Much of the last several winter months at Heartland had seen something not commonplace for almost 20 years - that being the sounds, smells and excitement of a baby in the ranch house. Peter and Lou appreciated the assistance of Mallory, who had offered to help out with the baby as part of her chore load she normally held. Of course everyone helped out with the baby when they could, enjoying the newest family member at Heartland.
As the days pasted in the middle of the winter, the baby's cries in the middle of the night became irritating to family and especially Amy, who was working hard during the day and needed her sleep to function normally during the day. Many times each week, Amy found herself placing a pillow over her head trying to drown out the baby's tantrums - usually revolving around the 2 am feedings.
Ty on the other hand, slept in the barn's loft and though it was cool during the winter, at least the baby's crying and middle of the night feedings were not causing him a lost of sleep. In fact, even Jack whom was missing out on his sleep in the ranch house, had come out to the loft to take the other bunk, where Badger had slept during his stay last summer. Jack even allows the use of a space heater, which pleased Ty when Jack decided to spend the night in the loft.
Ty however remembered Jack's statement on various occasions, "Don't think you are getting any special treatment with this heater, because when I'm not in this bunk to sleep, you're not to use the heater." Ty in typical form has answered him, "No problem Jack, I have some extra blankets to throw on my bed."
As winter broke, Lou and Peter's baby now slept through the night and Ty had his loft back to himself again. Amy was sleeping better and this met she was in a better mood during the day. Amy and Ty's relationship had improved to the point that full trust had been restored between them. They both were seen dating in Hudson at the movie theatre and even at some romantic spots in Calgary.
By May of the new year, Amy and Ty had spent a weekend away on a late spring skiing trip near Banif, up the Trans-Canada highway. Jack had allowed the trip because both Amy and Ty had worked very hard since the baby's birth. Ty had just finished his spring term at university with good grades and was getting ready to intern with Scott Cardinal, the Hudson veterinarian.
As Amy and Ty returned on Sunday evening from their skiing trip, Ty walked around the truck and opened the door for Amy, whom he helped out of the old blue GMC. Both Amy and Ty had large smiles on their faces. They grabbed their bags from the back of their truck and walked toward the ranch house. After a kiss with Ty, Amy parted ways midway, and she continued to walk to the house and Ty veered left to walk to the barn loft.
Amy went straight to her room, saying hello to grandpa, Lou and Peter as she passed through the doorway from kitchen to hallway. When Amy reached her room, she shut the door and sat heavily on her bed. Her primary thought running through her mind was this, "How am I going to explain this...", as she looked closely at her left hand which adorned a new ring on her third finger.
Amy nervously slipped the ring from her finger and placed it in her jewelry box on her dresser. Her thoughts drift back to the weekend and her and Ty's decision to elope and become husband and wife without telling the family or anyone else. That decision to get married was a correct one, the rash move to elope had perhaps been done in haste. Afterward, Amy and Ty had agreed to hold off telling anyone about their status as a married couple.
Amy had told Ty, "You know we'll have to be careful around each other until we find a way to tell everyone about being married." Ty acknowledged the circumstances, but felt he could keep the secret alongside Amy. "We'll have to find ways to be together out on trail rides and take date nights over at High River." This process seemed to work fine the first week.
At the end of the first week, Amy and Ty's trail ride on Spartan and Harley landed them near the old jumping course that Ty had built four years ago for Amy. Amy found herself being chased around the course jumps by Ty. In the end, Amy let herself be caught by Ty and he began to tickle her ribs until Amy was in tears from her laughter. Lying on the ground next to each, the married couple caught their breath while watching the white clouds float by in the blue sky.
"Do you think there is anyway you might sneak out to the loft tonight?", ask Ty. Sleeping in separate places was necessary to maintain the secret, but Ty was lonely sleeping by himself at times.
"I could sneak out, but of course then I would not get any sleep. I'd be worrying about grandpa pulling a sneak inspection or some other event happening in the middle of the night.", Amy explained to Ty. Amy smiles at Ty, "Maybe we could make out here." Ty stood up and Amy jumped up and over Ty's shoulder as Ty twirled Amy around in a circle. Pretty soon, he became dizzy from the effort and tumbled to the ground with Amy on top of him. In a matter of seconds, serious kissing was going on between them.
Ty checked his watch and saw that he needed to get back to Heartland's main ranch so that Scott Cardinal could pick him up for veterinarian work. Amy and Ty headed back with the horses at a full gallop over the grassy terrain. They arrived back at the barn just in time to see Scott's truck pull into the driveway from the roadway.
Ty unsaddled Harley and put his horse in the barn stall assigned to him. He grabbed his backpack and walked about to Amy. "See you later today sweetheart!", said Ty. A quick kiss on the lips and Ty jogged over and climbed into the vet's truck. "I'm ready to hit the road." Ty smiled at Scott. Scott smirked, "OK, let's head out."
During the daily routine of vet calls south of Hudson, Scott and Ty passed by a small cottage in an aspen grove along the roadway. Sitting near the roadway was a vintage Triumph twin cylinder motorcycle with a sign that said, "For Sale". Ty's heart beat faster as he looked at the motorcycle while passing by it. Ty's head twisted his head getting a good look at the front of the bike.
"Amazing how well kept that scooter looks to me", said Ty. Scott looked in his rearview mirror to notice the motorcycle becoming a speck as they drove on. "Would you like to stop back after our last stop for the afternoon?", asked Scott. Ty smiled broadly and signaled to Scott that indeed he wanted to check the bike out up close.
Scott asked another question, "Ty, forgive my being nosey, but you already have one motorcycle, so why the interest in another bike? I doubt Amy is going to learn to drive a two wheeled vehicle anytime soon." Scott gave Ty a little smirk.
Actually Ty knew Amy liked to ride the motorcycle and given her willingness to ride horses, Ty felt someday Amy would learn to drive a motorcycle. Ty told Scott, "Well actually I know Jack's been looking for a Triumph and that machine looked pretty well maintained." Scott looked at Ty in admiration.
Scott said, "If I did not know you better, I might think you were trying to get on Jack's good side... but then why would that be necessary." Ty avoided Scott glances and changed subjects with him. "I'm just a motorcycle geek and Jack promised we'd get to do a road trip this summer."
After the veterinarian call, Scott did stop back and Ty was able to negotiate a price for the Triumph. Ty told the seller that he would pick up the truck on Saturday. Now Ty needed to figure out where he could keep the Triumph without Jack knowing what was going on. Ty thought for awhile and remembered that Caleb said he could keep his possessions stored at the trailer if he needed too while he was gone.
Ty picked up the motorcycle on Saturday afternoon after working at Heartland with Jack fixing fences where some of the cattle had been getting out along the boundary with Tim's ranch. Ty kept thinking how great the summer's road trip was going to be with Jack on the restored Triumph, but he maintained his composure not letting Jack see his excitement.
Jack commented to Ty, "You and Amy seem to have worked things out and are getting along well." Ty smiled but kept calm. "I think we finally have a level of trust that makes us fine now." Jack commented how nice it was to have them as a couple again. Ty wished he could tell Jack the whole truth, but Amy and he wanted to do the announcement together. Ty thought, "I hate keeping Jack in the dark..."
Scott helped Ty get the Triumph to Caleb's trailer and he promised to not let anyone know about the motorcycle project for Jack. As Ty said, "Its a very important secret!"
On Saturday evening, Amy and Ty decided to go to Hudson to the movies at the theatre. They sat in the back corner of the theatre, which was only 1/3 full and spent less than 10 minutes watching the movie. Upon exiting the theatre, Amy and Ty straighten themselves a bit and combing their disheveled hair. Ty noticed a rather large red rash on his neck while looking into the mirror in the men's bathroom. He adjusted his collar on his beige button up shirt.
On exiting, Amy was waiting for Ty. "What took you so long in there?" Ty pulled Amy over to the side of the room and quickly showed him his neck. "You got a bit carried away in there tonight." Amy smirked and giggled a little. "I guess I did lose a bit of control, but we are married you know." Amy continued, "Beside look here." Amy showed Ty a safety pin on her shoulder where a clasp on her brassiere was askew. "You know Ty, your not exactly innocent either."
Ty said, "But people are going to start noticing things like this.", as Ty pointed to his neck. Amy quickly pointed to her shoulder as well. Amy said, "So what should we tell people when they ask?"
Ty concluded, "I believe we better get ready to tell the family we are legally married pretty soon... because if Jack were to ask me point blank what is going on between us, I am not sure I could lie to his face. In fact, I know I could not lie to him."
Amy reassured Ty. "Were going fine. Give it one more week, OK?" Ty nodded. "Let's plan on early next weekend... say Friday evening?" Amy looked excited and worried at the same time if that was even possible. Amy kept thinking about how her grandpa, sister and dad would react to know having been in the loop on their eloping.
By midweek, Ty was getting some work done on the Triumph motorcycle and Amy was finding plenty of work with the horses. Ty had the Triumph running pretty smoothly and was awaiting some replacement turn signal parts. In the meantime, Ty applied a couple coats of chrome polish to the exterior parts like the engine case covers and the mufflers which made the bike shine almost like new. Ty covered the bike with a tarp and drove back to Heartland and walked up to his loft room.
After dinner, Ty went upstairs to do some reading of veterinarian journals which Scott has loaned to him. Amy had decided to help Lou with dishes, but now was in the barn doing night check. When Amy finished, she climbed the all to familiar steps to the loft and walked right into the room without knocking. "Hey there honey... you were sort of quite at dinner tonight.", said Amy.
Ty stood up and walked towards Amy. "I know... I am still having a hard time maintaining the illusion of being the boyfriend." Ty looked far off in another world staring toward his loft window.
Amy decided to do something about Ty's inattentiveness. She pull him close and nuzzled his neck and earlobe with her lips. Then stepping back slightly, she said to him, "if we were just friends, would I do this?" Amy stepped right up and kissed Ty's neck and moved her lips towards his mouth. Ty responded initially before looking toward the steps and seeing Jack standing in the doorway. Amy asked Ty, "Hey what wrong?" and Ty responded with by clearing his throat slightly.
Amy released her grip from around Ty's waist and turned her head to see grandpa leaning against the door frame. "Ah, grandpa... sorry I missed seeing you standing there."
Jack snorted slightly, "Yea, I can imagine with your attention tuned elsewhere, that might be the case." Amy grimaced as she was caught in the act of showing considerable affection to Ty... maybe a bit more than was expected by grandpa of her relationship with Ty. Jack continued, "Anyway, I did not really mean to interrupt, however I wanted to let Ty here know I would appreciate his help this weekend taking some fencing panels down to the dude ranch."
Ty responded with his dutiful answer of "no problem". Jack knew if nothing else, Ty was reliable to a fault in doing about anything Jack could dish out in terms of work. The real sign that Ty was reliable was that he could have told Jack no given his internship with Scott and other work.
Jack turned and said, "hey, sorry to bother you... I'll see you in the house later Amy." Amy's face turned downcast a bit, hoping should could spend time with Ty in the loft until later in the evening. Now she had a feeling that she was on a short rope with grandpa watching the clock and her every move.
Ty said to Amy, "Well, needless to say, our little secret was almost discovered again." Amy walked over to the dresser in front of the loft window. "Where are you keeping your wedding ring?" Ty looked at Amy. "Well I am not keeping it in plain site, that is for sure." Ty walked over to the dresser and opened his sock drawer and opened it. reaching underneath the draw itself, he found the tape and pulled lose the ring that was attached there.
Amy said, "Your pretty sneaking there Mr. Borden." Ty smiled and put the ring on his finger to make sure it still fit fine. He not need have worried. Amy kissed Ty again and headed back to the ranch house. Ty removed his wedding band and replaced it under the dresser draw with the tape.
As Amy entered the ranch house, she walked over to the living room couch in front of the fireplace and sat next to her grandpa. She wanted things to appear as normal as possible with her actions. Jack was not sure what was going on and decided to ask indirectly. "Seems to me Amy that you two have been circle each other again... you know I've seen this before." Amy felt under a heavy weight and tried to be nonchalant about the observation from her grandfather. "Ty and I are fine, really... there is nothing bad going on grandpa."
Jack started using his uncomfortable facial expressions. "Amy, when you use phrases that include bad... well, let's just say I am understandable curious." Amy maintained her composure looking perplexed at her grandpa. So Jack made it clear to Amy, "OK, what's going on between the two of you?"
Amy continued to look calm, but her eyes gave away a sign of wanting to tell grandpa something and Jack picked up on it. Jack noticed a twinkle in Amy's eye that was not usually in her facial expressions. Amy said, "I can't tell you right now grandpa, but I promise I will be happy to explain it to you in a few days."
Jack sighed, but given Amy's age and independence, both of which he respected, he agreed to give Amy and Ty the time they needed before explaining their odd behavior. "OK, Amy. I can give you whatever time you need, but know that I am here for you and Ty... and secrets can be a big burden to carry for a very long time."
Amy felt her stomach tighten a bit. Did grandpa somehow know their secret and was playing along. Amy decided that was not in her grandfather's nature given the significance of the secret Amy and Ty were keeping. Amy gave grandpa Jack a kiss and went to her room. She lie in her bed considering the approaching day and time when she and Ty would have to break the news of their marriage. Amy got up and went to her windows to see the barn lights and blew a kiss toward the loft. "Goodnight Ty", she mouthed the words across the distance.
The next day, Amy needed to take out a couple of horses for exercise and Ty assisted in the field by the pond. They were able to spend time as a couple while getting work done, which was exactly what Amy and Ty enjoyed most. When the exercise period was finished, the horses were fed and watered in their stalls. Amy and Ty ran to Hudson in Ty's truck to get supplied for the horses.
In the meantime, Mallory worked to clean out the remainder of the barn stalls and water the horses in the holding pen outside the barn. Mallory finished her chores and went into the ranch house to get a drink of water from the kitchen. She was filling her glass at the sink, when Amy and Ty pulled up to the front of the house in the GMC truck. Mallory noticed that Amy was sitting right next to Ty and they both got out of the truck on Ty's side. As Amy and Ty embraced in a kiss that had Ty lifting Amy off her feet, Mallory almost choked on her mouthful of water.
Later that afternoon, Mallory came to visit Ty in his loft. Ty was busy cleaning his room and was halfway through making his bed, when Mallory entered. "Mallory, I'm busy here. Can't you tell?" Mallory put a hand on her hip, but Ty ignored her as he fluffed his pillows. Ty opened his swinging door in the loft to air it out some, navigating around Mallory, who continued to be her usually annoying presence.
Finally Mallory asked, "So are you guys back together or what?" Ty continued working, while answering the question with no special attention. "Mallory, why do you insist on making a big deal out of nothing?" Mallory, who was generally very observant in people's behaviors decided perhaps she was making a big deal out of nothing.
Mallory concluded her questioning. "OK, well I just need to know you would tell me first if something big changed in your life, right?" Ty sighed and said, "Sure Mallory - you'd be the first to know... its just in your nature." With that Mallory left Ty alone to his work in the loft. After she left, Ty say down on his bed, exhausted from his work of covering up what he really wished he could say to family and friends.
Amy and Ty went out for another ride with a couple of race horses that needed a workout in the afternoon. Amy donned her riding gear and helmet and raced across the field with Ty keeping pace for a fair distance. Amy looked over at Ty and laughed as she raced ahead. There was such a true camaraderie in their work and play each and every day.
With the horses back in their stalls and chores finished, the family sat down to dinner. Amy and Ty felt no pressure from prying eyes or questions from the family. Lou and Peter asked Amy how work was going with the race horses and Amy was able to truthful say that things were going well. Ty likewise was able to report truthfully that his work with Scott and his internship were going well.
Amy and Ty went out to do night check and ended up in Ty's loft yet again. Amy, again acting frisky in her new found marital status with Ty proceeded to start kissing Ty on his neck and pushing his toward the bed. Ty fell backwards, grabbing Amy around the waist and rolling through to end up facing her side by side. In the process, Amy's boots knocked off the books and lamp on the nightstand beside Ty's bed. "Amy Fleming, you behave yourself... you never know when Jack might show up again." Amy giggled wildly and continued to kiss his neck.
They heard Lou calling from downstairs in the barn office, where she was working. "Hey you two, what are you doing up there?" Both Ty and Amy were now laughing. Amy called out, "Nothing I can tell you with a straight face big sister." Ty got up and closed the loft door, before going back to Amy's side to continue the necking session. Amy left the loft an hour later, checked on Lou in the office and together they walked back to the ranch house.
"Lou, I know things seem to be moving fast with Ty and I, but please don't worry yourself." Lou smiled, "Well, its not my business... but I think its great that you two are getting along so well." Amy was thankful for her sister's understanding. She felt that of all the family members, Lou might understand best the news when it came later on that week.
The next day, Ty worked on the Triumph and Amy decided to visit him at the trailer. As the time neared for dinner later in the afternoon, they decided to see if the trailer had any supplied to make a dinner there. Entering the trailer, they began to look in the storage spaced for food stuffs. As Ty opened a cabinet under the sink, Ty jumped backward and fell on his backside. Amy laughed. "What are you doing?", she asked Ty.
Then as quickly as she asked the question, she saw the skunk under the sink. She immediately pulled Ty to his feet and in one quick motion, opened the trailer door and backed out of the space with all due haste. "We will not be eating in that trailer for awhile... I think we'll let Caleb handle the extermination process.", said Ty. Both Amy and Ty were laughing until their hands were on their knees doubled over. Both realized how lucky there were to not be taking tomato baths to get rid of a stench neither wished to smell on each other.
Amy suggested they drive the truck to High River and grab some Chinese food as takeout. Ty drove and Amy talked about how to break the news of their marriage tomorrow to the family. After paying for the food, Ty drove back toward Heartland and found a his favorite field to park and enjoy the sunset with Amy. They ate their chinese in the back of the truck bed. Ty found a couple blankets and placed them over their legs and waists to keep warm.
Amy sensed Ty was making a romantic moment for them and turned to face him. The kiss between them had the magic chemistry in this setting with the green fields and orangish sunset. Ty looked particularly handsome in his dark blue shirt with a hint of aftershave in the air. One noticeable behavior that Ty had changed since becoming a husband was that of shaving more frequently; Amy appreciated that fact since the kissing often led to necking and she did not like skin burns on her face and neck.
Sitting in the back of their GMC truck, Amy and Ty held each other in their arms and hugged under the blanket. Amy said, "So are we ready to announce our marital status to the family and friends?" Ty smiled and nodded. "It will be great to get this secret off of us and plan out how we move forward..." Amy and Ty decided to put on their wedding rings in the morning and show up to breakfast with the good news.
Ty drove them back to the ranch house, ready to face a new life with Amy at Heartland. As Amy and Ty entered the house, Lou and Jack sat at the kitchen table, a look of concern on their faces. Amy and Ty grabbed some glasses and orange juice, than sat down at the table. As they drank from their glasses, they noticed Lou's fingers twirling a wedding ring... Amy gasped as she noted it was not Lou's own wedding ring, but rather the one Ty had given her more than a week ago.
Jack looked at Amy and Ty with some disappointment and said, "This story ought to be one for the ages..." Amy and Ty moved their chairs closer to each other and held hands as Amy said, "We have some news for the family..."