The Kidnapping 5

Once the young Sheriff and his Deputy arrived at their home they took care of their animals and whatever chores the youngster that was hired hadn’t been able to do.  

They went inside and Jalen poured them each a finger of whiskey, neither of them hard drinking men. They sat at the fire that had been built up in the hearth in their main room by the older man earlier and relaxed gazing at each other and enjoying the quiet and peacefulness of their home.  

Brett said after a while, “Now, this is nice.”  

Jalen replied, “Yes, it is and a nice change”  

The other man agreed. He was quiet and contemplative.  

The older man asked, “What are you thinkin’?”  

Brett shook his head. “Just how nice it is to be at home where it’s quiet and not so much noise and hustle and bustle and to get away from the prisoners for a while.”  

The young Sheriff studied his partner for a bit, trying to see if he could see any signs that he should be alert to and said, “It is and I miss us bein’ able to come home every night.”  

The young Deputy agreed. “Yeah, me too.”  

They spent the rest of the evening in conversation and reading, finally banking the fire and putting out the lamps and heading to their bed. It was nice to get to cuddle with each other and they made sweet love and fell into unconsciousness.


The next morning Jack woke up the prisoners, supplying them with soap and water so they could clean up some before going over to the saloon to meet the Judge.  

Slick and Rocky talked in low tones. “Think there’s any chance we could just make a break for it?” He asked.  

Rocky looked at the livery owner. “Well there’s four of us and only one of him…maybe.”  

Pock and Catfoot gave slight nods, indicating that they too had heard the other’s comments.  

They would all look for an opportunity to overcome the jailer and make their escape.


Jalen woke Brett with a kiss. “I like bein’ wakened like that. I miss it.” He told his man.  

The lawman grinned. “I like wakin’ you that way too.” He then landed a light slap to his boy’s bare rump and said, “We can’t linger this mornin’. We gotta get to town and help with the prisoners.”  

Brett’s blue eyes darkened a little and he gave a sharp nod. “Yeah and we can’t let ‘em get away either.”  

The young Sheriff agreed. “Yep, no escapin’ from us. They’re gonna get their just deserts.” 

The young Deputy said, “I certainly hope so.”


The lawmen took care of their chores and had breakfast and headed into town.  

Jalen glanced at Brett. He could see the young outlaw, as he thought of him sometimes was tense. There wasn’t too much he could do about it though.  

As they arrived in Diamond Springs the town was alive already. The townspeople were all wanting to attend the court proceedings.  

Jalen had prepared the list of things the Judge would need to attend to. Besides the trial of the prisoners there were several men who had to appear before Albert Graham for repeat offenses of drunk and disorderly as when there were a certain number of arrests, only the Circuit Court could hear the case and Jalen could only have the men post bail and then appear to be sentenced or fined as the judge saw fit. He appointed Hugo O’Brian, the blacksmith as the bailiff for the day’s proceedings.   

When court convened, the Judge dealt with the drunk and disorderly cases first, giving each man a hefty fine that would probably keep them at the mine for a couple of months as they wouldn’t have money to spend in town. When it came time for the trial, Roland and George appeared and Jalen took Dan and Brett with him to collect the prisoners. 

As the other three men entered the Sheriff’s office the prisoners exchanged dark looks. With this many man, it wouldn’t be easy to make a break for it.  

Jalen opened the cell while Jack held a pistol at the ready as did Brett. Jalen cuffed each of the prisoners and then handed them, one at a time off to one of the other men. He kept Rocky to escort for himself, giving Catfoot to Dan and Pock to Brett with Jack taking Slick.  

They marched the men over toward the saloon.  

As they walked across the street, Rocky tried to drop like a dead weight as Brett had done, but Jalen had been ready for any tricks and just slung the man up over his shoulder and continued to carry him to their destination amid curses and complaints. He refrained from slapping the man’s upturned backside, as tempting as it was.  

Once in the saloon Jalen plopped his burden unceremoniously into a chair at the table where George Wright the attorney, who was going to represent the prisoners sat. he raised an eyebrow at the Sheriff as he carried his burden inside. “He wasn’t very cooperative about comin’ so I had to carry him.” He explained.  

The lawyer turned and gave Rocky a stern look, but didn’t say anything, as the other men he was defending took their seats.  

Judge Albert Graham’s piercing brown eyes widened momentarily and he had to hide a smile as he noticed Jalen carrying in the one man. Once the prisoners were seated however he gave them all a severe, stern look.  

The accused eyed each other, but remained quiet, not grumbling as they usually did at the Judge’s piercing gaze.  

George counseled quietly, “It’s best you listen, speak only when spoken to and tell the truth.”  

Each of the men nodded at the attorney’s words.  

The trial then began with Roland as the prosecuting attorney starting and then Mr. Wright pleading his side of the case questioning each of the men.  

Brett was listening, but with each man’s testimony his face became more and more stony and the blue eyes dark with anger. The men were minimizing as much as possible what had happened and he was fuming inside. He heard Mr. Harrison cross examining them, but still felt frustrated that the reality of his situation wasn’t being brought out yet.  

Jalen, recognizing his young Deputy was becoming more and more upset, at a break in the testimonies, guided him out back of the saloon and into Dan and Cole’s place. Once inside, he pulled Brett into a careful snug hug and said quietly, “Easy…let it out.”  

The younger man held himself stiff, gritting his teeth and said, “It’s stupid! They’re lying through their teeth!”  

The young Sheriff said quietly, “Don’t worry, things will come out right.”  

Brett scowled, but said no more.  

The older man continued to squeeze him as tight as he dared. “Just don’t forget I love you my little one.” He said softly.  

The younger man, unable to resist, snuggled closer into his man’s arms and all too soon it was time for them to get back.  

As the people returned after the break the testimonies went on. Brett became more and more agitated When Rocky, the last one to testify was on the stand and he began to answer the questions about giving the Deputy food and water and other things. He could stand it no longer and jumped up, shouting. “He’s a fuckin’ liar! He’s lyin’ through his teeth! Those sons-of-bitches barely gave me enough food and water to keep me alive! They were plannin’ the whole time to kill me!” 

Jalen stood up quickly and grabbed the young Deputy’s arm and pulled him back into his seat.  

Roland came over and tried to gently reassure the Deputy that everything would come out as the trial continued.  

Judge Graham banged his gavel as the place erupted into loud conversations. “Order in the court! Counselor, control your witness or I’ll have him removed from this courtroom!” 

Between Roland and Jalen, they got Brett calmed down.  

The attorney said softly once more, “Don’t worry, you have eye witnesses to everything and it will all come out as the trial progresses.”   

Jalen put an arm around the young Deputy’s shoulders as he fell quiet once more.  

Judge Graham, once order was restored, looked at Brett and said sternly, “Young man, one more outburst like that and I’ll have the bailiff take you from the courtroom, am I understood?” 

Brett replied in a subdued tone, “Yes Sir, I understand and it won’t happen again.”  

Albert, with one more look at Brett gave a sharp nod as George continued his questioning of the witness.  

Jalen gave his boy a look that spoke volumes, but he just squeezed his shoulder comfortingly.  

The younger man slumped in his seat and tried to control himself as the trial proceeded.  

The Deputy was a little surprised when Roland put Jack, then Jalen on the stand and they testified to what they had seen while lying on the ground outside the camp where Brett had been held.  

Amos MacNamara, the doctor was also called to the stand to testify to the condition of Brett when he was brought into his office by the Sheriff and newly sworn in Deputy assisting him. He told of the severely bruised condition, the cracked ribs dehydration and the mental state of the young man.  

The outlaws looked surprised, then angry, but George quelled them all with a look and they refrained from making any outbursts.  

As the court case continued more and more of the truth came out and when Mr. Harrison had Brett take the stand, he again was surprised. He answered the questions asked by both him and Mr. Wright, the attorney for the defense as honestly and completely as he could, even when it caused him acute embarrassment, his fair face flushing hotly at times. 

George Wright cross examined the prosecuting attorney’s witnesses and stepped back, once he had finished.  

When the attorneys wrapped up their final arguments, the jury went into Gabe’s back room to deliberate. The Judge went outside for a few minutes to breathe fresh air and got a cold drink of water from the pump out back while he waited.  

A little over two hours later the jury came back into the makeshift courtroom and Albert Graham rejoined the proceedings.  

The outlaws were looking around nervously and glancing at George Wright from time to time. The lawyer didn’t give any of his thoughts away one way or the other. He had done his best, even presenting the idea of probation for the men he had represented. 

Jalen and Brett looked at Roland Harrison who also wore an indecipherable expression.  

Once everyone had filed back into the Diamond Dust Judge Graham asked the foreman for his verdict.  

The man stated, “Your Honor, we find the accused guilty of the charge of first degree kidnappin’.”   

The courtroom erupted into cheers and Albert banged his gavel calling for order.  

Once everyone had settled down, he called the four men in front of him and pronounced sentencing. “Your lawyer asked the court to consider probation for the four of you. Due to your past history and the seriousness of your actions, the court denies probation. You all have been found guilty of first degree kidnapping. As a result of this verdict I sentence you to thirty-years and am remanding all of you to the state prison in Canyon City.”  

Everyone began to talk at once and again the gavel fell to restore quiet.  

The judge went on. “Not only did you cause a young man bodily harm and emotional distress, but disregarded his office, being the Deputy of Diamond Springs and responsible for enforcing the laws and the safety of its citizens. I hope that during the time you serve that all of you reflect upon your actions and choices that have caused you to lose your freedom.” 

The prisoners looked at each other. Two of them looked at the main perpetrators of this wonderful idea and glared at them.  

The judge said, “You all will be held here in jail until the U.S. Marshall comes for you and escorts you to prison.” He banged his gavel. “Court is adjourned!”  

Jalen, along with the other men who had escorted the prisoners to the saloon each took a man and walked them back over to the jail.


 Three days later…

 Brett watched along with Jalen as the U.S. Marshalls who had come to collect their prisoners led them away. The young lawmen had assisted in shackling and cuffing the men so the two Marshalls could get their prisoners onto the train and head for Canyon City where the state prison was located and had been in existence since 1871.  

The young Deputy sighed as he watched the train pull out. “I’m so glad they’re finally gone.” He said to the Sheriff with a small smile and a look of relief on Brett’s face.  

“So am I and I’m hopin’ it will be some time before we gotta house more prisoners again.” The Sheriff replied.  

“Yeah, a very long time.” He confirmed.  

Jalen studied his young partner and said, “It’ll be nice to be able to go home tonight. I miss havin’ our privacy.”  

The Deputy smiled a real smile this time. “Me too!”  

The Sheriff chuckled and put an arm around the other man’s shoulders and squeezed him tight. “Yeah, well it will be a relief.”  

Brett looked at his partner and smiled. “Can we go home now?”  

Jalen shook his head. “No, we need to complete the paperwork on those guys first, but we can call it a day when we’re done. Jack said he wouldn’t mind keepin’ an eye on things here for a while longer.” 

The Deputy nodded “All right, let’s go then, the quicker we get the paperwork out of the way the quicker we can go home.”  

The Sheriff grinned. “I’m with you on that.” He led the way to the office so they could take care of things and be able to leave.  

The livery owner smiled as he watched the two young lawmen head for the jail and was glad they’d call it an early day. He hadn’t minded offering to cover for them a bit longer.


Once Brett and Jalen arrived home, they put up their horses and tended to the barn chores. It felt good to be able to go back to their old routine.  

The two young men walked in companionable silence to the house and Jalen began preparations for their supper.  

Brett sat at the table and watched for a moment, then began to help chop up vegetables for the stew his partner was throwing together. “It will be good to have somethin’ we cooked for supper tonight. I was getting’ tired of eatin’ at the café, not that I mind Maria's, she's a dream come true in the kitchen.”  

Jalen smiled. "I agree, she’s something else, but now and then I like to do it myself." 

Once the stew was on the stove simmering slowly the older man turned to his partner. “Let’s go into the living room and sit down and talk for a while.”  

The younger man eyed his partner for a moment, but then went with him.  

Jalen sat on the sofa and tugged Brett down next to him and pulled him close cuddling him. “You wanna tell me about it?” He asked softly.  

The younger man looked up. “Tell you what?”  

“What caused you to lose your temper in the courtroom the other day.”  

Brett looked down. “Umm…it wasn’t much, I just got annoyed with them not tellin’ the whole truth.”  

Jalen replied, “I can understand that, but losin’ your temper that way isn’t like you, at least not in the courtroom.”  

The older man put a finger under his man’s chin and gently brought his face up to look at him. Brett’s blue eyes skittered away from the green ones studying him. “It wasn’t anythin’ more than that.” He told his lover.  

Jalen patted Brett’s thigh. “I know better’n that little one. I’ve seen you hold things together better’n that before.”  

The younger man flushed a little.  

“Out with it…you’ve been holdin’ back for a while now and I think it’s time I heard what’s been eatin’ at you.”  

The younger man tried not to squirm. He knew he was supposed to have told his partner about the things the prisoners were doing to harass him, but hadn’t. He tried to minimize things. “It was only havin’ those scoundrels so close in the jail all the time when I was there guardin’ them.”  

Jalen looked at him shrewdly. “You mean what they did while I wasn’t there.”  

The blue eyes flickered with surprise for a moment, then he shrugged. “They weren’t doin’ anythin’ much.”  

Jalen gave Brett a sharp slap on his hip. “You do remember the discussions we’ve had about lyin'?” He reminded mildly.  

Brett couldn’t help but flush a bit. “Yeah…I do.”  

The Sheriff, looking down at the young Deputy said softly, “Then would you like to try that answer again?”  

The younger man sighed. “When you were out of the office they’d deliberately do things to make me jump. Then they’d smirk and say somethin’ mean or sly…stuff like that.” He admitted.  

Jalen gave Brett a stern look. “And you didn’t think I’d like to know about that? I noticed you were a bit more short at times, but bein’ you weren’t snappin’ at me, I didn’t follow through…I’m sorry for that. I shoulda asked more questions, took you aside to talk more. I was worried it was because of bein’ near them and…well what you suffered at their hands, the things you told me about.” He said softly.  

The other man looked down. “I know you’re not a mind reader Jalen…it was my responsibility too, to talk to you, to tell you…I had begun to think it was just me bein’ weak…bein’…well not bein’ strong enough to take it.”  

The Sheriff gave the young man a look. “I wouldn’ta expected you to deal with all that on your own…it’s why we’re partners…in more than just takin’ care of the town.” He said quietly, disappointment clear in his voice and green eyes reflecting a bit of hurt as well.  

Brett’s eyes began to tear up. “I didn’t mean for it to be that way, I thought I had to be strong…to just take it…that it was weak to come to you and tell on them.”  

The lawman shook his head and pulled his boy into his arms as tightly as he could without hurting him. “You are the strongest man I know Brett…you survived a horrific experience and didn’t give up, held onto the knowledge that I’d come…that takes a lot of courage and strength.” He told his partner softly.  

The young man looked up, hope now reflected in his eyes. “You really think so?”  

Jalen nodded. “Yes, I do…I never doubted your courage or strength. I’m disappointed that you’d doubt that in yourself though.” He said gently, tipping the other man’s chin up to look into those blue eyes once more. “I love you and that means all of you, your strength, courage, fears, hopes, dreams, failings, all of it… every part of you. All that is what makes you Brett Ashton Montgomery.”   Jalen told him, cuddling the younger man close. He tapped his own chest. “You’re in here…in my heart and always will be.” He told his partner softly.  

Brett clung to Jalen then and said quietly, “You too…and I too love every part of you as well.”  

The older partner smiled. “I’m glad. I don’t want you to hold back things from me ever again.”  

The Deputy looking into the green eyes said, “I won’t, I promise.”  

Jalen nodded. “Good, then I believe you know what we need to do to make that promise stick.”  

Brett bit his lower lip, but nodded with a sigh. “Yeah…can’t we just say that I’ve learned my lesson already?”  

The Sheriff hid a smile and shook his head. “No, you know that’s not how it works Brett.”  

The other man nodded. “Yes Sir.” He said softly.  

Jalen said, “Let’s take care of it at bedtime, right now I smell that stew cookin’ and I’m hungry.” To make his point the older man’s stomach growled. 

Brett couldn’t help but smile and gave a chuckle at his partner’s hunger making itself known “Now that we talked, I find I’m hungry too.”  

The two men went to the kitchen and Jalen mixed up some biscuits and Brett cut them out and they sat and waited for them to bake. “I’m glad we can at least whip up a meal, not like poor Dan.” Brett commented with a smile.  

The Sheriff chuckled. “So am I. We’ll have to invite them out for dinner again, now that we have enough time to be at home and cook for them.”  

The younger man smiled “Yeah, that would be a good idea. I’m bettin’ they’re getting’ tired of eatin’ at the café, the hotel or Gabe’s cookin’.”  

Jalen agreed. “I’d be guessin’ so about now too.”  

Brett smiled at his partner.  

The Sheriff placed their bowls on the table, pulled their baked creations out of the oven and dished up the stew, placing a couple of fresh biscuits at each place and after saying the blessing, began to dig in.


As they ate, the young Deputy studied his partner from under his lashes. He often wondered just how Jalen knew things about him, how he figured out that he had been hiding his feelings, holding back about the harassment of the prisoners. In a way it was comforting, but then again, kind of scary. He realized he should have told Jalen about things…if he had, then he might not have lost his temper in the courtroom the other day. He still might have had the feelings, but had he shared them Jalen would have been able to help him through things and Judge Graham wouldn’t have had to scold him like that. He knew in his heart, like his lover had pointed out, that he was loved and Brett also knew the man would understand. He had always done so in the past. He should have trusted his partner. They had been together for a while now, but in many ways the relationship was still new and he knew they were still learning about each other and that these kinds of things would most likely come easier the longer they were together.


After their supper, they relaxed in the living room. When the fire burned low and the coffee in Jalen’s cup had grown cold, he looked over at his partner. “It’s time to go upstairs. We’ll need to head back to town in the mornin’.” 

Brett looked up from the book he had been reading and grimaced. “It’s still early.” He protested, knowing what going to their room meant and it wasn’t going to be anything fun.

The older man stood up and held out his hand. “Come on my little outlaw…it’s time. No more stallin’.” 

The younger man sighed, knowing Jalen was not going to put off the inevitable any longer. He marked and closed his book, setting it aside, stood up and took the large, warm hand extended toward him. 

With an encouraging look the Sheriff pulled his boy to his feet and then, with an arm around his shoulders walked up to the room they shared. 

Once there, the younger man was released, the lamp was lit and Jalen put a match to the kindling in the fireplace, watching the flames lick the logs as it caught. The room would be warm in a bit. He stood up, brushed his hands on his britches and said quietly, “Let’s get ready for bed.” 

Brett rummaged in his chest of drawers to find his softest nightshirt. 

The older man changed while he waited for his partner. 

Once they were both ready, Jalen sat on the edge of the bed. “Come here Brett.” He called softly, patting the space next to him. 

The younger man went to his lover and best friend. He knew he wouldn’t be harmed in any way by this man. What was to come next wouldn’t be pleasant, but he would be loved and forgiven and the guilt inside would leave and they would be able to move on like they always did after one of these times. 

Jalen’s gaze held compassion and understanding as well as love. When his young man sat next to him, he snaked an arm around him and pulled him close, snuggling him. 

Although he was nervous, Brett felt safe as he was held to the older man’s side. No matter how many times they did this, the love his partner felt toward him was always evident. 

Jalen looked down at his lover’s face, so trusting and loving, and felt content and not for the first time thanked Dallas for teaching him the things he knew and God for leading this precious man to him to love and keep safe from harm. “Brett, tell me why we’re here” The Sheriff asked quietly 

The young man, responded, this not being the first time he had been asked to explain himself. The sameness of it added to the security he felt with this man. “Because I didn’t tell you ‘bout what the prisoners were doin’ to me when you were away when I promised I would.” 

Jalen nodded. “Yes, and what do we call that?” 

The Deputy bit his lower lip and then said softly, “Lyin’, not tellin’ a lie, but lyin’ because I withheld…didn’t tell when I shoulda.” 

The Sheriff agreed. “Yes, very good.” He looked at Brett. “I’m goin’ to remind you that when there’s a promise and it’s not kept it makes me very unhappy.” 

Brett squirmed. “Yes Sir. I won’t withhold anymore, I’ll work at makin’ sure I tell you things when I say I will.” 

The older man replied, “I’m glad you’ll do that Brett, now it’s time for me to give you somethin’ to think about when you make a promise like that to me.” 

The younger man blushed, but said, “Yes Sir.” 

Jalen eased Brett up, reached over for a pillow to cushion his boy’s still sore ribs and tugged him over his lap. He tucked the tail of the nightshirt up out of the way, making sure he had the young man snug and secure under his arm and over his lap.


Brett hated the way Jalen was so matter-of-fact about the whole process. Once they finished talking and he knew it was time to move forward he did this…just upended him and got him ready. He squirmed a little, finding his ribs weren’t hurting and realized, as usual, he wasn’t going anywhere but where his man wanted him to.


Jalen took no joy in disciplining his young lover, but he knew and understood it was needed. He had needed it as well and it had been sharply brought home to him when he had been shot and had visions of Dallas and him handling things with him. He never wanted his young lover to go without his love and caring. The incident in the courtroom could have pulled Brett back into the court system and he never wanted that for the young man ever again. If warming his backside kept him by his side, he’d do it every day. He felt the other man relax across his lap as much as Brett ever did. He asked, “Are you okay? How are the ribs?”

The young man said, “I’m ‘kay and the ribs don’t hurt.”

Jalen said, “Good.” He then patted the vulnerable mounds in front of him and landed the first of many hard swats.


Brett squirmed at the pats and then yelped at the first hard swat “Ow!” He realized Jalen wasn’t going to go easy on him. When several stingers landed and his backside was heating up he began to kick a little.


The older man didn’t want to drag things out. This spanking was going to be short and to the point, so he landed his hard hand fast and watched as the skin reddened.


The younger man found himself gasping and squirming under the barrage of hard burning spanks. “Ow! Oww!” He cried, “I won’t lie again!” 

Jalen, continuing the hot swats said quietly, but firmly. “I’m glad to hear it.” It didn’t slow or lessen the force he was using. Once the mounds in front of him were a fiery red he tipped Brett forward.


The young Deputy was in no doubt about his Sheriff’s displeasure as it was meted out on his backside and he couldn’t help but whimper when he was tipped forward. “Please…not there!” He pleaded. 

Jalen ignored the begging and swatted the under curves and then the sit spots a bit harder. He wanted the lesson to stick. He knew that although he was spanking hard that his young lover wouldn’t feel much by morning


Brett began to cry at the heat being applied to his sensitive sitting area. He knew however he deserved every burning spank. He hated letting Jalen down and he had done that by not telling him about what the prisoners were doing to him and not sharing his anger and frustration. As a result it had come out inappropriately in the courtroom. He was a Deputy, not an immature kid…well, he was still a kid he reasoned and that’s why it had been important to tell his older partner about what had been going on When he felt a flurry of sharp smacks to his sit spots he wailed and went limp over his lover’s lap, having given over to it and releasing all his guilt and shame.


Jalen had continued to spank until his young lover went limp over his lap. Once he had done that the older man knew it was time to stop. He righted Brett and made sure the sore bottom didn’t have any undue pressure on it while he cuddled him and stroked his dark curls. He pressed a handkerchief into the man’s hand after wiping his face. “Blow your nose little one.” He said affection clear in his voice.


Once feeling himself upright again the young man cuddled into his lover’s chest and Jalen stroked his back and hair, murmuring words of forgiveness, pride and love. 

Brett sniffled after blowing his nose and wondered how he had gotten so lucky to find this fine man. He was strong, smart, loving, funny at times and loved him to pieces. He was happy, even though his bottom was burning like the fire in their room. 

Jalen looked down at his young lover. “You all right?” 

Brett smiled. “Yeah, even though I’m afraid I might set the bed on fire.” 

The older man chuckled. “I don’t think there’s any danger of that happenin’ any time soon.” 

“It’s not your backside that’s burnin’.” The young man pouted. 

The older lover chuckled and hugged his little outlaw tight. “Nope I do know what it’s like though…remember?” 

Brett pouted. "Maybe, but it ain’t your rump on fire right now.” 

The Sheriff chuckled and then kissed his young lover deeply and when Brett returned it he pulled back. “Better?” 

The younger man smiled. “Uh huh.” He handed the used handkerchief to his lover and it was tossed across the room into the basket for dirty clothes. 

 Jalen reached over and put out the lamp, moved the covers aside and gently pulled Brett down with him snuggling close and covered them up. “I love you Brett Ashton Montgomery.” He whispered. 

Brett looked up, love shining in the blue eyes despite a hot bottom, snuggled close and returned the sentiment. “I love you too Jalen Christian Brooks.”

The End


  1. Thank you, I enjoyed this story very much.

  2. Thank you, I enjoyed this story very much.

  3. Dragonquest, I am so very happy you enjoyed this old west tale. I really love my cowboys and writing them and Jalen and Brett's friends Dan and Cole and Jalen's back story with Dallas, as well as the people of Diamond Springs. It's encouraging to receive feedback. Rosemarie