Christmas Ribbons

by Wendymypooh

Old West Christmas Series

Buck Wilmington, resident ladies man and peacekeeper of the fair citizens of Four Corners, was actually nervous. He stood on the porch of Esther Wilson’s boarding house waiting for someone to answer his ringing of the bells, and hoped it would be Chastity that answered it. The long strand of bells was a topic of conversation among the citizens of Four Corners, as well as the boarding house residents. Esther Wilson, a widow, had arrived in town several weeks earlier, and had decided to start her life over by running a boarding house. She had quickly staked out her claim on a nice piece of land and Josiah Sanchez’ heart, Buck’s fellow peacekeeper.

Chastity Cummings had arrived in town determined to prove that she was capable of surviving without the help of any man. Her wavy fiery red hair had been hanging madly around her shoulders, her forest green traveling suit layered with dust, and her emerald green eyes spitting with fire as she stepped down from the stagecoach that had brought her into town.

He had been sitting outside of the jail, shooting the breeze with Vin Tanner and Ezra Standish, when the stagecoach had arrived in town. The moment he had spotted the top of Chastity’s red head, all of his attention had been riveted on the stagecoach. The buxom that was attached to the red hair had astounded him and propelled him out of his chair, and down the wooden walkway toward the lovely woman.

He had heard Vin and Ezra taking bets on how the young woman would receive him, followed by their shared laughter, but paid them no mind. He introduced himself to Chastity and offered to escort her to the hotel. Chastity had told him to go to hell and proceeded onto the hotel.

She had certainly made him work to get close to her over the past couple of weeks. One night, after he had managed to get her to accept his dinner invitation, she had told him that she been a ‘whore’ in a high priced bordello in St. Louis, and had made enough money to quit the business and start her life over. She had told him fiercely that she would not go back to living that sort of life again, no matter how much he sweet-talked her.

Buck had made sure she understood that no man, including him, was going to make her do anything that she did not want to do. It had begun a tenuous friendship between them that had deepened the more time they spent with one another. It had not taken him long before he realized that he was falling in love with her, and wondered if she felt anything for him other than friendship. He planned to tell her that night how he felt before they left for the town’s Christmas party, and that was what was making him so nervous.

The door finally opened to reveal Chastity wearing a brilliant green dress trimmed with red lace and ribbons that accentuated her curvaceous body. Her glorious red hair was piled atop her head in an intricate style that left a few tresses falling to frame her lovely face.

“Chastity, you are by far the loveliest woman in all of Four Corners.” Buck told her as he held out a hand to her.

“Thank you, Buck. You look right handsome yourself in your fancy duds.” Chastity said, placing her hand in Buck’s and let him pull her into his embrace.

She lifted her head up for the kiss that Buck so desperately wanted to give her. They were both breathless when the kiss ended a few moments later.

“I love you Chastity.” Buck said, holding her tighter to him, hoping that by telling her how his feelings had changed had not ruined things between them.

“Oh, Buck.” Chastity breathed out past the lump of emotion that had lodged in her throat. When she had left Saint Louis, she had made a solemn vow to never allow herself be taken in by another man, as she had been by Jenner Krebbs.

Of course, she had never known a man like Buck Wilmington before. She knew all about his past, and found that he had a unique understanding into how her felt. It was more than that, Buck made her feel whole. His very presence in her life had become something that she depended on, and not in the way that she had ever depended on a man before. Buck treated her as an equal, a woman to not only be admired for her outer beauty, but to be respected for who she was on the inside.

“Chastity…if I’ve done anything…” Buck started to apologize, but Chastity quickly quieted his words with another kiss.

“I never dreamed that men like you existed Buck. All the men that I have encountered before were all for themselves, all eager to get what they wanted, and then left me hurting. But not you, Buck, you’ve shown me what love is really like.” Chastity told him when she broke the kiss.

“Are you saying?” Buck held his breath, desperately needing to hear her say the words.

“I love you too, Buck.”