.” He answered without looking at me.

I sighed, “I think I’ll go into Fort Worth today. I need to do some Christmas shopping. I thought maybe I’d take in the Stockyards Rodeo and get a look at the up and coming competition.”

He dropped the paper he was reading and looked at me, “You’ve only been home 5 days Allie.” He shook his head, “I just don’t understand your need to be on the move all the time.”

Why was he smiling like the Cheshire cat?

I shrugged my shoulders, ‘I know why, I was running from a ghost from my past, by the name of Mac Ross.’ But I wasn’t going to tell Randy that, the two of them were still the best of friends. “I guess I’m just to use to being on the road, staying in one place just doesn’t feel right or safe.”

“Okay whatever, tomorrow I’m going to the ‘Rocking R’, Angus has a bull he wants me to look at before he goes back to school.” He stood up from the table, picked up his plate, and put it in the hot, soapy water that Mary had ready, and walked to the back door. “You could go with me.”

I looked up at him, “Sorry, go with you where?” I’d been lost thinking about the new demons I had in my life, namely one Cindi Williams.

He put his battered black Stetson on his head, opened the door and looked back at me, “To the ‘Rocking R’.”

“Oh, um… yeah… no I can’t go to the ‘Rocking R’ with you, sorry… um… but no.” I stood up and turned away from him and headed to my bedroom, to get ready to leave. ‘I can’t see Mac, ever. If I did I’d just lose it. So yeah, not ever happening.’


When I was done shopping, it was only 4:30, so now what. I bought my ticket for the Rodeo, I took a seat at the top close to the gates. That high up no one would recognize me, and I would just be able to watch the show. Knowing I needed to eat I walked over to Cooper’s BBQ.

Cooper’s is in front of Billy Bob’s Texas. As I walked by I remembered the many Friday and Saturday nights Mac and I spent in that old Honky Tonk. Sometimes Mac would sign up to ride the last set of bulls at the indoor arena they have just so he could say that he had ridden a bull at Billy Bob’s. Shaking off the memory I walked across the street to Cooper’s.

While I ate, I was thinking I might just stay in town overnight. If I wasn’t at the ranch Randy couldn’t talk me in to going to the Rocking R with him in the morning. So, I walked to the Stockyards Hotel.

“Yes, may I help you.” The young man behind the counter asked with a big smile.

“My name’s Alyson Yates and I would like to use the Flying J suite tonight.”

“Yes Ma’am, do you have your ID?” I took my wallet out of my pocket and gave him my ID, “Very good ma’am one moment please.”

I stood there, I know the routine, my ID was on file, he would check it to make sure it was me using the room. If it’d been my brother, the clerk would have known him on sight. Randy and I owned the suite together, but he used it more than I did. Our suite was not as big as the Rocking R’s. Theirs was half of the west side of the building, ours was one-fourth on the east side.  When the Rocking R bought and remodeled the hotel Mac sold the four penthouse suites to his closest friends, so Randy and I bought one, it was a nice one room suite with a sitting room and small kitchen. It was nice to have a hotel room that strangers didn’t stay in. Lord knows I got all of that I could handle on the road.

The desk clerk brought me out of my musings, “Miss Yates, here’s your ID and a card key to the suite. Please have a nice stay and let us know if you need anything at all.”

I smiled back at him, “Thank you.” and walked to the elevator. The nice thing about having a private room is I left clothes here. Tomorrow I would wear them home and the hotel would clean those I left behind, and they would be here the next time.

I walked into the suite and dropped to the bed, it was only 6:00 and the rodeo didn’t start until 8 so I thought I might take a quick nap. First, I pulled out my phone to text Randy.

Going to stay in the suite tonight see you tomorrow after you get home from the Rocking R

Ok have fun love you

love you 2


I set the clock to wake me at 7:15.


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