Continues from A Road Travelled

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. 

My thanks as always to Antoinette and MAC for your help and support.

Main characters  Vin, Ezra, Chris and Buck with other members of the seven.

C/V/E

 

Four Corners

Continues on from A road travelled.

As Nathan Jackson is being dragged out to be hung, two men step out onto the street to rescue him, Chris Larabee and Vin Tanner.

The cowboys that had tried to hang the healer of Four Corners had died in a flurry of gunfire.

Chris Larabee stood there reloading his colt. The pretty blond haired woman in the red dress came up and introduced herself as Mary Travis, the editor of the local paper. She was ignored, Chris’s focus was on Vin, he looked at him and smiled, of all the things he could have said to him it was just one word. “Saloon.”

Vin returned the smile “saloon,” he confirmed, and the two of them with Nathan Jackson falling in step with them they headed for the nearest watering hole.

Chris’s mind was on the kid that had tried to help them, it was the same one that had joined the posse, he could be a problem he knew about the wanted poster on Vin. But since he had seen the sheriff and deputy high tailing it out of town, there wasn’t any law to worry about. He shrugged if the kid tried to make a play for the bounty, he would just be one more body cooling in the street, no one was going to take Vin away from him, and those that tried would face his gun.

He had seen Vin’s expression grow hard when he had looked at the kid, more than likely the Texan had recognized him from the posse, but there was more to it than that he was sure. It was then Chris remembered that the kid had gone off with the other men after Ezra, and given what happened to the gambler, that he had been beaten and raped he was surprised that the kid, Dunne, that was his name was still alive. He made a mental note to ask Vin, what had happened because as he saw it the only reason the kid was still breathing must have been that he hadn’t actually touched Ezra. But that could wait for the moment he was just pleased to see that Vin was alright and his smile grew wider and his Texan would find that payback was a bitch.

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The Saloon

Ezra was playing the cowboys to perfection; he had played a number of hands of cards with them, and drunk a good part of a bottle of whiskey that he had brought in with him. The bar keep had objected until he had paid for a couple of rounds of drinks for his good friends the cowboys, his drunken sweeping hand gesture had knocked his bottle over and he had just managed to rescue it before the precious whiskey had run out of it. The cowboys, Yankees to a man had thought they had a drunken Reb gambler on the ropes and at their mercy ready to fleece him. Now apart from as Ezra considered it a much misplaced pride in their abilities to play cards, they liked their horses, guns and they considered themselves a marksman to a man. So it didn’t take much for him to allow himself to be talked into a shooting contest, the target an ace of spades pinned to a dart board.

The cowboys had turned towards the door as the most mismatched pair of men walked into the saloon, the bar keep put down the dirty cloth he was wiping the bar with, “Don’t serve Indians in here, you  best go,  don’t want any trouble.” He nodded his head towards the cowboys, who had started to get to their feet their game with the gambler forgotten, their hands moving towards their guns.

The  bar keep reached under his counter and pulled out a shotgun, “now boys this is loaded with rock salt, it’s going to hurt like hell, if you get an ass load of it, so back off, their leaving ain’t you?”

The Indian nodded and reaching out grabbed the arm of the man with him, and the two left whatever they wanted left unsaid. Ezra met the bar keep’s eyes levelly, as he pushed the derringer back into the carriage that housed it strapped to his forearm. The man looked at him puzzled and then his eyes opened a little wider as he realized that the drunk, gambler wasn’t as drunk as he thought, he was about to open his mouth when Ezra touched a finger to his lip for silence. Then reaching down Ezra took a long pull on his whiskey bottle waved it in the air “now surhs to  business, I believe we had a wager,” he drawled his voice slurring making his southern accent thicker, as the cowboys turned back towards him, it was then he appeared to lost his balance and  landed with a bang in the chair, almost taking it backwards, only for the chair to be caught by a big man, with salt and pepper hair, and long face that only a mother could love who had come up behind him through a side door.

The older man righted it, pushing it back onto all four legs; there was concern in his brown eyes as he looked at the group of cowboys and that at him. Ezra saw the heavy cross hanging from a leather throng round the man’s neck, and shook his head; all he needed was a holy roller to put a crimp in his game.

“I thank you surh for your help.”

“Any time son,” the big man said, his hand brushing Ezra’s shoulder as the gambler tried to move out from under it.

The  bar keep interrupted “Told you Josiah you’re not welcome here until you pay for that chair and table you busted up.” When the older man, Josiah turned to him the bar keep looked as if he was about to make a dash for the nearest exit, either that or fill his pants.

“Peace is all a man needs in life brother,” Josiah laid down a couple of dollars and then walked out, but not before Ezra found himself pinned by those brown eyes, he suppressed a shudder, and he felt as if they were seeing down to his very soul, but Ezra shook it off and said mockingly.

“That gentleman your local padre.”

“Old Josiah,” the bar keeps said, “well he’s a preacher all right, but he’s strictly Old Testament, caught a man cheating at cards and well gambler, and was strictly eye for an eye.”

Just then one of the cowboys loomed over Ezra, giving his shoulder a hard grip, “you ready to take that shot gambler, or are you rebs all yellow belly cowards ain’t got the guts to   back your mouth up.”

“You first,” Ezra drawled and took another pull on the watered down whiskey he had been drinking all afternoon.

The cowboy drew his gun and turned round making sure all his friends could see him, and then took a bead on the ace of spades and fired, the bullet hit the card but missed the center, and even so it was greeted with cheers. Ezra made a play of getting to his feet, he drained the last of the watered whiskey and let the bottle fall at his side, and then with exaggerated care pulled the gun from his shoulder holster, and then took a step forwards his heel catching on the bottle sending him staggering as he fired and the stuffed bird above the dart board lost its head in a shower of sawdust much to the enjoyment of the cowboys.

Ezra immediately began to protest, and it didn’t take much an extra ten added to the pot to give him the chance to have another go at the target.  It was then as he turned that he saw Chris and Vin walk into the saloon, and felt the tension drain from him, the odds had just improved, he would play his hand out, but at least if it went bad, he had two men to watch his back. His gaze swept over the other man with them, he had heard one of the cowboys talking about a black healer seeing to their boss and that must be the man, Ezra ignored him, the man wasn’t armed and that was all that mattered to him. Chris and Vin propped themselves up on the counter, and he same the gunman indicate the three of them wanted a drink and to leave the bottle.

It was then that it went to hell in a hand basket; one cowboy a rough uncouth man was particularly suspicious, after he had unloaded his gun into the center of the ace, all five bullets sharing the same bullet hole as the first, the man unsporting welded a knife that had nearly impaled his hand   to the counter, when he had reached for his hard earned money.

Sore losers the bain of his profession, the man hadn’t backed off   and had tried to back shoot him, and he had used the mirror to shoot the man, it was then he found himself facing down a whole gang of angry cowboys.

Ezra edged his way along the bar all the time keeping his back to what was possibly the two most dangerous men in the whole saloon, perhaps the whole town. He heard his lover’s soft Texan drawl as he said “Nice shot, pard.” Ezra couldn’t help but smile giving him a cocky smile flashing his gold tooth “Dreadful. I was aiming to kill him but the... mirror was cracked.”

A quick glance at Chris and Ezra thought oh oh, it appeared that Mr. Larabee wasn’t sharing the Texan’s humor of the situation. Chris was turned facing him, one hand resting on his gun, the other wrapped round his glass, and if looks could kill he would have been stone dead before he took another step.  Mr. Larabee, Ezra mused had seen him play cards but this was the first time the gunman had caught him in a con, and it would be one that had blown up in his face. But with Vin and Chris covering him he felt safe, he had had cons go sour before, and had been lucky to survive the wrath of the marks. For the first time in his life this was different he was protected by two men that would never turn their backs on him, Ezra caught his breath, where the hell had that come from.  He was jolted back to the present when he heard Chris say in that deadly whisper of his, which showed the gunman was still simmering with anger, “first shot was louder than the other five.” 

What are you attempting to suggest? Ezra asked as he continued edging his way along the   bar, his movements quick, as he used the derringer to try and cover the cowboys, deciding to try for    indignation, but the look on Chris’s face showed he had failed.

“First bullet was real. The rest were blanks,” Chris drawled.

“Well, sir... I abhor gambling and as such, leave nothing to chance.”  Ezra drawled, seeing the understanding in Chris’s eyes.

The job offer from Chris had been out of the blue “We're looking for guns to protect an Indian village. You interested?”

“Who’s financing?”

“The village. Five dollars a man.” Ezra could hear the amusement in the gunman’s voice, it was a shock to realize that only a couple of weeks ago he would never have been able to detect that in the black clad gunman, but now he saw the depths to the man.  

“Five dollars... wouldn't even pay for my bullets. Would, uh... would he be riding with you?” Ezra nodded to Nathan. He saw the hostility in the healer’s face and knew that the man was judging him by his accent, seeing him as nothing more than a bigoted southerner, but he didn’t care what people thought. The man was a healer not a gunman, which would put his lovers at risk if they decided to go through with the insanity of protecting a village. If the man got pissed off by him and left now all the better.

“Not interested.” The two words were a warning to his lovers that he wanted to discuss it further in a less public place.”

“Reckon you should be leaving town anyway.” Vin said, but the subtext was plain it was time for him to get his ass out of that place.

“I'll sleep on it.” Ezra shot back, then with a saluted them with two fingers to his hat and was out of the saloon. The cowboys would have gone after him, ready to carve their lost money out of his hide, if they hadn’t seen the way that the long haired man cocked the Winchester in his hand, and the gunman’s long fingers caressed the butt of his gun a clean warning to stay put. 

This time Ezra knew that no pack of drunks would be trying to run him down. Even so Ezra quickly slipped down the side of the building and doubled back along the back of the saloon, past the privies and then headed for the hotel. He guessed that Chris would be going there, the gunman would want to claim Vin tonight, and from what he had said earlier he knew that he would want a hotel room for that.

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Back in the saloon Nathan looked at Chris puzzled “Why would we want to use a cheater?” Nathan asked, but Chris didn’t answer he just exchanged a look with Vin, and the two men drained their drinks and pushed away from the bar.

“Meet you at the livery stable at dawn tomorrow Nathan, we got us some men to recruit.” Chris drawled.

The gunman strode down the street with Vin next to him, “that tricky son of a bitch I am going to make him pay for playing a stunt like that.”

“Ez ain’t going to change for you cowboy.”

Chris stopped so quickly that Vin carried on past him for a few paces, “Don’t call me cowboy.”

“Well Chris, got to look at this way, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s a duck, that’s what my ma use to say.”

“Meaning.” Chris’s voice had dropped to a deadly whisper that would have most people heading for the hills.

Vin just grinned and continued walking, he heard Chris spit a curse at him and the word uppity tracker was the least of it. “So where we going to find men, for this Chris, if the tribe is looking for help and are coming to white men, they must really need it.”

“Buck Wilmington.”  Chris paused “he’s in town” when he saw the look that Vin gave him, he said “old Buck likes his ladies, he won’t leave town until he either runs out of money or women.”

“He’ll come with us?”

“If we can get him out of bed.” Chris smiled.

“How good a friend is he?” Vin asked, remembering the deputy that helped him escape from jail.

“He stood by me when I lost Sarah and Adam, until I drove him away, he’s a good man, can trust him with your money, your life and your wife, but not with your woman.”  Chris reached a hand out and it brushed Vin’s arm, the touch was fleeing, but the message it gave was simple. Buck had been a friend nothing more; he was no risk to their relationship. 

Half an hour later, Buck Wilmington was scrabbling for his clothes as an irate husband pounded on the door of the bedroom, with a lingering kiss he was out of the window just as the door came flying open. Vin stood there gave the woman a smile, and drawled “Sorry, ma’am wrong room,” and tipped his hand to her as he left.

Buck lost his balance with his pants wrapped round his legs and rolled off the roof and hit the ground, struggling to get to his feet it was then he heard a voice he hadn’t heard in a year.

“Afternoon, Buck. Interrupt something?”

Buck’s face lit up “Chris.” Then Buck had closed the distance between them, the delight in his voice was pain to hear. “Hi. Hey, you old war dog! Good to see you, buddy. How you doing?” He grabbed Chris in a patient Buck Wilmington bear hug lifting the gunman off his feet.  

Chris pushed him away, his pleasure at seeing his old friend written on his face “Easy, big fella. Folks will talk.” He said as he noticed one of the passing locals looking scandalised by Buck’s dress or rather lack of it.  

Vin had come through the door in time to see Buck laughing and pulling his pants up, Chris put the deal to him, he knew that Buck would accept especially if he was the kind of friend that he had been to Chris. But Buck all the same made him uneasy, if Buck was such a good friend of Chris’s he was sure as hell not going to take kindly to him taking his place at the gunman’s side. Buck Wilmington was a puzzle that Vin knew he had to solve, but for the moment he would just stand back and watch what happens, but one thing was sure he wasn’t going to give Chris up for anyone.

He was pulled back to the present when he heard Buck say “It's just our kind of fight. How'd you know I was here?”

Chris had answered Buck with a smile “I make a point of knowing who's in town. Live longer that way.”

It was then that Buck had looked past Chris and focused on him as he came up and stood close to the gunman, he had done it to enforce the point making sure that Buck could see that his place was by Chris’s side, and if Buck was willing to accept that, he wouldn’t have a problem with the bigger man. But he wouldn’t be forced away from Chris by the older man, no matter what his history with Chris was.  

It was then Vin saw Buck frown, the older man didn’t look pleased to see him, and his “he with us,” remark was said with barely veiled hostility. Buck knew they rode together, and he was pretty sure had saved his neck because of it. Wilmington already knew that answer but he wanted it confirmed by Chris. 

Chris had just nodded, but his smile had now what Vin recognised as an edge of warning to it, Buck looked away and then nodded, “then imagine I am in,” he had said, as he threw his gun belt over one shoulder his shirt and jacket clutched in his right hand, and his left arm round Chris and walked him towards the nearest saloon, trying his damned best Vin thought to ignore him.

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Buck’s joy of being reunited with  Chris was hard for him to put into words, Chris was his oldest friend, and when he had married, Sarah had embraced him as a brother, and he had willingly taken the role of uncle to Adam. But it had all ended too quickly in a burned out ranch house, and deep in his heart he blamed himself. Chris had wanted to return, but he was with Maria and had begged another night, that one night had made all the difference. He had tried to help Chris through his grief but had finally been driven away by Chris’s violent out bursts, that had left him bleeding in the street on too many times, he had kept an eye on Chris and kept as close as he could , but he had despaired of getting back what they once had had. Knowing in his heart that some day he would hear that Chris had been gunned down in some senseless gun fight.

Then one day he had heard a rumour from a buffalo hunter that Chris Larabee was now riding with Vin Tanner, the man had been scathing about Tanner, telling how he had turned from buffalo hunter into becoming a bounty killer, calling Vin a white renegade more savage then civilized. That had been enough for Buck he hadn’t bothered to ask why the man hated Vin so much, what he said must be the truth, and Tanner had to have a reason why he was riding with Chris, clinging to him like some blood sucking leach.

As a lawman it hadn’t taken Buck long to hear what he was waiting for, confirmation of the reason that Tanner was riding with Chris. Marshal Tim Lincoln has come into town, and over a beer or two had told him about how Vin Tanner had been cornered in a bar in Twin Butte by some men that had taken offence at the fact that the bounty hunter had brought in his last bounty dead over the back of their horses.  Lincoln had told him what happened next, that Larabee had gunned down three gunman to save his life, end of story, that Vin was using Chris as protection that was certain or so Buck thought.  

Buck continued walking, okay so Vin was using Chris for protection but Chris was no man’s fool he must be getting something of the friendship. It was because he wasn’t sure of how things stood that he had helped Vin escape when he had been in danger.  He hadn’t done it for the Texan but as a favour to Chris, who couldn’t afford to lose another friend now he would have the opportunity to study the two of them up close. But as he walked he shot a glance across at Vin heaven help Tanner if he was using Chris, because regardless of what Chris did he would hang the younger man out to dry before he let him send Chris tumbling back into the black void of despaired he had been in.

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For the next couple of hours Buck was sat in the saloon catching up on old times with Chris, he noticed that Vin sat quietly at Chris’s side a silent watchful shadow, seated so that he could watch both entrances to the saloon, as he slowly sipped his beer, the only drink that he accepted, waving away the offer of whiskey. But the bounty hunter took no part in their conversations, content it seemed to allow the two old friends to talk.

The swing doors of the saloon opened and Buck saw Vin lean forward in his seat, the younger man’s hand dropped down to rest on the mare’s leg he was carrying.  It was then Chris turned glanced at Vin and then followed his line of sight to the young man that had just walked in. Vin started to get to his feet and Buck saw Chris’s hand grab Vin’s wrist, and hold him in place, for a long second it seemed that Chris and Vin just looked each other in the eye, and then there was a shift of balance of power. Vin eased back down again into his seat and Chris released his hold. It was then that Chris turned his attention to the young man that had entered the saloon.

Now Buck had heard about Dunne, that the kid had tried to help out, when his help hadn’t been needed and been shot down verbally by Chris. Buck knew he had to do something before words where replaced by bullets.

Getting to his feet, draining his glass with a flourish, Buck, went over caught Dunne, and propelled him to the bar, and pinned him effortless, all the time beaming as if he and the kid where old friends.

“Listen to me kid, Chris ain’t too friendly at the moment, so I think you should think really carefully if you want to go and piss him off.”

“I heard you’re looking for guns, I am good with these.” JD brushed his hands over the butts of his colts. 

Buck shook his head, “Now kid.”

“My name’s JD, not kid.” The younger man interrupted his face starting to flush red with embarrassment or frustration at not being taken seriously.

“Sure it is kid.” Buck said “but you don’t have the experience to do what were going to do, and a liability could get us all killed.”

JD pushed away from the bar, brushing Buck’s hand off him and stalked out of the bar, Buck shook his head “the folly of youth.” He looked back to the table, and saw that Chris had now turned back to Vin, his head near to the Texan’s. Vin nodded a couple of times, and then got up and left the saloon, a few minutes later Chris drained his drink, and then walked out pausing only to pat him on the shoulder. “Dawn, the livery stable, be there Buck,” then he was gone, that was old Chris, Buck mused part warning part invite, and he wouldn’t have that ornery son of a bitch any other way.

Chris stopped on the boardwalk outside of the saloon, and headed towards the hotel. He walked past the store and then stopped as a splash of blue caught his eye; he turned and then entered it.

The store owner, a mature, well dressed woman, came over and favored him with a smile. “Can I help you sir?”

“The blue bandana and the Hoyle.” Chris said, and waited while the woman, collected the book, and then from a drawer took out a blue bandana and laid it on the counter, and smoothed it out with her fingers. 

“A fine choice Sir.” But at the same time Chris could hear the question mark in her voice, a man that wore all black buying a blue bandana. But that didn’t matter, they would be leaving town soon, and it matched Vin’s eyes, and the Hoyle, he couldn’t wait to see Ezra’s face when he gave him the Hoyle the holy bible of gaming rules.

She was just stowing the purchases in a paper sack when Mary Travis came in, Gloria Potter, heard what Mary said to the man in black, and the next minute he had snarled back at her thrown the money on the counter, snatched up his purchases and left. Gloria exhaled “Why on earth did you say that to him, Mary.”

When Mary Travis went to open her mouth, Gloria continued, “that was mean spirited to say that to him about his family, I expected more of you than that.”

“Gloria I just wanted him to know, that I understood what he was going through.” Mary tried to explain.

“You wanted a story, pure and simple, I heard about the shooting, Virgil was really worried that Vin would be killed,” when she saw the puzzled look she added, “the young man that was working in the store.” Gloria shook her head when Mary looked blankly at her, Mary was a good woman, but there were those that she believed to be under her, and Vin had been one of them, those people she just didn’t see, turning a blind eye to them. “That is not important, you want that man for a story, and I grieve for your loss Mary, but leave that man alone.”

Mary turned on her heels and left with a flurry, leaving Gloria Potter shaking her head, as she put the other bandanas away.

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Buck watched Chris leave the saloon and he turned his attention to Vin Tanner, the bounty hunter had slowly finished his beer, and then left by the rear entrance, ignoring all attempts to be drawn into conversation besides the odd yes or no. Finally Buck had given up; he scratched his jaw thoughtfully, as he watched Vin disappear through the door, and frowned, at the roughness of his stubble. Now a man that loved the ladies as surely as Buck did, had a certain standard of appearance to keep up so he had headed to the barber. 

Buck was enjoying his shave and was talking to the barber, hands moving as he described the twins that he had bedded, when the razor pricked against his throat, and he heard Chris’s voice, it was a deadly whisper. Then just as quickly as he came Chris was gone. Leaving Buck swallowing hard, there was a cold fury in his old friend, which you unleashed at your peril, when he had told him that his business was his own, all that was the killer in Chris Larabee had come to the surface. Buck knew that he had made a bad mistake there. He truly had meant no harm when he told Mrs. Travis about Chris’s history, but he had near enough crossed the line that could have got him killed.

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The Swan Hotel

The hotel wasn’t the best in town, but boasted clean bed clothes and a metal tub, that for a price could be carried to any of the rooms, along with a couple of buckets of hot water. Chris Larabee had booked two rooms; taking the one that over looked the main street, while the other room was next door round the corner overlooking the alleyway.

As he walked across the small lobby of the hotel to collect his key, he saw Ezra seated on one of the overstuffed armchairs, the gambler lowered his newspaper, and their eyes met, Chris saw the miniscule nod of the head towards the stairs, plucked his key from the fingers of the owner, and took the stairs two at a time. He didn’t have to look back to know that Ezra would be following him.

When Chris opened the door, Vin was sat straddling the chair, his arms resting on the back, “Took your time cowboy.”

“Had a visit to make.” Chris snapped back, and then pushed his hat back so that it hung from the storm straps, and ran a hand through his blond hair, “Buck.”

“What he do.”

“Shot his mouth off as usual.” Chris said

“So why are you angry?”

Chris opened his mouth, but Vin beat him to it, “you know the man, he ever do anything to harm you cowboy, he got a mean streak in him.”

“No,” Chris agreed, and then accepted the bottle that Vin picked up from the floor near his chair and handed it across. “Buck’s brains are in his pants, he sees a pretty girl and his dick does the thinking.”

Chris saw Vin smile at him as he said “then why you’re angry Chris.”  The gunman swore under his breath, and took another drink. Then he turned his complete attention on Vin, and his lips twitched as he saw the way that Vin shifted in his seat.

Just as Chris started towards him, there was a knock on the door, Chris opened the door, to find Ezra leant against the door jamb, “Mr. Larabee,” he said stepping past the gunman, “Mr. Tanner,” he added greeting the tracker as the door was closed behind him and locked, then took his place at Chris’s side both of the looming over Vin.

Vin looked up at them, “there a problem boys,” he drawled, with not a care in the world.

“You left us kinda of hanging back there Vin,” Chris said.

“Thought you should get a chance to get to know each other, seems to have worked.” Vin said smugly.

“In more ways that you could imagine Mr. Tanner, in more ways than you can imagine” Ezra favored his lover with a knowing smile, devilment playing in his eyes “we discussed you at some length, and Mr. Larabee and I came up with a few ideas that you will find very interesting.”

Vin started to get up, but it was too late and Chris’s hand came down on his left shoulder pushing him back down on the chair, at the same time as Ezra did the same on his right shoulder. Ezra’s southern accent thickened as he said “it’s time we talked Mr. Tanner, or better still showed you.”

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There had been no discussion between them, aside from the odd joke at what they would do when they caught up with Vin, but Ezra knew that he would have to be the steadying influence on the two other men. Chris was dark and intense, his emotions kept bottle up since the death of his family, could overwhelm the Texan, Vin had already run once from Chris once, so Ezra saw it as his duty to  bring the two of them together, allow them to see into each other’s hearts, and lay at peace the demons  that they both carried.

Ezra bent down and kissed Vin softly on the lips, and then as he leaned back he looked to Chris and nodded, an invite that the gunman took up, leaning in to claim Vin’s lips in a kiss of his own, but like Ezra he kept his kiss light. When he moved back, Ezra took his place again, each time they exchanged places, the kisses where longer and deeper, until they were leaving Vin breathless.

Kneeling down Ezra reached out and began to slowly undo the buttons of the old shirt that Vin was wearing, parting it to expose his chest, only then did he kiss the Texan’s throat, trailing hot kisses down Vin’s chest, and then began to nip and suck at the hard pebbled nipples, breathing over the sensitive nubs making Vin’ groan his body arching from the back of the chair as he tried to increase the sensation. Vin’s head rolled back his groan of pleasure was captured by Chris as he kissed the younger man, his tongue probing Vin’s mouth, savoring his sweet unique taste.

Ezra unbuckled Vin’s gun belt, leaving it hanging down by the chair, then his  nibble fingers  unbuttoned Vin’s fly, his hand massaging and fondling the growing bulge  through the threadbare draws, that the Texan wore, feeling Vin grow harder he knew they were ready to take this further. Vin wanted this, his body wouldn’t lie to them,  the Texan has to be kept off balance,  couldn’t be allowed to think, when that happened Vin would allow his past to dictate his future.  They would carry Vin with them on a wave of passion that would leave him with not doubt as to the fact that he as treasured and loved by them both.

Chris had broken his kiss and was attacking with relish Vin’s chest, with nips and kisses, tonguing the stinging nipples, as Vin buried his hand into the blond hair of his soon to be lover, encouraging him. His blue eyes closed against the sensation that was wracking his body, Vin’s eyes flew open as Ezra’s mouth closed on his straining cock, the flick of tongue and Vin’s mind went into melt down.  He was so near to the edge, that all it takes much more to push him over, his cry of completion was lost in the kiss that Chris stole from him. The next thing that  Vin knew he was still sat in the chair, his body limp and drained, Ezra was  knelt in front of him the fistulous southerner dabbing at his mouth with his silk handkerchief, as Chris stood taking a drink from the gambler’s flask. The cool breeze from the window, played down Vin’s body, and he looked down to find that he clothing was open from throat to groin, he felt his face flame red, and he clutched at this shirt looking down at this hands avoiding looking at Chris and Ezra as he tried to do the buttons up, his fingers fumbling with them. Ezra’s fingers covered his, stilling them.

“Mr. Tanner, please, look at me.”

“I am getting it, you made your point.”

Ezra glanced up at Chris and saw the gunman shrug, “What point would that be Mr. Tanner.”

“You have your fun,” Vin nodded to Chris, “learned my lesson.”

“Mr. Tanner this was just the start, this had nothing to do with you leaving us the shack, err cabin,” Ezra amended seeing the look that Chris gave him, and he continued quickly not giving Vin chance to say anything. But all the time his mind was whirling did Vin really think that this was all he was to them a bit of fun, a payback surely their time together had meant more than that to him.

Vin tried to pull his hands free, “ain’t going to put on a show again, passed between you like a dollar whore.”

The word again, echoed through Ezra’s mind, what the hell had happened to Vin in the past, to make him think that he was not loved and that he was only to be used.

“Vin,” the use of his first name from Ezra made the Texan look up. Ezra kept his hand on Vin’s “You have no idea what you mean to us, and how much we have missed you, these last few days,  but if you feel threatened by the depth of our feeling and you want to leave this room  we will respect that.”

Chris tensed as Ezra said that, but the gunman remained quiet, for the moment, and Ezra gave up a silent prayer not to mess this up, if he needed all his talents of speech it was now because Vin looked as skittish as all hell, so he continued.

“But we would like the opportunity to show you how much you mean to both of us.

Chris nodded and then as Ezra looked at him encouragingly Chris said “that’s the truth Vin, I won’t lie to you, I want  you  more than life its self,  but I’ll take whatever you want to give , and  I’ll think  myself lucky and I know that Ez feels the same.”

Chris reached out and lightly placed his hand on the side of Vin’s face, pleased when he didn’t pull away, he could almost hear Vin’s mind spinning and then Vin nodded “think I could do that.”

0-0-0-0-0

Chris let out the breath he didn’t know he was holding, he hadn’t lied he would take whatever Vin could give him, Chris  removed his coat and gun belt handing it by the head of the bed close to hand, and then removed his boots and sat on the edge of the bed.  He watched as Vin got shakily to his feet, his knees still weak from the violence of his relief, but Ezra was there to take him lightly by the arm and steer him over to the bed. Vin held his hand out to him, for a long moment Chris just held Vin’s hand looking up at him, as younger stood nervously by the side of the bed.

 “Ain’t going to bite you cowboy,” Chris said to him, pleased when he saw Vin smile at him for the first time since he had come into the room. 

Vin allowed himself to be drawn down onto the bed and into his arms, Chris cuddled him close, the gunman couldn’t help a soft chuckle from escaping as he thought what people would think if they knew that the big bad assed Larabee liked to cuddle with his loved ones.

Ezra looked as if he was about to leave, but Chris wasn’t going to allow that. “Joining us Ez?”

The gambler looked guilty as if he was caught cheating, “I was going to allow you to get acquainted.”

Chris felt Vin tense in his arms, and rubbed his back reassuringly, “Get your ass in bed Standish, don’t make me get out and make you.” Chris said as he lowered his head to rest against Vin, making himself keep still as he felt Vin’s fingers undo the buttons on his black shirt.

Ezra quickly undressed to his pants and shirt and slipped onto the  bed, curling up onto against Vin on his side, wrapping an arm round the Texan’s waist and pressing a kiss to the back of his neck, “I am here Mr. Tanner, nothing bad will happen I promise you, you are love here.”

The brush of Vin’s fingers on Chris bare skin as he peeled the black shirt back made a warmth spread through the gunman, and it was as if the icy hold on his heart began to thaw, Vin hesitated as if unsure, so Chris spoke softly to him, reassuring him, at the same time as Ezra’s hands moved over Vin’s body easing the tension in the lithe body,  slowly the feather light touches of Vin’s fingers moved again almost timidly,  the questing hand stroking down the gunman’s lean body. His hand fumbled on Chris’ belt, and Vin pulled back, his head down, “allow me Mr. Tanner.” Ezra said smoothly and expertly unbuckling the belt and unbuttoning Chris’s fly. Only then did he take Vin’s hand he felt the Texan flinch, and placed it on its prize. Vin turned his head, and Ezra raised himself up so that he could capture the Texan’s mouth in a kiss, as Chris pushed his own pants and draws down, exposing his body for the first time, Vin broke the kiss and looked down, his mouth opening in a quickly taken breath of surprise.  Vin felt Ezra undo his braces and didn’t resist when his own clothes were pulled down, as Chris rolled him over so that he was on top of the gunman, Chris’s arms wrapped round Vin, as their bodies came together as they lips joined in a kiss.

Slowly they moved together, their pre-cum slickening helping them move against each other in an intricate dance of need, Vin broke the kiss with a rasping groan as he began to move more freely, allowing his body to dictate his need. Grinding against Chris, his breath coming quicker as they reached towards climax, Vin buried his face against Chris’s shoulder as he came, the name he cried out muted, as he heard his name cried out by the gunman, even as the man bit back the cry.

Shuddering from the after tremors of the climax, Vin’s body sank down onto Chris, his hands fluttering over the gunman as he tried to calm him, as Chris’s own hands mapped his body. He didn’t resist as Ezra helped free him of the rest of his clothes, and he was pulled into the gamblers arms. Yawning Vin pressed his a face against Ezra’s chest, then he felt the warmth of skin to skin as now an equally naked Chris Larabee spooned up behind him, Chris’s chest pressed to his back, his ass pressed to the gunman’s groin, a warm wrapped round his waist and a flat hand pressed to his stomach.

Ezra drew his face up and took him in a long kiss, before today he hadn’t been kissed many times in his life since his mother died, most working girls gave their bodies but kissing a man was considered too intimate and they shied away from it. So these kisses  they gave him meant so much to him, you didn’t kiss someone you just wanted to fuck, you didn’t touch them so lovingly. There was a lot to think about but no now.

Ezra’s lips were warm on his, and he could taste himself on the gambler, be buried one hand in side of Ezra’s shirt, his hand caressing the smooth skin, as he pressed his face against Ezra’s neck, and inhaled, the gambler always smelt nice, from the soap that he used. When he felt Ezra’s hand on him those slender fingers that could deal a card from anywhere in the pack stroke him, he couldn’t help but push his hips forward wanting, no needing to increase his contact with those talented fingers. At the same time as he trailed his hand up to wrapped it round Ezra’s neck and pulled his head down so that he could increase kiss, this time hotly plundering the gamblers mouth, taking control of the kiss.

When the memories bubbled up in this mind, of being trapped in the bathhouse by a gang of drunk horney, straight of the trail cowhands reared up, Vin pushed it ruthlessly down, the way Chris and Ezra were touching him now, he knew that he was loved, he wasn’t just a hole to be poked, but loved and respected. Each word they whispered to him, each hand that touched him enforced that. So when Chris’s hand guided his thigh up and forward to rest on Ezra’s opening him up, he didn’t panic, when he felt finger press inside of him, as the warm grease was used to ease the way of his preparing him signed in contentment.

When Chris pressed into him, he felt as if he was breaking apart, only Ezra had ever taken him with such loving care, when he opened his mouth to complain, Ezra beat him too it. “You better not being about to complain Mr. Tanner, or else.”

“What” Vin managed to breathe the word out, only to tail off with a gasp as Chris’s questing fingers brushed his pleasure spot, making him buck and try to press down harder on the tantalizing fingers.

“Fuck do that again Chris.” Vin demanded his breath catching in his throat.

“Bossing little devil ain’t he.” Chris said as he pressed a kiss to Vin’s shoulder, before nibbling at this throat. But all the same he twisted his fingers and Vin’s body bucked and grinded back on his hand.

Only when Vin was ready, did Chris take him, clamping down on his own bodies needs he slide slowly into  Vin, waiting for the younger man’s body to accept him, before moving again until he was deeply seated inside of him, by then Vin’s body was trembling, and sweat covered. His mouth was opening and closing as he rode the sensation that run through him.

“Fuck me” Vin breathed the two words. Only for Chris to pull out of him, with a moan Vin tried to push back but his hips where held tight.

“Never fuck you Vin, only fuck whores, I make love to the people I care about,” Chris told him repeating what he had said to Ezra.  On the heel of the word he pushed back in, hitting the gland, and making Vin body shake as he bit back the cry of pleasure even this far gone, the Texan was aware like the other two men, that they could not let any noise leave that room, to do so would be to risk the wrath of the town.

Chris took him tenderly and carefully, bringing him to the edge of climax only to bank him down, and hold himself still, until Vin recovered and then started again, finally he let Vin go, with a couple of harder faster thrusts, riding him to the edge and over, as he came hard inside of the Texan, at the same time as Ezra touched Vin his skilled hand bringing him off.

Exhausted Vin felt Ezra’s hands gentle him at the same time as he blindly reached back for Chris, the gunman’s voice was soft against his ear, “ain’t going anywhere cowboy and that’s a promise.” Vin signed contented as he felt Chris’s hand stroke his thigh, and then wrap round him again he closed his own hand over Chris’s.

“Ez” Vin said softly “you okay, you didn’t get to fuck me,” Vin paused then added “I’s tired but if you want I can roll over, and you can get to it and….”

Ezra reached out and laid a finger across Vin’s mouth stopping him, for a split second there was sadness in Ezra’s eye, but he hid it well, “No Mr. Tanner, if you think that I got nothing from this then you are wrong,” Ezra said, his fingers moved stroking Vin’s face affectionately, “seeing your face when you came was enough, you where beautiful.”

“Ain’t no woman.”

“I think that is a done deal Mr. Tanner, but even so, it will be a treasure memory.” Ezra touched himself and then raised his hand so that Vin could see the cum on his fingers, “this is how much you mean to me, I came from just watching you.” Reaching down he pulled the blankets up over them, and slid down into Vin’s arms, kissing him lightly on the lips more to reassure than to arouse, and followed Chris into sleep.

0-0-0-0-0

Early evening

Chris woke to the rocking of the bed, turning over, he saw Ezra was now naked, Vin was straddling him, the Texan was riding Ezra his body moving with a sensual grace, the only noise was the  soft slap of skin against skin, the gasping breath, Vin’s head thrown back his body arching  at Ezra thrust up inside of him as he  came, Vin followed coming weakly for the last time  before sinking down on top of Ezra, only to be held close, to the gambler, as Ezra stroked and caressed the sweat soaked body.

Vin turned his face to look at him, but before Vin could react Chris leaned in to kiss him, and draw him into a hug, at the same time reaching out to bring Ezra in as well, raising himself up enough to kiss the gambler.

It was then Chris got out of bed, and returned with a paper sack, propping himself up in bed, with Vin and Ezra one on each side of him, he took out the blue bandana, “brought this for you Vin.” Chris handed it to the   Texan; Vin took it his fingers smoothing the fabric, as he admires it. “It’s real pretty, you sure.” The question made Chris smile but at the same time it made him sad that Vin didn’t think he was worth a present.

“I am sure.”

Vin smiled was more than Chris could have expected, “look Ez, ain’t it pretty.”

“It certainly is Mr. Tanner.” Ezra smiled at Vin and then at Chris, knowing how much the bandana would mean to the Texan, Vin had very few things, and treasured each and every one of them.

“You get Ez something?” Vin asked.

“Mr. Tanner,” Ezra started to protest,

“Course I did.” Chris drawled, but there was a barely suppressed laughter in his voice at the look on Ezra face, it was clear that Ezra was surprised that he had got him a present.

Chris pulled out the book from the bag, “Copy of Hoyle, Mr. Larabee.” Ezra drawled, “I am quite aware of the rules of poker,” he huffed, trying to look indignant which was difficult to do after mind blowing sex.

“I thought you might need it,” it wasn’t what Chris said it was what was remained unsaid. Ezra’s mouth opened and closed, and dropping the book on the bed he pounced, and ravished the blond gunman, as Vin joined in, that was how Chris found himself pinned to the bed his hands tied loosely by the blue bandana to the metal bars of the bed frame.

“Vin.” Chris warned.

“Ma always said you should say thank you for a present. Guess I’s got to say thanks.” He pressed a kiss to Chris’s chest and then his flat belly and then, Chris head thudded back against the pillow as he was swallowed by Vin’ the Texan’s mouth driving him to distraction. 

“Ezra” Chris panted the word.

The gambler sat on the end of the bed, like a gentlemen in a smoking room reading the Hoyle, the only different was he was naked, “Sorry Mr. Larabee, I have some reading to catch up with, and play back is a bitch.” Ezra smiled flashing his gold tooth as the stoic gunman was driven to distraction by his young lover, before laying the book down and joining in.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Later.

Mrs. Potter was brushing the porch of the store, when she saw Vin Tanner come out of the hotel with the man Chris Larabee, and a gambler by the look of him. The three men were talking and she was about to look away when she noticed the blue bandana round  Vin’s throat, and she did a double take, then her eyes moved onto the gambler and she breathed two words “the Hoyle.”  Now why would Mr. Larabee buy those two a present.  She smiled to herself it was a good thing she wasn’t a gossip, but she liked puzzles and if the three of them stayed in town she might solve it.

At the door to the saloon they were met by a fourth man, she recognized him from the store, she didn’t know his name but he brought a lot of fancy things, pretty lace handkerchief  and frills, that she had noticed some of the saloon girls wearing. So what was his business with them, another puzzle? Just then her husband called her name and she went back inside and back to business helping him with the old widow White, to pick some flannel for her winter night gown.

 

The end. 

 

Continues in Second Chance