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PERMALINK // POSTED ON: Dec 6 2017, 02:05 AM
Had Jessamine known that her world was going to be tossed upside down by nightfall when she rode into town on Whisper... the steel eyed outlaw would have laughed until her lungs exploded from sheer mirth. After everything that she had been through, the Scarlet Lady thought that nothing could shock her. Quite the foolish statement for someone often as closed-minded as those she accused. Never did it occur to Jessamine that someone else could carry as much suffering that she did, let alone be able to sympathize with her.
And yet, here she was. Stuck in a cave with a storm beginning to rage outside and her only company was a deputy who was growing more pale by the minute. There was a tremour running through his lanky frame, one that she knew very well. It was the spine stiffening, flesh chilling touch of absolute horror. For all of her ignorance the outlaw was beginning to realize that the man before her had not just seen something terrible... he had survived it. Just like her. She was so focused on the fear that filled his features, Jess did not realize that Johnny was attempting to hand the beans back to her. Once she noticed the offering she was quick to snatch it. If he didn't want them then she wasn't going to turn down extra food. Having enough of anyting was hard to come by as an outlaw, even if you amassed wealth you had to be careful how and who you spend it with...
"Yeh, I'll take that." Jess took another bite of the beans, but she found that her own appetite was souring the longer she looked at the deputy. What was his deal? And why couldn't she shake her own feeling of dread? Fear was infectious and with pasts like theirs it was only natural that it plagued their waking moments as well as their sleeping. It was just terrible luck that Johnny happened to be triggered by storms. "What's wrong with a little lightning? Mother nature terrify 'ya that much?" She hoped that a little goading would push the deputy back into a proper personality, the stiff-upper lip said. She could deal with that. But this shaking, pale man... Jessamine was floundering. He wasn't scared of her, he was scared of something else. And that unknown factor put her on edge.
PERMALINK // POSTED ON: Dec 10 2017, 07:23 PM
If someone had told Johnny he'd be holed up with a wounded lady outlaw during a summer storm waiting for dawn so he could take her to jail, he would have thought they were insane. He had no idea what had turned Jess against the world, he hoped no one ever suffered the horrors he had, even though he saw proof of it constantly. The world was not a safe or kind place. It bred hard people whose only recourse was turning off their feelings so they could survive. Johnny had lost that toughness cowering under the bush as the Lakota butchered his company. He couldn't pretend it didn't hurt anymore, so he did what he could to alleviate other people suffering. Probably would have been a better thing for a doctor than a lawman, but his family never had the money for school, let alone medical school. Between his bad knee and limited skill set, there were very few jobs he was suited for. With his broken mind, it could be argued he wasn't much good for his current profession, but Johnny did what he could to keep his madness down. It worked, most of them.
The wind was blowing fiercely. It sounded far too much like the screams of his fellow soldiers, like the war cries of the Lakota. Johnny resisted the urge to cover his ears. Not that it would help. Nothing could stop the screams in his head once they started. Another clap of thunder made him visibly jump. Like a cannon shot. He closed his eyes and shook his head as if trying to clear it. His hands were shaking powerful hard and he clasped them together to try and still them.
Johnny shook his head at her question. "Nah," he said. "Just brings back bad memories." He was going to have to sit on his damn hands to stop them shaking if the wind didn't stop howling like a pack of wolves. He looked away from her, out into the dark stormy night. It was just a storm. They were nowhere near Lakota territory, the Indians in Kansas were nowhere near Augusta. He needed to remember where he was. When he was. He needed to take some more of his medicine...
No- he couldn't medicate himself into unconsciousness. He had a prisoner and even though she was injured, she was too dangerous to trust not to murder him in his sleep and take off with everything. He just had to keep his head and distract himself from the storm. At least until she fell asleep. He poked at the fire with the tongs, knowing deep down the chill he felt had nothing to do with the weather. Looking at the fire didn't help none either. He'd stared into the bonfire as the Lakota danced around it, whooping and swinging around the scalps of the fallen soldiers for hours. He closed his eyes again, trying to find something else to focus on.
"You should get some sleep," he said to Jess, hoping she'd fall asleep so he could drug himself into unconsciousness. He didn't want to go crazy on her. He wouldn't blame her if she shot him if he did. "You want some more medicine? Another sip shouldn't hurt you none." He really needed her to go to sleep so he could put himself out before he lost his fragile grip on himself. Which was slipping with every shriek of the wind.
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