old road house

Jenny grabbed my hand and she pulled me over to the bar, “Bottle of tequila, two beefsteak, two potatoes, two Gulf Shrimp, Coffee, Kalua, chocolate pie, anything else?”

I shook my head.

“Send it up to our room, please,” Jenny ordered.

I saw Earl and Cheri Adams of the Saint Joseph Dispatch, wave at us as Jenny and I ran upstairs.

“Room number 1, the Honeymoon Suite.” She laughed, “They have running hot water, do you believe it?”

“In the room?”  I asked.  “No,” I said.
 
“They have beautiful Mexican women come in and give us a bath, soap, and oils, and pour us drinks.” She said.
 
I stared at her. The revelation of who she was, soaked through my view, and chagrin shook me.
 
In the bath, I felt little hands scrubbing over me.  The Mexican girls did their jobs well.  I felt totally consumed by the time drinks arrived. I raised a toast to Jenny.
 
“To Love,” I toasted and she toasted me back.
 
“To my hero.” she smiled.wine
 
I promised to let her play the rodeo queen, but a knock on the door interrupted us. Dinner had arrived.
 
“I have been shopping, and I hope you like it,” she said examining the collars and cuffs, and she approved.  “You look like Prince Charming, all dolled up.  New boots, socks, new hat, new PJ’s.”
 
I felt like a king in my castle, well, in my hotel.
 
“New bathrobe and slippers. Me too,” Jenny crooned.
 
“How nice,” I said. “This is just fabulous, Jenny. Thank you so much.”
 
Jenny fed me Gulf Shrimp, and poured more wine in my glass.
 
Drunk. Sex obsessed. And too tired to follow through… By the time dinner was over, I’d landed somewhere near a pillow and a blanket was pulled over my new pj’s.
 
Jenny was somewhere nearby, I kept hearing her chatter away. The wine kept her talking.
 
“I bought you a new Bowie.”  She grinned at me in the morning light.
 
I grinned back.
 
“I have been practicing with it. I can stick a melon to a tree.”
 
“Impressive, I can’t even do that. I’m too slow. You are fast as a cat, though, I have seen you move in a fight, graceful, deadly.”  I said.
 
“When? What fight?”  She asked.
 
She’d started getting dressed in some of the nice things she’d unpacked the night before. I was surprised I remembered.
 
“Pirates on the river. Everyone else has their hands full, and there’s Jenny behind a post on the deck, knocking them over the rail, one at a time. I remember the first time I met you, you pulled my gun and shot the guy facing us at the card game. Quick, like a cat,” I dared to remember.
 
“Hmmm, not pleasant memories,”  She admitted.
 
“Beats the tar out of being dead. That bastard would have shot us both.” I reminded her, pulling on my own pants, and buttoning up a shirt. New clothes were always stiffer than the ones I’d been wearing. I reckoned it was starch and sizing. Something they put in them to make them look new? But, I liked the look.
 
“I suppose,” Jenny hung her head down a bit.
 
“I figured out who the bad guys were after they raided my mountain hide out by white sand. I didn’t even draw until I heard them draw. Then, I let five shots go, aimed at the last sound in pitch dark. If it was you, you would have nailed them coming in.”
 
“What you do, is move faster from one target to another.  I need two hands to pull back the hammer, so I need two guns when I am up against more than one guy.”  Jenny said.
 
“Breakfast?”  I asked and she nodded.
 
doorway
 
We slipped out the door and walked down the hall to a dining room on the main floor.
 
Food. She ate a plate of bacon and eggs, then went back for pancakes, and coffee. The walk along the boardwalk after breakfast would be more acceptable if our bellies were filled.
 
“El Paso?” Jenny focused.
 
“Two gun morning,” I whispered.
 
Jenny darted a glance at me, I stood in the shadows and watched. The city of corruption, El Paso hadn’t pulled the wool over my eyes, and now… Determined to be a by-stander not a participant, I struggled to maintain my composure as three compadres walked down the street, hands on their guns. They’d passed us before they met their challenger. We stood and watched, hoping not to catch a stray bullet.
 
Jenny pushed back and stepped behind the wall before the shooting commenced. She was out of sight.
 
“You know them?” I asked.
 
She nodded… “From Chihuahua.”
 
I nodded.
 
We walked between the buildings back to the livery stable and asked for a wagon.

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