The M7 Files
By Amber Hetrick and Brandi Winkler
Disclaimer- This story is written by Amber Hetrick and Brandi Winkler. (well, the idea was all Brandiís, I just edited it.) It is non-profit. It is only for our entertainment as well as others. The characters in this story do not belong to us. Thank you.
Authors' note: This is our VERY FIRST fanfic, so please be tolerant of our probably not-so-good writing. This is also only part one of our series called THE M7 FILES. If you have any questions, comments, or objections, e-mail us either at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Thanks again!
July 16, 1876
"Well what do you think of my new hat Buck?" J.D. was inside the General store buying a new hat since his last one had a bullet hole in it.
"J.D., donít even think about it. That one is as bad as the fist, only without the hole." The rest of the seven laughed at this. It was true; J.D.ís taste in hats was as bad as his aim sometimes.
"Billy! Time for dinner!" Mary called from the Clarion.
"Ahh ma! Just a few more minutes, please?"
" Youíd better git before she comes after you." Chris warned.
"Okay. Can we play tomorrow?"
"Maybe." Chris went over and stood by Vin as Billy got his hat. Vin smiled.
"Well you sure are in a better mood today." He commented.
"Just a few good days without trouble," Chris muttered.
"Just a few days!" J.D. came out of the store. "Try almost a straight week!"
"You sound as if thatís a bad thing J.D." Josiah came out of the jailhouse.
"Howís the prisoner?" Nathan asked.
"Heís complainin' again, better check on him, and change his bandage. It looks as if itís bleedin' again."
"Alright, Iíll be back." With that Nathan left for his clinic just as Judge Travis came over to the men.
"Mornin boys. Where might Mr. Standish be?"
"Where else would he be? Heís in the Saloon gamblin the day away." Vin answered. "Why?"
"Well he seems to have upset one of his gambling partners. He claims Ezra cheated." Judge Travis chuckled at this. The others just smiled. Ezra knew every trick in the book, and he would practice them on a daily basis. Even on them. Chris followed Billy across the street while most of the others departed too.
December 24, 1873
Alex Mason stood on the porch of her home. Her husband, John, was at the corral talking to her three-year-old son, Timothy, about horses. Alexís four-year-old daughter stood beside her. She watched as Tim headed straight for a dirt pile.
"John get Tim away from there and into the house! I want to take him to church clean this time!"
A tall dark-haired man turned around and scooped his son up off the ground. He dropped him on the porch and patted Koleenís head. "Ready and accounted for." He smiled and kissed his wifeís forehead.
She picked up Tim and took Koleenís hand. "Alright, letís go."
A stranger rode slowly into town. "Well itís about time somethin' happens," J.D. cried happily.
"Iíll go check it out," Buck volunteered.
"Be careful not stir anything up, Buck," Chris warned.
"Iíll be careful."
"Donít mock me."
Buck just smiled and walked over the stranger. "Evenin'." pause. "Need any help or directions?"
The stranger just shook his head slightly. Buck looked at the man questioningly. He was tall and slim. He was dirty from what Buck could see, probably from riding hard and long all day. Something about him struck Buck as somewhat familiar. "Donít I know you?"
Once again the stranger shook his head. Buck felt somewhat uncomfortable by the manís silence. "Well, if you need anything, the sheriff's there and then thereís us six, plus the Judge." Buck paused, waiting for an answer, but finally turned and walked way.
The stranger sighed in relief. ĎThat was a close call. I'll have to be more careful here. If Buck recognizes me, then so will Josiah, and that wouldnít be good, for them or me.í
Buck then walked over in front of the jail and sat down beside Vin. "Boy, that guy makes about as much conversation as Chris on a good day."
"The only thing that bothers me, though, is that he seems familiar, like I know Ďim or somethiní."
"You really know how to pick your friends, donít cha?"
"Yeah I guess." Buck rose from his chair. "Any now I have some business to attend to with Lily."
Vin shook his head and smiled. Then he too got up. Night was beginning to fall on Four Corners. Vin stood there and watched the stranger across the street looking around, becoming familiar with where everything was. Then he took care of his horse. ĎSomethinís not right with him,í Vin thought. Then he left for the boarding house.
December 24, 1873
The Mason family arrived home. Alex led her two children inside the house. "Iím taking them upstairs to get them changed for dinner before Josiah gets here," she told John.
"Alright Iíll be up to help in a few minutes."
"Excuse me sir."
The stranger looked up at the southern gentlemen from under the brim of his hat.
"Would you be interested in engaging in a friendly hand of poker or another game of chance?"
The stranger stared at him for a minute, and then shook his head.
Ezra tipped his hat to the man. "Well then, I bid you good day." The gambler then walked away to pursue another victim.
The stranger got up from his chair and decided it was time to pay the Judge a visit.
The judge looked up at the person who had entered his office. "May I help you sir?"
"Seen this man?" the stranger replied curtly.
The Judge was surprised at the man's bluntness and shortness in words. He examined the poster he held. The man on it was scarred, like burns from a fire. Apparently this was a bounty hunter standing in front of the desk.
"No mister, I havenít."
The stranger nodded. Just then Josiah walked in. The stranger excused himself and left.
Dec. 24, 1873
Alex was cleaning up after dinner. Josiah had just left. Soon she heard two voices in the family room yelling. She knew one to be her husbandís and distinguished the other to be Jake Fowler.
"Youíd better leave mister!"
"That isnít very hospitable Mr. Mason." Jake shoved John to the floor.
"Alex, sweetheart! Come on out hon! We really need to talk!"
Alex hurriedly scooted her children upstairs. She didnít want them to get hurt. Suddenly she felt something hit the back of her head and cold metal being placed into her hand. She felt her fingers pull the trigger but fell unconscious before she heard the shot. Jake smiled as he lit his cigar and dropped the match to the floor. "This way hon, if you do survive and they find your husband's remains you loose anyhow." Then he left the homestead before it went up in flames.
Present (early morning)
The stranger woke up with a start. The nightmares had been invading his dreams all night. Covered in sweat the stranger got up and walked over the washbowl. After cleaning himself up he looked in the mirror. Only the reflection in the mirror wasnít of a male. She pulled her long sandy-brown hair out of her face to reveal her sapphire eyes. She tied her hair in a tight bun. She got dressed and with a final glance in the mirror she placed her hat on her head, hiding any feminine features.
"Hey kid, Iím hungry!"
"Sorry mister, but Chris told me not to you any mind no matter what."
"This cell is COLD, and Iím HUNGRY!"
"Iím sorry but Chris told me not to do anything for ya."
"All I wanted was to become better acquainted with the lady nothiní more."
"Well you should have picked another woman to do that, cause she didnít want to get acquainted with you."
"Still, that guy didnít need to shoot me in the leg!"
"You should know better to listen to Chris when he tells ya to do somethiní."
The prisoner finally gave up on the kid sheriff. He was young, but definitely not stupid. He laid down on his bed and sighed. Jake wasnít going to like this at all. All he was supposed to do was kill the girl and be done with it. But now he made things complicated by getting locked up. If he didnít do his job heíd die. But by the looks of it, he was going to die anyhow. Alex had spotted him in the commotion between him and Mary and that gunslinger Larabee. She had thrown him the iciest glare and a smile that could make your blood run cold. He was a dead man either way. He sat up. "Hey kid! I want a blanket!"
"Sorry, but Mr. Larabee...oww!" J.D. stared at the spur that the prisoner had thrown at him.
"Mr. Larabee can go to hell, now get me a blanket before I throw the other one at ya!"
* * * *
Alex sat down in her chair across from the Saloon. Once again twilight was falling. She needed supplies by morning. It was time for her to move on. Her plan would have to wait till later. She had a feeling Bradly would be out by tomorrow and Jake would be near by to see that. As much as she wished she could stay, she needed to go. If she stayed, there would be consequences. Buck and Josiah would be those consequences.
Later that evening
"How may I help ya Mr. Larabee?"
"Whiskey, and leave the bottle."
"Yes sir Mr. Larabee."
"Hey there cowboy." Vin sat down next to Chris. "Whatís wrong?"
"Donít call me that."
"Hey I didnít mean nothiní by it."
Chris nodded. "Most donít."
"Thereís sometiní else botherin yaí."
"Let it go."
Vin sat back. "Youíre awful upset Ďbout somethiní."
"I said leave me alone."
Vin scooted away from the table. "Geez pard. Donít need to take it out on me."
Chris shot him a look that said, "Push me and youíll die".
Buck came in just in time to see Vin backing away while Chris had his pistol pointed in his direction. Buck quickly came up behind Chris and took the gun from his hand then took him outside.
"What the hell's the matter with ya! Youíre scariní folks!"
"Aww." Then Chris left, and Buck headed back into the Saloon to check on Vin.
Buck and Josiah came out of the Saloon when they saw their mysterious friend walk over to the general store.
"Now what do you think that one's up to now?"
"Not sure Buck. Seems a lot like Chris though, doesn't he?" Buck shook his head.
"Chris wasnít always like that. He had his good days. Loved his family. He was a good father and a good friend."
"Sounds like a little girl I used to know. Sweetest person with a good heart, almost. When she was small, about twelve, her parents died in a fire. Much like Chrisí family. She was out on her own for a few weeks and then I caught her tryin to pick my pocket. I took her in, and a few years later she got married and became a mother to two beautiful children. Then they too died in a fire. All very tragic, left that poor girl nearly insane and scarred for life."
Buck nodded in understanding. The two stories sounded identical.
"Hey kid!" pause "Hey kid! Damn it kid!"
"If I canít sleep, neither can you!"
J.D. turned around to see who the new voice was. "Yeah Chris?"
"I said take a break J.D.!"
J.D. picked up his hat and quickly left.
Chris grinned at his prisoner. "You and I need to have a talk." The prisoner backed against the wall as Chris grabbed the keys and unlocked the cell door. He stepped in seeming rather calm, but those who knew him well knew he wasnít. All the man could see in Chrisí blue eyes was anger and hate. Only fear showed in the prisoner's.
J.D. was outside when he heard the commotion. He heard the prisoner give a yelp of pain after Chris threw a punch and one of the man's spurs at him. The yelp verified that both had hit their target.
Chris stepped outside of the Jail with a much happier look on his face. He nodded at J.D. then left for the Saloon.
* * * *
"I need a horse."
"Any particular one you take a likeniní to?"
The stranger walked over the horse and patted her forehead as he inspected it. "Twenty"
"Twenty-five, no less."
"All right, twenty-five." Alex led the horse out of the corral and clucked her tongue softly at it.
"Well now Alex where in hell's name do ya think youíre goin. Jake aní meís got plans for you yet. Iíll get out of here soon and then weíll rid you off the face of the Earth."
Jailhouse, later in evening
Bradly looked over to where J.D. had once again fallen asleep at his desk. Bradly sifted through his pockets to find a metal lock pick. After working at it for a few minutes he was free. He smiled. Now he had to carry out the rest of his plan.
* * * *
"I need a horse."
"Any particular one you take a likenin to?"
"I don't care, how about that Chestnut?"."
"Free." Bradly pulled out his gun that he had retrieved from the sheriffís desk. He pulled the trigger. BANG!
* * * *
Chris knocked at the door to the Clarion, knowing Mary was still awake. Mary answered, surprised to see Chris on the other side.
"I just wanted to make sure you were all right."
"Yes, Iím fine."
"You sure?" Mary was about to respond when a shot rang out. Chris turned to see what had happened. "What the hell..?"
* * * *
Josiah jumped up at the sound of a gunshot. "What on Godís Holy Earth?" He placed his small glass of tequila on the bar. Buck followed him outside. As Josiah ran over to the corral he nearly had a collision course with the stranger.
"Watch it preacher!"
Josiah stopped at the sound of the voice. Bells were going off in his head. He knew that voice, but how and who? And just how exactly did the voice know that he was a preacher? It was dark, and you couldnít really make out faces in the dark.
* * * *
All the seven were gathered at the corral. Nathan had inspected the body and pronounced the owner dead. "Shameful way to die." Ezra had been one of the first to arrive, besides Chris. They had both seen the stranger run off away from the murder scene.
* * * *
Alex ran over to where her horse had been tied. She stopped in her tracks when she saw it was laying down, dead. Her throat had been cut. "Damn." She ran up to room and threw some clothes and other supplies into a bag. "Damn it, damn it, damn it."
She was ready to walk out the door when she was grabbed from behind. Bradly had been hiding behind her open door. Jake Fowler stepped inside her room and in front of her. "Hello Mrs. Mason, oh excuse me, thatís right you changed your name after your familyís unexpected death."
"Burn in hell Fowler!" She spit in his face.
"Tsk, tsk, Alexandria, John would disapprove of such fowl language." Jake motioned for Bradly to take her outside. When Bradly was just out the door, Alex used him as a leverage and lifted her legs. She kicked Jake over the railing. A sickening thud followed as Jake landed in the water trough below. She then head-butted Bradley and slammed his hand into a nail in the wall making release the gun he had positioned at her head. He cried out in pain as his hand began to bleed.
Alex made her way down the steps of the boarding house. She looked around trying to find a free horse. She spotted a black stallion. He had already been saddled. She hopped on and began to ride away.
* * * *
The seven men turned when they heard the sound of a horse galloping away. Josiah and the others ran over to see who it was. They had caught a glimpse of him as his hat flew off and landed a few feet from Josiahís feet. The stranger's long hair caught in the wind.
"Alex?" Josiah whispered in disbelief.
* * * *
Buck came up beside Chris.
"Its about your horseÖ"
"What about it?"
"He took it."
Josiah came up beside them. "No, he didnít."
Chris turned to face Josiah. "What do ya mean, he didnít."
"Heís a she by the name of Alex."
Buck shook his head. "The womanís last name wouldnít be Fletcher by any chance would it?"
Josiah looked at Buck who was still watching the rider in a distance. "Yeah, it is."
Chris looked from one to the other. "Well I donít care who it is, sheís got my horse and may have killed a man."
Josiah shook his head. "Not without reason, it couldnít have been her. And even if she did I wouldnít go after her."
"Sheís got my horse!"
Buck rested a hand on Chrisí shoulder. "Donít pard, sheíll kill ya on the spot. She ainít all there anymore." Buck pointed to his head for emphasis.
"Just donít hurt her Chris. She doesnít mean you any harm."
Chris nodded. "Alright, but if she starts somethin, Iíll finish it."
* * * *
"Hiya! Please go faster." Alex pleaded.
Alex needed to get as far away from town as possible. That had been a close call, too close for her. She needed to get to Denver. That was her plan. Sheíd get to the grove, change into a dress, get to the next train station, con a few people who would have mercy on a poor, lost, young lady, then get to Denver safe and sound.
Alex slowed her horse as she got near to the grove. "Almost there. Just a bit farther and everything will be okay."
Alex wished that she was as confident as she sounded, but she knew better. No matter how many times she had done this it was still hard. It was hard because it meant starting all over again and she hated that. All she had ever wanted was a normal life and she was stuck with this. Alex laughed and looked at her horse.
"Ya know something? All the people Iíve met with normal lives wish they could be me and I wish to God that I could be them. Why do people want everything they canít have? Or is it they can have what they want, but thereís always a catch that they wonít chance? I tell ya, Iíd chance it"
Alex dismounted and tied her horse so it was well hidden and out of sight. Then she unholstered her gun, just in case.
Suddenly she heard hoof beats in the distant. Alex ducked behind a tree. "What else could go wrong?"
She looked to make sure her horse couldnít be seen. Then she looked to see who was coming. She had a feeling it was Bradly.
As the man rode in and dismounted Alex looked to see who it was. She couldnít tell it was too dark. The man came closer to where she was standing. Alex shifted the gun in her hand. Just as he was about to turn around and head back to his horse Alex came up behind him and hit him on the back of his head with the butt of her gun. The man fell.
Chris woke up with a nasty headache a hald hour later. He frowned when he saw Alex sitting in front of the fire across from him. He rubbed the back of his had. "That wasnít very hospitable."
"I didnít exactly know who you were. You couldíve been the guy who was trying to kill me earlier."
"You donít need to know, at least not yet. Anyhow, I should be the one asking the questions. Whyíd you come after me?"
Chris gestured toward his horse.
"That and youíre suspected of murder."
"Really? Anybody of importance?"
Chris threw her a dirty look. "Does it matter?"
"Hell yes! If Iím going to be accused of a murder I didnít commit, itíd very well better be a damn good one."
"Nahh just a bad childhood, not to mention a very good marriage."
"Anyhow youíve wasted your time coming after me. Iím not going back."
"Oh yes you are." Chris made a move to get up but was put back down. Pain surged to his head.
"You got a hard head you know that? Almost cracked the handle of my gun."
Once again Chris threw her a dirty look.
"I have another question, if thatís your horse than whoís is that one?"
She watched as Chris was finally able to stand up straight. "Youíre goin back to town."
"I donít think so cowboy. Iíve got business to take of, and itís not in Four Corners, at least not any more."
"All right, letís say I believe you, then who killed Dale?"
"Heís the guy who sells the horses right?"
"Yeah." Chris was beginning to get frustrated with this. He knew she was stalling, but was it because she was guilty of murder or of something else?
"I suspect it was Bradly trying to get a good deal on a horse."
"Whoís he to you?"
Alex looked up toward the star-studded sky. "The man who killed my family." She looked at Chris, "And yours."
* * * *
Josiah looked at the clock. It was almost midnight and Chris hadnít come back yet. "Well Mary, I believe you should go get some rest."
Mary was pacing back and forth inside the Clarion. She too was worried about Chris. Then again she was always worried about Chris. "Iím fine."
Then a knock came at he door. Both Mary and Josiah exchanged hopeful looks. Next thing they both knew the door was being kicked in and a man came in wielding a gun. "Hello Mrs. Travis. Lovely night for a ride, donít you think?" The man began to advance toward Mary.
Josiah attacked him but was immediately put down on the floor. "I donít think so mister. You will be my messenger for Alex and Larabee. Tell Ďem that if they arenít at the old Davisí camp by late afternoon tomorrow blondie dies. Got it?"
Josiah nodded and Bradly took Mary outside to his horse. Then they both rode away.
* * * *
Chrisí eyes filled with anger. "What the hell do you know about my family." He demanded.
"Whoa, hey calm down. I know that it had something to with scaring us off our land but I donít know exactly why."
Chris grabbed a hold of both Alexís wrists and hand cuffed them.
"Hey just wait a second, I told you I canít go back there! Heíll kill me for sure!"
"Not my loss." Chris dragged her over J.D.ís horse that he had borrowed and lifted her up on it.
"You canít do this!"
Chris smiled. "Already done."
Then he mounted his own horse.
Chris led Alex back to town. "Tell me what you know."
Alex looked up at the sky once more. "There was two main men who were hired by someone, I donít know who, to hire some other guys to burn us out. Except they missed their targets. They were supposed to kill the whole family, only we survived. Well Jacob Fowler decided to finish me off while his brother, Cletus Fowler finished you off. It was only fair that way because Jake led the group who burned me out and Cletus led the group who burned you out."
"You donít know why though."
"Iím sorry, I donít."
Chris sighed, so close yet so far, he thought.
* * * *
Chris could tell something was wrong because all six men were gathered outside the Clarion. "Vin?"
"Chris, Maryís gone, somebodyís kidnapped her."
"Bradly." Alex whispered.
Vin finally took notice of the woman behind Chris. "That her?"
"Yeah but she didnít do it."
Just then Josiah got up out of his chair and went up to her. "Youíve gotten in a lot of trouble the past few years."
Alex shrugged. "What can I say?"
Then he looked at Chris. He says meet him out at the old Davisí place late afternoon tomorrow.í
"Sure, that gives him time to recruit more men," Alex commented. "Iíll tell you this much, heís not that bright, but he isnít stupid either."
"Davisí camp is east of here, about a half hours ride." Nathan said.
Chris nodded. "All right men, get some rest, weíre gonna be busy tomorrow mornin." Chris got of his horse and helped Alex off, then led her into the jail.
"Thought you said I didnít do it?í
"Letís just say I donít trust you a whole lot right now." Chris uncuffed her, put her into one of the cells and sat down in front of her. He tipped his hat over his eyes and tried to get some sleep.
* * * *
Chris jumped at the sudden outburst and glared at Alex who was laughing. "You tryin to get yourself killed!?" Chris holstered his gun that he had grabbed when he woke up.
"Lighten up! Itís a new day and you get to play hero!"
Chris frowned, he knew they had to make plans on how to save Mary, but this was just insanity to be awake at this hour. "Iím really beginning to hate you."
Alex sat up in her bed. "Aww come on and give me a chance, you donít even know me."
"I know you wake people at an ungodly hour."
Alex just sat there with a smirk on her face.
"You get out here and Iíll make sure that smirk disappears fast."
"Boy somebodyís awful cranky in the morning."
Chris just shook his head. "Iíll be back with breakfast." With that he left her alone.
After Chris gave Alex her breakfast he headed for the Saloon.
"Mr. Larabee, you are up at an unusual hour."
"Thatís what I said. Whiskey."
After about a good hour the seven men were finally gathered together.
"Just how exactly do you suggest we make this attempt to save Mrs. Travis?" Ezra inquired.
"We get there on time just like he wantsÖ"
"Excuse me Chris, but doesnít that take away the element of surprise?"
"Buck, trust me, Iíve talked to Fletcher."
"You trust her?"
Chris looked at Buck. "Sheís your friend Buck, do you have reason for me not to believe her?"
Buck shook his head. "No."
Chris continued his plan without any further interruptions.
Alex stood up and went to the cell door when she saw Chris come in and grab the keys. "Oh wow I can come out and play now?"
Chris looked at her for a moment. "That mouth of yours is gonna get you in trouble one of these days."
Alex smiled. "Already has."
Chris let her out but cuffed her again.
"Hey! Iíll be a good girl."
Chris gave her a warning look and Alex couldnít help but laugh. Chris only frowned.
Finally, everything was ready by early afternoon.
"Ready?" Chris called. Everyone nodded. He glanced at Alex who was still cuffed. "Alright, letís ride!"
Josiah rode up beside Josiah. "You know her?"
"I was the sheriff of a little town once, and she was accused of a crime she didnít commit. After her name was cleared she hung around for a little and we became friends. She left after about six months, never really saw her again."
"How much do you know?"
"Well, she never really talked about her family much.I know her parents were killed, and her husband and kids. Other than that, sheís just this nutcase who spent a few nights in my jail."
"Chris and her actually share quite a bit, donít they? Same mysterious deaths of family and such. They also share the same killer by what Chris said earlier."
"Whoa." Nathan held up his hand. "This is it."
Chris and the others slowed their horses. Chris motioned for Alex to come up to him.
"I told you Iíd be a good girl."
"Where are they?"
"How the hell should I know?"
Just then Sheriff Stains moved out of he shadows. "Its you again."
"Stains." Chris whispered.
"Sheriff of Eagle Bend." Buck explained.
"Apparently not a good one."
Stains smiled at Alex. "Bradly said you had a mouth on ya."
"Really? Did he also tell you he was a murdering son of a bitch whoís going to burn in hell once I get my hands around his neck?"
"Maybe. Hey Bradly we got visitors!"
Another man stepped out of the shadowed doorway. "Hello darlin, and to the rest of you as well. Iím sure Mrs. Travis is quite overjoyed to see you."
Bradly walked around to the back of the house. The others got off their horses and followed.
Behind the house was a small platform that looked a smaller version of the gallows. Mary was standing there with a noose around her neck. "Chris!" She was tied to a post.
"Stay there Mary."
Mary nervously nodded.
Bradly smiled at his victory.
"What do you want?"
"Mr. Larabee I would like you and Alex dead. Stains take care of him."
Chris watched as Stains took a running start at him and sent them both on the ground. Chris motioned for his men to go help Mary. He tried to throw Stains off, but to no avail. Stains managed to get a hit. "I been waitin for this for a long time."
Chris didnít say anything. He hit Stains and rolled away. But the rotten sheriff wouldnít let up. He slammed Chris up against a near by tree. Chris struggled for breath as Stains pushed him harder. Finally Chris pushed him away and threw a punch. It hit its target, Stainsí left temple. He fell to the ground unconscious. The other men were helping Mary and Alex was fighting off Bradly, so far he was losing.
"You murdering bastard!" Alex suddenly flicked her wrist and stabbed Bradly in the gut. He fell.
Alex sighed. "Well that was easy." She smiled when she noticed the other men staring at her. "What?"
Mary came up to Alex. "So youíre the one whoís caused all this trouble?"
Alex nodded still grinning.
Bradly looked over on the ground. His gun was only a few inches from his fingers.
Chris turned around just in time to see Bradly aim the gun. "NO!"
Both Mary and Alex turned round to see what was going on. As Jake pulled the trigger Alex pushed Mary out of the way and took the bullet. Then she too fell. Chris went for his own gun and shot Bradly, finally killing him. Mary rushed over to Alex and saw a small piece of paper fall fluttering to the ground. She took it and moved out of the way as Nathan kneeled beside her.
"We need to get her to the clinic in town, fast." Buck and Josiah lifted her up and carried around the front to the horses.
Mary read the paper silently and her eyes grew wide in shock. Chris went over to her when he noticed the look on Maryís face. "Whatís the matter now?"
Mary handed the paper over to Chris and he read over it.
Alexandria Koleen Larabee
Chris looked from the paper to Mary the back at the paper. His heart was somewhere between stopping from the sudden shock and beating out of his chest. Buck stopped to see why Chris wasnít behind him.
"Whatís wrong pard?"
Chris held out the birth certificate. "Sheís my sister Buck."
Alex had just woken up and heard what Chris said. "Oh boy."
Josiah looked at Alex. "You knew?"
"Yeah, I just didnít know who he was."
Chris took Alex from Josiahís arms. "We need to talk."
* * * *
Nathan came out of the clinic and everyone stood up. "The bullets passed through her left hand into her right shoulder then clean through. She did lose a lot of blood, but sheíll be fine"
Everyone sighed of relief.
Josiah looked at Chris then raised his eyes to the starry sky. "Thank God Chris."
Chris smiled. "Weíll see about that. Like she said, I donít know her yet."
"You can see her now Chris."
Chris went inside the room and pulled up a chair next to Alex. He look down at his new-found family. His emotions were raging, but he controlled his outer appearence.
"Iím sorry we met this way, I wish it would have been under better circumstances. I should have told you in the first place, but I wanted to see what you were like is all. Does all seem unreal and rather shocking to you?"
"This feels like a dream, no, more of a nightmare actually. Donít talk now, rest. Youíve had a busy few days."
"Ha, you donít know the half of it."
"Ya know, I really would rather not find out."
She smiled up at him and Chris smiled back. He had a feeling this wasnít the end though.
The two sat in silence, together, like family.
END FILE #1