Author's Note: This is my first fan fiction, please let me know if the story is interesting, and worth pursuing. Constructive criticism is welcome. Please enjoy my continuation of Milo Talon's story from his new wife's perspective.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this story they belong to Louis L'Amour. The character named Molly Talon is the same character as Molly Fletcher, they are married at the end of Milo Talon.
We were riding through some part of Colorado. After we were married in Pueblo, we began to just meander through Colorado. Mostly we were just enjoying the countryside. We share a love of the wilderness that few people understand. Milo and I both like the quiet, though we share unspoken words and smiles often enough. We were headed to the MT, known far and wide as the Empty. It was named for Em Talon, Milo's mother. Her only regret in life was that she was just shy of six feet. She was a fearsome woman who made men tremble in their boots. She had been left alone on the ranch, and Jake Flanner had tried to move in on her range. She held out on her own for weeks. She was born a Sackett, and for anyone who lived in the west, that meant a lot.
Truth be told, I was nervous. What if I don't measure up to Em's standards? What if I am too ordinary to be Milo's wife? Where Milo is big, muscular and dark featured. I am small and soft around the edges, with light brown hair that blazes auburn in the sunlight. Where Milo has ridden the Outlaw Trail, though he is not an outlaw, he stands up for what he believes is right. I came to the west running. Milo is at home in the outdoors, I love it but I have not lived it like he has. In the last month of our marriage, Milo has taught me to ride astride, shoot and read some signs, I may not be a tenderfoot anymore, but I am still not as good as I would like to be.
My husband claims he is a simple man with simple tastes. He may have simple tastes, but a simple man he is not. But he is a good man, the man I love. Why Milo chose me I will never be certain, he is certainly handsome in his own right and he could have had any number of beautiful women. But I believe it comes down to our adventuresome spirits.
Our comfortable silence remained unbroken, the sound of our horses echoed softly in the canyon in a rhythmic and soothing sound. I was riding my favorite mount, Dusty. He was a beautiful buckskin, I loved his coloring. His tan hide was set off by his chocolate colored nose, mane and tail. He even had chocolate colored socks. But what I loved most about Dusty was his speed. I shifted atop him and he threw his head up, in response. I was still learning to ride astride and after a long day of riding I was saddle sore. Riding side-saddle as I was used to was too restrictive, as were long skirts and dresses. I now wore rolled up denim jeans and a green top, but I didn't look like a boy at all.
The evening was getting late and it was about time we made camp. Suddenly Milo reigned in and stopped, we had made it to a small spring without my noticing. It was surrounded by twisted mesquite and green grass. He studied me carefully for a moment. As tired and as sweaty and dust covered as I was, his lingering gaze made me blush, I smiled. He hopped off his beautiful black dun, and helped me down. The horses didn't wait for us, they went to the spring and drank deeply. We followed close behind. After we had quenched our thirst, I set about building a fire for coffee and dinner, as I was unsaddling Dusty, Milo caught my attention.
"I am going to see what I can find for dinner."
I nodded, that meant that we were in dangerous country, and he wanted to know if we were off the beaten path. If he did get any meat, I would be surprised. I got the coffee on, but something on the ridgeline caught my attention. There had been something up there moving. If it had been Milo, he wouldn't be sneaking around. I pulled my colt out and snuck up to see who was prowling around. After I had ridge-backed my way to the top of the line, I examined the ground in the fading light. The heel prints I found ruled out Indians. But whoever was there was gone, and I did not have the tracking skills necessary to follow. I still didn't like being spied on, and hoped that they were just curious about the fire. I made my way back down to camp, carefully because the canyon had a lot of loose shale. I stopped for a moment to look up at the appearing stars. I leaned my head back, and suddenly with a roar of a rifle, I was rolling down the side of the canyon. Somewhere before I stopped, I must have passed out because everything went black.