Vin stood in the livery, rubbing down his favorite mount, Peso, while JD sat on the stall railing, talking about nothing in particular. The sound of horses drew their attention and JD slid off the rail and strolled over to the door, watching as the two men rode past.
Vin. Looks like trouble, he called out excitedly.
Tanner joined his young friend at the doorway. Yep. We best get ready. He adjusted his belt and JD mimicked his action. They didnt have long to wait.
Here they come.
The two gunslingers darted behind cover as the two bank robbers came out.
Toss them pistols down and give up and no one ll get hurt. Tanner drawled.
The two regulators dove for cover as the men tossed bullets in their direction.
Dont let em get to the horses, JD.
The blond ran across the narrow space and ran behind the dark haired boy, shouting, Theyre trying to get behind us.
He sprinted to the back of the barn and fired at the bandits as they rounded the building. He dove behind some hay bales as they returned fire. JD slid in next to him.
Vin, theyve got us pinned down.
Dont worry, kid. Well be fine. He leaned out to fire as he spoke.
Suddenly the blond grabbed his chest and, with a groan, fell back against JD.
Im hit, JD. Im hit.
The dark haired youths eyes filled with tears as he pressed on his friends chest. Dont worry, Vin. Youll be okay.
JD be careful. He went limp on the last word.
The other youth wiped his eyes as his friend expired. Grabbing his gun, the youth jumped up and fired. But the robbers had advanced and the youth clutched his own chest and staggered back to fall next to the body of his friend.
Im sorry, Vin. I tried, but they got me. His hand draped across the upper body of his fallen friend as his head fell back onto the hay.
A hush descended on the building. Even the horses were silent.
The two men walked in and stood over the two still bodies.
Boys? What are yall doing? Buck asked.
Two pairs of eyes popped open.
Were playing sheriff and bank robbers, JD explained as he climbed to his feet.
Vin jumped up and brushed the hay from his pants. He then started picking hay from JDs hair as he added, Yeah, we were stopping a bank robbery, but we got killed.
Oh, Chris said, smiling at the two young orphans. He glanced at his partner and then added, Well, I guess that you wont be needing any of that pie that Miz Nettie sent over if youre dead.
Vins eyes widened and JD started jumping up and down.
Yes we do. Wes not dead anymore. JD waved his arms around as if to proof his point.
Buck laughed and bent down and scooped the five year old into his arms. Well, after a good gunfight, a little pie would be just the thing.
Yeah, JD agreed. He wrapped an arm around Wilmingtons neck as they started toward the house.
Chris smiled down at the young blond orphan he had taken into his house just a few months before. Well, we better get in there or there wont be any pie left.
The boy grinned up at the man. As Chris extended his arm, Vin ran over and wrapped his arm around the mans waist, reveling in the warmth of the touch as the black clad arm dropped onto his shoulder and they started toward the house.
So, the bank robbers got cha, huh?
Vin wore a serious expression as he explained. I wasnt excepting you and Buck to go around back. We was gonna get cha when you came through the front door.
Laughing, Larabee nodded, Yeah, those ole bank robbers never do what you think theyre goin to do. Have to be careful when you go after em.
Vin nodded sagely.
VIN! BUCKS CUTTING THE PIE! HURRY!
Glancing at each other, the two grinned and took off for the house.