"You're a lucky man, Marston. That one's a keeper."

He already knew that.

"Tarnation, how blessed you are. A man like that doesn't appear very often."

She already knew that.

"I now pronounce you husband and wife."

They already knew that.

"You may now kiss the bride."

And they already did that.


John is a simple man: He has the farm, the dog, the white picket fence. He wants his kids to not be the type of person in his past, to grow old with his wife, maybe resign early from his job as sheriff. He stops smoking the cigarettes around the kids, and he soon converts his poor mount into a harmless pony for his children.

Bonnie is a simple woman, perhaps too simple, but she is, simply, a woman. She cares and loves her husband and her children, even the little German shepherd that adoringly stares up at her every morning. She wants the hug of her father and the usual complaints from the cattle. She finds herself submitting her fiery independence for a connection that smells of chocolate chip cookies and tastes like John's coffee.

There was nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

But it wasn't as if these two didn't know that simple fact from the beginning.


"He's awake again."

Bonnie shifted to the right, closing her eyes once more. "I know."

"You want to go get him?"

Knitting her brow, she tugged the blanket higher over her shoulders and dismissed her husband, mindful of the warm arm that still hesitantly wrapped around her waist. She could perceive John looking about, unsure of what to do, how his lips quirked downwards in expectancy, as if she was to suddenly get up and walk over to the crib and make the crying stop. The winter night's utmost darkness only increased her fatigue, and a nagging vein of agitation tugged at her—how simple men were, almost basic in what they knew, what they expected women to do and to be.

Not even marriage and three children changed that, she dryly thought.


"You go get him," she mumbled, curling closer to the fire in the hearth. "Ranching has got me all tired."


"Now, John."


"Any second now."

There was a pause, before he spoke, "But you're his ma."

Too bad John found that said excuse was one that never worked.


When John Marston wakes up in the mornings, he doesn't say much.

He has the coffee, the dog at his heels, rubbing the thick haze from his eyes as the sounds of commotion envelop him faster than he could breathe. He has the next day's clothes waiting for him; he has the sheriff's badge on top of the table; he has the neigh of his horse to the left; he has the small breakfast, his shaving blade, the cold bottle of his cologne. He has his revolver lying faithfully in his holster.

But when John Marston really wakes up in the mornings, he can't say much.

Because she lies there, lids closed, her brow free from that mundane furrow, with lazy hands roaming about while the cattle ran free. Because she is the one who prepares the coffee, the clothes, the badge, buying his cologne, all in the previous day. Because she sleeps, and, God, if he had any words left after he looks at her curve of her mouth, he was damned.

Because when Bonnie Marston wakes up in the mornings, she has everything John wants to say.

And they both know it better than anyone else.