Satin Boots: Six Short Western Romances
“Cordell, you got a minute?” Daniel Harper asked his foreman. Being the newest hire on the Lazy Five, he didn’t want to stir up trouble.
The foreman, a man around Daniel’s age who had his eye on the boss’ daughter, got to his feet and replied, “Sure, Dan.”
Dan followed the man who still carried a tin cup full of coffee. They walked to the picket line, a good distance from the campfire, for privacy.
“What is it?” Cordell asked without preamble. “It’s … well, it’s about Jesse.”
Cordell raised a blond eyebrow. “Yeah?”
“Well, I was washin’ up in the creek and … well … I saw her.” Dan looked around to assure himself that no one listened in. “Jesse’s female.”
“Yeah, we know,” came the laconic reply. “But … but—”
“But nothin’, Dan. The whole crew knows. She’s like a little sister to all of us, and iff’n you think to bother her, don’t.”
“But she’s a girl!” Dan protested, every particle of his being outraged and offended. He’d thought himself going loco because something about the boy attracted him.
“Yeah, we know.” The foreman took a sip of his now- tepid coffee. He sighed, because he went through this with every new hire, especially the handsome, cocky ones like Daniel who enjoyed a little too much popularity with the ladies in town. “She does her job and does it well. So, what’s the problem?”