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Carried Away

They called him the Looting Lothario because of the way he swept into women’s lives, swept them off their feet, and then swept away their riches on his way out the door.

Usually, in the middle of the night.

His specialty was older ladies, preferably widows, who lived on the outskirts of small frontier towns. They tended to keep to themselves, keep their private lives private.

By the time they’d been swindled, it was too late, because no one else for miles around had even seen Lucifer.

That’s what he called himself — Lucifer. It seemed fitting, given the devilish deeds he perpetrated, but lawmen figured it just might be the man’s real name. It kept things simple for him, one less lie to remember.

And he could afford to be bold, gallivanting across the west virtually anonymous the way he did, revealing himself to just one woman at a time before moving on. Like lightning, he never seemed to strike the same spot twice.

That’s why Sally was surprised to see him saunter into her saloon on a sleepy Saturday afternoon. It had been a good five years since Lucifer LaRue sidled up to her bar and flashed those smoldering blue eyes at her.

Their fling had been brief, a weekend affair, but she never forgot him — his bold ambition, his oversize self-worth, his suave wooing. When the first report of the Looting Lothario reached her there in Dove Falls, she knew it was him.

“Well, it’s been a long, long time, darlin’,” Lucifer said now as he sidled up to the bar.

Sally cleaned a glass as she studied his face. “Do I know you, stranger?”

Lucifer clutched his chest, and pained look crossed his face. “Now that hurts, darlin’, after all we shared.”

She squinted and studied his face. “Say, you do look a might familiar. I’m afraid I forgot your name, though.”

It was bait she knew his ego could not resist.

“Why, I’m Lucifer LaRue, you ninny!”

There weren’t many women tavern owners in Carlson County. Maybe just Sally.

She knew for sure, though, that she was the first and only woman sheriff.

Lucifer was about to meet the law.

Published inFlash Fiction

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