The Broken Road

by LT

Ficlet that follows Say You Love Me in the Completely series.

Don't own the Seven, Buck specifically, but sure would like to. Not making any money or profit off of them, just doing this for fun.

Characters: Buck and Inez

The Broken Road by Rascal Flatts - The song says it all!
I set out on a narrow way Many years ago
Hoping I would find true love Along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two Wiped my brow, kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign Pointed straight to you
That every long lost dream Led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart They were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way Into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road That led me straight to you
I think about the years I spent Just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost And give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand You've been there, you understand
It's all part of a grander plan That is coming true
Now I'm just rolling home Into my lover's arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road That led me straight to you

It's Friday night, no, actually it's Saturday morning, somewhere around 2 am when I look up and it hits me. Maybe it's been just out of my line of sight for months now, but tonight, it's suddenly crystal clear. I love this woman and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. Damn, I thought all thoughts of marriage had been crushed the day Sarah and Adam had been brutally murdered. Before their deaths, I had seriously been thinking of settling down. Had even picked out a fine little filly I was on the verge of popping the BIG question to. When I saw what love and commitment did to Chris though, I decided I never wanted to go through that pain. It hurt me deep when that car bomb took them away and Sarah was just, well, she was my sister in every way but blood. I managed to shove my pain to the side and took care of Chris and that was the end of my settling down thoughts. Until tonight.

I have always looked at women in a slightly different way than most men. I guess it's because of the way I was raised. My ma, boy, she was a saint, raising a big gangly kid like me by herself. I loved her so much and she was taken away from me by some asshole of a john. Yeah, my ma did things that most people turn their nose up at. She not only danced topless but she sold her body when times got real tough. She didn't want to do it but she had me to feed and clothe and she would'a done just about anything to take care of me. Oh well, that's water under the bridge as Ma used to say.

Anyway, Ma and some of the other topless dancers at the Golden Nugget raised me and gave me a perspective that few men get to see. You see, the ladies figured since I knew just about everything bad that could happen to a woman, I should know all the right things that women want. Now, I'm not saying I'm an expert or anything. Hell, no man can be an expert on the gentler sex. They're just too complex for our simple minds to comprehend. But I did learn a thing or two about making a lady happy and I ain't just talking about the bedroom. The women, who raised me in that dingy stinking dressing room where I spent a lot of carefree hours, would pull me up close to them and look me straight in the eye and say, "Buck, honey, a woman wants her man to listen to her" or "Baby, sometimes a woman just wants to be held, to feel secure for just an hour, shutting out that cold lonely world." A lot of other things came up too but you get the picture.

Anyways, back to the realization that I, Buck Wilmington, am truly, deeply, in love with a totally amazing woman who tells me everyday in a thousand little ways that she loves me too. As I sit here alone with my cold bottle of beer, I watch her make her way around the bar and I wonder how an old, beat up, working stiff like me could get so lucky. Every man in the place would like to get close to her, like to get to touch her, seduce her. But it's me she's goin' home with tonight!

She's glancing over my way now and smiling that special smile that tells me that I am gonna be one lucky stud when I get her home. Hey now, it ain't entirely what your thinkin'. Yeah, we'll do that too but it's the whole package that strikes me like a big ol' lightening bolt every time we're alone. I love the way she laughs, the way she sings in the shower, the mess she makes when she cooks us dinner. I love her quick wit and her sense of mischief. I really like the fact that she loves being outdoors, horseback riding, hiking, skinny-dippin', she enjoys it all. She likes goin' out on the town too but she's just as happy to be snuggled up with me in front of a fire. It's amazin' but we can go riding one day and to a fancy shindig the next and she takes my breath away while were doing either one.

Whew, I can't wait to tell her what I've finally come to realize. The guys are gonna flip when I tell them I asked Inez to marry me. I'm sure they never thought I'd do it. Probably every one of them thought I would be the last one of them to ever get serious with a woman. When, after three years of casual flirting, Inez finally took me serious and agreed to go out with me, it was the best day of my life. For some unknown reason, I decided to tell her everything about myself and she went right along and told me all there was to tell about her too. It felt good, right from the start. And ever since, she's been the only one I've been with. I can't imagine holding anyone else. I can't imagine not having her beside me from here on out.

She's coming my way, sashaying her hips, her eyes alight with passion. I hold out my hand and she takes it, swirling slightly as she finds her way onto my lap. I wrap an arm around her and press my lips to her cheek. She giggles and then runs her finger across my jaw, ending up at my lips. She kisses me lightly on my mouth and then whispers, "Just a little longer, mi amour." I nod and off she goes, to finish her work so we can get out of here. So we can go home. What a wonderful word, home. That's what her place has become. We've talked about my moving in but I think I'll wait until we're married. Yeah, I know, most of my stuff is there already, but there's a touch of old fashioned decency about me that says I should wait until we make it legal. I hope she doesn't want to wait to long!

Well, it's almost time to go. I see her talking to Sam, the bartender. She lets him close up on Friday night. It's our time, when we can sleep late in the morning, when there is nothing rushing us. I so enjoy making slow romantic love to this woman and then holding her tight as we both drift off to sleep. I think I'll wait until I have the ring to ask her about marrying me. I'm not chickenin' out, just plannin' on doin' things right. Looks like she's ready. Can't help smilin' as I make my way towards the front to join her. I slip my arm around her waist and whisper, "I love you, darlin'."

The End