If you haven’t read Part 1 of Ezmerelda’s story,
you should consider yourself lucky you can find it here. While I did manage to re-hide “The Romance Writers’ Phrase Book” on her, it wouldn’t hurt to knock back something preventatively medicinal before continuing on…
“The name’s Chance,” Ezzie’s hero said, sliding a pair of smoking six-shooters into a holster slung low on his narrow hips. With a flick of his wrists, the black leather duster he wore slid forward, concealing them.
Shan: *hums “Desperado”*
Ez: Shut up, Shannon
“I’m Ezzie,” she said, a trifle breathlessly.
“Dangerous parts for a woman traveling alone.”
“I thought I’d be safe on the stagecoach. Whatever will I now?”
Chance walked over—
Ez: What now?
Shan: You forgot an action tag: Ezzie pressed the back of her hand to her forehead and fluttered her eyelashes.
Chance walked over to the driver and his partner, and Ezzie watched him put them in the stagecoach, then tie his horse to the back of it.
“I can’t ride in there with them,” Ezzie said, despite the fact she wasn’t a difficult person by nature.
“You’ll ride up front with me, little darlin’.” He lifted her as easily as if she were a doll and set her on the driver’s seat.
“My bag!” she cried. “It’s underneath.”
Chance fished it out for her, then climbed aboard and flipped the reins to get the horses moving. “It’ll be a long ride, Ezzie. Since we don’t have any outriders for protection, I’m going to leave the main route. Slower, but safer.”
Shan: *cough*blatant plot manipulation*cough*
Ezzie didn’t mind. Shaded by his large, strong body, she happily filled the hours talking about herself. She told Chance how the evil author in whose employ she previously suffered had discovered her working on a secret manuscript—a book of her very own. She’d been forced to flee lest the crazy woman set it on fire in the front lane. And when Chance looked at her with those silver-flecked eyes and promised he’d protect her and her book, Ezzie started falling in love with him.
They spent the next several days traveling through the brutal heat getting to know one another. But as they made camp each night under the cooler, star-speckled sky, Chance taught her wonderful things—like how to handle his pistol just right and a sure-fire cure for a sore throat.
Shan: Considering the heat’s so brutal, I bet those dead guys in the stagecoach are really starting to stink.
Ez: Oh…merde! Let’s go back and rewrite. Chance can impress Ezzie with his willingness to use nothing but his knife to dig graves for two strangers.
Shan: No. We’re not rewriting. I was writing the scene where Becky pushes Adam into the horse trough when you interrupted me with…this.
Ez: Fine. I’ll figure it out for Part 3.
Shan: Again, no. Two parts was the deal, Ezmerelda.
Ez: You kept interrupting me, so everybody can come back tomorrow for the third—
Shan: And final.