A Cowboy and an Angel
The moon shone its light down on the party of two. Hank and Kel rode close to the tree line. All the while, Kel did her best to map out the area of where she was, but she knew that come day light the area was going to look a bit different. Things always looked different in the light than in the darkness.
Hank's mind only wondered about the amount of the money that he would get the moment he handed this lady named Angelica Inez Torrez over to her Uncle Charles DenBourgh. He was laughing to himself as he thought about the Barkleys finding out that she was gone. They deserved that; after what they did to his brother.
His brother, Zack had to go with a friend to cut the lines that night. Had he stayed at the saloon drinking and playing poker then Zack would not have been caught and sent off to prison. He would not see the outside for awhile, at least, until Hank could get there to break him out.
"Can we stop? I am tired." Kel asked. She wasn't as tired as she claimed, but she wanted daylight to come. She didn't doubt that once the sun was up then her cowboy and his brother would start looking for her.
Hank wanted to keep going, but he had enough brains that if he wanted the money he couldn't bring a completely exhausted and ill woman to the men that wanted her. So he stopped and said as he dismounted, "I'll give you a couple of hours."
Kel wasn't about to argue on the couple hours. The small amount of sleep she would refresh her enough, and then still feigning exhaustion, she could really pay attention to area around her. Perhaps, there was a chance to hide somewhere or at least delay their journey and give those looking for her the much needed time to find her. With that cemented in her mind she closed her eye and drifted off to sleep.
Two hours later Kel was being roughly awaken to strong rays of the day's first light. Adjusting her eyes quickly, and smiling to herself made her feel good; knowing that he would be coming to get her. She mounted her horse, aware that this man was going to take her to her uncle. Kel needed to quickly come up with a plan to get away from him and back to Heath.
Heath was laying awake on his bed going over the talks he had with Kel the day before. He had gotten very little sleep since he had gone to bed. He found his angel and wasn't about to give her up, especially to that crazy uncle of hers out there and most likely with plans on how to kill her. As the sun started rising he got out of bed, dressed, and headed out to the barn.
Nick knew as soon as the sun was up what his brother was going to do, so it was no surprise that when he opened his bedroom door Heath was halfway down the stairs. Nick hurried to catch up with his brother.
"Heath!" Nick bellowed as soon as he was out of the house.
"I'm not waiting any longer, Nick!" Heath yelled as he kept on walking to the barn.
Nick caught up to his brother, stopped his brother, and then turned his brother around as he answered, "I'm not trying to stop you, but I am coming along with you. It also might be a good idea to bring a third person along with us."
Heath agreed and made a detour to the bunkhouse to get Rodney. The rest of the men would be needed to work on the ranch while the three of them were looking for Kel.
It wasn't long before the three of them was headed out to following the still visible foot prints that had found at the side of the house, and then discovered the two sets of hoof prints, heading out the gate. They didn't seem to be heading into town, though both Heath and Nick presumed it was a ruse to get them off DenBourgh tail.
Within Minutes Jarrod joined them. "You're not doing this without me," he announced in his best 'pappy' voice.
"There are three of us here, Jarrod, we..." started Nick.
"I wasn't talking about hunting them down, Nick, but if DenBourgh is responsible, and then I'm going into town, get Fred and wait. If you catch up with whoever has Kel, before then, it's all well and good." With that Jarrod turned his horse towards the road to Stockton and galloped away.
Heath, Nick and Rodney didn't waste any more time; they headed out across the pasture following the trail. All three hoped they would get to her side soon before she was handed over to her uncle and that creep working for him.