The Trail Ends
Rating: Adult overall
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters in this story.
I just saddle them up and take the for a ride
Summary : End of the road for our cowboys
This is the last chapter of the last story.
Thanks so much to everyone who read and commented
Feed back for the overall series would be greatly appreciated.
Xander felt like someone had just doused him in ice water.
"You're a lying fuck!" He shouted
"Nope." Long giggled. "Had to be about...Hmmm... let me see"
Pulling Spike's watch out of his pocket and checking the time
Long continued "Recon about 10 minutes ago."
Making a big show of it he snapped it shut and started
to return it to his pants.
Recognizing the implication of it, Xander snapped.
Everything in his world turned red and he lunged at the intruder.
Nothing mattered now.
Without Spike he no longer cared if he lived or died.
But he did know he would not go without taking this piece of shit
Instantly startled Long scrambled to get to his feet,
dropped the watch, and attempted to aim the gun.
Xander threw himself on top of Long and together they tumbled
over the back of the chair.
Drawing his fist back Xander slammed twice into Long's head.
Trying at the same time to wrestle the gun away with his other hand
they fell to the floor.
The sound of the gun going off roared through the room and deafened
The two combatants froze, neither of them yet comprehending what
the gun shot meant.
Finally Long's eyes rolled back in his head and he fell back.
Looking down, Xander saw the red stain rapidly spreading on the
front of Long's shirt.
Stumbling away from the body Xander went numb.
The sound of footsteps running up the steps was thundering.
Xander didn't hear any of them.
Sheriff Earp and Miss Bea were the first to enter.
Taking in the scene, the sheriff grabbed Xander and pulled him to his feet.
"You're under arrest for murder. Deputy, take this fucker to the jail and
lock him up."
Xander was roughly shoved to another man and taken away.
Still in shock, Xander's teeth were chattering and his body shook.
His brain had shut down and as hard as he tried he was finding
it impossible to think.
Before he even had the chance to speak he found himself thrown harshly
into a small concrete cell and the barred door slammed behind him.
Xander dropped down on the bunk bed.
The only thoughts that were shooting through him like an electric shock were,
Spike is dead.
I just killed someone - o.k. that one brought some measure of satisfaction.
Then the anger that was all twisted together with the sorrow
started to grow. He knew the anger held no logic. Spike would never have left him if he had a choice, but he didn't care. Nothing made sense.
'That fuckin' Spike promised we would be together. Live together. Die together.
He promised. Now he's dead. He's gone.'
Finally the physical shock seemed to be wearing off and he collapsed
in sobbing tears.
What ever the law wanted to do to him over the murder
didn't matter. He had no life left anyway.
Without Spike he had nothing.
Lying down on the cot Xander continued to cry.
He cried till exhaustion overtook him and curled into a ball and fell asleep.
It was a restless sleep, and a short one.
In less than an hour the flurry of voices and activity in the outer office woke him.
"Just hold up till we sort this out"
That was the sheriff's voice. Xander could hear others, including Miss Bea yelling
and asking questions. Figuring it concerned him Xander tried to listen.
"Everybody shut up!" The sheriff shouted. "Here's what we know.
Comparing the description of the body we found to the wanted poster we
know the dead man is William the Bloody.
Gunfighter that rode with Billy the Kidd in Texas. Why he was here
in Tombstone and what exactly happened to him we don't know yet.
What his relationship is to that shithead in the cell in there is something
else we need to find out. Gonna let the prisoner cool his heals
a bit then question him.
Right now I need you all to get the hell out of my
office and mind your own fuckin' business."
With that Xander heard mumbling and some continued objections
followed by the door slamming and silence.
Xander made no attempt to get up.
His body was tired and his heart spent.
Lying on the bed, Xander had no idea how much time passed.
He could see through the small rectangular window that the sun had set.
It didn't matter though, he had no where to go even if he wasn't locked up.
No future ahead of him. Not any more.
He wondered if they would hang him. He hoped if that's what they wanted
to do they would do it quickly.
At some point Miss Bea had brought food.
The sheriff would not let him have it. Xander didn't care.
He rolled over and faced the wall. Surprisingly he still had some
tears left, so he let them fall. Rolling back over, Xander realized he must
have slept because the sun was now up again.
They should have been long gone by now. Why did they ever come to this
hellhole of a town? Sorrow flooded his body and he sighed.
Hearing the office door open Xander remained on the bed.
He was not interested in any food.
If they were here to lynch him, he hoped the sheriff
wouldn't try to stop them.
"Hey, Harris!" The sheriff kicked the bars.
Xander remained quiet and refused to look up.
"You sure that's his name? He ain't answering"
This time Xander glanced up to see who the sheriff was talking to.
It was a shorter man standing with his back to Xander.
He had black hair and wore and expensive business suit.
Trying again the sheriff opened the cell door and kicked the bed
"Your name's Harris ain't it? Got you a lawyer here."
"I don't want no lawyer" Xander replied, lying his head back down.
"Of course you do Mr. Harris. Everyone is entitled to
Xander shot up on his bunk and looked directly into the most beautiful
blue eyes in the world.
"Hush Mr. Harris." Turning to the sheriff the lawyer nodded his head
indicating he expected the cell door to be opened.
"Thank you Mr. Earp. I believe my client and I need a moment in private.
If you would prepare the paper work, we will be leaving."
Waiting till they were alone, Xander launched
himself at Spike who immediately flinched in pain.
"Are you hurt? Damn Spike I thought you were dead. That fuckin' shit said he
had killed you. Oh, Christ Spike. What happened?"
Laughing at comforting sound of hearing his boy babble, Spike eased
himself down onto the bunk.
Spike pealed back his suit jacket to reveal a padded and bandaged upper arm.
Spike tried to give him the short version of what happened.
The long story could wait till they were safe and clear of this town.
"Tussled with that cocksucker in the stable and got shot.
Luckily it was only a flesh would. Bullet went straight through my shoulder.
Mr. Gunn found me and patched me up. He also kept quiet about it, just like I asked him to. We owe him big, Xan
I wanted to come for you last night but Gunn talked me into waiting.
He came to find you to tell you what happened, that's when he heard about the
shooting in the room.
Since I stayed in the barn last night it gave us a chance to come
up with a plan and get me back on my feet.
Still somewhat confused, Xander tried to organize the questions in his head.
"But I heard the sheriff say the dead body was identified as William the Bloody, and what the fuck happened to your hair?"
Chuckling, Spike caught Xander's hand before he could touch the black wavy curls.
"Gunn's idea. Boot black, and if you think about it Longs description matches the wanted poster perfectly. It also helps that Miss Bea recognized
the outlaw and positively identified him.
She's a good lady, besides someone told her that Long was the one that
killed her dancing girl in the alley yesterday
"What dancing girl?" Xander paced the cell scratching his head. "and how does that translate into you getting me out of here?"
"As a solicitor of the court I pointed out to the sheriff that not only
are you innocent by means of self defense, but you are a hero.
History will remember you as the man who shot the outlaw William the Bloody."
Frowning, Xander thought for a minute and finally answered
"I'm not sure how I feel about that."
Shaking his head he looked down at Spike who was still sitting
on the bed and asked
"So now what? Can we go? Aren't they going to hang me?"
"Jesus, no, Xan. He is just finishing the paperwork to close the case,
release you and clear the reward."
"Oh, thank god. I thought I was......wait a minute. What reward?"
At that Spikes face lit up, beaming with pride. "I'm worth a lot of money, Xan.
You're looking at a top dollar commodity. Last federal wanted poster
listed me at $5000.00."
Xander jumped to his feet. He was actually speechless.
Not wanting any more misunderstandings, Xander took a deep breath
and slowly blew it back out.
"What are you saying Spike. Exactly and precisely."
Rising painfully off the bunk Spike looked him in the eye and as if
speaking to a slow child spelled it out.
"You are a hero, Xan. You - we - are free to go. The sheriff is preparing a
bank draft to collect the reward.
Spike, also known as William the Bloody is dead.
You and I can go anywhere we want without looking over our shoulder.
We have enough money to do anything."
After everything that had happened in the past two days, Xander would have sworn he was out of tears. Guess not, because it was all to much and he suddenly found he could not stop crying.
Spike wrapped his good arm around him comfortingly and whispered in his
ear "We need to go, Xan. I don't want to risk anything else happening"
With his breath hitching, Xander nodded against Spike's shoulder and let himelf be lead out of the cell.
Still to emotionally wiped out, Xander allowed his "attorney" to finalize the legal end of things and they walked out into the sunlight.
Sniffling Xander lifted his red swollen eyes to Spike and he asked,
"Now what? Who are you now?" Smiling, Spike handed the reigns of Xander's
horse to him.
"Now you and a certain William Lavelle set off for California. I think it's
time to settle down.
One of the bigger banks in San Francisco can cash our bank draft, and it
should be plenty of money to buy some choice cattle and set up one hell of a ranch.
As for who I am. I'm the man who loves you, Xan.
First and foremost I'm the man who loves you,
and if I could, I'd be the man who would marry you"
Xander threw his head back and laughed as he climbed
painfully up on his horse, " I don't think the good people of San Francisco
would ever see their way clear to allow any thing like that."
Smiling, Spike mounted up "You're probably right, love. City like San Francisco ain't never gonna welcome a couple like us."
"That's o.k. Spike. We'll find our own place to settle. A place to put down roots and never be ashamed of who we are."
"There is nothing about you I'm ashamed of Xander. Now get your ass moving!
We got a life waiting on us"
With that Spike cracked his horse on the back end and took off at a gallop.
Xander was closing in fast on his heels, as they rode off into the sunset in
search of life liberty and the persuit of happiness and a long life together.
There will be a short epilogue posted tomorrow.
Thus ends the story. I am so very grateful
to everyone who stayed with me and commented faithfully throughout.
Thank you Thank You