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Chapter 24

Both men were more relaxed after the laughter ended. Bill found out that the man wasn’t all that much older than he was. He also learned just by listening, that the man also shared many of his own views concerning the law.

“When did you find out about the gunfighter being in your family?” Bill asked. Boris had told him the story as far as he knew it. Meaning the story from the history books.

“I guess from the time I was old enough to understand. I always wanted to be a gunman. I wanted to be just like my grandfather. You know one of the good guys. You can imagine my disappointment when I learned that would be impossible.”

“How old were you?”

Bo smiled mischievously, “Quite a blow, it was just last year.”

Bill turned his head sharply, “What!”

“Just kidding.” Bo replied, quickly realizing that with this officer you didn’t spring things on him, while he was driving a lot of curves.

Almost made him leave a trail in his seat.

“I was ten.”

“You’re a Stokes alright, you’ve got that same wicked sense of humor.”

“I hope that’s a compliment.”

Bill remained silent as he turned off the paved road. “Boris had a drinking problem, I hope he really did get it under control. He damn near lost everything, his badge, his family. . . everything. If he starts up again, don’t try to be a hero, don’t get creative. You call the station, and tell them you need help, and what is wrong.”

“I’ve been around those types before. . . I have no desire to try to be a hero. I’ll just be me.”

Bill noticed the hard glint in the man’s eyes, and for a moment he thought of aborting the idea of hooking Bo up with Boris. No, he won’t do anything stupid. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders. He isn’t the type.

Just what is the type, the usual silent voice asked. Anybody can loose control and kill. Remember that one kid?

Yeah he remembered. The two friends that were just horsing around. They’d been drinking and one got mad, in one rapid moment one buddy lay dead, his neck at a funny angle.

Then the manhunt began.

He didn’t want to go to prison for an accident, but of course the law had other ideas. Two years later they’d tracked him to a cabin up into the mountains of New Mexico. The rambunctious group of lawmen, then blew the cabin up and claimed that they got him. But, there was always just something very fishy about that whole story. Another one of those cases where deals were made. . .

The large house suddenly loomed up before the two men. “He build this himself?” Bo asked, thinking that the place looked like Norman Bates’s house.

“Uh-yeah mostly I guess.” Bill replied as he gave the horn three short blasts. The house was even creepy to him.

Boris came out and stood for a moment, then smiled. “Come on in Bill. We got the coffee on.”

“Wait here a minute.” Bill said in a low voice. He got out of his unit and approached the large man. “Is everything okay Boris? Brenda and Brandon okay?”

“Yeah-Bill all is well. If you don’t believe me go on in. . . if you don’t trust me you can cuff me to something.”

Bo watched very confused.

Brenda chose that time to come outside, Brandon close behind her. Bill walked over to the woman, “You and Brandon okay?”

“Yeah,” Brenda replied with a puzzled look. “Everything is going pretty good these days. He hasn’t had a drop and we’re talking more, he really is trying Bill. He can still be an asshole at times, but he was that way before I married him.”

Bill smiled and felt relief wash over him. Had there been one mark on Brenda or the child, he’d have arrested Boris on the spot. He’d heard it all, “Officer, I’m clumsy that’s all. I slipped and he tried to catch me and popped me under the eye.”

How can a woman ever make excuses for a bastard like that?

Love, blind loyalty?

Yeah-he could see how a woman, could feel those emotions for the man that did those things to her.

“Boris got a guy here with the same last name as you, he checks out. Needs a job for awhile, and I remembered you saying that you were going to be doing some things around your place.”

“What’s his name?”

Bill smiled “Beaumont Stokes. Prefers to be called Bo though, pretty good size ole boy. I’d adhere to that request.”

“Bring him on and I’ll decide later on if I’m to hire him, if I don’t like him, I’ll send Beaumont packing.”

Bill rolled his eyes. Boris was going to be an asshole, he could feel it. Bo would try really hard to take as much as he could and then. . . Boris would push the right button.

Bill motioned for Bo and gave a silent prayer. Bo stepped out of the unit and walked up to Boris. He stood a head taller and was in much better shape than Boris.

“Boris Stokes.” Boris replied as he offered his hand.

“Bo Stokes.”

“Not exactly true is it? Bill, told me your name is Beaumont.”

“It is, I’ve introduced myself as Bo for so many years it’s a habit. But yes, my Christian name is Beaumont.”

“You ashamed of that name, or is it the name Stokes?”

Bo looked first at Bill, then at Brenda. He knew that Boris was trying to bait him, and he wasn’t going to bite. “Neither. I’ve made my own way in life. People find it hard to believe that I’m named after a notorious gunfighter, much less that he was my grandfather.”

Boris smiled, he could understand that. He’d come across men with the same name as a low-life, and they’d taken some variation of the name. “I guess I’d do the same, if I was named after that sorry ass bastard.”

Bo felt the muscles in his neck tighten. This was a very bad mistake, this man was dangerous. He wore a badge, and he was a bully and a coward. He was a wife beater, and in time would probably seriously abuse his children.

“Bill this just isn’t going to work out.” Bo said in a calm voice. If you’d just get me back to the highway, I’ll leave this area of Texas.”

Boris laughed, and Bo knew that the laugh was taunting him to do something stupid. He’d done some foolish things in his life, but he wasn’t that stupid.

“I think that would be best.” Bill replied honestly.

Brenda stepped forward, “Bo please forgive Boris, he’s an asshole and he wears it like a badge of honor. There are somethings that need doing around here, and if you don’t mind working for a woman. . . Boris knows where he stands on certain matters, and what will happen if he crosses me.”

Bo smiled and started to step forward. “Boy, you think twice before taking her offer. This is my land, it’s in my name. She has no claim to anything out here. Besides only a complete idiot would ever work for a woman.”

Bill looked up at the sky, thinking you put your foot in it this time Boris. Best shut the hell up buddy.

“Where do I put my gear ma’am? Be glad to be working for you.”

Boris walked off rather quickly, Bo noted the fact that the man looked as though he were pouting.

“It isn’t much but there’s a room in the barn off to the right.”

“Long as I’m out of the weather, is all that counts.”

“That fucker won’t last,” Boris muttered hotly. “his kind never does, I’ll run his ass til he drops.”

Brenda smiled, and gave Bill a wink, and mouthed, Thank You.

The orders were sent out, and the band of Texans, could almost hear Borga laughing at them. The reports were coming in faster than they could read them. Posts were just suddenly going silent. People that they’d thought would be their best hope were now confirmed as dead.

Members of the Wolfe family were confirmed as dead. James and Jenny Killed while on patrol. A large number of men lay in ambush and had killed the husband and wife.

Rockne Walker along with, Zeke and Zack, were killed during an attack, only days after joining the Macalister’s survival group. Joe Macalister and his young bride Lydia, were caught in an ambush.

Jeff Leighmon and Simone were cut to ribbons by machine gun fire. That loss hit hard, and they knew that Dobs would want everything from justice to vengeance done.

Justice being in the heart of the wounded.

Randy Baker was killed when his CP was blown up in a cowardly night raid. Carol Wilson was killed and her body burned beyond recognition. Bill became silent and very withdrawn, and deadly.

Robert Clary and his wife Sara were both killed by a car bomb, the perp and his three man team were caught and shot on the spot. Lyle Clary boldly bragged of their deed, and was quite insistent to the very end, to be addressed by his proper title.

He received a “Fuck You!” and a well placed 22 to the back of the head. His team’s throats were cut. So much for titles.

Ann sat silently in the waiting room, introductions were not needed, she knew who the woman with the child was. The woman had an aura about her.

June stepped into the room, her son was sleeping in the hospital nursery. “Ann.”

Ann quickly got to her feet, “How is he?”

“Resting. The FEDS have their top teams studying his blood, and it looks hopeful. One had said that he recognized the culture whatever that is exactly.”

Ann smiled and sat down and took hold of her hand, to hide the fact that it was shaking, like a leaf in a hurricane.

“They need to get a sample of your blood, I understand that they did the same thing to you.”

“Will it help Dobs. . . or is it to just check me out?”

“Both. . . Ann, whatever happened wasn’t real, it was a program. One of those FEDS said that it was like a computer program. I never knew they could get a computer to do anything like that. But all it was. . . was a program. They said his mind shut down because he resisted and it was like his mind blew a chip.”

Wasn’t real? Dobs was a hero even back then-before they did the programing. He was a rebel long before those butchers ever got hold of him. They simply enhanced what was already there. He made love to her, because he wanted to.

“I suppose you’re right. It just felt very real at the time. It was him that came up with a way to fight. I just thought that you’d want to know that.”

Why did she say that?

She knew the answer. Because she loved Dobs Macalister and she knew that he loved only this woman. He could never love her, it was all a lie. What they had wasn’t real, and never could be. That was why he was here-in this hospital.

He fought so hard not to do, what the programing told him, that his mind and body had shut down. Why? Was she that hard to love? She felt the buzzing return, and the room began to spin and blur. She calmly stood up and started to walk away.

“Ann you don’t have to leave, they say he’ll be awake very shortly. It’ll be okay if you want to see him.”

“I don’t need your goddamn permission for that! If I want to see him I will. . . if I want to go in for one last ride I will.” Ann slowly put her hand to her head, as the pain shot through her skull. “I’m sorry. I don’t know-why I said all that.” Ann shook her head like a big shaggy dog, and rushed from the room.

June jumped to her feet and rushed after the woman. It’s the programing, she reminded herself. She’s resisting and the same thing is happening to her. If she knew for certain it was anything but. . . she’d kill the woman in a heartbeat. She had to protect Dobs and their son Bill.

Yes, by all means, Billy had to be protected, none of this horror could ever be allowed to touch him. It must be put to rest forever.

Billy must not grow up in this way of life. But still she noticed things.

Young Billy. His eyes already held a wildness, and his little twisted smile, spoke of a future that would be filled with mayhem. Just like his father. Would this war still be going on when Billy, grew up? Would he have to also join in the same fight?

Somehow she knew that young Billy’s war, would be completely different. She stopped and looked around. Ann had vanished and there was no way in hell, she was going to pursue her. She’d get word to the base and let them know about her.

She’d heard about the deaths, and the vengeance extracted by those that followed Dobs Macalister. The bastard that had killed Lenny was still at large, but it would just be a matter of time. Their people were the absolute best, and they never gave up.

The FEDS were even on their side, which was weird enough. She thought they were only on their own side. They were fighting harder than ever to help Dobs. It was almost as though. . . he was the key to some deep dark secret.

She went to the nursery, and stood silently watching her son as he lay in the bed. He was a good baby, and rarely even cried. When he was hungry, he’d just give a look like he was trying to say, “Feed me now, or there will be trouble.”

Dobs would get a kick out of that one, she thought for a moment then went to her child. “Let’s go see Daddy. Hell, they’ve tried everything else. What could it possibly hurt?”

Billy Macalister chose that time to kick and smile excitedly.

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