So this chapter starts a week week before the first chapter. Confusing, possibly. I'm sorry about that, not really.

Please review or add to alerts, or else I won't add more chapters. Most of this story is already written, but I don't seen a reason on posting it if no one is reading it.

So thank-you misty103 for subscribing to this story. I started editing this chapter almost as soon as I received the alert.

Sasa

PS- I do not own the movie, or the main characters. I only own the plot of this story and Chris.


A Week Earlier

The sun was just coming out over the side of the mountain as a dark haired teen girl woke up on the cool dirt. She stretched her arms before she stood up. The camp was still quiet; almost none of the gang was awake yet. Today was going to be a great day; at least that is what the teen predicted. It was her eighteenth birthday today, and there was a pay coach coming through the valley later that day. She folded up her blanket and slid her arms back into the sleeves of her coat, which she always used as a blanket during the night. She rolled up the blanket that had become her bed and brought loaded up her horse.

Ben was already awake, not that that came as much of a surprise. He was always awake long before anyone else even thought about moving. She approached him and sat down next to him, studying his drawing over his shoulder. This was often how the mornings started for the two of them. "Good morning, Chris. Happy Birthday," Ben told her without looking up from his sketch, even though he was smiling. "It was almost like yesterday you joined us in the gang."

"Good morning, Ben. And yet it has been almost five years since then. I still get nightmares from that night, you know," Christina stated as she pulled her knees to her chest. She set her arms on her knees and leaned on her arms.

"Oh, trust me, I know. You talk in your sleep, well, you scream when you have nightmares. You always have, ever since that night," Ben stated as he glanced at the teen. He still remembered arriving in that town, with the bar burned to the ground. He remembered finding Christina curled up on the floor, appearing to have cried herself to sleep. She had only thirteen at the time, much too young to be left alone in the town. The only living family she had was in the gang. "Go wake Charlie and have him get the rest of the gang up," Ben stated nodding towards the girl's half-brother.

Christina nodded with a smile on her face before she stood up and started away from Ben. Now what was the best way to scare Charlie this early in the morning, without being shot? First thing was to remove his damn pistols, which was not too hard. She had done it before without waking him. She then sat down next to Charlie, putting the pistols behind her. She leaned towards his ear. "Morning Charlie, how'd you sleep?" the teen asked, not bothering to be quiet about it.

She leaned back as the blond man shot into the air reaching for his missing pistols. It took him a few seconds to realize just what was going on. "Damn it, Chris. What the hell was that for? Now give me my pistols," he demanded.

"Morning to you, too," Christina stated setting the pistols in her lap. "You don't need these old things, now do you?" she asked picking up one of the pistols with a grin.

"Christina, give Charlie his pistols back," Ben called from where he sat.

"Fine," she stated handing both back to Charlie. "I really wish I knew how Ben did that," she added as she stood up. "Now it is your turn to wake up the rest of the gang," she informed Charlie.

"Happy birthday, kid," he stated as he stood up and brushed off the dirt from the dusty ground. He then turned away and headed towards the rest of the gang. It really did not take long from him to have the rest of the gang awake.

Christina did not stay long to watch the men packing up to move on. Instead she returned to sit next to Ben. "They're all up. Although you could probably tell from the noise," she stated.

"Good, there is a payroll coach headed this way. Should be here around noon," Ben stated without looking up from his most current sketch.

"Exciting. Will you let me help with time, please? I promise I won't get in the way." Chris wanted to be a real part of the gang. True, she had been living with them for years, but she had never been allowed to participate in a heist. Ben had always wanted to give her the choice at eighteen, either to walk away from this life or to join them. If she wanted to walk away she could, without fear of a bounty on her head. And if she wanted to stay, well, Ben had no problems with that.

"Yes, but you won't stop the coach. You are to stay with me until the coach is stopped. And don't do anything stupid. Understood?" Ben asked her. He had to make himself clear before she did something stupid and put herself at risk. He closed the sketchbook and looked at her. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a different book. He handed it to her before standing up and heading towards the gang.

The teen flipped through the pages carefully. It was a bunch of sketches Ben had drawn. She flipped through the pages careful not to smudge the charcoal. The pictures were of her family, her messed up family. There were pictures of her as a baby in her mother's arms. There were pictures of her and Charlie as children. Ben must have drawn these on one of his visits. The last few pictures were much more recent, drawn during her time in the gang. There was a note on the first page, but she didn't have time to read it now.

"Chris, time to go," she heard Charlie at her. She closed the book before she ran towards the gang. Everyone was almost ready to go, with most of the men already mounted. She slid the small book into one of her large coat pockets before she climbed onto her own horse.


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