The Rifleman
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Royal Springs
Broken Trust

Written by Vanessa Rose aka lilyrose

Kitty Carlyle brushed Susan's blond hair gently. The poor girl had gone through so much in her young life. Kitty and Jack had wanted children for a long time but they weren't able but now they had three wonderful children.

"I want you to meet Kylie. She's your age, Susie." Kitty said. "Her parents are visiting Royal Springs for a while because they live between North Fork and Royal Springs."

"You mean her parents own the James Ranch?"

"Yes," Kitty smiled as she put Susan's hair into braids. There was a soft knock on the door.

"Can I come in now?" Susan's youngest sibling, Lynn asked. Kitty looked and saw a younger version of Susan in the doorway.

"Of course sweetheart." The young married woman said as she patted the bed that they were sitting on. Lynn was four years old while Sammy the middle child was seven. Lynn walked over to them reaching out her arms for Kitty. Kitty smiled and picked the toddler up from the ground.

"When do we have to go, Mama?" Susan asked. Kitty's heart lifted when she heard Susie say her name.
They had talked about what to call her and Susan decided to call her 'Mama' but their original mother would be called 'mother'.

"In about twenty minutes or so, Susan."

"Where are you going, Mama?" Lynn asked.

"Susan is going to make a friend or at least I hope she does." Kitty patted her head gently. "You and Sammy will stay with Jack, all right?" Lynn nodded. Susan got off the bed and walked out of her and Lynn's bedroom that they shared.

"I'll be right back." Susan said. "I want to go outside for a while, its stuffy in here." They lived above the General Store that Kitty owned.

******

Susan grinned as she stepped outside the General Store.

"Hey Susan!" Andrew Roals, who was thirteen years old greeted as he ran up to her.

"Hi!" Susan said. "I'm waiting for Kylie James."

"Really? She's also a friend of mine too!"

"That's interesting." Susan said shyly. "Is she nice?"

"Yeah, she's really nice... for a girl." Susan laughed.

"Then you are a nice boy... for a boy of course. At least you don't tug on my braids." Susan said yawning.

"Tired?" Andrew asked. Susan nodded. "Do you mind if I ask you a question, Susan?" Susan shook her head.

"What do you want to ask?"

"Um... Did the Rifleman really save you, your brother and sister?" Susan stiffened but tried to relax.

"Yes, he did! It was really brave of him to do so. I think I better go inside." She turned away till Kitty walked out of the store.

"Susie! Look its Kylie!" A girl with dark hair stepped out of a buggy.

"Oh! Hello Mrs. Kitty!" The girl greeted smiling. "Hi, I'm Kylie."

"I'm Susan." Susan said shyly smiling back at her.

*********

Kylie and Susan started to talk like they were best of friends when two rugged men on horses rode into town.

"Kylie, Susan, Andrew, get inside." Mrs. Kitty ordered noticing the men.

"What's wrong, Mrs. Kitty?" Kylie wanted to know.

"Yeah what's wrong?" Andrew asked. Kitty shook her head.

"Just do what I say." The children walked into the General Store.

*********

Carter grinned at Benji, his business partner.

"I wonder if Kitty still lives here in Royal Springs." Carter asked himself.
:WellHe walked inside the General Store when he immediately noticed that Kitty was behind the counter.

"Kitty!" He greeted. She looked up, all blood draining from her face.

"Carter?" She whispered. "What are you doing here?"

"Coming back for you, of course."

"But---"

"I know, isn't it crazy? I finally got my fortune and everything for you."

"Kitty? Who is this?" Another man said stepping beside Kitty.

"I'm Carter, Miss Kitt---"

"You mean Mrs. Carlyle." The man snapped.

"What?" Carter looked between Kitty and the man.

"I'm sorry Carter. I thought you had died and I..."

"You MARRIED another man?" Carter asked blinking with shock.

"Not just another man, Carter. Your brother." The man said. Carter gasped and realized that this was his brother, Jack.

"Jack." Carter fumed. "You always wanted to take Kitty for yourself didn't you?" His hands turned into fists. "That's why you told me that I should go take care of Ma! You wanted MY fiancé the whole time!!" Kitty stepped towards the two brothers.

"I'm really sorry Carter. I am. Believe me; if I had known that you were alive I would have married you." Kitty said trying to assure Carter but he didn't listen.

"YOU LIED!" Carter yelled to his older brother. "I trusted YOU!"

******
Kitty trembled. "Please, there are children in here." Carter snapped his head towards Susan, Lynn, Kylie, Sammy and Andrew who stood in the General Store with wide eyes.

"So... This is the children you've had while I was gone for only two years...." Carter snarled.

"No! We adopted Susan, Lynn and Sammy, Carter. I can't have children and we decided to adopt them." Kitty explained quickly. Carter swung at his brother. Kitty let out a scream as Jack stumbled back into a shelf.

"Stop it! Stop!" She screamed but the two brawling brothers wouldn't listen. "Andrew! Get Marshall Dylan!" Andrew ran out the store to get help. Kitty noticed that Carter had a gun holster on his hip and she grabbed it. She cocked the gun. The click made everyone freeze.

"Will you just stop fighting?" Kitty begged as tears streamed down her pale cheeks. Carter and Jack looked at her. "Please." They looked both at each other then hung their heads.

"I'm sorry." Jack said first. "I was in love with Kitty when I realized that you were marrying and... I was selfish, and cruel to do that to you. I'm sorry I involved you with that gun fight two years ago."

"I'm sorry too." Carter said softly. The Marshall ran inside with his gun out of its holster.

"Is everything okay now?" Dylan asked.

"Yes, it is." Carter replied. The Marshall left the building as the two brothers hugged each other. "But you know, it will take time to regain the trust." Jack nodded.

"I understand, brother.” Carter smiled and they embraced again.

**********
Kitty watched two girls play with each other while Jack, Carter, Sammy and Andrew fished at the nearby stream. She sat on the blanket with Lynn in her lap underneath the trees.

"You were saved by Mr. McCain? Will you tell me the story?" Kylie asked eagerly. Susan nodded and began her tale.

Kitty was having a wonderful time with her family... but would the old wounds heal and families rebind? She sighed in happiness things were going to be all right…for now.

“Hey Mama! Look, it’s a snail!” Susan exclaimed. Kitty grinned at Lynn who took off running towards them.

“I’m coming, Susan!”

....but the story will continue.....

The Kendrick Gang's First Appearance

A Continuing Saga ―
Royal Springs is a spinoff of The Rifleman after "The Shack"

This is a story based on the TV series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!

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