A man can't change his past. Yet there Smoke was, forced to deal with the deaths of his estranged parents in the wake of a deadly Texas twister. He no longer belongs at their ranch, the Lost Chaparral; he's not sure he ever did. Face to face with regret for words unspoken, he plans to sell the ranch and move on. It's a solid exit strategy: Get in and get out before the Devil knows you're there.
It would've worked until that heard of Texas Longhorns showed up.
Jessie West... Super model. New York's flavor of the month.
She's only back in Texas to bury her brother Ethan and dispose of the family ranch before the press catches wind she's not at the swimsuit shoot in Cannes, France, where she should be. The only obstacle to her devious get-out-of-town-quick plan is that damned cowboy who lives down the road. The one who started a fire in her belly when she was just a kid in pigtails.
Old West lawman, gambler, gunslinger, and showman, James "Wild Bill" Hickok, was murdered on August 2, 1876, while playing five-card draw at Nuttal & Mann's Saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory.
Jack McCall, a disgruntled gambler, approached Hickok from behind and shot him at point-blank range in the back of the head, killing him instantly. McCall was later hanged for the murder, but by then, America had lost one of its premier Wild West heroes.
Legend tells us "Wild Bill" held two pairs at the moment of his death, black aces and eights--the dead man's hand. The identity of his fifth card has been the subject of conjecture for years.
For the purpose of this series, I've chosen the Deuce of Hearts for that card-in-the-hole, in honor of a little boy named Devlin who loved to play the violin. In honor of a father's undying love for his son.
Some players think wild cards are amateurish and juvenile. Others believe the more wild cards in the game, the greater their chance of winning. I only know that one Deuceand a pair makes three of a kind, and that sounds a lot like a family to me. You be the judge.