The Cowboy and the Lady

Discussion in 'Dallas Writers Room' started by Ray&Donna, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    A bit of background here: I began to write this story in 2008, but then my laptop crashed and I never finished it. I wound up writing a much shorter story, "Second Chance", which worked upon the same general idea but used a different method to erase three seasons of story. This, therefore, is my vision of the 1987-88 season but without the characters you know and hate. :lol: At any rate, I hope you will enjoy what I have written. From the title, you can easily determine who the focus will be upon. I am only about halfway through writing the story itself, which is unusual for me as I like to have the whole thing done before I let anyone see it. I am the same with my novels. :)

    ***


    The Texas she was returning to wasn’t the one she’d left behind.

    The Justice Department had shut down Ewing Oil, divested the company of its assets, and forbade her former in-laws from ever using the name for a similar venture. As if that hadn’t been bad enough, her former sister-in-law had been horribly maimed in an accident that had left her fighting for her life. She had barely begun to recover when she was kidnapped from the hospital, leaving her already-reeling family hanging by a thread.

    Donna, too, had lost the love of her life, even as she experienced the great joy of motherhood and a renewed interest in politics. She had allowed her marriage to falter, and Ray was now shacked up with a woman who presented a picture of domesticity and vulnerability that Donna herself had been able to demonstrate occasionally, but not as much as Ray had wanted. As both an orphan and a widow, Donna had hardened herself against the outside world; she never wanted to appear timid or selfish. With Ray, however, she had been able to fall deeply, madly, passionately in love, and together they could be vulnerable, but then strengthen one another as they marched forward together as a couple. Ray’s brothers had all been divorced and remarried, but the two of them had weathered so many complications: Jock’s death, infidelity, Ray’s inability to accept himself as an equal to the other Ewings, her rocky relationship with Mickey, Mickey’s accident and paralysis and Ray’s subsequent trial for euthanizing his cousin. Donna had stood by him through it all, loving him and never giving up. But at some point they had lost their way; she decided to parlay her temporary position at Ewing Oil into a small company of her own, the former Krebbs One, which had been sold off long ago to someone with bigger dreams. Ray became roped into the Barnes-Ewing feud and turned into a person Donna didn’t recognize; she was scared by how easily he could scheme and inveigle and dismiss her concerns as invalid.

    That was what had split them up—for the first time in their marriage they’d been unable to find common ground. He felt inadequate that she was able to earn such a good income—never mind that Jock’s will had left him wealthy in his own right—and Donna recognized that Ewing Oil was ultimately poison for the entire family. She was glad that it was gone now, but knew that the damage to the family was irreparable. Miss Ellie and Clayton were getting too old to have to mediate an endless series of familial squabbles.

    Her daughter Margaret cooed in her lap. She was glad that Margaret was able to sleep so soundly on the long flight from Washington, D.C to Dallas, because she felt more than a little nervous to be headed back to her Turtle Creek home, the one which she was now glad she hadn’t sold. She’d had Margaret’s things shipped there but it would be too late by the time they arrived to set up a crib; she would simply have to fold blankets atop a mattress and make a safe space for her daughter to sleep that night. She didn’t want to think about what—or who—Ray was doing that night, but it was difficult. Donna always found herself remembering the love they’d shared, his tanned and strong arms wrapped around her, protection from the outside world and any sense of self-doubt she might have ever felt. How could they have fallen apart when they needed each other the most, when she was pregnant with their child?

    ***

    She was exhausted by the time the taxi dropped them off at home. The house smelled musty inside—she would need to open up the windows soon and air it out—but thankfully Margaret had slept like an angel throughout the landing, check-in, and cab ride. She smiled to herself—Margaret was born in the District of Columbia, and this was her first night on Texas soil. Even if it was painful to think about Ray having moved on, she hoped they could be amicable where their daughter was concerned. She really wanted her to spend as much time at Southfork as possible; children who grew up in wide open spaces were generally much happier, and those who cared for animals were more empathetic and sensitive to people. She wondered if that was why J.R., the least interested Ewing in the ranch and its commerce, seemed to make so many poor choices where family and business were concerned. Even if they’d never had any sort of pleasant relationship, Donna felt she had made the right decision when she asked Andrew to help keep the eldest Ewing son out of jail. She cared too much about Miss Ellie, and John Ross for that matter, to let her preferred justice be served.

    She was tired, though, and yawned as she placed Margaret in the middle of the guest bed and began to arrange a series of soft barriers that would prevent her from rolling onto the floor in the night. Donna would sleep in the other guest bed—the room had two—and make sure that her gift from God slept safely in the unfamiliar surroundings. She had become attuned to Margaret’s noises and sleep habits, and figured any disturbance would alert her to potential harm. For now though, she needed to get some rest. She had to be up early to ensure she would have enough time to unpack an outfit and find a sitter for the day. Perhaps Teresa wouldn’t mind, though Donna really didn’t think an unannounced trip to Southfork was the best way to reenter Dallas society.
     
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  2. Ms Southworth

    Ms Southworth Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I'm loving this fanfic already! :spinning::kiss: :jolly: :kiss: :spinning:

    I love the detail and the depth that you put into the story! :10::10::10::10:

    Please don't let us wait too long for an update! :wink@ :best:
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
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  3. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yay a new story! Excellent start Tommie. I am already hooked and wondering what's gonna happen next! :)
    From the timeline I am guessing this picks up somewhere a bit into season 10. Right now I'm trying to remember if Pam disappeared from the hospital before or after Ray proposed to Jenna at the oil baron's ball. I am thinking it was before it... ;)

    I can't wait to find out Ray's reaction when he learns that Donna and his daughter is back in town!

    Also is Pam gonna be found after her kidnapping?
    Who kidnapped her? Was it Katherine?

    I can't wait to read more of this. :)
     
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  4. Ray's Lady

    Ray's Lady Soap Chat Member

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    Great story! Looking forward to the next part.
     
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  5. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Thanks, everyone. I *tried* to adhere to the timeline I remembered from the show, but I don't think I looked at it as sacrosanct and may have altered things to suit my own ideas :D

    ***

    As it turned out, they both slept soundly during the night. Donna had to force herself awake with the first beams of sunlight that spilled past the curtains; Margaret remained asleep while her mother unpacked her garment bag and ensured her outfit for the day’s meeting was free from wrinkles. Not completely sure if an agency would be open so early in the morning, Donna phoned her neighbor, a retired CPA who had raised five children and was more than happy to watch Margaret for the morning. Donna promised to pay Mrs. Collier for her trouble, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She was grateful, she said again as she dropped off Margaret to the smiling woman, along with her diaper bag and a list of emergency contact numbers. She would have to find a regular nanny, check with Dr. Danvers and get him to recommend a pediatrician, and too many other things to list at the moment. She would probably need to find a cleaning lady as well as a gardener; she was capable of taking care of both but never seemed to have the time for either.

    Handwashing dishes brought back memories of growing up in Marshall, staring out the window at the horses and the bluebonnets, thinking about how she would become a young lady and marry a cowboy and have lots of children and a ranch and horses of her own. But inevitably the phone would ring—Murphy’s Law stated that the second her hands were in the sudsy water, someone would call with a question that just couldn’t wait. She was pretty sure it had annoyed Ray as well, but she would become annoyed when he avoided her and spent his evenings at the closest bar. She had to admit it was tit-for-tat—they had both made their share of mistakes.

    The car arrived to take her to the meeting that had brought her home again—the subject of the gathering had been hush-hush up until now, so Donna wasn’t quite sure what to expect—but she knew that Dave would never put her in an uncomfortable situation. Arriving at the location of his Dallas office, she alighted and headed for the building’s elevator. Upon entering the waiting area, the secretary—the same one he’d had since 1980—greeted her warmly. “Donna,” she said. “You look radiant today.”

    “Thanks, Julia,” she said, the women exchanging cheek kisses. “I didn’t exactly get my full eight hours last night, but since Margaret came along I’ve learned how to adjust.”

    “The senator will see you now,” she announced. Donna was taken aback.

    “No waiting?”

    “No,” Julia replied with a smile. “You’re his only appointment for today.”

    “Thank you,” Donna said, walking toward the door. Dave stood when she entered, smiling as their eyes made contact. She was so used to seeing him in his staid D.C. office that she was grateful for the more relaxed atmosphere. Instantly her eyes noted two men in the room: she recognized them but wasn’t altogether sure the reason for their presence. The first one, Harrison Bond, was the state party chair. To his right was Shaw Williamson, the party’s largest fundraiser. Did they need her to head back to Washington and lobby again? She thought for the time being that the independents were doing well, though prices and therefore profits could turn on a dime.

    “Donna, so good to see you!” She and Dave hugged in their familiar way before he motioned toward his two guests. “You’re familiar with Mr. Bond and Mr. Williamson, of course?” The men stood and communicated their respects; she nodded and smiled. “If you’d like to take a seat, we’ll get to the point of the meeting. I know you aren’t one for a lot of hemming and hawing.”

    “Mrs. Krebbs—is it okay to use that name?” Harrison began. “I know you’re recently divorced.”

    “It’s perfectly fine. That’s who I am now—I really don’t see the need to drop my married name just because I’m single again. Besides, it’s my daughter’s last name and I want her to be comfortable with and proud of her heritage.”

    He smiled, pausing a moment before he continued. Donna folded her hands across her lap, nervously straightening the hem of her dress. “We’re here to make an appeal to you,” he stated, using his eyes to include Mr. Williamson in the conversation. “You have always been, and remain, a popular figure among Texans, both young and old, across all economic and ethnic spectrums. When the average Texan sees Donna Krebbs, they see someone forthright, hardworking, and intelligent, someone whom they can trust. That’s part of the reason why we asked Dave to call you to this secret meeting. We’d like to draft you to run for Governor of Texas.”

    Donna’s mind spun like a whirligig. This was the opportunity she had sought for years, but she had a daughter who was barely six months old. How could she balance a baby with a campaign? It would be just like Ray had predicted before the divorce—she wouldn’t be able to put their child ahead of her career. She had so many ideas though, things she wanted to accomplish. But campaigns were messy, and got worse all the time—mudslinging, criticism, ad hominem attacks, or downright evisceration—she had seen it tear families apart, their dirty laundry strewn across television all because a father or mother dreamed to serve their country. “I’m flattered…” she began, still trying to figure out a nice way to let them down easy.

    “Mrs. Krebbs—may I call you Donna?” She nodded and Harrison continued. “We feel that Texas is headed in the wrong direction—the banking scandals, to say nothing of oil price manipulation—have tarnished our image in the eyes of the American public, to say nothing of the proud people of our great state. Even your former brother-in-law was implicated in a terrorist plot…”

    “But never charged,” Donna pointed out.

    “Only because you convinced the Justice Department to go light on him,” Mr. Williamson said, speaking for the first time.

    Donna shot him a derisive look. “I’ve never had a feeling of warmth toward J.R.,” she defended herself, “but the Ewings were my family for a number of years, are still my friends, and truthfully the evidence against the brothers was flimsy at best, and circumstantial at worst. But aside from Miss Ellie and Clayton, my contact with the family has been pretty sparse recently. It’s hard to care for a newborn and gossip at the same time, even when you’re face to face.”

    “That’s one of the things we wanted to discuss,” Williamson said, wresting control of the conversation. “We have plenty of money in the coffers, and with you on the ticket I know we could raise lots more. However, we would prefer to work outside of your Ewing connections, if at all possible. They have a habit of tarnishing every person and thing they touch.”

    “But not me?” Donna queried, lifting an eyebrow.

    Now it was Bond’s turn again. “Donna, you have a history of going against the Ewings—Takapa, working as a commissioner for the Texas Energy Commission, siding neither with nor against your husband in the fight against Cliff Barnes—”

    “I see your people have done a thorough job investigating my background,” she said somewhat crossly. “Are you familiar with the time I cheated on my first husband, or the time my second husband cheated on me, or even the time I was involved in a bar brawl? Because I can promise that someone will dig up those chestnuts and exploit them for personal gain.”

    Bond smiled. “Donna, I think the voters of Texas expect their politicians to be human, to have had colorful lives and to have made missteps along the way. Your own husband, the most legendary Texan since Sam Houston, was revealed by you to have built his fortune helping Jock Ewing to steal land from his uncle—an uncle who subsequently committed suicide. But those revelations did nothing to sully their images—it served to humanize them, though Mr. Ewing pitting his sons in a bloodthirsty competition for a now-defunct company definitely calls his reputation into question. Anyway, I’m getting off track. We’ve done polling,” he said, attempting to reassure her. “The people want you to be their next governor. They want to be proud of Texas again.”

    Her mouth opened and she smiled, but the words dried up before they crossed her lips. “So, Donna,” she heard Dave ask. “What do you say?”

    “How long do I have to think about it?” she asked, neither eliminating the possibility of running nor acquiescing to the men in the room.

    “Until the end of the week,” Bond assured her. It was only Monday. “But sooner rather than later would be great.”

    “Because we would have to search very hard for a candidate as qualified as you,” Williamson expounded. “There are very few politicians, either male or female, with your diverse résumé.”

    Donna turned and glanced at Dave, whose countenance expressed a look of encouragement. “Thank you for the offer,” she said, standing to shake hands with both of them. “I promise I’ll give you a prompt answer, and it will be sooner rather than later. I have someone I’d like to touch base with first.”

    “Of course,” Bond said, shaking her hand. He and Williamson thanked her for their time, exchanged pleasantries with Dave, and departed. Once they were behind the closed door, she gave her stepson a bemused look.

    “Senator Culver,” she teased, “what on earth have you gotten me into?” Afterward they both laughed, and settled into some good-natured conversation while reminiscing about the past.
     
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  6. Ms Southworth

    Ms Southworth Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Amazing update, @Ray&Donna! :danc:

    Your writing style has such a "Dallas" feeling connected to it! :) And I love that Donna was asked to run for Govenor of Texas! :girl::bravo: :girl: :fantastic: :girl: IMO, Donna could very well be the only one who could "save" the Lonestar State and bring back its pride and glory! :)

    10 out of 10 points from me! :10::10::10::10::10::10::10:

    I loved the way you've chosen to describe simple, daily tasks and responsibilities! I also loved when Donna was thinking about her marriage to Ray (and her reasons for keeping her married name)!

    I loved how Mr. Bond and Mr. Williamson emphasized that Donna has a history of going against the Ewings! I also loved that Donna brought up her own shortcomings: "Are you familiar with the time I cheated on my first husband, or the time my second husband cheated on me, or even the time when I was involved in a bar brawl?" :cooler:

    If Donna does decide to run for govenor, I hope that it will mean that Ray will have to step up and take on a lot of the domestic responsibilities regarding Margaret (... ... and that this will mean that Ray and Donna will end up spending a lot of time together :kiss:)!
    Please update soon! :dance: I want to know what happens next! :jolly: :kiss: :best: :kiss:
     
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  7. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent update. :10:The plot of Donna as governor of Texas seems tailor made for her considering her background. I think the men did a great job trying to persuade her into running and they seemed to have a lot of valid points and good arguments on their side too. I can see why she's hesitating considering Margaret's age but I do hope she'll run. :)

    Me too love how she dug up all her own dirt just laying it out there on the table. It's true that all skeletons in the closet will be dug up in politics.

    Also I can't wait to find out what Ray will say about all this! :D
     
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  8. Mrs Bobby James Ewing

    Mrs Bobby James Ewing Soap Chat Fan

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    Great start to your new story Ray&Donna.:) I love it already and I love idea of Donna possibly running for Governor of Texas. :)She will make an excellent Governor of Texas like the late Ann Richards. :)Please update your story again soon because I can't wait to find out how Ray is going to react to the news of Donna possibly running for Governor of Texas while she is raising Margaret as a single mom.:)
     
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  9. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    More will be revealed in this update ;)

    ***

    It wasn’t quite twilight, but darkness had begun the process of falling by the time she made it to the ranch that could have been her home. Except now it wasn’t and likely never would be. She assumed he would be at home by this time of day, though if he wasn’t she was going to have an awkward encounter with his girlfriend. She didn’t look forward to it. The driveway of the white house was empty but the lights downstairs were on, so she took a chance and parked near the steps. Looking up at the porch, she recalled the last time she had been there—to serve her cowboy with divorce papers. Talk about a bad decision that had seemed like the right one at the time; thinking of it now threatened to send bile rising in her throat. She walked on to the porch and rang the doorbell. Funny, she thought—she imagined Ray would have a horse’s head doorknocker, something sturdy and masculine that would alert the folks in the family cemetery that you’d arrived. She waited, turned to glance toward her car, then back to the door. She waited another minute before she heard footsteps. When he finally opened the door, it was like a punch in the gut. Ray Krebbs stood there, tall and tanned, silver-haired and blue-eyed, as substantial as Mount Everest but as gentle as a lamb and as tender as a George Strait ballad. Donna had always been able to read him like a book, but found his face inscrutable this evening. For someone who had given an impassioned speech to three men just that morning, she found herself at a loss for words. What do you say to the man whose heart you broke, the very same one who broke your heart? The father of your child, whom you figured would never live in the same time zone as you again, to say nothing of the same state?

    “Donna?” He looked at her curiously, seemingly at a loss for words himself.

    “Ray,” she finally replied after a ponderous moment of silence. “I meant to call first, I know I should have, I just thought I might catch you at home.”

    He nodded, giving her a flicker of a smile. “Would you like to come in?”

    She nodded in response, glad he was being the articulate one for a change. It was only her second time inside the house. She heard the ticking of a clock, but otherwise it appeared that silence pervaded the rooms and hallways of the home. “Are you alone?”

    “Yes,” he said brusquely, closing the door behind him.” Donna was surprised at not only the tone of his voice, but also the circumstances in which they both found themselves. “Is Margaret doing okay?”

    “Yes,” Donna said, smiling at him for the first time. “She’s with a sitter, probably sleeping by now. I’ve got to get a regular nanny soon, though, so I can get her into a routine. She’ll have to adjust to the Central Time Zone, same as me.”

    “What about Washington?” he asked, motioning toward the living room. She took a seat in one of the chairs, while he rested himself cautiously on the couch arm. The room was characteristically masculine, with leather and animal horns and trophies and horse statues and ranch paintings, but it also felt a bit cold and sterile, as though no one ever used it.

    Donna turned and met his eyes. Oh, they can still see through to my soul, she thought. “I’m back in Dallas for good, Ray. I probably should have called to tell you, but I know things haven’t been going very good at Southfork lately.”

    He nodded in understanding. “What about, um, the Senator?”

    “We parted ways,” she announced. “He found someone younger, with less baggage and no children.” Their eyes locked together. He looked so sad, and she figured she must be telegraphing a similar emotion of regret. “As mature as he is, we were just in different places in our lives. He really wanted someone who could entertain guests, not someone who had to excuse themselves every time Margaret needed feeding. I don’t bear him any ill will, but what we had was an illusion of love. It offered a veneer of protection but was ultimately superficial.” She paused for a reaction, but he offered none. “What about your houseguests?” Donna asked, working to keep traces of bitterness out of her voice. For someone who had been unwilling to meet her halfway, he’d been awfully quick to swoop in and play hero to another woman with a ready-made family.

    Ray cleared his throat, gave her a sidelong glance, and looked toward the wall as he began to speak. “You know about Pam’s accident?” Donna nodded, her mouth etched in a deep frown. “Right after Pam was kidnapped from the hospital, Bob nearly tore that place apart. Then he gathered every bit of intelligence he could, collected some resources including a few high-powered rifles, and set off after Katherine. It’s been a tough time for the whole family. I’ve never seen him so vengeful before. He told me it was his fault though.” Donna gave him a look of bafflement. “After the accident, Katherine showed up at the hospital, and instead of alerting the police—she’s still wanted for bail-jumping—he just kind of told her to leave and never come back. He felt a heap of guilt about leaving Pam vulnerable to her sister and vowed to do whatever it took—legal or otherwise—to get her back and get Katherine out of their lives for good.

    “Anyway, the very next day, Jenna packed up all her things and the kids and left for Europe. Remember how she sold the boutique and wanted everyone to believe she did it to sever ties with the family? I found out that was a lot of hogwash. She sold it to some big-time company and locked up the profits in a Swiss bank account. Good riddance, I say.” He gave Donna an uneasy smile. “I just wish I’d listened to my instincts and been more receptive to people’s concerns about our relationship. Not only did I ruin things with Bob, I helped put the final nail in the coffin for our marriage.”

    “Ray,” she said, standing and walking toward him. “It took two people to break our marriage. I should have been more understanding of your feelings.” She looked at the surroundings before glancing back at him. “This place just never felt right for us, though. Your idea of a fresh start felt like a cage to me. Remember all of the great times we had at the brick house? That was where I always wanted us to stay. I didn’t care if it was small or that the pipes leaked, or that the kitchen didn’t have a window over the sink. I cared that you had built it for me, for us, to live and love in and raise a family.” He smiled at her half-heartedly, as though he still wasn’t sure she was really in his living room. “We were so far apart both physically and emotionally when you bought this house that I just never could accept this new life you had planned for us. It felt like you left me out of the equation.” She walked closer to him, letting his head tilt up until she was looking him in the eye. “I’m sure I did the same thing to you once or twice—writing my books or buying my oil company—but those were things I felt were right at the time, things I wanted you to support me in. I guess I just went about it the wrong way.” He stood up so quickly that she was taken off-guard, and he had to reach out and catch her before she fell backwards. He grabbed her elbows and the familiar electric current arced between them—or at least for Donna it did. An inch closer and their middles would have been touching, and she figured that was the last thing he wanted. Their eyes met; she contemplated expressing gratitude but thought better of it. She could see his mouth set in a tight, thin line, and he let go once he realized she was steady on her feet.

    “Look, we could spend hours rehashing what went wrong between the two of us. God knows I made my share of mistakes, too. I just think the important thing is to be great parents to our daughter. It’s been a rough few years for both of us, but I don’t ever want to let us put ourselves before her. I know as practical as you are that you’d agree.”

    She nodded, her mouth as dry as paper, her heart pounding in her ears. “I’d never badmouth you in front of our child,” she assured him. “I think that’s the worst kind of parental behavior, insulting a parent just because you are no longer together. That’s the child’s other parent, and they don’t need to hear their mama or daddy slandered just because things went bad between the two of you.”

    Ray nodded. “Yeah, even though Amos was borderline-useless, I don’t think I ever heard my Mama say a bad word about him. Maybe she did it when I wasn’t around—then again, she knew he wasn’t my father, so that probably helped how she viewed things.”

    “How would your life have been different, Ray, if she’d told Jock the truth in the letter she gave you when she sent you here?”

    He exhaled, looked toward the fireplace, and screwed up his face. “I’ve thought about that once or twice, but I don’t know. It probably wouldn’t have been any easier. He would have had to tell Miss Ellie about his affair much earlier, and they might not have survived. They barely did as it is once the truth came out—you and I had to work hard to pull them back together—but I doubt I would have ever been foreman of the ranch. I wouldn’t have met you,” he said, a smile touching the corners of his mouth, “you might never have meet Bobby, and the Ewing name would be meaningless to you.” He met her eyes and shook his head. “That’s probably me taking way more responsibility for the lives of others than I should.”

    Donna smiled. “It’s called the butterfly effect. The idea that digging a posthole here on the ranch would create a vibration in the crust that led to an earthquake in China.” She was utterly lost for what to say next; she didn’t want to gaze at Ray since she was still so physically drawn to him, but she wasn’t exactly ready to leave, either.

    “Are you as nervous as I am?” he said uneasily. Now who was the incisive one, she thought.

    “Yes,” she said, and for the first time the wide, familiar smile broke across his face. She’d seen that smile more than a few times—sometimes in bed but also around the ranch, when she surprised him with lunch and something cold to drink, or the time they both won their events at the Good Old Boys Charity Rodeo, or the day she was appointed to the Texas Energy Commission. He’d had a big smile when he found out she was pregnant, but they were so far apart emotionally that it just wasn’t the same as before. It was muted by sadness, and after that night she had never seen it again—until now. “I feel like I did on my first day of college—everyone else seemed so worldly and well-traveled and sophisticated and here I was, some nobody from Marshall.”

    He smiled, a twinkle in his eye. “You were never a nobody,” he told her. “You were always destined for something bigger that just being a cowboy’s wife.”

    “But that was what I wanted,” she said sadly. “To be your wife. I was good at it for a while, wasn’t I?”

    “You were a great wife,” he said, reaching out to touch her chin. So intimate, so erotic. “I was just too dumb to understand it at the time. I guess I had to have my heart stomped on by someone else before I could figure out that I had been doing the same thing to you.”

    Donna had come here to get some clarity about her decision to run for governor—instead, she was now more confused than ever. Ray didn’t seem as inaccessible as he’d been during their divorce, but she wasn’t quite sure he was amenable to his ex-wife embarking upon a very public campaign, something that could open up their entire lives to an intense amount of scrutiny. “Ray…” She felt herself drawn closer to him, just with a touch, no other physical contact.

    “Donna? I can tell you’re hiding something, but I won’t press you on it.” He smiled kindly. “It’s just so strange to see you back here, a place I never thought you’d be again.” He dropped his hand from her face and back to his side. It was so unusual, she thought, for his thumbs not to be hooked in his belt loops or pockets. “So why did you come here this evening?”

    “I guess I just wanted to see a familiar face,” she said. Donna gazed at him lovingly. “I also felt it was important for you to know that your daughter is back where you can see her any time you want. I mean, you could have seen her any time you wanted when she was in Washington, but it’s a much quicker trip now.” She smiled, and felt a bit foolish for rambling. If Ray was a man of few words, she was definitely picking up the slack tonight.

    “Is she talking yet?” he asked hopefully.

    “Not really,” Donna replied, shaking her head. “Mostly just giggles and coos at this point, though I speak to her like she’s got a full vocabulary, hoping something will stick. She really loves this board book I bought her, about a cowboy and his broomstick horse. Sometimes she falls asleep with it and I have to wrest it, very carefully, from her little fists.” That’s a memory we should be sharing together, Donna realized. “I’m living in Turtle Creek again, but I’m working on hiring a nanny so you can have access to her any time of the day.”

    “Do you have a job lined up?”

    “Maybe,” she hedged. “I had an offer today but I’m not sure if it’s the right position for me. I’ll try to let you know as soon as I can, okay?”

    “Okay,” he said, smiling. Donna felt the stirring of butterflies in her stomach. She glanced toward the clock and frowned, not really having meant to spend so much time here.

    “I don’t mean to leave so abruptly,” she said apologetically, “but I still need to get Margaret’s crib set up so she can sleep in her familiar bed tonight.

    “Maybe I could follow you home and help?” Ray asked obligingly.

    “I don’t know if that’s a good idea,” she said, not wanting to dismiss him but also needing time to herself to think. She wouldn’t come to her decision lightly, but had promised to do so by tomorrow. “Besides, I’ve gotten pretty good at assembling furniture.”

    “Okay,” he said, clearly stifling a chuckle. “Have a good evening. Drive safe. Kiss Maggie good night for me.”

    “Goodnight,” she said, feeling kind of odd to be leaving without exchanging a cheek kiss or at least a hug. Life had definitely changed, though she couldn’t help but wonder if it was for the better.
     
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  10. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    So they're both alone huh?
    I must say you disposed of Jenna and her kids and Andrew swiftly! :lmao:
    But wouldn't it have made more sense for Andrew to find an older woman with grown kids, rather than a younger one with no kids?
    I mean Donna is at least 8 years younger than he is. So much younger than her would be robbing the craddle! ;)

    I love the electricity that exists between Donna and Ray and all their bottled up emotions.

    Also did Bobby manage to find Pam yet?

    Either way I'll look forward to find out where this goes. :)
     
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  11. Ms Southworth

    Ms Southworth Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Amazing update! :spinning: I just love all the details you add to your story! It makes it really easy to imagine the whole thing on a big screen TV! 10 out of 10 points :10::10::10:

    I can't wait to read what happens next! Please update real soon! :kiss::kiss::kiss:
     
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  12. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I never thought the show gave Andrew much in the way of personality, so I decided to make him a bit lecherous.:lol: The kind of woman Andrew is with now is the kind who would never want to have children. They're both alone, but not really--Margaret is there too, albeit a baby :)

    His is an unseen quest. It will take him the duration of the story to find her...or perhaps he finds her halfway through and they decide to make up for lost time before they come home ;)

    ***

    It took a little longer than she’d planned, but the crib was finally assembled and Margaret was resting peacefully under her favorite blanket. But for Donna, peace was more difficult to find. She lay in the guest bed, staring out the window at the moonlight falling upon the yard outside. How many times had she lain in Ray’s arms at Southfork and done the same thing? Outside the city, the sky seemed endless with more stars than could ever be numbered. In the city, light pollution clouded the atmosphere until the stars vanished completely. Perhaps too many trips to the capital city had done the same to her, dimming her dreams and hopes for the future, until she could no longer see anything except the very next moment. Seeing Ray tonight had been wonderful if incredibly awkward, but it hadn’t brought any clarity to the situation. If she put herself in the public eye, it would undoubtedly hurt him. Even though they were divorced, people would wonder why Margaret’s mother was an upwardly-mobile politician while her father was content to punch cows and breed horses. Inevitably Ray’s feelings of inadequacy would rear their ugly head again and he would become self-destructive. While she had hoped he might have matured, she also knew their divorce had very much wounded him. But if she didn’t seize the opportunity for governor, she would disappoint the very people who had put so much confidence in her, including Dave, Mr. Bond and Mr. Williamson, and the Texas oil lobby, to say nothing of legions of voters. What had Sam told her so many years ago when she wondered if he wasn’t pushing himself too hard at his advanced age? “The people needed me, Donna, and they still do.” Kind of like how she and Ray had still needed each other long after they’d pretended they didn’t. This endeavor was bigger than her, though—it was as big as all of Texas—but it was also as small as the fact that she was a new mother, a job she had desired for much of her adult life. She relished the opportunity to raise her daughter hands-on—would a candidate or a governor be able to do that? Maybe it was part of a bigger solution, though—as governor she could help to ensure that all mothers in Texas, whether they worked or stayed at home, would have the opportunity to care for their children in the method they chose. Many workplaces still lacked daycare centers, and still others were unconcerned with work-life balance for mothers in dual- or single-income families. And what about healthcare? So many states appeared to be in the Dark Ages when it came to children’s health, and she certainly didn’t want Texas to fall into that category. Then there were issues of accountability for crooked bankers and lenders, and the need to aid small businesses as well as the independent oilman—it seemed a daunting task, but Donna was confident that with the right people, she could accomplish some if not all of her goals. By the time she nodded off to sleep, Donna had made her final decision—she only wondered how the family Ewing, Ray included, would perceive the announcement.

    ***

    Ray’s sleep that night was fitful, to say the least. He tossed and turned, then tossed and turned some more, until the sheets were twisted around his legs like ropes binding a hostage. Why, tonight of all nights, did he have to be alone? He needed someone to get Donna off his mind—the images flashed through his head now, as vivid as those on a theatre screen: the two of them making love in their room at the brick house, in hotels, in Kansas, and even outdoors, in secluded places on the ranch where the grass was their bed and the starry sky their blanket. He couldn’t lie and say it was only her appearance that evening that had caused his libido to stir: it was a frequent occurrence following their separation, one that had continued throughout their divorce and even during his tentative romance with another woman. It seemed pretty obvious in hindsight that you weren’t ready to move on when you still thought about one woman while spending time with another. Despite the lies he’d told himself and others, Donna really was the ideal wife: caring, supportive, intelligent, and beautiful inside and out. Her warmth and kind personality had allowed her to slot perfectly in the family. She had also never cowered in fear from J.R., which was a rare quality in the Dallas community; she quickly became Miss Ellie’s closest confidant within the family, too, though since her marriage to Clayton Miss Ellie had never lacked for support and reinforcements in times of crisis. Clayton was also his partner in a cutting-horse business, though with his heart troubles the business had been coming together slower than Ray planned. He also hadn’t given it his full attention, spending too much time feuding with his wife and his brother as he worked to shield a woman who didn’t care a whit for him. He wouldn’t make that mistake again.

    He hadn’t been there when his daughter was born, nor had he been the first person to hold her. At least two other men had beaten him to the punch, though he bore them no ill will. It was his own stupid fault for driving his wife a thousand miles away. What he’d never told anyone, even Donna, was that as a child he’d harbored fears that he had been the one to drive his own father away. It was only after he had achieved a certain level of maturity that he realized the truth—his father was a worthless bum. Still, he had harbored doubts of inadequacy even after learning the truth about his paternity. Then he felt like he was competing with his brothers instead of other men. Even with coming of adulthood and the approach of middle age, he still behaved in a self-destructive manner. He cheated on women, including his wife, and broke more hearts than he could count. He drank and caroused and put himself as well as others in danger. He was lucky to have managed only one DWI so far. The loss of Jock had sent him reeling, and he had never quite regained his footing. He tried with his cousin Mickey, only to lose him, too. He had accused Donna of putting her career ahead of their family until she had gotten fed up and left. Maybe he was just destined to lose people due to his failings both as a man and as a husband. He could only imagine Aunt Lil’s disappointment if he told her he’d divorced a pregnant Donna. He really should try again to encourage her to move down to Texas; she was getting on in years, and she was his only surviving link to his mother. Even though he knew she had always been self-sufficient and would blanch at the thought of being waited on hand and foot, she really did deserve some pampering.

    But she would hate that he wasn’t with Donna, as much as he hated not being with her. Despite the loss of her only son, Lil had been incredibly proud of Ray and his accomplishments. She had loved Donna and openly wondered when they planned to start a family. The Bible was the only book she’d ever read until she devoured the two biographies of Sam Culver. He continued to toss and turn, his body like a ship precariously navigating stormy seas. Finally he gave up, flinging the covers off and climbing from the bed. He tossed on a robe and headed downstairs to get a drink of water in the kitchen. Staring at the refrigerator, he smiled—there was Margaret’s newborn picture from the hospital, miniature replicas of his own eyes staring back at him in the darkness. He smiled and finished his water. Even if he never did anything else right, he’d made a beautiful child.
     
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  13. Ms Southworth

    Ms Southworth Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I'm totally hooked on this fanfic! :tv: The details that you include are just amazing! :bravo: And I love hearing about Donna and Ray's perspective on things, both about the past and in the present! :wink@ Once again, I simply cannot give you a score less than 10 out of 10! :10::10::10:

    Please update soon! :best:

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some romance ... even if I have to wait a bit! :kiss::kiss::kiss:
     
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  14. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yay! Seems like Donna's gonna take the opportunity that's come knocking on her door! :)

    I love all the backstory you added to Ray and entwined his childhood with why he turned out the way he's done as an adult. :)
    Also I've been thinking about this for some time, Ray came to southfork when he was 15 and went to work for Jock as I've understood the show. So does that mean he's a High School Drop out?

    I think he probably is. Or what's your take on that?

    I agree that Andrew Dowling was way boring without much personality on the show!
     
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  15. Mrs Bobby James Ewing

    Mrs Bobby James Ewing Soap Chat Fan

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    Great updates Ray&Donna. :) I love your story so much. :) It is so amazing and so well written. :) Please update your awesome story again soon because I can't wait to find out what happens next for baby Margaret and her parents now that we all know that Ray and Donna are both single. :)
     
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  16. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I have wondered about that myself and I am going to say yes, even though the show never really elaborated upon it. With Ray secure in his employment at Southfork, I doubt Jock would have made the extra effort to ensure his attendance at the local school. Laws can vary from state to state when it concerns minors, and young people failing to complete high school has always been something of a problem around here. Our state law was changed several years ago to ensure that no one can quit school prior to the age of 18; before that, you could quit at 16 but your parents had to come sign you out.

    ***

    Donna made sure to dress in red the next morning—Ray had thought she looked good in any color or nothing at all, but she thought red did a good job of highlighting her features, including the new longer hair she was sporting. It resembled what she’d worn most of her life, though the style was appropriately modern without recalling her mid-eighties blow outs. Besides, this was simply an informal meeting with Dave and her two new friends from the party. She’d pull out something more formal, and style her hair differently when she made her first public appearance as the candidate. There would be plenty of appearances after that—speaking to various groups, working to garner support with men and women from every walk of life, from roughnecks and cowboys to businesswomen and ladies of high society. She especially hoped to achieve support from working mothers, since she fell somewhat into their group. Donna knew that secrets rarely stayed that way for long, so she wondered again how long it would be until Ray found out about her candidacy, and what his reaction would be. She could imagine some consternation on his part. And what would Cliff say? She hadn’t thought much about her former boyfriend, with whom she’d parted on bad terms. They had barely interacted after that—the oil lobby had been her closest contact since the breakup. He’d done well for himself in the oil business, amassing a fortune drilling in the Gulf. He was widely respected in the Dallas business community, though his personal life and public behavior had occasionally wavered toward the disreputable. Had he not let his on-again, off-again feud with J.R. control his decisions, he could have advanced further in politics. Perhaps it was for the best, though, that he had ultimately decided to stick with the private sector.

    Her thoughts were drifting, and she knew that it was because she was nervous. Bond and Williamson received her news enthusiastically, though, as did Dave. Talk about a staunch ally—he might have resented his widowed father remarrying someone so young, but instead Dave had become more like the brother she’d never had than an adversary. He had become a fine senator, having served Texas now for almost two terms. In a town with more faces than the Louvre, Dave had never been caught with either his pants down or talking out of both sides of his mouth; he was as honest and decent as any politician could hope to be in the late eighties. The two big men had thanked her again and departed to meet with their operatives, and she had been left alone with Dave in his office.

    “Congratulations,” he said as they hugged. “I know you’ve got this one in the bag.”

    She smiled at him. “Thank you. Just remember that when the first attack ad airs, accusing me of being a dumb blonde heiress.”

    “Hey,” he said, “I’ve been accused of being a dilettante riding his father’s coattails. I’ve got my obligations in Washington, but I promise to help in any way that I can.”

    “The baby needs me, too, so things are going to be hectic when I first hit the trail. Tell LuAnn that I said thanks again for the clothes and nursing bras. They’ll come in handy if I ever have another child. At my age, though…”

    “You’re in the prime of your life,” he assured her. They both smiled. Clearly he hadn’t noticed the crow’s feet around her eyes at the hospital when she was free of makeup—or he was being incredibly kind. Either way, they said their goodbyes and she headed home to see her little girl; her new nanny, who had worked for Pam when she was divorced, was exceptional, but Donna really hoped to ease Angela in to the task. Margaret was much younger than Christopher had been.
     
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  17. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Another great update! :)

    I'm glad Donna running for governor. Also cool that she hired Christopher's old nanny to look after Margaret. She's gonna need someone reliable. :)

    I also enjoy her almost brother-sister relationship with Dave Culver.

    Thinking of that Donna used to date Cliff is always a bit weird. On paper they seemed a better fit than her and Ray but of course Donna & Ray is the real love match. Thinking about Donna and Cliff reminds me of when JR/SE ran into them on the street and JR mentioned how he didn't like the pairing and SE replied that she was sure he'd find some way to see to that it ended soon! :lol:

    Oh and by the way thanks for getting back to me about Ray probably being a High School Drop Out and how the system works over there.
     
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  18. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Ray and Clayton had visited the Fort Worth Livestock Exchange that morning—Ray for old times’ sake, and Clayton because cabin fever had set in soon after his heart attack; Ray knew that as much as they loved one another, Miss Ellie could be prone to hovering. On the way back to Southfork, they stopped by one of their favorite post-auction eateries. For Ray it was a chance to have a thick cheeseburger and a side of chili cheese fries, along with a brown sugar bourbon milkshake. He felt for Clayton, who was tasked with a restrictive no-meat diet; his salad was basically iceberg lettuce with hard-boiled egg whites and low-fat, low sodium dressing on the side.

    “I’d give anything for a slice of grilled chicken,” he told Ray gruffly. He felt for his friend—he definitely had packed on the pounds following his separation from Donna, and he wasn’t exactly wearing them well. Still, no one expected a bachelor on his age not to be plagued with the middle-age spread. Not being the foreman for a huge spread like Southfork hadn’t helped, either. He mostly just rode and walked around his small spread now, the latter of which barely caused him to break out in a sweat in early summer.

    “You know what Dr. Danvers said about your blood pressure,” Ray answered supportively. He spoke quietly, though with the clanging of dishes and silverware around them, it was a miracle they could converse at all. “We probably should have gone elsewhere to eat—some kind of tofu bar,” he said with a grin.

    “I tried that on my honeymoon,” Clayton replied. “Never again, Ray. If I have to eat salad for the rest of my days, so be it, but I’ll stick to lettuce or spinach or something green. I don’t want any fake meat. It’s almost criminal to live on a cattle ranch and not be able to eat beef.”

    Ray looked at the amount of cholesterol on his plate and felt a little queasy, but still ate most of it. The milkshake was the healthiest part of the meal. He would see if perhaps he could drive Clayton out to the horse pen and cheer him up; he had been doing some work with a few colts, and thought one showed an exceptional amount of promise. A sudden hush fell over the restaurant as a news update came over the radio.

    “Roy Ralston here with your KDFW midday alert: it looks like an early winter may be upon us as cold air sweeps down from the upper Midwest; the presidential race keeps heating up as the stock market varies from minute to minute; Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston continue to dominate the charts, leading some to suggest they should team up for a duet; and sources in Austin indicate that former author, commissioner, and lobbyist Donna Culver Krebbs will enter the 1988 gubernatorial race. Mrs. Krebbs was unable to be reached for comment at this time.”

    Ray set down his cup and glanced at Clayton. “Did I just hear what I thought I heard?”

    Clayton arched an eyebrow at him. “I thought she was still in Washington?”

    “She came to see me the last night,” he replied, his face flushing with heat of anger or embarrassment, perhaps both, “and said she had moved back for good. But she didn’t mention anything about that.” He shook his head. “How is she supposed to take care of our daughter?” he asked through clenched teeth.

    His friend gave him a look of concern. “If anyone could run this state and take care of an infant at the same time, it’s Donna. You can’t still resent her after all this time.”

    “Don’t tell me what I can or can’t do,” Ray said heatedly. His face was fully aflame now, and inside he felt like crying—which wasn’t something he did readily. “She used me. She came by last night, pretended to apologize for the past and apprise me of the fact that she and Andrew were over and wanted me to come see Margaret any time I liked. But she was just shaking me down, trying to get the lay of the land without actually revealing her plans. I guess she feels really good about herself now.”

    “Ray, I doubt she was trying to use you in any kind of malicious way—she just wanted to make contact and see how you were doing. It’s not like she dumped Margaret at your feet and ordered you to be a single parent while she went off to travel the world. She didn’t contact me or Ellie, so you were her first stop after getting settled in. Even if she wasn’t completely honest about her intentions, it’s clear to me that she still values your opinion. She talked to you and made her decision afterward. Can you imagine? You’re both single and living in the same city again. You could be first husband of Texas!”

    Ray frowned. “You know how much I hate politics, and wearing penguin suits. Hell, I hate wearing suits, period. If it wasn’t for Donna I’d never get a bowtie put together.”

    “If that isn’t reason enough to get back together,” Clayton said, a twinkle in his eye, “then I don’t know what is.”

    “Too much water over the dam, Clayton. We’ve said and done hurtful things to each other. She felt like I betrayed you and Miss Ellie in the fight against Cliff. I felt like she broke our marriage apart when she moved out and took that job in Washington. I just don’t see how either of us could ever get past what’s happened.”

    “I don’t believe that,” Clayton replied firmly. Ray shot him a withering look. “It’s not my place to judge, though,” he expounded, raising his hands in defeat. “Let’s, um, settle up here and head back to your ranch to look at the horses.”

    Ray nodded, gathering up the check and heading for the register. He hoped the new business might take his mind off of things, but he had serious doubts that it would.
     
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  19. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    You're welcome. I enjoyed that street scene between the two couples, too. Part of the reason Donna and Cliff's brief relationship is hard to remember is that it was only ever mentioned once again--after Cliff and Jamie sued to get 2/3 of Ewing Oil in the Year of Donna Reed. Ray mentions not really liking Cliff and him dating Donna is alluded to. And that was it. Even when Cliff was part of the oil lobby in Donna's final season, they never took the (golden) opportunity) to bring it up again! :rolleyes:
     
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  20. Ms Southworth

    Ms Southworth Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Great updates! :spinning: I do feel bad for Clayton because of his no-meat, fat-free, and colestorol-free diet. I'd soon be fed up like him (although I do like a good salad on the side too)!

    Please update real soon! :tv::popcorn: :wink@ Ray and Donna are amazing in this fanfic! :kiss::kiss::kiss:
     
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