Ranch Life

I don't own these characters; I just like to spend time with them. No other profit to be had.

Author's note: This is for my friend Jane who wanted some fun and adventure on Matt and Kitty's ranch. Hope you're not disappointed. I must also give much credit and heavy praise to Jane and LilyJack for their assistance in writing this. If it's any good thank them. If not blame me.

This follows the "For the Love of Kitty" and "Three Years Later" stories.


Matt lounged against the edge of the front porch, laughing loudly as he watched his wife frantically chasing his now four year old son, trying to reclaim her ball of yarn. One half was in the child's hand and the other was spread out across the yard, in one endless stream of blue.

Hearing his laughter, Kitty spun around with an irritated frown on her face. "Don't stand there laughing at me," she grumbled, "help me get my yarn back. That's the last I have of that color and I need it to finish your scarf."

In two strides, Matt was across the lawn and had the boy scooped up into his arms, just as James threw the yarn onto the ground, where it landed in the mud at the base of his mother's just watered flower garden.

Matt laughed all the harder. "Matt!" Kitty exclaimed indignantly. "It's not funny."

Matt tried hard to sober up but Kitty could still see the laughter in the twinkling of his eyes. "Oh you," she said as she laughed with him. "Well, I guess you don't need a new scarf anytime soon anyway, huh?"

Matt broke back out into laughter as he easily cradled his son in one arm and pulled his wife into his side with the other. "No, I don't guess I do." He said.

The sound of crying from the front porch, stopped the kiss that had just started as Kitty drew away and went to check on her five month old daughter. "Now, now there sister." She cooed as she picked the baby up. "I think mama's little girl needs her nappy changed, huh?"

The baby looked up into her mothers eyes, and despite the distress of a wet bottom, grinned. Matt walked up, James still in his arms and looked perplexed at the smile on his daughter's face. "How do you do that?" he asked Kitty.

"Do what?" she asked, puzzled at his question. "Pick her up?"

"No, how do you get her to smile even when her diaper's dirty?" Matt sat James down on the porch and pulled Emily from Kitty arms as they walked back into the house.

"Come on inside James," Kitty called her son. "Getting my daughter to smile is easy, Matt." She turned back to him as the boy came in and she closed the door behind them. "I just give her what she wants."

Matt looked skeptical. "Well, then why doesn't she smile when I change her diaper?" he asked. "I'm giving her what she wants, aren't I?"

Kitty chuckled. "Well, yeah, but you're just not as good at it as I am. Besides, she's young yet. When she gets older, I'm sure she'll give you lots of smiles. Of course she'll want more than just her diaper changed in return for them."

Matt shook his head and grinned. "By golly, you know, I think she's just like her mother."

"Oh?" Kitty asked in mock irritation. "And what is it that I've asked you for lately that's so much?" she asked.

Matt laid the baby down on the changing table and gently cupped Kitty's chin as he kissed her. "Nothing I haven't been more than willing to give." He answered.

Kitty inclined her head for another kiss as Emily started crying with renewed vigor, upset at being temporarily ignored by her parents. "Hold that thought," she told Matt, "and check on James will you? I have no desire to lose anymore of my yarn."

"Yes, Ma'am," Matt grinned just as he caught sight of his son sprinting past him with another ball of yarn.


Matt sat behind his desk in his office, poring over the papers scattered across its surface, while Kitty was putting the kids to bed. He had offered to do it but Kitty had declined. He had work to do and besides she enjoyed every moment she spent with her children. Remembering the events of just a few years prior, Kitty knew all too well how fleeting life could be.

Though she had always wanted children, for years she had been content without them. Content, and for the most part even happy, with the life she had created in Dodge with Matt and her friends and the Long Branch. But tucking her son in, sitting with him while he said his prayers, and watching her sleeping daughter, was what true happiness was.

Kissing each of her children, Kitty quietly left their rooms and made her way back down to Matt's office, leaving their doors open so she could hear them if they needed her.

Matt was engrossed in the paperwork in front of him & he didn't notice Kitty walk in, until she bent down and brushed a kiss across his cheek.

"Oh," he said, startled, "sorry didn't see you come in."

"Well, that's not very flattering," she protested.

Matt pulled her onto his lap, kissing her first on the lips then trailing kisses down her neck. "That better," he asked.

Kitty giggled. "That's a lot better. " Snuggling into his arms, Kitty peered over at the paperwork spread out on the desk. "What's all this for?" she asked, noting a rough map of their ranch.

"Ah I'm just going over a few things, Kitty, nothing important. Kids down for the night?"

"Yes they are," Kitty answered. "It's just you and me, Cowboy, until one of em wakes up anyway."

Matt kissed her again and pushed back from his desk, picked Kitty up in his arms and headed for the stairs and their bedroom. "Then lets not waste time," he grinned devilishly.

Kitty grinned back at him taking one more look at the papers on the desk. Something was up. Matt had dismissed them too quickly. But as he inclined his head for another kiss, she decided she'd worry about them tomorrow. She had much more important things on her mind tonight.