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Cowgirl Rancher Stablehand Silhouette
ikissdhimbck wrote in milliways_bar
Kate's been out in the stables much of the day. She typically tries not to linger out in the open these days, but as she was putting things back in the tack room her eyes had caught the bullet hole that had nearly missed the wall for favor of her head, and before she knew it she was caught in a quiet, deep reverie that stretched on for who knows how long.

She's brushing hay off her pinstriped slacks as she enters the bar this evening, tucking work gloves into the pocket of her tan duster. The faux-Scotland weather has turned the outside rather cool today, and she's somewhat chilled as she approaches the Bar and asks for a hot tea. And a whiskey.

She should be heading back for her room soon, but for the moment she's interested in a meal and a hot drink, and to check in on a few patrons she hasn't seen in a while.

[ooc: Open for any and everyone, until it scrolls off the front page.]

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She hasn't seen this one for a while - which is possibly for the best all round. But there's no avoidng him tonight, not when he spots her coming in from his booth over in the corner.

He makes sure to approach from the rear and gives no warning when he sits next to her. The dark expression on his face is probably warning enough.

'You should talk to your friends.'

She had missed him on her cursory appraisal of the bar -- a point for which she will kick herself later.

But call it a passing shadow, a woman's intuition, or a random chilly breeze, she can sense him coming as he approaches from behind. He sits down, and she keeps her face forward, but she knows it's him.

Her hand goes tight around her mug when he speaks.

"Should I?"

'Depends how much you value them.'

He taps the bar and a tequila shot appears, and then disappears as he knocks it back in one. That necessary action out of the way, he pulls a gun from his waistband and sets it down in front of him.

'Your friend Kate lied to me. I don't like being lied to. So now she's involved and it's all because of you.'

Her eyes move to the gun as he sets it down. Her expression doesn't change, though inside she's confused -- hadn't Bill said he wasn't going to give it back?

And then Ramon mentions Kate.

A sudden spike of fear races through her blood. Of course she would. You're so stupid for not seeing this coming.

Slowly turning to look at him, keeping her expression neutral and her body relaxed, she shrugs open-palmed, as if to ask him if there's something else he'd like to say.

"What's the matter? Y'got your gun back, didn't you? Why should you care if it was a friend who gave it back, 'stead of me or Bill?"

His face darkens, which is saying something because it was pretty damn dark already.

'It matters because Bill refused to give back what he stole from me. And then Kate showed up with it and outright lied to my face like she thought I was stupid enough to believe it.'

He's big on respect. Kate? Did not show any with that lie.

Edited at 2009-09-11 11:04 pm (UTC)

"Amazing," she deadpans. "T'think he would have the gall, not givin' a gun back t'someone who tried t'shoot him not so long ago."

She doesn't know what Kate said to Ramon, which causes a problem. She doesn't want to unravel her lie -- if, in fact, it was a lie -- but she knows she's on unsteady ground. So she chooses her words carefully.

"T'be honest, I didn't think Bill should give your gun back. So your problem? Is with me."

'I didn't try to shoot him,' he points out, his lip twisting up in distaste.

'Though I think now that I should have. And I'm sure I'll rememdy that at some point - or maybe I'll teach him a lesson and take his girlfriend out instead.'

He's kind of fishing for the final confirmation here but really, after what Fi told him, he doesn't need it.

He lights a cigarette and eyes her through the smoke.

'You shot me, Kate. I think you probably shouldn't willingly add more crimes to the list.'

The one that's there is already fatal, in his mind.

Edited at 2009-09-11 11:19 pm (UTC)

"Why? Because you're beginnin' t'feel merciful?" she asks, playing up her soft southern accent, knowing it'll sound more insulting that way. "I know what you want, no matter what I do or don't. Fact of the matter is, Bill wandered into the wrong place at the wrong time."

She takes a hard swallow of whiskey, using the liquor to calm her nerves some. Concentrating on not looking nervous or transparent has its own variety of stresses.

"You wanna pay me back for what I done? I wouldn't expect any less. But Bill's only doin' what I'm tellin' him t'do. And I told him t'stay away from you. You got your gun back, insult or no. You can just leave him out of this. An' the same goes for Kate Warner."

He literally cannot believe her.

'If you don't stop trying to tell me what to do, I'm going to break your nose right here in the bar,' he tells her in an almost conversational tone, as he picks up another shot. 'I think Ms. Warner will have an idea of what that feels like after I saw her yesterday.'

The second drink is dispatched as rapidly as the first. She gives him one more order, he thinks he's going to lose it with her. His anger has been simmering since that day and just the sight of her is enough to set him off right now.

'Maybe you should be the one to leave them alone. They've only got you to blame for this.'

She visibly bristles.

She doesn't say anything for a while, not because she doesn't have plenty to say, but because she needs to get her anger in check before she slips up on something.

"She wanted t'help."

Now, Kate has no idea what's going on, or what Kate Warner did, or why Bill didn't stop her, but she does know that much has to be true. The rest? She's going to have to fudge.

"Maybe I should'a told her 'no', should'a argued more... but she did what she did as a favor t'me and Bill."

She wants to tell Ramon to stay the hell away from her. She wants to tell him that if he touches her again, she will take delight in blowing his manly bits right off. But she knows that will only intensify his blood lust, and there's no way she'll be able to keep Kate Warner and Boo safe, then.

'They've only got you to blame for this.'

So she says nothing.

She simply glares.

He looks back at her evenly, giving little clue as to how much he wants her to insult him again. Any excuse to see her blood run, any. His fists are practically aching with the desire.

'And lying to me about being his girlfriend? Was that supposed to help too?'


'Because she must think I'm some kind of dumb to not find out the truth. She didn't even try to cover the fact she took the gun without him knowing. She's so fucking lily-white, her help might just get her killed.'

Maybe not now. He doesn't think she warrants a bullet just yet - but as cannon fodder to get to this Kate, she might do very nicely.

Damn it.

The fog is starting to lift from the situation, defining lines and actions more clearly, the truth of what happened starting to fall into place.

Kate furrows her brow.

"What're y'talkin' about?" she mutters.

She can play dumb rather convincingly, until she knows better what Ramon knows.

'Oh, she didn't tell you? Maybe because she realises just how stupid she is.'

He lights a cigarette with an angry snap of his Zippo.

'I ran into her down here and she gave it back. She didn't know that someone else was talking to Bill at the same time, convincing him to give it back. He went to get it, it was gone.'

He looks her in the eye.

'She took it without his knowledge which means she had access to his room. And she tried to tell me that she'd only met him a couple of times and that she'd told you that she'd give it back to me.

Only you don't know anything about this, do you Kate?'

Stupid. Bitch.

Both of them. All of them.

Don't look surprised.

She laughs, sharp and bright, turning her head away. She feigns disbelief, shaking her head and letting her eyes fall on the bar at large. She doesn't know what the heck she has to laugh about, she might have just sunk them all, but it gives her time to think.

"Does Bill look like the sort'a fella who would willingly let a woman step in for him?" she chortles, giving him a look like he must be stupid. "You've met the man, haven't you? Jesus. Of course he didn't know the gun was gone."

Another moment of laughing disbelief, as she frantically searches for threads she can pull together into a believable story. Damn, but she doesn't know enough. What did Kate tell him? What did Bill tell this 'someone else'? How much is she helping right now, and how much is she tearing down? She can almost anticipate Ramon calling her bluff, she can almost taste gunpowder and blood, but she promised Bill.

She promised she would keep them safe.

(Please, God, tell me he doesn't know about Boo.)

"Like I said, I told Bill t'stay away from you. He wasn't happy 'bout it. Told me he wasn't gonna give the gun back t'you at all. I offered t'do it for him, an' he told me no. What d'you think, Ramon? Did I just back down an' say, 'Sure, Bill, whatever you say'?"

At least part of that is true.

"I took the gun from his room, Ramon. I told Kate not t'say a word t'Bill about it. I knew what'd happen if that gun sat in his closet after your 'three days' was up."

God, she hopes it was in his closet. Or, at least, that Ramon doesn't know any better.

She takes another swig of whiskey, shaking her head some more.

"Y'can imagine he was none too pleased with me when he found out what I'd done."

He stares at her, still expressionless.

She might notice his knuckles starting to go white around the shot glass.

Deep breath.

'You're trying to tell're actually trying to tell me...that at six in the morning, in the ten minutes between me and my girl getting up and going downstairs, you saw her with Bill, went up and got the gun, found Kate, gave it to her and somehow knew that I'd be downstairs too for her to give it to me?'

Don't. Talk to me. Like I'm stupid.

'I don't think so.'

He does a remarkable job of sounding merely darkly amused, rather than letting out any of the rage in him.

...right up until the moment he leans forward to get up in her face, that is.

'And seeing as you're not the type to roll over for Bill and let him fuck you sideways, after you supposedly took this thing from his room, why didn't you do what you offered and find me yourself? You expect me to seriously believe you got her to do it, knowing what might happen?'

He could strangle her. Every time she lies, complicates things further, is a deeper insult. What is wrong with these people?

Edited at 2009-09-12 12:44 am (UTC)

She bites her tongue when he moves in close, keeping her eyes on his. She refuses to flinch, or let him see her panic.

"No. I don't expect you t'believe that, because that ain't how it happened."

She places her palm flat against his breast, and pushes him back.

"This may surprise you, but I've been t'Bill's room a time or two. Not that it's any of your business, but it ain't like the man is goin' t'save a total stranger from gettin' shot out in the stables, when he knows what's at stake, is it? I took the gun after the last time Bill an' I spoke, when he told me 'bout your pleasant conversation. I didn't know where t'look t'find you, obviously, or else y'might have gotten it back sooner.

"Kate? Is my friend. And she also knows that if I had it my way, I would have shot a hole through your throat without a second thought, that day. Only reason I didn't was 'cuz Bill showed up. She thought it'd be a good idea if she took the gun back t'you, for your sake as much as my own, and Miss Bar's. She don't like violence in her place, y'know."

Which doesn't stop Kate from carrying her guns around on her hips, but a girl has to prepare herself. Especially when there is an angry Latino 'businessman' out for your head.

"I didn't know she'd already given the gun back t'you. I expected she was gonna tell me when, but then, knowin' Kate, she probably didn't want me knowin' you roughed her up, seein' as how I'd be hotter than hellfire an' ready to cut you up if I did. It was a smart move on her part, though I'm wishin' she'd said somethin' sooner."

There's a threat in her eyes, but she keeps herself from vocalizing it.

"The point is Bill didn't know where the gun'd gone, or where t'even look t'find it, when it didn't turn up in my room. Maybe I should'a thought about what'd happen t'Kate, but she assured me you'd have no reason t'hurt her, seein' as how she ain't got nothin' t'do with his whole debacle."

She sneers.

"My obvious mistake."

His eyes are narrow as he listens and no, he doesn't believe a word of it. Not that he can fault her story. It makes a twisted kind of sense. His refusal to believe is more stubbornness than anything else, that, and gut instinct. Something about the way Kate had been made him think she was lying...this Kate though, he's not sure about.

'Bullshit. You can talk all you like but I know you're full of it.'

He's not sure but he sure as hell looks like he is. And he's letting it go for now, until he can prove it, because there's another matter that needs seeing to.

'You should be more concerned about yourself in any case.'

"I don't rightly care what you think," she tosses back.

Oh, she certainly does care -- the look on his face fills her belly with a thousand needles of anxiety, because he looks so sure. But if he was, wouldn't he have struck already? As long as his hands are stilled, she figures her words must carry some weight.

"I'm jus' tellin' you the way that it is. Whether'r not y'believe me, what good is lyin' gonna do me?

"Why don't you ask Doc 'bout it? He's known Kate longer, so he'd know what the condition of her bed is like."

She keeps her gaze cool and sharp, not looking away from Ramon's eyes despite her worry of what his hands might be doing. She needs to match him, confidence for confidence, and that means not flinching away.

He wonders whether that means Doc's been in it. If so, it's certainly an interesting little detail.

'You'd lie for the same reason people like you always lie - to keep your friends safe.'

It always seems to be the way. Doc's doppelganger had been spectacular at it, disowning his partner so that Ramon wouldn't kill him. It happens time and time again and with good reason around him, because he's very good at taking the person his enemies love and punishing them.

Like right now, he's wondering whether Doc and Kate have sorted out their problems.

'Doc's still around at the moment?'

It doesn't, by any stretch of the imagination, sound like an innocent question.

"I don't need to lie to keep them safe. Y'already know I fully intend on doin' that, by whatever means, no matter what you got in your head."

It's simultaneously as nonchalant and as firm as she can possibly make herself sound at the moment. She knows better than to make a big show out of trying to convince him she's telling him the truth, or to threaten him if he tries to hurt Kate or Bill. All that will do is make him want to hurt them more.

But, at the same time, she can't suddenly make it look like she doesn't care what he does at all. That will just give her away.

It's a delicate line to toe.

She turns her head and looks at him through slanted eyes after he asks his final question, wondering where he's going with this.

"Far as I know."

'And do you really think you can?'

He sounds bemused, but dangerously so.

'You can't even look after yourself. I'd have killed you out there in the stables and all because you can't keep your mouth in line. And now you've pulled your friends into it - a whole bunch of targets and you can't watch them all at the same time and yourself as well.'

He says nothing more about Doc, the narrowing of her eyes telling him she's registered his interest. He doesn't want to hurt Doc because he's useful and, despite himself, he quite likes the guy. But he will, if it's the best way to get at her.

Leaving the subject of Doc alone, she lets out a brief, scornful laugh.

"Maybe y'would have. But you forget I could'a taken you with me. Only reason I didn't pull that trigger on you the second that muzzle hit your throat is 'cuz of Bill. We meet alone like that? An' I won't hesitate. Maybe you'll kill me, Ramon. But y'know that fear ain't gonna stop me from comin' after you with everything I got next time."

She turns to look at him, her expression firm and serious, but without the impertinence she'd shown out in the stables. She knows he's strong, she knows he's dangerous, and she's learned to respect that power.

Without backing down in the face of it.

"But I don't gotta keep my eye on m'self and all the other folk 'round here y'think y'might be able t'use to git t'me," she says, leaning a fraction of an inch closer to him. "I just gotta keep my eye on you."

He leans forward to match her movement, head tilted to the side. It crosses his mind that in other circumstances, he'd find her more than a little interesting. But the thought is fleeting, burnt out immediately by his desire to see her bleed.

'You watch me all you like, Katherine. I'm not going to be hiding from you.'

His voice is soft, almost gentle if you ignore the hint of steel behind it.

'But you shouldn't tell yourself it'll help you any. No one can look in every direction at once.'

"Those are some wise words, Mr. Salazar," she murmurs in return, her voice matching his for tone and tenor.

He smirks, and pulls back. There's a pause while he throws a shot down his throat, then he stands.

'Be seeing you, Kate.'

The words hang in the air as he walks away, nothing but a threat.

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