All Reasons to Win

by Amelia

Winter still had a tight hold on the countryside. The howl of the wind could be heard as it buffeted the building causing the structure to creak and groan while the windows rattled. However, the noise was all but forgotten as Vin Tanner studied the cards in his hands. He knew the others were watching and awaiting his next move.

It was his turn, he knew it and knew they knew it. He could feel their eyes boring into him, even though he never lifted his own sight from the cards he held. Vin could feel the tension in the air, they all wanted to be the winner. With Ezra actually not involved this time, having bowed out, it was just between them and they all wanted to be the one Lady Luck touched this time.

Vin looked over the cards carefully, his tongue slowly sliding across his lip as he gave serious thought to what he saw. Weighing it all out in his mind, at each possibility, at which would be the greatest win.

Nodding to him self when he thought he had decided, he looked up and saw it in their eyes. And he wasn't sure once more. For in those eyes, in the gazes of his friends, he saw their longing, their true desire to have the great win.

Shifting from one foot to the other, he once again seemed to look at the cards in his hands. But it wasn't the cards he was seeing, it was their honest wanting to win.

Turning around, Vin looked up with emotional eyes, meeting the other set waiting for him.

“I'm sorry Miss Nettie, I don't think I can chose. See Chris here loves pecan pie 'cause it reminds him of the pies his Sarah baked. Bucklin and JD both because their ma's always fixed the blackberry, well it's special to them. Nathan last memory of his whole family together before they got separated was sharing an apple pie. Josiah remembers him and his sister Hannah split a pumpkin one just before he left to find his own way in the world. Ezra, he's over at the saloon playing poker right now, but he and me like them all. I just can't decide, 'cause it's like pickin' only one of them to have their memory,” Vin softly expressed, handing the recipe cards back to Nettie.

She had wanted to thank them for all the work they had done, in putting her barn and fencing back up after the storm blew it all down. She knew Vin and been learning to read, so she had found Vin and handed him the recipe cards telling him to look them over and pick one for her to make for all of them as a thank you.

Vin had gone to each one asking what they had liked and had found out about the memories as each had told him when seeing the choices.

Vin's shoulders had felt the weight of each story, had wanted to give them a say in it, but didn't know how to. So, he had made his way to the jail and had been there trying to decide. When first Chris, then JD, and slowly the rest of them came in, none had asked which he chose, just stood around the pot belly stove or leaned against the desk waiting. Then Nettie had finally showed back up after she was finished with her business in town to see what had been decided.

Looking now at his face, and up at the others. Nettie just nodded her head as she accepted the cards back. “Fine, then. You boys be out at my place come Sunday for lunch. We'll have chicken and dumplings and one each of those pies,” she stated as she headed for the door.

“Nettie, you ain't gotta....” Chris began to say but was cut off.

“And don't any of ya be late,” Nettie said with a smile as she went out closing the door behind her.

The End

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