by Flaw

“I didn’t mean it.”

“Didn’t mean what?”

“What you come here to tell me I said.”

“How’d you know it was something you said?”

“On account of what I said.”

“You want to tell me what that was?”


Chris Larabee sat down next to Vin Tanner on the steps of his cabin. Yes, cabin. Not shack, even though Vin insisted on calling it that. He lit up a cheroot and smoke it slowly, blowing the smoke out towards the sunset.

“She’s pretty upset, you know.”

Chris could see Vin nod out of the corner of his eye.

“I figured she would be.”

Chris nodded as well, took another draw off the cheroot and put it out. He was making to stand, intent on riding back into town when Vin reached out to grasp his arm. He looked down at earnest blue eyes.

“Tell her I’m sorry?”

“Tell her yourself.”

Vin nodded again and Chris stood and walked over to his horse, mounting in one smooth movement. He tipped his hat to Vin.

“See you in town, Cowboy.”

“Yup,” Vin replied. “Be there in the morning.”

Chris chuckled and urged his horse forward.

“I bet you will, Pard. I bet you will.”

* * *

The next morning Chris was sitting with Josiah and Nathan, eating breakfast, when Vin walked in on wooden legs and sat down heavily next to Chris.

“How’d she take it?” Chris asked him.

“How’d who take what, Brothers?” Josiah rumbled around a mouthful of eggs.

“Nettie. I was asking him how the apology went.”

“Well what you apologizin’ for, Vin?” Nathan asked the younger man who was suddenly flushed with embarrassment and ducking his head.

“I pushed her,” he mumbled.

Josiah threw down his fork in shock. “You pushed her, Brother Tanner? What were you pushing an old woman around for?”

Vin ducked his head even further. His response was barely even audible.

“She done hugged me, that’s what.”

Chris clapped him on the shoulder, squeezing briefly before going back to his breakfast while Nathan and Josiah laughed on the other side of the table.

“That’s what mothers are for, Vin.”


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