tagNovels and NovellasMontana Summer Ch. 11

Montana Summer Ch. 11


This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any real person is just amazing. All characters are eighteen years and older.


"What exactly did he mean?" Jessi asked Ryan after Spotted Owl had left. "There is no blood of your great grandfather in me?"

Ryan was trying to control his excitement. "I think he was telling us that you are not related to me and that my father is not your father."

Jessi looked at Ryan, her brow furrowed in thought. She was trying to grasp the enormity of the situation. She looked directly into Ryan's eyes. "Who in hell's name is my biological father then?"

Ryan reached for Jessi's hand and shook his head. "I have no idea. I need to talk to Charlie first. I need to ask him something."

"What do you need to ask him?" Jessi asked.

"I need to ask him if Spotted Owl could be right. I mean, how would he know? I don't want to get all excited over this just to be let down." Ryan tried to control his excitement over the prospect that he and Jessi were not related.

"What about Mom and Dad? Do we tell them?"

"No," Ryan replied. He squeezed Jessi's hand with both of his own. "We need to make sure we are right before we tell them."

Jessi sighed and then leaned over and kissed Ryan on the cheek. "Yeah, you're right. We need to make sure. Can I tell Becky? I have to tell someone."

"Just make sure she keeps it to herself." Ryan smiled and nodded.

There was a knock on the door and the nurse walked in and smiled at Ryan. "Okay, I need to change your dressing." She looked at Jessi. "It might be better if you waited outside."

Jessi nodded and walked outside and waited in the hall. She looked down at the floor. Each of the light-blue linoleum tiles had been identical at one time. Jessi had begun to recognize the differences now in each of them. Little nicks here and there gave each one a look of its own.

She glanced up as the nurse removed her latex gloves and tossed them in the trash. The nurse looked at Jessi. "You can come back in now. The doctor called. He is releasing Mr. McFayden to the IMC unit. As soon as a bed comes open, he will be moved."

Jessi nodded at the nurse as she walked back into the room. "Thanks."

"No problem," the nurse replied. She pointed at Ryan. "He has come a long way in a few short days. Sure surprised me when I came in and saw him tonight."

Jessi stared at the nurse for a moment. "Surprised you? How?"

"I've been off a couple of days. I wasn't expecting to see this much of a change in him. I'm glad. He seems like a nice kid."

"Yeah." Tears began to well up in Jessi's eyes. "For a cowboy, he's alright."

The nurse smiled. She could sense the bond between the young man in the bed and the girl. These were the kind of nights she wished that there were more of in her line of work—tears of happiness instead of tears of sorrow. "Okay then, I'll leave you alone with him. If you need anything, just let me know."

Jessi took the nurse's hand in hers and squeezed it. "Thanks. It seems like it's not enough, but I don't know what else to say except, thanks for everything you have done for him."

The nurse smiled at Jessi and her kind face seemed to glow. "You're welcome. You don't have to say anything else."

She watched as Jessi walked over to Ryan and kissed him on the check. She smiled and walked to the nurse's station and sat down. She looked at the charge nurse who was sitting at the desk writing in a patient's chart. "Penny, do you remember what it was like to be young and in love—really in love?"

The charge nurse looked up, her glasses perched precariously on the end of her nose. "Honey, I've got four kids and a husband. I don't even remember my own damn name half of the time."


Norm Campbell hung up the phone. This was the phone call he had been expecting. He looked at the money sitting on the kitchen table. For the first time in his life he felt that he was not in control of his own destiny.

He walked into the bathroom and studied the reflection in the mirror. The man looking back at him had lost something. It was more than the wife and child that he had forfeited due to his gambling habit. It wasn't the job at the mine he had lost due to his inability to get his work done because of his addiction to betting. The man looking back at him in the mirror looked like he had lost his soul.

He had been tempted to call his wife and tell her that he was working again—that the bills were paid, that the house was no longer in foreclosure, that there would be no more phone calls late at night demanding money. Each time he picked up the phone, he would stop. What would he tell her? How would he explain where the money was coming from?

The overpowering urge to bet on sports was only conquered by the fear of Tony somehow finding out and Norm subsequently discovering what a man like Vincenzo was capable of.

Norm turned the faucet on and let the water fill the bathroom sink. He splashed the cold water on his face as if trying to wake from a dream. He sighed when he realized that this was reality and not a dream.

He sat back down at the kitchen table and took a sip of his coffee and looked at the notes he had carefully written down on a notepad. Like most people in his line of work, his notes were exact and precise. He began to plan on what to wear and how to present himself. This meeting was as important as the one he had with Tony a few days past. He had to sell himself to the man he was going to meet later this evening.

With a sigh of resignation Norm picked up his cell phone and dialed the number he had committed to memory after his meeting with Tony and Hank.

A familiar voice answered. "Yes."

"Vincenzo, Norm Campbell here. I have been contacted and the meeting is scheduled for tonight."

"Very good, Mr. Campbell. I will tell Tony that you called," Vincenzo replied. His soft Sicilian accent still gave Norm chills.


Ryan sat up in his new bed. He had been moved overnight while he had been sleeping and barely remembered the move. He liked his new room as much as anyone could like a hospital room. The color was different than the room that he had in the ICU, and there was at least a window in this one. Ryan was grateful to see the sun again. It seemed to warm his soul.

He looked up as his aunt and uncle walked into his room. "Good morning."

Aunt Suzanne leaned down and hugged Ryan tightly. "How are you feeling?"

"Good." He pointed to where the electrodes had been attached to his body for telemetry. "At least I'm not wired up anymore."

Bill sat down in the chair on the other side of Ryan's bed and set his hat on the small table. "You're looking better. You've got some color back in your face."

"I'm feeling a lot better," Ryan replied. He pointed at the morning sunlight streaming in the window. "I can tell what time of day it is now. Up in the other room, I could see the clock, but I had no idea if it was day or night."

Bill's tone of voice turned serious. "Do you remember anything at all at about what happened?"

"No, nothing much." Ryan tried hard to remember . "All I know is I heard something and Bernie reared up, and then next thing I remember is waking up in here." Ryan didn't want to mention the dreams he had to his uncle yet. More important than the dreams themselves was the visit from Spotted Owl. Ryan wanted to talk to Charlie first. "Where's Charlie?"

"Downstairs on the payphone, talking to his wife." Bill replied. "Oh, I almost forgot." Bill raised his hand to his forehead. "Walt called last night after we left for the hotel. He says to say hi to you."

"Did they get the cattle moved?" Ryan suddenly remembered the reason for being on the mountain the night he was injured.

Bill nodded. "Yup, they got them all moved. Frank and Bucky are going to get our cattle moved over to that south pasture."

Ryan looked out the window at the mountains that surrounded the city. Overnight he had done a lot of thinking and had reached a decision. It was a decision that he knew deep down that he had to make and it was bound to make his parents, especially his mother unhappy.

After taking a deep breath, Ryan looked at his aunt and uncle. "I'm not going back to school this semester. For one, I don't think I will be ready, and for two, I don't want to leave Montana."

Suzanne looked at her husband and then at Ryan. "What will your parents say about this?"

"Nothing good, that's for sure." Ryan's laugh was devoid of humor or happiness.

"Your education is important," Bill began. "Especially today. Ranching has become much more complex since I started and it's just going to continue to do so."

"Yes, I understand that," Ryan agreed. "I'm not dropping out of school completely. I just don't think that I'm ready to go back. Not now. I thought I would check out the community college and register for some classes."

Bill ran his fingers through his hair and his eyes told the story. "Well, I'll tell you one thing. I'm not going to be the one to tell your mother."

Ryan shook his head. "No, I will tell her."

There was a look of concern on Suzanne's face. "Are you sure this is what you want, Ryan? I don't want you to regret this decision in a few years."

"Yes, I know this is what I want and I understand the need for an education. I'm not abandoning my education. I'm just changing the direction of my education. That's all." Ryan did his best to explain his decision.

Bill studied his nephew's face intently for a few moments. "Your aunt and I will support your decision, and we will do whatever we can to help."

Ryan felt better now that he had told his aunt and uncle. "I appreciate that, and I appreciate everything you have done for me over the summer."

Charlie walked in the door and came over to Ryan and shook his hand. "It is good to see you looking better."

"Thanks, Charlie. Everything fine at home? How's Walt?" Ryan asked.

Charlie grinned. "Yes, things are fine at home. The wife still remembers my name and says she hasn't sold my clothes yet. Walt is good and sends you his best wishes."


Stella was impressed. They had flown first class to Denver and it was her first experience in the front of the plane. Once they had landed, a limo from the hotel was waiting for her and Kenny. The hotel room took her breath away. She had never seen a suite this large or luxurious. After the bellhop had left the room, she looked at Kenny and her voice was breathless as she asked, "Are you sure this is the right room? I have never seen anything like this before."

Kenny smiled. The look on her face was almost worth the money he was putting out for the room. "Yes, baby, this is the right room. Yeah, it's a little pricey, but we are going to try to impress a man tonight. What could be better than something like this?"

She smiled and hugged Kenny. "No one has ever treated me the way you do. I almost feel like a lady." She stood on her tiptoes and kissed Kenny on the cheek.

"You are a lady, Stella." Kenny felt a warmth flow through his body. "Don't ever let anyone tell you different."

Her eyes studied his face looking for any sign that he was just teasing her or leading her on. She couldn't find any evidence that he was just playing with her emotions. "Thank you." Stella's voice was gentle.

Stella walked into the bathroom. "Oh my god," she whispered to herself. "I can't believe the size of this bathroom." The marble Jacuzzi tub sat a cross from one of the three fireplaces in the suite. Two large showers with shower heads on both sides flanked the tub. Gold plated fixtures that looked like swans adorned the sinks and the tub.

Kenny called out, "Would you like me to call the concierge to get you into the spa?"

She came out of the bathroom and smiled at Kenny. "Oh yes! I would love that."

Kenny chuckled as he picked up the hotel room phone and called the concierge.


The doctor examined the wound on the back of Ryan's head and then checked the wound on Ryan's shoulder. He evaluated the range-of-motion of the arm and, once satisfied, he had Ryan put his arm down. "Well, I think we can safely state that you are on your way to a full recovery."

"How long before I can go home?" Ryan gave the doctor a hopeful look.

Looking up from the chart in his hand, the doctor replied, "Oh, I think a few more days and you should be ready to leave this place. I want to have one more MRI of your head done tomorrow, just to confirm that there is no bleeding in the brain. If that comes back clear I would think just a day or two more. I want to get you up and walking tomorrow."

After the doctor left, Ryan closed his eyes and thought about the ranch and the mountains. He missed the freedom he had grown accustomed to. He missed walking outside and smelling the fresh air. He chuckled as he thought about Bernie. He wondered if Bernie missed him at all. Ryan thought one thing was for certain—Bernie may or may not miss him, but he felt assured that the horse was missing his daily apple ration.

Charlie ambled back into the room and sat in the chair beside the bed. He hoisted a bottle of root beer in the air towards Ryan. "I'm on the hard stuff today."

Ryan laughed and licked his lips. "What I wouldn't give for one of those about now."

Charlie got up and looked up and down the hall outside Ryan's door. Once he was sure that no one was on their way into the room, he reached into his jacket pocket and produced another bottle of root beer. "I thought you might be feeling that way about now, so I brought one for you, too."

Ryan licked his lips in anticipation as Charlie removed the cap and handed him the bottle. Ryan took a long swallow of the root beer and then said with conviction, "Damn, that's good!"

"Yup!" Charlie nodded with a bright smile covering his face. "It is damn good, and I hate to drink alone."

After downing most of the bottle of root beer, Ryan looked at Charlie with a serious expression on his face.

"I can see you have something on your mind," Charlie remarked.

"Yeah, I do. I got a lot on my mind. I'm just not quite sure of where to start," Ryan replied in a quiet tone of voice.

Charlie sat his bottle on the small table and then leaned over and rested his elbows on his knees. "Start anywhere."

"I had a lot of dreams, Charlie," Ryan began. "They weren't like the first dream I had or the one I had up on the mountain."

"What kind of dreams were they?" Charlie's voice was soft. He was eager to hear what Ryan had to say.

"At times, I would see and be with Mato. Most of the time, I wasn't. It seems like I spent a lot of time living the Lakota ways. I even saw when my great-grandfather met Spotted Owl and Runs With Elk."

Charlie sat there spellbound. He had never heard anything like what Ryan was telling him. The dreams that Ryan told him about were so detailed, there was no doubt in Charlie's mind that in some manner Ryan had lived in those dreams.

Ryan continued. "At one point I thought I was dead. Mato kept me from crossing over the Wanagi Tachanku. I would try to wake up, but I couldn't. I saw Spotted Owl, and from what he said I knew I was in the hospital."

Ryan paused, there were tears welling up in his eyes. "They saved me." His voice got quiet, just above a whisper. "I saw them—Charlie, I saw them—just before I got thrown."

Ryan shivered at the memory. "You should have seen them Charlie, their horses were running at a full gallop and for a moment I could see the grim look in their eyes. They were wearing war paint, and their bodies were painted, too. Their horses were at a full gallop and yet none of them held a rope or rein. They had their bows in their hands and pulled back. Then I fell backwards and that was it. They saved my life, Charlie. And I don't understand why."

Charlie studied Ryan as he clasped his hands and collected his thoughts. "I don't know why Ryan, but I do know one thing—you are wakan. You are like your great grandfather. You are a wakan wašicun. You have a great gift. I don't know if can give you all of the answers, but I will be your tunksila. I will try to show you the way.

Ryan reached over and patted Charlie on the shoulder. "Thank you. I have one more question for you. I need you to promise you won't say anything about this to anyone."

"You have my word," Charlie promised.

Ryan took a deep breath. "You know Jessi and I are close."

Charlie nodded.

"And you know that Jessi and I are..." Ryan closed his eyes for a moment. "You know that we are related."

Charlie wasn't sure where Ryan was heading with this, but again he nodded.

"It's even more complicated than you probably realize." Ryan told Charlie the whole story of the confrontation after the rodeo dance, and what Uncle Bill had revealed. "I can't explain it, but it feels like Jessi is a part of this, almost like she is part of my destiny.

Charlie's face was passive as he listened to Ryan. Inside, he ached for the boy and the girl. He had seen the love in their eyes when they were together. He couldn't recall ever seeing two people more in love than Ryan and Jessi. He had to agree with the one statement that Ryan had made. He hadn't told Ryan about one little piece of the vision he had up on Baxter's. He had seen a girl at Ryan's side and that girl had been Jessi.

"Here's what I wanted to ask you. Would Spotted Owl tell me something that wasn't true?" Ryan held his breath and waited for an answer.

"I don't think so." Charlie began. "What did he tell you?"

"He said that there was no blood of my great-grandfather in Jessi. Well, actually what he said was that Jessi would bear me a son. I told Spotted Owl that it wasn't possible and that Jessi was my half-sister. Then he reached over and touched Jessi and told us there was no blood of my great grandfather in Jessi."

A look of shock washed over Charlie's face. "No, I don't think Spotted Owl would tell you anything false. He would tell you what he would believe to be true. Now if it was Iktomi that would be a different matter."

Ryan was excited. "So it's true then!"

Charlie raised his hand. "I didn't say that. I don't know the answer. All I know, or think, is that Spotted Owl would not deceive you."


Norm Campbell straightened his tie and then knocked lightly on the door to the hotel suite. He was impressed already. He knew this hotel wasn't cheap and that a suite here must cost a considerable amount of money.

Stella answered the door and smiled at Norm. "Please come in, we have been expecting you."

Norm was impressed with the suite. He had only seen something this opulent before on television. He wondered how much this place went for a night.

"Mr. Walker will be out in a moment. Please make yourself comfortable. Can I get you anything?" Stella showed Norm to very comfortable looking chair that sat opposite a matching sofa.

"Diet Pepsi if you have it," Norm responded. He thought as he watched Stella walk to the wet bar, 'And the night with you.'

Stella could feel his eyes studying every detail of her body. She liked the feeling that she could stir desire in men with nothing but her presence. When she had asked Kenny how to dress for tonight his reply was only one word—"Hot".

Kenny came out of the bedroom carrying a couple of folders. "Good! You're here!"

Norm stood up as Kenny walked over and shook his hand. He liked Kenny's handshake, firm and deliberate.

"Sit down at the table. There is some information that I want to show you. You met my partner a few days ago? He should be here shortly." Kenny pointed to the round table, off to one side.

Stella brought the drinks to the table and set them down if front of Norm and Kenny. "If you gentlemen will excuse me, I will leave you alone."

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