Gangsters vs. Cowboys

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This is the next story in the Two for One saga. If you have not read both parts of two for one I suggest you read them first. Thanks to my readers for comments and suggestions. Yes we do read them. So please share your thoughts and be sure to vote.


Life was good on the ranch. Analisa Jones had settled into her new life as a country girl with ease. This was in part to the two studly ranchers she was married to. After a year and a half, they had found a smooth routine that made everyone happy it seemed.

Anna had learned a lot about the finances and day to day business of ranch life. It wasn’t all about the cows and the hay crop and a good calf yield, though those were primarily important. She had also figured out that there were hard strenuous periods that usually were followed by calm laid back periods.

Right now, they were coming off of a laid-back period and due to some unusually strong late summer rains, they were behind the winter wheat planting. There was a total of 845 acres that needed seed in the ground before the fall rains set in. Fred had always had the goal of getting it done no later than two weeks after Labor Day. It was now September 28th and he was just now finishing up. Hopefully the first frost would be a few weeks behind the norm as well.

Once the wheat was in, there was winter feeding preparations to be made. This wasn’t really a big project but a much needed one. Today Jeff was finishing up the wheat and Fred had gone out on old Oscar to check the hay barns and feeding equipment and surrounding fences. Oscar was his favorite quarter horse ranch hand. Surefooted and strong as an ox. The fact he was 14 years old didn’t bother Fred. He figured they were about in the same stage of life. He and Oscar had traveled many a mile across the ranch together.

It was getting close to supper time though, and Oscar knew it. When it was quitting time, Oscar was not one to be late to the feed sack. It always amused Fred that he kept pushing harder and harder the closer they got to the barn.

Jeff saw the shiny black Escalade zipping down the highway and the break lights as it approached his drive. Finishing out the last of his turn rows, he lifted his grain drill and turned for the house. He saw the dust as the SUV had zipped quickly down his drive. From where he was it would take a good 8 minutes to get back to the barn. He pushed a little harder to cut that as much as he could. He had a sneaking suspicion that vehicle spelled trouble.

Anna was in the kitchen finishing up Supper. She knew the boys had been working hard so she had whipped them up one of their favorites. Chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes, green beans, broccoli (her addition to the meal), and cream gravy to smother that fresh loaf of home-made bread she had slaved over all afternoon. She really loved her men and liked to feed them well.

Looking out the window she spotted all the dust flying down the road. She didn’t spot the black SUV until it was coming through the front gate. Her heart jumped into her throat as realization set in. She was afraid this day might come but hoped against hope that it never did. At least her men were away right now and so she would be able to deal with it and they wouldn’t get hurt.

A large Hispanic man jumped out of the driver’s side, wielding what looked like a shotgun. The front passenger door also swung open and another slim Hispanic fella with a red and white striped bandana around his head appeared. She saw he had a handgun. There was no doubt this was Jr coming to cause trouble.

He slid out of the back seat in his best gangster sport jacket and shiny black boots. Seeing him made her sick at her stomach. She knew there was no place to hide and even if she got Fred’s shotgun, she would be out gunned. She knew her best weapon was her brain and her mouth. She bravely stepped out onto the front porch.

“What do you want Jr. There is nothing for you here. May as well just turn around and head back to Santa Fe.”

Jr just gave her a salacious grin and walked to the front gate. Joe, Fred’s dog, met him at the front gate with teeth bared and a strong growl. Jr pulled a handgun from the back of his belt and pointed it at his head and looked at Ana. “You like this dog? Better make him behave or I’ll end him.”

Ana had no doubt he would do just that, so she called to him and he came. She fastened him to a short leash they had fastened to the porch. “Good Girl!” he said. “Now why don’t you bring your sexy ass down her and let’s go home. This is no place for a chica like you. Do you know what I’ve gone through to find your sorry ass?”

“You wasted your time and energy coming to find me Jr. Didn’t you get the divorce papers? It was official 9 months ago. I’m no longer your wife Jr. Do us both a huge favor and go home.” Ana stated with an air of authority.

Jr opened the gate and stepped inside, leaving it open. The driver Escort Bayan Gaziantep had stepped up to the corner of the house, his shotgun held down at his side. The passenger must have gone behind the house. Just as Jr reached the first step, he could hear the approaching tractor. Ana’s heart sank realizing Jeff was back and would no doubt be caught up in the middle of this, and probably end up hurt, if not killed. Ana was once again regretting ever staying here about now. She just knew Jr was going to kill the man she loved.

To hopefully distract Jr, Ana charged at him. He had put his gun away and she hoped while his back was turned to her, she could get to it before he could react. She charged at him and hit him with her full weight, grabbing at the butt of the gun in his belt.

Jr fell over and hit the ground hard, with Ana on top of him. Jeff saw the whole thing and gunned the tractor hard, crashing through the front fence, stopping only a few short feet from the two wrestling on the ground. He was flying out of the cab of the tractor just as he saw the butt of the gun hit Ana in the head and she rolled off.

He managed to kick Jr’s hand with his boot, dislodging the handgun. As it left Jr’s grip, his finger pulled the trigger, firing a round into the air. He was then on Jr’s chest blasting his fist into his face with all his strength. Jr’s head was bouncing on the ground. Jeff got in about 4 good hits before something hit him in the back of the head and everything turned to black.

The driver immediately went to Jr to check him out. The passenger came through the front door onto the porch with gun at the ready. Jr was conscious but still laying on the ground cursing in Spanish.

In the meantime, Fred had heard the gun go off as Oscar crested the hill just behind the barn. He couldn’t see the house or anything that was going on, but he knew a gunshot meant something wasn’t kosher. He pulled up hard on Oscar as they entered the open paddock gate and they came to a smooth halt just at the horse stall.

He dismounted and pulled his saddle gun, a 30-30 leaver action, out of its sheath and opened Oscar’s stall. His feed was already there, and he wasted no time stepping in to eat it. Fred didn’t wait to unsaddle him. He could come back and finish if everything was ok.

He started around the corner of the barn and saw the black Escalade. He stopped in his tracks and back tracked quietly to the back door of the barn. He slipped inside the closed barn and made his way to the Hay loft. There was a large door up there, but also a vent opening about 12″ square. He moved to the vent, which opened inside, and tried to see what was going on.

He saw that Jeff had run the tractor through the front yard fence and he saw the two thugs helping Jr get to his feet. One of them was trying to dab at blood on his face but was getting slapped and bitched at. Jr grabbed the rag and was wiping blood from his face. Fred couldn’t see either Ana or Jeff. He feared the worst but hoped for the best.

He heard Jr speaking Spanish, telling one of his thugs to get her and bring her to the car. At least Ana was still alive and hopefully well. Now just to see about Jeff. He told the other thug to grab the guy and drag him in the house and shoot him. Fred’s heart thumped hard as adrenalin coursed through his veins. No one was going to be shooting his son today.

He leveled off the 30-30 and sighted in the thug moving to the porch. He lost him a moment as he had bent to grab Jeff and drag him up the steps. Ana was now struggling with the other guy and it took both his hands to handle her. Jr was already walking around the front of the SUV to get in. Fred knew he had to work fast.

His first shot hit the man dragging Jeff up the porch in the side of the head. He dropped like a feed sack. Fred then aimed at the guy holding Ana. About that time, she must have racked him or something. He let her go and grabbed his crotch bending over. Ana took for the house as fast as she could. The thug pulled his shotgun up and was pointing it in Ana’s direction as Fred dropped the guy. Just as he fired, the wood splintered just above his head.

He recoiled as fast as he could. There was no way he could move as fast as Jr with his pistol. He quickly slid down the loft ladder like a fireman and moved to the back door of the barn. If Jr came into the barn, he could shoot him as he opened the door. If he went for Ana, then he could shoot him from the corner of the barn. Fred moved as fast as his feet would let him.

When he got to the back door of the barn, he heard Ana scream. His worst fear was coming true at this point. The gunman had his wife and his son captive and he had 4 shots left. He knew if there was a shooting match, his family would be the first casualties.

Jr was calling out to him, telling him to come out or he was going to kill Ana. Fred reversed his plan. He turned and ran with all he had around the far end of the barn. With the tractor in the yard, they couldn’t see him turn and go behind the house. He passed around the back porch and came full circle around the house.

Peeking around the corner, he could see Jr and Ana. He had his arm around her throat holding her up on her toes. From this angle, if he could level up and draw a bead on him before he noticed, he could blow his brains out and safely miss Ana. Just then Joe saw him and barked, wagging his tail.

It distracted Fred, and Jr looked at the dog before spinning around quickly and turning Ana to face him. With the barrel of his gun pointed at her head, and his face hid behind Ana’s mostly, Fred no longer had a clean shot. He silently cursed before talking to the guy.

“You need to just let her go and you can leave here unharmed. Lower your gun and I’ll lower mine. Just get in your car and leave.” Jr moved both of them closer to Fred. Ana had struggled and tried to elbow him in the ribs, but it seemed to have little or no effect on him.

“I’ll tell you what cowboy,” Jr replied, “I’m going to leave here as you said. You are going to put your gun down and I’ll just walk out of here. I’m taking this bitch with me. She’s my wife and I don’t let no man take what’s mine. You had your fun with my little nympho and now it’s my turn again. Now just drop that gun and we’ll be on our way.”

Fred was in a pickle. He could easily let them go and maybe both he and his son survived. But Ana would be at the mercy of that murderer. That wouldn’t work at all. He could pull up and try to shoot him on the side of the head, but he could too easily miss or be off a couple inches the other way and hit Ana. He had to figure out some way to get Ana away from him so he could get a shot. It was obvious she couldn’t break free the way he was holding her.

Just then he saw Jeff move. He tried not to look at him and draw Jr’s attention to him. He hoped maybe Jeff could come at him from behind since they were between he and his son. “Look Mr. why do you want her anyway? Does she owe you money? If so, I can pay you what she owes, with interest. If she broke or destroyed something, I can pay to have it fixed. Why do you need her? She obviously doesn’t want to be with you.”

Fred was stalling, giving Jeff time to recover a little and catch on to what was happening. If he could somehow get the gun pointed away from Ana then maybe Jeff could take him out. He could see Jeff in his peripheral vision and saw him turn his head toward him. It looked like he was coming around and hopefully could help out. Just as he saw Jeff’s leg bend up like he was going to try to sit up, he decided to move and keep Jr’s attention.

Fred stepped clearly around the corner. He drew the gun up and sighted straight at Ana’s head like he may shoot. Her eyes got huge, but she didn’t freak. Jr, in defense, now pointed the gun at Fred and told him to freeze or he’d shoot. Jr had a clear shot at him now.

Jeff was also up on his feet now. He saw the baseball bat that sat beside Pop’s chair and quietly picked it up as Jr was shouting at his dad. He took two quiet steps toward Jr as he drew back to swing. Fred saw what was happening. He was set to hit the dirt at any second. He heard his son yell “DUCK!” and he hit the dirt.

Jr was startled to hear a voice behind him and quickly turned his head and was trying to turn himself and Ana around as well. The baseball bat struck him square in the back of the head and there was an audible cracking bone sound. Jr’s eyes rolled up and his knees gave way as he melted to the porch floor. The gun hit with a thud.

Ana collapsed to her knees and Jeff rushed to her side. She was shaking uncontrollably now and he hugged her close to his body asking if she was hurt. Fred was close on his heels and seeing Jeff had Ana, he checked to see if Jr was still alive. He was relieved to find no pulse. He asked Jeff if he was ok with Ana and he nodded, so Fred ran out to check the other guy he shot by the SUV. He was sure the guy that dropped on the porch was gone because he saw his head snap when he pulled the trigger. The third guy was deceased as well.

Fred pulled out his cell and dialed 911. He told them they needed the Sherriff and that there were 3 dead bodies to come pick up as well. He informed the operator his family would be at the nearest Hospital in Plainview. Fred left his 30-30 sitting by the front door on the porch. He left everything else as it was. He knew the Sherriff would need it all for their investigation.

Fred got both Jeff and Ana into the truck and headed to the hospital as fast as he could safely go. He passed a Sherriff with lights blazing about 20 minutes down the road. He knew that both Jeff and Ana had sustained head injuries and he wanted to be sure they were ok. He pulled into the ER about 40 minutes later and they all walked into the ER. He told the attendants what had happened, and they got them both into a bay next to each other. In about 5 minutes a deputy entered asking for Fred. He got his attention and he came into their cubical. Together, as both Jeff and Ana were being checked out, they retold the story. First Ana, then Jeff, and finally Fred.

The deputy enquired of the Dr. if they were going to be ok and he affirmed they would. They did a blood test on them both and checked all their vitals and checked for concussion. Jeff had a slight concussion but wasn’t experiencing any blurry vision, just a sizable headache. They kept them there for observation another hour and then released them.

Fred was told to go get the truck pulled up and they would be out shortly. Jeff decided he needed the bathroom before the trip home. As Ana was there alone, the nurse who was checking them out congratulated her. Ana was puzzled as for what reason. The nurse looked at her and guessed she didn’t know yet.

“Mrs. Jones, you are pregnant. About 4 weeks or so according to the test. I suggest getting an appointment with your family doctor and getting everything checked out and a proper likely birth date. I hope this isn’t bad news. It looks like you have a good family support system. Let us know if we can help, we have a wonderful maternity ward.” the nurse smiled and tried to reassure her.

Ana thanked her and sat in the wheelchair. Jeff was quickly back and sat in his. The nurses wheeled them out and they were off and headed home.

Ana suggested they get some takeout to eat as she was sure that her supper was ruined. It had been left out and it would all be cold, and the gravy ruined. Fred agreed and they found the local Taco place and pulled through. Fred managed to eat his Barito as he drove with a little help from his wife. Ana could tell Jeff was feeling ok by the way he devoured his food. She didn’t really feel much like eating. The news she received was both wonderful and upsetting. How would the guys take it? Only time would tell.

They were told to keep Jeff awake for at least another 4 hours, so they sang songs and talked the whole way home. Once there, both guys needed a shower. Ana told Fred she was going to join Jeff just to make sure he didn’t pass out on them or something. He agreed and got the tractor out of the front yard before it got dark. He pulled up a couple of cattle panels to cover the hole so he could let Joe off the leash. Poor dog had been leashed up all afternoon long. He was happy to be free.

As Fred got in the house, he found Jeff and Ana out of the shower and seated on the couch watching TV. He told them he was up to the shower. Ana told him to come join them when he was finished. She felt it was better to lay all her cards on the table now and see where she was. She knew both men loved her, as she did them. She hoped that this news would be received with joy and excitement.

Fred returned and sat in his recliner. Ana asked him to come sit beside her on the couch instead. Once he was beside her, she placed a hand on each bare thigh of her husbands. “Boys, I can’t tell you how sorry I am for today. It was totally my fault and I almost got you both killed. If you want me out the door then tell me and I’ll go first thing tomorrow.” She had tears in her eyes but didn’t wipe them. She didn’t dare move her hands and lose contact with either man.

Both of them turned to her and hugged her. It was a mixed up mess of arms tugging at her, but her tears turned to joyful ones. They both assured her that she wasn’t going anywhere and that she had nothing to do with what happened. “It was all that asshole Jr’s doing and nothing you did.” Jeff said.

Fred echoed the same and then told them how he figured they got found. “He probably had out feelers for that car of yours we hauled to the metal yard last week. That’s about the only way he could have found us in the middle of nowhere. They have to keep records of cars and other vehicles they demolish there.”

They both nodded. “Well just thankfully no one was really hurt bad.” She turned to Jeff and stroked his face. “I’m sorry you got hurt baby, I’ll make it up to you soon though. Momma’s gonna make you feel better.” She pulled his lips to hers and kissed him.

Fred looked on and almost chuckled. She turned to Fred then, “And you Mr. Gun Slinger. I’m glad I married a man that can shoot like that. You saved all our lives today.” She turned back to Jeff, “And all that baseball in High School paid off too.” They all chuckled. She then turned and gave Fred a big wet Kiss, then whispered, “Thank you baby, I love you.”

They all sat there a few seconds in silence, each replaying the events of the day until Ana stood abruptly then turned and sat on the coffee table, facing them both. “We have another matter to discuss my amazing Husbands.” They both looked on with interest as she continued. “While we were at the hospital, I got some interesting news.” She pulled out the page from all that paperwork they send home with you and turned it facing them. Pointing to the part she underlined, “See this right here? Can you read what it says?” They both leaned forward and strained to see it.

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