Vin groaned softly as he awoke from his unconscious state. He could feel a heavy weight on his chest, but gasped in pain when he tried to lift his head and figure out its source.
“Easy Vin, best you lie still. Got yer’self a heck of a graze there. Here drink some of this tea and it’ll help with the pain.”
“Nathan?” he rasped, confused as to what had happened.
“Shush now, drink this first.” Nathan watched as his charge drank the strong tea. He shook his head in exasperation when Vin made a funny face in regards to its taste.
“Damn Nate, this stuff tastes like boiled skunk.” Vin knew the taste was terrible, but knew from prior experiences that it would ease the pain quickly. “What happened?” Though the pain was easing his memory was a bit foggy. The last thing he could recall was being stuck in the saloon with Ezra.
“Don’t know all the particulars, but you got shot while playing cards with some big fella. Guess he didn’t like losing and figured he’d just shoot ya and take the money. Good thing your little shadow was with ya, tore into that guy with a vengeance.”
Vin looked down to the angular head that was resting on him, with a sudden anxiety he worried over the wolf’s health. “He alright?” he asked as he reached his hand down and began to pet the soft head rhythmically.
Nathan shrugged, “I guess so, been up here with you since they put that guy in jail, stubborn critter won’t budge an inch from that bed.” Nathan suddenly grinned in remembrance of Ezra and Chris having a glaring contest when the gunslinger insisted he get off the bed, so as not to disturb the hunter’s rest.
Vin caught Nathan’s good humor and wondered what had transpired that had the healer in such positive thoughts. What did ya do Ez? He thought to himself.
Absolutely nothing, Vin. It could hardly be my fault that Mister Larabee didn’t share my opinions on where I should reside for the night.
Vin was a bit startled, he had never been able to send his thoughts to the wolf before. Sure he could hear everything Ezra said or thought consciously, but this was a new twist to their interesting relationship. “Uh Ez, wanna fill me in on what exactly happened this afternoon?”
It was later that afternoon when Nathan finally let Vin out of the clinic, but for Ezra once he knew the tracker would be okay he decided it was time to check out the town for himself. Still wary of the way he was greeted on the first arrival into the town, he made sure one of the other peacekeepers was well within sight to discourage any nefarious thoughts by the locale. He tried to keep his body language as non-threatening as possible, so as to convince the residents that he meant them no harm.
The time he spent alone gave him a few moments to consider what he was going to do about his predicament. He spent enough time in the company of the healer to know that the man would have little tolerance for him if he knew of his background. Prior experience had taught him that ex-slaves took a direct dislike to white southerners, especially southerners with strong accents. He supposed there was at least one positive to the others not being able to hear him, Nathan wouldn’t look at him with that disgusted gaze for where he came from and stood for. Ezra sighed as he thought about how untrue it was, he loved the southern states, but never liked the business of keeping slaves. He wondered if things between the healer and him would change if he was one day able to return to his human form.
Ezra caught sight of the giant preacher; he was a bit of a mystery to Ezra. He seemed to be teaming with remorse, rage and compassion. All these feelings continually circulated around the man and he wondered what the cause was. He decided to get to know the man a bit better and padded his way to the church where Josiah was pounding away some nails attached to the porch.
Josiah caught sight of the young wolf making his way towards him and again wondered what had caused the transformation to occur. He knew all about bad spirits and evil witchcraft. In his travels he had meet many such individuals, none of which he found any good in whatsoever. As he continued to contemplate the different things he had seen the young wolf arrived at his door.
Hello Mister Sanchez.
Josiah sighed, “I sure wish I could understand you like Vin does. I guess we’ll just have to try and figure something out,” he grinned.
Ezra stared nervously at the gleam in the preacher’s eye and sharky smile. Uh oh Ezra, better watch out for this one. He spent a short time with the preacher before walking away, after all one could only listen to the man’s parables for so long. Okay so sometimes there are positives to not being able to be heard, he grinned to himself. Walking by the jail he decided to stop in and visit with the young sheriff.
JD watched the young wolf enter the town’s jail and laughed when the big man in the cell scooted back from the bars. “Hi Ezra, coming to visit?” JD didn’t expect an answer but figured it was just polite to talk with the canine. “You sure got that guy didn’t ya. Wow I ain’t never seen anything like that before. I sure wouldn’t wanna get you mad at me.”
Ezra rolled his eyes upwards as he continued to listen to the young man carry on. JD was a bright beacon in a world of storm clouds, he wondered if he was ever that naive to what happened in the world. He continued to listen as he padded closer to the cell that held the behemoth that had injured his friend. He was still unnerved by his actions against the man; it was particularly disconcerting that he was unable to release the man when he wanted to. Not liking where his thoughts were going, he quickly fled the jail and headed for the saloon.
Arriving into the saloon he was bombarded with the sounds of an active community. It was still disorienting the first few moments he stepped into the atmosphere because of his highly attuned hearing and the strong feelings that seemed to close in on him. Shaking his head he caught the scent of strong pheromones and grinned wickedly at the big charmer trying to turn his luck with the women. Seeing the dark clad gunslinger grinning at his friend’s antics he quickly padded over to the man and sat by his feet.
Again his thoughts returned to the circumstances that took place the last time he was in the saloon. He sighed in worry, Dear lord I hope this affliction doesn’t become permanent. I could become an endangerment to these people. Oh God I’d shoot myself if I could before I allow that to happen.
Chris sighed at the down-trodden wolf by his side, “We’ll get it figured out Ezra. Somehow we’ll get you back to normal.” He swallowed hard as those green eyes pierced him right down to his soul with their begging need.
Ezra looked pleadingly at the gunslinger, praying the man was right, before a sudden thought entered his mind. He looked shrewdly at the gunslinger, “and just how long have you been able to hear me Mister Larabee?”
Chris just grinned wolfishly at him.