Double Trouble: Chapter 91


Wednesday Briefs

The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.

Chapter 91

Samantha looked like a star-struck fan girl as she stared at Levi with her mouth wide open. If they had been at home, he might have let his granddaughter make a fool of herself, but not with strangers, and especially not with strangers she might want to know better. Not as good as Danny and his friends, but better than the two of them making cow eyes at each other. Yes, call him old fashioned, or just that he knows the people who live in the area. But he didn’t want to have Samantha labeled as the high school’s easy girl.

No, it wasn’t fair. But he refused to let Samantha do something at sixteen she would regret later. Yeah, Levi was a cute kid. Danny would try to get into his pants, but judging from the expression on Levi’s face, Danny wouldn’t have a chance. But the tall, slender kid seemed even more stunned at Samantha’s arrival than she was at him. Maybe. The hormones ramped up for both of them.

Levi grinned from ear to ear by the time they were close enough to shake hands. He greeted Mitch, but he was almost certain the sweaty palms had nothing to do with how glad Levi was to see Mitch again.

“Hi, Levi. Glad to see you again. Is your Dad around?”

“Yes, Sir. He’s finishing up in the hay barn and said he’d be here in a minute.”

Levi glanced toward Samantha and it looked as if someone had doused his head in red ink. Mitch also realized he hadn’t introduced the two of them. “Sorry, Levi. This is my granddaughter, Samantha. Sam, this is Levi.”

She scowled at Mitch before taking Levi’s hand. “It’s Samantha. Grandpappy forgets things from time to time. He’s getting real old.”

Mitch’s response was delayed when a man closer to his age appeared from the other side of the house, brushing bits of hay from his shirt. He closed the distance and gave Mitch a firm handshake.

“Nice ta meet you. I’m Addison Worthy.”

“Mitch, Mitch McRichards. Nice to meet you too.”

Addison stepped back and motioned toward the pen of bulls they’d looked at the other day. “Levi said you were interested in some of our Senepol yearlings.”

“We are, those are some impressive looking yearlings. We bought a couple of bulls in Colorado, but yours were too good to pass up. Last week when we stopped Levi was good enough to take us on a tour of the place, tell us something about the breed, and take a look at your young bulls.” He glanced over toward Levi and found his gaze locked on Samantha. Mitch grinned and couldn’t help himself. “We appreciate you taking the time to give us the tour, Levi.”

Levi startled, snapping his eyes back on Mitch. His face was so flushed Mitch decided you could light a cigar from it. Realizing he’d been busted, Levi tried to spit out an answer. “Yes, Sir. No. I mean it was no problem.”

Mitch couldn’t let it go on for any longer. The poor kid was squirming and Mitch didn’t press him. “Well, we appreciated it. You did a good job too.”

Addison glanced between the two young people and shook his head before turning to Mitch. “I’d be happy to go through the bulls with you. Levi knows them as well as I do, but he and I haven’t talked about the selling price of each one.”

“Dad, if you and Mister McRichards don’t need me. I thought Samantha might like to see the new Paint we bought.”

“That sounds like a lot of fun. I’m up for it,” she said.

Mitch looked between them and cocked his head. “I’m okay with it so long as Mister Worthy doesn’t mind.”

Mitch glanced at Addison and knew they agreed. These two needed some time, but not too much.

Addison said, “Okay, but stay where you can hear me in case I need you.”

That was the final word, Levi and Samantha sprinted out of sight. Mitch and Addison turned and went through the young animals. Time passed quickly for Mitch when he glanced at his watch and realized the morning was gone, they also hadn’t seen Samantha or Levi in all that time.

“I think we should locate the kids. We haven’t seen them in a while.”

Addison nodded in agreement. “Yeah, my son’s a good kid. But hormones are hormones. I think I know where to find them.”

They walked to an imposing building and the minute they opened the doors he knew it was the farm’s hay barn. They stood for a moment and heard what he’d expected: the kids had moved past talking. He didn’t want to walk in on them and see more than he needed to.

“Samantha. We’re about ready to go.”

The soft sounds from a few minutes earlier erupted into a flurry of movement. A few seconds later, Samantha appeared brushing a few stray pieces of hay from her jeans. She looked at Mitch.

“Levi’ll be here in a minute. He needs to think for a while about mucking stalls in January before he comes out.”

The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.

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