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Wyatt Tanner had been on the trail for years, so it seemed to him. He had spent several months out in the wilds, having suffered two different Indian attacks and left with nothing of value execpt the horse he rode on. A horse which he would only give up upon death...and somehow the Indians seemed to respect that. They'd left him with a small blade and that was all, so traveling as he was it was a mite difficult to keep both himself and Equinox, his bay, alive.

If you were to ask him why he was making this trek, he probably wouldn't answer you. You would think there was no reason, just some impersonal force that drove him onwards, on and on, slow and crawling when needed but moving ever forward. Toward a small, dusty town he once knew. If he were honest with himself, he could tell you exactly why and what it was that drew him toward that town.

It's too bad he stopped believing, hardly showed his humanity to anyone lately and but seldom spoke a single word even to his horse. Someone, a stranger who had never known him when his Stetson was a clean white, would look upon him and see a cold, hard hearted, unfeeling and stubborn man. While it is true that he has always been a stubborn man, he had of late buried his heart and feelings deep behind a stone wall. But he still felt, oh the depth of his emotion.

If he could wish, he would wish that part of him away. It was what had pushed him onward, ever forward, for he had to...had to see her, just one more time. Even a glimpse would do. Only from afar - it was his darkest fear that she see him face-to-face now, see what he had become. Hear his name from her lips, see the pity or saddness, the confusion in her eyes. Likely she would not recognize him anyway, with how unkept he looked, but he could not take that chance.

He overheard a fellow travel mention how the town had been renamed not long ago, mainly that they had left off the 'Bay' part. Buffalo Creek. Just that, and it sounded a good change to him. He wondered what else had changed, who else...had changed. His dark eyes scanned the buildings, many of them new and strange to his memory. He had drawn his weary mount a little closer in now, close enough to see the citizens of this town coming and going. Many faces were just as unfamiliar and strange to him as the buildings.

Did one of these now hold the one who he had planned to take as wife? A part of him hoped she had found happiness after the wrongs he had done her, perhaps even started a family. His heart hurt at this thought. Another, darker part of him hoped she still pinned for his love, his touch. Wyatt clenched a fist and drove that thought away, it would do him no good. And honestly he didn't know why he was even here to begin with, why he had let 'Nox stray so close to the...the...

There she was.

She had just stepped out of the school building and had paused to straighten the wrinkles out of her skirt. Her blonde hair shone brightly in the fading sun as she turned her face up to smile at the cloudless sky and tilt into the slight breeze. She'd always thought herself a plain being, but in that moment, to his tired eyes, there was no one more beautiful. He felt himself start to thaw ever so slightly just to see that creature with a smile upon her lips, and then, when she began to look around, his heart clenched so painfully he grimaced. She had glanced in his direction, smile gone, but then looked away.

She could not see his face from here, surely. It was impossible, he told himself. He had on rather filthy traveling clothes in a style she would've never seen on him, his battered Stetson drawn low and his head tilted dowards. No one could recognize him. His gaze then traveled downward...

His horse. Equinox did not have any particularly extraordinary markings upon him at all. The white blaze on his forehead was far from unique. However,  even tired and a bit worn as the horse was, someone who really knew horse flesh and who had known him, just might recognize this horse.

This thought had somehow never quite occurred to Tanner until now, and it scared him quite a bit. He didn't plan on staying here long, but Equinox did need a rest. Sliding from the saddle, Wyatt turned his beast and, skirting the town much and far as possible, he limped along with the bay over to the stream. It was a bit of a distance but if it meant less people around, it was worth it. Wyatt paused by the river's edge, remembering what happened here once...how he had nearly lost that woman when the waters had risen too quickly for her and her mount. She had lost her mount...and he had eneded up losing her anyway, but at least she could still live her life. And he was now content with whatever else came his way, now that he had that picture of her smile burned into his memory.

--
Sent from Fast notepad
So my heart is doing just a bit of bleeding just now...

Been feeling kinda down lately, and this was kinda result. Eep.

I'm so sorry Jane!!
I was just thinking that...I'm not real sure that Wyatt would even be man enough to face her after all the wrongs he has done to her. ><;
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