Despite the aching agony, and the undying fever that consumed his body, he broke the seal upon his sight. His lashes blinked off the vexatious sand and light flooded his dry, tired eyes in a beautiful yet painful wave... No change. Slowly, he reared his head forwards, taking his torso to an unsteady, upright position, whilst cautiously placing his weathered hat upon his scalp. A sharp pain engulfed the lower right side of his abdomen. The ruthless mark of Micah's revolver. He searched his surroundings with a wandering peek, pleading for the familiarity to fade. But the sky was still a murky grey and the trees were still possessed by that rusty orange that paired well with the brown-red tones that encompassed; a dark mixture of his own blood and the dirt beneath his limp body.
Suddenly, the pain vanished as an accustomed figure moved with hast towards his wounded face, far too quickly for his tender eyes to confirm identification. He was met with heavy breathing and an electrifying kiss. He could feel the agonising love, passion and fear. Emotions flooded his body with no barricade to prevent their harsh strike. With their lips still interlocked, that flight instinct he acquired for feelings of adoration was fought off by the woman's caring hand in his knotted hair and her body, placed fittingly on his. Their intense embrace broke off and Arthur anticipated the words of the lover he had recognised the second her skin had brushed his: Sadie.
"Don't you dare scare me like that again"
She abruptly cut him off with an impatient tongue.
"Ain't no-one taking you away from me again"
Choking up, delicate tears surfaced.
"I wouldn't ever dream of it"
Their longing stare stands as confirmation of what Arthur knew to be true: Sadie was no longer that widow who's heart was envious property of a buried man. She had grown stronger, smarter. Her loyalties and heart now laid with him. In that misguided mess, they had found, in each-other, the will to carry on.