A Magnificent Seven gen novel by Deirdre, set in the Old West universe and with lots of hurt-comfort. NOTE! This story has appeared, or is currently available, on-line.
A robbery in Four Corners. An escaped convict, gunning for Chris. An angry brother, seeking revenge. A telegraph that cannot be read. All these are elements that come together in a tangled tragedy that nearly costs three of the Seven their lives, and their friendships.
"You selfish, no-good bastard," Buck growled, grabbing the startled man and throwing him into the alley. He grabbed Vin's collar with his left hand and pounded his face with his right. He grabbed the paper and read it, his burning gaze boring into the speechless bounty hunter. "How could you? I know you were pissed off at him, but this? Why? I want to hear why, Vin!"
"What the hell's the matter with ya?" Vin raged, wiping his bloodied lip.
"Me?" Buck roared, pounding Vin's midsection. "You as good as killed him yourself! Why didn't you warn him? Chris was your best friend. Why didn't y' stand by him?"
Vin's head swam from the mental and the physical blows he'd sustained. What was Buck talking about? He put the clues together. The wire clutched in Buck's hand . . . was your best friend . . . killed him yourself.
"Chris?" he croaked, eyes wide. "He ain't–?" Vin couldn't bring himself to say it.
"He's dead. Gunned down at his cabin. Where the hell were you? Josiah sent the warning early enough." Buck's deathgrip on the smaller man intensified. "I want an answer!"
"I was goin' t' ride out... I fell asleep... I..." Vin lost his voice as the truth gripped him and the vision slammed back into his head.
The cry that burst from Buck was something feral and inhuman. He began pounding the tracker. Vin didn't fight. The gravity of his actions took the will out of him. The vision had come true in full, bloodied color. His ragdoll posture made it easy for Buck to vent his anger.
Buck looked down at the bloodied body, slumped on the ground before him. He closed both hands around the tracker's throat. "Why couldn't it've been you?" Buck asked, lost in his grief. His grip intensified...
114 pages. $10 for PDF version with color cover.
Magnificent Seven Home | Aurora's Embrace | Blood Brothers | Devil's Bargain | Driven | Echoes in the Dark | Helluva Thing | Hostages of Obsession | In for a Peso, In for a Pound | Killing Time | Music Hath Charms | Need/Lost Boys | Quicksand | Rough Stones | Savage Fury | Second Chances, Volume 1 | Second Chances, Volume 2 | Secrets Ghost | Thorn in the Flesh | Virtual Reality | Visits With Dr. Will | Whispers in the Darkness