azombiewrites: (The Magnificent Seven)
[personal profile] azombiewrites
Title: Friendship
Tenth story in 'The Continuing Ezra Standish Saga'
Rating: PG
Warnings: Bad writing ahead!
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven
Genre: Hurt/Comfort
Summary: The seven hired gunmen are returning to Four Corners when they meet up with a group of men who are transporting a prisoner. A man who was once a friend of Ezra Standish.
Main Characters: Ezra, and the rest of the seven, and some OC's
Disclaimers: The guys are owned by CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, and The Mirisch Corp.
Beta: Not betaed – written in the early days when I didn’t know what the words grammar and edit meant. *is ashamed but no longer care*
Notes: Tenth story in the ‘Continuing Ezra Standish Saga’.
Spoilers: None.
Total Word Count: 20,141

Part One

Chris looked up as Mary came into the saloon, he watched as she took a quick look around the room and then her eyes settled on him. She came over to the table. "Chris I have a telegram for you from Judge Travis." she smiled at JD, Buck and Josiah as they were also at the table. He took the telegram from her and read it to himself before revealing it to the others.

"Judge wants all of us to go to Mount Hallow to help him hold a trial, seems that there are some people there who rather hang the guy before the trial and they have managed to run the sheriff out of town." he explained to them.

"When do we leave?" asked JD thinking the worse.

"Now." answered Chris knowing what he was thinking.

JD and Buck looked at each other and at the same time, they both said "No!"

"I did it last time." complained JD. "Buck can wake him up."

"I ain't doin it, he nearly killed me last time." stated Buck.

"Yeah well you have lived longer than me; if I get killed then I will be cut down in my prime."

"It's because I am older that you should do it." Buck argued back at him.

"I forgot you might have a heart attack or something when he shoots that derringer at you." smiled JD.

"Why you . . . " Buck went to hit him but Josiah stopped them.

"I'll go and wake Ezra up." he got up not failing to notice the looks of relief on their faces. They always had trouble when it came to waking Ezra up early, as he hated early mornings; it was one of the things that he despised in life. And he always pulled his derringer on the people who tried to wake him. They had to do this on three occasions over the last two weeks and Ezra had nearly killed Buck the second time. He had actually fired the derringer and missed Buck by mere inches.

"We'll get the others and what we need for the trip and then meet you outside." Chris told him before he left. He thought that by the time Josiah was able to wake him they would have the horses saddled and gotten some supplies for the trip, as they would have to spend one night out in the open. They left the saloon followed by Mary as Josiah made his way up to Ezra's room.

Once there he decided that the best thing to do would be to just go in and make sure that he was not able to pull the gun on him. Ezra was usually a heavy sleeper but he could also wake up so quickly that he was able to surprise the person who tried to interrupt his sleep. They never knew whether he would wake up at the first sound or if they would have to yell at him to get him to wake up. This usually had a lot to do with how much he had drunk the night before. His plan was to go in and grab his gun arm so he couldn't shoot him and then hope that he would take longer to wake up, that way he was less likely to try to pull out his derringer and shoot whoever it was waking him. It was when he woke quickly that worried people.

Josiah opened the door and went in expecting to find Ezra asleep but instead he found him sitting on the edge of his bed with his head in his hands. Ezra didn't look up when Josiah came in; he was too involved in trying to get rid of the nightmare that caused him to wake up shaking and sweating. His dreams had changed. Instead of the others, shooting and missing the bullets now struck his body and he did die, he died alone.

"Ezra?" Josiah said softly not wanting to scare him. He still didn't look up though as he didn't hear Josiah call him. All he could hear was the sound of guns going off and the laughter that faded as his life faded out of his body.

"Ezra?" he called him again. Josiah was worried; he went over and placed his hand on Ezra's shoulder.

"Ahh!" Ezra cried out and stood up away the touch. "Josiah, I . . um . . I didn't hear you . . come . . in." he ran his hands through his hair and looked everywhere except at Josiah.

"Are you still having those dreams Ezra?" they had all thought that the nightmares he suffered from were gone but Josiah was beginning to think that Ezra lied to them as he usually did and the dreams were still there.

"No, it's just a bad headache, too much to drink last night." he lied as he fiddled with his hair and clothes and still keeping his eyes away from Josiah. He knew that the fear that he felt would still be in them. "Is there something you wanted." he changed the subject and if it wasn't for the fact that they had to leave Josiah would have pushed him further about it.

"We have to go to Mount Hollow; the Judge wants us there to help out at a trial. He wants all of us there." Josiah watched him. 'It must have been a nightmare why else would he not look at me.' he thought to himself.

"I'll be there in ten minutes," mumbled Ezra wishing that Josiah would now go away.

"The others are getting the horses and some supplies so I will wait for you out front."

Josiah waited a moment. "Ezra, are you okay?"

"Of course I'm fine, I told you it's just a headache." he was looking down at his shoes.

"Then why won't you look at me?" when Ezra told him that he would be ready in ten minutes

Josiah knew that he could spend a few extra minutes trying to find out what was wrong.

Ezra took a deep breath and forced his poker face to take control of his emotions. He then looked up at Josiah hoping that he was able to hide everything that he was feeling at that moment. "Happy now." he said to him.

"No." Josiah knew that it was Ezra's poker face that he was looking at.

"Well I'm sorry that I can't change your mood, now if you don't mind I believe that I have to get ready to leave." he turned his back on him. Josiah sighed and left Ezra alone. When he finally left Ezra sat down on the bed, he just needed a few more minutes to gain control of himself.

When Chris and the others brought the horses to the saloon, they expected to be waiting for Ezra but they saw him sitting in one of the chairs out front with Josiah. He didn't look up at them but continued to look at his hat that he had been busying his fingers with.

"Are you two ready?" asked Chris surprised that Josiah had woken Ezra so easily.

"Yeah were ready." Josiah got up and headed towards his horse. He turned around when he noticed that Ezra had not moved. He went back to him. "Ezra?" he nudged his arm.

"Huh." he looked up at Josiah with confusion in his eyes. He had still not been able to get rid of the after effects of the dream.

"Come on were leaving." Josiah pulled him up out of the seat. Ezra went to his new horse and got on. They had finally told him what happened to the other one. He turned the horse and rode off in the direction of Mount Hollow.

The others did not follow him straight away. "What was that about Josiah?" asked Buck thinking that he had done something to Ezra.

"He was already awake, I think that he's still having nightmares." he explained to them. "I think that we should have kept a closer eye on him than we did."

"Do you think that we should leave him behind?" asked JD.

"No. We’re not going to leave him alone. We can keep an eye on him while he's with us." said Chris not realising that he and the others were going to regret that decision. They quickly caught up with Ezra as he rode out of town.

Ezra had ridden in silence all morning. He did not take much notice of the scenery around him but just kept his eyes on the path that they were riding on. He rode behind the others, as he knew that they were watching him again and as long as he was behind them, they could not see his face. Buck though had stayed close to him. "Some things never change." he muttered thinking that it seemed like they were never going to leave him alone. He didn't realise that he had spoken aloud until Buck answered him.

"Did you say something Ezra?" he asked him.

"No." he didn't want to talk to him.

"Josiah says that you had a nightmare. Was it the same as the others?" Buck thought that he would try to get him to talk seeing how he had started, even if it was something not related to his dreams.

Ezra shot him a foul look and sent one at Josiah's back. "I told him it was a headache and that's what it was."

"Ezra if you are still having them you need to talk about them." Buck said to him.

"I told you that it was a headache; now leave it at that will you!" Everyone turned around and looked at him as he had said it loud enough for all of them to hear. "What?" he yelled at them.

"I'm just trying to help you Ezra." Buck did not expect this outburst from him, as they usually had to force him to show any sort of emotion.

"Well don't. I don't need your help and I don't want it." Ezra's voice was still raised but he didn't care. He wanted all of them to hear what he wanted to say.

Buck decided to get angry back at him hoping that it would get Ezra to let out more of the anger that he obviously had been keeping inside. "Well you’re going to get it anyway." he growled back at him.

"Buck just leave me the hell alone!" Ezra stared at him just wanting him to say something to give him an excuse to hit him. And Buck said it.

"I'm not going to leave you alone Ezra . . ." Buck didn't get any further as Ezra leaned over and hit him across the jaw knocking him off his horse. Ezra jumped off his own as he wanted to hit him again but Chris and Josiah were off their horses just as quick and pulled Ezra away from Buck before he could do anymore damage.

"Ezra stop it." Josiah told him.

Ezra pulled away from them. "Just leave me alone." he was looking at Buck but then he turned to the others. "All of you just leave me alone!" Ezra walked away from them back to his horse and leaned his head against its shoulder. The nightmare that he had that morning was enough to bring back all his anger about what had happened when he was hurt and they had not looked for him. And he was having a hard time controlling it.

Josiah went to Ezra as Nathan checked Buck. "Ezra you didn't have to hit him."

"If you don't want me to hit you either then go away and leave me alone." the anger showed in his voice. Before Josiah could say anything Ezra got up on his horse and sat there, looking out into the distance all though his mind was elsewhere.

Josiah didn't say anymore, he turned and went to see how Buck was doing. "I pushed him to far didn't I." muttered Buck as he rubbed his jaw.

"It's not your fault Buck, he's angry and he had to break sometime." said Nathan.

"Let's just be careful with him from now on okay." Josiah said to them.

"Let's keep moving." Chris said to them. He turned and went back to his own horse and glanced at Ezra on the way past but Ezra did not acknowledge him or anyone else. He seemed to be staring at something but his eyes looked glassy. He was like that for the rest of the afternoon.

As soon as it started to get dark, they stopped and made camp. Each man took care of their own horse. Vin and JD collected wood and started a fire while Buck and Josiah prepared some food for everyone. Once Ezra took care of his horse, he found himself a spot on the edge of camp and stayed away from the others. They all sat around the fire silently eating the meal that was made and watched Ezra as he sat with his back to them. He had refused to eat anything and Chris expected him to drink his dinner but he hadn't done that either. He just sat there looking at nothing.

Ezra didn't want to go to sleep, he was too afraid of dreaming. He had enough of the dreams but he didn't know how to stop them. At least the others had finally left him alone. He felt tired and tried to fight it but he couldn't, he eventually fell asleep. Once the other six men saw that Ezra had fallen asleep and was not dreaming they too allowed sleep to take them as well.

It was early in the morning when Ezra's scream woke everyone. He had been having the same nightmare that he had the night before. His friends had been standing in front of him with their guns pointed at him. He always thought that they wouldn't shoot him but they did even Buck and JD and then they left him there on his own with his blood and life force leaving his body. He could feel the scream rising in his throat and he finally let it out waking himself and the others.

He sat up and put his shaking hands against his head. His whole body was shaking and he couldn't stop it. Everyone had jerked awake when they heard his scream and they looked over to where he was, they could see him sitting up with his head in his hands and they could see that he was shaking. Josiah was the one to get up and go over to him.

"Ezra you had one of those nightmares that you keep saying you don't have didn't you?" asked Josiah as he sat down next to him. He watched as Ezra nodded his head. "Are you going to tell me about them?" Ezra shook his head. "You have to talk about them Ezra."

"I don't have to do anything, leave me alone." Ezra said through his hands.

"Are you going to hit me if I don't" Josiah said to him.

"Josiah please, leave me alone." Ezra took his hands away from his head and wrapped them around himself as they were still shaking.

"Why won't you talk about them Ezra?" Josiah was very concerned as he could see what they were doing to him.

Ezra looked up at him and then passed him at the others. They were all watching him. "Why won't you leave me alone?" he asked back.

"Because we’re worried about you." Josiah told him. Ezra was still looking past him.

"There's nothing to worry about, it's just a dream."

"A dream that causes you to wake up screaming." he watched as Ezra winced and look back down at the ground. "It's the same one isn't it. The ones you had about us and what we did?" Josiah knew that he was correct but he wanted Ezra to say it.

"Leave me alone Josiah." Ezra lay back down and rolled over onto his side showing Josiah that he wasn't going to talk anymore.

"I'm going to get you to talk Ezra whether you want to or not." Ezra didn't answer him so he got up and went back to the others.

"Well?" asked Buck.

"He still won't talk." sighed Josiah, he didn't know what to do. He sat back down on his bedroll but he didn't sleep either, none of them did. They stayed awake and watched Ezra's back looking for any signs that he was dreaming. Ezra stayed awake though, he wasn't going to fall asleep again.

A couple of hours later they broke camp and continued their journey. They were silent during the ride, no one knew what to say. They kept an eye on Ezra not knowing what to do to help him. They had been riding for most of the morning when they saw a group of men up ahead standing by their horses. They noticed that one of them was handcuffed. When they had reached them, they stopped to find out what was going on. Ezra looked up to find out why they had stopped.

"Good lord." he muttered. He saw Buck look at him from the corner of his eye but he ignored him as he looked at the man he had not seen for five years.

"Something wrong Ezra?" Buck asked him as he saw the shocked look that had come over his face.

Ezra ignored him as he continued to stare at the man who was now staring back at him. It had been five years since he last saw this man. He saw the handcuffs that kept his hands in front of him and the guns that were now aimed at him as the seven hired lawmen came to a stop in front of them. He noticed that Buck continued to watch him so he pulled his gaze away from the man and looked at him but still did not answer his question, he hoped that the poker face that he was now wearing answered it for him. He turned back to the man that was still watching him.

"You men need any help?" Chris asked them.

"And who might you be?" asked the man that Chris assumed to be the leader of the group.

"Chris Larabee. Were from Four Corners and were on our way to help Judge Travis in Mount Hallow." he answered him.

"Well what a coincidence. This is the man that is going to be on trial there. Were his escorts." he nudged the man in handcuffs and indicated to his men to put their guns away as the Judge had told him about this man and the other six that were with him.

"The Judge didn't tell us that he wasn't in town." Chris was starting to get suspicious. He placed his hand on his gun and the others followed his move but Ezra kept his hands away from his guns.

The man opened his coat and showed Chris his badge. "My name is Marshall Reid and we are escorting this man to Mount Hallow."

Chris relaxed slightly and looked at the man in handcuffs. He saw that he was staring at something and when he turned around to see what he was looking at he saw Ezra. He turned back to the group of men. "What's he going to be on trial for?"

"Murder." Reid answered him as he shoved his prisoner towards his horse. Chris thought that he was being a bit rough with him. "They were innocent people to." he shoved him harder this time and the man tripped and fell to the ground.

Buck noticed Ezra tense up beside him thinking that it was the situation. He turned to him and saw the anger showing on his face. "Are you sure there's nothing wrong Ezra?" he asked him a second time. Buck flinched from the stare that Ezra gave him in return.

"Don't you think that you should go easy on him." Chris told Ried. The man had yet to stand trial and be proven guilty.

"No, the man is a murderer and he shouldn't even be getting a trial but it's the law so I have to make sure that he gets one. But as far as I am concerned he deserves everything that's coming to him." he then kicked him in the side trying to get him to stand up because he would rather not touch him.

Nobody expected what happened next. Buck was watching what was happening but he saw Ezra jump from his horse and run towards the Marshall. He finally found his voice. "Ezra what are you doin?" he yelled at him.

The others turned just in time to see Ezra run past them. They saw him bend down and pick up a thick branch as he ran passed it. "What the hell." said Chris and he too jumped from his horse as he had an idea what Ezra was about to do but he didn't know who he was going to hit with the branch.

Ezra was full of anger, both from what had been happening to him and from the way the Marshall was treating his friend. He heard him say that he was going on trial for murder but he didn't believe it. Jason was not capable of murder, he would never kill anyone. Ezra was willing to stake his life on that and he was about to. He held the anger in as long as he could but when the Marshall kicked his friend it was the last straw and he cracked just as he had the day before. He jumped off his horse and ran towards them, he saw a branch on the ground and without thinking picked it up as he passed. He heard Buck yell out to him but he continued to ignore him.

Reid looked up but he was to slow to stop what was about to happen. Ezra reached him and swung the branch as hard as he could and hit the Marshall across the side of the head. He only had to hit him once as he then fell to the ground in a heap. His deputies then pulled their guns on Ezra but he ignored them as he dropped the branch and bent down to his friend. Chris and the deputies were the only ones moving as the other five lawmen were shocked, Ezra was surprising them quite a lot lately but one by one, and they came to their senses and pulled their own guns to defend Ezra.

Chris saw what happened and before he could stop them one of the deputies raised his own gun and hit Ezra across the back of the head and he to fell to the ground unconscious. Chris shoved the deputy aside and bent down next to Ezra and Nathan was soon at his side.

"What did he do that for?" one of the deputies said to Chris.

Chris looked at the man in handcuffs but the man was not looking at him as he was watching Ezra's unconscious form. "Are you going to answer him or not?" Chris growled at him. The man looked at him for a moment but then returned his gaze to Ezra.

Nathan quickly checked Ezra's wound and found that it was bleeding, the deputy had hit him quite hard. "JD . . ." he turned around as he called him but JD was already there with his bag. He pulled out a cloth and gave it to Chris. "Hold this against his head to stop the bleeding and I will check him." he nodded towards the Marshall. Nathan only took five minutes to check the Marshall. He too had a bleeding head wound but it was more serious than Ezra's.

He had one of his deputies put pressure on the wound until it stopped bleeding. While he was doing that, he went back to Ezra. Chris had managed to stop the bleeding and Nathan put some balm on the wound and bandaged it. He noticed that the man in handcuffs had moved closer to Ezra. "He should be fine Chris." He then went back to finish taking care of the Marshall.

Chris looked at the man. "Do you know Ezra?" he asked him but the man continued to ignore him. He was too preoccupied with the thought of escape. He knew that Ezra would help him get away, he would have to or else he was going to hang. Chris realised that the man was not going to answer him. He looked down at Ezra wondering why he had done what he did. He must have known this man but he would have to wait until he woke up to find out. He stood up and turned to the others. "Vin, Buck take care of the horses, Josiah and JD, you start a fire. We’re going to say here for a while to make sure that there okay before we go on." he watched them as they left to take care of things. Some of the deputies separated and helped take care of the horses and the fire. One of them helped Nathan carry the Marshall to a more comfortable area. Chris placed his hands under Ezra's shoulders. "You want to help me carry him?" he asked the man sitting next to Ezra. He looked up and nodded. He stood up and bent down to pick up Ezra's legs finding it slightly difficult with his hands handcuffed. They then carried him closer to where Josiah and JD were starting the fire. When they had laid him down the man sat with him. Chris also stayed because he wanted to talk to Ezra before this man could.

Nathan came over to where Chris was sitting with Ezra. He knelt down and checked Ezra's bandage and felt his forehead to check for a fever. He had been unconscious for a couple of hours and he was beginning to worry as he should have woken up by now. Once he had done that, he motioned to Chris that he wanted to talk to him. Chris got up but only went a short distance so he could continue to watch Ezra. He wanted to be there when he woke up.

"Chris the Marshall has a concussion. Ezra hit him pretty hard." he turned back to Ezra and the man sitting with him. "They know each other don't they?" he asked Chris.

"I'm sure of it but this guy is about as stubborn as Ezra is. He won't say anything. Is the Marshall going to be alright?"

"Yeah he should be but I will know for sure when he wakes up." Nathan turned as one of the deputies came over, it was the same one that had hit Ezra.

"Were going to have to arrest him, you know that don't you."

"Listen . . ." Nathan waited for him to give his name.

"Jones, the name is Jones." he told them.

"Listen Jones, Ezra has been through a lot lately and he was ready to lash out at anything and your boss gave him reason to." Nathan tried explaining to him.

"I don't care about what he has been through, he attacked a Marshall and when we get to Mount Hallow he's going to jail with the other one." he growled.

"What's that other ones name?" Chris asked him.

"Jason Wentworth. And he is going to hang for what he did."

Chris turned back to the man the deputy have given a name to. He was watching them and listening to the conversation. Jason turned back to Ezra when he saw Chris look at him. He needed Ezra to wake up, he needed Ezra to get him out of this situation. He heard Ezra moan but Chris had also heard him and he and Nathan came over to them. Nathan knelt down next to him again. "Ezra can you hear me?"

"Of course I can hear you, I am not deaf." Ezra winced at the pain in his head.

"Can you open your eyes for me?" he asked again. Nathan wanted to make sure that Ezra did not have a concussion as well. He needed to check to see if his eyesight was blurry or if he had double vision.

"I would prefer not to." they all heard someone laughing and they turned to the man with them. "What's so funny?" asked Ezra but then he recognised the voice and remembered what happened. He quickly opened his eyes and looked at the friend that was laughing at him. "I asked you what was so funny?" he growled at him. Nathan and Chris watched Ezra as they were expecting him to attack this man.

"You are Ezra, you haven't changed a bit have you?" Jason kept laughing.

Ezra smiled back at him. Chris and Nathan were confused. "You mind telling us what's going on Ezra?" Chris asked him. The expression on Ezra's face changed as he looked at Chris.

"Jason is an old friend." was all he said.

"We gathered that much. Why did you attack the Marshall like that?"

"Someone had to stop him I couldn't just sit there and watch him beat him up now could I."

Ezra was getting angry again. Nathan put his hand on Chris's arm to stop him going any further with the conversation.

"I'll be back Ezra and I'll expect a better explanation than that." Chris said to him before Nathan led him away. "What are you doing Nathan?"

"He's angry Chris and he's not going to answers your questions until he calms down. Give him a little while and then come back." Chris nodded and went and joined the others at the fire while Nathan went back to Ezra.

Ezra had stayed quiet until he was sure that Chris was out of earshot but Nathan came back.

He gave Jason a look that he understood and did not say anything more. "Ezra I just want to ask you a couple of things just to make sure that you are okay."

"Sure." Ezra watched him carefully.

"Is your vision blurry?" he shook his head no. "How many fingers am I holding up?" he answered correctly. "Are you feeling sick at all?" he answered no. "Okay then I'll let you get some rest and then bring you something to eat later. Jason do you want to come and join us, let Ezra get some more sleep. Nathan couldn't help but notice the look that came over Ezra's face when he mentioned getting some sleep.

"Yeah sure in a minute though." Nathan nodded and got up.

"Nathan." Ezra looked up at him. "Is the Marshall okay?"

"He'll be fine Ezra." he smiled to reassure him as he could see the concern on Ezra's face.

He left them alone for a while.

"What was that all about Ezra?" asked Jason.

"Long story Jason. Don't you think that you should be telling me what these are about?" Ezra shook the handcuffs on his friend’s hands.

"Even longer story." he smiled at him. "I haven't got time to tell it to you now as your friend does not want me to stay long. How about I tell you about it after you get some rest."

"I don't want any rest." said Ezra

"You won't have a choice." he looked over his shoulder at Ezra's friends. They were all watching them. "I'll come back later." He got up and started to walk away but turned back to his friend. "It's good to see you again Ezra."

Ezra smiled at him as his eyes closed, he tried to keep them open but he couldn't. Jason walked back to the group by the fire. It was very good to see him as he knew that Ezra would help him escape.

As Jason walked back to the fire, he could see Jones watching him. He had his hand on his gun as though he was hoping that he was going to try to escape. He knew that he wanted to kill him but he wasn't stupid enough to try to escape without help and when he did escape, he was not going to give Jones or anyone else the opportunity to kill him. He noticed that all eyes were on him when he sat down but he was not going to tell them anything about his friendship with Ezra. The look that Ezra had given him before the black man came back told him that he wanted him to stay quiet so he wasn't going to say anything to them about their past which they probably didn't know much about anyway as Ezra never spoke about it. He knew that there were very few people who knew about Ezra and he was one of them.

"He's asleep." He saw them all look at each with what to seem to be worry on their faces. "Something wrong with that?"

Chris quickly changed the subject. "How long have you and Ezra known each other?"

"Long enough." was the answer he gave.

"Long enough for what?" Just great thought Chris, it was going to be as hard getting information out of this guy as it was getting it out of Ezra.

"Long enough to be friends." he smiled at Chris knowing that he was going to get angry at him.

"Where did you meet?" Buck thought that he would try.

"Can't remember." his smile didn't drop from his face.

"He told you not to say anything didn't he?" asked Josiah.

He didn't say anything but that was enough for them to know that Josiah was right. They didn't bother asking him any more questions. They just sat there quietly glancing at Ezra to see if he was dreaming and at the Marshall wondering if they were going to be able to keep Ezra out of jail. Reid had regained consciousness a couple of hours later and he was furious and demanded that Ezra be put in handcuffs to. But his ranting only lasted a few minutes as he then lost consciousness again. Nathan told Chris that he was correct in his assumption that he had a concussion but he should be fine to travel again in the morning.

After they had all had something to eat, Josiah went and sat with Ezra for a while. He wanted to be there in case he started dreaming again, he wanted to wake him up before the dream got too bad. He knew what the dreams were about, they all did because when he was in Nathan's room recovering from his wound, he had nightmares and he spoke in his sleep. Ezra did not dream though, not yet. He woke up to find Josiah sitting with him.

"What are you doing Josiah?" he asked him. He looked around for Jason and saw him sitting at the campfire

"Just keeping an eye on you." he followed Ezra's gaze and saw his friend watching them. "Don't worry he didn't tell us anything." he smiled down at Ezra knowing what he was thinking. "Just tell me one thing Ezra so we don't have to worry about you."

"And what's that Mr Sanchez?" Josiah could not help but notice that when Ezra was shutting people out he would use their last name.

"Was he, is he a good friend." he saw Ezra relax slightly.

"Yes he is."

"Well how about talking to him about your dreams." he suggested to him.

"Don't you have something else to do." Ezra said harshly.

"No. I told you I was going to get you to talk about them. I just thought that if he is a good a friend as you say you might be able to talk to him."

Ezra told him what he wanted to hear. "Alright I'll talk to him, anything to shut you up. Now will you go away."

"Good." Josiah smiled and slapped him on the shoulder. He then got up and went and had a quick word with Jason. Ezra watched them for a moment and then Jason came over to him.
Jason sat down next to him. "How are you feeling Ezra?" he asked.

"Bit of a headache that's all." he was weary, he was waiting for his friend to ask him about the dreams that he was having.

"Your friend over there said you wanted to talk to me about something." he looked over at Ezra with concern.

Ezra sat himself up and winced at the pain that went through his head. He thought that he would try to change the subject before it started. "I want to know what's going on. The Marshall said that you were going to trial for murder."

Jason looked Ezra straight in the eye. "I didn't do it Ezra. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and now I am going to hang, that's if I get there at all." he saw the look of concern that came over Ezra's face.

"Have you tried to prove that you’re innocent? And what do you mean if you get there?" he asked him.

"Yeah I did try but they needed a scape goat and I was it, that's why they want to try and kill me before I go to trial because they know that I will be found innocent."

"Who's trying to kill you?"

"The people who did kill that man." He looked at Ezra. "I didn't kill him Ezra you have to believe me."

"I do Jason but you don't have to worry though as well protect you until you go to court."

"I was hoping that you would do more than that for me Ezra." he watched Ezra closely looking for any sign that he should not go on with his idea.

"Such as?" frowned Ezra.

"I want you to help me escape so I can find the man that's trying to kill me."

"I can't do that Jason." he saw the look of disappointment on his friend's face. "I'm a hired lawman I can't help you escape."

"Then you have changed Ezra as you would have five years ago." he knew that he had hit a nerve by the look on Ezra's face.

"That was a long time ago, I have changed since then, well so I have been told." Ezra was looking at his hands.

"If I don't get away from here Ezra they will kill me." He watched as a painful expression crossed Ezra's features. "Did I say something wrong?"

"I'll help you Jason. Just give me some time to work out a way to get you out of here." Ezra did not look at him though. He was thinking about his friends not helping him and leaving him to die. He wasn't going to allow Jason to die. He was going to help him.

"Sure Ezra and thanks. I let you get some more rest and come back later." Jason had no idea what had changed Ezra's mind but whatever it was he was grateful.
When Jason went back to sit with the others he asked if they could arrange for the handcuffs to come off. It took Chris two minutes to convince Jones to give him the key. Josiah watched Jason as he sat and rubbed his wrists. "Well?" he asked him.

"Well what?" he was confused as to what he wanted.

"Did Ezra talk to you about his dreams?" Josiah asked again.

Part One | Part Two

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