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buddy’s Thai immigrant mail order bride. As she discovers the power
of freedom, he discovers he’s lost his heart.
rodeo accident — gored by the maniacal bull Baby Face that Weston is
riding, Weston is consumed with guilt. The day after the accident,
while going through Cod’s papers, lawyer Wynona Vasquez discovers
that he had been secretly engaged to a Thai immigrant who is arriving
by train that evening.
at the train station prepared for anything but the lovely forlorn
creature he finds waiting in the rain. Though appearing waif-like,
Song Phan-Rang is anything but fragile. Her mettle quickly rises to
the surface in her determination to remain in Y-oh-ming.
to solitude, Weston is driven crazy by the obliging Song. But as Song
shows her prowess not only as a housekeeper and cook, but as a rider
and rancher as well, Weston discovers that against his best efforts
(and damned if he’ll ever admit it) — he’s falling in love.
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By the time they bedded the horses at the corral, Song was shivering uncontrollably. The last half mile walk to the ranch house felt more like ten. He’d wrapped her in some blankets from the bunk house, but nothing was penetrating; she was chilled to the bone.
At the Snowy Moon ranch house, Weston helped her inside to the Great Room, settling her on the long leather couch. He laid a fire, and once lit, its warmth filled the room. He gathered the throw blankets that were tossed about the room and towels from the side bathroom.
“We have to get you out of your wet clothes,” he told her. Kneeling before her, he gently removed the blankets and his sheepskin jacket . She was still shivering so hard her teeth were chattering.
“I’m okay, Weston.”
“Okay, huh?” He slipped her sweatshirt off over her head. “Maybe okay for a penguin.” She smiled, though her smile jumped crookedly with the clattering of her teeth. “That was pretty crazy. What you did.”
“During the war, My Uncle Thieu lost everything in Vietnam. He had to sell his farm and move away. Thieu, my grandmother Hai Yen. He made some money on that sale, but did not make what it was worth because the people who bought his farm knew they could cheat him. When he got to Thailand, everybody had to work very hard to build everything up again. But especially Hai Yen because Thieu always told her it was her fault they had to leave.”
Weston took hold of her delicate hands, grasping them between his own and gently rubbing them to warm them. “Why?”
“My mother was nguoi My con gai, half white; she was the daughter of Hai Yen and an American soldier.”
“What did that have to do with having to leave?”
“Nothing. It was the war that drove them out. But Thieu used the birth of my mother to demean and shame my grandmother. He was a very shrewd man. Because of her shame, my grandmother could not work hard enough for Thieu.”
“Did you work, too?”
“Oh, yes. From the time I was very small. Thieu taught me everything about farming. This is where I learned, for example, that each thing, every animal is very, very precious.”
Weston picked up a towel and began drying her hair. “You’re still shivering.”
“It is nothing. It will stop soon.”
He rose, walked to the bar and poured some Turkey 101. He brought the glass back and handed it to her. “Remember, sip slowly.”
She took the glass and sipped. “It is much better the second time.”
“Don’t you go gettin’ too used to that stuff.” He sat back down next to her. “That soldier…your…grandfather….he was from here.”
“That was the name I saw. Gustafson. Homer Gustafson.”
Suddenly, her eyes filled with tears. “I do not know…if he even is still alive…my grandmother is no longer living….and if he is…if he would have any desire to see me…”
“You’re trembling. Your clothes are soaked.” He reached for her flannel shirt to unbutton it, then, stopped himself, realizing what he was about to do. “I guess you can take care of …”
Suddenly, he stopped. Her eyes, her enchanting almond-shaped eyes now glistening with tears held his. His hand rested lightly on the front of her flannel shirt, lying softly between her small firm rounded breasts. His desire for her, a desire he had pushed away time and again rose with the power of the wild horses he trained. “Song…” He whispered her name, his voice ragged with longing.
She reached for him, her cool elegant fingers running across his face and up into his dark hair.
He could hold back no longer. He pulled her towards him, kissing her soft pliant lips, their kiss building, their arms wrapping around each other until they tumbled backwards onto the sofa.
Song cried out softly and the hunger and the want in her cry fueled his desire for her to a fevered pitch. He kissed her again, more deeply, as if he would fill himself with her, as if he would fill all the months of loneliness, all the months he had gone without her with just one kiss.
He reached for the buttons again, she helping him, as eager as he to shed what lay between them, both working with a rising urgency until they lay together on the sofa before the roaring fire encircled in each other’s arms, finally, in each other’s arms where they would stay the night through as the wind continued to moan and thrash and the rain and hail continued to drum and they continued to make love in perfect syncopation with both the storm outside and the newly awakened storms within them.
City and regionally. She had the privilege of interviewing Dr.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross for her one-act play Windstorm, which was
presented as part of the annual festival CelebrateWomen that Leigh
also co-produced. We Are Still Here, the story of Cahuilla Indian
elder Katherine Siva Saubel, was premiered at the Gene Autry Western
Heritage Museum as part of CelebrateWomen 2000. The play has been
presented throughout Southern California at college campuses,
Universities, and Indian Reservations and Casinos.
award-winning screenplays and several of her monologues have been
published through Meriwether Publishing, Ltd..
in 2007, which she also wrote and directed. The film has screened at
the. American Indian Film Festival, Sherman Indian Film Festival, Cal
State San Marcos Native American Film Festival, and the Talking Stick
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