The Hot Babysitter by Joe Aaron

THBS75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, tensions mounted between father and son as Max harshly confronted Zane about his budding romance with Tala. Meanwhile, the Sheriff continues his search for the Piggly Wiggly robber who readers voted he now realize to be a woman.

Episode 16

No wonder, the Sheriff thought to himself. No wonder they couldn’t find the hold-up man. Now, as he studied the image on the surveillance video, he saw something he’d missed before. Long black hair tucked into the robber’s shirt behind the collar. Hmmmm… And though the brim of the guys cap was pulled down low, he could see the skin on the cheek of the culprit was smooth. All this time they had been looking for a Hispanic male. Turns out, they need to start looking for a Hispanic female… or maybe a Native American female?

The next day, Zane was having lunch at a local café and getting an ear-full from Miss Elaine. She was telling him how her car had been stolen out of the church parking lot, then about how it miraculously reappeared a few days later. Zane was puzzled. Tala had been driving her car during that time. Had she stolen it? Before he could get a word in edge-wise, Miss Elaine laid into Zane for not hiring Bessie Mae’s daughter, Charlotte.

“You said you needed a nanny, but when Charlotte called the house, some woman said the job had been filled.”

“What?” Zane asked. Oh my god, Zane thought. There’s a huge mix up here. Max had brought Tala home from church, she was driving Miss Elaine’s car at the time, and they both assumed she was Bessie Mae’s daughter. But if she’s not… who is Tala, really?  

Back at the high school arena, today was the big day. Almost everyone from town packed the stands as the rodeo got underway. Barrel riders raced, calf ropers roped, bull-doggers wrestled steer, and bronc riders did their best to hold on for eight seconds while their horses leaped and bucked.

Tala sat with Max and Spike in the stands. It was clear to Max that Tala was enjoying the show. Why women are impressed by this lunacy, Max couldn’t figure out. He just knew that the female of the species was attracted to power, and for some reason, rodeoing sends the illusion of power to the female brain. At least, that was his theory.

After Butch successfully rode his bronco, he waved and bowed in a grand fashion toward Tala who couldn’t help but laugh. Whatever, Max thought. It’s just a hiccup in her DNA, she’ll get over it.

Just then, Max saw his dad approach. Zane had a few things he needed to get straight with Tala so when he sat down, he asked Max and Spike to skedaddle.

Spike and Max moved down a few rows, but Max kept looking back. The conversation between Zane and Tala appeared to be serious. Max couldn’t hear them, but it looked intense.

Is he going to ask her to marry him? Max wondered. He was sick, sick of the whole scene. This is West Texas, you have to be a stupid cowboy or you just don’t matter, Max thought. But even when he tried, even when he dressed the part, and went out for the rodeo squad, they just wouldn’t let him. It’s hopeless.

But the more he thought about it, the more he realized:

“Cowboys don’t ask for permission. If they want something, they just go for it.”

It was an “a-ha” moment for Max. Just go for it. It’s not how you dress or talk. Being a cowboy is an attitude. A demonstration of courage. Fearlessness. Max needed to stop bemoaning his “fate,” and just go for it. And that’s exactly what Max intended to do.   Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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