Meant For Each Other

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Just because you planned life on your terms doesn't mean God doesn't have something else in mind for you.

Submitted: October 16, 2009

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Submitted: October 16, 2009

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COMING BACK TO SILVESTINE, WYOMING WAS THE BEST MOVE AUSTIN TALBERT EVER MADE. LOOKING AT THE WIDE OPEN PASTURES BROUGHT BACK A LOT OF MEMORIES. HE REMEBERED RIDING ON DUSTY OVER THOSE PASTURES. AUSTIN RECALLED THE DAY HIS FATHER BROUGHT HOME DUSTY. DUSTY WAS A SKITTISH TWO YEAR OLD GIELDING. BUT IT WASN'T LONG AFTER THAT; THAT DUSTY AND AUSTIN BONDED.
AUSTIN ALSO REMEMBERED THE DAY HE MET DAISY. DAISY WAS A TOMBOY, BUT SHE HAD A BEAUTIFUL HEART. SHE AND AUSTIN WOULD ALWAYS GO RIDING EVERY CHANCE THEY GOT. AS TIME WENT BY, AUSTIN FELT THAT HE WOULD STAND A BETTER CHANCE LIVING IN BOSTON. THAT'S WHERE AUSTIN ATTENDED COLLEGE AND MAJORED IN MEDICINE. AFTER GRADUATION, AUSTIN WAS HIRED AS A DOCTOR IN LANCASTER HOSPITAL. HE BECAME A TOP PHYSICIAN. AUSTIN WAS LIKED BY ALL THE DOCTORS AND WAS ALSO WELL RESPECTED. ELEVEN YEARS HAS GONE BY SINCE HE HAD LEFT SILVESTINE. BEING A PHYSICIAN FOR THE HOSPITAL WAS THE GREATEST BLESSING. HOWEVER, THERE WERE TIMES THAT HE WOULD COME BACK TO AN EMPTY STUDIO APARTMENT. SURE AUSTIN WAS A HANDSOME BACHELOR. THERE WASN'T A WOMAN ALIVE WHO HADN'T THOUGHT OF TYING HIM DOWN. BUT AUSTIN DIDN'T FEEL AS IF HE CAN BE ANYTHING, BUT A FRIEND. HE ALWAYS FELT AN EMPTINESS IN HIS HEART. SO WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE CHIEF OF STAFF IN LANCASTER, AUSTIN DECIDED TO TAKE A MUCH NEEDED VACATION. THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME HE WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO HAVE TIME FOR HIMSELF. AUSTIN'S FRIENDS WERE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT THAT INSTEAD OF GOING TO AN EXOTIC DESTINATION FOR A GETAWAY; HE WAS CHOOSING HIS HOMETOWN. AUSTIN LAUGHED AT THEIR FACIAL EXPRESSIONS, BUT HE ALSO KNEW THAT THEY WANTED HIM TO BE HAPPY. AFTER HIS PLANE LANDED, AUSTIN FOUND HIMSELF A RENTAL CAR AND HEADED FOR HOME.

BUD AND LOUISE TALBERT WERE VERY EXCITED TO HEAR THEIR SON WAS COMING HOME. IN FACT BUD GOT THE GRILL STARTED WHILE LOUISE INVITED EVERYONE IN SILVESTINE. THE TOWNFOLK HELD THE HIGHEST RESPECT FOR AUSTIN. THEY KNEW THAT AUSTIN WAS DESTINED TO DO GREAT THINGS. A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE WERE ALREADY AT THE TALBERT'S RANCH. DAISY WAS THE FIRST ONE TO SHOW UP AND HELPED WITH THE DECORATIONS. SHE DIDN'T KNOW WHY SHE WAS SO NERVOUS. AUSTIN AND HER WERE FRIENDS. EVEN THOUGH HE LEFT FOR COLLEGE, DAISY WAS HEART BROKEN AND MISSED HIM TERRIBLY. BUT SHE ALSO WANTED AUSTIN TO BE HAPPY AND THAT ALWAYS MATTERED TO HER.

AUSTIN'S SMILE GREW AS HE ENTERED THE FRONT GATES. DID HIS PARENTS INVITE THE ENTIRE STATE OF WYOMING? HE CHUCKLED TO HIMSELF AND PARKED THE RENTAL CAR OUT FRONT. HIS MOTHER WAS ALREADY OUT THE DOOR. AUSTIN SWALLOWED BACK HIS TEARS AS HE HELD HIS MOTHER. "MY SON LET ME LOOK AT YOU." WHISPERED LOUISE. SHE STEPPED BACK AND SAW HOW TIME HAS CHANGED HER SON. HE STILL HAD THE SIX FOOT FRAME LIKE HIS DADDY. BUT SOMETHING ELSE CAUGHT HER EYE. THE LOOK OF SADNESS IN HIS EYES. "SWEETIE ARE YOU ALRIGHT? YOU LOOK SO LOST." AUSTIN SHOOK HIS HEAD, HE ALWAYS KNEW THAT GOD GAVE HIM A SPECIAL ANGEL FO A MOM. "I'M JUST SO HAPPY TO BE HOME. I GUESS YOU CAN SAY I FEEL LIKE I HAVE BEEN GONE TOO LONG. NOW THAT I'M HERE IT FEELS AS IF A PART OF ME HAS BEEN FOUND." LOUISE SMILED, BUT SHE KNEW THAT GOD SENT AUSTIN HOME FOR A SPECIAL REASON. SHE ALSO FELT THAT THE LOOK OF BEING LOST WILL BE GONE WITHIN TIME. "COME ON HONEY LETS GET YOU SETTLED. THEN COME OUT BACK AND GET READY FOR THE HUGS AND KISSES." LAUGHING, AUSTIN GRABBED HIS SUITCASES AND FOLLOWED HIS MOM.

DAISY LOOKED HERSELF OVER FOR THE SECOND TIME. THE BUTTERFLIES IN HER STOMACH INTENSIFIED. HOW WILL AUSTIN SEE HER? WILL SHE BE A GIRL WHOSE ONLY A FRIEND? OR IS THERE A CHANCE THAT AUSTIN WILL SEE HER AS MORE? DAISY DROVE THROUGH THE TALBERT'S RANCH GATES. AS SHE EXITED HER BLAZER, DAISY CAN HEAR THE HAPPY ONGOINGS IN THE BACKYARD. AUSTIN WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL THE CHAOS. DAISY STOOD STARING AT HIM. HE GREW TO BE AN ATTRACTIVE MAN. DAISY'S HEART FLUTTERED, BUT SHE DIDN'T WANT TO GET HER HOPES UP. I WONDER IF DAISY IS GOING TO SHOW, WONDERED AUSTIN. HE OFTEN FOUND HIMSELF THINKING ABOUT DAISY. THE DAY HE DECIDED TO TRY HIS WINGS IN BOSTON, DAISY WAS HAPPY FOR HIM. ALTHOUGH IT WAS DIFFICULT TO LEAVE HER BEHIND, AUSTIN'S SENSE OF FREEDOM MATTERED TO HIM DURING THAT TIME OF HIS LIFE. LOUISE TOOK AUSTIN'S ARM AND LED HIM UNDERNEATH THE GAZEBO. "OKAY SWEETIE, SPILL IT. YOUR MIND WONDERED AND THAT LOST LOOK CAME AGAIN," SAID LOUISE. LETTING OUT A SIGH, AUSTIN ASKED HER IF DAISY WAS STILL LIVING IN SILVESTINE. " WHY DO YOU ASK HONEY?" AUSTIN REPLIED, "MOM WHEN I LEFT SILVESTINE, IT WAS THE BEST DECISION I MADE. BUT DEEP DOWN I FELT LIKE I BROKE DAISY'S HEART." LOUISE SMILED AT HER SON. "OH HONEY, DAISY STILL LIVES IN THIS TOWN. IN FACT SHE HELPED ME DECORATE THIS BACKYARD. "AUSTIN GRINNED AND HIS HEART SKIPPED A BEAT. "DOES SHE LOOK THE SAME? IS SHE COMING? WILL I BE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE HER?" LOUISE CHUCKLED AND HELD UP HER HANDS. "HONEY I'M SURE YOU'LL KNOW HOW DAISY LOOKS. LET YOUR HEART GUIDE YOU." THEN LOUISE WENT OVER TO HELP HIS DAD WITH THE FOOD. AUSTIN WAS COMING BACK TOWARD THE GUESTS WHEN HE SUDDENLY STOPPED.

COMING TOWARD HIM WAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN. HER HAIR WAS THE COLOR OF AMBER. GOLDEN TAN WENT WELL WITH THE WHITE SUNDRESS SHE WORE. WHAT CAPTURED HIS HEART WERE HER EYES. HE REMEMBERED HIS FATHER TELLING HIM THAT A WOMAN'S EYES WERE LIKE WINDOWS TO HER VERY SOUL. SHE EXPRESSES THE WAY SHE FEELS WITH HER EYES. THE EYES OF THIS WOMAN WERE STUNNING. HER EYES WERE AS SAPPHIRES. HE SAW LOVE, JOY AND ADMIRATION IN THOSE SAPPHIRE EYES. THE SMILE ALSO MADE AUSTIN'S KNEES WEAK. "HELLO AUSTIN ITS BEEN A LONG TIME. DO YOU REMEMBER ME?" AUSTIN COULDN'T BELIEVE IT AT FIRST. THIS GORGEOUS ANGEL WAS DAISY. AUSTIN OPENED HIS ARMS AND HELD HER. HER HAIR SMELLED LIKE LAVENDER. SHE GREW UP JUST THE WAY HE IMAGINED. WHEN HE RELEASED HER, HE SAW HER EYES TEAR. "OH DAISY, I HAVE MISSED YOU. WHAT'S BEEN GOING ON WITH YOU?" AUSTIN WANTED TO KNOW IF THIS WOMAN STILL HAD A LOVING HEAR OR DID IT CHANGE AS HER APPEARANCE DID. DAISY SMILED, " I MISSED YOU TOO AUSTIN. AS FOR ME, I WORK AS A NURSE IN SILVESTINE. I LOVE IT THERE, IT FEELS GOOD TO HELP PEOPLE." YEP, SHE'S STILL THE SAME LOVING DAISY, THOUGHT AUSTIN. BUD AND LOUISE WATCHED AS THE YOUNG COUPLE GOT REAQUAINTED. WITHOUT SPEAKING A WORD, THEY HELD EACH OTHERS HANDS.

IT WAS AFTER SEVEN WHEN THE LAST OF THE GUESTS LEFT. DAISY AND LOUISE TOOK DOWN THE DECORATIONS WHILE BUD AND AUSTIN CLEANED UP THE GRILL. "TELL ME SON DID YOU ENJOY YOURSELF?" ASKED BUD. AUSTIN LOOKED UP AT HIS DAD AND THEN WATCH HIS TWO FAVORITE WOMEN LAUGHING AND CARRYING ON. "YOU KNOW WHAT DAD? I HAD THE BEST TIME." BUD SMILED AND PATTED AUSTIN'S SHOULDER. "SON I'M GLAD YOU ARE HOME." WITHOUT MISSING A BEAT, "I'M GLAD TO BE HOME TOO DAD." AFTER EVERYTHING WAS PUT AWAY, AUSTIN WALKED DAISY BACK TO HER BLAZER. "DAISY ARE YOU WORKING TOMORROW?" DAISY SMILED TO HERSELF AND SEEING HOW NERVOUS AUSTIN APPEARED. "NO, I'M OFF ON THE WEEKENDS." AUSTIN LOOKED UP AT THE STARS. HE CAN'T BELIEVE HOW TENSE HE FELT. "UMMM WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO HORSEBACK RIDING WITH ME?" DAISY LOOKED INTO HIS EYES. " I WOULD LOVE TO GO OUT WITH YOU AUSTIN. WHAT TIME DO YOU WANT ME BY?" AUSTIN THOUGHT ABOUT IT FOR AWHILE. "LETS MAKE IT IN THE MORNING. WOULD NINE BE OKAY?" DAISY NODDED SHE GAVE AUSTIN A WARM EMBRACE. AS SHE GOT IN HER VEHICLE AND DROVE AWAY, AUSTIN WATCHED. HE WALKED BACK TO THE HOUSE, ASUTIN SAID A SILENT PRAYER. "GOD THANK YOU FOR BRINGING ME BACK TO THE ONES I LOVE. GIVE ME THE WISDOM TO KNOW WHAT TO DO NEXT."

DAISY FACED AUSTIN AND LOOKED DEEP INTO HIS HAZEL BLUE EYES. "AUSTIN, I BELIEVE THAT GOD MADE A SPECIAL WOMAN FOR YOU, BUT YOU GOTTA TRUST IN HIM. LET HIS LOVE IN YOUR HEART GUIDE YOU.” THEN WITHOUT THINKING, AUSTIN LEANED OVER AND LIGHTY BRUSHED HIS LIPS ON HERS. DAISY'S HEART RACED, BUT SHE LOVED THE WAY HIS LIPS FELT. "DAISY, I APOLOGIZE IF I OFFENDED YOU BY DOING THAT," STAMMERED AUSTIN. BEFORE HE COULD SAY ANOTHER WORD, DAISY PLACED HER FINGERS ON HIS LIPS.

AFTER PUTTING BACK THEIR SOCKS AND BOOTS, AUSTIN AND DAISY RODE BACK TOWARD THE RANCH. "RACE YOU BACK CITY BOY."JOKED DAISY. "YOU ARE ON COUNTRY GIRL," RESPONDED AUSTIN. THEY RACED SIDE BY SIDE AS IF THEY WERE YOUNG KIDS AGAIN. AUSTIN LOVED TO HEAR DAISY LAUGH. HER ENTIRE BODY GLOWED WHEN SHE SMILED. AUSTIN DECIDED RIGHT THEN AND THERE TO SPEND MUCH TIME WITH DAISY. HE ALSO SOUGHT AFTER GOD FOR THE PATH HE WAS MEANT TO FOLLOW. LOUISE AND BUD HAD RETURNED FROM GROCERY SHOPPING WHEN AUSTIN AND DAISY CAME BACK. "LOOK AT HIM HONEY. OUR SON IS IN LOVE WITH THAT ANGEL." LOUISE AGREED WITH HER HUSBAND, "LETS SEE WHAT HAPPENS WITH THOSE TWO LOVE BIRDS." ON SUNDAY AUSTIN ACCOMPANIED HIS PARENTS TO CHURCH. PEOPLE GREETED AUSTIN WHEN HE ENTERED THE SMALL WHITE BUILDING. THE PASTOR TAUGHT ON GOD'S TIMING. BEFORE THE SERVICE ENDED, THE PASTOR ASKED THE CONGREGATION TO REMAIN SEATED.

"BROTHERS AND SISTERS, THE CHOIR DIRECTOR HAS DECIDED TO FINISH OUR SERVICE WITH A SONG. EVERYONE KNOWS THIS BEAUTIFUL BALLAD." THE CHOIR CAME BACK ONTO THE LOFT. THEY HUMMED THE BEGINNING OF AMAZING GRACE. THEN AUSTIN HEARD A FAMILIAR VOICE. APPEARING IN FRONT OF THE CHOIR WAS DAISY. AUSTIN'S MOUTH DROPPED, NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS WAS HE EVER MOVED BY A WOMAN UNTIL NOW. DAISY SANG AMAZING GRACE BEAUTIFULLY. AS SHE NEARED THE ENDING, DAISY SPOTTED AUSTIN AND SMILED. AT THAT MOMENT ALL AUSTIN CAN SEE WAS DAISY AND NOBODY ELSE. HE FELT AS IF SHE WAS SINGING NOT ONLY TO GOD, BUT TO HIM AS WELL. TEARS OF JOY ROLLED FROM AUSTIN'S EYES. HE FELT GOD'S PRESENCE DEEP WITHIN HIS HEART. THE CONGREGATION APPLAUDED AFTER DAISY FINISHED. AUSTIN AND HIS PARENTS WENT INTO TOWN FOR LUNCH. "WASN'T SHE AWESOME MOM?" SMILED AUSTIN. BUD AND LOUISE LOOKED OVER AT AUSTIN. THEY SOME HOW KNEW THAT AUSTIN AND DAISY WERE MEANT FOR EACH OTHER. HOWEVER IT WAS UP TO THEIR SON TO MAKE THAT DECISION.

DAYS WENT BY SO QUICKLY AND BEFORE AUSTIN KNEW IT, IT WAS TIME TO HEAD BACK TO BOSTON. AUSTIN DIDN'T WANT A GOING AWAY PARTY. HE WANTED HIS LAST DAY TO BE WITH HIS PARENTS AND DAISY. LOUISE AND DAISY COOKED DINNER WHILE AUSTIN AND BUD WERE TENDING TO THE HORSES. "I'M GONNA MISS YOU SON. I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I'M VERY PROUD OF YOU." AUSTIN LOOKED AT HIS FATHER AND SAW THE TEARS. "OH DAD, I'M GONNA MISS YOU AND MOM VERY MUCH. I WON'T BE GONE FOREVER." AND WITH THAT HE GAVE HIS FATHER A HUG. LOUISE IN THE MEAN TIME WATCHED DAISY. "OH SWEETIE, I KNOW YOU ARE HURTING." DAISY LOOKED OVER AT LOUISE AND NODDED HER HEAD. "TWO PEOPLE WHO ARE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER WILL ALWAYS FIND EACH OTHER." THEN SHE GAVE DAISY A HUG AND CONTINUED SETTING THE DINING TABLE. SOON AFTER, THE MEN CAME IN AND JOINED THE LADIES. AFTER DINNER, EVERYONE WENT TO THE LIVINGROOM. "NOW IT'S TIME TO EMBARRASS OUR SON," ANNOUNCED BUD. AUSTIN TURNED RED WHEN BUD PUT IN OLD FAMILY DVD MOVIES. DAISY LAUGHED AT AUSTIN FALLING ON HIS REAR AFTER BEING BUCKED OFF BY DUSTY. "THAT WAS THE ONLY TIME HE EVER DID THAT," SAID AUSTIN SMILING. AFTER THE MOVIES, BUD AND LOUISE WENT TO BED.

THE NEXT MORNING, AUSTIN HUGGED HIS PARENTS AND LEFT FOR THE AIRPORT. WHILE HE CHECKED HIS LUGGAGE, AUSTIN HEARD HIS NAME BEING CALLED. THERE WAS DAISY RUNNING TOWARDS HIM. "I HAVE SOMETHING FOR YOU. THINK OF IT AS MY LOVE BEING CARRIED ALONG WITH YOU." AUSTIN OPENED THE LITTLE BOX. INSIDE IT WAS A SILVER CROSS. AUSTIN'S EYES SWELLED UP WITH TEARS. AFTER GIVE HER A PASSIONATE KISS HE TURNED AND BOARDED THE PLANE. DAISY'S WHOLE BODY TREMBLED, BUT SHE STOOD THERE TILL THE PLANE TOOK OFF. AUSTIN RETURNED TO LANCASTER WITH A NEW LOOK AT LIFE. HIS COLLEGUES NOTICED A CHANGE IN HIM AS WELL. AUSTIN WAS STILL A GOOD FRIEND THROUGH AND THROUGH. THEY EVEN NOTICED THE SILVER CROSS THAT HUNG AROUND HIS NECK. MONTHS WENT BY AND SOON CHRISTMAS WAS AROUND THE CORNER. DURING ALL THAT TIME AUSTIN KEPT IN TOUCH WITH DAISY. HIS HEART ACHED EVERY TIME HE HUNG UP THE PHONE. DAISY MISSED AUSTIN, BUT KEPT HERSELF BUSY. SHE WAS A CARING PERSON WHO LOVED THE PATIENTS. STILL SHE WOULD THINK OF AUSTIN AND PRAYED FOR HIS SAFE RETURN.

BACK IN LANCASTER AUSTIN DECIDED TO MOVE BACK TO SILVESTINE. HE GOT A CALL FROM THE DOCTOR THERE. THE DOCTOR TOLD AUSTIN THAT HE WAS SHORT STAFFED AND ASKED HIM IF HE WAS INTERESTED IN COMING TO WORK FOR HIM. OF COURSE HE TOLD AUSTIN TO THINK ABOUT IT AND TO GET BACK TO HIM WITH HIS ANSWER. AUSTIN LOOKED AT HIS APARTMENT AND TOOK A WALK. HE THOUGHT ABOUT THE OFFER AND WHAT IT WOULD MEAN FOR DAISY AND HIM. THREE WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS, AUSTIN REQUESTED TO BE TRANSFERED. EVEYONE WAS SORRY TO SEE HIM GO. ON THE OTHER HAND HIS HAPPINESS MEANT MORE TO THEM. AUSTIN CALLED HIS PARENTS AND FOUND OUT THAT A LONG TIME FRIEND OF THEIRS HAD PUT UP HIS HOME FOR SALE. "OH AUSTIN IT'S A BEAUTIFUL HOME. YOUR FATHER HAD IT INSPECTED AND IT WON HIS APPROVAL. WHEN WILL YOU BE ABLE TO COME?" ASKED LOUISE. AUSTIN CAN SENSE HER ANTICIPATION AND EXCITEMENT. "I'M ALREADY PACKING AND WILL HAVE MY BELONGINGS DELIEVERED IN THREE DAYS. I'M GONNA BE OUT THERE BEFORE CHRISTMAS AND MOM PLEASE DON'T TELL DAISY." HIS MOTHER PROMISED AS WELL AS HIS FATHER.

AUSTIN HAD SENT OVER HIS FURNITURE TO THE NEW HOME HE BOUGHT. THE CHIEF OF STAFF HAD ALREADY HAD HIS TRANSFER DOCUMENTS FOR HIM. AUSTIN'S FRIENDS WERE SAD TO SEE HIM GO BUT HIS HAPPINESS MATTERED. AUSTIN BOUGHT A RING FOR DAISY. A SAPPHIRE STONE WAS THE SAME COLOR AS DAISY'S EYES. IT ALSO SPARKLED WITH DIAMONDS THAT MATCHED THE STARS. HIS PARENTS HELPED HIM GET THE HOME IN ORDER JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS. "I HOPE SHE SAYS YES,"SAID AUSTIN. BUD JUST SMILED AND TRIED TO REASSURE HIS SON AS BEST AS HE COULD. DAISY HAD GOTTEN A CALL FROM LOUISE AND GRACIOUSLY ACCEPTED THE CHRISTMAS DINNER INVITATION. WHEN SHE ARRIVED, SHE WENT INTO THE KITCHEN TO HELP LOUISE. AUSTIN ARRIVED AND WAITED IN THE LIVINGROOM WHILE HIS DAD WENT TO GET DAISY. AS DAISY STEPPED OUT TO THE LIVINGROOM, SHE SAW AUSTIN AND IMMEDIATELY RAN INTO HIS ARMS. BUD AND LOUISE SMILED AND WENT BACK INTO THE KITCHEN TO GIVE THE YOUNG COUPLE PRIVACY. "OH AUSTIN I MISSED YOU SO MUCH." BEFORE DAISY CAN SAY ANOTHER WORD, AUSTIN WENT DOWN ON ONE KNEE.

DAISY'S EYES SWELLED UP WITH TEARS AND HER HEART WAS OVERJOYED. WHEN AUSTIN OPENED THE BLACK VELVET BOX, SHE GASPED AT THE BEAUTIFUL RING. AUSTIN SLIPPED IT ON HER FINGER AND DAISY HUGGED HIM. "OH AUSTIN OF COURSE I WILL MARRY YOU." AUSTIN SWUNG DAISY INTO HIS ARMS AND SPUN HER AROUND THE ROOM. BUD AND LOUISE RAN OUT OF THE KITCHEN TO CONGRATULATE THE COUPLE. AFTER DINNER, BUD AND LOUISE WENT TO BED LEAVING THE COUPLE IN THE LIVINGROOM. "AUSTIN WHY DO YOU WANT TO MARRY ME?"ASKED DAISY. AUSTIN HUGGED HER CLOSE TO HIM. "DAISY YOU COMPLETE ME IN EVERY WAY, I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW." THEN DAISY LOOKED AT AUSTIN AND SMILED. "GOOD ANSWER COUNTRY BOY." AUSTIN SMILED.

AUSTIN AND DAISY DECIDED TO TAKE A WALK. "OH AUSTIN, I'M SURE GONNA MISS YOU. I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH AND I HOPE YOU DON'T FORGET ME," WHISPERED DAISY. AUSTIN SWALLWOED A LUMP IN HIS THROAT. HE FACED DAISY AND LOOKED INTO HER EYES. DAISY'S EYES SPARKLED JUST LIKE THE STARS. "DAISY, I LOVE YOU TOO. THERE ISN'T A DAY THAT GOES BY THAT I WON'T BE THINK ABOUT YOU." THEY HELD EACH OTHER AND AUSTIN KISSED HER. HE TASTED HER TEARS AS HE GENTLY KISSED HER CHEEKS. THE NEXT MORNING, BUD HELPED AUSTIN SADDLE UP BLACK HAWK AND SUNSHINE. "YOU BE MINDFUL SON AND WHAT I HAVE SEEN. DON'T LET NO CARES COME BETWEEN YOU AND DAISY." AUSTIN TIGHTENED UP THE CINCH ON SUNSHINE. "I KNOW DAD, YOU WANT US TO BE CAREFREE." BUD SMILED AND NODDED HIS HEAD. "DON'T WORRY DAD, I'M GONNA BE TAKING IT EASY. REMEMBER THIS IS MY CHANCE FOR RELAXATION." DAISY DROVE UP AND WAVED AT LOUISE. "SON THAT LITTLE WOMAN OVER THERE IS A PRECIOUS GIFT. WHATEVER YOU DECIDE TO DO AFTER YOUR VACATION IS UP, MAKE SURE TO LET YOUR HEART GUIDE YOU." AUSTIN SMILED AND REMEMBERED THOSE EXACT WORDS FROM HIS MOTHER. AUSTIN LED THE TWO HORSES OUT THE STABLES. "OKAY CITY BOY ARE YOU READY TO RIDE?" JOKED DAISY. SHE MOUNTED SUNSHINE WHILE AUSTIN MOUNTED BLACK HAWK. "WELL HONEY I MAY HAVE COME FROM THE CITY, BUT I'LL ALWAYS BE A COUNTRY BOY AT HEART," SAID AUSTIN. GIGGLING IN RESPONSE, DAISY AND AUSTIN HEADED TOWARD THE WEST SIDE OF THE RANCH. AFTER A GOOD THIRTY MINUTES OF PEACEFUL RIDING, AUSTIN BROKE THE SILENCE. "SO DAISY WHAT DO YOU BESIDES HELPING THE SICK?" SMILING, "I HEAL THE BROKEN HEARTED." THAT REPLY KNOCKED AUSTIN FOR A LOOP. "NOW WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?" DAISY TOLD AUSTIN THAT SHE VOLUNTEERS AS ONE OF THE COUSELORS IN THEIR CHURCH. AUSTIN SHOOK HIS HEAD IN AMAZEMENT. WASN'T THERE NOTHING THAT THIS WOMAN CAN'T DO THOUGHT AUSTIN.THEY REACHED A SMALL POND WITH A MIGHTY OAK SHADING IT. AUSTIN AND DAISY DISMOUNTED, LETTING GO THE HORSES'S REINS. AUSTIN WASN'T AT ALL AMAZED WHEN THE TWO HORSES STAYED CLOSE. BUD TRAINED EACH HORSE THAT HE EVER BOUGHT. DAISY TOOK OFF HER BOOTS AND SOCKS. SHE DIPPED HER FEET IN THE COOLING WATERS. AUSTIN DECIDED TO DO THE SAME THING. "DO YOU HAVE A BOYFRIEND DAISY?" AUSTIN LOVED THE WAY DAISY BLUSHED. "NO, HOW ABOUT YOU? IS THERE A PRETTY GIRL WAITING FOR YOU IN BOSTON?" AUSTIN SHOOK HIS HEAD AND SIGHED. "TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, I DON'T THINK I'M GOOD ENOUGH FOR ANY WOMAN." DAISY STARED IN SHOCK. "WHY WOULD YOU EVEN THINK THAT WAY AUSTIN?" AUSTIN LOOKED AT HIS REFLECTION. DAISY WAITED PATIENTLY FOR HIS ANSWER. "I GUESS YOU CAN SAY I'M A LONER. SURE I HAVE FEMALE FRIENDS, BUT IT JUST DOESN'T FEEL LIKE THEY COMPLETE ME. DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY?" "DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY THERE HASN'T BEEN A MAN IN MY LIFE?" ASKED DAISY. AUSTIN SLOWLY GAVE HIS HEAD A NOD. DAISY LOOKED OUT AND WITH A SOFT TONE REPLIED, " MY HEART BELONGED TO A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE. WE RODE OUR HORSES TOGETHER." AUSTIN WAITED FOR HER TO GO ON. "I WANTED THIS BOY TO STAY WITH ME, BUT I KNEW HOW MUCH HE WANTED TO LEAVE SILVERSTINE. SO WHEN THIS BOY GOT ACCEPTED TO HIS COLLEGE. I WAS FILLED WITH HAPPINESS FOR HIM." THEN DAISY FACED AUSTIN AND AUSTIN SAW A TEAR ROLL DOWN. HE GENTLY WIPED THE TEAR AWAY AND DEPT SILENT. "WHEN THE BOY LEFT SILVERSTINE, HE TOOK MY HEART WITH HIM," SAID DAISY. AUSTIN PLACED HIS ARM AROUND HER SHOULDERS. DAISY SNUGGLED CLOSE TO HIM. THEY SAT TOGETHER FOR AWHILE. "DAISY HOW LONG WOULD YOU BE SINGLE? WHAT IF I NEVER CAME BACK?" ASKED AUSTIN. HE FELT HER SHUDDER BY HIS SIDE. "WELL THEN I WOULD HAVE DEVOTED MYSELF MORE TO MY WORK AND FOR THE CHURCH. NO MAN WOULD BE ABLE TO TAKE YOUR PLACE AUSTIN."
"HONEY, WHY DON'T YOU GO ON HOME AND MAKE YOURSELF GORGEOUS, NOT THAT YOU AIN‘T BEAUTIFUL. AUSTIN HASN'T SEEN YOU AND I'M SURE YOU WANNA GIVE HIM A RUN FOR HIS MONEY," SAID LOUISE. DAISY LAUGHED, " ARE YOU TELLIN ME THAT I LOOK TERRIBLE?" LOUISE CHUCKLED AND GAVE DAISY A HUG. "DAISY YOU ARE A PRECIOUS ANGEL. I KNOW HOW MUCH YOU MISSED AUSTIN." THEN WITH A COCKED EYEBROW, " I ALSO KNOW THAT THE DAY AUSTIN LEFT, HE LEFT WITH YOUR HEART." DAISY'S MOUTH DROPPED AND FELT THE WARMTH UPON HER CHEEKS. "WE GREW UP TOGETHER LOUISE. HE AND I USED TO RIDE OUR HORSES. THAT WAS A LONG TIME AGO AND MAYBE HE'S FORGOTTEN ALL ABOUT ME. BESIDES WE NEVER DATED, BECAUSE I KNEW THAT HE WANTED MORE OUT OF HIS LIFE. I DIDN'T WANNA HOLD HIM BACK." LOUISE'S EYES MISTED AND SMILING, "MY SON HAD A LOT OF GROWING UP TO DO SWEETIE. GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS. ONLY HE HAS A PLAN THAT ONLY HE KNOWS. THERE'S PROBABLY A REASON WHY AUSTIN IS COMING HOME, EVEN IF IT'S FOR RELAXING. THERE ARE TIMES WHEN A MAN FEELS AS IF GOING BACK TO HIS ROOTS HEALS WHATEVER IS GOING ON INSIDE HIS HEART. NOW GO ON HOME AND REFRESH YOURSELF." THINKING OVER WHAT LOUISE HAD SAID MADE DAISY WONDER. AFTER ALL THIS TIME, WHY DID AUSTIN FINALLY DECIDE TO COME BACK? WILL HE STILL REMEMBER HER?


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