By: Mary Calmes

“The mayor doesn’t see it that way.”

“I suspect Rand won’t give a damn.”

He scowled at me. “I suspect you’d be right.”

I smiled back.

He visibly deflated.

“It’s not your fault, you know. I know that you weren’t one of those who wanted Rand off the board.”

His eyes searched mine.

“I know your only reservations with Rand stem from the fact that sometimes he can be kind of an ass.”


I chuckled, smiling bigger, unable to stop myself. “It’s late, Sheriff. Are you not eating at home tonight?”

“No. Mrs. Colter is visiting her sister in Abilene.”

“Well, would you like to come by the house and have some dinner? I have more than enough for three.”

“No thank you, Stefan, but I do appreciate the invite. I’ve got to go over to the Drake place and talk to them about Jeff.”

It took me a minute because nothing at all ever happened in Winston. It was why Rand and I had been such big news. “Oh, the drag racing,” I said snidely, baiting him.

“It ain’t funny. They could get themselves killed doin’ that.”

“On the tractors,” I said, trying really hard not to sound patronizing. “Yes, I’m sure they could.”

He thrust his hand at me to shake. “Call me when you’re makin’ the lasagna again.”

“Yessir, Sheriff, I sure will,” I promised, taking the offered hand in mine.

He gave me a smile before I turned to get in my car.


I looked back at him over my shoulder, opening the door.

“Call me if you’re makin’ the pot roast too.”

“Oh, okay,” I teased him. “I didn’t realize you had favorites.”

“Damn right,” he told me before he suddenly froze. “You ain’t makin’ any of those tonight, are ya?”

“No, sir, I’m not.”

He grunted before he got in the mammoth car.

It was actually really nice that the man had favorites. Before I began my life with Rand, my culinary skills were basic at best. But the restaurants in Winston were both barbeque places, and while they were good, sometimes variety was nice, so one of us had to learn to cook, and of the two of us, I had more time. He really enjoyed it when I slaved away in the kitchen for him; why, I had no idea, but the look on his face when he came in the house and found me in the kitchen was enough to melt me through the floor. He really enjoyed the hell out of me being domestic.

I watched as the sheriff moved his SUV, honking as he drove away. The deputies both followed suit, and when I was headed for home, I had time to think about the transformation my life had gone through in just a short amount of time.