The Cold Dish
November 15, 1881
The empty bottle of whiskey sat on the fence post a few yards away from where I was standing. I breathed out once and moved my right hand from where it was hanging at my side to my left hip and the Colt Lightning sitting there. In a swift motion, I cleared the holster and brought my left hand down to hit the hammer of the pistol with the palm of my hand, as I fired from waist level. CRASH! The bottle exploded. I smiled. I had not gotten the two-gun drawdown but I could hit what I wanted in a single quick draw.
“You still got it, old girl,” I said aloud to myself. I replaced the spent shell with another 38 long Colt that I pulled from the slot on the dark leather belt. I shivered a little with a cold nip in the wind. I wore a black duster over my blouse, jeans and riding boots. There was definitely a change in the air and not just the weather. I have been much more guarded around people since the events of the last few weeks. My visits to Silvertown had been sporadic, only checking my store a few times per week. I always had an extra rider with Seth and Maggie, which meant there was more to do around the ranch. The Cowboys had not caused anyone problems though the mutilated bodies of a family were found in the mountains not far from town. Katerina and I were fully healed; at least it did not hurt when I moved. I only sported two visible scars from the fight, a small straight one at the corner of my left eye and the other, from a knife wound, on my right forearm. Though the fight was a fair one between Diamond Diane Farragut and me, I still debated on riding to Dry Gulch for a reacquainting. I also wanted to have a word with Kristina Blanchard at the Soiled Dove. While the fight between Kat and Diane at the Dove was fair, I held Kristina as a friend, but her she did nothing and stood by as the two fought. I did notquite know what to think of that. I walked back to the barn and told Billy to saddle Goldie for me. I left instructions for Matt to make sure the cattle were checked before dark. Billy mounted his horse and we rode off to town.
At the crossroads where the road to Tucson met the one to Silvertown, a lone rider sat on a horse waiting. As we got closer,I could see it was a woman. She pulled her horse out to block our path. Billy and I halted. I reached across my hip and pulled the Colt from the holster but kept my hand near the pummel.
“State your business,” I called out over the wind.
“Just want to parlay, Mrs. Stevens,” the woman called back as she held her hands up.
“Billy,” I said over my shoulder, “Keep a look out for movement.” I saw heard his pistol’s hammer click back. I looked back at the woman in a dirty buckskin coat and jeans. “Come over to parlay then.” She rode up and it was not a woman but a girl barely out of her teens, who looked she had not eaten or bathed in a long time. “Who are you and what do you want?” I asked tersely.
“My name is Anna Vargas,” Anna said, her large brown eyes seemed to stare into my soul, “You are in great danger. Curly Bill aims to have you killed.”
“I know that already, Miss Vargas,” I said with a hard stare back at her, “You ain’t telling me anything new.”
“Bill is going to have Bessie Monroe and those with her do it,” Anna stated.
“Well that is new,” I conceded, “How do you know this?”
“Because,” she paused, “For the last year I have rode with Bill and since September, I rode with Bessie and her girls. I do notwant that life no more. Not after what I seen. You ain’t got no reason to believe me, but he wants you dead by the New Year.”
“When was the last time you had a real meal or cleaned yourself, Anna,” I asked, softening my voice.
“Been a while, Mrs. Stevens,” she answered, “When I left them, I ain’t dared show my face in town. I don’t know what Bill will do with me.”
“He is not going to doing anything to you now,” I said, “Follow us back to my ranch. We will get you sorted out. But Anna?”
“If this is a charade or anything like that, I will shoot you myself,” I said sternly.
“I understand,” she said looking me in the eyes.
“Billy, looks like we are heading back home,” I said as we all turned the horses and rode back to the ranch.
At the Imperial Hotel in Silvertown…
Julia Vargas walked from table to table in the dining room greeting and talking with guests. Her black with red lace dress was off her shoulders and showed enough cleavage to make people look but not enough to make it scandalous. She walked over and greeted Mayor John Abbott and his wife Betty.
“A wonderful meal, Ms. Vargas,” John Abbott said, “Please extend my compliments to the cook.”
“Thank you, Mr. Mayor,” Julia said smiling, “My daughter, Esmeralda, will be delighted to hear you say that.”
“Yes,” Betty said as she touched her napkin to the corners of her mouth, “A fine meal, Ms. Vargas, or is it Mrs. Del Santos? I get so confused sometimes. I understood the hotel was purchased by Rafael Del Santos and not Julia Vargas.” Her blue eyes looked up at Julia.
Julia’s dark eyes stared straight back as the mayor’s wife. Then she smiled, “The hotel, bank and laundry were purchased by the estate of Rafael Del Santos, to which I am the executor. If you wish your lawyer to look over the estate and purchasing documents, by all means, do so.”
“We just might,” Betty said, gritting her teeth.
“Oh there is no need for that, Ms. Vargas,” John Abbott piped in to the annoyance of his wife, “Just a friendly reminder the monthly taxes will be due in two weeks.”
“Mr. Mayor,” Julia said sitting down at the table with them, “I have been going over the books from the previous owner and the tax amount is in line with much larger towns and cities. Yet with what we pay, the trash dump is inadequate and the thoroughfare is in a sad state. What exactly do the taxes do for our town?”
Betty leaned forward, “Never you mind that. Just make sure you don’t get behind or they may go up.”
Julia leaned towards the blonde, “Mrs. Abbott, I would hate to find out that your husband is collecting more money than is properly due. That would make it very difficult to explain to a judge, don’t you think?” Her eyes boring into Betty’s.
“Well,” John Abbott chimed in as he rose and took his wife by the arm and pulled her up, “I think we are needed at a prior engagement. It was a pleasure, Ms. Vargas.”
“Yes, Mr. Mayor,” Julia Vargas said with a smile, “A real pleasure.” She and Betty remained staring at the other, as the Abbott’s left. Julia felt the bump of a hip on her arm.
“I was going to bring out a saucer of milk for you two cats,” Vanessa Carrington said with wide smile.
“You think the good people eating here at my fine establishment would mind seeing me and the mayor’s wife pull hair and tear off dresses?” Julia asked in a mocking tone.
“Well,” Vanessa cleared her throat, “I know I would love it!”
Back at the Steven’s Ranch….
I sat in the parlor sipping a whiskey as my daughter, Katerina and her lover, Red Flower walked in. I rose to greet them and we all sat. I was about to ask a question when Kat’s eyes went wide and she quickly stood and drew her pistol. I turned my head sharply and saw Anna Vargas standing at the door to the parlor with hands raised.
“What are you doing, Kat?” I asked loudly.
“Do you know who this is?” Kat asked.
“This is Anna Vargas,” I stated, “Formerly of the Monroe Gang and the Cowboys. Now put away your pistol.”
“Who also has a warrant for murder in Texas,” Kat said not lowering her gun. “She killed her mother and father.”
I looked back and forth between Anna and my daughter, “Looks like you need to explain yourself a little more.” I said to Anna and motioned for her to sit. I gave Kat a strong look as she holstered the Colt and sat, but kept her fingers on the ivory handle.
“My father worked as a ranger,” Anna said, “He spoke Spanish and my mother was from Mexico. Both were very religious.”
I nodded and she went on.
“From when I was a little girl to a few years ago, if they drank or read the Old Testament, I would get beat. My father said it was to exercise the demons from his spawn, meaning me. He liked the bull whip.” Anna stood making Kat do the same, but then she turned to hike up the oversized shirt she was wearing and showed us all her back. It was lined with scars. Nettie happen to walk in at that time and I could see tears well up in her eyes. “My mother made sure I was secured very tightly so I didn’t fall when I couldn’t stand. So when men rode up to confront my father, I shot him. But I didn’t think of him as my father anymore, he was the devil in the flesh and my mother was his demoness. I went outside the house to tell them men he was dead and she came at me. We fought with our hands, with our claws. We were not mother and daughter anymore. It was my fight for survival. We punched, clawed and bite each other something fierce and rolled in the dirt. Our shirts were torn open and then off. We grabbed our breasts, trying to tear them off. I just remembered every time she tied me so my daddy could whip me and I kept fighting her. I did not realize it was done until the Cowboys pulled me off her dead body. Then Bill came down, wrapped me in a blanket, and tended to my wounds. Hewould not let any of the others touch me. Hell, he never touched me. He just treated me with love. But he started changing. I could see it but I did not want to believe it. It became about money, power, and killing for him. That is why I left.”
Kat whistled and moved her hand from her pistol. “Why didn’t you tell someone what they did?”
“Would you believe a girl or a ranger and his church going wife? Ain’t no one gonna believe me,” Anna said, “But if you want to send me back to Texas to hang, then I am fine with it. It is what I deserve for the things I have done and for the things I didn’t stop from happening.”
Katerina sat there thinking, “You need to cut your hair short and get rid of the buckskin coat. You wanted poster describes your coat and your hair. You have the Mexican look to you, cannotchange that but we can change your last name. Pick something else.”
“What are you saying, honey?” I asked, perplexed by my daughter’s words.
“I ain’t gonna take her in now, mama,” Katerina said looking at me, “I won’t have that on my conscious. Marshal Lewin and Lucie will agree with me.”
I turned to Anna who was looking at the floor, “Look at me, girl,” I said as her eyes came up, “You can hide out here. You pull your weight and I hire you on. No one messes with my family or my ranch hands. Katerina, I will talk with Lucky about the new hand here. As far as anyone is concerned, Anna Vargas rode back to Texas.” I stood up, walked to the peg on the wall,and removed my two-gun rig. I put on my duster and put the gun belt around my waist. “Billy,” I called out, “Saddle up two horses, we are heading into town.”
What I did not see was Maggie, listening in the next room. She felt a pull to the new girl because of troubled pasts but also did not want this new girl to end up in bed with Ahna Stevens. She took a deep breath and resigned herself to have a talk with Anna Vargas about it.
At short while later, I got off Goldie in front of the small Marshal’s office. “Billy, why don’t you head over to the Imperial and see if they have any vittles for you since I interrupted your supper.” He nodded and trotted down the thoroughfare. I walked up to the door, knocked once and walked in.
A tall and very handsome man stood as I entered, “How may I help you Ma’am?” He asked in a deep baritone. He wore a dark blue shirt with well-worn dungarees and black riding boots. There was a shock of grey hair on his head. He had a weathered look to him but very ruggedly handsome all the same.
“I am sorry,” I said, a little flushed from the look of this man. “I was expecting to find Lucky; I mean Marshal Lewin.”
“He is in Tombstone at the request of the US Marshal,” the man stated, “My name is Wes Roberts, the new deputy, is there anything I can help you with, Ma’am?”
“Well, stop calling me Ma’am for one,” I said walking forward, extending my right hand, “My name is Ahna Stevens. I own a ranch a few miles west of Silvertown.”
He took my hand and the grip was firm but not painful. His hands were course telling me he was one who did not shy from hard work. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Stevens. Please call me Wes.”
“Ahna,” I said in response, “I hope you are finding out town accommodating.”
Very much so, Ma’am,” Wes said as he and I both sat, I eyed after he said ma’am, “I mean, Ahna. This is a new start for my daughters and myself. My wife passed a few months ago and we all needed something new.”
“I am sorry for your loss, Wes,” I said, “I am a widow as well. Been a few years now. I can tell you from experience that while it still hurts, the burden does get easier to bear.”
“I appreciate your kind words, Ahna,” Wes said and he looked up as the door opened and two young women came in. I could see the family resemblance right away along with the Native in them. “These are my daughters, Beth and Amy. Girls, this is Mrs. Ahna Stevens.”
I stood up to greet them. Both women beautiful and I imagined they received that from their mother. They both removed buffalo skin coats and their dress swelled up top with two sets of ample breasts. They brought in a pot that smelled amazing.
“We are about to sit down to venison stew, would you like to join us?” Wes asked.
“Thank you for the invitation, maybe another time,” I said as I nodded to both Beth and Amy, “It smells absolutely delicious but I am expected somewhere else. If you like to hunt, there are more than a few mule deer on my property. I would welcome you all out there sometime.”
“That would be our pleasure, Ahna,” Wes said as he walked me to the door. “Is there a message you need me to pass on to Ted?”
In meeting this man, I had completely forgotten why I had come to the office, “Wes, please pass on to the Marshal that Anna Vargas has headed back east towards Texas. She won’t be an issue any more.”
Wes nodded, “I will pass that along. It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance,” Wes said with a smile that almost made me melt.
I wet my dry lips, “The pleasure was all mine.” I walked out and blinked a few times. I had not felt like that since my Robert had been alive. I breathed out once, got onto Goldie, and trotted down the main street. I stopped in front of the Soiled Dove and secured Goldie. I walked into the batwing doors, my eyes looking for Kristina. I took off my Stetson and shook my hair free. I left my coat on with my pistols still around my waist. I finally spotted Kristina and walked over.
“Well, well,” Kristina said as she leaned back in the wooden chair, “I was wondering when you were going to get around to seeing me.” She motioned for me to sit but I remained standing.
“So I watched out for your interests with Eva,” I said looking down at her, “I was your second in your fight. Yet, when it comes to my own flesh and blood, I find your actions lacking. Why is that?”
“It was a fair fight with it agreed by both Diane and your daughter,” Kristina said, looking my back into my eyes, “I didn’t feel it was my place to interfere.”
“And did you profit off of it?” I asked, knowing the answer.
“Of course when there are two women fighting, business will boom for a little bit,” she answered, “Do you want a percentage?”
“Your money is not what I want,” I said through gritted teeth.
“Oh,” Kristina’s eyebrows went up, “Then by all means, Mrs. Stevens, let us retire to my office upstairs.” She stood and started towards the stairs as I followed. “Trixie, make sure Mrs. Stevens and I are not disturbed. No matter what you hear, understand?”
Trixie nodded. “Yes, Ms. K.”
I followed Kristina up to her room. As soon as the door closed, I slapped her across the left side of her face. She held her cheek and smiled at me.
“Lose the rig and the coat,” she said as she removed a jeweled necklace.
I quickly took off my gun belt, unbuttoned my coat, and put them on a chair; I turned and was met with a slap from Kristina’s right hand.
The glaring only lasted for a second or two and we lunged, burying hands in the other’s hair. We stumbled around her room, bumping into the desk and then bed but we stayed on our feet pulling hair.
“COW!” Kristina yelled out.
“WHORE!” I yelled back.
She pushed be back to the desk and my back bent over it and she climbed on top. Our clothed bodies mashed together as we struggled.
Down in the saloon, the crowd quieted to listen to the fight going on up in Kristina Blanchard’s room. One of the patrons, a grimy man named Otis, ran out and down the street to the Screeching Cat and pushed his way into the saloon and up to Bella Reed.
“Miss Bella,” Otis said out of breath, “You told me to look out for you at the Dove. Blanchard and Stevens are fighting right now.”
Bella Reed’s eyes went wide. “BAR IS CLOSED!” She yelled out, “GET THE FUCK OUT!”
People started to leave and Bella turned to Sabrina Jackson and the blonde Lily, “Get the girls together. We are going to the Dove.” After a few minutes, Bella Reed led a group of 10 girls down the street to the Soiled Dove.
Vanessa Carrington was looking out the doors to the hotel and saw the group of whores walking to the rival brothel.
“Julia,” Vanessa called her over, “Looks like there is going to be a tussle about to happen between the two brothels. I aim to take a closer look.”
Julia laughed, “You are a dirty woman! If I can break away, maybe Esmeralda and I will join you.”
In Kristina’s room, I rolled to my right and took us off the desk with a THUD to the floor. We broke up for only a second and then we slammed together again, the momentum taking us to the bed with me on top. Then there was a pounding on the door.
“I SAID NOT TO DISTURB US!” Kristina screamed out as she struggled under me.
“The girls from the Cat are here and they came to fight!” Trixie yelled out.
“God damnit!” Kristina stopped struggling, “Truce for now?”
“Fine,” I huffed out and rolled off her.
Kristina rushed out from her room and almost bumped into Evaand the two rushed down the stairs as two sets of whores, one from the Soiled Dove and one from the Screeching Cat started fight. Most were one on ones with a few two on ones taking place. Fists flew, hair was pulled and the sounds of dresses ripping was heard. Eva and Sabrina locked eyes as Bella pushed aside two fighting girls to line up with Kristina. The two pairs of women flew at the other.
I walked out to see the multiple fights going on. I slowly walked down the stairs as most girls were already topless with a few fighting pairs naked. I stepped over a couple of rolling girls and moved aside as another pair crashed by me. I was heading to the bat wing doors when I was suddenly grabbed by my shoulder and spun around. A fist slammed into my belly and I bent over and coughed.
“That was for when you hit me,” Lily said as she cocked her hand back again to punch.
I slammed my right shoulder into her stomach, grabbed her legs,and lifted, slamming us down onto a poker table, breaking it. I moved to get on top and she pushed both feet against my hips and pushed me off and back through the batwing doors and onto the muddy street. I rose and Lily rushed through the doors and tackled me back to the mud.
Back inside the Soiled Dove, the sounds of girls screaming and cursing, along with clothes ripping and smacks from fists hitting skin could be heard. Bella and Kristina collided and each reached for long locks of hair. The buxom bodies smacked together and they careened, bumping into tables and chairs as they stumbled.
“UGH! Should have brought a gun, bitch!” Kristina cursed as Bella pulled sharply on her hair, “Only way you are ever going to best me!”
“Tramp!” Bella swore back, “This ain’t gonna be about our sex this time!”
Bella pushed the owner of the Dove over a table but Kristina gripped the cleavage baring red dress and started to pull. The blonde’s huge breasts came forth and were grabbed immediately by Kristina. Bella Reed screamed as her tits were groped and twisted. She slapped Kristina once across the face and then started tearing at the front of dirty blonde’s dress. Kristina twisted hard to their left and the pair rolled right off the table with a THUD! They broke up for just a moment and crashed together again on their knees. Fists slammed into their sides and they spit and bit at the other’s face.
Sabrina and Eva met in a similar fashion but the large breasts they each sported made contact first as they slammed together. They twirled around a few time before crashing against the stairs going up to the second floor. Their hair was roughly pulled and heads whipped back and forth. They crawled up each step and as they crawled, they clawed and tore at their revealing dresses. Half way up the wooden staircase, bare breasts were bouncing in view with slaps and rakes of nails going across them. Their short-heeled boots caught the bottoms of the lacey garments and as they came to the top of the stairs and the flat landing, each only had on pantaloons with stockings and their boots on. Evapulled Sabrina to her feet but the blonde slugged the brunette in the belly, doubling her over. The woman from Poland stomped her foot down over the blonde’s booted foot, causing the woman from Georgia to howl out in pain. Eva slammed Sabrina back into the wall and rose up to her full height, making her large breasts slide up and push the blonde’s pair nearer to her face. The southern belle grabbed the brunette’s mouth with her right hand and pushed her face back. This allowed her to spin the pair and push Eva against the wall. The blonde pancaked her tits into her rival’s pair with hard nipples stabbing into skin. Each had a hand in hair and a hand holding on to the other’s face, trying to wrench heads back and forth. Eva lifted a knee and it slammed in between Sabrina’s legs. The blonde moaned out and backed off leaving the Polish beauty to rush and tackle Sabrina to the wooden slats of the second floor.
Lily and I rolled repeatedly in the mud as a crowd soon gathered around. My blue button up shirt was caked with mud and the dungarees I wore felt as if they weighed as much as a steer. The blonde’s dress was around her waist and she reached in a ripped open my shirt. Muddy tits slapped together as we continued to roll around. She rolled on top and I swung a right fist that connected with her mouth and she rolled off, blood coming from a split lip. I rose and was met with a punch that caused me to slam back against the street. I got to my hands and knees, Lily kicked me in the side, and I yelled out in pain and rolled over. Strong hands lifted me up and held me in front of the blonde. Two of the girls, one a brunette and the other, a fiery redhead,from the Cat had come out from the saloon and held me roughly.
“ALRIGHT! That’s enough of this!” Deputy Wes Roberts called out as he and his daughters broke through the crowd. He grabbed the redhead holding me by the arm but she moved her mouth and bit his hand. “OW!” He yelled out as he backed away. However, his daughters, Beth and Amy, stepped up.
“We got this, daddy,” Beth said as she and her sister pushed sleeves up to their elbows.
The brunette and redhead holding me let go and the four women came together in a sea of fists and flying hair. That left Lily looking around and I charged and tackled the blonde back to the mud. We cursed as we fought.
“Not so tough without your friends, you little bitch!” I hollered out.
“Tougher than you dead whore mother!” Lily cursed back.
I completely lost it and started swinging wildly with both fists. She had been on top but a left to the jaw knocked her off and I straddled her thin waist and started to pummel her face and breasts with my fists. Lily tried covering up but my constant barrage knocked her hands away and right cross to her face and she stopped struggling. I did not stop! I wanted to smash her face into the ground. I did not hear anything other than my fists hitting her face.
“She is gonna kill her!” Someone cried out.
Someone strong tackled me off Lily and held my struggling form as I thrashed about.
“She’s got no more fight in her,” a woman’s voice said, “Just calm down!”
I stopped trying to break free and just laid there. “Fine. Just let me up”
The arms around me slackened and I got to hands and knees and then a hand appeared in front of my face. I looked up and it was Julia Vargas. I grasped her outstretched hand and she hauled me to my feet. I looked and the woman who tackled me was getting up. The two women nodded and smiled.
“I told you this town was fun, Julia,” the woman said to her as she brushed mud from her jeans. She held out her hand to me, “Vanessa Carrington is the name and it is a pleasure to meet you.”
I slowly took the hand, still a little upset she had stopped me from beating the tramp to death. Our handshake was a little longer than normal with both of us looking the other up and down. It took Julia clearing her throat for us to finally break it.
“I suppose you have issue with me breaking up your fight,” Vanessa said, “If you feel strongly about that, then we should talk.”
“I think we will be talking soon,” I said. Just then, Billy rushed past me and into the Dove.
Bella and Kristina did not stay on their knees very long and soon were rolling across the sawdust-covered floor. Their bare breasts swinging as they fought. The blonde from the south punched Kristina in the belly and got on top. She looked to her right, spotted a bottle of whiskey, grabbed it, and brought it up to swing down but Billy grabbed her wrist. He wrenched the bottle from her grip, causing her to fall off to the side and then he handed to bottle to Kristina with a smile. The madam of the Soiled Dove smiled at Billy and swung the bottle, crashing it into the side of Bella Reed’s head. She swayed on her knees, Kristina swung a right fist that connected with her jaw, and thebusty blond madam of the Screeching Cat fell over unconscious. Kristina sat up and surveyed the landscape; all around her naked women fought, with her girls turning the tide and starting to end the fights.
Eva and Sabrina rolled back and forth from the wall to the balcony railing. Each time they hit the railing, the creaking from the wood rods were getting louder until they hit it with such force that the railing gave way and the two women fell 15 feet…..right into Billy’s waiting arms. The young man stayed on his feet and maneuvered to have Eva under one arm and Sabrina under the other. They continued to swing slaps at the other. Wes came in, which Billy noticed and he tossed Sabrina Jackson into Wes’s arms.
“I will kill you!” Sabrina screamed as she struggled against the deputy.
“Not if I kill you first!” Eva yelled back as she tried to get free of Billy’s grasp.
“That is quite enough out of you!” Wes said to Sabrina, threw her over his shoulder, and started walking out.
“Time to take out the trash girls!” Kristina Blanchard yelled out as she pulled Bella Reed to her feet and threw her through the batwing doors. The girls of the Dove followed suit and soon there was a pile of moaning naked or half-naked women from the Screeching Cat laying in the street. Wes dropped Sabrina onto the pile.
“Make another move, missy,” Wes warned as the blonde-haired woman from Georgia got to her feet again, “And you will be spending the night in the jail cell. Now you get these girls back to your establishment. There will be no more trouble tonight.”
Beth and Amy deposited the brunette and redhead onto the pile. Amy had lost a sleeve and had a bloody nose while her sister’s shirt was open and her hair was wild with tangles. I looked at Wes and out eyes met and I smiled. He smirked and I realized my breasts were in view through my torn open shirt. I made sure to flash him once before I tied it off. He coughed and smiled.
“Alright folks,” Deputy Wes Roberts said, “Ya’ll can go back home. It’s all over.” He smiled again at me. His oldest daughter Beth noticed the back and forth between us. She frowned and narrowed her eyes at me. Which I did not pay any mind to. I looked back Vanessa and we gave each other another once over before I nodded at Julia and walked into the Soiled Dove.
Inside, naked and topless girls tended to bloody lips and scratches. The floor was littered with broken tables and chairs. Billy had calmed Eva down and was wetting a cloth to give her for her face. I made eye contact with Kristina. The look we shared with each other had her hooking her head for me to follow and we walked back up the stairs to her room. I walked in and she closed and locked her door for a second time. She walked past me and removed the torn dress she was wearing. I took off my torn shirt, undid my dungarees, and pulled them down. Now we were standing naked in front of the other.
“I don’t suppose we call this a draw and leave it at that?” Kristina asked with a smile.
I shook my head and we launched together. Our naked forms slapped and we grabbed for hair. We spun around a few time before we went down to the floor. Our bodies were tired and sore but we wrestled back and forth with new vigor, coveredwith sweat and dirt from our fighting with the Cats just a little while prior. Our lips brushed as faces moved past the other. My larger breasts crushed into Kristina’s firm pair. Her right thigh rubbed in between my legs and it caused me to moan. I ground my own right thigh back in between her legs, causing a moan to escape her lips. I yanked on her hair as we rolled over and brought my hips slapping against hers. Kristina smiled as she groaned out and bucked her hips to meet mine. She pulled sharply on my hair as she tried to roll on top.
“I am sorry I did not do more to help Katerina, “Kristina Blanchard breathed out, “If Diane would have gone for gun or knife, I would have intervened.” She got on top and her hips started a rough grind against mine.
I grabbed her throat, not to choke her but in a lustful way. “I know you would have,” I said breathing hard, “It is just me being protective of her. She was the one who used the bottle during the fight.”
“Good,” she said as she grabbed my hands and pushed them over my head, “Now we can fuck!”
She brought her breasts down over mine as I spread open my thighs to her. Our wet flowers met in a sensuous meeting, making us each breath faster and moan louder. Our hard nipples stabbed against the others as the mounds of flesh, slick with sweat ground back and forth. She mashed her lips to mine and we started wrestling with our tongues. Saliva dripped from the corners of our joined mouths, falling down over my cheeks. Our clits unsheathed and met in the heated space of our merged womanhoods. Sweat collected on the floor all around us. We brought each other to the edge and jumped off. The bucking and writhing got wilder as we both came. The kiss was broken as we screamed out in orgasmic bliss. After what seemed like minutes of our bodies in ecstasy, Kristina laid her body down onto mine as we fell asleep on the bare floor.
I do not know how long we were both asleep but we rolled away, both of us groaned as our bodies cried out in soreness and pain. I slowly dressed as Kristina crawled under the covers of her bed. I eased out of her room and walked downstairs to find Billy cleaning wounds of some of the girls. Mostly scratches and bruises.
“Did you see when I hit her, Billy?” One of the girls said as he wiped the wet cloth over her cheek.
“I sure did, Paula,” Billy said, sounding older and wiser, “You sure wupped her good.” He looked up as I walked over to him.
“You ready to head back home, Billy,” I asked with a smile.
“Yes, Ms. Ahna,” he said, “Can you do what I showed you to the rest of the girls, Paula? Remember to change the water too.”
“Thank you, Billy,” Paula swooned at the muscled man.
We departed and rode back to the ranch. I was dead tired and even though the sun was coming up, I went to bed.
The next day I rode into town with Seth as Maggie told me she was not feeling well. We opened up the store and started the inventory of the new items that were brought in on the last stagecoach. I was busy writing down the new prices on the inventory sheet with an old pencil when the bell above the door rang. I looked up and Beth Roberts, Deputy Wes’s daughter walked in.
“Good morning, Beth wasn’t it,” I said by way of greeting.
“Good morning, Mrs. Stevens,” Beth said as she started looking around the store. She spent some time looking at each shelf but her eyes kept darting towards me.
“Is there something I might help you find?” I finally asked, “Or maybe order for you?”
She pursed her lips as if she had made a decision and walked to the counter. “What are your intentions with my father?”
My eyes went wide, “I do not think I have been asked a question like that before.”
“It is a fair question,” Beth went on, “He fancies you but I will not see him hurt. You seem like a respectable woman but if you hurt him, I will hurt you.”
“Young lady,” I said, thinking for a moment to choose my words, “I have just met your father. He seems like a very nice man. I do not know what the future holds. However, do not think I am a woman who can be intimidated. Words like that have been answered very quickly.” I rested my hands on the counter and leaned forward.
She matched my move, placed her hands on the counter, and leaned towards me. We stared into the other’s eyes. “I wonder if you are woman enough for him. My mother was a real woman and taught my sister and me how to survive and how to fight.”
My eyes narrowed. “When would you like to find out what kind of woman I am?” I asked softly.
“I will let you know, Mrs. Stevens,” Beth said in a hushed voice, “But it will be soon.” She moved back away from the counter, nodded and walked out the front door.
I sighed. I was surprised that the encounter had me almost jump over the counter at her. I did have strong feelings for this man I just met. And to hear that he fancies me brought a smile to my face.
“Ya..Ya… you alright, Ms. Ahna?” Seth asked, coming out from the back storeroom.
“I am just fine,” I said smiling still.
The rest of the day went on without any interruptions. As I was preparing to lock up, two people, a man and a woman, walked in. The man had a weathered look about him, tall with lean features and greying hair matted to his head as he removed his Stetson. She was dressed in an off the shoulder black dress with white lace trim. The amount of cleavage she was showing would definitely turn heads. Her black hair was piled on the top of her head and secured under a black hat.
“Are you Mrs. Stevens?” The man asked.
“I am,” I said, smiling from behind the counter, “Please call me Ahna, how may I help you?”
“I am Norm Condon and this is Judy McKenna,” Norm said, motioning to Judy, “She is the owner of the High-stake mine and I am her foreman. We would like to purchase pick axes and cradles in bulk if possible. The general store was not about to do it and sent us here.”
“How many would you need?” I asked.
“100 pick axes and 200 cradles of varying sizes,” he said as he handed me a piece of paper with what they wanted to order.
“I can do that,” I said as I took the paper from him, “The order will be placed by telegram tonight. I would expect it would take about a week for them to arrive. Seth,” I called out. Seth appeared from the back room, “Add these up to get a total please.”
Seth looked at the paper and closed his eyes, “Th…th…three hundred forty two dollars.”
Judy suppressed a giggle, “What is wrong with you voice, dear?”
I stared at the woman, “There is nothing wrong with his voice;might be with your hearing but not his voice.”
She glared daggers at me. “I do not like her tone, Mr. Condon.”
“Ma’am,” Norm Condon said to me, “You might want to change your tone with Mrs. McKenna. She is a very important woman in this town now.”
I took the paper back from Seth and held it out in my hand to the man. “She may be, but you are no longer welcome in my store. You can place your order in Tombstone or Tucson. I guarantee it will be much more than you were quoted just now.”
“Now listen here, woman,” Norm Condon said, the volume of his voice rising as his hand went to his holstered pistol.
I move my hand quickly to my left hip and with a quick draw, had my pistol pointing at Norm’s nose before he took a second step. “Now you listen here, get out. Do not come back.”
Judy cocked her head and glared, “You just made an enemy for life.”
“Get in line, honey,” I replied. The two of them turned and walked out. I spun the pistol once and back into my holster.
“Th…th… that was fast, Ms. Ahna,” Seth said with wide eyes.
“Been practicing,” I winked. “Now let us close up and get home for supper.”
Back at the Stevens Ranch, Maggie quietly left the main house, walked out to the barn, and saddled a horse. She trotted out from the barn and took off down the road. She turned at the crossroads and road up the winding path to a large house. She got off the horse, walked to the door, and knocked.
Lisa Simmons answered the door with a smile, “Been wondering when you were coming back.”
“Shut up,” Maggie smiled as she embraced the brunette and crushed her body against Lisa, her lips locking with the mature woman’s mouth.
Back in Silvertown, it was dark as I locked the front door. Seth was checking the back room door to make sure it was locked. I did not see the three figures in long dusters and Stetsons approach.
“AHNA STEVENS!” One of them yelled.
I turned and all three had shotguns pointed at me. I reached for my pistol but was tackled by Seth.
My ears were ringing as I cleared the pistol from my left hip and started firing. With Seth laying on top of me, I could not get a good shot off. The three figures ran different directions. I took aim at the far right and fired. The round hit the left leg of person and they went down to street but got up and hobbled away. People started running towards the store where Seth and I lay.
“Seth, are you alright?” I asked in a worried voice.
“My…my… ass is shot, Ms. Ahna,” Seth weakly groaned out.
I looked back to the spot where I was standing and the front of my store was riddled with holes. I looked back to Seth, “Do not move. Wait for the doc, Seth.”
It did not take long for us to be surrounded by people. Seth was loaded into a wagon and taken down to Doc’s residence. I was not hit by any of the buckshot. My hands were shaking as Kristina Blanchard led me into the Soiled Dove. She sat me down and poured me a glass of whiskey.
“Drink this, you will need it,” she said, pushing the glass towards me.
I drank it down quickly and she refilled it. Wes Roberts came in and sat down at the table with Kristina and me.
“Some people saw riders on horses leaving out quick from different parts of town,” he said, taking off his Stetson and running a hand through his hair. “You hit one of them. Found the blood trail leading down the alley behind the Screeching Cat. Are you alright, Ahna?” He put his right hand down onto mine and squeezed it gently.
My brain was still a blur of thoughts but only one came to mind, “Katerina!”
“Already telegrammed Tucson where she is with Lucie dropping off some bounties,” Wes said, “Just waiting for a response back.”
The doc walked in looking for me, “Oh good, you are here,” he said, “Ahna, Seth will be fine. I removed seven pellets from his backside and thigh. He might have a limp for a little while and issues sitting but should heal just fine. He is very lucky, as are you.”
“Thank you, doc,” I said in a weary voice. He smiled and walked out of the saloon.
“Ahna,” Kristina said, “I got word out to your boys and a few have already arrived. I do not want you leaving tonight. You are staying here.”
I nodded and squeezed Wes’s fingers back. “Thank you K, thank you Wes.” I looked hard into Wes’s eyes, “They hurt one of my boys. I will not let this stand. If they come at me again, it will not be one of my boys at docs; it will be one of them at the undertakers.”
“I understand, Ahna,” Wes said with a smile on his face, “I will back your play.”
I did something I did not expect and pulled Wes into a long kiss. His lips were soft and our mouths opened to each other’s. We broke it and leaned back in our chairs, breathing a little harder.
“You are a good kisser,” I told him, “I would like to do that more often.”
Kristina broke out in laughter. “Should I clear a room for you two?”
Both Wes and I turned red. “Um, I should probably check to see if I got an answer from Tucson.” He smiled and rose, nodding his head at Kristina and me.
I watched him leave and turned back to see Kristina beaming at me. “What?” I asked.
“Good to see you happy, girl,” Kristina stated.
“We will see what the future holds,” remembering what I told Beth earlier.
“Come on,” Kristina rose and pulled me by my hand, “You need a bath and some sleep.”