Skyheart Ranch

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Soothing Singalongs

Katie

The next few weeks felt like an absolute dream to Katie. She’d laugh and talk to Ruby throughout the day while getting her work done, hang out with the hands at dinner, and Cash occupied her entire night. They still spent time every night talking, but now it usually happened in bed between breaks of marathon sex. Katie had basically moved into Cash’s room, a situation they both loved.

There was some light teasing from the hands about Katie and Cash’s new relationship, but in truth everyone was really happy for both of them. The hands liked seeing a happy, smiling Cash and they adored the new, confident Katie. After finally telling Cash everything, Katie felt like a huge weight had been lifted. They were brainstorming ways to get Katie a divorce and they filled Ruby and Rocky in on Katie’s past, since she believed the two of them deserved to know everything. Cash also briefed the hands on the situation, but kept it simple: Katie’s estranged, abusive husband was looking for her and he could hurt or even kill her if she was found. The hands were loyal and would do everything they could to protect Katie.

Katie wasn’t pregnant yet, as she discovered about a week after she and Cash first slept together. Cash seemed to see this as a personal affront to his masculinity, but Katie just laughed and told him it would happen when the time was right.

At the end of October, when Katie and Cash had officially been together for almost a month, they were sitting outside with the hands, listening to them sing. Cash was sitting on the steps, leaning against one of the support beams, with Katie settled between his legs, leaning back against him. Cash had his hands wrapped around her waist as Hank played his guitar and sang James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James.

“There is a young cowboy, he lives on the range. His horse and his cattle are his only companions.

He works in the saddle and he sleeps in the canyons, waiting for summer, his pastures to change.

And as the moon rises he sits by his fire, thinking about women and glasses of beer.
And closing his eyes as the doggies retire, he sings out a song which is soft but it’s clear, as if maybe someone could hear...”. As Hank started the chorus, another voice quietly joined in.
“Goodnight, you moon light ladies,” Hank and Katie sang. “Rock-a-bye sweet baby James. Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose, won’t you let me go down in my dreams? And rock-a-bye sweet baby James...”. Hank stopped playing and looked at Katie. Her eyes grew wide and a deep blush covered her cheeks as she slapped her hand on her mouth.

“I am so sorry,” Katie said, her words muffled by her hand. She moved it to her lap, still blushing. “I didn’t realize I was actually singing out loud. I’ll shut up now.”

“Shut up?” Ruby interjected, sounding incredulous. “Sugar, your voice is amazing! Why haven’t we ever heard you sing before?”

“Ruby’s right, hon,” Rocky said, his eyes twinkling as he grinned. “You’ve got the voice of an angel!”

There were murmurs of agreement from all the hands as Cash leaned down and whispered in Katie’s ear, “See, I knew you were an angel before everyone else.” Katie let out a little laugh, still blushing.

“Do you play?” Hank asked, holding his guitar out to Katie. After a few moments she took it, positioning it perfectly in her lap.

“I haven’t played in ages.” Katie ran her fingers almost reverently across the strings.

“Play something for us, sugar!” Ruby cried, bouncing a little. “Please?” Everyone laughed at Ruby’s exuberance, while Katie moved her fingers across the strings, silently playing out a melody.

“I’m not sure how good I’ll be,” admitted Katie.

“Hon, you just sing from the heart,” Rocky said encouragingly. “We’ll all love it.”

‘What if I’m terrible?’ Katie thought, biting her lower lip. ‘I haven’t played in years. Not since the shooting. But I have really missed it. And even if I’m terrible, these guys won’t care. Sure, they might tease me a little, but they’d never be mean.’

Katie turned to look at Cash. The love and support in his eyes and his smile nearly knocked her out. Knowing Cash was behind her (both literally and figuratively) gave Katie to courage to say-

“Okay. One song, though. That’s all.” The guys started cheering, making her laugh. “This is an older one, but I used to know it pretty well. Just a warning, it’s usually played on the piano, but this arrangement is for the guitar. Let’s see if I still remember how to do this.” Katie settled her fingers on the strings and began to play Elton John’s Your Song.

“It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside


I’m not one of those who can easily hide
I don’t have much money, but boy if I did
I’d buy a big house where we both could live


If I was a sculptor, but then again, no
Or a man who makes potions in a traveling show
I know it’s not much, but it’s the best I can do
My gift is my song, and this one’s for you


And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple, but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world


I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss
Well, a few of the verses, well, they’ve got me quite cross
But the sun’s been quite kind while I wrote this song
It’s for people like you that keep it turned on


So excuse me forgetting, but these things I do
You see I’ve forgotten if they’re green or they’re blue
Anyway the thing is what I really mean
Yours are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen


And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple, but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world


I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.”

Katie finished and there was absolute silence for a few moments, making her second guess even trying. Then everybody broke out talking and clapping at the same time.

“Angel, that was so beautiful,” Cash murmured, kissing the top of her head.

“Oh my goodness, sugar, that was just...”. Ruby waved his hands in front of his face, blinking back tears. “Oh, I don’t even have the words!”

“Amazing, hon,” Rocky said, smiling. “Just amazing.”

“Katie, that was so great!” exclaimed Josiah, one of her close friends in the hands.

“Jesus, Katie,” Hank began, shaking his head. “Why the hell have I been singing this whole time? We should have been getting concerts from you!”

“Hey,” Katie said, laughing, as she gently passed the guitar back to Hank, “When I have a concert, I charge admission. Y’all just can’t afford me.” This led to more laughter and compliments. Katie’s song ended up being the last of the evening, with the hands still talking and laughing as they walked to the bunkhouses. Ruby and Rocky stayed behind with Cash and Katie.

“Sugar, that was amazing!” Ruby grabbed Katie out of Cash’s arms, giving her a big hug. Cash scowled, making Rocky laugh.

“I think you need to get this little lady a guitar, Boss,” Rocky said. “She can’t keep borrowing Hank’s, since we’re never sure how long he’s gonna stick around.”

“All I’ve gotten is he’s staying through the off-season,” said Cash. “Wouldn’t promise to stay on longer.” Ruby finally let Katie go, so Cash grabbed her back, holding her close to his side, making everyone laugh.

“All right,” Rocky said, getting out of one of the rocking chairs on the porch. “Better hit the hay, got a lot to do tomorrow.”

“What’s tomorrow?” asked Katie.

“Branding the calves that are finally old enough,” Rocky answered. “We wanna get it done before the hands leave for the winter.”

“And I’m sorry I asked,” Katie said. “Please don’t tell me any more about sticking a burning iron onto a baby cow.” Everyone laughed and said their good nights, Cash and Katie waving them off before walking inside and Cash locking the front door.

“You have a beautiful singing voice, angel,” Cash said as they took off their coats and hung them by the front door. “Do you want a guitar?” Katie shrugged.

“It was nice playing again, but I don’t want to put you out. You’ve already gotten me so many things. Besides, I was always much better on the piano.”

“You want a piano?” asked Cash.

“No!” Katie replied, laughing and bumping Cash with her shoulder. “There is no need to go out purchasing musical instruments!” Cash just smiled and grabbed Katie’s hand, leading her to the bedroom.

“I dunno, angel,” Cash said, grinning, “It might be kinda nice to still have little singalongs during the winter. Hank could play the guitar, you could play the piano. I could probably get a triangle for Ruby.” That made Katie burst out laughing.

“I’m not sure you should be encouraging him,” she warned. “He already asked me if I could play Nicki Minaj on the guitar, and, if not, where he could find Lady Gaga sheet music.”

“Oh, good lord,” Cash mumbled, sounding genuinely horrified. “All right, no triangle for Ruby. But I can-”. Katie cut him off by grabbing the front of his shirt, pulling him toward her, and fiercely kissing him. After a few moments, she pulled back just a little so Cash could still feel her breath on his wet lips.

“Do you still want to talk about music?” Katie asked, kissing down from the corner of Cash’s mouth to his jawline.

“No, ma’am,” Cash said breathlessly. “I don’t even wanna hear any music again.”

Katie laughed as Cash grabbed her, lifting her and gently tossing her onto the bed, where she bounced a few times. Cash smiled and unbuttoned his shirt, dropping it on the floor as he kicked his boots off. Katie pulled her shirt off and shimmied out of her jeans, leaving her in just her bra and panties, as Cash slowly climbed over her, stopping every few inches to kiss her skin. Once they were face to face, he smiled down at her lovingly.

“What’d you want, angel?” Katie shivered at the look in Cash’s eyes.

‘No one has ever looked at me like he does,’ thought Katie, staring up at Cash. ‘Like I’m his entire universe, and even if he lost everything, he’d still be happy, ‘cause I was there.’ Katie reached down, slowly undoing Cash’s belt and unzipping his jeans.

“You,” Katie replied. “I just want you. Forever.” Cash gave her his sweet, crooked smile.

“Then that’s what you’ll get,” he said. “Me. Forever.” Cash captured Katie’s lips with his own, their kiss slowly deepening, becoming more passionate. The night progressed and for Katie and Cash, they were the only two people in the world.
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