It had been a week and a half. Ten days. Rayna didn't know how much longer she could handle it. Ten days since she'd slept with Deacon (not for the first time, mind you), ten days since she and Teddy had had a real conversation. Now he just grunted in response to her questions. Rayna was lucky if she got a two-word answer out of him.

She knew he knew that she'd slept with Deacon. She even knew that he was surprised it hadn't happened sooner. The way you look at that man… God, Rayna, you just can't say no to him, can you? Teddy's accusations were permeating the insides of her brain. A part of her felt ashamed that she'd proven Teddy right - she couldn't say no to Deacon. A bigger part of her, however, knew that she'd never want to say no to him, because saying no to him was like turning her back on happiness.

"Mom?" asked Daphne from the backseat.

"Yeah, sweetie?" Rayna was brought out of her thoughts by her younger daughter, who wanted to know why they were going to see Uncle Deacon. "Well, honey, I just thought it might be nice, that's all."

"But why isn't Daddy coming? Is it because he hates Uncle Deacon?"

Rayna whipped her head around, "Now why would you think that?"

"I dunno… I just do…" Daphne looked down at her hands, confused, "He always seems so mad when Uncle Deacon comes around is all…"

Rayna sighed, preferring not to answer. She couldn't tell her daughter that she was right – Teddy did hate Deacon – but she couldn't lie to her either. Instead, she focused on what today would bring – a chance for Deacon to get to spend time with his daughter.

They pulled up in front of his house, the girls unbuckling their seatbelts before the car had even stopped. They jumped out and ran up the steps just as Deacon came out, wearing his classic flannel shirt, guitar in hand.

"Why hello ladies! Fancy seein' you here!" he exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear. In return he got a simultaneous "Hey Uncle Deacon!"

"And my, my, my. Look at this pretty lady," he said, staring straight at Rayna. She blushed, unsure how to act in front of the girls.

"Deacon," she acknowledged. Noticing the guitar in his hand, she asked, "Have something planned for today?"

"Do I ever. Come on, girls, let's get goin'," he said, leading the way to his truck.

They all clambered in, Rayna hopping into the passenger seat, shooting Deacon looks the entire time. Where in the world are we going? she thought.

They drove a little under an hour, going far outside city limits. The girls had been chattering the entire way, asking Deacon a whole slew of questions. Rayna sat there, content to listen to the conversation, at times drifting off to think about how her life would have been if she hadn't married Teddy.

A mistake. That's what she now knew her marriage to be. A mistake. Of course she loved her girls, and wouldn't trade them for anything in the world, but she shouldn't have given in to what her father wanted. She should have been strong for Deacon – waited.

Once again she was jolted out of her daydreams by the slowing of the car. She looked over at Deacon, "Where are we?" he just smiled and got out, so the rest of them followed suit.

"You bring your swimsuits like I told you?" he asked, rubbing his palms together.

Rayna looked at him as if he were crazy. "Well… yeah, but I don't see a pool around here anywhere…"

They were at the edge of a large field about fifteen minutes off the highway, and there was no body of water in sight. "Well Ray, I guess your not lookin' hard enough," replied Deacon, smile still plastered on his face.

Grabbing his guitar and swim trunks out of the back of the truck he started walking. "Come on!" was all it took for the girls to start running after him, and it made Rayna smile, that her girls loved him as much as she did.

After a solid ten-minute walk they came to a clearing. A soft river ran through this part of the field, which by now had turned into small forest. The trees weren't very tall, allowing plenty of light to filter through the leaves, and the grass was soft under Rayna's boots. The river wasn't too wide or too deep, until it opened up to a large pool of crisp, clear water. It's beautiful, thought Rayna, this is exactly what I needed. She stole a quick look at Deacon, but her eyes got stuck to his. She nodded her head in appreciation, and although no words were spoken between the two, they understood each other perfectly.

"Come on, guys! Let's go in!" yelled Maddie, rummaging through her mother's bag, looking for her swimsuit. Deacon and Rayna broke their gaze to attend to their daughter. This is gonna be a good one, I can feel it.


Next up... a day with Rayna, Deacon and the girls.

Reviews are appreciated :)