A Midwest Kind Of Love

Chapter 1- Prologue

[House in the middle of the Kansas plains, home to the Ride family]

"Ladies and Gents, boys and girls of all ages, I present to y'all Kansas' number 'un cowboy, Fang Connor!" the television blared, as Fang Connor came into view on the dimly lit screen. Awe-struck girls were behind him, ogling at his black riding attire, as he winked towards the camera.

"Ridin' through the hills of Kansas, on his gleamin' horse, Midnight, Fang's the cowboy ya' call for, when ya' need 'un. He's got the horse, he's got the skills, he's got the looks — and he's got all the girls hearts on the plains." Here, Fang turned to face the girls, and tilted his hat down towards them, as one of the girls fainted.

"Need yer cattle all rounded up? Call Fang Connor: (***) ***-****!" The screen then switched to a picture of Fang riding on his black horse, Midnight, before it changed to a bunch of black lines, buzzing loudly.

A girl sitting in front of the television rolled her dark brown eyes, before flicking the television off. A younger girl looked up at her older sister from the girl's lap, "Maxie! That was him! He saved me!" she tried to convince her sister.

"Angel dear, Mr. Connor ain't savin' no one but those cows out there, you hear? S'time for bed now sweetie, 'kay?" Max told Angel, as she gently picked her up to carry her to her bed. Angel nodded solemnly in response, allowing Max to pick her up, and carry her there.

The buzzing of the T.V. came back. Popping her thumb out of her mouth, Angel pouted up at her sister. "Why do Gazzy, and Ella getta stay up and watch s'more of the tele- telly?" she whined, having trouble on pronouncing television. Max turned, and sighed. Sure enough, the old T.V. set had come back to life, and her sibling's eyes were glued to it.

"'Cause, Ange, they're older than you, okay? S'time for bed now," Max replied, trying to sound irritated at her innocent sister.

"But Gazzy's only two years older!" Angel retorted, crossing her tiny arms over her chest.

Max smiled at Angel's defiance. "Angel darlin', that's two years more than you." Angel frowned in defeat. "Now say g'night to your sibling's."

"G'night!" Angel called to the kids watching the screen, as Max led her away down the hall.

Peeling their eyes from the screen, they called back some "Night!"s in reply, and Max tucked Angel in her bed. "You warm, honey?" Angel nodded sleepily, her eyes drifting shut. Leaning forward, she kissed her forehead.

As Max turned to exit, Angel whispered, "Night Max."

Looking warmly back at the sleeping child, Max replied, "Night, kiddo," and walked out of the room, quietly shutting the door. Now, it was time to talk to her siblings. It wasn't hard to guess that they'd still be watching the television when Max reappeared, for it wasn't common for them to watch the T.V. at all.

Rarely, they got signal from where they were located, and whenever they did, most of the little time there was to watch, they were advertisements of Fang Connor. America's "Number One Cowboy."

"Max!" Ella, her sixteen-year-old sister called. "Come watch the television! Ooh, it's such a treat. Can we call Nudge over? She'd love to watch some Fang — I mean T.V.!"

Max hushed Ella. "Shh! Angel's finally sleepin'. No thanks, and of course. Just make sure she ain't gonna go into overdrive or anythin'," she replied.

Ella scoffed. "Me? Ain't she your best friend? Not mine?"

"You're the one that asked to invite her over, so she's your duty; not mine," Max grinned, arms held up in surrender.

"But she's your friend!" Ella weakly added. Max raised her eyebrows at her sister. "Fine!" Ella huffed. "I'll be makin' sure she ain't gonna wake Ange up, while you make sure Gaz doesn't pull a bomb!" she said smugly.

Max tilted her head back in disgust. "You hear, Gazzy? No bombs — concocted ones, or natural!"

Gazzy shrugged, giving his consent. All he wanted to do was watch the television, after a long day. "We didn't have anymore beans, so s'not a problem," he replied.

"That reminds me, I need to stop by the market sometime soon…" Max thought out loud. "Or, Mama can do it when she returns from town." Their mother, Valencia, was the person in charge of caring for the animals. There was only one, so she was in high demand, and rarely ever home.

Ella had left to run and get Nudge, who lived in the closest house to them, still half a mile away. The girls didn't mind; it kept them in shape either way.

When the Ella returned, Nudge behind her, they both were breathing heavily. "Is it still there?" she asked, panting, her voice hoarse, the 'there' referring to the channel. Max glanced at the T.V., only to find Gazzy sitting right in front of it.

"Yes, Ella, and Gazzy — sit your behind back on the ground! I swear, you'll hurt your eyes someday!" she snapped. "Oh, hey Nudge," Max said to the mocha-skinned girl.

"Howdy, Max," Nudge replied with a wink. "Gonna go get me enough Fang Connor to last a month!" she added. "Sweet dumplings, is he hawt!" Nudge hooted.

Max snorted in response. "Him? Hawt?" she mocked.

Nudge looked up at Max from her place on the ground. "Honey, Fang Connor is the hottest, and the most amazing cowboy to walk these plains since the beginnin' of time, understand?"

"Darlin', John Wayne is the best, and he always will be. True, this egotistical idiot is more attractive, but Wayne kicks arse, you understand?" Max smirked. Nudge rolled her caramel colored eyes, before averting them to the T.V.

"Whatever Max," she sighed. "At least ya' admitted Fang Connor is Hawt, with a capital Ha-!" Nudge said, trying to retaliate to Max's comment as best as she could.

"Nudge," Ella said, "Isn't it a capital H?" she pointed out. Again, she rolled her eyes.

"Whatever M – I'mean Ella! Lord, y'all two are so similar, even if Max is only two years older! And I thought y'all were my friends!" Nudge said, feigning sadness, as she wiped a non-existent tear from her eye.

Max grinned. "When did you ever think that?" she teased. Nudge gasped.

"You insolent imbecile!" she glared menacingly at Max. It didn't hold up very long, because another commercial of Fang Connor appeared on the television (in which Gazzy was still enchanted by). "Eek! It's him!" Nudge squealed ebulliently.

And then the television cut off, causing Nudge to growl at the black screen. "Stupid T.V.," she grumbled.

Smiling brightly, (since Nudge was angry due to the fact she could no longer stare at Fang's "hawtness",) Max picked herself off the ground. "Well… time for bed! Don't wanna enlarge Fang's ego anymore, do we?"

"No Max, his head'll explode by the size of it," the kids grumbled the standard response to Max, which was mandatory every time they watched the television.

She laughed. "Good ta'know. If only we could mark that in his head…" Max trailed off.

[Blackout]

Authors' Note: If only she knew…

Fluffy: So, how'd you like it? I struggled on the western talk, kind of. How'd I do? This is only the beginning… :) Check out our story: Behind the Curtains, please!

Bubbles: Yay! Another story from SACA BAF! Be excited peoples! We bring AWESOMENESS to the world!

Anna: Hehe. We da bomb. You just gotta acceptt that, peoples. ;)

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