Because I Know That People can Change
As Byron Sully walked toward his wife's clinic he noticed the large crowd outside of the saloon.
"What's going on out there?" he asked as he kissed his wife on the cheek.
"The townspeople are finally holding Hank accountable." Michaela answered.
"Here," she said handing him the paper. He read it and looked at her.
"Do you believe it?
"Do I believe that Hank has the capability to hurt Grace?" she said. "Yes."
"I don't believe it," Sully said shaking his head. "Something doesn't seem right."
"Why not?" Dr. Mike asked. "We all know how badly he treats those girls."
"No we don't," he said.
"Why are you defending him Sully? He's been nothing but awful to you and everyone else in Colorado Springs," she said angrily.
"Because I know that people can change," he said angry as well.
"People only change when they want to change."
"And how do you know he didn't want to change?" Sully asked before he stormed out of the clinic.
"Myra get down here," Horace said grabbing her and pulling her down beside him off the porch of the Gold Nugget.
"Whatdya want Loren?" Hank asked lighting his cigar.
"How could you?" someone in the mob yelled.
"Yeah!" they all yelled.
"What are you talking about?" he asked playing dumb.
"We all know what you did!" Horace yelled.
"Horace no," Myra said pleading with her husband.
"Be quiet Myra," he said his hands on her shoulders.
"I personally think that Hank is a danger to all the women in this town," Preston spoke up. "He should be in jail."
"Yeah!" the crowd yelled.
"Until he is, no woman is safe!" Loren yelled. As Hank took another puff of his cigar Matthew climbed the steps
"It's time to go Hank," he said grabbing his arm.
"What is going on!" Grace yelled as she ran toward the saloon.
"Apparently, I'm getting hauled off to jail," Hank said with a grin.
"For what?" she asked stepping between him and the sheriff.
"It's alright now Grace," Loren said. "He's going where he belongs."
"Yeah!" the crowd shouted.
"I don't understand," she said looking over her shoulder at Hank.
"You didn't read the Gazette this morning?" Hank asked.
"No. I've been busy."
"Well, you missed out."
"What?" Grace said.
"Someone saw him, Grace," Preston said. "I always knew he was a swine."
"Hey! Shut your mouth Preston!" Hank yelled.
"See? Look at him! Can't control his temper," Horace said as he gripped Myra's shoulders tightly.
"Lock him up Matthew. It's your job," Loren said.
"It's time to go Hank," Matthew said reaching around Grace.
"No. You're not taking him anywhere until I know what's going on," Grace said stepping in front of Hank again.
"Why do you care?" Dorothy questioned.
"Because I do. Now give me a copy of the paper," Grace said her hand held out. The red hair lady passed her one and right on the front page the headline read, Hank Lawson strikes Grace. "What is this nonsense?"
"There was an eyewitness to the crime," Preston said. "Keep reading." Grace looked back down at the paper and read, 'A source in our humble town has reported that saloon owner Hank Lawson brutally attacked our beloved Grace.'
"Alright. Then where are my bruises? Why am I standing here talking to you fools instead of laid up in the clinic?" Grace asked irritation in her voice. The crowd shared looks with each other but remained silent. "Dorothy who told you this nonsense?" The woman was silent. "Dorothy."
"Well...Robert E.," Dorothy said. "He said he saw it this morning."
"This morning...oh my," Grace said her cheeks turning pink. "He came to the Cafe this morning Hank. I didn't realize..."
"What do you wanna do?" Hank asked her. Grace looked him in the eye and smiled. She loved him and there was no reason to keep it a secret. She moved beside him and put her arm through his.
"Hank did not attack me. He kissed me," she said. The crowd let out a collective gasp.
"Why?" Preston asked.
"Not that it's any of your business, Mr. Lodge but Mr. Lawson and I are in love," she said proudly. Hank let out a chuckle at the shocked faces of the mob; but it was quickly stifled. He knew that he had been right. The townspeople would never let them be together. He was Satan after all.
"I'm so happy for you both!" Myra said excitedly.
"Be quiet now, Myra," Horace whispered harshly.
"Thank you Myra. Listen, Hank did not attack me and I want you to put in that paper that you printed a lie," Grace said to Dorothy. She nodded. "Now get out of here. Who's running your businesses if you're all down here?" she asked. As the mob began to thin out, Hank retreated inside the saloon. Grace turned to speak to him but realized that he was gone. She took a deep breath as she looked at the swinging doors. "Damn," she said quietly as she pushed them open.
"What are you doing?" Hank asked as he slammed a glass down on the counter.
"I wanted to talk to you."
"Are you alright?" she asked.
"Never better," he said with a crooked smile.
"Is that the truth?" Grace asked as she brushed off a dusty stool before taking a seat.
"Why wouldn't it be?" Hank asked as he poured her a glass of water.
"This," she said sliding the Gazette across the bar to him.
"I don't care about that rag," he said balling it up.
"Oh. Well, alright," she said getting to her feet.
"Where you going?"
"You seem to be alright so I'm leaving."
"Did you see 'em out there?" Hank asked as he walked around the bar to stand in front of her. "I told you they wouldn't like this."
"And I told you I don't care what they like," Grace said caressing his scruffy jaw. "I love you Hank and there is no one in this town that's gonna change that." Hank leaned down and kissed her passionately.
"I love you too," he whispered, his forehead on her.
"Good. Now, I've some business to attend to," she said pushing him away.
"My business. Don't you worry about it."
"Don't do something crazy, Grace."
"I'm in love with you, I think that's crazy enough," she said with a wink. "Oh and Hank."
"Yeah?" he said.
"If you ever want me to set foot in here again you should invest in a feather duster. Loren sells them for five cents," she said before she pushed the swinging doors open. She could hear him laughing as she headed across the street to the livery.