Alexandra agrees to learn to ride a horse.
Quiet Lawyer Chapter 2
Background Nothing mends a broken heart, like someone wonderful giving you theirs. Will Cordero give his heart to Alexandra? If he does, will she accept it? Will Alexandra discover if she's the girl next door
ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:
"I'm answering your question as honestly as I can." Taking another bite of ice cream, he said, "While you're visiting, why don't I take you to some of our social events and you can judge for yourself?"
"Maybe, but I've heard rumors that a lot more goes on at drive-in theaters than watching a movie."
Chuckling, Cordero continued, "I can promise nothing like that will happen. I meant taking you as a big brother/friend."
"Then I'd like to go." Alexandra glanced at her ringing phone and flipped it over. She closed her eyes, exhaled, and then stared off in the distance.
Cordero moved her hand from the phone and glanced at it. "Is Alan the man who broke your heart?" After she wiped an escaped tear, he continued, "How often does he call?" She didn't answer. "What's your passcode?"
"I'm trying to help."
"Zero, six, nineteen, ninety-one."
He typed it in. "You shouldn't use your birthday as a passcode."
"How do you know...?"
"I'm exactly two weeks older than you," interrupted Cordero. He searched her phone. "He's called or texted twenty-one times today. Have you told him to stop?"
Alexandra nodded. "The first time he called I told him to never call or text again. I never answered since, but he still does. I've never replied to his text."
Cordero clicked some buttons and handed back her phone. "You don't need to worry about him bothering you. I've blocked his number."
"Won't that make him angry?"
"Probably. Why do you care?" Cordero studied her. "Are you worried...?" He placed his hand over hers. "I won't allow him to hurt you. I promise." Samson nuzzled his head onto her lap. "He won't either."
"Does he know you're here?"
"I don't think so, but at some point I'll need to return home."
Cordero's eyes twinkled. "Unless you like our night life so much you decide to stay."
"I doubt there are any opportunities for a corporate lawyer in Alpine."
"You might be surprised," he teased. Glancing at his watch, he stood. "It's getting late. I'll walk you to your room."
"You don't need to."
"I try to be a gentleman and that's what we do."
She smiled. "Okay, then." At her bedroom door, her cheeks tinged pink. "Thank you."
Cordero winked. "You're welcome." He petted Samson, who'd followed. "Tonight you need to stay in my room."
Thursday morning, Cordero entered the kitchen as his mom set the table.
Rosa glanced at her son. "Did you hear movement from Alexandra's room? I'm wondering if she's up."
"I'm sure she's sleeping in. It was pretty late when we finished talking last night. I glanced in when I couldn't find Samson."
His mom's hand flew over her mouth. "No?"
"Yep, he's in bed with her. I couldn't figure out how to get him without waking her." He glanced around. "Where's Dad?"
"Checking the barn. He wanted to make sure Dolly and Chip have everything they need. He'll be here in a few minutes. Pour yourself some coffee."
As they sat at the table, Rosa asked, "How's it going with Alexandra?"
"If you're asking, if we've made friends, I think so. She seems comfortable with me."
"Mom, if you're attempting match-making. It won't work. I'm a cowboy and she's a big city lawyer. The two don't mix."
"Your dad and I made it work. Don't forget how much her mom loves it here."
"True, but Tonia goes back to New York City after every visit. I'm being realistic."
Jorge walked in. "What am I missing?"
"Nothing. Mom's being Mom." Cordero grinned.
He kissed his wife's cheek. "Of course, that's what she does best." He scanned the table. "I heard a rumor about breakfast."
Rosa stood. "It's ready. I didn't want it to get cold."
Before Rosa had breakfast on the table, Alexandra joined them. "Sorry, I overslept. I hope I didn't hold you up."
"Don't worry. Cord said you two were up late last night."
Alexandra's cheeks tinged pink.
Rosa hugged Alexandra. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it that way. I'm glad you've made friends." She glanced at the table. "I'll get another pot of coffee started."
From the kitchen, Rosa called, "Cord, Samson's in the pool again."
Cordero shook his head. "Let him play."
Alexandra's eyebrows rose. "Is he safe?"
"That's what he does. He loves water. If you're in the pool, he might jump in and save you." As Alexandra watched out the back window, watching the dog, Cordero asked, "You're not a dog person, are you?"
"I have a Blue Point Siamese kitty, Lily. Mom's taking care of her."
Cordero put his hand over his chest. "Don't tell Samson. You'll break his heart."
Rosa went to the hutch and opened a drawer. "Here's a picture of Alexandra and Lily." She handed the photo to Cordero.
Cordero studied it before he commented, "Lily's pretty. You look happy. Your eyes are sparkling." He glanced at the back. "This says Ali and Lily. September 2020."
Rosa sipped coffee. "I remember that day as if it were yesterday. On that trip, I watched her in the courtroom and she won a big case. We were all going to celebrate, but her mom got called back to the office, so Ali, sorry, Alexandra and I went to Central Park for a picnic. We had a great time."
Alexandra laughed. "Only it rained."
"It sure did. According to some men's comments as we ran to the limousine, we won a few wet T-shirts contests."
His eyes widened as he grinned and glanced at Alexandra. "Wet T-shirt contests?"
Alexandra avoided eye contact. "Maybe."
Handing Alexandra the photo, Cordero continued, "You look like the girl next door. You're barefooted, wearing sweats, and a T-shirt. Your hair's in a ponytail and no make-up. Is this the real you or are you a high-society lady?" His eyes met hers as he waited for a response.
After swallowing a few times, Alexandra whispered, "I don't know anymore."
He took the picture back and studied it. "I hope while you're here you can decide." After he answered and hung up his ringing phone, he said, "I wish I could stay and finish this conversation, but I can't." He stood. "I'll see you ladies at dinner. Dad, can we talk?"
After the men left, Rosa and Alexandra drank coffee and visited.
Rosa asked, "Any idea what you're shopping for?"
"For sure pajamas." When Rosa tilted her head, Alexandra continued, "Samson comes in my room, and Cord has come in to get him. I sleep in a nightshirt. It's probably not appropriate."
"Cord's a good man, but he's not a saint, and you're a beautiful young lady." She paused. "What else?"
"Not sure, maybe jeans, blouses, and of course boots. Anything else that catches my eye." She emptied her coffee cup.
Rosa stood. "Sounds like a plan. Let's get this mess cleaned up. We'll eat lunch in town. I know an adorable little diner."
As Alexandra and Rosa finished making dinner, Jorge and Cordero walked to the kitchen and placed their cowboy hats on pegs.
A grin crossed Cordero's lips. "I see it but I don't believe it."
Rosa gave her son a warning glare.
He nodded in his mom's direction as he moved closer to Alexandra and held out his hand. "Good evening, my name's Cordero Ortiz. You resemble someone I met yesterday. Have we met?"
She accepted his hand. "I'm not sure. I'm Alexandra Black, but my friends call me Ali." She swallowed. "You may call me Ali."
"I'm glad to meet you."
She almost whispered, "I heard a rumor you're the person to talk to about learning to ride a horse."
"Ma'am, you heard right. How about after dinner we go to the barn, and you can meet Dolly? I think you and her will get along." He faced his mom. "How long until we eat?"
"Less than five minutes."
After dinner, Cordero grabbed his cowboy hat and grinned at Alexandra. "Ready to meet Dolly?"
She stood. "I am but give me a minute." She hurried to her bedroom.
When Alexandra returned, she held up a blue jean jacket. "I don't need to borrow yours."
Cordero chuckled. "Darn! I'm enjoying my jacket smelling like jasmine." He hesitated and sniffed the air. "Mom, do I smell brownies?"
Using two hot pads, Rosa held a baking dish. "You do. After they cool you can have some."
"While in town did you get more ice cream?"
Alexandra tilted her head. "I wondered why your mom bought so much ice cream. Now I know." She gently touched Cordero's shoulder. "You're an ice cream junkie."
He grabbed her hand. "Guilty. Let's meet Dolly."
"Wait!" Alexandra pulled her hand away. "One second." She turned and left."
Cordero removed his hat and sat. "We're never getting to the barn."
Moments later, Alexandra asked, "Ready?"
Standing Cordero grinned. "Like your hat."
"I heard I couldn't ride without one."
After adjusting it on her head, he added, "So, you're turning into a regular cowgirl, huh?"
"The verdict's still out."
He placed his hand on the small of her back. "Of course, it is."
Crickets, mockingbirds, owls, frogs, and cicadas could be heard.
"It's not quiet, is it?" asked Alexandra.
"Mother Nature at her finest. You're right, she's not quiet. You don't need to go to fancy concerts."
Cordero stopped. "Wait here. I forgot something." He jogged back to the house.
I didn't know it could be this dark. Alexandra glanced toward the barn and then turned toward the house. I'm half way between them.
An owl hooted.
She jumped and took a deep breath. I don't know what's in the barn. She turned, panicked, and bumped into someone. "Help!!"
A hand touched each of her shoulders. "It's okay."
Alexandra ran yelling, "Don't touch me!"
Cordero came from the house. "Ali?"
She pointed and took deep breaths. "A man!"
Jim said, "Sorry, Boss, I scared her."
Cordero embraced her. "It's okay." When his hug ended, he said, "This is Jim. He's a ranch hand and helps mainly around Mom and Dad's house, the main house. It's my fault. I should've introduced you and..." he stepped back and held up a bunch of carrots, "shouldn't have forgotten the carrots. Dolly likes carrots. I wanted you two to get off on the right foot."
Alexandra studied Jim. "I'm sorry. I'm from New York City. If a stranger touches you..."
"You'd be in danger," interrupted Jim. "I should've said something as I came up. I wasn't thinking." He held out his hand. "Can we start over? I'm Jim, and it's nice to meet you."
Alexandra accepted his hand. "I'm Alexandra. It's nice to meet you."
After a moment of silence, Cordero said, "Ready to meet Dolly?"
Jim rushed ahead, slid open the barn door, and waited for them to enter. "Your dad told me to have Dolly saddled by late morning."
Cordero's eyes met Alexandra's. "Think we can be ready around eight o'clock?"
"Maybe eight-thirty, I want to help Rosa with the dishes."
Cordero nodded. "Eight-thirty it is." He walked farther into the barn and pointed. "Ali..." He hesitated and waited. After she smiled, he continued, "Meet Dolly."
Dolly raised her head so Cordero could pet her muzzle. After a few moments, he took Alexandra's hand and led it to Dolly.
As she touched the horse, she said, "Her nose is soft. Almost like velvet."
"You're right. It's called a muzzle."
Jim put his hand on the gate. "Boss, you want me to let her out?"
"Let's wait and see how these two ladies get along." Cordero kept his hand flat and placed a carrot in it. "Watch."
Dolly took it.
"Want to try?"
Alexandra's eyes twinkled. "Yes."
Cordero used his hand as an example. "Hold yours like this." After she did, he placed a carrot in it.
Dolly reached over and took it.
"When feeding a horse, be sure your hand's flat. That way you won't risk missing fingers."
Smiling, Alexandra said, "Thank you for the advice." She reached over and petted Dolly's neck.
Dolly moved her head and nuzzled Alexandra's chest.
Alexandra stepped back a little. "She's strong."
"She is. Ready to see the whole horse or you want to wait until tomorrow?" After she answered, Cordero said, "Jim, open the gate and lead Dolly out." He took Alexandra's elbow and led her to the far side of the barn. "We'll wait here."
Once Dolly stood in the center, Cordero and Alexandra moved closer. Alexandra's eyes widened. "She's huge."
Jim petted her neck. "She's a decent height. Boss, what about sixteen hands tall?"
"I think officially she's fifteen and a half, a good size."
Jim still held the reins as he walked Dolly. He stopped and held them out. "Alexandra, would you like to walk her?"
Her eyes met Cordero's. "I don't know." She hesitated. "Can I?"
Cordero grinned. "Only if you want to."
Alexandra took the reins from Jim. "All I do is hold them and walk, right?"
"She'll follow your lead."
She led her from the barn. Once outside, she scanned the area. "How do I turn her?"
Coming closer, Cordero said, "Turn and continue to hold the reins. She'll follow.
Just inside the barn door, Alexandra stopped and petted Dolly's neck. "I think we'll get along great."
As Alexandra said that, her cowgirl hat lifted from her head. Her arm flew up and she turned. "What?"
Jim and Cordero laughed, as Cordero recovered the hat from Chip's mouth. "Ali, please meet Chip. He's mine and a stinker." He rubbed the horse's muzzle. "Weren't you getting any attention?" He held out a carrot, which the horse readily ate.
"He's gorgeous." Alexandra continued to stare. "What is he?"
"He's a blue roan appaloosa."
Jim chuckled. "Don't get your hopes up on riding this big guy. He has the typical 'Appy attitude'. He's stubborn, bullheaded and pushy." He glanced at Cordero. "How long has it been since he's bucked you off and left you to find your own way home?"
Cordero rubbed the back of his neck. "What? Maybe six months."
Alexandra tilted her head, "Then why do you ride him?"
When Cordero didn't answer, Jim said, "Because Boss is just as pigheaded as Chip. They have a standing contest to see who's going to win today?"
Attempting to hide her grin, Alexandra said, "I see." Her eyes met Cordero's. "I hope you win the majority of the time."
Cordero gave Chip another carrot. "He hasn't bucked me since. So the way I figure, I'm ahead."
Jim chuckled. "Or you're due to be bucked."
Putting his head on Chip's muzzle, Cordero said, "It's a game we play, right boy?"
"We have an understanding." Cordero put the cowgirl hat on Alexandra. "It looks at home here."
Pink covered her cheeks.
Cordero checked his ringing phone and clicked it off. "I'll call him back later." He glanced toward the house. "Do you think the brownies have cooled?"
"Are you hungry already?" asked Alexandra.
"Boss is always hungry," teased Jim.
Winking at Alexandra, Cordero answered, "Especially if there's ice cream."
"Go ahead. I'll put Dolly in her stall."
Alexandra faced Jim. "Can I?"
"Of course. Do you think Boss can keep from starving for a few more minutes?"
She studied Cordero. "Maybe, but we'd better hurry."
After Dolly was put away, Cordero put his hand in the small of Alexandra's back. "Ready for a brownie sundae delight?"
"Good we can eat at our favorite star glazing spot."
Thank you youtube for the use of this video.
Night Sounds in Central Texas
Cordero Ortiz Hero, runs his parents Texas ranch
Alexandra Black Heroine, New York City corporate lawyer, is junior partner in huge family law firm
Jorge and Rosa Ortiz Cordero's parents who own a large West Texas Ranch
Jim One of the ranch foreman's and good friend of Cordero. He takes care of the main house and surrounding ranch area.
Thank you google images for a photo of a cowgirl. I'll probably post this novel on Saturday's until I complete Football, being posted on Sunday's. I will be posting entire chapters. I've started a character list, which I will add to as characters are introduced. Thank you for the review and encouragement.