Part 2 - Chapter 4 - Preparations

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I put one condition on my accepting Denholm's offer to be a bodyguard. I wanted to see Jacko to tell him I'd be away for a while. Denholm had no problem with it and the next morning loaned me his sedan. I called my brother who told me to meet him at the farrier's forge, an outbuilding near the horse barn.

After parking the car, I approached the building and saw Jacko through a window, busy at work, doing something with Ginger. The heat from the forge added to the hot day, so all the windows and doors were open.

I slowed and sneaked up on them, stood beside the door, and peeked in, curious about how Jacko acted around the girl.

"Do you think it's ready?" Jacko asked. He wore leather gloves and held long handled tongs. The other end of the tongs rested in the forge.

"I don't know. Pull it out," Ginger said.

Jacko wore a lopsided grin. "Those are words no guy likes to hear."

She giggled and smacked his arm. "Stop it."

From the forge, he lifted the tongs which held a glowing red horseshoe.

"Yeah, it's hot enough to be malleable," Ginger said. "Quick, lay it on the anvil."

He did so and Ginger handed him a hammer. "Shape it like I showed you."

Jacko worked the hammer. Ginger supervised him closely.

"That's good," she said. "Now, into the drink."

The horseshoe hissed as Jacko dipped it into a metal trough filled with water.

Ginger took the tongs from Jacko and inspected the finished product. "This should fit Trixie's hoof. How did you know the horseshoe was bothering her?"

"Didn't you see her walking funny?"

"No, you're the one who's tuned in to the horses."

Jacko bumped his hip into hers. "Tuned in to you, too."

She bumped him back and giggled.

I had seen enough and cleared my throat. "Hi guys."

The two of them immediately stiffened and grew serious.

"Hey, Sing," Jacko said. He approached and we high fived.

"Is my brother learning anything useful?" I asked Ginger. Got a closer look at her willowy body. A few scattered freckles on her face and a sweet, open smile. If it weren't for her prominent boobs, she could pass for a twelve-year-old. Hard to believe she was already sixteen.

"He's learning," she said.

"What's up?" Jacko asked.

Without going into detail about my assignment, I laid out for him how Denholm and I would be gone for the next two weeks.

"Don't worry, we'll take care of him," Ginger said. It hadn't escaped my notice that she had slipped her hand into his. She blushed when she saw me looking and picked up the new horseshoe. "I'll take this out to Trixie."

"Right behind you," Jacko said.

Ginger left us.

I nodded in her direction. "Remember, she's not just any girl. She's the boss's daughter. I'm sure that to him, she's still his little girl."

My brother rolled his eyes.

"Seriously, Jacko, you're happy here. I can see that. I don't want you to do anything to ruin this gig."

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