The captain's cowboy
Chapter 8: Pirates and Cowboys
Location: The Iron Buffalo, Harling Pass
The room was spinning and Daenelia had to hold on to Dottie for support. That hit to the head must have been harder than she had hoped. Funny, it didn't hurt so much. Just a general sense of ... floating. But her head felt heavy. She needed to lie down.
"I need to lie down," she said to Dottie.
"There are rooms upstairs," the helpful brown haired girl said. Dottie started to help Daenelia to the stairs and when they passed Colton, the cowboy grabbed the captain by the arm. "Not here, we've made too much noise" interrupted Colton, eyeing the locals suspiciously.
"The ship's not too far" suggested Dottie.
"I'll take her. You make sure nobody tails us." Colton put his arm around Daenelia and together they walked out of the saloon and off in the direction of the Steamhawke.
"That was some fight, Colton." Daenelia grinned weakly.
"Yeah," he answered, and walked on in silence until they reached the ship.
"Help me up the ramp," she whispered. Colton nodded and bent down to pick her up. He'd carry her to her quarters and then leave her there. He'd return to the old shack to grab his things. And then he'd go and leave 'Nelia behind. He couldn't stay here. He looked grim as he carried her up the ramp. She'd put on some weight, he noticed. He had to leave, not just because of her. No, not because of her at all. The bounty hunters mentioned they were looking for him. Only a matter of time before someone else took up their job.
"My head hurts," Daenelia said, as she wrapped her arms around his neck.
"Shouldn't get into fights you can't win, 'Nelia," he said in a monotone voice.
They got to the door and he elbowed the handle down, pushing with his shoulder to open it. She wriggled out of his arms and he put her down. She wandered over to the bed.
"I just need to lie down for a few minutes. I'll be alright." She sat down with her back to him. He should turn and walk out the door.
"I thought you were dead."
He was frozen in place. 'Of course I wasn't dead. Didn't you see me, didn't you hear me?' The thoughts wouldn't form into spoken words. 'Didn't you miss me...' He was silent.
She looked over her shoulder. She truly made herself believe he was dead, that he would be killed, or sometimes she even believed he had been killed before she could rescue him. In the end, he had been just another loss in her life, like her parents, her brother, everyone who cared for her. She had moved on. Seeing him wasn't as much a surprise as she would like him to believe. For a moment, she was taken back in time. The time with Colton had been good, better than she rated it at the time. Of course, this was nostalgia speaking, and Daenelia listened to it intently.
"Tell me," she said as she turned around. "Tell me everything that happened." She actually half-expected him to walk out the door. He walked around the bed to face her, though.
"I waited, and waited, and you never came back," he said. He loomed over her, and something in the tone of his voice alarmed her. She stood up, but too quickly and her had swam. She grabbed his arm for balance, but only succeeded in pulling him on the bed as she fell backwards. He landed on top of her. His face was so close to hers, and he felt angry, but there was something else, too.
"You're here," he growled, and he kissed her hungrily. Daenelia could barely breathe with him pressing down on her and his mouth on hers. She pushed against him in slight panic. He lifted himself off of her just enough to start undressing, tearing off his coat, his shirt, undoing his buckle.
Meanwhile Daenelia was scooting higher up the bed, trying to think straight about what was happening. With every item of clothing John Colton discarded, he revealed a body unlike the one she remembered. It was defined, and fuller, not so boyish as before. Her hands started to undo buckles and clasps and buttons as well, and it wasn't long before there was enough skin exposed for the both of them to feel each other's heat.
When he kissed her again, she felt the scratchiness of his stubble, smelled the sweat on his body, and she stopped thinking clearly. What could be wrong about two old friends meeting and reliving a part of their lives together? At the very least, it took her mind of the fight and the pain she was in. In fact, there was no pain anymore, and that was alright with her.
In the throes of passion, Daenelia kicked the stopper off the nearby communication pipe, and the noises that she and the cowboy were making echoed loudly through Harling Pass.