Disclaimers: This didn't happen.

by Lesa Soja

God hates a coward, and Almanzo'll drive twenty-four miles twice a weekend in forty below, but long about Wednesday a man can still get lonely. He leaves Prince and Lady behind, walks a shorter route down Second Street and past the stables to Garland's.

"Frost get your feet?" Almanzo shakes his head, but Cap pushes him onto a chair, pulling off his boots, saying, "Better let me check."

Underneath the socks his skin is red and healthy. Cap, still squatting in front of him, slides heavy hands over Almanzo's knees.

"You scared, Wilder?" and Cap's grin flashes.

"Nope," says Almanzo.