I always thought Katy and Jack would make a cute couple. So I put that dream in the forefront of my mind and made...this.

Hope you like it.

For once, Katy McLaughlin was kind of nervous. She didn't really need his permission, per se, she was eighteen, but she wanted it. She wanted him to approve of her choice, and he might refer back to the old "My house, my rules" mantra. "Daddy! You in here?" She called into the house, when she got no answer she walked to her mom. "Mama, where's Daddy?"

"He's getting the horses with Jack and Gus." Nell said before looking up at her daughter. "Why?"

"I…uh, have to tell him something." Katy said uncomfortably, she quickly turned away to go see Flicka, hoping her mother wouldn't notice how her eyes had widened and her face had scrunched up. Unfortunately, she did. What did you do now, Katy? Katy scrambled to Flicka's stall, still somewhat flustered, and looked at her horse. "Hey, Flicka. How are you, girl?" Flicka looked at her and snorted as if to say, I'm bored. Katy laughed and told her, "Well it's your own fault for getting pregnant." If you asked her, she could have sworn her horse rolled her eyes at her. "But it's only for a few more weeks, I promise." Flicka sent her a look that said Get on with it. What's wrong? Katy looked around and then stepped inside her stall. "I need to find Daddy to tell him about…me and Jack. Anyway, I want to tell Daddy because Howard told me that if we snuck around that Dad would kill me, and Jack. So I have to tell him but I'm really worried that he'll get mad…I mean, Jack's almost 9 years older than me." She rambled on and on about how worried she was until she couldn't breathe. "Oh, Flicka…what am I going to do, girl?" She stayed there, leaning against Flicka until she felt two strong arms wrap around her. She yelped in surprise but quickly relaxed.

"Hi. You miss me?" Jack whispered in her ear.

"Mm…depends." She said smiling before leaning back into him even more. "Did you miss me?"

Jack laughed before replying, "Yes, ma'am."

"Don't call me that. That's what you call my mama." She grumbled.

"Ha…So, did you talk to your dad?"

"You're still alive. It's safe to say that no, I didn't." She said then turned around in his arms to hug him. "I don't know what to say." And for once, she really didn't.

"Just say that you're going out with your boyfriend and that you'll be back later."

"What happened to you being afraid of my father?" He shrugged before letting her go.

"You gotta tell him sometime, Katy. The sooner the better." Jack said. "Preferably before your brother gets here and beats me up."

"Howard wouldn't do that! He likes you." Katy said laughing.

"Right now." He mumbled before starting to stare at her.

"What?" She asked nervously, silently hoping that there wasn't any dirt on her face. When he kept looking at her, she punched him in the arm.

"Ow!" He said, rubbing his arm. "What was that for?"

"You were staring at me, Jack."

"Now I wasn't." Jack said defensively.

"Was to."

"Was not."

"Was to!"

"Was no-why are we acting like third-graders?" Jack asked acting confused.

"Because…I don't know, okay?" He laughed at her and smiled widely. "Stop laughing! It's not funny!" She really tried to be serious but she couldn't as he kept on laughing at her so she thought what the heck, started laughing too.

That was how Gus found them, leaning against each other in Flicka's stall laughing so hard that tears were coming out of their eyes. "What's going on in here?" He asked loudly.

Katy looked up with a huge smile on her pretty face and said, "It…it was nothing. Jack was just being an idiot."

"Oh, I was the one being the idiot? Gus, can you believe that?" He asked with an incredulous expression on his face.

Gus appeared to be in deep thought before saying, "Yup." He winked at Katy, who flashed him an amused smile. "Your dad's looking for you Katy." Once Gus said those words Katy's eyes instantly flashed to Jack's, they both wore the same expression. Fear.

Gus caught it. "What did you do now, Katy? Find another Mustang to bring home?" He asked jokingly.

"No. She just has to tell her dad about her new boyfriend." Jack said nonchalantly.

"But Katy you don't know anyone." Gus said, really confused. The only guys she was around were her father, him, Jack, and Howard. Considering that it was illegal (and incredibly GROSS) to be with Howard and her father and the fact that she definitely was not with him, that only left… "You're going out with Jack? Damn, Jack, you're gonna die."

"I'm actually impressed that you got that so quick." Jack said laughing.

"Well, I do have a quick mind." Gus said smugly.

Katy erupted in laughter once more before gaining control over herself and walking back to the house to talk with her father.

The closer she got to the house, the more nervous she got. It felt like a bunch of Mustangs were running through her stomach (A/N: Because butterflies are so over-rated) and she was beginning to doubt her decision to tell her dad. He has to know, though. The longer you keep it a secret, the worse it'll be.

So, with that thought not really helping her, she walked in. "Daddy? Gus said you wanted to talk to me?"

Her father looked up from the Email he was reading to observe his daughter… He couldn't quite put his finger on it but she had changed, it wasn't a bad change but it was a change nonetheless, and he wasn't so sure what he thought of it. "Uh…yeah. Sit down with me." Katy did so without complaint, tucking her legs under her to get comfortable. "Are you doin' okay?"

Katy nodded, "Yeah, Daddy, I'm happy. Really." She said truthfully. She was…happy. Before she had been content but now, with Jack, she was actually happy. "I'm happy to be out of high school. I'm not a kid anymore." She said consciously…This was it, her lead in.

"You're going to college. You know that." Rob told her. "You will not be uneducated."

"Yes, sir." What else could she say?

"So…why are you so happy?" He asked. Might as well bring it right out. "You've changed since your birthday, Katy."

"I know." She said quietly, staring at her hands. "Daddy…I'm-I have a boyfriend."

Well, his head shot up at that one. "From school?"

"No. He's actually…a little bit older than me." More like 9 years…

"How much older, Katy?" He asked menacingly. If some low-life perv was using his daughter…well, let's just say he'd find some use for that shotgun of his. "Is it one of Howard's friends?"

"Ew! No, Dad!" Katy laughed before saying, "It's more like…nine years. Almost."

What? Who did he know that was nine years older then his daughter…Gus was more like 13 years older than her…Oh. Jack. Jack. "You're dating…Jack?" He growled. Katy just nodded. "No. Not gonna happen."

"Why not?" She questioned stubbornly. "You like him. And nine years isn't so bad."

"Yes it is! That's almost a decade! I won't allow it!"

"I'm eighteen! I can do whatever I want! I just thought you'd like to know, that's all."

"How long?"

"My eighteenth birthday party…Well, after…I guess." Her dad was making her nervous now, he looked like he was about to murder someone…mainly Jack.

"At least you were legal…" He muttered. "So you've kept this from us for 5 months?"

5 months, 1 week, and 2 days. "Basically."


"I was afraid that you'd blow up. Which you did."

"For good reason!"

"Dad, would you rather me fall for one of Howard's stuck up city friends?"


"Exactly. So just be happy, please." Katy was desperate now. The fact remained that both she and Jack lived under her father's roof (metaphorically) and if they didn't have permission they were screwed. She wasn't about to risk Jack's job. No matter how much she loved him.

"Bring Jack in." Her father finally said. "Now."

It was hard leaving the both of them to 'talk'. Her father had dismissed her and Mama like servants. Katy had wanted to give Jack a good luck kiss…or anything, at all. She just wanted to touch him but her dad was standing right there and he'd probably kill Jack even sooner. So she just gave him a look and walked out the door.

Katy and her mother sat in an awkward silence while they could hear Rob's yells from the lawn chairs. "So…you and Jack?"

"Yeah." Katy said quietly.

"We sure didn't expect that one…" Nell murmured. But then she laughed, "'Course, we didn't expect you to inherit the ranch either."

Katy cracked a smile to her mom. "I guess I'm just unpredictable."

"Don't worry, sweetheart. Your daddy loves Jack, he'll calm down soon enough." Nell reassured her daughter. "Katy? When did you first…fall for Jack?"

"Oh…when we first got Flicka, he found me sleeping beside the pen once and he woke me up and told me to go inside before someone thought I'd slept outside. That was the first thing I noticed. Then, I noticed that he was…um-"

"Handsome? Yeah, I always thought so." Nell said lightly. "You really fell when he stood up to your daddy didn't you?"

Katy nodded. "Yeah…"

"That's when I first knew, too."

"Knew what?"

"Knew how Jack felt about you." Nell told Katy. "Not many men would stand up to your father and even fewer about his own family." Her dark-haired daughter just smiled softly and kicked the ground with her boot before jumping up.

"I'm going to go riding…"

"Okay, sweetie."

Within minutes Katy was up in the saddle, racing out of the barn and toward the woods she knew so well.

I think I'm going to do one more chapter of this. Just because I think it needs to be broken up a little bit. Please review if you love it, like it, or hate it. Either way, please let me know what you think.

Love Always,

Spit-Fire Extraordinaire