Disclaimer: The usual. I don't own any of this except for my character Isabeau...and her horse Jax.

So guys, school was one major pain the rumpus last semester. I did find someone to help me with the Computer programming logic class – finished with a C! Yea!! And Microeconomics…haahaa…I got a D-. Yep. I just don't do well with the fundamentals of Capitalism. I've known that for years but I decided to give it a try anyway. Oh well. Probably one more year at DMACC (with an AA) and transfer (hopefully) to Grand View which is a well known university for its Nursing and Journalism programs. That's right! I'm hoping to get a degree in journalism even if I don't become the next Bridget Jones: serious journalist. Tee-hee.

And it comes to a close. Yes my friends, this is the end. But you all know that I'm working on the sequel. Sorry it took so long to pump this out, and the sequel is rather difficult. But I WILL finish it for you and myself! You can check out my other doins' on my profile.

I would love to say a big, BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has added me to their Favourite Author's list, the Author Alert's list, Favourite Stories's list, Story Alert's list, or leaving me a comment/review! I luv you all! Just know that people appreciate my work sends me warm fuzzies, and thus pixie sticks for everyone!

Beware the fluffies in this one…FLUFFIES! But it is the last chapter after all, so…

13. Eternity and a Day

Isabeau completely lost track of time. The air was getting rather thin, and she felt and tasted the particles of dirt in the air. She pulled the blanket over her head and choked on a cough. Her damp hair was wet with dirt, and her stomach gave off a mighty growl. She was so hungry. She had had no breakfast, and probably missed lunch now as well. Where were they? What time was it? What was going on?

The captain mounted his horse. After hours of searching, he finally called it quits. In a few days he would send one of his men back in disguise, and he would find her and report back. These men were an odd bunch themselves, and they had an Indian with them. The captain knew she had to be here. "Well, we've searched and found nothing. Good day then." He reared his horse and started back.

The group of the six men watched the small regiment of soldiers trot away.

"They'll be back," Billy commented before he walked back to the barn.

Billy's words echoed in Chavez's head. They would be back and he knew it. Chavez made a fist. He hated this world, and eagerly awaited the day when people would be treated equally. He turned back and trudged to the house. He had to let her go. For her own safety, he had to let her go. The door to the house seemed heavier than usual and he pulled back the carpet. He bent down and lifted the boards. "Isabeau?"

The blanket shifted and dust and dirt went flying. She stood up quickly and coughed in the fresh air.

Chavez helped her out of the hole. "You were right, Isabeau."

When her coughing subsided, she looked confused, "What?"

"You were right. I hate saying this, but you can't stay here. You'll be in danger every minuet. I shouldn't have talked you out of it. Isabeau, forgive me."

Isabeau nodded and smiled sadly, "There's nothing to forgive, Chavez. You thought it was best for me here, but obviously, it's not. Not only do I put myself in danger, but you and the rest of the boys." She looked at her hands, covered with dirt. "I'll leave tomorrow."

Their last dinner together was now. Isabeau took extra time to prepare the foods. She made new bread, cooked eggs from the chickens, and much more. The boys filed in slowly and sat silently. Chavez must have broken the news to them. She served them up and served herself. All the men helped Isabeau with the dishes, in which she was grateful.

She found a way to amuse herself by finishing up chores she knew the boys wouldn't do much of after she left. She didn't mind, after all, she doubted she may be able to do these things again. She doubted she'd ever be pardoned. She doubted she'd ever be able to have a family and settle down. No, she had foolishly chosen this life for herself; the business of revenge. She never regretted, not once, helping out the Indians. That was perhaps the only thing she ever looked forward to while she was on the run. But her thought darkened as the sun began to set. Would she ever see Chavez again?

Beau dropped the cloth in her hand and felt tears run down her checks. Oh god, she thought. But she couldn't tell him. She couldn't tell him and it pained her, but she had to spare him the words in order to keep them both sane. Maybe she would yell it to the dusty hills from afar, when she could barely see the ranch. Or maybe she would just whisper it to the hills and tell them to transfer the message in time.

"Beau, come on inside. We want you to be around us as long as possible." Doc took her gently by the arm and led her inside. "You are, after all, just like family; a sister we never had."

Beau beamed, but sadly, at the comment. Caressed yet bruised. "Thank you," oh lord how she was going to miss them. She sat in a chair Dick offered her and she wrung her dress in reflex of her nerves. She felt their eyes upon her and she could not speak if she tried.

Billy, as usual, was the first to speak. "Beau, I'm speaking for the boys I guess. We're going to miss you."

Isabeau finally looked up. "I'm going to miss you, all of you. I have felt like family, REAL family. You've treated me with respect, like a sister. I repaid you with chores and making meals. I hope that is sufficient; I tried my best."

"Beau, it's been more than enough." Charley smiled.

She smiled slightly and nodded her thanks.

She didn't close the curtains to the room. She let the full moon light pour into her room. Beau couldn't sleep even if she tried. She twirled her finger around her wavy hair. She shifted and laid on her side. That didn't work. She shifted and tossed for god only knows how long.

Finally, in a huff, she threw off her covers and put on her coat. The morning was just arriving and a cold mist created a prism-like effect on the ranch. She walked around and the light came up enough that when she looked back at the ranch. It was so peaceful. Her heart tore itself a little more. She was leaving in but a few hours. Her cheeks turned pink from the cold morning. She turned back from the ranch and walked a little farther until she stopped suddenly. A figure was walking towards her from the opposite direction of the ranch. But she didn't care if it was one the men again. She was broken from within so she stood her ground.

She stared at the figure for only a little bit before she realized it could not have been one of those men. This person's walk was too smooth, too graceful to be one of those fools. Slowly, the figure's silhouette came into focus. It was Chavez. He strode slowly, enticingly to her. His shirt was slightly open. She felt like a woman in one of those stories who meet up with their lover at the end of the book after years of waiting.

His face came into focus a few feet from her and she smiled at him. "Good-"

Chavez grabbed her and kissed her hard without warning.

"-Morning," she finished but in a daze when he pulled back.

"I am sorry, Isabeau. I fell asleep and didn't come to you during the night."

Beau was confused for a second, but then looked away and blushed under her cold cheeks. "I could not sleep."

Chavez smiled, "You never seem to be able to sleep. I woke an hour ago, but I thought you'd be sleeping. I came up here for a walk. That's when I saw you in the distance." His smiled faded as he saw hers disappearing. "Isabeau?"

"How are we going to meet up again in the future, Chavez? I'll be on the run. I want to see you again. No, I NEED to see you again." He smiled with his whole heart. She could see it in his eyes.

He took hold of her hand and kissed her palm. "We will, Isabeau, I promise."

Incandescently happy was the only way to describe the feelings of the moment; and yet there was a lingering of sorrow in the air.

Beau put the last of the saddle bags on Jax and turned. "I guess...this is goodbye?" She looked at Doc and she knew she would never see him again; he was going back to New York to be with his wife, Yen. She traveled to Charley and knew he was going back to Mexico to be with Manuela. She doubted she'd ever see him again as well. "What are you going to do Steve?"

Steve scratched his elbow. "I'm going to stay here; work on the ranch as always."

Beau nodded. She knew Dick was going to run this place now. She looked about and saw two people missing. "Where's Billy?"

Doc, Charley, Steve, and Dick looked around. "I'm not sure," Dick said with puzzlement.

"Do you honestly think I'd let you leave without saying goodbye? Or travel without a companion?"

Beau turned and saw Billy on a horse. Saddled, and ready to hit the country. "Billy, no. You've been an outlaw once; you already know what hell it's like. Don't do this."

"This life is too boring. I'll go crazy soon if I keep this up. Beside, the government is pissing me off lately. It's time to fight back."

Beau couldn't stop him; she knew she couldn't even if she tried, "Alright." Once again, she looked around and found no Chavez. She understood. It was too painful. After all, they had a more intimate goodbye that morning. They had held each other and watched the sun come up together. She gave hugs to each of them, including the once-again-dirty Steve. She grabbed the reins and mounted Jax. "I'm going to miss each of you terribly. Thank you for all you've done for me. Getting almost shot in the leg was the best thing that has ever happened to me." Light left her as she maneuvered Jax away from the ranch. The light would stay there until her heart mended. Billy trailed behind her and she turned to him. "Are you sure you want to do this?"

"Positive, Beau. Do you have a plan of destination?" Billy fixed his hat so the sun wouldn't be in his eyes.

"Nope. The only plan I ever had was to reach New Mexico territory really. Now it's nothing."

"Good, just the way I like it."

Isabeau smiled, but it faded when she looked at the ranch one last time. She saw someone on a horse ridding out to them. She looked over at Billy, "You must have forgotten something."

"Did not!" Billy scowled.

Beau squinted against the sun. But the hair gave it away. "Chavez!" She jumped off her horse.

"Did someone forget to say goodbye?" Billy laughed.

Chavez jumped off his as well and embraced her. "I couldn't say goodbye, but I knew I had to."

"I'm so glad you did." She whispered.

Billy took his horse a little farther to give them some space. He knew what was going on.

Chavez pulled back first and took her face in his hands, "You realize this is not a permanent goodbye?"

Beau nodded. "I guess we'll have to leave that up to fate."

Chavez shook his head, "No, we can't leave everything up to fortune's wheel."

"Something will happen. I know something will happen; it will probably be from me."

Chavez half smiled, "Maybe, maybe not."

There was a rather awkward moment of silence that Isabeau did not like. It was rather foreboding and made her feel like seeing him again was impossible. In those moments she battled with herself; should she tell him or not. Maybe she should let it be. Yes, she said to herself. She tossed back her hat and kissed him passionately but quickly. She had to make a quick goodbye or she'd never leave. She pulled away and dashed for Jax. She jumped on and pushed Jax into a full run, with Billy next to her.

"Take care of her Billy," Chavez whispered, "Until I find her again."


She sits beside her,
Stares out across the waves as she's digging in the sand
And looks around her,
And knows the crazy world would never understand.
And she says
"Please would you find me, I've lost my way, please would you save me now"

He wakes to find that he's out of love again and its time for him to run,
And back inside her, he feels his innocence slowly setting with the sun
And he says
"Please would you save me, I'll lose my way, please would you help me to escape"

And their answers lie in a setting sun,
And the reasons why will remain unknown,
'cause we live our lives 'till we come undone
We just have to believe,
We just have to believe,
We just have to believe.

If you wish to hear this song, "Setting of the Sun", I can send you a sample. Ben Jelen is amazing. Just send me a message providing your email because this website's messaging system doesn't allow me to send files.

Here are the titles of the chapters with some information. The titles grabbed me for these chapters.

01. The OutLaw Star – song from the anime 'The Outlaw Star'.
02. Spirit in the New World – song from Lord of the Dance.
03. Criminal – song by Ben Jelen.
04. Stranger in Paradise – song covered by Sarah Brightman.
05. Sleep Tight – song by Sarah Brightman.
06. Wild Child – song by Enya.
07. Something to Believe In – song by Sarah Brightman.
08. Lightning Crashes – song by Live.
09. You Are the One – song by Shiny Toy Guns.
10. Mysterious Days – song by Sarah Brightman.
11. Listen to the Rain – song by Evanescence.
12. Setting of the Sun – song by Ben Jelen.
13. Eternity and a Day – song by Paul Haslinger from the Underworld score soundtrack.

So be on the look out of the sequel. Until then my darlings!