Cash awoke in a strange bed. She was actually comfortable, the first indication it was not her cot back home. The second the pristine white drapery that descended from the ceiling and over four swirling bedposts. As she sat up, she noticed the purple tinge of the room. She might have thought it an aesthetic choice had it not been for the dry mouth and wooziness that always accompanied the galaxy's best painkiller, Tears of the Poppy.
"Cash..." gentle hands took her face and turned her head slowly until she was sinking into the grey-brown seas of Boss's irises.
"Did you drug me?" Cash's voice felt foreign as it passed her lips.
Boss's eyes creased at the corners with concern. "You took a bottle of vodka to the face, Cash. Yeah, I drugged you."
The events that preceded Cash awaking in this bed moved through her thoughts in a slow blur. She reached up with tentative, shaking fingers. The woven texture of gauze met her touch.
Boss shook her head mournfully. "We'll get you the best prostech money can buy," she assured.
Cash leaned back on the cornucopia of pillows behind her. "I always kinda liked the look of an eyepatch."
Boss let out a sound that was half nervous chuckle half sigh of relief, her expression loosening a notch. A knock on the door brought her quickly to her feet, and she crossed the room in a swirl of skirts. Heated and quick words were exchanged with a voice that sounded vaguely familiar before Boss shut the door again with a soft click.
Cash focused her gaze through some effort. "You've been crying."
Boss quickly wiped at her eyes as if that would hide their red rims and grey under circles.
"You know what they say. Don't cry over stabbed eyeballs," Cash added.
Boss huffed and snapped both her hands to her hips. "I wasn't crying about you-well...not just about you."
Cash sat up again, her words slurring slightly. "What's wrong?"
Boss's expression grew stormy, just a hint of what was genuinely brewing under her anxious demeanor. "Calvera took my son."
"You have a son?" Cash's squeaked response was lost in the explosion of words that issued from Boss as she began to pace at the foot of the bed.
"The attack on the Casino was a distraction. He blew through here in the chaos, killed some of my most loyal staff, and took July. He has yet to send a ransom."
It took a beat longer than it should have done for Cash to take it all in.
Boss blinked rapidly in response to Cash's croon. "I think that doctor dosed you a little too much."
She dropped her hands and began to pace again, her feet parting flattened paths in the thick carpet. She was mumbling so ferociously Cash could only make out every other word.
The woman did not stop her muttering or pacing.
Finally, she turned and fixed Cash in a burning glare. "Yes?"
"So when are we leaving?"
"Leaving?" Boss's lips thinned into a frustrated line.
"To go get your boy back." Cash sat up, ignoring the rush of blood away from her head.
YOU ARE READING
Gunslingers & GalaxiesScience Fiction
[Editors' Choice] Cash Guthrie can hide no longer. The notorious gunslinger and her band of alien misfits plan to rob the biggest Casino in town. It's not about the money for Cash though, it's about Boss and the love they once shared. ______________...