Mother Isn’t Always Right

by Ace

Note: Once again thanks to my amazing beta.

Companion Stories

Snow has fallen upon the small town of Four Corners, and Christmas is only a few weeks away. Deciding to send out a Christmas edition of the paper, Mary has been extremely busy and Samantha has been working right along beside her the whole time.

"Well, look who it is," Buck announces, getting up from the table as Samantha walks in.

"Did you finally decide to grace us with your appearance?" Ezra asks, looking up from his cards.

"What? Was I missed?" she questions, walking over to the bar.

"Aw hell, it’s been quieter than a cemetery around here ever since you started helpin’ Mary with that paper," Buck says, walking over to the bar as well.

"Glad to know I help keep things lively," she states with a smile, turning to get the drink Inez has offered her.

"Heck Sam, you know..." JD begins, but stops abruptly as two people walk in the saloon.

"Ezra," one of them speaks.

Ezra mis-shuffles his cards, and they flutter to the floor. He slowly lifts his gaze upward.

"Mother," he greets, with a tight smile.

Samantha and Buck turn from the bar to see Maude and a young girl about Samantha’s age, maybe older, standing beside her.

"Morning Mrs. Standish," JD greets from his seat at the table with Ezra.

Maude nods her head slightly, acknowledging the boy’s greeting, then turns her gaze back to Ezra, who is giving her a confused look. She then turns to the young girl standing beside her.

"Oh, where are my manners? I would like for you all to meet my daughter-in-law, Annabelle," Maude introduces the nicely dressed girl.

"Daughter-in-law?" Ezra questions, raising a brow.

"Yes," Maude replies with a smile.

Buck gives Samantha a questioningly smile, and she shrugs her shoulders.

"But Mother, I’m an only child," Ezra states.

"I know," Maude responds.

"And I’m not married," Ezra continues.

Maude gives him a bright smile and says, "Not yet darlin’."

JD looks between Ezra and Maude, then over to Samantha and Buck, who stare in awe.

"We will start the wedding preparations tomorrow," Maude states.

"Mother, I...I, and no offense," he says looking to Annabelle, "but I can’t marry her."

"Oh, and why is that? Annabelle is from Georgia, and her father is big in politics," Maude says with a pleasing grin.

"Well, Mother here’s a ludicrous idea. How about marrying someone you love?" Ezra asks her with an exasperated look on his face.

"Well, darlin’ I’m sure you will come to love each other in due time," Maude reassures him.

Annabelle stands beside Maude not saying anything. She looks as if she doesn’t want to go through with this either.

"Mother, this is not the time nor the place and besides I can’t," Ezra states, beginning to pick up his cards.

"And just why not?" Maude demands.

Samantha looks to Buck, and her eyes say everything. I’ve got to help him.

Buck nods his head in agreement.

"Mother, I..." Ezra begins, but is interrupted by Samantha walking over.

"Because he’s already getting married," Samantha interrupts, her voice a little unsteady.

"What?!" Maude spits out, trying to keep calm.

Ezra looks to Samantha, and she turns her head enough to wink at him without Maude seeing it. JD sees it and decides to help out.

"Yeah, Sam and Ezra are getting married," he states looking to Maude.

Maude stands there with a look of pure shock on her face.

"What?" she questions again. "Her?" she says, pointing to Samantha. But Ezra, I thought you would marry well off. No offense my dear."

She looks to Samantha, and Ezra turns to Maude.

"Mother, I meant to tell you earlier, but it must have slipped my mind," Ezra states.

"Must have," Maude responds, looking as if she is about to faint.

"Now, if you’ll excuse me Mother, I have somewhere I need to be," Ezra says, walking past Maude and out the door.

"I believe we should go to the hotel and get our rooms," Annabelle states to Maude.

Maude nods her head and follows Annabelle out of the saloon.

"I’ll be back," Samantha says to Buck, then rushes out of he saloon.

She stops outside of the saloon and looks down both ends of the boardwalk. She looks from the end Maude and Annabelle are going down, and sees a red jacket turn the corner heading down the ally. She runs down the boardwalk and stops off long enough to get a handful of snow. She begins crushing it into ball as she rounds the corner and looks down the ally way. She smiles a mischievous smile, then throws the snowball.

Ezra spins around after being pelted in the back by something.

"What was that for?" he questions, as Samantha walks down the ally towards him, the snow crunching under her footsteps.

"I had to get your attention," she states, coming to a stop in front of him.

"Calling my name didn’t cross your mind?" he asks, resting his hands on his guns.

"I didn’t feel like yelling. Anyways, so how far you think we should take this thing?" she questions.

"What thing...oh, the wedding? Oh, long enough for Mother to learn a lesson," he states with a dimpled grin.

"Okay, but one problem," Samantha says.

"What?" Ezra questions.

Samantha holds up both hands and turns them over in front of Ezra.

"No ring," she tells him.

"Oh, I’ll get one to you later. Don’t let Mother see your hands until then. Okay?"

"Okay," she says, then turns to walk back to the saloon.

After she’s taken about five steps away from him, Ezra reaches down and makes a snowball of his own. He waits a few more seconds, then throws the snowball into the small of her back.

"What was that for?" she asks, spinning around.

"I didn’t feel like calling your name," he states, imitating Samantha.

"Oh, you are dead," she says with a vicious grin.

She begins to get a handful of snow, but Ezra charges her. Samantha lets out a squeal and takes off running to the street. She makes it out of the ally, and halfway into the street, when Ezra grabs her around the waist. She tries to get free, and manages to wiggle around to face him. He holds tight so she won’t slip loose. He looks down to her as a mischievous grin crosses her face. Suddenly he feels her foot take his feet from under him and they both go crashing into the snow. Samantha lets out another small scream as they fall. Ezra falls on top of her and she laughs a little, then looks up into his eyes. Mesmerized by them alone, she almost forgets the snow she is still clutching in her hand.

"A little early for the honeymoon, ain’t it?" Buck asks jokingly from outside the saloon.

Ezra looks away from Samantha to look at Buck. Samantha takes this opportunity to smear the handful of snow in Ezra’s face.

The coldness of the snow burns Ezra’s face a little and he rolls off of Samantha, trying to wipe the snow away.

"Payback," Samantha says, getting to her feet.

Ezra looks up to her from the ground as she reaches to give him a helping hand. She helps lift him to his feet and then both turn to Buck.

Buck begins to say something, but Samantha throws up a hand.

"Not a word Bucklin, not a word," she warns.

Ezra turns to go to the jail and she turns and heads for the Clarion. Chris walks up beside Buck, having just watched the antics going on between the two.

"She brings out the kid in him," the leader states.

"Huh, oh...yeah mostly Ezra, but she does bring out the kid in all of us at times," the peacekeeper replies.

+ + + + + + +

"Ezra darlin’," Maude calls, running up to her son on the street.

Ezra stops and turns around to face the inevitable.

"I don’t mean to be rude, but her of all people! Isn’t there someone else? I mean, I love the girl, but she helps work on the paper. She’s not even upper class. I think you deserve better," the southern woman states.

Ezra shakes his head and rests his hands on his guns before giving an answer.

"I deserve better? Mother..." he cuts off then thinks to himself, "if anything, the girl in question deserves better than me. She’s beautiful, funny, intelligent, and a heck of a card player. She’s completely out of my league. She shouldn’t even be in a small town like this. She’s far too good to be living here," he says as he waves his hand out at the town. Where those words had come from he had yet to know, but they were true.

"But..." his mother begins.

"No buts Mother. I would suggest you put that young girl you brought along with you on the stage in the morning. You can stay if you want, but my mind is made up and there’s nothing you can say to change it," he states emphatically.

Maude looks down to the ground, having nothing to say, knowing this time her son has won.

Samantha doesn’t move from her position beside the Clarion, having overheard every word the two had said. She closes her eyes for a moment taking in everything she has just heard.

+ + + + + + +

"Mornin’ Ez," Vin greets as Ezra makes his way downstairs the next morning.

"Morning Mr. Tanner. Have you seen Samantha?" he questions the Texan.

"Yeah, she went over to Mary’s. Oh, and the girl that was with your mother yesterday left on the stage this morning," the tracker added.

"Okay, thank you," the southerner responds, then heads for the street.

+ + + + + + +

By now, everyone in town knew of the ‘wedding’ between two of it's own. Everyone that is, except Maude. Ezra thought he’d play it out for another day or two or until it came down to telling his mother the truth.

"Here you are," Ezra states handing Samantha a ring.

"Thank you," she responds, putting it on her ring finger.

"So, how much longer does the charade last?" Mary questions, moving over to the two.

"Oh, another day, maybe less," Samantha replies.

"I imagine by then Mother will have learned her lesson," Ezra says with a dimpled grin.

+ + + + + + +

Maude waits till she knows that all of the seven peacekeepers and Samantha are in the saloon before making her appearance.

She walks in and they all look up as she makes her way to Ezra’s table.

"Ezra I would like for you to know that I, after thinking it over, have decided that I am pleased with your decision to marry Samantha," she states, closing her eyes momentarily.

Samantha walks over behind Ezra and places her hands on his shoulders.

He looks up to her and after seeing her approving nod, turns back to his mother.

"Well, I’m glad you approve, but I would also like for you to know that we aren’t getting married," the gambler tells her.

The other six peacekeepers look down trying to hide the smirks that threaten to appear on their faces.

"What!" Maude exclaims.

"It was a joke," Samantha responds, trying not to laugh.

"A joke?" the Southern lady stutters out.

"No need to become flustered Mother. It was only to prove to you that I will live my life the way I choose," the gambler tells her, getting up from the table to let his friends continue their game of poker.

Maude stands speechless, then looks at her son in bewilderment.

"But, what about what you said, about how she deserved..." she begins.

"Now Mother," Ezra interrupts, "I don’t see why we should play this any further. It was only a joke after all."

He then turns to head outside not wanting anyone to know that what he had said really wasn’t a part of the joke, least not to him anyway.

Maude and Samantha follow him out and Maude calls to her son. "Well, I guess I’ll see you in the morning then. I’m catching the stage first thing," she informs him.

Ezra nods his head and hugs her, then gives her a peck on the cheek.

"I do hope there are no hard feelings Mrs. Standish," Samantha says.

"None what so ever," she responds, hugging the young girl. Then whispering softly so that only Samantha can hear, she tells her, "And if Ezra were to marry, I'd want it to be you," and Samantha smiles a little at that. Then she watches Maude cross the street to the hotel.

"That went well," she states turning back to Ezra who has sat down.

Ezra nods his head, and Samantha sits down in a chair next to him.

"Oh, and by the way, I heard what you said," she informs him.

Ezra shoots her a questioning glance.

"When you were talking to your mother about how I deserved better than this town," she tells him, "better than you."

Ezra looks down and Samantha smiles a little.

"I don’t you know," she admits to him. "I don’t deserve better."

Ezra looks up, straight into her eyes and meets her smile.

"Yes you do," he remarks, leaning closer to her.

He comes within inches of her face and Samantha licks her lips slowly.

"Ezra?" Maude calls from across the street.

Ezra closes his eyes, then turns to face his mother.

"I love you son," she yells to him, with a smile.

"Love you too Mother," he yells back across at her, then watches as she walks into the hotel.

He then turns back to where Samantha sits, or was sitting. He looks up in surprise as she is walking into the saloon.

"Good night Ezra," she calls over her shoulder.

Ezra sits back in his chair and lets out a big sigh, almost a groan. Of all the times for his mother to express her love. Not the best timing dear Mother. He pushes reluctantly to his feet deciding he might as well rejoin the game inside with his comrades.


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