Wild Wild Women

The year is 1876 and the newly discovered wild wild west coast of the United States of America is covered in boomtowns. Jeanne Bonnet sits with her gang in an alleyway, waiting for the "new gold in town" to sashay by. Jeanne ponders to herself why she hadn't come up with this type of plan before, bribing the newly rich's still painfully poor and overworked servants to lure their masters to her, like moths to a campfire. She sucks on her toothpick, a nasty habit that her current lover, Blanche Buneau, despises. Even now as they lay in wait, Blanche is giving Jeanne her most unappealing look of disgust.

The sound of approaching heels halts what would have been another inevitable fight between the two women, as Jeanne and the rest of her band hold their breaths in grand anticipation of the wealth walking their way. Soon the "new gold" is led around the dust-covered corner by her loyal servant, right into the waiting harpies' nest.

Startled and instantly frightened the pristine young woman is struck speechless. The servant, promptly paid and released, runs away leaving his mistress to fend for herself against a team of seven gold-hungry thieves. One member of Jeanne's team wastes no time, and begins to demand the debutant to hand over the fine jewels lining her porcelain skin. The small, dainty woman refuses defiantly, and Jeanne quirks an eyebrow at her boldness. Another member of the band becomes impatient and lunges to take the pearl necklace hanging off the lady's long, slender neck. The sound of approaching heavy horse hooves stops the low-ranked thief in her tracks; apparently the servant is more loyal to his mistress than previously deduced. Six of the team scatters, all except their fearless leader Jeanne who refuses to let such a fountain of wealth get away so easily. The well-brought up woman stares down the cross-dressing thief, refusing just as before to bend. The horses stop just beyond the alleyway and, stuck in a stale-mate, a small bead of sweat falls down Jeanne's brow.,

"Mrs. Lister?" The sheriff's voice calls from beyond the corner, "Everything alright?"

Jeanne contemplates within herself whether or not to scatter like the rest of her troupe, but her own stubborn will wins in the end. The next move is then made by the wealthy woman, who lunges forward and grabs a hold of Jeanne's forearm. The woman then pulls Jeanne towards her before ducking her behind a group of barrels nearby. A laced glove points to a set of ruby lips, signaling Jeanne to be quiet. Before Jeanne can be taken aback by the previously set actions, heavy spurs jingle their way into the alley.

"Mrs. Lister? I say, is everything alright over here?"

"Just fine, Sheriff," a small, feminine voice answers back, "I just dropped an earring and I can't seem to find it."

"Need another pair of eyes, Mrs. Lister?"

"No, I'm fine, Sheriff. I'll just send away for another pair back home."

"Alright then. Need a ride, ma'am?"

"I'll manage on my own, thank you, Sheriff."

"Alright then. Have a pleasant day."

The heavy spurs jingle off past the corner, and the sound of disappearing horse hooves is heard. Jeanne waits anxiously, afraid it may be a well-concocted trap to lure her out and into the jailhouse. Soon the same laced glove from before is held out in front of her, and Jeanne accepts the helping hand. She is brought up to face the woman that may have saved her life, and is met by a pair of enticing eyes. Jeanne stares into the cream colored face of her savior, her wild speckled eyes trying to solve the puzzle of the woman before her. Jeanne asks the woman with her eyes "Why?"

The woman throws a sly smile and replies, "Because you're cute, darling."

With that the bejeweled woman prances away, leaving Jeanne both relieved and dumbfounded.

As soon as Jeanne enters the passageway of her hidden thieve's den she is tackled roughly by Blanche.

"Blance, get off," Jeanne responds coldly, becoming increasingly annoyed with her current lover's childish antics.

Blanche whimpers like a child, looking up at Jeanne with her large, pleading eyes, tightening her hold as the other 30-something women in the cavern look on, also becoming increasingly annoyed. Jeanne grabs Blanche's shoulder and roughly pushes her aside, and Blanche, finally receiving the message, slinks into a corner and, in an attempt to redeem her pride, joins several other members in shining her shotgun.

Jeanne presents the few packs of luggage that the earlier target "accidentally" left behind to her team, and as the women begin to sift and filter through the various garments, jewels and accessories, Jeanne ponders again about the mysterious woman from earlier.

The next day is sunny and fortunate. Another new gold mine is just discovered a few miles away from the small western town, and all the authorities, including the heavy footed Sheriff, are away on riot duty. Jeanne, sensing an opportunity to redeem herself as a stronger leader to her gang, takes the girls to tear up the town saloon. Her band of women thieves enters the nearly empty saloon, and begin instantly to take over. Jeanne goes up to the counter and, feeling frisky, pays the bartender for one of the rooms upstairs. The bartender shakes his head, but accepts the payment and tells Jeanne which room to use. Jeanne then signals to Blanche to come, and both women disappear to the second floor.

About an hour later Jeanne comes down first to find an unexpected guest working her way around the tables. It was the rich woman who had saved her from the authorities before. She gathers information from her comrades before deciding to talk to the woman herself. Jeanne finds that the woman's name is Anne Lister, the trophy wife of some business man across the sea. Despite her strict upbringing rumors are already abound, both here and overseas, that Anne has a taste for female flesh, and in fact had many acquaintance lovers in the States already. And apparently that is why she is here, as her husband does business, to find a wild, western conquest to add to her collection. Both intrigued and impressed by this highly-cultured creature Jeanne walks over to the table Anne is currently sitting at and finds her unabashedly flirting with many of her members.

Soon Anne realizes whose attention she had attracted and greets Jeanne with the sly, seducing smile she gave her the day before. Jeanne, not allowing herself to be swooned, pulls up a chair next to the lady and asks her boldly what her intentions are. The other members, sensing a fight ready to erupt, leave the two women alone and scurry away to other nearby tables to watch the show.

"Intentions?" Anne responds coyly, "I have no other intentions than to enjoy the company other fine women, like yourself."

"Cut the crap. I know who you are. You out to steal one of my girls from me?"

To this Anne gives off a soft, simple giggle, and responds, "I don't have to steal, like some women. Fine things simply drift my way. I've had that kind of luck all my life."

Before Jeanne can retort, Anne presents a shot of pre-poured whiskey to her.

"Drink with me," Anne says, "I just want to be friends. That's all."

Jeanne, not the kind of woman to refuse a challenge, takes the glass and quickly downs the fiery liquid. Anne decides to casually sip her whiskey, not forgetting to refill Jeanne's shot glass for another round.

A few more hours go by and Jeanne is in a heated poker game with four other of her gang members. Earlier, after a few drinks, Jeanne decides to just let Anne be, allowing her to go around tables and flirt while reminding her girls not to touch her. Anne was no threat, just a housewife wanting to get some kicks on the wilder side of life, and so Jeanne decides to pay no more mind to the woman. Jeanne is on a losing streak, and needs two hearts to have a decent flush to put down. As she receives her new cards from the dealer, Jeanne suddenly feels her chair being pulled back and Anne being plopped onto her lap. The dainty woman's plump rump on her thigh makes Jeanne blush in surprise. As Anne's slender arms begin to wrap around Jeanne's neck, Jeanne finds that just as fast as Anne had sat on her lap, she is ejected from it. The blow comes from Blanche, who had finally awoken from her post-sex nap, and it hits Anne square in the mouth. The jealous punch soon begins a chain reaction, and the saloon is once again a place of mess and destruction.

"The Sheriff's back!" The lookout from outside shouts into the bar, and the fight immediately turns into a scatter party. Jeanne quickly grabs Blanche, knowing that once authorities came, Anne would have Blanche sent to the jailhouse for assault. Blanche is one of the younger members and is one of the few who had not yet been arrested, and given her tendency to overreact, Jeanne thought it better to keep her away until she had matured. The two lovers run to the second floor and slam the door behind them. However, before either can think of a place to hide, the room door once again slams open and the Sheriff appears at the threshold.

"Ms. Blanche Buneau, you are under arrest for assault, young lady," the Sheriff says and motioned for two of his men to apprehend the suspect.

"No! No! I don't want to go! Jeanne! JEANNE!" Blanche bucks wildly, tears steaming down her eyes, but Jeanne can only look on in despair.

"Be strong and I'll come get you in the morning," is all that Jeanne could say as they carry her lover away to the jailhouse.

Jeanne wakes later that night, craving for a night cap. She is worried about Blanche, she's so young and unexperienced. It annoys her to have to hold her hand, and her frustration makes her want to get drunk. She opens her door to go steal a bottle from downstairs, only to find Anne Lister standing at the doorway.

"Hello, lovely," she greets her.

But Jeanne is not in a forgiving mood. She moves to walk past her, ignoring that sly, seducing smile again, but is stopped as the foreigner grasps her hand.

"Don't go. I know I let your lover be taken away. So let me make it up to you," Anne whispers in a low, sultry voice.

"How?" Jeanne can't help but have her curiosity piqued by this woman.

"I'll be your lover tonight. It's better than sleeping alone."

Jeanne is taken aback by the bold offer, and tries her best not to let it show on her face. What was this women thinking, trying to sleep with the thief who set up to have her mugged just yesterday?

"Now don't make me beg, darling. I know you don't like that," Anne whispers after a moment of silence. Again Jeanne is shocked at this woman's boldness. And again Jeanne is attracted to it. A boldness that the shy, tiny and childish Blanche could never provide.

"Hell, let's do it," Jeanne finally agrees and follows Anne into her bedroom.

Jeanne lies on her back, breathing heavily trying to catch her breath after the trial that had just occurred. Never had she shared a bed with someone so undeniably experienced in the ways of love making. She stares at the cheaply painted ceiling, reliving the sensuous moments again and again in her head. She looks down at her new lover as she sleeps silently, hugging the pillow. She wonders how something so dainty and small could learn to do all that. She stares again at the ceiling, still in disbelief of what happened.

"Come back with me."

The small, feminine voice startles Jeanne at first, disturbing the peaceful serenity of the atmosphere. Anne continues to speak.

"Come back to my mansion over the seas and be my lover. I'll set you up as a stable hand, so that you can continue to live your life the way you want. Only I will know what delectable curves lie beneath the dusty, baggy clothes."

Jeanne neither agrees nor disagrees. She keeps a blank face, not letting Anne know what a tempting offer it actually is. Without further emotion or any word at all, Jeanne dresses and leaves Anne naked on the bed without an answer. Jeanne then walks out of the saloon and into the early morning sunlight. She takes several paces down the dirt road to the jailhouse. She pays the clerk the bail, who releases the disheveled Blanche into her care. Blanche cries to Jeanne about her overexaggerated experiences as they walk away from the jailhouse, Jeanne nodding at random intervals to give the appearance of attentiveness. In her heart she feels nothing, in her stomach a knot rolls around disagreeably.

"You're beginning to annoy me."

"I don't care! Tell me the truth!"

Night has fallen on the small western boomtown and Jeanne and Blanche are fighting within the small room above the saloon. Jeanne had purposely avoided Blanche all day, suddenly deciding that the relationship was becoming dry and undesirable.

"I said leave it alone, Blanche. You're getting too loud."

"Did you sleep with that foreign whore?" Blanche yells ignoring Jeanne's statement.

"So what if I did?"

Jeanne, after several bouts of denial and avoidance finally shouts back, getting increasingly tired and annoyed at Blanche. Blanche is finally struck silent by the comment, and Jeanne seizes the opportunity to break off the already severed ties.

"We were never serious, you and I. Don't you get that? Are you really that dumb?"

Jeanne strikes harsh and fast, a deadly combination that she hopes will steer Blanche away from her and the lifestyle altogether. Her first mistake was letting her into the club. Her second was sleeping with her.

Blanche lets more tears fall, slaps Jeanne hard across the face and finally runs out of the room crying. Jeanne lets the moment wash over her and lets out a heavy sigh. She knew this day was coming and Blanche would react the way she did, whether or not Anne Lister had entered her life or not. Jeanne walks to the room's window to contemplate what she will do regarding Anne. Will she leave her girls behind to follow the woman who promises her everything? Jeanne's attention is caught for a moment as she sees a figure below rush out into the street from the saloon. Probably Blanche, the poor girl who gave too much of herself too fast. But she is still young and she will learn and find another. That is how life goes, after all.

Jeanne walks and sits on the opposite side of the bed, away from the window, facing the door, almost expecting Anne to come in. After waiting a fool's second, she opens a nearby drawer and takes out a flask of whiskey. She takes her time opening the cap, bringing the rim to her lips and taking a long sip of the devil's medicine. She sits stiffly, appreciating the quiet around her.

Jeanne Bonnet's head falls forward suddenly, as if struck from behind. Her eyes are locked open, her jaw locked shut. Her body limps onto the wooden floor below, the whiskey flask trapped in a death grip.

The next morning was sunny and fortunate. Several old wanted posters were updated and newly printed newspaper stories were posted next to them. The article was short and sweet:

"1876. Infamous passing woman thief Jeanne Bonnet, age 27, was shot dead sometime last night. Cause of death was a single bullet to the back of the head from a shotgun. No suspects yet apprehended."

Words From The Writer: Again, a short story I have written as a final project for an LGBT literature class. As before, please read and review. Both praise and criticism is welcome.