We were walking down the old boardwalk hand in hand. Most of Main Street had been kept looking like it did in the 1890’s. I had a destination in mind. Across from the First National Bank of Alvord was a Ladies boutique. I didn’t know what kind of clothes Al had, but I wanted her to have new ones.

I stopped us in front of Miss Flowers Boutique.

“Um… why are we here?” Al asked.

I smiled, “I thought you might like to go shopping for some new things.”

“Oh, well… um… yeah! What girl doesn’t like to shop for new things?” Her face had turned a slight pink. I had to look hard to find it, but it was there just the same.

I opened the door and let her go in first. Mollie was behind the counter, “Hello, Mac! What brings you here?”

“Well Mollie, this is Allyson Yates, Randy’s sister, and my Fiancée,” I told her.

She walked over to us. “Very nice to meet you, Mollie,” Al said.

“Oh, Allyson the pleasure is all mine. Mac, she’s so beautiful.”

Turning to Al she asked, “Did I hear right? You’re Randy’s sister?”

“Yes, ma’am. I’ve been on the road a lot. You must have come to town while I was gone,” Al looked at me for help.

“Mollie, we’re getting married on New Year’s Eve. I thought maybe you could help Allyson find a dress that she could wear.”

“Oh, yes dear. I can do that. Yes, I can!” She looked at me, “Do you have something you can do while we work?”

I smiled, “Yes ma’am, I do.”

I leaned into Al and whispered in her ear, “Don’t leave this shop without me. I kissed her neck. “While you’re at it, pick a few things out with me in mind.”

I walked to the back door to make sure it was locked, “Mollie, do you mind if we just close the shop for a few hours while Allyson’s here?”

“Well, I don’t know,” I gave her one of my charming smiles. “Sure, it’s Tuesday afternoon and I don’t do much business on Tuesday anyway.”

“Thank you very much, Mollie. Put it all on my account,” I turned the closed sign. “Al, get anything you think you need or want.”

I closed the door behind me and waited until I heard the lock. Smiling to myself, I walked to the bank.

 

I walked up to the bank managers assistant, “Would you please tell Charlie, Mr. Ross is here to see him.”

She looked up at me, “Do you have an appointment.”

“No, but I’m sure if you let him know I’m here to see him, he’ll see me.”

So, now I’m sitting in a chair waiting. I get that a lot when I go places. I’m just a cowboy. She’s new. I’d never seen her before, but I was also sure this would be the last time she made me wait.

“Mr. Moore there’s a Mr. Ross here to see you.”

As she was on the intercom I could hear both sides of the conversation, “What! How long has he been waiting?”

“Um… about 10 minutes, sir,” She was now looking at me a little closer.

“Really, you let Mr. Ross wait 10 minutes. I’ll be right there.”

“Oh!” She looked me over again. To her, I looked like any other cowboy in town and I worked hard to keep the image. She had no idea I was on the board of directors and owned more than 58% of the stock. “Um,” She turned to me, “Mr. Moore will be right with you, Mr. Ross.”

About that time a tall, skinny, balding man came around the corner buttoning his jacket. I stood and met him at her desk.

“Mr. Ross, so sorry to keep you waiting,” He shook my hand, “Mr. Ross, this is Miss Anderson my new, much to new, assistant.” I shook her hand.

“Very nice to meet you, Miss Anderson.” I smiled.

“Miss Anderson the next time Mr. Ross comes in that front door you are to let me know immediately.” He turned to me, “Shall we go to my office?”

“Thank you, Charlie. Miss Anderson, very nice to meet you,” I turned and walked around the corner with Charlie.

Charlie opened his office door and I stepped through, “So where’s Rosie?” I asked as I sat in front of his desk.

Charlie sat in his chair, “She retired and left me for the sandy beaches of Florida. But you knew that already,” He looked sad. “I apologize for Jackie as I said, she’s way too new. Like yesterday new and nowhere as good as Rosie,” He looked up and smiled at me. “What can I do for you, Mac?”

“I need to make sure my Black American Express is ready to go. I’ll be making a very large purchase at a jeweler, in Fort Worth, in the next few days,” I smiled. “Then, I need a Visa and Master Card in the name of Allyson Ross. I’ll need them on the 31st.”

I laughed, when his mouth hit his desk, “Is this the same Allyson we went to school with? The one who left and never looked back?” It was both a question and a statement.

“One and the very same. Allie’s home and we’re getting married on the 31st,” I smiled. “So, there’ll be no problem with the cards, right?”

“Oh, no trouble at all,” He turned to his computer and started typing. “The 31st is a Wednesday so let me have them ready on the 29th,” He typed some more, “and there’s nothing on the Black American Express. So, you’re good to go there too.”

I put my hands on my knees to stand up and leave but, Charlie stopped me with his hand, “If you have just a minute I need to tell you something. I was going to come by the ranch but, now that you’re here, I’ll just tell you now.”

I nodded for him to continue, “Cindi came in last week and tried to take money out of the account you closed four years ago.”

“She’s been stirring up some trouble for Allie. If she comes back, call Sheriff Clay. He’ll know what to do with her,” I stood and walked to the door, “Thanks for taking care of the cards for me. See you at the board Christmas party.”

“Yeah, and congratulations on your engagement,” He replied.

I walked out of his office and stopped at the corner to listen. Miss Anderson and some of the other Administrative Assistants were talking, “So, who is Mr. Ross and why is he so important? He looks like every other cowboy who walks in that door.”

I heard one girl say, “Shh,” to her and another, “He’s the leading stockholder of this bank. He has a big ranch, just west of here. Owns a hotel in Fort Worth, and who knows how much of this town.”

“Yeah,” Said another. “He could have you fired for making him wait.”

I couldn’t help but laugh as I walked around the corner, “But today I’ll not fire any of you, because, it’s Christmas after all.”

I stopped where they were all standing, “I do have something to ask though. If any of you see Cindi come in, please, let Mr. Moore know. Have a good day, ladies,” I walked out the front door.

 

 

Now, I needed to stop off at the bakery. Cupcakes, Al loves cupcakes; big ones with lots of icing.

Sandy’s Bakery was just two doors down from the bank. A little bell rang above the door when I opened it. Sandy came from the back room wiping her hands on a towel.

“Hi, Mac!” She smiled. She’d been my mothers’ best friend. When her husband died three years ago, she opened the bakery, with a little help from me.

“Hi Sandy, I came in to look at cupcakes,” I smiled, “white cake and lots of icing.”

“Is it for something special?” She asked.

I leaned on the counter, “Allyson’s back in town. She’s staying with me at the ranch and…..” I stopped and looked at the display case.

“And…” She replied.

I looked up at her, “And she’s agreed to marry me on New Year’s Eve.”

Her eyes got big and her smile went from ear to ear, “So, she’s finally come to her senses. The two of you were made for each other. Your mother and father would be so proud to have her in the family.”

I leaned over and kissed her cheek, “I know. I’m one lucky guy.” I pointed to a white and purple icing flower, “Is that one white cake?”

“Yep, it is. Do you want that one?” She asked.

“Yep, it’ll be perfect,” I replied.

She put a little box together and slid the cupcake into it, then handed it to me, “On the house!”

I just looked at her, “If you give away your product, how are you going to make a profit?”

“I make enough to keep the doors open and pay off this really badass loan shark, that loaned me money to open the place. So, you just take the one cupcake,” She tried to look tough, but the smile came anyway.

“Well, that not so much of a badass loan shark has a request of you and you will let him pay for it,” I winked.

“Okay then let me hear it, smart boy,” She was smiling too.

“I need a really big wedding cake,” I stopped. “We’re going to have the reception at the Rusty Nail,” I pulled out my phone, “I need to call Joe, just a second.”

The phone rang two times before Joe picked up, “Hey Joe, it’s Mac.”

“Yeah, Charlie just told me she was at the bank last week trying to get money.”

I didn’t want to talk about Cindi, “Listen, I need to rent out the Rusty Nail on New Year’s Eve.”

“Half Pint called you already?” That girl is maybe more excited than I am to marry Allie.  “You tell me the price and I’ll pay it.”

“What? So, you mean, Randy already paid it?”

“Oh, okay. Thanks, man,” I put my phone in my pocket.

Note to self: Make sure Randy knows he really is my Best Man, for life.

Sandy was watching me, “Okay, really big wedding cake, delivered to the Rusty Nail on New Year’s Eve.”

I was thinking about later in Fort Worth, “And maybe a dozen cupcakes to be delivered to the penthouse in Fort Worth.”

“Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy! Anything else you might need?” She asked.

“Um… I… don’t know if I’m forgetting anything?” I was getting a little nervous.

“Tell ya’ what. Why don’t I call Patty and Matilda? I can help set up the reception, decorate the house, and the Rusty Nail,” She pushed the box to me again, “I would have done it with your mom if she were here. So, let me do it with Patty and Matilda.”

I took a 20 out of my wallet, put it on the counter, picked up the box, and walked to the door, “You, Sandy, are a lifesaver, thanks,” I walked out the door and over to Miss Flower’s Boutique.

 

 

I knocked on the door. Mollie came to open it for me, “Just in time. I was just ringing up Allie’s things,” She went to the counter, but I couldn’t see Al.

“Where is she, Mollie?” I started walking to the back.

“Oh, she’s still in the dressing room, changing,” She said as she zipped up a garment bag.

I turned to the dressing room, “Al, you in here?”

“Yes, I am. But, wait for just a minute, please.” She sounded a little nervous.

“Okay.” I sat on a chair in the corner and waited. That song Brad Paisley sings with Andy Griffith came to my mind.

 

Honey take your time, ‘cause I don’t mind

waitin’ on a woman.

 

“Mac, did you say something?” Al asked.

“No, just singin’ a song,” I replied.

She opened the door and stepped out, “WOW!” I stood up and walked to her. She had on a red sweater that showed off her beautiful bust line and her tight stomach and waist, a pair of skinny jeans, with her own boots. “You look good enough to eat!” I turned her around and put my hands on her backside. I kissed her neck, “Did you think about me while you shopped?”

She leaned her head down on my shoulder, “Yes, I hope you like what I got.”

I moved my hands around to her stomach, “I like what I see so far.” I moved up under the sweater and yes, she was wearing a bra, “Oh Al, is that for me?”

She moaned when I ran my hand over the lace, “Yes.”

I pulled away from her, “Let’s go home.”

 

On the way home, I called Reverend Jones to see if he was available to officiate our wedding on New Year’s Eve. He agreed to be there for a 2:00 P.M. start.

Now, we needed to get our license while we were in Fort Worth.

I helped Al take her bags to our room. I put my box in the mini fridge under the bar, “Do you need any help?”

“Um… is there somewhere I can put this bag. I don’t want you to be tempted to look in,” She smiled.

“Sure, use the closet in the other room. It should be empty,” I pointed through the bathroom, “You can use that room to dress in for our wedding day, too,” I kissed her. “Dinner will be at 6. I need to check in on a few things. If you get too lonely, I’ll be in my office.”

“Okay, I think I will explore this wing you built for me,” She looked up at me, “If that’s okay?”

I pulled her to me and kissed her deep and hard. She moaned, then I moaned, and pulled away, “Oh, you are so tempting, but I have something planned for tonight. So, go explore to your heart’s content,” I kissed her again and turned to the door, “Just don’t leave the house alone, please.”

“I won’t,” She turned to the bag on our bed, our bed, yeah, I liked the sound of that, picked it up and carried it to the other room.

 

No part of this book may be distributed, posted, or reproduced in any form by digital or mechanical means without prior written permission of the author.