Grace did as Kitty asked and stayed for another few days. She had a lot of thinking to do, and she and Kitty both appreciated the chance to talk some things through. She remembered being daring as a little girl, sure of herself, always a leader. She and Kitty smiled remembering that there were times when Kitty was the only one with enough gumption to go along with Grace. After her parents died, Grace lost her confidence, and stopped making choices for herself. Maybe that's why when she graduated, she allowed Sister Mary Francis to get her a job as a governess, when being a governess had never crossed her mind. That's when all that pretending started. Well now it was time for her to make a life for herself.
"Kitty, I've decided to take the stage out tomorrow. I've been thinking, and I'm eager to make some changes in my life."
"Grace, I'm glad you've stayed, it gave us a chance to talk. I also want to thank you for your help taking inventory and doing the ledgers in the Long Branch while I've been spending so much time with Matt. Now tell me, what kind of changes are you thinking of?"
"Kitty, I was glad to help out. It was the least I could do, and it reminded me that I can do things other than take care of children. As for changes, first I'm going rent my own apartment. It will have to be a small one, no more mansions for me. Next I'm going to find a job that I want to do. I'm thinking of a working in a dress shop. I love to sew, I keep up on the latest fashions and now I know I'm capable of things like inventory.
Kitty nodded, "I can't wait to hear all about it, when you write."
The next morning, Grace decided that she couldn't leave without facing up to Matt. Kitty encouraged her to do so, knowing that Matt would know what to say.
By this time Matt was well enough to be moved to Doc's back room. He was sitting up in bed when Grace knocked on the door.
Grace nervously spoke, "Hello Matt. I just wanted to tell you personally how sorry I am for the trouble I caused."
"Grace, Kitty told me what you explained to her, and I think I understand. Besides, as Kitty told you, I've had lots worse things happen to me than being kissed by a beautiful woman."
"Matt, thank you for wanting to make me to feel better, but there is no excuse for what I did."
"Grace, we all make mistakes. Believe me, I know that some mistakes are hard to live with, I've made plenty of those. We can't go back, but we can go forward with what we've learned."
Grace smiled at Matt sincerely, "Thank you. I hope to do just that. Goodbye and thank you."
Grace went down to the stage, where Kitty was waiting for her. "Did that go alright?"
"Kitty like you said, he's a pretty understanding guy."
They hugged and said simultaneously, "Write soon." and then laughed.
Grace got into the stage and it drove away. Kitty went back up to Doc's.
She walked into the back room where Matt was resting, "Well Matt, every time I see you, you look ten times better than the last time."
Doc shook his head, "Don't tell him that Kitty, he's already giving me a hard time about when he thinks he should get up, he thinks he's a doctor. You talk to him, I'm going to get a drink."
Kitty laughed as Matt patted the side of his bed indicating that she should sit.
Kitty, sat on the bed and hesitated before speaking, "Matt I've been meaning to ask you something. Nothing important mind you, not important at all."
"Well I've been a little curious about how Grace talked you into going on that picnic. I know you had work to catch up on."
"Well Kitty, I still felt a little sorry about not being there to meet Grace's stage with you, and when she came to the office and said that you really wanted me to go on the picnic, well I thought it would be a way of making it up to you."
Kitty smiled and was about to continue speaking, but started looking embarrassed. She tried to keep her tone casual, "Matt, it's not important at all, but I'm just a little curious about what you two talked about when you were sitting in the sun waiting for her clothes to dry?"
Matt suddenly looked quite sheepish, "Kitty this is kind of embarrassing."
He stopped talking, but saw the look on Kitty's face and thought it best to continue, "Grace started telling me that she likes to sew and copy the latest fashions. Then she started describing dresses. Well Kitty, I guess I sort of stopped listening. I think I might have dozed off. I mean it was hot, and I hadn't been getting much sleep, and well you know."
Kitty laughed and kissed him on the forehead, "That's my Cowboy."
Matt gave a lopsided grin, "Any other questions?"
"Yes, would it hurt your chest wound if I leaned against you and gave you a hug?"
"Not if you'd come around to the other side of the bed."
Kitty walked around the other side, sat on the bed and leaned into his chest as Matt wrapped his arms around her. They both closed their eyes in contentment, being in each other's arms felt so right.
"Kitty I hope she'll be alright, she's not a bad person."
"No Matt, I think she's a good person who lost her way for a while. I have a feeling that she'll be fine and we'll be hearing from her real soon with news about her life, her real life.