Disclaimers, etc. in part 1
Later that night as they sat by the fire, Rose decided to teach Josiah the proper way to enjoy a campfire. She went to the truck and got the bag of marshmallows she had picked up at the store.
"Josiah, you are in for a real treat. I'm going to cook you a marshmallow," Rose told him.
He watched as she got a branch off a tree and made a point on the end of it. Then she put those white square things on the stick. After that she cooked them over the fire.
"Here you go, feast on those. I always love them when I'm camping," Rose told him.
Josiah didn't think he'd care for them. They seemed awful messy to him, but he didn't want to hurt Rose's feelings again so he took one off the stick. The damn thing was sticky and so sweet he thought his teeth would fall out, but he ate it just to please Rose.
"Well, a fella couldn't live too long on something like that. But I got a feelin' JD would surly like them. That young fella has a real craving for sweet things," Josiah said. "And Vin would really cotton to this camping thing. He's right fond of outdoors. Now Ezra wouldn't care for this. But the rest of the fellas could stand to do this here camping thing really well," Josiah said. He seemed to be talking more to himself than to Rose. Rose could tell that Josiah was missing his friends and maybe feeling a little homesick too.
She sat down in front of him and leaned back against his legs. "Josiah, it's ok to miss your friends. I know that back in your time men didn't admit to stuff like that. But with me you don't have to worry that I would think you were a sissy for missing your friends," Rose told him gently.
"I guess I do miss them some," Josiah whispered. "But don't you ever tell anyone I said so, 'cause I'll tell them you're a liar," Josiah growled.
"Oh yeah, can't have folks thinking the big man has a heart or anything, That's the one thing I can't stand! A man being afraid to admit he might have feelings," Rose said.
"It's not that we are afraid. It's just that we don't cotton to the idea of having our feelings a hanging out there for all to see," Josiah answered back.
"In other words: it's a man thing," Rose replied.
"I reckon you're right there," Josiah answered.
After that neither said much and soon they both decided to get some sleep.
The morning found them busy getting everything packed up when Carl stopped by to see how they were doing. Carl went straight to Josiah and shook hands again. This time he even winked at Josiah. It was all Rose could do not to burst into laughter at the way Josiah kept edging away from Carl. Rose decided to get the truck started so they could get out of there before Josiah did something rude. There was only one problem with that idea: the truck wouldn't start. She tried and tried but it just wouldn't start. And she had a pretty good idea what was wrong. It sounded like a starter problem to her, but she couldn't be sure.
Josiah and Carl had watched her try to start the truck and now both of them walked over to her.
"What's wrong with it? " Josiah asked.
"I'm not sure. Carl, is there a garage in town?" Rose wanted to know.
"Yes, I can call them and have them send a tow truck out," Carl said.
"Well I guess I better let you do that," Rose replied.
It took over an hour for them to get the truck to the garage. Once there, Rose found out the mechanic wouldn't be in for two days. There wasn't much she could do but wait for him to return to town.
"Josiah, I guess we will be a few days more getting to Vegas. I just hope no one worries about us," Rose told him.
"Well it's fine with me, but the longer it takes us the more I hope someone else is working on getting the other fellas out," Josiah said.
As they walked out of the garage, they found Carl waiting for them.
"I thought maybe the two of you would like to join me for supper this evening since you are stuck in town? " Carl said.
Rose wasn't sure if it would be a good idea but she hated to be rude, after all, Carl seemed like a real nice person. But if he tried hitting on Josiah things might get a little tense. Before Rose could answer, Josiah placed his arm around her waist and pulled her up close to his side.
"Why me and the little lady would be happy to join you for supper. Wouldn't we darling?" Josiah said.
Rose looked at Josiah like he had suddenly grown two heads. What the devil was he up too?
"Sure Josiah, supper with Carl is ok with me," Rose played along.
"Good, we can meet at the diner across from the motel at 5," Carl said.
"We'll be there," Josiah said and then bent and kissed Rose.
Carl got in his truck and drove away.
"What the hell was that?" Rose asked.
"What? I just told the fella we'd have supper with him," Josiah answered.
"It was the way you were man handling me that I was asking about," Rose said in a huff.
."I wasn't doin' no such thing," Josiah said.
"Yes, you were," Rose snapped.
"Reckon I might have at that. I just figured if'n Carl saw we were a couple he'd leave me be is all," Josiah started.
"Alright maybe he will, but it's just not something I ever saw you do before and I'm not sure I like it," Rose replied.
They walked on down the street and Rose went in and rented them a room at the motel. They dropped their stuff off inside then went on down the street to a small shopping center. Rose decided that she and Josiah had better get some new clothes. Poor Josiah had been wearing nothing but sweat pants and t-shirts since Rose thawed him out. Finding clothes for Josiah proved to be no easy task. They finally found a couple pairs of jeans and two nice western style shirts to fit him. Josiah then insisted they buy Rose a blouse and skirt she could wear to supper that night. Rose hated to tell Josiah, but she never wore skirts or dresses. So she did the only thing she could think of to make Josiah stop insisting. She kissed him, right there in the store. It seemed to work, at least until she got him out on the sidewalk again.
"Rose, what are you going to wear now when we meet Carl for supper?" Joisah wanted to know.
"Don't worry Josiah, I'll be dressed real nice. Just not in a dress," Rose told him.
" I just wanted you to buy something for yourself while you were spending money on me is all," Josiah replied.
By the time they both got a shower and got dressed it was time to meet Carl. Josiah thought Rose looked mighty good in the light green blouse and white pair of slacks she had selected for the evening. Her earrings matched her blouse in color and she had fixed her hair in some fancy braiding style Josiah have never seen before.
The diner was right across the street from the motel and it only took them a few minutes to reach it. Carl was waiting for them at the door and the three of them went inside Carl seemed to get the hint that Josiah had no interest in him because he tried to pay attention to both Rose and Josiah. But poor Josiah didn't seem to have the best of luck. The waitress had taken one look at him when they walked in the door and she had been making a cake of herself ever since. She looked and spoke only to Josiah when she had came to get their order and when she came to pour the coffee she made a point of leaning against Josiah as she poured Carl's coffee. She flirted, joked and batted her eyelashes at Josiah until Rose thought she would have to slap the poor girl. Josiah at first didn't seem to mind, but the waitress got bolder each time she came back to the table. Supper didn't last long for which Josiah thanked the good lord. And before long they had said their good-byes to Carl and headed back across the street. Rose made it all the way to the door of the room before she totally lost it. She burst into laughter and couldn't seem to stop.
Josiah raised an eyebrow and stood with his arms folded across his chest and waited. He knew Rose and she wasn't going to let this pass without saying something.
"Good heavens Josiah! I can't take you anywhere. Must be nice to be wanted by everyone you meet," Rose said once she got her laughter under control.
"It ain't funny," Josiah said.
"Now Josiah, you got to admit that that waitress was too much. Why, I thought she might rip her clothes off just so you would pay her some attention," Rose laughed.
"Why, for all that there woman knew, you were my wife and she flirted with me right in front of ya. What the lord thinks of this sorta behavior I don't rightly know. But I bet he's none to happy with folks in your time," Josiah said. Rose just laughed more and then she took him by the arm and pulled him into the room.
"Well I can't blame the poor waitress, after all you do look sexy as hell in your new clothes," Rose teased him.
"I reckon I don' mind you thinking so. But I don't care to have just anyone being to friendly toward me," Josiah finally said.
"Oh come on, admit it, you like the ladies admiring you?" Rose kidded.
"Yep I reckon most men do, but where I come from ladies don't rub themselves up and down a fella like that, unless she works in a saloon in the rooms up stairs," Josiah replied in a deep tone.
"Here ladies do that to fellas all the time. Not as much like our waitress but something in that line," Rose explained.
"I don't care much for her behavior, but I'm bettin' old Buck would have loved it," Josiah said seeing the funny side of it now.
"I bet Buck would," Rose agreed.
"Now how about we try and find something to do for a couple of hours that will tire us both out?" Rose asked Josiah with a wink.
"Now ma'am that's the first thing I heard all day that sounds like a plan to me," Josiah winked back as he replied.
As Josiah and Rose were unlocking the door to their room, they heard someone call out to them.
"Excuse me, are you the folks with the truck down at the service station?" a young man asked them.
"Yes, that's my truck." Rose told him.
"My name is Rob and I'm the mechanic. I got home a few hours ago and stopped at the station to see what I would be working on this week," the young man explained. "I got to looking at your truck and found the problem with your starter. Only took me a few minutes to repair it. So you can pick up your truck anytime tomorrow," Rob said.
"What was the problem?" Rose asked.
"Wire burned off to the starter. Once you know what the problem is with a starter it's not that hard to fix them." Rob said with a wink to Rose.
Josiah didn't need to be hit over the head to see that this fella was flirting with Rose. And maybe if Josiah hadn't had more than his fair share of this type behavior since he woke up a few days ago, things might not have went the way they did.
"Well since I know nothing about mechanics I guess it's a good thing we broke down here," Rose flirted back.
Now hearing Rose put that sexy purr in her tone to this young fella made Josiah see red.
"Pardon me, would you two like me to leave you alone?" Josiah snapped.
Rose looked around to see Josiah standing there in anger.
"Now honey, you know darn good and well I have plans for you tonight," Rose told Josiah. She hoped to avoid a scene while Rob was still there but Josiah had been through a lot of new experiences in the last few days and didn't seem to be able to control his temper.
"Well hell woman, how do I know that what you plan is with me- or is it just any man you pick up?" Josiah growled.
"Hey! That's no way to talk to a lady mister!" Rob said to Josiah.
"Young fella, you should be ashamed of yourself, flirting with a woman her age and for all you know married to boot!" Josiah shouted at Rob.
"I didn't mean no harm mister...just being friendly is all. I swear," Rob tried to explain. "Sorry sir, really. I'll just go on home now. You all pick up your truck anytime tomorrow," Rob said in a rush.
The young man turned and hurried down the street. Rose, meanwhile, was stunned at the way Josiah had behaved.
"What's wrong with you!!! Are you nuts!!! And what kind of crack was that...a woman my age? Do I look that old to you? And for heaven sakes, I don't like having people think I'm some kind of tramp or something. You know darn good and well I don't make a habit of sleeping with strange men," Rose snapped.
"This damn time and place you live in is just so full of people who think nothing of going out and havin' sex with any and all. How do I know you are any different? As for your age, you got to admit the fella was a least 10 years younger then you are," Josiah snapped back.
"Are you saying a woman my age shouldn't get with a younger man!" Rose yelled.
"Well it wouldn't be proper like. That's the way I see it," Josiah said.
"But I bet it would be just fine with you if some sweet young thing wanted to hitch up with a man your age," Rose said with a smirk.
"That's different! Young ladies need an older fella to protect them and teach them the ways of being a wife," Josiah explained in his most calm manner. He realized he might have went a bit overboard with the age comment and he could see that Rose wasn't likely to back down from this conversation.
"Oh!! What a load of bull that is. You men are all alike! Well just let me tell you, Josiah Sanchez! If you think I'd for one minute sit back and watch you go off and find some teenager to hitch up with, you are very much mistaken!" Rose yelled forgetting for a moment that Josiah wasn't anything to her but a rescue mission.
"Well now, if'n you lived anywhere near my time or town, I'd be damn sure to stay clear away from you. You get mad about the dumbest things. I never said I was fixin' to hitch up with anyone, young or old," Josiah yelled back. Then he turned and walked off.
"Where the hell do you think you're going?" Rose asked.
"For a walk to clear my head before I do something I might regret," Josiah said.
"Fine! Go for a walk! See if I care! Just don't wake me up when you come in. AND, you can sleep on the floor!" Rose snapped.
Rose went into the room and slammed the door. Oh boy! She had done it again...lost her temper with the man. She seemed to do that a lot. And really, poor Josiah didn't deserve to be treated like that. He was going through some rough stuff. Waking up in another time and place. Not knowing what was happening with his friends. Or what would happen to them all once they got to Vegas. Rose felt worse every time she thought about yelling at Josiah like that. It wasn't his fault that her ex had been such a pig. And what right did she have telling him what age woman he should marry. No wonder he walked off. He no doubt thought Rose the most bossy woman he'd ever met.
Josiah, meanwhile, was thinking that maybe he had made too big a deal out of Rose and that fella talking. And really he shouldn't have said that about any woman and her age. He knew better, even in his time women were a mite touchy about their age. And really, Rose was putting her life in danger to save him and help him and his friends find another place to protect and live. He really shouldn't have yelled at her either. It wasn't very gentlemanly of him. He never lost his temper like that with the fellas. Hell, if he did, he knew they could take it. But to yell at a woman like that…he felt so ashamed of himself. He knew God wouldn't be at all pleased with him. "Lord, forgive this old reformer. I don't know what got into me. Some guidance with this situation might be in order. Show me how to deal with where I find myself." Josiah prayed. "And Lord, I guess if'n I needed to be rescued you knew what you were doing when you made Rose my rescuer. But could you explain it to me? That woman could rile even the most saintly person. Why I believe she might even make you a little mad at times," Josiah told God. Josiah walked on, without the answers he wanted.
He returned to find the room lighted with one small lamp near the door. He also found a pillow and blanket there near the door as well. He really had thought he had gotten over his anger and would leave well enough alone, but the sight of Rose sleeping on that big bed while he was to take the floor made him mad all over again. He grabbed the pillow and threw it across the room to the bed.
"Listen here woman! You can't think it fair to make me sleep on the floor while you have that big old bed all to yourself," Josiah roared.
"Yes, I do think it fair. Since you think I'm such a tramp I won't prove you right by sleeping with you. I'm sure you are used to sleeping on the floor so don't try and make me feel bad about it," Rose answered back.
"I never said I thought you were a tramp. And I will have you know I don't judge folks that way! As for sleepin' on the floor, I am used to that, but there ain't no point in us suffering just cause you got riled up over a little something I said," Josiah told her.
At this statement Rose sat up in bed and glared at Josiah, then replied, "Both of us suffering?! I'll have you know I don't plan on suffering at all. And it wasn't something little you said. I can't believe I liked you so much! I can tell you right now, if'n the Seven find a new home I plan on finding another fella to be attracted too. Maybe Buck, he wouldn't think I was a tramp."
"BUCK!!! YOU'D SWITCH YOUR ATTRACTION TO BUCK?" Josiah shouted again. At the same time he stomped over to the bed and grabbed Rose by the arms.
Rose was a little surprised to see Josiah act like this. He always seemed so gentle and kind. He wasn't hurting her and she wasn't really afraid of him. How strange, because if any other man had shouted at her and grabbed her like that she would have been afraid. They looked at each other for a few seconds, then Josiah jerked her toward him and crushed her lips beneath his. She resisted for a split second and then returned the kiss. Josiah groaned and pushed her back and dropped down beside her on the bed. She pulled his shirt out of his pants and ran her hands up his bare back. He ripped the buttons off her top and placed his face against her breasts. Rose arched her back to give him all he desired, at the same time she kissed her way to his ear and began to whisper to him things she would like to do to him. Perhaps she was trying to shock him even more because she whispered things that would make her blush any other time. When he whispered back that he would allow her to do what ever she wanted, she decided to go ahead and try some of them. Rose pushed him over to the middle of the bed onto his back. Then she helped him remove his clothes. He in turn removed hers. Rose then kissed and nibbled her way down his large strong body. She took delight in stopping at his nipples and sucking on them.
Josiah grabbed her and said with a laugh, "Oh Lord, woman you are going to drive this poor preacher mad with lust."
"I hope you don't mind, and that you will return the favor to this old lady," Rose joked back.
When Rose returned to her chore, Josiah folded his arms behind his head and said with a drawl, "I'll spend some time a thinking about it. In the meantime, lets see how mad you can drive me."
Since Josiah had a wicked gleam in his eyes Rose took up the challenge. For some time Josiah watched and tried to keep his arms behind his head. But when Rose reached his center, he truly thought she would stop there. When she kept going and placed kisses and little bites to him there, Josiah jerked his arms out from behind his head and roared.
"LORD OMIGHTY! YOU AREN'T GOING TO DO THAT, ARE YOU?"
Rose only smiled and went right on doing what she wanted.
That next morning found Rose up early and on her way to get the truck. Josiah took his shower while Rose was gone. He really liked the shower. When he got back to his time he hoped he would remember it so he could have Nathan help him make one for the fellas. A bath was fine, but sometimes a shower would be a faster way to get clean. He knew Rose had told him she didn't think he would remember anything about this time and place, but dang burn it, he sure hoped he would. That he might not remember the woman who saved him and her friends who saved his friends just didn't sit well with him. When he stepped out of the shower he saw the commode and
thought back to the first day with Rose and how she blushed when she explained the commode to him. He had started out the door to find an outhouse and she had asked him where he was going. When he finally told her his quest she had taken him by the hand and led him into what she called the restroom or bathroom. She pointed out the commode to him and explained that he needed to lift the seat and so he could do his business in the commode. Poor woman had blushed so red he thought she might burst into flames. He laughed again just thinking about it.
He made his way out to the main room and saw Rose drive up in the truck. Once she was inside the hotel room, she asked him if he had any place special he would like to go for the picnic. Josiah had walked all over the area in the past two days. He must have hated being stuck in one place for so many days.. He told her about a little place just up the road that had tables where he had seen other folks stop their cars and eat. He mentioned that there was a lake near the area and people walked around it all the time.
A couple hours later found them at the spot Josiah had told her about.
"This is a pretty spot, I see why they made the picnic area here," Rose said. "Yep, it's a nice spot alright. Makes me think of the pond where young JD and Casey go fishin' a lot," Josiah said, then something seemed to hit him cause he opened his eyes wide and took in a deep breath.
"Josiah! What's wrong? Are you sick or something?" Rose asked with concern. "Casey, Mary and Nettie, what happened to them?" Josiah asked with a sad look.
"I don't know Josiah. I wish I could tell you but no one said a word to me about them," Rose explained to him.
"Once we meet Chris and the others we got to go find the women," Josiah said.
"Maybe some of the posse will know what happened to them, or if not we can try and find them for you," Rose told him. "Now come on, no sense you fretting about something you can't change right now," Rose went on to say.
"Yep, I reckon you're right there," Josiah replied.
They decided to take a walk around the lake before they ate.
"Rose, why did this CBS freeze us? Did they plan on thawing us out some time in the future?" Josiah asked.
"Well I'm not sure what they planned on doing with you all. I only know that the fans want the Seven back and will do what they have to to make that happen," Rose answered.
"Now what is it you call us? Characters, and we are on a tv show, and tv is that box with moving pictures in it we find in every room we stay in? And we are played by people called actors. Right?" Josiah asked.
"Right, but why are you asking about this now? Is there something wrong or have you decided to believe me?" Rose asked back.
"Nothing wrong, not sure I believe you either, but if I don't then how do I explain where I'm at and how I got here." Josiah pondered aloud.
"This fellas who plays me, he famous?" Josiah wanted to know. "Well I think he is, but not as famous as some actors are. He's a damn wonderful actor but he seems to get small parts in most movies. He did do another tv show that the fans loved and those fans fought to keep the show on the air, but CBS just wouldn't leave it on," Rose answered.
"And did this fella have a large part in this here show, or was it another one of them small parts?" Josiah asked.
"He had a large part, he played the main character, a guy named Vincent who lived underground in New York City. He had saved this beautiful woman and they fell in love but couldn't be together cause he was different and he couldn't show his face to the world," Rose explained.
"Different how?" Josiah wanted to know.
"He looked like a lion... Ok…geeze, I can't explain this to you. For one thing you wouldn't believe me and for another men tend to not really like the show." Rose said.
"You can't just stop there. What do you mean he looked like a lion? Was he part animal, or what...And why would this woman fall in love with something like that?" Josiah was full of questions.
"Oh alright I'll try and explain this show to you, but don't be making stupid remarks about it, cause I really loved this show and thought Vincent was so great. The woman in this show loved him cause he was a sweet, caring kind man who protected the people he loved. He read to her and quoted poems to her and he was very romantic. We never really found out why he was like he was...but after a few times of watching the show...the fans didn't care why. They only cared that he and the woman he loved could never be together," Rose told Josiah.
"Humm," Josiah went.
" Vincent did that too, that humm thing. And he talked in this soft sexy voice. I have heard you talk like that on the Magnificent Seven," Rose said with a smile.
"So maybe this actor fella puts a lot of all his characters into me, What's his name anyway?" Josiah asked.
"I suppose he does, it seems like that to his fans anyway. And his name is Ron Perlman. Does that sound like a name you have heard before?" Rose asked Josiah. "No, can't say as I have ever heard it before now. If I'm not real how can I be here with you, and doesn't it scare you that a character from a tv show is here with you?" Josiah asked with a strange look on his face.
"I told you before, to the Magnificent Seven fans you are real and none of us would be scared of any of you. We know the Seven are the type men to protect others and treat ladies with kindness. To us you seven aren't just characters on tv...you are the good guys!!" Rose told him.
By this time they had made it around the lake and were back at the picnic area. Rose got the food out and then told Josiah, "Look don't worry about any of this, I'm sure someone will explain it better to you once we get to Vegas."
They ate but Josiah was so silent that Rose knew he was thinking about everything and she didn't know how or what to say.
"Josiah if you are going to fret about this maybe we should leave tonight. The sooner we take off the sooner we will meet the others in Vegas," Rose said with a sad smile. "No, I just need some time to think. Why don't you pack up and head to the hotel and I'll walk on back," Josiah told her.
"Ok, maybe time alone will help you sort things out," Rose agreed.
Josiah started walking down the road toward the hotel. Rose gathered the things up and put them in the truck. She wished there was some way for her to help Josiah understand what was happening to him, but as she really didn't understand it herself, there was no way for her to explain it to him. She passed him on her way to the motel, he looked very sad and confused.
Rose got busy loading things up. She decided to head on out tonight since Josiah was so worried and confused. Maybe the answers he needed would be waiting for him in Vegas. She was so busy thinking she didn't hear the door open and had no idea that one of the goons that had found them before had found them again. It wasn't until Rose felt herself grabbed and held in a tight grip that she realized she had company. About then Rose was turned to face her worst nightmare. It was one of the CBS goons. And just her luck it would be the one she had kicked in the privates.
"I been looking for you everywhere. The others said we'd never find you but I knew we would. I called them and they will be here within the hour to take that preacher and put him in the freezer where he belongs. In the mean time you and I got some private business to take care of, and since I know the preacher is walking home from your little picnic, we got plenty of time," he said with an evil grin.
"Listen mister, you don't want to do something stupid here because I kicked you? I had to get away. You aren't going to hold that against me are you? " Rose asked.
"You bet, I plan on holding it against you! No woman kicks me like that and gets away with it," he replied."
"Go to hell. Do what you like but just remember there are Six men who by this time are free and well be looking for Josiah and me. No matter what you do to us those men will make you and the CBS brass pay," Rose whispered.
"You truly are stupid aren't you? Do you really think we will let those Seven men be free? No way, CBS has plans for them and they aren't going to let a bunch of crazy fans tell them how to run a network," the goon replied. "You fans have not only made a fuss about a stupid tv show, but you are trying to get some other network to take the show and the fans. CBS has no plans on letting that happen."
" I want you to know that if you are hoping for help from Larabee and the lady doctor who got him out...They won't be doing anything for anyone ever again. Last I heard, the guys who were chasing them got a little carried away and shot both of them. A little careless of them, but hell, CBS will find a way to cover that little mess up," the goon told Rose with glee.
Rose was shocked by this news, Lady doctor! Oh god it sounded like her friend Kate had been the person to rescue Chris. She never figured CBS would kill anyone over this little rescue. She wanted to ask about Ezra and the others but was afraid to.
"As for the gambler and his little rescuer, we'll soon have them both back in a freezer," the goon seemed to have read Rose's thoughts. "And CBS was so stupid as to let some of your friends get the tracker out of the building. If I had been there none of you women would have gotten anywhere near those Seven men. CBS should have been better prepared to deal with you nutty fans," he said. The goon shook Rose and seemed to take a great delight in telling her what would happen to Josiah and the others when they were recaptured. He was so intent on scaring Rose he never heard Josiah enter the room and walked up behind him. For such a large man, Josiah could move fast and silently. Josiah grabbed the guy by the neck and pulled him off Rose. He turned the goon around and began to beat him to a bloody pulp. When Rose realized Josiah was likely to kill the fella, she had to find a way to stop him. She tried pulling him off the goon but Josiah was too strong and large for her to get anywhere with that.
"JOSIAH!!! STOP!!! STOP I TELL YOU!! She screamed in his ear. It took a few times but finally Josiah stopped. He dropped the goon to the floor and reached for Rose.
"You alright? He didn't hurt you too bad before I got here did he?" Josiah asked her.
"I'm fine, but we have got to get out of here fast, he has friends coming. Tie him up somehow while I load the truck," Rose told Josiah. In less the 10 minutes Josiah and Rose found themselves speeding down the highway. Rose was busy thinking of what to do to get to Vegas as fast as possible. She had to get with the others and find out if Chris had been shot. How the hell would she ever tell Josiah that after all that Chris had survived in his time, he had been shot while being rescued in her time. She prayed that the goon has been wrong and that Chris and his rescuer were alive and on their way to Vegas. Or better yet, already in Vegas with the rest of the posse.
Hours passed without either speaking. The miles went by swiftly and Rose figured if they could keep up this pace it would only take them about 36 hours to reach Vegas. Long before then she had to find a phone and find out if any of the other fans knew anything about Chris and his rescuer. Josiah watched as Rose drove the truck and dealt with whatever demons she was thinking about. She seemed too upset about that fella, Josiah was beginning to think maybe he had done something bad to Rose that she wasn't telling him about. When he saw Rose was going to pull into a diner, he decided it was time to question her.
"Rose, you alright? Been awful quite since we left the hotel," Josiah asked.
"I'm fine Josiah, just a little shaken up is all. I never had something like that happen to me before," Rose answered.
She really thought she had herself under control, but as she said the last words she broke down and begin to cry.
"Damn, you should have let me kill him!" Josiah said with concern.
"It's not that." Rose told him.
Josiah reached across and pulled Rose over and into his lap. He wiped the tears from her face and stroked the hair away from her eyes as he gently asked. "What then, if'n he didn't hurt you and he sure as hell didn't hurt me? Then what's the matter?"
"I never had anything like that happen to me before is all." Rose tried to convince Josiah.
"It's more than that. You seem really upset and I've been watching so I know we ain't been followed. I'm sure they don't have any idea where we are headed. So tell me what that fella did to upset you this much?" Josiah insisted.
Rose knew Josiah well enough to know he wouldn't give up until he had the truth out of her. "It was something he said, but I know it has to be a lie. I just know it has to be." Rose told him.
"What'd he say?" Josiah asked again.
"Oh Josiah I don't even want to tell you this cause I know it was a lie and I don't want you getting all worried and upset over a lie," Rose explained.
"Now woman, don't I seem like the type fella who can take care of himself? If'n you heard something about my friends you best be telling me, and let me deal with it in my own way," Josiah told her.
Rose didn't say anything for a while then she took a deep breath and as best she could she told Josiah what that fella had said about Chris and his rescuer.
"But really Josiah, there is no way that CBS would kill someone. We are
talking about businessmen here. These guys wouldn't be a part of killing anyone," Rose assured him. "Maybe this guy just wanted to scare me so bad that I would tell him where we were headed."
Josiah had taken this news better then Rose had expected him to. When he first heard Rose's news, he had gotten that sad look he got when he was
dealing with things that were painful to him. He sat Rose over on her side of the truck and then he rubbed a hand across his forehead. Rose had expected some sort of outburst or some sign that he believed her about CBS not being the type people to kill someone. Instead she heard him whisper.
"Damn Chris, you better be alive."
The tone of his voice told Rose that Josiah cared more for his six companions than anyone knew. "Josiah, I'll make a couple of calls and see if any of the other fans know anything. Don't worry too much about something that might not be true," Rose told him.
Rose got out of the truck and walked toward the diner. Josiah said a little prayer for Chris and the others, then he joined Rose.
Josiah and Rose ordered something to eat, then Rose got her phone book out of her bag. She told Josiah to keep his sunglasses on and not draw attention to himself. She then went to make a few calls. The first 4 calls she made she got no answer other than the answering machines. Finally she tried her daughter and got a busy signal. She was wondering who to call when she came across the number Jo and the others had given her when she offered to help them get the seven out and get them to Vegas. Rose had never heard the voice that answered, but she figured this was her only hope of finding any thing out.
"Hi, this is Rose. I'm looking for Jo or any of the posse members." Rose explained.
"Rose! thank goodness. This is Wen. Where are you? And when will you reach us?" the voice asked.
"We're about 36 hours away from Vegas. What's going on? Have you all heard anything from Chris and Ezra? They were already out of the building when I got there. I got Josiah out and we would have been there but my truck broke down. The goons who work for CBS found us twice now. One of them told me Chris and his rescuer was shot. Is that true?" Rose asked in a rush.
"We haven't heard a thing from the other ladies. We had hoped this was one of them calling now. At least we know you and Josiah are alright and will soon get here," Wen answered. "Well what are you doing to find them? Is there anything Josiah and I can do to help?" Rose wanted to know.
"No, you two get here and we will think of a way to find them if they haven't arrived before you get here," Rose was told.
"It's Kate isn't it? That's who went in and got Chris out? " Rose said.
"She volunteered Rose. Just like you did. And we are sure she and Chris are alive, so don't worry about that. Just get Josiah here and then we will all find a way to get Chris and Kate here too," she heard Wen say. It was the things Wen wasn't saying that was making Rose worry.
"Ok, we should be there in 36 hours unless we run across the goons again," Rose told her.
After speaking with Wen and getting directions to where she was suppose to meet the posse once she got to Vegas, Rose hung up the phone and walked back to the table where Josiah waited. Josiah had that look on his face. The one that said he knew trouble was coming. Rose wasn't looking forward to telling him she still didn't know anything about Chris or Ezra for that matter... The food had arrived while she was making her calls, so she sat down and started eating right away. She hoped Josiah wouldn't ask her while she was eating. Josiah cocked an eyebrow above the rim of his sunglasses, folded his arms across his wide chest and leaned back against the seat. Rose knew Josiah wasn't as calm and patient as he was acting. Rose wished she didn't have to tell him because Josiah had been fairly easy to handle and get along with, but this would set him off for sure.
"Well woman? You have anything to tell me?" Josiah asked.
"Well, nothing you want to hear." Rose answered.
"Is Chris alive?" Josiah wanted to know.
"As far as any of the posse knows, Chris and Kate are alive and well. They just don't know where Chris and Kate are. Once we get to Vegas all of us will try and find out where they are. But the lady I spoke with is sure that Chris will be in Vegas before we are," Rose explained to Josiah.
"Ezra?" Josiah asked.
"No word on him either." Rose stated.
"Humm," Josiah said.
Oh no! Rose thought she could see Josiah thinking of a plan. She really
didn't know how she was going to talk him into just going to Vegas and then figure out a way to find their friends if they weren't already there. Rose finished her meal and then decided to take the bull by the horns.
"Josiah, we have got to get to Vegas and then we will have help with any plan you might come up with to get the others out and all seven of you back together," She said. "Why? Why can't you and I go back to that building and get JD, Buck, Nathan andVin out? Then the five of us could search for Chris and Ezra. Vin is the best tracker I've ever known. He can pick up Chris or Ezra's trail and then lead us to them," Josiah said.
"Josiah, the two of us wouldn't get within 5 miles of that building before being caught. And then you'd be put into the freezer and me in jail. Besides, even if we did get the others out, Vin's skills wouldn't work here in this time. He can't track a car or truck like he would a horse," Rose said. " So you just want me to follow you and leave my friends to rot. No way lady! I been doing things your way since I woke up, but now we do things my way," Josiah snapped.
Rose was thankful the diner had a tv and that it was on loud. Josiah had gotten a little loud with his last statement.
"Josiah be reasonable. I can't take you back there. For one thing, it would take 2 days to get there! And we have no idea whether CBS left the others in that building once they knew 3 of you had gotten released. I mean, CBS is smart enough to know the magnificent 7 fans won't stop until all seven of you are free," Rose explained.
"Woman! Don't make me get ugly with you. I say we go back and since I'm a bit bigger than you, I think you will see..." Josiah stopped talking suddenly. He was watching something behind Rose. Rose swiftly turned in her seat thinking the CBS people had found them again. She saw nothing, Then she noticed Josiah was watching the TV. A special bulletin was airing. When Rose saw what it was about she almost fainted. They were showing the inside of the building in Connecticut and that sure looked like Chris! And if that wasn't Kate in those doctors greens, Rose would eat a bug. Her horror grew as a reporter told of two people who entered the building and shot and killed someone in there.
"Damn Chris, I knew you weren't dead," Rose heard Josiah say.
"He might be before this is over, He can't just kill someone then walk away. Not here and in this time. The law will hunt him down and Kate too. Damn we got trouble now," Rose spoke sadly.
"Rose, we have got to go back and help them," Josiah stated.
"No! We are going to Vegas and we will let the posse members deal with this," Rose answered. Rose got her things together and without waiting on Josiah swiftly left the diner. Josiah follow her thinking this was one woman who he wasn't going to be able to talk around to his side of things. He thought if a woman had to rescue him, why not one who would let him make the decisions, who would depend on him and at least allow him to think he was the leader of the twosome. But Rose sure wasn't that type of female. And Josiah was pretty sure they would be fighting all the way to this Vegas place. 36 hours of fighting with this woman and worrying over Chris and his rescuer wasn't going to be very pleasant for him. Josiah has been watching that Tv thing since they walked into the place. Just looking up at it now and then. He got the shock of his life when he saw Chris on there. Once he realized what was happening, he had listened real close and he was pretty sure Chris wouldn't have killed anyone; not unless he was forced into it. If he could convince Rose and those other posse folks of that then he thought they might allow him to do something to find Chris and this woman he was with.
Rose needed to stop for the night. She knew it wasn't a good idea, but all the shocks she had today had given her a really awful headache and she would never be able to drive all night. So, she decided to go for a few more hours then stop for the night somewhere. They drove for a few more hours and then Rose saw a sign for campgrounds and took the exit. It took another hour to find the place only to find it wasn't a big campground, just one of those state run ones where you could camp for free. She found a spot way back in the woods and then got out of the truck to walk the kinks out. Josiah had been too quiet for her liking. It wasn't like him to just go blindly along with her plans. That he had a plan of his own, she had no doubt. But as she didn't care to have a fight with him right now she thought it best to just wait him out.
"Josiah, I have got to lay down. We will talk in the morning, ok? My head hurts and I need some sleep. Please try and rest tonight and don't do anything stupid," Rose begged him. Josiah nodded his head then went about getting a fire going. Rose figured he was brooding and that he would sleep when he got over it. Josiah was a little surprised that Rose would let him stay up without her. If she had an idea of what his plans were she would never have went to sleep as fast as she did. Once Josiah was sure Rose was sleeping, he got the map out and looked over the route they had been traveling. He had watched her real close today after they left the diner and he was pretty sure he could get the hang of the driving thing. He knew how to start the truck and all about the gears and where the gas and brake were. Rose had explained all of that to him the second day on the road.
Rose had been asleep for a couple of hours when she heard and felt the truck start up. Josiah found out real fast that watching someone drive and doing the driving were two all together different things. He had gotten the truck started and put into gear. Then he pushed his foot down on the gas pedal and the truck shot across the campground road and into the woods on the other side.
"Oh Lord, help!" Josiah said aloud.
Rose climbed over the seat and tried to find the brake about that time. She just couldn't reach it in time and they slammed into a tree with the right front tire. The sudden stop caused Rose and Josiah to slide forward and both of them hit their heads into the windshield. Rose just thanked God that
Josiah hadn't given the truck a lot of gas and that he hadn't kept his foot pressed to the gas pedal or the truck would have been totaled and they might have been hurt really bad. Josiah and Rose looked at each other, then Josiah noticed that Rose had blood running down her forehead.
"Here let me look at that." Josiah said as he reached toward her. Rose slapped his hand away and then climbed out of the truck. "Rose. Damn let me see how bad that head wound is," Josiah said as he got out of the truck.
"Oh no, if you don't want me to do something I'll regret you will stay away from me for awhile," Rose snapped.
Rose stomped across the road and sat down near the fire. She poured herself a coffee and then looked across at her daughter's truck. This was just great! How the hell would she explain to Kathy Ann that her new truck was going to need some major body work on the front end? And she was so mad at Josiah that she wanted to walk back over to him and hit him really hard. Plus her headache was worse now that she thought about it.
Josiah knew he was in deep trouble with Rose. He wished she had just yelled at him right off the bat because this waiting for her to get around to it was a little hard for him to take. He watched as she wiped the blood off her head and then she take a few sips of coffee. He could see she was thinking and none of her thoughts were good and all those thoughts were most certainly of him. Rose got up and walked back across the road. She was good and ticked so she figured she'd just go for the kill.
"ARE YOU NUTS! YOU DON'T KNOW A THING ABOUT DRIVING! YOU COULD HAVE KILLED US! WHERE THE HELL DID YOU THINK YOU WERE GOING ANYWAY?! NO! NEVER MIND! I KNOW, BACK TO HELP YOUR FRIENDS!" Rose yelled.
"Rose, I can't just sit here or go to this Vegas place while my friends are in trouble. I have got to do something for them," Josiah said softly.
"I KEEP TELLING YOU, WE CAN'T HELP THEM ALONE," Rose shouted back at him.
"I ain't never left a friend to fend for himself if'n I could help him," Josiah again said softly.
"Oh Josiah, I do understand how you feel about this, but you and I alone can't help the fellas. Once we get to Vegas my friends and pards will help us find and save Chris and Kate. And really, we don't know if maybe Ezra and a few of the others will be there when we arrive," Rose said.
"I'm right sorry about your truck. I really thought I could drive it. It looks so easy when I watch you do it," Josiah mumbled.
"Wel, if you would have asked, I'd have told you how hard it is to drive. It's not like a horse. You can't lead a truck and it don't stop just cause you say stop," Rose explained.
"Let's get the truck out and see how bad the damage is," Rose said.
It took them half an hour to get the truck out and to find out that the tire would have to be changed. Plus the fender needed pulled out away from the tire.
"It's late and my head hurts like hell, so it looks like we will be a few hours behind getting to Vegas," Rose whispered.
Josiah went over and took a look at the wound on Rose's head. It had stopped bleeding and wasn't swelling or anything so he didn't think she was hurt too bad.
"Guess you should have gotten Nathan out to travel with. He knows about
medical things and could fix your head in no time," Josiah told her.
"It's ok, I'll take a couple of Tylenol and be fine in the morning," Rose said as she dug into the large bag she carried and took out a bottle. She opened it and took a couple round white tablets out and took them with a drink of coffee.
"What the heck are those?" Josiah asked.
For some reason this hit Rose as funny. She started laughing and couldn't stop. When she finally got control of herself she tried to explain to Josiah why she found his question funny.
"After all we've been through, you still ask about a little thing. Not how do we fix the truck or how long before we reach Vegas, but what are the pills I'm taking," Rose giggled.
Josiah didn't see why this was funny and he got to thinking maybe the bump on her head had been harder than he thought. He sure wished Nathan was here. Nathan would know if'n something wasn't right with Rose and her head.
"Never mind Josiah, I'm fine. Those pills will get rid of my headache so I can sleep. Then we can fix the truck in the morning and get back on the road as soon as possible," Rose told him.
Since it was pretty late they both decided to get some sleep and soon both of them were in the back of the truck and trying to sleep.
"Rose, them boys are like family to me. I can't let anything happen to them. If they got to fight then I want to be right there with them to back them up," Josaih said in a whisper.
"I know Josiah, and if I thought you could be of help to them I'd turn this truck around and head right back to them. But you can't help them alone. Let some of the fans help you to rescue the boys," Rose whispered back.
"Alright I guess I don't got much a choice. I'll do things your way for now," Josiah said.
Morning found Rose still with a headache and also with a problem. She could change the tire by herself but how could she pull the fender out? Josiah told her to go ahead and fix the tire and he would try and pull the fender out . Rose jacked the truck up and took the tire off. Josiah told her to let him work with the fender while the tire was off. She found him a hammer and then went to have coffee and more Tylenol for her head. Some time later she checked to find Josiah had fixed the fender pretty good. It didn't rub the tire now and it looked just a little worst for wear. She put the other tire on and then they loaded everything else up.
They were sitting drinking the last of the coffee when they both heard it: the sound of a car coming their way. They both jumped to their feet and ran for the truck. Rose knew she could miss the car coming if she waited to see which way they were entering the grounds. She caught a glimpse of a car through the trees and knew they were coming in on her left side. She whipped the truck to the right and hit the gas petal hard. She hoped the people in the car didn't see them and that they could get away unnoticed. It didn't take her long to get to the freeway and so far she hadn't seen anyone behind them since they had left the campgrounds. A few miles down the road Rose turned off the freeway. She pulled over and checked her map.
"I hate to do this. but we have got to get another car or truck. I see a town about 20 miles down this road. Maybe they will have a car lot. But first I will find a place to store this truck until someone can fly down to get it. I think the CBS people know what we are driving so they will have the cops looking for it," Rose explained. They got lucky and found the town was large and had three car lots plus a bus depot. Rose made arrangements to store the truck and called her daughter Debbie to fly down and get the truck. She made Debbie promise to bring their friend Bryan with her just in case of trouble. Rose then went to the bank and got a few thousand dollars out. She walked to the nearest car lot after telling Josiah to stay out of sight. She sweet talked the young fella woking at the lot into letting her have a beat up old truck for a couple hundred dollars. Then she went and got 30 days tags for the truck. She was glad now that her ex had made her learn about cars and trucks. She checked out the sound of the motor and the frame to make sure the truck would at least make it to Vegas. The test run had shown her that the truck ran well and had no major problems. She was sure that she and Josiah would get to Vegas with it.
Soon she and Josiah were back on the freeway and headed toward Vegas. Josiah must have realized while Rose was getting the new truck that this would be the last night they would spend together. He kept looking at her and had placed his arm around her while she was driving. He was now playing with her hair.
"So do we stop for the night or just drive all night?" he asked after a few miles.
"We'll stop cause there is no way I can drive all day and night," Rose answered.
"Campground or hotel?" he said.
"I don't know for sure. It doesn't seem to matter. They find us no matter where we stay," Rose said.
"Well then I vote for a hotel room and a nice soft bed," Josiah said with a grin. "You would." Rose joked back . They were silent after that until Josiah found his belly growling.
"You plan on feeding me today woman?" he asked.
"I might," she replied. "Well damn woman, I ain't ate since yesterday," Josiah reminded her.
"Ok, I'll stop somewhere and feed you," Rose said.
They soon saw a truck stop sign and took the exit for it. When they entered the place Rose saw it was packed with truckers. She figured it was safe to leave Josiah alone while she made a phone call and took care of a few things of her own. She called Wen again to let the posse know what was going on with them, Plus she hoped they had some information about Chris and Ezra. But Wen could only tell Rose that they had heard an APB had been put out for Chris and Kate. They still hadn't heard from the girl who had gotten Ezra out. She then added that Vin was out thanks to two of the pards. Both named Karen. Rose got off the phone and went into the ladies room. When she went back to the table, she didn't see Josiah there. For a second panic set in. Oh god, the CBS people had gotten him she thought. Then she heard his laugh. She looked around and found him sitting at a table with about 5 other guys. They were playing cards. Rose couldn't believe Josiah could sit and play cards after he had been so upset about Chris and the others a few hours ago. She went ahead and ordered lunch and ate it when it arrived. A little later Josiah joined her and ordered his lunch.
"What were you doing? What if one of those guys recognized you?" Rose asked him. "Well one of them did. I told him I got that all the time since I looked so much like the actor," Josiah said. "Anyway, two of them said we could follow them for the rest of the day and when we reach the hotel they will have you park your truck between the larger trucks. That way no one will see it." Josiah explained.
"And just why do they think we need to hide?" Rose asked.
"I told them we were running from your ex who was looking to shoot me,"
Josiah said with a smile.
"Oh that's great! Now people think my ex is a gun toting nut!" Rose answered.
"Well I had to come up with some reason why we were hiding. And this was what came into my head. And those fellas think my name is Joe," Josiah told her.
Rose soon found herself back in the truck and rolling down the freeway between two large trucks. It was getting dark before the truckers took an exit and found a motel to stay at. Rose parked her truck between the larger trucks and then went in to get a room. When she came out she saw Josiah was talking with the truckers.
"Rose, this here is Bob and John. Boys this is Rose," Josiah introduced the three to each other. The four spent a few minutes talking, then Rose and Josiah walked to their room. Once in the room Josiah seemed restless and Rose knew he was thinking of his friends.
"Josiah, try not to worry. I'm sure Chris is fine and all seven of you will be together soon," Rose tried to assure him.
"I just ain't used to this waiting around without doing nothing to help my friends out," Josiah said
"Well maybe the thing for you to do is what you are best at," Rose told him.
"And what's that?" Josiah asked.
"Pray. I'm sure your god is listening and wondering why you haven't been asking him for help for your friends," Rose answered.
"In that case you won't mind none if'n I go outside and spend some time alone," he said.
Before she could answer Josiah was out the door and she found herself alone. Rose had taken her shower and gone to bed before Josiah returned. He entered the room and went straight to the shower. He wasn't long in there and soon Rose felt the bed give when he slid into the other side. Josiah wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her close.
"While I was talking to god, something else occurred to me. Tomorrow at this time, you and me will be with others and this little trip will be over.
You'll go back to your life and hopefully I'll go back to mine," Josiah told her.
"I know, I've been thinking the same thing," Rose replied.
"What with all that's been going on with the news of Chris I plum forgot that part," Josiah said sadly.
"Maybe in a way that's good. This way we'll be so busy thinking of ways to get Chris and the others out that we won't feel so bad when we part," Rose told him.
"Maybe," Josiah whispered.
For this night they held each other knowing it was the last time. Soon Josiah would be reunited with his friends and Rose would go home to Ohio and become the normal housewife mother type she had always been.
Morning found them sharing breakfast with their new friends from the day before. The truckers showed Rose the fastest way to Vegas from where they were and told her that with no problems she should arrive there around 6 that evening. Once on the road Josiah and Rose were both silent and thinking not only of their friends but of the fact that their time together was over.
At noon Rose stopped for gas and food and also to make a phone call. This time Jo answered the phone, but she has no news of either Chris or Ezra. When Rose asked about Vin, Jo said only that he and two of the ladies were headed for Vegas. Jo was able to tell Rose that Buck had been freed and would be in Vegas soon.
"Was Buck rescued by a woman too? " Josiah wanted to know.
"I think so." Rose said.
"Why didn't men come rescue us seven anyway?" Josiah wanted to know.
"I don't know, probably cause we ladies jumped at the chance to ride to the seven's rescue," Rose replied.
"It's odd how in my time it's the men who rescue the ladies and in your time it's the other way round," Josiah said with a smile.
"Not odd, just the way things worked out," Rose explained.
"Bet old Buck loved having a lady come to his rescue." Josiah stated. "Good lord I bet he did! I hope he isn't giving his rescuer a hard time," Rose said without thinking. At this Josiah burst into laughter.
"What? What's so funny?" Rose wanted to know.
"Nothin'. Just a thought is all. The words Buck and hard in the same sentence just seemed funny is all," Josiah said. Rose thought for a second and then she too began to laugh.
"Oh well, you know I didn't mean it that way, but come to think of it, Buck is no doubt giving his rescuer a hard time for sure," Rose said with a laugh.
Around 5 they found themselves about 20 miles from Vegas. They stopped to eat and then they took a short walk in a little roadside park they found.
"Josiah, I just wanted to say I'm glad I rescued you and not one of the others. I know we fought some and we don't see eye to eye about most things, but I like you and I'm glad I got to spend this time with you," Rose told him.
"I feel the same," Josiah replied.
"I don't want to get mushy or anything here but I'd like to share a little poem a friend named Bryan wrote when he and his girlfriend broke up," Rose told Josiah.
"Didn't know you liked poems. I like them too so I'll be happy to hear this one," Josiah replied.
Through the depths of time.
For a few days.
You were mine
Through life's great tours
For a few days.
I was yours.
And when we parted
For many days
I was brokenhearted.
But we both know
For a few days
We shared hearts and souls.
"Now that's nice." Josiah said as he wrapped him large arms around Rose and hugged her tight.
They spent a short time just holding each other, and in that silent way said goodbye. Then once more they were headed toward Vegas and the destiny that awaited Josiah and his six pards.
Author acknowledgement: Poem by----Bryan Whitehearst
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