Keep your friends close...
Mission: Chapter 8: Pirates and Cowboys
Colton slid the bullets into his revolver and folded it shut, making for the door.
He found Daenelia sitting on a barrel and directing her crew to lift supplies onto the wagons. "'Nelia, we need to go where it's quiet. Don't want nobody hearing us." Daenelia raised her eyebrows at this, and gave Colton a wicked grin. "Again?"
After the cowboy led the captain behind the warehouse, he walked five paces away from her and turned around slowly. Either Daenelia hadn't noticed the gun clutched tightly in his hand, or just didn't care. "'Nelia" repeated Colton, his eyes narrowing.
"Colton," she answered playfully. She swung her hips from left to right while standing in one place, shifting her weight from one leg to the other.
"'Nelia," Colton said, as he opened and closed his grip on his gun. "I... I can't let you go." It seemed like he wanted to expand on that thought, but Daenelia's laugh interrupted him.
"Let me go?" She smiled. "You can't keep me, Colton. I have an appointment in Kanesville, and I have to get there." She frowned a little. "But if all you wanted to do was talk...," She turned around and walked away. "I have better things to do, Dolton!"
The use of the nickname she gave him brought it all back. He raised his gun and pointed it at her back. His fingertip stroked the trigger and his hand trembled. Just one squeeze and he'd be free of Daenelia Bradley forever. "No!" he shouted at her, and at himself. When Daenelia looked over her shoulder, Colton was leaning with one arm against the wall and his weapon arm hanging loose. He was shaking.
"What's the problem Colton? I offered you a place on my ship, but clearly you only want me for one thing. And now it looks like you don't even want me for that anymore. I'm leaving Colton, I won't bother you again." She shook her head and kept walking.
Yes you WILL! he wanted to scream at her. This time, Colton gripped the revolver with both hands. He blinked away the sweat pouring down his forehead and aimed the gun square between Daenelia's shoulder blades. Wherever he went next, whatever peace he'd manage to find for himself, Daenelia would find him again, and she'd ruin him. And he'd always been too weak to stop her. "Not this time" he mumbled to himself, and pulled the trigger.
The loud shot and the rather high pitched whine of a bullet flying past her made Daenelia cringe and then drop and roll. She got up with her pistol in her hand, facing Colton who was slowly letting his arms drop, still holding on to the gun. "What the hell are you...?" Daenelia didn't finish her sentence, but stalked back to Colton, wresting the gun from his hands.
"What? Is this the only way you can get my attention? You could have killed me!" She looked at the gun and admired it, ignoring Colton. She had never felt threatened by him. He'd always been loyal and safe to be around.
Colton wanted to take the gun back, and try not to miss this time. Or to just put his hands around her neck and squeeze. He opened his mouth but nothing came out. His stomach was in knots and his thoughts were all over the place.
"Look, I'll ask you again: do you want to come along?" Daenelia shook the gun loosely to emphasize her point. "I feel I owe you. I want to hear about your ... your life! What you did! And we can have fun! And you can help me find the treasure." She inhaled to finish the list of reasons why Colton should join the ship. But Colton stopped her, by putting his hand to her lips. It was a familiar gesture and the touch was enough to finally shut her up.
"Treasure?" Colton said in a low voice. "You never said nothing about that. You're off on one of your crazy wild-goose chases, aren't you?"
Daenelia grinned. "Well. It didn't come up," she said. She gave him his gun back, grip first. He holstered it without thinking, and looked square in the captain's eyes.
"I'm joining you" he said. Daenelia giggled, and playfully took Colton's hat and placed it atop her head. He tried to take it back, but Daenelia just laughed louder and wrestled his hands away from her head. He glared at her in frustration, and visions of murder flashed through his mind. One day he'd be strong enough to kill her, but until then he hoped he'd be strong enough to stop anyone else from killing her first.