I fell in love with this story while reading this opening. The story is sometimes crude and harsh, but it’s a deeply emotional journey. One of only two historical stories in the collection, I kept it, even though it skates the borders of being “romantic.” Enjoy the opening! ~DD
From Chaparrita’s “Raney’s Last Ride”:
Raney James had a big secret.
He was a gunslinger, a lover, a mystery. A badass in chaps and a white cowboy hat. Charming and fresh-faced, with deep green eyes that made people trust him straight away. Something that made you want to look twice—except Raney didn’t allow that. No, sir.
Raney was the fastest shot in the territory, a vicious yet fair gunman who’d always let his opponent know before killing him. Give a man fair warning, Raney would say. Then shoot him if he won’t listen.
He rode in from the west one day, an unknown, making his way to the dusty border towns where saloons, wranglers, and gun work were plentiful. Raney made his name as sheriff of a forlorn place that barely had a railroad station, a place where local outlaws had taken over and would shoot someone in the back just for looking at them funny.
One afternoon on the main street, in front of most of the good citizens of the town, Raney shot all four outlaw leaders before even one could draw a weapon. Their men left town without looking back.
No one was really close to Raney except his sidekick Whitfield, a tough erstwhile cowboy and gunman who’d taken up with Raney somewhere in Mexico.
Only Whitfield knew Raney’s big secret.
Raney James, fastest shot in the territory, was a woman.
Chaparrita has a fiery passion for sex, writing, travel, yoga, and anything juicy and stimulating. She’ll be featured in Best Women’s Erotica 2012 and has been featured in Clean Sheets. She’s lived and loved around the world, but currently calls the U.S. her home.