The bright sun glimmered over the hill as Ms. Dawes stood behind the Native American girl, watching her aim at her target at a distance. She had a young pretty face. The red hair of hers shined as
she flipped it behind her shoulder and her brown face was full of smirking. Irene waited impatiently.
BlueBird released the arrow. It spun and flew across the grass field and landed straight in the red bulls-eye. Irene’s elbow dropped from her chin as she put it to her side.
“Not bad Birdy,” Ms. Dawes said.
“You know how to shoot a bow Ms?”
“Me?” she asked, “No way. It’s too easy and childish.”
“Here,” Birdy grinned and threw her bow to her, “You try.”
“Fine,” Irene picked up an arrow stuck to the tree stump next to them. She put it near the edge, and pulled on the string. Only thing was, that string didn’t move at all.
“What is this devilry?” she asked.
“What?” Birdy grinned.
“Did you do something to it?”
“No, you ain’t pulling hard enough.”
“No! I’m pulling hard enough, it’s just jammed or stuck!” Irene tried pulling it.
Birdy rolled her eyes and grabbed the bow from her, she pricked the string and it moved, vibrating the air.
“Hah! It’s a magic trick!” Irene scrunched her nose.
“You have no shoulder strength!” Birdy smiled.
“I do too!” Irene cried.
“Arm wrestle?” she asked. Irene stared at her.
“What’s the prize?” Irene crossed her arms.
“If I win, I become your bodyguard, if I lose, you get to slap me,” she smiled.
Irene hummed as if thinking, “I don’t get much in this,” she shook her head, “but deal.”
They both put their right elbows on the tree stump, and held each others hand.
“Sophie! You’re the judge!” Irene smiled.
“Yes miss,” she smiled back, “Go!”
Irene quickly pushed Birdy’s hand to the flat surface of the tree.
“Hmm.... I win,” she said and gently patted her back, “You can be my bodyguard.”
“Where’s my slap?”
“That was it,” Irene winked.
Marshall Dylan Jones walked down the market, looking for anyone suspicious looking, but he was mostly looking for Ms. Dawes. He thought about her in his sleep, and when he was awake. She was never out of his mind.
He sighed and put his cowboy hat back on. There was no way he could ever be with her, or even talk face to face without having to be enemies. She was someone he couldn’t handle or even understand. She was an enigma to him, a puzzle he thought that can’t be solved.
Ms. Dawes wouldn’t even like him; she’d probably use him, like she does to the other men. What if she had compassion though? Nah. Although she did save that girl’s life, it doesn’t prove anything. It’s a distraction, for him to think that maybe she may have good.
She only wants you to think that.
“Ugh!” He thought to himself and put his hands on his head in frustration. This was just a game! A silly game that she wants him to play! He fell for it too, and there’s no backing out of it. A game of tricks and foolery, like a circus, like one he saw with his mother.
She was the ringmaster, and he was just one of the clowns, doing things he shouldn’t do, only hurting himself for the amusement of others.
He was stuck in the middle.
Sophie moved her eyes, looking at the piece of paper the maids had written on what to get at the market. She had to go everyday now, and she didn’t mind. Being around people made her feel comforted and not lonely.
She touched the melon, and picked up the round object. It seemed ripe, and almost perfect. With her money, she paid the fruit man and took the melon.
“Watermelon, a very nice specimen,” a gentleman said next to her.
“It is rather tasty sir,” she replied back.
“Please, no need to call me sir, miss,” he stuck his hand out, “to you I can be Carter.”
“A pleasure Carter,” she shook her hand, “I’m Sophie.”
“It is a pleasure,” he smiled and kissed her hand, “are you a mistress?”
“Oh no, I am a housekeeper and maid to my mistress,” she said.
“Oh,” he still smiled, “what is your mistress’ name?”
“Um,” she had to think hard on this, “Elizabeth the Fourth, a Royal British Embassy.”
“Wow, sounds very.... English,” Carter couldn’t help but grin.
“My Mistress is the best, I wouldn’t ask for a better job,” she smiled, “what do you do exactly Carter?”
He paused for a moment, then spoke, “I was a banker’s apprentice... but something happened and I want to switch my job.”
“Oh, what to?”
“I’m going to ask the Marshall if I could be Sheriff,” his smile faded.
“Sounds dainty fun, but ain’t this town all nice and all?” Sophie asked.
“Well,” he sighed, “there’s this one woman, who I would really like to squeeze the life out of her.”
Sophie took a hard gulp.
“She killed my brother... and she’s ruining my life. I just think I should do something about it, ya know?”
“No-no,” she stammered, “I um... understand.”
“That’s very kind of you,” he smiled.
“So are you headin’ to the Marshall now?” she asked.
“Indeed I am.”
“Oh,” she almost frowned.
“Um... when do you come here often?”
“Almost everyday now, around ten... just to get the necessities for dinner and lunch,” she said.
“Oh great! Well, maybe if you’d like to, if you ain’t busy and all, if you’d like to have lunch sometime?” he rubbed his neck and smiled.
“I’d love to,” she smiled.
“Great!” he kissed her cheek, “See you soon.”
Sophie tried to shake it off, but she couldn’t wipe the grin off her face. She shook herself off to get hold of herself, and then walked away the market with her food.
“Bloody hell, you’re in love,” Irene said, who was just leaning against a wall, eating an apple.
“Am not,” she said.
“Are too,” she smiled.
“He’s just a person I know,” she shrugged.
“Uh-huh,” Irene looked to the sky.
“What are you doing here anyways?” Sophie asked, she was always so curious as to what Irene was doing.
“Don’t know yet... just getting some fresh air,” Irene shrugged.
“Well, ain’t that enjoyable,” Sophie smiled.
“Well have fun Ms. Dawes,” Sophie winked and headed to her horse.
“You too ma'am,” Irene tipped her hat at her as she left.
“You!” A man shouted at Irene.
“Me?” she pointed to herself.
“Yeah! It’s you!”
She gasped, “Oh my, it is me!”
“Don’t talk smart to me missy,” he yelled.
“Don’t yell at me mister,” she smiled and put her fists out.
“Oh so this is what it’s headin’ to boys?” he clenched his fists as four more men appeared.
“Oh look, your little posse,” Irene sneered.
“What? You scared?” A short, stubby man to her left asked.
“Insanely scared,” she said.
“I call bets on her first,” the man said and took a swing at her. She ducked and did a low hit to his stomach. He fell backwards. The other three went at her at the same time, and one punched her in the face. Quick reactions made her jump and grab the piece of lumber above her. Her foot kicked one of the men with a mustache in the face, and she swung down upon another’s head.
A bottle suddenly hit her in the back of her skull.
“Now that’s how you get a criminal,” Dylan grinned.
Irene woke up, on a hard uncomfortable metal bed. She sighed, knowing where she was. Jail wasn’t a bad place for her, it was just a little difficult to get out.
“I find it ironic that when I first get to see your face, it is all beaten up and looks like crap,” Dylan smiled.
“Well that makes me feel better,” Irene scoffed.
“Did you have a good sleep?” he asked.
“Not really,” she rubbed her head, “I had a dream about killing a particular someone.”
He smiled and stepped in the light. Irene actually rose a brow, but only slightly.
“You rose a brow I see,” he smiled, “do you find me handsome Ms. Dawes?”
“No,” she said immediately.
“Then why do you blush?” he asked. She didn’t move, but sat there just staring at him. She took a big sigh and walked up to the bars. He grinned and went to the iron bars himself.
“You might want to think about what you’re getting yourself into,” she smiled and trailed her fingers up his chest.
“I know when I should quit, and I find this all too easy,” he smiled.
“Really?” she asked.
“Yes ma’am,” he said.
“What if I were to kill you now then?” she said and touched his face.
“With what weapon?” he smiled.
“Me, obviously,” she smiled.
“I don’t think you could take me down,” he said and got close, too close.
She backed away, thinking of a plan.
“You want me?” she asked, “Come and get me.”
“Cat and Mouse?”
“Close enough,” she grinned as he unlocked the jail cell. As he stepped in, Irene immediately kicked the keys out of his hands and grabbed it. He grabbed a knife from his pocket, which she saw coming. She ducked and struck his striking hand. He loosened his grip and she snatched it away from him. The knife already at his neck.
“I would say I’m the Cat in this game,” she said really closely and stroked his cheek.
“Possibly,” he smiled and kissed her. She pulled herself away and looked at him in confusion. That was weird.
“What?” he asked.
“Nothing,” she said and picked up the key on the ground, still pointing the knife at him.
“Go ahead, leave,” he smiled. She nodded and picked up her effects on the table. She blew him a kiss as she left, and he smiled.
For some reason, he couldn’t arrest her. His dad was right, he was in love. The only problem was, it was fake. She used him.
Which meant they couldn’t be together.
She didn’t like him back.
Or did she?
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