You’re watchin’ me again.  Eyes, borin’ a hole in my back, waitin’, wonderin’, sweatin’.

It’s not like I go around askin’ for trouble.  It just seems to find me… Or us.  Trouble’s found us again.  Starin’ me down through the eyes of some ugly cuss.  If a man can’t mask his fear no better’n this, then, sure shootin’ he’s got no business callin’ another man out.   An’ if he was bluffin’ his card-hand poor as he’s bluffin’ his gun-hand now, ain’t no wonder you had him broke and busted, in less than an hour.

Cheat.  You ain’t no cheat.  Thief maybe.  Liar.  But cheat?  Never!  Not at cards anyway.

If you didn’t have this all-fired need to be the best at everything you lay your hand to, it’d save us both a heap’a trouble.

But trouble we got.  Again.

Good as you are at poker, trouble’ll be followin’ us ’til the day we die.  Which could be sooner…or later.  Dependin’.

This guy’s no gunfighter.  He’s scared.  And fear can force a man’s hand.  Like he’s gonna force mine.

Why’d you have to win so much?!  Annihilatin’  the competition the way you do, don’t leave me much choice.  I gotta annihilate him too.  Only it ain’t his money I’m takin’, it’s his pride, or his blood, or his life.  Or maybe, the ugly cuss is gonna do the takin’.

You bein’ best at poker, Heyes, it’s an open invitation for trouble.


I know you hear me!  If you’d given me half a chance, I could have settled this, peaceable-like.  I could have talked this loser down.  I WAS talking him down, until you stepped in.  Calm, cool.  Threatening.

You ever take a good look at yourself when you’re facing a man down? Sends a chill down my spine, and I’m not on the receiving end of that gunfighter glare.  No.  I’m behind you, backing you up, just like always.  Just like now.

Here we are.  Again.  Trouble.  That Colt of yours.  Nothing but trouble.

If we get the amnesty… If…

Who am I kidding?  Even if we do get that amnesty, your reputation is going to follow you.  Follow us.  Because, I won’t leave.  Not now, not ever.

This guy’s no gunfighter.  He’s scared.  You’ve spotted the look?  He’s ready to strike out, like an injured, cornered animal.  Dangerous.  Fear.  It will dictate his fate, or yours.  Ours.  Fear can force a man’s hand.  He’s swallowing hard.  You caught the twitch of his eye?  He’s forcing your hand.

Why do you have to be so all-fired stubborn?!  Why couldn’t you just trust me?!  Trust me to take care of this, without you stepping in!

It’s that Colt of yours, Kid, and the way you wear it.  Everyone can see it, feel it, read it.  Even him.

An open invitation for trouble.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

February 2011

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