Sunflower Inn

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5

On his way back to the house, he spotted his ma and Lucky sitting on the porch swing, in full conversation. He wondered what they were plotting against him now. He had major trust issues when it came to women, but his mother had been spared his questioning gaze until now. He should have left her explain, he could see that both women were visibly hurting. He just didn’t know how to communicate how he was feeling, he kept it all bottled up inside. For the longest time it was only his ma and him, even Duke had left them. His older brother didn’t like living on the farm, he wanted to be an actor, so he had moved out and set his sights on Hollywood. They received the odd phone call, usually when it was ma’s birthday, but other than that they got no news. Jet decided he needed to talk to the women sitting on the swing. He made his way up the stairs and sat down on an old rocking chair. Donna and Lucky seemed surprised, but they said nothing.

″Are you okay Lucky?″

He would never admit to her that it had been horrible to hear her hit the ground and then to find her unresponsive to him. He had been scared out of his mind, but he would never let her know.

″Low blood pressure. I forgot to take my medication yesterday. I’m okay now.″

He nodded and silence took over for a moment before his mother spoke.

″Don’t put any blame on Lucky. I made it seem like you already knew about me selling. It was when she got here that I pleaded with her not to tell you. I wanted to be the one to tell you but I understand why she did it. I’m sorry Jet, I truly am.″

He understood at that moment that his ma hadn’t been trying to hurt him. She was simply trying to do what she always did. Protect him. She had made the decision without him but who was he to have any say in it? Yes it was his home but she was the owner and she could do whatever the hell she wanted. If they had to sell to someone, he was somewhat relieved that it wasn’t to a big shot but to this simple woman sitting opposite him. His ma seemed to like her a whole bunch, already treating her like part of the family. She couldn’t be all that bad if his ma already accepted her.

″I’m the one that’s sorry ma. I shouldn’t have reacted that way.″

Donna stood up and bent down next to him, taking him in her arms for a tight hug. Lucky watched the interaction, her heart full at the sight. She hoped that she would be close with her child one day. If she had any children that is. She knew about Donna’s eldest son Duke and how they barely even spoke. She would never get over the pain of not being close with her child. She sighed and the two hugging next to her turned and stared.

″Sorry, lost in my thoughts again.″

They both smiled, warming her heart even more. Donna opened her arms and Lucky hesitated before moving forward. Donna waited patiently and when Lucky came closer, she wrapped her arms around her and Jet and held them close to her. Donna sniffled and squeezed them tighter.

″You are part of this family Lucky. The daughter I never had.″

Jet pulled back and smirked.

″Does that mean that I have a sister now?″

Donna laughed and Lucky joined in.

″She can be anything you want her to be Jet.″

Lucky stopped laughing and her nerves resurfaced. She felt the air grow heavy as Jet watched her silently. No one talked until Donna pulled away and clapped her hands.

″Who wants some pie?″

🐎

Donna knocked on Lucky’s door bright and early the next morning. Lucky was ready to face the day and all it had to hold for her. She wanted to learn as much as she could so she would be ready whenever Donna decided to let her take the reigns. She didn’t know the first thing about managing an Inn, but she was eager to get started with all it entailed. She opened the door and they walked out into the main living area to greet the new guests.

Lucky saw three people standing in the doorway, two women and one man. They all looked to be around their mid twenties, they had an air of sophistication to them. Their clothes was tidy and unwrinkled, their shoes were spotless, as though they hadn’t just trekked through mud to get there. They all wore forced smiles on their faces, as though this was the last place in the world they wanted to be. The man extended his hand to Donna and the other two followed his lead.

″I’m Andrew, this is my fiancée Olivia and my sister Lexi.″

After the introductions were made on Donna and Lucky’s side, they showed them to their rooms, explaining the activities they could do near the Inn and in town. The trio didn’t seem impressed, they were only stopping in because their flight had been delayed and they didn’t want to sleep at the local motel. After inviting them down for supper, Donna and Lucky made their way to the kitchen to start preparing the meal. They worked side by side as they made the many dishes that would adorn the dining room table. Collard greens, mashed potatoes, pan-fried chicken, cornbread and as dessert, a sweet potato pie. They had a lot of work ahead of them, but Lucky was more than happy to learn how to cook good ole southern food. They worked in silence until Lucky started humming a song she remembered from her childhood, Donna began singing the tune and soon, their sweet voices echoed in the kitchen.

🐎

As soon as Jet stepped inside, he smelled the heavenly aromas wafting in through the kitchen. He stopped dead in his tracks when he heard the singing. That couldn’t possibly be Lucky singing, could it? She sounded so sweet and angelic, her voice seemed to soothe him. He closed his eyes and breathed in the delicious smells, moments later he was rudely interrupted by Lexi bouncing down the stairs. She had spotted him from the second story, wondering who hunk of meat was. Maybe their forced stop in this God forsaken town wasn’t going to be so bad after all. How does the saying go? Save a horse, ride a cowboy. She would make damn sure that she was riding him before they left the next morning.

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