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The following is a work of fan fiction based on the CBS television series, The Magnificent Seven. It is in no way intended to infringe on the copyrights of CBS, MGM, The Trilogy Entertainment Group, The Mirisch Corp., or anyone else who may have legal rights to the characters and settings. This story is strictly for entertainment.
With thanks to MAC for your help and support and special thanks to Antoinette for beta reading.
Play the death march
Main Characters Chris and Ezra Warning Drunken attempted Non con. Implied relationship m/m
Ezra sat in the saloon, slipping his whiskey as he played cards, it was a low stakes game by his standards but as a professional gambler you had to take the small with the large especially when you’re anchored to a town, and rely on fresh blood coming in on the noon stagecoach.
Glancing across the saloon he saw Chris Larabee sat in the far corner with his back to the wall, a glass and bottle of whiskey in front of him, the was tipping the bottle a bit too much for his liking. He knew he had to do something, Larabee was in one of those homicidal moods, and with Vin and Buck out on a job, Nathan and Josiah over at the Indian camp, and it was left up to him to do something.
Buck had before he left taken him to one side and warned him that he and Vin would do their best to be back for the 15th, but if not for him to remember that the 15th was the anniversary of Sarah and Adam’s death. The big man had laid a hand on his shoulder, his finger biting in to his shoulder, as he had all but pleaded for him to look after his old friend, as he had said “I can’t lose the old dog now, not when he’s just found a reason for living.”
It was then Ezra saw the way Buck’s eyes had burned into him as he had said that, no it couldn’t be what he thought, what he….. Ezra made himself concentrate on the card game, but found himself thinking of JD the kid would piss his pants if he had to go against Chris, no that was unfair Ezra mused, the kid would do his best and then end up wounded or worse, because like this Chris Larabee was lethal, he would pull the trigger on anyone that pissed him off.
Ezra threw in his hand of cards, and with a few jokes and smiles he got up and crossed over to Chris’s table; he waved a hand at the spare chair.
Chris looked up at him, “your funeral Standish,” he snarled and took another pull on the glass, even as he reached out to top the bottle up.
How it happened Ezra never really remembered it but the two hours later he found himself facing off Chris Larabee.
The first bullet tugged the sleeve of his jacket and hit the bar, another plowed into the floor by his feet, all the time Ezra hasn’t moved, made no effort to draw his gun, not even the hidden derringer. His trust in Chris was total that Chris wouldn’t gun him down in cold blood. Suddenly Chris was in his face, and a fist put him down, and Chris was stalking off in to the night. The saloon exploded into excited talk once Larabee was left, and Tiny Hughes bent down, a large hand circling Ezra’s arm as the blacksmith drew the gambler up, holding onto his arm until he was safely on his feet again, as his brother pushed a whiskey into Ezra’s hand.
“You are one lucky son of a bitch Standish, I was sure that Larabee was going to blow your brains out.”
Ezra didn’t answer, the question he just thanked them, the two men had been the only ones to come to his aid, and went out after Chris, he guessed that the man in black would head to his ranch, and was surprised when he had just bend to tighten the girth on his horse, when behind him he heard the distinct rustle of a duster. The next thing a hand caught him by the back of his jacket and flung him face first against the wall, and he was pinned in place and Chris hissed in his ear. “You got a death wish Standish.”
“No, Mr. Larabee, but I am your friend.”
“You really think I would be friends with a two bit gambler,” Chris spat the words out, his breath stinking of whiskey, the man was drunk but far from so intoxicated that he couldn’t function, and that made him dangerous.
“I’ve seen the way you’ve been looking at me.” Chris said, at the same time as he body ground against Ezra as he pushed roughly pushed a knee up between the smaller man’s legs, and Ezra was made all too aware of Chris’s aroused state. “This you want Standish,” he demanded.
Ezra had been shocked by the rough handling, and was now trying to free himself. But Chris had the advantage and was managing to keep him pinned as he whispered the most obscene things into the smaller man’s ear. What he wanted to do to a two bit whore, the anger was building and Ezra knew that he was running out of time unless he stopped him now in the morning Chris would never be able to live with what they did. He would, he had had worse things happen to him, he pushed the violent memories away.
Ezra brought his elbow back hard and fast, and was rewarded with a harsh gasp as Chris had the breath knocked violently out of him, and the staggered back, Ezra turned quickly his fist lashed out and the blow to the jaw put Chris down on his ass.
Glaring down at the him, Ezra snarled, “You want a whore go find one, because if you ever treat me like that again, drunk or sober, I’ll call you out and plant you in Boot Hill.” There was no fear in Ezra’s voice, just anger, anger that a man he loved would treat him like that.
He began to stride out of the stable, when Chris called after him, “Ezra, I wanted…” Chris’s voice slurred the rest of the words, but the need in them from a man he loved brought Ezra to a halt, and he turned back to look at Chris, who was struggling to get up, his coordination shot by the drink, and the hit to the jaw, looking back over his shoulder at him. Ezra made no attempt to hide the contempt he felt.
“You think that I would want a rapist,” the word was a barbed arrow; Ezra could see impact it had on Chris, the look on the handsome face as if he had just hit him again, as it knocked the breath from him.
“Rapist,” Chris stuttered over the word shaking his head violently, and nearly falling over, “You’re wrong Ez, you wanted me Ez, I know….”
Ezra ignored him “Is that what you think Larabee. What do you call forcing yourself on another person, because its rape in my book?” The disgust rolled off his words and without another word he headed to the door, he paused “and if you think I wanted that, then you’re sicker than I thought.”
“Ezra….” Chris called after him staggering a few feet, having to cling onto one of the horse stalls, as the drink caught up with him.
Chris Larabee was pleading, he commanded, he threatened but he never pleaded but in that one word, as the older man had called his name Ezra had heard the plea. Ezra halted, but didn’t turn around, “We’ll talk tomorrow, but you better be sober and for God’s sake, take a bath, you stink like a drunk in a cathouse,” and Ezra walked away.
It was only when he had stepped outside that Ezra saw Yosemite stood there with an axe handle in his hands, and Ezra had known that the big man had been on the verge of coming to his rescue. Yosemite just nodded to him, and said “best get off Mr. Standish, I’ll see to Mr. Larabee. Once he sobers up he’ll be kicking himself for making such a dumb move you see. If he doesn’t…...” and he paused and gave Ezra’s shoulder a reassuring squeeze, “we’re pound on that fool, thick head of his until he does.”
Yosemite smiled, and then gave Ezra a gentle push to get him moving, before with a shake of the head he went into the stable to beard the devil of Four Corners.
Ezra sat on the his bed, a full glass of whiskey in his hand, staring across the room towards the open window, he could hear the thud thud of the piano as the pianist hammered the keys playing some old favorite for the cowboys below. Normally he would have gone down and picked up a game of poker, there was usually even mid-week a couple of cowboys or locals willing to risk a few dollars in a game.
He smiled softly as he remembered the first game that Tiny and his brother Yosemite sat in on. Big men they towered over him by a good foot, and at least fifty pounds, when he had won their money he had waited for it to start accusing him of cheating. It had never happened. Instead they had brought beer and sat and talked, they had been the first of the town’s people to actually offer a hand of friendship towards him, instead of treating him like some sort of lowlife, and since that day they had proved it in many ways.
They had looked after his horse when he was injured, wading in when he was cornered one night by some sore losers when the other members of the seven were fighting it out in a saloon brawl with some drunken cowboys. The brothers had never wanted anything in return from him that he hadn’t willingly given for such big and powerful men; they were the gentlest of lovers. Never attaching any strings to their relationship, friends with benefits was how Tiny had shyly put it, one night as he lay naked in their bed. Tiny’s large coarse hand had with surprising gentleness stroked his flank and hip, as his brother had taken him as if he was the most precious thing in the world to them. It was to them and them only that he had spoken of his love for Chris, the only people in this fly speck of a town that would understand.
The day had been the slowest of Ezra’s life, Chris had appeared on time, which had surprised him considering the amount of drink he had put away the night before. Also he had shaved and he could smell lyre soap when the gun man had reached past him to get a mug of the thick sludge that passed as coffee.
During the day they had dealt with the various troubles that an open town like Four Corner could have, but their talk was stilted, Ezra prepared to wait Chris out; this had to come from him, as much he wanted the answer of what Chris actually felt. Ezra knew that Chris had to be the one to speak first, if they were to move on from this, Chris had to address what he had done.
Finally at the end of the day, Chris put a hand up blocking the door as Ezra was about to leave, the gambler looked at the black clad arm and then followed it up to Chris’s face.
“Mr. Larabee you’re blocking the way, is there a reason for this.” Ezra spoke levelly only the thickening of his southern accents hinted at the sudden stress.
“You could say that.” Chris dropped his arm, “I want to speak my piece if you want to leave them I won’t stop you and if you want me out of town I’ll leave once Buck and Vin gets back.”
Ezra nodded and stepped back in the room, “about last night, I didn’t want it to happen like that. But yesterday, all I could see and feel was…” Ezra cut him off with a slashing motion of his hand.
“NO Mr. Larabee.” Ezra snapped the word, “last night you nearly raped me.” He saw the way the gunman paled, “yes Mr. Larabee it’s an ugly word, but no uglier than what you would have done to me last night. Because you were drunk and wallowing in your own self pity. So someone had to pay the price, and that was me, you didn’t want to take a woman because it would sully your wife’s memory, so what, you thought I would stand by and let beat and rape me to exercise your own demons.”
“Ezra.” Chris’s voice dropped to a warning note at the mention of his wife.
“Buck asked me to look after you, said you would get drunk and fuck some whore to get it out of your system. “ He paused, “he didn’t warn me you fucked men as well.”
“I don’t.” Chris protested.
“Well Mr. Larabee you could have fooled me.” Ezra paused and his face took on a bitter look, “So it wasn’t sex you wanted it was what power, put me in my place, beat me down.”
“No…It was.” Again Chris trailed off.
“Well what is it, sex or power, Christopher?” Ezra pushed, trying to force it to a head.
Chris’s head snapped up at the use of his first name, “I saw you with the brothers, I know what you…”
“What I am,” Ezra gave a soft sigh, “and you thought that I was some degenerate that would let you take me like that, in some stinking stable among the straw and the horse shit, like the cheapest whore, and I would enjoy it.”
“No, I...” Chris ground to a halt again.
“What the brothers and I have, doesn’t concern you, but what we have isn’t sordid, they don’t pin me down or abuse me.”
“It does concern me Ez, because that’s what I want with you.” The words sounded stilted and Ezra couldn’t help but smile Mr. man in black, Larabee the most infamous gunman in the territory and possible the fastest gun ever, looked like as shy as a school boy. But then the Chris he knew snapped into place and when he looked at him his eyes seemed to burn into Ezra, and all innocence vanished and the gambler felt his body reacting to the heat and want in those green eyes.
Ezra took a breath, all the wanted to do was to grab hold of Chris, but he fought it back. Instead he lifted his head a little higher. “If you want me Mr.Larabee you have to show me that I can trust you, I won’t be an experiment because you want a change of flavor, I won’t be an itch you want to scratch.”
“You’re more than that Ez, I… last night all I knew was.” Chris halted “this isn’t an excuse, but I want to tell you. Last night I was lost, all I knew was that my life had ended, but in you I saw a new beginning. I didn’t know how to tell you that….I can’t tell you I love you Ez. But I want to try.”
In that minute Ezra saw that Chris had opened up his heart to him, and he saw the very real sorrow in the older man, Chris was mourning the death of his wife and child, and the death of what he thought he could never have.”
“If you want a relationship Mr. Larabee, you have to prove your worth.”
“Hell Ez.” Chris shook his head in disbelief, “You don’t mean I have to court you.” It was said with relief
A mischievous smile tugged at Ezra’s lips as he walked past the gunman, “and you better make it good.”
“The last person I courted was Sarah.” Chris at Ezra’s retreating back his voice wistful something that Ezra had never heard before.
The gambler stopped in his tracks, and turned slowly, “I don’t expect you to forget her, I just expect you to treat me with some respect.”
Ezra touched these fingers to the brim of his hat and walked out heading for the saloon. If Chris really wanted him then he would do as he asked, he wasn’t expecting hay rides and flowers but he wanted to know that this was for real and that Chris wouldn’t use him and then throw him away. He couldn’t bare that from someone that he loved, and the more he was with Chris the more he knew that was what it was, he was in love with the mean and moody, leader of the seven, he remembered someone once said that Byron was mad, bad and dangerous to know, well that could apply to Chris Larabee. What ever happened it was going to be an interesting few weeks.
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