Posts : 8723
Join date : 2013-08-24
|Subject: Making Hay Mon May 01, 2017 4:26 am|| |
Time for a new challenge and it's a fine summery one for May Day. Your mission, if you choose to accept it is to give us your take on the topic
Don't forget to comment on last month's stories before moving on to May as comments are the only thanks our writers get.
Posts : 151
Join date : 2016-12-10
Location : The Sonoran Desert
|Subject: Re: Making Hay Fri May 12, 2017 1:22 pm|| |
The sky was brilliant blue, matching the eyes shaded by a floppy brown hat. Fluffy white clouds were scattered throughout. The sky was unending, a large cerulean bowl overhead. The land was flat and covered by undulating waves of grass, running to the far horizon.
"Heyes, where are we?"
Brown eyes under a tattered black hat squinted. "I think Colorado still, Kid."
"Looks like Kansas to me."
"Yeah, me too, but I don't think we're that far east of Limon."
"Sure is a pretty day."
The scowl stayed under the black hat.
"Oh, come on, Heyes. It ain't too warm. It ain't raining. And I don't see a cyclone."
"Oh, well then. Ain't life going grand for us?" The black hat was pulled further down.
The two riders continued for some time in silence.
"You're just still upset about that riverboat gambler pulling a fast one on you."
"I was ahead two thousand dollars!"
"And you got cocky, didn'tcha, Heyes?"
The sun had started to settle in the west and the day was starting to cool off. A few darker clouds had appeared on the horizon.
"What was that you were saying about a cyclone, Kid? What's that dark thing on the horizon below the clouds?"
Blue eyes squinted. " Looks like a soddy to me."
"Out here?" Heyes put his hand to the brim of his hat. "How can you see that? It's too far."
"I can see it." Curry glanced at his partner and a smug smile crossed his face. "I keep telling you, Heyes, you're getting old. Your eyes must be going."
"What you wanna bet that's not a soddy?" Heyes challenged.
"Well, it's actually a soddy and probably a lean-to for animals."
"Oh, come on, Kid. You cannot see that." Heyes tipped his hat up and stared at his cousin, with a sarcastic smile on his face, then looked back to the horizon, where dark shapes were visible.
"Guess we'll see." The Kid smiled.
A half an hour later, as the gloaming came upon them, they arrived at a tidy homestead, with what looked like a home, barn, and chicken coop beyond. Kid Curry grinned at his partner, who gave him a sour look, but then turned his full smile upon the couple who greeted them as they approached. The man held a shotgun and had a wary hound by his side, but the gun was pointed at the ground, and the dog was well behaved.
"Howdy, folks!" Heyes began. " My partner and I have need of a place to sleep for the night. You wouldn't have room in the barn, now would you?"
"What you boys doing way out here?" The man was cautious but not unfriendly.
"Just traveling through. Headed towards Lamar for a job."
"You boys ever do any haying?"
"We're from Kansas originally, sir, so yes." The Kid smiled and pushed his hat up with a finger, so his blue eyes sparked in the setting sunlight.
"Well, we could use some help getting some hay in. If you can help us for a day or two, we'd be very happy to feed you and let you stay in the barn. Would let you stay in the soddy but...well there ain't much room. Might even be able to pay you some."
As most of their funds had gone to the duplicitous gambler, Heyes and Curry had little choice.
"We'd be right grateful, folks." Heyes smiled.
"I'd ask for your guns, boys, but there's critters that come around at night at times, so you might need them. We got your word you'll behave?"
"You've got mine." Heyes readily agreed.
"And mine," Curry promised.
"Well, then. Come join us for supper. It ain't fancy but my wife does wonders with corn meal and beans."
They boys stayed on with the Johnsons until the haying was finished. The barn became tight quarters as it was stored, but the boys didn't mind. It was nice to spend time with such a kind family, after all their run ins with so many shady folks of the west.
The day before they were gonna leave, they were storing the last bales in the barn. Clouds had gathered on the horizon during the afternoon, and the wind was picking up.
"Glad we finished in time." Heyes looked out the door as the rain front swept across the yard.
"Glad we aren't out in that." The Kid stood in the doorway feeling the cooling breeze of the rain, and watching lightening flash in the sky, as the thunder rumbled.
"Guess this worked out best for all of us." Heyes stood beside his partner.
"Maybe hard work is better than being cheated at playing cards?"
Heyes scowled. "Kid, you know playing poker can be strenuous at times. It takes a lot of concentration. It can even be hard on the back if it goes on and you sit there too long."
Kid Curry just gave his partner a look. "Heyes, you must really be getting old if you can't even sit at a poker game all night."
Hannibal Heyes tried to look offended, but then just smiled. He stretched his back, and said, "Might not be a bad idea to let my scything muscles get a rest, and let my shuffling muscles get a work out again. Can't get too much out of practice."
Curry's attention shifted from his partner to the horizon outside. He became still and Heyes picked up on his change of attitude.
"What, Kid?" Heyes was immediately alert too.
"Over there." The Kid pointed. "What do you see?"
"Besides rain?" Heyes peered through the wind.
"Yeah. There." The Kid pointed. " It's coming closer."
Heyes now saw the funnel cloud bearing down on them.
They looked at each other. "The root cellar," Heyes said, and the Kid nodded.
They ran through the wind driven rain to the soddy and banged on the door.
"There's a cyclone coming!" Heyes yelled and pointed. "We need to get into the root cellar!"
Heyes and Curry hurriedly herded the Johnsons down into the cave like room and pulled the door shut. It took both of them to hold it until Mr. Johnson braced it with a broom handle. They huddled in the dark, with the wind howling like a train running past the door. It seemed like hours, but probably was only minutes. Then all they heard was the rain. Mrs. Johnson lit a lantern she kept there and they got the children to settle for the night.
At first light, they emerged to see what if anything was left.
The soddy roof was damaged, but it was mainly intact. The chicken coop was nowhere to be found, but a couple of the chickens huddled in the doorway of the soddy. The barn looked to have been untouched.
Mr. Johnson shook his head and said, "Guess the Good Lord protected us for being industrious and making hay while the sun was shining."
The boys stayed with the Johnsons long enough to help fix up the soddy and cobble up a coop for the remaining chickens. As they were leaving Mr. Johnson insisted on paying them.
“Now, boys, you know you can use this cash,” Mr. Johnson handed them enough money for a poker stake in the next town, as long as the buy in wasn't too big.
“But Mr. Johnson, your family needs it more,” Heyes tried to hand it back. “Heck, Thaddeus has eaten more than his share of Mrs. Johnson’s cornbread and beans, since they were as tasty as you promised.”
“The misses was just happy to have her good food appreciated.” Mr. Johnson smiled, forcing Heyes to take the money. “The Good Lord knows, if it weren’t for your warning about the cyclone, we might have all been gone. What good would this money have done us then?”
Heyes graciously gave in, and the boys were soon on their way across the plains of waving grasses.
A couple days later, the sky was again a brilliant blue, with fluffy clouds from horizon to horizon. The boys were both in a good mood.
“Kind of makes you wonder, don’t it, Kid?” Heyes was smiling and enjoying the wind whispering through the grass.
“’Bout what, Heyes?”
“Why we were there, when they needed us.”
“We were there because I could see the soddy.”
Heyes turned to look at his cousin, his eyes narrowing. “Here we were enjoying this wonderful day, and that’s what you bring up?”
“Well, Heyes, it’s somethin’ we have to be thinkin’ about.”
“And what is that?”
“If your sight is goin’, might eventually not be able to see the spots on a poker deck.” The Kid grinned widely under the brim of his brown hat.
“Kid, the day I can’t see the cards in a poker deck, I promise to leave all the thinkin’ to you.” Heyes turned to glare at his cousin, but Curry was staring at the horizon. “Oh, what’ve you spotted now? Cougars? Prairie dogs?”
“No, I think Lamar.” He smiled at his partner. “As good as them beans and cornbread were, I need me a big juicy steak and a couple of beers.”
The boys spurred on their horses.
The boys were relaxing in their room after a pleasant night at the saloon. Heyes had done well at the poker table, and bought them both juicy steak dinners, and several beers.
The Kid was cleaning his gun, and Heyes was reading the local newspaper. He set it aside, with a thoughtful look. Curry just waited.
“I won enough tonight, that I was thinkin’ of wiring some of it back to the Johnsons. You see any problem with that?”
“No, no problem at all, Heyes.”
“Well, then, we’ll do that in the morning before we head out on that job.”
The Kid finished cleaning his gun, and started on Heyes’.
“You don’t need to do that, Kid.”
“I know. Just making hay.”
“Just like the saying, what Mr. Johnson said, making hay while the sun shines? I’m taking advantage of the time to make certain your gun works when we need it, if we need it.” He looked up at his cousin with a serious look. “Just like the Johnsons made the best of two strangers showing up, to get their hay in. Just like we took the money they gave us to make more, and pay them back.” The Kid continued cleaning.
“And here I joked once, saying you were a people’s philosopher.” Heyes smiled at his partner. Curry glanced back at Heyes, not certain if he was serious or not.
“This going straight is really changing us, ain’t it, Kid?” Heyes did look serious.
“Yeah, Heyes, I think it is.”
Posts : 334
Join date : 2016-10-21
|Subject: Re: Making Hay Mon May 22, 2017 2:18 am|| |
I've shoe-horned this a bit to fit the prompt... If you already read this part... the additions are greyed out. Calx Making Hay Along came a Spider #2
“Well… Did you find anything?” Heyes asked Kid, sourly.
Jamerson was now a black speck in the heat haze, crossing the bare expanse of desert scrub between this rocky outcrop they were trapped in, and the far away, linear horizon. That big sky reminded Heyes of the wide-open skies over the Kansan fields, where he’d helped his Pa bring in the hay as a boy. Wasn’t a blade of grass out there. The dust plume, thrown up by the horse’s feet, formed an ominous pointer to the Bounty Hunter’s position.
Heyes hadn’t taken his eyes off their former captor’s approach. He scowled out at Jamerson with cold loathing.
He’d told Kid that he had a plan, as they’d fought for control of their getaway horse. Kid had wanted to keep going, put as many miles between them and the bounty hunter as they could. But he’d acquiesced to Heyes’ insistence, to head for this lone island of rock, in a sea of desert.
Heyes didn’t have a plan…
They needed to muster their resources. See what it was, they had to work with. It wasn’t much; a pen knife, some lock picks, the horse of course, but they’d found nothing useful in Kid’s saddle bags. You travelled light when you were heading out to rob a train. Kid had gone to scout the rocks for… anything… they could find a use for. Heyes wiped sweat from his brow. The sun was high and relentless. The shadows were pinched up and mean. Heyes looked out to the horizon, and remembered an old maxim his Pa was want to say, when he straightened his back from the long scythe, …you make hay when the sun shines… Son. Well, the sun was definitely shining now, Heyes thought bitterly, but he didn’t have… many resources… to make hay with!
What he did have was a dry mouth, scolded feet, a bad stomach and not much else. And he was carrying around a huge grudge against Jamerson, the agent from the Grand Union Pacific Railroad. Jamerson had Heyes’ fastest horse, their take from the train robbery, their guns, their canteens, even their boots.
But more than that, he’d made fools of them.
Letting them think they’d got away. Think they were in the clear, before bushwhacking them on their way back to the Hole.
It was humiliating.
And that snake had laughed at them!
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry.
That had been too much for Heyes.
“I found the last poor sap, that crawled into these rocks to die” responded Kid, drily.
“He wasn’t even lucky enough to have a partner to bury him… Looks like a soldier from the war… He had this… not much else… If we make the water tank at Wolfshead Rocks… well …may be …we’ll get to fill it…”
Kid Curry hadn’t liked taking the silver water bottle from the ancient corpse, and his face showed it. The bony fingers of one hand had still been wrapped around the standard Army issue bottle.
But it would hold water. Shame there wasn’t a water tank in these rocks, he thought.
“Did he have boots?” asked Heyes over his shoulder, reluctantly pulling his eyes away from Jamerson.
“I think you were wrong, Kid” scowled Heyes, stood over the raggedy pile of bones and cloth of the, long ago, deceased soldier.
“I think he was buried …once. The winds just decided …to unbury him again… and his boots…”
“If we get outta this… may be… we can cover him up again.”
“Yeah…” nodded Heyes non-committedly.
“But not right now, huh… We got us a storm blowing in, in the shape of one Grant Jamerson… and this old soldier ain’t gonna be needing his boots anytime soon… I’ll just be taking those.”
Kid grinned knowingly at his older cousin, the outlaw leader, too used to getting his own way.
They were partners.
Heyes wasn’t pulling rank on him, and his feet were protesting just as loudly as Heyes’, at being asked to climb all over this hot outcrop of sharp rocks, with just the protection of thin, holy socks to call on.
“I think you’ll find …Heyes… they’re gonna fit me just fine… after all… Finders Keepers…”
“Finders Keepers!” barked Heyes incredulously.
“What are you? … TEN!”
Kid ignored him and bent down to grasp the first boot. Heyes quickly grabbed at his arm.
“We’ll toss for it” he said shrewdly.
He slipped a coin out of his vest pocket to show Kid both sides… very quickly.
Kid humphed, shaking his head imperceptibly. He took the coin out of Heyes hand and checked it carefully for two different faces.
“What?...” asked Heyes incredulously again.
“Don’t you trust me?”
Kid’s eyebrows shot skywards.
“No …Heyes … I don’t…” he said flatly.
“We’ll be using my coin” he said, producing another coin from his own vest pocket.
“I’ve seen you con Wheat and the boys too many times with that one Heyes.”
Kid shook his head.
Heyes’ mood had visibly darkened. He silently snatched back his ‘favourite’ silver dollar from his smug younger cousin, and rammed it back into his vest pocket.
Kid smugly, reached for the soldier’s old army boots.
The dry old boots came apart in Kid’s hands. Seemed, the stitching had perished long ago.
Heyes held back a gleeful grunt of schadenfreude, covering his mouth and trying to look sympathetic to the winner of the toss.
Kid held up the soles, as if he was thinking of tying them on to his feet anyway. Of course, he’d have to find something to tie them on with, first. He groaned loudly, cursing their awful luck, empty water bottles and useless foot ware. He kicked at the dust, around the skeletal feet, and a glint of rusted metal caught his eye.
“A gun” smiled Heyes, astonished.
“A relic…” groaned Kid, poking at it with his toe.
“No…no… Kid… This is it… Our lucks changing” smiled Heyes happily, reaching down to pick up the ancient hardware.
It ran with dust, and he gave it a good shake. It felt long, wrong and awkward in his hands. But it was a gun. Not one that would ever fire again, or fit any of the bullets in their belt loops. But it was a gun.
“Ha ha… This is it… this is the break we needed, Kid…” enthused Heyes.
“With this …we can turn the tables on Jamerson. Come on. We got a plan to put together… and we haven’t got much time left to do it!”
Heyes crawled and slid, ran and fell his way from the tracks they’d made earlier, as they’d passed the rocks on the horse, back to the rocky outcrop.
“The tracks look great!” he enthused to his waiting, worrying partner.
“It’s like we planned it… like we knew …we were gonna need them tracks to look like …we were having a fight for the horse. Did you get the horse hidden …and wipe out all our tracks?”
Kid nodded. He still held the only bit of thorny brush he could find to do the job with.
Kid looked more worried.
“I don’t know Heyes… is he gonna fall for this?”
Heyes shook his head at his cautious partner, grinning. Now he had a plan, he was feeling a lot better about their precarious situation. Kid would catch on.
“You just gotta have a little faith, Kid… You said yourself… without seeing that blunderbuss… Just feeling it… between your shoulders… Even you’d believe it was a single shot derringer… if someone told you it was… You wouldn’t bet your life against it, least ways.”
Kid nodded slowly. He had said that and it did feel the right size. And cold steel, even ancient cold steel pressed in your back, focused the mind.
“Yep… it’s the right calibre for the 54… the later model… But if he sees it Heyes…”
“Then …You gotta make sure …he don’t see it…”
Heyes took Kid by the shoulders.
“I’ve seen you stalking a deer Kid… You’re silent… You’re practically Apache! I know you can do this. You just gotta get close enough … so he can’t see what you’re holding. I’ll get him so wrapped up …in crowing over finding me … all beat up and helpless… it’ll be easy for you… to ambush him… Just you wait and see.”
Heyes smartly slapped Kids shoulders drawing the look from the gunslinger.
Then, he risked another look out to the approaching quarry. He was covered from head to toe in the bleached-out rock dust of the surrounding desert, so he wasn’t that worried that Jamerson would be able to pick him out amongst the rocks.
Not yet anyway.
Not at this distance.
Kid followed his gaze.
Jamerson was distinguishable now, as a horse and rider distorted in the mirage of the high noon heat. From his line, and his steady pace, they could see he was tracking them from the saddle. His head lolled forward, studying the ground. He held his rifle at the ready, pointing it up at the cloudless sky.
“Oww! What you doing Heyes?” protested Kid, loudly.
“Keep it down will yer” spat Heyes. “I’m supposed to be on my own remember. You’re supposed to have ridden off …and dumped me…”
“Well …that could still happen…” spat back Kid, pulling his bloody wrist out of Heyes’ hand.
It was bleeding a lot more since Heyes had squeezed it.
Heyes, was dabbing drops of Kids blood on his face, in an attempt to look more beaten up.
“Hush up will yer…” he said casually. “I wasn’t bleeding anymore… And we need this to look good.”
Kid’s eyes narrowed.
“Oh… Well that’s different… You should have said.”
His voice was dripping sarcasm.
“I didn’t realise …it was all that important... fer your plan…”
And with that, he punched Heyes in the mouth.
Heyes sprawled backwards, looking shocked.
“What did you do that fer?!” he spat through a thick, bleeding lip.
Kid shook his sore hand. The one with the bleeding wrist.
“Just stepping up …and doing my share… Partner… fer the plan… Which by the way… You told me you already had… before I found the old soldier and this relic of a firearm.” he said, pushing Heyes back into the dust at the foot of the rock and arranging him to look all beaten up and abandoned.
“Your bleeding pretty good now Heyes… and… Your looking authentically beaten up and helpless.”
He walked backwards towards the far rocks, carefully obscuring his tracks as he went. Heyes watched him go. The dark eyes simmered. Scores were being counted, and stored up for later.
“Yeah? Well… thank you…” he said, much too politely, rubbing at his sore face and looking anything but grateful.
“You just be sure …to get out here …and stick that rusty canon between Jamerson’s shoulder blades… before …he decides it’s too much trouble…to try and take me in alive…. again.”
Kid smiled. His blue eyes twinkling.
He could hear Heyes moaning, “Apache boy!” under his breath, all the way back to the rocks. When he reached hard ground he tipped his hat to Heyes, and disappeared between two huge boulders.
Posts : 1447
Join date : 2013-08-24
Location : Over the rainbow
|Subject: Re: Making Hay Wed May 31, 2017 9:52 am|| |
It is better to exist unknown to the law: Gaelic Proverb
Deep, dark, foreboding shadows lurked their way across the sunny streets of the small town of Everlasting as groups of men started to gather and make their way to the bank with as little fanfare as possible.
One gangly, young man took up a place out front, the casual manner in which he chewed the straw in his curled lips betraying the activity behind his eyes. Another two drifted round to the back, trying to make their loitering look like a game of dice.
The youngest stood outside making sure they could make good their escape, his bag of oats giving the appearance of a young lad paid to tend a couple of horses for their owners, while a tall man with a pair of startlingly blue eyes casually kicked at the earth, dry and hard in its summer armour.
“It’s time,” he hissed as the blinds were pulled down in preparation for closing.
The men streamed forward, the closing door caught by the black booted foot of the dark-haired man. The eyes smiling over the bandanna were audaciously juxtaposed against the gun barrel he levelled at the teller trying to shut the door.
"You aren’t closed yet. Hands up, stay quiet and nobody'll get hurt.”
The startled man stepped back raising his hands and four men piled into the bank and held guns on the staff.
"Hands up!" barked the blond man as his sapphire eyes scanned the room for risks and pitfalls. “We’re The Devil's Hole Gang. Everyone do exactly as they're told and we’ll be out of here before you know it, folks."
The man in the black hat spoke with authority and the adamantine eyes spoke loudly of a man who would brook no opposition, not that anyone considered mounting any. Not against the formidable fire power aimed at the two tellers and the manager who lined up against the counter with their hands raised.
One of the outlaws chewed tobacco, spitting unhealthily on the floor as he pulled down the blinds to obstruct the scene from casual passersby and the bank staff were corralled into a corner after being patted down for concealed weapons.
The blond man spotted the heightened nerves of the manager whose colour rose as he repeatedly glanced anxiously towards the office. He didn't like nervous people. They were likely to make rash decisions in the heat of the moment and end up doing something stupid. The manager seemed inextricably drawn to the door of the office and despite his best efforts to look elsewhere his grey eyes continually darted towards the room.
Kid Curry strode over to the office door as he raised his gun and aimed at the manager.
"Is there somethin' I should know?" He spoke almost casually the steel-edged voice made the manager start to tremble.
"Please. No. My fiancé is in there. Don't hurt her. I’m begging you."
"A woman? Of course we ain't gonna hurt her," barked Heyes indignantly. "What kind of men do you think we are?"
"Ma'am?" The Kid knocked gently at the door. "Come out with your hands up. This is a hold up. Ain’t no one gonna hurt you. We're just gonna take the money and leave."
"Ma'am," he spoke more insistently, "either you come out or we come in and get you. Move. Now!"
There was the sound of a scuffling movement on the floorboards before the doorknob started to turn and the door opened very slowly.
Heyes and the Kid stared at the petite, dark, curly haired figure emerging from the office.
"Well," The Kid sucked in a breath as Heyes strode forward trying to head off any gasps of recognition he might make.
"Ma'am? What's your name?" His eyes narrowed as he examined her, drinking in the wide eyes and enticingly generous mouth he knew so well. What name was she going to give?
"Abigail." She sounded uncertain as she spoke with a clear American accent. Was she nervous of them or the bank staff?
He nodded, a sardonic smile playing around his lips. "Well, Abigail. Why don't you go over there and join your fiancé and keep your hands where we can see them?"
She raised her hands under direction from his guiding gun barrel and walked tentatively over to join the bank staff who stood in a tight knot in the corner while Heyes noted the extravagant diamond cluster on the third finger of her left hand. That ring was real; too real and too big to be simply part of a cover story.
The certainty that the bank manager had no idea of his fiancé’s real identity firmed in his mind as he watched the man fret over her welfare at the hands of the outlaws. If he had known more about her he would have known that The Devil's Hole Gang had more to worry about from her than she did from them, but why would she lead a man on like that? Did she care for him? Had she been drawn in whilst working undercover? He felt a stab of...what? Jealousy? Regret? Anger? Heyes arched a brow and addressed her directly. "Quite a ring you got there, ma'am."
Abigail glowered at him as real anger flared. "Don’t touch it. I’ll hunt you down myself if you dare to even try."
There was a ripple of laughter from the robbers before Wheat smirked at the manager. "That’s a wildcat you got there, mister. She looks like butter wouldn't melt but…,” he dissolved in laughter.
"No. It would sizzle," snorted Heyes. "Keep your ring, lady. That isn't what we came for."
"Don’t be afraid, darling. Stand behind me. I’ll look after you," the manager whispered.
"I think the lady’ll be just fine, sir, as long as no one does anything stupid," The Kid stated simply.
Heyes looked over to the safe at the back of the office before striding over behind the counter, each stride full of bustling purpose.
The Kid’s blue eyes sparkled with humour, watching the manager’s nerves jangle while the woman observed with a cool detachment. She noted every detail of the robbery unfolding in front of her.
"Kyle, Wheat. Take the men into the office and tie them up. Gag them tight." His blue eyes crinkled at the corners, his smile concealed by the mask. "Leave her here for now." The manager started to bluster before he was quietened by the Kid’s gun in his face. "Sir, your lady’ll join you in there soon enough. Be a gent and save her from being tied up any longer than necessary. That's all we're doin'.”
"Go, Robert. I'll be fine." The woman spoke calmly. "The Devil's Hole Gang don't hurt people. Just do as he says."
The man’s eyes darted doubtfully between Abigail and the gunman, but stood his ground. "I can't." He raised his chin defiantly and glared at The Kid. "I'm staying with her."
The Kid nodded slightly. “I respect your courage, sir, but I gotta insist. We got work to do and we don't need you hangin’ around."
"Then she comes with us."
His eyes hardened. "No, sir. She doesn't, and I’ll remind you that you're in no position to give the orders."
"Robert, please. I'll be fine."
"What kind of a man would walk out of here and leave you with men like these?"
"The kind of a man who's smart enough to make sure that you all walk out of here in one piece.” The Kid nodded over to the outlaws standing behind the bank staff to step forward. “Now you got a choice. You walk in that room or two men drag you in there. Do you want to upset the lady or do you want it all to be as civilised as possible?"
"Why? Why keep her here?"
Abigail closed her eyes and sighed before she spoke. "Because I think he recognises me, Robert.”
All eyes turned to the woman who stood in the corner with her hands still raised as someone let out an audible gasp.
"My guess is that he’s suspicious of a familiar face and needs to question me about that. Go, Robert. Once he realises that I'm just a passenger from a train he robbed he’ll move on. I can tell he’s suspicious the way he’s been staring at me. He was a perfect gentleman last time, but I made a bit of a fuss about not wanting any criminals to touch me when I was being helped down from the train. I’m sure it’ll be fine."
"You didn’t tell me that," Robert exclaimed.
"No, Robert. I didn't. I don't like talking about it because it wasn’t very pleasant and I may have made a bit of a fool of myself. Please let him ask what he needs to so that I can join you. Just let him get it over with. Don’t make this worse."
The Kid darted her a look laden with meaning. Trust her to talk her way out of this.
"She's a smart lady, sir," he glanced at Abigail. "You guessed."
“I saw you looking at me. I knew that you couldn’t place me. Please Robert, do as he says?"
Robert glowered at The Kid defiantly. "If you hurt her I swear I'll find you and I'll kill you."
The Kid nodded. "Sir, if I hurt her, I'll deserve it. I'd do the same to a man who hurt anyone of mine. Now go with Wheat and Kyle. I won't ask again.”
He watched the staff get marched through to the manager’s office before he strode over to Abigail and pulled down his mask. “So? What the hell are you doin' here, Miss Abigail MacKinnon?" The Kid’s hot breath burned into her cheek as he spoke, inches from her face now that they were alone. "Are you here for us? Who else is with you?"
She dropped her facade along with her hands and reverted to her own Scottish brogue, the American accent now gone. "I'm on my own. How was I supposed to know you were coming here?"
A mirthless laugh slipped from his lips. "You got all kinds of ways of knowin’ things. What are you doin' here?"
Her full mouth firmed into an obstinate line. "You can go to hell, Mr. Curry. You know I'll never tell you any details about that."
He tilted his tousled head as his eyes narrowed. “Maybe we'll make you talk?"
She threw him a wide grin and leaned forward, propping herself up on her toes before she dropped a light kiss on his cheek. "We both know that you don't have that in you. Look I'm not here for you. Take the money then leave me in that office with the rest of them. Just let me get on with my job."
He shook his head in bemusement. "You're a Pinkerton. I can't trust you. You're the law."
She flicked up an eyebrow. "That's rich. So far I've been your prisoner for nearly two weeks and I was left handcuffed to a door. What have I ever done to you?"
"As much as I'm prepared to allow, darlin'."
"I'm not after you,” she shrugged. “You know me too well for me to try to bring you in. I'd be useless. I'm on another job; the least you can do is let me get on with it."
"I ain't sure about this. I need to speak to Heyes. We can't trust you, Abi. This could be a trap"
"I take it he's breaking into the safe.” She shook her head in reproach. "You need to take me into that office. Right now. I don't need any awkward questions from Robert."
"Questions like what’s your real name, why are you only pretendin’ to be engaged to me,” The Kid snickered. “Why have you got those handcuffs in your purse?" He threw her a wicked grin. "Or has he already enjoyed those?"
He laughed gently as she coloured from the neck up. I'm NOT that kind of woman," she hissed.
"I know, more’s the pity. You’d be no more than a sweet memory to Heyes if you were."
"Jed, please? This matters. They can't suspect."
"Then why didn't you disappear? You could get out that window. I've seen you. You can break into almost anywhere. Why not get out of here?"
"It's screwed shut. It's a bank. I'm good with locks but I can't shift screws with my bare fingers. I'm only human."
They turned as a now unmasked Heyes walked back into the room, beige sackcloth heavy with loot, thrown over his shoulder. His brown eyes burned over his chiselled cheekbones and his mouth firmed into an uncompromising line. “What are you doing here, Abi?”
"Wheat and Kyle are tyin’ up the men," The Kid said. “I’m gettin’ nowhere with her, but this could be a trap.”
Heyes nodded and indicated with his head towards the vault. "Abi, come with me. Now!"
Outrage spread over her face. "I will not. I won't be ordered around."
His eyes narrowed and he strode over and grasped her by the wrist. "I don't have time for this." He shouted through the door to the office as they passed. "Wheat, watch them. We'll be out of here in a minute."
Heyes dragged her into a back room by the wrist and thrust her up against the wall, his intense eyes burning into hers. "Abi, give me one good reason why I shouldn’t deal with you. Right now."
Indignation exploded over her expressive face. "You can't blame me because our paths cross innocently. You wouldn't look at me twice if you didn't know who I was. Anyway, what do you mean? Deal with me?"
"There ain't much innocent about you, lady."
“That’s rich coming from you. I don’t have a reward on my head.” Her brow creased in surprise at his genuine anger. "Mr. Heyes, you said it yourself. I'm useless around you, you know me too well. If this was a trap wouldn’t they get someone you could identify to signal, or whatever it is you think I’m here to do."
"You're damn good at disguising yourself."
"And don't you think I'd have done that if I'd known that you were about? You didn't answer me. What do you mean? Just how are you going to deal with me?"
Heyes paused, knowing that she was right. She could have made sure that she was either disguised or elsewhere. Either way it was unlikely that she would try to trap them this way. "What case are you working on?"
Determined anger flashed across her face. "You know I'll never tell you that. Just leave." Challenge flared up in her dark eyes. "Getting the truth about me isn't the same as information that will cost other people. Now back to that threat to deal with me. What exactly do you mean? I demand an explanation.”
He ignored her, sizing her up in her lavender silk dress with lustrous pearls decorating her neck and delicate ears. “You look beautiful.” He smiled and his face lit up with all those charm and portents of indulgent pleasure she remembered so well. He felt her involuntary response flicker and glow as her breathing changed. Part of him had almost forgotten the glorious fire in her spirit, especially the sparks which seemed to flash up his own bursts of exhilaration. He sighed. “Being a banker’s rich fiancé suits you better than a maid in a brothel. It's been a long time. Over a year."
She gulped down a knot of emotion as his deep voice filtered through her consciousness, firing off the synapses she had only just extinguished since their last meeting. “Please, take me into the office and leave me there with the men. I have important work to do here. You go your way and I’ll go mine.”
"Life or death. Please. I don't care about your arrest at the moment." Her large dark eyes darted up to his.
"You know that I care more about crimes against the person than crimes to property. I'll never ask you for another favour, but I need to say here and I need to be credible. Please. It matters."
He looked down at the woman he had seen in every mood, every shade from raging fever to masterful intellect. She looked genuinely concerned, but then she was a very good actress. "Whose life or death?"
She paused, her eyes darkening. "I can't tell you that."
"Who was killed?"
"No one, yet. I’m here to try to prevent it."
His eyes bored into her as his concern grew. She was his flip side, but for one thing; she was foolhardy. Abigail took risks that he would never countenance. "How dangerous is it?"
"Less than a night with you,” she grinned. “Shouldn’t you be making a break for freedom by now? You have just robbed the bank. Shouldn’t you be making hay while the sun still shines ”
His eyes glittered with worry. "I'll leave you, for now. We need to talk." His eyes drifted over the engagement ring. "About quite a few things. Where are you staying?”
"Mr. Heyes, I can't tell you that either."
The right side of his mouth slid up in an uneven smile. She always called him Mr. Heyes because she was determined not to get too close to him, but it never ceased to amuse him how much warmth leaked into such a formal address.
"Meet me or I'll come back. You’ll be easy to find now you're engaged. You’ve got ties." His eyebrows rose provocatively.
She knew he meant it and her stomach gave a flicker of... what? Excitement? Fear? Irritation? “I can't."
"I mean it, Abi."
"I could make sure you're pursued."
"I'll take my chances, but if you want to play it that way maybe you could come with me instead?"
She dropped her head, knowing just how determined he was when he put his mind to it. "Fine. Just one meeting, then you leave me to get on with my job. Now, for heaven’s sake take me to that office and tie me up."
His cheeks dimpled in feral delight. “If you insist, darlin’. If only I’d known that was your thing. Think of the fun we could have had.”
Her eyes narrowed. “You never give up, do you?”
His face dimpled. “I’ll go through any door that’s open, Abi. You know that. Nothing risqué, nothing gained.”
“You’re incorrigible. I’m in the Bentwood Inn on Oak Road. I’ll be in the garden at nine o’clock on my own. There’s a summerhouse.” she walked over to the door. “I want a clean gag and don’t tie me too tight. I’ll see you at about ten after you’ve finished lurking about checking if I’m really alone.” She paused. “And be prepared to explain that ‘deal with you’ comment. You don’t get off that lightly.”
To be continued
Na sir 's na seachainn an cath - Neither seek nor shun the fight Old Scottish proverb
Posts : 505
Join date : 2013-10-14
Location : Wherever the 'mooo'd takes me
|Subject: Re: Making Hay Wed May 31, 2017 12:40 pm|| |
Fifty Shades of Hay
His strong hands ran over my body,
tense and already glistening with sweat.
My muscles flinched as he caressed me,
Working all the way down my legs.
He stood, smiling into my unblinking brown eyes,
Before taking the brush and running it through my mane of hair,
Over and over,
Dragging and working,
Until it was smooth and untangled,
unlike my spirit which is as wild as the mustang.
But in his hands I melt and submit to his bidding
He led me over to the hay,
And removed my bridle,
There was now nothing to rein me in
And I was free to be as wild as I wanted until tomorrow,
As long as I stay within the corral .
I love the end of the day,
When I can walk where I want and look at anything which interests me.
I chew on my hay and look at the hills
The wild stallion rears up stands out against the blue
where the mountain meets the sky
I dream of running with him,
My heart pounding like the hooves
The evening is my unbridled passion.
Rome wasn't built in a day, but some of it was. Like a bit of a wall or a chunk of a bridge.
|Subject: Re: Making Hay || |