Written by CHEYENNE

This is a fanfic only I do not have anything to do with the show
Magnificent 7 or the characters I do not own them or get any royalties
of any kind.  This story is for my own enjoyment and for those who read it

**This story is an alternate ending for the Group One RPG.  Please see below for details.


Cheyenne made her bed and packed what little she had in her saddle bags.  She looked at the music box Josiah had given her on one of his visits to her father's cabin--she had almost elected to leave it, it held such memories--but no she would take it, it was all she had of Josiah now.

She had decided to leave after finally thinking she would never again have Josiah's love as she was certain she had had so many years ago...the men who raped her had shamed her, made her feel dirty something just less than a whore..he would never love her now he would only care for her as the daughter of a dear friend.  He had become so taken with Kathren Tayler the new school teacher, in the last few months that she felt unwanted and like a burden to him now. She knew he would never ask her to leave and he would always want to take care of her, but she feared his real desire was for Kathren....though he would never choose..so she would make the choice for him...she would leave.  She loved him too much to stay and watch the romance between him and Kathren blossom.  If Kathren Tayler was what Josiah wanted then so be it...she would not stand in his way.  She could not fight the pretty and feminine school teacher any longer.  It was not worth the heart ache for any of them...

After fastening her saddle bags and her duster to the back of the saddle, Cheyenne went back inside.  Still fighting to keep the tears back, she tied the leather thong she wore around her forehead and hung  her hat around her neck.  She looked at the door to Josiah's room where he lay sleeping and she crept closer. As she reached the door way she looked at Josiah asleep in his bed.  Memories flashed back to a time long ago in her father's cabin when she had braved the chance of being discovered to go to Josiah in his bed and leave him a gentle kiss on the cheek.  This time she thought, this time...the last time...she would leave the kiss on the lips she dreamed would one day touch hers. She crept up to his bed and knelt beside it.  She leaned over and kissed his lips so softly and whispered in a quivering voice "I love you, Josiah"  Then she quickly stood. She could hold the emotion back no longer as tears began to fall down her cheeks.  She silently left his room and then ran from the house.  Grabbing the saddle horn she leapt into the saddle, not touching the stirrups, and gave the horse 'Black Wind' the command to go.  She stopped only for a moment and looked back at the church and the house she had shared with the man she loved, tears streaming down her face.  She began to sob uncontrollably as years of pent up emotion came crashing out of her.  "Yahaw" she kicked her horse and rode as fast as she could out of town....

Nona had watched her leave from outside the saloon.  Cheyenne had ridden past so fast she was sure she had not seen her, but even if she did, Nona was also sure Cheyenne did not care.  Nona knew why she was leaving and she also knew Cheyenne would not be back......
Josiah woke suddenly and sat straight up in bed " Cheyenne..." echoed from his lips, He had had a dream she was standing in front of him, her arms reaching out for him and he could not reach her then she was gone in a flash...she was not there any more.  His heart pounded...a fear he had not felt in so many years engulfed him..an over whelming urge to see Cheyenne over came him.  He put on his pants and went to her room....

The moonlight showed through the curtains, lighting the room slightly.  It looked as if she was not there. He lit the kerosene lamp and and yes..his fear came to life Cheyenne was gone...her clothes were gone ..everything was gone...

He ran to the barn and Her horse to was not there.  He looked around frantically not quite sure what to do next.  Why had she left like this?  Confused and with a fear in him he had never known he ran back to the house and dressed,  packed his saddle bags with what he may need and went back to saddle his horse.  It was daylight when he had finished.  He rode to the saloon ..maybe Nona would know what was going on...

 Nona, who had not been able to sleep, was still sitting outside the saloon.  "Yes Josiah, I know why she left," Nona had told him.  "She left because she loves you.  If you do not feel the same then let her go...you will only hurt her more."

"Where did she go, Nona?" he asked in a somber voice.

"That I do not know.  She did say to me yesterday that it was time to face her demons."
Josiah's mind swam.  "Demons?"  Then it hit him like a tone of
bricks.  "The cabin...she's gone back to the cabin."
Kathren, who had gotten up early, saw Josiah getting ready to leave.  She came up to him as he was getting ready to mount his horse.

"Are you leaving with out saying good bye, Josiah?"

He turned to her and she saw the deep concern and turmoil in his eyes.

"What's wrong Josiah?  Can I help?"

"Cheyenne's left," he told her.

"Why did she leave?" Katie asked.  Josiah looked torn. "Because of us," he said to her somberly.

"You're going after her?"

"Yes Katie, there has been too much left unsaid between Cheyenne and I for too many years.  It's time we cleared it.  I can't let her go...not like this."

A tear came to Katie's eyes.  "Josiah you can't have us both anymore.  You have to decide, because I can't take it any more than she can."

Josiah put his hands on Katie's shoulders and pulled her close.  He looked into her eyes and brushed away the tears.  I care for you Katie, I will always care for you...but I have to do this.  She is alone and she needs me.  It's time Cheyenne and I faced our past, no matter what the out come."

"And then, Josiah?  What then?"

Josiah could not answer.  Katie looked at him as he turned away and suddenly it dawned on her.

"You're in love with her...aren't you?"  She shook her head, unbelieving tears still falling. "You should have told me Josiah...you should have told me."  She turned and ran back to the boarding house.

Josiah wanted desperately to go to her and to explain, but he had to hurry.  He had to get to Cheyenne.  God only knew what she would run into on her way to or at the cabin.  All he could think of was what had happened there those years ago.  He could not let Cheyenne face that again.  He mounted his horse and rode off.....

Later that evening, Katie went to see Nathan.  "I need to know about Josiah and Cheyenne" she told him.  "I have a right to know and you are the only one who can tell me."

Nathan was hesitant.  He had heard from Nona what had happened with Cheyenne leaving and Josiah going after her.

"It's not my place to say, Kathren."

"Please, Nathan," she begged, her heart torn apart.  "Please, I need to know.  Help me understand."

Nathan offered her a chair and they sat and talked.  He told her about the past--how Josiah had fallen in love with and had intended to marry Cheyenne--how, when he went to the cabin to finally air his feelings, he had found Cheyenne's father dead and Cheyenne raped and near death herself. How he felt for not telling her sooner--how he had felt so guilty  all these years about not taking her with him when he left.  It had eaten at him every time Cheyenne pulled away from him...his heart ached for her.  Nathan told her how Cheyenne had changed after the rape.  She barely spoke even to Josiah for a long time.  Josiah had pushed his love for Cheyenne back--way back-- so as not to hurt her or himself.  He did not want Cheyenne to think of him  as being like the men that had raped her and his guilt gnawed at him.
In time, Cheyenne seemed to come back around, but something--Nathan wasn't sure just what-- had kept her from telling Josiah how she felt.

"So you see kathren, they have been hiding from each other for years."
After listening to Nathan, Kathren finally felt she knew the turmoil that must have been going on inside Cheyenne--why she was so hard and mean to her...and Josiah--what had he been going through.  It did not help her hurt go away, but at least now she knew...

Cheyenne had made her way to the cabin in just a couple days.  She shook as she neared it and dismounted her horse.  It was nearly dark--only an hour or so of sun light left.  She neared the door and pushed it opened.  She stood in the doorway, memories--good and bad--came crashing in on her.  She remembered her father sitting at the fireplace with his pipe...Josiah giving her her gift--the music box...the day she cut her hand on the washboard watching him chop wood...the look that passed between them as he sat bandaging her hand...and the look on her father's face when he walked in and saw them...the day Josiah had left still burned deep in her heart.  The look in his eyes when he had left...she was sure that he had felt the same as did she.  She knew in her heart that he loved her, even though he had not yet spoken the words.  And then the day her world came crashing to an end...the gun fire outside...her father laying dead...the smell of whisky on the men who attacked her--all 4 of them taking their turn and beating her.  Every time she screamed and fought...the knife cut near her throat.  Had they not been so drunk they would not have missed her jugular and she would have been dead.  She wished she would have died that day saving her from the pain she felt now and had felt all these years.  Tears fell once more as she tried to keep the nightmare from reliving itself.  She stepped inside the cabin--surprisingly it was still in tacked, .just very dirty.  She would have to clean it tomorrow if she intended to stay.

She went outside and gathered her things from her horse and set him to graze, then brought wood in to make a fire.  She would not give in to her fear.  She would stay here and face here demons. She cleaned off her old bed and put a fresh blanket down after dusting the bed off thoroughly then she curled up on it, hugging her knees to her and she did not sleep...

The next day she set about cleaning the cabin and visiting her father's grave.  She would clean it off from weeds and debris as well in time.  That night, she sat by the fire still having no sleep and stared into it, daring her fears to come forth and frighten her from the only place she had ever truly had as home.  Then, outside she heard a noise.  Her heart pounded, her hands shook...her demons had come for her.  She jumped up and grabbed her knife.  She had changed into her buckskin dress and was not wearing her gun.  It hung next to the door, but she was frozen where she stood.  A knock...then it opened slowly.  Josiah emerged from out side.

Cheyenne stayed where she stood, relieved it was him, but also not wanting to see him.  Anger closed in on her.  "Go away Josiah!"

Josiah stayed calm and shut the door behind him.

"Go away! " she said more angrily.  "Go back to your school teacher.  Leave me alone!"

Josiah took a step toward her.  "I'm not going anywhere, Anni."

He took another step.  "We need to talk, Anni...too much has been left unsaid between us for too many years.  It's time we got it out...it's time we faced the past."

Cheyenne still shook, her knife pointing at Josiah dare he come closer.

He took another step.  "Put the knife down, Anni.  You don't want to hurt me."

"Are you so sure you know what I want!!" she yelled, as he came closer.

"Oh, Anni..." he spoke in a soothing voice,  "Please tell me why you left.  Talk to me.  Tell me what you're feeling."  He was only inches from the knife now.

Tears filling her eyes, Cheyenne found she could not control her emotions.  She threw the knife to one side and turned from him.  Josiah went to hold her and she jerked away.  "Go back to her...go back to your white woman!" she yelled.  Josiah grabbed her and turned her to face him.
"That's enough, Anni." he said sternly.  He looked into her tear-filled eyes.

"Talk to me...tell me what it is that is bothering you.  This isn't like you.  Tell me...tell me what it is your feeling."

She jerked away again, still facing the wall, and then in a quivering voice she said harshly, "I love you!"  Her voice softened.  "I love you..."

Josiah went to her again and smoothed the back of her hair, then turned her to him.  She tried to jerk away again, this time not so forcefully, and this time Josiah would not let her go.  He touched her hair and ran his hand to her cheek, brushing away the tears.  She stood looking into his eyes.

"Oh Anni, I should have told you 8 years ago how much I loved you, but I was afraid.  Then after I found you here--after the attack--I was afraid to tell you how I felt afraid to touch you...to have you think I was like the men who hurt you.  When you pulled away from me, Anni, it nearly tore my heart out.  I didn't want to hurt you so I tried to push my feelings for you back--back so far that I couldn't see it.  All these years I've kept it hidden...even from myself..."

"How can you love me?  I'm dirty."  She pulled away from him and stared into the fire. "Those men..." The words came out in a bitter tone.  "They took me and they shamed me--made me into something just less than a whore.  I'm dirty.  You can't love me--you just feel sorry for me.  You love her."

Josiah grabbed her and turned her to him once more.  "Stop it, Anni.  Don't pull away from me again...I love you."  He ran his hand over her hair again.  "You're not dirty, Anni." He ran his fingers threw the sides of her hair.  " How could you think that? I love you..."

He pulled her close to him.  " I don't want to loose you...I loved you then and I love you now...."

He moved closer to her and then he kissed her softly, gently then passionately.  She struggled slightly then fell into his embrace and put her arms around his neck.  Their pent-up passion and love for each other they had held back all these years came pounding in on them and finally took them over.  Josiah picked her up in his arms and carried her to her bed.  His gentleness and love over came any fears she had.  Their passion satisfied, they slept in each others arms...

The next morning they woke, Cheyenne's head lay on Josiah's chest.  He sat up and leaned against the back of the bed.  She laid her head back oh his chest. He played with her hair and they were silent for a time.  Then, out of the blue, Josiah spoke softly.

"Marry me, Anni.  Be my wife."

Cheyenne sat up pulling the blankets over herself.  She looked at him in surprise.  "You want me to be your wife?"

He smiled at her.  "Yes.  I had planned on a more romantic place all years ago, but seeing's I have
no clothes on right now, " he joked, "it seemed an appropriate time."

 Cheyenne still looked shocked.  "What..." he said smiling, "...you want me to get on my knees?"

"Yes." Cheyenne grinned, joking also.

"Fine, " he said and grabbed the covers to cover himself.  Cheyenne grabbed her's back, her eyes sparkling as they had use to do when she was happy.

She laughed at his awkwardness as he made his way to the floor and got down on his knees.  He reached up and took her hand, seriousness taking over his manor once again.  He said, "Cheyenne Beaujuex, will you please do me the honor of becoming my wife?"

Cheyenne nodded.  "Yes," she said softly, "Yes I will be your wife."

Josiah got up from his knees and leaned over and kissed her, then took her in his arms as he lay back on the bed, their passion once more taking over...

For 4 days they stayed at the cabin, cleaning it inside and out, talking, loving, telling each other all the things they had kept bottled up for so many years...until the day came when Josiah told her as they lay in bed one morning, "It's time we went back Anni."

"No, please Josiah, we don't have to go back."  There was a touch of fear in her voice. "We can stay here, we can run my father's old trap lines...I don't want to go back."

"We have to Anni.  We have to face it.  I owe Kathren that much."

Cheyenne sat up.  "Kathren..." she sounded annoyed and afraid.

Josiah pulled her to him.  "Don't worry, my Anni.  Nothing will come between us.  Kathren is a good woman.  She didn't deserve this any more than you or I did.  It was fate, and fate can sometimes be very cruel."

"But first, my girl, we are going to find a preacher."

They left that afternoon and were married at the first mission they came to.  When they were to leave the mision, Cheyenne went to get on her horse.  Josiah held out his hand to her wanting her to ride behind him.  Cheyenne took his hand and he pulled her up behind him.  They rode into Four Corners together...

It was nearly dark and they went straight to their home...

JD, Chris, Nona and some of the others saw them ride in.  Cheyenne went into the house after Josiah told her he would care for the horses and then he was going to see Kathren.

Josiah arrived at Kathren's door and she answered.  They both had a look of sadness on their faces as he told her he and Cheyenne had been married.  "I never meant to hurt you, Kathren," he told her.  His heart ached for her.  He had truly never wanted to hurt her.

Kathren braved a smile.  "I know that Josiah...believe it or not, I understand.  Nathan told me about your past--yours and Cheyenne's.  Don't be angry with him, I insisted.  But it should have been you that told me."

Josiah hung his head in shame.  She was certainly right.  "I am so sorry, Katie."

After he had left, Katie cried then she made her decision...

Three days later, Katie went to the house of Josiah and Cheyenne.  She found Cheyenne in the coral brushing her horse.  The two of them locked eyes, but there was no hatred there any longer --pity and sadness for what the other had gone through.  Cheyenne felt genuinely sorry for this
woman.  Josiah was right--it was not her fault.  She had been the pawn in an unjust game of fate.

Kathren spoke first. "You are a very lucky woman, Cheyenne.  Josiah loves you very much."

Cheyenne did not have the right words to say, so she said nothing.

"I have booked passage on the next stage.  Evan and I are leaving in a few minutes.  I wanted to tell you that I am very happy for you, and I would like to say good-bye to Josiah, if that is all right with you."

"He is in the church," Cheyenne told her in a tone Katie was most certainly not use to hearing from Cheyenne.  It was a soft, even friendly tone.  As she turned to leave, Cheyenne finally spoke up.

"Kathren," Katie turned. "You don't have to leave.  The children need a teacher.  I mean, I would want you to stay.  If that is what you want."

Kathren smiled at Cheyenne's attempt at friendliness.  "Thank you, Cheyenne, but I think it is time Evan and I left."

Katie went to see Josiah for a heart felt good-bye and then left to retrieve her son and to get on the stage.  Josiah came out of the church  and went to Cheyenne and sighed.  "I need a drink, you coming?"

"In this?" She had on her Buckskin dress again.

"Why not?" Josiah questioned.  Cheyenne looked at him.  She could not really think of a reason to
go change either.  Josiah got his gun belt and holster from the house and slung it lazily over his shoulder and they walked to the saloon smiling, talking, joking.  Katie observed from the stage as she readied to board it.

Then, from nowhere, shots rang out.  People scurried.  "They're robbing the bank!" Someone yelled out.  Things seemed to move in slow motion for Katie as she covered her son and watched the scene unfold.

Josiah was pushing Cheyenne behind him as he was trying to reach for his gun, then Cheyenne grabbed at her stomach and looked at Josiah in shock as she began to fall.

"Anni!!!" Josiah had called out as the shots died down and the bank robbers were apprehended.

Josiah scooped up Cheyenne and carried her quickly to the clinic.  Nathan was right behind him. As Nathan and Jacoba worked, Josiah and the others, Nona, the other men , Sarah, Bonnie and Kathren, who had not been able to get on the stage--she had sincerely wanted to be sure Cheyenne was all right--they all waited outside the door.  Jacoba came out first, trying to hide tears.  She told the frightened Josiah he could go in.  As he did, Jacoba burst into tears as Ezra held her.  Nathan came out of the room  and looked at the others and shook his head.  They knew Cheyenne would not make it.  This time the stray bullet would take her life.

Josiah sat by Cheyenne's bedside and held her hand.  When she came to, she had asked if Kathren was still in town.  Josiah had told her yes, and she asked to see her.  Josiah went out and told Kathren of Cheyenne's request.  Kathren came in and stood at the side of the bed.
Cheyenne tried to brave a smile.  "Katie...take...take care of Josiah." She could barely get the words out and tears trickled down her cheek.

"Please ...promise me you...will take...care of him."

Kathren was taken aback and didn't know what to say, tears coming to her own eyes.  Cheyenne knew she was dying and still, all she could think of was Josiah.

"Promise me," Cheyenne begged.

"I will do my best, Cheyenne," she told her and she gave her a squeeze of her hand.  Cheyenne seemed to fade.  "Josiah!!" Katie called out.  He and Nathan ran in.  Josiah was at Cheyenne's side.  Cheyenne looked at him as Nathan and Katie stood back.  Her eyes still sparkled when she looked at him.  She struggled for her words.

"We have...come...full circle, Josiah....I ..."

He bent down next to her and held her hand.  "I love you Anni," tears coming to his eyes.

" I...love you."

They were the last words Cheyenne spoke as the life left her her in one last breath.

"Anni?" Josiah picked her up and held her lifeless body tightly against him. "NO!!!!" he cried out...

Kathren Tayler stayed in Four corners--she had made a promise to Cheyenne she would look after the man they both had loved.  Though it would be much harder now--Josiah was now a hard, cold, distant man like Chris Larabee.  He drank to kill his pain and he let no one into his heart...

**This has been a story based on the characters from Group One's RPG story.  It is not the way the RPG is going to go but it is an alternate ending, so never fear.  Cheyenne and Josiah's story still goes on....
To read the beginning story, go to The Hero Zone and click on fanfic, but I warn you-- it isn't finished yet...LOL

Let me know what you think of my story, but please, I don't deal well with
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