Bandits in the Wind
Chapter 1: My Name is Ezra
Outlaw! Ezra x Dakota Snakeeye (ofc)
Words:1,507 | Credit: moodboard me, gif to uuushiny
My contribution for @autumnleaves1991-blog #writerwednesday
Warnings: I don’t think there are any, but just in case, it's a story about cowboys and outlaws, so corresponding subject matter will be discussed. In this chapter: dehydration, someone passes out and wakes up tied to a chair
An: imagine him with longer hair & a fuller beard. For now, this is a one shot since I have a full plate. But I plan to make this a short fic with mini chapters! Chapter 2 is in progress but not ready, so today I’m just posting the first one. Stay tuned for more.
To some this life was a lonesome road to travel, not for Dakota Snake- eye. Life was easier this way. Less obligations, less to live up to and prove.
Inviting it was not, this waterless land; wild, sandy, sweltering. Still, Dakota made it home. The sandstone canyons, desert blooms, and cacti felt familiar in a way, more familiar than any setting she’d ever known.
Even with it’s extremes, this hard land was beautiful and perfect for those keen on solitude. It was the ideal place for nomads, travelers, and bandits.
As the cloudless cobalt sky shifts to a midnight blue, Dakota’s ranch looms in the distance. She can feel her muscles relax as comfort draws near. Dakota was ready to rest her bones after a long day of traveling.
“Easy Pearl, easy -” she calms Pearl as they near the entrance.
It seems the uneasy feeling that suddenly took hold of her was shared by Pearl. Horses were intuitive, intelligent animals. And Pearl, she was damn near psychic. If Dakaota ever doubted her own gut, she always listened to Pearls.
It doesn't take long to see what Pearl is upset about. At her gates, an unfamiliar horse anxiously waits. She can see a few items scattered on the ground in the moonlight.
Once her feet hit the ground, Dakota takes hold of her pistol and scans the grounds. She cautiously approaches the horse.
“Easy darling, easy -” she holds one hand out, “and where did you come from?”
The beautiful yet unsettled horse turns its head, Pearl walks in the same direction.
“Stay here sweetheart.” Dakota gently caresses her before following Pearl's lead, just left of the property.
Seconds later, she comes upon a heap on the ground, soon discovering it’s a man. Dakota circles him cautiously, he doesn’t move. She gathers a stick and pokes at him, nothing still.
“Hmm, we might have a dead one Pearl,” she nudges him with her foot.
Dakota rolls him over and kneels down. After a quick check, she detects a faint pulse. From the state of his breathing and the tint of his skin, he was likely dehydrated, gravely so.
Dakota checks his pockets and coats, whoever he was, he was very well armed. Taking each weapon away, she goes inside to retrieve some rope. It doesn't take long to tie him up and drag him into the shed.
Once inside her home, Dakota cares for the horses and eats a small meal before checking on the state of the stranger.
When she returns, he’s barely coming to.
Dakota holds his jaw, pressing the canteen to his dry lips, “Drink.”
The man mumbles something, his eyes still shut.
When the water hits his lips he starts to wake slowly. It doesn't take him long to realize he’s bound, as he tries to reach for the water source with no luck.
“Slow down there, before you choke or spit it all up.” Dakota pulls away. The man follows with his mouth and nearly tumbles over in the chair.
Dakota takes a step backward and puts the water down, freeing up her hands for the pistol once more. In a stern, steady tone, she speaks,
“What the hell are you doing on my land?”
The man drops his head, like it’s too heavy to hold as he groans. His dark brown hair is long, the mass of curls covered with dirt and sand. She notices a strange anomaly, a patch of rouge blonde hair.
He struggles to say something. All she hears is a series of dry moans and some sort of accent.
Dakota moves closer and nudges him with the pistol. “Speak.”
Groggy, the man lifts his head, tired brown eyes land on hers. His beard suffered the same state as his hair.
“Perhaps -” he coughs, “ a little more Adams Ale could revive me, if you please?” His voice is barely working, he pleads with his eyes.
Dakota crooks a brow, “when was the last time you had something to drink?”
More dry coughing, this time with his whole body, she takes a step back without realizing it. He notices,
“Don’t worry your pretty little head. I'm not afflicted with any kind of illness or contageon. I’m simply dry as a dessert and in need of water. I can’t recall the last time I had…” he trails off, a far away look in his eyes.
The room goes quiet.
After a moment, Dakota retrieves the canteen and stands in front of him. She angles the open bottle to his mouth. He gulps down the rest of the water.
It trickles down his lips, beard, and down to his neck. The man smacks his lips together and makes a satisfied sound,
“An angel you are! One more day without and I may have met my maker. Not too sure they’d be keen to see me though.” He grins, seeming amused with himself.
Dakota doesn’t respond, she only stares at him. The stranger feels a slight sense of ease when she sets the pistol back in her thigh holster.
“Bluebell, is she safe?” He asks.
Dakota pulls a large bucket over and flips it. Once it's on the ground she sits ontop of it, keeping her eyes trained on Ezra. “Your horse?”
He nods softly. “Yes ma’am.”
Dakota winches, she never liked being called Ma’am. Shoving that aside, she settles her focus on him once more, “She’s fine. With Pearl.”
His grin turns into a smile, “Pearl and Bluebell..sounds like the makings of a tune-”
An impatient huff escapes Dakota’s lips, she leans forward, her elbows on her knees, “What are you doing on my property?”
He doesn’t reply right away.
His gaze eventually settled on her eyes, searching them with greater intensity. It’s only when her brow wrinkles he replies.
“Your urgency for my answer is understandable. Here you are, returning home after a long day to find a strange man nearly dead at your door.”
Dakota crosses her arms as she sits up. “Well, why don’t you get to the point then?”
“All business! From what I understood, this is no man's land. It seemed the best way for a ghost to remain a ghost. Little did I know, a fine piece of land rested here, on the edge of nowhere with an even finer host.”
Dakota narrows her eyes at him, a stern warning on her tongue, “if I were you I wouldn't get any ideas.”
He sits back, “it was merely a compliment. A woman like you living on all this land alone? I'm sure you are more terrifying than most men. Have to be, to stay safe.”
Dakota rolls her eyes and shifts in her seat. He continues speaking, not wanting to try her patience any further.
“Last thing I remember, I thought I heard a stream, Bluebell and I were chasing said stream when everything went black. Next thing I knew, I'm bound, quite expertly I may add, to an old chair in a barn, staring down the barrel of an impressive pistol”
He can’t read her expression but there’s a seriousness in her eyes. After a few seconds, she leans in closer, studying his face.
“Why do you look familiar to me?” Dakota asks.
He chuckles and turns his head, looking off in the distance, “and here I hoped to remain a ghost. I suppose, a ghost is never really a ghost? Someone sees them eventually.” He relaxes further in the chair. “I’m just a traveller, blowing through. I’m no treat to you, unless you force me to be.”
Dakota raises her chin, eyes steady on him.
“Seeing as you stripped my pockets bare, I’m sure you know more about me than you let on.”
“I know no one walks around with that much gold or that many weapons unless their in trouble, or looking for it.”
He grins, “you found my gold. I had that very well hidden.”
“I don’t know you, so of course I searched you, thoroughly.” Dakota stands infront of him again, this time grabbing his chin, “now that I think about it. It wasn’t too long ago I travelled through a small little town, maybe you heard of it, called Monroe and I swear, I saw your likeness on one of those posters. And if my memory serves me correctly, there’s a pretty price on your head.”
A tense silence passes as they stare at eachother. A bemused grin forms on his lips, he makes no effort to break free of her grip.
“Seems I’ve been had,” a shine appears in his eyes, “ In that case, my name is Ezra.”
Chapter 2 is 30% done and in the works! We find out more about Dakota and outlaw Ezra.
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