I do not own Young Guns or it's characters. Revisions of previous chapters may occur.

A couple weeks later...

By the time Grace had finished the errands Mr. Tunstall had given her it was late in the day. Despite the hour, the sun still beat down overhead. Squinting into the sun she frowned. The weather didn't agree with her. Chavez on the other hand never seemed much effected by the elements. No matter the weather he seemed perfectly content with it and certainly never complained. She cast a quick glance over at him as they rode. Grace had actually been worried about his accompanying her into town. It had been a couple weeks since they had been in Lincoln together since McCoy had attacked her. When he heard that Grace had been planning on going alone, he was quick to volunteer to come along and had kept not more than three steps behind her for the duration. She was certain that he would tread on her heels if he tried to get any closer. Each time Grace had looked his way his jaw was tight and his hand was resting tensely on the hilt of the knife at his hip. While she was glad to have him with her, Grace couldn't help but feel slightly annoyed with him and with herself.

Directing her horse closer to his, so that their knees briefly brushed against one another, she caught his eye.

"Thank you for coming with me. You didn't have too."

"The way trouble follows you, someone has to watch out for you." And why do you take the responsibility? Grace thought to herself. She shifted uncomfortably in the saddle and again looked up at the blazing sun.

"I think all you'll have to worry about right now is me melting in this heat." Chavez followed her gaze and thought for a moment. Suddenly he turned his horse off their usual path. Confused, Grace quickly directed her horse to follow him. "Chavez, home is that way. Where are you going?" She spurred her horse on to catch up with him. Saying nothing he glanced over his shoulder at her with a small smile on his face. The horses walked on for about ten minutes, their hooves clicking on the dusty ground. Within a few moments the river came into view.

Chavez leapt from his horse and began tugging off his boots. Laughing, Grace followed suit, hiding herself behind her horse as Chavez whipped off his coat, and shirt. He was lucky to have it so easy. She had countless buttons to tackle before she could be relieved of her shirt, skirt, and underskirt, and then all she had on was her pettipants and camisole. When she stood on tiptoe to look over her horse's back, Chavez was already about knee deep in the water, stripped down to his knickers, and respectfully turned away. She quickly stepped into the water, and waded into where Chavez had moved and stood about waist deep. The water soothed her overly warm skin. She stood beside Chavez and glanced his way. His eyes were closed, a serene countenance on his face. The sunlight enhanced the copper tones of the smooth skin on his face, arms, and chest. Grace was suddenly aware of how hard her heart seemed to be beating. Folding her arms over her chest, she walked around silently appraising him. The skin on his back was smooth save for a number of scars. Curiously Grace reached out and lightly traced them with a slender finger, feeling the raised tissue. A smile tugged at her lips as she took note of the contrast between her own pale, white hand against his bronze coloration. The touch must have broken him from his reverie because he turned and looked down at her. It was a look she had seen on a number of occasions; mere glances that vanished as quickly as they were noticed, but not now. His dark eyes seemed to light her soul aflame as he gazed at her with such intensity. It was undeniable now. Hoping he hadn't noticed the heat rising to her cheeks, she quickly turned her back to him and the sun.

The sound of the rushing water masked his quiet movements as he moved toward her. The sun cast a beautiful glow on her soft skin. So lovely was it, that Chavez simply could not resist. The look he had seen in her eyes gave him courage. He laid his large hands on her shoulders and ran them down her slender arms where he hesitantly covered her hands with his where they rested at her sides beneath the water. For a moment her body stiffened before melting against him. Their fingers entwined. After a short time like this his lips pressed lightly against her temple, her ear, and repeatedly down her neck. Tilting her head to one side, Grace's eyes fluttered closed.

"If I didn't know any better, I'd think you wanted to kiss me" Grace's voice was soft, barely audible. Chavez's lips continued their steady progress as he planted kiss after kiss on her neck, her jaw and her cheek. Never one for patience, Grace could no longer stand the painstakingly slow advance, and so turning her head ever so slightly, their lips finally met. At first Chavez seemed quite shocked but quickly recovered. He released her hands long enough for Grace to turn to face him, only breaking the kiss for a moment. They stood gazing at one another with a combination of surprise and mutual want. Grace nervously bit her lip causing Chavez to smile. Sliding his hand to the back of her neck, and placing the other at her slight waist, he pulled her against him for another kiss.

They were so close she could smell his scent and feel his hair brushing against her face as he leaned forward. His lips were surprisingly soft as they moved against her own. Grace opened her mouth to him and their kiss deepened, becoming more and more passionate. She ran her small hands up his chest, feeling the firm muscles there, before tangling her fingers in his hair. When they finally broke the kiss Chavez leaned down, resting his forehead against hers.

They remained unmoving for some time, feeling the current of the river pushing against their bodies. Chavez's hand came up and cupped Grace's cheek, his thumb gently stroking the soft skin of her bottom lip before kissing her once more.