witchann2: (AKame RW)
[personal profile] witchann2

Rating: NC-17

Genre: Western, Drama, Romance
Warning: AKame pairing; vulgarisms, violence, angst
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...

AN: Kon´nichiwa!
I knew it wouldn´t be easy, but writing this chapter was even more difficult than I had expected...
It´s not any happy reading, so... Go for it once you´re ready. ^_^´
Looking forward to your reactions as always!

I´m really grateful for every opinion or advice and always happy to know my readers.
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.

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 // Chapter thirty nine // Chapter forty //


At first, Math Grenet was mad with rage.

Both Kamenashi and Akanishi escaped. It seemed impossible, but they still did. The most important building of the whole quarry burnt down to the ground. Once Cameron would find out, he would probably faint. Those Sioux shitheads topped off the series of issues with their attack, slaughtering a good half of his underlings. After this, the information about disappearance of their Indian captive didn´t even surprise him and the persistent headache along with nausea didn´t exactly brighten up his day either.

But then, he realized that it was absolutely useless to waste energy by blustering on the rest of those imbeciles, who couldn´t guard a single man. He still had a certain intention, which he wasn´t willing to give up on… And while focusing on it, his anger turned into a fierce desire for revenge.

No one ever fucked him over as much as the Montana brats. Ever since Math was around sixteen years old, no one had crossed his path without fatal consequences and those two had already done it for too many times. He wouldn´t be surprised if they were even behind that Indian attack; those damned red skins acted with just a too perfect timing. And he had thought that they had no guts for more than sneaking around and raiding the carts leaving Laporte.

Nevertheless, Math didn´t give a shit about sandstone anymore. All he cared for was how to make those two pay for everything they caused. He would get them into his hands once again and show them what it meant to play games with Math Grenet. He would make them regret ever thwarting his plans, and especially Kamenashi.

This vengeful focus kept Math going on no matter the fatigue or the sprained ankle with which he paid for jumping out of the window. Only in that one moment, when he was about to hit the pile of hastily stacked blankets and sandbags on the ground, he seriously doubted if everything would work out for him this time. But it did, and he was eager to grasp another chance to have some fun with both ´Nashi´s´.

The pain and dizziness weakened him, but he didn´t have to be fully at his senses to realize that it was time for retreat, seeing one gunman after another falling down under the rain of arrows. There was even no need to gather those who were not injured yet, as the most of them were already hallway out of the valley.

He just armed himself in the armory, while Danny, who made the jump into the compost almost without a scratch, managed to catch a couple of frightened horses, and with the sharp Indian yells behind their backs, they literally shot their way out from the quarry…

They gathered at the first seemingly safe place, just a mile north of the quarry, near to the Laporte warehouses. Since Grenet wanted to leave at least a half of the survivors on the spot, to watch over the following events, he would have had six men plus Danny at hand and he considered that enough to chase after the fugitives. But that was only until those bastards refused to obey.

Marty was the first one refusing to chase after some brats, who had no value and the rest of them joined him. Whining as puppies, they thought up tons of excuses to sit there on their asses, from the furious Sioux, to the necessity of waiting for Cameron´s return. Before they named them all, his head almost exploded and he considered shooting one or two of them to make the others to change their opinion, but it would be a waste of bullets, which he needed.

In the end, he lost his patience and took only Danny along. At least they were less noticeable that way – he definitely didn´t want those two to suspect what was coming at them. And moreover, who needed incapable idiots? He was more than enough all by himself to get Kamenashi on his knees and Akanishi to his grave…

With very quiet Danny following him, Grenet led their way up the hill, knowing exactly, where to start with the search – at the top of the lowest southern slope, which Akanishi had intended to use for their escape before. And his hunch was right. He found some blood-stained cloths in the trampled grass and many hoofprints around. He guessed that the gang of Akanishi´s brother came to their rescue and then they headed south, probably trying to avoid the unwanted attention, which was definitely about to come from Fort Collins.

The ground was soft after the spring thaw and it was ridiculously easy to follow them in that terrain. That fact was the first thing since his unpleasant waking-up which improved his mood. The second one followed not long after that, when he found their little camp between the hills… But with the Black Riders involved, Math had to be patient. It would be stupid to go against the whole gang. Seeing that tight circle around the fire, he assumed that it was not so serious with that argument Akanishi had mentioned… If he was telling the truth at all.

Math managed to find a convenient spot nearby and forbid Danny from setting up any fire. No matter the related discomfort, he couldn´t risk being exposed in advance. During the night, his teeth chattered from cold, but since he kept replaying the possible outcomes of that waiting in front of his eyes, which included many bloody details, he was somehow able to hold on until the sunrise…

Early the following morning, Math left Danny behind to watch over their horses and set off towards the Riders´ camp. He found a well-covered spot between two rocks with perfect view over everything, what was going on down there… And he almost couldn´t believe his luck.

Just five horses were prepared for the ride, while the black stallion and white mare were left aside, grazing on the first straws of spring grass peacefully. Four Riders and that woman, who was with them, had just finished packing their stuff and they were ready to mount the horses. It didn´t take long before only his two targets remained in the small valley…

Math completely forgot about the vibrant pain in his ankle, which he strained too much by this furious hunt and a slimy grin contorted his face, while watching the changed scene. Akanishi was limping quite heavily, as he moved around and Kamenashi was just sitting by the fire, cowering under the blanket.

“Well, boys, you chose the wrong time and wrong place to get some rest,” Math murmured for himself. They just didn’t´ know it yet…

Jin watched as his brother´s company disappeared behind another hill. Their camp got quiet and lonely, which only increased his bad feeling. He turned and his eyes ran across the rocks hovering above them. Only the day before, they brought him a sense of safety, but today… Their dark shadow felt somehow ominous.

Slowly, he limped towards their campfire. They would have put it down a long time ago under normal circumstances, but since they expected a visitor, they kept it steady. If that bastard was watching them from somewhere, Jin was quite sure that they were persuasive enough about not suspecting anything.

When he sat down next to silent Kame, he took his time to do it carefully, since his leg still protested against any sudden movement. He was lucky that it was only a clean bullet hole. Breathing out in relief, Jin folded both legs into the most comfortable position and then he focused on his so non-speaking companion.

Kame uttered scarcely five words since the previous evening. He was still pale, but at least he didn´t seem so tired anymore, only anxious.

“I can do it if you´re not feeling up to it, Kame,” Jin offered quietly. “I still don´t like that you should be the bait, anyway…”

The younger one kept looking to the small flickering flames, when he replied: “No… It´s all right, Jin. It´s more probable that he´ll come after me first.”

Jin frowned worriedly, once again not liking the younger one´s voice. But this time, it was as if there was something… gloomy in it. Definitely something that he was not used to hear.

He reached out and placed a hand on the other´s shoulder. Kame didn´t move away, but he stiffened and still didn´t look at the older one. From some reason, the words which Jin meant to say got stuck in his throat. That awful feeling about what Grenet might have done to his lover was back in an even greater strength. That bastard was always full of bullshit, what if some of it was bothering Kame now?

Jin opened his mouth for a question, but in the last second, he reconsidered. It was better to wait for a better opportunity.

“All right… I´ll remain close no matter what,” he stated reassuringly.

Only now, the younger one´s eyes focused on him: “I know.”

Their looks locked together for a while and Jin suddenly saw that Kame was hiding much more emotions inside of him than one could tell – he was resolved and nervous at the same time, but there was also something so sad, that Jin´s heart sank noticing it.

“Kazu… Will you be all right?” he asked hoarsely.

Kame sighed and then he covered Jin´s hand with his: “Yeah… I will be. If you will.”

“Well, that´s good,” Jin chuckled a little. “Since apart from a hole in my leg I´m completely fine.”

The younger one tried to return the smile, but it turned out quite ruefully. And Jin knew what, or rather who, caused that and he was willing to do anything to get a real Kame´s smile back…

Kame was grateful that Jin tried to cheer him up without unnecessary questions. It was difficult to remain calm, when he felt so restless.

He dreaded the moment of facing that cruel pervert again, but at the same time he was determined to bring this whole story related to Math Grenet to its final. He was already sick of expecting that man behind every tree.

During the last night, when he woke up from just another bad dream, in which Jin was the target of Grenet´s attention this time, Kame realized that he wouldn´t be able to sleep peacefully until the murderer of his mother and his friends would end up dead as well...

Math observed the activities of that cute couple with a satisfied smirk through the curtain of low conifer branches. He changed his position for one much closer to the little camp.

Following their track before, he was a bit worried about how to deal with the whole group of Black Riders, when he had only Danny as a back-up, but since those two obviously ended up being alone, it would be no big deal at all. All he had to do was to wait for the right moment.

They seemed to be just resting - Akanishi was taking care of their weapons, while Kamenashi was sipping on some hot liquid and most of the time stared into the flames motionlessly. Considering that they should be far from being healthy after the visit in the quarry, Math could try to handle them both at once, but that would be a useless risk. It was better to wait until one of them…

An upset neigh coming from the shady spot under the pines tore Math off his scheming. The white mare was shaking its big head and kept snorting nervously, while the black stallion was literally dancing on the spot, trying to release the tied reins, keeping him close to a tree trunk. Both animals were staring in the direction of his hideout. With the wind changing, they probably sensed him this time.

Plague on them both, Math cursed in his mind, I should have brought some arsenic and give it to them as a snack.

Both youngsters turned to their animals with a concerned frown, which was a clear sign for him to retreat to a safer distance… Sneaking further away between the pines, Math was searching for another spot, from where he could watch them, but not too distant. There was one uprooted tree, which served that purpose well and fortunately, it was also far enough to calm those stupid animals.

After a while, Kamenashi got up and slowly approached his mare. It seemed as if he talked to her or something, before he patted also the almost motionless stallion and proceeded further between the trees. Math checked on the fireplace and smirked. Akanishi remained sitting at the fire, still obviously focused on his precious weapons.

And here we go with a convenient moment…

Grenet carefully straightened up and cowering behind the trunks and bushes, quickly headed towards the place, where Kamenashi probably went to relieve himself. He found him just when the youngster was buttoning up his pants.

Grabbing one of those fine Akanishi´s revolvers, which he managed to snatch from the armory, Math crept up to the pretty face step by step. This time, there was no way that Kamenashi would have made his way away from him. Definitely, no way. And he would get his damn satisfaction while fucking him so that...

Some stupid twig cracked under his boot and it made Kamenashi turn before Math could reach the spot he wished to be at – right behind his back. But he didn´t let himself be disturbed by the early revelation; he knew Kamenashi´s weak spots by now very well.

“There was no need to dress up because of me,” he grinned with the revolver aiming at the youngster´s stomach.

With his eyes widening, Kamenashi took a breath.

“No, no, don´t do that,” Math reacted quickly. “I have somebody aiming at Akanishi´s head right at this moment. Make any noise and he´s as good as dead.”

His prey stiffened hearing that, but didn´t say anything.

“Come closer, baby boy, no need to be afraid,” he mocked the younger one, approaching closer. “I´ve had enough of you slipping out of my fingers…”

With each of his steps forward, Kamenashi made one backwards, and it was not even a bit amusing anymore. Math was already annoyed by how desperately that brat was still trying to avoid the inevitable.

“If you really want to piss me off then keep moving,” he grunted.

Kamenashi froze and remained standing under one of those ugly pines, staring at him.

“See? That´s the way…”

Something cracked on his right.

Even though the previous experiences were telling Grenet not to let Kamenashi out of his sight even for a second, he couldn´t help but glance away. He noticed just a glimpse of some movement, so short that he immediately considered it to be just a work of his nerves and he returned his eyes to Kamenashi right away. And once again he was reminded that it really wasn´t a good idea to let himself be distracted, while facing that unpredictable youngster.

He just couldn´t be quick enough to react to the long leg, which kicked that fine revolver out of his hand. The weapon flew away somewhere into the bushes, as Kamenashi returned to his original position on both feet.

With his right hand tingling up to the elbow, Grenet gritted his teeth: “Nice try!” he snapped and reached for another revolver hidden at his belt.

“Drop it.”

That cold order was heard on his left side and something hard buried into his stomach along with it. Kamenashi was still standing in front of him, with that same focused expression, which was not fear, as Math realized now – the youngster was concentrated on his every move. That little calculative bastard…

Math glanced to the side to find a stern face of an older man whom he remembered spotting in Fort Collins – one of the Riders. And he was tickling him with a barrel of an impressive rifle.

“I said – drop it. Slowly,” the man repeated.

“Or die bleeding like a pig, you´re free to choose,” another, and quite familiar voice joined him behind Math´s back. But he used to hear it only crying or making desperate jokes, not in such a determined and spiteful tone. It was the voice of that blonde shithead, who tried to incite a revolt in the quarry.

“I definitely support that second option,” the third Rider appeared in the middle of bushes, where the sharp crack was heard before, a black-haired one this time.

Shit… They just kept popping out of nowhere. So that parting was just an act play… They expected him to come and they
outnumbered him greatly. Double shit.

 “Too scared to face me alone, Kamenashi?” Math grinned offensively and he let the gun fall to the ground. But the baby boy seemed to be in his non-talkative mood and didn´t react. “Black Riders, I suppose,” he looked around three other faces then. “Are you sure it´s a good idea to threaten me? I have a dozen men surrounding the area and they…”

“Save your breath, we know you´re alone, you son of a bitch,” the blonde Rider hissed over his shoulder, when he searched him for more firearms and took also his knife.

“If you think so…” Math smirked, even though he began to be quite nervous. Would it be possible that one of them watched him since the departure from the quarry? “Just wait until you end up with bullets in your asses,” he tried to confuse them once again.

“Keep your empty threats, Grenet. You really are alone, you just don´t know it yet.”

Another bastard who joined the scene, looked so much like Akanishi, that it could be no one else than his younger brother. But that was not something Math would care for at the moment, as a certain boy was walking in front of the Riders´ leader. Without any restraints and moreover with an expression that Math wasn´t used to see on the boy´s face – determined and somehow cold.

“Your friend here was so kind to tell us about the actual state of your affairs,” Leo Akanishi continued, as he patted the boy´s thin shoulder.

“Danny?” Math gritted his teeth, feeling the dark anger rising in him again. “What´s the meaning of this?”

The boy didn´t reply, though he cowered a little under the harsh sound of his name.

“It seems that he´s finally fed up with you,” the blonde Rider announced to him with a quite hideous grin. “We found him in the woods looking for us, would you believe it? It was quite smart of him.”

Math couldn´t believe it. That submissive brat gave him in?

“You treacherous asshole!” Math spat angrily. “How dare you…!”

“I´ve just did what I should have done a long time ago,” Danny interrupted him with a shocking composure.

“You should be grateful to me, you little fucker!” Math grunted hatefully, still shocked by the betrayal coming from somebody, from whom he would expect it the least of all.

Leo was observing Grenet´s contorted face a bit curiously. That bastard didn´t understand at all, why Danny McFly acted as he did.
Not that the boy would have explained them his reasons in details, but what he had mentioned was more than enough for Leo. McFly didn´t receive any good treatment from that man and he was very serious about helping them to get him. And Grenet was… simply too selfish to understand that this outcome was his own fault.

When the gunman started yelling insults at the boy, McFly made a kind of sad face: “You don´t get it and you never will… I know that now.”

“I´m gonna…!”

The barrel of Cullen´s rifle burying deeper into Grenet´s stomach stopped another one of his tirades.

McFly turned to the Leo: “May I go now? As I said, I have no reason to betray you guys.”

Everybody looked at Leo, awaiting his decision, but he just observed the boy for a while, before he turned to Kame. He assumed that his brother´s… friend was the only one who could estimate what the boy would actually do…

“I guess you´re the one who knows him the most, Kame… What do you think?”

Kame repaid his serious look rather surprised, before he focused on McFly, who seemed to be reconciled with whatever they´d decide in advance.

“What are you going to do now?” Kame asked him seriously after a moment of hesitation.

The boy shrugged: “Definitely not going back to the quarry. I´d like to go home… There´s someone, who actually cares about me back in Bozeman. I hope so, at least…”

Kame nodded, thinking for a while: “Do you know the Brices?” he asked suddenly.

Danny nodded.

“Can you deliver a message for me?”

“If you let me go…” the boy reacted.

Kamenashi was looking into the boy´s eyes, when he spoke again: “Then just tell them that… I´m doing fine.”

“Sure, no problem. Anything else?”

“…no,” Kame shook his head. “Don´t go into any details.”

“I understand. Thanks for trusting me and… I´m sorry, really, for everything,” McFly seemed to be serious about his apology.

Kame didn´t react to that and looked at Leo instead: “I think we can let him go, Leo,” he gave out his final statement.

Leo was really glad to hear it. McFly was very young and he just ended up in the wrong company. It would have been difficult if they had to get rid of him. Unlike Grenet, the boy deserved a second chance.

“Fine then. You heard him,” he said to the boy. “Get out, before I reconsider.”

“Thank you,” Danny appreciated their decision again, before turning to leave, which only assured Leo that it was a good decision to let him go. McFly disappeared between the trees without a single look back.

During their conversation, Grenet was suspiciously quiet, but his deadly stares towards the leaving boy were clear enough; he´d have killed McFly on the spot, if he could.

“That was lovely,” he evaluated spitefully. “You´re so nice that it makes me wanna vomit. He´ll rat you out at the first opportunity!”

“That´s not of your concern,” Leo informed him scornfully.

“And what are you going to do with me?” Grenet hissed. “Will you be as lovely as in that little shit´s case?”

Only silence replied to him.

“Oh, I guess not,” Grenet snorted. “But maybe baby boy… You´ve always been too soft to actually do anything, will you have some guts now?”

The youngster´s eyes were looking at the man, but Grenet didn´t manage to provoke any reaction from him. Leo was not sure if he should admire Kame´s composure or be shocked by it. But no matter that, there was somebody, who was obviously influenced by that bullshit a lot and he was just limping towards the scene…

“To be in your shoes, I´d rather shut up,” Leo recommended Grenet, looking behind his back.

But the gunman ignored the warning. Actually, he didn´t seem to be exactly sane at the moment, as he kept raising his voice and the spit was flying in the air with each word he said… Leo was listening to the man feeling increasingly disgusted.

“Do your friends here know what a pretty bitch you´re? You enjoyed our little date, didn´t you?” Grenet continued mockingly. “You can never escape from the fact, you´re not normal, baby boy, but you can still enjoy it. Speak up for me and I will fuck you so hard that…”

Grenet´s speech was interrupted with a hand grabbing his shoulder and turning him in the opposite direction roughly, making him almost choke on the last word. The gunman couldn´t react in time even if he wanted to. His teeth clanked together under the hard hit. Grenet would have fallen, but the other hand kept him steady, while its colleague hit him again. And then two more times, before finally letting him go.

Math Grenet literally collapsed to the ground, the blood gushing from his broken lips. He ended up on his side, coughing out a dislocated tooth. No Rider moved to stop their leader´s brother. Neither did Leo, who was a bit shocked to see Jin so… furious, even though he knew that his sibling could be like that.

The older Akanishi came closer to the lying man and with all his strength, he used his unharmed leg to kick up his stomach. Grenet yelped and then started wheezing for breath. And yet, nobody moved or spoke…

Heavily breathing, Jin kicked the defenseless man again, not being able to raise the red curtain of anger, which flooded his mind. He knew no better way to release all his hatred, anger and fear than by burying his boot into that soft flesh and make that creature suffer. And still it was not…


That voice was only like a quiet echo somewhere in the distance over the curtain, familiar, but not strong enough to break through his amok. Grenet had to suffer, he had to die, otherwise Jin would have never felt peace anymore…


Finally realizing it was Kazuya´s voice, Jin raised his eyes from whining and bleeding Grenet to meet with the serious look of his lover.
“That´s enough,” Kame said quietly but with emphasis.

Jin still couldn´t calm his breath, but his vision got clearer and he could start to think again. His knuckles hurt and he felt as after running two miles. He didn´t understand what exhausted him so much…

“I agree... He´s not worth staining your hands with him, Bro,” Leo joined Kame, watching his brother quite worriedly.

Jin took a deep breath and closed his eyes for a moment. The red flood was gone and he felt a bit relieved, but he was missing something… No, not something, somebody. He needed Kazuya´s closeness.

Jin overstepped the lying man, so that he wouldn´t even brush over him with his boot, made two quick steps and without any word he hugged Kame vigorously. Only later, he realized that it had to hurt the younger one. But Kame remained still and after a moment, he circled his hands around the older one´s waist, and leant his forehead over Jin´s shoulder, as if he wanted to hide his face in front of the looks of other Riders.

Cullen rolled his eyes, Koki and Ryo grinned at each other and Leo rather focused on their captive. Grenet was obviously conscious, but his face looked as if a herd of buffalo ran over it.

“Guys,” Leo pointed at Grenet, who was kind of rolling in his own blood. “We need to tie him up.”

“Yeah, and very properly, I´ll make sure of it myself,” Koki stated and leant down with a quite dangerous shine in his eyes.

“And I´ll gladly help you with that,” Ryo joined him willingly.

Together, they pulled Grenet up on his feet, not caring about him spitting clots of blood and saliva between the coughs. But when Koki and Ryo wanted to turn the man towards the temporary camp, the man resisted their lead and the hateful grey look pierced the hugging couple.

“Enjoy yourselves while you can… sweeties…” Grenet blurted out hoarsely. “Because you can bet… I´ll find a way… to get you both…”

Kame and Jin pulled away from each other slowly and looked at that disgusting man. Neither of them replied, but their eyes spoke for themselves. That absolutely equal volume of contempt and resentment impressed even Leo and it seemed to piss Grenet off even more.

“You think… you´re better than me?!” the man staggered, as the two Riders kept trying to drag him away. “But you´re not!”

“Shut up, Grenet!” Koki snapped, shifting with him roughly. “Nobody is curious about your crap!”

“You think you cannot… hate me more? I´ll bring you out of mistake then!” when Grenet grinned this time, it was a quite hideous look with all that blood creating the frames to his teeth. “Akanishi, you´re such a good screamer, but I bet you could do even better!”

Disgusted Cullen turned the rifle in his hands upside down and approached the spitting man, just when Leo thought up of the very same idea…

“And baby boy… You´re a special case! Isn´t he, Akanishi? With that pretty ass of his. First, I´ll make him watch you die, and then….”

Jin moved forward with an obvious intention to beat the soul out of that bastard, but it wasn´t necessary anymore. A wheezy laugh, which started coming from Grenet´s throat, was interrupted in the bud and the man collapsed to the ground again, since neither Ryo nor Koki bothered to keep him on his feet, when Cullen hit Grenet´s temple with the gun-stock.

“I was getting a headache already,” the oldest Rider grunted, as he threw the strap of the rifle over his shoulder.

“Me too,” Ryo breathed out in relief.

“But now we have to carry him…” Koki observed the motionless body annoyed.

Kame leant his back over the nearest bole and closed his eyes, while Jin started to massage his right hand with a dark expression.
In a silent understanding, nobody commented anything from what was said.

With the flood of complaints and curses, Koki, Ryo and Cullen started carrying the unconscious Grenet towards the camp. Jane had just brought their horses there and she was already waiting for them. Leo approached his brother.

“Let´s go to sit on this. I bet you didn´t exactly help your leg with this exercise, Jin…”

This time, Cullen didn´t have any objections against sharing his precious bottle of Mexican tequila with the others. Actually, he brought it to the fire all by himself and let it go around to everyone. Jin took the biggest gulp of all and Kame didn´t even bother to check what was given to his hand before drinking up as well.

Math Grenet was lying in the grass nearby, looking almost like a mummy, wrapped in all those firm ropes. He was still so pleasurably quiet, since he hadn´t woken up yet, but just to be sure, they also stuffed a gag into his filthy mouth.

When the bottle returned to Cullen, a half of it was gone. He put the rest of it aside, though he was not so naive to hope that it would last the rest of that day.

“So? Any suggestions?” the Rider brought up a topic, which was hanging in the air, his eyes looking mainly at Leo´s brother and Kamenashi. But neither of them reacted…

“Shoot him in the head,” Koki´s opinion stated his opinion right away.

“Waste of a bullet,” Ryo opined.

“It´d be a quick and final solution, wouldn´t it?” the blonde one defended his idea.

“Ultimate,” his buddy agreed. “But…”

“But he doesn´t deserve a mercy of quick death,” the older Akanishi cut in unwaveringly.

“All right… Can´t argue about that. A noose around his neck, then?” Koki came up with another deadly idea.

Before anyone else could react on it, so far quietly frowning Jane disrupted their planning: “You put yourself in the role of judges quite easily,” she reproached them.

“You´d have given him to the Marshals?!” the blonde Rider reacted incredulously.

“That´d be the only right choice,” the brunette nodded firmly. “Otherwise, you´d be the same as…”

“Not an option,” Jin interrupted her harshly. “Back in Montana, he had been sentenced to death and yet he managed to escape. We won´t make the same mistake again.”

Jane looked around the Riders´ faces, searching for any support, but she didn´t find it. She sighed: “Guys… Remember that you will have to live with what you decide to do with him.”

Unexpectedly, Kame was the one reacting on that statement coldly: “We must live with many bad things, Jane. And most of them are related to that man.”

Jane took a breath, wiling to start an argument, but she realized that it would be hopeless. Kame´s and also Jin´s expressions were unreachable. She, just as the rest of the Riders, knew that both of them suffered a lot because of Math Grenet. But only now she realized how greatly they were affected by it. It awoke cruelty inside of them. There was no point in arguing, especially when they obviously had the rest of the gang on their side. So, she just pressed her lips together and kept silent, even though it pained her imagining, what that decision would do with them.

“What would you suggest, Kame?” Ryo asked.

The young Rider focused on the flames again, not replying, pressing his hands together in a little anxious gesture.

“There´s something on your mind, right?” Jin encouraged him quietly, noticing that the younger one was hesitating.

“Yeah, I might have an… idea,” Kame turned to the older one for a moment, as if he wanted to make sure of something, before he spoke again. “We can give him over to Sioux.”

A short silence fell on the camp.

Jin felt goosebumps jumping all over his skin. There was something in Kazuya´s eyes, when he said that. Something dark, what he had seen only once, and that was when they let Raynold Karnaka burn to death along with his mansion. Jin didn´t like that ice-cold impression Kame was leaving like that. But he couldn´t deny that he did like that idea. Actually, he couldn´t think of anything better.

“Why to them? What would they do with him?” Jane asked very quietly, disrupting the silence.

“Grenet is their sworn enemy,” Kame started to explain slowly. “Not only because of the quarry, which is located on their territory. But he also forced their people to slavery in the silver mines and he murdered many of their warriors.”

“So, they would torture him to death at the stake…” Leo figured, not expressing any opinion.

Kame didn´t reply, but he didn´t have to.

“I can´t help but like this idea,” Koki commented with a quite satisfied smirk.

“That´s horrible…” Jane whispered, honestly terrified.

“He doesn´t deserve your compassion, Jane, believe me,” Jin said in a deep voice.

“I do, but to let him torture by Indians… That´s inhuman,” she protested shakily.

“They consider it just that a man should pay for his crimes before leaving this world,” Kame reacted quietly, which took any other objections from the brunette´s mouth. She was not able to argue with that look Kame had…

“Don´t bother with it, dear,” Leo reached for Jane´s hand and squeezed it gently. “You don´t have to be here if…”

“No,” she shook her head sadly. “I´ll stay. I… I understand, actually…”

Leo nodded wordlessly, but still he pulled his girlfriend closer and secured an arm around her waist.

“So… The Indians again, huh?” Cullen noted and lit up a cigarette. “Are you sure we won´t bring up more troubles on ourselves with it?”

“The opposite, we would make them obliged to us,” Kame replied soberly.

“Sounds good, let´s make some Indian friends,” Ryo nodded in agreement as well.

“That´s all really nice and so, but how do we find them?” the oldest Rider wondered. “Didn´t you forget that they´re rebels, right? They won´t be sitting on their asses in the reservation.”

“But their families will,” Kame had a response to that as well. “And they will know where to find them.”

“And I guess you´re sure you can make them talk…” Leo assumed, without any doubts. “All right then… I don´t feel I have much right to talk into this anyway, and since Koki agrees, I´m also in.”

“I don´t think you should stick around with us for this, Leo,” Jin objected. “You´ve helped us more than enough.”

His younger brother frowned: “You don´t think I´ll let you two travel with that bastard all alone?”

“The Sioux should be settled somewhere in the near area, it won´t be for long,” Kame reminded seriously.

“Doesn´t matter, you´re not going alone,” Leo decided. “Ryo, Koki, what would you say to a little trip to our future Indian friends?”

“Wouldn´t mind it,” Ryo shrugged.

“I´d go even if you forbad it,” the blonde one grinned.

“It´s settled then,” Leo concluded the topic. “And as for the three of us…”

“You want to set off after Nick and Jack?” Cullen figured.

“Exactly, at the best right away… Jane?” Leo looked at his girlfriend.

“I agree, the sooner we get there, the better,” Jane nodded seriously.

“Well, it seems that our ways are going to separate again, Bro,” the Riders´ leader turned to his older brother again, a bit sadly, but he tried to cover it with a smile.

“Not for long, I hope,” Jin reacted.

“I´d say that this decision deserves… yes! Exactly this, Cullen,” Koki evaluated the bottle in front of his nose gratefully.

- To be continued -

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