Chapter 4- Secret Courtship

Chapter 4- Secret Courtship

A Chapter by Julie Estes

Chapter 4 rough draft of the Novel I am working on.


Our secret lives continued much as they had been through the remainder of that summer. The nights that Danny spent at our home, we would meet out on the trampoline and talk about everything. Danny would share stories about what happened at work that day, what pranks he and my brother Jackson were able to pull on people. I would share the latest saga about Julie, or what my boring day had consisted of. There was always the anticipation of a kiss to look forward to.

        September came quickly that year, and both Danny and Jackson turned sixteen and were able to get their driver’s license. I anxiously awaited the day he would ask my father for permission to take me out. It seemed like that day would never come. School had started back, and it was my first year of high school. Unfortunately we attended separate schools, because my father insisted we attend private school. Danny’s family could not afford the tuition, so they attend the public high school in town.

        One day after school Jackson decided to drive over to the Daniels house. He offered me the chance to go with him, and I took it. The Daniels lived down a dirt road, in a small house that sat out by itself in what seemed to be the middle of the desert. When we pulled in, Luke was sitting on the front porch. He walked out to greet us. “You got her runnin’ huh’ man.” Luke said to Jackson, as they shook hands. “Yeah, it’s nice to have freedom to go and do when you want to.” Jackson replied, as they walked up to the porch. I looked around to see Danny’s truck was in the drive, but I didn’t see him out here anywhere. “He’s in the barn worm face!” Luke said sarcastically, as he and Jackson continued towards the house. I heard Luke ask Jackson if he was up for some playstation as I walked towards the barn.

        Danny and Luke had owned horses as far back as I could remember. That’s why they lived outside the city like this. I had always wanted a horse, but my father wouldn’t allow it because of the expense to board a horse. In side the City limits where we lived large animals were not allowed. I came around the corner into the barn, to see Danny standing with his back to me brushing Star the horse he had owned since we were kids. “Hey..” I said, as the sound of my voice startled him. He turned to look at me, and smiled. “Hay is for horses…” He replied jokingly, as he petted Star’s neck to calm her. I walked over to the horse I had loved since I was a young girl.

        Star smelt of my hand, as I petted her long nose with my other hand. “I missed you girl.” I said, as I put my head up against hers. “I think her eye sight is starting to fail her a little.” Danny said, as he combed his way over to the side I stood on. “How old is she now?” I asked, as I continued to pet her. “I’ve had her for almost eight years now. My Dad told me when I got a job that I’d have to start paying for her feed and so on. I thought I was going to have to sell her, because I didn’t think I would be able to afford my truck and Star… but I just didn’t have the heart to get rid of her.” Danny explained, as we made eye contact.

        “That’s why I stayed on working for your Dad after the summer ended. If I work for him a couple afternoon’s a week, and a couple Saturday’s a month I can afford both.” He continued to explain. “I’m glad you decided to keep her, I’d miss getting to see her and ride her if you got rid of her.” I replied, as I took the brush from his hand to take over. “I asked your Dad if I could give her to you…” Danny stated, as I turned my head to look at him in surprise. “Why would you do that Danny?” I asked, as I stopped brushing Star’s mane. “You named her, she was always your horse in my eyes anyway.” Danny replied, with a smile. “What did he say?” I asked anxiously. “He said he’d talk it over with your mom. Star would have to live here of course because you can’t have horses where you live, but you’d be in charge of taking care of her, and riding her because I don’t have enough time anymore.” Danny explained.

        “He’ll probably say no, he won’t want the expense of a horse right now.” I replied, in disappointment. “You always think he’ll say no!” Danny replied with a chuckle. “because he does ninety-nine percent of the time.” I replied addimently. “I offered to continue paying for her feed, and vet bills but your father said if I did that I wouldn’t have any money left to take you out…” Danny replied, with a huge grin. “Shut up!” I exclaimed, as I jumped at him hugging him and wrapping my legs around him.

        “Oh’ now your happy to see me! I was beginning to think it was just Star you missed…” Danny replied laughing as he hugged me back. “It has to be a double date during the day, and he said I could take you out for your Birthday next weekend.” Danny said, as I released him from my bear lock. “I can’t believe he agreed to all that.” I replied, still shocked by the news I had received. “Believe me, he didn’t agree to it easily. I’m scared to touch you right now because of the things he threatened to do to me if I did.” Danny explained. “Well, I’m not!” I replied, as I reached my arms around his neck and pulled myself up to his lips for a brief kiss. “I can’t believe you’d even want to kiss me with the smell of manure and sweat in the air.” Danny said, as he pulled back from me.

        “How did you pull this off Danny?” I asked, looking in to those big green eyes. “It took asking several times, and the only reason he agreed is if we can get Cooper or Jackson to go with us.” Danny explained. “Which limits the chances of any make out sessions!” I replied, slightly disappointed. “Laney Callaway!” Danny replied, slightly perturbed by my disappointment. “I’m sorry, your right it will be fine. Now we just have to get one of my brothers to ask a girl out!” I replied, as he leaned down to kiss me again. Our lips met, and the tingling in my stomach I’d become accustomed to began. We pulled away at the sound of the screen door slamming up at the house. “I have a plan I think for that…” Danny replied, as we separated for fear someone would see. If anyone could make this happen, it would be Danny.

        We heard his mother Kelly calling for us from the front porch. So we headed out of the barn to where she could see us. “Oh’ hey Delaney your brother didn’t tell me you came along.” Kelly stated, as we made our way towards the porch. “Sorry I didn’t come in to say hello, I had to see Star first.” I replied with a smile, as we walked up the steps. “I’m sure she was glad to see you. It’s been to long since you came this way anyway, it good to see you girl.” Kelly replied, as she reached out to embrace me with a hug. “Well, you still taken Star out for a ride before supper?” Kelly asked, as she looked to Danny. “If I still have time.” Danny replied. “You’ve got about an hour before suppers on the table, so have at it.” Kelly said, as she turned to open the screen door to head back inside. 

“Do you need some help?” I asked, as I made my way to the door. “No honey, I’ve got this under control. I bet Danny could use some help with the horses. Luke hasn’t rode Farah all day either, I’m sure she’s getting pretty spunky staying in the barn all day. I don’t think with the Playstation battle that’s going on inside I’ll be able to get him out here to get it done.” Kelly explained. Farah was Luke’s horse, he had named her after Farah Fossit because she had a blonde mane and tail. “He keeps neglecting his chores over that Playstation and Dad’s goin’ to throw that thing out a window.” Danny stated. “Well son, if you didn’t have a pretty girl that was willing to help you out there I’d make him come join you, but for some reason I think you’d both rather have it this way.” Kelly replied, as she shut the screen door gently, and turned with a smile to make her way back to the kitchen. My eyes grew large, as I turned to look at Danny who couldn’t help but chuckle under his breath as he looked down.

 “Does she know?” I asked, as fear and embarrassment rose inside of me. “Know what?” Danny asked, still grinning as he turned to make his way back off the porch. I followed behind him. “Danny! Please tell me how much she knows.” I begged, as we made our way back to the barn. He didn’t say anything until we were safe behind the walls of the barn that confined us. “She knows I’m planning on taking you out Saturday.” He finally replied, as he grabbed a saddle off the shelf. He put the saddle on Star’s back. “I think it would be better if you rode Star instead of Farah.” Danny stated, as if what we had been discussing was no big deal. “Well that’s what I was already planning on, so I’m glad you agree! Now back to what your mother knows about us.” I replied, as I took over tightening the saddle around Star’s stomach.

Danny took another saddle to put on Farah in the next stall over. “Don’t get mad Laney, but she found out when Luke and I were arguing the other day that we’ve kissed a couple times…” Danny tried to explain, but I couldn’t help but interrupt. “What!” I stated loudly. “Just listen for a minute Laney, everything is going to be okay.” Danny replied, as I reached for the bridle hanging on the wall to put on Star. I think she could sense the tension that arose in the air between Danny and I, she seemed to tighten her muscles and become nervous standing between us.


“Luke and I got in an argument the other day about you, and like we always do when we argue we started pushing each other around. It made a commotion and my mom came in. She asked was started all this, and Luke popped off about you and I. She wasn’t mad Laney, she was actually kind of happy about it…” Danny explained, as he made his way over to grab the bridle for Farah off the wall by me. “How did Luke find out about us?” I replied, as he stopped to look at me. “Are you being serious?” Danny replied, as he stomped of toward Farah again. “Do you really think we’ve done that great a job hiding our feelings for each other Laney? First off Cooper woke up one night when I came back in from the trampoline, since everyone was in bed it was pretty obvious to him where I had been. He told Jackson about it the next morning, and Jackson asked me if it was true the next day at work. Cooper told Luke about it, but it was no surprise to him. They were all curious about us disappearing together, sitting by each other all the time, smiling at each other all the time…” Danny explained, as I walked Star out of her stall.

“What did Jackson say about it?” I asked, as I stood there waiting nervously on him to finish getting Farah ready to ride. “He just wanted to make sure we weren’t doing anything other than kissing. He was a little wierded out about his best friend kissing his sister at first, but he’s getting past it. He says better me than some of the jerks from your school. He at least knows you’ll be treated right with me.” Danny explained, as he led Farah out of her stall. I was looking down listening to his every word, standing in front of Star gently rubbing her face. I felt his hand brush my arm, and I looked up at him. “Why do you look like your going to cry?” Danny asked, as he took a couple steps closer to me.

“I just wish I wasn’t the last to know these things.” I replied, feeling embarrassed by everyone knowing my feelings for Danny. He grabbed my hand, and pulled me close to him. “I’m sorry, if I would have been alone with you sooner I would have told you. It’s not a bad thing, is it Laney?” Danny asked, as he put one finger under my chin and raised my face to look into his eyes. “No, as long as it doesn’t cause people to try to keep us apart. I know if my parents knew everything they would think we were getting to serious to fast, and make us stay away from each other. I couldn’t do that…” I replied, as Danny interrupted me with a kiss.

His lips moved gently over mine for just a few seconds, and then he pulled away. “You worry too much Laney. Everything is going to be fine. No one could make us stay away from each other Laney, we would find away around them… I promise.” Danny replied, as he kissed me gently again. I pulled away from him this time. “We only have about forty-five minutes now.” I stated, as I made my way to the side of Star to climb onto her back. We made our way out of the barn, and it felt like old times.

I always looked forward to the Horse back rides at the Daniels house. It was different this time it just being the two of us, but it was a good different. We got to talk and catch up about things we had missed in the five days we hadn’t seen each other. We raced each other like old times to get the spunk out of the horses. Soon enough our forty-five minutes was up, and we had to make our way back to the house. Jackson and I stayed for supper that night, and after I helped Kelly with the dishes we made our way home. All I could think about for the remainder of the week was Saturday, and how I couldn’t wait for the day of our first real date to arrive.    




© 2010 Julie Estes

Author's Note

Julie Estes
Ignore grammar problems, far from the finished project. Please if you read this leave a comment or review below. Thanks!

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Added on April 7, 2010
Last Updated on April 7, 2010


Julie Estes
Julie Estes

Malakoff, TX

I'm a busy wife and mother of two little boys. I love to escape reality through my writing. I've wrote short stories for fun since the high school years. Friends loved to read them for entertainment. .. more..