Other Characters by this Player
There's nothing here yet
And suddenly the atmosphere changed when he made Clara a compliment on her cooking skills and she offered seconds and talked about her mother.
That the ingredient would be love made him smile. "Sounds lovely. That ingredient." He wish sometimes that there was anyone in his life who would say such things, who would love him. Jay was lonely, even though he wasn't fully aware of it because he met girls on the run every now and then, who didn't mind sharing their beds for a night or two. That wasn't love though.
"And your mother." He added but didn't ask any questions.
The meal tasted great and was eaten with care and respect for the folks, who provided it. Jay was still a little hungry after his first plate full but he assumed that whatever wasn't eaten would serve as a meal the next day, so he only took more bread to wipe his plate clean and then leaned back.
He waited for the others to finish, then he asked. "So I'd better hold up my end of the bargain and see to your horses before it gets too dark.
Is there a stove out there? I need some hot coal, to get the horse shoes right. But I'd also like to advise you that it's too early to put them on. You horse will slide around on the frozen ground. I'd wait a little longer till the sun softens the ground. What I could offer you, though, is to fit them properly to your horses hoofs and take care of the hoof for now, then come back in a month or so and put them on."
The idea with the hot rocks sounded great because the barn would surely get cold during the night. "Thank you kindly, Addy."
And her words about letting him stay and work here for a bit didn't sound so bad either. "I appreciate the offer. You don't need to pay me anything. I'm just happy for a roof over my head during these cold days."
He went back to the comfortable room to get his few belongings. The barn was cold, so he put his warm jacket back on and wrapped the scarf she had given him around his neck.
Jay knew very well that staying in the warmth of the room would make things a lot easier on him and probably make his chances of sleep and possibly healing better. But he did not want to put the first person, who showed him so much care, into a bad spot.
So he offered her a smile with his bundle in his hands and then found his make shift bed in the barn.
While the stones were heating up, Jay quickly went outside to take a piss. Briefly he lifted his shirt to check his wound but despite the moon shining through a few gaps in the clouds he couldn't see much but he could feel the warmth radiating from his skin. A handful of snow brought momentary relief.
Then he returned to the barn to find the small kitten rolled up on the blanket.
"Oh, right, are you hogging my bed?" He lifted her up and then made himself comfortable and put the small animal under his blanket.
Already the cold air in the barn made him wish, he wasn't such a 'gentleman'.
If Jay didn't have a hole in his skin he'd probably have helped but this way he held on to the kitten and carried the blankets.
"That's very kind of you. Maybe I csn put some hot coal in that metal bucket out there." He suggsted because the winter was very cold.
When his make shift bed was made he nodded. "That looks just fine."
He took the pillow from Weedy and smile. "You're a good lad. I think we'll become friends."
That of course depended on how ling he'd be allowed to stick around.
"What are your plans? Do you want me to move on tomorrow or do you have any use for an extra set of hands?"
Jay wasn't sure whether he wasn't offering too much because he felt rather weak.
He sat down on the palett and groaned a little.
Patiently he waited for the girl to serve the dish that her father was praising her for. Obviously her mother hadn't been around for a while. It wasn't his place to ask why though.
Jays mouth was watering but he waited for Wyatt to say the prayer and lowered his gaze but it made him feel unworthy of their company and the meal.
When it was time to eat he didn't hesitate to dig in. The potatoes and sweet potatoes tasted hearty in combination with the gravy that melted in his mouth and gave him an all around good feeling. Jay took a moment to savor the taste in his mouth, then looked at the other man in awe.
Finally he adressed the teenager, who obviously knew how to cook a good meal.
"That's the best dish I've had in days. Very well done. You're a great cook."
He then busied himself to finish the food like a hungry lion.
Finally he had some bread, which tasted different to the one he was used to.
"What's in this?"
Jay would have loved a slice of bacon because meat had been a rare thing lately except for the dried one that Addy had offered him a few times. He greeted Wyatt with a nod and smiled. "Thanks, she's a good girl." Jay had only had the horse for about 6 months but she had become very close to his heart. Like a friend, almost. The horse was the only valuable thing he really owned.
"Did she talk to you?" He grinned a little because the paint had a habit of making approving noises when she was being fed or brushed.
"She neighs a lot."
Jay leaned back and watched the family interact for a little bit, secretly envying them. He had become very lonely and the gang was security but no family. He did not love or even appreciate a single one of the fellows. A friend or a love would be much appreciated. For now acquaintances would have to do, even if they came in the form of teenagers.
Jay listened to her generous offer. He had assumed she had a house to sleep in unaware that the barn room was her home. Now he felt embarassed to say the least. If he hadn't been so weak, he would have ridden into town to find a place there but he could not let the lady sleep on a pallet.
"Oh no, no, Addy." He shook his head. Jay might have a been a criminal, but at least one with manors.
"You mustn't sleep on the pallet. I will not take your bed away from you. Under no circumstances. I'd rather sleep out there with the horses than in your bed. In fact, I might just do that. "
After all he didn't want people to start talking.
"I don't even think sharing a room would be appropriate, not even with the little chaperone here."
The topic was settled in his mind.
"I'll try that pie now. It smells delicious." He looked at Weedy daring him not to say anything against what he had stated. The boy probably had no idea why Jay didn't want to sleep in Addys bed or room for that matter.
"There is always one idiot who will buy it. Your uncle proved that."
Jays eyes darted to the girl, who just called his uncle an idiot.
"Sharp tongue for such a young girl." He commented.
Kay listened to her fathers explanations about crops with interest when she made another comment.
It was obvious to him that she did not like him nor did she have good manors. Jay would have to be extra careful around her.
"Living on harvest alone must be tough."
He studied the cabin some more, then added. "After dinner I can get to work on your horses if you have one or two lamp in your barn. "
The sun was already very low and would dissapeare behind the trees soon
Unfortunately Jay asked the wrong question in Weedys presence. He'd enquire further when the boy wasn't around but he could tell it was a touchy subject.
He didn't say anymore, nor did he apologize but swallowed his bite instead.
Instead he took the piece of meat from Addy. She had hands, that were used to work but they were still cleaner and nicer than his.
The cat eagerly took the bite from Jay but she had a hard time chewing it.
Jay gently caressed her head and yawned. He was still cold and worn out despite the fire and food.
It had been a rough few days.
Outside the sun had set a while ago.
"Where do you sleep, Weedy?"
He asked him wondering whether they'd have to share the bed.
He briefly looked at Addy in the lights of the candles. The dancing shine gave her skin a soft warm glow. Jay needed to avert his gaze in order not to make her uncomfortable.
"Thank you." Jay said before he sat down and let the information sink in. A small place like this with a piece of land would be his dream.
"I inherited a piece of land but it's not worth a dime. Too dry, no water supply, not chance of farming it. Why my great uncle bought it, I don't know. I guess he was fooled."
This story was actually the sad truth.
It had driven Jay to crime.
If he owned land, that could come to an end though.
"How much do you pay for a small farm around here?"
He gave the girl a quick look while she was working around the kitchen and wondered what had happened to their mother.
Then he looked out of the window where the snow was still blowing.
"Mind if I ask how you earn your dollars?"
"Right." Jay heard her words and could only think one thing: He was one of them. He was one of those bad guys now that she should be bracing herself for. It hadn't always been that way. But he had taken a wrong turn and made many poor choices.
"Good cake." He tried to get the talk away from this touchy subject.
The pie was sweet and delicious. A real treat. He could see the joy in Weedys eyes.
"What about your family. They don't need you around or what?"
Even if his family was not the best they still were in charge of him.
Jay reached for the bread and shifted a little. He was still sitting on the bed assuming it was Weedys.
Then he nodded at Addy before he have the kitten a tiny bit of dried meat. "That little thing probably drinks milk. But her ma wasn't around in the barn. I stayed there for a while. No other cat."