The Unknown Thoughts
by Gill Armitage
Author's Notes: This follows on from my first fanfic The Unknown Form which introduces my OFC BJ to the Seven. You might want to read it first to get a better handle on the character and how she gets involved with Ezra and the rest of the Seven.
This story line came to me in a dream and so I thought I would expand on it and some bits to a story line sequel I was already working on. This is just the first instalment. If you like then let me know and I might add more!!!!!!
It felt like she had been walking all day. She was hungry and tired but didn't seem to know what to do about it. She felt confused and lost looking around, her eyes darting from one place to the next. An image of a building collapsing flashed before her eyes and made her stop. Her head ached as she watched the images unfold of the carnage that ensued. She saw herself trying to help a man trapped by the rubble. The image passed and she looked around her. No one was there. She looked ahead and saw the outlying buildings of a town ahead. She knew this place. There was someone there she needed to talk to.
She turned down a familiar alley and saw Ezra ahead. She knew it was him, the red coat and distinctive black hat was unique in this town. Ezra turned and saw her, he came over and took the proffered hand. They had known each other for 6 months now, she had come to town dressed as a man and had proceeded to save Ezra's life several times. They were due to marry in the spring.
She took Ezra's hand and put it round her waist, she snuggled in tight to him and put her own hand around him. Her head settled on his chest. Ezra looked down at her with some concern. She never showed this much affection in public. It just wasn't done. They usually held hands or linked arms. Anything else would have had tongues wagging and people starring. After all they were not married yet. He noticed the dishevelled hair and the rips in her clothing, a smudge of dirt and a bruise showed on her right cheek.
She began to walk and Ezra went along letting her choose the pace. He was worried over the listless way she moved and the feelings of weakness and vulnerability that her movements portrayed. This was not a weak woman, she had lived as a man for a long time had looked after herself and fought with the best, she had built up a business and a ranch from scratch doing much that was considered man's work. This was so unlike her and it troubled him.
She stopped at the restaurant, lifted her head and looked in. She seemed to be undecided what her next move was. She turned to move away but Ezra stopped her.
"Are you hungry? We can go in if you wish." Something was not right.
"Yes... no... I'm not sure. I think I'm hungry." She turned her face and looked up at Ezra with a questioning gaze. The deep green eyes made her feel safe and secure. But there was something not right. She lifted her hand to her eyes and pressed hard then moved her fingers through her dusty hair resting her hand on the back of her head.
She spoke so softly that Ezra had to strain to hear her words.
"Ezra, I can't remember where I live." His grip tightened instinctively, catching her as she collapsed in his arms. Her dead weight dragged them both to the ground. Ezra looked up and shouted to no one in particular.
"Get Nathan, quick get Nathan. Now!" He looked back to his fiancé as fear and dread overwhelmed him. "Come on BJ don't do this to me. Don't leave me now. We've only just found each other." He didn't hear the commotion around him as the town folk gathered or the calm voices of Josiah and Chris pushing people aside and asking them to give them some space.
Nathan pushed through the crowd and took in the scene before him in an instant. He reached in front of Ezra and gently grasped his arm.
"You can let go now Ez, I got her." His words were soft but firm and his gaze held Ezra's until recognition came back. He gently released his hold on BJ and allowed her to be moved to the ground by Nathan and Chris.
"What happened here Ezra, did she fall?" Nathan was gently probing BJ's body looking for obvious signs of injury. He glanced up when he got no immediate answer. Ezra looked confused, lost.
"No. She came up to me, put her arms around me and, well she seemed in need of protection, I can't explain it." He turned around, looking into the crowd as if looking for answers or inspiration. "She said she couldn't remember where she lived and then collapsed. I..."
"That's ok Ezra don't worry about it. Chris take him up to the clinic he's in shock, Josiah help me get BJ up the stairs, gently now I think she's got a couple broken ribs and some ugly looking bruises on her stomach."
Chris took hold of Ezra's arm and steered him gently towards the double flight of steps leading up the side of the livery. Ezra moved as if in a daze, this was a worry as usually the Southerner loathed the clinic and took pains to keep his distance. A year ago Chris would have slapped him or shouted in his ear to bring him round but since meeting BJ the Southerner had changed and they were all learning new things about this man they had called a gambler and con man. Chris was now worried for his friend and for his fiancé BJ and hoped that the deathly paleness was due to pain and nothing more. He had seen that death pallor before on too many faces. Not many came back from that.
Ezra was sitting on an old chair in the clinic with Chris standing over him when Josiah gently laid BJ on the bed. Chris had to hold Ezra back whilst Nathan examined BJ more closely.
"She's banged up a bit, but none of these injuries explains why she's unconscious. Ezra can you remember anything else. Anything she said or did?"
"I told you she just turned up in the alley by the saloon, took a hold of me and started to walk. She looked in at the restaurant, I thought she was hungry but she said she wasn't. Well no actually she said she was but then said no. It was most odd. She was not acting herself at all. Most out of character. We walked some more, she held on to me like a weak and frightened child. Then she put her hand up to her face and behind her head and said she couldn't remember where she lived. After that she dropped like a dead weight, the only reason I caught her was she was holding on so tight in the first place."
"You say she held her head?"
"Yes, she reached up, pressed her eyes with her hand and ran her fingers through her hair and grasped the back of her head." Nathan began to gently check her face and ran his own fingers slowly through her golden hair. He stopped at the base of her skull and frowning looked up.
"Chris, bring that oil lamp closer." Chris took the lamp and held it close as Nathan shifted his position. He moved her hair aside and heard Chris gasp as a large ugly looking lump was revealed below her right ear. There was some blood and a mass of bruising and the lump itself looked huge.
"Well this explains it. Any idea how this happened? This ain't fresh. This happened a good 6 or so hours ago." Ezra looked none the wiser. Without waiting for an answer Nathan began busying himself with herbs and bandages. "You three wait outside, I need to clean her up and make her more comfortable. I'll call you when I'm done."
To Be Continued
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