Under a Turquoise Sky, page 1
“You tellin’ me what to do?”
“I am,” Clint said. “I’m telling you to give the man his wallet and go back into your room.”
Clint was in an even worse mood than he’d been in when he’d left the comfort of his own bed. All he needed now was to have to kill this jasper and then have to explain it to the local law.
But the situation looked like it was beyond talking out.
“Put the wallet and the gun down,” Clint said.
Dolan turned his head to look at Clint again. The tension in his shoulder gave away what his next move was going to be. He whirled on Clint, bringing the gun around…
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THE GUNSMITH 312
UNDER A TURQUOISE SKY
J. R. ROBERTS
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
UNDER A TURQUOISE SKY
A Jove Book / published by arrangement with the author
Copyright © 2007 by Robert J. Randisi.
Cover illustration by Sergio Giovine.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
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JOVE is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
The “J” design is a trademark belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Kingman, Arizona, was a hub of the mining activity going on in the surrounding Cerbat Mountains. When General George Markstein alighted from the stagecoach in front of the Kingman Hotel, he had in his jacket pocket a large piece of rough turquoise, which had come out of those mountains. That piece of rock had brought him from New York all the way to Arizona, where he hoped to mine a fortune’s worth of the beautiful blue stones, which he would then ship back East and sell.
“Help ya with yer bag, mister?” a drunken man offered.
Markstein looked the man over. Certainly inebriated and filthy, but somehow fit looking, he decided to cultivate the man immediately. He was, after all, an easterner, and he was going to need help integrating himself into the western lifestyle.
“Very well, my good man,” he said, handing his suitcase over. “I’m going into this hotel.”
“Best place in town to stay, mister,” the man said. “Come on, I’ll show ya the front desk.”
“What’s your name?” Markstein asked.
“Wooster,” the drunk answered, “Charlie Wooster.”
“Your name is Charles, then?” Markstein asked. “Very well, Charles, lead on.”
“This way,” Wooster said.
“That him?” Aaron Edwards asked as the man from the East followed the town drunk, Wooster, into the hotel.
“That’s him,” Carl Breckens said around a big plug of chewing tobacco. He spit and some of the juice dripped down his chin and onto his chest. He didn’t notice.
“Well, when do we do it?” Edwards asked.
“When the time is right.”
“And when will that be?” the other man asked. “I want the rest of my money.”
“You ain’t gonna get no more money if we don’t get away with it,” Breckens told him. “We got to be smart and wait.”
“Why does bein’ smart always seem to mean we gotta wait?” Edwards demanded.
“Because movin’ too fast without thinkin’ things through is dumb,” Breckens said.
Edwards fumed in
“I wired ahead for the best room in your hotel,” Markstein said.
“Sir,” the clerk said, “we’re very full and I did save you a room.”
“Is it the best room in the hotel?”
“I demand to see your manager.”
“Sir, I am the manager,” the man said. “Jackson Boggs, at your service.” The man was small, about five-five, a faded looking fifty-year-old in a suit that had seen better days.
“Well, apparently not,” Markstein said. He stared down at the smaller man from his full six-foot-four, wearing his own three piece suit that had cost more than all of the furniture in the lobby combined. “Or I’d have the best room.”
“Well, sir…we did have that room saved, but we had a surprise guest…”
“And he got my room?”
“Well, sir, he’s—”
“Never mind,” Markstein said, holding up his hand. “I don’t care who he is. Just tell me what room he is in and I’ll take care of the matter myself.”
“What room is he in?”
“And what room are you putting me in?”
“Right down the hall?”
“Good,” Markstein said, “then he won’t have far to go to switch rooms.”
“Once the switch has been made, I’ll inform you and you can have your maid bring fresh sheets and towels.”
“Maid?” the man asked.
“Charles,” Markstein said, turning to the man who was still holding his suitcase, “take my suitcase to room ten.”
“Yes, sir!” Charlie Wooster figured he was finally going to get paid.
“Towels?” Boggs said.
“And as soon as you fetch the remainder of my luggage from the stagecoach,” Markstein said, “I will reward you.”
“Th-the rest?” Wooster asked, as Markstein started up the steps.
“Fresh sheets?” Boggs repeated.
“Hop to, gentlemen,” Markstein said. “We don’t have all day. I have matters to attend to.”
As Wooster dragged the last piece of luggage—a large, heavy trunk—into room ten, Markstein stared out his window at the street below. It was midday and the street was busy with pedestrians, wagons and buckboards, all negotiating deep mudholes and ruts. Looking down at his own boots, he saw that they were already coated with mud.
“That’s it, boss,” Wooster said.
Markstein turned and looked at the sweating man—perspiring as much from the need for alcohol as from the effort of dragging the suitcases and trunk up the stairs.
“Excellent,” Markstein said. He reached into his pocket, came out with a dollar, and then a second one as an afterthought. “Here you go, my good man.”
Wooster put out his hand and Markstein placed the money in his grimy palm.
Thank you, boss,” Wooster said. “Thank you kindly. You need any more…help…you just let ol’ Charlie Wooster…know.” The drunkard was still panting, trying to catch his breath. Markstein hoped he wouldn’t have a heart attack before he got to a saloon.
As Wooster started to leave, Markstein said, “Wait a moment.”
“Boss?” Wooster said.
“What was that other room number the desk clerk mentioned?” Markstein asked.
“Room five, boss.”
“But I wouldn’t go there if I were you,” Wooster added.
“Oh? Why not?”
Wooster looked around, then stepped back into the room, closing the door behind him. Markstein suddenly became aware of the stench of the man’s unwashed body.
“The man in that room won’t take kindly to bein’ asked ta move.”
“Why not?” Markstein asked. “I’ll make it worth his while.”
A crafty look came into Wooster’s eyes.
“You mean money?”
“Of course I mean money,” Markstein said.
“Boss…are you a rich man?”
Markstein opened his mouth to answer, then thought better of it.
“Well, no, I am not a rich man,” he said, carefully, “but I am willing to pay for what I want.”
“And you want that room?”
“If it is the best room in the hotel,” Markstein said, “I want it.”
“Why don’t you let me talk to him for ya?” Charlie Wooster asked. “Maybe I can—”
“Nonsense,” Markstein said, cutting him off. “I do my own negotiating.”
“Forgive me,” Wooster said, “but negotiating in the East is real different from doin’ it in the West. I think I’d have a better chance of convincing him to switch rooms with you.”
“And you’d like to be paid for this?”
“Only if it’s worth somethin’ ta ya,” Wooster said.
“Well,” Markstein said, “my comfort is very important to me. If you can convince him, I would make it worth your while.”
“That’s great,” Wooster said. “I’ll go talk to him right now.”
Markstein was impressed that, as much as the man obviously needed a drink, he was willing to do that first.
He looked around his small room with its thin mattress in distaste and said, “I’ll wait right here.”
The man in room five grabbed the woman by the ankles, spread her legs wide and brutally plunged his rigid penis into her. She gasped and grabbed a handful of sheets with each hand and grunted each time he drove into her. He had been brutal with her ever since she first entered the room, and she was going to have the bruises to prove it, but this was what she got paid for. Besides, she kind of liked it…
He also grunted as he fucked her, but he sounded more like a bull. Abruptly he released her ankles and withdrew, telling her, “Turn over,” and then flipping her roughly.
“Lift your ass!” he commanded.
She did so and he slapped it hard, more than once. She was tall and thin, not much meat on her, but he got a satisfactory smacking sound as his hand reddened her ass cheeks. She yelped each time he hit her, then gasped again as he reached up between her legs and poked his fingers inside of her. His skin was hard and rough as he probed her, but even though it felt uncomfortable she wet his hand with her juices, which she couldn’t control. The more it hurt, the wetter she got, which made her his kind of woman.
Once she was soaking wet, he removed his fingers, moved up close behind her, took hold of her hips and probed between her legs with his long dick. When he found her moist hole, he poked in again and then began to fuck her from behind that way. She found his rhythm and began to rock back against him so that the room filled not only with the squeaking sound of the bed, but also the sound of slapping flesh. In addition, the gun and holster hanging on the bedpost began to rock, creating a clinking noise to go along with the rest.
The man was gathering momentum, driving toward his climax when the knock came at the door. He withdrew from the woman in anger, grabbed the gun from the holster and stormed to the door naked. There was no way he could fuck while somebody was knocking at the door, and that somebody was gonna pay for the interruption.
When the door opened, the man stuck his gun in Charlie Wooster’s face. That concerned Wooster more than the other part of the man’s body that was sticking out. “This better be good.” Then he recognized the drunk. “Wooster, what the hell—”
“What do you want?” the man demanded. He was still angry, but removed the gun from the center of Wooster’s face.
“Well, sir, there’s this fella who just got in town? From back East? And he, uh, sorta wants this room.”
The man frowned, then ducked his head into the room for a minute before ducking it out again.
“Looks just about like any other room,” he said.
“It’s, uh, bigger.”
“Well, you tell this fella from back East he’s outta luck.” The man started to withdraw and close the door.
“He says he’ll, uh, pay.”
The door stopped, opened, and the man stuck his head out again.
“I dunno,” Wooster said, “but he’s got lots of money.”
The man squinted at him.
“And you want a finder’s fee, right?”
The man stuck his gun back in Wooster’s face, causing Wooster to lose all the saliva in his mouth.
“You tell the man to come and talk to me himself,” he said, “and to bring his wallet.”
“But…I can make a good deal.”
“Do what I say, Wooster.”
The drunk became indignant.
“B-but…you’re tryin’ta cut me out.”
“You got that right, Charlie,” the man said, “Now do what I tell ya.”
“No!” Wooster said. “I got a right—”
“You got a right to this!” the man said. He reversed the gun and struck Wooster right on the bridge of the nose.
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