I don't own these characters; I just like to spend time with them. No other profit to be had than that.
She lay in Doc's bed, unable to move much at all, without sending ripples of pain through out her body. Doc had said Matt could take care of himself, and that he would come back to her. But still she worried. Doc didn't know. He hadn't been there to see the look in that mad man's eyes, as he ranted of all the injustices he felt he had suffered. But she was there. She remembered.
She remembered sitting on the floor of his tent, tethered to the pole, as he told her of what he would do to her if his brother hung.
She remembered being so afraid, that even if they had of offered her food, she wouldn't have been able to swallow anything. They of course did not offer.
She remembered early that morning, hearing the rider coming in fast and calling Bonner's name.
She remembered trying to steel herself for what was to come, and knowing she couldn't, as Bonner walked in the tent and stood over her, a look of equal parts grief and rage, playing on his face. Once again, she tried to tell him that killing her wouldn't bring his brother back, but he ignored her. Cutting the ropes that bound her to the pole, he grabbed her arms, pulled her to her feet and started in on her. Started the pain she still felt.
She remembered the disgust she had felt, as he had tore at her clothes, and violently raped her on the floor of the tent.
She remembered even more disgust, as well as shame, as the rest of Bonner's men took their turns with her. Each man worse than the one before and each one taunting her, hurting her with their words as well as their actions.
Then the pain. Oh God, she remembered the pain. Not only the physical pain, which was considerable, but also the emotional pain. Pain, of knowing what those animals had done to her, and how everyone would feel towards her once they knew. But more importantly, how Matt would feel towards her. How he would despise her for what had been done.
But then she remembered hearing his voice, deep and gentle, as she laid there, wanting to die. The love she heard in those few words had brought her back. "I need you, Kitty. I need you." He had told her. It was that need, that had kept her there, gave her the strength to hold on and to keep fighting.
As she lay there, she tried to push those memories away, tried to think of times before. Times when she and Matt had managed to get away together, just the two of them alone.
She remembered the feel of him, the smell of him, as they lay in her bed making love, or simply sat together side by side, each enjoying the presence of the other.
She remembered the fishing trips, and picnics and dances. There had been very few of them, but somehow that had made those few even more special.
She remembered the fights they had had, usually over his badge, and the way they would make up later after the fights.
Thinking of his badge, she remembered the emotions she had seen playing across his face, as he had sat on the stool next to her that night. Pain, anguish, rage, and even guilt, knowing his duty to that badge had caused this. She had wanted to comfort him, to tell him it would be okay, that she would be okay. But merely opening her eyes and turning her head, had taken all the strength she had been able to muster.
She remembered giving up the fight for consciousness, and sinking once again into the darkness, where neither pain nor memories could reach her.
She was awake now though, and both had come back with a vengeance. Doc had gone into the other room to get her something for the pain, but she knew it would only be temporary. The only thing, the only one, that could truly take the pain away, wasn't there.
She heard foot steps and turned her head towards the door, expecting to see Doc with his medicine. But it wasn't Doc.
It was Matt, bruised and dirty, but whole, and looking at her with such love, that for a moment she forgot the pain and misery, of the last few days, and remembered the love she had with this man. The love she would need from that moment on. That love was the only thing that would be able to heal her completely.
That love was the only memory she wanted and intended to keep.
Matt's love….she remembered.