Now, I’m, by no means, a perfect man. Hell, I’ve hung my hat in both brothels and bars; I’ve stolen from others, had my fair share of pretty-faced gals, and I’ve done killed a bunch of men…but when I rode into Gleeson that day, I never expected to feel the way I did. It was…different. Dusty. Dangerous…
“There she is, boys!” I hollered out as Gleeson came into view on the horizon.
“Woo Lordy! A saloon’s sounding damn good bout now. I done ran outta whiskey,” Tom exclaimed, a dirty, holey grin stretching wide across his leathery features.
I glanced over at Dom, the spitting image of me plus six years, as he wiped his dark, sweat soaked hair from his forehead before putting his hat back on. He turned his green eyes to mine and gave me a wink…no doubt a good woman’s lovin’ hot on his thoughts.
“Yee-Haw!” he yelled, spiriting his stallion down the dusty path. Frankie, the tow-headed youngest of our group, shot off hot on him, gold rattling in his saddle bags.
“What’s in Gleeson?” asked the delectable brunette prize wiggling temptingly between my thighs. I thought about that for a second. What is in Gleeson? I asked myself. There wasn’t a single answer I could put my finger on. An idea jumped quickly to mind, and I didn’t waste a second in making it heard.
“A hot meal, a cold pint, my hard cock, and a soft mattress,” I whispered gruffly into her ear. I heard her let out a gasp. I just smiled, spurring my mare on towards the town dotting the distance. There was nothing more amusing than an easily startled woman.
It was probably a good thing she didn’t have her hands on a gun, I thought to myself, my mind turning back to the memory of seeing her, rosy cheeked, sitting in the coach with a gun in her hands having just killed Clint. My cock stirred in my britches, and I felt her body stiffen in response, her rump pressed right up against me.
What’s in Gleeson?...Freedom.
It was a dusty, one road, passed its prime, boom town…but the saloon was lively as ever. It was the type of place I could get used to. Tyin’ the horses up out front, I walked up and pushed open the doors. We were all dirty, dusty, and downright aggressive lookin’ men. The looks were the same as they always were; heads turned, conversations stopped, and all eyes fell on us, standing outlined in the doorway.
“Evenin’ fellas,” I called out. “Ma’am,” I nodded, tipping my hat towards a busty gal, perched on the lap of a cowboy looking type to my left. Not bothering to look around any further, I lead us straight up to the bar, pulling out a stool for the brunette beauty, accompanying us. Missy, she said her name was.
“Did ya’ll notice that nice, little bank sittin’ all pretty down the road?” Tom grinned, a malicious looking grimace, really. Frankie and Dom quickly joined in.
“Didn’t look all that protected, did it?” Dom sneered, wickedly. Although not entirely sure why, their comments started having me seeing red. I slammed my glass down on the bar, quickly grabbing their waning attentions.
“Any of you go into that bank for any other intentions than to make a god damn deposit, I’ll blow your fuckin’ brains out,” I threatened, a growl rumbling from deep within my chest. Missy’s eyes widened, and she quickly averted her gaze, frightened by my sudden change.
The men froze, looking at me like I had lost my damn mind. Maybe I had…but I was holding my ground on this one. Period. Frankie, as usual, was the first to pipe up.
“Boss…what you thinkin’?” he asked, confused as all hell.
“Yeah!” exclaimed Tom, his hardened features contorted…painting a poor picture of a dumb man tryin’ to make the wheels turn. “It’s right there for the takin’!”
Dom hadn’t said a word. He just stood, leaning against the bar, staring into his glass. I slammed my fist down.
“I said no! I’ll blow your fuckin’ head off, and that’s a promise! We ain’t stealin’ from our own damn pockets…and for as long as I’m here, this town is my fuckin’ pocket! Got it?!” Anger welled up inside me as he just stood there, looking at me like I was a dumbass. Go ahead, throw a punch, I silently begged. One excuse to take out my temper on his face was all I needed. Give it to me.
“This is bullshit!” he finally yelled, slamming his glass to the floor. Glass shattered everywhere, bringing attention straight to us. “You ain’t no god damn king. I ain’t gunna just sit on my ass while there’s loot for the takin’!”
My gaze turned steely, boring into him…through him. He paled under the brim of his dirty ol’ hat as I stood up to my full height in front of him. I saw Missy out of the corner of my eye slide off her stool and take a few steps back. My voice became eerily calm, and I saw the shivers race through his spineless form.
“For as long as I choose, this town will provide me with a bed, a roof, whiskey, and comfort. You steal from them…you steal from me. Do you want to steal from me?” I asked, for some reason feeling the need to defend this dingy place. Anger flashed hot across my features, making Tom swallow the big lump in his throat. I turned back to my drink. “I didn’t think so.”
“Well, fuck this!” Tom spat after a moment, finding what little balls he had. “Fuck this town, and fuck you! We don’t need some gutless homesteader riding with us! Do we Frankie? Dom?” That did it.
“What the fuck did you just say to me?” I asked icily, my gaze sweeping back towards him. Before he could answer, I downed my shot and turned, connecting my fist firmly with the side of his face. Crumpling to the floor, he held his hands to his bloody jaw. I looked over towards Frankie.
Cowering in an instant, Frankie rushed to the ground, half dragging, half carrying Tom from the bar as fast as he could. Dom hadn’t ushered a word through the whole ordeal. The rest of the saloon had already started buzzing with their previous conversations. People getting knocked out wasn’t an uncommon sight in these parts. Slowly, he set his glass back on the bar and turned to look at me.
“Their gunna get themselves killed on their own,” he said simply. Somewhere along the road, Dom had found himself almost responsible for the welfare of the other two men. They had helped to save him a while back…maybe he still felt in debt in some way. Whatever it was, he’d never admit to it.
“Until next time,” I said, solemnly, knowing what he was about to do. Just as I had made my choice to remain in this dusty, shit hole of a town for a bit, he had made his choice, too.
“Until next time,” he returned with a grin. Tipping his hat goodbye, he strode out of the bar…and out of Gleeson.
I turned back to my drink with a sigh. I sure hoped I knew what the hell I was doing. Missy’s hand came to rest on my arm. Glancing over to her, I nearly lost my words. There was a fiery emotion burning bright in her eyes as she looked up at me.
“That was a good thing you just did,” she stated simply. My eyes searched hers, finding Miss Molly looking sweetly back at me.
“Yeah, well,” I shrugged, quickly turning before she could see the memory that continued to haunt me. “Barkeep,” I looked up, sliding my glass over, “…another.”