We all sat down on the patio to eat. Jimmy let Jason and Peter know about Dante being made Godfather. They looked at each other and smiled. He told them how Angel taught all of us about diapering a fussy baby.
Andrew realized that Jimmy had the same look Dante had had when we got home. And Andrew looked at me and smiled.
Dante was beginning to relax and join in the conversation. Then he asked Linzie some questions. He kept calling her ma'am. Which was getting on her nerves.
"Dante," Linzie said suddenly. "You can call me Linzie. Please!"
"All right ma'am I mean Linzie," he replied. "So tell me more about your kids."
Right then her phone rang. She looked at it and smiled at him. And I knew who it was.
"Put him on speaker," I told her.
"Yes Bass," she answered holding up a finger to silence us.
"Are you at Uncle Billy's ranch?" Bass asked his mother.
"No," she lied. "I'm in one of Uncle Billy's townhouses." But a pack of coyotes called to the moon. Giving her away.
"Not funny mom," he scolded her. "Uncle Billy are you in on this?"
"He's there," said a little girl's voice. Rather matter of factually.
"Hey little girl," I chimed in. "So how are you Bass?"
"I'm doing fine Uncle Billy," Bass said. "how did things go for you and Dante?"
"Things went well for us," I told him.
"Uncle Billy who is this Dante?" Amelia demanded cutting in.
"Amelia! I have met him and I'll tell you all about him," Linzie told her daughter. "You'll like him."
"Well then you'll say yes to Bass and my idea," Amelia said being charming.
"And that idea is?" Linzie asked her.
"Well school ends Friday," Bass told us. "If it is okay with Uncle Billy."
"We want to fly out and spend two weeks with Uncle Billy and Dante."
I took a few minutes to take in the request. But Linzie on the other hand.
"How about it Uncle Billy?" Linzie asked with a crooked smile.
"Mom!" Bass scolded his mother again. "We understand."
"Well next Monday I have to go back to work," I told them as I was thinking.
"So how about coming out for the fourth of July," I sprung on them. "I can take another two weeks off then."
There was a pause. And muffled conversation between the kids.
"Well what do you guys say?" I asked them. "Charlie, Daniel, and Angel may have their horses broke by then."
"Hey! Who's Angel?" Bass asked.
"A friend of Daniel's," I told him. "More from Daniel when you guys get here."
But a very astute Amelia realized I was avoiding something.
"And?" Amelia asked me.
"And the rest is for Daniel to tell young lady," I told her rather sternly.
"You will invite them out to the ranch?" Bass asked cutting his sister off. "I really miss those guys."
"Of course," I told them. "They'll have mustangs to get ready for riding. And we may have the bunkhouse ready when you get here."
"Wait! You're finishing the bunkhouse?" Bass asked in amazement.
"Sounds like you guys never thought I'ld ever get it done?" I asked acting hurt.
"No it not that...Sorry Uncle Billy," Bass said in a dejected voice.
"You were right,"I told him. " I have been dragging my feet. But I have been inspired." Then I leaned over and kissed Dante.
"What was that?" Amelia asked hearing it.
"Melly!" Bass scolded her with a nickname she hates.
"It was a kiss," Linzie told them. "Uncle Billy is in much in love with Dante as he was with Ann."
"I'm glad you're happy again Uncle Billy," Bass said.
"Thank you Bass," I told him.
"But he's changed you," Amelia said rather suspect.
"Yes he has," I said giving Dante another kiss.
"So mom are you okay with us coming out for the fourth of July?" Amelia asked her mother.
"That sounds fine with me," Linzie answered. "Since I already have vacation time in for then.
"Okay," Amelia said. "Now may I talk to Dante?" My eyes narrowed at the request.
"Sure," Dante replied. "Go ahead."
"Mom can you give Dante your phone please?" Amelia asked. "And take it off speaker please. This is private."
"Alright young lady," Linzie said doing it.
"dante you are on your own," Linzie told him. "But don't you let her bully you."
Dante was on the phone with her for about ten minutes. But Linzie's phone beeped indicating low power.
Dante was saved for now. He plugged up Linzie's phone. Then he plopped down next to me.
"She's tough," Dante said taking a sip of my bourbon.
"She told me she wants to be a Federal Prosecutor," Dante told us. "I think she did it to intimidate me."
"She does want to be a Federal Prosecutor," Linzie confirmed for us. "And she's reading law books already."
"I think I have a problem," Dante told me. I just smiled.
"What trouble would that be?" I asked Knowing what he was going to say.
"She's in love with you," Dante told us a little shocked. Linzie and I looked at each other and smiled.
"Amelia told Billy that when she was five that she was in love with him," Linzie told him. "And the same every Christmas since." The guys chuckled at that.
"How old is she?"
"She's nine," I told him as the guys laughed harder. Which didn't help Dante.
"She reminds me of someone," I told him looking at Dante with a smile.
Dante didn't say a word. He just huffed a little. But the last two days had been rough on him as well.
"You look tired," I told him as I slipped my arm around his waist. "Are you ready to go to bed?"
"Good night everyone," Dante announced. "He's taking me to bed. The only truly good thing to happen today."
"Except for meeting you Linzie," he added quickly.
A cheer went up from everyone. Including Linzie. As we walked in through the French doors.
"Are you going to ravage me?" Dante asked as I closed the doors.
"Well that sounds tempting," I said carrying him to the bed. I pulled off his shirt and shoes. Then I took off my pistols and clothes.
We crawled upon the bed. We talked quietly while i tried to allay his fear about Amelia. It didn't take long to fall asleep.
I lay there till I thought he would sleep the night away. I wanted to talk to Linzie. So I put a pillow against Dante's back with a kiss.
Walking into the living room. I found Linzie drinking some hot tea. The guys had gone to bed.
"Is he okay?" she asked as I walked in.
"He'll get there," I told her as I sat down. "It didn't help Amelia getting up in his grill."
"You're mad," Linzie said realizing it.
"Very," I told her honestly. "But I'll get over it. As long as he does. And you talk to her."
"She just wants to make sure you're alright," Linzie told me.
I had to chuckle. But I wasn't as mad as I made out.
"You tell her that I'm upset," I explained to her. "And if she acts that way toward him when she comes here. I will take her over my knee."
Linzie stared at me in disbelief. Knowing that I meant what I said.
"You think she's serious?" Linzie asked me flabbergasted.
"I think Dante believes she's serious," I told her. "She's got him upset on top of Sharon McCall."
"She is serious," Dante said walking in wearing my sweatpants. He also threw the pillow I had used at me. But I caught it.
"She's sharp too," Dante told us. I guided him down next to me.
"Well you don't need to worry," I told him with a kiss on the cheek.
He one upped me by planting one firmly on the lips. Then he said thank you.
"Sorry Linzie," he added half asleep.
"Dante you don't need to be," Linzie told him getting his attention."It's good to see him like this again."
"Like I said. I love him with all my heart and soul," I said then I kissed him.
"So Dante tell two things?" Linzie asked while we kissed.
"Whatever you want Linzie," Dante said before I could say anything.
"So what was your birthday present?" she asked with a smile.
"Linzie!" I said as Dante turned red.
"Well … he was suppose to cook me dinner," Dante told her truthfully. "But I fixed him dinner because the had to go chase some escapees."
"Oh, what did you fix him? out of curiosity," she asked.
"Roast beef, roast potatoes, and carrots. Soup beans and cornbread," Dante told her with a smile.
"And it was delicious," I told her with a smile of my own. And a kiss on the cheek.
"Now tell me about Grossman?" she asked. Dante pailed at the memory and hugged me tighter.
"I'll tell you," I said. She looked at me realizing I was upset at her question.
"Forget I asked," she said. "I didn't mean…"
"He was a University Police Officer," Dante told her. "His actions got him fired and he blamed Billy."
"Then he showed up here drunk and threatened Billy with a gun," He said then paused.
"And I threatened him with a shotgun." He paused again.
"Yes! I would have killed him. I love Billy that much."
"I knew you would have Dante," she told him. And I knew she meant it.
"Well I have an early morning. So I'm going to bed," Linzie said as she stood up. Then she leaned over and kissed Dante's cheek. "You keep loving him that much Dante. Because he loves you that much."
Then Linzie kissed me as well.
"I'm retiring at the first of the year," she told us.
"Then what?" Dante asked her as he got up and hugged her.
"Well we move back to Albuquerque and Billy," She said.
"We would love to have you stay here," Dante told her. "Even if I have competition."
"What do you say?" Linzie asked me.
"Whatever Dante says goes," I told her. "You guys are welcome."
"Is that little ranch still for sale?" she asked me.
"Yes and you know who too call," I told her.
Linzie went off to bed after saying goodnight. Dante put his arm around my waist. I put his arm over my shoulder and I picked him up in my arms.
I took him into our bedroom and laid him down on our bed. I took off his sweats. His cock snapped to attention and he smiled. Well why not I thought with a smile of my own.
I woke first the next morning with a smile. And I woke Dante with a kiss on the lips. He smile as he stretched.
"That was nice," he said.
"The kiss or last nights kiss?" I asked him.
He smiled as we got up to go get a shower. Once in the shower he knelt to start.
After our shower we dressed quickly. Then we headed into the kitchen. We started bacon and potatoes. Dante cooked while I made coffee
Linzie walked in as I got out the plates. I promptly handed them to her, and got the silverware.
"How'd you sleep last night?" I asked her.
"Thanks, and not bad," she said.
"How are you this morning Dante?" she asked him.
"Better Linzie," he said turning tho talk. "Thank you for asking."
"Billy what time does Ethan get into the office?" she asked as she set the table.
"Business after breakfast," I told her as I poured us coffee. And usually no later than 8:30."
"Smart ass," linzie said with a crooked smile.
"Better a smartass than a dumbass," I started with Linzie joining in.
"Cute," Andrew said walking in. "You can tell you two were partners."
"Where's Jimmy?" Dante asked him as he poured coffee.
"We were up a little late ourselves," Andrew said with a smile.
"Oh," was all Dante could say. But then Jimmy walked in with Jason
"What do you need me to do?" Peter asked as he walked in.
"Grab the eggs and the omelet fixins out the fridge," Dante told him.
Dante fixed us all omelets. He was obviously a lot better. Because they were really good.
"So Jimmy. Are you ready for your meeting with parents tonight?" I asked.
Jimmy froze and set his fork down. Andrew gave Jimmy a hug. Then a kiss to reassure him.
"It's going to be alright," Andrew told him.
"I hope so," Jimmy finally said "I mean they accepted that I was gay. I just don't know about you my love."
"Dante has told me about your parents," Andrew replied. "They sound like good people."
"Dante that was sweet. But he's only met my parents the one time," Jimmy told us. But the smile one Dante's face told me otherwise.
"Well actually," Dante said with that evil smile of his.
"Actually what?" Jimmy asked scared at that.
"Well your dad and I talked a lot while you were in Chicago," Dante told him.
Jimmy stared at Dante in disbelief. While the rest of us suppressed laughter.
"About what?" Jimmy asked.
"Well your dad seemed to think I was your boyfriend," Dante told him. "I told him that we weren't."
"He almost cost me my night with Billy," Dante told him.
Jimmy was amazed at what Dante had said. The rest of us just smiled.
"He'll'' take it fine," Dante told him. "Last time we talked. He told me that your mother knew it wasn't me."
With that Linzie stood up. She leaned over and kissed Dante. Causing him to turn red in an instant.
"Billy you stay out of trouble if you can," she said. "And take her down if you have to."
"Can do partner," I said with a smile. She smiled at Dante. "Come on. I'll walk you out."
"As we stepped out. A bunch of trucks were pulling in. They said Ybarra Adobe. An older man and his younger image were walking toward us.
"Miguel! Good to see you amigo," I said shaking his hand.
"Billy, Linzie it's good see you both," he said.
"Miguel I"ll be back after the first of the year,"she told him. "But I have to get going." then she kissed his cheek.
"Well my sons may be running the company by then," Miguel told us. "Benito this is Marshal Billy Hickok and Marshal, I mean, Director Linzie Graff."
"Well Miguel, Benito, I would love to introduce you both to my fiance," I said as Dante stepped out. "Dante Green. He can speak for me anytime."
"Benito," Dante said. "I see you decided to work for your father this summer."
"Dante! This is your Billy?" Benito asked.
"Benito we can talk more about your being gay at lunch," Miguel said dropping he knew on Benito.
But I wasn't sure Benito caught it. But we walked around and talked about what we wanted done.
Dante and I talked things over with Miguel and Benito. We were totally rebuilding the bunkhouse. Doubling its size. Then adding to the stable and the garage. As a workman walked up to us.
"Senor Ybarra," he called out.
"Hey Ignacio," Dante said. Ignacio froze. "Billy this is Ignacio Baca."
"I know him and Benito from the university."
"Do not worry you two," Miguel said. "I know you two are boyfriends."
"You told me when you got drunk at New Years," Miguel told us. "So Ignacio what do you want to tell us?"
"Your brick count of finished bricks you left. Is almost the same," Ignacio told us. "We're short about 30 bricks."
"How long to get the bunkhouse up?" Dante asked.
"Everything but stucco," Benito said. " I think before the fourth of July." His father smiled.
"When Tomas is finished we can get his crew over here. We can get it done well before the fourth of July," Miguel told us. "The electric and plumbing are ready to go."
"Well Miguel. You guys get to rocking it," I said as Tim and Brad walked up.
"Hey Dante, Billy," Tim said. "Here we are."
"For?" I asked.
"Dante said you needed some bunk beds for the bunkhouse," Tim said wondering what was up.
"Bunk beds?" I asked looking at Dante.
"Dante didn't tell you? He asked us to come out," Tim said. "Dante!"
We talked about this," Dante said squaring off on me. "So I asked them out."
"Or can't I make decisions?"
"Sure you can," I said smiling.
"We'll start with 12 bunk beds and add more later," I told Tim getting a punch in the shoulder from Dante.
"Why don't you show them where to set up," I told Dante. "We talked about it. Remember?"
But I grabbed Dante and gave him a kiss full on the lips.
"Come on Tim," Dante said with a smile. I went to help with lunch.
I needed Dante confident in his right to make decisions. And I needed to be confident in Dante making decisions.