Title: Matchmaker Pairing: JR/Sue Ellen

Discussion in 'JR & Sue Ellen Fan-fiction' started by zephiey, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. zephiey

    zephiey Soap Chat Member

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    Title: Matchmaker
    Pairing: JR / Sue Ellen
    Category: Romance, Drama
    Warnings: Language, Violence
    Disclaimer: Dallas and its characters are the property of CBS, Larry Katzman and Warner Bros Studios. No infringement is intended from this work of fiction.

    Summary: JR Ewing- Oil Baron…Business Man…Matchmaker?



    Matchmaker



    Chapter 1



    Eight-year-old Aaron John Shepard, AJ to his family and friends and Bit to his adopted grandfather read over the list once again before placing it back inside the pocket of his western shirt. With one last look at the men who were working, AJ hopped off the fence where he had sat thinking for the past thirty minutes. He brushed off his jeans before straightening to his full height of 3 feet 11 inches. Pulling off his cowboy hat, AJ ran a hand through his dark brown hair, finger combing it before placing his cowboy hat back on his head. He cocked the brim low over his blue eyes, eyes that were the only thing he had inherited from his bastard of a father.


    AJ chuckled as his Mama’s voice resonated in his head scolding him for his cursing. AJ knew he shouldn’t curse and usually didn’t but Grandpa Clayton was right, a good curse word often fit the situation and when it came to the man who fathered him ‘bastard and son of a bitch’ fit very well. Absently patting the list inside his pocket, AJ headed back to the barbeque.


    It had taken all his considerable talent to convince his mama and Grandpa Clayton to accept the invitation to the Ewing Barbeque and Rodeo. They had first said they were not going to come but he had used the excuse of really wanting to see his Uncle Dusty, Grandpa Clayton’s son, who was competing in the Rodeo and they finally relented.


    He had been ecstatic.


    In all honesty, he did miss Uncle Dusty. He was fun and they spent lots of time fishing and riding when he was at the Southern Cross. AJ loved him but while Dusty was a great Uncle and friend, he wasn’t husband or father material. He was too wrapped up in the rodeo, and AJ knew he wouldn’t quit it for anyone or anything. AJ needed to find a man who would put his mama first. He was here today to see the one person he felt could help him. He was here to see JR Ewing


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*​


    AJ stopped and looked around. He couldn’t see much from his vantage point and climbed onto a chair to get a better look. Glancing around, he finally saw the grey stetson of his target. He was talking to two older men. AJ jumped down off the chair and made his way over to him as quickly as he could. Finally reaching his quarry, AJ waited for a lull in the men’s conversation before stepping forward his hand outstretched.


    “Mr. Ewing…my name is Aaron John Shepard and I have a business proposition for you.”


    JR looked down at the young boy standing before him. For a brief moment he was tempted to laugh, he could hear the soft chuckles of his daddy and Punk, but something in the boy’s eyes reminded him a bit of himself. Switching his glass to his other hand JR extended his hand smiling, “Well Mr. Shepard, my friends call me JR. What type of business are we talking about?”


    AJ shook JR’s hand. Taking a deep breath AJ replied. “I want you to help me find a husband for my mother, Sue Ellen Shepard.”


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*​


    JR read the list again stopping at the same item he had the other three times he read it. Looking at the young boy seated across from him he briefly wondered if the boy’s mother had put him up to this, dismissing the thought almost as soon as it formed. No, he was sure this boy’s mother had no idea what her son was up to. Setting the list down on the table, he didn’t protest when his daddy picked the list up reading it. JR knew the moment his daddy got to the item. His eyes flew to JR’s, the anger both men felt easily seen by the other but invisible to everyone else. Jock slid the paper over to Punk and waited.


    “Son of a…,” Punk began stopping almost as quickly. Cursing in front of women and children wasn’t something he did and Punk could feel his cheeks redden at his slip.


    “It’s okay Mr. Anderson…,” began AJ certain of the curse word he was going to use.


    “My friends call me Punk,” the older man said.


    “Mine call me AJ or in the case of Grandpa Clayton he calls me Bit,” said AJ


    “AJ, may I call you AJ?” asked Jock.


    “Yes sir,” said AJ


    “AJ, why do you want my son JR’s help to find your mama a husband?” Jock asked.


    “Well Mr. Ewing…,” began AJ


    “Jock, please,” corrected Jock. He added, “If you can call Punk by his name and JR by his then I would like you to afford me the same courtesy.”


    “I’m sorry sir, but I can’t do that. Mama would tan my hide if I called you anything other than Mr. Ewing,” said AJ


    Jock looked to JR trying to figure out a way to get the young boy to call him Jock. The two men communicated silently before JR spoke. “Well AJ, I’m afraid we have a problem then. You see I don’t do business with people who don’t call my associates by their first names. And my daddy and Punk are my associates so if you can’t see your way to calling my daddy by his first name I don’t think we can do business,” said JR, moving to stand. Punk and Jock followed suit.


    “Wait,” said AJ. He was torn between his fear of upsetting his mama by calling Mr. Ewing by his first name and the thought of JR not doing business with him. Looking at the three men AJ came to a decision. “Alright I’ll do it,” he said. “I just hope Mama doesn’t get too mad,” he added in an undertone.


    The three men stifled their smiles at hearing AJ’s worry and sat back down.


    Mr. Ew…err Jock…,” began AJ “…you asked me why I want JR to help me find my mama a husband? The answer to that is easy,” said AJ


    The three men unconsciously leaned forward. They were intrigued.


    “JR Ewing knows everyone who is anyone,” said AJ taking a sip of his soda, before sitting back in his chair and crossing his arms. “But even better than knowing everyone, he knows all their secrets!” the young man said, clearly pleased with his answer.


    “Well, I’ll be dammed,” the three men said in unison, surprised at how perceptive and informed Aaron John AJ Shepard was.


    TBC
     
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  2. zephiey

    zephiey Soap Chat Member

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    Title: Matchmaker

    Chapter 2



    Sue Ellen walked up to Clayton; he was talking to an older woman, she placed a hand on his arm. “Excuse me Clayton, I’m sorry for interrupting but have you seen AJ?” asked Sue Ellen, glancing around trying to spot her eight-year old son.


    Clayton looked at Sue Ellen. “Bit? No, come to think of it I haven’t seen him in a while,” replied Clayton.


    “Clayton Farlow will you stop calling my son by that nickname,” scolded Sue Ellen, hitting the older man gently.


    “Ow woman! Stop beating me,” complained Clayton, rubbing his arm. “See the abuse I have to put up with Miss Ellie,” teased Clayton, smiling at the older woman. Grabbing Sue Ellen’s hand in his before she could administer another slap to his arm, Clayton smiled at her before speaking. “Miss Ellie may I introduce my…hmm what do I call you…?” mused Clayton, rubbing his chin and grinning at Sue Ellen.


    Rolling her eyes at Clayton’s teasing Sue Ellen held her hand out to the other woman. “Miss Ellie, I’m Sue Ellen Shepard. This old reprobate’s friend and as he often says adopted- but-not-quite-almost-daughter. It’s a pleasure to meet you,” said Sue Ellen offering her hand to the older woman. “You have a lovely ranch,” added Sue Ellen, her soft Texas drawl adding warmth to her words.


    “Hey, less of the old you,” grumbled Clayton to Sue Ellen watching the two women.


    Laughing lightly Miss Ellie took Sue Ellen’s hand replying, “Thank you Sue Ellen. It is a pleasure to meet you too. So tell me, how long have you known Clayton?” asked Miss Ellie, slipping her arm through Sue Ellen’s.

    “And that’s my cue to go look for Bit,” said Clayton, eyeing the two women. He suddenly felt like a bug under a microscope. “Miz Texas, I’ll send Bit over to you when I find him,” Clayton said, kissing Sue Ellen’s cheek then tipping his hat to Miss Ellie before making his escape.


    “Miss Texas?” asked Miss Ellie.


    “Yes, I was Miss Texas. In fact, that is where I met Clayton, at the pageant. He was one of the guest judges and the rest, as they say is history,” said Sue Ellen, looking at the older woman.


    Miss Ellie smiled. She liked this young woman. There was something about her, which intrigued Miss Ellie. ‘I wonder if…No Ellie…you promised,’ she silently scolded herself. Glancing at Sue Ellen again, Ellie thought, ‘it wouldn’t really be interfering if I just so happened to introduce her to him…no…it wouldn’t be interfering at all…’


    “Sue Ellen I would love to hear about how you met Clayton and you have a son, correct?” asked Miss Ellie. At the mention of her son Sue Ellen’s face radiated joy.


    “Yes, his name is Aaron John, AJ for short. Clayton calls him Bit. Clayton is as close to a grandfather as AJ has,” said Sue Ellen. Miss Ellie smiled. When Sue Ellen spoke of her son the love she felt for him was evident in her voice and in her expression.


    “Aaron, you say?” asked Miss Ellie, as they walked toward one of the tables toward the back of the patio. “My father’s name was Aaron,” said Miss Ellie as she and Sue Ellen sat down.


    Soon the two women were engaged in conversation and Miss Ellie skilfully extracted Sue Ellen’s entire life story. Miss Ellie learned of Sue Ellen’s teenage battle with alcohol, her pageant win and meeting Clayton to her marriage, and subsequent divorce due to her husband’s physical abuse. She learned of the premature birth of her son due to that same abuse, to her purchase of Valentine Lingerie and her plans for the future. Plans that included a hope for remarrying, something that pleased Ellie to no end.


    “I would love to remarry,” said Sue Ellen. “But most men run the other way when they find out I’ve an eight-year old son. And the ones that don’t become intimidated when they discover I run a multi-million dollar company,” added Sue Ellen, her chin propped on her hand as she looked over at Miss Ellie. Normally Sue Ellen was reserved, almost to the point of wariness with people never revealing more than necessary. But there was something about Miss Ellie some kindness that had her divulging her entire history to the older woman.


    ‘Maybe this is what a mother is supposed to be like,’ Sue Ellen silently mused thinking about her own mother Patricia and her cold, calculating attitude.


    “You evidently haven’t met the right type of men,” said Miss Ellie.


    “Hrumpff,” scoffed Sue Ellen, rolling her eyes. “Miss Ellie, I’ve met more men than you can shake a stick at and every single one of them hightailed it for the hills as soon as they were able. I am so sick of the entire dating thing that I am seriously thinking of swearing off men forever!” she said.


    Miss Ellie laughed. “As I said, you evidently haven’t met the right type of man,” she said firmly.


    “Hrumpff,” Sue Ellen repeated.


    TBC
     
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  3. Alexia

    Alexia Soap Chat Fan

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    Thank you zephiey for re-posting this fab story!:spinning: I began reading it on the now defunct forum, and I loved it sooooooooo much that I created an account just so I could comment on it now!
    The writing is superb! Please, tell me you plan on finishing it...?:byee:
     
  4. Honkytonkangel

    Honkytonkangel Soap Chat Active Member

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    Yay. I'm so excited to see this story back. I hope we get to see a happy ending for JR and Sue Ellen (and some revenge Ewing style for that bastard ex-husband of hers).
     
  5. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've somehow missed this story. Anyway welcome back to our forum zephiey. :)

    Also I first misread it like Sue Ellen's son was like 18. lol
    It made a lot more sense when I went back up to the beginning and saw that he was really eight, as he spoke like a kid. Wise beyond his years though. I wonder who little AJ's father is?
    Sue Ellen's ex-husband I presume...whoever that is...
     
  6. Miss Texas 1967

    Miss Texas 1967 Soap Chat Fan

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    Thanks for reuploading :)
    Looking forward to reading the rest.
     
  7. Crazy about SE and JR

    Crazy about SE and JR Soap Chat Member

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    I also read the other version of this story and I really liked it. Please continue it! :)
     
  8. zephiey

    zephiey Soap Chat Member

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    Title: Matchmaker


    Chapter 3


    Clayton walked across the patio his gaze scanning the crowd trying to see if he could spot Bit. He chuckled softly to himself when he realized he was trying to see an almost four foot child in a sea of adults. Clayton wove his way through the crowd greeting friends and acquaintances all the while keeping an eye out for Bit. Finally making his way to the edges of the tabled area he came to an abrupt halt, unable to believe what he was seeing.


    Clayton walked over to where the foursome sat. “There ya are Bit,” said Clayton, his sharp gaze belying the smile on his face.


    AJ jumped to his feet. “Grandpa,” he greeted hugging the older man. Clayton lifted AJ up into his arms hugging him. “Hey Bit,” he said. “Your mama’s looking for ya. I told her I’d come find ya.”


    “She is?” asked AJ


    “Yep,” replied Clayton.


    “Then I better go see what she wants,” said AJ as Clayton put him down. “Excuse me JR, Jock, Punk but I need to go see what my mama needs,” said AJ shaking each man’s hand then drinking down the last of his soda before picking up his hat and sprinting away. Seconds later he came back. “JR, I’ll bring Mama over to meet ya, okay?” he said. “You’ll be here, right?”


    “Yes, we will AJ,” replied JR Sharing a look with his father and Punk then turning to look at A.J’s grandfather. He could see the curiosity and caution on the older man’s face and knew as soon as AJ was out of hearing range questions would be flying fast and furious.


    “Okay. I’ll be back,” said AJ


    “AJ she is over on the veranda talking,” Clayton told AJ


    “Gotcha, Grandpa,” he said, sprinting toward the veranda and his mama. Clayton watched AJ until he could no longer see him before turning back to the three men. Without a word Clayton took AJ’s abandoned seat, tipped his hat back on his head, placed his elbows on the table and said, “Now would someone like to explain to me why my eight year old grandson is meeting with two Ewings and an Anderson?”


    The three men exchanged glances before JR launched into a brief explanation of AJ’s proposal.


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*​

    AJ made his way through the throng of people quickly. He didn’t want to take a chance that JR, Jock and Punk would leave before he could introduce his mama to JR AJ hadn’t been completely truthful with JR when he had approached him about helping him find a husband for his mama. He already knew the perfect husband for his mama, and all he needed was to have the two meet in order to set his plan into motion. The man he had chosen was rich, intelligent, tough and ruthless. AJ had read everything he could get his hands on about him and he knew he was the type of man his son of a bitch father wouldn’t be able to intimidate or bully. All he had to do was get his mama to meet him and he was sure, considering how pretty and smart his mama was his choice would immediately fall in love with her. There was no way his plan could fail. All he had to do was introduce his mama to the perfect man for her- JR Ewing!


    Coming to a stop near the veranda AJ looked around for his mama. He saw her sitting and talking to an older woman and he headed over to her. He came to a stop next to her chair.


    “AJ!” said Sue Ellen as she turned and hugged her son, placing a kiss to his cheek.


    AJ squirmed a bit and blushed at his mama kissing him in public. “Hey Mama, Grandpa said you were looking for me,” said AJ draping an arm around her shoulders. He didn’t mind hugging his mama in public but he really wished she wouldn’t kiss him. He wasn’t a baby anymore!


    “I was,” said Sue Ellen. “I hadn’t seen you for a while so I was worried.”


    “Aw...Mama, I’m not a baby. I can look after myself,” AJ said.


    “I know you’re not a baby but I am your mother and it is my job to worry about you,” explained Sue Ellen, giving AJ a soft squeeze. “Forgive your old mother,” she said smiling.


    “Mama you’re not old,” declared AJ


    “Why thank you kind sir,” Sue Ellen said smiling, placing a kiss to AJ’s cheek and chuckling at his expression.


    “Mama, please.”


    “I’m sorry, but you are so handsome I can’t help myself,” teased Sue Ellen, hugging him once more. “Now where have you been and what have you been doing?” asked Sue Ellen. Sue Ellen suddenly realized she hadn’t introduced her son to her companion. “Oh...I am sorry Miss Ellie Ewing,” she said. “This is my son Aaron John Shepard. AJ, this is Miss Ellie. She and her husband Jock own this ranch,” Sue Ellen said to her son.


    Moving out of his mama’s arms he walked over to Miss Ellie and offered her his hand. “Pleased to meet you Miss Ellie, I’ve already met your husband Jock and your son JR and Punk,” said AJ


    “AJ,” scolded Sue Ellen before Miss Ellie could say anything. AJ knew immediately why she scolded him.


    “Mama, Jock, Punk and JR told me I have to call them by their first names since we are business associates,” AJ explained.


    “Business associates? What do you mean business associates?” asked Sue Ellen.


    AJ walked over and sat down next to his mama. Taking her hand in his he began. “Mama, you always tell me I am the man of the house, right?”


    “Yes, but what does that...?” she began.


    “Mama, if you’d let me finish...,” AJ said firmly.


    Trying not to smile Sue Ellen replied, “Alright.”


    “As I was saying, you always say I am the man of the house. And as the man of the house it is my job to make sure you are taken care of...” AJ said seriously.


    Sue Ellen nodded.


    AJ rubbed his thumb over the back of his mama’s hand. “Well...ya know I am getting older and soon I’ll be moving out...going to college and stuff like that...,” explained AJ


    “Uh huh,” replied Sue Ellen.


    “And that means that you’ll be all alone...with me being at college and stuff...so I figured I needed to do something about you being alone when I leave so I decided I would hire someone to help me find you a husband...,” explained AJ


    “Aaron John Shepard! Are you telling me that...?” Sue Ellen said, her temper rising.


    “Now Mama before you fly off the handle at me just listen and then if you’re still mad at me...then I guess you can yell at me,” said AJ looking at his mother’s face.


    “Fine...finish,” said Sue Ellen, pulling her hand out of his, crossing her arms over her chest, and sitting back in her chair.


    AJ stood up and began to pace. “As I was saying...I decided I needed someone to help me find you a husband. Someone who could take care of you after I move out so I did some research and came up with the only person who could help me.” AJ stopped in front of his mother. “Mama, the person I found knows everyone, and even better knows everything about everyone.”


    Listening to the conversation Miss Ellie immediately realized who AJ was speaking about. “JR,” she said.


    Turning to Miss Ellie, AJ said, “Yes ma’am. JR is the man I hired to help me find a husband for my mama. He, Jock and Punk agreed to help me put together a list of eligible men.”


    “And then what?” asked Sue Ellen. “Am I supposed to parade myself in front of each one...,” she began, angry at her son’s plan but pleased too that he would make such an effort.

    “No Mama,” said AJ “JR and I will give you the list and then you tell JR who you want to go out with and he will arrange it.”


    “I see,” said Sue Ellen. AJ knew his mama was angry, he could tell by her eyes. From the look on her face he was sure he was gonna be grounded for the rest of his life and get a spanking he would never forget. Before his mama could begin to yell at him Miss Ellie interrupted.


    “Sue Ellen I know you are angry but it’s actually a good idea. Especially in light of our previous conversation,” said Miss Ellie. Sue Ellen looked at Miss Ellie in surprise. “I can tell you JR really does know everyone but more important he knows their secrets. If anyone can do this, he can. What’s the harm in letting them try? After all, you never know, you might meet the perfect man,” said Miss Ellie, smiling.


    “It’s just so...,” began Sue Ellen. In light of their previous conversation Sue Ellen silently agreed it was a good idea but it was embarrassing to have a complete stranger arranging her love life. She didn’t even know JR Ewing. Of course, she knew of him. You didn’t live in Texas without knowing of JR Ewing, President of Ewing Oil, Ewing Trust and Group.


    “Embarrassing?” replied Miss Ellie. Sue Ellen nodded. “Actually, no more embarrassing than contacting a dating agency,” Miss Ellie replied calmly. “Besides, if I know my sons as well as I think, JR will make sure no malicious gossip is connected to you. He is one man most of Dallas not to mention Texas doesn’t want to anger.”


    “Oh great, now I’m really worried. He sounds absolutely terrifying,” Sue Ellen said.


    “Mama he is not scary. He is... cool,” said AJ smiling when he thought about how JR treated him as an equal and not a little kid.


    Miss Ellie stood. “As AJ said, JR is...cool,” she said smiling. Cool wasn’t quite the word she thought she would ever use in connection with JR but seeing the almost hero like worship that crossed AJ’s face at the mention of her son’s name Miss Ellie thought perhaps cool did sum up JR in this instance.


    “Come on. I’ll introduce you to him. As I am sure you two will have quite a bit to discuss.” Turning to AJ Miss Ellie asked, “Do you know where JR is?”


    “Yes ma’am,” answered AJ


    “Good,” said Miss Ellie taking AJ’s hand in hers and looking over at Sue Ellen. “Are you coming?” she asked.


    Sue Ellen looked at Miss Ellie then at her son, both looking at her expectantly. Sue Ellen shrugged then stood. “I suppose,” she said, taking her son’s other hand. “What’s the worst that could happen? Besides terminal embarrassment and humiliation,” mumbled Sue Ellen.


    Miss Ellie didn’t smile when she heard Sue Ellen’s words. ‘I have a feeling you are going to be in for a very pleasant shock my dear...a very pleasant shock, as is my son,’ Miss Ellie thought.


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*​


    After JR finished explaining AJ’s proposal Clayton sat back mulling over what JR had just told him. Part of him was proud of AJ and his plan but another part of him was cautious of letting his grandson become involve with a man who was as ruthless as JR Ewing. As he sat there contemplating what he was just told JR addressed him again.


    “I do have one question though. It concerns AJ’s list,” said JR, sliding the list across the table to the other man. JR watched as Clayton read the list and he knew the moment he reached that item.


    “Son of a bitch,” growled Clayton.


    “My one question is...,” JR began, waiting for the older man to look up at him. Once Clayton was looking at him JR leaned forward and snarled, “Just where the hell were you when that was taking place?”


    Clayton was surprised at the venom in J.R’s voice. Clayton knew JR didn’t know Sue Ellen but he was livid at the abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband. ‘Perhaps there is more to JR Ewing than I thought,’ mused Clayton.


    Clayton took a deep breath. He had always felt as if he failed Sue Ellen because he hadn’t suspected the abuse until it almost cost her AJ Crumbling the list in his hand Clayton said, “We don’t have much time before Bit gets back. I am sure he is bringing Sue Ellen with him so I am going to have to make this quick.”


    “Go on,” said JR sitting back and crossing his arms. Jock and Punk sat relaxed in their chairs but Clayton could tell each man was just as angry as JR


    “I’ve known Sue Ellen since she was nineteen and a contestant in the Miss Texas pageant. I met her there. I was a guest judge and I knew as soon as I saw her she would easily win. There was something about her that made her stand out from the crowd. She had entered the pageant to win the scholarship but her mother Patricia had other ideas. Patricia wanted Sue Ellen to marry a rich man and figured winning Miss Texas would be the perfect way to introduce her to those men. At the time she was a junior at Austin, working part time and paying for her education. Well, she won and along with the scholarship that paid for her final two years at school she, much to her mother’s delight, was introduced to quite a number of rich men.


    About three months after the pageant the company that Sue Ellen had been working for was sold to Farlow Industries, my company. I met Sue Ellen again during a tour of the company and was surprised to learn that it was she who had put together the business proposal that the owner used to secure the sale of his company. After talking to her I offered her a full time job working for me but she declined. She was still in school and between school and the demands of being Miss Texas she was unable to take a full time position. So I offered her a part time position which she accepted and we became good friends. Her mother was still pushing for her to marry a rich man and set her sights on me. Sue Ellen was beyond angry when she found out her mother’s plans. It was during an argument with her mother that I discovered she was engaged.


    Her fiancé was a man by the name of Clint Ogden. The first time I met Clint I felt something wasn’t right about him but Sue Ellen was so happy that I kept my opinion to myself. Well, months passed with her working for me and she approached me one day to ask me if I would walk her down the aisle. She and Clint were planning on marrying. I agreed and a few weeks later they were married. A few months passed and I noticed Sue Ellen began to wear different clothes. Before she had always dressed in the most up to date fashions but she began to wear more sedate almost old-fashioned clothes. Long sleeves, high necks, long skirts- clothes you would expect a sixty year old grandmother to wear not a twenty one year old beautiful woman to wear. I also noticed she was often tired and she didn’t look as if she was eating well. When I asked she told me she was four months pregnant. I was surprised because I remember her telling me she wasn’t planning on having any children until she graduated and was at least twenty-five. Well four months went by and one day out of the blue she called in and informed my secretary she was quitting. I couldn’t understand why she was leaving so I went over to her apartment. When I knocked on the door I didn’t get any answer. Her landlady came out and informed me that she had moved the week prior and hadn’t left a forwarding address.


    As soon as I heard this I knew something was wrong. So I had my investigators track her down, which took about a week. My investigators found her address and also discovered she had taken a leave of absence from college which didn’t make sense since she had less than a semester left before graduating,” explained Clayton


    JR listened to Clayton intently.


    Clayton continued. “As soon as I got the report I headed over to where she was living and when I arrived I knocked on the door but no one answered. I was just about ready to leave when I heard Sue Ellen scream. I didn’t even think. I broke down the door to find Ogden beating Sue Ellen. He had her on the floor and was hitting her while she tried to protect herself.”


    Clayton took a deep breath and pushed his anger down. “I pulled him off her and he attacked me. I got in a few good punches before he took off. Unfortunately, his attack caused Sue Ellen to go into labour and she had AJ a month early but luckily he was okay. I pushed for Sue Ellen to divorce Ogden and she did but Ogden demanded visitation rights to AJ, which were granted.”


    “Even with proof of his abuse?” asked Jock.


    “Yes,” answered Clayton. “Ogden and his family own Ogden Electronics out of California. Thanks to his family’s money he was able to influence the courts.”


    “For the past eight years Sue Ellen has had to deal with Ogden. The incident AJ refers to happened about three years ago. I didn’t think he remembered it. Sue Ellen had just bought Valentine’s Lingerie from Oswald Valentine; she had been working with him for two years in preparation to purchase the company. I lent her the initial money but she secured the rest of the financing. In celebration, she and AJ took a trip to Aspen. Ogden was there.”


    The low growl from JR surprised the other three men. “What happened?” JR asked.


    “He tried to take AJ. She stopped him and he attacked her. Ogden was arrested but, again thanks to his family’s money, he got off. When the police contacted me I immediately headed to Aspen and brought her and AJ home. Every couple months Ogden appears demands to see AJ and makes Sue Ellen’s life a living hell until he leaves. He doesn’t give a damn about AJ or Sue Ellen all he cares about is causing trouble. He thinks he owns Sue Ellen,” spat Clayton. “Every man Sue Ellen has become involved with has had Ogden threaten him. Most turn tail and run. Hell, he’s even threatened my son Dusty after a picture of he and Sue Ellen was printed.”


    “Is Sue Ellen interested in your son?” JR asked casually.


    Clayton looked at JR wondering why he was asking. “No, he is simply a good friend.”


    JR nodded. Jock looked at his eldest son, he could almost see the plans he was making.


    “Grandpa!” yelled AJ as he ran up to Clayton.


    “Hey Bit!” greeted Clayton as he turned to his grandson. “Did you find your mama?” he asked.


    “Yep...,” he announced turning to watch his mama and Miss Ellie walk toward the table. The ladies stopped at the table and the men stood.


    “Jock, Punk, JR, This is my mama Sue Ellen Shepard,” said AJ He watched as his mama shook Jock’s hand then Punk’s greeting both men. AJ gazed sharpened when JR simply stood there.


    JR stared at the incredibly beautiful woman before him. He couldn’t bring himself to speak as his gaze roamed over her. He never knew auburn hair could appear so vibrant or hazel eyes appear so alluring. ‘God... her voice is so sexy,’ JR thought as he gazed at her.


    Sue Ellen returned his gaze entranced at the sight of him. She hadn’t expected to him to so tall or so broad-chested. Nor did she expect his eyes to be so blue. ‘I could stare into his eyes all day,’ she thought.


    Jock and Ellie exchanged amused glances. Rarely did they see their eldest son so flustered at the sight of a woman. The last time was prior to Vanessa.


    “JR aren’t you gonna say hi to my mama?” asked A.J breaking the silence.


    JR glanced at AJ then back at Sue Ellen embarrassed at being caught staring. “Oh yea...sorry,” he said extending his hand to Sue Ellen’s. “Hello,” he greeted surprised at the electric shock that seemed to travel through his body when he touched her.


    Sue Ellen’s breath caught when his hand touched hers. “Hello,” she replied, blushing slightly.


    AJ looked at his mama then at JR and smiled. His plan just might work.


    TBC
     
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  9. Alexia

    Alexia Soap Chat Fan

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    Loved them meeting for the first time "swoon"!!!!:06:
     
  10. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    So Clint is the bad guy. Now I know! ;)
    Yeah there was definitely a spark there when JR/SE met. Just like I thought it would be. I can't remember if I have read this before. It starts to sound vaguely familiar...
     
  11. zephiey

    zephiey Soap Chat Member

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    You're welcome. I'm pleased you're enjoying the writing and I do plan on finishing this.
     
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  12. zephiey

    zephiey Soap Chat Member

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    This is me, of course you'll get a happy ending...for someone. :p And revenge is always...always on the menu.
     
  13. zephiey

    zephiey Soap Chat Member

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    Thank you Karin.
     
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  14. zephiey

    zephiey Soap Chat Member

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    You're welcome and I hope you enjoy the rest.
     
  15. zephiey

    zephiey Soap Chat Member

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    Yep, Clint makes JR look like an angel. You may have read it when I first posted it eons ago.
     
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  16. zephiey

    zephiey Soap Chat Member

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    Title: Matchmaker

    Chapter 4


    Sue Ellen smiled as her son ran past everyone toward the stands. He was excited at the prospect of sitting with the Ewing’s during the rodeo. Everyone else followed more sedately leaving her and JR bringing up the rear. Sue Ellen glanced quickly at the man who walked beside her before returning her gaze forward. J.R Ewing wasn’t what she had expected. She had seen his picture in the paper and in magazines but pictures didn’t prepare her for the sheer masculinity of the man. He was tall. Something that surprised her. She hadn’t thought he would be over six foot. Her experienced eye and how well his jeans fit told her he was well- toned but not overly muscular and she wondered how he looked nude. Sue Ellen felt her face heat at the direction of her thoughts.


    JR found himself surreptitiously admiring the woman who walked beside him. Normally he wasn’t immediately taken by a pretty face or packaging since he knew both could and often did hide a myriad of faults but there was something different about Sue Ellen Shepard. She was beautiful, but even more than she had the indefinable quality about her that marked her a lady. Few women he knew had that quality that marked them as a lady- his mother, Miss Ellie was one along with Mavis Anderson and the third woman, if he were honest was his sister-in-law Pamela, even if she was a Barnes. They all possessed that something that marked them as a true lady, something that JR recognized in Sue Ellen Shepard and it intrigued and captivated him. JR noticed Sue Ellen’s blush and wondered what she was thinking.


    ‘Could she be thinking about me?’ he wondered as he glanced at her. Before he could wonder more about what was causing her blush so prettily, she spoke.


    “Mr. Ewing…,” Sue Ellen began, not sure how to voice what she wanted to.


    “JR, please,” said JR “The only Mr. Ewing I know is my daddy,” he replied, grinning.


    Sue Ellen’s breath caught at JR’s grin. ‘My god…no one should look that good…,’ she thought. She gave herself a quick mental shake before she stopped walking and spoke.


    “JR, I appreciate your taking the time to listen to AJ’s proposal and how you treated him as a potential business partner. But I am sure you have better things to do with your time then to act as a matchmaker,” said Sue Ellen. “I’ll just tell AJ that after thinking over his proposal that you don’t have the time to assist him with it,” Sue Ellen added in a rush, smiling to take the sting out of her words. Sue Ellen turned to walk away, only to be stopped by a hand to her arm.


    “Who says I don’t have the time?” asked JR, for some reason the idea of him not having the time to help AJ in his search to find a potential husband for his mother irritated JR


    “Come on,” scoffed Sue Ellen. “You’re gonna tell me you have the time to help my eight year old son find a potential husband for me while running a multi-billion dollar oil company, not to mention all the other Ewing holdings you handle? Please, I know better,” Sue Ellen said, cocking her hip and glaring at JR, her embarrassment over this entire situation now turning back to irritation.


    JR glared at Sue Ellen. Crossing his arms across his broad chest he replied, “I do have the time. And even if I didn’t, I would sure as hell make the time now to help him.” JR moved closer to Sue Ellen. “Let me tell you somethin’ Miz Shepard, I don’t like bein’ told what I can and can’t do,” he said. “You can ask anyone in Dallas…hell, in the entire state of Texas!”


    “Well Mr. Ewin’…,” sneered Sue Ellen. Sue Ellen stepped closer to J.R and continued, “I don’t care if you like it or not. I am tellin’ you, I don’t want or need your help to find a date, a man or even a husband!” She emphasized her words by poking him in his chest with her finger just above his crossed arms.


    JR uncrossed his arms and stepped even closer to Sue Ellen. He bent forward, his hat tipped back until he was almost nose to nose with her. “Well, Miz Shepard it don’t matter to me if ya want my help or not. AJ and I shook hands on the proposal so you’re stuck with me,” mocked JR. Straightening up, JR stepped back and pulled his hat low over his eyes. “Now Sugar why don’t ya tell me what type of man would interest you or are you too chicken?”


    “What!?” squawked Sue Ellen indignantly.


    “Oh, did I hit a sore spot?” smirked JR. “Is that why ya don’t want my help? Are you afraid I might succeed where you failed?” asked JR.


    Sue Ellen planted her hands on her hips. “Let me tell you somethin’ JR Ewing....I am not nor have I ever been afraid!”


    “I think you are,” replied JR


    “No, I’m not,” argued Sue Ellen.


    “Then prove it! Prove that you aren’t scared. Give me six months,” he said. “Six months to find you a potential husband.”


    “Why should I?” asked Sue Ellen. “Six months doesn’t prove anything,” she added.


    “See…you are scared,” crowed JR grinning.


    Sue Ellen gritted her teeth and took a deep breath. “No, I’m not. What would it prove? Huh? Nothing…that’s what! In six months, a lot could happen. I could probably even find my own husband in that length of time,” she said.


    “I bet you couldn’t,” said JR determinedly.


    “Excuse me?” said Sue Ellen.


    JR crossed his arms over his chest and condescendingly drawled, “I bet you couldn’t.”


    “Oh, you don’t think so, do you?” Sue Ellen bitingly replied.


    “Nope. I don’t,” smirked JR “I think that’s why AJ approached me for help because you…,” JR emphasized his words by pointing a finger at Sue Ellen. “You haven’t been able to find even a date in lord knows how long. It’s sad that such a beautiful woman is reduced to….”


    “How much?” interrupted Sue Ellen.


    “How much what?” asked JR


    “How much are you willing to bet that you can find me a potential husband in six months?” asked Sue Ellen. She wanted to wipe that smirk off JR Ewing’s face.


    “Name your price,” said JR confident in his ability to find a potential husband for Sue Ellen Shepard.


    Sue Ellen tapped her finger against her lips as she contemplated the price. She paced back and forth for a few minutes pondering the details of their tentative bet. Reaching a decision on what her price would be she smiled and turned back to face JR


    “My price is after six months, from the starting date we agree on, if you fail to find me a potential husband you have to model AND be photographed wearing Valentine’s newest line of men’s fashions, including underwear,” said Sue Ellen, positive that the JR Ewing she had read about would never agree to such terms.


    “And if I don’t fail?” asked JR


    Taking a page from JR book, Sue Ellen replied, “Name your price.”


    “If I succeed in finding you a potential husband then you have to agree to spend a weekend, alone with me anywhere I choose,” said JR


    Sue Ellen’s eyes widened at his terms. “But…,” she stuttered.


    “Those are my terms. Take ‘em or leave ‘em,” JR replied confidently.


    “Fine,” replied Sue Ellen, she held out her hand.


    JR looked down at her hand then back up at her. “Before we shake hands on the deal, I think we better agree to some rules,” he said.


    “What rules?” Sue Ellen asked suspiciously.


    “Just some ground rules,” answered JR “First rule: All potential dates will be introduced to you by me. Agreed?” said J.R, holding his hand out.


    “Agreed,” said Sue Ellen, shaking JR’s hand.


    “Second rule: You can’t refuse a date unless there is a good reason.” JR held his hand out waiting for Sue Ellen to shake it.


    “What do you consider a good reason?” Sue Ellen asked.


    “Family emergencies...you or AJ being sick...you being uncomfortable with a potential date, although this shouldn’t be a problem since you will have already met any any potential dates prior to actually having a date. Agreed?”


    “Agreed,” she said, shaking JR’s hand.


    “Third rule: Any problems and I mean ANY problems with your dates are to be brought to my attention immediately,” JR said sternly.


    “Why?” asked Sue Ellen.


    “Because you are under my protection,” replied JR


    “Excuse me?” said Sue Ellen indignantly. “I do not need a protec…”


    Before Sue Ellen could finish her statement JR interrupted her. “Now before you get all riled up just let me explain. The men you will be going out with are successful, rich and used to getting what they want when they want. This can be a dangerous combination. Most aren’t scared of anything except ME! I am not being egotistical when I say that, I’m just stating a fact. Fear of me and the knowledge that you are under my protection will guarantee your safety. But just in case one or two forget…,” JR grinned evilly before continuing. “I’ll be more than happy to remind ‘em.” JR held out his hand for Sue Ellen to shake. “Agreed?”


    “Agreed,” said Sue Ellen shaking his hand before releasing it.


    JR dropped his hand to his side and asked, “Can you think of any other rules we need to agree on?” Sue Ellen shook her head no.


    Raising his hand once more, JR held his hand out for the final time and asked, “So you agree to our bet and the rules?”


    “Yes,” replied Sue Ellen, grasping JR’s hand in hers, shaking it.


    “Good,” J.R replied releasing Sue Ellen’s hand.


    TBC
     
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  17. zephiey

    zephiey Soap Chat Member

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    Title: Matchmaker


    Chapter 5



    JR heard his name being called and stopped. Sue Ellen stopped also, although not sure why. She stood next to JR and watched the tall, lean, smiling man with white blond hair walk up to JR


    “Hey JR.”


    “Jeremy,” greeted JR in his slow drawl shaking the other man’s hand. “Didn’t think you were gonna make it.”


    “I almost didn’t,” he replied.


    JR raised an eyebrow in question.


    “Long story...”


    JR nodded in answer.


    “And who is this?” Jeremy asked as he turned to face Sue Ellen smiling. Sue Ellen found herself smiling back in return.


    “Jeremy Wendell, may I present Sue Ellen Shepard, owner and CEO of Valentine Lingerie. Sue Ellen this is Jeremy Wendell, CEO and owner of Wendell Industries,” said JR


    “Pleased to meet you Miss Shepard,” Jeremy said smoothly, placing a soft kiss to Sue Ellen’s hand.


    JR rolled his eyes at Jeremy’s actions. “Down boy. I think this may be one woman who is immune to your charm,” teased JR


    Jeremy laughed in response. “A fella’s gotta try.”


    “Oh, I wouldn’t say that,” teased Sue Ellen. “I’ve always had a soft spot for charming, debonair men.” She liked this man. She knew he was powerful but like JR he wasn’t unapproachable.


    “That leaves you out,” grinned JR


    “More like you,” responded Jeremy. Turning back to Sue Ellen, he stepped closer to her and drew her arm through his; ignoring the look JR flashed him. “Miss Shepard...,” began Jeremy.


    “Sue Ellen, please,” she smiled.


    “Sue Ellen,” agreed Jeremy. He glanced over at JR and grinned devilishly. “So who did you anger to get stuck with him?” he teased.


    JR rolled his eyes and Sue Ellen giggled softly. “No one,” she said. “My son is a business associate of JR’s,” she said.


    “Your son? You can’t have a son old enough to be running a business,” said Jeremy. There was no way this beautiful woman could have an adult son.


    “My son is eight. He and JR are new business associates,” replied Sue Ellen. She grinned at Jeremy’s expression. Sue Ellen looked over at JR, she could see he wasn’t happy about her teasing but he wasn’t angry. In the short time she had been in JR’s company she was becoming adept at reading his various expressions.


    “Eight?” asked Jeremy, turning to look at JR in disbelief. “That’s a bit young, even for you JR,” he said.


    “Jeremy.”


    “Yeah?”


    “Shut up,” JR said, his grin belied his gruff response.


    Jeremy looked between JR and Sue Ellen, he didn’t know what was going on but he was sure if it involved JR it would be fun to watch unfold. “Okay, I am not gonna ask what is goin’ on right now, but would ya mind fillin’ me in one day?” he asked.


    “One day,” JR agreed. ‘Probably even earlier than you think,’ added JR silently.


    JR walked on one side of Sue Ellen with Jeremy on the other. Jeremy still had Sue Ellen’s armed tucked into his while they walked. Jeremy spoke with Sue Ellen with his normal ease and charm while JR simply listened. The trio had just arrived at the stands when another voice called out.


    “JR... Jeremy,” a boisterous voice called. Both men turned in response and Sue Ellen watched both men smile in genuine delight. She watched another man walk toward them, the grin on his face bringing a smile to hers. He was taller than either man with her, at least 6’ 6” and while many would argue he was fat, Sue Ellen could tell he was actually fit. The way his muscles moved under his tailored clothes was evidence of that. His hair was thick, brown and wavy lending his face an almost boyish look that was belied by his physical stature. Reaching the three of them the newcomer stopped.


    “Well, hello there darlin’,” the big man said. Sue Ellen smiled in response. His voice was deep, his speech a classic Texan drawl.


    “Dear god... he’s at it again,” said Jeremy.


    “He’s always at it,” replied JR


    The new man ignored the other two and gently extracted Sue Ellen from Jeremy’s arm. He pulled her forward, smiling down at her. Sue Ellen looked over at the other two men and laughed at the look on their faces.


    “A woman as beautiful as you shouldn’t be forced to endure the company of rogues such as these two. Now don’t worry little lady, I am here to rescue you.”



    “Yeah, and who’s gonna rescue her from you, ya big ox?” said Jeremy.


    “Who ya’ callin’ an ox ya’ little weasel?”


    JR moved forward, pulling Sue Ellen to him and standing just a bit in front of her to protect her. He knew from previous experience how fast things could change from verbal to physical between these two men. Both men had volatile tempers and knew which buttons to push. Deciding to cut things off before they got out of hand JR spoke up. “Frampton shut up so I can introduce you.” His statement got its expected results and JR continued. “Sue Ellen may I introduce William Frampton, owner of too many dammed companies to list and a good friend. Billy, this is Sue Ellen Shepard, owner and CEO of Valentine Lingerie. She is also a friend, understand?” said JR


    Both men looked up sharply at the friend comment from JR They knew exactly what JR was saying by making such a statement. Sue Ellen Shepard was under JR Ewing’s protection and making her uncomfortable in any manner could and would result in the Ewing ire raining down on them. Both men shared a quick look before turning back to Sue Ellen. “Pleased to meet ya Miss Shepard,” said Billy offering his hand to her.


    “The pleasure is all mine,” replied Sue Ellen. Before she could say anything else she was interrupted by another new voice.


    “Hello JR, Jeremy, Billy,” the newcomer said. The men had no chance to reply to the fourth man before he grabbed Sue Ellen’s hand, raised it to his lips and asked, “And who is this lovely lady?”


    Sue Ellen had the overwhelming urge to wrench her hand out of this man’s grip and wipe it on her pants. Jeremy and Billy almost laughed at the look of disgust that flitted briefly across Sue Ellen’s face before she pasted what they were sure was a fake smile on her face.


    “Cryder,” growled JR


    Wilson turned to JR still gripping Sue Ellen’s hand in his. “Yes?”


    JR gently removed Sue Ellen’s hand from Cryder’s, tucked her arm into his and said, “Sue Ellen this is Wilson Cryder, CEO of Westar Oil.”


    Sue Ellen moved closer to JR, nodding her head in greeting. She didn’t like this new man, unlike Jeremy and Billy. The looks he gave her made her uncomfortable and uneasy.


    “I am pleased to meet you Sue Ellen, perhaps later we could have a drink and get to know each other better,” Wilson said. Sue Ellen was just the type of woman he enjoyed.


    “I’m sorry Mister Cryder but I am afraid my time is not my own today. I have a few previous engagements,” Sue Ellen replied.


    Wilson Cryder was used to women fawning over him, after all he was rich, good-looking and even though he was married he wasn’t above sharing his bed with women other than his wife. Wilson didn’t like when women turned him down and made his displeasure known.


    “I am sure a woman in your profession has more engagements than is prudent,” Cryder sneered before stalking away.


    “Billy,” Jeremy warned, placing a hand on the larger man’s arm.


    “Just two minutes. That’s all I need...just two minutes,” Billy growled, irritated at the implications Cryder made against Sue Ellen.


    “Stand in line,” growled JR


    Sue Ellen looked at JR and patted his arm, surprised at the feelings of safety she got from this enigmatic man and his two friends. “Hey, let’s go watch the rodeo. AJ is probably wonderin’ where we are,” she said smiling at the three men. The three men smiled back and the four made their way up into the stands. Quick introductions were made and Sue Ellen soon found herself forgetting all about Wilson Cryder, as she and AJ experienced their first Ewing rodeo.

    TBC
     
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  18. Alexia

    Alexia Soap Chat Fan

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    Thank you for your sweet message zephiey. So glad we're going to get an happy ending in this story!!!!!:fantastic:
    I adored their interaction, there is definitely a spark there... And the new characters (except for yucky Wilson Cryder)!! Awesome!!!!:byebye:
     
  19. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm glad to hear that you will be finishing this story this time Zephiey. :)
    I think I probably have read it a long time ago. The way JR/SE made their bet sort of reminds me of Sebastian and Kathryn in Cruel Intentions and I mean that as a compliment as I love that movie! ;)
    Great bantering between JR/SE. But please don't have Sue Ellen go out with Wendell or Billy. Ugh.

    She has to fall for JR so I'm looking forward to read about that when it happens. :)
     
  20. zephiey

    zephiey Soap Chat Member

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    Title: Matchmaker

    Chapter 6



    “JR’s gonna hate him,” said Jeremy.


    “Yep,” replied Billy watching Sue Ellen talk to the cowboy as he put away his gear. They noticed how the cowboy took advantage of every chance to touch Sue Ellen. The touches looked casual but both men could see the underlying possessiveness in the cowboy’s actions.


    “Ought to be interestin’,” Jeremy said.


    “Without a doubt,” agreed Billy. “Think we ought to make him aware of the situation?” Billy asked, leaning against the fence, his arms crossed over his large chest.


    “We could, but it might be more fun to watch it play out,” said Jeremy leaning back against the fence. Both men continued to watch AJ as he talked to the cowboy. It didn’t escape either man’s notice that when AJ mentioned JR’s name the cowboy frowned. They shared a look knowing AJ was deliberately mentioning JR’s name ever chance he got.


    “Mister Jeremy...Mister Billy come meet my Uncle Dusty,” AJ shouted running toward them. Both men straightened up and stepped away from the fence. Billy reached out and caught AJ when he stumbled, hat falling from his head.


    “Take it easy there partner,” Billy said, catching AJ easily. Picking up AJ’s hat, Billy placed it back onto his head.


    “Thanks Mister Billy, that would’ve hurt.”


    “Not a problem bud. Just be a bit more careful,” Billy said. “Don’t want your first Ewing rodeo ending with you havin’ to take a trip to the emergency room.”


    “Yeah,” agreed AJ, “that would suck.”


    “It definitely would,” teased Jeremy. AJ grinned up at the other man before turning back to his mother and uncle. Stepping forward AJ introduced his uncle to the two men.


    “Uncle Dusty, this is Mister Billy Frampton and Mister Jeremy Wendell. Gentleman, this is my uncle, Steven Farlow. Everyone calls him Dusty,” said AJ.


    Dusty looked at the two men. They exuded power and authority, something that Dusty had to work at. They weren’t the type of men who intimidated easily and Dusty took an immediate dislike to both men. Ignoring their outstretched hands he simply nodded his head before turning to Sue Ellen. He didn’t see the look the two men shared; if he had he would know that neither man was happy about his snub.


    “How about you, AJ and I go get something to eat?” suggested Dusty, trying to take Sue Ellen’s arm and lead her away from the two men. Sue Ellen stepped out of his reach and toward AJ.


    “AJ and I have already agreed to meet JR and his family for dinner but you are more than welcome to join us,” said Sue Ellen, not happy with Dusty’s snub of her two new friends.


    “Yeah, JR promised to show me some of the oil well fire pictures from when Ewing 228 exploded,” said AJ excitedly. He had read all about the oil well fire in the newspaper last year; it had only one grainy picture of the fire. When JR had told him about the pictures that had been taken he asked if he could see them and JR promised to show them to him.


    “You don’t want to see those pictures,” said Dusty, dismissing the excitement his nephew was showing. He didn’t like that AJ was talking non-stop about JR Ewing.


    “Yes I do,” insisted AJ. “Besides JR said..,”


    “I’m sure JR Ewing has better things to do than show you pictures. He probably only said that to get you to stop bugging him,” Dusty said dismissively. AJ stared at his uncle, tears forming in his eyes at his uncle’s words. JR wouldn’t do that! They were business partners! He said so.


    “JR wouldn’t do that! We’re business partners...he wouldn’t do that!” AJ yelled at his uncle. Not giving his uncle a chance to say anything more AJ took off running toward the main house.


    “AJ!” yelled Sue Ellen after her son, trying to get him to stop. He ignored her and continued toward the house. Angry, Sue Ellen rounded on Dusty. “How could you say that to him?” she asked. “You don’t know JR or his relationship with AJ. Next time you decide to say something..DON’T! Now I have to find an upset eight year old in a sea of adults!” she said before stalking off in search of AJ.


    Jeremy and Billy watched her stride away, anger coming off her in waves. Both men turned back to Dusty Farlow, each angry at the way the man treated his nephew.


    “Farlow, you’re an idiot,” said Billy before following Sue Ellen in her search of AJ. He would have said more but he was more concerned with helping Sue Ellen find her son than chastising some irritating rodeo cowboy.


    “Not only are you an idiot but I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes when JR hears about your comments to AJ. He considers that boy a business partner,” Jeremy said, ignoring the scoff from the other man. He really was an idiot. Moving closer to Dusty, Jeremy added softly, “And I consider that boy a friend so I’d be a bit more careful if I were you.” Jeremy didn’t give Dusty a chance to respond he simply glared at the cowboy and stalked off; heading in the direction Sue Ellen and Billy went to join in the search for an upset AJ.



    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~​



    AJ ran toward the house weaving his way in between people tears blurring his vision making it harder to avoid bumping into people. He was almost near the patio when he ran smack into a pair of legs. Before he had a chance to pull away he was lifted up into a pair of strong arms.


    “Here now boy, what’s the matter?”


    Struggling to escape it took AJ a few minutes to realize the man holding him was Jock Ewing. Looking up into Jock’s concerned eyes he hugged the man tightly, crying softly onto his shoulder. Jock held AJ in his arms rubbing his back softly. Knowing eight year old boys and their egos well he turned and walked into the house. His boys may no longer be eight years old but their egos were still just as fragile and he knew AJ, just like his boys, wouldn’t want anyone seeing him upset. Holding AJ tightly he made his way to the den, closing the door behind him and sitting down with ease in the chair. Reaching into his back pocket he removed his handkerchief, getting it ready for AJ’s eventual use. Jock continued to rub AJ’s back waiting for him to regain control. AJ’s cries lessened and he hiccupped a few times wiping at his eyes and nose.


    “Here boy,” Jock said softly, pressing the handkerchief into AJ’s hand. AJ wiped at his face as best as he could missing more than clearing. Jock took the handkerchief from AJ’s hand and tilted the boys face up, wiping the tears from his eyes and cheeks. “Blow,” instructed Jock, holding the kerchief to his nose, wiping it clean when AJ was done. Looking into AJ’s eyes Jock could see the pain there and wondered who or what hurt the young boy. “Wanna talk about it?” Jock asked gently.


    AJ didn’t answer, staring down at his boots. Jock leaned back in the chair pulling AJ back to rest against his broad chest. The room was silent for a few minutes before Jock began speaking. “Ya know Junior...JR that is, was about your age when he went to his first rig. There was a roughneck there by the name of Titus. Meanest son of a bitch,” Jock stopped. “Sorry...I shouldn’t use that kind of language around you,” said Jock. “Miss Ellie is always on me for my language. She always saying, ‘Jock you need to watch your language...this isn’t a rig or the south pasture’,” said Jock his voice mimicking Miss Ellie’s. AJ giggled in response. Jock smiled and continued. “Like I said he was mean but a good worker. Well, one day Junior, I and Punk were checking out the rig and he said a few things to Junior that upset him. Junior took off running and it took me and Punk hours before we found him.”


    “When we found him he was asleep under one of the pipe racks. He had cried himself to sleep. He thought he was going to be in trouble for running away. I admit I was angry at him for running away but I was more worried. I was afraid he’d been hurt. When I asked him why he ran away he said Titus had told him he would never be an oil man. He was just a boy and wouldn’t amount to nothin’,” explained Jock. “That hurt Junior’s feelings, just like someone hurt your feelings today. You wanna tell me who it was?” Jock asked gently.


    AJ looked down at his hands holding the handkerchief tightly then up at Jock. He took a deep breath and said, “Uncle Dusty.”


    Jock made a soft hmm sound. “What did he say?”


    AJ sniffed and wiped at his nose with the hanky, just thinking about Dusty’s words made him want to cry. Taking a deep breath AJ said in one rushed breath, “HesaidJRdidn’twanttospendanytimewithmeandheonlysaidhewouldshowmetheoilwellfirepicturestogetmetostoptalkin’.”


    Jock’s eyes widened at AJ’s run-on sentence. “Repeat that please and slower this time,” he said.


    “He said JR...didn’t want to spend..,” AJ’s breath hitched as he tried not to cry. “...spend any time with me and he...,” another hitched breath interrupted him, “...only said he would show me the oil well fire pictures to get me..,” blurted out AJ.


    “To get you to what?” asked Jock.


    “To get me to stop talkin’,” AJ finished softly.


    Jock didn’t say anything for a few minutes. He was trying to keep a tight rein on his temper. AJ’s uncle was lucky he wasn’t standing in front of him at this moment because Jock wasn’t above knocking asshole cowboys on their asses. Looking at AJ he pulled the young boy closer to him. “Well your uncle is wrong. I can tell you JR doesn’t promise something he can’t deliver. When JR says he is going to do something he does it! And that includes showing his newest business partner pictures of an oil well fire,” Jock said his voice ringing with confidence.


    AJ met Jock’s statement with a huge smile, causing Jock to smile in return and hug the boy tightly before releasing him. Jock helped AJ down off his lap and stood looking down at the now grinning boy. “What do you say we get you cleaned up and go find your mama? I’m pretty sure she’s worried ‘bout you,” said Jock.


    “Yes sir,” replied AJ, grabbing Jock’s hand and walking out of the den with him.



    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~​



    Jeremy caught up with Billy and Sue Ellen at the end of the corrals set up for the rodeo livestock. “What’s the plan?” he asked Sue Ellen.


    Sue Ellen was staring at the sheer size of the rodeo trying to figure out how she was going to find her upset eight year old in the crowd. “I don’t know. How am I going to find him in this?” she whispered. Looking between the two men, she hoped one of them would have a suggestion.


    “How about we split up? You and I can head toward the house and Jeremy can check around the corrals and barns,” suggested Billy. Jeremy immediately agreed to Billy’s suggestion.


    “I can find JR too. He and Bobby should still be around here somewhere making sure the rodeo stock is being taken care of. Between us and some of the hands we should be able to find him quickly,” Jeremy added. Slipping an arm around Sue Ellen’s shoulders Jeremy gave her a soft squeeze. “Don’t worry, we’ll find him,” he said. Releasing Sue Ellen he turned to Billy. “Holler when you find him. I’ll hear ya,” he said knowing Billy could holler loud enough to be heard a half mile away.


    “Gotcha. Come on Sue Ellen, let’s go find that boy of yours,” Billy said, taking her hand in his and heading toward the house.



    Jeremy watched the two for a minute before turning and heading toward the barns and upper corrals. He hoped JR and Bobby were both still in the vicinity. It would make the searching easier if the two men were able to help.

    TBC
     
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