Epilogue to Working Girls
October 7, 2011
JD tossed another stone into the pond as he considered the past few days. Vin had invited him to go fishing with him, though the older man seemed content to lay back on the bank and sunbathe and hadn’t complained about JD scarin’ the fish with the rock throwing.
Over all, it had been a strange couple of days. The trip to Wickes Town had started out exciting and a bit scary, but JD hadn’t wanted Buck to know just how inexperienced he was with women. He did have his pride after all.
He’d never expected to be unable to… well, to… with Emily. He’d never heard anyone say anything about not being able to… Just the usual bragging. And JD’d certainly been eager to be with her. Emily had smiled so sweetly at him as she led him to her tent. And she’d been very understanding when he couldn’t…
JD huffed and threw another rock, a bit harder this time, earning a concerned glance from the tracker. He ignored Vin and watched the ripples in the water.
Emily had been nice, and the kissing had been good. He realized now that her offer to not charge him had been her way of trying to help him relax and if that whole thing with Buck and Wickes hadn’t happened at that moment, he might have been able to…
He sat down, resting his elbows on his knees. He never expected Buck to tell him his ma had been a wh… working girl. That had been a big surprise. At first he’d been shocked, but still in control enough of his tongue not to say something that would hurt Buck.
The big lug really was just a softie. Still, once he’d had a chance to think about it, what did it matter what Buck’s ma did to support them? JD’s mother had been lucky to have a job as a chamber maid. He frowned. Would his mother have done that? His frown deepened and he nodded to himself. If it was the only way to put food on their table… he sighed, pretty sure she would have done whatever it took to take care of him.
Vin sat up, plucked a long blade of grass and tore it down the vein. “Those ladies were somethin’ else, huh?” he asked casually.
“Yeah,” JD said with a nod. He looked over at Vin. “You ever been with one of them before?” he asked, thinking Vin wasn’t all that much older than he was.
“A few,” Vin admitted. “Not often though, never really felt all that comfortable bein’ with someone I didn’t know,” he said softly.
JD nodded. He could understand that. It seemed to him that he really would have been able to be with Emily up in the hayloft, after he’d gotten to know her a bit better.
“Been with a few other ladies,” Vin continued, “ones I was on friendly terms with, but none of those time were serious, just a release for both of us. I envy Chris’s marriage. Figured it would always be better with a woman I loved.”
JD’s eyebrows rose at this unexpected revelation. That Vin would envy Chris’s relationship even though he’d lost Sarah really made him stop and think. “Better to have loved and lost, than not to love at all?” he quoted.
“Somethin’ like that,” Vin said. He studied JD for a long moment. “You get things worked out?” he asked.
JD paused then shrugged. “Enough for now, I guess,” he replied with a sudden grin.
Vin stood and stretched, dusting the seat of his pants with both hands before offering one hand to JD. “Well, come on then, we’d best head back ‘fore Buck sends out a search party for ya,” he finished with a grin.
JD took the offered hand and pulled himself up. He smiled at Vin. “Buck’s a worry wart. Gonna go gray before his time if he keeps thinkin’ of me as a kid.”
Vin grinned. “Probably be seein’ gray any day now then,” he teased.
JD laughed and fell into step beside Vin. It was funny. He hadn’t really thought Vin liked him all that much. It was a nice surprise to realize Vin considered him friend enough to be worried about his frame of mind. Unexpected, but not unwelcome.
JD glanced at Vin. The tracker had a pretty good sense of humor. Wonder if he’d be interested in pullin’ something on Buck with me? JD grinned. “Hey, Vin…”
Feedback is greatly appreciated. JudyL