So we left the restaurant and drove to the Green's home. We had to wait a little bit for Sam and Diane since Dante's keys were with his truck. Once in, Dante and Diane went to pack his things.
I could tell Diane was holding back tears. As Sam and I sat down in the living room to talk, I couldn't blame Sam either.
"Next thing you know, Dante will bring that little pinto of his out to your ranch," Sam said with a chuckle. I smiled and laughed too.
"He brought her out yesterday," I told him. "That's how Bob Driscoll found out about him."
"But I'm kind of happy about that," I told him. Then we both laughed.
"That boy has always pushed boundaries," Sam said. "He did three years of high school in a year."
"So I've been holding him off for three years now?" I asked. "He knows what he wants though, and he goes after it. So what if he pushes?"
"It's been four years," Sam told me. I was amazed. "He met you at the Mustang adoption he got the pinto at."
"She was a filly then," I said remembering the blonde teen. "He asked me what I thought of her."
"He thought I was off talking to the BLM wranglers," Sam told me with a chuckle.
We talked a little more about Dante. I wasn't sure if Sam was trying to let me know more. Or warn me. He told me how Dante had gotten his truck running again after he bought it.
"On another note," Sam said. "There's a city-county vehicle auction Tuesday."
"Any good trucks or are they all city or county vehicles?" I asked.
"Yeah. There's a nice Chevy crew cab," Sam told me. "It's a dually with a Cummins and all-wheel drive."
"It'll go for more than three thousand."
"Well get it," I said. "In for a penny, in for a pound."
"I'm in for the pound."
Then Dante and Diane came in. Dante was lugging three bags. I could see a tear had run down his cheek. And Diane wasn't far behind.
"Well I've got enough for now," Dante announced. "Is that okay?"
"Very," I said.
"Give me a hug before you go," Diane told him holding out her arms.
"Dante gives us both a hug," Sam said.
"Dad she's just going to cry!" Dante said as he held back his own tears.
"Then she cries," I told him. "It's a mom thing."
"My mom did it when I went into the Air Force," I said. "And when I went to my first base."
With that, Diane grabbed me for a hug. And she gave me a kiss on the cheek. Then she grabbed Dante, while I shook Sam's hand.
Diane was holding off crying as best she could, but by the time we picked up Dante's bags they were both crying. I was teary-eyed myself.
The drive home to the ranch was a little one-sided. I did tell Dante about the auto auction but when he saw the ranch, Dante perked up.
We went into the bedroom. I emptied one of my dressers without to much trouble, then I made space in my walk-in closet for Dante's clothes.
After that, I got out the meat for Saturday's cookout. I prepared charcoal in the grill. But Dante was still subdued and hardly said a word.
I walked up behind him, grabbed him around the waist, and gave him a kiss.
"I'm fine," he said with a smile and tears rolling down his cheeks.
"Not yet, but you will be," I told him. "So shall we soak in the hot tub?"
"Well, let's go grab some towels," Dante said breaking into that wicked little grin. I loved that little grin.
We stripped off in the bedroom. Dante grabbed us some towels. And I grabbed my cell phone and pistol.
As I picked up my cell, it rang. Dante gave me a flat look.
"It's the AUSA," I told him. "She can leave a message, I'm on vacation."
"Thank you," Dante said giving me a kiss.
I should have answered it because an hour later we were interrupted.
Fortunately, we were only doing a little kissing and nothing more. I heard a car door and the crunch of gravel as someone came around to the patio.
"Hickok! Are you back here?" Mary called out just before she rounded the corner.
"We're back here!" I answered as she cleared the corner.
"We?" She asked. "Oh."
"Evening Mary," I said. "Mary meet Dante Green."
"Dante this is Mary Weathers. An Assistant US Attorney I work with."
Mary and I had dated on and off the last few years. Nothing too serious though.
"Mary, I'm sorry...." I started but Mary cut me off.
"Wait a minute," Mary said as she pulled out her phone, "Bob suggested that I call. But when you didn't answer."
"I'm not mad at you, Hickok," she said as she called up a picture. "This is Paula, My girlfriend."
Dante and I looked at each other. Then turned to Mary smiling.
"She lovely Mary," I said.
"Looks like a lot of people are coming out," Dante said. For which I smacked his ass.
"Hey!" Dante howled.
"Behave!" I whispered in his ear as Mary laughed.
"I'm just sayin,'" Dante said. "Hey! How about we invite them here for Saturday."
"What?" Mary said.
"Now that's an excellent idea," I said. "We're having a cookout to introduce Dante to everyone."
"Bob, Jean and the boys. George and Sherry. Even Dante's parents, Sam and Diane Green."
"How about it, Miss Weathers?" Dante asked.
"And you can pick up something for dessert," I added.
"You know I don't cook," Mary said. "And I have to ask Paula."
"Well call her then," Dante told her as he eased up on my lap. Getting the result he wanted.
"And you can buy something at a bakery," I told her.
So Mary called Paula who was thrilled. Mary said Paula was even going to take the day off and bake some pies. And Dante was teasing me the whole time.
"We'll be here then," Mary said getting up. "And Dante, you may want to wait till I'm gone before going any further."
"Nice to have met you, Miss Weathers," Dante said.
"It's Mary and nice to have met you too," Mary said. I told her to go through the house.
"Time to go inside," I said as we heard her drive off. "Especially since you want to… play."
"I guess you're right," Dante said with a kiss and that wicked grin. "And I'm beginning to feel better."
As Dante got up and grabbed a towel. I slapped his ass, just not as hard.
"Hey!" Dante barked. "You are liking that too much."
"So are you," I said getting that grin again from Dante.
"You might be right," Dante said, throwing me a towel.
We took the long way in through the kitchen. I saw a bottle of honey and surreptitiously grabbed it, hoping Dante hadn't seen it.
"So what's that for?" Dante asked as we walked down the hall.
"I thought we could sweeten things up a little," I said.
"What exactly?" Dante asked me.
I answered with my own grin, and Dante laughed.