Disclaimer: This story is the product of different minds coming together to have some fun. All rights to these characters belongs to others. This is strictly for entertainment and we will make no profit.

Rating: NC-17 (If you are under 18 or don't like m/m relationships turn back now!)

Pairing: (V/E)

Authors' Notes: We haven't been posting much lately as we have been organising the Brisbane site for the Mag 7 Global Gathering -- but we did want to get into the swing of things and not leave you all hanging. Hope you enjoy the latest offering!!

Reluctant Target

By Ladysmiths


As Vin blinked the last dregs of sleep away, he felt the cool dawn air waft across his bare chest while the lower half of his body was protected by a warm, heavy weight.

Ezra slept peacefully, his arms wrapped around the tracker's waist, his head resting on the lean stomach and the rest of his body stretched out between Vin's legs.

Absently running his fingers through the tousled, chestnut hair, Vin sighed contentedly as he recalled how they had ended up in this position. In fact, ever since their relationship had deepened, Vin had found himself waking with at least a limb, if not Ezra's whole person, draped across his body. And, of course, Vin didn't mind in the least. Ezra wasn't the only one who needed the security and warmth the touch provided. Unfortunately, Vin knew that they couldn't stay this way all day.

"Ezra," Vin whispered huskily as he continued stroking the gambler's hair. "Ezra, I have to get up."

The only response the tracker received was Ezra's arms tightening around his waist, which didn't help Vin with getting out of bed.

This time Vin tried to manoeuvre himself out from under the gambler, hoping his struggling would loosen the hold Ezra had on him. Instead, his squirming managed to cause more problems as the friction between Ezra's chest and Vin's groin registered in the tracker's body. Stopping all movement, Vin lay still as he wondered how Ezra managed to turn him on while sleeping. At this rate, he'd have to physically throw Ezra off himself or he'd never get out of this room.

Suddenly a soft chuckle caught Vin's attention. "You're awake," the tracker accused.

"Yes, and if you would stop fidgeting I could get back to sleep," Ezra mumbled against Vin's stomach.

Vin tried to squirm away again, "I can't Ez, I've got patrol this morning."

"Surely someone else could take your place." Instead of loosening his hold on the tracker, Ezra just strengthened it, enjoying the obvious distress it was causing Vin.

Vin sighed shakily, "Well, seeing as I've got to go now, and you're the only one here. Ezra will you go on patrol for me?"

Ezra lifted his head and gave the tracker a sleepy glare, a mischievous twinkle lighting the emerald eyes as he felt Vin's penis hardening even more at the slight movement. "I'm not sure you're quite fit for patrol this morning," Ezra grinned as he shifted himself further down Vin's body. Before the tracker had the opportunity to escape, Ezra quickly sucked Vin's cock into his mouth.

Any notions about leaving the bed were wiped from the tracker's mind as he groaned and threw his head back, automatically lifting his hips as he pushed his length further down Ezra's willing throat. With the sensation of Ezra's hot, wet mouth working him and the gambler's fingers digging into the sensitive flesh of his inner thighs, Vin came suddenly and violently.

Having swallowed everything the tracker had to offer, Ezra raised himself off of Vin and smiled seductively at the panting tracker.

With his chest still heaving, Vin stared at the smiling, glistening lips before him and was almost tempted to grab the gambler and pull the man's luscious mouth to his. Instead the tracker took a steadying breath and leapt from the bed, quickly pulling on his clothes.

Ezra flopped onto the bed and wrapped the blankets around himself, already missing Vin's warm body. "You're going anyway."

"I have to Ezra," Vin drawled, as he reached for his buckskin coat. "But thanks for taking care of that problem for me."

"It was supposed to induce to stay, not allow you to leave," Ezra pouted as he licked his lips, where the taste of Vin's musky maleness still lingered.

Vin smiled warmly, leaned over Ezra and gently brushed his lips across the gambler's. "I'll make it up to you tonight," the tracker whispered huskily.

Watching the door close behind Vin, Ezra hugged a pillow to him, as a poor substitute, and drifted into dreams of the tracker.

* * * * * * *

After patrol that morning, Vin had helped Nathan take medicines and supplies to an Indian reservation, and after spending practically all day in the saddle the tracker was ready for a whisky - and Ezra. Knowing he'd find both in the Saloon, Vin strolled through the doors picking out every new face in the building. The only people the tracker didn't recognise were the three men at Ezra's table.

Vin took his whisky at the bar, turning to watch the gambler deal out the next hand. Ezra was obviously winning. Sure, the gambler's expression only reflected a serious concentration, but Vin could see the sparkle beneath the surface. Besides, the fact that Ezra already had a pile of money in front of him and grimaces on the three strangers' faces were a dead give away.

Vin smiled as he finished his drink, Ezra was enjoying himself and was sure to be in a good mood later. But for the moment, the gambler was involved in the poker game. Vin decided he'd wait for the gambler upstairs, where he'd been spending every night for past couple of months.

At first the tracker had felt awkward spending time in Ezra's room when the gambler wasn't there, however Ezra had insisted that Vin was always welcome in his room, and bed, so if he was on late patrol or in the midst of a late running game Vin was to let himself in. Now Vin felt completely comfortable as he tiredly climbed into bed. As his eyes began blinking shut, Vin realised that he probably wouldn't be able to wait until Ezra had made enough money downstairs.

* * * * * * *

As he watched his disgruntled opponents leave the Saloon, Ezra realised that it was almost dawn. He'd wasted the night playing poker instead of playing with Vin. The gambler had noticed the tracker enter the Saloon earlier that evening, but then those fools seemed to have more money than sense, and Ezra couldn't refuse to relieve them of the cash. Vin would understand, besides he still had time to crawl into bed beside Vin and spend a few hours with the tracker in his arms. Unless...

Unless that tracker appeared at the bottom of the steps. "Your tendency to wake before dawn is an incredibly annoying habit," Ezra drawled.

"And what would you call playing poker all night?" Vin asked.

Ezra flicked the money he'd won in his hands, "Worthwhile."

Vin cocked and eyebrow as he moved closer, "And this isn't?" Catching Ezra's lips with his own, Vin pressed his body against the gambler's as he slid his tongue into the sweet, wet cavern.

Ezra allowed himself to be pushed backwards onto the table as he eagerly sucked on the probing tongue. With one hand still clutching the money, and the other gripping Vin's hair, Ezra tried to pull the tracker down on top of himself. But Vin pulled away, breaking the kiss as he hitched a chair and sat down in front of the gambler.

"Ah Vin," Ezra objected as made no attempt to stop the tracker from spreading his legs wider. "You're not the only early riser in town."

"I can see that," Vin grinned when he managed to unbutton Ezra's pants and free the gambler's long, hard member.

Well what did he expect? Vin was looking at him like he was the most important meal of the day. And just to prove his thoughts correct, Ezra felt Vin's rough tongue glide along his aching penis and begin to lap at the liquid forming at its head. Reaching into Ezra's pants, Vin began to fondle the heavy balls as he drew the throbbing cock into his mouth.

Again, Ezra found his free hand tangled in soft, brown curls as he pulled Vin's face closer to his groin. Vin moaned and growled in lust as he sucked hard on the gambler, and it felt as though Ezra's whole body was vibrating with the sound. Ezra gasped Vin's name as he exploded into the torturous, talented mouth.

Vin continued suckling on the softening flesh as he swallowed every drop of Ezra's salty essence, milking the gambler until he was completely spent.

Ezra was only vaguely aware of Vin tucking his penis back into his pants, and adjusting his clothes as he tried to regain control of his senses. When his heartrate and breathing had become regular again, Ezra slid off the table but continued leaning against it, not trusting his legs to hold his full weight just yet.

"Mornin' Chris," Vin greeted when he saw the black clad man saunter into the Saloon.

"Vin, Ezra," Chris nodded in acknowledgment, without really looking at either man. He hadn't expected anyone to be in the Saloon already.

"Mr Larabee," Ezra muttered as he realised he was still holding onto his winnings. Managing to stand up straight, the gambler placed the now crumpled notes into the inside pocket of his jacket.

Chris stopped as he passed Ezra, taking note of sleepy, glazed eyes. "Are you waking up or going to sleep?"

"The latter," Ezra answered as he ambled towards the stairs and headed towards his room. "I'm worn out."

"You're in town early," Vin observed as Chris continued towards the coffee.

"The bank's expecting a shipment this morning," Chris said. "I wanted to be around when it came, just in case."

"I'll go by the bank now," Vin offered. "Maybe wait outside the jail."

"Thanks," Chris started hunting around for something to eat as his coffee heated up. "JD's on patrol and Josiah's at the church. Other than that there's no one else around so far."

Vin simply nodded as he headed towards the door.

"You want some breakfast first?" Chris called before the tracker disappeared from view.

"No thanks," Vin threw over his shoulder. "I've just eaten."

* * * * * * *

"Is there something wrong Mr Wilmington?" Ezra inquired as he stepped out of the Saloon and came up behind the ladies' man.

"Not sure," Buck answered vaguely, never taking his eyes from the jail where Vin and JD were having an animated conversation.

Ezra followed Buck's line of sight and they both noticed Vin gesture towards Chris. As soon as their leader approached, Vin walked into the jail indicating that Chris and JD should follow.

Their curiosity well and truly peaked, neither Ezra nor Buck needed any encouragement from the other as they made their way towards the jail and their friends.

"What's going on?" Buck asked as he strode through the doorway.

"The bank's shipment was stolen," JD answered after Ezra had closed the door behind him.

"You want us to go after them?" Buck turned towards Chris.

"Vin thinks they're in town," Chris said, his manner indicating that he agreed with the tracker. "It makes sense, we'd be the closest town from where the wagon was robbed."

"You won a lot of money last night," Vin stated watching Ezra.

"Well, I don't see what..." Ezra began before he realised what the tracker was getting at. "You think those gentlemen were the thieves."

"They didn't look like rich folk," Vin drawled.

"Just because they looked like you doesn't mean they're not wealthy," Ezra retorted. "Besides they'd been travelling for a while." Not getting any response, Ezra realised that Vin had managed to convince everyone of his theory, including himself though he'd never admit it out loud. "I suppose you want me to return the money," Ezra sighed. "Although it hardly seems fair seeing I did win it in a fair game and besides..."

"You can keep the money for now," Chris interrupted.

"Vin told the fellas running the wagon to disappear," JD continued. "He told the banker not to say anything, and when we were outside he told me that the money was just a day or two late."

"It sounds like you want those guys to hang around town a while longer," Buck observed.

"That's the plan," Chris nodded.

"Seeing as how bank robbers don't usually like being cheated," Buck filled in. "They're likely to try to steal their money back."

"Firstly, I never cheated anybody," Ezra's tone was indignant. "And secondly, you actually want me to be attacked by these miscreants."

"At least two of us will be watching you at any one time," Chris informed the disgruntled gambler.

"This was your idea?" Ezra ignored Chris and faced Vin who just shrugged.

"They might not come after you Ezra," Chris stated. "That's why I still want someone patrolling the outskirts of town."

"I'll go," Buck volunteered. "It's my patrol anyway." Before he exited, Buck turned to grin and the gambler, "You know, you should choose your friends more carefully."

"Yes well, I'm already reconsidering my association with scruffy, no-account drifters," Ezra drawled still staring at Vin. The gambler was mollified as he watched Vin hang his head, until he realised that the tracker was hiding a smirk.

"I'll go tell Nathan and Josiah what's going on," JD offered as he scooted out of the jail.

"And I suppose you expect me to walk around town keeping my hard earned winnings in full view," Ezra directed his comments towards Chris, deciding that he didn't want to talk to Vin right at this moment. "Or better still, why don't I just draw a large bullseye on my back."

Chris smiled, "I don't think that's necessary."

"Just be your subtle self Ez," Vin patted the gambler's shoulder as he walked passed the other man and strolled out onto the street.

Ezra sighed, why did these things always happen to him?

* * * * * * *

Wandering around and feeling like a complete fool, Ezra once again swept his gaze over the town, surreptitiously raising his eyes to the rooftops. Goddamn that tracker, Ezra hadn't seen hide nor hair of him since the jail. This had been Vin's idea in the first place, and now the man he'd thought was different couldn't even be bothered watching over him. Ezra had seen Josiah a little earlier and he'd only just passed where Chris was hiding. Ever observant, Ezra had been noticing the shift changes throughout the day, but never caught site of his lover. The fact that he continued to look for the tracker was beginning to irritate Ezra, he should know better than to expect, and hope, that Vin would keep watch over him all day just because they were sleeping together.

Suddenly, a pair of hands grabbed Ezra and dragged him into one of the small darkened alleyways. Ezra blinked a couple of times before he realised he was standing directly in front of two of the men he'd played poker with the night before, presumably the person holding him from behind was the third sore loser. "What can I do for your gentlemen?" Ezra asked, keeping his tone polite.

"We don't like bein' cheated out of our money," one of the men spat out.

Ezra stopped the groan that threatened to escape as the man holding him dug his fingers into the gamblers arms and the miscreant who'd spoken pulled his gun. Had he really let these men sit at his table last night? Well, of course, they'd had the money and Ezra had known he be able to win against their combined stupidity. Thinking about stupidity, why hadn't he seen these guys coming? What the hell had happened to his observational skills? That's right, he'd had one man on his mind - Vin Tanner.

"I must say how hurt and insulted I am that you would even suggest that my winning was less than..."

"Shut up and hand it over," the man brandishing the gun snarled.

Ezra sighed, these men were obviously in a hurry and not willing to be stalled. "If you'd loosen your grip, I could retrieve my winnings," Ezra drawled, wondering where his would be saviours were. They'd done a wonderful job protecting him, and as usual he was going to have to get himself out of this himself. It figured, Ezra couldn't remember the last time he'd been able to rely on anyone to help or stand up for him. When he felt the hold on his arms give way slightly, Ezra pushed back throwing the guy off balance. As soon as his arms were free, Ezra drew his derringer, but realised he was too late when he heard a shot ring out.

Realising he wasn't falling to the ground, bleeding, Ezra whirled around in time to see Chris and Nathan running into the alley, Chris with his gun pointed at both felons still standing.

Seeing that Chris had the men under control, Nathan approached Ezra, "Are you alright?"

Ezra wasn't listening, once he realised that Larabee couldn't possibly have shot the guy from the end of the alley, he'd automatically spun around and looked up. Perched on the roof was Vin, his rifle still aimed at the small group.

"Ezra?" Nathan persisted. "They didn't hurt you, did they?"

"No, Mr Jackson," Ezra shrugged any the healer. "However, if you'd waited any longer I might not be able to say the same."

"We came as soon as we could," Nathan said a little defensively. "Besides, Vin was watching from the roof."

"Well then I guess I'm lucky Mr Tanner finally decided to fulfil his part of the plan," Ezra drawled as he stalked passed Nathan and headed to the Saloon.

* * * * * * *

Vin hesitated at the door. Without thinking, he'd been about to walk right in as he'd done so many times before. But Ezra hadn't looked as though he wanted to be followed, and of course the tracker had done just that to find out why.

When Vin had entered the Saloon earlier that evening, after helping Chris and Nathan take care of the thieves, the tracker had expected Ezra to be in a celebratory mood, or at the very least happy to see him. Instead the gambler had downed his drink in one hit, slammed the glass on the tabled and stalked up the stairs.

Swinging open the door when he heard the tentative knock, Ezra took one glance at the tracker standing in his doorway before moving back into the room and continuing to remove his shoulder holster. "Since when did you start knocking?" Ezra snapped when he realised Vin wasn't about to move or speak.

"Since I don't feel welcome," Vin answered as he quietly stepped into the room and closed the door behind him.

"What did you expect," Ezra kept his back to the tracker as he spoke, he was angry and didn't want to be side-tracked by a pair of sexy blue eyes.

"I'm not sure," Vin stuttered. "I thought... Once we... I mean, I thought you'd be happy."

"Happy?" Ezra scoffed. "Happy that my lover arranged to have me be attached by a group of miscreants?" Ezra could hardly believe he was actually stating what was on his mind, usually he kept any anger or pain hidden and laughed it off, however this time, with Vin, he wasn't able to hide what he was feeling or thinking.

"The plan worked, we caught 'em," Vin tried to defend himself, since knocking on the door everything that the gambler had said and done had thrown the tracker. The fact that Ezra wouldn't even look at him wasn't helping Vin's rising anxiety. "I thought..."

"I thought you cared," Ezra interrupted. "You couldn't even be bothered spending the whole day watching over someone you supposedly care for. I guess I should count my blessings that you actually decided to show up when those men finally did ambush me. But then we can put that down to your uncanny impeccable timing." Ezra stopped his tirade to take a deep breath and try and calm himself down, he was getting worked up at he didn't like it. Ezra squared his shoulders and changed the subject. "I gather you came to retrieve the money."

"No," Vin's sounded as though he was trying to keep his tone under control. "Like you said, you won it fair and square, besides you deserve somethin' for what you did today."

Ezra tilted his head as he turned slowly, he could imagine the tracker saying just that to Larabee and the banker, and he needed to know whether he was right, "Did you stand up for me with..." Ezra words died on his lips when he saw the pain clouding the tracker's eyes.

"Did you really think..." Vin swallowed and tried again. "If I knew there was even the smallest chance that you were in danger, did you really think I'd let you out of my sight for one second? I wouldn't forgive myself if..."

Before the tracker had a chance to finish, Ezra had thrown his arms around the other man and pressed his lips to Vin's. When his kiss received no response from Vin, Ezra backed away slightly, still keeping his arms around the as yet unyielding body.

"Is that for watchin' you all day, or for lettin' you keep the money?" Vin asked quietly, as if he were afraid of the answer.

Ezra pressed himself close to Vin once more and whispered in the tracker's ear, "Both." Feeling Vin's body soften and lean into his own, Ezra continued. "I'm sorry about my earlier accusations, I'm not used to trusting people to look out for me."

This time, Ezra felt Vin's lips open into his kiss as the gambler slid his tongue into the sweet moist cavern. When Ezra finally met the tracker's tongue, he coaxed back into his own mouth with his gentle sucking.

As their lips stayed locked together, Vin allowed Ezra to push his coat over his shoulders and let it fall to the floor before wrapping the gambler in his arms.

Breaking the kiss, Ezra pushed Vin's arms away so that he could make quick work of removing the tracker's shirt. The gambler's emerald eyes drank in the sight before him as his hands rested against Vin's bare chest and pushed the tracker back onto the bed. Vin barely had a chance to settle himself into his new position before Ezra was climbing over him and capturing his mouth with a fevered urgency. Ezra's tongue demanded entrance and instantly began exploring and tasting every inch of Vin's luscious mouth.

Although his mind was reeling from Ezra's passionate kiss, Vin somehow managed to undo the buttons on the gambler's shirt and slipped his hands under the material pulling the gambler down so that their skin met as he ran his fingers up and down Ezra's spine. Ezra began to rock his body against the tracker's, feeling the bulge in Vin's pants rub against his own aching erection.

Suddenly, Ezra leapt off his surprised lover. But before the other man could protest, Ezra immediately began working on the fastenings of the tracker's pants, tugging them and Vin's boots and socks off practically all at once. Vin looked so irresistible lying there naked, Ezra only just managed to strip himself of his own clothes before jumping straight back onto the tracker.

Feeding on Vin's mouth once more, Ezra began to nip and suck at the tracker's lips as he felt his lover's whole body arch to meet his. Wanting to feel every part of their bodies against each other as much as Vin obviously did, Ezra pressed himself down onto the tracker.

Vin automatically began moving under the gambler, trying to create an erotic friction with the firm, strong body as he sucked on Ezra's ever present tongue. The tracker barely registered that Ezra had taken hold of his hands and was running oil over it until he realised that his lover was guiding the now slickened hand towards his ass. Vin moaned into Ezra's mouth as he his fingers ran down the gamblers crack and lightly pressed against the small hole.

Lifting himself up, Ezra pushed himself back against Vin's hand encouraging the tracker to explore deeper. As Vin's fingers breached his opening and slipped inside him, Ezra reached between their two bodies with an oiled hand and began stroking Vin's shaft until he had the tracker thrusting into his hand.

When Ezra felt ready, he removed Vin's hand and his own before sitting up to straddle the tracker. Positioning himself over the tracker's erection, Ezra slowly lowered himself over Vin's erection.

Vin could hear himself purring, but was helpless to stop it as he gave himself up to the velvety warmth of his lover's body. Without conscious thought, Vin dug his fingers into the gambler's strong thighs, the muscles under his hands straining as Ezra rode him. Vin's eyes strayed from Ezra's shining eyes and flushed face, down the glistening chest and stomach and rested on the gambler's own leaking erection. Moving one hand, Vin firmly gripped Ezra's length and began pumping it as he lifted his hips in time with the ever increasing pace Ezra had set.

Ezra felt himself being filled as Vin's hard cock emanated a searing heat along his tight passage that spread throughout his entire body, causing a light sheen of sweat. Never wanting the sensation to end, but needing release, Ezra began to move faster, forcing Vin deeper with every downward stroke. Suddenly, the hand around his penis strengthened its hold and Ezra called Vin's name as he came, simultaneously feeling his lover's hot, wet cum exploding inside him.

Missing the presence as Vin slipped out of him, Ezra fell onto the bed beside the tracker. Ezra stared at the rise and fall of Vin's chest as the tracker lay panting, not ever having changed position since first being pushed onto the bed.

Realising he was being watched, Vin swallowed hard to regain control of his senses before speaking, "I'm sure glad I didn't wait 'til mornin' for you to cool off."

"Heating things up was definitely the right decision," Ezra agreed sleepily.

Vin grabbed a cloth and cleaned himself somewhat before reaching for the gambler and drawing the man into his arms.

Ezra snuggled into the embrace, never wanting to leave the loving security of those strong arms, "You don't have patrol in the morning do you?"

"No," Vin's whispered lazily.

"Good," Ezra sighed contently, his breath fanning over Vin's chest where his head lay.

"You do."

fini



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