[P] Dangle them guns, show me your strength
Quote:Bosque’s Ladder! August 23rd after Benny loses in the horseshoe tournament~ 
for Veldt! Permission for slight PP approved by Veldt. 
dated for High noon, August 23rd, after the horseshoe tournament and before the bonfire.

He couldn’t believe he had lost, the horseshoes were awkward and all but too small in his large hands, his own clumsiness brought him to losing, and the Braithwaite was all too embarrassed to stay. Although, he noticed that Peony was staying, offered her a quick hug, and said he would see her later. 

He was wearing a shirt that was open to show most of his chest, cream in coloration, and the sleeves were pulled up to his elbows. His hair was braided from one side of his head, falling to the one side, courtesy of Peony, and the other, left straight as a board, and hanging to his shoulders. Daphne had given him a flower(a daisy) and he tucked it into his braided hair, enjoying the family he did have, who weren’t down right nasty. For pants, he wore a pair of buckskin hip-huggers, that were stitched together with leather, as well. 

By now, it was nearing high noon, and with the Bonfire, later that night, his own itching feeling for wanting to do something, was certainly weighing in his mind. Several ladies passed him by, and two caught his eye. Jimena was busy, looking like she was with her family, and Wichita, the feisty jackal, was standing nearest a booth. His lumbering form wasn’t sure how to approach her, and he wandered nearer, and nearer, before he turned his back. 

Breathing deeply he gathered his courage and then turned back around, looking down, and seeing the familiar form. Surprise etched into his features whenever the jackal was basically right there, where just moments ago she was at a booth a few feet away. Gaping a bit, he rubbed his knuckles, then clenched his jaw. That baritone voice, deep as thunder, spoke louder than he intended. “D-do you want to go to the, uh, ladder thing?” Why was he nervous? Even Jimena made his nerves tick, and asking a female a question, where her response was simply narrowing eyes at him. 

Then she spoke, “uh... s-sure, i mean, if y'want" 

With a skip in his step his smile grew wide and he absently rubbed the back of his head. “Cool, cool. So uh, how you liking it so far?” Idle chit-chat as he walked right beside her, careful to not stare at her soft looking hair and ears for too long. 
the dress she's wearing sort of looks like this!!

Though she wasn't one for dolling up, Wichita supposed, at least for the first day, she'd grace the throngs of people gathered in Del Cenere with a dress to look marginally more put-together than usual. It was a simple thing, made of off-white linen and hugging her slight form, and, for once, she wasn't completely drowning in her tattered old poncho. There was, in fact, a whole girl hidden beneath all those folds of fabric, hard as it was to believe.

There was supposed to be a big bonfire that night, down at the beach; but in the meantime, she wasn't quite sure what to do with herself. Restless, she took to strolling by the trading stalls, peering curiously at their wares — until a familiar, rumbling voice called out to her, that was.

Truthfully, Wichita barely understood what he was talking about — what 'ladder thing?' — but she was just a tad too flustered to critically think about it until they got moving.

Bennett was an interesting guy, just like three-legged dogs and spontaneous combustions were interesting. He seemed completely banal and harmless despite his intimidating size, but her mind hung onto the the singular moment where his lips brushed against her knuckles in a kiss. A custom unknown to her, signifying nothing, truly. And yet, it stuck with her, befuddled her.

His beam was huge and disarming, and it tempted a grin of her own to peek out for nary a moment, probably the first time she had smiled at him at all.

"I like it, I reckon," she said ambiguously, her hands wringing together behind her back, out of sight. "Charmingtown feels different when yer a part of the Gang. I s'pose the whole Stockshow'd feel different, too."

Apple-green eyes glanced at him, sidelong. "What about you, Benny — can I call ya Benny?"

Soon they arrived at their destination, a strange contraption leading upwards. Definitely a ladder if she had ever seen one, but it seemed entirely unstable, entirely inefficient. That was the point of a game though, she thought flatly.

"Gonna give it a go?" prompted the man on standby, his long nose peeking out from the shaggy mop of hair on his head.

Wichita chuffed, hands on her hips as she inspected the thing.

"I got a feelin' there's some special trick to it," she mused, squinting and turning her head before giving Bennett a little nod. "You go first."


An airy dress was upon her lithe body, accenting her peach colored nose and those fresh grass-green colored orbs, and Benny’s throat felt right. Arms flexed as he hugged his own chest, finding it rather intimidating to stand next to such a short thing, yet her domineering attitude stuck out like a freshly sore thumb.

All eyes seemed to be on them, and for once, the largely, unusually intimidating male, was made to feel as though he were the size of an ant. Wichita was only one of the few women in his life who terrified him to get on their bad side— Peony Jimmy being the others, and he felt sorry for Belinda from the most recent events that transpired, yet, he admired the way Peony handled herself. Wichita seemed a lot like her; poised, outspoken, and strong-willed. Perhaps this was why he admired her so.

Not to mention the cute little way her lobes flickered whenever the gal seemed to get flustered, or was it just angry? The way she’d walked away from him upon their first meeting, was awkward and left him scratching his head.

Not today though, today he had purposely taken a moment and asked her out, curiosity to get to know her, if not because he was glutton for punishment. However, the smile that crossed her features, erupted his heart into a flurry in his chest, unable to help himself from the words that seemed to fall out.

Wow, yer smile’s real purdy.

Maybe there was regret, maybe there was a moment of confusion, his brows furrowed and the Braithwaite male’s smile faltered for a heartbeat. Why was this female confusing? Much different than that of the sisters’, one of which scared him half to death, yet she was attractive, the other who was adorable but such a feisty little spirit, and the third whom was just a demure and meek, mousey little gal.

Clearing his mind, he realized she’d spoke about his name, and faced her, giving a coy smile. “Ya can call me whatever ya want, ma’am, long as it ain’t “late fer dinner.”” Of course his reply would be a strange one.

They’d arrived their conversation taking an interesting change, suddenly he was standing before the ladder, curling his fingers around the first rung of ladder, and watching as he awkwardly stuck his butt up into the air, stretching outwards and reaching up the ladder further, and further, until he was basically starting in the middle of the ladder, his left foot struggled to leave the ground, balance wobbling. Once he was upon it though, fully at least, his ears lowered, and his tail swished, the very first movement he made with his hand and his right foot, the Braithwaite’s world went upside down.

Quite literally, and the large brute wound up falling into the pile of straw, with a loud “OOF!” Followed up with a wheeze, as his own weight was used against him. Dizzying, those orbs opened and were met with sparkling emeralds, which seemed to grin at him.

Yer turn lil Lady.” he croaked out, before rolling off the straw and standing, rubbing at his shoulder, a grin in place. Watching her walk away was probably the best part of this night, so far, the way she strutted with confidence. His own nervous habits disappearing. “This things impossible! He exclaimed, the devilish look in the gaze of the spectator told him all he needed to know.
Her eyebrows hitched high at the jumble of words that made their way to her ears — and, just when Wichita thought that they had put all of their awkwardness behind him, Bennett had to go and stoke that flame.

Averting her gaze, she was beside herself, heat rising to her face again as she stewed over this compliment for far too long. "Thanks," she managed finally, in a softness that betrayed her. "I grew it m'self, teeth 'n all."

She purposefully ignored how stupid that sounded when she said it aloud.

His little quip got a stifled laugh out of her, and she shrugged her shoulders. "I'll leave that fer yer mama t'call you," she said, and it wasn't long after that Bennett was lumbering his way up to the ladder to give it the ol' college try.

It was a wonder he even fit on that thing at all, and a wonder he didn't fall off sooner than he had — but fall he did, and soon he was getting an upside-down view of the world, all right from the comfort of his own backside.

The ladder didn't seem too bad from an onlooker's perspective, but the moment she was up to bat, its impossibility was nigh overwhelming.

Wichita's first few movements were light and testing, seeing how the rungs reacted under pressure; but, soon, she lifted her leg to take herself to the next one, and shook violently beneath her, like a leaf on a tree, though the jackal at least had the advantage of adjusting her lesser weight more quickly than someone as broad as Bennett did.

Her dark face was the very image of focus, and presumably her patient method was working — but as she got almost halfway up, tragedy struck.

She placed her foot in the wrong spot, or maybe it had been the wrong spot all along and her past mistakes were just now catching up to her, but soon the ladder inverted and had her dangling by her hands several feet off the ground before summarily dumping her to the bed of straw underneath with a sharp yelp.

While she hadn't been close, it still felt like she'd been cheated by the stupid thing.

"Oh, this thing's gotta be rigged," she muttered, plucking pieces of hay off of her dress as she got back to her feet. "It's got to be. There ain't no alternatives."

Green eyes rose to the Braithwaite, gauging his reaction, before she chuffed.

"Least I got farther than you."

In many ways, Wichita reminded him of his older sister Belinda, the spit-fire attitude, but in many other ways, of his sister Peony. Sure footed, albeit aloof to some degree, the woman had purpose. And Bennett admired the sure-fire way she spoke, looked, walked, and did most things.

Bennett was a fan, to say the least, one who was staring at her for her comment about her teeth, before a bellowing laughter was sounded across the distance which seemed to draw the crowd to a quiet that he grew suddenly uncomfortable with. “Anytime.” A chuckle, as he paused at her next response and then furrowed a brow, partially confused, and partially annoyed at himself for his own commentary.

However, the silent giant remained in his quietude, once more watching the miniature female from the distance. Her chocolate fur dancing in the moonlight with ripples of entertainment.

Whenever she fell off he stopped himself from rushing over, and instead cocked a brow, then smiled sheepishly. “Its totally rigged.” Approaching her, his voice lowered a fraction, and a hand went out to pluck straw from the front of her head. “Ha! Yeah, ya sure did, whatcha reckon we do next?” Of course the night couldn’t be over yet, unless Wichita wanted to retire, to which as a gentleman would, he would walk her to her door and bid her goodnight.

Otherwise he stood, Aran across his chest as he looked at the many booths, and many a people bustling among the streets.

Maybe he could grow to like Del Cenere Gang yet, a magnitude of attraction already budding in his stomach for not only the place, but a few individuals inside it.
Her nose wrinkled when he relieved her of another damned piece of straw, and it led her to give her head a good shake to dislodge any stragglers before she ended up walking away with a whole bale of hay stuck in her hair.

"I've half a mind t'try it again," she grumbled, gawking up at the ladder as if it was the source of all the world's misfortune, "but I'd prolly jus' fall flat on my butt over 'n over."

It didn't hurt so much now, but she knew that repeated attempts were sure to leave her with a sore backside.

Before the courage to climb up the ladder took over, though, a fierce rumbling noise emanated from her stomach, rudely and embarrassingly, and Wichita's arms flew over her midsection as if they could hope to soften the noise.

"... Or I reckon we could eat." The smell of food wafting from a few of the stalls was intoxicating, and she had to swallowed the saliva bubbling up in her mouth at the mere scent of cooked meat. Had the ladder really worn her out that bad?

"It's yer treat, 'less you can get farther than me on the stupid thing." She presented a smug challenge to him before jabbing a thumb back in the direction of the contraption, eyebrows raising to see what he'd say; whether he'd submit or rise to the occasion.

Either way seemed like a win. One on hand, food, on the other, another opportunity to see him flounder around with those long limbs of his.

Admiring the woman’s ambition, Bennett stared and took in her coat. The colors muddling together great, her large, pointy ears that he wanted to feel, see if they felt as soft as they looked. That wouldn’t be gentlemanly though, and he would never ask her, neither. Besides, Wichita was new here, it wouldn’t be right if him to give and impression like that.

She shook her head freeing herself of any other debris and the Braithwaite male had to stop himself from grinning. She looked silly, in a cute little way, of course.

And then Suddenly her stomach growled, loud enough for him to prick his ears and look at her with a cocked brow, and a tilt of his head. Well, that was probably good to go get food then. Purple orbs shifted over the various vendors and then he gave a sheepish grin whenever she mentioned him doing it again.

Oh, no ma’am, you win fair and square. My treat, what do you feel like eating.

Standing near her now, he offered his elbow, although whether or not she took it was up to her, his gigantic form towing around a near midget compared to him, well— that would be a sight for everyone surely. Standing obediently, and somewhat statue still, he awaited her decision.
"Meat," was her immediate, thoughtless answer, because what else was there to eat, really? But there was something odd in her tone, a huskiness that unfortunately seemed to mistranslate when she looked Bennett clear in the eye.

It took her a split second to realize the mistake and backpedal, green gaze wide and incredulous, as if she hadn't believed what she'd just said.

"Like — y'know, meat," Wichita quickly tried to correct, as if this did anything at all, "Like, uh, deer, er, er pork, I mean, that kinda meat, not — any... other... kind."

He stood there with his arm outstretched, like a proper gentleman, like his mama raised him right; and despite the self-inflicted awkwardness, it felt even more awkward to just leave him hanging there. Shyly, reluctantly, she looped her arm into his, but the Whitesage bastard felt like she would just about jump out of her skin at the contact.

Her stomach gurgled to laugh at her, hunger and embarrassment churning together and making her altogether uncomfortable.

Did he even misconstrue it at all? Or had she overreacted? What the heck was happening? Wichita never felt so stupid talking to someone before, so why was Benny any different?

Boys were so weird. Or maybe Wichita was the weird one.

"I'm jus' hungry, is all," she muttered, grabbing a fistful of her dress in her other hand as they carried on, and she pointedly avoided his gaze as they approached one of the many stalls erected for the Stockshow.


Bennett’s ears pricked up as he glanced into her emerald gaze, his lilac ones wandering all over her face. Wichita stared at him with an intensity that sent his stomach aflame, feeling as though hot coals was plastered on his neck and face. Why did he feel hot? Why was she looking at him that way? Then she widened her gaze and Bennett curiously widened his gaze too. Had she done something that had hurt? Before he could even ask if she was okay, the woman quickly backpedaled, recorrecting herself.

Well I hope you aren’t some kind of cannibal.” He cheekily replied, an incredulous gaze towards her, as if she were he would be rubbed the wrong way. But the Braithwaite easily laughed at it, and shook his mane. “Do I look delicious enough to eat?” A halfhearted statement before he realized what he had just said. Immediately he went silent.

A charcoal eyebrow quirked and one head tilt later he understood what her husky voice was implying. Or wasn’t implying? He cleared his throat, his hand finding hers on the crook of his arm, and patted it gently. As if to reassure himself, to reassure her. How could he say something like that? Do I look delicious? Too late now, he couldn’t rethink or respeak.

Wichita was some different kind of breed of woman, confusing and all together, they meshed well. But the fuzzy feeling in his stomach concerned with the heat of her touch, made him want to shove her over, and run away. But he couldn’t do that, he was a gentleman.

Meat it is, then. Any preference for what kind?” Of course, why were they still talking about meat? Bennett cleared his throat again, baritone voice becoming a little more huskier than usual. “Or ya know, we could have something to drink too? The Inn has some tasty fish too… the pork is always flavorful too…

Anything to get him from thinking about her eating him, in more than just a cannibalistic way.

Oh, god, oh, no, he absolutely knew.

Good on Bennett for trying to laugh it off, but Wichita was a bit too high strung for this to have much of the desired effect. Of course she had never talked to anyone with vaguely veiled — or intended, for that matter — double-meanings, and far be it from her to ever knowingly dabble in innuendoes. It was a good thing the Braithwaite couldn't see how intensely red hot she burned beneath her fur out of sheer embarrassment and inexperience and just about every confusing and infuriating emotion she could think of.

With each pat of his hand, Wichita felt herself growing smaller and smaller, down to the size of an ant — but Benny had focused an exceptionally large and precise magnifying glass right on her noggin, with the power of a thousand suns scorching the daylights out of her.

"I ain't no cannibal," she answered quietly, not taking the bait, not even sure how she would if she wanted to. Wouldn't it make more sense to eat someone she didn't like, anyways? Keep all the folks she was soft on around for the ride?

She was soft on him, after all. For all the uncertainty in the universe, there was that, but she didn't understand it any more even with this confidence and it irked her to the moon and back — even less so what to do with it.

"The Inn — yeah, sounds good, the Inn. Or the Ugly Coyote. They got food there?" Probably not, but they were exceptionally stocked with booze for the influx of people pouring into town. Though mixing alcohol with her oncoming headache and the faux pas seemed like a decisively bad idea.

"Naw, never mind, the Inn. I ain't had much fish before."

Wichita felt detached from the arm in Bennett's sturdy hold, a keen sense of phantom limb syndrome; or the reverse thereof, she reckoned. It was limp, barely there, before she slipped it from his elbow entirely, letting it fall back to her side.

"... I think after we eat I'm gon' head upstairs. Beatin' you on the ladder done wore me out."

To say Benny understood what she had actually said, was a lie. Bennett was oblivious and constructed a scenario in his mind where he was absolutely the funniest coyote to walk the earth.

Perhaps that is why whenever she acted different he remained silent. Unable to speak, had he upset her? He had no intentions to do so, and if he had, the brute didn’t even know where to begin to apologize. Patting her hand the woman seemed to become more and more tense, and the brute stopped, his ears flickering upon his head.

Whenever she answered about being a cannibal, Bennett found this fuel for him to say; “Well, I was worried.” A gentle smile, he didn’t want to offend her anymore.

Her questions followed by her immediate retraction of her statements, and Bennett softly grunted. When she was finished and had decided on the Inn, Bennett directed them towards the Inn, however her hand slipped off his arm, and he lifted brows curiously but said nothing.

Immediately he grew concerned. “Oh, sure thing. Are you feeling okay? I mean… aside from being wore out from beatin’ me…” Of course he was a stupid boy, and she was such a sweet girl.

They had arrived finally, for what felt like hours due to the increased awkward turtle that sat between them, and Bennett moved to pull out a chair for her. Then one for himself. Alonso was slow in his approach, but once he finally arrived at the table that was stark silent, Bennett cleared his throat. “Mind if we get some fish? And I will have a shine…

His lilac gaze shifted to Wichita, wondering if she even wanted to drink. Needing the drink for his nerves, that was, considering the fact that his softness was becoming more, and more apparent for the little jackal hybrid.

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