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Diego rolled his shoulders as he removed his coat, placing it on the hangar by the door. Ruby told her side of the story, or rather what she was okay with Diego knowing. He cocked an eyebrow at the thought of what transpired in Blackwater. He remembered a few Pinkertons riding into town offering slum bosses money for any information. Diego knew of an Irishman who took the money and fed them some story that wasted their time, the same agents came back and beat the poor bastard in front of everyone in the street. These guys were legit, not the type Claude or even Angelo Bronte could pay to fuck off. If these were the same detective types that were after Ruby's outfit, Diego figured they must've made quite the mess.

Walking back over towards Ruby, who took a spot looking out of the window, Diego was able to get a real good look at her. Dios mio, the lady was beauty personified, with the type of mouth to make a big city gambler like him swoon all the way back to Saint Denis. She looked back at him and met his eyes and he paused for a moment before smiling at her and taking a few more step, "Never managed to forget about that night in Blackwater, myself." he smiled and began to move in slowly, the only noise being the bustle from the street outside.

Suddenly, a shriek like a million glass needles cut through the Valentine hum. Diego blinked and looked out of the window and into the street. A wagon was slowly being pulled into town, the two horses that drove it forward had their reigns gripped by mutilated, dismembered arms. In the saddle sat whatever dry innards that managed not to slip off on the ride in. The coach itself was covered in arrows, like a porcupine on wheels. On the top of the coach, a mutilated corpse, unrecognizable without the skin of its face, spread out like DiVinci's Vitruvian Man. What a blood curdling scream it was. A man approached the stage door and opened it. Out fell the corpses of the passengers, bloodied and contorted.

Diego took the cigarette he was about to light out of his mouth, trying to make sense of what he was seeing. He had seen plenty of blood, guts and death in the alleys and streets of Saint Denis, but the level of unexplainable carnage previously inexperienced was enough to dumbfound the man, even for just a second, he leaned forward, damn near pressing against the glass window.

"What the... fuck?" was all he could muster. In the distance, another shriek was heard, and on the opposite end of the street, a fire suddenly broke out behind the sheriff’s building. Something was coming, something evil.
Diego kept an eye on the mud they walked along as they walked, as to make sure the lady didn't step into anything too messy, he laughed at her playful jab, her wisecracking was something he didn't realize he had missed as much as he did, he smirked as Ruby explained how she ended up in Valentine, "So you're leading the robberies then, I take it? Never took you for a stick-up girl, but I haven't forgotten how you are with a pistol. Speaking of, I have something you can help me with." He took her hand as they walked up the steps to the hotel, Diego met the eyes of men who took a long look at her, he didn't realize he was doing that either.

"Mr. Cervantes, just got word that the Pinkertons are done searching Strawberry and wagon departures have resumed, your wagon may be getting here sometime today, sir." The man at the front desk alerted Diego as soon as he held the door open for Ruby.

"Thank you, good man, thank you." he replied as they headed up the stairs, as they reached the top, Diego placed his hand on the small of Ruby's back, they walked down the hall "That's what I needed to talk to you about. These fellas may be more inclined to start a game here if they meet a local, or someone they believe to be," he smirked, "You up for it?" He held the door open to his suite for her, in the corner, his pump-action shotgun poked out of the trunk, there was pomade on the wash station and on the counter was a box of bullets and magazine strips for his mauser.
Diego held the doors of the saloon open for Ruby as they walked out, a couple of drunk fellas had some bad timing and were met with Diego's open palm, "Lady coming out, fellas." he growled, and they offered chuckles in return.
"Ain't no body coming out of this here saloon any which type of lady, pard."
"See that's where you're wrong, good man." Diego retorted, offering a foreboding glare to the two townsfolk as Ruby walked by. Word had already spread down the street that the fancy Mexican fella from Saint Denis laid out three local scrappers in the middle of a conversation with a beautiful lady not employed to the saloon. News here almost spread faster than Saint Denis, no network of young kids running around needed. Valentine was experiencing a steady buzz of activity as Diego and Ruby walked over towards the hotel, Diego kept checking the collar on his dress shirt for wrinkles or folds that didn't belong. Saloon fights could be quite taxing on a gentleman's apparel. "So you're in town with your family then, or was that your gang?" Diego laughed to himself to show he was only kidding, but then it hit him, "Knowing you, your family probably is your gang. I'm just glad you're doing alright, Ruby."
Diego finished off the assailants two friends in the circle the crowd provided, wiping his mouth and getting his hair out of his face, he smiled as he stared down the last of the brawlers, "Now I'm gonna show you lot how we handle our business in the big city," he announced, raising his fists and stepping up to his final target. The yokel swung like a bullish madman, winging his punches as soon as Diego entered range. Diego was far from the cobbled streets of Saint Denis, but he felt right at home brawling in a saloon, albeit usually not the country type of place that lined the street in towns like Valentine and Rhodes. He slipped a winging haymaker and returned with a few hooks of his own. The gentleman hit the floor flat on his back, taking a minute to grunt and signify he was trying to get up, but he was cooked, he collapsed as he tried to get back to his feet.

Before the crowd could finish cheering and embrace their victor, Diego walked back to the bar and did his best to fix his hair and collar. Pats on the back and shifty eyes were offered from the various patrons throughout the saloon, perhaps beating up a few locals did more here than back in the city. It definitely earned him more attention, good willed or not. Swimming through the crowd, Annie appeared and attempted to approach Diego to nurse his wounds, but the other girls stopped her, she needed a cold bath and some time off. Diego approached the bar while still catching his breath, a sporting smile spilling across his face as he realized it was time to resume conversation with the beautifully mysterious Ruby. Diego looked and nodded to the woman who would be known as Sadie Adler as she took her shot, another hard type, one that wore herself different than the simple folk of the town.

"I don't think I'm much use to anyone looking like this, Ruby, what do you say we get out of here? I'm up at the hotel at the end of the street. Your people are welcome to drink up on my tab, barkeep fella thinks I'm alright, foolish bastard." he finished putting his coat on, fixing his sleeves and collar before his large frame leaned back against the bar.
"I remember that laugh," Diego replied before looking around for Annie, hopefully the girl moved on or called it a night, "I wouldn't worry about her, not too many from Saint Denis make their way out here and she stuck to me like the mud out here. I still work for Claude back home, I'm here supposed to meet some of his associates from Strawberry, we're supposed to set up a high stakes table here. I'm just killing time until they get here, when low and behold the closest thing I've ever had to a guardian angel walks in," Diego returned his attention to the fine woman in the purple dress, "ain't life funny?" he asked, speaking that last bit in a terrible cowboy impression. The whiskey had begin to be felt a little as Diego continued to be nosey with his old fling, "So how long you've been running with your tio? He know about you and Blackwater?"

Suddenly, one of the fellas Diego had beaten at the table earlier returned and got in between Diego and Ruby. That was all that was needed to set Diego off. He grabbed the fella before he could even get a word off and tossed him towards the center of the saloon. The piano player banged the keys a little faster as tabled scratched across the floor in an attempt to make a clearing in the middle. At the bar, the barkeep retrieved a small chalkboard from under the bar and bets began being yelled from throughout the saloon. Diego was finally in a fist fight, that didn't take long at all.

Growing up in the Saint Denis slums, a kid has got to be able to defend themselves or die. The conditions in which Diego had to survive at a young age turned the kid into a natural brawler and dangerous pugilist. He lowered his opponents hands with body shots and threw hooks aimed at the drunkard's head. The man tried to tie up Diego but he was too slow, Diego delivered a vicious blow to the body, forcing the guy to keel over. Diego shoved him to the floor where he stayed and removed his coat, handing it to Ruby as the man's friends rolled up there sleeves.

"Give me a minute Ruby, I've got to handle a few things."
Diego finished his drink and followed suit, picking his gloves up from the table and tucking them in his back pocket. As he walked, he patted Arthur on the shoulder before heading towards the bar. Annie tugged at his arm so as to take him upstairs but he resisted, so she pulled him close and reached for his other gun. Diego pushed her off, giving her an annoyed look. She stomped off into the crowd as he fixed his cuffs, bumping through the crowd and taking a spot over by Ruby at the bar.

"Barkeep, lady here drinks on me." It's like he couldn't hide how excited he was to see that face again, that innocent frame and deceiving smile that sent all of his memories rushing to the front of his mind like a drunken stupor. He turned to face her as he leaned against the bar, "You can tell me what you're doing here you know, I'm not someone you have to worry about." His shot was brought to him, he picked it up and took a good look at Ruby.

"It's good to see you, hermosa. I was serious when I said I owed you a favor, now is as good a time as any, cause I don't know when I'm going to leave."
Diego was too busy watching Ruby's eyes do that thing to notice the full house Arthur played right in front of him. He remained still as his eyes shot down to look at his hand. Three of a kind, not four, I'm fucked he thought to himself in that instant. For the first time since riding into Valentine, Diego lost a hand at the poker table. He set his cards face down and stared blankly before looking over to Arthur and slowly bubbling into a laughter. He had been at it since morning, but he had finally felt like he was gambling again. Annie, worried that she was the odd one out at the table, tried to join in on the laughter, but Diego had damn near forgotten she was even there. Diego banged the table with joy as he smiled at Arthur, "Sir, you just took some of my money, I'm buying your drinks tonight. If this isn't the most fun I've had since getting here."

He stood up from his chair and waved over more drinks before reaching his hand out for Arthur, "Diego Cervantes, Saint Denis. I met your Ruby in Blackwater while I was casing a saloon for my boss, nearly got gutted by a posse out there until she saved me being sent back to the city in a box. That isn't what brings me to Valentine however. How about another round?"
Annie returned with the drinks Diego had asked for, taking quick notice of the blonde that he hadn't taken his eyes off of since seeing her. The saloon girl placed the shots down in front of the men before walking back to her usual spot behind Diego. She wasn't dumb, she could smell some sort of chemistry between them, maybe even some history. She had been enamored with Diego since his arrival, his stories of Saint Denis and his lifestyle gave her vicarious illusions of grandeur. She would keep a watchful eye on the one Diego called 'Ruby'.

How could Diego forget that quick wit of hers, the way her eyes lit up when she smart-mouthed him. The large fellow at the table was apparently her uncle, or at least that's what she claimed, whether he would believe in that had yet to be determined, circumstances given. Diego kept dealing, "I had business there when I found myself in a situation, Ruby was generous enough to lend her expertise and ensure my time in Blackwater was much more accommodating. I come from Saint Denis though, that is where the majority of my business is, that's home." he finished, giving an embellished smile towards Ruby.

Diego put his cards down after putting his chips in the middle, Arthur had spend his time listening to Diego and looking back and forth between the two trying to read what was really going on, "So, Ruby, is your uncle playing for sport or on account of the money you owe me?" He asked, holding his cards in one hand as he picked up his shot of whiskey, raising it at the blonde.

"To memories returned." he smirked and toasted.
The rub of the wooden chair against the floor was felt through the table as Arthur took a seat across from Diego. He was an oak of a man, just a bit thicker around the frame than Diego himself. The young gambler cleared his throat and sat up, smirking as his brown eyes met the striking blues. This fella, whoever he was, was the genuine article. Diego could see it in his eyes, he had seen that look before. Diego had only seen a few true gunslingers in his life, he had seen them ride into town on their dusty horses, covered in the kinda grime that living that life gets you. Nobody gets the look Arthur Morgan had on him by just pretending. Diego's smirk grew at the prospect of playing poker with an outlaw.

Diego took the book of matches out from his vest pocket, offering them to Arthur in a gesture of good faith. He kept his focus on the table as he shuffled the deck one more time, presenting it for Arthur to cut after shuffling for a few seconds, "I'm not very subtle when it comes to picking fights sir, so I say this meaning no offense: I've been in this town a few days now, and it's been fine but all I've met were miners, farmers, laborers, country types I ain't used to," he began to deal, "But I haven't been as interested in getting to know a fella until I seen you."

Diego stopped in an instant, mid-sentence. His open mouth turned into a smile as he laughed to himself. "Your whiskey, sir, let's get you that drink. Annie, please, a shot for this gentleman." he finished, letting out a deep breath and sitting back. Looking up, his eyes met a face he was not quite prepared to meet. He smirked again, this time his eyes focused on the blonde beauty behind Arthur, "Looks like I'm gonna need me another drink as well. What do you say, Ruby?"
"Well you said you were on your way, friend. So what's holding you here?"
"You took my money, sir."
"No good man, you lost your money at this table now good day to you." Diego responded as he waved over another shot of whiskey. The fella who had busted out at the table snatched his hat, stewing in his anger a little too long before turning around and walking out with some of his friends. Annie glared at their backs as she draped her arms over his shoulder and watched him play. He had been busting people out well into the afternoon, leaning back and letting the ivory grip on his off-hand mauser catch light.

Annie got up and took his empty glass to the bar. Diego began shuffling with one hand as he looked around, "What this place needs barkeep is some of that tequila I was telling you about," he yelled towards the bar, "Perhaps then we can have some big bets at the table, wouldn't that be proper?" he smirked, cutting the deck and reshuffling. Annie came back and returned to her position behind Diego, rubbing his shoulders as he stared at the empty chair. He could hear Claude's voice as if his mentor was whispering in his ear, an empty chair is a lost opportunity.

"Would you like something to eat, honey?" Annie ask him in her thick country accent.
"I'm fine Annie, thank you." He quickly responded, staring out of the window bored of the day already. Maybe it was time to start lending money, or set up a craps game of his own since the Strawberry affair is taking so long. What he really wished was that he could open a restaurant, one that serves more than lamb's fry and cooked rabbits meat. The dinner clubs in Saint Denis seemed like they were on the other side of the world, all Valentine knew was game meat and muddy whiskey. Diego caught himself getting irritated, cleared his throat and redetermined himself to get comfortable. Who knows if he'd leave Valentine any time soon. "We got us a card game over here gentlemen, a mans game, let's turn some cards." He pitched at patrons who walked in and over to the bar, or the girls. After a few more moments of silence, Diego got up and raised his voice.

"Shot of whiskey for any fella in here with the stones to sit down and play some cards, let's make some money." he bellowed. If there weren't any takers, the Mexican was prepared to get soggy and take Annie upstairs.
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