From the Story Arc: The Bearer of Strashnyjj, Strashnyjj News

Previous Story in the Arc: The Gift by Commie Cowgirl (Friday, February 10, 2006)

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(posted Sunday, February 12, 2006)

Moonbeams played across the wood paneled walls of their bedroom as they laid in each other’s arms, damp with sweat and utterly content. A discarded Lone Ranger outfit intertwined with leather chaps from a Tonto costume. Oksana nestled against her man, listening to his breathing.

“Sweetheart?” Kurt said.


“Would you say you were…” He paused, searching for words, a hesitation unlike his usual forthrightness. “You were happy with me?”

“Of course, pardner,” she said, giving him a squeeze for emphasis. “Is happiest time of my life.”

“Don’t you miss home?”

“Nyet. What is there to miss? My kin are dead, family ranch sold to government. Is only heartache waiting for me on Ukraine prairie. Am here to start new life, in frontier.”

“Frontier, yeah,” Kurt said. He cleared his throat. “We don’t really have much frontier left in this country.”

“We have ranch, we have many varmints in Paragon City. Is plenty of frontier for cowgirl.”

“That’s the spirit! When I was your age, I –“ He cut himself off.

“You what?”

“Oh, nothing. I’m sorry, Oksana. It’s too easy to sound like an old coot lecturing a youngun around you, and you don’t deserve that.”

She laughed, a girlish giggle that made Kurt wince. “Think nothing of it, pardner. Is trade-off for having handsome older man to share sleeping bag.” She patted his cheek. “Besides, you have good stories of young life.”

Kurt pushed her away and got out of bed. The moonlight played over his still-muscular form. “That’s what troubles me. You’re still young, but you’re playing house with a retired cowboy actor. My best days are behind me.” He held up a hand. “I have liver spots and glaucoma. If only we’d met when I was your age…”

“Is strange to hear you complain so. You were nyet shy when you met me. Why are you having such thoughts?”

Kurt knelt by the bed to take her hands. “They ain’t the only kind of thoughts I’ve been having, sugar. I think about you and me, and I only want to think about the future.”

“Horosho, because is future every time clock ticks. Come back to bed. I am having new idea.”

He chuckled. “You just hold your horses, there. You’ll wear me out. Now listen, Oksana.” Kurt took a deep breath. “You don’t have to decide now, but give it a think or two.”

“Give what?”

“Well, now, I’ve been thinking how it would be mighty fine to have you around here all the time.”

She frowned. “Quit CCCP?”

“Oh, heck no. That’s your job. I may not be much of a Trotskyite, but I can see your folks do a passle of good for the city. I meant, if you might want to hang your hat with mine.”

“That hat?” She pointed at the discarded, upside down Lone Ranger hat, acting as a container for her bra and panties. “Shore, if you are thinking I should clean up my trail clothes better, I can do this.”

“No, no, no!” Kurt laughed out loud. “You are as stubborn as a mule. Oksana, I’m asking if you ever thought of marriage.”

“Nyet. I never met a cowpoke who – oh. Ah.” She turned beet red. “You mean, with you?” His smile prompted one of her own. “Tarnation, what a question.”

“I’m just throwing the idea out for a kick or two,” he said. “If you’re content with our arrangement now, let’s not tip the canoe.”

She became serious. “Comrade Kurt. I ain’t never considered any feller good enough for me… until now. But you don’t mind if’n I mull over idea?”

“You bet, little lady. Take your time. If the idea appeals, well, we’ll talk from there.” He straightened. “I should get me a glass of water.”

“Is river to drink from right here,” Oksana said, tugging him back to bed. “I’m a-fixin’ to straighten your plow so horosho even young Kurt will need cold shower.”

“But… I should…” He glanced at the bathroom door. “Oh, pshaw. C’mere, you little minx.”