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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Chapter 12

Bean, I honestly thought I’d convinced him when he moved to go back to where his family were.  I got back under the tree, put rocks on the ends of the plastic to keep it from blowing around and then curled up the best I could to go to sleep.  I was so tired that I did, and it wasn’t no catnap either. 

I heard muttering and grumbling and snapped awake to find that while it was still dark there was enough light that I could clearly see that the men had crawled under the same tree as I had at some point and made their beds.  I felt like panicking and got so sick but before I could do much more than move Roman was handing me a mug of something that smelled … it smelled like Christmas.  Isn’t that crazy? 

But I was so hungry and sick to my stomach that I figured what the heck that I would just owe him a little more.  “Missy says this should help.” 

Not trusting someone I didn’t know I asked, “Who’s Missy?” 

One of the men snorted and said, “Jealous?” 

“Of what?” I snapped back not using good sense.  “I don’t even know who or what Missy is.  I’m just not going to be knocked out and hauled off to some stable.  Not after I just escaped one.” 

Roman was obviously trying to figure out what I had said.  He really is simple at times even though I know there isn’t anything wrong with his brain.  For some reason though he just keeps reminding me a bit of Tim which is irritating.  It was the cussing man who came over and said quietly, “It’s just ginger tea with some honey in it.  That’s it.  No one is going to do what you think.  And Missy is my sister … and Saul’s wife … so you need to watch it.  You don’t need to insult someone just because you don’t know them.” 

“Uh …” 

“I know you were just stating a fact from what your life is …” 

“Was,” I snapped. 

“Ok … what your life was like.  You still need to be careful.” 

“Fine.  Who are you?” 

“I’m Fletcher.” 


“And yeah, I was more than happy to give Alex a hard time and I’m glad I gave him the  … er … green willies.  And no I didn’t whore around so I don’t know why he would say such a thing.” 

“’Cause he was jealous.  And I don’t want to hear about Alex anymore.” 

Saul had come around and growled, “Drink the tea.  We’re wasting time.  Uncle Shad and David are already going to wonder where we are and not happy.” 

Just then I heard a gun go off.  I spilled some stuff in the mug but I didn’t feel the heat and I started shaking so bad that I almost dropped it.  I looked at Roman and whispered, “Don’t let them hurt Bean.  Don’t …” 

He got a ferocious look on his face and snapped at Saul, “Did you do that on purpose?” 

“Don’t be an idiot Roman.  The boys saw a herd and decided to do some hunting. Who would have thought it, a tramp with sensibilities?  While they field dress their kills you can pour her into something that she won’t freeze to death in.  I don’t want to have gone to all this trouble only to have her get sick or die on the trail.” 

My fight was coming to the surface and I said, “I don’t have sensibilities.  That’s as crazy as when Alex accused me of having scruples just ‘cause I wouldn’t whore for him so he could have a room for the night instead of camping out.  I’m just trying to make things safe for Bean.  That’s all.  That’s all that matters.” 

Alex warned, “Thorn … don’t talk to Saul like that.  You need to be respectful.” 

“I’m a whore Roman, remember?  There is no such thing as respect in my world.  There is only bigger, stronger, meaner … and fighting to stay alive when faced with it.  If anyone tries to hurt Bean I will fight otherwise I’ll keep to myself.” 

Saul squatted down.  I tried to scoot back and got blocked from escaping when Roman and Fletcher got in the way.  Saul snorted and said, “Take it easy before you hurt yourself.  Let’s get one thing straight.  I don’t like this.  I don’t like this at all.  I sure as hell don’t like … what you do.” 

“I don’t do that anymore and I’ll fight …” 

“Yeah, yeah.  Enough of that crap already.  No one is out to hurt that baby, especially if it belongs to the family.  But I’m not convinced that it is no matter what anyone else thinks.  Roman has obviously gone soft in the head and Fletcher … well what Fletcher says carries weight but there are still a lot of holes where there should be facts.  I want those facts.” 

“Yeah and your belly wants sweets all the time but that doesn’t mean you’re rich enough to have them.” 

I felt hands on my arm and I shook them off.  “Easy Thorn, it’s ok.  This is Saul’s job.” 

“Will you stop talking to me like I am some hurt animal you’ve found and feel like you gotta fix up?!  It’s too late for that!  Just leave me alone!  Don’t touch me!  Get away!!” 

Saul said quietly, “Roman, deal with her.  We don’t need a hysterical female on the trail.” 

“Don’t go scaring her on purpose then.  She’s not … I don’t think she’ll back down.  And even if you don’t believe the baby is Alex’s …” 

I snapped, “And that’s another thing.  Just because Alex put Bean inside me doesn’t mean he owns Bean.  No one is going to own Bean.  I won’t let that happen.  And Alex …” 

“Thorn, you need to stop.  Now.  I don’t know what kind of crazy you are thinking but it is probably wrong.  I told you not to judge me or any of the rest of us based on how Alex acted.  We don’t buy and sell people.  All I meant … ok … probably from your perspective it sounded …”  He stopped and shook his head.  “Look, if Saul is willing to give you a chance the least you can do is give him and the rest of us a chance.  And if you can’t do it for us at least do it for my mother.  She’s in a bad way.  This has been … she’s having a real hard time with it.  Alex … Alex was her baby, was supposed to be the best …” 

“Boy I sure hope that isn’t true if you expect me to trust you.” 

He sighed.  “Ok, so it’s hard for you to understand but I told you Alex wasn’t always like he was in the city.” 

“Maybe not but he’s always resented you for some reason.  And always been mad that people won’t let him be free to do what he wants all the time.  If I got nothing else out of all his complaining that came through loud and clear.” 

Saul asked, “He said that?  That he’d always felt that way?” 

“Yeah and more than once,” I answered putting my back against the tree so no one could sneak up on me.  “And yeah I know he changed.  The first couple of times … geez it was awful, he tried to be nice.  Then when he figured out he didn’t need to be he stopped and started being like men normally are.”  Saul got an uncomfortable look on his face but it was only there for a brief second but I’d seen it.  “You people … I don’t know what your damage is but Alex is right, the city would have eaten you up.  He said that is why he was a better choice for his job than any of the rest of you.  He said you all would have hated it but that he loved what the city had to offer.  He felt free living there for the first time in his life. One of the reasons he fought Roman almost every step of the way is because he didn’t want to go back to where ever it is you all are from, he didn’t want his life to go back to what it used to be.” 

Saul sighed then looked at Roman and said, “Get her ready to ride.  We’ll need the extra horse to carry the carcasses so you’ll have to carry her.”


  1. you know, I wasn't sure about this story, it just seemed too sad and I really am in a place in my life that I didn't want sad... but like a thorn bush, it's grown on me and I'm so glad I did read it and am keeping up...


  2. Good couple of chapters! She's a tough one and a softy. Its going to be an interesting ride for her. Thanks!

  3. Great story Kathy thanks.