Author’s Note: This is Part II in Book I of my series Tales of the West. You may read Part I: “Milly” here.
Genres: Fiction – Western/Action/Romance
Please be aware this story has elements of violence, gun violence, murder and death.
Ethan played by Boyd Holbrook
This is it readers – the final part to Ethan’s story and the final part to Book I. I hope you have enjoyed reading my stories as much as I have enjoyed writing them. While I don’t want to let go of these characters as I feel like I have been through the wars trying to write them the way they deserve to be written, I know I must say good-bye to Ethan and Milly for now.
And here is the final page of Ethan and Milly’s book. Thank you so much for reading it, I truly appreciate each and every one of you!
Ethan and Jason escaped the hideout before anyone else showed up. Ethan figured they’d send more men to finish the job that the Sheriff and his hired hunters couldn’t finish, so the sooner they got on the road and away from the hideout the better.
But Ethan’s mind was wallowing in grief. And he didn’t care too much beyond that. He was thinkin’ on that dark hole that was always there when things got bad, just openin’ up and takin’ him. He was ready; ready for the pain to end and ready to just let go of everythin’ else.
But Jason was still there, by his side, and he couldn’t do that to his brother, no matter how bad he felt about losin’ Milly and Floyd. Jason wouldn’t be able to survive without him. And Ethan knew this all too well. So he couldn’t just let his own pain take over. His brother was suffering too.
Jason and Ethan disappeared as much as they could disappear. They left everythin’ behind and went into the wilderness. This allowed them to be free men–at least as free as they could be. While the loss they suffered followed them everywhere they went, as brothers they became close.
Ethan still enjoyed his baths in quiet solitude away from the house. And this day was special for Ethan. It was the same day he met Milly all that time passed. Some days it seemed easier to remember when all he wanted to do was remember that day at Old Miller Farm. And other days all he wanted to do was forget.
As he sat in the bathtub, the scalding water seeping slowly into his skin, Ethan reached down for the letter he found on Milly when she passed. He took out the letter many times to read it but couldn’t. He promised himself that he would try to read it today in her memory.
Ethan looked over the words. Some of them weren’t written very well, but he could still make out what Milly was tryin’ to say to him. The feelings behind the words she wrote were clear. Parts of it made Ethan cry, and he would do this many times after. He told no one about the letter, not even Jason. He wanted to keep this part of Milly entirely to himself. Sometimes he felt like this was a new beginning for him and that Milly gave that to him. A way for him to let go of her and of the feelings he could never resolve.
The letter set Ethan free. And that was the best thing Milly ever could have given him. That and the fact that she said she loved him but could never say. Ethan was okay with that. He told Milly how he truly felt before she passed. That was all that mattered. Ethan felt Milly needed to know how he felt more than he needed to know how she felt about him. That was always Ethan’s way… as bad as he was bein’ a bounty hunter and a killer of men, Ethan still had a heart. And that heart would always belong to Milly.