The Party at the Saloon

by Silvia

Part 4 of the "Crossed Paths" series.

She still watched over him, but just to be pleased that all her work had been fruitful. With the time, she'd managed to find not one, six protectors, but only one twin soul, the one she knew would stand beside him all the way. And she was happy, more that she thought she will be, because it was hard to be away. But she knew she still could touch his son, with the heart of the soul she'd find for him.

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Twin cowboys sat like bookends at the bar. Each quietly aware of the other's presence. The saloon was full of people from the department and they've been dancing with everybody. Now the party was coming to the end and they were having their lasts drinks. Later Inez had promised she will set some sweet tables, decorated specially for the ocacion. So Vin wouldn't move from there until he got a piece of everything on that table.

"How you doing Vin? was it like you've imagined?" Chris said, knowing Vin hadn't had so many Halloween parties in his life.

"Reckon not, a little more... well, it's crazier than I thought" but he was smiling as he said so.

After some time, Inez changed to a soul music, it was time to get the beasts calm down. She was looking at Buck when the thought came to her mind, he was wild and out of him tonight. But she smiled at the sight.

"Thanks God!" said Chris, "My head is killing me"

"Reckon, you've drunk too much"

"Oh!, look who's talking!"

"Yep, mee too" he conceded.

"I have a bag of candies in the truck for Billy. Don't let me forget to give them to Mary before she leaves. I promised Billy." said Chris casually.

For a moment Vin was out of the place, something took him back to his childhood and he stared frozen looking at the wall, no, beyond the wall.

He sat still, almost frozen at Chris' words. Without thinking he pulled out his wallet and frantically began searching through the divisions pulling first one then another slip of paper out.

"Hey, pard, you okay?"

Vin didn't answer, just continued his search until at last he found what he was looking for.

"You want to go?" asked Chris, maybe Vin wasn't feeling all right.

"All this time... I just thought promises were a fucking thing, a lie, never used the word again. Used faith and brotherhodd recently, but never promise anything to anybody" Vin slowly, almost reverently unfolded the slip of yellow paper. He looked at Chris with a far away gaze.

"You know something; Halloween has always been kinda weird for me."

"Why?" Chris was struggling to follow his friend's train of thought. Their silent communication was malfunction.

"I... I did have one time when I went trick or treating. I was real little. Never got to do it with my ma. She died on Halloween. I was so little. Believe it or not, after she died, the only good memory I have from that time until much later, and I's only jist remembering now, is of that Halloween."

Chris stayed silent. He knew Vin well enough to let the man gather his thoughts and his obviously scattered emotions.

"I ended in the hospital, puking my guts out all night, I think that's why I forgot" he said

"Sorry, it should have been a good memory, but I guess it wasn't" offered Chris

"Now I remember. Everything's so clear to me..." and he handed Chris the piece of paper he had treasured all those years. "I think it will be clear for you. Thanks, Chris."

Chris was puzzled. He slowly looked at the piece of paper and began to read the words. Words written by a much younger Chris Larabee. Chris looked at Vin in disbelief. How come he never realized this Vin in front of him, his soul brother, was that little kid he'd known in his teenage years?

"I wasn't allowed to visit you in the hospital. When I went back the next week, you were gone. No one would tell me where. No one knew anything about this note. I had no idea."

Vin handed another carefully folded paper and handed it to Chris. "Reckon I owe you this money, Cowboy." and then with a grin he added, "Don't go thinking I'm paying ya' the interest".

Chris took the other piece of paper the money inside of it and read the words on the page. "You... Nettie... I'd lost contact with her after I got married, and then when Sarah and Adam died, I just forgot everything about it..." "I don't understand... never thought you could be..." he didn't have more words

"Reckon, with my ma' being closer to me these days of the year. . .I can't explain it. Now I remember those times... it was you and Josiah..." he looked to were Josiah was talking with Inez and Buck and said "You've changed my life, those two days... were special to me, they made the difference..." he said staring at his friend's face

+ + + + + + +

High above where the wind gently blew she smiled. All her efforts were rewarded. Her son had his twin soul and five additional brothers. He would never be alone. She could rest. As she looked down on her boy she smiled as she took in the men that made up his family. She laughed as she watched the two cowboys, the nun, the nurse, complete with white cap and white stockings, the stereotypical computer geek with taped glasses and pocket protector, the Vegas Show Girl who still couldn't figure out how to move with the feathers pluming from his head and back, and the cockroach.

She heard their laughter, felt their warmth and love. Her boy was home. She was home.

Part 5: Sharing Cookies