Dave sat on Dusty behind the ring as nervous as he could get. Before him and Rick was the two they'd been keeping an eye on. The crowd was silent in anticipation. The chute opened and the steer ran out, and was roped in three point five seconds. The crowd erupted as the announcer stated that their score would be a hard one to beat. But as quickly as the crowd started they died down, everyone knew the reputation of Rick and David. It was a showdown with neither group going to back down. Rick walked Dusty into position and watched as Rick did the same. The announcer stated the obvious that Ten times world Champion Rick Mathews and newly pro Dave Phillips were up to the plate. The crowd was a quiet as a cemetery. Dave sent up a quick but heartfelt prayer as the chute flew open and Dusty acting on pure instinct charged out without even needing to be told. Dave swung his lasso as fast as he could and roped the steer dead on. Rick swung his lasso three times around so fast it looked like one and threw it at the Steer. It caught the hooves and tightened up perfectly. The crowd exploded, they won barely at three point four seconds. Dave hugged Rick with happiness. They had won world championship, something Dave never thought of owning. They walked back to the stands where Dave was stopped by someone completely unexpected.

"Miss Rachel, what you doin here? And what are you doin dressed up in a cowboy hat and boots?"

"You really think I'd pass up a free VIP ticket?' Rachel asked. "And as for the attire I need to fit the situation."

"But why would you want to see me?"

"I wanted to say sorry."

"What for?" At this point Dave was completely confused. He was to excited from the previous events to think properly.

"I had the janitor Stan pull off the prank the night before you left with you slipping on the wet floor." Said a very guilty feeling front desk clerk.

"Apology accepted."

They just stood there for a couple of minutes, eyes locked, smiling.

"You look good like this." Dave complimented.

Rachel blushed deep red. "Thanks. You don't look to bad yourself."

"Its nothing different then what I usually wear."

"No, I mean as world champion."

"It was mainly Rick and Dusty."


"My horse." Dave said as he thought how pretty Rachel was.

"Can I see him?"

Dave took her hand and led her through the stalls to where Dusty was. Dusty took an immediate like to her as he walked up and snorted. Rachel extended her hand and petted his snout.

"Well I need to put Dusty in the trailer, Ricks probably wondering where I am."

"Mind if I help you?"

Dave opened the stall and saddled up Dusty than swung up on the saddle. He than pulled Rachel up where she sat in front of him. They walked off towards the trailers. They got down and put Dusty in the trailer. But the funny thing was that Ricks old mare wasn't there.

"Where is he?" Dave asked. Rick was usual the first one there. Which went against everything about heelers cause it was said they were always late. This was of course just a joke but Rick not being there wasn't.

"I'm sure he's fine." Some fan probably stopped him or something.

"I'm sure your right. Rick is the everybody's favorite."

"He's not my favorite." Rachel said as she looked up into Dave's dark blue eyes.

Dave looked down into her brown ones and smiled. Then he did something unexpected, he bent down and kissed her. Now not just a little peck on the cheek, this was a full blown kiss. And the funny thing was, she didn't pull back. They stood there kiss it until someone ran up. It was easy to see that Rachel was embarrassed at being caught and Dave was also.

"Can I help you?" Dave said to the stranger. Than he realized it was Mr Macintosh.

"Mr Mathews just passed out. We called 911 and the ambulance will be here soon."

Dave ran off towards the direction Mr Macintosh came from. He saw a crowd of people and pushed his way through. The first aid team was trying their best but it was plain to see they were scared and it was out of their hands. Rick was extremely pale. The ambulance showed up and Dave took Ricks keys. He got into the truck and surprisingly Rachel hopped into the passenger seat. Dave floored it and probably broke every speed limit there is. They got there just behind the ambulance. They rushed Rick in and wouldn't let Dave in. Dave sat down disappointed on the waiting room couch panting. Rachel came in and sat next to him and wrapped her arm around him.

"He's my best friend." Dave said clearly upset. "No one has ever else really even cared to be my friend."

Rachel wanted to say that she cared but instead she said that he'd be alright.

"Don't worry, he'll make it, from what I've seen that man has iron in him." Macintosh said as he walked in with Billy. The doctor came in with a grim look on his face.

"Mr Phillips can I have a word with you?" Dave got up and went around the corner with the doc.

"Mr Mathews doesn't have much longer to live. He out did himself and probably won't make it to tomorrow."

"Can I see him?"

"Yes of course, he's conscious right now."

Dave followed the doctor into Ricks room where a sad form of Rick laid in a bed. A faint heartbeat showed on the monitor.

"Hey there Rick." Dave said.

Rick managed a weak smile. "Soon God will be telling me my entrie fees are paid."

"I'll see you then. But until then I'll make sure no one will beat your reputation."

"Our reputation." Rick coughed. "I knew I didn't have much longer so I wrote up a will. You'll find it in the hotel room in the safe."

"How'd you know?"

"Every man knows when he's about to die. So I figured I'd give it my all tonight and go out in a blaze of glory."

"You know that unless they start using race cars that no one will beat our score." Rick continued. "You did great tonight."

"I have you to thank, without you I wouldn't be here."

"Remember whatever you do ride at it with all your heart, as if your riding for the Lord and not for men." and with that world Champion Rick Mathews made the inevitable ride to the country up there. Dave left the hospital with Rachel and a grim look on his face.

Dave dropped Rachel off at her hotel where she gave him another kiss before left for his hotel and walked up to his room and opened the safe and took out a piece of paper. It read

It all goes to Dave Phillips. He's the only family I've got.

In a little note on the side it said.

I know how much you've wanted a truck, here's one. Dave smiled at the note and then stuck it in his pocket.

Cowboy Tip: if ya date a cowboy or even marry one, one thing to remember is that we have a certain connection with our horse. If it's serious we'll love ya more than the horse, but we've always have a spot in our hearts for our horse. Cause they're more than livestock, the become companions.

And if you're curious as why Rick said soon his entry fees are paid, look at the Cowboy prayer. Of you can't find it, look up my Profile for fanfiction and I think I have it here too. And the ride at it with all your heart line Rick also said is a redone Colossians 3:23

well folks there it is, probably the longest chapter I've ever written. Don't worry I'll probably make a sequel. Sorry if you I guys were too attached to Rick but it had to be done. I also need your feedback on the romantic elements of the chapter. I have no experience in that field so please if I made it too girlie or not enough please let me know. PLEASE REVIEW