The Long Ride

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The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SkullsandSlippers on Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:01 pm

The ride had been a hard one. She was saddle sore. Three days..three days is a long time in the saddle. Elizabeth sneered behind her bandana. Three days in this fucking saddle because those bastards couldn’t do a job.

Everything had gone to hell quickly. It was supposed to be an easy job. The Aces were to go in, rob the bank and get out. As simple as every other job. The gang were a force and everyone knew to give them what they wanted. Marcus MacGuire was a man to be reckoned with and his people were the most ruthless and some of the best shots there were.

How the law knew they were coming Beth wasn’t sure but she did know they were a giant pain in her ass ever since. When the gunfight broke out the Aces split. Some went down, the lawdogs shooting them in the street. Beth had taken out a few of the lawmen before making her break. She had been riding hard ever since.

First town she stopped in word was already out about the price on her head. Wasn’t hard to know her, only woman in the Aces and Marcus’ right hand. There had been speculation in the beginning that she was his bed warmer but Beth put those rumours to bed quick. Marcus was at least 25 years older than her and he was one of the men responsible for her scar. There was nothing romantic between them. He had taken a young girl under his wing and made her into the woman she was today. The bounty on her head was posted almost immediately.

By the second stop there were stories that some of the Aces had been caught and hung on the spot. Beth grew angry. There was no word on Marcus though. She was sure he had not been caught yet and if she could get to one of their other hideouts everything would be alright. They’d regroup and come up with a new plan.

The sun was setting as she rode into Alabasha Plains. Small place and far enough out that word likely hadn’t gotten here yet. Beth Reddy decided she’d get a room and some food here. She’d hit the trail again before the sun rose. She’d stay ahead of law and anyone who might be looking for her.

The woman brought her horse to a stop at the Lucky Horse saloon. She slid down from her saddle and took a moment to stretch her legs. Her grey-blue eyes surveyed the town. It was quiet. Everyone was in bed or in the saloon.

Good. The fewer people who saw her arrive the better.

Beth tied off the horse’s reins and walked up the steps to the door. The woman walked through the door and right to the bar.

“I need a room and a drink. Hot meal too.”

Her voice was low, just above a whisper and the barman looked her over for a moment. There was no mistaking the 5’6 woman as anything but a woman. Even under her duster it was clear Elizabeth Reddy was a female. She raised her chin and removed her hat. Placing it on the bar she stared at the barkeep.

“A room, a drink and a hot meal”

Again the low, almost raspy voice made the man frown. This time though he nodded and moved to pour her the drink. Beth took her time and slowly glanced at the others at the bar. There place was full enough. Various games of cards were going on around the large room. Others sat eating. Saloon girls sat on laps or stood nearby hoping for some money to come their way.

Beth leaned against the bar. She had not removed her duster yet and it hid the two guns on her hips. She also kept the bandana around her neck. The scar it hid was the most recognizable thing about her and for now she wanted to stay as anonymous as she could.

“Here you go. I will get you a key to a room and a bowl of stew is coming up shortly for you.”

He placed the drink in front of her and Beth nodded. She waited though, not drinking it yet. She was listening intently to those around her, sizing up her surroundings as she always did.

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LockandKey on Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:01 pm

“Oh look, Sheriff. It’s the man with the perpetual smirk on his face.”

The bell above the door tinkled and the sheriff lifted the hat away from his eyes. Both feet were propped up on his paper-strewn desk, and he’d been leaning far back in his chair taking a nap, hat over his eyes. “Quiet, mama,” he told the woman on the other side of the room- his wife and bookkeeper. “Well, well. Now, if it isn’t Wesson Willis. And who’s that you’ve got there with you?”

The sheriff nodded his chin the the man that was bound and gagged.

Wesson’s smiled broadened. “Come now, you know this pretty face, don’t you?” he asked. The face of the man in question was bruised and swollen. “You hung his picture all over town. I figured you were mighty fond of him.”

The sheriff slowly brought his feet down to the ground, then stood, going to look more closely at the almost unrecognizable face. “Well I’ll be damned, Mama. You were right. He got Max Ford after all.”

Wesson chuckled. “Your faith in me never waivers, sheriff. Now, about that bounty...”

The sheriff sighed. “Right, right. Of course. Mama’ll get you all paid out.” He took the handcuffs from his belt and moved behind the beaten and bound fugitive, replacing the knotted rope with a pair of metal bracelets. “Max Ford, you’re hereby under arrest for the charge of armed robbery and assault.”

Wesson handed the man over and watched as he was frog marched to the holding cell at the back of the building. When the sheriff returned, Wesson was leaning against his desk, shifting through a stack of papers. “What else have you got for me, old man?” he asked. “Murderous engines? Another robber?”

The sheriff lifted a paper from his desk and held it up for Wesson to see. “How about a woman?”

Wesson took the paper with the drawing of a woman’s face on it, reading the words under it. “Elizabeth Reddy,” he read aloud. “A member of the Aces.” He put the wanted poster down. “If I’m going after one of the Aces, why am I going to waste my time chasing some little woman? The bounty on the leader’s bound to be double what hers is.”

“Well, now that’s true,” the sheriff agreed. “But every bounty hunter in these parts is looking for him. Go after this one. Unless, of course, you’re too scared to bring in a little woman.”

The sheriff’s wife chuckled, though her eyes never left her embroidery. Wesson’s smirk became even more self satisfied. “Piece of cake,” he told the Sheriff. “It’s going to be a walk in the park bringing in this pretty little peach.”

The sheriff’s wife gave her husband a wink and collected the money for the bounty Wesson had brought in. When the bell rang again and the man was gone, she leaned against the counter and raised her eyebrows at her husband. “You didn’t tell him she’s dangerous.”

“Nope.”

“And you didn’t tell him she’s a sharp shooter.”

“Nope.”

She let out a low whistle between her teeth. “Think he can do it?”

The sheriff sat back down, put his feet up on his desk, and covered his eyes with his hat.

“Not sure, Mama.”
Last edited by LockandKey on Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SkullsandSlippers on Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:00 pm

Beth inhaled slowly through her nose and tried to relax. The last few days had left the woman a bundle on knots and stiff muscles. She rolled her shoulders a little before picking up her whiskey. It was strong and burned going down but it made Beth feel a hell of a lot better.

“Another.”

This time the barman came quickly to pour her a fresh glass. This one Beth left for her meal. The man behind the bar, black haired and mustached wiped at the worn wood though his eyes were on Beth. Her gaze lifted so that their eyes met. He looked away. There was a coldness behind them that spoke of a life he had never even dreamed of let alone thought a woman would know.

The barest hint of a smile played on her lips. He was nervous around her and that was just fine. It meant he was less likely to make small talk or ask questions.

One of the girls, dressed in a ruffly red dress sat at the piano and began to play. She isn’t half bad. She turned to to look just as another girl moved to stand beside the piano. She started to sing though Beth had no idea the language. Again the gunslinger was surprised as the woman’s voice was pleasant. Wonder how they ended up here whoring themselves out. BEth shook her head and sighed a little. She hoped they had chosen this life and it wasn’t pushed on them.

The barman came back towards her with a steaming bowl and a slice of bread. Elizabeth nodded her thanks to him as he set it down. It looked a bit watered down but all she cared about was that it was food and it was hot. Beth spooned a bit up, delicately blowing on it. It was almost an odd juxtaposition to see the hardened woman so daintily eating her meal. It was the way Elizabeth was though, a walking contrast. Soft curved hips, gentle swell of the bust with hard line ot her jaw and even harder eyes. Those who crossed her learned quickly that the womanly body hid an intense and calculating mind.

The saloon was alive with singing, the piano and the jovial sound of good natured card games. Beth ate slowly and kept herself aware of those who approached the bar. Word might not have spread to the town sheriff but there was bound to be people out hunting down the Aces. No matter how quaint and quiet a town seemed Beth knew to be on her guard.

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LockandKey on Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:48 pm

The Lucky Horse Saloon, a little establishment out in the Alabasha plains. Of course she’d hide out here, Wesson thought to himself as he tied his horse up outside of the place. It was out of the way and in a quiet town. He glanced around, looking for wanted posters in the windows, but there didn’t look to be a single one. That worked in her favor too.

Still, she was a bit of a sore thumb, and as soon as he’d started asking questions people had been able to point him in her direction. He wasn’t sure she was in the saloon, but it seemed a likely bet. Where else would she stay? It was the only place with rooms by the night. And, if worst came to worst and she wasn’t there after all, he’d find himself a whore to help console him. His last bounty money was burning a hole in his pocket.

Wesson made a quiet entrance, glancing around discreetly as he made his way over to the corner of the bar. It looked like his best vantage point from which to look at the faces of the other people in the saloon. There was a woman playing the piano and another beside her singing, but they looked like local flavors, and ones that could be bought. He was looking for something that had to be chased.

There were a few men at some of the tables and one at the other corner of the bar, but Wesson’s eyes slid right over them. Clearly they were not his target. There was only one other woman in the room and she was eating her supper. She had an unapproachable air about her, thought Wesson. His eyes slipped lower, appraising the figure he could just barely see from beneath her jacket. From what he could make out, it appeared she might be worth the trouble.

From the corner of his eye he glanced at her face, then stared straight ahead of him at the line of bottles against the wall behind the bar, mentally comparing it the to picture on the wanted poster he had in one of his saddle bags. Even with the rough quality of the sketch, he recognized the strong jaw, the deep cheekbones and the striking eyes. That chillingly pretty face most definitely belonged to Elizabeth Reddy.

The smile that slipped onto his face was natural- an easy grin he usually wore. He stood from his barstool and walked over, placing himself in the spot beside her. “Evening, ma’am,” he said politely, tipping his hat. “Can I buy you a drink?”
Last edited by LockandKey on Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SkullsandSlippers on Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:11 pm

Elizabeth did not look up when the doors opened and new man entered. Her attention was on her meal or at least that was how it seemed. He seemed like any other patron but when he moved to the bar and placed himself beside her those blue-grey eyes narrowed just a little.

Beth ignored his presence, taking another spoonful of soup and following it up with a bite of the dry bread.

“Evening, ma’am. Can I buy you a drink?”

She lowered her spoon and blinked. Beth turned her head, just a little so he would be able to hear her.

“No.”

As with with the barkeep the voice was a low, somewhat harsh whisper. Beth turned back to her food. The spoon was lifted once more and the pink lips formed an ‘o’ as she blew on the hot broth. She brought it to her lips and swallowed.

With a slight clink the spoon went into the mostly empty bowl. Beth reached for her glass and drank about half of the whiskey down. When the glass went to the bar once more she ran a hand into her hair. It had been a long hard three days.

Her eyes moved to the barkeep and she raised her chin, calling him over.

“I’ll take a hot bath as well. No girl, just the tub and hot water. Got me?”

The man behind the bar smiled a bit nervously, the voice unnerved him. “Yes ma’am. I’ll get on that.”

He turned and looked over his shoulder. "Mary, get a hot bath ready will you please?"

A female from the kitchen poked her head out and nodded. "Alright."

The man turned back to Beth and refilled her glass. She nodded a thanks. He turned his attention the man beside her. Beth was still doing her best to ignore him.

“What can I get for you sir?”

The barkeep gave Warren a look that said What in the world are you talking to her for?

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LockandKey on Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:46 pm

Elizabeth Reddy was notably aware of her surroundings, and every bit as unapproachable as he’d presumed. She coolly turned down his offer to buy her a drink. She wasn’t one of the fun, loud outlaws that liked a good party, then. Most of the female outlaws he’d met wouldn’t turn down a free drink. She ate in stony silence, doing a damn good job of ignoring him.

Wesson fingered the little tablet he’d slipped into his pocket, waiting for the right moment to slip it into her drink. It was a drug he’d bought in San Francisco off an old Chinese medicine man. It was potent stuff that dissolved instantly and had no discernible taste in liquor, though it could be detected in water. How fast it worked varied from person to person, but it usually started taking effect within anywhere from five to fifteen minutes, fully effective within half an hour for all but the largest of men.

Once consumed, it began to make the person sleepy, docile and confused. Their muscles began to weaken, they became lightheaded, and then the world became a dark, fuzzy void. Usually they awoke with a feeling of intense hangover within about eight or ten hours. It was more than enough time to get a person bound, gagged, and on their way toward the person who would pay for their head.

The woman ordered a bath- sans prostitute- and her attention was diverted for a split second. It was just long enough for Wesson to quickly drop the tablet into Elizabeth’s whiskey, then fold his hands on top of the bar.

“What can I get for you sir?” the mustachioed barkeep asked. The man was giving him a meaningful look, as if to question his sanity of seeking out the one unresponsive woman in a house full of whores.

“I’ll have what she’s having,” said Wesson with a smile that was aimed at the lovely law-breaker. “It seems to have put her in a good mood.”

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SkullsandSlippers on Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:26 pm

Beth shifted her eyes to the man beside her. Her hands went around her glass and she waited for word that her bath was ready.

He was smiling at her and that bothered her. Men did not normally pay that much attention to the cold woman. Something felt off. Her back went stiff. Beth put one hand on her drink and the other moved slowly to one of the guns on her hip. She raised the glass to her lips.

“Bath is ready.”

Beth held her glass there, poised on her lips. She nodded to the barkeep and followed the girl. She ascended the stairs, glass in hand. Her eyes were on the man at the bar as she went up to where her bath waited.

The barkeep had poured the man a drink and then headed off to see to other patrons. He did not see the woman leave but when he came back to that side of the bar she was glad she was gone. She put him on edge.

“Anything else with that drink?”

Upstairs the girl led Beth to a small room. A tub sat with water that was steaming. Beth sighed. The girl left her and Beth immediately closed the door and started to undress. Her glass, still full was placed on the small side table. The last things she removed was the bandana that covered the scar that circled her neck. She placed her guns beside the tub. Just in case.

Naked, Beth reached for her drink downed it and crossed to the tub. One foot stepped into the hot water and then the other followed. The woman sunk slowly into the hot water. Muscles tensed and then relaxed. She slipped down until her body was submerged and her head rested on the tub. Beth reached for her glass and downed the last of the whiskey.

She blinked. Something was off. She felt suddenly dizzy. Must be the hot water. Beth shook her head as if to clear it. Her lips parted as she breathed a little deeper.

Beth’s vision went darker. She felt suddenly lightheaded. “Fuck....”

She scrambled trying to get out of the tub. Her body refused to cooperate the way she wanted. Legs were weak, arms felt like rubber. Beth managed to get her leg over the edge and she placed her foot on the floor but it gave way and she slid into a heap on the floor.

“God damn...”

Beth pushed herself onto her knees and tried to crawl to her clothes. Something was very wrong. The room was dimmer and spinning slightly. Her teeeth were gritted and she was angry. Her hand reached for her gun but it was just out of reach.

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LockandKey on Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:52 pm

The woman disappeared up the steps, her jacket swaying with her rounded hips in a way she no doubt did not mean to be sensual. It was all the sexier for its effortlessness. A glass was placed in front of him, and Wesson dug into his pocket, feeling for the coins that were mixed in with the wad of paper bills. The money for the whiskey was slid onto the polished wood surface- along with a generous tip. He downed the drink and winked at the bartender.

“I’m just going to take a quick tour of the facilities, if you don’t mind.”

He slid off of his stool and jogged up the stairs that Elizabeth Reddy had taken only minutes before. The wall was lined with pictures of naked women that barely covered their assetts with small, feminine objects- feathered fans and silk shawls. In some of the paintings girls half-hid behind bed posts with come-hither smiles. The ladies in paintings on the walls in the Lucky Horse Saloon were as warm as Elizabeth Reddy was cold.

Wesson rounded the corner and looked at the doors that lined either side of the hall in both directions, wondering which one might hold Elizabeth and her bathtub. He heard a dull thud and a watery splash. Bingo. The man moved toward where the sound had come from and stood outside the door. He could feel the warmth of the steam coming out through the crack between the door and the frame, could smell the perfumed water. He also heard a slurred curse, then smiled broadly. The China man’s little concoction had taken no time at all to effect the Lady Ace.

Wesson pulled the door open and slipped in, then assessed the situation in front of him with a smirk and a long, low whistle. Elizabeth Reddy was lying on the wooden floor in a puddle of sudsy water, her limbs askew. A long tendril of dark hair was sticking wetly to her face, the rest of her hair sticking to the back of her neck and hanging down her back. The woman’s shapely figured was bared and in a rather compromising position. He took a good, long look, savouring his luck. If she ever decided to give up her gang, he thought, she’d make a fortune as a whore. Hell, I’d line up to be her first customer.

“Well, well, well,” he said, his eyes falling on the gun that lay just outside of her reach. He put his boot on top of it and slowly slid it away from her. “What happened, Miss Reddy? Did you fall out of your bath?” he asked, and moved closer, crouching down in front of her. “Maybe you had... too much to drink.”

He pulled the dark, wet tendril away from her cheek and tucked it behind her ear.

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SkullsandSlippers on Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:06 pm

Beth heard the door open and through her hazy vision she saw the man from the bar. She sneered at him as he came towards her.

He slid her gun away from her and Beth was inwardly cursing her inability to move. What had he done to her?

He touched her, brushed her hair from her face and Beth looked up at him. She spat at him. Her voice was a low hard whisper though she seemed to strain to speak louder.

“Well aren’t you the big man. Have to drug a woman to take her down? Can’t face me like a man...”

She pushed herself up only to have her arms give out under her. She groaned as she hit the floor. The room was getting darker. It was getting harder and harder to focus.

“Go fuck yourself...”

The world went dark.
Last edited by SkullsandSlippers on Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LockandKey on Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:25 pm

The train rattled beneath them as it moved down the tracks. The cargo train was a huge, heavy mass of iron that made a great deal of noise as it chugged along, but still the woman slept. When she’d blacked out the night before, he’d wrapped her up in her jacket, stuffed her clothes under one arm, put her gun into his pocket, and he’d slung her over his shoulder like a sack of flour. The saloon had grown quiet as he’d carried the wet, naked, unconscious woman down the stairs, but no one had even tried to stop him.

He’d sold his horse and bought them two tickets upon the train. It wasn’t necessarily meant for passengers, the man at the station had told him. The train with actual seats would be coming around noon. That was far too long though. Wesson needed her onboard the train before she woke up.

They were in an empty box car. Light shone in through the gaping cracks, but otherwise the space was dim. He’d redressed her, though when she awoke she’d discover at some point that she was missing a particularly intimate article of clothing. He’d decided to keep it as a souvenir, and the little ball of wadded up fabric was deep in the pocket of his jacket.

He’d tied her ankles together and her hands behind her back, but he’d decided against the gag, knowing full well he’d probably regret the decision in a short matter of time. Elizabeth Reddy slept one one side of the empty box car, and he sat with his back against the wall, his long legs stretched out in front of him. He had his hand on his gun, but both were hidden by his jacket. She was tied up and posed little threat in her current state, but he liked the feeling of the cold metal slowly growing warm in his grip.

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SkullsandSlippers on Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:48 pm

Beth felt she had been on a drinking binge. Her head was fuzzy and hurt like a son of a bitch. Her stomach felt as if it might wish to turn itself inside out. Every part of her ached. She was laying down, that much she was grateful for.

What the hell happened? She frowned and the movement made her wince. Why do I feel like I drank out the bar and then was dragged by a horse?

The woman also realized she couldn’t move her hands. She knew they were behind her back and that was odd in and of itself but they felt stuck. Fuck

Her eyes opened and she stared at the man across from her. It very slowly came back to her. The tub, the drink, falling and the man from the bar standing over her.

Beth was breathing hard through her nose, ignoring the pain her body was in. Her hands were tied behind her back and one attempt to move her feet found her ankles in the same predicament.

She glared at him. Hard grey-blue eyes staring at him as if they might bore right through him. The light in the room was dim but she could make him out as he sat.

Not room....moving..... Beth took a moment to get her bearing. She had originally thought the movement she ‘felt’ was a result of her intoxicated state. As her senses came back she realized that the room was in fact moving. Train. Not a coach, too big. Train. The man put me on a train.

She was beyond livid.

“So that bounty on my head must be quite high for you to go through so much trouble. I’d be flattered if I wasn’t so fucking pissed off.”

Like before her voice was raspy and low but just loud enough to be heard above the noise of the train on the track. She did not strain to speak up more than she had to as the train car would carry her voice to him well enough.

Beth tucked her legs to her chest and rolled to her back. She ground her teeth against the pain in her body as well as her hands that she was now laying on. With a slight rock the woman was able to sit herself up. For a moment she thought she might indeed bring up the contents of her stomach but that faded quickly enough.

Whatever he gave me is wearing off. If I had my guns...

It was this thought that made Elizabeth Reddy focus on her state of dress. The last thing she had been doing was bathing. She had been naked when she tried to climb out of the bath and now, as her eyes shifted quickly to her legs she was aware that she was once again clothed.

The narrowed eyes moved back to him. He dressed me? That means his hands...he.... Her chest rose and fell in slow but deep breathes. He had the nerve to touch her unconscious body. There was no telling what the bastard had gotten up to as she was unresponsive. One lip curled in disgust. She wanted nothing more than to wrap her hands around his throat and squeeze.

Beth licked her dry lips.

“Where are you taking me?”

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LockandKey on Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:26 pm

His bounty was stirring, beginning to wake up. Time for a show, he thought. She’d been pretty quiet back at the saloon when they’d been under civil contexts, but in his experience most people usually had a thing or two to say about being tied up. Elizabeth Reddy didn’t disappoint.

“So that bounty on my head must be quite high for you to go through so much trouble. I’d be flattered if I wasn’t so fucking pissed off.”

A lazy smirk slowly grew across Wesson’s face. “Don’t flatter yourself, darlin’. Your bounty’s not even half as much as your boss’s.”

He watched her roll into a sitting position and crossed his legs at the ankle, one resting on top of the other, making himself comfortable.

“Where are you taking me?”

Wesson made a ‘tsk’ing sound with his tongue. “Now, that’s not very good manners, Miss Reddy. Wouldn’t you like to ask who I am before we get down to the nitty gritty?” He grinned, appraising her. “I have a feeling you’re just dying to know, so I’ll go ahead and tell you. The name is Wesson Wilson, and I’m the man who’s going to collect the bounty on your pretty little head.”

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SkullsandSlippers on Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:16 pm

Beth was staring him. I don’t care who you are. She did note his name though. If she got out of this she was determined to hunt him down and make him wish he had never set foot in the saloon. She did not say anything as he boasted that he was going to get her bounty.

“Well now if my bounty isn’t that good why aren’t you after my boss instead of me or are you one of those pretend bounty hunters who resorts to cheap tricks to take down a target?”

Beth began to move her hands behind her back. She hoped he had not tied the knots too well. If she could get it to move enough she might be able to get it to loosen so she could slip her wrists out. There was an advantage to being a woman with smallish wrists. She tried to make the movements subtle.

Her neck began to itch. She hated when the scar itched because it meant she had to pay attention to it. It was worse now because she couldn’t move her hands to scratch it away. It made her even more cross, if that was possible. Beth focused on her wrists, though her neck did help in one way. Not the first time I have escaped a rope. Beth gritted her teeth and kept up trying to loosen the rope.

Her eyes remained on him.

“You can’t play with the big boys so you go after women?”

Beth rolled her head in an attempt to stop the itch in her neck and to loosen up her tight shoulders. Her hands tied behind her back and the moving around had simply added more discomfort.

She wondered just how much about her he knew. He wouldn’t be so smug if she had her guns in her hands. The rope loosened just a little, not enough to pull a hand free yet but she took it as a good sign.

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LockandKey on Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:36 pm

Wesson knew the woman in front of him was trying to insult him, but he only grinned wider. He was a hard man to fluster and an even harder one to offend.

“Well now if my bounty isn’t that good why aren’t you after my boss instead of me or are you one of those pretend bounty hunters who resorts to cheap tricks to take down a target?” Elizabeth Reddy asked him, her tongue sharp as broken glass.

The man’s shoulders lifted in a lazy, half-hearted shrug. “So long as the money’s green, sweetheart, I don’t much care who it is I’m bringing in.” He winked at her, smiling flirtatiously, eyes dropping lower to look over her body, then slowly back up to her face. The effect was merely for her benefit, of course. He already knew what she looked like naked, and he had a pretty good memory. “‘Course, you are just about the prettiest bandit I’ve ever dragged in. I’d call that a perk of the job, darlin’, and I thank you for it very much.”

He tipped his hat to her, the image of a perfect gentleman.

“You can’t play with the big boys so you go after women?” Elizabeth Reddy was fidgeting. Maybe it was just an itch she had, he thought. Or maybe she was up to something. Though nothing changed, he began to observe her more closely, and his body tensed, poised for whatever she might try.

“You’re just a barrell of laughs, aren’t you?” he asked with a chuckle. “You need to relax a little. Have a little fun. Life’s too short to be so angry. Look at the bright side-” he told her. “They hardly ever hang women. You’ll probably serve a couple of years, then you can go back into the world doing something a little more honest. I knew a lady. She got mixed up with the wrong crowd, helped ‘em rob a few banks. She did her time, and would you believe it? She married a politician. True story.”

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SkullsandSlippers on Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:03 pm

Her hands shifted and her fingers could feel the knot. She worked it slowly looser. Beth never took her eyes off of him. The narrowed as he called her sweetheart, darlin' and called her the prettiest bandit he'd ever taken in. He did not know anything about her if he thought that was going to get any points with her. Beth was never known as the flirtatious type. She never wanted anyone in the gang to think she had batted her eyes or slept her way up the chain of command.

Beth wasn't easily swayed in anything. She had had men flirt and men beg for their lives but everything was done at Marcus' order or at her leisure.

She let out a short almost bark of a laugh as Wesson mentioned hanging women. He really did not know anything about her. Likely saw her poster, saw the price, saw her picture and thought her easy pickings.

Beth managed to get the knot to slip undone. She felt the rope slip down off of her wrists.

"You don't know anything about me do you?"

She raised an eyebrow at him inquisitively. Beth raised her chin. Her neck was fully visible to him. A scar, rippled skin about two fingers wide seemed to circle her entire neck. It was high up, as if she was wearing an odd choker necklace.

"I have felt the noose's bite before though I will admit you are right the law ain't fond of hanging women. They'd make an exception for me though."

She smiled at him but it was a slightly off smile, as if she had some private joke. As she talked Beth kept her hands behind her back. She did not want to give away that she had managed to free them. Beth shifted to her hip and pulled her feet close in as if she was trying to find a more comfortable sitting position with both her hands and feet tied. She pulled them as close in as she could. One free hand slowly adjusted so that she could feel the rope that bound her ankles. If she could get to the knot she could free them as well.

"How long you been hunting down lawbreakers?"

Beth moved again a look of discomfort on her face as if her bonds were really bothering her. She glared at him. The small bit of wiggling she did allowed her to moved the rope so that she could find the knot. Little more and I will be free.

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LockandKey on Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:34 pm

The train rattled beneath them and the entire empty boxcar they sat in shook. The train’s whistle sounded loudly, sharp and piercing. Elizabeth Reddy was still glaring daggers at him, about as warm as a hunk of ice. Her face was an open book, her eyes displaying the hatred she felt for him, and perhaps all bounty hunters and lawmen. He didn’t take it personally, of course. If their roles were reversed and she was dragging him in to pay for his crimes, he didn’t think he’d be too happy either.

She did come off as a pretty damned cross character, though. If she had any kind of sense of humor, she’d clearly buried it deep, and probably in a closed casket. She was pretty enough, that was for sure, but she was a firecracker of the sort he didn’t like to play with for too long, and she was looking at him like her fuse was about to run out. Then again, maybe she was one of those where it was just better to lance the boil.

"You don't know anything about me do you?" she asked him. She had an air of superiority about her, he observed. One of those better-than-thou-art types, which in and of itself was ironic. "I have felt the noose's bite before though I will admit you are right the law ain't fond of hanging women,” she went on, still fidgeting slightly. “They'd make an exception for me though."

She shifted her body around, dragging her feet back behind her and out of his line of sight.

"How long you been hunting down lawbreakers?" she asked. The question was almost conversational, yet the glare she gave him was pure scorn. Something felt off to him, like she was trying to distract him with her question. Ordinarily he’d have had no problem talking to her, especially about his favorite subject- himself. Now, however, a warning rang through him. His pretty little lawbreaker was up to something.

The train squealed on its tracks, grinding to a gritty stop. The whistle screamed as the train resumed a sluggish chug into the station. Wesson reached into the holster at his hip and withdrew the pistol from its place, then got to his feet. “We’re here, darlin’. Chit-chat’s gonna have to wait a bit. Why don’t you do your best to stand up for me and I’ll see what I can do to take care of those ropes around your ankles.”

His words were measured and even, but they betrayed a hint of wariness. He kept his gun pointed at her. It was time to call her on her bluff.

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SkullsandSlippers on Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:12 pm

Beth heard the train’s brakes squeal and the car slowed. The stop caused her to rock a little. Her fingers, finding the knot at her ankles pulled as her body shifted. She felt the rope come loose a little more.

Wesson told her to stand and Beth licked her lips as he approached. He had a gun in his hand and if she could get her hands on it she could turn the tables of this little situation. The bounty hunter approached and Beth could see the wariness in his eyes. He was being cautious. So you aren’t as dumb as it might seem.

He had not chosen well going after her. Not that going after Marcus was much smarter but people tended to underestimate the woman.

She waited until he was even closer. Her fingers were wrapped around the rope and she moved as if she was having difficulty. In truth standing with one’s ankles tied was hard and as long as she kept up the ruse he would have to come closer.

Beth wiggled, trying to get her feet to find purchase. “You are gonna have to help me here.” She glared up at him as she made the effort to stand. She only needed him a bit closer. The knot at her ankles gave way completely and once Wesson was at her there was nothing to hold her back.

She waited, biding her time. Come on. I only need you a couple of feet away and then you won’t know what is going on....

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LockandKey on Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:01 pm

The train reached a halt with a final metallic squeal and breathless hiss. The light in the compartment was dimmer now, the sun obscured by the walls of the station they were in front of. It made the woman in front of him shadowy and difficult to see, which Wesson liked none too much. The bounty hunter trusted the woman about as far as he could throw her, and he was pretty sure she had some plan in mind to turn the tables on him. Maybe she thought this was his first rodeo, but he was pretty sure Elizabeth Reddy just thought she was a hell of a lot smarter than him. Maybe she was, he conceded. Yet he’d managed to capture her without even harming her. He wanted to keep it that way, as hitting a woman had never sat quite right with him. However, he’d consider her a criminal before he considered her a woman and treat her that way if she tried anything.

“You are gonna have to help me here,” she told him. It was too dark in the compartment for him to read her expression and see if anything had changed. She hadn’t gotten up, but instead remained exactly where she was. Wesson’s fingers adjusted their grip on his pistol. He was left-handed and used his dominant gun to fire, so with his right arm he reached forward and took a step closer. He reached around her for the hands bound behind her back to wrench her up.

Though the movement only took a second, it seemed as if timed slowed down, or maybe his thoughts just sped up. God damnit, I knew you were up to something, he thought as his right hand found slack rope. I didn’t want to shoot you. Look what you’ve gone and done. Damn, the bounty’s not nearly as good if I bring her back dead.

In his left hand, Wesson pulled back the hammer on his revolver and it clicked in the darkness between them.

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby SkullsandSlippers on Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:04 pm

Wesson drew closer and Beth readied herself. She held her breath as she anticipated his next action. He reached behind her for her hands. Beth waited on baited breath. The realization hit him and she heard the gun cock. A click reverberating in the emptiness of the train car.

Beth lunged. Her left hand reached for his wrist, shoving his gun hand to the side. She pushed off from her feet, using all the power of her crouch to throw her whole weight at him.

Her hope was to knock him down, maybe knock the gun out of his hand. Beth needed to get as far as from Wesson as she could. She needed to get back on the road and find Marcus.

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Re: The Long Ride

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LockandKey on Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:09 pm

The fugitive before him lunged toward the gun, leaning into his shot as he fired. That was stupid, he thought as he heard the shot reverberate through the metal boxcar. Why did you lean into it? Why didn’t you even try to get out of the way? Her hand pushed his wrist aside, but it was too late: the shot had already been fired. He felt the revolver slip from his fingers and heard it skid across the floor of the compartment.

Elizabeth Reddy lunged at him. Caught off guard, he staggered under her weight and fell to the ground. Why hadn’t she fallen? Why hadn’t she cried out in pain? Had he missed? No, he thought. He couldn’t have. She’d been reaching for the gun, only inches away. It couldn’t have missed her.

The ground met his back with a hard thud, and half a second later the back of his head followed, thunking solidly against the floor, leaving him in a daze. He saw spots of color in the semi-darkness of the compartment, his head spinning. Flat on his back, Wesson became aware of a pain much worse than his head. His shoulder throbbed with growing intensity and he couldn’t seem to move his left arm. Why couldn’t he move his left arm?

It was then that Wesson realized that the gun had misfired. The Reddy woman had reached toward it, but it didn’t matter. Something had gone wrong the moment his finger had squeezed the trigger and the shot had recoiled back at him, sending shards of a fragmented bullet into his left shoulder. The pain of it had been so unexpected and so sharp he’d experienced a moment of shock and not even felt it. The weakness in his arm as the nerves in his shoulder reacted had caused the gun to slip from his careful grasp, and only after she’d tackled him to the ground had even realized.

The pain was red-hot and a slew of curses left his lips. “God damnit,” he whispered angrily. He was disarmed and he’d been shot by his own gun- by his own hand! “Well ain’t that something?” he muttered, voice tight with barely controlled pain. “Didn’t see that comin’, sweetheart. Well played. Well played, indeed. So what are you gonna do now?” he asked. Sweat was beading on his brow and he could feel hot, sticky fluid dripping down his arm and a divergent rivulet slowly rolling down his chest.

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