Chris wanted to forget the past . . . until part of it came riding into town...
It was a hot day at Four Corners. The town was quiet for once. Too quiet Chris thought. He still remembered his escape from that crooked sheriff's labor camp. He smiled as he remembered how his six partners rode in and took out all of the ‘bad guys'. He sighed. This was only supposed to be a job, but he felt as if they had all grown close together. Chris glanced at the hotel where Mary Travis was lecturing Billy on safety. "Come on Billy," Chris shouted as he tossed the ball playfully at Billy. Billy caught it and ran over to play with the gunslinger.
The coach arrived in Four Corners at noon. A young woman stepped
out and looked around. "A new beginning," she whispered as the wind
blew her dark brown hair. Her expensive green silk dressed flowed
around her figure while the color deepened her brown eyes. Her huge
diamond and emerald necklace shone in the sun. She glanced at the
resembled a hotel and motioned to the driver to help her take her bags into the hotel.
JD saw a very beautiful woman walking toward the hotel. "Hey Buck, that's the girl I'm gonna go after," he announced proudly because he set his sights on a woman before Buck.
"What are you talking about JD . . . " Buck turned around and saw her. She was beautiful. Buck looked a little closer at her face. He froze.
What was she doing here? He hadn't seen her in the longest time. "Jacqueline!" he cried.
The young girl turned around and gasped. Buck Wilmington. It had been so long since she set her sights on him. "Buck!" She ran into Buck's arms. "It's been so long," she cried as Buck held her.
Chris froze. Did he just hear Buck shout? He turned around and saw a young girl wrapped in Buck's arms. Usually he wouldn't really mind but this girl seemed familiar. He squinted at her. Suddenly the sight of the necklace caught his breath. Sarah's. "How could," he muttered watching the young girl embrace Buck. He then looked closer at the girl and remembered. He dropped the ball to Billy's surprise and stalked over to Buck and the girl.
Buck held his breath as Chris approached. Jacqueline turned and smirked. "Well . . . Hello Chris," she murmured.
"Jacqueline." he said flatly.
The tension was visible to those that watched on. "Well I suppose I should catch another coach." Jacqueline said.
Buck glanced at Chris. The gunslinger's face was hard with resentment.
"Chris . . . " he started.
Chris looked at the ground at said to the young woman, "No Jackie, stay."
Buck smiled. "I'll show you to the hotel Jackie!" he said excited. He embraced her and led her off.
Chris looked at the sky. "Oh damn," he uttered. Chris forgetting about his game with Billy strode off into the saloon to soak up a bottle of whiskey.
Ezra sat down across from Buck at the saloon. "So, Mr. Wilmington, why is Mr. Larabee so agitated with Miss Quinn's visit to Four Corners? If I may ask."
"Well, Ezra, Jackie lived near us when Chris's wife and son were alive.
She was Sarah's best friend. To make a long story short. On
the night Chris and I went to Mexico and on the night Adam and Sarah died,
Chris asked Jackie to check on them. Well, Jackie accidentally, wand
up at someone's house and fell asleep. Chris just couldn't take the
loss of Adam and Sarah, so he just blamed Jackie's accident for their deaths.
Jackie, for some reason, can't remember what happened that night,"
Buck quickly explained. He sighed. It was so long ago. Realizing he said too much Buck gulped down some whiskey.
Jacqueline Quinn made her way down the stairwell of the hotel around eight p.m. After a long bath and the of use her special perfumes she had finally gotten rid of the dirt from her long coach trip. Of course she also had a tension filled meeting with Miss Travis.
Hm, seems that Chris has taken a fancy to the young Travis boy, she thought. Of course Adam was about the same age when he died. She toke a painful moment to remember Adam Larabee. Dressed in a long flowing satin dress with her hair pinned up she started down the street. She paused and looked around. Four Corners, who could have guessed she'd be here. She sighed. Buck told her that Chris wanted to talk to her around ten p.m. or so. As Jackie made her way into the saloon, she could hear the men shouting. Men, what characters!
She made her way to the table where Buck was gulping down whiskey and Ezra was playing with his cards. As she sat down, she ordered a small glass of whiskey even though Ezra's eyes widened. "So Buck, what does Chris want with me?"
Before Buck could answer, Chris walked by the table. "Coming?" he directed to Jacqueline. Jackie nodded and left the saloon with him. Buck glanced at Ezra. "I guess I should make sure he doesn't kill her or something," he muttered as he followed far behind the other two.
Chris stood by the door of Jackie's second floor hotel room. She sat on the bed. Why did he have such a weird feeling? "All right, so, what happened on the night Sarah died?" he asked casually.
Jackie bit her lip. In a small voice she said, "Chris you know I can't remember. All I remember is going to some guy named Joshua's house for a drink and then I woke up in the morning." Chris sighed angrily, "And you know there wasn't a house deed to a Joshua near Kittaning.
Jackie glared at Chris, "She was my best friend you know, I didn't kill her, and I'm telling you all I know." Usually Jackie controlled her tears.
But all the sudden they came rolling out. She tried to quickly wipe them away but Chris saw them. He bent down beside. "I know, and I'm sorry." Suddenly an urge came onto Chris. He kissed Jackie, and the rest went from there.
Buck heard the commotion, and sighed. Oh geez, well, I guess it is better to do it with her than another... He sighed and left to drink heavily.
"Well well, get a load of this JD," Buck said as he watched Ezra and Jackie talk. It seems that Miss Jacqueline has gotten our friend Mr. Standish to do some manual labor."
"Hey Ezra," JD called, "Thought you didn't do manual labor."
Ezra walked up to where the two men were smirking. "Well Mr. Wilmington
and Mr. Dunne, sometimes you just do special things for the opposite sex.
Unlike you, Mr. Wilmington, I like to assist, not, how can I say, by detaching
my pants for them. Satisfactory day boys." Ezra smirked as he left
Buck's mouth hanging. He walked over to where Jacqueline was hulling
out horse manure. A couple of days ago her horses arrived.
One was a flashy, young, and stubborn Appaloosa stallion, which she received
from Chris's and Buck's stock before Sarah died. Chris thought the
young stud was a waste of time and money, and
he was going to get rid of it. But, Sarah and Jackie came to its defense, finally Chris gave in and sold it to Jackie. The other two were also Appaloosas but one was a mare and the other was a gelding. She worked as a stable hand to earn money. Of course while many women wore conservative dresses, Jackie was dressed in pants half of the time. Other times she wore short sleeved dresses, or simple dresses. When she had to, she would dress in her elegant silk dresses to dazzle the men.
She was a hard worker! Ezra smirked at Jackie as he watched Buck shake his head. Jackie turned, "Gee, Buck, I never knew!". Ezra smiled as Jackie started to laugh. Buck turned red and stomped off to the saloon.
"Seems as you ticked off Mr. Wilmington, Mr. Standish," Jackie kidded.
"Appears I have," Ezra said as he gave Jackie one of his trademark smirks.
Jackie mounted her Appaloosa stallion, and sat down in her English saddle.
The horse pranced nervously and then went up into the air. Jackie carefully
stayed on the rearing horse and as he landed she cued him into a canter.
She circled him and headed for a jump, that she had previously set up.
The horse spooked at the jump and combined a leap and a buck. Jacqueline
lost her balance and skidded on the ground. Josiah watched as the young
girl got back up with bloodied knees and
hands. She wiped the blood on her pants and remounted the grazing horse. Again she tried the jump, but the horse kept bucking and finally after bucking for a whole five minuates it let out a rear which threw Miss Quinn once again. This time she fell right on her side. Josiah hesitated wondering if the young girl was hurt, but to his amazement she jumped right up. She mumbled something and yet again jumped back on. This time she grabbed a twig off the tree and gave the horse a pat.
The horse started to gallop as she then threw the twig to the ground. Josiah watched as finally the horse cleared the jump perfectly. He laughed silently. Surely this woman was a piece of work!
Ezra walked to the telegraph office. Miss Mary Travis said he
had a telegram from his mother. This best be good. Tonight
he was dining with Miss Quinn. He grabbed the note.
I'll be coming into Four Corners with news.
News? What the hell kind of news? Ezra sighed and walked to his room to change into more elegant clothing.
Jackie laughed as Ezra escorted her away from the restaurant. They just ate delicious meal together. She enjoyed his company. Her long, silk, red dress looked stunning with his red jacket. Her long auburn hair was pinned up, but curls still hung in her face. Ezra was telling her about all the adventure the ‘Magnificent Seven' had when Jacqueline felt dizzy. She had a pain in her stomach as she gasped for a breath.
Finally everything turned black as she fainted.
Ezra felt Jackie's arm, which he had joined with his as he escorted her home, slip away. "Oh . . . " he gasped as she started to fall back. He caught her limp body, and carried her to Nathan's room.
Nathan sighed. He examined the young woman and came up with his conclusion. But, first, he wanted to be sure. So he sent a citizen to the Indian camp to get the woman he met there when the Magnificent Seven formed. For Miss Quinn's news might tear them up.
Buck paced across the room as Mary stood by the doorway. Chris sat calmly watching his friend pace. Vin walked in, "So?" he asked Chris.
"Nothing," Chris replied avoiding any emotion. "There?" Chris asked.
"Nada," Vin smiled on his use of his first Spanish word. Chris smirked and turned as the Indian woman opened the door. She quickly left as Nathan emerged. "Well?" Buck nervously asked. "I don't know how or what to say, but, she is pregnant," Nathan slowly said. Buck's eyes widened. "About three months the Indian mistress said," Nathan continued.
Chris walked as fast as he could to his room. He slammed his door closed. How could I? How could I do this to Sarah and Adam? His legs folded, as he fell onto the floor. Another child was coming into the world, but the catch was that it was his. His. "No," Chris whispered as he laid his head onto the bed. "NO!" he screamed.
JD and Ezra walked stunned to the saloon as they heard Chris's yell.
"Gee, I wonder who the father is," Ezra said as he gave JD an uncertain smirk. They joined Buck in the saloon for some burdensome drinking.
Jacqueline woke up with a headache and some nausea. Sitting beside her was Mary Travis.
"Finally, someone is awake," Mary said not hiding her disgust.
Jackie ignored it, "Where am I?" Mary glanced over at her avoiding eye contact.
"Nathan's room, you fainted while you were walking with Mr. Standish."
Jacqueline felt dizzy, "How long have I been here?"
"About two days." Jackie squinted ignoring Mary's bluntness, "Oh..."
Nathan walked into his ‘hospital', as the townspeople called it. They've never known a real doctor so his small healing abilities were always needed. He sighed before he opened the door of Miss Jacqueline Quinn's room. "Well, Miss Quinn, seems as you are finally awake," he said as he felt her forehead. "Seems as your fever has gone down," he muttered. He glanced over and saw the young woman's face patiently waiting for a diagnosis.
"So, um, what was wrong with me?" she asked calmly.
"Well, the heat must of gotten to you," he started to explain as Mary
silently walked out. She sighed and held back her tears. She
knew it all. Chris couldn't hide it, the whole town knew. She
loved him, and yet now he had a child on the way. The slut, Jacqueline
Quinn, had seduced him. She was sure. Mary wiped her tears
and smiled seeing Billy running toward her. That woman had Chris
in such disarray that he had forgotten about the young boy who cherished
him. "Ready for dinner?" she asked Billy. As Billy nodded Nathan
walked out of the clinic. Well, I hope she is happy. By now she
knows about her
Jackie sighed after crying for an hour straight. How could I let this happen? I wanted a new beginning. "I really messed this one up," she murmured to herself. She tried to get out of bed but her head started to pound. She sat down on the side of the bed to regain her composure as Buck came in.
"Oh God Jac, you look . . . horrible!" he exclaimed.
Jacqueline managed a weak smile.
"Hey," Buck exclaimed again, "shouldn't you be in bed?" He lifted her light body back onto the bed and stepped back. "How do ‘ya feel?" he said worried.
"Fine, do you know . . .?"
Buck looked out the window to where he saw Chris talking with Vin and Mary Travis. "Yeah, uh, do you need anything?"
Jackie sat up, "No, thanks any way Buck."
Buck started out the door, "Ok, well, it looks like Chris is calling a meeting of the Magnificent Seven," he said with a nervous laugh, "I'll check on you later."
Jackie managed another smile. "Yeah, see you," she said as he left the room. When she was sure Buck was in the saloon Jackie got up and staggered to her hotel room.
Jackie walked down the long dirt road from her hotel. She had to pick up something to eat for dinner. Lately she just stayed in her hotel room so she didn't see the stares. Plus so she didn't have to look at a certain person, named Chris Larabee. She felt strange now, like an outcast. Maybe this was the time to high-tail it out of Four Corners.
She then caught a glimpse of a man. He looked familiar. He was staring at her. Just then a image from the past flashed before her eyes. Jacqueline caught her breath and turned around.
What is he doing here? Not him, not now! She quickly
ran to her hotel room and shut the door tightly. "No, not Joshua!"
she murmed as she began to sob.
Joshua Thomas turned to his side-kick. "Hm, I think Miss Quinn saw us. Tomorrow I'll give her a bit of a scare. . .just to warn her not to tell Mr. Larabee that I was at his house the night of his family's murder." He grinned and went to the saloon to do some planning.
Jackie turned to the window. It was a hot sunny day. She
felt tired, real tired. I suppose before I talk to Buck about
Josh I'll take a short nap. She then laid down on her
hard mattress and fell into a well needed sleep.
Joshua turned to the big black man helping him. Hm, I suppose we can give Mr. Larabee a scare while we are at it. . . Well Jacqueline, lets see how you feel when you are the one trapped in the fire.
"Ok men, set Miss Quinn's room on fire!" was the last thing he yelled
before he mounted his horse and rode away from the scene.
I'm sure Rose would love to her from ya!
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