The Trail Home

Discussion in 'Visitor's Forum' started by Uncle B, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. Uncle B

    Uncle B Well-Known Member 3-Time CAW Winner

    Originally posted for CAW 28 - Strong Women





    The Trail Home




    The man felt the breeze on his face as he looked out over the gently rolling hills. Tall grass was moving and swaying in a way that made it seem as if it were fluid. It reminded him vaguely of the way the bay back in San Fransisco looked when viewed from up high. The setting sun had turned everything to a dusky orange, and the early summer smells were pleasant in his nose. The temperature was warm without being hot, and even the rich soil that pushed between his curled toes was agreeable. Everything about it was pleasing to the senses, it was a beautiful land. "It's a shame", he spoke to nothing but the clear sky, "that this will probably be where I die".

    It was 1875, and here on the Kansas plains a man without a horse was hard pressed for survival. A man without a horse, or a gun, was in a very tight spot. Add in the fact that he didn't even have boots, and that he had spent the entirety of his thirty two years living in the city, without much knowledge of this wild land, and it didn't take much to figure out that his chance of survival was slim. This land demanded toughness, and he had to admit that he didn't have it in him.

    He tried to remember when he had eaten last. Thinking back, he thought that it had been two days ago, but maybe it was three. There was a memory of finding a small muddy stream the day before for a gritty drink of water, but not a drop since then. He would have given everything he owned for a glass of champagne at The Drake Hotel back home. Putting his hands to his face to rub his eyes, he let out a long sigh. He reminded himself that San Fransisco was no longer his home, and everything he owned consisted of what he was wearing at the moment. Trying to push the despair from his mind, he went back to the problem at hand. Scanning the horizon, he tried to decide what direction was his best choice.

    When he squinted into the setting sun, he had to rub his eyes again to clear them. A rider was approaching. The man started to wave his arms over his head, deathly afraid that the horseman would pass him by unnoticed. After a moment the horse turned, and he knew that he had been seen. The mounted, unknown savior was coming his way.

    As the stranger approached, it became clear from the small size that it was nothing but a youth. Perhaps a young boy from a nearby settlement, maybe the son of a farmer, or rancher. As long as they could take him back to civilization, it made no difference to him.

    "Boy! Young man!" He yelled trough cracked lips. "Please! Help me!"

    The rider rode up with the sun directly behind him. A silhouette was all that he could see.

    "Boy, please, you have to help me!" The man started forward, hands out to grasp at the horse's saddle in his desperation.

    The horse sidestepped quickly, taking the rider off to his right, and out of the sun.

    "Mister, you stay right there where I can see your hands." The voice was quiet, but commanding. "And I ain't no boy!"

    Now that he could see clearly, the sight of her confirmed the words. The soft features of a girl were staring back at him, as was the not so soft barrel of the rifle she had resting across her saddle. He stepped back and to the side, noticing that the black eye of the muzzle shifted ever so slightly to remain aimed directly at him.

    "I... I... I meant no disrespect. I am sorry to offend." He stammered his apology out hastily. "I am in terrible trouble here, and I need your help."

    The girl's eyes scanned the area around him. "You got someone out there thinkin' to jump out and catch me unawares, you got another think comin'."

    He looked confused. "No. It's just me. I am alone, left out here to die." He hated the sound of whining in his voice, but he just couldn't help it. The words started tumbling from his mouth. "I was robbed. Please can you help me. Can you take me back to your father? Back to your home? Do you by any chance have a drink of water?"

    Without the barrel of the rifle leaving his chest, she reached down and untied the canteen from her saddle. Tossing it to him, she spoke as he drank greedily.

    "I ain't got a Pa. No Ma either, for that matter. The only home I got is where I lay my bedroll at night." He re-capped the canteen and held it out to her. "Why don't you just raise your hands and turn around slow like, so I can see you ain't got no hidden hog leg?"

    Raising his hands up, he turned a slow circle, letting her see that he was unarmed. Her words didn't want to register in his mind.

    "There has to be someone somewhere. You can't be alone out here."

    The girl reached out and took the canteen from his outstretched hand. "Why is that? Cause I am so young?" Her chin lifted with both defiance and pride. "I'll have you know I turned twenty this spring. I can take care of myself!"

    "I meant that you are a..." He stopped short, not wanting to offend her, but he feared he had said too much already.

    Instead of being insulted though, she just let out a small chuckle. Caressing the rifle across her lap, then reaching back and patting her hip she responded.

    "Ol' Henry here don't care too much if it is a man, or a woman who pulls his trigger, and Colonel Colt weren't too particular in regards to who used his guns either. Make no mistake about my ability with either."

    She looked around and seemed satisfied there was no surrounding danger, then looked him over from his head to his bare, bleeding feet. She swung lightly down from the saddle and held her rifle down at her side like it was an extension of her arm. Nodding towards the horse, she spoke to him kindly.

    "You look plumb tuckered out Mister. I have a camp not a mile from here. It ain't much, but I can share what I got." Her look was wary. "Just for tonight. I'll hear your story, and figure out what to do with you later. I weren't raised to let no man die out on the prairie without givin' him the benefit o' the doubt."

    "Thank you." Without another word, the man climbed into the saddle. She headed back west into the sunset, the horse following her lead.

    With nothing else to do, he watched her. A short, petite woman, she carried herself with a tremendous amount of confidence. She wore a tan buckskin jacket, with matching breeches, boots that seemed to show a thousand of miles of wear, and a faded, tan, felt hat that left her long, blond ponytail to fall from behind. The rifle in her hand was carried naturally, as was the enormous revolver she had in a holster on her hip. A hunting knife hung opposite the pistol, and he thought he detected the bulge of a hideout gun at her back. He had seen drawings of frontiersmen in magazines and books, they always seemed exaggerated. Not this woman. Everything about her seemed to fit into the landscape. She practically melted into the surrounding area.

    As he was concentrating on her, she stopped walking. He was startled when she brought the rifle to her shoulder, and after no perceptible time taken to aim, the gun barked loudly in her hands. He looked out into the grass. At least a hundred feet away he saw a shape tumble, raising a small cloud of dust. He looked back and watched her lower her rifle, a small smile playing on her lips.

    "Well, it's not much, but at least we will have something for supper." He was speechless at the sudden violence, and the speed at which it had occurred. Any lingering doubts about this young woman were diminishing from his mind. Clicking her tongue at the horse, she started back forward. "Come on. Let's get back to camp before the sun is gone."





    The camp was situated in a small hollow between some cottonwood trees. A stream flowed between them and formed a tiny pool. There was already wood set, and kindling just waiting to be lit. He was surprised to see three more horses picketed in the grass, and two packs of supplies. The young woman busied herself with lighting the fire as he wearily slid from the horses back.

    "Are there other people with you, or is this all yours?" he asked.

    "Just me, an the things that I have collected along the way. Are you able to strip the horse and rub him down?" She barely gave him any attention as she added bigger pieces of fuel to the fire she already had started.

    "Yeah, sure." He unsaddled the horse, rubbed some grass across it's sweaty back, and knew enough to leave some slack when he tied it to the picket line so that the horse could graze the tall grass nearby. By the time he had finished, the girl had already gutted and skinned the rabbit, and had it set up to roast above the flames. Suddenly aware that he didn't even know the name of his rescuer, he drew near her, and held out his hand. "I don't know how to thank you. I thought I was going to die out there. My name is Beauregard Eaton, but please just call me Bo."

    Her green eyes met his, and her hand came up and shook his firmly.

    "Nice to make your acquaintance Bo, I'm Kenny."

    The look of confusion couldn't be helped as he shook her hand. "Kenny?" He blurted out.

    Luckily, she didn't seem surprised. With an understanding smile, she explained.

    "My mother named me McKenna before she died. Most folks have always just called me Kenny."

    "Well it is nice to meet you Miss Kenny."

    She looked at the stranger with a sideways glance. She had never been called Miss before, and she kind of liked it. She couldn't explain why, but his designation for her made her blush. She decided to change the subject.

    "Let's get this here rabbit cooked so's we can eat." She turned back to the fire, and tried to figure out why she was feeling so strange.

    The smell of the roasting rabbit was agonizing. All of the hunger that he had endured came flooding to the surface. His mouth watered as he watched the meat drip, sizzling into the fire, causing the flames to flare up.

    Turning slightly, she spoke over her shoulder. "You should go to the creek and wash those feet. I'll see what I can do about them after supper."

    When he returned, she had produced two plates from her packs. Some stale biscuits and a handful of wild onions accompanied the meat. Burnt on the outside, and nearly raw in the middle, he still thought it was the best meal he had ever eaten. The finest restaurant San Fransisco had to offer couldn't compare to filling a belly that was three days empty.

    Kenny went to one of the packs and rummaged around. Coming back to the fireside, she laid out a hide and pulled a stick out of the fire. "Stand here." she directed.

    He stood up, and the young woman traced the outline of his feet with the charred end of the stick. When finished, she motioned for him to sit. Pulling an antler handled knife from her waist, that appeared to be as long as her arm, she started making some cuts into the leather.

    "I reckon it's time you told me your story."

    He watched as she she worked the skin. He was finally full after days without, and relaxed by the warmth of the campfire. As her hands moved deftly with the large blade, Bo's eyes lost focus, and his story seemed to pour out of him.

    "My parents were merchants in Frisco after the rush of '49. They did very well for themselves. I took over when I was twenty six, after they decided to head back East. I made quite a bit of money in the import/export business. Things were looking pretty good until last year." He stopped to take a long drink of water before continuing.

    "A ship I had financed, loaded with luxury items, went down around Cape Horn early last year. That wasn't enough to put me under, but then a warehouse fire later in the year nearly finished me off. About the time I thought I would just give up and let it all go, I got a telegraph from Wyoming.

    "It seems an Uncle I barely remember had died, leaving me the heir to a large cattle ranch. The bank had sold all of his stock to settle his debts, but the land, water rights, and property was now in my name.

    "I decided that maybe it was time for a change. I sold the remaining assets that I had, and traveled by train to see what I had inherited." Though Kenny had not looked up from her labors, he could tell she was still listening. "There was a large ranch house, a barn with stables, corrals, and a bunkhouse. The previous foreman tells me the land is prime, with plenty of water and good grazing, if only we had the cattle to graze.

    "I set out for Kansas City with almost all that I had to my name. I met up with a couple of men, two brothers who said that they could help me out. Herefordshire cattle is what they said I needed. They told me they would do well on the thick Northern grass, and would winter well. It just so happens they had a herd that was perfect for what I needed. They even told me that they could supply the men for the drive North. I didn't like the bigger man, but the younger brother seemed to say all the right things."

    Kenny stopped her work to look up. "Was this an uncommonly large man, with a skinny, well dressed fellow as his partner?"

    "Yes. The man who did most of the talking was a thin man with slicked back hair, and dressed as if he had just stepped off of a train from the East, very dapper, and his partner was a huge, quiet oaf, maybe the biggest man I have ever seen."

    "The McEvoy gang." She spit into the fire. "The whole lot o' them is blood kin somehow, but them two are full brothers. The big un' has killed a few men with his bare hands, and the peacock is said to be hell on wheels with a shootin' iron." Resuming her work, she nodded her head. "Go on."

    "It seemed like a good offer. We set out and everything was alright. They told me that their ranch was a week's travel, and we could start the drive north just as soon as we got there, and I gave them the money." Saying the plan out loud made him feel ashamed and naive. He hung his head and continued. "After we traveled a week, I woke to a gun in my face. They took my saddlebags with all of my money, my horse, they even stole my boots! The slick one said they should shoot me, but the big man said to leave me be... That a greenhorn like me would be dead out here in no time.

    "I was too trusting. I should have seen it was nothing but a scam." Bo lowered his head in shame.

    Kenny looked back up. "It weren't a bad plan actually."

    "You mean robbing me and leaving me to die?" Bo asked with revulsion.

    Kenny shook her head. "No. I just meant the cattle." She tapped her long knife against the ground. "Herefords are a good breed, they are hardy, and gain beef quickly. They would do well up north. But you would be wasting your money with a whole herd." Her eyes went elsewhere as her brain though about the plan.

    "If'n I was you, I would spend my money on a dozen or so Hereford bulls. Good, strong, breeding stock. Then take the rest of your money down to the panhandle of Texas. Get yerself a herd of longhorns. Drive them real slow back to Wyoming, combing the brush and the canyons for strays. There are hundreds of cows that are unclaimed in that wild area."

    Her knife continued to tap as she let her thoughts take her. "A fellow could just about double the size of his herd with just a little work. You get them back to home, and sell off, or butcher the Longhorn bulls, and those Herefords would take to them Texas cows right nicely. Rotate the stock, and within a couple of seasons you would have a herd that would resist disease, eat anything available, and put on pounds of beef just as quick as you please." Kenny looked up at Bo and smiled. "That sounds like a pretty good plan to me."

    Bo was amazed at this young, and he had to admit, attractive girl. "How do you know so much about cattle?"

    Kenny bent her head and kept working. "My Ma died when I was still a young'in. I was raised by my Pa in the saddle. Anything I needed to know I learned from the back of a horse. I know cows just as good as any man!

    "When Pa rode off, and we never heard from him again, my brother took over. I know Pa would have come back if he could, so somethin' bad must a happened." Kenny took a moment before she went on.

    "My brother's wife didn't know what to do with me, all half wild, and uneducated. She wanted to send me back East to some fancy school for girls. Instead, I just saddled my horse and rode off one night. I been on my own ever since."

    "My God! How old were you?"

    Kenny looked up at the night sky. "I was just shy of fourteen."

    Before he could respond, Kenny handed him a pair of moccasins better than any he had ever seen.The deer skin felt softer than anything he had ever worn. The fit was perfect, and they not only protected his sore feet, but felt comfortable to wear.

    "How do you provide for yourself?"

    "I have always been good at making stuff. My jacket, my pants, those moccasins... I trade those, and other things I make, to get what I need. I also trap, hunt, and sometimes break wild horses to sell to the Army. I do whatever I need to survive. I save some, I even have my own bank account over in Wichita. Someday, I'll have enough to get a place of my own."

    Bo took a moment to think. This woman knew more about life in the wild than he ever would. "Kenny... Could you track these men?"

    Without hesitation the young girl answered. "I could track them over rock, in the dark, during a rainstorm."

    Bo thought for a moment, then made up his mind. "If you could help me track down my money, I would offer you twenty five percent of what we get back." He didn't know if this was something that could happen, but he decided he had nothing left to lose, and that it was worth a shot. "If you have paper and something to write with, I will write up an agreement right now."

    Kenny looked at him, embarrassed, but proud. "It wouldn't do you much good. I ain't never learned to read nor write, and I sure don't know what twenty five percent is. Out here, we usually rely on a man's word bein' his bond."

    Bo took a stick and drew a line in the dirt. He then drew three vertical lines at equal distances through it. Circling the first section, he looked into her eyes.

    "That is twenty five percent. If you help me get my money back, it is yours. I give you my word."

    Kenny studied his words for a moment, thinking about what she might be able to do with a stake of her own. A home is all she had dreamed of for the last six years. This might be her opportunity to have that once again. She was confident in her abilities, but was afraid that she may be getting in over her head. Trying to sound more confident than she felt, she pictured a ranch with cows grazing in the pasture... a pasture that belonged to her.

    "I can track the bastards. Let's get some sleep, we'll start at first light, and go get your money back."





    The entire next day was spent in the saddle, tracing his back trail to where he had been left. Bo was mortified to find that not once, but twice, he had wandered in a complete circle. No matter how erratic his path though, Kenny always picked up his trail. She pointed out signs that were nearly invisible to him. A few blades of bent grass here, a scuff mark there. By sundown, they were at the camp where the outlaws had robbed him, and left him for dead.

    "We'll camp here tonight." Crouching down, and looking around to study the layout she spoke her thoughts out loud. "Five men. The big man's horse has a bent shoe on the left rear. An extra horse, I assume yours, carrying a light load. A few days head start, but I doubt they are in any hurry to be seen in any town. My bet is they are heading down South to Oklahoma Indian Territory so's they can spend your gold without suspicion." She stood and brushed the dirt from her knees. "There ain't much law around these parts to help us."

    Doubt started to enter his mind. "So what will we do when we find them?"

    "We wait." She began setting up camp. "First we find them, then we study them. We look for any opportunity to catch them with their pants down. The good news is, there ain't nowhere round here to spend any of your money. If need be, we trail them to the first town, and see if there's any law there. Worst case, we get some townsfolk to help. Them two brothers both have a price on their head, someone would be willing to help us."

    A pair of squirrels fried with some wild vegetables made up their dinner. Not as hungry as the previous night, it was all Bo could do to finish his meal. They talked little over the fire and turned in early.

    The next few days were spent in the saddle. Kenny had no trouble following their tracks, as the men had made no effort to conceal them. They spent hours together on the beautiful plains talking as they rode.

    Bo's respect for the lovely young lady grew. She spoke of cattle and horses, and of breeding techniques and health issues. Frequently she would halt and show him plants that were edible, or medicinal, and others to avoid. She would tell him the signs she saw that not only indicated their quarry, but of local wildlife, and the way to follow an animals trail to find the easiest route to water. After the first night, Kenny had given him a pistol, and showed him how to properly handle it. With the first few practice shots, it was clear he was not a natural, but she assured him that once he was more comfortable with it, his marksmanship would improve.

    As time passed she became more friendly, and seemed to enjoy having someone besides her horse to talk to. She made suggestions about the ranch, and a beautiful picture started to form in his mind of the future. He wasn't afraid of hard work, and knew that with the right help, he could have a very nice life there.

    In return, Bo talked for hours about city life. He told her all about San Fransisco, and the social life. The restaurants, the hotels, going out dressed in your best to the theater, he even told her about the seedy saloons down by the wharf that had fights and murders almost nightly. Kenny enjoyed hearing about the libraries, and the books they contained. She seemed fascinated by the ocean and that it was water as far as the eye could see. Fashion was also something that she wanted to know about.

    "But how do those ladies ride a horse with those big, floofy dresses?"

    Bo laughed. "Most of them don't ride." When he thought about it, it was hard to explain. "They ride in carriages when they go out, or they walk. It isn't like it is here."

    "Makes no sense to me." Kenny shook her head in disbelief. "All that effort just to get dressed? Waste of time if'n you ask me."

    It was on the fourth evening out that they camped by a small river. The night before, Kenny had shot a deer, and she had wrapped the meat up in the hide. Not able to face the thought of another one of her meals, Bo suggested he try his hand at cooking their evening repast.

    "Ok, but we should keep the fire small tonight." She took up her rifle and started out of camp. "We are getting closer. I'm going to go scout around a bit."

    Going through her supplies, and adding some ingredients that they had collected along the way, Bo decided on a venison stew. Preparing everything first, he then took the cast iron pot and headed to the river for water. Walking along the steep bank, he looked for a spot to reach the waterline. His mind on preparations, he nearly tripped on the rifle leaned up against a rock.

    He was about to call out when the breath caught in his throat. A small bend of the river had a shallow pool with a sandy beach. Standing knee deep in the water stood Kenny. The afternoon sun was shining down on her, illuminating her fully nude form. He knew he should turn away, but his body refused to listen to his brain.

    While he watched, she took a handful of sand from the river bottom. She reached up and scrubbed the dust and the grime from the trail from her body. It was a body that was like nothing he had seen, and he couldn't tear his eyes away.

    The women he had known in his life were beautiful. They were soft, fragile, and full of curves. Kenny was as different as could be. No less attractive, she was hard, her body was lean and more angular. Though petite, she did not appear fragile in the least. She reminded him of the statues he had seen of Greek models, full of beauty and strength.

    Bo watched as she took another handful of sand to clean herself. Her hand rubbing her taut stomach, then moving up to her small breasts. Each mound small, and capped with a tiny peak that was hard from the cool water. She raised an arm and used the sand to scrub her other arm and underarm. The way her muscles moved, and tensed, rippling in the sunlight, was so erotic. She repeated the process, and he realized that there was a throbbing in his crotch.

    He knew he shouldn't be watching her like this, but the sight of her was too much to turn away from. Kenny turned around and bent down for more sand. The sight of her compact backside made him bite his lip and sigh. Her hands rubbing across her body made him imagine how she felt. An almost painful erection was pressing against his trousers, and he mindlessly pressed his hand against their front.

    She turned back around, running her hands through her long hair, and massaging her scalp. Bo couldn't help but notice the way her breasts flexed and moved. The way that her wet body seemed to sparkle in the reflected sun made her seem like some kind of goddess. He couldn't stop staring at the beauty in front of him, wondering how she would feel in his arms.

    When Kenny dropped to her knees and submerged herself into the water, Bo knew he better leave, and he quickly moved away. Picking a spot farther upstream to grab some water, he had the stew boiling by the time that she had returned.

    "Dinner will be ready soon." Bo replied when she came back into camp.

    Kenny smiled and he had a hard time not picturing her naked body. "It smells delicious!" Wrinkling her nose she teased, "Better than you at least. There is a small pool up the trail that you can use to bathe after we eat." For the first time ever, he heard her laugh. "It certainly wouldn't hurt!"

    The stew was nothing to brag about, but after a week of her cooking, it was a welcome change. Leaving Kenny to her own devices, Bo headed back to the river to try and clean himself up.

    Stripping down, Bo left his clothing folded neatly on a nearby rock.Though the night was warm, the cold water of the river raised goosebumps on his flesh. Dipping down to submerge himself, he took a handful of sand from the river bottom and proceeded to scrub himself like he had watched Kenny do earlier. It wasn't the warm steam and scented soap like in the bathhouses back in the city, but he had to admit that it did the job. In next to no time, he felt clean and refreshed, better than he had in awhile. Giving himself one last dip to rinse, he shook his wet hair and walked nude up the small beach.

    There was sufficient moonlight for him to see that his clothes were no longer sitting on the rock. He looked all around, thinking that they had slipped off. He scanned the area around, wondering if an animal had dragged them away. After several minutes of fruitless searching, there was only one explanation that made any sense, but for what reason he couldn't figure out. "Kenny!"

    She was sitting by the fire when he tried to tiptoe in. Surrounded by a cluster of small trees, their camp was almost invisible till you were almost on top of it. Trying to use what cover he could find, Bo whispered out loudly.

    "Kenny... Kenny."

    She looked looked up expressionlessly. "What are you doing over there? I can hardly see you. Come on over to the fire."

    Trying his best to cover himself, and retain a trace of dignity, Bo stepped out into the light. "What did you do with my clothes?"

    Looking innocent, she held up a bundle containing his shirt and trousers. "You mean these?"

    "What did you take them for?" Bo asked, completely confused.

    Kenny stood up, keeping the bundle well out of his reach. "You think it's polite to be peeking at a girl when she's bathing? Did ya think I wouldn't see your tracks?" Instead of being upset, her look was light and a playful smile broke across her lips. She held the clothes out to her right at arms length. "You can have them back, but you'll have to reach for them, and I'll get my show."

    Mortified, but trying desperately to keep his pride, Bo raised his hands, exposing himself. He took the few steps towards her and reached for his clothing. At the last second, Kenny took a quick stride to her left. He stopped and looked at her sternly.

    "Oh. You think you are funny huh?"

    Smiling even more, she let out a small giggle. Despite his embarrassment, that light, musical sound coming from this serious, resolute girl, brought a smile to his own mouth.

    "A girl gets to have fun too." Her eyes flashed down to his crotch and she whistled appreciatively. "You peeked first. It's only fair I get my chance."

    He stepped towards her again, reaching out for his clothes. Surprisingly quick, she darted under his outstretched arms, and even gave him a slap on the ass as she passed behind him. Lunging toward her, she sidestepped him easily.

    "I don't think you are even trying!" She teased him, once again looking down at his nudity. "Not that I'm complaining."

    He reached for her again, and she ducked beneath him. This time however, he was able to snag the sleeve of her jacket. Pulling her back, she quickly held the prize behind her. They were both now laughing, and he had both hands around her trying to get his clothes. She was wriggling and giggling, doing her best to keep him at bay. It suddenly dawned on him, that he was completely nude, and he had a woman in his embrace. A very attractive woman. The laughter died on his lips.

    Kenny continued to struggle for a moment, but then her eyes met his, and her giggles receded. They stood in the firelight for a moment, their eyes locked together. Kenny let the bundle slip from her fingers to fall to the ground.

    "Aww hell." Her hands came up around his neck, fingers combing up and into his hair. She pulled him down till her lips pressed against his own. Bo's arms closed around her, pulling her tight against his body. Her tongue darted into his mouth, dancing lightly with his.

    Bo's hands went to the fasteners at the front of her doeskin shirt. Fingers trembling with excitement he opened them one by one. Kenny's arms came down so that he could remove it. Slipping back into his embrace, he could feel her bare breasts pressing against his chest, then he was carried away by their kiss.

    The way the kiss was affecting her was like nothing she had ever felt. The heat burning inside of her was almost consuming. She reached behind her and took his hand, breaking the kiss only to lead him over to where her bedroll was laid out. Undoing the leather tie at her waist, she let Bo lower her breaches as she stepped clear of them. She laid down, and held her hands out to him.

    Bo knelt next to her, almost mesmerized by the beauty of her nakedness. Leaning down, he kissed her again. He trailed his kisses down her jaw and to her neck. Then kissing and licking along the way, he moved across her collarbone, and down to suck one of her tiny nipples into his mouth. Circling it with his tongue, his hand cupped her other breast, rubbing his thumb over the small nubbin that felt as hard as a pebble.

    Kenny gasped whenever he touched somewhere new. No man had ever taken his time and teased her like this. The few encounters she had with men had been passionate but brief. This was unlike anything she had experienced. Though she would certainly welcome him inside of her, she was reeling with all of these new sensations, wondering where he would touch her next. Her head pressed back against the saddle she used as a pillow, and let her body relax and enjoy.

    Letting her nipple slip from his lips with a light kiss, Bo took his time exploring her body. A lingering kiss to the underside of her breast, a soft bite to her torso, his tongue found her navel and circled around, then dipped inside. Each move he made was greeted with a quiet sigh, or a small cry. He decided he would try something that a French saloon girl had introduced him too back in Frisco.

    Kenny was shocked as his kisses moved down to her thigh. A firm bite to her inner leg made her squeal, but when his mouth moved inward, she tensed and grabbed at his head.

    "Bo, what are you doing? Bo! I don't think that... OH!" Her eyes opened wide, and her back came off the ground. Any objection she may have had drifted away in a long, wordless moan. Her head fell back, and her legs opened wide. "Ohhhh My Mmmmm!"

    His tongue lashed out against her clit, then snaked down into her folds. Sucking her lips between his teeth, he pulled back, letting them slip back out with an almost audible pop. One arm went beneath her, his hand grabbing and squeezing her firm ass, pulling her tight against his mouth. His other hand pressed down on her belly, caressing the taut skin and holding her down. He kissed, and nibbled, relishing her taste and her scent.

    Eyes closed, and body quivering, Kenny let herself go. One hand was grabbing at his hair, while the other came up to move over her sensitive breasts. She wasn't sure that she could raise her head, even if she had wanted to. Her breath started to come in gasps, and she lifted her hips against Bo's mouth.

    Doubling his efforts against the small, hard pearl that crowned her sex, Bo sucked and nibbled. He dove down to bury his tongue inside of her and let his nose nuzzle her clit. His mouth sucked, while his tongue danced in circles. Suddenly her body tensed, and her thighs clamped down around his head.

    Not slowing his ministrations, he continued to kiss her. Licking her while her legs alternated spreading wide, and then nearly crushing his head. Kenny's hand pulled at his head, her fingers digging into his scalp.

    "Bo. Oh yes, Bo!" Her body was wracked with spasms, and her words became gibberish. Through it all, he continued to taste, and tease her.

    Able to take no more, she pulled him roughly by the hair. With a throaty growl she spoke. "Kiss me dammit!"

    Kissing her deeply, Bo wrapped her in his arms, and held her tight. Their tongues danced and twined, their bodies ground together. Kenny's hand slipped between their writhing bodies and took hold of him firmly. Without breaking their kiss, she wrapped one leg around his back, placed his shaft in line, and simultaneously pulled with her leg, and lifted with her hips.

    The feeling of slipping inside of her was incredible. Bo let out a low groan as he felt her body engulf him. Her muscles tightened, then relaxed as he moved in, then back out again. Her breath was hot in his mouth as he pushed forward again, entering her fully.

    A steady rhythm began. First slow, but soon speeding up. Her leg behind him was pulling him in, his thrusts were becoming more urgent. Kenny grabbed at his shoulders, and pulled him down and over onto his back. Riding him, she began to lift and bounce. Her strong legs were squeezing against him.

    Grabbing his wrists, Kenny brought his hands up to her breasts. The sight of her was too much. Her small breasts with the hard nipples pressing against his palms was more that he could take. The way she moved was impossible to ignore. Looking up at the green eyed, blonde beauty on top of him, he let it all go.

    With one last thrust, he raised his hips off the ground, burying himself deep inside of her. His hands went to her waist in an effort to still her, while his cock erupted, spilling ropes of cum into her center. For just a moment he went rigid, then his whole body went slack, falling back as Kenny continued her ride. Smiling like the devil, she rocked her body back and forth. Every movement she made forced him to grunt and shiver. His hands held her waist, unable to do much more that clench uncontrollably.

    Kenny slowed her hips, leaning down to place a kiss on her man. "Her man?" The thought caused her to smile, though she couldn't figure out why. This night had been amazing, but it was still just a business arrangement. Wasn't it?

    Bo was sprawled out on his back, his breath coming in gasps. Kenny grabbed the edge of the blanket, and pulled it up and over the two of them while she snuggled into his chest. There was plenty of time to figure out what this was later. For now, she decided she would just enjoy.

    Kissing his neck, she whispered lightly into his ear, "We should have done that sooner! Goodnight."

    His arm curled up around her, while she laid hers over his chest, and placed her face into the crook of his shoulder. A smile crossed her lips when he responded, and she fell asleep with his words in her ear.

    "Goodnight Miss K."



    Though the sun was just barely in the sky when Bo woke, Kenny was already up and gone. He assumed that she was out hunting, or already searching the trail for signs. He smiled broadly when he looked to see his clothes folded neatly next to the bedroll. The events of last night came into his mind, and he spent a moment thinking about the misfortune that had drawn him into such good luck. Was trying to bring these men to justice and recovering his money really that important? Perhaps Kenny was the reversal of his woes, and he should take her away and start new. The ranch was his, he had a small amount of money safely kept aside , there were other opportunities to be made.

    Getting up and pulling on his clothes, he made the decision to let it go. Putting her in harm's way, and risking her life, was not something he was willing to do anymore. Now that he had found her, he did not want to lose her. When she came back, he wanted to talk to her, ask her if she could picture a life with him by her side.

    Walking to the trees outside of their camp, Bo stepped behind one to relive his full bladder. The sound of a walking horse drew his attention, but he waited to call out until he had finished. Buttoning up his trousers, he stepped back and almost gave himself up.

    There, not thirty feet away, was a redheaded man. One of the men who had robbed him, and left him to die. Bo stood still, hoping that his movement had not drawn the outlaw's attention. The rider started off in the other direction, relaxed in the saddle. From his position, it was doubtful that he noticed their small camp among the trees.

    Bo didn't stop to think. When the man rode off, he was quick to follow. The horse was being kept to a walk and was easy to keep up with. He was wary to stay back, and keep low, only wanting to see the general direction that the outlaw camp was in. In a surprisingly short distance upriver, the man and horse walked up to a fire, with other horses tied up close by. Bo found a spot where he could lay in the grass and watch.

    The man dismounted and took a pot of coffee from the coals. The big man, the one Bo now knew as one of the McEvoy brothers, sat next to the fire, shirtless, and warming his hands with a steaming mug. Another man was standing next to his bed roll in his underwear, stretching and scratching himself vigorously, while a fourth man seemed to still be sleeping.

    None of the men seemed nervous, or on alert. Besides the man who had been out riding, none of the men were armed. He could see a tree where their rifles were leaned, and deduced that their sidearms were near their sleeping gear. If Kenny and he were able to sneak in at daylight, it might be possible to catch the men unawares. The men obviously didn't fear detection, and didn't have a clue that they were being followed. What about the fifth man though? Where was the other brother?

    His question was answered shortly with the barrel of a gun pressed against his back.

    "What the hell do we have here?" Bo turned enough to see the polished boots that used to be on his own feet, but were now worn by the man he had just wondered about. "How in the hell did you find us all the way out here? You should have stayed away city boy. We're going to do things my way this time."





    They stood around him in a circle. The big man, still shirtless, stood next to his brother who looked mean as a snake. A third man stood off to the side, still rubbing the sleep from his eyes, while the remaining two men stood directly in front of him. The rope that these two held looped over a tall branch, and came down into a noose that was tight around Bo's neck.

    He was standing on a rock, his hands tied before him, up on his toes, trying hard to breathe. The men in front of him were taunting him, letting a small amount of slack into the line, only to pull it back tight as soon as he let his legs relax. The two brothers were arguing between themselves, each wanting to assert their will upon the other. The big man finally threw his hands up in a sign of defeat.

    The well dressed brother stepped up. "I don't know how you followed us, but the way I see it, we caught you trying to steal our horses. There's only one thing to do with horse thieves out here." He nodded his head to the other two, and the rope began to lift him from his feet.

    From out on the plains a shot rang out. A bright red rose bloomed on the front of the red headed man's shirt, as he fell to the ground dead. Another shot followed the first, and the second man cried out, releasing the rope. Bo caught his balance and clawed at the rope, pulling his head free. Chaos had sprung up, and the other three men were scrambling wildly.

    Out of the sunrise rode Kenny. She was riding low in the saddle, laid down against her horses neck at a full gallop. Her hat was gone, and her hair was streaming out behind her. Through barred teeth she was snarling loud enough to be heard even at that distance. At that moment, Bo had never seen anything in his life that looked more fierce. Her rifle spouted flame, and he saw the sleepy man dash behind the tree. The big man headed at a run to the fire, and his gear. The other brother stood to Bo's right, he had his pistol out and was drawing a bead on Kenny.

    With as much strength as he could summon, Bo kicked out and up with his foot. He connected with the outlaw's wrist just as the gun bellowed, before it went spinning off into the air. He started to lunge at Bo, but a shot from Kenny's rifle sent him fleeing for cover instead.

    Kenny reigned up hard and thrust a pistol into his bound hands. She didn't wait to see if he was ok, but spurred her horse towards the big man, yelling to Bo as she went.

    "Fight or die! There's no other choice now!"

    He watched as she snapped a hurried shot at the large thief. Deciding that he could never reach his bedroll in time he spun, surprisingly quick for such a huge fellow. He lowered his shoulder, and slammed his bulk into the side of Kenny's horse. Bo watched in shock as her rifle was thrown into the air, horse and rider both crashing to the ground.

    Bo lost track of the action when the sleepy man stepped from behind the tree, and took aim at Kenny with a pistol. Sighting his revolver just like she had taught him, he took careful aim at the widest part of the man's body, and pulled the trigger.

    Bark exploded a full foot above the man's head. Bo cocked the hammer and fired again, this time not knowing where his shot went. The man fired his own gun at him, missing, then steadied his aim and walked forward. Bo fumbled with the gun, trying to make his fettered hands cooperate. He took a step backward as the man fired. It saved his life.

    Tripping over the rock that he had so recently stepped off of, Bo tumbled backwards. He felt the tug of the bullet as it passed harmlessly through his hair. In his flailing, the gun went off in his hands. With a show of luck, which trumps skill any day, this wild shot found it's mark. The man stopped in his tracks, the left side of his head a raw, open cavern, and fell sideways.

    Bo's gun tumbled from his hand when he hit the dirt, but that was not his main concern. He raised up, trying to catch sight of Kenny, struggling to get to his feet so he could try and help her in anyway that he could. He was almost there when a hand grabbed him from behind and pulled him roughly back to the ground.

    The younger brother stooped and retrieved the fallen gun. Looking at it, he put it in his holster, and pulled a nasty looking, double sided knife from his belt instead.

    "I have had enough of your shit! You are hardly worth the cash we took from you. I'm going to make sure you die slow and hard." He stepped forward, the sharp point of the knife pointing at Bo's stomach.

    "Drop the knife McEvoy!"

    Both men turned to see Kenny standing there, gun pointed at the bad man's chest. Her face had a smear of blood, as did her torn jacket. She was covered in dirt and dust, but she stood straight and proud, the gun in her hand steady. Her order was given in a way that refused disobedience.

    He dropped the knife, and stepped back from the prone man. Kenny moved to where Bo was out of the line of fire, then calmly dropped her own gun into her holster. "I won't shoot no unarmed man." McEvoy looked at her incredulously.

    "You think you are going to draw against me?" His head leaned back in a long laugh. "You think I'm afraid of a little girl?"

    "Afraid or not," Kenny was cold and calm. "I'll do for you what I did for your brother there."

    The men looked past her for the first time. Her horse stood cropping grass, seemingly no worse for his spill. In the grass nearby, the body of the big brother laying still on his back, the antler handle of her knife protruding from his chest. The smile went out of the gunman's eyes.

    "You're going to pay for that bitch! I'm not going to kill you, at least not right off." Both combatants stood ready, Kenny with her feet spread, her hand hovering just above the grip of her revolver, McEvoy with his eyes on her, coiled tight like a spring. "No. I'm going to make you watch while I carve your man here like a turkey. Then I'm going to take away your clothes, and I'm going to spend days fucking you to death. You picked the wrong..."

    Without warning, his hand flashed downward. Bo could hardly see the movement as his gun came free from the holster. Two shots thundered so close together, they almost sounded as one. Two holes showed on the left hand pocket of his shirt. McEvoy's gun fired into the ground directly at his feet. His eyes went wide in shock, his mouth opened and closed, though no sounds were uttered. He fell to his knees, then onto his face in the dust.

    Kenny stood there, smoking gun in her hand. Her other hand spread above the hammer, ready to fan another shot should the need arise. "I don't think I'll let you be rapin' me today." She slowly holstered her revolver and looked at Bo who was getting to his feet. Seeing that he was alright, she finally let her emotions loose and ran to him crying.

    "Oh Bo! I was so worried! I crossed your trail, and knew you must have been caught. What were you thinking? I was so scared! I've never killed a man before. Are you ok? Why didn't you wait for me? Have you been hurt?" Her words all came out in a rush. Bo just held her in his arms and let them come. The tears followed next.

    They stood in each others arms for several moments, neither spoke, but just held each other while the stress of the fight drained out of them. Kenny gave a large sniff, and stepped back, wiping her eyes and trying to hide her emotions.

    "Kenny? What's next?" Bo asked softly.

    "We need to gather these weapons, and load the bodies onto the horses. The price on the brothers heads can be collected in either Kansas City, or Dodge. I recon it's about the same distance from both. There's probably a bounty on these others too. Might just be enough to start my own spread."

    "I told you that you would get a quarter what I have. That offer still stands, but I meant with us." Bo couldn't get her to look at him. She was distant, and aloof.

    "Oh no. You keep it. That wouldn't feel right. I want you to have that beautiful ranch that we talked about. I can still picture those white faced cows out on that green northern grass." The thought of the ranch brought a tear to her eye that she hastily wiped away. "I know it will be lovely."

    A moan diverted both of their attention. Walking to the tree they found the second man that had been shot, leaning against the tree, a bloody hole through his shoulder. Pointing her rifle at him, Kenny ordered him to his feet. Tossing him a canteen she pointed out to the plains.

    "Get to walkin'! If'n I see you again, I'll put a bullet through your head as fast as a blink."

    "The man looked pitiful. "You can't send me out there like this! You shot me!"

    Kenny looked at him hard. "I can, and I am. I'm giving you that there canteen, and lettin' you keep your boots. That's a damn site better than you did for my man here!" She prodded him with the barrel of her rifle and he quickened his pace out of camp. "Now git! Afore I change my mind!"

    Kenny turned to find Bo looking at her strangely. "Your man?"

    She made herself busy with packing gear onto the horses, she wanted to be out of here by noon.

    "What? I don't know what you're talking about."

    "Just then." Bo pulled her arm and made her face him. "You referred to me as your man." She gave a light struggle to pull away, but gave in and looked him in the eyes. "I want you to come with me. I need you, I can't see making the ranch work without you."

    "So you mean, like a hand, or your foreman?"

    "Well..." Bo gathered what courage he could find. "I thought maybe, you would come as my wife."

    Kenny resisted the urge to scream out yes, but barely. "Your wife? Bo. I ain't wife material. I would want to be out riding the range. Herding cows, and checkin' the stock would suit me better than cooking meals and chasin' babies."

    Bo laughed out loud. "Where else should you be? I don't know cattle like you. At least one of us should be able to run a ranch. You take care of the stock, I'll handle the money, it will be a partnership. As far as cooking goes... I don't think I could stand many more of your meals, we'll hire a cook. Preferably one that could help with all those kids you suggested." He tipped her a small wink and a grin. "That is, when they aren't out with you learning all you have to teach them."

    Kenny's heart was beating fast. She wanted to agree, but she knew that she couldn't be the kind of wife he wanted. Could she?

    "I ain't gonna wear none of them frilly dresses," She hesitated a bit, then smiled when she thought about all he had told her of the latest fashions. "Though some of them silky bloomers might be nice."

    Bo agreed. "I think you are perfect just the way you are. I wouldn't change a thing. If you want some nice underthings, I will buy you a dozen pair in the next town we find."

    "And I'd want to learn to read n' write. I don't want to spend the rest of my life ignorant." She went on. "Then there's the bounty from these men. It's mine by right. I'd wanna put it in with yours. Maybe buy some nice horse stock or supplies. I'd want to feel like I contributed to our ranch too." As soon as she said it the words took hold in her heart. Our ranch. For years she had been alone just looking for a place to call home.

    "Of course. I think I could teach you if we picked up some basic supplies, and any money of yours you want to help out with, we'll add to the operation." He took her by the hands and looked into her eyes. "Is there anything else I can do to convince you to be my wife?"

    "That thing." Kenny looked away suddenly shy.

    "What thing is that?" Bo was puzzled.

    "That thing." Kenny repeated. "The thing you did with your mouth." She raised her eyes to his, blushing deeply. "I'd be wantin' a whole lot more of that!"

    Bo wrapped his arms around her and twirled her around. His mouth met hers in a long kiss, then he set her down, and stepped back. He took both of her hands in his and promised her sincerely.

    "I will do that whenever you desire." He laughed loudly. "Now why don't we finish packing up and hit the trail home?"

    The word went straight to her heart, and grew like a fire. Kenny let her worries and doubts go. She was going to get what she desired most. A good man, a ranch of her own, a family... a HOME.
     
  2. Little Miss K

    Little Miss K Naughty but Nice 3-Time CAW Winner CAW SS Winner

    I LOVE THIS STORY!!! ♥:)

    I know that it is my ego speaking, but I still think that this is a great story reguardless of the main character. I really wish you would move this to the main story section where it could get the recognition that it deserves.o_O

    I just read it again and I love it more than ever! :)
     
    Al Harlow and Uncle B like this.
  3. Kaytwo

    Kaytwo Active Member KAW Winner

    This was the CAW winner wasn't it?

    K2
     
  4. Al Harlow

    Al Harlow Well-Known Member

    If I was in a book store and picked up this story, I would have ONLY read two paragraphs. Then I would have taken it to the counter and paid $20 for the hardcover version of the book. I usually take much longer to decide to buy a book.

    As I was reading I really thought it was odd as the main character was sounding more and more like @Little Miss K. It wasn’t until the end that I said “Damn, it is!”

    B, if I was a publisher I’d hire your ass!

    ‘Nuff said.

    PS ...and IF I had wings I wouldn’t be driving what I drive ( see Avatar! ;) )
     
    Uncle B likes this.