This chapter is a bit of an experiment, because I worked with flashbacks, thoughts Arra is thinking about, they are black when someone else thinks or Arra herself in the present its marked as this.

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Chapter 6

Alvarado Hacienda

Marta looked down at Tessa. She was lying in her large bed and had slept many days now. She had dressed the wound again and cleaned it. It had not infected, thanks to her Chumas recepy. Marta sat down on the bed next to Tessa as the young woman moaned softly and opened her eyes slowly.

'Marta?' Tessa groaned as she tried to get up.

'Tessita.' Marta said tenderly as she pushed her back in the soft pillow softly. She stroked her hair. 'How do you feel?' Marta asked concerned.

'A little bit better. How long have I been out?' Tessa asked she felt so tired. She recongized her room and her own bed.

'Five days.' She had been consciouss a few times but then had drifted off in a deep slumber again quickly.

'What happened?' Tessa asked grogilly. The last thing that she remembered was lying on that hard kitchen table and talking to Helm.

'I thought you could fill me in on that.' Marta said.

'She, she freed them. That masked woman. She freed the criminals from Montoya's prison.'

Marta nodded. She had heard that the next day in the pueblo.

'I tried to stop them and one them shot me.' Tessa narrowed her eyes. 'I had the idea that she tried to help me. But then Grisham came and I had to get out of there. I couldn't hold on to Chico anymore.' Tessa remembered the pain she had been through. 'Grisham almost had me. I fell off Chico and he stood there, before me, I had no strenght left. Then someone beat him down. It was this woman. Dressed in black, wearing a cowboy hat. She was very gentil and helped me. She helped me back on Chico and sat behind me to hold me. Then I don't remember. O yes, I remember Dr Helm, and the woman and you...' Tessa's eyes were misty, remembering. 'Why did she help those criminals? She helped me, why would she help them?' Tessa's mind drifted off.

'You..!' She suddenly snapped at Marta as she remembered something else from the past days.

Marta looked up astonished.

'What?' She asked innocently.

'You and your potion!...Again!' Tessa almost yelled. Marta had used it so many times in her youth, to put on wounds. And Tessa had become angrier and angrier and had told Marta to keep it out of her way. She would rather stay in pain then to have that

poison burning in her flesh.

'O..That.' Marta said relieved.

'I told you to keep that far away from me!'

'Sometimes I just do what you always do.' Marta answered.

'And that is?' Tessa asked surprised and in a weak voice.

'Just not listening to others.'

Tessa rolled her eyes. Suddenly she looked frightened.

'Dr Helm...Does he know?'

Marta nodded. 'I don't thinks so. I haven't told him. I told him that I helped the Queen before and that Tessa was sleeping and knew nothing of it. I told him I knew who would help her to her place to rest. Because you will have to rest at least a week Tessa.'

'No! A WEEK! I can not do that! It has already been five days now!'

Marta sighed.

'One day is already too long Marta! They will suspect something! Especially doctor Helm and this woman. They can not know that I am the Queen!'

'We will discuss that later.' Marta said.

'My mind is made up, I will go into the pueblo this afternoon.'

Marta sighed again, this time a lot louder.

'Just for a short while.' Tessa offered softly.

'Another day won't matter much Tessa. You can stay in bed today and walk a bit around the hacienda this afternoon. Then go to the pueblo tomorrow.'

Now it was Tessa's turn to sigh. She finally nodded. She knew Marta was right.

'I don't understand why Arra freed those criminals.' Marta said with a frown in her brows as she looked in the distance. She had gotten so many different 'vibes' of her. She just couldn't find out if the woman was good or bad.

'Yes Arra, that was it. That is her name.' Tessa mumbled as she remembered attacking her.

'She was very sweet to you. She held you and comforted you when you were wounded on the table.'

Tessa raised her eyebrows.

'But why? It was one of her men that got me shot! She freed those criminals. And they are evil, I am sure of that, there is no good in them. I wanted to stop them.'

Marta narrowed her eyes. Something didn't make sense. She didn't understand.

'She instructed me to tell you to stay out of her way because you had messed up her plans or something.'

'Yes, nice plans that were. Giving back murderers like that to be out in the world again, free to kill anyone they please.'

'They almost killed you.' Marta said as she swallowed and caressed Tessa's hair again.

'You should have seen Grisham. I think she must have broken his jaw or nose. With one single slap he fell to the ground in no time. There was a lot of anger in her. And she had gotten rid of all the soldiers he was with. She has freed those criminals from the prison before I could even get there.'

'I saw Grisham yes, with a big bandage on his nose. She broke his nose and his pride.' Marta smiled at that.

'I am going to find out why she freed those criminals and who she is. I hope she hasn't dissapeared after this.' Tessa said. Otherwise the chance of finding her would be very small.

'And I suppose that I need to thank her. She probably saved my life.' Tessa said.

'Then I am very grateful to her too.' Marta said hugging Tessa.

Tessa groaned in pain.

'Not to hard Marta! My wound.'

'Well well, don't complain, now you have another reason to let doctor Helm touch you! Whatever lengths you will go to!' Marta teased.

'Marta!' Tessa said ashamed of what her duenna insinuated. 'I am not like that.'

Marta raised her brows. 'Hmm.'

Santa Helena, the street.

'Wait Marta, I still have to visit Dr Helm.' Tessa reminded Marta. She had told her servant, duenna and dearest friend that she could walk around the hacienda, but if she would do that, she could also walk a bit around the pueblo. So she choose the last option.

'Not now, you need your rest.' Marta whispered urgently.

'No, I must show myself to him, so he won't get suspicious.' Yes, she still felt pain but it was less. And she felt dizzy and sleepy, but being here was important and would give her mind some peace.

Marta sighed out loud. Making her distress no secret for Tessa. She needed to rest and be in bed.

'He has probably already seen you from his window.' Marta tried, although she knew it would be of no use. If Tessa had something in her mind, she would go for it.

'I must be sure. I will be back quickly.' Tessa said as she already past Marta in a hurry.

'You'd better be.' Marta called after her sternly.

Helm bumped his head into his desk when he was startled by a noise.He turned around and sighed irritated. Great, the day can't get any better. He thought as he recognized senorita Alvarado.

'I should have known it was you. Maybe I should just give up telling you to knock.' He said looking at the lovely woman who was walking towards his desk now.

'Doctor Helm. I am sorry you bumped your head. Does it hurt?' She asked innocently. Her eyes were wide and innocent when she looked at him.

'Not any more no. So, senorita Alvarado. Is there something I can help you with?' Helm asked as he eyed the woman. This woman sometimes looked so dumbfounded. She must have slept all through the night when the Queen had been in her house, lying and bleeding on her kitchen table, most probably the table she had eaten breakfast from the next morning.

'O doctor Helm. I just came to socialize. You know me. I can never just pass your office without greeting you.' She said while patting him on the head with her fan.

Helm closed his eyes when he felt her fan hit his head and tried not to sigh in frustration. A fake smile played around his mouth. Yes, she did seem to have that habit to bother him incessantly. And all the time. Well, not all the time. Sometimes she was there day after day, and then suddenly not for a week. He rememberd that he hadn't seen her for a few days now.

'Did you see capitan Grisham doctor?' She said, looking out of the window, as if she could see him there passing by.

'Ofcourse I did senorita, I attended to his wounds.'

Tessa sighed dramatically.

'Yes I heard the news this week! He had the Queen of swords on the ground! She seemed to have been wounded. But someone else came to help her. Poor capitan. So close to a victory and then someone else helps this vigilante again. It would have been such a triumph to see her hang.' Tessa turned away from the window and faced the doctor. 'Don't you agree doctor?' She asked lightly.

'I don't want to see anyone hang senorita Alvarado.'

'But surely someone like her, a thief she is! She robs colonel Montoya, she can not get away with such a thing.' Tessa said sternly, acting surprised at his reaction.

Someone knocked at the door. Thank God, Helm thought.

'Did you hear that?' Helm asked.

'What?' Tessa asked surprised, listening intently to something now.

'Ah, there it is again.' Helm said as he put up his finger in the air and moved it towards the door when the knock returned.

'That is a knock senorita Alvarado, something I love to hear. Come in!' He yelled startling the senorita almost of her feet.

It was Marta standing in the doorway.

'I am ready senorita Alvarado.' She said sweetly from the doorway as she looked at her mistress. Tessa just stared blankly at her. What was this supposed to be?

'You told me to come and get you when I was ready with the groceries?' Marta remembered her. But the truth was that it was taking too long by her likings so she had come to take Tessa finally home and off to bed.

'Ah, yes.' Tessa mumbled, eyeing Marta with a flash of anger.

'Well senorita, it seems that you are busy, have a nice day.' The doctor said, hoping that she would hurry up and he could go on with his work. He turned over to his work again.

'Have a nice day doctor, I hope you will manage to not bump your head into something again today.' She said with a radiating smile.

He sighed and forced a tight smile on his face as he nodded at her.

'You took too long Tessa. You have to get into bed.' Marta said sternly when they were out of Dr Helms earshot.

'I wasn't away that long.' Tessa complained.

'As if you notice time when the doctor is around you.' Marta said, and deserved a snap from Tessa's fan at that.

Hidalgo hacienda, the next day

Yvette sat in the corner. She was observing the fiesta for a while now.

Her eyes were on the new man that had arrived only days ago in the pueblo. He was the son of Don Armano del Castillo. He was standing at one of the tables. He was surrounded by a few woman and men. Surely he would have enough attention, with the looks he had, he could pick whatever woman he wanted. She saw his big blue-green eyes, his radiant smile, his lightbrown hair. She sighed and looked another way.

She took a small sip of her sweet wine. It would be so much fun to stay in her seat in that corner the rest of the evening, to put an angry scowl on her face and make every man in the room afraid of even looking at her. She smiled at that. Her aunt would like that very much. Her smile grew wider at the angry look she could already see on her aunts face at that thought. Then her smile made way for a bitter feeling. A feeling that almost brought tears to her eyes. Her encounter only days ago. The encounter that had gone wrong so badly, thanks to the Queen. The encounter that would have many consequences for her in the future. Soon. Very soon.

She spurred her horse in the camp. She was aware of the danger around

her.

If she had come together with the criminals she had freed, she would still be in danger but coming alone into his camp, that was different.

'I am here for Scar.' She yelled at a man who aimed a gun at her.

'It's the woman who freed us.' She heard another man shout.

Arra sat still, waiting on her horse. She saw Scar coming out of one of the tents. It was as if a cold hand gripped itself around her heart the moment she saw that monster. The cold hand seemed to squeesh out all of her blood. It made her feelingless with it. Maybe that's why she didn't feel fear at that moment. She didn't feel fear for a man who murdered for fun, for power and for money. A man who had murdered his whole life. A man who was actually not to be called a man, but a beast.

They had tried to kill him many times, hence the big scar on his face. The scar that seemed to split his face in two. A horizontal running scar from his right eye to the other side of his face. No one seemed to know his real name any more. Maybe he took pride in that.

Maybe this should have been a warning for her. Should have been, because she was a young woman now. She was alone, in a camp full of dangerous criminals, that should have been her second warning. The fact that he hated her should have been her third warning. But she never was the person to listen to warnings, because if she had. She wouldn't have survived this long already. She needed to take risks. Otherwise she would get nowhere.

'Such a beautiful woman sitting all alone, may I have a dance with you?' Colonel Montoya asked. Yvette looked in his green eyes and nodded with a small smile on her face.

'Why ofcourse colonel.' She answered nicely as she took his hands. If he only knew…That she had attacked his captain and had molested the tall man. A smile formed around her full lips again at the memory. She wondered how the Queen was feeling, and where she would be. She suspected the woman would be safe. She trusted Marta although she didn't know the servant. It was just a feeling.

She saw a creepy smile forming on his scarred face.

'Well well, you have dressed up quite nicely.' He said as he looked at the dark womenly shape sitting on the horse.

'Tell me where they are. I freed your men.' Arra said, looking down at Scar. She felt her features harden, she was all bussiness now.

'Don't you want to come off your horse and have something to drink with me?' Scar asked in a sugary tone, he was still smiling.

Arra looked around her. Some men were standing a few meters further, looking at her. She didn't trust the situation. She had to get out of here as soon as possible.

While she danced, in the colonel arms she looked at her surroundings again. There were a lot of dona's talking, chatting. Probably gossiping. Senorita Alvarado was sitting on a chair, her foot bandaged. She had strained her ankle. Marta was sitting next to her. Yvette wondered how that had happened. The woman didn't seem to have a very active life. Her eyes rested shortly on Marta now. How could a woman like that keep up with a spoiled brat like her? Yvette thought as her eyes went from the gypsy to the dark haired woman next to her.

'We had a deal Scar. I want to know where Carlos is. Give me the instructions to his gang.' She said as her eye fell on Bruno. He had a bandage around his hand and looked at her as if he wanted to eat her alive.

That should have been her last warning.

And maybe that was why she felt so not at ease these last days. Because somehow she knew they wouldn't let her go. Maybe she had scared Bruno off by her threats, but she could never scare Scar like that. He liked fear, he loved it. He loved making her miserable. Maybe that's what she had felt that moment in that camp right there. She hadn't seen a gang in such a long time, hadn't been in a position like that in such a long time. She was used to getting threatened, criminals wanting her dead. But she had always been around other criminals, gang members, who protected her. Who were her friends. And now, she wasn't, she was around vulnerable people. Her family, these people here. These people here who had already enough to suffer under the colonel and his capitan. Who was she to make things more difficult for them? But maybe she didn't have a choice. She didn't a have a choice the moment Bruno had recognized her in the pueblo and had decided to threaten her. And now, her whole life here could be over. They would find out who she was any moment, any time. When would it be? Tomorrow? In a few days? Weeks?

Her eyes wondered further throught the crowd. Senora Hidalgo was chatting with Don Castillo, and don Hidalgo was together with the other dons. Her eyes drifted back towards the table where David Castillo and Vera stood now. She bit her lip when she looked at his lean and muscular body. He had broad shoulders, and his white blouse was clinging to his muscular chest, his blue-green eyes were very beautiful. That were the kind of eyes that could bore straight through a person.

Montoya looked at the young woman's face. She was clearly somewhere else with her tougths. Her beautiful dark eyes shifted through the enviroment and rested somewhere over his shoulder. She bit her full lower lip. Montoya could study her face without she even noticing. He looked at her white and small teeth, that formed a perfect row. Her face was paler then the faces of the other woman, but it suited her. Her hair was shining dark, and he guessed it would feel soft against his skin. She was tall and slender. She looked fragile. But there he could be mistaken, he had thought a lot of woman were fragile, but he had been wrong with one of them, the nail in his coffin: the Queen of Swords. That witch! No, he didn't want to spoil his lovely evening by thinking of her again.

'Are you troubled by something senorita?' The colonel asked after a moment when he was ready with studying her.

Yvette snapped out of her thougths and shook her head. 'O colonel, I am sorry. I am just a bit tired. I do enjoy this fiesta, but it is all so new for me, so many new people.' Yes, she was troubled by something.

How would he react if he knew who he really had in his arms right now? He would probably hang her. Just like so many years ago they wanted to hang her. Could her powerful family save her from that? She doubted it. They would probably throw her out of the family. Having disgraced the family once was already heartbreaking for her parents, but doing that twice… And that all because of something she hadn't done herself. Something that had been done to her. So long ago.

Maybe her coming here had been a mistake. It hadn't been her choice. Maybe her being anywhere was not good. Maybe there just was no place for her anywhere.

Montoya nodded and looked in her dark eyes.

'I hope you enjoy your stay at your aunt and uncles?' He inquired.

She nodded and pasted a bright smile on her face. She always was a good actress. Pushing away her emotions and acting like she felt cheerful and good.

'Yes I do indeed colonel. They are very sweet and make me feel very welcome. It is just that I am only here for almost a week, and I do miss my friends and home.'

'And you really think I am going to tell you?' Scar asked as he laughed out loud.

'Look at you. You are all alone, you are on my territorium now.' He looked her up and down again.

She didn't want to admit it, but she felt alone. Not at that moment, that was another sort of being alone. But she really felt alone sometimes.

Montoya nodded. He could understand.

The dance was finished and before Montoya could thank senorita Alcantaras for the dance Grisham had already come up.

'We had a deal.' Arra snapped.

'Never make deals with criminals sweety.' He laughed. They all began to laugh.

'May I have this dance?' He asked with a catlike grin on his face.

Would he still smile at her like that if he really knew who she was?

She smiled back at him, her eyes sparkling, 'Of course capitan, it would be my honour.' Yvette said, she nodded to Montoya and greeted him with a radiant smile. Montoya bowed at her and turned to walk towards the table.

Yvette didn't trust the colonel or his capitan but she had to admit that he was quite an attractive man. She looked up at this tall man to look in his blue eyes, yes, he was flirting with her. A sligth smile played over her features. She could feel that this was the kind of man who did a lot of flirting, with a lot of woman that is.

'Who of you wants to go first?' He said asking his criminals.

'Do you enjoy the fiesta capitan?' Yvette asked.

'Wait, I am going first. I will tame her for ya all. Cause by God, she will need to be tamed.'

'Yes senorita, I do. Especially now.' He said as he looked deep in her eyes. She smirked. He noted how a smile curved her full lips.

Arra grabbed her gun and pointed it at Scar.

It didn't do anything to her, a man looking so deep in her eyes in a flirting way. It did nothing when she didn't like the man in fact. And she hadn't liked a man for a very long time now. Yvette looked at his nose, that had been broken. It was healing already, the bandage around his nose, which he had walked around with a couple of days was off now. He had almost had the Queen.

'You only have one bullet.' Scar stated.

'And it will fit perfectly between your eyes.' She treathened. 'Don't think I won't do it.'

She had been sure of herself. She knew he wouldn't take that risk. He would not take the risk of dying. He knew she would pull the trigger if she needed to. Everything had been under control at that moment. At least, it had felt like that.

'Look who is sliming over senorita Alcantaras.' Marta whispered towards Tessa. She saw her dancing with Grisham.

'It figures.He tries to get to everyone who is willing.'Tessa whispered.

'Do you think she is willing?' Marta asked.

Tessa looked at the two. They certainly looked good together. Grisham was a bit taller then she was, and she was a young and beautiful woman. They seemed to be talking animatedly, she laughed a lot.

'Senorita Alvarado, I heard you had hurt your foot?' A voice said. Marta and Tessa looked up to see Helm standing next to them.

'O yes, I fell of the stairs, how clumsy of me.' Tessa said animatedly.

'I am surprised you didn't come to let me take a look at it.' Helm said.

'O, doctor Helm. It is nothing. Marta helped me already, it is just a bit sore when I walk.'

'What a pity that I can't ask you to dance now.' Helm said with a wry smile on his face. Then he walked away almost seeming to be happy to get away from her so quickly. Tessa sighed softly, but not soft enough for Marta to hear.

'What a pity indeed.' Tessa whispered angrily when she saw him walking up to the nigths attraction; senorita Alcantaras.

'Tessa, you know it is better for you now.'

'Yes yes.' Tessa answered curtly.

There was nothing wrong with her foot. She just had to have an excuse to stay seated for her wound. That hurt a lot when she moved too much or too fast.

Marta sighed, Tessa always wanted to do so many things, if it had been up to her alone she would be standing on that dancefloor dancing the stars off, without even thinking off her wound. Who knows when the wound would give her pain and then someone surely should have noticed. But Tessa's thougths were already gone to something else. Marta followed her gaze and it ended at the doctors. Tessa noticed that Marta also looked.

'Did you notice that he almost seemed happy not to dance with me?' She asked.

Marta sighed. What could she answer? She had noticed. She had noticed that the relationship between dr Helm and Tessa Alvarado wasn't going very well.

Helm didn't like the spoiled brat, but Tessa had to keep up acting as a spoiled brat, in which she was very good Marta thought.

Tessa looked Marta in the eye, when she noticed that Marta hadn't answered yet. Marta looked back at her with a sad look.

'I think I noticed yes.' She said regretfully.

Tessa nodded. She sighed. 'Yes well, maybe it is supposed to be like that.' Grief coming through her words. Why could the doctor not just like her? Want her? He was interested in the Queen. Why not in her?

Marta looked at Tessa and saw the emotions moving over her face. She knew it was difficult for her, the two parts she played.

She sighed and felt with the woman. She put an arm on her back and carressed it.

'Tessita.If he is a worthy man for you, he will find out. If you two belong together.'

He already liked the Queen. But she could never tell him that it was her. The woman who he disliked was the woman who he liked and who he had kissed.Well, had kissed him.

Yvette slipped away from the hacienda softly into the garden as she looked around. She looked at the dark night sky and sighed deep. She would like to enjoy a cold bath, or a fast ride on a horse to feel the wind on her body.

She had suddenly felt something around her neck chocking her and pulling her of her horse. With a large bump she fell to the ground.

She looked up to a man who pulled his whip back. She coughed up her own saliva in the sand beneath her. Her body moved quickly over the ground to get her gun but another man stepped on her hand to stop her.

Scar walked towards her while she was lying on the ground. It felt like the man's weight was crushing the bones in her hand. He laughed.

'Look at you.' He said, feighing pity.

Look at me. Yvette thought sarcastically and angry as she looked at her hand that was graced in a long dark shiny glove.

She swopped her leg along her shoulder, hitting the man in his knee and then got up with a quick jump, facing Scar. Her hand tingled from pain but she ignored that.

He laughed. 'Wow, you have some new moves I see.'

Arra turned toward the man with the whip. She rolled over the ground hitting him in his crotch and pulling away the whip. She gave the man a thump with her leg and made him lose balance and fall over. All these in a few seconds. She was still very fast, even though she had been out of the game for quite some time. Scar raised his eyebrow in amusement.

'Give me the information.' Arra ordered again in a threatening voice.

Yvette sighed as she felt a bit dizzy from the wine.

'O? You want it? It is here.' Scar said, pulling on a large necklace around his neck.

She looked at it surprised. She swopped the whip around her when she heard two men approaching.

Or maybe she was dizzy because she was just tired.

'I warn you all! If you come in my line of fire I will hurt you very badly.' She yelled at everybody around her, hitting the ground with a dazzling speed not with the whip.

Yes, she could threaten too. She could become scary for other human beings too. She knew exactly how to hurt someone, how to scare someone and how to manipulate. She had learned from the best. She become one of the best.

She hit again with the whip, causing Scar to cringe in pain. The necklace fell to the ground. She jumped forward quickly, took it and jumped on her horse.

'Thank you.' She stated and then galloped off.

Yvette blinked several times with her eyes before seeing steady again. She had to go back in the hacienda for the fiesta. Otherwise Rosa, her duenna would be looking for her and she would get no end to the whining her aunt would do these coming days about her being absent for too long.

Marta opened the door from the toilet and stepped out as she bumped into someone. She automatically grabbed the woman's arm to steady herself.

'I am sor…' Marta began but got cut off when she saw images flash through her head at once.

The woman pulled her arm away roughly and looked with shocked eyes at Marta.

'Don't touch me!' Senorita Alcantaras snapped at Marta. She took her dress and hurried off back to the fiesta instantly leaving a shocked Marta behind.

She had gotten away days ago. But she wasn't stupid. Scar didn't let people get away. Not alive. She put her hand in the door sill as she looked back through the hallway at Marta who dissapaered into the bathroom. Her dark eyes shifted back to the room where the fiesta was. She might even die this week. Probably. She walked into the room and straightened her back. She laughed at someone and got a powerful gleam in her eyes. But she wouldn't go down without a proper fight, after all, she was Arra. It didn't matter if they put her into a nice dress, make-up and on a fancy fiesta. She still was the woman who had lived the biggest part of her childhood with criminals. But she never became one herself. Not like them.

Scar watched her galop off with a delighted smile on his face.

'After her! Kill her!' One of the men ordered.

'No wait.' Scar yelled at his men who aimed their guns at her and made their horses ready. He lowered his hand slowly. He liked being here for a while.

'I know something better.' He said laughing. 'That would be much more fun, believe me. Shooting her will be too easy.' After all this time… All this time that he saw her again. The child had become a woman. He just had to see that. And destroy it. Her.

'I'll enjoy destroying her. I'll enjoy it very much.'

He would get her, and make sure she would not be able to show herself in that pueblo of hers anymore. And after that, he would do what he did with everyone that was in his way or irritated him.

He would kill them without a single thought about it.

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