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Louise sat at the table beside Kid in the bunkhouse. Teaspoon had called everyone one in for an important announcement. The only rider who wasn’t present was Buck. Rachel sat on the other side of Lou. Louise looked over at her as if to ask if she knew what was going on but she only shrugged. Kid grabbed her hand under the table and gave it a quick squeeze. Louise smiled up at him and scooted over closer so that their legs were touching. Ever since they had gotten back together about a month ago they tried to spend as much time as possible together which wasn’t easy.
“What’s going on Teaspoon?” Jimmy asked as Teaspoon finally walked in.
“Yeah we’ve been waiting for ten minutes! Rachel won’t let us eat until after the meeting.” Cody said rubbing his sore hand. Rachel had already swatted it with her wooden spoon more times than he could count.
Teaspoon stood in front of the group and cleared his throat. Once he was sure he had everybody’s attention he began speaking. “Well boys and girls.” He added nodding toward Lou and Rachel. “I received a letter last week from Russell, Majors and Waddell it seems they’re starting up a new station in Bluffington.”
“What’s that got to do with us?” Louise asked worried that her and Kid might be separated if they sent some experienced riders to the new station.
“Well if you would give me a chance I’m getting to that. They want an experienced station master to go there and train the recruits and they’re sending a new station master here to see how a station should be run.”
“Your leaving?” Rachel asked surprised.
“How long will you be gone?” Kid asked.
“Can we eat now?” Cody whined.
“Yes. Four weeks and no.” Teaspoon answered all there questions. “The new station master is Chase Madison. He retired from the army because of an injury. I expect you boys and um girls to be on your best behavior and show him the ropes. I’ll be leaving in the morning and he should be here by Wednesday. Kid I’m gonna deputize you and you’ll be filling in as marshall. You others can cover his runs. Now if there’s no more questions we can eat.”
Jimmy had started to ask a question but Cody covered his mouth with his hand. Jimmy angrily jabbed him in the stomach with his elbow. Things finally settled down and they started to eat. Louise didn’t eat much she excused herself from the table and headed outside.
Kid followed shortly after and found her leaning against the corral post watching the new foal play. “What’s wrong?” He asked gently leaning next to her.
She looked at him and smiled. “Probably nothin’ I just ain’t lookin’ forward to pretending to be a boy all the time again even if it’s for four weeks. I don‘t like the thought of you bein‘ marshall either.”
“I’ll be fine Lou. I’ll just have to figure out how Teaspoon can sleep leaned back like he does without toppling over. As for you havin’ to pretend I didn’t think about that. Maybe if he turns out to be a good guy maybe you could tell him.”
Louise shook her head sadly. “I couldn’t risk that. I got lucky that Teaspoon was so understanding. I doubt I’d be lucky enough to find two men willing to put there job on the line to protect me.”
“It won’t be so bad.” Kid said pulling her close to him and kissing her.
“See that’s exactly what I mean. We won’t be able to do that with him here.” Louise said groaning as Kid moved down to her throat.
“Well I guess we’d better do what we can before he gets here.” Kid said picking Lou up and carrying her off towards the barn.
The next morning they lined up to see Teaspoon off. He was barely out of sight before they spotted another rider coming in fast.
“Your up Louise!” Rachel called.
Louise gave Kid a quick kiss before mounting Lightning and taking off. “Ride Safe!” he called as he watched her ride away. He loved watching her ride. She was a natural as if her and the horse were one. He remembered how she road him yesterday out in the barn and he felt his groin tighten. Damn he thought, I see what Lou meant, he went over to the barn to start his chores maybe that would help.
Wednesday morning Rachel was outside hanging up the fresh wash. She heard a horse ride up from the direction of town and went to see who it could be. She went to the front of the house and was surprised to find a well dressed gentleman standing there. He even had a tie on. She had to look up at him as he dismounted and Rachel couldn’t help but notice how good looking he was. “May I help you?” She asked as he turned and pierced her with twinkling gray eyes they were quite a contrast to his dark hair.
He took off his hat and bowed slightly. “Yes ma’am I’m looking for the Sweetwater station I hope I’m in the right place. The mercantile owner wasn’t very friendly when he was giving me directions.”
“Yes it is I’m Rachel Dunn and you must be the new station master.”
“Yes ma’am I’m Chase Madison it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Rachel blushed as he kissed her hand. “Well let me introduce you to boys. We’ve got a good group here I hope your as fortunate at your station.”
“I hope so too I’ve heard a lot of good things about this station I hope I can learn some things.”
As they neared the bunkhouse she yelled “Boys!” And smile as she watched them all trickle out from different places. She knew they had been watching their new visitor since they responded so quickly when she called them. “This is Chase Madison he’s gonna be observing for a couple of weeks. Mr. Madison this is Cody, Jimmy, Buck, Ike and Kid. Noah and Lou are on runs you’ll meet them later. Cody why don’t you show Mr. Madison around I have to get back to my chores.” She smiled as Chase nodded to her again as she left.
“Mr. Madison..” Cody started only to be cut off. “Now none of that I would like it if you boys would just call me Chase.”
“Ok Sir.” Cody said trying to remember Teaspoons threat to be polite. “I mean Chase.” Cody showed him around the station and gave him an overview of how things ran.
When the tour was over Cody headed to the bunkhouse and Chase headed to the barn. He found Kid at the stall of a beautiful paint. “That is a some mighty fine horse flesh is she yours?”
“Yep.“ Kid said proudly continuing to rub Katy down. “Are your ears tired?” Kid asked him grinning.
Chase laughed “That boy sure can talk. I hardly got a word in edge wise.”
“Yep.” Jimmy said coming up to the pair. “That’s the only part of his body that works hard. If he ain’t talkin’ he’s eatin’.”
“Speaking of eating I think I just heard the dinner bell.” Kid said as they headed toward the bunkhouse. “There’s nothin that comes closer to heaven than Rachel’s cooking.”
“Except her body.” Chase added to himself .
Dinner went smoothly. Chase seemed friendly enough and he had a good sense of humor. Soon Everybody relaxed and talked while they ate. “So what do you guys do around here for fun?” Chase asked Jimmy who was sitting across from him.
Jimmy snorted “Not to much the company don’t allow it.”
Rachel added. “That’s not true! They just can’t drink is all. Actually they have several dances a year that we all go to in town.”
Chase perked up. “Really? You boys have any girl friends?”
There was a chorus of Nos when Cody piped up. “Kid does!” Realizing what he said he tried to slink back into his seat.
“She don’t live around here. I mean not in this town.” Kid added turning red and giving Cody a death look.
Chase smiled “That’s too bad a good woman sure can brighten your day.” He said looking purposely at Rachel and enjoying the pink color of her cheeks.
“Well if your all done eating I’m gonna start cleaning up.” Rachel said standing.
“I’ll help you ma’am.” Chase said standing up instantly.
Rachel smiled. “We’ll that’s a kind offer but we don’t make guest do dishes.”
Chase smiled back. “Well I don’t consider my self a guest and I hope you don’t either.” He grabbed a stack of plates and took them over to the wash basin. The other boys lit out before Rachel could disagree.
Kid decided to ride into town and make sure Barnett wasn’t having any problems. He saddled Katy and rode out. After walking through town just to be sure he returned home. Lou would be there in the morning and he missed her.
Chase walked Rachel home after they finished cleaning.
“You didn’t have to do that. I’m a big girl you know.” Rachel blushed at how close he was standing to her.
“This is the wild west ma’am you can’t take no chances. Thank you for the wonderful dinner.” He said as if she had made it only for him.
Rachel nodded her thanks. She went inside and closed the door slowly leaning against it. ‘Come on Rachel get it together! Your acting like a school girl.’ She hummed softly as she lit her lantern and headed up to bed.
Louise rode into the station just after dawn. Cody cursed as he had to grab a leftover biscuit and ran to the barn. They made the exchange and Lou headed towards the barn with only a quick glance towards the bunkhouse.
Kid got up out of bed and quickly dressed he started for the door but he caught Jimmy’s slow shake of his head and his quick nod towards Chase’s bunk. Kid sighed to himself as he sat back down on his bunk. Louise would kill him if he gave her away. He reluctantly had to wait until she came in.
Louise opened the door and entered the bunkhouse. Her eyes instinctively sought out Kid and she gave him a quick smile. She noticed their new bunkmate getting dressed and lowered her head to avoid his eyes. Rachel soon appeared and greeted Lou with a smile. Louise noticed how her smile widened as her eyes reached Chase. ‘What’s going on there? she thought to herself. ‘I can’t wait to find out.’
Louise sat down at the table and she was grateful Kid sat down in his usual place next to her. He moved his leg slightly so that their knees were touching and Louise almost groaned out of frustration. Rachel sat on the other side of her and Lou tried to hide a smile she knew it was not a coincidence that Chase was sitting across from her.
“Lou this is Chase our station master in training.” Rachel began as she started serving.
Chase greeted Lou warmly and stood up to shake hands with her. Lou tried not to wince at the tightness of the grip and squeezed back as hard as she could. Chase grinned and nodded at her as he sat back down. Louise relaxed a little hoping she had passed his test. Kid realized the little confrontation and was not pleased. However as the meal was served the normal chatter took over.
“Good ride Lou?” Kid asked casually but his body language gave away so much more.
Louise smiled shyly as she replied. “It went all right but it’s good to be home.”
“Well Chase I guess you’ve met everybody except Noah. He’s due back Tonight.” Rachel said keeping up the chatter.
The meal passed without incident and Lou relaxed having kept up her charade. Chase seemed nice enough she couldn’t wait to hunt Rachel down and find out what was going on between those two. Reading her thoughts Rachel asked Louise to help her with the dishes. Since Kid was going into town for the day Rachel arranged for him to show Chase around. Soon the bunkhouse was empty except for the two ladies.
“Alright Rachel, what’s going on with you and Chase?” Louise asked as she helped clear the table.
Rachel smiled. “Oh Lou isn’t he handsome?”
Louise smiled at her friend. “Yes he is Rachel but I wanna know what’s going on he’s only been here one day and you two couldn’t keep your eyes off of each other!”
Rachel sighed. “Well we just talked a little bit yesterday and he walked me home last night.”
“How cute! So when’s the wedding?” Louise kidded her.
“I don’t know Lou I’ve been around men a lot of men since my husbands death but he’s the only one who made me feel something. You know?”
Louise shook her head adamantly. “I know how you feel. I feel shivers every time I see Kid!”
“I’m not sure Lou sometimes it feels like I’m desecrating my husbands memory.”
“Now Rachel don’t be like that, he would of wanted you to be happy. Besides your due for some happiness in your life. You deserve it.”
“Thanks Louise.” She gave her young friend a hug and as they continued their chore.
Kid and Chase saddled there horses and rode into town. He was good company and Kid soon relaxed and chatted easily.
“So Kid tell me about your girlfriend.” Chase asked.
Kid hesitated thinking for the hundredth time how it was shame that Ike was mute instead of Cody. “Um she’s real pretty.” Kid said carefully not wanting to give any specifics.
“Is she real friendly?” Chase asked.
“She’s nice to me.” Kid said blushing thinking of how nice Lou was to him the other night.
Chase read between the line and slapped Kid on the back. “Well son let me give you a couple of tips I’ve learned.” Chase launching into a speech.
When the pair finally rode into town Kid was embarrassed to even look at Chase after all that he said. He showed him the livery where they stored there horses and then introduced him around town. “Mr. Thompkins this is Chase Madison. He’s gonna be running a pony express station out of Bluffington.” Kid said.
Thompkins reached over the counter and shook his hand. “Yes, I remember you from the other day. Well I hope your group of boys are less ornery than the group we got here.”
“You can be sure that I’ll keep them in line.” Chase said grinning. Kid excused them and they headed over to the jail.
“So your the big man around here since Teaspoons gone.” Chase asked looking around the small building.
Kid shrugged. “I guess so.”
Chase nodded. “That’s real good. You’d make a good officer.”
Kid smiled. “Thanks Chase. I’ve been thinking of joining up with the south if the war starts but..”
“Don’t tell me your pussy whipped.” Chase laughed.
“What?” Kid asked shocked.
“Don’t let your girl lead you around by the balls you have to stand up for yourself. SHow her who wears the pants.”
Kid tried not to smile. He pictured himself standing up to Lou and had a vision of sleeping in the barn. “Sure Chase.” He agreed.
Kid locked up and they headed back to the station. As they rode in they saw a rider coming in from another direction. He met Ike and they exchanged mochillas in one easy motion.
Chase whistled. “Now that was smooth.”
Kid grinned. “That’s Noah.” He said leading Katie to the barn. “Hey Noah how was your ride?”
Noah looked exhausted. “Long, hot, tiring.” Kid introduced him to Chase.
“I’ve heard alot of good things about you. It’s nice to meet you finally.”
“Thanks it’s good to meet you.” Noah said.
“You stink why don’t you go clean up and I’ll take care of Freedom for you.” Kid offered and Noah nodded gratefully. Kid led Noah’s horse over to the his stall and started gently brushing him down. Katie neighed at being neglected and Kid laughed. “It’s all right Katie I’ll get to you in a minute.”
The super bell rang and Kid told Chase to go on in since he was finished with his horse. He heard soft footsteps and looked up and grinned at Lou. “Hey there.” he grinned standing up and walking over to her.
“You have a good day?” She asked looking around quickly before hugging him closely he groaned as she nuzzled his chest with her nose.
“Mmmm.” He sighed. “Coulda been better how about you?” Kid asked as he reluctantly pulled away to finish brushing freedom.
Lou went over and grabbed Katie’s reins and was surprised when she let her lead her to her stall. “It was awfully quite around her without Cody but since you had Chase occupied me and Rachel snuck off to the lake.” Lou said taking off Katie’s saddle.
“That would of been great.” Kid said without thinking.
Lou gave him a death look as he realized what he had just said. “That’s not what I meant! I meant I would of liked to have gone with you . I mean just you” He said as he felt his ears turning red.
Lou smiled. “I know.” They quickly finished the horses and went to dinner.
The next week passed without incident. Lou was busy with her runs and Kid was in town alot which left them precious little time together. However, Rachel and Chase had become much closer and spent most nights taking long walks together. Louise was happy for her friend but couldn’t help but envy Rachel being able to openly display her feelings for Chase when Louise had to settle for a quick hug or kiss here and there from Kid on good days and on bad days she was luck to get a hi or hello from him. That morning Louise had been in foul mood. Kid was going into town and she was scheduled to ride out after breakfast.
Rachel sensing her stormy mood pulled Jimmy a side and she was pleased when he agreed. During breakfast Rachel trough her plan into action. “Louise could you run into town for me today I need you to pick up some supplies.”
Louise looked up miserably. “I have a ride this morning.”
“I’ll take it Lou you can take my next one.” Jimmy offered. Thrilling at how her eyes lit up.
“In fact.” Rachel said. “You and Kid can ride in together and since I’m sure he won’t be busy today he can help you. I‘ll give you my list after breakfast.”
Louise could not wait until breakfast was over. Rachel quickly wrote out her list and folded it and handed it to Louise. Louise shoved it into her pocket and headed out to the barn with Kid to saddle Lightning.
“Why don’t we head over to the Jail first and then I’ll walk over to the mercantile with you.” Kid suggested trying to spend as much time with Lou as possible.
“You gonna deputize me?” She asked playfully.
“Maybe.” He replied trying not to blush.
The two were quickly underway. They took there time heading in Louise didn’t know when there next chance to be together would be so she was determined to make the most of it. Remembering Rachel’s list she pulled it out hoping it was a mile long. She smiled wickedly as she read it. Louise, Have fun!!! Love, Rachel. She quickly folded it back up and put it in her pocket.
All too soon they were at the town and Kid and Lou stopped outside the Marshall's office and tethered their horses on the hitching post.
“Hey Barnett.” Kid called as he entered the office. Barnett caught napping scrambled to his feet. “Why don’t you take the afternoon off. I’ll see you back this evening.”
Barnett nodded embarrassed and scurried out. Sighing Kid sat down at the desk and started straightening up the mess that Barnett had caused in a surprisingly short period of time. He didn’t even notice Lou close the door and draw the blinds. Since he was engrossed with looking at the new wanted posters she went behind him and started massaging his broad shoulders. “Um that feels real good Lou.” He said moaning.
Louise leaned over and whispered huskily into his ear. “I know how to make you feel a whole lot better.” She started nibbling on his ear lobe and slowly moved down his neck.
Kid sprang to his feet shocked and spun around to face her. “Louise.” He pleaded trying to control her wandering hands. “We can’t do this here! What if there was an emergency or something?”
“Kid.” Louise said sternly through gritted teeth. “This is an emergency!” She grabbed his neck and pulled his mouth down to meet hers.
Hungrily they almost devoured each other in their urgency. Louise practically ripped off his shirt in her frenzy to feel him against her skin. Groaning Kid led her into the cell and they collapsed onto the cot together. She quickly undressed and undid his pants. He only had time to free one leg before she grabbed his butt and tried to pull him down into her.
Kid chuckled. “Not so fast sweetheart.” He gently lifted her legs and put them over his shoulders.
“What the heck are you doing?” Louise asked confused as Kid leaned forward bending her legs up and out. He guided his swollen member to her moist opening and thrust deeply.
Louise gasped loudly and Kid instantly held still. “You all right Lou.“ Kid asked worriedly.
“Oh yes.“ Louise panted. Still not convinced he started moving slowly. Encouraged by her moans of pleasure he soon changed into a fast paced rhythm with Louise straining to meet each one. Louise reaching her peak began vocalizing her pleasure.
Kid remembering how thin the walls of the jail actually were began to panic. “Shh! Quite darlin‘.” Kid gasped.
But Louise lost in the moment was beyond hearing. Kid was forced to cover her mouth with his hand to protect the peace in the town. Louise began moaning uncontrollably. Kids hand bringing it to a soft muffle. When it tapered down to a soft panting Kid removed his hand. As he concentrated on filling her with his seed. He released her legs and collapsed on top of her breathless.
Louise shifted so she could breath. “Where’d you learn that from?” She asked gasping.
Kid smiled. “Actually Chase mentioned it once and I thought I’d give it a try.”
Louise turned pale. “You didn’t tell him about me did you?”
“ ‘Course not! It was just guy talk, you know.” Kid explained. Louise nodded and Kid kissed her deeply.
“I love you.”
“Love you too.” Kid said reluctantly pulling away to dress.
Kid and her walked around the town making sure all was well.
“Let’s go on a picnic.” Louise whispered to Kid.
“What about the supplies.” Kid asked. Louise smiled.
“There already taken care of.” Kid looked at her oddly but agreed.
They stopped by the hotel and picked up a take out for lunch. Louise couldn’t help but notice all the women staring at Kid. And Louise found herself not so hungry after all.
“What’s wrong?” Kid asked as he watched Lou.
Louise smiled at him sweetly. “Nothin’ Kid I’m just feeling sorry for myself. I like Chase and I‘m happy that him and Rachel are hittin‘ it off but I can‘t help but wish for Teaspoon to come back. Then again I‘m scared that if he leaves that Rachel might go with him. Just like Emma.”
Kid laughed. “Rachel ain’t leavin’ sweetheart and neither am I. You’ll see.” Louise forced a smile for Kids benefit but she wasn’t totally convinced. They were soon on there way.
Not wanting to be caught they went to a secluded place in the forest that was surrounded by trees. They took there time eating. Louise pulled a piece of chicken off the bone and held it up to Kids mouth for him to take. He opened his mouth and gently took it with his teeth. Louise groaned as he gently nipped the tips of her fingers. He quickly chewed and swallowed the piece and started nibbling Lou’s hand and moving up to her neck. He gently sucked her neck getting more aggressive as he felt her hands sliding up his back. He moved up to her mouth and slowly caressed every inch of her mouth and lips with his tongue. They quickly took off there clothes and made love again and again until their desire was satisfied.
Louise and Kid wearily made there way back to the station. Kid offered to take care of Lou’s horse and she readily agreed. Seeing no one around outside she headed to the bunkhouse.
Inside Cody and Noah were playing poker and Ike and was sketching on his pad. Buck was also sitting at the table but he was sharpening his knife he always kept handy. It was still early so the bright sunlight poured through the window illuminating the room and everything else in it.
Louise sat at the table next to Noah and across from Buck and Cody. “Where’s Rachel?” She asked.
“With Chase.” Cody answered looking up at Lou. “What’s that on your neck?”
“What?” Louise asked feeling her neck. “I don’t feel anything.”
Cody guffawed as he realized what it was. “I see you and Kid had a good time.”
“What do you mean?” She asked desperately looking to make sure that her shirt was buttoned right. The others noticed what Cody had spotted and tried to no avail to hide their laughter.
“What’s so funny?” Kid asked walking in still smiling.
“That’s a nice little gift you left Lou, Kid real touching.” Noah said between chuckles.
Louise was getting angry and Kid looked perplexed. She ran to look in the mirror that Cody had by his bed and gasped as she noticed the large round mark on her neck. She tried to wipe it off but when it didn’t disappear she began to panic. “What is it?” she asked.
“Well they call ‘em sweet bruise’s.” Noah added helpfully.
“But what is it?” Louise demanded still looking in the mirror willing it to go away. Kid came up to look and she roughly pushed him away.
Cody always the knowledgeable one quickly spoke up. “Well you see they’re usually caused by lots of suction. Has anyone been sucking on you recently?” Cody asked trying to keep a straight face.
Louise turned bright red and covered it with her hand. She sent Kid a wicked look and the others burst out in laughter again. Annoyed she turned on them. “Would you all just shut up! I don’t find it funny. Buck don’t you have some herbs or something you can rub on it to make it go away?”
Buck hiding a smile got up and walked over to the desperate girl. “I don’t know I’ll have to look at it.” He walked up and examined it closely. A little too closely for Kids comfort.
“Well?” Louise demanded.
Buck gave her a serious look. “Well I don’t have any herbs to help but I could add one to the other side so you would match.”
Kids mouth fell open and Louise’s eyes narrowed. Bucks mocking grin was wiped off his face by Lou’s small but accurate fist. Which hit him in the stomach doubling him over since he wasn’t expecting it.
Kid walked over to Lou protectively. “I’m sorry darlin’ I didn’t mean too.” He whispered so the others couldn’t hear. “It’ll wear off in a week or so.”
“A week or so?” She asked yelled incredulously . “How the hell am I gonna hide this from Chase?”
“Hide what from me?” Chase asked opening the door.
“Nothin’” Lou said quickly. The other men in the room quickly sat up straight and stopped laughing, or at least they tried too.
Chase eyed her suspiciously. “Everybody out!” He shouted. They quickly filed out but as Lou tried to pass him he roughly grabbed her arm and drug her back in shutting the door behind him.
Kid headed back towards the door but was held by Noah. “Let her handle it. She’s smart she’ll think of something.” Kid reluctantly nodded and they went to wait by the corral so they could still keep an eye on the small building.
Back inside Louise sat down at the table across from Chase and rubbed her now sore arm. “Why don’t you tell me what’s goin’ on?” Chase said eying her sternly and Louise felt tremors run up her spin at the evil she saw laying just beneath the surface. Unable to speak she just leaned her head to one side and pointed to her neck.
Chase saw the discoloration and relaxed chuckling. “See you had you some fun while in town. Hell that’s nothin’ to be ashamed of! But usually its the ladies that get the decoration. You must of had a feisty one. Which one was it I might like to try her out myself.”
“Wh-what about Rachel?” Louise asked aghast at what she was hearing.
Chase laughed. “Rachel's a good woman all right but sometimes men have needs that can’t wait. That‘s our little secret right?”
Louise nodded and she was relieved when Chase got up and left. She let out her pent up breath and relaxed a little. She wondered if she should tell Rachel of her concerns.
She was still lost in her thoughts when Rachel walked in a few minutes later. “Hey Louise! Did you get my note.?” Rachel smiled at her friend as she sat down next her.
Louise blushed and all thoughts of Chase flew from her mind. “Yes it was so wonderful. Thanks Rachel. Um.. Rachel?” Louise started but cut off as the door opened.
Kid walked through the door and sat down across from Lou. “You ok?” Kid asked and Louise blushed but nodded yes.
“Why what happened?” Rachel asked concerned. Louise tilted her head so that Rachel could see her embarrassment and Rachel giggled.
“It’s not funny! Chase saw it!” Louise said.
Rachel gasped. “What did he say?”
Louise hesitated not wanting to tell exactly what he said. She couldn’t do that to Rachel. “He thought I was with a lady of the evening while me and Kid were in town. And he um told me to never do that again.” Why the heck did you add that ? She asked herself.
Kid laughed out loud and Louise kicked him hard under the table. He stopped laughing to rub his dented shin. Annoyed by all her friends she climbed up in her bunk and laid there lost in her own thoughts.
After dinner that night Lou helped Rachel clean up. Cody’s horse had come back lame and the men were tending to it. She figured that Kid could probably handle it by himself. Louise thought he is so good at so many things. She sighed thinking of the afternoon in town.
“What are you smiling about?” Rachel asked though she already knew the answer.
Louise blushed having been caught daydreaming. She was having an awfully hard time concentrating on things lately. “Just thinking of Kid. Actually I‘ve been thinking about a lot of things lately. Maybe Chase isn‘t the man for you Rachel. You two are so different.” Louise said regretting the words as soon as they were out of her mouth.
“What are you talking about? You think because he’s a gentleman maybe I’m not good enough for him?” Rachel asked turning on Lou.
“Of course not!” Louise yelled shocked that Rachel would think such a thing. “I think your too good for him. You’ve barely known him a couple of weeks. I just don’t trust him is all.”
“Louise you don’t trust anybody completely not even Kid! Maybe it’s you that has the problem not Chase.”
Louise sighed “Maybe I just don’t want to see you get hurt.”
Rachel sighed and hugged her friend. “Thanks Lou but I’m a big girl now I think I can take care of myself.”
Louise nodded as she finished washing the dishes. Maybe she was over reacting . Hell it wouldn’t be the first time. The following days passed smoothly and Louise’s fears diminished.
One afternoon she was out in the barn brushing Lightning when she felt a presence behind her startled she dropped the brush and then relaxed as she felt Kid’s warm arms wrapping around her from behind. She leaned against him inhaling his so familiar scent. He slid one hand down her flat stomach and between the junction of her legs and started rubbing her gently. Louise groaned and spun around slowly to look up into his startling blue eyes. “Your gonna get me in trouble.” She accused wrapping her arms around his neck. “Where is everyone.” she asked huskily.
Kid leaned down and kissed her gently before replying. “Chase and Rachel went on a picnic, Jimmy, Noah and Cody went in town to get supplies and Buck and Ike are on a run so that just leaves me and you.”
“Guess so.” Louise said as her hands reached down to massage his crotch as he did to her.
Kid groaned strained against her hand. he went to undo his pants but she slapped his hand away. She moved her hands up behind his neck and pulled him down for a breath taking kiss. Louise felt her knees go weak and lead back against Lightning for support. The coarse hairs were poking into her back and the sensation only added to her pleasure. Lightning neighed in irritation at not receiving Lou’s attention and Kid chuckled as he lifted her up and took her into a clean stall laying her down gently in the straw.
“Um it’s been too long.” Louise whispered as he gently slid into her.
Chase grumbled as he rode up to house. How could Rachel have forgotten the pie? He noticed Katy tied to the barn door and wondered what Kid was doing back so soon. He sure hoped that there wasn’t any trouble. He walked over to the barn to find out. He slowed his pace hearing the small mumblings coming inside. He ducked down and slipped through the doors unobserved. He slithered his way towards the stall where the noises were coming from and stopped dead as he saw Kid making love to a young woman.
He crept forward for a better look and softly cursed as he recognized Lou. His astonishment soon turned to anger as he thought about what trick they had all played on him. Even Rachel. Knowing he needed to sneak back while they were still occupied he reluctantly left with an evil smirk on his face thinking of many wonderful ways to make Lou pay for her disobedience.
Louise lay in the straw in Kids arms. Kid was fidgeting with a blade of grass and Louise looked over at him smiling. “What’s wrong?” She asked.
Kid looked up embarrassed. “Um well I was just thinking.”
“Oh oh.” Louise said giggling as he gave her an annoyed look.
“Well I was thinking that when Teaspoon got back that well maybe..Um I mean if you wanted to , that we could well um..”
Louise pushed herself up on her elbows. “Why Kid are you proposing to me?” Kid looked at her hesitantly before he shyly nodded yes. “Kid I would be honored to be your wife.” Louise said looking at him intently.
He looked surprised at first and then a grin spread across his face. He leaned down and kissed her deeply.
Louise suddenly pushed him away. “I don’t feel so good.”
“What’s wrong?” Kid asked as Louise jumped up she made it to the back of the barn before she vomited.
“Was I that bad?” Kid teased trying to light the situation. Louise sat down and Kid wrapped her in a blanket.
“Thanks Kid. Your wonderful you know that. I t must be something I ate. I’m already feeling better.”
Kid not trusting her took a shovel and despite Lou’s protest cleaned up her mess he then helped her dress and they headed into the bunk house together.
Later that day Jimmy and Cody came back from town in a fowl mood. “It’s all your fault!“ Cody demanded and Jimmy old him to stop whining.
“What are you two fighting about?” Louise asked coming out onto the porch.
“Jimmy ruined my hat.” Cody emphasized by putting it on and waggling a finger through the hole in the brim.
“Next time I put a bullet through your hat you’ll be wearing it.” Jimmy swore hoping down from the wagon.
“Well I’ve got good news for you two. Rachel ain’t here and it’s your turn to cook.” Kid said laughing as they stopped arguing and turned to glare at Kid.
Jimmy just put his hands up in surrender and head in to dawn his apron. He had his own since they all chipped in and got him one for Christmas. It even had a slot in the side so he could still shoot.
Kid took the team to the barn and him and Lou started taking care of the horses while Cody unloaded. Finally they all were done and sat down for dinner. Jimmy had thrown together some porridge and biscuits. Louise took two bites and ended up covering her mouth and running from the table.
“It ain’t that bad.“ Jimmy said taking a big biteful himself and then spitting it back on his plate. The biscuits he cooked were alright and as long as you scrapped the black of the bottom they were pretty good so they ate them with molasses.
“You alright?” Kid asked worriedly as Louise came back in sheepishly. She smiled at him warmly as she nodded.
Chase and Rachel came in a while later. ‘Whee! What’s that horrible smell?” He asked sitting down next to Lou. His knee accidentally brushed up against hers so she scouted over a little to give him some more room.
“Jimmy’s cookin’” Lou said smiling.
“You’ll get used to it after awhile.” Cody said shoveling it in.
“If you live that long.” Kid muttered and they all laughed.
Chase got up to get him a helping since Rachel was off duty and he got his boot caught on the seat and had to grab Lou’s shoulder for balance. He quickly righted himself and looked embarrassed. Louise excused herself and headed to bed early since she had an early run. She hopped into her bunk and promptly fell asleep.
Louise got up the next morning and she was excited about being away to think for a couple of days. Rachel was right she didn’t tell Kid everything. She had been nauseas for a couple of weeks and had actually thrown up a couple of times. If she had told Kid that he would of never had let her out of his sight. Course that would of looked strange to Chase. She only had a week left and she was intending not to blow it. She thought of her and Kid getting married and she felt warm all over. The funny thing was is that she wanted it as much as him if not more. She hadn’t had a chance to get Rachel in private before she left so she didn‘t know yet. She knew her friend would be happy for her and Lou hoped that things between her and Chase worked out. After all who is she to judge anyone. She should know as well as anyone how guys brag to each other when they are alone. She blushed thinking of some of the things that Jimmy and Cody discussed at night before they found out that she was a girl.
The days passed quickly and she was soon on her way home. When she got there Jimmy greeted her and took care of her horse. Rachel met her at the bunkhouse. “You look exhausted why don’t you sneak off to the pond for a quick break.”
“Thanks Rachel, um do you know where Kid is?”
“Yes,” Rachel said smiling broadly. “He’s over with Chase working on the corral. They should be out there until dark.”
Louise smiled and went to get her clean things. She thought about asking Kid to join her but it might look too fishy. So she left him a note on his bunk. She saddled one of the stations horses and headed off. Reaching the swimming hole she took Sunshine and tethered her to a nearby tree. Then she quickly removed her dirty clothes and stuffed them in her saddle bag. Then she hung her clean clothes on a nearby tree.
She sighed as she dipped her toe into the water. It had been so warm lately it felt like bath water. She wadded into her hips and then dived in the rest of the way. She swam a couple of strokes and then just floated on her back enjoying the sun kissing her bare skin. Sighing she soaped up her hair and body with lye soap. If Chase hadn’t of been here she would of chosen something more fragrant. Oh well he would be gone soon. She dived under to rinse her hair and went back to floating. She lost track of time and was startled when she heard Sunshine neigh.
“Kid?” She called out.
Not getting an answer she looked around quickly and relaxed when she didn't see anyone. Noticing how much the sun moved she swam back over to where she left her clothes and climbed out. She had just reached her belongings when she heard a twig snap behind her. She quickly grabbed her towel to shield herself and spun around.
“Your too pretty to be a boy.” Chase said smiling wickedly.
“Chase! What are you doing here?” She stammered out stepping back. Louise knew what that gleam in his eye meant and she was overcome with fear.
“I got your note.” He stepped forward and started undoing his belt. Louise turned to run but he caught her and threw her to the ground. He held her hands above her head with his and leered down at her. His weight crushing her to the hard ground.
“Please let me go. I promise I’ll quit.”
His laugh cut through her soul. “Hell now what fun would that be if you quit? I saw you and Kid in the barn the other day. You must get real tired from riding all day and riding all night. Tell me do you service all the riders or just Kid?”
“You bastard! Let me go or I’ll screa...!” She was cut off as his mouth covered her’s. She gagged as his tongue thrust between her lips. As he pulled back Louise tried reasoning again. She knew it was useless to scream being this far out. “What about you and Rachel?”
“I intend to have you both. Course Rachel will be more cooperative.” He shifted so he could hold both of her hands together with one of his leaving his other to undo his pants.
Louise begged as his hand roamed over her body. She clamped her legs together tightly as his hand ran down her chest and over her stomach. He moved his mouth down to her breast and began nibbling on her. She cried out in pain as he clamped down biting her hard. He repeatedly bit her over and over again and Louise wished for unconsciousness. She barely realized he had removed his pants until she felt his erection laying against her thigh. She tried to move away but he was too heavy. He took his knee and brutally forced her legs apart. Once he had them spread wide he moved both knees between them to keep them open. He moved his attention back up to her face he wanted to watch as he entered her.
Louise was terrified. She was practically choking on her own tears. She closed her eyes disgusted as he leaned over and licked them off her face. She was surprised when he stopped above her.
“Say you want it.” He whispered. The words barely penetrated her fuddled mind. He repeated them more urgently when she didn’t respond.
Louise thought of Kid. “No!!” She said. And she cried out as he slapped her across her breasts hard.
“If you want to live say it!” Louise who was not sure she would live through this anyway stayed silent. In raged he took his knee and hit her hard between her legs and she gasped from the pain. “Say it or I’ll kill your friends one by one. I think I’ll start with Kid” he hesitated enjoying the horror on her face. “Or no maybe Rachel. Anyway you won’t be around to warn them. Will you?”
Louise closed her eyes tightly but the tears came anyway. He barely heard her whisper “I want it.”
Smiling he thrust inside of her as hard as he could. He had released her hands and he was holding her head so he could watch her closely and he smiled as he saw the look of pain cross her face. He knew that look well. He thrust in completely and then began viciously pumping back and forth.
Louise felt bile rise up into her throat and she almost choked on it. Since she wasn’t lubricated she felt herself tear and each thrust became more painful than the next. She sobbed. Her hands were untied but she didn’t bother fighting. He had stolen her spirit. She felt his bitter seed spurting inside of her and prayed for god to spare her the pain of carrying his bastard child.
When he was done he laid on top of her gasping. He pushed himself up on his elbows and grinned down at her. “See that wasn’t so bad was it? You tell anyone and you know what will happen. No one will believe a little whore like you. No one.” He pushed himself to his feet. “Your disgusting you need to take to bath.” He said looking down at her. “Oh and you’d better not be late for supper. Rachel's making my favorite.” He went over to the pond and rinsed himself off.
Before Louise knew it she was alone. She let out a cry that was more animal than human and she rolled over letting the tears flow. The bile that had been choking her before now flowed freely out of her mouth as she emptied her stomach. Heading his warning she crawled to the pond and scrubbed herself as best as she could. She tried washing his seed out of her but knew it was futile. Finally she carefully made her way back over to her clothes on shaky legs. Since she was now bleeding between her legs she tore off a piece of her towel and made her a pad. She quickly dressed. Holding herself she walked over to Sunshine. Mounting she bit her lip to keep from crying out as her legs where again forced apart putting pressure on her tear. Lost in despair she slowly made her way home.
Louise rode slowly towards the barn. She was grateful that everyone else was already in the bunkhouse eating and didn’t see her slide tearfully from her horse. Her weak legs almost gave way under her and she had to grab the saddle horn for support. She was still shaking and had a hard time unlatching Sunshine's saddle. When she took as long as she dared caring for the horse she slowly made her way her to the bunk house. She summoned up the courage to turn the latch and the door and push it open. She had thought about running away again like she did last time but this was her family her home and she would not. She held her head down hoping that nobody noticed her swollen eyes. She nodded a greeting and gingerly sat down next to Kid. She glanced a look at Chase who was sitting across from her next to Rachel and looked away quickly at the smirk on his face. She forced herself to eat but was only able to nibble on some cornbread. Every part of her ached from the torment but most of all her heart. She continued her meal in silence except for a quick nodded or too when she was asked if she had a good ride or not.
Then finally it was over. Louise excused herself and retired to her bunk. Damning the thing for being on the top. She bit her lip as she crawled unladylike into it. Since she had been going to sleep early and had just come back from a long ride she didn’t raise any suspicions. But sleep never came to Lou. She lay awake listening to the others talk and laugh as they played cards while silent tears ran down her cheeks. How can there world go on while hers had stopped? She wondered. She heard Chase come back into the bunkhouse from visiting with Rachel and soon all the lights were put out and Louise was utterly alone in the dark.
She stayed awake listening to the rhythmic sound s in the room . Whenever someone rolled over or she heard a bed creak her heart stopped. Her attacker was on the other side of the room and she feared him still. How she wanted to sit up and accuse him in front of everybody but she knew that she could not. She was held prisoner by his threats and she yearned for her freedom. She know knew what it must feel like to be slave not having any choices of your own. Her life and that of her friends at the hands of a madman's whim. She heard Kid mumbling in his sleep and smiled sadly. How ironic how fast things can change.
Louise blinked her tired eyes at the sun flowing thru the window. She wasn’t sure when sleep had over come her. She frantically looked around at Chase’s bunk and found that it was empty as were all the others. She quickly hopped down and regretted it as soon as her feet hit the hard floor jarring her sore body.
“Good morning sleepyhead!” Rachel greeted her. She was rolling out biscuits on the table.
Just the thought of food sent Louise running for the outhouse where her empty stomach brought the raw able burning her throat and nose. Se quickly cleaned herself up and was glad to see that the bleeding had stopped. She gingerly put her hand between her legs and winced as she felt the tear reminding her that it wasn’t just some nightmare. She sadly made her way back to the bunkhouse which was now full. She hadn’t realized that she had been gone so long. She could smell Rachel's biscuits baking and her stomach rumbled.
“Lou you wanna go into town with me today?” Kid asked casually as Lou sat next to him.
Louise quickly shook her head yes. Anything to keep her away from Chase. Chase gave her a disgruntled stare. And Louise stared back. She had survived the first day and that gave her courage.
Chase asked Buck to teach him some tracking skills and he agreed. “You never know when they’ll come in handy.” Chase chuckled his eyes set on Louise.
Kid and Lou headed to the barn followed by Buck and Chase. Louise quickly saddled Lightning and mounted. She was out the barn door and heading toward town before had his foot in the stirrup. He sent Katy into a gallop and finally caught up to Lou.
“Whoa there!” Kid yelled pulling up next to where she had stopped to wait for him. “Did I miss something? Was there a race?”
“Yep!” Louise grinned taking off again. It felt so wonderful the fresh morning air running over her body cleansing her mind and spirit. Kid quickly pulled up next to her and passed her easily. They kept taking turns ‘winning’ all the way to town.
“Who’s dog is that?” Lou asked as they pulled up in front of the jail and Kid quickly let her in. Kid shrugged.
“It’s about time someone got here!” A loud voice said from behind the cell.
Curious Lou walked over to find a tall lanky cowboy sitting in a chair behind the bars. Kid went to his desk and found a note from Barnett.
“Jeff Saunders arrested for public drunkenness and impersonating a saloon girl.” Kid read out loud as he looked over wearily at his charge. “That true?” Kid asked.
“No it ain’t true I wasn’t drunk.” Saunders replied annoyed with this two bit town and their two bit Marshall.
Kid chuckled as he pulled his keys out. “All right Saunders your free to go. Just stay away from the saloon.”
Saunders grabbed his belongings and whistled for his dog. “Come on Rebel.” He said as the faithful dog trotted after him.
Kid shut and locked the door behind him. Louise nervously pretended to look at the wanted posters as he walked over towards her. He ran his hand over her shoulder and she shrugged away. “What’s wrong?” Kid asked coming closer to her.
Louise turned away and shrugged. Kid gently wrapped his arms around her and she laid her head on his chest. Damning the tears she could feel building up in her eyes. He leaned over and started kissing her gently.
He moved his hands to unbutton her shirt when she suddenly pushed him away. “What the hell do you think your doing!? You think anytime you get all hot and bothered you can come to me for release? I don’t think so! I’m not your whore Kid!” Louise screamed and turned to walk out as Kid quickly grabbed her pain. She yelled out in pain and Kid looked shocked.
Louise damned herself for screaming and tried to pull away to leave but Kid held tight. He lifted her sleeve and revealed the angry purple bruises, he grabbed her other arm and found the same.
Louise pulled her arm away and slapped him hard. “Leave me alone!” She cried as she hopped back on Lightning and headed out of town. It just took Kid a couple of minutes to lock up and follow her out.
Louise rode hard into the way station Lightning was tired and lathered. Noah yelled at here as she hopped off and ran towards the outhouse. She locked the door and sat down in the floor shaking. It was dark inside and knowing she was the only one there was calming to her. Her body racked with tears as she finally allowed herself a release. She heard the crunching of gravel as someone came towards her haven. She froze quieting her sobs as she listened. She heard the latch turn and held her breath as it held.
“Hey who’s in there?” Cody hollered.
Louise relaxed a little realizing who it was. “Go away!” She said loudly.
“I’ve got to go! If you don’t come out I’m coming in!” Cody demanded holding himself.
Louise heard more footsteps and heard mumbling and then heard Cody cussing as his foot steps hurried away.
Kid rode Katy into the yard and cursed at not seeing Lou in sight. He spotted Noah brushing down the sweaty Lightning and headed over there. Noah was aghast at the condition that Katy was in he’d never seen her look that bad before. What was Kid thinking?
“You guys trying to kill your horses?” Jimmy said walking up.
Kid slid down and the words jumbled out of his mouth. “Where’s Lou? Please take care of a Katy for me. Get Rachel and Hurry!” Kid said hurrying towards the direction in which the startled Noah nodded. Jimmy ran off to find Rachel and Noah sighed and started on Katy.
As Kid neared the outhouse he saw Cody arguing with the closed door. ‘What’s going on?” Kid asked concerned.
“Lou’s locked herself in the outhouse and I have to go!” Cody whine.
“”Well head out behind the barn.” Kid said.
“But..” Cody replied adamantly.
“Now.” Kid said in a demanding voice. Cody grumbled and shuffled towards the barn. Kid walked over to the outhouse and listened not hearing anything he called out. “Lou? You in there.”
“Please kid just leave me alone, I’m fine I'm just having a rough day ” Lou sobbed.
Kid kneeled down by the door “You never were a good liar Lou.” Kid said softly. “Where did you get those bruises from on your wrists?"
Louise froze as her mind whirled searching desperately for an answer “They got caught up in the reins.“ She quickly tried to wipe away her tears it was obvious to her that Kid was not gonna leave until she came out and she was not gonna let him catch her crying. She heard Rachel's voice outside and cringed as se heard Kid whispering to her.
‘Louise darling its me Rachel honey please open up ‘
Louise cursed silently it’d be a hell of a lot harder to convince Rachel that everything was ok than Kid she sighed wondering how much she could tell her friend. She remember their earlier conversation when Rachel accused her of not trusting anybody, maybe it was time to start.
Rachel was surprised when the latch was released. She grabbed the handle and opened the door all the way the bright sun illuminated her pale face and swollen eyes “My lord Louise what’s wrong did somebody hurt you?” She asked noticing the bruises that kid told her about peeking out from her sleeves Louise looked crestfallen as she slowly nodded yes. The tears she tried so hard to conceal welled up in her eyes and rolled down her cheeks. Rachel's heart fell as she realized what must have occurred. “It’ll be alright sweetheart.” Rachel said sitting down next to Lou and hugging her tightly. “Why don’t you come over to my house and we’ll have a little talk ok?” Louise nodded sadly and struggled to her feet as Rachel went and whispered to Kid he looked worried but nodded quickly and headed toward the barn.
A few minutes later Jimmy rode out quickly and Louise wondered absently here he was going. Kid followed them to the house but Louise was too ashamed to look at him. He sighed when Rachel gave him an apologetic look and closed the door in his face. He reluctantly went to the barn to check on the horses.
Rachel gently guided Louise upstairs to her spare bedroom. Louise looked around nervously before sitting gingerly on the edge of the bed. “Now honey everything's gonna be all right just tell me what happened ok?”
Louise started her tell in a whispered voice hoarse with emotion. She told how she left a note for Kid to meet her and then headed out to the pond. “Um..I’m not sure how long I was there but when I climbed out..” Louise was forced to choke back a sob. And Rachel hugged her tightly encouraging her to go on. “I I was grabbed from behind. He through me to the ground and held me down. I tried to stop him but he hurt me.”
Louise dissolved in sobs and Rachel closed her eyes tightly fighting her own tears as she held the young girl she had grown to love like a sister. Her worst fears had been confirmed. “It’s all right honey it’s over, you’re safe now.” Rachel whispered.
Louise cried even more realizing the danger that she and her and her friends were in. How she had put them there.
“What did he look like sweetheart? Did you know him?” Rachel asked.
Louise’s mind flashed involuntarily back to the moment of Chase’s lust filled face hovering over her. His rough whiskers scratching her smooth skin. She nodded her head no. "He had a mask on I didn’t see his face.” Louise said softly as she avoided her friends eyes.
Kid walked into the barn and thoroughly checked out Katy. Katy neighed and nuzzled his shirt pocket and he forced himself to smile. “Sorry girl nothin’ today.” He patted her neck and moved on to Lightning.
He was startled when Noah came up behind him. “Is Lou al right?” He asked Kid quietly.
Kid took a deep breath and shrugged. “I don’t know Rachel took her to the house, I don’t know what’s wrong with her but Rachel was real concerned she said to get the doctor.” Kid sat down on a nearby bale of hay as if the life drained out of him. “She's gotta be okay. I just don’t know why she’s actin’ this way and the things that I keep come’n up with scare me to death.”
Noah sat down next to him. “Well whatever it is she’ll come through all right. Hell she’s tough.”
Kid shook his head. “She’s not as tough as you think. You didn’t see her. Curled up in a ball in the corner of the outhouse. Something happened to her. Something bad. And I wasn’t even there for her.”
“We’ll Kid you can be now. You need to be with her let you know you still care no matter what. And don’t take no for an answer. Woman are strange sometimes they say no when they really mean yes.” Noah said matter of factly.
Kid looked at Noah astonished. “How do you know so much about women all of a sudden.”
Noah shrugged. “I’ve learned from my own mistakes. Now if I was you I’d be high tailing it over to Rachel's and I wouldn’t take no for an answer.”
Kid nodded and hurried to his feet. H went to Rachel’s house and started to knock but changed his mind and instead tried the handle. He was surprised to find it unlocked. Maybe Noah was right, he thought as he took the stairs quietly. The bedroom door was closed and he pushed it open slowly. Rachel was sitting on the side of the bed watching the sleeping Lou. Tears were running down her cheeks. She looked up at Kid and tried to smile. Kid walked over to her his eyes never leaving Lou. “Is she gonna be okay?” He asked his voice cracking.
Rachel sadly nodded her heart breaking at the thought of the young couple having yet another obstacle to overcome. “She’ll need some time but I think she’ll be okay.”
“What’s wrong with her?” He asked.
Rachel hesitated. “I’m sorry Kid, she’ll have to tell you herself. I’ll leave you two alone.” She rose from the bed and carefully shut the door the behind her.
Kid looked down at Louise who was sleeping peacefully. She was laying on her side with her hands tucked up under her head. He gently sank onto the bed beside her not wanting to disturb her. Her took his finger and traced it down her face following a tear trail. Louise felt the rough finger caressing her face and she woke up terrified as her daymare came back to haunt her. She put her hands up to push her attacker away and was startled to realize that it was Kid.
“Shh. It’s alright baby, it’s just me. I’m sorry I didn’t meant to scare you. I was just worried are you ok?”
Louise not trusting her self to speak only nodded. She remembered talking to Rachel before she fell asleep and begging for her not to tell Kid. Rachel promised that she wouldn’t tell him but that Lou had to do it herself. Lou sighed deeply as she looked into Kid’s eyes they always got a darker blue when he was worried. ’which was most of the time’ she thought smiling for the first time since the attack. “I’m sorry about this morning Kid.” She started out as she sat up so she could face him. “You didn’t do anything wrong. I just over reacted.”
“It’s all right sweetheart. I’m not mad at you. There’s nothing that could ever happen that would make me not love you.” He said sincerely.
Louise started to talk but tears formed in her eyes and she hastily wiped them away. “Thank you Kid. I love you too.”
“Then tell me what’s wrong.” He said gently.
“I was attacked yesterday at the pond. I tried to get away but I couldn’t.” She hung her head down in shame as she whispered. “He raped me.” In a voice so low that Kid almost didn’t hear it. “I’m so sorry Kid.” She pleaded looking up at him as the tears flowed freely. “I’m so sorry.” She was over came by sobs as Kid pulled her onto his lap and hugged her tightly against her chest she felt moistness on her neck and realized that he was crying too.
“Shh Louise it’s not your fault sweetheart. It’s not your fault. It’s gonna be ok. I’ll take care of you.” Kid silently damned himself for knot being there for her. If Teaspoon had been there he would of been waiting for her when she rode in and they would of gone to the pond together like they usually do. Here he was the marshal supposed to protect the town and he couldn’t even protect his own family. “Who did this to you did you recognize him?” Kid asked hating to have to ask her that. To force her to think back to that horrible time.
Not trusting herself to speak to she just shook her head no and buried her head in his shoulder. Louise cried even harder she wanted so desperately to tell him the truth but she dared not to. He pulled her tighter against him and before he knew it she fell back asleep. He laid down next to her and kept watch.
The sound of a carriage outside slowly awoke the couple. The meaning didn’t penetrate Louise sleep filled mind until Rachel entered the room quickly followed by the doctor. She realized that she was still cuddled in Kids arms and swiftly pushed him away. Louise sat up quickly pulling the cover up over herself.
“Louise, it’s all right I just wanted the doctor to take a look at you to make sure that everything's fine.”
Louise eyes widened as she imagined what her tortured body must look like. She shook her head no. “I don’t need no doctor.” She stated as she looked around for an escape route.
The doctor seeing her fear rummaged through his bag and brought out a cloth soaked with chloroform. “It’ll be ok I won’t hurt you.” He said coming towards her slowly.
Louise realizing his intent tried to climb out of the bed but was quietly subdued by Kid and Rachel who held her until the medicine took effect. She lay limp in Kids arms and he reluctantly laid her back down.
The doctor eyed him warily. “I think you should wait outside son.” He said softly .
Kid shook his head no. “I’m not leaving.” As far as he was concerned any man in the territory could of attacked her and that included the doctor. He refused to leave.
The doctor sighed as he started to undress her. He caught Kids death look and decided it was safer for Rachel to finish for him.
Rachel gasped and covered her mouth with her hands as she gently tugged away her shirt exposing her pale breasts. Which looked even more pallid by the dozens of mouth shaped bruises covering them and her chest. The angry red and purple marks were surrounded with little dimples made from his teeth. Some of the bites had broken through her skin and were crusty with blood.
Kid cursed as he looked on wondering what else that devil had done to her. No wonder she didn’t want him to touch earlier. Tears slide down his cheeks as he damned himself for not protecting her.
The doctor took some clean water and started to cleanse the wounds of the dried blood. When he was satisfied he quickly covered them with a salve and wrapped her loosely so they would heal faster.
Rachel composed herself as best she could and quickly undressed the rest of her. As she pulled her pants off the smell of infection filled the air. Her thighs had bruise on them the size of saucers and her pants were stained with blood. Kid saw this and ran from the room to vomit. Rachel pitied him but focused her attention on Louise.
The doctor quickly did and external exam and found a small tear about and inch long from the assault. It had a thick scab on it where it had kept breaking open. He cleaned of the old scab down to her fresh wound and quickly sewed three stitches. He did entered his fingers into her carefully so as not to disturb the stitches and examined her internally. He was about to tell Rachel that she was fine when he felt something he wasn’t expecting. He pushed heavily on her stomach and Louise groaned. He smiled grimly and went to clean his hands. Rachel made a thick pad for between her legs and cleaned up the dirtied towels. With the doctors help they put her in a clean nightgown and left her to rest.
“Is she gonna be allright doctor?” Rachel asked worriedly.
The doctor took a deep breath. “She be fine physically. It may take a while longer mentally though. Was that her beau?” He asked and Rachel tried to hide a smile.
He nodded. “Good, him and the baby should be good for her.”
Rachel’s mouth fell open. “Did you say baby?”
The doctor chuckled. “Yes ma’am I did. She’s about two months along.”
“Is the baby okay?” Rachel asked as Louise’s battered body flashed through her mind.
“The baby should be fine. They’re well protected at this stage. But I wouldn’t suggest anymore horseback riding for about seven months and I want her off her feet for two weeks. I’ll be back then to remove the stitches. Oh and absolutely no intercourse.”
Rachel blushed at the words trying to figure out how to relay them to Kid. She left the doctor at the top of the stairway and waited for Kid. She smiled when he took the steps two at a time. She ushered him into Louise’s room and smiled again as he ran to her side and examined her.
He gently leaned down and kissed her forehead when he had made sure that she was all right. He looked up at Rachel hopefully. “She’s gonna be alright isn’t she? She’s gotta be.” He whispered to himself more than to Rachel.
Rachel sat down on the bed next to him. “The doctor said she’s gonna be fine. He um. put in some stitches so she’s gonna have to stay in bed by herself for a couple of weeks.” Rachel said emphasizing the word herself. She tried not to laugh as Kid’s ears got red as he caught on to her meaning. “He’s gonna come back out and check on her then.”
Kid nodded relieved as he sat and ran his fingers through her hair.
Rachel hesitated by the door trying to find the words to tell him that they were gonna have a child. She damned the doctor for leaving so soon. Sighing she walked back over to him. “Kid, The doctor examined Lou and he um... found a little something.” Kid’s heart dropped as he waited for her to continue. “She’s two months pregnant. Congratulations Kid your gonna be a daddy.” It took a while for the words to sink in and Rachel laughed as recognition dawned on his face and he smiled as broadly as he could considering the circumstances.
He nodded slowly as he turned took to look at Louise in wonder and slowly caressed her still flat stomach. He was speechless as tears fell unabashed from his face. Rachel slowly left the room leaving the young man to his thoughts.
Kid was brought out of his thoughts at the sound of horses outside the window. He quickly looked over to Louise and seeing that she was still sleeping got up and looked out. He saw Buck and Chase heading towards the barn. He saw Rachel heading over to meet them. Kissing Louise on the cheek he quietly slipped down the stairs. He found Jimmy on the front porch waiting for him.
“She alright Kid?” He asked not quite meeting his eyes. “Rachel told me what happened.”
Kid sighed. Louise wouldn’t be too thrilled with that. “I hope she’ll be okay Jimmy. Did Rachel tell you about the ba... umm about anything else?”
“Like what?” Jimmy asked shaking his head.
“Never mind.” Kid said thankfully. He’d rather let Louise tell everybody herself when she was ready to. He silently wondered if she even knew. She probably didn’t if she did she would of told him, wouldn’t she? "Jimmy I was wondering if you would watch Lou for me.”
“Sure Kid anything I can do to help.” Kid turned on him and Jimmy was shocked by the look of hatred in his eyes.
“I mean you don’t turn your back on her for a second nor do you leave the room until I get back. You here me?”
Jimmy realized his seriousness and nodded firmly. He’d take care of her. “We’re you going?” Jimmy asked.
“Hunting.” Kid said simply as he stopped by the bunkhouse to grab his riffle before heading to the barn.
Rachel went into the barn and found Chase and Buck talking as they cared for their horses. “Chase can I talk to you?” Rachel asked coming up behind the men.
“Sure, I’m almost done.” Chase said smiling at her.
“That’s alright Chase you run along I'll finish up here.” Buck told him.
Chase nodded gratefully and he and Rachel walked over to the corral. She leaned over the top fence watching the horse milling around. “What’s wrong?” Chase asked her noticing for the first time her tear streaked face and swollen eyes.
“It’s so horrible.” Rachel gasped out as Chase pulled her into his arms and held her tight.
“She calm down sugar.” He said as she sat down in the dirt and he sat next to her. “Tell me what’s wrong.”
“It’s Lou. He was attacked really bad.” Rachel said trying to catch her breath. She didn’t notice how Chase stiffened next to her.
“What’s wrong with the boy?” Chase asked dreading the answer.
“I’m sorry Chase I should of told you before. But Lou didn’t want me to she didn’t trust you.”
“She?” Chase asked incredulously. “Lou’s a girl?”
Rachel nodded. “Someone, she didn’t see who, attacked her and um.. took advantage of her yesterday at the pond. The doctor came and said she’d be alright but....”
“Good lord.” Chase said holding Rachel tightly. “Where is she?”
“She's upstairs in my spare bedroom.” Rachel said.
“Why don’t you go get cleaned up I’m gonna go have a talk with him. I mean her.” Chase shook his head as if he was still in disbelief and Rachel nodded numbly as she headed over to the water basin to wash her face.
Kid saw Chase and Rachel head out of the barn towards the corral as he approached. He went inside and walked over to Buck. He quickly told him what happened and asked him for his help. Kid saddled Katy as Buck grabbed a new horse and soon they were riding towards the pond.
Jimmy slowly opened the door to the bedroom. His breath caught in his throat as he gazed upon Lou’s slight form on the bed outlined by the suns rays. He closed the door carefully and sat down in the chair that Kid abandoned earlier. He let his eyes roam over her face and was tempted to reach out and touch her but he didn’t dare. He noticed the gauze wrap peeking out from under the bodice of the nightgown and his fist clenched in anger thinking of what she had gone through. He silently prayed that Kid caught up with the bastard and that Louise would be alright. He sensed a slight shift in of the blankets and looked up surprised to see Louise’s intense brown eyes fixed on his.
“Hey.” She whispered groggily still sleepy from the drug.
Jimmy smiled shyly at her. The woman he would gladly give his life for. “Hay’s for horse’s.” He teased trying to bring a smile to her face but failing horribly. When the attempt didn’t work he moved on. “You need anything?” He asked.
Louise nodded yes and whispered. “Water.” She tried to lift her head to drink as Jimmy brought the glass to her lips and was grateful as Jimmy gently cradled her head in his hand to complete the task. She laid back exhausted. “Where is everyone?” She asked.
“Umm.. Kid went out for awhile and last time I saw Rachel, Buck and Chase were in the barn and Cody left for his run.” Jimmy said.
Louise closed her eyes tightly at the mention of Chase’s name. He was back. “Was Kid mad?” Lou asked wondering why he left her.
“He was mad but not at you darlin’” Jimmy said. “It’s gonna be okay.” He told her as tears welled up in her eyes. His heart nearly broke. He rested his hand over hers and she squeezed it.
They both looked up as the door slowly opened. Louise turned even whiter if that was possible as Chase walked through the door. He went over and sat on the other side of the bed. Jimmy moved to get up but Louise held on to his hand with a death grip.
“Seems like I missed a hole bunch around here. You ok Lou?” He asked looking at her intently the look in his eyes asking a completely different question than his words.
“I’m fine.” Louise said shortly.
“I’m sorry, Rachel told me your secret. She's real worried about you.”
Louise wanted to scream at the top of her lungs ‘YOU LIAR!!!!’ over and over again but instead she held still. She glanced over and noticed that Jimmy’s gun was within grabbing distance and for an instant she thought about grabbing it and ending his wretched life.
Jimmy felt her tense and Chase saw her eying Jimmy's gun and he grinned. “It’s all right Louise I won’t say anything about you being a girl. Your secret’s safe with me. You remind me of my sister we were real close.”
Louise was disgusted by the implication but Jimmy didn’t seem to notice anything amiss. “That’s real manly of you Chase.” Louise said sarcastically. “I’m tired tell Rachel I’ll talk to her later.” Louise said threateningly.
Chase smiled. Yep she sure does have spunk. He thought as he nodded to her and left the room.
Kid and Buck slowed as they got closer to the pond. They dismounted and began examining any tracks they could find. They found two sets of fresh tracks leading to from the station.
“They weren’t raveling together.” Buck said pointing. “See how they keep over lapping?”
Kid nodded grimly as his stomach started tensing up. He had a bad feeling. They made it to the pond and found a spot were the grass was crushed against the ground and there was still some blood stains on the ground. Kid hurried to the side and vomited. They followed the trail of broken twigs and found a small cove a few feet away with a good view of the pond. There were deep boot prints in the earth were the intruder crouched and watch Louise before he attacked. They found where he had stashed his horse and they followed the tracks from there. As they got closer to the station his final destination became apparent and Kid and Buck broke into a run.
Rachel needing to keep busy to keep her mind off things headed to the bunkhouse there was always things to clean in there. She started gathering the dirty clothes to take and soak. She smiled as she came to Chase’s bunk. She picked up his pants wondering what he looks like out of them. She blushed as she admonished herself for thinking like that when a piece of paper fell out of the pocket.
Rachel stooped to pick up the paper. She carefully unfolded it and her blood ran cold as she realized what it was. No. She told herself as she began to read Lou’s familiar script. Stunned she slowly made her way to the house. She silently climbed the stairs and was relieved to see that Jimmy was in the room with them. With a plan forming in her mind she snuck back downstairs to wait.
A short while later Chase descended the stairs he had a smirk on his face. “What’s so amusing?” Rachel asked from the doorway to the kitchen.
Chase looked up surprised by her tone. “Nothin’ honey.” He said as he took a step towards her.
She pulled her shotgun out from behind the wall and he froze in place looking uncertain as she aimed it at his chest. “I think you’ve got some explaining to do.” Rachel said pulling back the hammer.
“What’s this all about?” Chase asked the smile leaving his face. His eyes turned dark and cold and Rachel felt a chill run down her spine.
“I found Kid’s note in your pocket. You knew she was a girl and you knew she was at the pond. You raped her.” Rachel accused her arms shaking from a mixture of rage and the weight of the gun.
Chase grinned. “Is that what's got your bloomers in an knot? It wasn’t like that at all. I did find the note, but I didn’t know that Louise was a girl until I got to the pond. Lou saw me watching her and she came on to me. What was I supposed to do? I mean I’m only human. We had sex. I may have got a little rough but she enjoyed it. It’s not my fault.”
“You bastard. How could you do that to her. To me? I'm gonna send you back to where you came from HELL!”
While she was talking he kept inching his way towards her. Before she knew what happened he grabbed the riffle butt and wrenched it from her hands. He slammed it against the side of her face and then quickly turned it around and aimed it at her head. “Bye Rachel.” He said as he pulled the trigger.
Louise heard the blast and tried to scramble out of bed. Jimmy restrained her as gently as possible. “Let me go damit.” Louise yelled as she fought against him weekly.
“You ain’t goin’ nowhere Lou. Just stay behind me.” Jimmy said drawing both colts simultaneously. He aimed them at the closed door and waited.
Rachel screamed as the bullet missed her by mere inches showering her with splinters as the wall exploded beside her head. She saw Chase fall dead in front of her. She looked around quickly and saw Kid standing in the doorway with his gun still smoking Buck and Noah were right behind him. He had hit Chase just under his arm pit where the bullet had entered his heart and stopped it instantly.
Buck ran to check on Rachel and Kid headed up the stairs two at a time with his gun still drawn just in case. He busted through the door and Louise screamed as he and Jimmy were face to face.
“Kid?” Jimmy said relieved as Kid only took the time to nod before he went over to make sure that Lou was unharmed. He grabbed her in his arms and hugged her tightly.
She struggled to free herself. “What happened? is Rachel okay? Who fired the gun?”
Questions poured from her and Kid smiled in spite of himself. “Rachel’s ok but she may need a doctor Chase hit her pretty hard.” He said softly his hands trailing every inch of making sure she was alright.
“I’ll go for the doc.” Jimmy volunteered for the second time that day.
Kid didn’t even notice he was gone he was watching Louise so intently.
“What about .....?” Louise wanted to ask about Chase but she couldn’t bring herself to say his name.
“He’s dead.” Kid said flatly knowing his suspicions were confirmed when a look of relief crossed her face. “It was him wasn’t it. “
Louise looked up into Kid's deep blue eyes. “I’m sorry Kid. He said he’d kill you an Rachel if I told. I’m so sorry Kid I should of told you. I’m so sorry. I was so scared. He hurt me so bad.” Louise dissolved into tears and Kid carefully lifted her onto his lap and held her.
There was a noise at the door and Noah and Buck entered helping the injured Rachel. “Oh my god Rachel!” Louise cried as she saw Rachel's battered face. It was already swollen and turning an ugly purple. Louise tried to go to her but Buck took her over to the bed instead.
“I’m sorry Louise.” Rachel said hugging her young friend. “I didn’t know.”
Louise hugged her tightly. “It'll be okay Rachel. We’ll be okay.”
“Yes we will be just fine.” Rachel had Buck help her into her room leaving Kid and Louise alone.
“Um Louise there’s something that we need to talk about something the doctor said.” Kid said quietly not sure where to start.
“What?” Louise asked worriedly bracing herself for the worst.
Kid hesitated before he began speaking. “He said that your gonna have a baby.”
Louise froze as she heard the words that she had been dreading. “No. It can’t be.” She whispered barely loud enough for Kid to hear.
“Shh.. it’ll be ok, I’ll take care of you. Of both of you.”
Louise shook her head no still in denial. “How did they find out so soon? I thought that you had to wait awhile.” She said horrified. A tear slowly rolled down her cheek as she looked up at Kid.
Realization slowly dawned on Kid. “No honey it’s my baby. Our baby. Your two months along already. You didn’t know?” He said relief flooding over him as he saw her relax and start to smile.
“Really?” Louise asked hopefully. Kid nodded his head and kissed her as more tears cascaded down her already wet face. But this time they were tears of joy.
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