Note: I would like to thank my beta Sandy for urging me to send this one in. Hope ya like it.
Late afternoon in Four Corners and Samantha is headed for the newspaper office to give Mary the latest version of one of her infamous short stories for children, when Ezra approaches her.
"Samantha, may I ask you something?" he asks, stepping in front of her to stop her.
"Sure Ez, but make it quick. Ive got to get this to Mary," she says, holding up a slip paper.
"Is it a song or a short story?" he questions.
"Short story. What were you going to ask me?" she asks hurriedly.
"Oh, I started writing this...this...well, you could call it a poem I guess and I was wondering if you could help me on it?" he asks.
"Sure, Id love to, but first I have to get this to Mary. Ill meet you in the saloon, say thirty minutes from now," she replies.
"Alright, see you then," he says, as he moves aside to let her pass.
She continues her steady pace to the Clarion and enters the building. Ezra turns back to the saloon and notices Buck walking towards him.
"Come on Ez, seems to be some trouble at the bank," he tells him.
He turns to leave and Ezra follows him. They meet up with Chris, Vin, and JD as they near the bank.
"Wheres Nate and Josiah?" Buck questions.
"In the bank," Chris responds.
As they reach the bank, two unknown men are sitting on horseback, as if waiting for someone.
"May we help you gentlemen?" Ezra drawls.
"Just waiting on our friends," one of them says.
Just then three men exit the bank.
"Watch out!" Josiah yells from inside the bank.
Gunfire erupts and Vin manages to shoot one of the men on horseback as JD takes out the other one. Josiah knocks the last outlaw coming out of the bank unconscious, while the other two take shots at Buck and Ezra. The two peacekeepers return the gunfire and the two bank robbers fall, but Ezra gets shot in the shoulder and falls to the ground hitting his head on the boardwalk.
"We got em didnt we pard...pard?" Buck questions, when Ezra doesnt answer.
He turns to see Ezra lying on the ground.
"Nathan!" Buck yells, rushing over to Ezra.
Nathan runs over and notices the blood coming from Ezras right shoulder.
"Lets get him to my office," he orders, as he and Buck lift the gambler up and carry him to the clinic.
Samantha has heard the gunfire and leaves Marys office, running down the street toward the bank. JD cuts her off.
"Hold on," he says, grabbing her arms.
"What happened?" she questions, looking to the bodies of the robbers.
"Some men tried to rob the bank," he answers, not letting her go.
"Is everyone okay..." she cuts off, noticing Buck and Nathan carrying Ezra to the clinic.
She begins to try and get free.
"What happened to Ezra?" she questions, still squirming.
"Calm down, just calm down. He was shot in the shoulder," JD says, "Docs got to check him out and remove the bullet, but he hit his head when he hit the ground. So hes knocked out."
"Is he...will he be...fine?" she asks.
"Thats somethin youll have to ask Nate, but Im sure hell be alright," JD reassures, then leads her to the outside of the clinic.
They wait for a few minutes and Buck walks out.
Samantha stands up to face him.
"Settle down, hes going to be fine, once he wakes up. Until then, all you can do is busy yourself, to take your mind off of it," Buck says, handing her Ezras deck of cards.
"So hes going to be okay?" she questions.
Buck nods his head and she looks to the deck of cards.
"Oh, you dont want me to busy myself, you want to win back the money you lost last night," she asks with a knowing grin.
"That too," Buck says, then waves his arm out towards the saloon.
"Want to join us JD?" she asks.
"Why not, I love to watch Buck lose," he chuckles, standing up to follow them.
Once inside the saloon Samantha sits down at the usual table, while Buck and JD go and get a few drinks. She takes the deck of cards from the box and a small slip of paper falls out. She picks it up off the table and almost puts it back in the box, but curiosity gets the best of her. She unfolds the paper and begins to read the neat cursive writing:
I want to pour out to you my heart,
But Im not sure where to start.
I want to show you all my feelings,
And let you know their meanings.
But how can I let you know,
When all you want to do is go.
I dont want to let you leave,
But how can I make you see,
That you and I were meant to be.
Ezra P. Standish
She looks up from the paper as JD and Buck walk to the table. Had this been what he wanted her help on? Was she even supposed to know about this? She tucks the paper back in the box as the two men sit down.
"Whats the matter?" JD questions.
"Oh...nothing...Whatll it be?" she asks, beginning to shuffle the cards.
"Five card stud, deuces wild," Buck states.
Samantha begins to deal them each a hand, but the questions keep racing through her mind, pushing out the game of cards shes trying to concentrate on.
+ + + + + + +
"Whoa, Buck thats the second round youve won?" JD says, in astonishment.
"Yeah, Sam you having a string of bad luck?" Buck asks, as Samantha places the cards back in the box.
"No Buck, I think for once Im having a string of good luck," she states, getting up from the table.
Buck looks to JD in confusion, as Samantha wonders out of the saloon.
She takes a seat in a chair outside of the Clarion and stares blankly at the street in front of her.
Mary walks out of the office and looks surprised to see Samantha sitting there.
"Hey Sam, is there something I can do for you?" Mary asks, tilting her head to one side.
Samantha looks up and smiles.
"Can I borrow your pencil?" she asks.
"Sure," Mary replies, removing the pencil from behind her ear.
She hands it to Samantha and stares at her for a moment, something is different about her, but Mary isnt sure what. Mary then walks past the young girl, towards the general store.
Samantha pulls out the slip of paper from the box of cards, and immediately begins to write something down on it.
+ + + + + + +
Two days later, after Ezra has healed some and is once again back in the saloon, Samantha hurriedly runs down the stairs.
"Where are you going? Is something wrong?" Ezra asks, from his usual table, where he sits with a book.
"Nope Ez, just going out for a morning ride," she replies to the gambler.
"Oh," she says, producing his deck of cards, "Ill believe these are yours."
She tosses the box of cards to him and he catches them with a smile.
"Ive looked all over for these. Thank you," he replies.
"No problem, see ya," she says, then rushes out the door.
Ezra pulls out the cards and looks to the slip of paper that flutters down onto the table. He knows what his writing looks like, but there appears to be more on it now. He picks it up and unfolds it, then begins to read the smaller cursive writing that is located under his:
I believe this will help you:
I dont want to go any more,
And I promise not to walk out the door,
As long as you promise me,
That you will let me see,
Just how you and I are meant to be.
- Samantha A. Dunnison
Vin walks in and looks to the gambler as he looks intently at a slip of paper.
"Something wrong Ez?" Vin questions, making his way over.
"What would induce you to make that conclusion?" Ezra asks, slipping the paper back in the box.
"Nothin I guess, it just looked like youd been beaten at your own game," Vin states, sitting down.
"Well Mr. Tanner, I believe I have been beaten at my own game," Ezra states, staring into space.
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