Disclaimer: I own nothing.
This is an AU story. Please forgive any spelling fault or grammar error. English is not my first language. Hope you like the story.

Reviews are love.

Italics are flashbacks.

Chapter 1.

She stared into the clearblue sky, squinting at the sun as she held her hat in her hand and wiping her forehead on the sleeve of her shirt. Her jacket was hanging from the saddle of her horse. Her faithful, black mare. They had been together through thick and thin. This was just another obstacle to overcome. She pet the mare's neck and held her reins as she put her hat on again.
'Well girl, I'm guessing it should be another couple of days before we get to water' she said to the horse. The horse neighed and playfully pushed her owner. The love was mutual between the horse and its owner. They continued their walk through the desert. Everywhere they looked they saw sand, a few rocks and a cactus here and there. She took her hat off once more to wipe her forehead as she continued walking, her horse walking beside her. The sun continued to be scorching hot. Her wounded leg was making her limp and making them both walk slower than normal. She knew she should be on the horse, but she wanted to spare the horse's energy. The horse took it easy on her as well. She could be a handful and wasn't accepting just anyone as a rider, it was just this blonde human that was good enough. She had picked her herself.
'Do you hear something Lady?' the human said and stopped suddenly and tilted her head to the left to hear better. Was that really .. ? But could it be? Or was it a hallucination?Suddenly Lady lifted her head and nose in the air and sniffed. She watched her best friend as she sniffed the air.
'Is it water Lady? Is it?' she asked as the horse sniffed the air before turning her head and pushed her rider towards the saddle to indicate she should get up there.
The human gritted her teeth and got into the saddle. Her leg hurt more and more. She needed to get it tended to, but noone could do it here in the desert. She sat in the saddle, holding the reins, but she let the horse decide where to go and what tempo to go there in. While the horse moved in her own pace towards the sound they both had heard in the silence of the desert, the blonde human on the horse's back remembered back a couple of days ago, how she got wounded.

'Zona!' she could hear the men call out her name. They were looking for her. She hid behind some rocks that covered her completely.
The men were a part of her outlaw gang. They thought she had betrayed them by telling the sherif where they were hiding. She hadn't been the leader of the gang, but she had been one of the most crucial members and now the gang was thoroughly pissed off.

She could hear the men roam around her little stone nest. They didn't disover her thankfully. Her horse was hidden somewhere else in a safe place, and she hoped she wouldn't be found.

Suddenly the sounds started to sound more and more distant and she understood that they all were starting to move away from her. She had managed to get away from her old gang. She took a deep breath of relief, exhaling slowly and silently. Just in case all of them weren't gone. She hid for a short while before exiting her hiding place. She peaked out first, carefully. Nothing but rocks was visible. She sighed again.

She made way out of her hiding place towards the place where she had hid her horse. Suddenly she could hear sounds again, hooves and she looked up. On a ridge some distance away she could see a familiar silohouette. Avery Jackson. He sat on his chestnut horse, reins in his hands, he also held a rifle in his hands and he was aiming at her. She knew he was gonna hit if he took the shot. Only question was, would he shoot to kill or shoot to injure her. She turned around and walked towards her horse again. If she was facing him or not didn't matter to her or to him. A sharp bang was heard and a second or two later her leg was hurting her, and she could see blood in the tear that the bullet made. She turned around and looked towards the ridge but Avery was gone. Most likely he was going back to the gang, telling them he had shot her and that she was injured. They would now hunt her down like a pack of wolves or coyotes hunt down its prey. She refused to be a victim, or prey. She hated to run, but she also knew that she had to run now to survive. Though since her last love had died, she felt she had nothing to live for anymore. That's why she was so bold and such a daredevil nowadays. Erica was gone, forever. She had been murdered by another gang of robbers while walking home from the store. They had raped and murdered her. Arizona hated herself for not being there and protecting her. That was however the reason for her joining a gang. She had proven herself quite fast, faking that she was in love with one of the guys that were in the band and he had made sure she would be a part of the gang. Ever since she had been initiated, she had been living on the run. From the law, from herself. Her earlier life was history. Now she was a member of one of the most feared gangs in the west. Or she was. Right now she was on the run from them. They would kill her if they had the chance. The only question now was why didn't Avery shoot to kill her. She thought she knew the answer.

The black mare suddenly stopped and that brought the blonde human on its back back to reality again. She had a bad pain in her leg now and she didn't want to jump off the horse as she knew how bad it would hurt, however she had to if she was gonna get something to drink. She could see the creek now. They had managed to get through the desert in just over three days, both were thirsty, but both horse and rider was holding back. They both knew instinctively that if they drank too much too fast it wouldn't be good or healthy. The human finally jumped off. As she hit the ground, her knee buckled and she fell to the ground. The pain in her leg was now too much and she couldn't get up on her feet again. The black mare stood there, watching her rider crawl towards the waterhole. She walked slowly behind her as to protect her from harm. She neighed silently as to question what was wrong with her human.
'I'm okay Lady' the blonde human said to calm the horse down. She stopped crawling and let the horse come up to her and as she did she put her head in her rider's arms as to hug her.
'I love you too girl' the human mumbled and hugged the mare back for a minute before letting her go and let her drink in the waterhole.
She drank herself unthirsty and then she washed the wound with some water to clean it up a bit. The bullet was still there, she could feel it. It had to come out but she had no knife at the moment. She had no gun either. She had had to leave all weapons behind as she hadn't had time to get them as she ran away, she barely had time to saddle up her horse and get on it before she ran.
She made a face as the water hit her bullet wound. The horse looked at her every now and then as she had started grazing after having drank herself unthirsty.
'I'm alright Lady, or I will be' she smiled at her horse. She looked down at her leg, panting slightly as the pain started to take over. The adrenaline was giving in now and she was calming down, her heart started pumping slower and more regular than before allowing the pain to take over. She bet it was starting to get infected too. She crawled towards a large rock, leaning her back against it. She knew she should make a fire, but she didn't have the energy right now to do anything. She needed to rest.