by Ace

Companion Stories

The saloon was rather empty. Just the barkeep and a few people scattered about, among them were Chris, Vin, Ezra, JD, and Samantha. Nathan and Josiah weren’t due back till tomorrow from the reservation, Mary had gone to visit Judge Travis and Billy, and Buck, well, he was around somewhere flirting as usual.

"Would you care to join us Mr. Larabee?" Ezra asks, as he deals another hand of cards.

"Ezra, you robbed me blind last night. Do you think I’m stupid enough to go again tonight?" Chris asks from the bar.

"Well, there are those…" Ezra begins, but is quickly interrupted by Vin.

"I wouldn’t go there if I were you Ezra," he says.

"Well, I’m out," Samantha says, laying her cards down, "And I better get to work on that article Mary wanted or she’ll kill me when she returns. I’ll see you gentlemen in the morning."

She gets up and Chris and Ezra nod to her, while JD carefully examines his cards.

"Night Half-Pint," Vin says smiling.

"Good-night," Samantha says, smiling at the nickname.

Vin had given her the nickname a short while after she had arrived at Four Corners. It could be annoying at times, but she didn’t mind it.

She walks up the stairs and Vin, Chris, and JD stand up.

"Well, I best leave while I still got some money," Vin says.

Then he, JD, and Chris leave Ezra in the saloon, with nothing but his drink and infamous deck of cards.

+ + + + + + +

After being in her room for about thirty minutes, Samantha hears gunfire erupt in the street below, but thinks nothing of it, seeing as how sometimes the occasional man tries to start trouble after having one too many drinks.

Ezra hears the gunfire too, but figures the four men can handle it. After a few minutes the gunfire ends, and a few minutes after that Ezra gets up to investigate, since none of the boys have walked back in the saloon. He walks over and looks out to see a group of ten men on horseback, but there was more. Chris, Vin, JD, and Buck were obviously quick on the draw, but were now being tied up and pushed towards the jail, each one appearing to have a shoulder or leg wound, none being bad though.

"Good lord," Ezra mumbles under his breath.

Knowing he can’t take on ten men by himself, he turns around and heads up the stairs to get Samantha. He busts through the door and slams it shut behind him.

"Ezra! What is it?" she exclaims from her desk.

"They have Mr.’s Larabee, Dunne, Wilmington, and Tanner," he says in his southern drawl, walking over to her window.

"Who does?" she asks.

"I’m not sure yet," he says, looking out the window.

Samantha walks over to the window and stands beside him, looking out as the men start raiding the town. All the townsfolk have already gone inside and locked their doors.

"What are we gonna do Ezra?" she asks.

"Well, first we need to get our fellow gentlemen out of jail," he responds.

"And just how do you plan on doing that?" she questions, raising a brow.

Ezra looks at Samantha, who is still dressed in pants and a button up shirt.

He looks her up and down, then smiles.

"I don’t like that smile Ezra, what are you thinking?" she asks.

"You do happen to have a dress don’t you, I mean a nice dress," he says.

"Maybe, why?" she questions, unsure of Ezra’s plan.

"Well, part of being a con artist is changing one’s appearance, and I believe my dear, I can turn you into a lady," he replies.

"Ezra, growing up people always told me never to trust a gambler or a con artist, and well, I’m crossing both of those boundaries right now," she says, walking over to her closet.

"What are you trying to suggest my dear," he says.

She pulls out a beautiful dress and looks at him.

"I’m going to trust you Ezra," she says.

Ezra stopped to think this over. He knew the six other men that he helped to enforce the law at Four Corners did trust him to watch their backs when they were in the midst of a fight, but to have Samantha’s trust, even for something as small as this, made him feel good.

+ + + + + + +

Chris, Vin, JD, and Buck sit inside the jail cell, looking out at their warden, as the door to the jail opens and in walks Samantha. She looks beautiful in a dress, make-up, and her hair down on her shoulders. The four men see their friend, but none says anything due particularly to the fact their jaws are hitting the ground.

"I thought you might be thirsty," she says, setting down a tray with a couple of drinks on it in front of the warden.

"Thanks," the man says eyeing her.

He reaches to pick up a drink and she slowly makes her way behind him. Once positioned behind him, she takes her right wrist in her left hand, and jabs her right elbow right under his head, knocking him unconscious.

"What a woman," Buck says, as Samantha gets the keys.

"Your heroine has arrived gentlemen," she says, unlocking the cell.

"Thank you," Chris says, as he walks over to get their guns.

"You’re welcome," she replies.

"Don’t take this the wrong way, but what happened?" Vin asks, still looking at her.

"Ezra, and he’s waiting for us behind the saloon," she says, trying not to blush.

"Well, ole Ez did a pretty good job," Buck says, as JD stares in astonishment.

"Can we just go meet Ezra, there are still bad guys that need taking care of," she says, getting embarrassed.

They leave the jail and make their way behind the saloon, where Ezra awaits.

+ + + + + + +

"So, it’s ten to five," Chris says.

"Six," Samantha corrects him, as Ezra hands her her gun.

"JD, Buck, do you think you can take care of this down here?" Chris asks.

"Sure thing," Buck says, "Come on Kid."

He and JD walk around the edge of the saloon.

"Sam, you think you could do us a favor?" Chris asks with a smile.

"I can tell you’re gonna owe me after this," she says.

+ + + + + + +

"Yoo-hoo, boys," Samantha calls from the middle of the street, to a group of five men standing outside of the hardware store.

They all turn to look at her standing alone in the street. As they face Samantha, the other three peacekeepers sneak up behind them and knock them unconscious.

As the three men tie up the unconscious men, a man, the obvious leader sneaks up behind Samantha and wraps his arm around her neck, then places his gun to her head. She lets out a gasp, causing the three men to turn around and see the situation she’s in.

"Drop your guns," he says.

Chris, Vin, and Ezra do as they’re told.

"Now, if you do as I say, no one gets hurt," he says, loosening his arm around Samantha’s neck to reposition it.

She takes this opportunity to get free and dives to the ground.

The men reach for their guns, but two shots are fired. Ezra has killed the man, using his derringer, but the man has hit Samantha.

"Half-Pint," Vin says, concern in his voice.

The three men rush to her at once, as JD and Buck come running up.

She doesn’t move at first, but then slightly rolls over.

"Oh, you really owe me one," she says weakly, then looks at the bloody spot on her right shoulder.

"You alright?" Chris asks, taking a look at her shoulder.

"Just a scratch, but someone owes me a new dress," she says in a weak voice, jokingly.

"I believe we can chip in and buy you a new dress," Ezra says, as he and Chris help her to her feet.

"Hey JD, go up to Nathan’s and get a few bandages and some warm water. We’ll meet you at the saloon," Chris orders.

"Okay," JD responds, taking off down the street.

"You’re gonna bandage me up?" Samantha questions, trying to stand on her own.

"Yeah, Nathan won’t be back till tomorrow. He’ll look at it then, but you need to put something on it now," Chris responds in a parental tone.

"Yes sir," she replies, then turns to walk towards the saloon, "Ezra better start taking donations for my dress."

"How much did it cost exactly?" Ezra asks, trying to catch up with her.

"More than you think," she responds with a smile.

Chris shakes his head as he, Buck, and Vin follow them into the saloon.


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