Women

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Magnificent Seven Fanfic

JD Dunne stalked into the Four Corners saloon and strolled up to the bar. He tapped on the scarred wood top and barked, “Whiskey.”

Inez Recillos turned around from where she’d been depositing money into the cashbox, ready to do as requested, but stopped when she saw JD. Her dark eyes widened. She could not recall a time when JD had ordered hard liquor. Usually he chose to drink milk with his meals or ordered a beer when he and the rest of the seven peacekeepers were gathered around a table shooting the breeze.

As she gazed at him, Inez noticed that JD’s face was flushed and there was a steely glint in his dark eyes she had never seen before. There was something the matter with the young man, but she was not sure if she was the right person to find out what the problem was.

She placed a whiskey glass on the bar and poured a shot into it. Without saying a word, JD picked up the glass and down the contents. No sooner had he swallowed it, he began coughing and gasping for air as the amber liquid burned its way down his throat to his stomach.

 

“Easy there slick.” Buck Wilmington pounded JD on the back. “If you aren’t used to it, whiskey will burn a hole clean through your stomach lining.”

JD glared at him, strolled over to a table, and sat down.

Buck and Inez exchanged worried glances before Wilmington moved to seat himself at the same table. “What’s eating at you kid?”

JD let out a sigh, “Women.”

A slow grin crept onto Buck’s face. “Casey giving you trouble again?”

“Always. I was five minutes late to go on our ride and she acted as if it was ten hours. She would not even let me explain why I was late. She just told me to leave and not come back until I figured out what I’d done wrong.” JD gazed over at Buck. “What do I do now?”

“Wait until she decides to forgive you.”

JD scowled at him. “That could take forever.”

“I’m afraid so kid.”

Buck signaled Inez to bring him and JD a couple of beers, sensing that he and his friend were going to be in the saloon for a while. Men had been known to ponder the workings of a woman for years and not be any closer to discovering just how they worked.

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Trouble Times Two

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Magnificent Seven Fanfic

Chris Larabee and Vin Tanner did not actively seek out trouble, but it usually found them. Today was no exception. They were caught in a life and death struggle that neither were certain of the outcome.

They had been returning to Four Corners from a hunting trip, when a group of hide hunting band of outlaws waylaid them. Eight against two were not the best odds, so Vin and Chris had quickly reduced their opponents to four, before they had turned and made a run for higher ground. Vin took a hit to his left shoulder, and Chris was hit in his right thigh. Together they had practically crawled their way into the tiny niche in an outcropping of barren rocks, that they currently found themselves in.

“Going to be dark soon.” Vin tersely said as he reloaded his mule’s ear.

“Better cover for us to make a move. How’s your shoulder?” Larabee grimaced as he shifted position in the cramped quarters and his injured leg felt as if someone stuffed a red-hot poker through it. He let out a slew of expletives, that Vin echoed a couple of minutes later when he accidentally bumped his injured shoulder on a sharp point of the rocks they were hiding in and pain engulfed his torso.

Darkness fell, and with it, an opportunity for Vin and Chris to make their escape. They were very aware of the fact that the four remaining outlaws could be planning another attack upon them, but that was a risk they were going to take. Their bullets were dwindling down and instead of becoming absolutely helpless in the face of their enemies, they were willing to fight to the death.

Their escape proved relatively easy as the cockiness of their opponents led the remaining men to make camp for the night, instead of taking advantage of the darkness to be rid of Chris and Vin once and for all.

Neither the tracker nor the gunfighter were going to look a gift horse in the mouth for whoever was watching over them and decided to give them a chance to live for another day.

By the time morning arrived, both Chris and Vin were extremely tired, thirsty, and in constant pain. They had awkwardly attended to each other’s wounds, bundling them up as best they could, so that neither of them lost too much blood during the night. They were holed up within a stand of trees when the rest of their fellow peacekeepers arrived and gave them the aide they desperately needed. Soon all seven of the men were headed back to Four Corners together.

Texas Jackalope

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Magnificent Seven Fanfic

It was a cold, stormy night in late autumn when the seven peacekeepers from Four Corners settled down for the night around a roaring campfire. The lawmen had been out hunting down a notorious gang of outlaws who had been wreaking havoc in the territory. Judge Orrin Travis, their employer, had elicited their help in apprehending the gang. Vin Tanner, renowned tracker, had used his remarkable tracking skills to hunt down the gang at their hideout.

A furious gun battle had ensued, lasting several hours, and leaving a large portion of the outlaws, dead or severely wounded. Through what Josiah Sanchez, ex-preacher, claimed as ‘divine intervention’ none of the seven men had been seriously injured. Flesh wounds, minor cuts, bruises, and one dislocated shoulder, coupled with overall weariness once they had turned their prisoners over to federal marshals, had led to the seven deciding to call it an early night instead of riding on into town.

J.D. Dunne, the youngest of the seven was almost asleep when he became aware of the first strains of a melody drifting on the wind. “What is that?”

“Cow hands singing to their cattle J.D.” Buck Wilmington told the younger man.

“Where is it coming from though? We’re nowhere near any ranches out here.”

“High range.” Vin Tanner’s quiet voice supplied through the darkness. “Cow hands singing to their herd and the wind is carrying it down into the valley where we can hear it.”

Another strain caught their attention this time from an opposite direction. It was a solitary tune and had a haunting quality to it.

“You can’t tell me that is a cowhand singing to his cattle.” J.D. remarked, “It sounds downright eerie.”

“Nope…that’s a jackalope.” Vin told him.

“A jackalope? What in tarnation is that?” Buck exclaimed.

“A jackalope is a small animal that resembles a jack rabbit, but has antlers growing out of its head.” Vin explained. “It’s repeating the cow hand’s words back to them.”

“You don’t really expect us to believe such a tall tale as that, do you Vin?” Nathan Jackson asked sleepily.

“You can believe whatever you darn want to, Nathan. I was just telling you what I know it to be.” Vin said, his voice held an edge to it, the tracker not liking it being implied that he was lying.

Chris Larabee had listened quietly to the exchange of words between his companion’s, smiling all the while as Vin explained what they were hearing. He knew that Vin was fond of bringing up stories that he had heard to get a rise out of his friends…especially J.D. before they caught onto it being false. This time was different though, and he had noted the edgy quality Vin’s voice had taken on. He had heard the melody and the explanation from Vin before, and although he wasn’t quite sure he believed it, he knew that Vin did, and that was good enough for him.

“That’s enough talking for the night. Morning’s only a few hours off and we all need to get some sleep.” He said aloud in a voice that wouldn’t tolerate any arguments.

The other men settled down onto their pallets around the fire, and soon were lulled fast asleep by the melodic strains of the Jackalope.

Stormy Weather

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Magnificent Seven Fanfic

“Smells like rain.” Vin Tanner commented to Chris Larabee as the two peacekeepers settled into chairs outside the Four Corners jailhouse. It was early morning and the growing frontier town was just beginning to come alive. The two men sipped their cups of strong coffee and watched as shopkeepers emerged from their stores and began setting out their wares to lure citizens into their establishments.

Tantalizing aromas began to drift down to the two men from the hotel restaurant, as well as the kitchens of the new boarding house and bakery in town. Before long one of the other five men of the seven would arrive at the jailhouse to relieve them from their posts or send a waitress down from the restaurant with trays of food for them to enjoy.

Chris tilted his head back and squinted up at the brightening sky. “There’s not a cloud in the sky, Vin. You must be mistaken.”

“There’s three things a Texan knows well, Cowboy,” Vin said grinning at Larabee over the brim of his coffee cup, “How to love a woman, shoot a gun, and decipher the weather. Mark my words, we’ll see rain today.”

“Awfully cocky aren’t you?” Chris laughed as he took another sip of his coffee.

“Not cocky, just speakin’ the truth.” Vin replied.

By noon the bright sunlight of the morning was chased away by tattered soot colored clouds. A hard wind had swept up from out of nowhere, blowing things about, slamming doors, and causing hats to leap off of their unsuspecting owners as if they had wings of their own. The initial round of rain was heralded by the townsfolk as a welcomed relief from the horrible heat and drought the area had been under for several weeks, but it was slowly becoming clear to all that this was more than a usual summer storm.

“Guess you were right about the rain.” Chris said, holding onto the brim of his hat as he and Vin left the jail and headed to the restaurant to grab some food before they headed off to catch some shut eye. Buck Wilmington and JD Dunne had taken over for them a few moments earlier.

Vin cast an appraising eye up at the darkening sky and frowned. “This is turnin’ into a humdinger of a storm…I ain’t likin’ it Chris.”

Something in the Texan’s tone caused Larabee to abruptly stop and glance at the sky too. A shudder of foreboding swept over him. “Yeah…neither do I. As soon as we’re done eating, we’ll rally the boys to go spread the word around town for folks to hunker down in their homes and wait it out.”

Vin nodded and the two men kept walking toward the restaurant.

Two o’clock set in with the crackling arch of lightning, earth shattering boom of rolling thunder and a torrential downpour. The dirt streets quickly turned into muddy pathways, gusty winds were throwing anything about that wasn’t nailed down, and several windows were shattered by flying debris.

Though Chris and the other peacekeepers had done their best to spread the word for the citizens of Four Corners to take shelter from the turbulent weather, some of them were caught out in the torrential downpour, and had to be rescued. A harrowing forty-eight hours later; the heavens calmed, winds died down, and rains dried up. Slowly the residents of Four Corners emerged into the sunshine once again.

Rivals

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Magnificent Seven Fanfic

Chris Larabee stood in the center of Main Street, gun drawn, his aim steady and true on the man standing a short distance away from him. Chris’s eyes flickered momentarily down onto the frightened, yet beautiful face of Mary Travis, before returning to the ugly mug of his rival. He adjusted his aim slightly; making sure his bead on the man’s forehead was dead on.

His neck crawled and made him aware that there were guns aimed at his back. It was probably the outlaw’s cronies, but they did not concern him. He trusted the other six peacekeepers who kept the law in Four Corners along with him, to watch his back while he took care of the man before him.

“Let her go!” he snarled at the outlaw.

The outlaw laughed and fisted a hand in Mary’s golden hair and jerked her head back, eliciting a cry of pain from her, instead. He licked the side of her face and said, “You aren’t calling the shots here, Larabee, I am. Throw down your weapon and I just might let the pretty woman go, refuse and you’ll both be dead.”

“I’ll see you dead before anything happens to her!” Larabee growled, his fingers flexing on the butt of his gun.

Chris’s gaze flickered down to meet Mary’s gaze and a moment of understanding passed between them. Mary rammed her hands up into the outlaw’s gun hand, startling him, and then pulled free from his grasp. As the outlaw’s gun discharged, Chris sidestepped and fired back at the same time, striking the man in the forehead.

Echoing shots were heard, and Chris knew his friends were taking care of the outlaw’s pals. Mary lurched toward Larabee, who put a steadying arm around her waist. As the other six peacekeepers converged on them, Chris held Mary as she wept tears of relief. Another disaster had been averted and the seven had saved the day…again.

Danger in the Dark

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Magnificent Seven Fanfic

Vin Tanner crouched low in the bushes, his blue eyes scanning the surrounding darkness for any signs of movement which would indicate trouble was approaching. He felt something brush against his leg and glanced down to the wounded man sprawled beside him. He could just barely make out Larabee’s pale face and the miniscule flicker that indicate that his injured friend was starting to come around. He wasn’t certain Chris thrashing around would be the best thing to happen right at that moment. Jenkins and his goons were crawling through the blinding darkness looking for them even as he considered what should be done to keep Chris quiet. Although he couldn’t see them quite yet, he could hear the distinctive sounds of boots scraping against rocks, leaves scuffling, and branches of the sparse trees and shrubbery in the area shaking.

He sure hoped JD had managed to reach Four Corners and alert the others to the fact that he and Chris were in danger. Now as his and Chris’s attackers made their approach, Vin was thinking that time was up and he was going to have to defend Larabee and himself the best he could. A sound at his flank made Tanner whirl around, mule ear coming to bear upon the looming shadow of a man.

“Don’t move.” The softly spoken words were laced with steel.

Josiah froze in his tracks, barely able to make out in the darkness that the business end of Vin Tanner’s mule’s ear was pointing directly at him. He made no attempt to move forward, even as he felt Nathan Jackson run into his back. An on edge sharpshooter was not someone he wanted to further agitate.

“Ease down, brother, it’s me, Josiah. Nathan’s with me.”

Josiah’s deep baritone was music to Vin’s ears. Relief flooded through Tanner as he lowered his weapon, allowing the two new arrivals to join him in crouching down beside the wounded Larabee.

“Sure good to see you two.” Tanner said as Nathan immediately set to work examining Chris. “Where are the others?”

Shots rang out in the near distance, making Josiah and Vin both shift into protective positions of Nathan and Chris as side by side they peered out at the surrounding darkness.

“Hopefully taking care of the bad guys,” Josiah told him.

A few moments later they heard another series of shots go off, this time in quick succession. Both Sanchez and Tanner recognized the signal for what it was. Their fellow peacemakers had been victorious in taking care of the bad guys. Soon they heard the unmistakable sounds of Buck, Ezra, and JD talking as their friends moved to join them.

“How is he Nathan?” Vin asked as he turned his attention back onto the wounded Chris and the healer tending to him.

“I don’t think it’s too serious, but he has lost a lot of blood. The sooner we get him back to my clinic the better off he’ll be.” Nathan told him.

Quickly a travois was fashioned to carry Chris on and the seven men headed back to Four Corners. Upon arrival, and despite his own weariness, Jackson set to work on tending to Larabee’s injury. The other peacekeepers kept a vigil outside the healer’s room, waiting for word on their seventh’s condition.

Dawn was breaking over the horizon, when Nathan stepped out onto the balcony that adjoined his room. He gratefully took the mug of coffee JD offered him, the Bostonian and Wilmington had just returned to the boarding house with steaming cups for all of them, when Nathan came out of his room. He took a sip of the hot brew before he said,

“Chris lost a lot of blood, but he’s going to make it. The bullet went through and did some damage, but fortunately, didn’t strike any major organs. It’s going to take awhile for him to mend though, so I’m going to need your help in making sure he stays put and let’s his body heal properly.”

“You got it, Nathan. We’ll do whatever it takes to make sure Chris heals up good,” Vin told him.

“Better stock up on sleep now boys,” Buck remarked, “Until he’s back on his feet, Chris is going to make sure we are all just as miserable as he is.”

A collective groan rose up from the others as they realized the truth in Buck’s words. A caged up Larabee was like a bear being roused out of hibernation too soon. It didn’t change the fact that every one of them would be there to get him through is convalescence. After all, wasn’t that

 

Anger

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Magnificent Seven Fanfic

“I warned you, Bucklin, that the next time you take to using my past as a conversation piece, I was going to do something we both would regret!” Chris Larabee roared as he advanced on Buck Wilmington.

“Now, Chris,” Buck said holding up his hands in the air, and backpedalling to keep some distance between him and Larabee. “Judge Travis told us to mind our manners around Miss Peters and that’s all I was doing.”

“You’ve never been at a loss to find just the right words to sweet talk the bloomers off a woman before, so why use my life to do so now!” Chris continued to advance on Buck, forcing Wilmington to step out of the saloon and onto the wooden porch.

“Because she wasn’t interested in what ole Buck was offering.” Buck confessed. “She was interested in you, stud. What you liked to eat, what color your eyes were, and if you were married, that’s the only reason why I told her anything Chris. You’ve got to believe me.”

Chris took a deep breath. He could see the sincerity on Buck’s face and heard it in his voice. He worked to rein in his anger. Buck had sworn never to reveal the details of his wife and son’s deaths’ again after he’d held a razor to his friend’s throat. He’d taken him at his word, but when Miss Peters had told him how sorry she was to hear about his family, he’d immediately blown a gasket. Buck was also telling the truth about Judge Travis wanting them all to be civil to Miss Peters while she was visiting Four Corners.

“Look, Buck, I’m sorry. When Miss Peters conveyed her deepest sympathy about Sarah and Adam when were having lunch, and that you told her about them, I saw red.” Chris rubbed a hand across his face.

Buck relaxed his defensive stance. “I swore I’d never tell folks about Sarah and Adam’s deaths’ again to get in good with a woman I’m interested in, and I’m keeping my promise. The only thing I said was that you were a widower, and nothing more.”

“I should have known that.” Chris smiled wryly. “Come on Buck. I’ll buy you a drink.”

“Two.” Buck grinned before he fell into step with the gunfighter and the two men re-entered the saloon.

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