|Into the Long Night
Author: Sierra Rose 22 PM
While trying to break a wild horse Adam is seriously injured and the family is put through an emotional upheaval, as each member of the family takes turns sitting by his bedside talking about what a special role he plays in their lives. 9th story in the seriesRated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Adam C. & Little Joe C. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 10,830 - Reviews: 81 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 16 - Updated: 07-11-12 - Published: 05-30-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8165752
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Adam raised his head to meet Alissa's surprised look as he casually quipped, "Funny thing, I don't remember ever leaving."
Then he gave her one of his dimpled smiles and she burst into tears as she ran back to the bed, and leaned over Adam as she eagerly planted kisses all over his face before finally settling on his waiting mouth.
"Oh, Adam, I was so worried you wouldn't come back to me," Alissa whispered softly, as she laid her head on Adam's broad chest and finally gave into her sobs.
Adam gently stroked her back as she cried for the next few minutes, letting all the worry and stress of the last 24 hours take over her emotions.
"Shh, everything is all right now, sweetheart, I feel fine except for this pounding headache."
It felt so good to be back in Adam's strong arms again that even after she was all cried out, Alissa continued to lay on Adam's chest silently thanking God for bringing him back to them. Eventually she sat up and smiled half heartedly as she caressed Adam's cheek ever so gently, almost afraid he wasn't really awake and she might be dreaming. Then she thought about what he had said and quickly frowned.
"Why you cheeky devil, a pounding headache indeed. Do you know how worried we all have been? Why I think your father has gained 10 years, and me, well you had me so worried I even promised things just to get you back."
Arching his eyebrow Adam Chuckled, "Yes, I do believe I heard something about you promising to behave like a proper young lady. That would be wonderful, but I find it hard to believe."
"Well that is true, but what I really said was I would try… and I will. But you know me, Adam, it really is hard for me not to get involved in all the things that you don't approve of… because there are just so many," Alissa said, with a teasing grin.
Suddenly she looked rather anxious. "Did you hear everything we were saying while you were unconscious, Adam?"
"No, sentences would drift in and out from time to time but I definitely knew you were all here. It was a wonderful feeling knowing you were all close by. But it was like I was down this dark tunnel and I could hear you, but I couldn't seem to find the end of the tunnel to get to where you all were."
"So just how much did you hear me say, Adam?" Ali asked casually, as she started fussing with the blanket around Adam.
"I remember you crying, but also you shouting something about how stubborn I was to get on that stupid horse after Joe warned me not to."
"Well you were stubborn not to listen to Joe and get on that stallion. And I was very angry with you for getting on him and putting yourself in danger, so I guess did fuss at you a little. I still am a little mad at you for doing it, but I am just so glad to have you back, I will forgive you this time," Alissa said as she winked.
"But I know if I would have gotten on a horse that was that dangerous, you would have been plenty mad at me too."
"You are so right about that! Once I got you off the horse, I would have warmed your backside good for putting yourself in danger. So just remember the warning and don't get any ideas about getting on any wild horses in the future, young lady," Adam warned.
"Not too much chance of that happening," Alissa smirked and rolled her eyes.
"I don't plan on taking on any wild horses any time soon. But that isn't the point, Adam. I just don't think it is fair."
"Sounds fair to me," Adam smiled, as he played with a lock of her hair.
Thrusting up her chin Alissa fumed, "So it is okay for you to get on a wild horse and get hurt and worry me sick, but it is not okay for me to put myself into situations where you think there is a little danger? That is just so ridiculous! I don't want you to get hurt anymore than you want me to, Adam. Besides, most of the time what you think is dangerous for me is usually no big deal. But getting on a wild bucking animal is dangerous!"
Adam lifted Alissa's chin as he grinned, "A rancher's job is dangerous sometimes I know, but let's talk about this another time, sweetheart. Right now I'm worn out and I just want to hold you and tell you how much I love you."
"Very well, but we WILL talk about this again, Mr. Cartwright."
Laying her head back down on Adam's chest, Alissa snuggled against him feeling his arms envelop her and once again she felt she was right where she was meant to be. Listening to Adam's even breathing Alissa let out a contented sigh—then she suddenly sat back up.
"Oh, Adam, I have to go and tell the rest of the family that you are awake! They will be so happy that you are back with us. We all have been talking to you all night and letting you know how much we love you."
"Yes, I have the best family a man could ask for," Adam agreed, as he smiled before stifling a yawn. He still was rather groggy from the accident, but wasn't about to say anything as he wanted to see the rest of his family.
Alissa quickly stood up and eagerly went out the door to call the others. She hurried down the hall knocking on the bedroom doors.
"Ben, Joe, Hoss…come quickly, he is awake! Our Adam is awake!"
Moments later the whole family was gathered around Adam's bed. Ben reached down and squeezed Adam's hand as he tearfully said, "It's good to have you back, son. Thank the Lord he answered our prayers."
Joe wore his usual devilish grin as he playfully commented, "Yeah, big brother…next time listen to your youngest brother and stay off of the horses that I tell you are dangerous!"
Hoss just smiled and swiped at a tear as his emotions completely overtook him. All he could do was smile and reach down and squeeze his brother's foot while he stood at the foot of Adam's bed. He didn't have to say anything, because Adam already knew how much he meant to this big man who had a heart of gold.
A tear started to trickle down Adam's cheek as he looked up at his extraordinary family and lovingly declared, "It's great to be back everyone… with the best family any man could ever be blessed with."
The morning sun was barely up and there was still a bit of a chill in the air as Adam watched the black horse as he trotted back and forth inside his enclosure. Wanting to have this time alone with the stallion he purposely got up before the rest of the family. As he watched him flick his tail and toss his head high into the air, Adam couldn't get over how impressive this horse was while it paced in the early morning light. Occasionally he would stop and look over at Adam and paw the ground, then continue to trot back and forth never changing up his routine. This had been going on for a week now and finally Adam had come to a decision—it was time to set him free.
Joe was right Adam thought, there are just some horses that can never be gentled. And even though this magnificent animal had injured him, he was a wild horse and only did what he thought would set him free. Adam held no grudges—life was too short to hold a grudge against something that was wild. And this stallion deserved to be free once again to roam the land with his herd of wild mares.
So Adam decided today was the day as he slowly started opening the front gate—the only thing that kept this powerful animal from his freedom. Once the gate was completely back up against the corral, Adam stepped aside and waited to see what the black would do.
At first he watched Adam carefully as he suddenly stopped trotting and just stood there, not moving a muscle. Then he turned his head and stared at Adam as if wondering what he was supposed to do. Finally tossing his head up and down he snorted and pawed the ground, but still didn't make a move to leave. Deciding to give him a little push Adam climbed up on to the top of the corral and waved his arms and yelled.
"Alright boy, you have your freedom…NOW GO!"
The stallion stood there watching Adam only for a moment longer and then he was off and out the gate before Adam barely blinked. And now all that was left of this wild spirited horse was a cloud of dust swirling in the corral, and Adam's memories of the day he tried to ride a horse that could never be broke and should only be free.
"And so it is done," Adam sighed, as he jumped down from the corral and headed toward the house looking forward to giving his best girl a morning kiss when she came down to breakfast.
It had been a month since Adam had been thrown and he was all recovered now and enjoying a Sunday ride with Alissa. The sun was slowly starting to set in the distance, marking the sky with an orange glow as Alissa and Adam sat on their horses overlooking the valley.
"The land is so beautiful when the sun is slowly starting to set. This is one of my favorite times of the day to be with you, Adam. It just seems all is right with the world when you look out at this vast land and appreciate its glory."
Adam reached his hand out and tenderly grasped Alissa's hand as they sat there enjoying their time together. "I know, this land just gets in your blood."
For the next several minutes they sat there quietly, each lost in their own thoughts until the stillness was abruptly interrupted by the sound of running horses.
"Look, Adam, over there by the bluff. There is a herd of wild horses and there seems to be quite a few of them. They are so beautiful when they run free like that."
Adam carefully studied the horses until the leader of the herd caught his eye. It was the black stallion, he was sure of it. Just the way he carried himself with his head high as he led his herd across the land, there was no doubt.
"Adam, is that the horse that threw you running out in front of the herd? It sure does look like him," Alissa commented, as she held her hand over her eyes to get a better look.
"Yes, I am sure it is him. He's beautiful, isn't he? Doing what he was meant to do…run free. And it looks like he has some offspring running with their mamas too. No wonder he was so intent on getting free."
Leaning in towards Alissa, Adam brought her hand to his lips and softly kissed it sending a warm shiver down Alissa's arm.
"Come on, my love, time to head home. I think it is like you said, all is right with the world tonight."
Thank you everyone who reviewed this story. I hope you enjoyed this serious story of Adam and Alissa. It was a little different from the usual funny and outlandish adventures of Alissa. But even her life has some serious moments and I think she handled this one very well. Let me know what you think, love to hear from you.
And for those who love it when Ali gets into a mess, watch for her next adventure as she gets into a bit of a brawl.