Then she turned and ran, slipping off into the darkness and weaving her way once again through the battered, old grave markers. She didn’t hear him behind her, and assumed he had done the gentlemanly thing and given her a head start. Bonnie came to a stop behind a broken mausoleum and squeezed in through the crack in the wall. She pressed herself into a corner, keenly aware that she had invaded a house of the dead. Holding herself there, as still as those whose home she had invaded, Bonnie waited to see if Tex was as good as she hoped he was.
Tex watched her naked heels disappear into the fog that still clung to the darkness around them as she ran off. He could tell from his ‘snake senses that her body temperature had dropped slightly since kicking off her shoes. Shoving his hands into his pockets he smiled to himself, and rocked back and forth on his heels, waiting. Sure, he’d give her a head start— not that it would matter. He was far too familiar with this cemetery for her to stand any chance of successfully hiding for long. Tex closed his eyes. In the distance he could still hear her footfalls, slowly fading away— but even after she got too far away for him to hear, his ‘snake would still be able to feel the vibrations of her footsteps reverberating through the ground. There was little chance he’d lose her.
While he waited, Tex took stock of how the evening was going. From where he stood, all things looked to be going his way. Bonnie was relaxed enough in his presence to have traipsed out into a darkened cemetery at midnight with him, and was now running about barefoot among the gravestones. He’d seen how she reacted when he touched her, both in the bar, and moments before under the tree— she wanted him, that much was clear, and all to the good. He let out a slow breath of satisfaction. Yes, it seemed he would be able to turn Bonnie into a long term hobby.
When he could no longer hear her footsteps, he focused on the vibrations beneath him until they stilled, and he knew that she had chosen a hiding place. From the direction the vibrations had been coming, he knew she’d been heading towards the old mausoleum in the very back of the cemetery. And if his memory served, which it rarely failed to do, that mausoleum had a fairly large crack in one of its corners— a crack that was more than large enough to allow a woman like Bonnie to squeeze through.
Well, he’d give the girl this: she wasn’t squeamish about sharing space with the dead. A quality in her favor, he reflected, since his long term plans included adding her to their ranks.
He set out through the gravestones at a leisurely pace, hands still in his pockets, head tilted back so he could breathe in the night air. Tex didn’t call out, as Bonnie had. He simply wove his way through the stones, silent as the graves they marked.
When his shadow fell across the crack in the mausoleum, Bonnie would know she was cornered. But he wasn’t aiming for surprise. Without hesitating he stepped through the crack himself, and faced her across the darkened space. Holding her eyes, he let the moment stretch between them, not speaking, not moving— just standing in front of the only exit, holding Bonnie’s blue eyes.
Part of him was simply enjoying looking at her. But the larger portion was once again having to wrestle with the killer in him— the voice that was whispering how easy it would be to take her life, and how simple the clean up would be; technically, she was already in a grave. Before the silence became overly noticeable, Tex took a step forward, and his voice had the same gritty, graveled texture as the stone around them when he spoke.
"So my darlin’," he said into the air between them, his drawl hanging off of every word, "You said something about a kiss."
He knew that this moment was pivotal. How it played out would inform the entirety of their relationship, and it could play out in a myriad of ways. He knew he could kiss her. He knew she wanted him to kiss her. Hell, he knew he could probably do much more than kiss her. But, the long haul, that was what mattered. He wanted Bonnie invested.
So as he moved forward in the cramped space he made sure to do so slowly, taking one step at a time, and keeping his eyes on Bonnie every inch of the way. As he closed the distance between them he could hear her heart beat, slightly elevated, and could sense that her temperature had begun to rise again as well. He was close enough to touch her now, yet he closed the distance still further— stepping in so that he could feel her breath, hot, on the skin of his throat.
He stood like that for a moment, looking down into her eyes, close enough that pressing his lips to hers would take only the slightest movement. Bonnie was most likely expecting him to do just that. And he did lean in, almost as if he planned to do so, but at the last second he raised both his hands and placed them gently on either side of her head. Her hair was smooth beneath his calloused fingers, and he took a moment to appreciate the feel of it. Then, still listening to her heartbeat, he tilted her head downward, and placed his lips to the delicate skin of her forehead in the gentlest kiss he could manage.
Tex wrapped his arms around her shoulders, and held the kiss for a moment more before lifting his head, and resting it on hers. He could see his breath puff out into the air as he spoke, “If it’s all the same to you, Bonnie girl, I think I’d like to take my time with us. There ain’t no need to rush now, is there? Not when something’s worth waitin’ for anyway. ‘Course that’s just my opinion.”
He sighed, and stepped away from her slowly, letting his hands drop from her shoulders, and catching her right hand with his left. “Now,” he said, dropping his head as if the display of affection had turned him shy, “It’s gettin’ late and my mama raised me right— I ain’t keeping you out no later than this when it’s still our first little excursion.”
He shot her a shy smile and rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand, “Let me get you home?”
Keeping a hold of her hand he turned himself sideways and slipped out through the crack of the mausoleum, leading Bonnie behind him towards the gate. She was probably slightly confused, a little disappointed, and more than a bit flattered. She wouldn’t know what to make of the fact that he’d passed up the opportunity to really kiss her, she’d be disappointed that he hadn’t, and then hopefully she’d be flattered to think he’d done it because he considered her worth waiting for.
As they exited the cemetery he kept hold of her hand, and couldn’t help but feel a bit excited at the prospect of what the future might hold. In the back of his mind a sound began to play, and replay. It was the sound of cotton ripping, and a woman sobbing. And it was a sound that made him smile.
So you’re supposedly the bartender that doesn’t water shit down?
There ain’t no “supposedly” about it. But I guess you’ll have to come down and see for yourself.
It’s that time again. Off to work I… you get the idea. Feel free to come keep me company. You’ll find me behind the bar till 4am.
Ya’ll be good now— well, reasonably good.
I’ve got her alcohol covered, Cowboy.
Congratulations on having a wallet. Everyone gets buy-backs at the Saloon, but if you don’t think your girlfriend deserves any, I am more than happy to charge you instead.
Bonnie lass? I didn’t know you were Scottish, Tex.
What can I say, darlin’?
You inspire me to reach beyond my humble Western beginnings.
Well then. I suppose to be refuse an overture of friendship would be fairly rude. If I’m to be friends with a gentleman, I’d like to know his name. Mine is Amelia Moore.
Lovely to meet you Amelia, I’m Tex. I look forward to a friendly handshake for our in person introduction.
I’ll see you at the Saloon then? And you can tell me all about your charming boyfriend.
Charming as ever, I see. Still bartending? Can’t say I frequent the Outlaw much.
I am indeed. Matter of fact I’m just about to head down there now. Got called in to cover a shift.
Feel free to come down for a visit.
I don’t think my boyfriend would much appreciate that. But thank you for the offer.
No worries, love. I only meant it as a friendly gesture. I would be working after all— no time for flirting with some other guy’s girl— just offering a shoulder to drink with, nothing more.
After all, if I meant it any other way, I know a certain Bonnie Lass who probably wouldn’t appreciate it either.
Oh aren’t you just the most clever thing that ever lived.
Haven’t seen THAT handsome mug around for a while… how’ve you been?
Well, I have been accused of worse. As for where I’ve been,
I’ve been around. I manage to blend in well when I want to. And as to how I’ve been. as always love I’m just this side of spectacular.