Companion Stories

Ezra, OFC, Vin, Chris

It’s been a long day, Samantha thinks to herself as she exits the newspaper building.

"Oh Sam," Mary calls out, walking out the door.

She stops and turns to face her friend.

"I have one more thing to finish. Would you mind picking up Billy and Alexis for me?" the newspaper woman asks.

"Sure thing," the young girl replies, with a smile.

Mary turns and goes back inside the building and Samantha begins her journey to Mrs. Potter’s store.

A huge yawn escapes from Samantha as she opens the door to the mercantile.

Billy and Alexis run to her with smiles on their faces.

"Thanks Mrs. Potter," she tells the store keeper, with a smile.

The older woman nods her head and Samantha moves aside to let the children out.

"Let’s go," she says as they walk in front of her.

About half way to the newspaper office Alexis turns and looks at Samantha.

"Are you gonna marry Ezra?" the little girl asks.

Samantha laughs a little, "What makes you say that?"

"Momma says the two of you look good together," Billy tells her.

Samantha, giving a little smile, wonders just how to give an answer to this question.

"Well, I don’t know if we’ll get married, but if we do, it’s not going to be anytime soon," she tells her young charges.

"Why?" Alexis asks imploringly.

"Well, because I don’t feel like I’m up to being a wife," Samantha responds.

"But don’t you love Ezra?" Billy questions.

"I have feelings for Ezra, but I don’t want to get married just yet," the young girl states.

"That’s what Momma says about Chris," the young boy says, looking frontwards again.

"Oh really? Your momma says she has feelings for Chris?" she questions the two.

"Yeah, Aunt Mary says she has feelings for him, but that’s s’pose to be a secret," the little girl responds in a hushed voice.

"I’ll keep it a secret then," Samantha replies as she opens the door to the newspaper.

+ + + + + + +

Samantha walks up onto the boardwalk in front of the saloon. I’m so ready for the comfort of my bed, she thinks to herself as she enters the saloon. She looks around. A few patrons still linger here and there. She smiles to herself, looking to a table where Ezra and two fancy dressed men sit. He looks up to see her and flashes a grin. She smiles back at him and heads up the stairs.

+ + + + + + +

Samantha awakes during the night, feeling something is wrong. She sits up in her bed noticing that she has fallen asleep in the clothes she has on. She gets up and decides to follow her gut instinct. She quietly opens her door and starts slowly down the stairs. As she reaches the bottom of the stairs she sees Ezra and the two gentlemen from earlier still seated at a table. She smiles to herself thinking this time her gut instinct was wrong, everything looks peaceful. She makes her way over to the table and greets the gentlemen.

"Must be a great poker game," she states.

"It is. Would you care to join us?"
Ezra asks her while dealing another hand.

"No, but thanks. I was simply coming to check on things. I had a bit of a strange dream," she replies, noticing the odd look in the two gentlemen’s eyes.

"Well, nothing to worry about, everything is fine here," the southerner states.

Samantha smiles and nods her head. She turns around and begins walking back to the staircase. After a few steps she hears Ezra yell something and then her world goes dark.

+ + + + + + +

Inez walks slowly into the bar with a feeling that something isn't quite right and looks to the form lying at the foot of the stairs. She rushes over and sees that Samantha is still breathing. Then looking around she hurries out of the saloon to get help.

+ + + + + + +

"I’m telling you Buck it’s…" JD begins to say, but is interrupted by Inez running up.

"Buck, it’s…it’s Sam," the young Mexican woman states. "Something’s happened, she’s in the saloon, hurt."

Buck looks to JD and then back to Inez, knowing something was definitely wrong.

"I’ll go get Doc," the youngest peacekeeper states, turning to run to Nathan’s clinic.

Buck then turns and follows Inez to the saloon.

+ + + + + + +

"She’s fine, just unconscious," Nathan states, walking out of his clinic.

"What happened?" the leader Chris Larabee asks.

"Someone hit her over the back of the head. She’s got a pretty big knot there, looks as if it was done with the butt of a gun," the healer responds.

"Where’s Ezra?" Buck asks, looking around for the gambler, thinking he should be here, knowing how the man felt about Samantha.

"I don’t know. I haven’t seen him and he’s not in his room," JD replies to the question.

Chris looks around a little then looks back to his comrades.

"Something smells fishy," the black clad man responds.

"I’ll go and talk with Yosemite, ask him if he’s noticed anything," Josiah states, and then turns and walks down the clinic stairs.

"I’m gonna go and look around at the saloon, see what I can find," Vin remarks, following behind Josiah.

+ + + + + + +

Samantha slowly awakes and clutches the back of her head in pain. What happened? she thinks to herself, looking around Nathan’s clinic. She lets a groan escape and notices a figure move over closer to her bed.

"Hey you," the voice calls to her.

"Buck?" she responds questioningly.

"Yeah, ol' Buck’s here. Whoa now, don’t try and sit up," the ladies man states, placing a hand on her shoulder.

"But…Ezra...," she tries to say, but cuts herself off.

"We don’t know where Ezra is," Buck comments, wondering what’s troubling her.

"No...fancy-dressed guys…and Ezra…he yelled…then…then…I don’t remember anything after that," she whispers.

"Slow down and just think about what happened. How many men were there?" Buck questions.

Samantha takes a deep breath and furrows her eyebrows, trying to remember.

"Two. They played poker with him. I had a strange dream and went downstairs to check and see if everything was alright," she breathes out. "Ezra was still playing cards with these two men and he said everything was just fine. Then I turned to go back upstairs and Ezra yelled something and then everything went black."

She clutches her head in pain once more and Buck pats her shoulder.

"What’d Ezra yell?" the peacekeeper questions.

"I’m not sure," Samantha says, trying to remember the conversation.

"Well nothing to worry about," Ezra states.

Samantha nods her head and turns to go back upstairs.

She takes a few steps, and then hears Ezra yell.

"Sam!" the southerner yells and she hears a chair scrape along the floor.

She remembers beginning to turn around but that's all, as she then felt a horrible pain to her head.

"He yelled my name," she states, coming back from the reverie. "He was probably trying to warn me."

Buck nods his head and feels of her forehead.

"Alright, you rest some more. Vin and Josiah are out seeing what they can find," he states. "We’ll find out what happened."

Samantha slightly nods her head and relaxes back into the pillow. I could use some more rest, but I need to help them find Ezra… her thoughts cut off as she falls back asleep.

+ + + + + + +

Chris walks out of the jail as Josiah and Vin come up to meet him.

"There’s signs of a struggle in the saloon, but other than that there’s nothing," the tracker remarks.

"Yosemite said that a man came by late last night, took out his and his friend's horses and then he rented an extra horse," the preacher tells them.

"I want to know what’s going on. Sam gets knocked out, and then Ezra disappears," the leader says shaking his head, with a frown.

"I’ll go look for some tracks out of the livery. I’ll follow any I find," the tracker states, tipping his hat. "I’ll be back when I find something."

Josiah and Chris watch as Vin walks towards the livery.

"Ezra wouldn’t just run out, would he?" the preacher questions, looking back to the leader.

"I don’t know why he would. But if he did, why would he knock Sam out?" Larabee responds.

"I don’t believe Ezra would hurt her at all," the peacekeeper states.

Chris nods his head in agreement, looking to the end of town.

+ + + + + + +

JD looks up as Buck walks out of Nathan’s clinic and Josiah, Chris, and Nathan walk up the stairs.

"She woke up for a few minutes. She couldn’t remember much, but she was talking about two fancy-dressed fellows and Ezra yelling her name before she was knocked out," the ladies man says, meeting the questioning eyes.

"Vin went out to follow any tracks. What would two men want with Ezra?" Chris asks his men.

"Is she resting again?" Nathan questions Buck, ignoring Chris’s mused question.

Buck nods his head and sits down beside JD.

"I guess all we can do is wait and see what Vin finds," the youngest peacekeeper states.

The rest of the men nod their agreement.

+ + + + + + +

Later that night Vin and Chris meet at the livery as Buck and JD walk down from the clinic.

"Well, what’d you find?" the leader asks.

"Well, I…" Vin begins, but stops as the door to Nathan’s clinic opens and an unstable Samantha steps out.

"You should be in bed," Buck states parentally as JD begins up the stairs to help her.

"Tell me something I don’t know," she responds, leaning against the rail.

"Well, I followed some tracks to Eagle Bend," Vin continues to say. "Turns out those two men boarded a stage this morning, with a drunken man, or so that's what I was told," the tracker responds.

"Where’s the stage headed?" the young girl questions, leaning on JD some for support.

"St. Louis," the long haired peacekeeper responds.

"St. Louis? What’s there that would have something to do with Ezra?" the leader questions.

Buck looks up to Samantha, both knowing the answer.

"Maude," the two say simultaneously.

"Maude?" JD questions.

"Yeah, she’s been sending him letters, trying to talk him into leaving town and joining her there to make more money," the ladies man responds.

"This is low, even for her," the girl replies.

"What are we going to do?" the tracker questions.

"Once Maude gets him there, she won’t let him go," Chris says.

"So, I guess we go to St. Louis," the youngest states.

"Not we. Vin and I’ll ride out first thing in the morning. The stage is only a day ahead of us. We should catch up to it tomorrow," the black clad man tells them.

"And me, I'm going too," Samantha pipes up.

Chris turns to look at her as if to tell her no, but stops as she begins to speak again.

"Chris, I’ll ride with you, or I’ll follow you. Choose one," she states seriously.

Chris looks to Vin, their eyes making conversation.

Should we?

You know she’ll follow us if we don’t.

But it’s not safe…

She wants to help save Ezra, besides she could help get more information, Cowboy.


Chris turns and looks back to Samantha.

"Alright, but check with Nathan. Then first thing in the morning we ride out," he tells them.

Samantha gives a small grin at her victory, and JD turns to help her back inside.

+ + + + + + +

"She alright to ride?" Vin questions, as Samantha and Nathan walk out of the clinic.

Nathan nods his head, "She’ll be fine."

"So, you’re gonna try and catch up with that stage?" the youngest peacekeeper questions.

"Yeah, if all goes as planned it should stop tonight at Kettleston," the leader responds.

"Watch your back," Buck states as the three climb up onto their horses.

Vin tips his hat to his friends and the three turn to ride out of town.

+ + + + + + +

Ezra slowly awakes in bed, his head pounding. He tries to move his hand to his head, but finds his hands shackled to the bedpost and his mouth gagged. He lets a moan escape as a couple questions cross his mind.

What happened and where am I?
He looks up as the door opens and in walks in one of his poker opponents from the night before.

"Awake are we?" the man questions, moving over to undo Ezra’s gag.

"What’s going on?" the southerner questions.

"Well, your mother paid us to bring you to St. Louis. We had to take you out in the middle of the night and leave, hoping that your friends would think you ran out on them," the man tells him. "Except that meddling girl wasn’t part of the plan."

"What did you do to her?" Ezra questions angerly.

"Let’s just say she’s taken care of. We’ll leave first thing in the morning on the stage. It would be wise for you to go along peaceably. I would hate to have to knock you out again," the man responds.

He places the gag back over Ezra’s mouth and walks out as Ezra lets out a muffled yell.

+ + + + + + +

"Alright, that’s them," Samantha states, looking in the saloon at the two fancy-dressed men from before.

"A little strange don’t you think, if they left Ezra alone?" the leader points out.

"They must not be too bright then," the tracker adds.

"I’m gonna go over to the hotel, see if I can find him," the girl tells them.

"Alright. We’ll take care of these two," the leader replies.

Samantha nods her head, then lifts her skirt a little and runs across the street to the hotel.

+ + + + + + +

Samantha eases her way up the stairs and looks down the row of doors. Well, here goes everything, she thinks to herself. She walks down the hallway listening intently. She knocks on a door and hears someone yell ‘What’?

"Sorry, wrong room," she yells back.

She raps on a few more doors and gets some unwelcome greetings. Reaching one door in particular she knocks and when she doesn’t get a response she knocks again. Ready to move on to the next she starts to walk again, but hears a muffled yell come from the room. She tries the doorknob, but it’s locked.

+ + + + + + +

"You boys don't mind if we join you, do you?" the tracker asks, walking up to the table with the two suspect men.

One of the men looks up from his cards, "Why, not at all."

Chris looks to Vin, giving a little nod and the two sit down at the table prepared to do some card playing and a little drinking.

+ + + + + + +

Samantha wiggles around the hair pin some more, then smiles as the doorknob turns. She opens the door and looks in to find Ezra shackled to the bed. Ezra looks up in surprise at Samantha. She walks over, bends down and undoes the gag.

"What are you doing here?" he questions as she looks at the shackles.

"Saving you," she responds with a slight grin.

"But I though you were…" he lets the sentence trail off, knowing he'd thought the worst.

"I'm fine, but my head still hurts a little," she remarks, standing up. "Now, hold on a minute. I’ll have you free in no time."

She slowly begins lifting her skirt up above her knee, to pull her small derringer from the inside of her thigh. She removes the gun then realizes that the other occupant of the room has made no remarks. She slowly lifts her gaze to meet that of Ezra’s. He had been staring at her the entire time. She quickly drops her skirt down and blushes.

"You tell anyone, I’ll kill you," she threatens.

Ezra nods his head in understanding with a slight smile then looks to the gun in her hand.

"You’re not going to..." he cuts off, seeing the smile on her face.

"On the count of three," she states, "One."

"Two," the southerner says, turning his head.

"Three," she fires the gun and busts the shackle.

Then she moves to the other side of the bed and does the same. Ezra sits up and plays with the remaining shackles on his wrist.

"Well, let’s go," she says, turning to walk out.

"How did you know?" he questions, getting his coat.

"What?" she asks, turning back around.

"That I just didn’t run out," he states.

"Why would you yell my name, then knock me out?" she replies, tilting her head a little. "That just wouldn't make a whole lot of sense now would it?"

Ezra smiles and follows her out.

+ + + + + + +

"Well, we’ll just take our friend back with us," a very sober tracker states to the two very drunk men.

"Okay," one replies, trying to stand and falls back into his chair, the other one laughing at him.

Chris looks to Vin, raises an eyebrow and the two get up and walk out.

+ + + + + + +

"Is that...?" Ezra questions, looking at Chris and Vin as they walk to the livery.

"Yeah," she responds as they catch up to the two peacekeepers.

"Well, Ezra," Chris says, giving the gambler a sincere smile.

"Mr. Larabee, I see the two of you accompanied my hero here," the gambler responds with a grin and a nod to Samantha.

"Well, your hero didn’t leave us any choice. She was bound and determined to come along. Those two men that kidnapped you should wake up in the morning with huge hangovers and realize they shouldn’t have even tried taking you," the tracker tells him, giving the conman a grin.

"Glad to know my associates didn’t think I ran out," he replies, looking to the ground.

"I knew you wouldn’t run, and we’re not your associates any more Ezra," Larabee tells him.

Ezra looks to Chris in confusion, then to Samantha.

"We’re your friends," the black clad man remarks, putting a hand on the conman's shoulder.

Ezra looks to a smiling Chris and then to Samantha.

Smiling himself at the outcome of the situation, he then looks around the livery.

"Where’s Chaucer?" he questions.

Samantha lets out a sigh and shakes her head.

"I knew I was forgetting something," she says, swinging up onto her horse, as do the other two peacekeepers.

"Looks like you’ll have to walk Ez," the tracker smirks as he, Samantha, and Chris begin to ride out.

"No, wait…wait," he calls, running after them.

Samantha pulls her horse to a stop and gives Ezra a hand up.

"Now, let’s go home. Shall we?" she questions.

Ezra nods his head with a smile.

"Yes, let’s go home," he agrees with her.

Samantha kicks her horse into a run to catch up with Chris and Vin.

The End

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