The Young Outlaw - Moving

Jalen was standing at the small wash stand shaving while Brett was dressing. As
the younger man reached for his shirt hanging on the hook he accidentally bumped

"Ouch!" Jalen yipped as the razor slipped and nicked his jaw. He picked up a
washcloth and pressed it to his face.


Brett heard Jalen cry out and bit his lip as he saw the blood and the older man
holding a damp washcloth to his face. "Jalen! I'm sorry!" Brett apologized his
blue eyes wide.

The Sheriff looked at his outlaw in the mirror and said, "I know, it's not
really your fault. This room just isn't big enough for two grown men of our
build to move around in without bumpin' into one another. We've been crawlin'
all over each other and bumpin' into each other for weeks now. I think it's time
we did somethin' about it."

Brett looked down and bit his lip. "Okay he said quietly."

Jalen looked at the younger man and asked, "What's wrong?"

"You want to get rid of me." The young outlaw stated.

The Sheriff shook his head and went over and put an arm around the young man.
"Now, what makes you think such a thing Brett? You do believe I care for you and
wouldn't do somethin' like that don't you?"

Brett said, "Well, this is where you live. If I'm in the way then I'll need to
be the one to go."

Jalen shook his head. "Not on your life my young outlaw. I'm responsible for you
and besides, you've grown on me." The Sheriff grinned.

Brett asked, "What then?"

Jalen said, "I think we need to get our own place, some property close enough to
town we can get here in a hurry if we're needed, yet secluded enough we can have
a bit more freedom and privacy with each other."

The younger man looked at him. "How can we afford somethin' like that? I ain't
got no money and you can't make all that much bein' sheriff."

Jalen regarded Brett. "Whose job is it to take care of you?" He asked quietly.

"Uhm…yours." The young outlaw responded.

The Sheriff nodded. "Yes, so trust me."

"But…what about the money to buy such a place?" The young outlaw asked

Jalen went over to the bed and sat down. "Come here." He patted the space next
to him.

Brett came and sat down.

"Do you remember me tellin' you about the Smokin' K?"

Brett nodded and snuggled up close to Jalen, needing and liking the close
contact with the Sheriff.

"Well, when I was tellin' you my story I never did get to the part past Dallas
teachin' me things…I didn't tell you what happened to him and how I got here."

The young outlaw looked at the Sheriff curiously. "No, you didn't."

"Well Dallas and I loved each other and I never knew it, but he named me as the
person to inherit everythin' if somethin' happened to him." Jalen said quietly.
"He was killed in a stampede…there wasn't anythin' I could do…nothin' anyone
could do. It happened so quickly. Apparently some cattle rustlers had been
followin' us and the herd. They were pretty sneaky. Generally Dallas and some of
the more experienced hands on the cattle drive could spot signs of such things,
but these ones…" The older man's voice trailed off and his face took on a hard
look and his green eyes glittered like sparks of ice and fire. "They managed to
spook the cows. Once they started there was no turnin' them or stopppin' them.
If we had sensed the cattle were restless we would have prepared ourselves for
the possibility, but there weren't any signs…none at all so when they stampeded
it came as a complete surprise."


Brett listened quietly to Jalen's story. He could feel the older man's anger and
pain as he revealed the details. He stroked Jalen's shoulder in an attempt to
comfort him.


Jalen smiled at Brett. "It was hard to take…losin' him that way, but it wasn't
until after we finished the drive and brought Dallas back to be buried that I
found out that I now owned my own ranch."

Brett smiled. "That must have felt good even if the circumstances weren't." He
commented, still rubbing Jalen's shoulder comfortingly.

Jalen sighed. "In a way it was…I was glad he thought so much of me, but I was no
rancher. I'd learned a lot, but my heart wasn't in it." He told Brett.

Brett listened and he snuggled closer. "What happened?"

Jalen said quietly, "I sold the stock and the land. I never thought much about
getting' another place when I came here. Livin' in the jail here has always been
good enough…until a certain young outlaw came to town." The Sheriff said with a
grin and hugged the younger man to his side. I have enough to get a nice place
and I get paid $100 a month plus any fees people have to pay for getting' out of
jail and such." Jalen shared.

Brett looked up. "That's not bad…so you really can afford to get us a place?" He
asked hopefully.

Jalen tapped the end of Brett's nose. "Didn't I tell you to trust me?" the
Sheriff teased.

The young outlaw blushed. "You did and I'll try, but this is all so new and you
are the one who has everythin' and I have nothin'."

Jalen gave Brett a tap on his hip. "Don't say you don't have anythin', you have
me and that's good for now. As you learn things and become more settled and
secure you'll have a job of your own if you want it. I still want a deputy and
you'd do well at that." The older man shared.

The young outlaw grinned. "Hmm…from an outlaw to a lawman."

Jalen chuckled. "It's not unheard of you know."

The younger man grinned. "No, I've heard of others it's happened to."
The Sheriff smiled. "Yes, but right now we need to finish getting dressed.
After I make my rounds we'll go over to the land office and make some inquiries
about somethin' suitable for us."

The younger man smiled. "Okay." He said happily, then hugged Jalen tight and
gave him a kiss on the cheek.

Jalen chuckled and kissed Brett on the lips and said, "You are sweet my outlaw."


Jalen and Brett walked over to the Land Office after the Sheriff's morning
rounds. He opened the door and called, "Jeb?"

Jebidiah Anderson, the land office clerk grinned at Sheriff Brooks and said, "I
see you brought Brett with you."

Jalen smiled and nodded. "Got to keep an eye on him at all times you

Jeb smiled. "I see, what can I help you with?"


Brett walked into the Land Office with Jalen. He stayed quiet while the Sheriff
talked to the man. He was slight of build, wore things on his shirt sleeves to
keep them pushed up out of the way and his sandy hair seemed to stick out at odd
angles. He wore spectacles. He seemed to have a friendly manner and smile. When
he heard him remark to Jalen about him and the Sheriff telling him he had to
keep an eye on Brett, it chafed him a bit. He was getting used to not going
anywhere without Jalen by his side, but it grated when people seemed to point it
out. It made him feel like a child who had to have his hand held by his Papa
because he wasn't old enough to be trusted to go about town by himself.


The Sheriff glanced over at his young outlaw and saw the slight scowl on his
face. He went over and placed a large, warm hand on his shoulder and said, "Jeb
Anderson will be able to tell me if there's any suitable property available.
Just relax and we'll get through this."

Brett looked at Jalen and nodded. He wondered how the man seemed to know what he
had been thinking.

The older man turned back to the clerk. "Jeb, I'm looking for a small parcel of
land close enough to town that if I'm needed someone could come get me, yet
secluded enough for me to have some privacy. Brett and me keep havin' to crawl
over each other in the room at the jail and I'm thinkin' if I'm goin' to be his
probation officer for the next four years I'm goin' to have to have more room."


Jeb Anderson nodded looking at the two men who were fairly equal in height.
Jalen being larger built and Brett a bit smaller built, the two of them would
take up quite a bit of space. He nodded. "Yes, I think I can locate a couple of
places." He turned and pulled down a rolled up map and a couple of books from a
shelf. He went over to a large table and rolled out the map weighting it down at
each corner with pieces of rock he used for this purpose. He studied the map for
a moment, and then opened one of the books. Looking at the book and then at the
map he said, "Well there's the old Hackett place. It's right here on the edge of
town, not far from the side of town the Sheriff's office is located. He pointed
to the spot on the map. Jalen guided Brett over to the table so they could look
at the map together.

"There's about sixty five acres. There's a House with four bedrooms upstairs and
the usual kitchen, living room, wash room and a small room that had been used
for an office at one point. There's a well, a spring house, a woodshed, storage
shed and a good sized barn, fourteen stalls, six standing ones and eight box
stalls." Jeb told the men. There's a creek and a stream that runs through the
property as well. Looks like a corral and pasture land too. It was used by Mr.
Hackett to raise some horses. He became ill and could no longer keep the place
up, so he sold it and moved back east with his daughter." Jeb gave the history
of the property. It's been vacant for about six years now. Probably needs quite
a bit of repair havin' stood empty for so long."


Brett watched the clerk rollout and secure the map and listened and watched as
he described the property to Jalen. He saw the Sheriff listening carefully and
watched the bright green eyes as they sparked with interest.


Jalen watched Jeb Anderson and smiled as the piece of property was described. It
was in an ideal location and had a lot of advantages. They could plant some hay
for the horses if they wanted to and the creek would be fun to swim in and fish
in. The stream from the creek ran through where the spring house was so they
could chill things like milk and eggs as well as meats until they could be
smoked or cured. He nodded. "I'd like to know how much the askin' price is."

Jeb took a pencil and looked up something in a book and then scribbled numbers
on a piece of paper and said, "Accordin' to my calculations the goin' price
would be twenty dollars per acre of land, which would be…" His pencil scribbled
once more. "One thousand three hundred dollars. Then, for the buildings on the
land…we're lookin' at one thousand six hundred dollars for the whole lot."

Jalen nodded. He thought to himself that that was affordable. He generally put
away about half his salary each month in the bank after his expenses, sometimes
more if there had been fees collected. That had added up to a bit over three
thousand dollars and he had about five thousand dollars from the sale of the
Smoking K and the live stock so he could afford it and it's up keep along with
the taxes and such without much difficulty. With interest and such he had
accumulated about ten thousand dollars. Someone had told him once he should
invest some of his money, but at the time he hadn't thought it necessary. Now he
was thinking that with someone to care for he might just investigate that
avenue. He didn't want to not have enough money to keep them with a place to
live and to meet their needs and some of their wants. "I'd like to look at the
place." He told Jeb.


Bret was listening and when he heard how much the place would cost thought to
himself that it would never happen. He was surprised when Jalen didn't even
blink at the price, but asked to see the place. Could it be that the Sheriff
really and truly was serious about this and even better actually could afford to
buy such a place? He watched Jalen carefully to see if he could tell if he
really was interested. He was glad he wasn't a gambling man because the Sheriff
would have been a challenging opponent. He gave nothing away.


Jeb Anderson watched the sheriff and the young outlaw. He wondered at Jalen
showing interest in buying a place when he hadn't ever shown such interest
before. He thought about the Sheriff taking on the young man in his role as
probation officer and supposed the room at the jail really wouldn't be a
comfortable living situation for the two men. He was a little surprised at
Jalen's not blinking an eye when he quoted him a price for the place. Sixteen
hundred dollars was nothing to sneeze at, but he expected that the Sheriff must
have had funds before coming here and just had never had cause to spend any of
them before now. "I can ride out there with you this afternoon if you'd like."
Jeb told Jalen.

"That would be fine. I'll meet you at my office at one o'clock then." The
Sheriff told Jeb with a grin. "Thanks for helpin' me out here Jeb."

Jeb smiled and shook hands with Jalen. "My pleasure Sheriff Brooks."

Jalen smiled at Brett and the two men walked out of the land office together.


The young outlaw looked at the Sheriff as they walked down the boardwalk toward
Jalen's office. "I'd never want to play poker with you. You never gave any
indication of what you were thinkin' in there."

The older man grinned. "Dallas always taught me when you were negotiating the
price of cattle at the stock yards to not tip your hand. It's served me well
over the years."

Brett grinned. "Yes. Isn't that quite a bit of money though?"

The Sheriff shook his head. "No, it's a fair price. I may be able to whittle him
down some if the condition of the house and other buildings are really poor.
Depends upon how much repair the place needs." Jalen told Brett.

The younger man nodded. "It will be nice to have a place of our own. Then I can
ride off and explore while you're doin' your Sheriff work."

Jalen quirked an eyebrow. "I don't think so. You don't know the area first of
all and second of all I aim to keep an eye on you."

Brett pouted. "I ain't a little boy you know. I rode all the way here from
California all by myself."

"Well I'm responsible for you now and there will be no ridin' off by yourself
until I've been able to show you the area and the landmarks to look for so you
don't get lost."

Bret argued. "I won't get lost. I'm not stupid and I'm not goin' to run away if
that's what you're afraid of!"

Jalen locked his green eyes with the blue. "I'm not afraid of you runnin'. I'd
have no trouble findin' you and bringin' you back and then makin' sure you
couldn't sit a saddle for a while so you'd stay put." Jalen said firmly.

Brett scowled. "I hate that. It's your answer to everythin'!"

Jalen nodded. "Not quite everythin', but anythin' that breaks the rules. Are we
clear on this issue now? No wandering off on your own until I tell you it's all
right for you to do that?"

Bret sighed, but nodded. "Yes Sir."

Jalen put an arm around the younger man's shoulders and squeezed. "It won't be
forever although at times it might feel like that."

The younger man nodded. "I just can't wait until I can have more freedom." He
told the Sheriff.

The Sheriff said, "With more freedom comes more responsibility. You'll be
allowed that when you're ready for both. In the mean time I have some Arithmetic
problems I want you to work on while I go over to the bank."

Brett wrinkled his nose, but said, "All right. Just don't rob the bank now." He
teased Jalen, his blue eyes twinkling.

The Sheriff laughed. "Don't worry, I won't."


Jeb Anderson made his way over to the Sheriff's office at the appointed time.
Brett had finished his arithmetic assignment and once they had eaten Jalen was
going over the paper with the young man. "You are doin' much better. You only
missed one problem this time." He praised.

The young outlaw beamed under the older man's praise. "Thanks." He said.

As the door opened the Sheriff turned the paper over on his desk and rose. "Jeb,
good, you're here."

Jeb grinned. "Yes and on time."

Jalen grinned. "Well let's go." He grabbed his hat and said to Brett, "Let's
tack up the horses and meet Mr. Anderson out front."

The younger man nodded. "Yes Sir." He turned to Jeb. "Glad you can take us today
Mr. Anderson."

Jeb smiled. "I am too."

Jalen put a hand on Brett's shoulder and guided him toward the back door. "We'll
be just a few minutes Jeb."

Jeb smiled. "Okay." He went outside and mounted his horse to wait.


Brett looked up as the Land Office clerk walked in. He was grateful to see Jalen
place the paper they had been working on face down on the desk. He noticed how
careful the Sheriff was to preserve his dignity. He liked that about Jalen. He
was always considerate. Even if he swatted him he did so when no one could see.
He was glad to go with his Sheriff when he guided him out back.

Once they had tacked up and joined Jeb the young outlaw took note of where they
were going as he guided Spirit. There was a lot of pretty land around here. The
leaves were beginning to turn and the colors were beautiful, reds, yellows,
gold, rust brown and bits of green dotted the landscape. For the first time in
weeks Brett felt he could relax. He was tempted to urge Spirit to a gallop and
run on ahead, but one glance at Jalen and he decided that might not be a good
impulse to give into. The Sheriff might mistake his move for running away and he
had no desire to visit the woodshed.


Jalen smiled at Jeb as he rode Liberty. It was a fine day and he recognized the
road Jeb was taking him onto. He watched Brett fidget in the saddle for a moment
and sensed the younger man's restlessness and his need for a bit of fun. He saw
his outlaw glance at him and continue to stay with the two older men. He grinned
at Brett. "If you want to ride out, go ahead, but stop at the crossroads." The
Sheriff said with a grin and a twinkle in his green eyes.

Jeb looked at Jalen and wondered at him giving the young man a bit of freedom.

Brett was so surprised at first, and then grinned. "Thanks Sheriff!" He cried
and kicked Spirit into a gallop and took off down the road.

Jeb turned to Jalen. "Sheriff Brooks, do you think that was such a good idea?"

Jalen said, "He's been real good lately and deserves a reward. I trust him to
stop at the crossroads. He needs a little freedom once in a while. He also can't
earn trust if he's not given an opportunity to demonstrate he can be

Jeb nodded. "I suppose that's true."


As Brett galloped along he had a big grin on his face. He couldn't believe Jalen
had just given him permission to ride on ahead. He watched for the crossroads
though. He didn't want to not be there when the Sheriff and Mr. Anderson
arrived. When he saw the crossroads come into sight he reined in Spirit and
waited patiently for the other men to catch up.


Jeb and Jalen caught up with Brett in good time and the three of them headed for
the property. It was just as Jeb had described. The buildings were in disrepair
as well as the corral and Jalen could see that it would be a lot of work to fix
things up. The buildings themselves were structurally sound, but needed to be
painted and the roof of both the house and barn needed shingles replaced and
shutters repaired and the porch needed attention as some of the steps and boards
were rotted. He figured there would also be a lot of dust and dirt that would
need to be cleaned out before the place would be habitable.


Brett followed the other men around. He was amazed at how Jalen poked into every
nook and cranny, testing for structural damage, water damage rotted boards etc.
He watched where he walked as he didn't want to go through where he could see
boards rotted out.


Jalen at the end of the tour looked Jeb Anderson straight in the eye. "The place
is a mess. I'll pay no more than fourteen hundred fifty dollars. The land holds
its value, but it will cost me at least a month and a half worth of wages to fix
up the buildings and corral."

Jeb looked around. He had noticed all the damage as Jalen had pointed things out
as they went along. The land office clerk nodded. "All right. I'll say that's a
fair price."

The Sheriff nodded. "I'll arrange for the bank to give me a draft and I'll take
title to the land and the buildings tomorrow."
Jeb nodded. "That will be just fine. Glad you like the place."

Jalen smiled. "Once it's fixed up it will do us very well."

Jeb smiled. "That it will I'm sure."

The Sheriff shook hands with Jeb and the three men rode back to town.


As they rode home Brett glanced over at Jalen once in a while. After Jeb left
them and they were alone in the jail he said, "It's goin' to be a lot of work.
Do you know how to do all that?"

The Sheriff smiled. "A lot of it, what I don't know I can get help with.

The younger man nodded. "Okay."

Jalen hugged his outlaw tight. "Please don't worry it'll be good. Just wait and

Brett snuggled into the hug and peeking up at the Sheriff said with a
mischievous grin, "Trust you."

Jalen landed a light swat to Brett's bottom. "Imp." He said with a smile. "Yes,
of course. Trust me."

The younger man smiled once more. "I'll learn that sooner or later."

The older man smiled. "I hope you do." He bent and kissed his outlaw. Brett
responded and Jalen deepened the kiss. When he finally came up for air his
emerald green eyes were filled with passion. Brett's blue eyes were also
reflecting passion and desire. Jalen guided him to their room and kicked the
door shut.


The next morning after the two men moved around each other carefully, getting
washed and dressed Jalen gave Brett some more school work to do. His mornings
now were usually filled with lessons and the afternoon making corrections. Jalen
was always nearby writing reports, posting wanted posters and filing the old
ones. Brett watched one day when the Sheriff had placed his own wanted poster in
his file.

"What are you doing?" Brett asked.

"Completin' your file. I have to keep written reports on everyone and your
wanted poster needed to be filed with the rest of your papers."

"Why?" The young outlaw asked.

Because in the future someone can look back in the record and see you paid your
debt to society once your case is closed. It gets sent to the state capital for

The young man looked at the older one. "Uhm…what's archivin'?"

Jalen grinned. "It's keepin' records for historical value."

Brett nodded. "I never knew that."

The older man said, "Most of us learn somethin' new almost every day."

"What did you learn today?" Brett asked.

"That you didn't know about archivin'." Jalen grinned.

The young outlaw shook his head. It was true, but he got the feeling he was also
being teased.

The Sheriff went over and ruffled the black curls. "There are a lot of things we
don't know about each other. We will both learn as we go along."

The young outlaw smiled and hugged the Sheriff.

Jalen returned the hug and gave Brett a quick kiss. "Let's go over to the bank
and pick up the draft and bring it to Mr. Anderson."

The young man smiled. "Okay, I never thought I'd have a place to live again and
share it with someone like you."

Jalen chuckled. "A stern old crotchety Sheriff?" He teased.

The young outlaw laughed. "Stern…well maybe, but old and crotchety, far from

The Sheriff smiled. "Let's go." He picked his hat off its hook and placed it on
his head.

Brett followed suit and accompanied Jalen to the bank, then to the land office.


Jalen grinned as he drove the new wagon with its team filled with supplies
needed to fix up his and Brett's new ranch. The day was warm and sunny and he
was appreciating the beauty of the day and the contentment of owning his own
place and sharing it with someone he was growing to love.


Brett smiled as he rode next to Jalen. It would be a bit yet before they'd be
able to move in, but he had liked the thought of them fixing up the place
together. He watched the team pulling the load easily. They were good strong
draft horses. He even liked their names, Ash and Oak. Ash was a grayish color
and Oak was a light brown color, the color of an oak plank.


Jalen watched Brett out of the corner of his eye. He smiled seeing the young
outlaw looking so happy. He was happy too which surprised him a bit. He hadn't
realized until Brett came along just how truly lonely he had been and that he
hadn't been really happy. He'd been content, but now he recognized that he had
had something missing in his life and had found it quite by accident.

As they pulled up into the yard Jalen wondered where to start. There was so much
that had to be done. He watched as Brett jumped down from the wagon. He too
jumped down and said, "Help me unload these boards and the shingles."

Brett asked, "Where are we goin' to put them?"

The older man stopped and thought for a moment. "Hmm…we need somewhere they'll
be safe. Let's check out the barn. I think if we clean out a few stalls we'll
have a place for the horses and to store our supplies temporarily."

The younger man nodded. "All right. He went to the back of the wagon and plucked
out a couple of rakes, a shovel and a wheelbarrow. Between them Jalen and Brett
took their tools into the barn and began the laborious task of cleaning out a
couple of stalls so they were fit for the horses and for the supplies to be
stored. There was old hay that had molded and smelled bad. It made them sneeze
and they were very glad when they had managed to dump it behind the barn forming
a compost pile. They had brought fresh straw for the bedding for the horses and
a few bales of hay and some feed. They worked at spreading the clean straw and
breaking open the bales of hay after cleaning out the feeding troughs well.

After a while they came out wiping their faces with their bandanas. Jalen went
over to the well after stopping at the wagon and rummaging around in a pack. He
pulled out two tin cups and then drew water from the well, and the two men drank
their fill.

"Well that's accomplished. I think we need to start on the house a bit. At least
clean one room where we can stay and the kitchen so we can make a hot meal."

Brett asked, "Why don't we just build a fire out here in the yard and make
somethin' over it??"

Jalen thought about it and smiled. "Well if we can't get the kitchen cleaned up
enough, then that'll be a good alternative."

Brett pouted. "But Jalen…it would be fun to have a campfire and cook outside."

The Sheriff arched an eyebrow. "I said we'll see."

Brett pouted. "Old grouch." He muttered.

Jalen took Brett by the upper arm and turned him and landed a sharp swat on his
bottom. "Don't start. I told you I didn't like muttering under your breath."

Brett jumped at the swat and yelped. "Ouch!" He rubbed his bottom and scowled at
Jalen. "That hurt!"

Jalen said, "It was supposed to. Perhaps you'll learn to not mutter under your
Brett sighed. "Yes Sir."
Jalen rubbed Brett's shoulder and said, "Now let's go inside the house and get
to cleaning."

The younger man followed Jalen into the house.


The Sheriff brought in water from the well and frowned as he checked out the
stove. It was serviceable, but it sure was dirty. They had to heat water. He
checked the chimney and started a fire in the stove, making just a small one at
first to see if the smoke would go out the pipe or come into the room.

Brett, impatient asked, "what are you doin' now? Can't you make a fire?"

Jalen gave him a look. "I'm checking the stove, no sense filling up the place
with smoke if it isn't working properly or if the chimney pipe is clogged." He

The younger man looked down. "Uhm…I suppose that makes sense."

The older man smiled. "It's good sense. One never knows about these things." He
checked the draft and the flue and things seemed to be working properly so he
added more wood to the fire until the stove was hot. Then he poured the water
from the pail into the reservoir in the stove and said to the young outlaw, "Go
out to the well and get another pail of water. We need to set water to heat to
scrub this place. I'm glad I thought to buy soap, brooms, and mops and took
along a bunch of rags I found in the horse shed."

Brett sighed and nodded. "All right." He did as Jalen told him, but with a bit
of an attitude.

The Sheriff watched the young man go and shook his head. He could see his outlaw
was going to be a handful today.


Brett went to the well and grumbled to himself, `I'm glad he thought to bring
everything, cleaning supplies and all now that he's got a slave to do his
bidding." He scowled as he drew a bucket of water from the well and poured it
into the pail he would bring back to the house. He was getting a bit tired of
being ordered around like he didn't have a mind of his own and couldn't figure
out what needed doing. He shook himself mentally and reminded himself that had
it not been for this man he'd still be on the run or worse. He walked back to
the house and put the water on the stove to heat.


Jalen saw Brett bring in the water and was happy to see him participating in the
clean up. The Sheriff was sweeping the kitchen and asked, "Will you help me move
these cupboards outside? They need to be washed out and I need to clean under
them. I don't like varmints in our home."

The young outlaw smiled and nodded. He used to hear his mother say the same
things. She couldn't abide insects or rodents in the house and made sure things
were cleaned to her satisfaction. Once when she had found a plate with remnants
of food on it and ants crawling all over it under his bed, Brett had received
the first switching from his Mama. She had made him cut a switch from the birch
tree they had, then had made him take down his britches and underpants and lean
all the way over the back of a chair. She had switched his backside until he
couldn't sit comfortably for a few days and made him empty his room of every
item in it and then scrub the floors, walls and windows with lye soap until his
hands were as raw as his backside had been. He had learned his lesson and never
done such a thing again.


Jalen had watched the young man as he helped him move the cupboards outdoors and
saw him wince. "Are you all right?" He asked in concern.

Brett looked up a little startled. "Yes, I'm fine.'

The older man said, I saw you wince. I don't want you to hurt yourself."

The younger man made a face, "I'm okay. I was just rememberin' a time my Mama
switched me when she found an old plate with food remains in it that had ants
crawling all over it because it had ended up under my bed. I had forgotten to
bring it back down to the kitchen and clean it. I wasn't supposed to bring food
in my room anyway unless I was sick and Mama brought it in."
Jalen said, "I can imagine Mamas would be upset about that sort of thing."

Brett nodded. "Uh huh." He remembered Jalen telling him about his life in the
whore house and feeling a bit sad for him because he never really had known a
true Mama.


Once the kitchen was scrubbed down from top to bottom Jalen said, "I think we
should paint each room as we finish cleanin' it."

The young outlaw asked, "Will the paint dry though in time for us to work in
here and clean up the rest of the house?"

The older man smiled. "You have a point. We can paint the cupboards as they are
already outside and then do the kitchen last. Why don't we go upstairs and
decide which room we want to make our bedroom, then we can work on that room
first and work our way down. How does that sound?"

Brett grinned. "Now that sounds great."

The two men made their way upstairs. Two of the rooms were over the living room
downstairs, facing the front of the house and so would be heated by the
fireplace down there. The other rooms faced the back of the house and were over
the kitchen and washroom. One of the rooms, a smaller one, was over the kitchen,
where it would be heated when the stove was in use. Jalen surmised this room
might have been a child's room. He remembered seeing a larger room with a
fireplace in it and smiled when he opened the door next to the smaller room and
realized it too was partially over the kitchen. It would be perfect for them.


Brett followed Jalen as he opened the door to each room and smiled when he at
last opened the door to one that had a fireplace. He went to the window and
looked out. He could see the barn, corral and the yard from here. He gazed at
the woods beyond and smiled. He liked it. He went to the other window and saw a
large oak tree growing near the house and knew it would give lots of shade
during the summer months. "It's real nice Jalen. I think we'll do very well in
this room. It's big enough we won't be trippin' and crawlin' all over each other

The Sheriff smiled. "Yes, but you will have your own room as well where you can
wash up, dress and keep your clothes. There will definitely be room for a large
comfortable bed…one big enough for the two of us to share." He winked at Brett.

Brett was about to protest about having a separate room, but when he heard that
they were to sleep together grinned back, flushing a little.

Jalen said, "We could each get a wardrobe and we could each have a dresser to
keep our clothes in rather than stackin' them on shelves or hangin' them on

The young man nodded and smiled. "Yes, I think everything will be very nice."

Jalen pulled Brett into a hug and kissed him soundly. "Well, we'd better get to
paintin' those cupboards and then begin work up here."

Brett grinned. "All right."


Over the next few days they cleaned, painted and worked on the house while still
staying at the jail nights and being there most of the day as Jalen still needed
to make his rounds and supervise Brett's school work. The young man had
protested about it, but Jalen had silenced his protest with a few sharp swats to
the younger man's backside. Today as they rode out Jalen discussed his plans
with his young outlaw.

"I think today we need to get the shingles replaced on the roofs. We've had good
weather so far, but I'm not too sure just how long that will last." He informed

The young outlaw looked up at the sky to the west and saw gathering clouds. "I
think you're right. I can do the barn while you do the house." The younger man

The Sheriff shook his head. "No, we'll work together. If somethin' happens it's
safer to have two of us rather than workin' alone. We can do the house roof
first, then if there's still time we'll do the barn."

"I don't understand why we can't just each work on each place…it would make
things go faster." Brett argued.

Jalen said, "I already told you it's safer for us to work in pairs. What if
there's a rotted place on the roof you can't see and you step on it and go
through?" He asked.

The younger man pouted. "Ain't gonna happen. You're nothin' but a big worry
wart." He complained.

Jalen arched an eyebrow. "A worry wart that wants to see the young man he cares
for and is responsible for safe."

Brett pouted. "But Jalen…I'm perfectly capable of nailing shingles on a roof
without you lookin' over my shoulder."

The Sheriff said patiently, but firmly, "I told you we work in pairs for safety.
It has nothin' to do with you bein' capable."

The young outlaw tried tact. "We need to protect the new hay and straw and the
animals from getting' wet if water gets into the barn it'll ruin all our hard

Jalen fixed Brett with his green eyes. "I said no. I mean no. is that clear?"

Brett sighed, but nodded. "Yes Sir." He secretly thought Jalen was being too
over protective with this safety stuff.


Jalen listened as Brett tried to push the boundaries. He realized the young man
had wanted to do his share, but he seldom regarded the safety issues. He like a
young bull just wanted to charge ahead, blind to the dangers. It was up to him
to rein him in. He smiled to himself and remembered how he too had tried to push
and manipulate and where it had ended up and not in bed either.


Once they got to the ranch Jalen and Brett unloaded the shingles and nails.
Jalen had borrowed a tall ladder from James Duncan at the General Store so he
could climb up onto the roof. "Hold the ladder steady for me. I'm going to climb
up and inspect the roof and see where we need to work first." Jalen told Brett.

The younger man nodded. "All right." He did that and once Jalen was all the way
up decided to come up after him. Jalen, seeing the black curls pop up over the
edge of the roof said, "Watch carefully where you step. Test each step before
you put your full weight on it." Jalen showed Brett how to do this.

The young outlaw watched the Sheriff as he walked around on the roof and noted
the areas that needed to have shingles replaced. Jalen had brought a piece of
chalk along and marked the spots. There were several on this side of the house.
"We'll work on these first. Then we'll move over to the other side of the house
and do the same."

Brett nodded. "All right. It sounds good." He looked up at the sky once more.
The dark clouds were still in the distance, but he was afraid they'd reach them
by nightfall.

Jalen following the younger man's gaze said softly, "Don't worry about it we'll
have the roof for the house finished before the storm hits."

The young man nodded. "Okay." He said, not quite believing Jalen and worrying
about the barn. He had heard the older man say there were a couple of holes in
the roof. He didn't want any of their supplies to get ruined by getting wet.


As the day wore on the men ate sandwiches they had brought with them and drank
water from the well. They were making good progress. They had patched and
re-shingled one side of the house roof. Jalen had poured pails of water over the
spots that had been repaired and Brett reported if it was still leaking or not.
Once all the leaks had been dealt with on one side of the roof they broke for
lunch and then tackled the other side. They were nearing completion of the roof.
The clouds that had been distant most of the day were closing in now and as the
Sheriff put the last nail in he grinned. "Told you we'd have this finished
before it stormed."

The young outlaw nodded. "That you did." He smiled. Now at least we'll be safe
and dry inside."

Jalen grinned. "Yes, we will."

As they cleaned up the materials and climbed down from the roof the older man
said, "Leave the ladder. I'll bring it to the barn. You take the smaller things
with you and start on feeding and watering the animals. I'll check on our

Brett nodded. "All right." He gathered up the hammers, nails and left over
shingles. He headed for the barn and once he was there began to haul water. He
glanced up at the sky and frowned. He finished watering the stock and gave them
feed and then as he was pitching hay down from the loft which they had put up
there on one of their last trips, decided that taking a quick look at the barn
roof wouldn't hurt anything. He could hoist himself up onto the support beam and
then onto the cross beam and swing out the loft door and onto the roof without a
problem. He'd done it many times at home and proceeded to do just that. Once on
top of the roof he could feel the wind whipping a bit and there were flashes of
lightening in the distance along with a low rumble of thunder. He cautiously
began to walk on the roof, using the method Jalen had taught him as they marked
the bad spots to be fixed on the house. He had not gone far when he probed with
a booted toe and all of a sudden a large portion of the roof gave way with a
loud crack and he was falling…


Jalen was in the kitchen putting on some water to heat for coffee. He stirred
the stew that had been simmering on the back of the stove for most of the day.
He was wishing he knew how to make biscuits like the chuck wagon cook had when
he and Dallas had been on the cattle drive. Cookie knew how to make a hearty
meal. He was day dreaming about those biscuits when he was startled by a loud
crack. At first he thought it had been a crack of thunder having heard the
rumbling in the distance, but when a cry of terror followed it he ran outside.
He could see nothing and headed for the barn. What he saw there chilled his
heart. Brett was clinging onto the beam of the barn roof, not being able to make
it to a safe position to let himself down. Overhead there was a large hole in
the roof and he saw debris from the roof on the barn floor.

Once he could breathe again he called, "Brett! Hang on!" He ran and got the
ladder from the side of the house where they had left it and brought it into the
barn and secured it and climbed up to where he could put an arm around the
younger man's legs. "Let go…I got you." He ordered.

Brett had a death grip on the beam and when he felt the strong arms around him
and the familiar voice ordering him to let go he trusted his Sheriff and did
just that.

Jalen pulled the young outlaw tight to his chest and growled his own heart
pounding. "Just what was your foolish brain thinking?"

Brett said in a whisper, "I only wanted to see if the roof would be able to
withstand the comin' storm."

The Sheriff shook his head. He helped the younger man to cling to the ladder and
they both climbed down to the floor.

Jalen pointed to a corner made by the stacked hay bales and the barn wall. "I
want you to stand in that corner. You are not to move until I come back for you
do you understand?" He growled.

Brett protested. "I'm not a kid you can stand in the corner!"

The Sheriff's green eyes glittering with anger and fright said, "You are in my
care. I care about you. Now I want you to do as I say. Go stand in that corner."
He said evenly, reining in his own temper.

The young Outlaw pouted. "No, I don't want to." He said defiantly, crossing his
arms in front of him.

Jalen took several deep breaths. He remembered something Dallas had told him
many times. `I'm too angry to deal with you right now. I want you to stand in
the corner until I tell you to come out.' The Sheriff remembered him protesting
the order and Dallas growling softly, `Kid, I won't ever put my hands on you
when I'm angry. That would be abusin' you. I need to correct you, not abuse you,
now go do as I said.' It had been said quietly, not shouted at him. He
remembered biting his lip at how angry Dallas had looked and gave in and went to
stand in the corner.

The Sheriff knew he had to get his anger and fear under control. He said again
in a quiet, firm, stern voice. "Brett, I want you to go stand in that corner and
think about your choices. I'm going to go up on the barn roof and put a tarp
over that now huge hole in the roof. I can't make you comply, but we do have an
agreement that I'm in charge of you and responsible for you. If you no longer
want to honor that agreement then the choice is yours to finish out your time in
prison. Think about what you want to do." Jalen stood there for a moment to see
what Brett's choice would be, hoping he'd choose correctly.


Brett chewed his lip weighing his options. He really didn't want to go to
prison, but didn't want to stand in the corner either. He could see from the way
Jalen was looking at him he was probably in for a good spanking and he didn't
want that either…or did he? That was a stupid question. Why would he want to be
spanked? It hurt. He thought to himself, but it also brought comfort and
security as well as help him to feel forgiven for doin' somethin' stupid. He
sighed. He didn't like to feel guilty and if he threw all this away he'd
definitely feel guilty. Even now…with them buying a place and everything Jalen
would give him the choice to keep it or throw it all away. Even if it wouldn't
be fair to the Sheriff. He said softly, "I'll go stand in the corner."


Jalen released the breath he hadn't realized he had been holding. He knew his
duty and would have followed through, depending on Brett's choice, but was glad
he wasn't going to have to deal with the aftermath just yet. He watched as Brett
took himself over to the corner he had indicated.

"I'm going to trust you to stay in the corner until I come for you. I'm going up
on the barn roof and place a tarp over that hole before the storm outside

The younger man nodded. "Yes Sir.


Jalen collected the items he'd need and securing the ladder to the outside barn
wall proceeded to climb up onto the barn roof and tack down the tarp and then to
nail boards around the edges to keep the tarp from tearing and being torn away
by the wind. It was gusting now and Jalen had a hard time wrestling the tarp in
place. Once he did though it was just a matter of nailing the boards down. He
thought about the young man standing in the corner as he worked. He remembered
challenging Dallas's authority more than once. He wondered if he had been as
much trouble for the man, remembering there had been several incidents. He
grinned ruefully remembering that they had always had ended badly for his
bottom. He had hoped he and Brett were past him having to hand him the choice of
discipline or prison again, but supposed the young man still had to test the
limits, see if Jalen was going to hold strong no matter how out of control he
got and Jalen intended to do just that. That young man hanging from the beam had
frightened him half to death. He could have lost him and then having to give him
the choice of staying with him or leaving him and going to prison had been hard.
He didn't want to lose Brett, but he also had learned from Dallas that sometimes
to keep someone you loved close, you had to give them enough love and security
so that when you gave them freedom they would come back to you willingly. Jalen
had run away once. He had hoped Dallas would come after him, when he didn't he
at first was really disappointed and didn't think he was loved, but after
thinking things through realized he needed to return. Not because he had to, but
because he wanted to. That had earned Jalen a trip across Dallas's lap and a
bottom too tender to sit on for a few days, but he had felt strangely contented
and happy even so. He wondered at it at the time and now understood that the man
had taught him a valuable lesson which he had accepted.

Hammering in the last nail he climbed down the ladder and entered the barn just
as the first drops of rain began to fall. He looked at the young man still
standing in the corner and felt very proud.


Brett wasn't sure why he had backed down and decided to stand in this corner. He
knew he felt guilty about scaring Jalen and he was beginning to realize Jalen
truly had his well being in mind. He could have just grabbed him and whaled on
him, but he had distanced himself and taken care of the repair of the roof
instead. He could hear the heavy pounding of the nails overhead and wondered if
the Sheriff was thinking about pounding him just that hard. He realized he had
really scared Jalen, heck he had scared himself. Now he had learned the hard way
why his Sheriff said they should work in pairs. He was only too glad that the
beam happened to be beneath him or the outcome might have been very different.
Tears brimmed at the thought of Jalen being all alone again and he felt deep
remorse for going against the older man's instructions. He'd just stand here in
this corner until Jalen came for him as he said and he knew the sheriff was a
man of his word. His bottom may pay for his folly, but he knew without a doubt
that he was cared about very much.


Jalen came up to the young outlaw and placed both hands on his shoulders. "Let's
go inside before it starts to really rain. I think we'll be more comfortable

Brett spun around and hugged his Sheriff tight. "Okay, that sounds good."

Jalen returned the hug and then with an arm around the young outlaw's shoulders
led him from the barn, across the yard and into the house. They no sooner closed
the door when there was a brilliant flash of lightening that lit up the room
followed by a loud clap of thunder that made them jump and rain began to pour
down in buckets and the wind began to howl.

The older man grinned down at the younger one in his arms. "I was thinking that
smaller room next to the room we decided on for our bedroom might make a good
room to discipline in."

Brett bit his lip. "If you think so."
Jalen said, "I need for you to help decide my outlaw. It isn't for me to make
all the decisions in this. We discuss things together and then if needed, I will
have the final say, but I need and want your input too." The older man

Brett nodded. He'd never before been considered in things and didn't really know
what to say. "Uhm…I guess the little room is all right."

The Sheriff probed. "Why would it be all right?" He asked gently.

The young outlaw thought about it and then said, "It's close to the bedroom and
you wouldn't have to carry me too far afterward."

Jalen nodded. "Yes, that's true."

Brett gave the Sheriff a smile. "It's also warmer than the other rooms."

The Sheriff smiled. "Yes, bein' over the kitchen. "I think it affords some
privacy and it keeps the discipline out of the bedroom."

The younger man nodded. "At least I won't be afraid to go to bed." He grinned.

Jalen shook his head. "Well it's important. I wouldn't want you nervous every
time I asked you to go to our room."

Brett nodded. "Makes sense."

The older man smiled. "For now we'll need to take one of these chairs up there.
Later we can find a real nice one."

The young outlaw wrinkled his nose. "Well, I suppose we have to have some kind
of furniture in there."

Jalen smiled. "Yes." He picked up one of the kitchen chairs in one hand and
guided Brett up the stairs with the other until they arrived at the small room.

The young outlaw opened the door with a hand that shook slightly. He knew the
older man wouldn't truly hurt him, but being spanked wasn't something he didn't
think he'd ever really get used to either.

Jalen followed the young man inside with the chair. He placed it in the middle
of the room, then went and closed the door. He called his young outlaw to him.
"Brett, come here."

Brett went to Jalen. It was only him and his Sheriff. No one around for some
distance, no one to hear him wail and cry once his bottom was being well heated.

Jalen looked at the young man in front of him. He could see is nervousness and
also saw the trust in those blue eyes. It humbled him to be that trusted. He had
an inkling of what Brett was experiencing, having been in this same position
himself, but also was continuing to have a new appreciation of how difficult it
had been for Dallas. He had never guessed that at times the man had been as
nervous about giving the punishment as he had been about getting it. He pulled
the other man into a tight hug. "I want you to remember Brett; I care for you
and would never do anythin' to truly hurt you."

Brett nodded, his black curls bouncing a bit. "I know." He said softly.

The Sheriff put the young man from him and said quietly, "Tell me why I'm goin'
to spank you Brett Ashton Montgomery."

Brett bit his lip at Jalen using his full name. It made him squirm. "Uhm…because
I did somethin' dangerous." He said.

Jalen nodded. "Yes and what did you do that was dangerous?"
"I-I went up on the barn roof by myself instead of bein' with you or another
person for safety's sake." He responded quietly.

Jalen said softly, "Yes, that's right and what else did you do that was wrong?"

"Uhm…I-I disobeyed you. You told me not to go up on the roof." The young outlaw

The Sheriff nodded again. "Yes. Are we clear on why you're deserving this

Brett nodded. "Yes Sir."

Jalen said, "You know what's expected."

The young man did know and unfastened the buttons on his jeans and pushed them
down along with his underpants.

Jalen took the young man's wrist and guided him into position, adjusting him to
his liking. "Don't reach back." He reminded.

Brett nodded his dark head. "Yes Sir."

Jalen patted the vulnerable mounds in warning that he was about to begin and
began to spank, hard and fast peppering Brett's bottom.

The young outlaw yelped in surprise at the sharp sting. "Ouch! Oww!" Then he
went quiet, trying not to cry out.

The Sheriff was having none of Brett taking this spanking stoically. The kid
would be crying and wailing like a toddler before he was through.

Brett gasped. He should have realize Jalen's hand would be hard and would be
able to create an intense sting on his bottom. It wasn't long before he was
squirming and kicking a little

Jalen, noticing the kicking and squirming paused in the spanking, then tipped
Brett a bit further over his knee and pinned the younger man's legs with his own
and then began spanking in ernest, giving Brett slow hard smacks that he would
be feeling for a few days. He paid special attention to the sensitive under
curves and crease. He scolded as he spanked. "I want you to be around a long
time my outlaw and I will spank you everyday if that's what it takes to keep you


Brett felt the shift and his legs being pinned. "Jalen…Please! Don't!" Brett
cried when he felt what his Sheriff was doing knowing perfectly well what was
going to happen and when the spanks began again and then the words…the young
outlaw began to cry. He realized just how scared Jalen had been and just how
much he cared. His heart ached because of the fear he had put there in those
green eyes and felt great remorse deep down inside.


Jalen heard the crying, but knew he couldn't stop just yet. He had to make this
lesson a memorable one. He spanked the crease hard on each side. "You will obey
and follow the rules. I only set them for your own good." He continued smacking
the reddened skin, causing it to become a deeper shade of red.

Brett howled. He hadn't been spanked like this in a very long time. "Oh! Oww!
Yes! Oww!" He yipped and yelped.

The Sheriff allowed his hard hand to do the talking for him for a bit and then
he said, "I love you my outlaw and I won't allow you to do anything to hurt
yourself or our love."

Brett was sobbing by now and at the declaration of Jalen's love for him he
wailed like a toddler. Then he stretched up onto his toes offering up his most
sensitive place to be spanked soundly.

Jalen humbled at the action of his outlaw obliged, recognizing the young man's
need to be absolved of his guilt and spanked his creases until they glowed.

The young outlaw finally collapsed over Jalen's lap sobbing for all he was

After a few more spanks Jalen stopped and turned Brett right side up and cuddled
him careful of his now very sore bottom. "Everything's goin' to be all right now
kid. We're good now." He said, not realizeing he had called Brett kid like
Dallas used to do with him.

The younger man snuggled into the older man's chest and sobbed out his pain and
guilt. "I-I'm s-sorry." He apologized.

Jalen squeezed him. "I know and you're forgiven. We can start again. Let's get
you cleaned up and into bed kid. I'll bring us up our supper."

Brett couldn't help but laugh through his tears. "Supper?"

The Sheriff dried the tear streaked face with his handkerchief. "We gotta eat
don't we?"

The young man chuckled. "Yes, I'm starvin'."

Jalen grinned. "All right."

Brett hinted, "For more than just the stew."

The Sheriff said, "My young outlaw, not every spankin' is goin' to end up in
love makin'. This is supposed to be punishment, not reward."
The young man pouted. "Not fair."

Jalen shook his head. "Have you ever heard that alls fair in love and war?"

Brett nodded. "Whoever said it was an idiot. It's not fair at all…in either."

The older man chuckled. "Well, that's true, but it fits."

The young man sighed and laid his dark curly head on Jalen's shoulder.

Jalen stroked the damp black curls from the young outlaw's face and said, "Well
it's time to get you more comfortable." He lifted Brett into his arms as if he
were a teen instead of a grown man and carried him to their room. Once there he
divested him of his boots, jeans and underpants and then his shirt.

Brett was grateful for the assistance. His backside was an inferno and he didn't
want anything touching it at the moment. He gasped as Jalen slipped the soft
nightshirt over his head. "Ouch." He complained.

Jalen nodded. "I know ouch." He pulled back the covers on the bed, plumped a
couple of pillows and eased his outlaw onto them, propping him up against the
headboard. "I'll be back in a jiffy with our supper."

Brett winced as he was placed on the pillows, but decided it was bearable even
though it made his bottom ache.


The Sheriff went downstairs to the kitchen. He had remembered seeing a tray in
one of the cupboards when he was cleaning and located it. He ladled stew into a
couple of bowls, buttered some bread he had brought with them, slicing it off
the loaf with his pocket knife and poured two cups of coffee, setting them on
the tray and then picked it up. He placed some eating utensils on it and brought
it upstairs to the bedroom. He set it on the nightstand and built the fire. It
was still raining hard outside and the room was becoming damp and chilly. The
fire would give them some warmth and a little cheer.


Brett thought about things as Jalen left to get their meal. His backside was on
fire, but again the Sheriff had been considerate of him and his comfort putting
pillows for him to sit on and making sure he was taken care of before leaving
him. He had been glad the older man had known what he needed and gave it to him.
He felt good inside even though he was hurting like the dickens on the outside.
When he saw the Sheriff return with the food and then start the fire he couldn't
help but grin. His very own Sheriff was takin' care of his every need.


Once Jalen finished building the fire and it was crackling away merrily he
turned and smiled at Brett. He pulled off his gun belt and boots and made
himself comfortable. He changed into his own nightshirt and then climbed into
bed next to Brett. He reached over and settled the tray across their laps and
they ate their supper together. Jalen couldn't help smile at Brett and the kid
seemed to return his smiles in kind. Once they were finished he slid the tray
over to the end table and then helped Brett to slide down into the bed and he
spooned himself up next to him much as he had done the first time he had spanked
Brett soundly. It wasn't long before they drifted off to sleep contentedly.


Jalen grinned at Brett as they replaced the last rotted out rail on the corral.
They had been working on the property now for the last several weeks making the
needed repairs. The barn roof was now fixed and had no more leaks. They had
painted the barn red and had had fun doing it, painting all kinds of words of
love and teasing pictures, then painting over them. They had painted the house
white and the shutters green and all the trim had been painted green as well.
They had had fun doing all of it. The porch had been repaired and was now solid
and safe. They had left it its natural wood color. They had replaced broken and
cracked glass even though it was expensive. Jalen wanted glass windows. He said
it would help keep the house warmer so the cold air wouldn't be able to blow
through. They had painted everything inside the house as well and had even
bought rugs to go in all the rooms. The oval rugs would help keep their feet
warm during the winter months too. They had even painted the pantry and the
pantry shelves and everything was neat and clean. They had even swept out the
root cellar and removed rotted vegetables and had scrubbed down the shelves and
all would be in readiness for them to lay in their food supplies.

Brett grinned at Jalen. "I'm sure glad the furniture was delivered yesterday."

The Sheriff grinned back. "Yes, me too. Those three extra large beds sure were a
challenge to get up those stairs, but I'm glad we were able to get them up there
and set up. The place is beginning to look like a real home. The beds made up
all pretty with their colorful quilts and fluffy pillows and all."

The young outlaw wrinkled his nose. "Well at least we'll have enough pillows
when I need them. I like the desk and matching chair as well as the small settee
in the library. The shelves look nice with the books on them now too."

Jalen nodded. "Yes that they do." He put an arm around Brett's shoulders and
looked up at the darkening sky. "I don't know about you, but I think I'm ready
for a hot supper, a hot bath and then breakin' in that new bed of ours."

Brett grinned. "That sounds good Sheriff."

All right my outlaw." Jalen replied and the two men headed for the house and
closed the door.

The end

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