Run Away

by Jareth Reznor

Disclaimer: They don’t belong to me, there was no money making involved in writing this.

Story inspired by the song Raspberry Swirl by Tori Amos.

The world was changing vibrant colors in the evening sky as the sun began to set. The Seminole village was full of life. There was soon to be a wedding. The joining of Rain and Nathan was much to the delight of all the members of the tribe. In five days Nathan and his seven friends, including Mary, would arrive in the village. Most had not returned since helping the village fight off an attack from the Ghosts of the Confederacy.

One of the children spotted a rider on the canyon rim while playing with his friends and ran back to tell the elders what he had seen. Not sure whether or not this was a person who could be trusted, the village gathered the guns they had collected in the battle and waited. Soon a rider with dark clothing and a black, tired horse entered the village. “Larabee?” the chief called out.

A soft, weary voice replied, “No, my name is Felisha.” The woman removed her hat and long blonde hair fell from it across her shoulders. “Please, I mean no harm. I am just in need of some spiritual guidance, and maybe a place to stay, if it is not an inconvenience to your people.” The desperation in her voice was clear, she was too tired to hide it.

The chief nodded his head, “Come my child, you need rest. We will see about the guidance when the sun rises.” He extended a hand to her as she got down from her horse. He looked into her eyes; they were light blue and very pretty. He could see that she was honest and deeply troubled by something.

“Thank you," she whispered with a nod. She had been riding for over sixteen hours. Every four hours she had taken a small rest, mainly to her horse drink and regain some strength. She was led into a small hut and instantly passed out.

The next morning she awoke very sore, but felling good. She apologized for being there but the chief told her that they were glad she was open enough to turn to them for help, considering the fact that she was white.

“I will not tell you the full story, for I do not wish to place your people in any danger. I am on the run, not from the law but from four people who I once thought were my friends. They want to bring me back east, and I am afraid they will hurt anyone who tries to stop them.” She looked away and fought back her tears. “I left the east to be free. My parents raised me on of mix of Rastafarian, Wiccan and Indian beliefs. For that my peers tormented me as a young girl. I met Will, Mike, Ashley and Steven a few years back. We got along great, but they started doing awful things. I grew to fear all but Steven> We had become lovers and swore to never hurt me.” She did not believe she was telling anyone this, but keeping it in was killing her.

“Go on my child.” He placed a hand on hers to encourage her to continue.

“They told me that if I ever left them, they would find me and bring me back. If I ever told what they had done, they would kill me and three other people for it. That’s why I will not tell you what they have done.” Tears began to roll down her face. “I feel the guilt building up inside of me and it’s slowly bringing me to my death.”

The old chief sat back and reflected on the information she had given him. “It was very wise of you to let this out. By letting some of it out you have already begun to heal yourself. Now close your eyes.” She did as she was told. “Try to imagine a place were you have always felt safe. Now breathe, and as you do, picture all that bad energy leaving your body when you exhale.”

She did this for several minutes before opening her eyes. “Thank you, I do feel much better. If there is anything…” She was cut off by the sound of gunshots.

The chief instructed her to stay put and left the hut to investigate. Three white men and one woman had entered the village on horses. “We are looking for a woman who may have come this way,” Will spoke up. “She is dangerous and if you have seen her we must know.”

There was silence throughout the village. Finally it was broken, “We have not seen any white women in months. If she did happen to come this way, it was during the night and she passed by unnoticed by us.” The chief lied, getting a bad feeling from the ones.

“Well then, we shall stay for a couple days to see if she does pass by,” Ashley spat.

The chief replied, “You may not stay in this village, it is scared ground. You will have to stay on the outer edge.”

Laughter broke out among the four, “How do you plan on stopping us from staying, I do not see any guns,” Mike said.

The chief raised his arms and two men opened the door to his hut. A cannon stared down at the unwelcome visitors making them rethink their threat of staying. They looked at each other and left the village.

For two days they hung around, hopping to see Felisha either enter the village or exit. But they never caught sight of her. On the morning of the third day they left the village and went west.

Felisha stayed in the village for a few more days, she had grown very found of the children and became friends with Rain who insisted she stay for the wedding. The chief also wanted her to stay so she could meet the seven men who would arrive; he said they might be able to help her.

The day before the wedding the men, along with Mary, entered the village. They were greeted with warmth and kindness. The children all ran to a man in a bright red jacket as he dismounted from his horse. “Ezra!” they cried with joy. They covered his with hugs and he laughed with overwhelming happiness as he hugged them all back.

A big smile came across Felisha’s face as she saw how he interacted with the children. ‘He’s so good with them,' she thought, ‘plus he is one fine looking man.’

Ezra, feeling eyes upon him, looked up at her. Their eyes met, she blushed and quickly looked away with a smile. The chief came over to her with a man dressed all in black who had ridden in on a black horse. “This must be Larabee?” she asked and extended her hand to him.

“How did you know?” He was rather interested in how she knew.

“The night I came here, I was in all black, and my horse is also black. The chief here mistook me for you, until I took my hat off.” She let out a little laugh, “He has told me how you and your friends helped this village out, you are a good man.”

“Why thank you ma’am.” Chris smiled and tipped his hat to her.

“Please, call me Felisha.”

Ezra walked over to them, “Well, who may this beautiful young lady be?” He took her hand and kissed it gently.

“My name is Felisha, and I am hardly beautifu," she told him. She never had thought too highly of herself.

Ezra gave her a charming smile, “Your eyes my dear, tell me a much different story. My name is Ezra Standish, but please just call me Ezra.” Before he gave her a chance to reply he said, “And you must he a thief, because you have stolen my heart.” Ezra could hardly believe what he was saying, but something about this woman went strait to his heart. It confused him, because he wasn’t used to feeling this was about anyone.

Chris was also shocked at the words that had spilt out of Ezra’s mouth. He shook his head and walked away, assuming that something was wrong with his hearing. Yes, Felisha was very, very beautiful, but Ezra losing his head over anyone but himself seemed unlikely.

“Hey, Larabee!” It was Buck, “Who’s that pretty little lady Ezra’s charming over there?”

“Her name is Felisha, and she’s in a lot of trouble. I just hope she doesn’t bring Ezra down with her.” He had said all that he needed, Buck knew that she needed their help.

Chris explained the details that he had gotten from the chief to the other men and they all agreed to help her as much as they could. After the wedding they would take her back to Four Corners and set her up with a place to stay, and a new name.

The wedding was beautiful. There was a big feast with enough food and drink to satisfy everyone. The celebration lasted well into the early morning with dancing and singing. Ezra walked over to Felisha who was playing a game of catch with some of the children. “Is there enough room in this game for one more?” he asked and a young girl ran up to him, “You’re it!” she yelled. After ten minutes of running around, both Felisha and Ezra needed a rest. They took a seat next to each other on a bench and watched the people dance.

“You are wonderful with the children, they really love you.” She said and placed a hand over his.

“Well, my dear, you are not so bad yourself.” He could feel what was coming and couldn’t believe what he was about to do. He leaned forward and kissed her softly on her lips. She closed her eyes and allowed her lips to part slightly, accepting the kiss. A single tear escaped her eye and Ezra pulled back. “If I have offended you my darling, I offer my deepest apologies.”

She wiped the tear away and smiled. “Ezra, you have done nothing to offend me. It’s just that never before have I felt that kind of honest affection from any man. It felt really good.” She returned his kiss.

“Well,” Ezra began with a sigh if relief, “then will you accept my offer to dance?”

“Yes Ezra, I will.” She took his hand as they walked to the others who were dancing. They held each other tightly as if they parted they would lose each other forever. Felisha felt the heat rise in her body; she had never had these feelings for anyone, not even Steven. She did not want to let go.

When morning came, the horses were saddled up and Chris, Josiah, Vin, JD, Buck, Ezra, Mary and Felisha left the village for Four Corners.

The whole way back Ezra and Felisha were engaged in conversation. None of the others in the company could believe that Ezra was falling this fast for anyone. He was a gambler, a con, but a lover? Some thought that Ezra would never be able to fall completely in love, but it appeared that they were wrong.

When they group arrived back in Four Corners, Buck and Ezra took Felisha to the hotel to set her up with a room. Ezra took some money out to pay for the room but Felisha stopped them. “Please, I do appreciate all you have done for me, but I have more than enough to pay for my room.” She removed some money from her boot and handed it to the clerk. “I saved up as much money as I could before I left, and I sold some of my belongings for extra cash.” She assured them that she money was legally hers.

After her things were in the room she joined the men at the saloon, against their protest that it was not a place for a lady. She spotted Ezra at a table shuffling a deck of cards. “If you want to keep your money, I’d advise you not to play against that man,” Vin said, smiling over at Ezra.

Felisha laughed softly, “Why, thank you for your warning, but I will take my chances with him.” She moved over to him and took a seat at the table. “So, I heard you are a good poker player, one of the best around.”

He almost blushed but kept his poker face. “Well, you can not always trust in what it is you hear.” ‘How can I bring myself to cheat her?’ Ezra asked himself. ‘Wow, mother would be disappointed with me for that thought.’ “Can I interest you in a game of chance?” This was going to be the first game that he wouldn’t be cheating on in years if he could help himself.

After six rounds they had gathered quite a crowd. No one could believe that they were tied, or that Ezra wasn’t cheating for once. She was a good player and by the eighth round they were still tied, they called it quits and Ezra bought her a drink. The rest of the night was full of joke telling, laughing and having a good time with the men.

“Can you belive he didn’t cheat, not even once?” JD asked Buck.

Buck just shook his head and replied, “Love can be a very strange thing kid. Especially to a man who is not used to it.” He finished his drink and called it a night.

Within a half hour everyone was headed for rest. “My dear Felisha, my I have the honor of escorting you to your room?” Ezra asked in his very charming hard to resist way.

“I believe it would be me who would be honored.” The two left the saloon hand in hand. When they reached the hotel Ezra decided to walk her up to her room. He watched her body move up the stairs with much grace and his heart jumped into his throat. “Ezra, I want to thank you, for a wonderful night, for not cheating, and for everything you and your friends have done for me. No one has ever put this much on the line for me before.” She leaned towards him and kissed him passionately. He returned the kiss with an equal amount of passion. The kiss lasted for a few minutes before they broke it. No words were needed; Felisha opened her door and led Ezra in, locking the door behind them.

They were unaware of the fact that four people were hiding in the room, waiting for her to return. They continued to kiss for a few minutes before Steven came out of his hiding place. “You bastard, I’ll show you to touch my woman!” Before Ezra had a chance to defend himself or Felisha, Steven shot him in the back.

“Ezra! NO! Ezra!” Felisha shouted before being grabbed by her former friends. She struggled with them, knocking a table and a chair over before Will knocked her out with the butt of his pistol. Mike threw her over his shoulder and they fled, knowing people would soon be there to investigate the gunshots. They quickly made their way to the stables where their horses were waiting and took off into the night.

+ + + + + + +

Vin and Josiah were the first to arrive at Felisha’s room and found Ezra’s limp form lying on the floor. Blood was pooling around him. Josiah felt for a pulse, “He’s alive. The bullet must still be inside of him. We must get him to Na….” He paused and remembered that Nathan was out of town. “We will have to do it ourselves.”

Vin nodded as Chris, JD and Buck entered the room. “Help us get him up, he’s been shot,” Vin said and the others lifted him up to the bed.

“Felisha,” Ezra whispered.

“Where is she?” Buck asked before anyone else got the chance to.

“They were here, I never had a chance to get my gun.” He passed out again.

“Josiah, JD, do you think you can handle taking care of Ezra while we go after her?” They nodded and the other three took off in to the night.

+ + + + + + +

They had been riding for hours, and changed directions half way through to throw anyone who would be on their trail off. They stopped and Mike pulled the very lively Felisha off the horse and let her fall to the ground. He bend down and pulled her to her feet by her hair. “You are in so much trouble missy.” He spat and pushed her tied up body towards the others.

“You never should have ra,” Ashley said and spit in her face.

Felisha got up enough courage to stand up for herself, “You murdered three innocent people, was I supposed to stick around and let you kill me too?”

“We weren’t going to kill you unless you let our little secret out,” Will spoke, attempting to sound rational but, she saw through it.

“Go to hell!” she yelled, but only got laughed at.

“I’m sure I will, but I think I’ll let you suffer knowing you got your dear little Ezra killed.” He kicked some dirt into her face and left her for Steven to deal with.

“How long had you been screwing him? Did you call my name out when he made you feel good? Did he buy you expensive jewelry and clothing? Huh, did he?!” The hurt in Steven’s voice pierced through her like razors.

“I never slept with him, and unlike you I actually loved him.” She was crying and knew those words would earn her a beating. Sure Steven bought her nice things, but it was only to make her feel guilty about wanting to leave.

“You little whore!” He dragged her by her hair behind some bushes so the others couldn’t see how badly he was going to punish her. “Take it back!” he yelled and backhanded her across the face.

“No.” She said stubbornly.

He continued to beat her horribly, but she refused to take it back. She loved Ezra, from the moment she saw him with children at the Indian village she had loved him. She thought that she had coast him his life and felt she owed it to him not to take it back.

The beating continued for a half hour until Will and Mike had heard enough and told him it was useless. Felisha was thankful for their timing because it saved her from being raped. They tied her up, put the fire out and went to sleep. Felisha was in too much pain to sleep.

+ + + + + + +

Vin looked carefully at the ground, “It looks like they turned here, probably thought that no one would notice this in the dark.”

Chris nodded and him and Buck followed Vin north towards the camp. It didn’t take them long at all to find it. They were careful not to make any noise. Felisha spotted Buck and their eyes met. She gave him a nod letting him know it was safe to come in. The three men were horrified at what Steven had done to her but didn’t let it show. Vin untied her and helped her get on a horse and sent her south. “Go for a half hour and wait for us there, we will take care of them," he whispered.

They waited until she was out of sight to make a move for the guns. They were quick and disarmed all of them before waking them up. “Well, well, well, look what we have here. I reckon you guys are in a lot of trouble,” Buck said and all four jumped and made a move for where their guns should have been.

“Sorry fella’s, not this time,” Chris said and Vin and Buck began to tie them up. They didn’t fight, they knew it was suicide.

The three men led them tied up behind the horses back to where Felisha was waiting for them. Steven spoke up, “I will kill you for this.” Buck punched him for that remark and they headed off for Four Corners.

Felisha didn’t say a word the entire way. Yes, she was grateful, but she knew how much Ezra meant to them and felt guilty. She did not try to hold her tears back, and they made it hard for her to see the path. They arrived in the small town two hours later when the sun started to come up. Chris and Buck led the prisoners to jail while Vin took her to see Ezra. No one had thought to mention that he was alive, and when she saw his green eyes staring up at hers she became overwhelmed with joy and flung her arms around him.

“Oh Ezra, I thought you were dead," she cried.

“My sweet darling, you have obviously underestimated my healing capabilities.” He paused, “Are you alright?” The concern in his voice was honest.

“I am in a lot of pain, but I will be fine in a few days. How badly were you shot?”

Josiah spoke up, “Bad enough to need rest my dear lady.”

Felisha understood, and gave Ezra a kiss good night. “I love you Ezra," she whispered in his ear.

“I love you too darling.”

+ + + + + + +

The trial was the next day. Judge Travis was disgusted by them. “You three men and one woman have killed three people in a train robbery, five in a bank hold up and one more who was a bounty hunter. I have come to believe that none of you can serve a good purpose by staying alive and sentence you to death by hanging. Your sentence shall be carried out tomorrow at noon.”

The courtroom was silent was the four were led out and back to jail. Felisha looked at each of them in the eyes as if telling them that they were getting what they deserved. Ezra was still in bed, but swore that he would be up tomorrow to see them hang for what they had done to his love.

“They can’t hurt you any more Miss.” JD told her.

“I know. I know they can’t.”

+ + + + + + +

The next day as the sun reached the midday sky, the barrels were knocked out from under the feet of Will, Mike, Ashley and Steven. Ezra put his arm around Felisha’s waist and held her hand as they swung. “Come on love, let’s go to the saloon, I’ll buy you a drink,” Felisha offered, and the two departed from the crowd and the four were cut down and pronounced dead.


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