Vera rolled her eyes annoyed as she quickly made her hair up into a tight braid, twisting it back into a bun. Sitting at her vanity, she began getting dressed, pulling on her corset, and rolling up her stockings. Billy sat on the edge of the bed, staring at her in disbelief. For the last two hours the two had been arguing over the news Vera had broke to him earlier. Bickering now, the two continued going back and forth.
"I shouldn't have said anything Billy, just leave me alone!"
"No I'm not going to leave you alone! You told me for a reason!"
"I wanted to let you know I was leaving. God knows you've had enough tragedy lately in you're like and there's no hiding the fact that we've been sharing and enjoying each other's company. I just didn't want you to come here one evening and find this room cleared out. You don't treat me like a whore Billy, you treat me like a lady. You deserve to know the truth. I'm taking my savings, heading elsewhere, and having my baby. I'm just a few years away from becoming one of those other women. Night after night laying on my back with drunken sloppy old men on top of me. One day I'll wake up, I'll be old too, used up, and alone. Simple as that. This is my chance to get out."
"That's not your choice...this is my child as well..."
Vera raised an eyebrow, turning as she began fixing her slip. Laughing, she shot him a look.
"Who says it's yours?! I spent night after night with different men!"
"No!" Billy said shaking his head and pointing.
"No! By the looks of you...what are you, a month? Maybe two? For the last three months it's just been us. I've paid extra to buy you out. Even the nights I haven't been here I made sure you were't being visited. Larry downstairs was even complaining since you are one of his most popular girls and I've paid up font for you're services week after week...you've only been with me!"
"You don't know that for certain! This is all a business. Maybe Larry and me are lying, taking your foolish money, and still whoring me out whenever we can. I like a good screw Mr. Crash, and I ain't some innocent young thing. This baby doesn't belong to anyone but me!"
Vera stood up, smoothing out her skirt, walking to grab her heels. That's when Billy jumped up from the bed and grabbed onto her arm, squeezing it. Glaring at her, he brought her in close.
"Listen to me? Why are you lying? You think I would treat you or this child poorly? Why are you running away? There's a reason you told me, a real reason...you wanted me to know because you care about me right?!"
Instantly Vera glared back.
"You don't care about me! I'm not Blue! I never will be! I was a nice little distraction while you were dealing with this. You'll only regret me and this baby. Say your goodbyes Billy. I'm going soon and you can return to that plantation...now go!"
Vera ripped away from him, going towards the door when Billy ran forward, grabbing her again, twisting her around, and grasping onto her. Forcing her to look her in the eye, he seemed overwhelmed and furious at the same time. His fingers digging into her arms, he glared at her.
"Blue is dead. I didn't watch her close enough and I lost her. I know you're not Blue...but you're somebody as fucked up as I am. I can't offer you much besides looking after you and this baby. I got nobody Vera...nobody in this whole shitty world. Whenever I look at you I don't see Blue, I see another chance at maybe, just maybe a life...a future. I don't got much, but please...don't leave..."
Billy lowered his head, and suddenly the terrible wheezing sound came in his chest. When he lifted his eyes, they were filled with tears. Pleading, he grasped onto her, almost slipping out of her arms.
"Please...please don't leave me and take my baby away...please..."
Vera stared with disbelieving eyes before slowly her smooth hand cupped his rough tanned face. Sighing, she bought him in, wrapping her arms around him.
Vera laid on the bed, undressed. Billy laid beside her, hiked up on an elbow and staring down at her. Gently, his rough tanned hand swept across her stomach which was still practically flat. Feeling her smooth skin, he stared down in complete wonder. He had often fantasied about starting a family one day with Blue, but not like this. Looking at Vera, she was no longer the whore named Rose. She had been somebody who allowed him to cry, to collapse, and vent his rage to.
She had welcomed him when the grief had been the worse, comforting him, holding him in her arms, making I'm feel better, safe. Always taking his mind off whatever was happening and laying there listening. Now things had changed, he had put a baby in her, and was at risk of having the one decent person left in his life to leave him. No, he wouldn't allow it. Laying there, he stared down at her before Vera looked up at him and smiled.
"I'm still leaving Billy...you can come with me if you want, but I can't keep living this sort of life, mostly with a baby on the way."
"I can't stay here any longer either. I'm done with that damn plantation. All it gives me is bad memories and a headache. I say we pool what we got saved, and in a month or so we both take off down to Florida."
"Are you serious?"
"Yes ma'am. Buy a little piece of land, maybe near some orange groves. Start a small farm, just fruit...we'll build us a little cabin, just the three of us."
His hand gently pressed down against her stomach as he smiled. Vera stared up at him as he leaned down, gently kissing her. An hour or so later after making love again, Vera laid sprawled across Billy's chest, gently humming and rubbing his stomach and chest. Billy laid back, arms behind his head. It was a hot miserable day, but the two had intended on spending the remainder of the afternoon in bed together.
"So what's the plan?"
Vera asked lifting her head. Billy smiled, brushing back some of her hair.
"Well, we're going to let Larry know you'll be retiring today. I'll set you up in a nice room at the hotel, and give me a good month to tie up a few loose ends over at Candyland and then we'll set up a stagecoach and leave town, but not before we get ourselves married. No son of mine is going to be a bastard."
Vera lifted an eyebrow and laughed.
"Who says it's a boy?!"
"Oh, I'm pretty certain it is darling. He'll be handsome just like his father."
Laughing, Vera rolled over, laying back beside him. Both stared up at the ceiling, side by side.
"You really wanna marry me?"
Vera asked as Billy looked down at her.
"Of course, Vera Crash has a nice little ring to it don't you think?"
Vera laughed as Billy grabbed hold of her, both rolling back and forth together, tangled up in the sheets. As Billy kissed her, laughing, smiling, and more than a little frightened, and excited he couldn't believe it. For the first time in months he was actually happy. Really happy.
One week later...
Vera was currently staying up at the Western Hotel. There were two hotels in town, and Vera instead on staying in the smaller one, the one where Calvin didn't spent his time whenever he was visiting. The Western was a nice little place where travelers often stopped by while passing through. There was a small bar on the first floor, and ten rooms in total.
The town mason had a room there ever since he was rebuilding his own home on the outskirts of town. Vera was staying in the room beside his, and Billy had paid him twenty dollars a week to just keep his eye out on her evenings when he wasn't able to make it into town. Vera was unaware of this of course, and seemed beyond relieved that she was finally out of the tavern. Larry hadn't been exactly happy about the news of her leaving since all of his other girls weren't reliable but honored her wishes. Billy helped her move out and three bags later, and a tin box full of cash she was moved into the hotel. He told her he planned on working one last month for Calvin.
He was planning on the beginning of the spring for a few new batches of fighters which Billy would be in charge of buying and helping train. After that, he would inform Calvin about his plans on quitting, take his savings, and grab Vera and leave town. Until then, he wanted to say as little as possible. Now busy with work, he was training almost nine slaves currently. Him and Sean would round them up, and take them out back where the barns where. There they would spend hours upon hours watching them circle about, sweating, angry, almost like wild dogs. Billy and Sean would walk about, shouting, directing, telling them where to punch, dodge, and hit.
After hours of this, the men would be beaten and bloody and Billy would walk away with a small sense that he wad actually doing something right. He finally since Blue had hope. He had more than enough money to start a new life with Vera. As crazy as it seemed, he actually saw this working out. They would marry, start that little farm he planned on, and raise their child. He would prove that he could be not only a good husband, but a good father as well. Never would he let what happened to Blue happen to them.
One month later...
Vera who was sitting on the balcony of her room with Billy, fanning herself and drinking iced tea looked over. Billy had to admit the pregnancy was agreeing with her. She was dressed in a forest green dress and boots. She sat back, hair pinned up as she cocked her head to the side. He had rode back after being at the plantation while Calvin was spending a few days in town. Just last night he had to round up that stupid black bitch who tried to escape again.
Billy who sat across from her handed her a tin old beaten up box. Setting down her fan and glass, she took the box and looked at it. Billy pointed. He had plans on meeting up with Calvin and the others tomorrow morning to go back to the plantation. Rumor had it some German doctor was visiting him at the other hotel tonight wondering about buying one of the Mandingos. The rest of the gang would be riding in with them tomorrow back to Candyland.
Billy had informed Vera he was planning on telling Calvin about him leaving and if all went as planned together they would be leaving town by the end of the week. Billy had missed Vera the last week or so since he had been so busy with Calvin and the training. Now enjoying an evening together, he had first arrived to find her vomiting into a wash basin. Instantly he stormed in, spurs clinking as he hurried over taking her arm. Hating seeing her like this, he first told her he wanted to go fetch the doc. Once she finished spitting, she moaned, rolled her eyes and told him it was normal. Once she fixed herself something cool to drink, the two decided to sit out on the balcony and catch the cool breeze. It was sunset, and they could faintly hear music from the other hotel across town. That's where Clavin was currently holding one of his fights before meeting with the German doctor. Billy couldn't help but like seeing the little swell he now noticed in her belly. She seemed tired, and a little annoyed by being so bored, but told him otherwise she was feeling just fine. Billy and her were spending the hour sitting, him drinking whiskey, her drinking her tea.
Tonight he had brought a few things with him. Holding the box, she stared at it. Billy pointed.
"That's all of my savings. I counted, there is at least thirty-eight thousand dollars there."
Raising an eyebrow Vera opened the box before instantly her brow wrinkled. Reaching in, she took out a small red gold ring. Looking across at him, she held it out.
"What about this?"
"That's your wedding ring. Once we get settled I'll pick you out something nicer."
Vera smiled looking at it before she slipped it on her finger. Admiring her hand, she held it up and sadly smiled.
"I love it."
Billy smirked, leaning over and cupping her cheek kissing her. Their mouths softly opened and closed before he closed his eyes and pressed his forehead against hers.
"I love you Blue..."
In that instant, Billy knew his mistake. His face crumpled, almost in pain before he slowly let go of her and pulled back. When he opened his eyes, instead of being greeted by anger, he saw sad, but understanding eyes. Billy lowered his head ashamed.
"I'm so sorry..."
Reaching forward, Vera stroked his stubble covered cheek.
Billy shook his head.
"No it's not..."
"You loved her, you miss her...nothing is ever going to change that. I know you love me, and this baby...but in a different way. Trust me, it's okay."
Sighing, Billy looked at her.
"I just want to...take care of you...I..."
Vera smiled and set down the box, Playing with her ring, she smiled.
"You going to tell Calvin?"
"This weekend, he'll be mad as Hell but I honestly don't care."
"Well, come on...let's get into bed, you got a long ride back tomorrow."
Standing, she offered her hand, helping Billy up. The two stood together, facing each other before Billy's hand slipped down, touching her stomach. Th two lifted each other's eyes.
Billy laid awake laying beside Vera who was fast asleep. The thin moonlight drifted in through the curtains. Laying there, he listened to Vera's breathing, all the while laying awake thinking of Blue. He hated he was feeling like this, but knowing how he was really leaving this place put into focus what he was really leaving behind. Thinking of Blue's faded eyes, he wished more than anything at this exact moment that it was really her laying in bed with him. That it was her pregnant with his child. That it was them planning on getting married and leaving this fresh hell behind. Kissing Vera's bare shoulder, he sighed laying back, knowing he wouldn't sleep for a very long time.
The next morning...
Billy found Vera fitting on the balcony early the next morning. Tucking in his shirt, he walked out. Vera was looking over the railing.
The men were getting ready, Calvin's carriage getting set up as he shouted orders at everyone. Billy knew he needed to get down there quick.
"Is that the slave you were talking about?"
Billy walked over and saw where Vera was looking. The men on the horses were a little further down the street. Instantly Billy felt nothing but disgust looking down. There he saw him sitting on the horse, hat on acting like he owned the place. Rolling his eyes, he fixed his cufflink.
"Yep, that's him."
"Wow...a slave on a horse. I've seen it all."
"He isn't even a slave the boys said. He's supposed to be a free man. A Goddamn nigger on a horse...Jesus..."
Vera leaned against the railing and stared down at the man with serious eyes before she sat back. She had been up almost an hour now, her head pounding. Sitting back, she gently rubbed her temples. Instantly Billy saw.
"You all right?"
"I'm okay, just feeling a little winded."
Billy knelt down beside her and smiled. Leaning forward, he kissed her softly. Their mouths opened and closed before he pulls back and gently ttugged her on her earlobe.
"Take care of yourself okay? I'll see you in three days."
Vera nodded, looking a little pale.
"I love you."
Vera smirked, as if she knew he was just saying it to say it. Instead, she smiled, leaned over and kissed his scruffy cheek.
"Three days, see you then."
Smiling, he tipped his hat to her before turning and leaving. The last thing Vera heard of him was his spurs loudly clinking. It was the last time she ever saw him again. Billy joined the others, riding along where he met that slave who worked with the German doctor. The slave who instantly rubbed Billy the wrong way. Niggers like this were the type that had raped and killed his Blue. Niggers like this couldn't be trusted. That night, while the big house was holding a dinner, he went around back to the cemetery. Kneeling by Blue's grave, he gently picked away a few pieces of grass and sighed.
"I wish I could just see you Blue...just one more time..."
That's when he heard the loud thunder of gunshots. Listening, at first he thought it could be thunder. Seconds later, Sean and a few others came running.
"Billy! It's the big house!"
Billy jumped up, running and drawing his pistol. Still hearing the gunshots and men scrambling to run in, he dashed towards the parlor windows. Climbing in, he spotted Broomhilda and grabbed her.
The Next morning...
Billy left the barn where Django was strung up, making his way towards the main house where Laura was waiting. Calvin was dead, the big house practically destroyed, and eleven men in total dead, including Butch. When Billy came this close to cutting Django's nuts off he thought of that animal who raped and murdered his Blue. As he walked, he thought of Vera back in town. He thought of his unborn child, and he thought of his unknown future. As horrible as it seemed, he knew in the long run no matter how hard he tried to be a good husband and father, or followed Laura Lee's orders in his last day or so in the plantation...it all wouldn't mean anything. Blue was still dead, and he wouldn't feel the same until he was with her again. That evening, he finally was put out of his misery. Dressed in his suit, he went with Cora, Laura, Stephen, and the few others for Calvin's funeral.
He hated to admit it, but he was relieved Calvin was finally dead. Walking back, they entered the blood stained walls of Candyland, only to hear Django's chilling voice from the top of the stairs. When Billy approached, blood boiling Django drew his guns in a flash, hitting him straight into the shoulder, sending pieces of muscle flying as blood squirted out. Flying backwards, Billy cried out in pain, rolling across the carpet.
"Billy Crash, now where were we? Oh that's right, last time I saw you, you had your hands on my..."
Another bullet was fired, straight into Billy's crotch. The pain was unbearable, sending him into a white lighting bolt of pain which caused him to scream, his entire body going into shock. Laura cried from the pallor doorway watching as blood sprayed upward. Billy screamed as loud as he could, before turning slightly over.
"DJANGO YOU BLACK BASTARD!"
"The D is silent hillbilly."
With that Django fired once more, this time the bullet going straight into his heart. Seconds later the horrible pain stopped and Billy Crash was dead. Less than seven minutes later Candy Land fell, exploding and Billy's remains were destroyed. For a few mere moments Billy floated in and out of a thick dark haze before he could faintly hear Blue's gentle voice calling him.
"Come on Billy, it's time to go home..."
The next morning...
Vera was on the balcony reading when she received news of the massacre of Candyland spread fast and by the time Vera had gotten a ride over there, the main house had burned down to a crumbling wreck. Standing there, looking at the smoking remains she shook her head. Everyone had different theories on what exactly had happened. Whoever was left on the plantation figured it was some slaves, or whoever had started the shootout that claimed Calvin's life the night before.
A few search parties were sent out, but Vera figured whoever did indeed do this were long gone. As horrible as it seemed, she knew whatever these people did, including Billy...they most likely had it coming. Walking over to the cemetery, she searched in the blazing hot sun before finally spotting Blue's grave. Shaking her head she glared at it before rubbing her stomach.
"Well Blue, he's all yours. You may have him in death...but I'll have the only piece of him that still exists."
Turning, she never came back. Robert's burnt up remains were buried along with the others in an unmarked grave less than fifteen feet away from Blue's grave.
Several months later.
Vera screamed leaning forward, hair hanging down as sweat rolled down her face. Doc Miller worked before finally she collapsed back. Holding the squirming screaming baby, Doc Miller smiled.
"It's a boy!"
Vera laid back exhausted and drained. Moments later, the baby was brought over to her, wrapped up and still bloody.
"He sure looks healthy honey."
Vera sat slightly up, holding onto the baby with complete wonder and awe. Sitting there, she stared down feeling weak. She was currently living down in Florida. She had left town shortly after the fall of Candyland, taking her and Billy's money and never looking back again. She was living in town, currently looking at property on the shoreline. She had more than enough money to keep her comfortable for the next few years and as her pregnancy went on, night after night she thought of Billy. Whatever had happened at Candyland, Billy had met a terrible horrible end. Now she held his son.
"Got a name picked out?"
"William...his name is William."
Two years later...
Vera had a handkerchief tied around her hair as she stood picking oranges. She had married a slight older farmer when William was just a few months old. He owned over ten acres of land where they grew oranges and berries. He treated her and William well, and she was content, She loved her husband, but she still knew she would never give him any children.
William would be her first and last child. The wedding ring Billy had given her she had stashed away, hoping someday maybe, just maybe she would give it to William when he met a girl he like well enough. Standing in the hot Florida sun, she gently hummed as William waddled around, rolling oranges that had fallen on the ground. He was gurgling and giggling to himself. They were near the back dirt road where travels passed by.
This morning the two after breakfast had headed out to pick some fruit. William kept picking up and dropping oranges, laughing to himself. Even at two years old, William was the spitting image of his father. Just then the sound of horses came. Vera looked over and saw a carriage passing by. She saw the two passengers and nearly froze. It was that black slave, and his wife. Both were dressed nicely, sitting side by side. A straw hat on his head. Riding by, the man's eyes locked with Vera's stunned ones.
She could have screamed, she could have shouted and stopped them. Hell, she could have scooped her baby up and ran to the house to get Joel to fetch the law. Instead, she simply stood there by the trees and stared at them. He looked back at her, not knowing who she was or that almost three years ago he had killed the father of the little boy who stood beside her. Vera simply stood there, and noticed that the wife had a newborn held close to her chest. Sighing, she had no more fight left in her. Turning away she continued to pick fruit, listening to the sound of the horses clop by. Minutes later once she got her breathing under control and she knew they were gone, she broke out of her trance when Willam tugged on her skirt.
Vera smiled looking down at her son's chubby little cheeks. He smiled, holding up an orange.
William giggled and waddled back to pick up more oranges. Watching him, she knew the real reason why she ignored that man and his wife. It was because deep down in her heart she knew this man was the reason why Billy was back with Blue.
The love of his life.
Smiling, sadly, she continued picking oranges.
Billy was sitting in a field underneath the warm comforting sun. He sat back as Blue laid against him, her head back in his lap. She was humming softly. Opening his eyes, he looked down at her sweet face. Her eyes no longer faded, but clear and full of sight.
"What are you looking at Billy Crash?"
Billy smiled brushing her bangs out of her face.
"Nothing darling, nothing at all."
Smiling, he sat with her underneath the warm heavenly sun.