Another Hot Day in Dodge

It was another throbbingly-hot summer day in Dodge. By 8AM the main street was deserted except for an old yellow dog lapping from a horse trough, and a big, long-haired white cat stretched full length in the shade of a wagon.

The tall, lean Marshal stepped out of his stifling office in search of a nonexistent breeze. Slouching down in one of the two wooden chairs out front, he plucked his sweat-soaked shirt from his chest, flapping it back and forth while using one booted foot to drag the other chair around in front of him. Putting both feet up on the chair, he stretched out his legs and dropped his chin to his chest with a deep sigh.

He had just gotten back from an unexpected, all–night search for a drunken cowboy who had threatened a family ten miles south of town. The drunk was now loudly snoring in the sweltering cell in the back of the Marshal's office.

Matt was exhausted by his sleepless night, and although he knew how upset Kitty would be for being stood up again last night, he figured she would not be up yet and hoped he could grab a few minutes rest before going over to explain.

He had just nodded off when rapid boot heels could be heard approaching on the wooden walkway. Even full-out angry, Kitty Russell was a red-haired, milky skinned, shapely vision in her form-fitting open neck white blouse, high-waisted, split-legged tan riding skirt, and matching tan Stetson.

"MATT DILLON!"

Matt's head snapped up and the chair supporting his feet tipped over as his tired body jerked reflexively, preparing for danger. As Kitty's now icy, sky-blue eyes glared at him, Matt's face creased in a slow grin that reached his sparkling light blue eyes.

"Hi, Kitty, what are you doing up so early? Been out riding? You sure look pretty in that outfit."

Kitty fought to maintain her anger as she took in his unruly dark curls, long, perfectly-proportioned frame, and those long-lashed eyes so full of mischief and admiration.

"Matt…you…you promised to stop by after I closed up last night. I sat up for hours! What was it THIS time?!"

Matt had arisen to his full towering height, carefully scanned the street for onlookers, and seeing none, slid his large left hand around her slim waist, and pulled her close. The stifling heat was forgotten as their bodies pressed together, her soft bosom against his muscular side. Kitty once again tried to resurrect her ire, but knew it was useless. Not being able to resist his boyish grin, she looked up through thick lashes, and smiled back as his eyes captured and held hers.

"I'm so sorry again, Honey. I had to go out and search all night for that drunk snoring logs in there." nodding his head towards his office. "I didn't leave a note with Sam at the bar 'cause I honestly thought I would be back in an hour or two. It ended up taking all night to find him after he ran away, rolled down into a ravine and then fell asleep."

Kitty wrestled with the same old argument in her mind before speaking, She knew his job responsibilities would always come first as long as he was a U.S. Marshal. This was their arrangement, but they deeply loved each other, and she would not trade one day or love-filled night with him for a more traditional relationship.

Matt continued to hold her close with his left arm. Once more, scanning the heat-emptied street, he gently lifted her chin with his right hand and kissed her full lips deeply and firmly.

'Tonight, Kitty, tonight?" he softly whispered in her ear.

The tension left her body as she pressed even closer.

Totally wrapped up in each other now, the beautiful couple failed to notice the old woman's hand holding her lace curtain slightly open as she raptly took in the touching scene below and across the street. Letting the curtain fall closed, she happily sighed and dabbed at her eyes with a handkerchief.

She had been aware of the tall, handsome Marshal and his lovely red-haired lady for some time now, and regarded them as her own. The old woman had seen the immediate spark, the growing attraction, and the non-verbal signs of affection as they tried to hide their obvious love for each other.

Every time she witnessed a quarrel, her heart would hurt until they made up. She feared that one or both would make a foolish decision, but over time came to see their bond as unbreakable. She prayed for them every day, somewhat justifying in her mind her watching over them whenever possible.

The old woman had once been a young, attractive, slim woman with reddish blonde hair and expressive, large hazel eyes. Years before Matt and Kitty were born, she had loved and been loved by her own tall, blue eyed Texan. Fifty years later, he still visited her in dreams that made her awaken weeping. Long ago, the now-old woman had broken his heart, rejecting him for another man who would never know her soul.

Smiling a little with satisfaction and relief at the latest reconciliation between her two beloveds, the old woman turned from the window.

"Well, I'd trade all my tomorrows

For one single yesterday…"

-Bobby McGee (Kris Kristofferson)