I awoke about midmorning. Kitty was still sleeping like a baby. I gently pulled my arms from around her and she reached for my pillow hugging it to her. I went into the washroom to shave and get dressed. Slipping out of the room, I went downstairs to make arrangements for breakfast to be sent up. Then I asked the desk clerk if there were any garment shops nearby. He told me there was one around the corner. I also asked him if he could get the time of the next train leaving for St. Louis. If Kitty was agreeable, I planned for us to spend several days in St. Louis before heading home to Dodge.
I left the hotel going around the corner and found the dress shop. It was not something I felt comfortable doing, but I knew Kitty would need some clothes for the trip to St. Louis. The clothes I had put on her last night at the gambling house had seen better days. I knew she wasn't up to going shopping so I was the likely choice. Thankfully the store was open and I went inside. The lady had a surprised look on her face when I walked in, but quickly masked it.
"Could I help you sir?"
"Yes, I need a couple of dresses, some undergarments, shoes, stockings, and a nightgown."
I described Kitty to her and between the two of us we came up with some clothing I thought would work for Kitty. I got enough to get her through until she was up to shopping once we were in St. Louis. The lady assured me if something didn't fit, I could bring it back and exchange it. She wrapped it all. Paying for the purchases, I thanked her, left and headed back to the hotel hoping Kitty was still sleeping.
When I returned to the room, Kitty was very agitated and restless. She was tangled in the sheets and I could tell this had been going on for some time. Suddenly she let out a piercing scream and sat straight up in bed. I hurried over to the bed trying to calm her and drew her into my arms. She fought me until I got her conscious enough to know it was me.
"Oh Cowboy please hold me. I was having a nightmare about all that had happened."
"Look at me, sweetheart. I've got you and I love you. No one is going to hurt you again."
"Matt, I really killed my father and Luke didn't I."
Yes, honey, you did, but don't dwell on it. Those bastards deserved what they got for all they put you through."
"It is terrible killing anyone, but my own flesh and blood." she sobbed.
"Kitty, you can't think like that. Your father ceased to be just that years ago when he tried to take your money and your freedom by enticing you back to New Orleans. No father would do something like that. We don't know but what he wouldn't have done this back then if you had gone with him."
I pulled her into my arms holding her tight.
"I love you, Matt Dillon."
I guess she just then noticed I was dressed and had dropped a package on the floor.
"Have you been gone?"
"Yes, I'm sorry Kitty. When I left you were sleeping peacefully, I was just making arrangements for our breakfast which should be delivered anytime. I also went shopping for you and then I picked up the package and placed it on the bed beside her.
"Oh Matt, thank you. What would I do without you? I wondered if I was going to have to wear those dirty clothes or your blue shirt home."
"I also asked the clerk to check the train schedule for the next one to St. Louis. How would you like to spend a few days there resting and relaxing just the two of us without interruptions from any one?"
"You know cowboy, you can be very thoughtful and romantic when you want to be. I would love some quiet time with just you."
I knew it was going to take Kitty time and love to overcome all that she had been through. I was thankful that physically she hadn't been raped, but I knew emotionally she had been and that it would take time for her to recover. I felt we needed a few days together to heal before facing those at home and the mountain of questions they would have. I had sent Doc a telegram stating I had found Kitty and that we were stopping in St. Louis before coming home. When we felt she was ready then we would head to Dodge.
We enjoyed a quiet breakfast in the room and after Kitty dressed we took a short walk. While downstairs I found out that the next train out was scheduled for nine the next morning. Asking the clerk to purchase two tickets for me, we headed back up to the room. Once in the room, I sat in the chair holding her on my lap as she recounted her experience from the time she was taken until I walked into the room. Her remembering every detail of what had happened to her was heart wrenching for both of us. When she was finished, she drifted off to sleep and I sat and held her the rest of the afternoon.
We went to a small restaurant across the street from the hotel for an early supper and then back to our room. As we entered the room, I pulled Kitty into an embrace.
"Sweetheart, it is so good to have you back in my arms. I just want to keep you in my arms and take away the pain of this traumatic experience."
She looked at me with tears in her eyes. I could see all the agony and despair that was still there from her horrific encounter.
"Matt, I didn't think you would ever find me. I thought I was lost to you for sure. Please just hold me. Your love and strength are what keep me going and helps put this nightmare behind me."
The next morning, we left on the train for St. Louis. Once there we checked into a hotel. Over the next week, we talked, took walks, shopped, and had quiet candle lit dinners.
Finally on our last day in St. Louis, I woke up early. I looked over at the woman I loved seeing her beautiful blue eyes looking back at me.
"How long have you been awake?"
It was unusual for Kitty to stir before me so I was surprised to find her awake and watching me.
"Oh, for just a little while. I don't always get the opportunity to wake before you and watch you sleep. I kind of like it."
I was thankful for the week we had spent here in St. Louis. Kitty's nightmares weren't as frequent. Her appetite had picked up since being here and I could tell she had put on some of the weight she had lost during her ordeal in New Orleans. She had a magnificent glow about her.
As we lay there talking, she suddenly got a sad look on her face.
"Matt, why haven't you made love to me? I have missed you so. Is it because of what happened in New Orleans?"
"Kitty, I haven't pursued it because I wanted to give you time to heal emotionally. You were put through a horrendous experience. I didn't want to push you into anything to soon."
"Oh Matt." You would never push me into anything. I love you and need you, Matt. Please love me. What we have together is beautiful. With our love, we can wash away the horrible memories and replace them with breathtaking ones."
Kitty looked over with desire in her eyes. She reached over under the covers and slowly pushed my underwear down around my feet. I shoved them the rest of the way off. I reached down catching the hem of her gown in my hands pulling it up and over her head pitching it to the floor. Very gently, I pulled her into an embrace kissing her with all the pent up desire and emotion that I had been holding back. As her mouth opened for a deeper kiss, I rolled her onto her back and moved over her. Breaking the kiss and keeping the weight on my arms, I looked deeply into her eyes. As she gazed into mine, we became one and our love took us to heights we never before imagined. We put the nightmare behind us and let our love prevail.