Samuel is an outlaw; Claire just wants to be free from her hell. What will happen when their paths meet?
Claire could feel the smoke traveling into her lungs as she exhaled the grey mist into the air. The Frank's Inferno was empty, savor for some men sitting round the gambling table as few of the prostitutes stood around them watching.
It was only a Monday night, not much of any excitement in the building except for the occasional moans that slipped down from one the occupied rooms.
The Frank's saloon was dusty and dim as the girls who lived there came back and forth getting the men at the gambling table there drinks. Claire was sitting at the bar, looking around her surroundings and checking everyone’s faces. Her piercing green eyes scanned the room as she turned her bar stool away from the bar table.
Claire felt nothing but boredom as she continued to smoke her cigarette. Different men gave her glances and hints but she choose to sit where she was. Her long jet black hair was in a high and messy bun. Her soft face read not to disturb her as she kept on her staring and observing the people around her. Her fair skinned glowed in the dimly lit room as she slightly spun in her seat. Her dark skirt spun with her as she slightly kicked her legs and feet. Just as she spun half way to the bar table, a gruff voice interrupted her thoughts.
"You working tonight Claire?" Frank the owner asked as he watched his top paying girl just sit around lazily.
"Yeah, I'm working tonight" She declared as she blew out a puff of smoke.
"Well it doesn’t seem like it" Frank argued as he watched Claire take another drag of her smoke.
"Just because I'm sitting here doesn't mean I'm not working" she blurted out as she moved her attention back to the small group playing on the gambling table.
Just as she went to go blow out her smoke, a firm hand grabbed her by the back of her neck. She could feel Frank's breath seeping down her ear and at the hairs of her neck.
"I need you to get your ass out there and make me some money" His voice was a snarl and his tone was equally demanding. Frank gave a forceful yank as he let go of Claire’s neck.
Feeling agitated and annoyed, Claire got up from her spot on the bar stool and slowly started to glide herself to the gentleman at the gambling table. She put on the fakes smile that she can possibly muster and started to sit down on one of the men’s lap. The greasy old man happily let Claire sit on his lap. Just as long as he got to grope her in the process of her sitting on his lap…
The night air was cold as Samuel slowly started riding into town on his black horse. He kept looking back behind him as he strode into the busy street. It was a dark Monday night but there was still people moving around the streets of town, just as the sun was starting to completely disappear with its orange glow.
Samuel passed the sheriff’s office and one small little shop. Just as he turned his horse to the side, he looked up to see the “Frank’s Inferno" sign.
He knew right away that it was a saloon. Some drunken men stumbled out of the place as Samuel secured his horse nearby. He unstrapped his saddle from his horse and he put on his cowboy hat. His long dark curly hair clung to his face and neck as his ride into town left him sweating and dirty.
He walked right into the saloon and let himself take in his surroundings. The place was filled with smoke and it was dimly lit. You can hear the audible noise of men and women in the different rooms making noises and walking round. He walked his way over to the empty bar and looked at the older man behind the bar. He knew right away he had to be the owner of the place.
"Welcome stranger to the Inferno" Frank said excitedly.
"Frank’s Inferno that is… anything I can help you with young stranger?" Frank asked as he watched Samuel took off his hat and placed it on the bar.
"Was wondering how much it was to book a week here?" Samuel asked his southern drawl sounded low and breathy.
"In our rooms" Frank started to state.
"It’s a dollar a night; it includes free breakfast and lunch but none of the girls".
Samuel nodded his head yes and settled down his saddle to dig in his dark vest for his gold pouch. Frank never asked any of the men that come walking in why they needed a room. As far as he is concerned, if they can pay, they can stay.
Samuel took out the good amount of gold for his stay and ordered himself a whisky. The long ride to this town made him ache all over. But he knew he couldn’t stay for long. A week at most but with his current situation; he had to leave this state once this week is up.
Samuel settled himself down at the bar stool and started to drink his whisky. He turned in his head to look behind him at the small group playing at the gambling table, which is when his dark eyes locked on a fair skinned woman. Her messy jet black hair was in a bun, she had piercing green eyes as she stared back at Samuel. She let her cigarette dangle from her pouched lips.
Samuel gave her an intent look and a small smile. She looked much different than the other women in the room. Just then he watched as the young women slowly gets up from her spot and starts to slowly walk towards Samuel. For whatever reason...this made Samuel's heart skip a beat as he watched her petite body strode closer to him...
He strode in like a dark figure. Claire watched intently at the stranger who walked up to Frank at the bar. She couldn't hear his voice but she could read his lips. She watched as the young man took off his hat and placed it on the bar counter.
He looked dirty and very worn down. Something read that he wasn't from around there. His stance seemed too strong and from the looks of his profile seemed too delicate from the town they are in. She kept her eyes on the stranger as he settled down on the bar stool. Just as frank came over with his drink, she watched as the young man turned in his seat a bit and her breath caught in her throat.
His dark brown eyes stared at her with strength and intent. He was very handsome. His dark curly hair was at the length of his shoulders. She could see the sweat on his face drying and the dirt still plastered on his face and dark clothes. She looked as the young stranger gave her a small smile. Claire decided then and there to introduce herself to the total stranger.
She stepped off the man that she was sitting on and started walking toward the man that was sitting at the bar alone drinking. This gentleman looks interesting to her. He gazed at her as she walked up to him. The moment she stood close to his proximity, the odor that came from his body was something different. It was sweat mixed with earth and the blazing sun. It wasn't musky but it was more subtle and light.
"So...you look new stranger" Claire said as she sat down right next to the man she did not know. The gentleman looked straight at her face. He saw the glow in her green eyes and the soft expression in her face.
"Ya, I'm new here ma'am" he replied as he sat up in his seat.
"Oh god, never call me ma'am!" Claire laughed as she sat down right next to the gentleman.
"My name is Claire" she introduce herself as she extended out her hand to him. The young man looked down at her soft hand and gave her a small grin. This made Claire's face turn hot as the man gently took her hand. Her heart stopped as he took her hand and gently placed a kiss on the back of her gentle fist.
"I'm Samuel" he softly spoke.
"Pleased to meet you Ms. Claire" Samuel said as he softly let go of Claire's warm hand.
"You're definitely new here..." Claire stated as she tried to hide her blushed face. Samuel watched as Claire took her cigarette and placed it on a nearby ash tray.
"Oh Ms. Claire?" He asked his southern drawl sound amused to her statement.
"Yes...you seem a bit...different" Claire said.
"How so Ms. Claire?" Samuel asked.
"You’re too damn polite that’s for one" Claire blurted.
"And two, your attire seems to dirty to say you live here...you've been riding for a while no?" Samuel looked up at the curious women and fully looked at her soft expression. None of the women looked like Claire. Her face seemed strong but the expressions were gentle. Her deep green eyes seemed firm but there was a hint of tenderness to them.
"Yes ma'am, I’ve been riding for days...I found this town and thought I’d get some rest" Samuel claimed as he took a sip of his whisky.
"Didn't I say not to call me ma'am" Claire declared as she gave her new guest a look.
"My apologies Ms. Claire" he said as he settled his drink down. Claire watched as he turned his seat to fully face her. She could now see him fully. His face was truly elegant but there was a gruffness that was just like the rest of them.
"Is there any particular reason why you stopped by this town?" Claire asked as she lit herself a new cigarette. She always kept her cigarette pack in her exposed cleavage that Samuel never took a peak at once. Samuel gave her a light grin and looked down at his drink.
"I really can't say" he began.
"It's quite complicated" Samuel breathed as he looked back up at his new found company. Samuel stood himself off of the bar stool and let down his drink. He must leave before he lets out any more information about himself.
"Well Ms. Claire, I must be heading off now" Samuel said as he gathered his hat and saddle.
"I hope to see you around, have a good night" he gave her a warm smile as he started to walk off heading to the main steps into the rooms. Claire watched as Samuel disappeared up the steps and into one of the rooms.
For some unknown reason...her heart started to feel heavy as he left. Not once in there small conversation did he tries to make advances at her. At times it would bother her that the only thing that men would see in her is her small waist and huge breast. But in this instance, she wanted this Samuel character to notice her but he never pounced. Not once did he seem interested in her.
Just as she started to heavily smoke her cigarette, the greasy man she was sitting on earlier came up to her. Yes, this is what she needed...an old man trying his advances on her again.
"So, you finish playing around?" The old man asked Claire. 'No, not really' Claire thought as she looked at the smeared old man. But she put on her best smile for her customer.
"Yes, I'm ready for you darling..."
She started to tie her dress back up from the front. Claire could feel her skin crawling as she heard her client zip up his pants. She tried to put on a satisfied face and tone of voice but she felt anything but.
Her client threw his money on the bed with some tip money and he left the room without a word. Claire turned to the far side dresser were a porcelain white bowl was sitting and started wiping her face in the cool clean water. She let loose her black hair from her bun. Her hair fell all the way to her back as she felt her face grow hot. she gathered her hand made shawl and loose cigarettes and stormed out the room.
She was glad to not have any more clients for the night. No amount of money could get rid of the sickening feeling that she always felt after a client.
Claire made her way past the other girls to make it to the saloons high balcony. She wrapped her shawl tight to her body as the cold air seep to her skin.
She shakily lit her cigarette and took a long drag as she looked out into the darkened town. The only visible light into the town was the glowing stars and the shining moon over the horizon. Just as she blew out a puff of smoke, a solid figure came up from behind her.
"May I grab a smoke with you ma'am?" Samuel asked as he stepped closer on to the balcony. Claire fully turned herself around to face the stranger that she met earlier in the evening. Without a response, Claire took out her cigarette pack and hand one of the sticks and lit a small match to Samuel.
She watched him as he took a long drag from his cigarette. He let out a thick fog from his lips as he leaned over the balcony rail. She could tell he had washed up a bit as his face was clean and his dark vest was off. His burgundy shirt was unbuttoned at the top as it exposed his bare chest. The light wind blew his jet black curly hair to the side as it did her long straight raven hair.
"Long night huh?" Samuel asked as he looked over at the young women that was clutching her shawl over her shivering body.
"Yes...long night" Claire quietly responded as she took another drag of her cigarette.
"You don't look to happy there Mrs." Samuel observed as he took a close look at her body language. She was taken aback by his statement. In her defense, she put on her best smile and sultry look.
"And how would you know if I'm not happy?" Claire asked as she tried to put on her best seductive walk and stare. Samuel just gave a small smile and spoke calmly and easily to her.
"You walked out of your room and stormed out here like you were ready to hurt someone"
Claire's expression loosened. 'Was he watching me?' She thought to herself.
"Was try'na come out here for fresh air" Samuel stated.
"But you beat me to it...watched you walk out here in a huff" he said as he took another drag of his smoke.
"You don't look to happy..." Just then Claire stopped her little "act" and she backed a few steps from the solid stranger.
No man has ever made such a statement to her. Let alone cared to even wonder what was wrong with her. His eyes were kind to her as she wrapped herself tightly in her sweater. He wasn't trying to look at her in that way, Claire didn't know what to make of that.
"You can call me Claire you know" She said as she gave him a small smile.
"Sorry, bad habit" He apologized as he kept his gaze on her. The look Samuel gave Claire was more of a humbled look then a sexual gawking at her body. This gave Claire such a butterfly in her stomach that she really liked the feeling.
"So why stay here?" Claire finally asked after a moment of comfortable silence. Samuel took another drag of his smoke before he finally decided to answer.
"I'm on the run"
It was a small and simple statement to start out with. But from it coming from his airy southern accent, it was a very powerful and ambitious statement to make.
"I was two towns away when me a few buddies decided to steal from a bank" he took one last drag and put the cigarette to the balcony floor and stomped on the bud.
" Unfortunately, none of the men I was with got out alive"
"I might have hurt some folks along the way...I’m a wanted man now, I got tired of running so I'm laying low until I can reach across the next state over"
Claire let his words sink into her mind. She's met all sorts of criminals in her time of staying at the Inferno. But never had they looked anything like Samuel. His stance was firm but it didn't resemble a killer or criminal to her.
"So, you robbed a bank and killed people" Claire said more like a statement then a question. That's when Samuel looked at her and nodded his head. She slowly took a drag of her smoke.
"Well that doesn't sound too complicated" She stated with a sort of grin. All Samuel could do is lean over the balcony with his hands and arms and look over at the horizon.
"I guess not" he smiled.
Claire watched as the light wind whipped his long hair to the side and all she could stare at was his profile. None of the men she's been with have ever looked like Samuel or let alone sound like him. He had a proper southern drawl, that made it seem unusual but erotic in a sort of way. Just then an unfamiliar feeling came over her as she finished off her smoke. A feeling of comfortableness that she never felt with a man before, let an alone a man she met a few hours ago.
"I was upset" Claire stated. This statement brought Samuels full attention.
"This may sound complicated in itself but... I never feel right after a client" She didn't dare look at him as she continued to speak.
"I never really fully look at my clients while everything is going on"
"I just close my eyes and pretend I’m somewhere else, never looking at them, but once it’s all done I just feel tense and miserable...never really satisfied." What compelled Claire to state all this was beyond her. But Samuel never expressed any judgment but listened.
"Do they hurt you?" Samuel asked. His voice became softer if that was possible for him to do. Claire looked at him with a dazed expression.
"No..." Claire stammered as she tried to find her voice and make sense of him. 'Does he actually care if I get hurt?' Claire asked herself as she looked deep into Samuel's brown eyes. Samuel nodded his head, his deep and concerned expression never leaving his face.
"Sorry, I think I said to much" Claire stammered as she gathered herself. The realization hit her that she was expressing to much about herself then she needed.
"Have a nice night"
Before Samuel could say anything or even respond to her, she hurriedly left the balcony. Leaving behind nothing but her glowing presence and sweet aroma.