You say to me-wards your affection strong; pray love me little, so you love me long ~ Robert Herrick
Caleb marched out of his father's study and slammed the door behind him with all his might. He was in the middle of storming away when the door cracked open and the dry,annoyed voice of his father called out.
"Practice some self-control, Caleb, and don't go tearing the entire house down."
Caleb paused and turned to look back. "I'm not going to end up like Ed!" He snapped.
"Your behavior is telling me otherwise," Mr. Martin replied. "If you can't behave like a grown-up I have no business sending you off on a cattle drive. It's not all fun and games out there, and so far you haven't given me reason to believe you won't get into trouble."
The door shut and Caleb resumed his storming. He marched out of the house and saddling his horse, took off riding. He needed to get away from the Circle 4 and his obstinate, British father.
"Is it really so hard to have a little faith in me?" Caleb mumbled to himself. "What, just because Ed ruined himself after several cattle drives I am going to as well? He can't trust me or something?" Caleb had his horse go at a quick trot, hoping to ride the anger out of him. He pulled his horse to an abrupt halt when he noticed a figure in the distance. She was walking with head bent, shoulders slouched, and hands wrapped around her arms in a sort of self hug. The black hair was gathered up in a braid and uncovered.
In an instant Caleb forgot his anger. He hadn't seen her in a long time. Not since the tragedy of her father's death, but that didn't mean he hadn't been thinking about her. In fact she was the only thing on his mind besides the cattle drive. She was the main reason he wanted to go on the cattle drive. He had hoped the journey would help him get his mind off of her.
Dismounting from his horse Caleb threw the reins over the neck, hurried up to the miserable figure.
She had glanced up at the sound of horse hooves and her eyes were filled with tears. She quickly tried to brush them away at the sight of Caleb.
"Sonsee-array," Caleb spoke her name in a gentle voice. "What are you doing out here all alone?"
"I went to see the grave of my father," Sonsee-array replied. She bit her lip and turning away looked up at the sky.
Caleb haltingly came closer to her, almost afraid of scaring her away.
"Do you want me to take you home?" He asked.
Sonsee-array shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know," She whispered. "I don't know anything anymore," With those words the girl buried her face in her hands. "Why did they have to kill him?" She sobbed. "He never hurt anyone. He never did anything in his life that gave the reason to murder him. Just being an Apache isn't enough. It isn't supposed to be enough! Like it wasn't bad enough that they robbed me of my mother, now they took my father as well. Why Caleb? You're a white man, maybe you understand their motives. Why did they kill him?"
Caleb faltered for a few seconds then reached over and took the girl into his arms. "I don't know, Sonsee-array." he whispered. "I don't know."
She didn't pull away and he let her sob into his chest, soaking in her tears. To him each one was precious. At last she calmed down and took a deep breath.
"I'm sorry," she whispered.
"Don't be," Caleb reassured. "I understand this is hard for you. You're really brave, Sonsee-array. The bravest person I've ever met really. Come on, I'll take you back to the Cora Belle. I'll bet they're worried as to where you disappeared too."
"I told Dannie ahead of time," Sonsee-array replied. "I'm glad she and Jake agreed to let me live with them, or I would have had nowhere to go." She paused and taking another deep breath gained control of her emotions. "What were you doing out here?"
"Oh," Caleb laughed. "Had a bit of a family squabble at home and I needed to cool. Which is easier said than done in the Arizona heat." He smiled and brushed back a tear from Sonsee-array's cheek. "The ranch isn't exactly close by, if you want I can give you a ride back."
"I'm not in a hurry to get back," Sonsee-array stated.
Caleb felt maybe he was intruding on her privacy. "Do you want to be alone?"
"No, you don't have to go," Sonsee-array quickly said, her cheeks glowing a little. "I just thought we could walk instead of ride."
"Sounds good to me," Caleb agreed. Together they turned towards the direction of the Cora Belle Ranch.
"Have you been busy at the Circle 4?" Sonsee-array asked as they walked. "You don't come to visit half as much as you used too."
"I'm sort of busy," Caleb shrugged. "Pa is loading me up with work, but I just wish he would let me go on a cattle drive. I hate being cooped up on the ranch day in and day out."
Sonsee-array nodded and smiled. They kept up small talk about life on the two ranches and who had been doing what. The road was wide but they walked close together as though it were narrow.
"Seeing as I am not going anywhere," Caleb summarized at last. "I'll suppose I'll drop by the Cora Belle sometime next week, see how you all are getting along."
"I'd like that," Sonsee-array confessed, her cheeks glowing.
"Would you?" Caleb paused to gaze earnestly at her. Something in the tone of her voice gave him a sort of hope he knew he shouldn't be entertaining.
Sonsee-array's voice dropped, "I wasn't supposed to, Caleb, I tried to make myself not care if you came or not." Here Sonsee-array became uncomfortable and turned to keep walking. She focused her gaze straight ahead and kept her eyes fixed on the road.
Caleb said nothing and simply walked beside her. Somewhere along the line, however, he reached out his hand just a little and Sonsee-array placed her palm in his.
It was not what her father had wanted. It was not what his father had in mind. But at that moment the Apache squaw and the heir of the Circle 4 really didn't care.
So this is just a little backstory of Caleb and Sonsee-array :)
Chapter 1 should come up on Sunday and I'll be updating once a week for now :) hope you will all enjoy this story, the fourth part of Love Travels West. I look forward to sharing it with you.