Tyler stalked thru every last tent, and he literally crawled between them as well. Still no bird. And no one had seen any more roosters running around.
He checked out the main entrance and wished he hadn’t left his jacket in the pickup. A fine drizzle and diminishing light were going to make the next half of his search miserable. For Kolby, he would do this in his bare feet in the snow. She had kissed his face, and her lips had felt like clouds. He stepped out into the weather.
After a fruitless search that took longer than he wanted, and probably not half the time that was needed, Tyler returned empty-handed to the rooster tent.
Kolby sat on the table. Her torso and arms draped over the crate holding the smaller of the two roosters. Her dark hair, in a thick braid, hung limply over her shoulder. She wiped at her nose, still sniffling.
His heart broke to see her so sad. He had watched, from too far away, as she established herself as a Marans breeder. Her birds consistently produced the desired dark brown eggs. Her hens were full and fluffy with dark feathers, and the roosters were picture-book quality. To lose her spokesmodel and top show bird had to feel like a kick in the teeth.
And here he was again, watching her from too far away.
He would give anything to be her hero but he’d failed miserably.
“Kolby?” He didn’t want to startle her, didn’t want to cause her any more grief.
Her puffy red eyes lifted to meet his steady gaze. When she saw he had no bird in his arms, she didn’t smile the way she usually did when she saw him.
He shook his head and opened his empty arms. He was so sorry, so unbelievable sorry. He would give anything to see her smile again, but he was only able to deliver bad news.
Kolby rushed into his arms, holding onto him as fiercely as if he was the only person who could save her.
©2017 Lulu M Sylvian. Three French Cockerels from The Twelve Strippers of Christmas. Available October 2017