Ride a Cowboy

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Chapter 26 ~ Failed By The Law

…Avaleria…

“That’s a bloody outrage, what kind of fucken judge are you? How do you sleep at night?” My Father was furious, he was normally a peaceful man, usually even-tempered and under control but now, he was ropable. “I hope you burn in hell, ya fucken wanker.”

“Sir, please leave this courtroom,” the security guard requested as Dad stormed off in a fit of rage. I just sat there – numb – lost in the words of the sentence handed down.

“You ever step foot in our fucken town again and we will hang your ass, you are nothing but fucken scum,” Pierce bellowed toward Toni before striding out after Dad.

“Hang your ass? I’ll fucken kill you,” Kaeron growled threateningly as he grabbed Cole’s hand and they stomped out too.

Shit, they are going to be angry the whole way home.

Ivy sat just four rows behind us, glaring murderously. The worst part of all of this – is she skipped towards Toni after the proceedings and kissed him before he was escorted away in cuffs. I couldn’t believe she would stoop so low that she was on his side, she had lost her kids over this, almost lost her life, yet she didn’t care. She threw me a malicious death stare before striding out thinking she was the queen of fucking England.

Mum and I stayed as the courtroom emptied, in quiet contemplation. I was so glad they were here, I had been given a chance and while the outcome was not what I hoped it would be, I was grateful I wasn’t alone.

“You okay baby?” She asked, patting my thigh supportively.

I just nodded and shrugged my shoulders once. There was nothing we could do, the moment that gavel came down the sentence was final. He had been slapped on the wrist.

“Avaleria, I have no idea what happened… the evidence was all there.” Harrison, the town’s lawyer, scratched his head in bewilderment. He was just as enraged though, you could see it in his eyes, he was convinced Toni would be locked away for life.

“I know exactly what happened – I should have seen it coming. Men in his position, that supply the rich and powerful with what they need – they are protected.”

“You hinting at the judge being paid off?” He asked curiously.

I looked up at him dejectedly, “he has friends in high places, two years may seem like nothing but at least it’s something. He was always going to escape.”

Clearly, my comments infuriated Harrison, “no, it won’t go down like this,” he sneered.

“C’mon baby, let’s go home.” My mother helped me up and linked her arm in mine as we slowly exited. “I’m sorry darlin’ this isn’t fair.”

“Mama, I appreciate you supporting me through this. It means everything to know you are here.”

She stopped moving, stepping in front of me and cupping my cheeks in her hands. “Did you know that I’m actually thankful for your drug addiction?”

I was confused by her confession, “why?”

Her face display guilt, “I know I shouldn’t be, but it gave me my daughter back. You have no idea how much we missed you, how much we love you. I never want to live without you.” Her eyes fell to the ground, she was thankful? “I hate that you’ve had to go through this baby, I hate that I couldn’t protect you but you’re home and alive, that’s all that matters.” She kissed my forehead before turning on her heels and walking over to my father, ranting and raving like a bloody lunatic out in the courtyard.

I sniffed back the emotion that was at the forefront, I had never looked at it like that – as some sort of blessing. She was right, it did bring me home and everything else had only drawn Pierce and I closer. Maybe there was a reason for everything in life? Maybe we weren’t just walking around with our head in the clouds? Maybe there was a purpose to the cataclysmic fuckery?

Pierce held his truck door open for me to enter as I slowly wandered over. “Don’t worry Lyera, he’ll get what’s coming to him,” he said as he slammed my door.

With all the charges presented against Toni, sure, he should have been brought to justice but maybe, just maybe, his fate was setting him up for something worse? Karma? Who knew what the future held? All I know is, I’m so glad to be home and loved by some of the most incredible people in the world and it took all of this, to finally see the truth. I was an extremely lucky person. My life had become bright, I had risen out of the ashes and was finally finding peace – what if this was always supposed to happen?

Pierce was seething the entire ride back to town, his hands gripped the steering wheel so tightly that his knuckles were white and his jaw flexed because he was clenching his teeth. I tried to talk to him, tried to make it okay, but there are times… very rare times, but times none the less… where Pierce can be so bull-headed and frustrating that it’s best just to say nothing. As he parked the car, he didn’t even wait, he was out the door so fast you could have mistaken him for Superman – moving at the speed of light.

I slowly climbed out of the truck and dragged my feet inside, I would have to wait him out and that’s okay. He needed to release his anger, he likes to sort out his head first and then eventually comes around, and I, well… I needed food – emotions make me hungry and today made my stomach churn.

It was well past dark when I finally heard his boots crunching away on the gravel. The door opened and thankfully, he didn’t slam it. I was in our bed, tucked under the covers, lying with my back facing his side. It’s weird, sound becomes so much more sonorous when you’re all alone, like someone just turned up the volume on everything and the sunlight is the only thing available that can turn it down or quieten the noise. His steps thundered through the house as he trudged towards the bedroom.

I don’t know why but I closed my eyes, maybe I just didn’t want him to be angry anymore or maybe I just didn’t have the strength? – but whatever it was, pretending to be asleep seemed to be my answer to the problem, hopefully, he will be more forgiving tomorrow.

I could hear Pierce sigh as he tore off his clothes, stubbing his toe on the clothes basket, “shh, don’t wake cowgirl.” I pulled my lips inward, between my teeth, and bit down hard, desperately holding in my giggle. He opened the bathroom door, lifting the toilet seat with a massive bang, “shh, she’s sleeping toilet, you have to be quiet,” he slurred.

Did he just chastise the toilet? Is Pierce drunk right now? Holy shit, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him drunk?

Pierce groaned as he pee’d the heavy splash and the amount of urination revealed he was pissed as a fart. Then he started to sing.

I found it entertaining that he had just told off the toilet for making noise, and what I now know to be hushing the wash basket when he kicked it, yet he leaked loudly into the bowl and started singing at the top of his lungs. The song he sang though was sad, clearly, he was struggling, perhaps drunk Pierce might be a bit more open to answering questions than sober bull-head?

“What are you doing?”

“Fuck, I’m so sorry, I was trying to be quiet.” His eyes were glazed over and bloodshot, yep, this mother fucker is off his bloomin’ rocker.

“Where have you been?” He dragged himself to the bed, tripping over his jeans, “Pierce?” I screamed as he fell, I was up on all fours peering over the bed.

“Shh, she can’t know I’m drunk,” he said to his pants as he untangled his legs. God, he’s super cute when he’s drunk.

Finally, he climbed on top of the bed and huffed in my face, I almost passed out from the fumes, you could’ve started a tractor with the amount of pure alcohol on his breath. “Far out, you fixing to knock someone out?” I questioned, returning to my original position in bed.

“Did I wake you?” He asked, his face scrunched in regret. Pierce looked so sad.

“No, but if I was dead, I’m pretty sure the fumes from your toxic breath would’ve brought me back to life. Why are you drunk?”

“Sorry,” he breathed again, my eyes watered from the sheer stench of whiskey. “You’re so beautiful, did you know that? Did you know I have never seen anyone more beau-ti-ful than you.”

“Thank you, lie down,” I patted the bed and he flopped down with a pained groan.

I curled into his side, running my fingers through his hair, he is so handsome. “Why are you so angry? What’s going on?”

His eyes were closed but his arm draped around me, pulling me close. “Because he hurt you, he hurt you and he practically got away with it… and I, I love you and I couldn’t save you from him.”

“But you did save me, I am finally happy because of you. If it wasn’t for Toni almost killing me, I would never have found you.”

“I saved you?” He mumbled.

“You saved me Tyler, you are my heart.”

He grinned, even with his eyes shut, “you are my heart too. One day, we are going to get married and have fifteen kids, two dogs and a farm of our own.”

“Is that right?” I adore this side of Pierce so much.

“Yep, cowgirl… I have waited forever for you… I love you.”

He yawned in between words and I kissed his lips, relishing the way he looked while pissed as a mule, drifting off. So his turmoil was the fact that retribution, in his eyes, was not dealt today – Toni simply had not atoned for his sins but thanks to Mama, I had made peace with everything. Oh, Pierce, you are my miracle – my light, within the darkness – but we are not having fifteen kids.

__________

“Tyler wake your drunk ass up.”

He had slept all morning, I know he hit the bottle hard last night but shit, I was not made for sheep shearing, which is what I had spent the morning doing with Perry, Pierce’s dad, since he was too comatose to do it. I also feel really bad, as now a portion of the Tyler family herd is walking around with terrible hair-dos.

“Shh Lyera, I don’t have to be up until five in the morning.” He groaned and rolled over, fuck he stunk, like a brewery and sweat.

“It’s two in the afternoon ya tosspot.”

“I am not a habitual drunk,” he defended.

“Holy crap Tyler, I didn’t even know you knew the definition of tosspot.”

“I’m very smart… and hungry… wait… did you say two in the afternoon?” He shot up suddenly, groaning and clutching his head, regretting his swift movement. “Call dad, tell him I’m in hell.”

I laughed, “he knows, I’ve been shearing for you this morning but now we need to go to Mamas. I brought you some pain relief,” I teased, waving it in front of his face.

“Gimme, gimme, gimme…” he held his hands out in front of him, opening and closing his fingers rapidly like a four-year-old. I rolled my eyes.

__________

“So, now that it’s… oh…” I looked at my watch, “quarter past three and we are officially late to Mamas… wanna talk about last night?”

“Not really,” he said with a smirk on his face as he drove us to my family’s farm.

“That’s okay, you talked while you were drunk. I like drunk Pierce.”

“I did not,” he scoffed.

“You did too,” I scoffed back as we pulled into the driveway. “Although, we are not having fifteen kids unless you plan on pushing them out yourself.”

He grunted in discomfort. “I’m sorry… for everything… I was so mad at him. I didn’t want to say anything that would hurt you so I left, then Rhett and Brett started with shots, I was so furious that I just downed the booze. Why do prick’s like that get away with things? Why didn’t he get fully prosecuted?”

He parked the truck and I swivelled in my seat facing him, “you know what Pierce? Mama helped me to see that if all of this hadn’t of happened, it would never have brought me home. It would never have brought me to you and I would have never learned to trust and love openly, without barriers. Yes, it sucks that after all the bad he has done and will continue to do, two years in prison, is not sufficient, but we always knew this was a possibility, he just always thought he was completely untouchable – and he’s not, he gets two years behind bars. He will get what’s coming to him – like you said, they all will. But in the meantime, I get to spend my life, happier than I’ve ever been, stronger than I’ve ever felt and completely in love with the most incredible man I have ever met… so look who got the raw end of the stick? Because it certainly wasn’t me.”

He leaned forward, capturing my lips with his, passionately, lovingly, adoringly… I had found contentment in chaos, this was where I was truly meant to be.

“I love you future Mrs Avaleria Tyler,” he wiggled his brows cheekily.

“That’s not even funny,” I scowled.

“It’s a little funny,” He replied, chastely kissing my nose.

“Well look who it is…”

“Argh,” I screamed, jolting in alarm as I practically leapt onto Pierce’s lap.

“Hello, Little Cherub.”

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