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Decisions

By Gold Dust Woman

Disclaimer: The boys don't belong to me. That pleasure goes to MGM,
The Mirisch Corp and Trilogy Entertainment. I own Kris. She's Sarah's
younger sister.
Story Type: Old West
Themes: Drama with some humor.
Rating: PG 13
Language: A few words are said. Nothing to bad.


                     

Buck and Chris were in the saloon one late afternoon having a couple
of drinks. Buck was pressuring his old friend about the time where
he went after the fire. Chris disappeared after that tragedy and
Buck could never figure out where he went. On this On this day
however, Buck wanted some answers from him.

Chris was more than edgy. Hell, he been downright irritable for the
last few days. Earlier on the day, he let Ezra have it right outside
the jail for no good reason. Ezra got on his horse, rode off and
no one had seen him or heard from him since.

Something was in the air on this particular day at Four Corners.
JD knew enough not to bother Chris about anything, so he decided
to spend some quality time with Casey who was in mourning after she
the loss of her beloved Aunt Nettie.

Vin took off looking for Ezra. Josiah spend the day at the church
fixing it up. Nathan was at his place taking care of a couple of
people in need.

Chris knew deep inside why he was more ornery than usual. He had
a not so pleasant memory come back to haunt him. He had no excuse
this time. He wasn't even drunk. He wasn't letting on what was
bothering him and to make matters worse, Buck was keeping the
pressure on.

"Damn it Buck" Chris said. "My past is my own. It's not up for
conversation. Leave it alone."

Chris got so angry at him that he slammed his glass so hard on the
table that it shattered all over him.

"Your cut." Buck said.

"I'm fine."

"You're so difficult. Why won't you let me help you?"

" 'Cause I'm not askin' and I don't need it."

He got up, stalked out of the saloon and went to his shack in
the hills.

He got something to wrap his hand up to stop the bleeding. He
then went over to a small box that was hidden. He opened it up and
rummaged through some papers. He took out one piece of paper and
looked at it. There was some sort of noise outside his door.

He put the piece of paper back in the box and put it back in it's
hiding place. He went to the door, opened it up, and there before
him was Ezra.

Chris scoffed "What the hell do you want?"

"Mr. Larabee I..."
"Spit it out Standish."

"I just got back from riding past your old homestead."

"And?"

"I saw a young woman there with long dark hair standing in front of 
your wife's grave. She looked like she was in some sort of distress."

"Did you talk to her?"

"No sir I am afraid to say I didn't get the chance to."

Ezra was about leave when Chris grabbed a hold of his left shoulder
and said "No need to spread this around."

"No indeed Mr. Larabee. No need at all."

Chris let go of his arm and watched him ride off back to town. He
had a decision to make. It was getting dark, if he didn't go out now
all will be lost.

He slammed his door, got on his horse and off to old homestead.

He rode up in front of his wife's grave, got off his horse and
stood in front of it for a few minutes.

The sun was setting as started to look for the woman Ezra saw 
earlier.

He went to some bushes and looked through them. The young woman was
lying there. He pulled her out and checked to see if she was still 
alive. She was. He put her on his horse, got behind her and rode off
back to town to find Nathan.

Nathan was outside when he rode up to him.

He helped Chris with the woman as they took her off his horse.

Chris carried her inside and put her on a bed. She still wasn't
awake. He rubbed his face with both of his hands.

"She's alive." Nathan said. "But barely. You gonna tell me who she is?"

"I can't right now. Just make her better."

"I'll do what I can."

Chris took another look at her as Vin came in.

"My god," he said.

"You know her?" Nathan asked.

"It's been a long time, but yeah I know her. Her name is Kris
Conn..."

He stopped when he realized who he was talking about.

He turned to Chris and said "Oh Chris, I just made the connection."

"What connection?" Nathan asked.

"She's my wife..."

Chris didn't finished his sentence. He couldn't tell them who she
was to him, at least not yet.

Buck came in to see what was going on.

"Good lord, isn't that..."

"It is." Chris said.

"She wasn't...?"

"We don't know." Vin said.

"What the hell are you doing here anyway Tanner?"

"She's an old friend."

"I think all you leave." Nathan said. "She doesn't need an
audience when she wakes up. Especially you three."

"But..." Buk said as Vin and Chris took a hold of him and went
outside the door.

"Let Nate take care of her." Vin said to Buck.

"You just have no idea."

"Neither do you," Chris said.

"Why do I get the feeling that there is something else going on
here?"

"I've told ya before, this ain't none of your business."

Buck walked off and went to a corner of a building and hid. He
watched and waited for Chris and Vin to leave. When they did, he
went back to Nathan's, and open the door slightly to hear what was
going on.

The young woman woke up to fast and collapsed back into the bed.

"Take it easy Kris," Nathan said.

"You know my name. How?"

"And old friend of yours told me."

"Oh and my name is Nathan."

"You a doctor?"

"No. I just help out whenever I can."

 Would you like to seem them?"
"Who?"

"Those old friends of yours."

"I don't have any old friends and I really don't want to see
anyone right now."

"Alright whatever you want. Can you tell me what happen?"

"I don't know if I can. All I know is two women approached me.
A brunette and a blond. I never saw them before in my life. The
next thing I knew, I woke up in a cellar chained up."

"Do you know for how long? You weren't...?"

"No. And no one touched me. I don't know where I was or why I
was taken. The two women didn't get along."

"Why do you say that?"

" 'Cause I would hear them arguing all the time. I think it was
the blonde who set me free."

"That's some ordeal you went through."

"It wasn't the first one."

"You've been something like this before?"

A long time ago. I wasn't chained up or anything like that. A man
I once knew, he..."

"Did he hurt you?"

"Don't blame him. He was grievin' 'cause he just lost his wife."

As soon as Buck heard that, he took off looking for Chris who
was at the jail."

Buck stormed inside the jail and took a hold of Chris's neck and
pushed him against a wall.

"You stud!" You pig!"

"Which am I? The stud or the pig?"

"Don't get cute with me!"

"You went to her after the fire! Hell, you probably blame her
for it!"

"Alright! I did in the the beginning. She was never around. You know
I was out of mind back then. I didn't mean to hurt her."

Buck let go of him.

"She doesn't blame you for anything."

"How do you know that? Were you eavesdropping again?"

"It was the only way I could find out what was going on."

"One of these days Buck, your eavesdropping is gonna get you in a
hole lot of trouble."

Vin came in and said "You two finished?"

"We're finished." Chris said.

Buck left the jail.

"Somethin' you want Tanner?"

"I can't find Standish."

"He's fine."

"You saw him?"

"Yes. Anything else?"

"Nothin' I can think of."

"Good."

Josiah came in and said "You two better get over to Nathan's right
now."

"Why?" Chris asked.

"It appears that the young woman he was attending is all better."

"Why do you say that?" Vin asked who got the feeling something was
up.

"She's attacking Buck. I must say, she's really letting him have it."

Chris and Vin left for Nathan's. When they got there, Nathan was
outside his door.

"I wouldn't go in there he said."

"I'll go in." Vin said. "She has no reason to be upset with me."
"You sure?" asked Nathan.

"As sure as I'll ever be."

When he opened the door, he saw Kris holding a lantern. He grabbed
it just as she was about to throw it at Buck.

"You came just in time." Buck said.

Ignoring Buck, they hugged.

"You're hugging him and not me?"

He was confused.

Vin told him "Get out."

Kris stopped hugging Vin when she saw Chris.

She went over to him and started hitting him, hard. He wasn't
stopping her. Vin took a hold of her and pulled her back.

"Calm down." he said. "We're here to help."

"I wasn't askin' for any help and I don't need it."

"Where did I hear that before?" Buck asked out loud.

Kris nudged forward to him but pulled back.

"Damn all of you!" and walked by Chris who wanted to stop her but
didn't.

She slammed the door behind her and started walking the streets of
Four Corners. She didn't know where she was going. When she got to the
saloon, a man grabbed her arm.

"This way." he said.

They took the back steps of the saloon and went to his room. For
some reason she wasn't afraid of the man in the red coat.

"Who the hell are you?"

"I'm Ezra Standish."

"I'm happy for you. You're one of them aren't you?"

"Hardly."

"You mind telling what the hell you thought you were doing when
you grabbed me."

"My dear lady, did I hurt you?"

"No. Just tell me what the hell is going on so I can get the hell
out of here."

"Anxious to leave?"

"Yes."

"You went through something. I'm sorry."

"Not your fault. It just the way my life is."

"You blame yourself for the things that happen to you?"

"No one else to blame."

"May I ask what your name is?"

"It's Kris."

"Kris. Another Chris."

"What?"

"Nothing."

"You still haven't told me what you want with me."

"I want absolutely nothing from you. Well maybe..."

"Spit it out man."

"My dear Kris, you're in need of a male friend."

"I don't need any friends. I hate women, And as for you men,
you all are..."

"Now, now."

"I think you need someone to help you with all the pov's. That is
avoid all the pitfalls."

"I suppose you think you're just the man to do this."

"I am."

"Why? It seems to me your is exciting enough without having me
in it."

"True my life has it moments."

"You're mad at him."

"Who?"

She smiled. "Alright Mr. Standish I'll play this game with you.
Who knows, it might be interesting."

"You trust me?"

"No I don't trust you as far as I can throw you."

"Good, I like that in a woman."

"You're evil."

"That I am."

He went over to a window looked out and saw Chris and Buck wandering
the streets of Four Corners looking for her. She too looked out.

"Damn them." she said. "Let's make the eat their hearts out!"

"You're evil."

"That I am."

For a few weeks Ezra and Kris were making life hell for Chris and
Buck. It wasn't before long Chris knew what they were up to. Buck,
on the other hand, didn't know anything anymore. He would tell people

"It's the desert air that's making them act this way."

Chris was having his usual drink at the saloon when Vin came up to
him.

"How long are you gonna let this go on?"

"What?"

"Those two." Ezra and Kris just came in.

"Oh them." He took a gulp of his drink. "I can't do anything about
it. Kris is a free and independent woman. She can do what she wants
to, up to a point."

"Really?" asked Buck who was sitting next to him.

Chris gave him the Larabee stare.

"That doesn't scare me."

"It should."

"What? After all these years, I don't think so."

Chris chuckled.

"Well?" Vin asked.

"Well what?"

"If your not gonna do anything about them, I will."

"Leave them alone Vin."

Kris was going to leave when she saw Chris, Vin and Buck looking
at her."

"My dear Kris" Ezra said "It appears that we've reached the end of 
our journey. You have got to go over there and talk to him."

"No I don't." And left the saloon.

Chris quickly got up and caught up with her.

Vin and Buck got a hold of Ezra and sat him down.

"Gentlemen." he said.

Grinning Buck said "You spent a lot of time with her."

"That I did."

"Why?"

"I enjoy her company."

"That wasn't what I was talkin' about."

"I know Mr. Wilmington. You have all the tack of a aunt farm."

"And you Mr. Tanner."

"What about me?"

"You're awfully quiet."

"Got nothin' to say."

"Well then, I bid you both adieu."

"Wait a second." Buck said.

"Mr. Wilmington, you should know better that to ask. I don't kiss
and tell."

"You kissed her!"

"Give it up pard!" Vin said laughing. "Just give it up."

Meanwhile, Chris and Kris were at his shack in the hills.

They were sitting at a table in front he stove.

She said "Mr. Larabee."

"Mrs. Larabee."

"Don't call me that."

"Why not? You're my wife."

"No I'm not. Not really. I recon' we should do somethin' about it."

"You wanna a..."
"Yes. No. I don't know anymore."

He took her hand and held it.

"That Ezra Standish is quite a character." she said.

"Yes he is."

"And there's Vin. Buck is even beginning to look good to me."

"Alright!" he was getting agitated.

"Let's leave this the way it is for now."

"Really Mr. Larabee? Your sure? I'll understand if you..."

He squeezed her hand and said "I'm sure."

She gave him a kiss on his cheek and walked outside his door.

He knew he made the right decision. His 'wife' needing some healing
to do. Rather or not anyone approved of this didn't matter.

The end.


Other stories by the author:
Forgotten Sister
Back to Dust Trails