Some places were exciting, and some places were dull, and some places (well, just one place) was Appaloosa Plains. Miles Cantrell liked it just fine. He liked the warm summer breeze, the distant cry of wild coyote, the lush greenery....
Most of all, though, he liked Hailey Shepherd.
Truthfully, he never believed he was in with chance when it came to Hailey. She was girl-next-door pretty, several years above him at a school, a bit of a dreamer, sure, but popular enough. He was a small skinny kid with a bad haircut. Boys like him didn't get with girls like her. Life didn't work like that.
One night, a few weeks after graduation, he found himself in Mick's Watering Hole. Hailey was in there with a few of her friends. Sure, it was a co-incidence but not really an impressive one; in this three-stop town, everybody seemed to appear everywhere, particularly when you least expected it. Miles was considering how to promptly turn around and leave without looking like too much of a dork when he saw Hailey glance at him and smiled, before returning to her conversation. He gulped, and decided to order himself a drink.
"I'll have a..." he surveyed the menu. "Well, I guess I'll have a Bad Idea."
The bar maid, a buxom blonde who had dropped more glasses than she'd poured into since Miles had arrived, winked at him. "You sure about that, cutie pie? Wouldn't want your parents getting mad at me."
"I'm of age!" he retorted indignantly. She laughed and poured it for him.
He hadn't really drunk anything like this before, and as soon as he stood up to use the men's room, he felt himself swaying. Hailey was in the corner, still talking to her friends, laughing and giggling and flicking her long hair over one shoulder. Gosh, she was pretty. Miles felt a sudden, unmistakeable urge to stroke her hair. He shook his head. "Get a grip, Cantrell. Walk out of here whilst your dignity is still in tact."
He was heading for the saloon doors when he heard a voice from behind. Hailey was walking towards him, and he blinked. She knew his name?!
"You look like you need another," she said, giggling. "Think of this one as a Good Idea, okay?"
He took it, trying to steady his shaking hand. Her skin was soft when his fingers briefly brushed against it. Maybe he wouldn't ever wash this hand again.
"No problem. Say, didn't you go to my school?"
"I did... I was a few years below you."
"I thought I remembered you. You've shot up since then, haven't you? You look good!"
He glanced across at her friends who were smiling and nudging one another. Was this some sort of joke? He wasn't sure. He hoped not. She didn't seem like the type to play cruel tricks like that.
He tried to make small talk for a while, and she listened and responded, but his cheeks felt hot and his usual conversational topics didn't distract him from wondering what she really thought about him. Was she looking at his clothes? Judging them? He hated this blazer, but didn't have anything else remotely smart to wear when he went out. His uncle had passed it onto him, and he tugged at the sleeve self-consciously whilst talking about his plans for the summer.
Eventually Hailey wondered back over to her friends, and Miles knocked back the rest of his drink before buying another....
And one more for the road...
He didn't really know what got into him after that, but the next thing he knew, he'd marched over to Hailey, who was even more giggly and smiley than she'd been earlier. "I..." he stared at her. "You're so pretty."
She blushed. "Thank y-" but before she could finish the word, he leant forward and planted a shy kiss on her dark pink lips. She tasted like strawberry and cinnamon, and that was his last thought before he headed (well, ran) out of the bar without another word.
That summer, something changed in Miles. He became interested in Law Enforcement, and realised that actually, he had the potential to succeed in it. He was naturally athletic, not so naturally charming, but he'd been working on that too, and after embarking on a summer of tough work-outs and even tougher saving, he decided to try his luck with Hailey, but properly this time. Not with the aid of alcohol. What was the worst that could happen?
Hailey was a bookworm: he saw her frequently in the library, and so Miles pretended to be engrossed in his own books whilst sneaking glances over the pages. At first, she barely noticed his existence, and he felt pretty down about that. Had all his hard work becoming buff and muscular been for nothing? Weren't girls supposed to 'dig' that kind of thing? Was she still mad about that kiss?
But one day, he glanced up (he'd genuinely been pretty engrossed in Zombies? Zombies! this time) and saw her staring at him through the glass shelving. Then with a small, encouraging smile, she was gone.
People were pretty old-fashioned in Appaloosa Plains, and so they went through the whole 'courting' process; this usually amounted to giggling and fumbling about behind the tall library shelves that sheltered them from the whispering of others. Miles had his own house, a pretty little thing near the town centre that he'd bought with inheritance money from some old great great-grandfather.
As their confidence grew, Hailey started to visit him more and more. And then, even more. The days were long and hazy, and Miles felt like this was probably love. Hailey seemed to agree, and became more and more playful as a result - not that Miles was complaining!
Gradually she began sleeping round his so often that he decided to just take the plunge and ask. It seemed to make sense, so one evening, after dinner at the steak house he just came out with it: "Would you, uh... like to cut down on your walking time each day?"
Hailey laughed. "That's possibly the least romantic thing you've ever said to me. But if you're asking me to move in with you... what took you so long?"
That night, they kissed under the night sky at Hangman's Tree, silently celebrating the start of their new life together. For both of them, it felt like forever.
Comments: So welcome to my new blog. I hope you enjoy. :) Just some notes to explain that I didn't really take many pictures at all at the start of this legacy, so I had to go back and stage some of these (I'm almost on Gen. 2 in my game) here using adult version Miles and Hailey, hence why Miles looks pretty weedy in some of them and more muscular in others (he's bulked up much more recently!) Gen. 1 is likely to be pretty short as a result, but it will get more detailed from Gen. 2 onwards.