A/N: I'm sorry for the long wait, but I had this chapter done for awhile, but I've been trying to write my other stories so I could post them all at the same time. I'm trying to work at a steady pace so that you can enjoy these chapters more regularly. Anyway, enjoy the chapter!
Ty took a deep breath and stepped out of his truck. He glanced around at the cabins of the dude ranch, decidedly he walked up to one of the them. Stepping over an acoustic guitar that was lying on the porch, Ty knocked on the cabin door. After about a minute, Ty knocked again. Still no answer. Ty looked around the dude ranch, searching for any sign of Rebecca.
There was a figure sitting on the fence of the pasture. She stared out at the grazing horses as the sun set behind them. Her head bowed slightly as if she was looking at something. Ty stepped off the porch and started walking across the ranch. Rebecca didn't seem to hear his footsteps until he was only a few feet away. She half-turned, saw somebody standing there and jumped down off the fence, taking her earbuds out of her ears as she did.
Her chocolate brown hair, exactly like his, was pulled back into a ponytail, her piercing blue eyes slid over him, curiosity crossing her features. Wondering why this handsome young man was standing in front of her. Then her eyes widened in recognition, a smile splitting her face.
"Ty," Rebecca said shoving her ipod in her back pocket.
"Hey, Becky," Ty replied, calling her by her childhood nickname. After a moment's hesitation, they folded each other in the other's arms. They pulled apart a minute later.
"I can't believe this is real," Rebecca admitted. "I haven't seen you since...you know."
"Yeah,...so what are you doing here?" Ty asked steering the conversation back to the girl in front of him.
"Well, I was living in Calgary for awhile, but then I had to get away...you know, from city life." Rebecca answered, she turned and started walking back to her cabin. "So, I came here, with no idea that you would be here."
Ty laughed. "Yeah, Heartland came into my life when I was in a pretty bad place." he told her. "This place changed my life and I can't imagine ever leaving it."
"You found a girl, you're in love, aren't you?" Rebecca asked him, smiling.
Ty nodded and said, "How did you know?"
"Ty, come on, it was all over your face when you were talking," Rebecca replied. "Being in love is like flying through the clouds, exhilarating and breathless, but if you're not careful you'll crash to the ground with a hollow feeling inside you, unable to fill it again."
"Whoa, that was heavy," Ty remarked. "Since when did you become a pessimist?"
"Just some things I've experienced," was all Rebecca said. Ty stopped and caught her wrist. When Rebecca turned to face him, her blue eyes had darkened and Ty could see the pain she was trying to hide from him.
"If there's something you want to talk about, you can tell me," Ty told her. "You don't have to go through whatever you're going through alone."
They had reached her cabin now. Rebecca gave him a small smile and picked up her guitar from the porch. She walked up the rest of the steps before turning to face him again. "I'm really glad you came by."
"Me too," Ty said, though he was confused at the sudden change in Rebecca. One minute she's laughing and the next she's fighting back tears. There was an awkward silence as they both stood there waiting for the other one to say something. Finally, Ty said goodbye and turned to leave.
"Ty, wait!" Rebecca called to him. Ty turned back around. It looked like she was going to say something else, but instead all she said was, "See you tomorrow." Ty hesitated, nodded and then continued walking to his truck.
Rebecca waited until Ty had driven out of the dude ranch before going inside. She leaned back against the door, putting her head in her hands. She should of told Ty, he deserved to know. But seeing the life he'd built for himself here, she couldn't bring herself to do it. He had obviously made peace with his past, would it do any good to tell him that his father had cheated on his mother? That she wasn't his cousin, but his sister. Rebecca didn't want to make things worse for Ty, but she couldn't keep this secret on top of everything else that was going on.
It was then that she decided; she would tell Ty the truth. Tomorrow, as soon as she could.
Amy ran a brush through her all ready smooth and silky blonde hair one last time and looked at herself in the mirror. She was wearing a midnight-blue dress that ended just over her knee. The bodice fit snug, but not too tight, cinched at her waist was a satin belt and the skirt fell in rivulets. Lou had actually bought the dress, but had given it to Amy instead. Until now, it had stayed at the back of her closet.
Satisfied that she looked okay, Amy turned away from the mirror and grabbed her jacket. Her silver heels clicked on the hardwood floor as Amy walked down the hall toward the living room. Jack was sitting in the armchair reading the newspaper when she came in.
"Hey, grandpa," Amy greeted. Jack looked up from his paper and his face widened into a smile when he saw his granddaughter all dressed up. He put the paper down and came over to her.
"You look beautiful, honey," Jack told Amy wrapping her up in a hug, which Amy returned. "Just like your mother." After a moment, Amy pulled back and saw her grandfather's eyes were misted over with unshed tears. Amy was about to say something when the front door creaked open and a few seconds later Ty was in the doorway to the living room. He was wearing dark jeans and a button-down shirt.
"Hey, Ty said, his gaze sweeping over Amy, taking her all in. "Are you ready?"
Amy nodded. "Yeah, bye grandpa."
Amy and Ty headed out of the house and Ty helped Amy into his truck. Amy waited until Ty had gotten in and started the truck before she asked the question that's been on her mind all day. "Did you talk to your cousin yet?"
"Uh, yeah...I did, last night," Ty answered absentmindedly as he backed up the truck and started down the driveway.
"Well? How was it?" Amy asked when Ty didn't say anything else.
"Um, it was good," Ty began, unsure of what to say. "We were both happy to see each other. We talked and it felt like we were kids again. Then..."
"What?" Amy pressed gently.
"I don't know," Ty admitted. "We were talking and then she got distant, it felt like she was holding something back. I tried to get her to talk to me, but she couldn't get away from me fast enough." Amy reached over and took Ty's hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze. Ty looked at her briefly and gave her a smile.
Golden, twinkling lights hung from the ceiling of Maggie's Diner making it look like some magical place straight from a storybook. There was a make-shift stage next to the counter with two microphones and a couple of speakers on it. There was a banner hanging over the stage that read:
Maggie's Diner Open Mic Night!
"This place looks great!" Amy said, as she walked up to the counter where Soraya was standing. The other girl was wearing a simple soft pink dress.
"Thanks, we wanted to go all out for this," Soraya replied, gesturing toward all the decorations. "If it goes well tonight, we'll have one once a week."
"Well, by the looks of it, it'll be a hit," Amy mused looking around at the people already sitting at tables and more was still coming in. One girl, in particular, was sitting in the far corner of the diner, strumming a guitar or at least that's what it looked like she was doing. Her dark brown hair fell in her face as she played.
"Yeah, we should get a table before they are all taken," Ty told Amy. Amy told Soraya she'll talk to her later and followed him to an empty table. Amy had just sat down in the chair Ty had pulled out for her when someone called out to Ty. It was the girl Amy had seen earlier playing the guitar. She had set it down on a table and was now walking over to them. Now that her hair wasn't in her face, Amy could see her eyes were bright blue, and she was wearing black skinny jeans with a white off-the-shoulder shirt. Amy suddenly felt overdressed.
"Hey, Becky!" Ty smiled at the other girl, but Amy could see the hint of uncertainty that had filled Ty. They embraced. "You didn't tell me you were going to be here tonight."
"Yeah, I must have forgot to mention I was playing here, with all the catching up we did." Rebecca said.
Ty turned to Amy. "Amy, this is my cousin, Rebecca," Ty introduced them. "Becky, this is my girlfriend, Amy."
"Hi, nice to meet you," Amy said to her.
"You too. Ty couldn't stop talking about you last night," Rebecca replied. "I love your dress."
"Thank you," Amy blushed at the thought of Ty talking about her to somebody else. She spared a glance at Ty, who had sat down opposite her. Rebecca pulled up a chair and sat down too. "So, Rebecca, Ty hasn't really told me anything about you. What are you doing here?"
Rebecca shrugged, shifting in her chair. "Living in the city wasn't enough for me anymore, I had to get away. Who would have guessed I'd end up at Ty's girlfriend's ranch."
They all talked for a few more minutes until Rebecca went back to her guitar. Amy turned to Ty. "She seems nice," she said. Ty nodded, watching his cousin pick up her guitar and start playing again.
A half hour later, Amy and Ty had just finished their dinner when the young girl about the age of thirteen hopped off the stage after singing a popular pop song. There was a few minutes of silence as the next person adjusted the mic and slid the stool over.
The first chords of a guitar was the first thing they heard and soon after a soft, melodious voice. Amy looked toward the stage and saw Rebecca sitting on the wooden stool, her fingers floating across the strings of her guitar. Her voice echoed hauntingly through the suddenly quiet diner. All eyes were on Rebecca as she sang.
I remember tears streaming down your face
When I said I'll never let you go
When all those shadows almost killed your light
I remember you said, don't leave me alone
But all that's dead and gone and past, tonight
Just close your eyes
The sun is going down
You'll be alright
No one can't hurt you now
Come morning light,
You and I will be safe and sound
Rebecca looked as if she had been transported a million miles away. She was no longer here in Maggie's Diner, but lost in, perhaps, of a once forgotten memory. Amy looked at Ty; he saw it too. Rebecca continued to sing, stuck halfway between the past and the present.
Don't you dare look out your window,
Darling everything is on fire
The war outside our door keeps raging on
Hold on to this lullaby
Even when music's gone, gone
Just close your eyes
The sun is going down
You'll be alright
No one can hurt you now
Come morning light,
You and I will be safe and sound
When Rebecca finished the song, everybody in the diner burst into applause. Everybody was moved by her performance. But she wasn't hearing them; instead she was staring at an empty chair in front of the stage, a big smile on her face as if someone was actually sitting there. Then, it was as if she broke out of a trance and came back to the present. Rebecca smiled politely to the crowd and slipped off the stage and hurried back to her seat, avoiding eye contact with Amy and Ty.
Amy and Ty decided to stay for a few more songs and dessert, one slice of apple pie topped with whipped cream. Everybody was having fun with the open mic night, no one seemed to care if they were good or bad singers; there were more bad singers than good ones. Rebecca didn't sing again.
"Are you ready to go home?" Ty asked Amy when they finished the piece of pie. Amy nodded, taking a sip of her water. Ty put some money on the table and they both stood up to leave. Ty's arm slid around Amy's shoulder. "Are you sure you don't want to sing?"
Amy smiled and shook her head, "Maybe some other time," she said. "I think Rebecca stole the show tonight." They pushed open the door to go outside.
They both turned around to see Rebecca hurrying up to them. She stopped in front of Ty and pulled him away from Amy. Amy couldn't help but follow. "There's something I have to tell you," Rebecca said. "I've been thinking of this all night and you deserve to know."
"Deserve to know what?" Ty asked her.
"About your father," Rebecca answered. She kept looking around the diner as if to make sure no one else could hear what she was about to hear. She looked right past Amy.
"What about my father? Becky, what are you talking about?" Ty asked again. He was trying to keep his voice calm, but she wasn't making any sense.
"He had an affair. With my mother," Rebecca told him. Amy's eyes widened and Ty went completely still. "I'm sorry, Ty, but he cheated on you mother and I was the result. I'm your half-sister."
A/N: * Gasps * How will Ty react? Sorry to leave you guys with that HUGE cliffhanger, but I couldn't help myself. The next chapter will be posted soon after I update the rest of my fanfics. Watch for my other fics, Speak Now and When Evil Strikes Back, to be updated in the next few days. Please review, it makes me very happy!