“I’m home.” I yelled coming through the door and froze in my tracks. The house was unusually quiet. What was going on?
“Anyone home?” I asked starting to get a little scared.
“In here Kat.” Buddy hollered from the dinning room.
I dropped my stuff next the to the table in the hall and made my way through the kitchen to the dinning room. I sighed as I entered seeing all of them sitting around the table like someone just died.
“Maddog told ya’ll.” I said rather than asked.
“Yup.” They all replied.
Maddog sneered at me in a way that indicated he won this time.
“Where the kids and wives?” I asked shifting without the noise.
“We told them to take them out,” Buddy said, “Told ’em we needed to talk to you alone. Brothers to sister.”
“Sit down, Kat.” Pepperoni told me.
“I’m good.” I said and leaned up against the wall and crossed my arms.
It was their turn to sigh. They knew better when I was doing something like this.
buddy licked his lips then started, “Look, Kat-
“Let me save you guys the trouble.” I told them, “I went to the rodeo and rode against Steve because I didn’t wanna tell the guys who I got a crush on, and before you ask I’d rather break my leg, again, than tell you guys who he is.”
“Keep going.” Buddy told me.
“So to get them off my back I rode the bronco. We all know I’m the best rider, and we all know, while I love him and he’s my pair, I am no Mark Andrew Jr. And I’m so tired of you, and everyone else, comparing me to you guys with your mistakes and Ma. I’m my own person.” I finished and crossed my arms.
“How long’d you stay on?” Junior asked, finally saying something.
I shrugged, but couldn’t hold back a smile as I said, “The full ten seconds.”
He grinned at me, “At’ta girl. You know how to make people proud.”
“Junior!” The others yelled.
“Oh, come on guys.” He said, “You remember the rule, no one who’s not experienced enough can ride the bronco. Hell, when I was hurt, Ma still let me go back riddin’. But that taught me somethin’, I wasn’t ready for the bronco. Kat’s ready for anything life can throw at her. Let the girl have some fun alright. What would Ma and Pop say to you guys tryin’ stop her from doin’ somethin’ she loves when she made a record?”
“I ain’t that good.” I mumbled.
“Come ‘ere.” Junior said and I obeyed.
He pulled me down into his lap and wrapped his arm around my waist holding me close. I closed my eyes remembering how Daddy’d do this too.
“Don’t let anyone hold you down, Kitten.” He said, “Not even us. Okay, be whatever you wanna be and don’t listen to what they say. We’re gonna be here for you whenever you need us, okay?” I nodded, “That’s what brother’s are for.”
I smiled, “Can your sister order in pizza for us all?” I asked.
They laughed lightly.
“What are little sisters for?” Buddy asked.
We burst out laughing.