Cowboy Boots for Christmas (Cowboy Not Included)

She’d barely gotten her jeans and shirt pulled on when she heard the crunch of tires out front. That put her into fast mode as she started to worry. Martin had gotten sick and they’d been away from the house phone so Tamara had driven him home. Or, worse yet, that damn convict had connections on the outside and he’d sent someone to make sure Martin did not testify. She opened the top drawer in the dresser and pulled out a small locked safe. Two minutes later she was shoving a clip into a Glock Gen 4 pistol and heading out toward the door.

The front door was wide open, and Finn was nowhere around. If someone was bringing Martin home, then the door wouldn’t be hanging open. She pressed the gun against her leg. Then the screaming began and she put on the speed.

“You damn bitch. You’ve ruined my pie.”

Holy shit! That was Betsy and she’d really brought Finn an apple pie. Where in the hell was he, anyway?

Callie threw open the storm door to see Finn, arms crossed over his chest, standing there like a statue in his thermal shirt, jeans, and boots while Honey and Betsy squared off for another match. Only this time it damn sure didn’t look like it was going to be words only.

Good, she thought. Maybe they’ll snatch each other baldheaded and scratch each other’s eyes plumb out.

“Well, look what you did to my cookies!” Honey yelled.

Shotgun was making short order of the pie, and Pistol was gobbling down the cookies. Joe had set up a howl in the dining room squawking, “Cat. Cat. Run. Run,” over and over.

Betsy threw the first punch, landing it square in Honey’s right eye, and the fight was on. They pulled hair, screamed obscenities, and slapped or punched wherever they could find a place to hit.

“You going to put a stop to this?” she asked Finn.

He shook his head. “I’m going in the house. They can roll around in the snow until they freeze for all I care. I didn’t know that Shotgun liked apple pie. Guess he does.”

Pistol picked up the final cookie and carried it in the house. Shotgun slurped up the last bit of pie and paraded past them to his warm spot in front of the fire. Now Joe was screaming that he wanted a cracker.

“I don’t want to deal with the undertaker or frozen dead bodies,” she said. She aimed the gun at the mesquite tree nearest to the women and fired off six shots, sending bark flying everywhere.

They both jumped up and covered their heads with their hands. “Why in the hell are you shooting at us?” Honey screamed.

“If I was shooting at you, you’d be graveyard dead, woman. Get your sorry asses off this ranch, and don’t come back or I might miss that ’squite tree next time and put a bullet in your boobs. I mean it, get out of here.” She brought the gun up to aim right at Honey’s big breasts.



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