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 Post subject: Wheelies
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Tess is a hardworking single Mom. She rents a room with the charming Mrs. Hickman that comes with a trustworthy babysitter and meals. Oh! What meals! Mrs. Hickman studied in France in her youth before marrying the love of her life.

Bud is a broken cowboy. After taking one too many tumbles from rank bulls, Bud is staying with his aunt Malory while he recovers and learns to walk again.

Bud's aunt Malory is Mrs. Hickman.

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 Post subject: Chapter 1 Meet Tess
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The engine sputtered. “Just a little further, baby,” Tess coaxed her 15 year old Chevy, hoping it would get her home. The engine sputtered again, then died.

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“No!” She had miscalculated the amount of gas she needed.

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Not that it would have mattered. She had no more money.


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Her paycheck had been gone since the day she cashed it. It took all her strength to steer to the side of the road without the help of power steering.


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The truck rolled to a stop. Resigned, she put it in park and slid out.


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Only eight more blocks. She had almost made it home.


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Tess locked the doors. She had nothing worth stealing, but it was habit.


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She was quickly happy she had splurged on a pair of nursing shoes last month. After an 8 hour shift at ????? as a waitress, her feet were done for.

Note: didn't want to name the place for you....Tell me a name and I'll edit it


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A walk would have been out of the question. Now, her feet were sore, but she could still manage to get home thanks to her investment.


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A glance at her watch told her she was going to be late. She sent a prayer of thanks for sweet old Mrs. Hickman who watched her daughter, Dawn.


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Mrs. Hickman was never unhappy with her when she was late. Never charged her the impossible dollar per minute like the daycare did.


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Tess' tummy growled. Another blessing from Mrs. Hickman was dinner waiting for her after a long shift.


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Low rent on two decent rooms in Mrs. Hickman's home was the icing on the cake. Today, even though the truck was acting up, Tess was feeling especially thankful for her blessings.


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She had been offered a promotion to manager. The position came with a salary and a regular schedule.


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Tess couldn't wait to tell Mrs. Hickman. Tess whistled the rest of the way home.


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Life was good. At her front porch, she could smell the fried chicken.


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She walked into her home to find a stranger sitting at the table holding Dawn. Dawn was absorbed in the story he was telling.


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He arched his free hand, illustrating the story. At the top of the arch, he noticed Tess watching.


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He paused in his story to give her a slow, sexy smile. Dawn noticed her and launched herself out of his arms.


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“MamaMama Mrs. Hickman's nephew came to visit he's a rodeo he lives in Montana when he's not rodeoing we picked him up from the airport today.” It was one long sentence.

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“Whoa, baby, slow down,” Tess said.
The stranger pulled out from the table and Tess noticed his wheel chair for the first time.


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His left leg was in a cast and his right in a brace. He held out his hand to her.


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“I'm Bud Hickman. I'm visiting my Aunt Malory while I heal from Tombstone.”


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“Tombstone?”
“A rank bull. I'm a rodeo cowboy.” He pointed to his dinner plate sized belt buckle.


(we share an account. 2 of us=4 sentences)


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Tess nodded her head. They were still holding hands from their handshake.


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“Mama, where's your truck?”
It took Tess a moment to remember.


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“It broke down again. It's in front of the gas station.”


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“I could look at it for you,” Bud offered.
Tess looked at his legs and cocked an eyebrow.

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“Hey, I'm down, but I'm not out. I might need a hand, but I think together we could do just about anything.”

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He gave her hand a squeeze and winked. Butterflies kicked up in her stomach.


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Mrs. Hickman came in with dinner, “I heated yours up for ya, Tess.” She set it on the table without commenting further.


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Tess let go of Bud's hand, belatedly realizing she was still holding it. She sat and began to eat.


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“Thank you, Mrs. Hickman. I was starving!”


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Dawn climbed back into Bud's lap, “Now, where were we....? Oh, yeah, the mountains....”


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Bud continued to tell her about his home. Before long, Dawn and Tess were both mesmerized.


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Tess barely noticed Mrs. Hickman clearing the table with a satisfied smile.
"Maybe you kids should check on the truck while you still have daylight," Mrs. Hickman suggested.


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"yes, Maam, I reckon we ought to," Bud replied, reaching for his hat. "Tess, if you'll lead the way."


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Dawn reached for his hat and he set it on her head. It fell, covering most of her face.


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Peels of laughter came from under the hat.
"Looks like you'll need a hat of your own," suggested Tess.


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Dawn pulled the hat off and handed it back to Bud. "Can I really have my own, Mama?"


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Tess smiled bigger. "Yes, sweetheart. I got a promotion," she replied.


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Dawn squealed loudly. "I get my very own cowboy hat!"


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"Honey, stay here with Mrs. Hickman." Tess asked.
Dawn frowned, but climbed down from Bud's lap, knowing her behavior would determine how soon she got her new hat.


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Tess followed bud to his truck around back.
"You'll have to help me in and drive."


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"sure thing." Tess followed him to the passengers side, "just let me know how to help."


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