Monday, December 16, 2013

Tuesday Tales - Bells

Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales again. This week I`ll be sharing an excerpt from my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel, Laco Law – The Gnarled Oak. Laco Law is an M/M historical western romance, set in the fictional county of Laco, Texas in 1867.

This week our word prompt is ‘Bells’.  A short amount of time has passed since Zeke was nearly killed. Clayton and Ezekiel have already battled things out. Knowing he would simply ride off to track down the men who had tried to hang him alone, Clayton has reluctantly agreed to let Zeke ride with him. As they are readying for the trip back to Chaparral Springs, the local feed store owner and his spinster sister arrive to check on Clayton, as Miss Sarah and Clay`s sister had become friends.

 Since this is my NaNo work, it is quite rough. I do ask that you overlook any glaring mistakes you may find. Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!

An hour later we were saddling up. Zeke had not been overly fond of the black gelding I had found for him. He was upset that the horse was ‘over at the knee’ whatever that meant. I looked at the front leg Zeke was grumbling about. It looked fine to me, but I was not a horse aficionado like the man who was having trouble staying upright was. I eyed him doubtfully as I threw a saddle over Hessie`s back. She nipped my side again. I went to swat her nose. Zeke grabbed my wrist.

“Never hit . . . a horse,” he gasped, leaning heavily against the black gelding, “When she tries to bite . . . shake something in her face.”

“You need to go lay back down, Fire Sky,” I hissed as I shook free of his weak grip. “You won`t get two miles before you collapse.”

“You just worry . . . about yourself,” he said. I threw up my hands. Let the ass faint dead away in the saddle. I`d be damned if I`d turn around to get him back on his horse. He could lay there under the Texas sun until he was nothing but Tonkawa jerky. Hell`s bells, the man was stubborn as a mule!

A retort steeped in acidity was about to explode out of me when I caught movement. Samuel and Miss Sarah were standing in the shade of the jail looking mildly anxious. Miss Sarah`s eyes went wide with fright as she got a good look at Zeke. I let Hessie`s girth straps drop. The smile I gave them didn`t seem to help. Samuel was trying to stare a hole right through Zeke`s back.

“Morning,” I said as I ambled over to them. Zeke threw a quick look over his shoulder. He was a terrible sight. He slid into his stoic Indian persona.

“Rumor has it you ran into some trouble last night,” Samuel said in a hushed whisper. I removed my hat in dereference to the lady then bobbed my head.  Miss Sarah looked properly concerned. I wondered if she had any color in her wardrobe aside from grey and black. “I feared as much. Let me round up a deputy for you and--”

“I have a deputy.” The two visitors gathered behind the jail gaped at me. I ran my hand through my flattened hair then peeked at Zeke. Ezekiel Fire Sky seemed the most stunned by my announcement. It kind of shocked me as well to be frank. I certainly hadn`t planned it. But now that it was out it felt right. “This is Zeke Fire Sky.” I waved a hand at the silent Indian trying to saddle his rented horse. “He and I have been friends a long time. Saved each other`s lives as well. He has firsthand knowledge of the men we`re riding after as well as tracking skills. He`s been known to work for the Rangers from time to time.”

Samuel leaned close. I could see his cleanly shaved pores were still red from the razor. “Sheriff Moore, that man is an Indian.”

I looked over at Zeke silently centering the saddle on the black horses back. “He is?”

Samuel and Miss Sarah failed to see the humor. Zeke coughed roughly while tugging a crease out of his saddle blanket. A shout bounced from Main Street off the wooden buildings.

“Sheriff Moore, the city charter is not going to approve of some Indian being deputized. There are several men in town that would be suitable--”

I cut off Samuel Saunders with a cold glare. “I don`t need your men. I have one that I trust.”

Hessie whinnied. Miss Sarah lowered her gaze. Samuel met my hard look head on. I rather respected that.

“This will have to be approved by the city elders. I hope this man is as good as you claim he is, otherwise he`ll be ridden out of town. We can`t have heathens walking around without care among our women. Good day, Sheriff,” Samuel said curtly. I nodded at the two siblings as they scurried away from us as if we were lepers. I turned and walked over to help Zeke. We stood within a foot of each other. The fine hair on my arms prickled up as we worked side by side. Even with a foot of distance between us the desire was crackling like stormy charged air.

“You . . . stupid man, Pan.”

I shrugged a shoulder before I went back inside. When I returned I carried a set of old but well maintained Colt Paterson five shot revolvers complete with weathered holsters as well as a brass deputy star. All had been found in my new desk. Zeke squinted at the presents when I laid them over the black gelding`s saddle.

“Don`t say anything. Just strap the damn guns on, pin the star on your chest, and let me help you up.”

Amazingly the big bastard did as asked. The guns looked good hanging low on his hips. The star was dingy but bright enough to be seen. When I cupped my hands he actually put a big foot into it. I hefted as he mounted. The man was no lightweight. The hiss of pain that he tried to hide certainly didn`t ease my worry any, but there was nothing for it. If he didn`t ride at my side he would ride alone. I just could not allow that to happen. Without a word said we rode for Chaparral Springs, a funny looking dog jogging alongside my new deputy.

Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey


Thanks for stopping in to visit! For more free reads by great authors follow the link back to the Tuesday Tales main blog.

To help keep the season bright and spirits high, the writers of Tuesday Tales will be having a holiday blog hop! It will begin on 12/27 and end on 12/29. Every person who drops in to visit here during the hop, and leaves a comment with their contact information, will be entered to win a PDF copy of my brand new M/M holiday novella, All I Want for Christmas. I hope you`ll visit all the Tuesday Tales authors during the blog hop!

The authors of Tuesday Tales will be taking the next two weeks off, so we can spend the holidays with our loved ones, recharge our batteries, and welcome 2014 in with renewed ideas for more great romantic works! Tuesday Tales will return on January, 6, 2014 when our word prompt will be ‘Toes’. I plan to keep sharing more of Laco Law, so I do hope that you`ll return in the new year to see how Clayton and Zeke are faring.

Have a wonderful and joyous holiday season!


V.L. Locey


Jean Joachim said...

I love this story. The banter back and forth between your heroes is so realistic. And the picture you paint of the townspeople puts me right at the scene. I love your writing. Great job.

V.L. Locey said...

Thank you so much, Jean. I had a wonderful time writing Clayton and Zeke`s romance.

morgan said...

I always love a western. :)Good advice about the horse too.

V.L. Locey said...

This is my first and I really enjoyed penning it!

Anonymous said...

I just read your 'All I want for Christmas' post too. That AND your Tuesday Tales post are wonderful. Greek gods to cowboys to artists -- you own M/M romance, not that I'd ever get that from your bio. You're an awesome author!
Love the Christmas background on your blog too.
Trisha Faye

V.L. Locey said...

Aw, thank you Tricia. I do love writing M/M romance, but, I also do M/F as we`ll see in 2014 when my Wildcat series debuts from SCP!

Iris B said...

Great dialogue ... well done!

SherryGLoag said...

So much atmosphere and emotion in this scene. Loved it.

V.L. Locey said...

Many thanks Sherry & Iris!

Jillian said...

love, love the dialogue. Sooo good.

Davee said...

I love how he is taking up for Zeke. His devotion, dedication, and trust are crystal clear. Great TT

V.L. Locey said...

Many thanks Davee and Jillian!

Yes, Clayton certainly does have deep feelings for his new deputy.