Wild Horses


peyton2_icon.gif smedley_icon.gif

Scene Title Wild Horses
Synopsis After a day together, Peyton and Smedley relax back at his place. Smedley shares the results of his meeting with Kain, as well as a bit about his background.
Date September 12, 2010

Redbird: Smedley's Apartment

Farmer's market in the rain was followed by coffee was followed by dinner, bringing Peyton and Wesley back near the offices of Redbird Security, and thus Wesley's apartment — their two residences are catty-corner across town from one another, so it seems wherever they are closest to close to curfew dictates whose bed they will be sleeping in.

They're becoming frighteningly consistent, in that they seem to be together more nights than they are apart.

Closing the apartment door behind her, Peyton locks it, then pulls off her coat, dropping it and her purse on the nearest piece of furniture. "That was a nice day, not counting political talk at the farmer's market. Sorry about that… really, I go days and weeks and months without being recognized sometimes, I swear," she says, her nose wrinkling at the annoyance of being known by strangers. Once she lived for it. Now she hates it.

"Sounded like you could'uh gone on quite awhile, but I was afraid you'd be gettin' phone calls to come on as a celebrity guest." There's unmistakable amusement in Wes's voice as he sheds his own coat tosses it with Peyton's on the small kitchen table. He then kicks one of the chairs a little further from it so he can lift his leg and rest a boot on it's seat. From the first, he unstraps a black leather holster that holds a more traditional handgun. When he repeats the process for the other leg, what comes off is a large hunting knife.

Wes was never a Boy Scout, but that doesn't mean he ignores their prime directive.

The apartment's changed somewhat since Peyton showed it to him. The most notable difference is the smatterings of the smuggler's arsenal. A shotgun has a proud place on pegs driven into studs above the couch. A rifle leans in the corner by the refrigerator. The pistol he removes from his ankle is tucked away in the hall closet, which reveals his more usual sling of revolvers, hung with care alongside his coldweather, oilskin longcoat.

"But it was a good day," he says as he turns, closing the door and bending to give Carson a good rub about the ears and neck. The old dog's tag wags lazily from side to side as he licks his master's face in greeting. "Did I tell yuh I saw Zarek? Not today, obviously."

The clairvoyant's eyes are wide as she notices all the weaponry, and she moves to the couch, curling one foot beneath her as she sits and leans into the corner, watching Wes as he pets the dog.

"You getting ready for the zombie apocalypse or what, there, Wes?" she asks, nodding to the rifle and the shotgun, an amused smile gracing her features, before the frown mars them. Zarek and him talking — though she asked him to play nice, and though if Wes is Endgame, it means they're all on the same team — is a little worrisome.

"Yeah? Is everything okay? I thought about asking Logan about it the other night, but I figured I'd better not push my luck," Peyton says, neutrally.

Wes looks up at the question, his brows furrowed in confusion. He gives Carson's shoulder a hearty thump, and the dog wanders toward Peyton to collect her affection fee of the evening. "No," he says slowly, glancing from the closet behind him to the knife on the table. "Why, did someone see zombies in the future or somethin'? 'Cause that'd be the icin' on the damned cake."

He whistles, shaking his head at the idea of zombies as he follows Carson over to the couch and sits down, bending once again, but this time to untie his boots and pull them off one foot and then the other with a grunt. "Wants me to run guns for him. Nothin' out'uh the ordinary. Seems he's still got business he ain't let the Linderman Group in on. Anyway, he's got competition, and his regular suppliers have all gone t'shit for one reason'r another, and so he called me in to pick up the slack."

"Not that I know of," Peyton says with a smirk, "but I wouldn't doubt it. I mean… the things that were in that Institute building? You wouldn't think possible either, not even with all the crazy powers people have. Zombies would be nothing compared to that." She bends her face to Carson's kissing his brow and scritching behind his ears, cooing at him in baby speak for a moment before giving her attention back to Wes.

"Got it. He know you're with us, with Endgame?" she asks, curiously.

"Kept my mouth shut on that point," Wes says with a smirk, tossing his boots toward the far wall. As regular as his evenings with Peyton may be, he's still a bachelor, and boys will be boys. "Though he did make it pretty clear he's grabbin' the whole'uh my arms trade. So, t'keep Endgame stocked up nice 'n full, we'll have to get a bit creative.

"Don't want'uh run afowl my new business partner, but I also don't want'uh muck up what Card's got goin'." He leans back into the corner of the couch and lifts a leg to stretch out across the expanse between himself and the young woman.

"So d'you know anythin' about why I gotta be shiny new friends with the Lousianna Layabout?"

Peyton chews her lower lip for a moment, then moves from her corner to maneuver herself carefully so that instead of occupying opposite corners of the couch, they both occupy his. "Basically, he and Card have some stuff going on, is all. I don't know how much you're supposed to know just yet, so I don't want to speak out of turn. Let's just say that Kain's one of our business partners, but Linderman doesn't know about it," she says, quietly, brushing her lips against his cheek before nestling her head against his shoulder.

"You want me to tell Cardinal about your little arrangement with him, or do you want to tell him?" she asks, tipping her head to look up, even as she reaches down to pull off her own boots, somehow doing so gracefully and without hurting him in the process.

Wes is more than happy to oblige Peyton's new position on the couch, and he folds her in his arms as she curls up close to him. Carson, too, is glad for the new arrangement, as he jumps up to fill the space Peyton left and curl up with a sigh. Wes rubs Peyton's shoulder as he returns her kiss with one to her forehead, leaving his face pressed there for a moment.

"Didn't plan on not tellin' him. Don't plan on tellin' Zarek, though. We'll see how it goes. Got a little trial period goin'. If things don't start lookin' up for Zarek, s'far as the books go, come Novemeber, we'll call it quits and go our separate ways." Wes doesn't say when in November, though. He simply nudges his head against Peyton's in order to give her a real kiss.

"You know," he says after a moment, rubbing his nose alongside hers. "You keep hangin' around with my sorry ass and I might get the wrong idea about you."

She smiles as he settles his arms about her, and chuckles at the dog curled at her now sock-clad feet. "Okay, I'll let you do the honors then. He can decide if Kain should know you're with us or not, but if Kain sees you with me, or coming and going from here, he'd probably figure it out. He may be a layabout, but he's not stupid," she murmurs.

As for the rest of it, she closes her eyes and chuckles again, nestling closer. "Yeah? What idea is that? That I have a penchant for cowboys with big guns?" she says playfully.

"Penchant?" Wes repeats, his eyebrows raising. "So I'm in a long line'uh like-minded fellas, is that it?" The change in conversation from business to something slightly more lighthearted is a welcome one, and so Wes doesn't comment on Kain again. "You got somethin' else about Utah you ain't told me yet, cowgirl?" His hand keeps up the slow, gentle rubbing of her shoulder, and the other slides to rest on the swell of her hip.

She laughs, a genuine, girlish giggle, her eyes scrunching with merriment before she leans forward to kiss him. "Hardly a cowgirl. I think I've been on exactly three horses in my life. You know how little girls are supposed to be in love with horses? Not me, man. I was terrified of them. My parents tried to get me to take lessons and I refused to get on the thing. Another time at camp, I hid in the shed so I wouldn't have to get on a horse. I did have to at that place, but after the third time, they decided I was scaring the horses," she says, ducking her head against his chest so he can't see her flushed cheeks. "Were you actually a cowboy, or just, you know, from a place where there are cowboys? You might have a … gardener for all I know."

Wes laughs at that and moves the hand on her shoulder to her hair to idly play with the brown locks. "My family had a ranch," he says, his voice taking on a slow, nostalgic flavor he's rarely ever used with Peyton.

"Can't tell'yuh how long they'd had it, it'd been passed down s'long. So I didn't rustle or any'uh those things like'r in the movies, but we did run cattle." He kisses her hair, taking a moment to smell the way the rain has changed her usual scent. "My mama had a garden, though."

There is that slow blooming smile, a rare thing that is not the real smile most of the world sees, and her eyes grow soft as he speaks of the land so nostalgically. Her brows knit together a little and she plays with the edges of his hair behind his ears.

Her question for him is a small one, just one syllable long, though the answer that must follow has to be much longer in comparison — if he doesn't shut down the conversation.


Wes's expression does indeed become strained, but he doesn't lose that small smile. It just curls tightly into one side of his mouth, wrinkling the skin into creases. "I reckon' the gate says 'Hoskin' by now." What with his parents dead and his brothers-in-law being the men they are. But he doesn't dwell on that part of the history. It's a tragic chapter filled with drunkenness and a beating Wes didn't come out the victor on.

"Pity, though. Prairie's a sight t'see, especially with the hills sittin' not too far off." The way he talks, it's as if he would pack up and head back there tomorrow if he could, taking Peyton with him to show her the majesty of it all. But he lets his voice trail off as he buries his face in her hair again.

"I'm sorry," Peyton says softly, not knowing for sure why that name is significant, but obviously it means his family doesn't own the land — or at least what he considers his family doesn't. She sighs softly, and strokes the back of his head as he finds solace in the scent and texture of her hair.

She kisses the top of his head and smiles. "If you wanted to go out of town sometime — I mean, I know, I said I couldn't for as long as you wanted to, but a weekend trip or something, you know, I would." The words are offered shyly, tentatively.

Though it may not have been intentional, there is a reverberation of trust in the gift of those words. Peyton would be willing to spend a somewhat extended length of time in some remote location with a man like Wes Smedley. Smuggler of all sorts of things and people Smedley. He draws his head back to look at her, his gray-blue eyes meeting hers for a brief moment - long enough for the smile on his lips to reach them, making them twinkle like dim stars.

"You do that," he warns her, his eyes moving to look at just one of hers rather than stay locked evenly, "and you sign yourself over. I get'uh go wherever we can get to and back from in time, and I get to do whatever I want to with you. Includin' get your ass on a horse." The hand that was resting oh-so-serenely on her hip moves swiftly, and Wes gives Peyton's skinny-jean clad backside a quick slap.

Once again, that rare touch of his eyes to hers makes her realize how rare of an event it is, and it takes her breath away, her lips parting as she stares back into his eyes, hers so dark and deep to his pale dungaree blue. The soft and fragile moment broken by that slap, she giggles and hugs herself to him.

"It's a deal. Just make sure it's some docile old mare named Buttercup or something, and not Zorro, the untamable black stallion, okay?" she offers back.

Wes takes that opportunity to shift his hands and thereby shift Peyton to his lap from her previous position halfway on top, halfway alongside him. He grins up at her for a moment before he adopts a mock-hurt expression. "Y'know they neevr get tamed less you ride'um, don't you? There's a whole mess'uh sorry stallions out there that'd love t'be gentle beasts if it weren't for the fact that nobody'll go near'em. It's a shame. A downright shame, and you should be sorry for prepetuatin' such a stereotype, Miz Whitney."

The woebegone look he gives her pulls a mock pout of sympathy from Peyton before she laughs again, and bumps her head against his affectionately.

"I see. And are you a wild stallion or a gentle beast or somewhere in between, Mister Smedley?" she says with a grin, tilting her head to kiss his lips. "Or am I not done taming you yet?"

"Oh, you mean to tame me, d'you?" Wes says with a laugh that's only quieted by a series of kisses that melt into something more.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License