Discovery - Chapter 1

Gabe Fairmont sat in the office of the Diamond Dust with a letter from his older
brother Daniel sitting in front of him and smiled. He and his young partner
Cole, whom he took in with him in his leather business, were coming for a visit.
Gabe understood they had a special relationship. The two had been together about
six years now. Cole was quite a bit younger than Daniel, about like the Sheriff
and the young outlaw. He grinned as he thought about those two and the special
relationship that had been forming between them also. He'd seen Jalen swat Brett
when he thought no one was looking and for the most part they weren't. He just
happened to notice things that others didn't. He went back to the letter. Dan
would be arriving by train in Diamond Springs on Friday, which was the day after
tomorrow. He smiled. He was glad they'd be with him for the Christmas holiday.
They usually brought interesting things with them as well. Dan was very skilled
in leather craft. He'd crafted and decorated some very nice belts and had
tinkered some with saddles and bridles and such in the past. He had a good eye
for leather. He thought about the empty saddlery. He wondered if he could
convince his wanderlust brother to settle down here and perhaps interest him in
taking over the business. There would be plenty of work for him. Diamond Springs
was a growing and thriving town. The railroad had brought many visitors and with
the new hotel and such more of the upper crust were willing to stay overnight or
sometimes a day or two in their town. He was glad Sheriff Brooks had his young
outlaw to look after and groom to the position of deputy. It was going to
require more than one man one day in the not too distant future to keep an eye
on things. He knew the day would come when other Saloons would open and give the
Diamond Dust some competition, but he tried to keep up on the latest beverages
to serve, even having on hand some wine which some of the more elegant patrons
who stopped in preferred to the whiskey, brandy and beer. He also knew more
saloons would also mean keeping the Sheriff more busy breaking up brawls and
other incidents that happened when alcohol and other pursuits were mixed
together. He pushed all that to the back of his mind deciding to not worry too
much about things to come, but to focus on his brother's upcoming visit. Gabe
stood and went to a suite of rooms he used at times for this kind of thing.
Before the hotel was built he'd rent these rooms out to those that came off the
train and were happy to find such accommodations. They were located close to his
own rooms and far enough away from the working girls to not disturb anyone. He
threw open the windows to let some air in and began to sweep and dust. He'd make
up the beds and put out fresh towels and wash cloths tomorrow so when Dan
arrived on Friday all would be in readiness.


Jalen entered the Saloon, Brett at his side. He walked up to the bar and smiled
at the bartender. "Mornin' Gabe, you look happy." He remarked.

Gabe grinned. "Yep Daniel's comin' to town with Cole."

Jalen smiled. He'd met the other man and his young friend before. They seemed to
be a quiet pair. He'd see them occasionally in the Saloon, or in the General
store making purchases, but they never caused any trouble and pretty much kept
to themselves and spent the time they were here with Gabe.

Jalen said, "I like Daniel and Cole. They seem like real nice men. They don't
give anyone any trouble while they're here." He told Gabe.

Gabe chuckled. "No, Dan's not the trouble makin' kind and he keeps a close eye
on Cole so he doesn't cause any either."

Jalen smiled. "I'm glad for that. There are enough trouble makers around."


Brett greeted Gabe when he entered the Saloon with Jalen and then listened to
the other two men's conversation for a moment and wondered about the men who
were coming to visit Gabe. Gabe was a nice man. He hadn't realized he had had a
brother. He was glad though. He liked Gabe and thought if anyone deserved to
have a brother he did.


Daniel Morgan Fairmont at age thirty-six was a self assured man. He was talented
and artistic and it showed in the leather goods he made for customers. He
personalized each item, making them to the customer's satisfaction and
specifications. He traveled with his young partner Cole Marshall Tucker who was
twenty-four. Cole could be impulsive at times and needed to be reined in on
occasion, and Daniel was happy enough to do just that. It had been quite some
time since Dan discovered that he wasn't interested in women like other men and
he chanced across Cole in one of the small towns in Nevada where he had been
conducting business. The young man had been known as a hell raiser and Daniel
had been in the local saloon when he ran into him. The kid had come in and
demanded a beer from the bar tender with a sneer.


Six years ago…

"Hey barkeep! Give me a beer!" A young voice demanded with a sneer.

The barkeep had said, "Cole, I tol' you before…I'm tellin' you again, you ain't
old enough to be in here. Go on home to your Mama."

The young man got in the bartender's face. "I ain't goin' nowhere and you can't
make me!"

Daniel came up and said quietly, "Kid, you'd better listen to the man."

Cole swung around. "Who the hell are you? You can't tell me what to do!"

Daniel took hold of the boy's upper arm in a vice like grip and said as he
escorted him out of the saloon. "I'm a patron who wants peace and quiet, not
some snot nosed kid actin' like a two year old."

The young man tried to pull away, but wasn't able to and once outside on the
boardwalk Dan let him go. "Go home." He said sternly.

Cole grit his teeth and turned and tried to take a swing at Daniel.

Daniel caught the flying fist and in a quick move pinned the boy's arm behind
his back in a painful position which could have left it broken if Dan had been
another man. "I told you to go home little boy and I meant it."

The young man didn't resist, and when Daniel let go walked off in a huff rubbing
his arm.

Daniel walked back into the Saloon and the man smiled at him. "Your beer is on
the house Sir. It's about time someone put that little hellion in his place.
He's run wild since his Papa died about ten years ago. His Ma is sickly and
can't keep him reined in. Now that he's hit eighteen he thinks he's a grown


Daniel thought back about that day six years ago and smiled. He was glad he had
stepped in and although the road hadn't been smooth, it had been rewarding. He
loved his partner and had never thought in all his life he would find someone to
love the way he did Cole. The young man returned the love in kind and although
there were times he needed to take Cole in hand, it was always done in a loving
manner. Their life style might not be common, but it worked for them and they
were both happy. He grinned as the subject of his contemplations came into the
room and gave Dan a quick kiss.

"Almost ready for tomorrow?" Dan asked.

"You've been packed for days. You always have to think through every little
thing." Cole pouted.

Daniel laughed. "That's my nature and because you don't think things through the
way I do you inevitably forget something and because I've thought of it can
provide it for you." Dan teased, pulling the younger man into an embrace and
kissing him thoroughly.

Cole looked at Daniel, his hazel eyes becoming bluer with his passion.

Dan smiled. He called Cole's eyes his mood eyes. When he was happy they looked a
sort of blue, when he was angry or upset a brown color and when he was just
content they were a greenish color. He ran a hand through the auburn wavy hair
and said, "I love you my wild one."


Cole looked up into the handsome face of the man he loved. He loved his full
lips and the straight nose. He loved the dark brown hair that had one lock the
kept falling over one eye giving him a roguish look and he loved the violet
eyes. They were so unusual. He could lose himself in their depths.

"I love you too my strong one." He countered with a wolfish grin.

Dan gave Cole a playful swat. "Not right now. We have too much to do to get

Cole pretended to pout, but went about helping to pack and get ready for their
trip to Diamond Springs.


After leaving the saloon Jalen walked with Brett over to the Sheriff's office.
The Sheriff said, "I think you'll like Dan and Cole when you meet them. Cole is
apparently Daniel's partner in their leather business. Gabe said they go from
town to town makin' and sellin' their leather goods. Cole's just a little older
than you I think."

The young outlaw's blue eyes widened in surprise. "I'd have thought his business
partner would be closer to him in age." He commented.

Jalen shook his head. "No, they seem to get along very well though despite the
difference in their ages."

Brett grinned. "Sort of like you and me."

Jalen grinned. "I hadn't thought about that, but I'd say yes, except Cole isn't
under probation." Jalen teased lightly.

The younger man pouted for a moment, and then grinned. "Well then we can hang
around each other without me breakin' probation since I'm not supposed to be
around anyone else who's on probation or been in prison."

The older man ruffled the black curls. "Yes, but we'll see. Cole hasn't been
here enough times to know his way around real well and neither have you. Dan
might not want him traipsin' around with someone he doesn't even know."

Brett's face fell and he said quietly, "All right."

Jalen pulled the young man into a hug. "It doesn't mean the two of you can't
wander around town, just not goin' for rides alone, things like that."

Brett nodded. "Okay."

Jalen smiled and gave Brett his school lessons for the morning and then worked
on files and the things he needed to do in his office as Sheriff. He opened a
letter and smiled. "I got a letter from Judge Graham and he says he's happy to
know you've been doin' well on your probation and to keep up the good work."

The younger man smiled, "Really?"

The Sheriff grinned "Uh huh. He says if this program works well with you he'll
be able to use it more widely for others."

Brett grinned. "Give some others like me a new chance at life huh?"

The older man smiled. "Yes, that would be a good thing."

The young outlaw smiled and the morning passed quickly.


Gabe put the finishing touches on the rooms and smiled. He loved his brother
Daniel and couldn't wait to see him and Cole when they arrived the next day. He
made certain the ink well was filled and there was writing paper and quills
available for Dan as well as a couple of pencils. He had decorated with a bowl
of fall leaves one of his girls had helped him create. He smiled with
satisfaction and went into the bar room to wait on his customers for the night.

Jalen smiled at Brett as they made his final rounds together. They walked into
the Diamond Dust and the Sheriff smiled at the bartender. "All ready for Dan's
arrival tomorrow?"

Gabe grinned. "Yep all ready. I'm anxious to see him and Cole, but also what
work he's done since then on his leather craft."

Jalen smiled. "Yes, he does some beautiful work."

Brett asked, "Can I see some of it when he comes Jalen?"

The Sheriff smiled. "If Gabe here lets him out of his sight long enough." He

Gabe chuckled good naturedly. "I'm sure he'll be happy to show you his work

Jalen ordered up a couple of beers and he and Brett spent a pleasant evening
singing and enjoying themselves until it was time for them to ride on home.


The young outlaw smiled as they rode into the yard of their small ranch. "It's
real nice to ride up here to our own place. It still sorta surprises me that it
is actually ours."

Jalen grinned. "Yes, it's still a bit new to me too. I still find myself having
to consciously turn Liberty to our home instead of behind the Sheriff's office."

The two men untacked their horses in the barn and talked companionably until
they had settled all the animals for the night and were headed for the house.
Jalen stopped and hugged Brett tight and kissed him with a bit of heat. "I've
missed your sweetness all day." He teased.

Brett kissed back and grinned. "Well you won't have to for long…race you to the
house!" He twisted from Jalen's arms and raced to the house. The Sheriff caught
up to him on the porch and catching his young lover around the waist hauled him
over his shoulder and playfully swatted his upturned bottom.

The young outlaw now breathless, giggled and cried, "No fair!" as he was slung
over the older man's shoulder and playfully swatted.

Jalen shut the door and headed up the stairs to the bedroom they shared when
there was no one else around and he tossed Brett onto the bed and said, "Get
those clothes off kid. I want to see you naked." He ordered with a mock growl.

Brett laughed and teasingly stripped as Jalen watched the green eyes smoking
with desire.

The older man stoked the fire in the fireplace and then once he finished swung
around and pulled the young outlaw over his lap as he sat on the bed and
proceeded to playfully spank the upturned bare bottom until it was warm and

Brett squirmed provocatively over Jalen's lap.

The Sheriff gave the bottom one sharp smack and then picked the younger man up
and playfully tossed him onto the bed on his tingling bottom and proceeded to
strip himself.

It wasn't long before the two were panting in the manner of those engaged in the
time honored manner of making love.

Sated, they finally lay on the bed, the older man throwing the warm quilt over
their naked bodies and falling asleep a tangle of arms and legs.


Friday morning dawned cold, but clear and Dan smiled as he and Cole borded the
train, leaving behind another dusty little town. They had their circuit and
stopped in the towns where they had made contacts and either dropped off goods
ordered, took orders or just sold some things to the local saddler for him to
sell in his store.

Cole took the seat next to the window and Dan sat next to him. "How long to
Diamond Springs Dan?"

Daniel Fairmont chuckled. His young partner asked him this same question each
time they moved on. "As long as it takes to get there." Dan replied with a grin.

The young man gave his partner a look, and returned his gaze to the window
watching everything roll by.

In a while Cole began to fidget. He was bored and said, "I gotta walk for a bit
Dan, let me out."

Dan stood up and let is partner out of the seat and said, "Don't go too far and
stay out of mischief."

The young man nodded and then began to walk through the car and into the next
one and the next.

Dan read the paper he had bought at the station and when he noticed Cole coming
through the train for about the third time he said, "Cole, I think it's time you
sat down for a while."

The young man gave his partner a mulish look. "I don't want to. I think I'll go
to the observation car instead."

Dan quirked an eyebrow. "Haven't you already been there three times?"

Cole shrugged. "I can go again."

The older man said, "I think we can go together. I haven't seen the observation
car yet."

This was not what Cole wanted, but he went with Dan. When they were between cars
where no one could see Dan turned Cole slightly and gave him two solid swats. "I
don't like it when you start getting' stubborn. We've talked about this before."

Cole grunted at the swats, not wanting to cry out. "But I'm bored." He
complained, when Dan was through,

Dan asked, "Do we need to find the baggage car to finish this discussion?"

Cole bit his lip, rubbing his bottom and shook his head. "No Sir." He said

"Good, then let's go to the observation car. You know when you get bored all you
need is to tell me and I will help you with that. I told you not to go too far
in your walk and you not only walked the length of the train, but I noticed you
did it more than once. The aisles are narrow and people were beginning to become
annoyed with you brushing past them several times for no real purpose." Dan
scolded quietly.

The young man listened to his partner as he scolded him and they made their way
to the observation car. He hung his head and said softly, "I'm sorry Dan."

Daniel looked down at the younger man, squeezing his shoulders and said with a
smile, "I know, it's all right now."

Cole went with Dan and they stood at the windows in the observation car for a
while, Dan pointing out things of interest to his young partner. When he again
noticed Cole becoming restless he said, "Let's go on back to our seats. We can
come back later if we want to."

Cole nodded. "All right Dan. I'm glad I came here with you after all. It was
more fun with you here showin' me things."

Dan grinned and squeezed the younger man's arm. "I'm glad you enjoyed it." He
led the way back to their car and their seats.

Cole followed Dan and sat down in his window seat once more, a slight sting on
his bottom reminding him of his need to make better choices.

Dan produced a book from his travel bag. He knew his young partner became bored
easily on long trips and he kept a favorite book, playing cards and some other
items he could hand Cole to keep him entertained. I thought you'd like to read
your book for a while."

The young man took the book and grinned when he saw the title and realized it
was one of his favorite books. He settled down to read for a while.

Dan watched Cole and once he saw him settle down with the book went back to
reading his Paper.


Gabe Fairmont bundled up and got ready to meet the train his brother and
traveling partner would be arriving on. Seeing Jalen and Brett he hailed them.
"Good afternoon Sheriff Brooks, Brett…can I ask a favor?"

Jalen smiled at Gabe. "If I can grant it." He told the other man.

Gabe said, "I'm goin' to meet Daniel's train. Can I ask Brett to mind the Saloon
for a little bit while I'm there? I'll pay him a dollar if he can do that."

The Sheriff looked at his young outlaw. "Do you think you can handle that for a

Brett thought about it. He knew the prices of things in the Saloon and he knew
how to make change and such and to mark the receipts as Jalen had been working
with him on things like that and he had also observed Jim Duncan at the General
Store doing it when they shopped. He nodded. "I think I can do that."

Jalen smiled. "All right then, I'll be around to check on you in a bit to make
sure things are goin' okay and I can help if you run into any problems."

The younger man smiled. "Okay Jalen. I'd like this opportunity to earn a little
money of my own. Christmas will be comin' up and I'll need somethin' to buy you
a present."

The older man smiled. "Thank you for the thought kid, but you bein' with me is a
present in and of itself."

Brett flushed with pleasure at Jalen's words. "Thanks Sheriff." He said with a

Jalen said, "Then off with you. Gabe needs to meet the train and doesn't want to
be late."

The young outlaw smiled and waved at the too men as he headed into the Saloon.

Gabe grinned. "He sure is eager to please you and its real nice seein' him bein'
given some responsibility."

Jalen said, "I give him a little bit at a time to see how he handles it. If he
shows he's responsible and can handle whatever it is, then I give him a little

Gabe nodded. "Sounds like a good plan. Well, gotta run. Thanks…I'll see you both
in a little while, at least shortly after the train arrives. You know that lots
of times they can be late."

The Sheriff nodded. "Will you need a wagon to bring their luggage to the

Gabe looked thoughtful. "I'm not sure. I'll have to see just how much they have
with them. If I do I'm sure I can rent somethin' from the livery."

"If you let me know I don't live far from town now and I do have a wagon and
team. I'd be glad to help out."

Gabe grinned. "Okay wagon owner…I'll let you know."

Jalen grinned and continued on his rounds.


Brett walked behind the bar and smiling began to clean and wipe glasses that
were stacked near a washbasin. He had seen Gabe perform this task many times. He
was very glad that Jalen had allowed him this chance to make some money and to
trust him with this responsibility. He glanced around. The saloon was pretty
empty this time of day. There were a few men who had come into town for supplies
and were having a beer before going on their way. He glanced at the stairs that
led to the upper floor. He saw no sign of the girls or even heard any sound
filtering downstairs. He wondered what exactly they did during the day. When he
finished cleaning the glasses and had carefully lined them up he didn't know
what else to do to keep busy. He leaned on the bar and wondered what Gabe did to
occupy himself when things were slow like now.


Jalen finished his rounds and walked into the saloon and smiled at his young
outlaw. "Everythin' quiet?" He asked, just like he did when Gabe was behind the

Brett grinned and nodded. "Yes Sheriff, everything's fine here."

The older man grinned and asked, "Pour me a beer will you?"

The younger man grinned. "Yes Sir, comin' right up!" He took a clean beer glass,
went over to the keg and turning the spigot carefully filled the glass. He
brought it to Jalen, taking a cloth and wiping the bar first as he'd seen Gabe
do. "That'll be two bits." He told The Sheriff.

The older man grinned and tossed the young man a half dollar. "Keep the change
kid." He said with a grin.

Brett grinned back.


Gabe stood on the platform watching for the train. As he heard the whistle and
saw the black smoke in the distance he grinned. It had been quite a while since
he'd seen Daniel. As the train pulled in and people began to disembark, He
anxiously scanned the area for his brother and partner. Spotting a tall handsome
man with a younger man close to his side he called "Dan! Over here!"


Dan hung onto his young partner. He knew Cole had a habit of rushing off the
train and he wanted him close.

Cole glanced at Daniel. He didn't mind too much being close to his partner.

Daniel herd, then saw his Brother Gabe calling and waving. He grinned and waved
back. "Hello Gabe!" He called and made his way over to the younger man.

Cole called, "Hi Gabe! Good to see you!"


Gabe grinned as he saw Daniel call and wave. He called, "Hello Cole! Good to see
you too!"

As the four men met, Dan pulled Gabe into a bone crushing hug. "You're lookin'
well little brother."

Gabe grinned. "So are you big brother."

Gabe then pulled Cole into a bear hug. "You're lookin' good little one." He

Cole gave Gabe a sour look as he returned the hug. "I ain't that little anymore
Gabe. I've filled out some since you last saw me."

Gabe chuckled. "So you did, but you'll always be the little one to me."

Daniel asked, "Anyone minding the saloon, or did you close it down for a few

Gabe replied, "A young man named Brett is mindin' it for me. He's on probation
with the Sheriff. I like him, he's a good kid."

Daniel's eyebrow went up. "You mean he's a criminal?"

Gabe shook his head. "The kid's only twenty-one. He made some bad choices.
Probation is a new program the circuit judge is tryin' out and it seems to be
workin'. He's under the Sheriff's supervision twenty four hours a day, seven
days a week. It's seldom he lets him out of his sight, then not for long. He's
probably over at the saloon right now keepin' an eye on him."

Daniel asked, "You can trust him?"

Gabe nodded. "He ain't in trouble for stealin' anythin'. Just got mixed up with
a bad bunch and was involved in their doings, but only as a backup person. He
never harmed anyone. If he had been a hardened criminal or had committed some
grievous crime the judge would never have granted this probation."

Daniel nodded. "All right. I like the Sheriff here. He seems a decent man. Keeps
the town safe."

Gabe grinned. "That he does. He's not afraid to break up the drunks and haul
them off to jail and with his young probationer he can handle most anythin'."

Dan smiled. "Good. I'm glad."


Cole listened to Gabe and Dan's conversation with a bit of interest. Last time
he was here, there hadn't been anyone close to his own age to hang with and now
this sounded like it had potential. Maybe he wouldn't get too bored. He smiled
at the two older men.


Gabe asked Dan, "Do you have much luggage? If you do the Sheriff said he'd bring
a wagon `round and pick it up and bring it over to the saloon. Since he has had
Brett he's bought himself a place on the edge of town. Said it was better than
the two of them crawlin' all over each other and bumpin' into each other because
there wasn't enough room for them both in the room at the Sheriff's office where
Jalen's been stayin'."

Daniel smiled and listened as Gabe shared. "Sounds like things are movin' up in
the world for the Sheriff." He grinned.

Gabe grinned back. "Yep."


Jalen saw Gabe and his brother and Dan's young partner through the saloon window
and said to Brett. "Gabe's back."

Brett smiled. "All right. All's in order. I recorded the sale of your beer and
left the cost of the beer in the till and kept the tip I earned out."

The Sheriff grinned. "Very good."


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