by: Storm Richards



Kid, Heyes and Laurie decided to make Small Falls their home. That is if you can call anyplace a home when you still look over your shoulder all the time and you can never stay in one place too long. It was more like a central meeting place, or a place that for the time being was safe. Heyes knew Laurie would be safe there when he and Kid had to leave her. Walter and Doris Jansen had let them know they considered Laurie to be like a daughter and would always look after her. After they found out that she was cleared of all charges in the shooting of Mr. Carlson, they headed back to Small Falls to see what they would do next.

The town was quiet and the people were nice. The partners knew that besides Laurie, Doris and Walter knew their real identities. They were almost positive Sheriff Tom Hardy also knew who they were, although he never acknowledged the fact. He did remove their wanted posters from the wall and threw them in the trash in front of them saying that Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry hadn't been heard from in such a long time, he didn't think it necessary to keep them posted. He put up some other outlaws saying it would be better to have people they could actually catch on the board. That was it.  They really didn't think anyone else had an idea of their real identity.

The three of them lived at the Jansen Hotel. Walter and Doris kept the front two rooms of the hotel for them, Laurie and Joshua in the front corner room and Thaddeus in the adjoining room. Laurie helped Doris with the hotel cooking and cleaning. Her muffins and biscuits were always the first to go. They were so popular, she always made sure to put some aside incase Kid didn't wake up early enough to get them. Heyes and Kid helped Walter with the upkeep of the hotel, did an occasional odd job around town and played poker in the saloon.

The three had started to settle into a fairly normal routine. However, a few months after returning to Small Falls, Laurie could see something different in Heyes. As they sat on the front porch of the hotel one summer evening enjoying the breeze she looked at him, "What's the matter?" she asked.

"Nothing," Heyes responded as he sat in the chair next to her with his feet propped up on the banister, cigar in mouth.

"You can't keep things from me, you should know that by now," Laurie said as she placed her hand on his and moved closer to him. As she leaned in she whispered, "You're antsy, what's the matter?"

Heyes turned to Laurie and looked at her with those mesmerizing brown eyes of his. He studied her face and a smile started to creep across his face as he removed the cigar from his mouth, "I'm not antsy. Nothing is the matter." He said and then his smile reached his eyes as he added, "If I'm antsy it's only because you’re sitting so close to me. I'd rather be upstairs and not on the porch."

Laurie stared deep into his eyes, the eyes she could get lost for days in. When he looked at her that way, the rest of the world ceased to exist. She looked at the smile, the face, she thought about running her hands through his dark brown hair. She thought of him, then she shook her head and smirked, "No you don't, you're good, but you are not going to distract me until you answer my question."

Heyes let out a soft chuckle and traced the outline of her face with his hand, "Question, I answered a question, was there another?" He said quietly as he leaned toward Laurie and lightly brushed her lips with his thumb as she bit her bottom lip.

She closed her eyes; she was getting lost in his voice, his touch, those eyes. She took a deep breath and calmly responded, "You didn't answer why you were getting antsy?"

"Because things are goin’ too good," the response came from Kid who had just appeared on the porch steps. "He gets this way when he thinks things are goin’too good. He's waitin’ for somethin’ to happen."

"Does something always have to happen?" Laurie asked innocently as she opened her eyes and looked at Kid.

"Yes," Heyes said as he sat up in his chair. "With us it always does."

Kid sat down in the chair next to Heyes, "He's right, with us it always does."

"Well, maybe if you're not antsy about it, nothing will happen," she said as she looked at Heyes then placed her hand on his. Turning back to Kid she asked, "How was dinner with Sarah?"

"Nice. She's a real good cook?" Kid responded lighting his cigar.

"And..." Laurie inquired.

"And what?" Kid responded sounding confused as he put his feet up on the banister.

"And, AND," Laurie said sounding exasperated as she waved her hands in the air.

"And you're home early," Heyes said explaining Laurie as he turned to look at Kid. He smiled and gave her hand a squeeze.

"Heyes!" Kid exclaimed, "Sarah is a very nice respectable girl."

"Yes, I know," he said holding the cigar between his teeth. As he removed it, he pointed at his wife and chuckled, "She asked. Not me!"

Laurie let out a sound and playfully swatted at Heyes. "You're awful, do you know that," she laughed.

"That's why you love me," he said smugly.

She leaned over to him and kissed him softly on the cheek, "True," she whispered so softly it was almost a purr. "Now, if the two of you will excuse me, I'm going to head upstairs." She stood up and ran her hand up Heyes arm, as she got to the porch door she turned around.  "Are you playing poker tonight or will you be up soon?"

"No poker tonight," Heyes responded. "No one wanted to play with us last night, so we'll give it a rest."

"No one want to lose to you again last night," Kid corrected.

"Okay, then I'll see you upstairs in a while," Laurie said as she went into the hotel.

As the door closed Kid looked at Heyes, "Did you tell her?"

"No, not yet," he said taking a puff of his cigar. "She knows, but I didn't tell her."

"Two months ago I would have asked how she knew, but I know you're right. When do you figure we should leave?"

"Couple of days should be fine," he said staring out into darkness. "Don't want to cut it too close. The drivers aren't due to be coming through ‘til the end of the week. If we leave then, even if they're early, we'll miss them."


The cattle drives that put a large influx of new people into Small Falls were due to start at the end of the week. It lasted for about three weeks, during which Heyes figured they should be out of town. They knew some of the folks on these drives and some of them knew who they were. Whether or not any of the ones that came through Small Falls could identify them really didn't matter. There was no reason to take a chance. No reason to gamble and bring trouble their way. The Sheriff was content to look the other way, but if someone came and identified them, he would most likely feel obligated to arrest them. Heyes and Kid knew this. They didn't talk about it but Laurie knew it too. When knew folks came to town, she was always very careful to check them out. She would get the full report on them and let Heyes know. Once, she stopped the partnerts from walking into the saloon full of a posse looking for some other guys but at least two of them, could identify the ex-outlaws.

"Couple days will be good," Kid replied, "Maybe I'll see if Sarah wants to go to dinner tomorrow. When you gonna tell Laurie?"

"Tonight or in the morning," Heyes responded. He knew he had to tell her, he just didn't want to. He hated leaving her and this would be the longest time they would be apart since they left to meet the Colonel. He knew when he got into a relationship with her, that he couldn't always be there and actually they had been together much more than he had thought. He just didn't like telling her. He knew she would worry about them when they were gone.

"We still sendin’ a telegram to Big Mac?" Kid asked as he puffed on his cigar and eyed the street.

"After we leave, we'll stop and send it. Don't want it coming from Small Falls. The less people that know we've been here the better."

They sat on the porch smoking their cigars and enjoying the nice breeze as they surveyed the town. Nice quiet town, not too big and not too small. Not too big to have too many people with too many chances of running into a familiar face and not too small so they would be bored. There were three saloons with gambling and they would rotate to see who had the best games going. Walter had talked about getting into that business, adding it to the hotel but really didn't know what to do. He thought that perhaps in the future Heyes and Kid would be willing to help run it.


Heyes sat on the porch wondering if such a dream would be possible. Would he and Kid ever get their amnesty and would they really be able to settle down. Small Falls was a really nice town, but Laurie was right, he was antsy. Part of it was because things were going smoothly the other part was because he liked to move around. He liked the west and he liked to be free, roaming the west. Finding new towns, new poker games, big pots, a noticeable smile came over his face and his eyes lit up.

"Floor plan?" Kid inquired.

"High stakes poker," Heyes said with a slightly devilish laugh raising his eyebrow.

"Not with Mac!"

"Nooo, not with Mac! Just in general," Heyes said with amusement. "Just for the challenge!" He chuckled and Kid joined in. "Kid," he said in a more serious tone, "Do ya think we'll ever settle down? I mean really settle down in one place?"

Kid looked at him, he could see concern in his partner's face, "Yeah, Heyes, I think when we get our amnesty, we will be able to stay in one place." As though reading his mind he continued, "I think you get antsy because we've still got a price on our heads. You know that any minute this," Kid motioned with his hand the town, "could all be gone. Your happiness with Laurie could all be taken away and you're scared."

"Scared?" he raised his eyebrow.

"Yeah, Heyes scared. You're afraid that you'll lose the people you love all over again. You're afraid someone or somethin’ is gonna take it all away from you." Blue eyes met brown eyes as he talked seriously to his cousin.  "It's not gonna happen. But that's why you're so antsy."

"There you go thinking again," Heyes said flippantly, trying to diffuse what was said. "I thought we had an arrangement." He sat there digesting what Kid said to him, he knew that at least part of what was said was true. He did fear losing everything again. He could never see that changing. Not even when they got amnesty.


They sat for a while in silence. By the silence, Kid knew he had gotten to Heyes and knew it was best to just leave it alone. He had to deal with this by himself. Heyes was not likely to show any emotions, holding them in and pretending they didn't exist, like tonight.


"Well Kid," Heyes said as he stood up, "Cigar's done. Think it's time to go talk to Laurie." He got up patted his partner's shoulder and walked into the hotel.


It was a hotel, he thought and he didn't own it. Doris and Walter wouldn't even allow them to pay to stay there. Maybe that was it. Maybe if they actually owned something, or lived in a place they could call their own instead of just a room. It was a very nice room, and Laurie had made it as much like home as possible, but it was just one room. There was no privacy except that one room. Everything else was public, eating was public, and if he had an argument with Laurie it was public. As he said goodnight to Walter, who was working at the front desk, he turned to go up the stairs to their room.




Laurie was sitting at the vanity brushing her hair when Heyes walked into their room. She saw his reflection in the mirror as he closed the door and took off his hat. He quietly unbuckled his gun belt and walked over to hang it on the bedpost. "When are you leaving?" She asked as she watched him move in the mirror never turning to look at him and never stopping brushing her hair.

Heyes didn't turn around or attempt to make eye contact, he didn't even ask how she knew he just he sat on the bed and took his boots off. "Two days, maybe three depending on the weather," was all he said. He stood up walked over to the basin of steaming water.

"Just got that for you a few minutes ago, it should still be warm," Laurie said as she stood up, extinguished the lantern by the vanity and walked over to the bed.


They had the corner front room so it was bigger than the one next to them that the Kid used. They had a high four poster bed that sat between the front windows. The wardrobe, and vanity were positioned along the wall that was parallel to Laurie's side of the bed and the dresser with shaving mirror was on the wall by the door. The other side of the room was set up as a sitting area with two large over stuffed chairs and a small sofa arranged in front of the fireplace. The door to Kids room was along this wall. From the windows in the front, they could see the entire front street and partially down the main side street.

Laurie had changed into her nightgown before he came into the room; she turned down the bed and sat on her side. She quietly glanced at Heyes who was deep in thought. She knew not to disturb him when he was this way, but looked to see if there was an opening so she could let him know she was there, she understood. A smile, a touch was all she needed to do, but she needed to know the right time, so not to be rejected or make matters worse. She really wasn't sure what the cause of Heyes' mood tonight, but whatever it was, she wanted to make sure he knew he wasn't alone.


Heyes finished getting cleaned up and then slowly began to undress. He was still lost in his own thoughts as he undressed and neatly laid his clothes on the chair. He checked the door to make sure it was locked and then, extinguished the lantern by the door leaving the only light the low light emitting from the lantern on his side of the bed.


He turned towards the bed. Laurie was already lying down under the covers.  Heyes quietly sat on the bed, extinguished the lantern and got under the covers without saying a word. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath trying not to make a sound; quietly she rolledon her side with her back towards him.  She fought the urge to cry or ask if she had done something to cause this mood.


Heyes lay there quietly for a few minutes listening to Laurie's uneasy breathing. He could tell that although she was trying very hard to be calm, to understand, he had hurt her because of his silence. It was his way of dealing with things but he told himself that he had to try to be more open with her. He rolled over on his side facing her and watched for a moment; and then with one swift movement he wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her close to him. As her back touched his chest he leaned in and kissed her neck, "I'm sorry," he whispered in her ear.


Laurie breathed deeply and almost purred as he continued to kiss her neck. "I love you," was all she said as she turned to face him and look into his deep brown eyes, into his very soul. As they stared silently into each other's eyes, lost inside their world, Heyes leaned forward and gave Laurie a very soft gentle kiss, she returned the kiss with a passionate kiss and embrace.




Laurie was still wrapped in Heyes' arms when she woke the next morning. She stayed there quietly enjoying the warmth of his body next to hers. She never felt safer or more secure than she did when she was in his arms. She closed her eyes and with the slightest of sighs wished they could stay like this forever.


"Hey," she heard whispered in her ear, "that better be a happy sigh and not a sad one."

Laurie smiled and turned her head to see Heyes looking at her, "How long have you been awake?" She asked as she rolled her whole body over to face him.

"A little while," he said as he brushed the back of his hand on the side of her face. "I didn't want to disturb you. You were sleeping so soundly, looking so peaceful."

"You were watching me again," she smiled then shook her head, "What am I going to do with you?" Laurie stared deep into his eyes as he smiled at her, she bit her bottom lip.

"I'm sure I can think of something," Heyes smiled as he pulled her into a kiss.

The kiss lingered and became more passionate until Laurie, finally out of breath pulled back. "Oh, my" she stuttered, "I have to go make biscuits."

Heyes held on tight and began kissing Laurie's neck, "Can't you skip today?"

Laurie felt she was melting into Heyes. She was getting lost in his warmth, his touch, his voice, his kisses; her breathing became more uneven as she tried to regain control. Why, she thought, Doris told her she didn't have to cook every morning, she could skip today. But, Laurie liked to do it and, oh, Kid, Kid would be so disappointed if she didn't make the blueberry muffins she promised him. Heyes began to nibble on her ear as she began to squirm. "I have to get up, I'm sorry." She said, "I promised Kid I would make blueberry muffins, I have to go."

Heyes stopped kissing her neck and lifted his head to look into her eyes "You're leaving me…here…now…so you can make Kid muffins!" He stated incredulously.


Laurie nodded her head.


Heyes released his tight hold on her, tilted his head, opened his mouth but nothing came out. He closed his eyes for a moment, opened them and looked directly into her eyes, "You are leaving your husband, in bed, so you can go make his partner, blueberry muffins."

Laurie giggled a little and bit her bottom lip then nodded her head slightly, "Uh-huh. I'm sorry."

Heyes let out a sigh and rolled on his back, "Does he have bad timing or what! Even when he isn't here, or knocking on the door, he knows how to kill the mood."

"I'm sorry," Laurie said propping herself on her elbow alongside Heyes. "If I didn't promise." She stopped herself and added, "I'll make you a promise."


He turned his head to look at her. "You stay right here," she whispered to him, "Give me thirty minutes and I will be back. I will remember exactly where we were and nothing will disturb us the rest of the morning."


Heyes smiled at her.


"Deal?" she asked.

Pulling Laurie's head towards his, "Deal," he whispered as he pulled her into a passionate kiss.

After a few minutes, Laurie pulled back breathless again and shook her head, "You certainly aren't making this easy."

"Good!" Heyes replied and smile. "Thirty minutes and then I kill Kid for taking you away if you're not back."

She jumped up got dressed, went back gave Heyes a slow lingering kiss as she pulled back she reached over to the side of his bed and handed him his book. "Thirty minutes, don't get up!" She ran out the door and down to the kitchen.




True to her word, thirty minutes later, Laurie was running up the stairs and into their room. She opened the door and stepped in to see Heyes dressed and sitting in one of the chairs with Kid sitting across from him in the other chair. Laurie stopped dead in her tracks, Heyes looked up and gave her a half smile as he rolled his eyes, "Kid came in right after you left."

"Morning Jed,” she said unenthusiastically.

"What did I do?" Kid asked with a confused look on his face.


"You called me Jed.  You only call me that when you're mad at me. So what did I do?"

Heyes tried to suppress his smile as he gave Laurie a wide eye look and tilted his head waiting to see hear her explanation.


"I called you Jed," Laurie said trying to cover and not be distracted by Heyes' look. "Sorry, don't know why, guess I'm just tired." Changing the subject, "The blueberry muffins I promised just came out of the oven," she said as she pointed back to the door.

"I almost forgot!" Kid said with a big grin on his face as he stood up. "Better go get me some while they're still hot." He started to walk to the door and turned back around when he realized Heyes and Laurie weren't following, "Aren't you comin’ to breakfast?"

Heyes sighed and smiled at his partner the bottomless pit, "Be right there; give me a minute."

Kid look at Heyes and then at Laurie, "Oh, sure, I'll get us a table." He turned back around and left the room.

Heyes stood up and walked over to Laurie and put his arm around her waist, "We could let him go alone to breakfast."


She titled her head.


"You're right," he continued, "He would only come up to find us. He could never understand how something might be better than breakfast." He sighed and gave Laurie a kiss on her neck then the two of them followed Kid down to breakfast.






The partners starting making plans and figuring out what supplies they would need. Sitting on the porch they were discussing sending the telegram to Big Mac. Last time they spoke he had told them he had a job for them when they were available. Laurie overheard this conversation and looked at them, "If he asks you to take that stupid bust thing," she said adamantly, "You had better turn and walk away." She paused for a second then added, "Better yet, Kid shoot him for asking."

"Shoot him?" Heyes laughed.

"Yes shoot him!" she replied. "I don't know him; I don't want to know him because he has a one track mind when that stupid thing is concerned.  And, he is not concerned about your welfare."

"Mac wouldn't ask again," Heyes stated.

"I don't know," Kid hesitated, "Laurie has a point. He is rather obsessed with that thing. With Armendarez buyin’ it, maybe he does want us to get it back."

"We told him we wouldn't do it last time, so it would be a waste of his time to ask again. Besides, he sold it; it doesn't belong to him anymore." Seeing by the looks on their faces that he was getting nowhere, he threw his hands up in the air, "Okay, okay, if he asks us to take it, Kid will shoot him."

"Good!" Laurie said with a huge smile on her face. She leaned over to Heyes and gave him a kiss on the cheek then turned to walk inside, "I told Doris I would make dessert for tonight."

"Blueberry pie?" Kid asked hopefully.

"Just for you," she replied with a smile and a touch on his shoulder as she passed him.

"Have I told you I love you lately?" Kid asked

"Not nearly enough," Laurie said and pretended to pout.

"Hey!" Heyes shouted.

Kid and Laurie looked at him like he had two heads, "What!" Kid yelled back.

"She's my wife!" Heyes barked, "Keep your hands off her."

"My hands aren't on her!" Kid yelled back.

"Both of you stop yelling," Laurie scolded them. She turned to Kid and laughed; "He just doesn't understand, it's all about the food."

"Well of course," Kid stopped in mid sentence and turned to look at Heyes. He was going to say something but just decided to shake his head. Quietly he said, "Heyes, I know she's your wife, I only appreciate her cookin’."


Laurie and Heyes looked at him.


"I appreciate her in other ways too but, oh jeez that didn't come out right either," Kid said getting extremely flustered. "Heyes, you're makin’ somethin’ out of nothin’. Yes, I love Laurie, for her cookin’, for her bein’ your wife, like a little sister but that's it."

"I know," Heyes said calmly trying to conceal the smile that was desperately trying to form on his face, "You didn't have to go getting all excited about it."

Laurie walked back over to Heyes, "You are terrible, and yes before you say it that is one of the reasons I love you." She bent over and gave him a soft kiss on the lips and a playful swat on the arm. She turned and walked back into the hotel.




Heyes and Kid gathered the supplies they would need for the next week and made plans as to where they were going and how they were going to keep in touch with Laurie. As always, a telegram telling her that the weather was sunny or perfect meant everything was great. If they said it was cloudy things could be better, and if it was raining they were in trouble.


Wednesday morning came before any of them were ready for it. The three got up early and ate breakfast downstairs in relative quiet. Doris had packed them enough food for the rest of the day. She and Walter said their good byes and waited on the porch for Laurie as she and Sam walked them to their horses. Laurie gave Kid a kiss. "Take care of yourself and Heyes," she whispered as Kid gave her a hug.

"I promise to bring him back safe," Kid replied. He bent over to Sam and gave him a pet, "Take care of her." Sam barked an acknowledgement and Kid mounted his horse.

Laurie turned to Heyes and forced a smile. "Ride safely, let me know how things are going when you can."

"I will," Heyes said looking into her eyes he placed his hand on her face. He stood gazing into her eyes then gently pulled her into a kiss. "I love you."

"I love you too," Laurie whispered. They stood holding onto each other.

As they released their hold, Heyes looked down at Sam, "You're job is to make sure she's okay. You take care of her alright." Once again Sam barked an acknowledgment. Heyes gave Laurie another kiss and mounted his horse.

"Take care of each other and come back safely," Laurie said.

"We will," Heyes replied then turning his horse he called out as he left, "See you on the twenty-second!"


Laurie and Sam stood watching until the dust trail from the horses was no longer visible. They then turned and walked up to the porch and the waiting arms of Walter and Doris.




Heyes and Kid rode out of town, riding south towards Big Mac's ranch. They didn't know if there was a job there, but if there was, they might as well be on their way.


Two days after leaving Small Falls, the partners arrived in Silver Springs. As they entered the town from the north side, Heyes checked out all the people and buildings on the right side of town as Kid check the left side of town. As they approached the Sheriff's office Kid read the sign out loud, "Sheriff John Jefferson" turning to Heyes and smiling, "We don't know a Sheriff Jefferson do we?"

"Nope," Heyes smiled back as he continued to scan the peoples' faces in the town. He rode directly to the telegraph office and dismounted. "Figure we'll take care of sending the telegrams first, check into the hotel and then get a drink."

"Sounds like a plan to me," Kid responded as he followed Heyes.

Heyes wrote out the first telegram to Laurie,


“Just arrived, Silver Springs. Weather has been great. Waiting on Mac's reply. JHHS.”


As the telegraph operator was sending the first telegram Heyes wrote the second to Big Mac,


“Still need Thaddeus and me for a job? Available now. In Silver Springs waiting response. Joshua Smith.”


As he paid the operator he said, "We'll be staying at the hotel. You can leave word there when we get a response." They turned, left the office and headed to the hotel stopping first to stable their horses. After checking into their room and depositing their belongings Heyes turned to Kid, "Drink or food first?"

"You have to ask."

"Well, I thought you might be thirsty?" Heyes laughed.

"Well, I am, but I think I am more hungry than thirsty so food."

"Food it is. A nice steak dinner would be great followed by a drink and some poker," Heyes said as he headed towards the door.




The next morningthey received a response from Big Mac,


“Yes still need you for a job. Meet me at the hotel in Red River in three days. Will tell you of job then. Big Mac.”

"Well," Heyes said after reading the telegram.  "It’s north of his ranch so that's a good sign."

Kid looked at him warily, "Yeah, but why didn't he tell us about the job in the telegram?"

Heyes thought a minute and then trying to sound convincing, "You know how he likes to keep things a secret. It's just his way of being in control."

"That's what worries me," the blond man said sounding worried as the brown haired man gave a nervous laugh.

"Better send a telegram to Laurie telling her what's happening" Heyes said changing the subject as he started to write the telegram,


Weather still sunny. Heading to Red River to meet Mac. JHHS.”