Green Gus Witzer The Throat Slitter Part 1
Disclaimer: Not mine! Property of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution and Spyglass Entertainment Group.
Brief Summary: What will Halloween bring to Chon and Roy?
October 31, 6:59 pm
Chon took his eyes away from the sky over the treetops to glance at his riding partner. Even in the fading light, Roy's blond hair was dazzling. The dark cowboy hat could not hide the golden hair, rumpled from the wind and peaking out beneath the brim like thousands of tiny bird wings. He felt the beginnings of a silly grin coming over his face and hoped O'Bannon didn't notice. He couldn't help it. He liked to look at Roy. Loved to make him smile for his smile was bright like the rest of him.
They rode on in silence and for a few moments Chon believed he would actually get away with it.
"I see that smile."
Unable to stop himself, Chon let a full-blown grin take over his expression. He recovered as quickly as he could, pulling his expression down to his solemnest one, knowing well that Roy would chip away at him until he was smiling again. "Your eyes deceive you, pawtner."
"I don't think so. I know what you're thinking about."
"And just what am I thinking about?"
"Oh... First off, a couple a shots of brandy... Then a nice long hot bath in a tub for two... Me wearing that lavender you love so much and nothing else. Picture that! Am I right? Huh? Am I?"
"Keep going." Chon smirked.
"Ah... Let's see... Some more whiskey... And the red bandana... Oh, yes, gotta have a little show for ol' Roy... Mm... Have I ever told you how sexy you look in red? God! Damn! Mm-mm! Oh yes... Where was I?"
"Whiskey. Yes! Lots more whiskey! Then..."
Roy's sigh was raspy and he didn't see the black eyes that darted over to lust over his frame.
"Then... We settle down on that nice new mattress that came all the way from back East with the extra clean extra fresh sheets and the extra fluffy pillows... How does that sound right about now?"
Roy chuckled. "Some more whiskey... And then a little action between the sheets!"
"See? See? I knew what you were thinking about!"
Chon shook his head. All he had to do was look at Roy sometimes. Roy was no better.
"And what are you thinking about?"
Roy smirked. "Same thing."
Chon paused and waited for Roy to stop next to him. As soon as O'Bannon was in reach, he grabbed him by the lapels and kissed him. He didn't care that in doing so he knocked Roy's hat off. All he cared about was the taste of his man. He simply craved it. The dark hat tumbled almost silently to the ground. Hooves shifted. Chon saw flashes of the golden strands, feather-soft in his fingers.
The blond fumbled for a moment, grabbing onto Wang's jacket for support as Chon drew out the kiss. He felt the pull of Chon's strength through the kiss, sucking him down into a whirlpool of desire. Let him... His mind whispered. Chon's relentless energy crackled across his lips, making breathing difficult.
But the thought of his hat sitting somewhere on the ground, possibly getting trampled by his horse, bothered him. Roy's clothes felt stiff and sweaty, maybe they had always been, but now he felt particularly sensitive to their condition as Chon's heat flooded him. He squirmed. Running his hands across Chon's chest, he saw the sculpted flesh behind his closed eyes. He needed to be close, closer, right next to him with nothing between them. The kiss was so good; he realized he'd been thirsting for it like a long cool drink of water. Fido was in the way.
"Chon," Roy whined, when he could speak, "you knocked my hat off!"
"Oh, so sorry." Chon said and kissed him again, nearly pulling Roy from his saddle as he kissed him harder this time, determined that by the end of the kiss Roy would be thinking about something entirely different from his hat.
"You're a damn liar." Roy murmured, rubbing his swollen lips. He got down off his horse.
"You okay?" Chon worried as Roy moved a little slowly.
"No! You just kissed me! Of course I'm not okay!"
This brought a smile to Chon's face. He watched, expecting the cowboy to go pick up his hat, but instead O'Bannon walked up to him. "What are you doing?" Chon frowned as Roy reached for his saddle horn.
"Getting up on your horse."
Seeing that Roy intended to go about it the hard way, Chon helped him up, practically lifting Roy into the saddle in front of him.
Wrapping his legs around Chon's waist, Roy smiled straight into his brown eyes and knocked his hat off with a flourish. "Now, we're even."
"Hm... I do not think so." Chon said, holding Roy tighter to him. He laughed as Roy gave out a little squeak as he squeezed the blond's ass. "I have the better end."
"We'll see about that." Roy's blue eyes grew mischievous and Chon could see a plan already forming.
Chon acted quickly, drinking in the sun-warmed taste of Roy's mouth again. Roy fought to speak, but Chon only kissed him more thoroughly, gouging his partner's mouth with his tongue, crushing the softness of his petal-shaped lips to his own in his haste. Roy floundered for a few moments almost fighting the other man as Chon held him tightly to his solid temple of strength. He gave up and let out a little moan as Chon's hungry tongue rolled and raked his mouth just the way he liked it. He liked being kissed breathless.
Roy decided to get back at his partner the only way he could. He slid his tongue past Chon's bow lips over his sharp teeth, tasting some of the spiciness left from Chon's lunch. God, this man knew how to kiss.
"You..." Chon murmured, before tearing into Roy's mouth again, biting and sucking his lower lip. How he loved that curved red petal of flesh.
Chon shivered as Roy's fingers slid through his hair and gripped the back of his neck. Roy's hands seemed unnaturally cold, but Chon was determined not to let it distract him. Balancing their combined weight, Chon shifted Roy up higher and licked and mouthed his way over the hump of Roy's chin and down where he began to kiss and nuzzle his neck as the blond panted above him, his pulse letting Chon know that Roy was losing, Roy was hot for him and he for Roy. The skin of his neck was salty, warm and strangely gritty, like white sand baked on the shore of a beach under the hot sun.
Fido stood and waited patiently as the two men went at it on top of him.
Roy's heart beat faster as Chon's mouth left little wet marks all over his skin. He whimpered as his cock began to demand attention. Much to his growing frustration, the number of places he could reach on Chon were few. He settled for sliding his hands down Chon's back and then into his tangled black hair. He pulled at the leather cord holding Chon's hair. It was getting in his way and getting on his nerves. Finally, he got it untied and threw it somewhere. Yes... Long, black, silk to bury his hands in. So arousing... He thought of the silky feel of Chon's dick. Whimpering, he urged Chon to go lower as the China man breathed against his neck. Just the feel of Chon's breath against his skin made him crazy. He squirmed and pulled on the black locks gently, urging Chon on.
Wang murmured something in Chinese, seemingly content to nuzzle his throat.
"You know we could've stopped and made camp if this is what you had in mind." Roy gasped, straining to rub himself against Chon.
"Hm... I'd rather go on to town. Wouldn't you, sunshine?"
"Fido knows the way."
"Chon!" Roy squirmed as Chon flexed his ass. "Chonnn..." Roy swallowed as Chon's teeth grazed his throat, nibbling and licking.
"You were saying something, my sunshine?" Chon murmured, inhaling the scent of Roy's sweet-smelling sweat.
Roy moaned before getting his voice back. "Chon, you made me forget everything. Chon... Ooo... Chon, you are such a green horn sometimes."
"You know what would happen to us?"
"Mm-mm. But I'm sure you'll tell me."
"The town would string us up if we rode in like this. Not to mention the fact that we couldn't be the law anymore. You know we can't- AHH!"
Chon began to laugh at Roy for taking him seriously. He dipped O'Bannon over the saddle, dangerously close to Fido's mane, the horse having leaned down to nibble on some grass, and then up again quickly as if Roy weighed nothing. For him, it was a simple move, but it produced the desired result. Roy stopped lecturing and let out a little scream of surprise as the feeling of freefall overwhelmed him for a moment. Clinging to Chon, it took him awhile to be sure that he was upright again.
Chon sat holding him, trying not to giggle too much, but it was difficult. The look of sheer terror had been too comical. Roy's heart was pounding and not surprisingly his erection was gone too. Chon felt a little bad about that, but now he had Roy coiled around him and that he enjoyed very much.
When he felt certain Chon wouldn't drop him again or let him fall off Fido, Roy eased up on his death grip and faced him. "Chon, what the hell was that?"
"You know what! Chon, if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times! Don't throw me around like that! You know it scares me." Roy whined, looking hurt.
"It wasn't suppose to scare you. It was suppose to be fun."
"Fun? Maybe if I was a juggling ball! Do I look like a juggling ball to you?"
Chon ran his hand through the blond hair. "Oh no, sunshine, you are much prettier than a juggling ball. Much sexier..."
Roy's eyes twinkled and despite how pleased he was by the compliment, he was still suspicious. Roy thought for a moment and then it came to him. "Alright, who told you?"
"Told me what?"
"Chon, as you know, this is Halloween night and you, my friend, just played a trick on me."
"Yes, a very sneaky trick. Now, where's my treat?"
"There's a treat?"
Chon began giggling again.
"Oh, yes, you little fox, you know what I want... After tricking me like that..." Roy's tongue slithered into Chon's mouth, robbing him of his laughter, but giving him a much more pleasurable experience.
"Wo ai nee, sunshine."
"I love you." Chon felt relaxed as if he had been sun bathing all day yet somehow rigid as if he were standing guard over his partner like a treasure.
"I love you too."
Chon lost himself in another kiss. What a gift, what a pleasure, to let go and drown himself in Roy. To be carefree... He rocked back and forth slowly, hoping to make up for scaring his lover. Kissing and stroking, they went about it lazily this time, as if they could sit atop Fido all night.
Roy rested his arms loosely around Chon's neck and fixed him with a sly grin. "You Eastern men are so mysterious. I never know what you're up to or what's going on behind those dark eyes."
"Happy Halloween, sunshine."
Roy smiled. He looked across at his own horse that had wandered a few steps away. "I guess we'd better go on if we want to be back in town tonight." But something held him back. It was doing things like this out in the wild with Chon that excited him. "But somehow I don't want to. What is it about you? You're like a magnet, Chon."
Chon kissed him.
"See? That's what I'm talking about. Oh..." Roy rubbed his bottom lip, feeling how swelled it had become. "Wow. And just for the record? I want you to kiss me like that more often."
"No more Chinese suicide acrobatics though, okay?"
"That's not what you said in bed last night."
Chon started laughing. He decided to move on before Roy started another lengthy argument. "I help you down."
Roy landed solidly on his feet and promptly pulled Chon down for another kiss.
And it was Chon who pulled away very, very reluctantly. "It's getting dark." He said, straightening up.
"Don't even think about it."
"At home. On the mattress."
"Alright." Roy sighed. "You're such a party pooper sometimes."
Chon grinned. "Hurry up. We have to get started on the whiskey."
Roy threw a wink over his shoulder and picked his hat up and put it on. He picked up Chon's hat and handed it to him, earning him another kiss from his partner. Roy swung up into his saddle and they were on their way again. But for some reason, neither was in a hurry despite their lustful thoughts and the sun sank lower and lower. The moon rose up to replace the sun, giving the two men another reason not to hurry.
"Look, Chon, it's a full moon."
"Yes, it's beautiful. Sometimes, I think of it when I used to stand guard at night. It was full and very bright -- just like now."
"Cool. Soon the coyotes will start howling. Lightening will flash! It's a blood moon, Chon."
"What?" Chon looked up, but all he saw were stars. There was no sign of the lightening Roy was talking about much less any storm clouds.
A coyote howled in the distance, waiting for another one to howl back.
"Hear that, Chon? We might even run into a few werewolves!"
"Yeah. They're kinda like coyotes, but much bigger and hairier and they eat human flesh."
"Don't all animals?"
"Yeah, but these guys are fierce and they're especially dangerous tonight. When I was growing up, Old Man Axer told some stories about werewolves that used to scare us out of our underwear. After this one story, I was afraid to go to sleep for a whole week! I miss him on nights like this."
"Yeah. He's dead." Roy interrupted, a little more harshly than he'd intended. He saw the sympathy on Chon's face and turned away.
Chon waited quietly, letting O'Bannon collect his thoughts. "You've never spoken of him before." Chon ventured when Roy still didn't say anything.
"It's hard talking about him. He was an old mountain man. Used to tell us about all his adventures and they were so cool and exciting."
"And you wanted to be like him."
"Exactly! I wanted to go on all those adventures and see all those places too."
"Never got around to it. I didn't want to go it alone. Too dangerous. I could never find anyone I was willing to trust that much. You're different though. I can trust you."
Chon caught the light shining into Roy's blue eyes and acknowledged his words with a look of his own. "What happened to him?"
"He was mauled to death by a bear." O'Bannon was silent for a moment, seeming to lose his steam. "Now, that is one creature I do not want to run into tonight." He started again abruptly. "You can't kill those things. They're like invincible, man. Bullets only make them mad."
"I can take on a bear."
"No siree, Chon! First of all, it would cut you in half with a single swipe! And then it would disembowel you and you'd still be alive, Chon! Alive! The females are the meanest. They have claws half a foot long and big teeth. Huge, sharp teeth! And the most terrible roar you've ever heard!"
Chon made a dismissive noise. He would see this big and terrible bear for himself first. He knew of Roy's tendency to exaggerate especially when he was afraid of something. Ha! No bear was going to get Chon Wang!
Chon stopped Fido as he drifted past Roy's mount. "Are we stopping for the night?"
Not bothering to reply, O'Bannon swung down from his horse and bent down. The light of the moon offered him just enough illumination. They were still a few miles from town and this problem wasn't helping at all. Now they would miss the celebration! Damn it... Just another reason why he needed to quit being sheriff.
Chon wrestled with Fido for a moment and got him turned back around. The horse was eager to keep going. Chon petted him as he stared at Roy's back, trying to figure out what he was doing. "What is it?"
O'Bannon examined his mount's left front hoof and sighed. "Yep. I was afraid of that. Sorry, ol' pal."
"My old riding buddy here is lame, Chon. Musta rode over something somewheres back."
"We should stop then."
O'Bannon sighed. He was tired and as romantic as it sounded, sleeping under the stars with Chon on the hard earth was not his idea of a good night's rest. "No. If memory serves me, there's a town south of here. It's abandoned, but we could spend the night in one of the hotels." O'Bannon swung into the saddle again and urged his horse forward.
Chon clucked and started Fido, matching the pace of Roy's horse. "What happened to it? Did all the people just move away?"
"I don't know. It was long abandoned before I ever heard of it. Never met anyone who knew what happened to it." The abandoned ruins gave Roy an idea. "You wanna hear a ghost story, Chon?"
"What is a ghost?"
"Well, they say that on Halloween the spirits of the dead come back to life and tonight's Halloween. Yes siree..."
"This is a Western belief, isn't it?"
"Of course! We are in the west, aren't we?"
Roy could hear the slight dread in his friend's voice and he hurried to put it to rest. "But it's not what you think. If my horse wasn't lame, we'd be having ourselves a good time in town tonight. Beer... Candy..." Roy trailed off, thinking off all the goodies he would forego, all because of fate. "Damn it!"
Chon shook his head. The West was such a strange place, but he had to admit that he was intrigued just a little. He decided to bite. "So... How do they come back?"
"I'm not sure exactly, but if you see one you'll know. They look almost transparent and pale and they can float."
"Float? Hm. So why would a ghost come back?"
"To haunt the living mainly. Sometimes they come back to see people they knew when they were alive, like friends or family. Other times, their intent is malicious. They usually come back for revenge."
"I do not believe in ghosts."
"You don't?" Roy stared at his friend. "Why am I not surprised? Come on, Chon, that's no fun!"
"Fun? What is fun about that? You make them sound like bad dream."
"Chon, I was just-"
"Besides, ghosts do not exist. A spirit is reborn into a new body and lives again. That is all."
"Maybe in the East, but out here-"
Roy laughed at the old exasperation in Chon's voice. The China man had grown especially touchy about reminders.
"Still want to hear my ghost story?"
"Go ahead," Chon sighed. He knew he wasn't going to get Roy to shut up. Not unless he started kissing him again.
As they neared the outskirts of the town, Roy began his tale. "You know, Chon, this land was tough on the first settlers. Some of them couldn't handle it. They have a word for it. Plains madness."
"That is two words."
"Hey! Who's telling the story here?" Roy scowled; irritated at Chon for interrupting the mystique he was trying to build."Fine." Chon rolled his eyes and gestured for Roy to continue.
"Anyway... They saw things and heard things that weren't there. It infected the man of a family that was traveling with four other families on their way to California. Gentleman by the name of Gus Witzer. Perfectly normal guy. Guess he couldn't take the monotony of the scenery. They say that one day after staring at the tall, waving grasses day after day, week after week, month after month, these horrible green monsters appeared out of nowhere. Tall as giants with ten arms that waved around like an octopus. He shot at them, but he might as well have been shooting blanks. They were everywhere! Only thing that would work on them was his axe. Didn't get 'em all though. There were just too many of them. One of the monsters tried to get him and knocked him unconscious. When he woke up, all the men, women and kids in his party were dead and the green monsters were nowhere to be found. They say he went looking for them and to this day, he is still up in the hills looking for the green monsters."
"So, the monsters kill everyone?"
"No, Chon, he did. He murdered them because he thought they were green monsters."
"That is terrible!"
"Yeah. There's some sad minds out there, Chon. Keep a sharp eye out. We don't want to run into Witzer tonight. I don't want him mistaking us for monsters."
"Bah!" Chon waved his concerns away. He knew O'Bannon was just fooling with him. Ghosts. Ridiculous! Green monsters? Even more ridiculous!
"Suit yourself. Don't say I didn't warn you." Roy paused his horse. "Well, here we are. How do you like it, Chon? This could be our very own ghost town."
"No more ghosts please!"
"Alright, suit yourself." O'Bannon shrugged.
The two men walked their horses down the street. Most of the buildings were still standing, but in various dilapidated states. The saloon was missing one of its batwing doors and the paint had faded making the name of the establishment unreadable.
The old town saddened Chon. It was very quiet and even though he and Roy were speaking in normal tones, it seemed like they were talking too loudly, somehow disturbing the old buildings.
They tied their horses at the rail in front of the hotel, the only hotel. A knob was missing from the right door of the double door entrance, causing it to hang open. It creaked as a breeze moved it back and forth.
"It doesn't look too bad." Roy said and began to dismount.
"Shit!" O'Bannon's head shot up to peer in the direction of the third voice. The abrupt movement disturbed his momentum, causing him to fall hard on his ass. "Chon! Did you hear that? Where the hell did that voice come from?" Roy cried, struggling to his feet.
"From him." Wang jumped down from his horse and helped O'Bannon to his feet ignoring the stranger for a moment.
Course laughter mocked them.
"Where? Damn it..." Roy got to his feet, rubbing his sore ass.
"Hey, whoever you are, this isn't funny!"
Roy looked, but he couldn't see anything around the horses. He felt a little better as Chon fussed and brushed him off. "Oo." The small exclamation escaped his lips and a warm burst of pleasure accompanied it as Chon surprised Roy by rubbing his ass.
"Better?" Chon smiled. The grin was innocent, but his eyes were not.
"Um, yeah." Roy smiled. "Thank you, Chon." He hoped the beds were decent because he had a good idea what was going to happen as soon as he and Chon got in one. He couldn't wait.
"Gave you fellas quite a scare, didn't I?" The man was now standing to the left of the double doors and he chuckled at O'Bannon's disheveled appearance.
"Yes! Don't you know better than to sneak up on people like that?" Roy fussed.
"Never can be too careful these days, young fella. Can't never be sure about the two-legged kind."
"True." Roy conceded. "Guess you've got a point about that." The old man's bushy eyebrows looked almost sinister beneath his animal-skin cap. "We thought this place was abandoned."
"No, it isn't. You're here." Chon pointed out.
"Guess so. Name's Hal. What brings you here?"
"Yep. Ain't got no use for no last name no more."
O'Bannon studied the old coot carefully. He was about Chon's height and wore buckskins. Roy noted the new condition of his boots and decided the stranger must have been passing through himself. The old man might have stopped in Carson City only a few days ago and purchased the boots. He decided to tell the truth. "My horse came up lame so we decided to stop by for the night."
"Good thinkin'. Plenty of beds here. Livery's still standin' too. Ain't like this place gets a lot of customers anymore."
"What is this place?" Chon asked.
"Once upon a time it was called Rivers Eve. Now, it don't mean shit."
"Rivers Eve..." Roy mused. "Before the river. Before the Carson River?"
"Before a lotta things." Hal muttered. "Come on, young fellas, lets go inside and survey the dˇcor. You don't even have to register your names. But ifn you want to, I'll sign you up. Just for the hell of it."
Roy smiled as Hal's laughter crackled like lightening. Maybe running into this old geezer wasn't such a bad thing. In a small way, he reminded him of Old Man Axer.
Hal turned and walked back inside and O'Bannon followed, Chon following him.
"If you don't mind my asking, what brings you here?" Roy asked.
"Been here. Plenty of room and I have the whole town to myself. I fixed up the old livery some for my horse and the hotel has all the stuff I need to make do with a bite when I need to cook." Hal walked behind the register and spun the book around. "Wanna sign?"
"What about you?" Hal asked Chon.
Chon shrugged his shoulders and took the quill pen. Surprisingly, there was still ink in the inkbottle. Roy leaned close to watch Chon write. The curved markings looked more like a painting than writing.
"That's your name in Chinese?" The blond asked when Chon had finished.
"Wow, that looks cool. Write mine!"
"Okay." Grinning, Chon wrote Roy's name on the other page as O'Bannon peered over his shoulder, excitement emanating from all over him.
"Write you too?" Chon asked, glancing up at the old man after he was done.
"Pretty fancy writin' there..."
"Chon." Hal grinned. "Yeah, go ahead, Chon!"
Wang turned the page and put Hal's name down. The old man spun the book around and looked at the writing. "Can't make ends of this. Hm! Could be upside down for all I know. Reckon I'll keep this." He cackled and ripped the page neatly out of the book and folded it up and stuffed it into his shirt pocket. "Now, how bout some coffee?"
"Sounds great." Roy said.
Hal grinned, revealing a set of yellow teeth. He was missing his right front tooth. "Right this way." He led them into the kitchen, which was well lighted and clean. "You fellas wouldn't happen to have any sugar, would you?"
"No." Chon said.
"But there's some in Carson City," Roy said. "Not too far from here. You could get some there."
"Mm. Maybe. Just hopin'." Hal poured them each a cup of the strong, black brew.
"You don't want to see town?"
"Ain't the town, Chon. Reckon I don't have much use for civilization -- ain't nothin' civil about it."
"That's a mighty pessimistic view." Roy said.
"I got my reasons." Hal turned his piercing gaze on Chon. "Say, you wouldn't happen to be Chon Wang, would you?"
"Damn it! I wondered... Chon Wang! You know they tell stories about you... Damn! And here you are in person!"
"Hey, what about me?"
"Oh, well, damn, you must be Roy O'Bannon."
"The one and only."
Chon rolled his eyes. If he had to sit through another one of Roy's tall tales about their adventures-
"Say, Chon, you wouldn't mind showin' an old man some of that fancy foot work, would you?"
"Not at all." Chon smiled, pleased that he was getting a chance to shine. He saw the pout on Roy's face and it made him even happier. Poor sunshine... Hehe!
Roy watched with Hal as Chon spun an empty pot on his finger and play fought a chair. It seemed almost everywhere Chon went he was a celebrity. It just wasn't fair!
Roy smiled a little as Chon advanced on him and aimed some good-natured jabs at him. Instantly, he felt his mood lighten as Chon smiled at him. There was something about that man's smile that stole his heart. He clapped politely with Hal after the performance.
"That's alright, Chon. With you two as law, scum goin' into Carson City better lookout. You already got quite a reputation."
"Yeah, there's talk here and there. Want me to show you them rooms?"
"Lead the way." Roy urged, thinking about the beds again.
The stairs creaked loudly under their feet as they ascended to the second floor. Chon regarded the steps suspiciously. He didn't want to fall through. Not before he got a piece of the ass in front of his face. He nudged Roy in the ass and smiled as O'Bannon glanced over his shoulder and smirked back at him.
"How long have you been here, Hal?"
"Long time, young fella, long time."
"Do you know what happened to this place?" Chon asked.
Hal glanced back at the two men. "How do you know anything did?"
"Well, something must've. Otherwise, there would still be people here." Roy injected.
"Mm! You ask a lot of questions, sonny."
Roy suppressed an urge to sigh. He was thinking of changing his assessment of the old man.
"Well, guess it can't hurt none." He went inside the first room on the right. "What you think about this one?"
Chon was the first to notice. "There's no dust."
"That's right. I clean 'em. Keep 'em dusted, even wash the sheets."
Hal was amused by the confused look on Chon's face. "Don't rightly know. Just something to do I suppose."
An owl hooted somewhere nearby, startling Chon. He looked in the direction of the window, but all he could see was the building across the street.
Hal scratched his flinty white stubble. "You two are a jumpy pair. Somebody huntin' you?"
"No," Roy said quickly, "Tonight's Halloween and well-"
"Hm! So it is. Seen any ghosts?"
"I do not believe in ghosts." Chon said.
"Me neither." Hal agreed.
Chon smiled at Roy, as if to say 'told you so.' Roy stuck his tongue out at him.
"Hm!" Hal grunted, amused by the two men's antics. "Ain't no ghosts around here. Rest assured. If there was, I woulda noticed by now. Still wanna hear about this dump? Make a good spook story."
"Sure." Chon was eager to hear about it, even if Roy wasn't. He sat down on the mattress and made himself comfortable on its softness. After a moment, Roy sat down next to him.
Hal propped against the dresser and crossed his arms over his chest after setting the lantern down. "Story goes this place was started by a group of business men and ranchers. And them was Indian days back then, but town never had no trouble."
O'Bannon frowned. "Why?"
"Indians are a superstitious lot. Accordin' to them, there was a curse on this place. Some mad white man had died here and poisoned the ground. Said he was a cannibal, said he talked to people only he could see. But you know what I think it was?" Hal leaned closer, his scratchy voice lowering. "I think it was plains madness."
Eyes widening, Roy moved closer to Chon as dread spread inside him like a cancer. Chon glanced at him, distracted by the feel of Roy's thigh against his own. O'Bannon seemed almost totally enthralled with the tale unfolding before him and maybe a little frightened because his fingers were buried in Chon's coat. Determined to hear more, Chon turned his attention back to the old man and waited. Hal, seeing that all attention was focused on him again, continued.
"They say he went around screamin' and hollerin' at nothin'. Attackin' bushes and trees with an axe. Weird shit like that. Even the Indians didn't bother him. Not sure exactly how he died. The Indians said he soiled everything he touched. That's why they refused to go near this place. That didn't stop those white men though. The maniac was just a memory by then so they built. Thought they were doin' real well until the plague struck. Spread like a wild fire. Took every man, woman and child. Made 'em crazy."
"With plains madness?" Chon frowned.
Hal smiled. "Or somethin'. A mountain man and his Indian friend rode through this place drawn by the stench of all those rotting corpses. It's said the two men burned all the bodies and left. Don't know why they left this place standin'. I reckon they were afraid the fire would get out of control."
"Wow." Roy breathed. "What about that story about the caravan that was struck by the, the madness. Is that- Was he-"
"You think that same loco son of a bitch was the one involved in the Witzer massacre?" Hal laughed. "Maybe. But then," Hal nodded towards the window, "who can tell out there? I only know what's said. I weren't there. But let me tell you somethin', sonny, I been around a long time and in the beginning it was right near common. Settlers been killin' each other off even before the war. Reckon it was the land's way a gettin' back what was its. Indians liked it. Plains madness never bothered them." The old man rubbed his rough hands together. For a moment, his eyes gleamed, revealing the pleasure he felt from scaring the two men, at least the blond one. "You two ain't gone leave now, are ya? I ain't had company in quite a while."
"We'll stay." Chon assured. He had seen the man's eyes and knew a trick when he saw one. He would just have to convince Roy. Superstitious westernized Roy...
"Good." Hal clapped his hands. "Means I get to play host. Hm! If only- Ah! Want some more coffee? I got the pot on the stove, still warm."
"No thanks." Roy mumbled, lost in thought. Thoughts of men and women lying in these very rooms, dying a slow death bereft of their sanity, maybe even in agony with no one to help them gave him a belly ache. All because of some crazy white man who-
"Roy?" Chon laid his hand over Roy's pale one, concerned by the blank stare on his friend's face. Roy got upset way too easily.
"Huh?" Roy glanced at Chon's dark eyes, seeing confusion and worry. It angered him. Didn't he get it? He glanced at Hal quickly and the man's eyes looked almost beady. "What did you say?"
"Reckon you'll want to see the rest of the rooms. Lot to choose from." Hal said, picking up his lantern and moving towards the door.
Roy got up and followed close on his heels. "Um, Hal, you said you washed all the beds, right?"
Hal laughed. "No. What's a matter, sonny? You ain't scared a no dead people, are ya?"
"No, I just-"
"Ahh, it ain't nothin', son, just an ol' story." Hal said and proceeded to show him the rest of the rooms.
Roy joined Chon back in the first room after the tour.
"I'll see you fellas later." Hal said and left, his footsteps creaking down the stairs.
"I like this room." Chon said and stretched out on the bed. "This bed is soft. Come on, Roy. Try it."
O'Bannon said down next to him and Wang drew him into his arms and across his body. He smiled, trying to chase away the look of unease in his lover's blue eyes. "Still hurt?" Chon murmured. "Hm? Sunshine hurt?"
Roy's reply was lost in the kiss. He melted into Chon, as the kiss made all his worries go away. Letting out a small moan, Roy arched into Chon as his hands cupped and caressed his abused ass.
"Aw, Sunshine, Sunshine..." Chon murmured, kissing him, loving the feel of Roy moving against him. He clasped the blond to him and kissed him again, but Roy didn't smile. "What's wrong?" Chon frowned.
Roy sighed and rested his forehead against Chon's own, a little ill with himself for spoiling the moment. If he could just stay with Chon the rest of the night, everything would be okay.
The China man regarded him seriously and brushed his fingers through the gold strands of his sunshine's hair. "Roy?"
"Aren't you worried?"
"Worried about what?"
"About staying here."
"Why? You were the one who wanted to come here."
"I know! But I think we would be better off sleeping on the ground. I think we should go."
"Roy, it's just a story."
"People died here, Chon. Would you want to sleep in a bed someone died in? A rotting carcass could've lain in this very bed!"
"Roy, this bed is clean now. There is nothing to worry about."
"Maybe so, but there's Hal to worry about."
"Him?! He's a nice old man!"
"Yes, him! In case you hadn't noticed, he's staying here too."
"So?! So that means we can't spend the night together. He'll get suspicious."
"You care more about what some stranger thinks than what I think?"
"Chon, in the west-"
Wang sat up fast, shoving Roy away. "Say no more. I am sick of this. West this, west that! No more! Get out."
"I don't want to hear anymore!" Chon made a quick slicing motion with his hand, his back to Roy's pleading eyes. "I will see you in the morning."
Roy left, glancing back at the last moment as he closed the door and pouted, hoping Chon would change his mind. But Wang's face was set in a stony glare. Roy cursed silently. He should've bitten the bullet and camped out. But who would have suspected anyone of inhabiting this old dump? And now Chon was mad at him. He couldn't stand it when Chon got mad at him even if he was being totally naive and unreasonable. He grew tired of having to continuously hide their true relationship, but it was necessary. There were too many dangerous men out there who wanted to string up anyone different from them. But he had to give Chon some credit. He was learning.
O'Bannon settled in the room across from Wang. They'd be apart, but still close in case anything happened. Not that he thought Hal would try anything, but it was always possible for another stranger to ride in just as they had done. And there was something else he was worried about.
Roy took off his guns and laid them on the nightstand. After looking at the bed for a moment, he removed his coat and boots. This bed might be clean, but that was as far as he was going. He lay down and stared at the ceiling, wondering if Chon was asleep yet. Maybe Chon would actually listen to him in the morning.
O'Bannon listened to the night sounds, the rustle of the wind, the creaking door of the hotel. Irritation crept over Roy. The squeaking was already getting on his nerves. Of all the places...
He sighed and waited for the wind to move the old door again. Instead, he heard a sound he didn't recognize. It was soft and to his right. It almost sounded like it was coming from inside the wall. Roy listened harder. It sounded almost like scratching and it was getting louder and faster. Almost as if someone were-
O'Bannon jumped out of bed and barged into Wang's room. Chon turned over as Roy slammed and locked the door. Before he knew it, Roy had jumped in bed next to him.
"What are you doing?"
"There's something over there, Chon!"
"Something's over there." Roy grabbed his arm. "Or maybe someone. I heard a noise like someone's fingernails trying to scratch through I don't know what! And it was all creepy and dark like- You gotta come over there, Chon! Hurry!" Roy finished in a rush, breathless.
Chon struggled, trying to disengage Roy's grip on his arm. "Roy, there is no one here."
"No. I mean besides him. It's just us."
"Just come over there please?"
"But there's something scary in my room." Roy pouted.
Chon's anger cooled somewhat as he stared at the genuine unease in the bright blue eyes. "Okay. I go take a look."
"Thank you, Chon." Roy hugged his neck and felt a little better when Chon hugged back. He got up and fidgeted until Wang got his pants on. He stayed glued to Chon's back as Wang made his way across the hall, carrying his lantern. "See anything?"
Chon shined the light around the room, but he could find nothing that looked out of the ordinary. "Nothing."
"Alright, just listen for a bit. You'll hear it."
"Ow!" Chon winced and moved away as Roy's whisper hurt his ear. To his annoyance, Roy just moved close to him again and grabbed his arm. "Shh... Listen."
Chon strained his ears, listening for anything that sounded strange, but he heard nothing, not even the wind. He shined the lantern around again and let it rest on the door to the closet. "Maybe your ghost is hiding in there. Come out, come out, ghost."
"Chon! You don't just tell a ghost to come out!"
"Because-" Roy's cut himself off as he heard the scratching noise again. "Did you hear that?"
Chon frowned and listened. The clawing noises were definitely coming from the closet. There was something or someone in there.
"What are you doing?" Roy hissed, pulling Chon close as he tried to move forward.
"I am going to see what that noise is. Now let go."
But O'Bannon didn't let go and Chon was forced to move slowly. He managed to free his hand, but Roy latched onto the sides of his shirt with both fists, peering over his shoulder as they moved closer and closer to the closet door, closer and closer to the scratching noises. Roy's fingers pulled hard on Chon's shirt as the China man slowly opened the door. Chon moved the light around the walls and then around the floor. He stopped in the back right corner and rested the lantern there.
A large ugly rat was devouring the wallpaper.
"See? It's only a rat."
"A rat?" Roy was chagrined. "That doesn't look like a normal rat to me!"
"Well, it won't hurt you." Chon reasoned and closed the door.
"I don't care. I'm not staying in this room." Roy let go of Chon and headed for Wang's room.
"Where do you think you are going?"
"I'm staying with you." Roy planted himself next to the bed and crossed his arms.
"No! There are plenty of empty rooms. You go in one of those!"
"Hell no! Who knows what's in those other rooms!"
"Roy!" Chon warned.
O'Bannon dove for the bedpost opposite him and grabbed onto it tightly. He spread himself across the bed, holding himself as stiff as possible.
"Roy, let go!" Chon jumped onto the bed and grabbed Roy's hands, trying to pry them away from the wooden post.
"No!" Roy put all his strength into his grip and held on stubbornly. He squealed as Chon began tickling him. "Stop it, Chon! That's not fair!"
"You're not fair!"
Roy squirmed and laughed and screamed until he could take it no longer. He let go and rolled onto his back, trying to get away from the tickling fingers.
The covers were jerked out of Roy's hands as Chon pulled him across the bed and swung him up into his arms.
"Chon?!" Roy flailed his arms, trying to grab onto any piece of furniture in reach.
The China man moved like a whirlwind and before Roy knew it he was unceremoniously dumped in the hallway.
"Ow! Chon?! That was my ass!"
"I don't give a shit!"
"Chon?!" Roy struggled to his feet. "Come on, Chon..."
Chon huffed and slammed the door.
"Chonnn..." Roy whined, resting his head against the door in a futile attempt to regain Chon's welcome. "Chon, I'm going to stand here all night until you open this door... I mean it, Chon... Can you live with yourself? Because I know I wouldn't be able to... Could you live with yourself if I died knowing I'd begged you to let me in? Huh?"
Roy sighed and looked at the rest of the closed doors. Why did they look so foreboding? There was something wrong with this place. He could feel it. Hal hadn't mentioned Green Gus Witzer, but Roy had a bad feeling that he was the crazy white man who had died here. But was he really dead?
As quickly as he could, he retrieved his gear from the rat room and chose the next room. This one looked just as clean and Roy said a silent thank you to Hal again for telling him the story of Rivers Eve and for cleaning up.
October 31, 10:00 pm
Roy woke with a start. He pulled out his pocket watch and flipped it open. As far as he could tell, he'd only been asleep for a few minutes. He missed sleeping next to Chon in bed. He cursed Chon again for throwing him out.
You'll be sorry if anything happens to me, Chon.
Thing was he didn't want anything to happen, not really. This was all wrong. He and Chon should've been at home in bed, too drunk and exhausted from sex to be thinking at all. Sighing, Roy turned onto his left side and fidgeted, trying to get comfortable. It wasn't working though. Resigning himself to the fact that he probably wouldn't get any sleep tonight, Roy listened. Odd, he didn't hear the creaking door anymore. Something had awakened him.
Roy bit off his gasp. Shit! Someone was coming up the stairs!
The stairs creaked as the owner of the feet made a slow ascent. Was it Hal? Chon? Shit, what if it was Crazy Gus? Shit, shit!
Roy grew even more uneasy as the footsteps seemed loud. Didn't Chon hear them? Slowly, the steps grew louder and closer until they suddenly ended right in front of his door.
Roy gasped and pressed against the headboard as the doorknob turned. He wanted to scream for Chon, but his voice wouldn't work. His imagination conjured up the image of a horrendous spirit, coming for him because he was in its bed. But he couldn't move. Instead, he watched the door open. One inch, two inches, three inches-
The door stopped and Roy grabbed his gun and waited. Not that it would do a whole lot of good if it were a real ghost. He wondered where Chon was. Finger poised on the trigger, Roy waited, waited for a shadow to fall or a hiss of cold air or the slow death swing of Witzer's axe to slip past the door.
Five minutes passed and Roy grew even more nervous. His gun hand was sweating.
Shit! It was a ghost! He knew it now for sure. Only which one was it? Whoever it was, they were still standing there.
Roy made up his mind. It was do or die. He scrambled out of bed and burst through the door and slammed into Chon's. He began beating on it frantically. "Chon! Chonnn!" He looked around for the ghost as the dark hallway closed around him "Chon? Open the damn door!"
Chon flinched as he was awakened by the sound of someone trying to break the door down.
"Chon? Open the door! NOW! Chon... Chon, you better open this door!"
Roy... Shit... And by the sound of things, something had happened. The gunman was talking ninety words a minute.
Wang eased himself to his feet and made his way over to the door, in no hurry to let a hyper Roy O'Bannon in. Some people were trying to sleep!
"Chon!" Roy cried and darted in.
But Chon didn't get out of the way fast enough and he grunted as they went down in a tangle.
"Chon, let go of me!"
"You are the one who ran into me!"
Roy fell again and cursed before making it to his feet. He slammed the door quickly and locked it.
Meanwhile, Chon rolled to his feet, casting a very sour look at his partner. "What? What is it now? Monsters?"
"Maybe. I don't know. Someone tried to come in my room, but they never finished opening the door."
"Didn't you hear those loud footsteps coming down the hall just a second ago?"
"No. All I hear is you banging on my door waking me up!"
"Oh shit! Chon? You really didn't hear those footsteps?"
Looking dazed, Roy walked over and fell on the bed. "Shit, Chon, what if I'm going crazy?"
Chon scowled. "You are crazy!"
"It's as I'd always feared. Losing my mental facilities, foaming at the mouth, babbling nonsense..."
Chon rolled his eyes. Speaking of babbling nonsense!
"Then you'll haul me off to one of those institutions and leave me there to rot with all the other head cases."
"Enough! Come here."
Roy sat up slowly, a little frightened by the stern tone of voice. "What?"
"I said come here. Come!" Chon gestured impatiently.
Warily, Roy made his way around to the other side of the bed. He hung his head as he came up close and personal to the glare on Chon's face. Chon pulled Roy down onto his lap and held him close. Embarrassed, Roy buried him face in Chon's shoulder, unable to face the disapproval in his eyes.
Chon stroked the blond hair for a few moments. "Look at me, Roy."
O'Bannon didn't move.
"Come on. It's okay." Chon soothed, stroking his hair.
Slowly, Roy pulled away, steeling himself for the look in Chon's dark eyes. The seriousness in Chon's eyes hit him full force and he immediately began to speak again. "Ch-"
"Sh." Chon soothed, placing his finger against Roy's lips.
Roy closed his eyes and something trembled inside him.
Chon moved his finger away and watched Roy move closer, seeking more of his touch. His eyelids opened and to Chon he looked confused, ashamed and scared all at the same time.
Chon's expression gentled. "You are not going crazy, Roy."
"Hal really scare you, didn't he?"
Roy looked away like he was going to deny it, but then he looked down and sighed. "Yes." He admitted, meeting Chon's eyes again.
"You don't have to be afraid, Roy, because he lied."
"What? No, no-"
"Sh..." Chon shushed, placing his finger against Roy's lips again. "It's all lies, Roy. I see him and when he talk he smile. He make up lies to scare you."
"Yes. Just like Axer. He-"
Stung, Roy jerked away and stumbled to his feet. "Don't you ever say that again, Chon! He never lied to me! Ever! Maybe he embellished on the truth some here and there, but he never lied!"
"No! I've seen plains madness, Chon, and I know what it can do to people! Witzer killed those people and he made all the people here die too!"
Chon stood and took the agitated man into his arms again. "Roy, you don't know what you are saying. Hal have you confused."
"No! Stop it!" Roy pulled away again. "Just leave me alone!"
The blond was shaking and it saddened Chon for now he looked even more frightened and confused than before.
"Roy-" Chon moved towards him again.
"No! I'm going back to my room and if you hear me scream don't even bother coming, Mister I-Don't-Believe-In-Anything!"
But O'Bannon slammed the door and then Chon heard another door slam. Wang sighed. He decided he was going to find Hal and make him tell Roy there was nothing to worry about. Apparently, Roy really believed in this Halloween.
October 31, 11:45 pm
Chon returned to his room troubled. He'd searched the entire town and he hadn't been able to find Hal. Had the old man ridden off somewhere? And if he had, why? He looked at Roy's door and thought about speaking to him, but changed his mind. Roy was probably still very upset and telling him about Hal would only make him even more upset. Chon retired to his room and hoped the night would pass with no more incidents.
October 31, 12:30 pm
The door wasn't creaking anymore; even the rat had stopped scratching the wall. The hotel was silent and as the silence had thickened, Roy had grown more frightened. This was one Halloween night he wasn't going to sleep. His heart lurched painfully in his chest as he heard a loud crash downstairs. It sounded like someone had broken some furniture.
Chon! If that little devil was down there trying to fight some ghost, he was going to kill him.
Roy leapt to his feet, but as he did, he heard the unmistakable sound of an axe hitting wood. Roy pressed his fist to his mouth. Oh shit! What if Chon were down there?
Gathering his nerves, Roy eased out of his room and crept down the hall. Be brave, he told himself, you gotta help Chon.
Chon sat up in bed as a blood-curdling scream pierced his eardrums. "Roy!" He ran out of his room and crashed into O'Bannon who was still in the process of tiptoeing down the hall.
Roy screamed as he was pinned beneath Chon's weight. "Die, you bastard, die!"
Chon grunted as Roy began to pummel him, screaming obscenities and whimpering.
"Roy, Roy! It's okay!"
"No!" Roy screamed and hit him. Now the sick bastard was trying to pretend he was Chon. "You're not Chon!"
"Roy! Roy!" Chon struggled with him before finally pinning his wrists to the floor.
O'Bannon went wild, terrified that Witzer's axe would fall on him any second. "NOOO!"
Still smarting from Roy's fists, Chon bent down and cut his scream off with a kiss. He kept kissing his love as Roy whimpered and squirmed through the kiss, still frightened.
"Shh..." Chon murmured against his mouth, "It's alright, Roy."
"Chon?" Roy stilled as he felt the sweet familiarity of Chon's mouth.
"What are you doing here?"
"I hear a scream and I thought it was you so I ran. I didn't expect to find you right outside my door." Chon let go of his wrists and helped Roy up.
"That's funny. I heard a crash downstairs and I thought it was you."
"You mean you didn't scream?"
Chon's eyes widened. Roy grabbed his hand as a heavy thumping noise started.
"Shit, what's that?" Roy whispered, pressing close to Chon.
"I think it's coming from down there." Chon pointed to the room at the end of the hall.
"This place is really freaking me out, Chon."
"What are you doing?" Roy hissed as Chon moved forward.
"To see what that noise is."
"No! Are you crazy? This is the part where we run for our lives!"
"What? Mm!" Chon grunted.
"No, no, Chon!" Roy panicked, as Chon dragged him along by the hand. Not that Chon was really dragging him it was more like Roy had cemented their hands together.
When he reached the door, Chon slowly pushed it open. "Don't worry, Roy, it's probably just another rat."
"I hope not. If I see any more mutant rats, I'm going to seriously start worrying about the evolution of the entire species."
Chon looked around the room, trying to determine where the loud thumping was coming from. "Maybe one of the drawers." Chon said, pointing to the dresser.
"No, no. It's the chest. See? Something's making the lid bounce." Roy let go of Chon's hand and clutched his hands together, bouncing nervously as he waited to see what Chon would do.
The China man took one last look at Roy and then opened the lid. "Aww..."
"What? What is it?"
"It's a bunny rabbit." Chon smiled and lifted the animal out of the wooden box. "Isn't he cute?"
Roy relaxed, but a frown crossed his face. "Who would put a rabbit in a chest?"
"I don't know. Go, bunny rabbit, go on." Chon smiled and put the animal down so it could hop away.
O'Bannon went to examine the contents of the chest. Something wasn't right. He screamed as he saw an axe lying in the bottom of it.
"It's an axe, Chon! An axe! It must be Green Gus' axe! Fuck! Fuck!"
"Roy." Chon frowned, dismayed at how upset his lover was becoming.
O'Bannon turned to flee the room and shrieked as a tarantula lowered itself over the doorway.
"CHOOOONNNNN!" Roy leaped into Chon's arms. "Kill it, Chon, kill it!"
"Roy, it's just a spider."
"Yeah, a deadly spider! One bite from that thing is certain death. Kill it, Chon! Stop fucking around!"
"Okay." Chon waited until the spider landed on the floor and killed it with a quick step. "There, see? It's dead. Happy?"
"Yeah, yeah, that's good, Chon, real good."
Chon smiled at him. Roy was speaking breathlessly. Not a good sign.
"You can put me down now."
"No. You are still scared."
Roy's blue eyes widened and he realized, belatedly, how tightly he was still clinging to Chon.
"Sh..." Chon murmured as Roy began to stutter. "Sh... It's alright, sunshine."
Roy felt his fear wash away as Chon's lips pressed against his own. He wrapped his arm around Chon's neck and played with his hair. Chon's breath was warm on his face, his embrace strong and comforting.
"You make me feel so safe. I'm sorry I hit you."
"It's okay. You can make it better later."
"Later? Why not now?"
"Roy, I have something to tell you."
Roy remained silent. Chon was talking seriously. Not a good sign.
"I search the whole town for Hal, but I can't find him. I was going to make him tell you the truth."
"What truth, Chon? He told us the truth."
"Roy, it's animals. There is no killer here. No monsters."
"Oh yeah? Then explain that axe."
"It's an old axe. It could belong to anyone."
"Well, it doesn't! It belongs to Green Gus Witzer!"
"You are impossible!"
"You're even more impossible! What's it going to take, Chon? Do I have to get my head cut off?"
"Don't say that!"
"Ah... See? So you do believe in him!"
"No. Besides, he would have to get through me first."
Roy was speechless for a moment; he was so horrified. "Chon, you're really scaring me here. Let's go. It was stupid to come here."
"No. I am going to prove to you that there is nothing bad here."
"If you say so."
"I do say so. Let me show you."
"Come with me." Chon put him down and took his hand. "We'll find out together."
"I- I don't know."
"You trust me?"
"Yes, it's the ghosts I don't trust."
Chon rolled his eyes.
Hand in hand, they walked down the hall and down the stairs. This time the old wooden staircase offered no comment. The tinkling of the piano keys drew them into the parlor room.
"Maybe Hal's a piano player." Roy whispered.
But the room was empty and as soon as they entered it, the music stopped. The piano had been wiped clean, but the rest of the room was covered with dust.
"Hey, Chon, maybe it's one of those pianos that plays by itself?"
"There's a lever somewhere." Roy sat down on the stool and checked under the keys. "Well, guess not." He said after taking a thorough turn around the upright. He sat down again and began to peck out a tune.
"I didn't know you could play the piano."
"Just a little. This is one my mom showed me."
Chon moved to stand behind Roy and watched him pick between the black and white keys, sometimes choosing more than one at a time.
"Can't remember the name of this thing exactly."
Chon and Roy's eyes widened as invisible fingers joined Roy's adding harmony to his melody.
They looked at each other and screamed. "AHHH!"
The pair took off, hearts in their throats, and made a beeline for the livery.
"Time to get the hell outta Dodge, Chon!"
"Wait! Our horses are still out front!"
They turned and ran back the way they'd come. Roy pulled up short and grabbed Chon as he saw something lying between their horses.
"What?" Chon frowned, trying to get to his horse.
"Fuck! Is that who I think it is? Oh, it is... Fuck, fuck!"
Chon broke away from Roy and ran to see. The old man was lying in a pool of blood. His head was conspicuously separate from the rest of his body.
Chon turned to say something when he saw- "ROY! RUN!"
O'Bannon moved just in time to miss being decapitated. Realizing who is was, the blond shrieked and ran.
"HEY!" Chon cried.
Witzer turned his bloody axe on Chon next. The China man ran and stepped up and met him.
Chon was distracted by the blood-chilling scream and almost had his arm taken off. He clutched the axe over their heads as Witzer tried to bring it down upon him again. The man was foaming at the mouth, spewing his foul breath in Chon's face. Chon placed a kick between the man's legs, surprised when nothing happened.
"Chon, get away from him! Come on!" Roy pleaded.
Chon struggled, using all of his strength to keep the axe above his head, but slowly it came down, getting closer and closer.
Chon wrenched the axe sideways in a last desperate attempt and broke free. Roy screamed as another swipe from Witzer almost got Chon.
Chon ran and leapt onto the back of his horse. Roy spurred Fido on hard, clutching to both of Chon's arms, which were wrapped tightly around his waist, with one of his hands. Chon glanced behind them, but he couldn't see Witzer and that frightened him."I don't see him."
They didn't stop until they reached Carson City. There, they dropped Fido at the livery and went to the jail and locked themselves in for the night.
Safely inside, Roy clutched Chon to him. Chon stumbled a little, surprised by the fierceness of his embrace. He knew Roy was terrified. His heart was pounding and Chon knew if he didn't get him calmed down soon something else might happen.
"It's okay, Roy."
"It's not okay, Chon. Stop it."Chon took a deep breath and relaxed, hoping it would relax his partner. He was terrified and angry with himself as well. He'd almost let his sunshine get killed. Roy's hands were busy feeling all over him.
"Chon, are you hurt? Don't lie to me, Chon. Are you?"
Chon took a moment to assess himself. "No, Roy, I'm fine."
O'Bannon hugged him again. "Oh, thank god!"
Chon rested his head on Roy's shoulder. His partner's heart was still beating wildly. Not a good sign. "What about you, Roy?""I'm okay. I think."
Chon turned his head and nuzzled at Roy's throat. Little by little, he felt Roy begin to relax as they held each other.
Roy let out a short, weak laugh as Chon's hands skimmed down his back and came to rest on his ass. "We wasted our whole evening fighting. I liked my original plan better."
"Me too." Chon smiled and met Roy's eyes.
O'Bannon's eyes darted away suddenly and he flinched.
"What am I doing?"
Chon was perplexed. He watched, as Roy barricaded the windows and checked to make sure both of his guns were loaded. He loaded a rifle as well.
"Roy, what are you doing?"
"Getting prepared, Chon. That son of a bitch is going to come through the door and when he does, I want to be ready."
"Roy, if he really is who you say he is, bullets cannot kill him."
O'Bannon ignored him and placed a chair before the door. He sat down in it with both of his guns aimed at the entrance.
Chon stood in front of him, determined to get his attention. "Roy, I fought with him. He felt real. He wasn't a ghost."
"Yeah, exactly! That's what I'm saying!"
Realizing he wasn't going to win this battle, Chon went and lay down in a bunk. He lay awake until the morning hours and it was then that he went to check on his partner. Chon shook his head. The blond was asleep, his head against his chest, his guns still in his hands resting on his thighs. Chon took his guns away and put them on the desk. He picked Roy up easily and put him to bed and crowded in on the bunk with him.
November 1, 10:06 am
The dark quiet jail cell would have been pleasant had Roy and Chon not slept together on a narrow bunk designed for one. Roy was startled until he realized how he had moved from the chair to the bed.
Roy stretched and sighed. This is how he'd planned to wake up, kind of. Chon was still asleep, his arm draped over Roy. Chon muttered something in Chinese and pulled the blond closer to him, snuggling his face in Roy's hair. Smiling, Roy covered Chon's hand with his own. After a few minutes, Chon grumbled and threw his leg over O'Bannon. Roy tensed for a moment, wondering if Chon was having a nightmare. He didn't want Chon to wake up and kung fu his ass, mistaking him for Green Gus. Damn... That had been close. Just picturing the man gave Roy chills. Roy turned as carefully as he could, trying not to wake Chon. He'd been so frightened for Chon the night before. It all seemed like a bad dream now. Roy snuggled as close as he could and waited for Chon to wake up. He just liked smelling him. He watched Chon and waited for his eyes to open, meanwhile tracing his features with his eyes.
Chon opened his eyes and smiled at the blue pair gazing into his. "Hi."
"Morning." Roy gave him a kiss. "Sleep well?"
Chon frowned. "Yes, I'm fine."
Chon shifted Roy on top of him, loving the feel of his weight. "Yes, sunshine."
Roy smiled at the nickname.
"Are you alright?" Chon searched his face, looking for residual traces of the panic that had gripped them both the night before.
Roy paused and then began to speak as Chon fingered his cheek and jaw. "I don't know. I know this is going to sound crazy, Chon, but now I feel like it was all a bad dream. Like we never even went to Rivers Eve."
"You should not think of it, Roy."
"I know, but I feel sorry for Hal. I sorta liked him."
"Me too. Come on, let's get out of here."
"Why?" Roy felt a trace of panic at the thought.
"I want to go home. Take a bath... With you."
Roy smiled and relaxed. "Can't argue with that."
But as O'Bannon inserted the key into the door lock, he couldn't shake his nervousness.
"What is it?" Chon laid a hand on his arm.
"Nothing. I guess. It's nothing." Roy opened the door and stepped onto the boardwalk. The day was bright and citizens were already walking the streets.
Chon saw a man walking towards them and gasped, "Roy, look!"
"Oh, fuck! It's-"
Go on to part 2...