Rosalita stepped outside the dusty, stuffy saloon, taking a breath of fresh air. It wasn't actually much cooler, but the air was clearer and she go a break from the leering gazes of drunk cowhands. Not that she minded her job tending to the patrons much-- she didn't care what anyone thought of her-- but sometimes it just got really old.
She felt a light hand on her lower back, and turned to meet the eyes of her husband. Melvin Plugg owned the saloon-- and a good portion of the rest of the town for that matter, but his self-made money had no bearing on their marriage. She would've married him regardless, but it did help that he had taken her away from that dreadful ranch she had been struggling to handle by herself. She still owned it, of course, but now it was tended to by an Indian man they payed quite well.
Her attention was pulled away when a horse trotted up to the sheriff's office across the street from the saloon. A man swung off the animal's back, catching Rosalita's eyes on him and tipping his hat to her before turning away. He was a handsome fellow, with sun-tanned skin and dusty brown hair, and Rosalita could swear she could tell his eyes were blue even from all the way across the street.
She looked back to her husband. "Who's the cowboy?" she asked.
He smirked. "That's Reed. He's the new deputy down in Perfection."
"Tyler, you can't keep the puppies," Rosalita said. She stood beside Melvin outside the door to their room.
"Why not?" his muffled voice came from the other side of the door.
Rosalita exchanged a look with Melvin. "Because," he started, "we don't have room for five puppies."
"Yes we do!" Tyler argued. "They don't take up much room!"
Rosalita let out a noise somewhere between a sigh and a moan. "¡Ay, Dios mio! Tyler, they're going to take up a lot more room when they are grown up!"
"Melvin's rich, we can afford them."
Rosalita narrowed her eyes at Melvin. "Talk to your husband, he's impossible," she ordered.
"He's your husband too!" Melvin countered. Rosalita just glared at him, and he turned his attention back to the door. "Just, come on, Ty. We don't need five dogs."
"Open the door!" Melvin groaned in frustration.
"You'll take 'em," Tyler said.
"No, we just want to discuss this like adults," Melvin responded levelly. "What if, we promise we'll keep one puppy? And find the others good homes?"
There was a moment of silence. "Fine. Come in. The door wasn't even locked anyway."
The sound of rain assaulting the tin roof of Tyler's Quonset hut was interspace with the drops of water falling heavily into the pans and buckets spread around the floor and tables. The tour guide frowned at his two guests, shaking his head.
"You guys can't stay here," he said definitely. "This place isn't even livable for one person, let alone three."
Melvin gestured broadly around them. "Oh, okay then, I'll just make it magically stop flooding so I can get back to Bixby," he responded, sarcasm dripping from his voice as plainly as the rain through the leaky roof.
Rosalita shrugged. "I don't care if it was the greatest weather we'd ever seen out there. I'm not going home until Burt's got rid of all those nasty scorpion-weasel things from my ranch," she explained with a shudder.
"I sleep on a cot." Tyler pointed with earnest at the small bed, scowling. "And I only have one of them. I don't suppose the two of you have some brilliant idea for how we're all going to fit on there?"
Melvin tapped his chin thoughtfully. He walked over to a shelf that housed a stack of blanket and pulled the ones off the bed as well. He nudged Tyler out of the way before starting to spread the blankets out, one on top of the other, on the floor. When the make-shift sleeping area was several blankets thick, Tyler gave him an incredulous look. "Where'd a guy who sleeps on a memory foam mattresses come up with that?"
Melvin rolled his eyes. "You forget I grew up here. I used to sleep on the floor at Nestor's all the time." He scrunched up his nose. "Not that I like it much. But I'm exhausted, I'll survive."
Rosalita just shrugged again, kicking off her shoes and pulling one of Tyler's pillows off the cot. She settled down onto the blankets and Melvin followed her lead after taking the pillow. Tyler let out a sigh and sat down between them but snatched the pillow away from Melvin. "That's mine, Plugg," he huffed, laying his head back on it pointedly. He squeezed his eyes shut but quickly felt Melvin's head rest on his chest and his irritation reluctantly ebbed. When he felt Rosalita nuzzle her face into the crook of his neck, it all but evaporated. He let out another half-hearted huff. "You two make it impossible to stay bad at you," he mumbled over the sound of rain drumming on the tin roof.