witchann2: (AKame RW)
[personal profile] witchann2
Title: RED WEST II.
Author:
Kasumi

Rating: NC-17

Genre: Western, Drama, Romance
Warning: AKame pairing; vulgarisms, violence, extortion, angst, sexual violence
Beta-reading:
atago4
Summary: Once upon a time in the west... During the wild period of the United States formation, two young men became close friends and lovers, before they had to go separate ways... After a furious search, Jin managed to find his younger brother Leo, who is now a leader of the feared gang - ´Black Riders´. 
And after Kazuya helped the remaining Indians of Blackfeet Tribe to move into the reservation, he was able to track them down and so the two met again... But will they overcome the new obstacles and old enemies? And does their affectionate relationship even have any chance in these cruel times?
Thank you: To
seiko22 for always supporting me; To atago4 for awesome beta-reading; And to Kamenashi Kazuya and Akanishi Jin for being who they are...

Dedication: To [livejournal.com profile] niigatachan as a belated birthday gift ^_^

AN: So, obviously, being busy didn´t stop me from writing completely. ^_^´
Good for you (I hope XD) and good for me, since losing myself in this story is a great relaxation any time.

Also, I just couldn´t let the opportunity for posting this new chapter slip between my fingers, since it´s a Kame Day today!
I hope you all celebrate his birthday as you like, dears. <3


I´m really grateful for every opinion or advice and always happy to know my readers.
Y
our comments are my best reward and kick me off to try harder and keep writing.
Thank you for them, no matter how long or short they will be.

AN 2: Updated to a beta-read version on 12/3/2017.


Previously:
Chapter one // Chapter two // Chapter three // Chapter four // Chapter five // Chapter six // Chapter seven // Chapter eight // Chapter nine // Chapter ten // Chapter eleven // Chapter twelve // Chapter thirteen // Chapter fourteen // Chapter fifteen // Chapter sixteen // Chapter seventeen // Chapter eighteen // Chapter nineteen // Chapter twenty // Chapter twenty one // Chapter twenty two // Chapter twenty three // Chapter twenty four // Chapter twenty five // Chapter twenty six // Chapter twenty seven // Chapter twenty eight // Chapter twenty nine // Chapter thirty // Chapter thirty one // Chapter thirty two // Chapter thirty three // Chapter thirty four // Chapter thirty five // Chapter thirty six // Chapter thirty seven // Chapter thirty eight //

To the limit


When Kamenashi pressed his lips together into a thin line, not reacting to the suggestion, Math knew that he hit the right note again. That brat was so easy to manipulate, when he could use Akanishi as leverage. Who would say that the two of them would end up being so dependent on the other?

The half-naked youngster made three steps forward, obviously forcing himself to it. It was such a damn good satisfaction, making Kamenashi do whatever he said, and it was about to get even better… The cocky boy deserved nothing more than a proper lesson to remember his place.

Math unbuttoned his trousers lazily: “The more you try my patience, the more it´ll hurt you, baby boy. I said - on your knees,” he repeated smirking, knowing that it was going to hurt the younger one later either way.

Finally, Kamenashi lowered his gaze and kneeled in front of him. But Math noticed there was something in those hazelnut eyes, what he didn´t like. That brat was not as submissive as he pretended to be. Even though there was nothing he could afford to do without putting his foolish savior downstairs in danger, those eyes of his didn´t belong to somebody who had given up… Not yet.

Kamenashi pulled the loose trousers down slowly, with his hands visibly shaking, as he reached for Math´s cock. The youngster´s fingers were cold, but damn soft and pleasant, definitely not unexperienced. Math couldn´t prevent another satisfied smile; he was going to enjoy this boy so much…

All the sudden, Kamenashi was not on his knees anymore, but in a middle of a jump towards the table, on which rested Math´s belt.

“You little…” he gasped.

Although Math was well aware that both Kamenashi and Akanishi hated him, since one would have to be blind not to see it in their eyes, the intensity of Kamenashi´s attack still surprised him. The baby boy went after him with a real intent to kill.

Math managed to raise his arm at the last second, and the blade cut through the skin of his hand, right above the elbow, instead of his neck. Kamenashi was damn quick despite being tied to the stake for the whole night and day.

Blood flew through the air and stained Kamenashi´s face and chest. Math hissed in pain, the younger boy breathed out heavily and immediately attacked again. But this time, he was too slow. Naturally, he couldn´t have strength for more than one full attack.

Math caught his wrist, averted the blade away, and twisted Kamenashi´s hand backwards. Even though the younger one was almost crying from pain, he managed to kick Math a few times, before the dagger fell to the floor. Math turned him harshly for a better angle and with all his strength he slapped Kamenashi over the face. The blow sent the weakened youngster to the floor with a heavy thud.

After checking the minor cut, Math bent to that brat, who was trying to get up, and grabbed his hair, pulling him up. From some stupid reason, Kamenashi was suppressing the loud cries, and he was just hissing quietly. But Math would make him cry, he could bet on it. Though, he was quite impressed by how much resistance remained in Kamenashi.
Breathing heavily, he shifted the boy and literally threw him onto the bed. Kamenashi tried to roll away to the other side, but Math was already on him, slapping his face again, so hard that the blood appeared on the youngster´s lip.

“You can just as well as give up,” Math snorted, pinching the slim thighs down to the mattress with one of his legs. “You won´t get away from me, you little brat.”

It was almost incredible, but Kamenashi still fought back. His fist almost reached Grenet´s face, before he clenched both the younger one´s wrists and pushed them down. And still, Kamenashi kept swirling under his weight, trying to get out from under his conqueror. It didn´t surprise Math, when he found it quite arousing, feeling his cock hardening quickly. He was waiting for this opportunity for too long.

“Either you´ll be a good boy right now, or I´ll go back down to shoot Akanishi´s head off!” he snapped to the flushed face.

The slim body suddenly froze: “You won´t,” Kamenashi opposed hoarsely.

Math lowered his head, looking right into those strangely deep eyes: “And what´s going to stop me?”

“I will, obviously,” the youngster reacted, in a voice which was dripping with disgust.

Amused by that foolish defiance, Math grinned: “Well, I can do some shooting any time, but I want to enjoy you right now,” he admitted, pushing his knee between Kamenashi´s legs. “And I will either fuck you here or down there right in front of your boyfriend. Your choice.”
*

That dark look, which Marty attracted to himself by kicking the occupied sturdy chair, would have discouraged anyone from messing up with this gunslinger. But the fact that Akanishi was unarmed, tied up and helpless as a baby was weakening that effect quite a lot.

“You seemed to be pretty much off,” Marty snorted tauntingly. “And you don´t wanna miss anything, do you?” he added nodding his head upward to the second floor.

“Screw you,” their captive reacted harshly.

Only briefly, Marty considered if hitting Akanishi again was worth getting up from his chair, but since the youngster obviously didn´t care about himself as much as about his womanish friend Kamenashi, he remained sitting.

After that noise from before, which sounded as a proper slap followed by someone´s fall to the floor, nothing else was heard from the upstairs too clearly and Marty was kind of grateful for that. As far as he was concerned, Grenet´s perverted appetites were disgusting and he didn´t yearn to know more about them than he already did.

The former Karnaka´s gunman didn´t bear any love towards those two Montana boys. Basically, they were the reason why also he had to leave his hometown, being ordered to accompany Grenet. But his current boss, that was a completely different story.

Math Grenet hated Akanishi and Kamenashi to the core. Marty stopped counting the man´s speeches about what he would do to them as a payback long time ago. Their chief was literally obsessed with those two. If Marty was not used to it, he would consider that scene with possible fingers-cutting and emotional blackmail quite ugly and that was only the beginning. He almost pitied the two boys, but only almost.

“Danny, bring me one drink over here. Let´s improve this boredom…” Marty stretched both hands above his head. Since there was no reaction, he turned and frowned. “Danny!”

The boy leaning his elbows over the primitive bar counter, with the chin in his hands, flinched only now, hearing the raised voice.

“Stop spacing out and get me some whiskey, pronto!” Marty repeated annoyed.

Their little dogsbody seemed as if he wanted to refuse his demand at first, but then Danny reconsidered and turned to the shelves with alcohol.

Marty returned his attention to the silent cheeky gunslinger. Akanishi seemed to ignore his surroundings again, with his head leant to one side as if he was trying to catch some inaudible sound. He was an unexpectedly boring company.

The gunman looked around to check if his drink was on the way, when he smelled something. Frowning, Marty checked the whole taproom, if the others, who played a poker game at one of the tables, didn´t spill some liquid, but there was nothing extraordinary on the floor. But he was sure there was kerosene in the air... And then Marty´s eyes widened, when he noticed a strange light behind one of the windows.

“Shit!” he jumped up from his chair, rushing to look out.

“What´s up, Marty?” one of the players asked placidly, while Danny remained standing in the middle of the step, bringing the requested drink.

“Fire, you idiots! Fire!” Marty yelled, already running towards the exit. “Grab some buckets and get Grenet!”
*

It took a huge effort, but in the end Kame stopped fighting back. Panicking would not help him, neither provoking Grenet to that extent that the man would fulfill his threats. He held his breath, closed his eyes and let his hands lie in the hard grip without any resistance.

“Finally got it, baby boy?” Grenet commented his reaction breathlessly, hovering above Kame with a creepy smile on his lips.

Kame focused on getting at least some of his composure back and didn´t react. Grenet released a hold on one of his wrists, only to head with his right hand across Kame´s chest and stomach.

“I bet you will even like it,” that creep promised him hoarsely, pressing his palm against Kame´s crotch. “You´re that type who just needs to be fucked. Maybe that´s why Akanishi´s so fond of you,” he laughed sardonically.

Kame took a shaky breath and kept silent. Listening to that voice without seeing the man was maybe even worse. He could literally feel that Grenet meant every and each word he said. He enjoyed fooling around not only with Kame´s body, but also with his mind.

“And I´m quite good at fucking the brains out; Danny could tell you whole stories about it,” Grenet continued, obviously fond of something as well – of his own voice.

He also let Kame´s other wrist go and hastily unbuttoned his trousers, roughly pulling the cloth down his hips. Kame gulped down heavily, suddenly feeling cold and as sick as never before in his life. He heard as Grenet undressed himself and leant to Kame again, moving to the side. When Kame felt a short touch of the man´s hard erection on his thigh, it made his throat squeeze with suffocating anxiety.

“On your stomach, baby boy,” Grenet ordered in a hoarse voice, as he already pulled Kame by arm, to roll him over. Trying hard to stay calm, Kame let him, ending up with his face in putrid bedsheets. Grenet´s hand groped his bottom cheeks greedily. “Such a sweet ass, it would be a shame if it was only for that bastard.”

With each next word Grenet let out of his ugly mouth, Kame felt more and more agitated. He let that feeling accumulate, held onto it as his anchor and waited, patiently, desperately ignoring the excited, disgusting touches between his legs. He already managed to steady his breath, and to clear his head a bit. His heart was far from steady pounding, but the ability to think clearly and consider his and also Jin´s options, if he didn´t succeed, was more than enough.

Forcing his knees between Kame´s legs, Grenet made him spread them, and placed both hands on his hips. He lowered himself and his lips almost touched Kame´s ear, when he spoke this time: “I will fuck you so hard you will never forget it, baby boy.”

That was the line Kame was not willing to cross. The extent of what he was somehow able to allow Grenet do to him had just reached its limit. There was only one word in that statement, which he could accept – never. Never.

Kame gathered all the strength he had left, and before Grenet could finalize his perverted intention, he pushed himself up on his elbows and knees violently, nudging the horny man up and away from him. Sudden resistance surprised Grenet and he lost his balance. The man fell to the side, rolling over the edge of the bed. As he waved one of his hands, searching for some support, he dragged Kame with him and they both ended up on the floor with a heavy thud.

Still filled up to the bones with anger and disgust, Kame didn´t waste a single second. Even though his head was spinning a little from the sudden exertion, he was right back on his feet. Not caring at all about stepping on Grenet´s abdomen on the way, he jumped for Jin´s dagger, which was still lying on the floor under the window after his first attempt to get rid of his tormentor.

Only then Kame turned back, more than ready to disembowel that disgusting bastard as fish. But Grenet didn´t move from the floor so far, and his eyes were closed.

With the dagger ready, heavily breathing Kame made a step closer only very carefully, in case that Grenet was faking it and then he noticed blood on the corner of the small nightstand, which obviously served as an ashtray. Kame looked down at Grenet again and there was a thin trick of blood from under his head. Grenet must have hit the heavy wood during the fall from the bed and seemed to be unconscious now.

That was such a sudden turn of events that it left Kame standing there dumbfounded for a moment. Only some quick steps in the corridor tore him out of it. Somebody was coming towards the room...
*

The flames brightening the originally peaceful night caused quite a turmoil. Very silently now, Jin watched as almost everybody ran out of the taproom, except for that McFly boy, who ran upstairs for Grenet and one gunman, who remained inside as his guard.

Through the open door behind his back, Jin could hear Grenet´s underlings yelling at each other as they were trying to get the sudden fire in a warehouse next to the main building under control. It didn´t seem they were very successful though, as the sinister glow behind the windows was getting stronger and the temperature inside the taproom higher.

His only guard paid more attention to what was happening outside than to the captive, but that didn´t do him any good anyway. Jin once again considered the options of freeing himself, but since his ties were so tight that it felt like all the blood stopped flowing to his hands and feet, it was not worth even trying. If he didn´t want to hop across the whole room with the chair glued to his ass…

Then Jin realized something suddenly and glanced up the empty stairs. That thin boy was not returning… He looked back at his guard just in time to notice some shadow from behind the empty barrels being materialized into a person. After two quick quiet steps, that miraculous figure bashed Jin´s guard over the head with a huge metal pan. The guy collapsed to the floor, which fortunately was not heard in that ruckus from the outside.

The attacker threw the pan away and rushed to Jin with a knife ready in his hand.

“What the fuck took you so long?!” Jin snapped at the blonde Rider as a welcome.

Koki put on a hurt grimace: “You have no idea what I´ve been through,” he reacted indignantly and started cutting through the ropes hastily. Only then Jin noticed that the Rider´s clothes were not so dark anymore, but covered in yellow dust and also smelled of kerosene. “Where´s Kame?” Koki asked, when he was done with Jin´s ankles and continued with ties around his wrists.

“Upstairs…” Jin replied in a strained voice.

His fellow Rider looked at him questioningly.

“Grenet,” the older one gritted through his teeth. “I don´t know what happened up there, but he still might come down here any second! Just hurry up!”
*

Once he had started to fight, Kame was not going to stop that easily. Just hastily pulling his trousers up across the hips, he got ready right next to the door, which opened after a short, sharp knock.

“Chief! We´ve got a…!” McFly didn´t finish, since the empty bed took the words from his lips.

Kame used that moment of surprise fully and threw the boy against the wall, closing the door with a kick on the way again. Then he pressed the blade tightly against McFly´s neck, who stared at him in utter shock, not being able to put up any defense.

“You… you didn´t let him…” Danny breathed out.

“Of course not!” Kame reacted heatedly, still riding on a wave of angry adrenaline. “I´d rather die than to be that monster´s bitch!”

The boy seemed thunderstruck, but Kame couldn´t care less about what McFly thought.

“Anyone else is coming up here?” he demanded sharply.

“No, everybody rushed out,” the boy replied bluntly. “There´s a fire, they sent me for Math…”

Now Kame finally realized what was bothering his senses for quite a while – the worsening air. The sudden blaze couldn´t be a coincidence, not right at this moment. But if the fire spreads, they might be in danger as well, especially Jin who couldn´t move.

“Did you…” McFly started hesitantly, as if he was afraid to continue. “Math… Is he…?”

“I doubt that,” Kame retorted rather harshly. “You can stay with him and check it out yourself, anyway.”

Then he pulled the boy away from the wall, took a small colt from his belt and shoved him towards the bed. McFly would find his ´Math´ behind it soon enough.

“I recommend you to just sit tight and shut up here,” Kame emphasized to the still astonished boy, grabbed his shirt, slipped out from the room and locked the door behind him.
*

After Jin was finally free, he was on his feet right away. But if not for Koki grabbing his arm and supporting him, he would have fallen back to the seat.

“Easy, tough guy,” Koki urged on him, glancing at his blood-stained trousers. “You don´t look so well.”

Jin just hissed something incomprehensible. It took several painful seconds to make his limbs move on their own, considerably shorter time than it would have been expected, but Jin was so focused on finding Kame as soon as possible, that he absolutely ignored his own condition. He was on the move and at the stairs even before Koki. They couldn´t waste any second now. Not only that someone might have noticed that something was off any moment, but Jin was also going crazy from the ideas about what might have been going on the second floor.

Jin ran up those never-ending stairs, turned into the short corridor and bumped into somebody. He staggered, surprised by the sudden weight in his arms, while the other one pulled away alarmed, raising his head.

Two widened and bewildered looks connected and once they recognized each other, the equal amount of relief appeared in them.

“What about Grenet?” Jin didn´t forget about their tormentor and his eyes searched through the rest of the corridor.

“Inside,” Kame reacted shortly, showing him the key, which he was squeezing in his hand. “I locked him there with McFly.”

The dark eyes got back to him, looking at his unbuttoned shirt and loosely pulled trousers: “Are you…?”

“Fine,” Kame said quickly, even though it felt as the greatest lie of his life. “You?”

“All fingers in place,” Jin assured him.

“Good…” the younger one breathed out.

“We must get out, guys!” the blonde head popped from behind the corner. “Leave the smooching for another day!”

“Very funny,” Jin snorted.

“Koki!” Kame looked at the Rider gratefully. “So it was you…”

“Thank-you-speeches also later,” Koki grinned at him. “Let´s go!”


Naturally, it was easier said than done.

Koki brought a spare revolver for Jin, so all three of them were armed now, but it would not be enough if they were noticed during their escape. They could only hope that the fire would keep all present gunmen too occupied.

Once they rushed down the stairs, though it was more like stumbling in case of Kame and Jin, they found the rectangle of flames instead of the exit. The whole taproom was quickly filling up with smoke.

“Damn, didn´t you…” Jin coughed heavily. “…overdo it a bit?”

“Yet you still complain,” Koki mumbled from behind the sleeve, which he was pressing against his nose and mouth. “Follow me!”

There was a small kitchen behind the taproom, with an open window, which Koki apparently had used for getting inside the building. Fortunately, the main uproar around the fire was behind the corner. The blonde one climbed out as first, and then kept an eye on their surroundings, while Jin and Kame helped each other to get outside as well. Crouching, all three Riders ran to the cover of another nearest building, which looked like some shed for tools. It hid them well enough, as they checked on the situation.

It seemed that Grenet´s men managed to put down the flames in the small warehouse, but the fire jumped further and now they were running around the main building like ants, still splashing the water from buckets. Nobody seemed to care much about the lack of presence either of their boss or the prisoners.

“Did you use the same spot for getting here?” Jin asked Koki breathlessly, trying to relieve the weight from his wounded leg.

“No,” the blonde one shook his head. “I´ll explain it later. But our horses are up there, just as you wanted. Those lazybones gave up on searching quite quickly,” he added, evaluating the efforts of Grenet´s men to find the black stallion not very positively. “So, if Kuro is really that smart as you said…” Koki made a significant pause.

“Sure, just as his master,” Jin snorted indignantly.

“Damn, we´re screwed then,” the blonde Rider reacted.

“Hey, shut up,” the older one snapped.

“It wasn´t an offense, just stating of the fact,” Koki informed him almost innocently.

“Which way do we need to take?” Kame asked stiffly, interrupting their bickering. He was very pale again, which was clearly visible even in the dark, as he was leaning on the wooden wall heavily.

“We need to evade them…” Koki frowned at the fuss in front of the main building.

“Over there,” Jin showed. “Along the fence, it´s the way I used before.”

“It will be hard to cover up in all that light…” Kame noted looking at the flames, which had already started licking the narrow balcony at the second floor.

“We can make it if we´re quick,” the blonde one reacted, though his tone was somewhat forcefully cheerful.

Jin squeezed Kame´s shoulder gently, looking at him worriedly: “Will you manage? You look horrible…”

“I will,” Kame nodded quietly. “And I want us to make a stop along the way…”

“What stop?” Jin asked confused.

“We´ll take that Indian prisoner with us,” the younger one stated as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

“What?!” Koki yelped. “That´s crazy, Kame! I saw him; he´s half-dead!”

“Hush yourself a little,” Kame reminded him unmoved.

“Why?” Jin asked, not so surprised that the younger one cared about an unknown red man. “Why do you want to help him?”

Kame looked to his eyes with a serious expression: “I cannot let him in Grenet´s hands... If we´re getting out, we take him with us.”
*

It could not even be called a risk; it was pure foolishness. But from some reason, Kame insisted on his decision and rather than arguing with him, it was easier and faster to go along.

Somehow, they reached that horrible place with stakes unnoticed and both Koki and Kame made use of the knife and dagger again. Once the Indian had noticed that the guys untying him were not Grenet´s men, his black stare came to life and after a few meters, during which Jin and Koki literally dragged him towards the least brusque slope of the whole valley, he started walking almost all by himself. Which they considered a pure miracle, considering the condition the Indian was in. After that only Koki supported him, while Jin took care of Kame, whose pace was slowing down with each step.

It would be too good if their departure went along without any troubles, but fortunately, Jin´s instincts didn´t betray him this time and without any hesitation, he shot down a couple of quite upset riflemen, who chased after them, not even glancing back. The gun shots were definitely audible, so if anything, their time for escape had even shortened.

Once they got to the spot, which Jin had intended to use before they were captured by Grenet, the Rider looked up and whistled sharply. For a long moment, nothing happened.
“I knew it, we´re screwed,” Koki mumbled in a pessimistic tone.

“And I told you to shut up,” Jin reacted, his eyes focused on the slope half-hidden in the deep dark night, even though it was only a few meters high.

And then, a heavy stone fell down the slope so suddenly, that they all flinched except Jin.

“Good boy,” he smiled at the sight of the taut rope, which was tied to the rock.

“I can´t believe it,” Koki evaluated amazed.

“You don´t have to believe; just grab it and help the Indian up,” Jin snapped, already wrapping the rope around the waists of both men. “You have to remain on your feet, otherwise Kuro will drag you through the stones,” he warned them.

The stooping and heavily breathing Indian looked Kame questioningly, who translated it for him shortly. The red man nodded and held onto the rope as much as his weak hands allowed him.

Jin whistled again, the rope stretched almost right away and started to drag both guys up the slope. They struggled a little to remain on their feet, as they were literally forced to run up the hill.

“Can you do it?” Jin asked quietly.

“With your help,” Kame reacted heavily.

“All rig….” Jin didn’t finish as his jaw dropped at the sight of the rain of fire…
*

Saving that Sioux was more than just a right thing to do for Kame. There had already been enough material related to Grenet for nightmares in his head; he really didn´t need to add that poor Indian´s useless death to them. Especially, when the Sioux captive acted friendly towards him before, even though he didn´t have to care about any white man at all.

Once the Indian realized that the fellow prisoner understood his language, he talked to Kame a bit. And it literally kept the younger one sane, when he was worried sick for Jin and close to breakdown from the repeated and even worse pain in his back from being tied to that damn stake.

Kame needed to help that red man, even if that meant a greater risk on their escape. He didn´t feel even a bit of remorse watching Koki helping the Indian up the slope. But then he had to stop looking up for a while, as he suddenly felt dizzy. Jin was watching him worriedly and he didn´t seem very convinced by Kame´s reassurance that he could make it. And then something attracted the older one´s attention.

Kame followed Jin´s widened look towards the sky above the quarry, which had just started resonating with battle cries and first deathly screams.

“The Sioux…” the younger one breathed out. That was the first explanation he could think of. The Indians were probably waiting nearby and they used the fuss around the fire for their attack.

“Perfect timing, seriously…” Jin murmured. “We need to get out now,” he looked up to the dark line of the top of the hill impatiently: “What the hell takes them so…”

His complaint was interrupted by the stone on the rope being thrown down again.

“It was about time… Let´s go, we´re like sitting ducks over here.”

Kame didn´t really feel for any climb at all, but if he would not force himself, they couldn´t make it. Just as before, Jin wrapped the end of the rope around his waist, then around his own, made a simple knot and held onto it with just one hand, still supporting Kame.

“Ready?”

Kame only nodded, trying to overcome his nausea, which was getting worse. Jin whistled for one last time and the rope started to pull them up just as Koki and the Indian before.

The small stones were slipping under their feet and didn´t make the ascent any easier. The fire arrows kept flying from the tops of the hills above the quarry and the furious gunshots could be heard from the entry way towards the camp.

Kame fought for each single breath, searching for the remaining strength, which he could not find. Not being for Jin, who was hissing painfully at each step because of the wounded leg, Kame would just probably let himself be dragged up over the ground. His head was spinning again and his legs felt like of a newborn foal.

“Hold on only a bit longer, Kazu…” Jin blurted heavily. “We´re almost there…”
*

The rope stopped pulling just under the sharp edge, almost exactly in the moment, when Kame could not take it anymore and leant over Jin fully, wheezing heavily and not being able to stand by himself. With his teeth clenched, Jin reached for the stony edge above them. Kame was not so heavy in general, but Jin wasn´t exactly at his full strength. He was not able to drag him the rest of the way up all alone…

Suddenly, two hands reached out from the dark and grabbed his desperately searching arm firmly. Jin looked up and in the firelight from the quarry he recognized his helper´s face.

“Leo…” Jin breathed out surprised.

His little brother smiled and then he looked back: “Guys! I need some help over here. My big Bro obviously put on some weight!”

Almost right away, there were other two pairs of hands, which reached out for Kame, took him from Jin´s desperate grip and pulled him up easily. Relieved from his precious burden, Jin could catch both Leo´s hands now and he clambered up with his help.

The top of the hill was a little more crowded than Jin had anticipated. Koki and Ryo had just let Kame sit next to the resting Indian, only a bit away from the edge. Jane was untying the rope from Kuro´s saddle to roll it back up and Jack was guarding obviously nervous Ukushi and Koki´s stallion. Cullen and Nick stood partially back to all of them, with rifles in their hands, watching around the perimeter. No Rider avoided glancing towards the shooting stars; the Indian attack was taking place unpleasantly close.

After Jin´s eyes ran over this whole scene, he turned back to Leo. He was really glad to see him, especially under the circumstances and he meant to say so, but then he remembered their last ´conversation´ and the words stuck in his throat. And Leo seemed to be hesitating as well.

For a while, none of them moved. The dark figures of two brothers remained standing on the background of the light from the quarry in turmoil.

“Jin… I…”

Before Leo could continue, a sharp sound was heard and an arrow stuck into the ground at his feet. Everyone except Kame, Jack and the Indian aimed their weapons at the darkness, which came to life with swift movements. But they very quickly realized that they were outnumbered.

Threateningly silent slim figures with long, feather-decorated hair appeared, one by one, almost twenty of them, and all of them with bows in their hands. The Black Riders were surrounded by obviously upset Sioux Indians.



- To be continued -
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