Six Links

By BookwormDragon

Disclaimer: Neither the 3:10 to Yuma Universe nor any of the Characters in the 3:10 to Yuma Universe belong to me. No profit is made from this story on my part. No copyright infringement is intended.

Six links of metal. More than enough to take a man's freedom – or his life.

It would be easy to do. Dan trusted him now, at least a little. Familiarity bred carelessness. Simple enough for him to get up off the bed and move closer to the other man. Or maybe he could coax him to come over to the bed, instead. Enrage him, perhaps, as he had before.

And then: the chain around his throat, cutting off his air. He could strangle him or simply snap his neck. He'd certainly done it before. Quick. Simple. No regrets.

Except that, for the first time in a long time, he would have regrets. He didn't know quite how it had happened, but Dan Evans had gotten under his skin, had earned his respect.

Dan was…interesting. Even now, he wasn't entirely sure what motivated the man. Greed? Need? Desperation? Survival? Pride? Stubbornness?

Bullheaded stubbornness was one thing, but Dan wasn't stupid, unlike Byron or Butterfield. He knew exactly how hopeless his quest was and he chose to do it anyway.

Somehow, it just didn't seem right play on the man's growing trust. He deserved better.

Dan Evans was probably going to die today anyway. No need to deny him the sort of death he clearly wished for. The least that a murdering, thieving, no-good outlaw such as himself could do for a friend was to let him choose the manner and timing of his own death.

Almost absently, Ben Wade worked at the chain shackling him, but made no move toward the man by the window.