Disclaimer: This story is the product of different minds coming together to have some fun. We have ownership over any new characters but the rest belongs to others (such a shame!).
Rating: NC-17 (If you are under 18 or don't like m/m relationships turn back now!)
Authors' Note: I have delved once again into the Vin and Ezra relationship. Different sides of the same coin, facing opposite directions but still one. Hope you like it.
Vin walked into the Saloon, having noticed that it was still open. He searched the room and seeing as Buck, JD and Ezra were the only ones left, headed for their table. Vin sat in the chair and gratefully took the whisky Buck passed him.
"Did you just come back from patrol?" JD asked.
Vin nodded, he liked riding at night and had been disappointed when the storm that had been brewing all afternoon started, forcing him inside. "What are you guys still doin' here?"
Buck pointed to Ezra, "Celebrating Ezra's win."
Vin rolled his eyes, there was nothing unusual about Ezra winning, there also wasn't anything unusual about Ezra celebrating with too much whisky. This seemed to be what was happening now, Buck and JD looked fine, a little tired maybe. Ezra on the other hand was trying to pour some more of the amber liquid into his glass, when he missed he shrugged and decided to drink straight out of the bottle.
"C'mon," Buck said to JD, "Let's go, I've got patrol in the morning."
JD nodded, glad that he was finally able to leave. As they were leaving JD turned to Vin, "We told Inez we'd close the place down after we left."
"I'll take care of it," Vin said as he took another sip of his whisky. He turned to Ezra, who looked liked he was about to pass out, "I think you need to go sleep it off."
"Night's young," Ezra slurred barely noticing that two of his friends had left. "Have another drink," he waved the bottle towards Vin.
Vin took the bottle, and the glasses on the table taking them behind the bar.
Ezra jumped up, "Hey, where you goin' with my whisky?" Ezra wanted to follow Vin and snatch the bottle back, but when he tried to take a step, his head span and he swayed slightly. He slumped into the chair, glaring at Vin.
Vin ignored Ezra and cleaned up as best he could. When he'd finished he stood in front of Ezra, "Do you need help gettin' to your room?"
Ezra shook his head vehemently, "I can manage, Mr Tanner," he stated as astutely as he could with the slur still marring his southern accent. Ezra stood, gripped the edge of the table to steady himself, drapped his jacket over his arm, tilted his head at Vin, and turned towards the stairs.
Vin stifled a chuckle when he saw Ezra trip on the steps and heard the southerner curse. Vin helped Ezra up, taking his red coat in one arm and holding Ezra around the waist with the other. Ezra stared at Vin for a moment, trying to figure out who was helping him, "That step wasn't there before."
"I'm sure it wasn't Ez," Vin humoured Ezra, who seemed satisfied with the response.
Once they reached Ezra's room, Vin lowered Ezra onto the bed. Ezra watched as Vin draped his jacket over a chair and knelt down to help Ezra with his boots. Ezra removed his guns and holster and placed them shakily on the bedside table. Ezra stared at his shaking hand for a moment, and then at the man that knelt between his legs. He reached over to run his fingers through the soft, light brown hair, and mumbled, "Vin."
Vin looked up at Ezra in surprise, but all he could see in the usually clear emerald eyes, was the haze of alcohol. Vin gently pushed Ezra back on the bed, "You should get some sleep."
"Don't you want to undress me first?" Ezra asked.
Vin turned before he reached the door, trying to guage whether what he heard was an invitation. There was nothing Vin would have liked more than to find out what was underneath all those fancy clothes, but Ezra had never hinted at any kind of attraction before tonight and he was obviously drunk. Vin watched Ezra's eyes drift shut, hell he probably won't remember anything about tonight, Vin thought as he shut the door behind him.
* * * * * * *
Ezra came down the stairs late the next morning, hoping to find Vin. He barely remembered the night before, however he could still feel Vin's hair through his fingers and the lonely feeling when he'd fallen asleep alone.
Ezra had noticed some of the longing glances Vin directed at him, and Vin had initiated their friendship. However, everytime Ezra thought he might try and further their relationship, Vin seemed to back away. The gambler figured that, although Vin may be attracted, the tracker was either waiting for Ezra to change his unethical ways, or he wanted something else from Ezra. Usually the only other thing anyone wanted from Ezra was financial help, perhaps Vin just wasn't as proficient at asking as some other people. Ezra had learnt long ago that everyone had an agenda, he just wished he knew what Vin's was so he could decide at what level to keep their relationship. Ever since Ezra met Vin his lust for the younger man had grown, but there was no way he would jump into anything until he knew exactly what Vin wanted. Ezra had felt an attraction for the tracker for such a long time now, he'd become adept at hiding it.
Until last night, Vin must have heard the invitation. Then again, if it had been reversed and Vin had been drunk, Ezra would have turned the tracker down also. Ezra couldn't deny feeling a little pleased that Vin hadn't tried to take advantage, although it didn't help how frustrated he was feeling now.
Chris walked into the Saloon, "You're up," he stated looking at Ezra.
Ezra shook himself from his thoughts, "Have you seen Mr Tanner?"
Chris waved his hand in the general direction of the door, "Out there. He's clearing some of the branches that were blown onto the tracks from the storm last night."
Ezra watched the light drizzle of rain just outside the door, trust Vin to be out there. "Perhaps I'll help," Ezra mumbled.
Chris turned to Ezra with a shocked expression, "Did I hear you right?"
Ezra gave Chris a slight grin, "I seem to have woken with an abundance of nervous energy."
Chris shrugged, Ezra always seemed to surprise him. Chris chuckled as Ezra added, "First, I'll have breakfast at the hotel, can't work on an empty stomach."
* * * * * * *
Nick Carrick watched as the well dressed man entered the hotel. Finally, someone that looked like they had taste, and money. Not bad looking either, Carrick thought, definitely someone he should approach.
Ezra noted that the man coming towards him was dressed in very similar clothing to himself. Ezra scanned the face to see if he recognised him, no he'd never seen this person before, must be new in town. Nick extended his hand, "Nick Carrick."
Ezra took the hand, "Ezra Standish."
"Would you like to join me?" Nick asked indicating his table.
Ezra followed Nick, curious as to what this guy wanted.
Once they were seated and eating, and the pleasantries were over, Nick finally swung the conversation towards what he was interested in, "I like small, but growing towns like this. I've always assumed they'd be easy to buy into."
"Actually buying a business here is more difficult than you would think," Ezra stated dryly.
"Maybe," Nick continued. "But not if you were in partnership."
"You want to purchase property in Four Courners?" Ezra asked smelling an opportunity.
"Actually, I was just passing through here. I have my sights set on a saloon and hotel in Clear Water. However, if that works out, I wouldn't mind coming back here. If this town can attract a man such as yourself, it obviously had potential."
Ezra chuckled slightly at the obvious flattery, "Sounds like you have everything planned."
"Well, I am looking for someone to help with capital and run the the businesses. As I said before, a partner."
Ezra nodded, naturally money is what was needed and Ezra looked like he might have some, or at least be able to obtain some. "Exactly how much would this opportunity cost?"
Nick smiled, "I'd have to go over my finances. Why, are you interested?"
Ezra couldn't make a proper judgment, Nick seemed to be quite genuine. Owning a saloon is something Ezra had been striving for, but this guy was asking him to leave. Ezra felt he had a connection to Four Corners, and a certain tracker. Vin, that man always seemed to invade Ezra's thoughts, which is probably why he wasn't thinking clearly now. Generally, he would have jumped at an opportunity that was practically handed to him and wouldn't waste any time in discussing all the details so that he could figure out the best deal for himself. Instead Ezra said, "I have somewhere I have to be. Perhaps we could discuss this further at a more appropriate time."
Nick agreed as Ezra stood and dropped the money for his meal on the table. "It's okay, I'll pay," Nick said.
Ezra shook his head and left the money where it was, he wasn't ready to take anything from Nick Carrick yet.
* * * * * * *
Ezra had left his jacket and derringer in his room as he headed out. He wasn't really planning on doing any actual labour, in fact he didn't have any plan at all. He wanted to see Vin, maybe talk to him and find out once and for all if there was anything between them. At least then he'd be able to make a clear decision about Carrick's proposal. It was still raining slightly, and for once Ezra didn't mind getting his clothes wet. The damp weather was cooling Ezra's skin, which seemed to heat up every time his thoughts turned to Vin. That is until Ezra spotted Vin slowly moving a stump off the track. Ezra forgot about the cooling rain as his body began to burn.
Vin knew that clearing the track wasn't really necessary, he'd just needed something physical to do. He'd been wondering whether he'd made a mistake not staying with Ezra. Vin figured that Ezra didn't know what he was saying and that he'd read too much into the gambler's mumbling. Besides, why would someone like Ezra lower himself to be with Vin, unless it was for a drunken one night stand.
Ezra continued observing Vin as he walked a little closer. Ezra didn't know how long Vin had been doing this, and it was obvious that the tracker was trying to expend his own nervous energy. Vin had taken his coat, gunbelt and hat off. He'd rolled up his sleeves and Ezra could see the muscles rippling in Vin's arms as he gripped the wood. Rivulets of moisture were running down Vin's face, neck and arms, and Ezra couldn't tell whether the droplets were rain or sweat.
Vin heard someone shuffling behind him and turned his head to see who it was. His eyes widened in surprise when his gaze fell on Ezra. This was the last person Vin had expected to see outdoors, especially in this weather. Vin could barely tear his eyes off Ezra, the drizzle had dampened Ezra's shirt which was now clinging to his chest and stomach. What the hell was Ezra trying to do to him, "What do you want?" Vin asked a little more gruffly than he intended.
Ezra's meticulous facade was washed away in the rain. He wanted Vin, now. Ezra rushed forward and grabbed the back of Vin's neck, pulling him into a searing kiss. Ezra licked the water off Vin's lips, forcing the other man's mouth open. When Ezra felt Vin's tongue search his mouth, he automatically begain sucking and tasting the tracker.
Ezra broke away from Vin's lips, and saw Vin's blue eyes darken with desire. Ezra practically threw Vin over the stump the tracker had been moving, running his hands down the lean back, feeling the muscles through the material. Ezra quickly discarded his gunbelt and undid his trousers, the cool weather did nothing to diminish his aching penis. Before Vin could reach down to push away his own pants, Ezra was already there doing it for him. Vin gasped when he felt Ezra's cool hands encircle his hardening shaft and move around to carress his butt and inner thighs. Ezra quickly inserted one, then two wet fingers into Vin who pushed back against Ezra's hand. Vin's flesh felt hot, and that's where Ezra wanted to be.
He drove his cock into Vin's tight channel, both men thrusting against each other almost immediately. Wanting to stay inside Vin for as long as he could, Ezra bent over Vin laying his chest on the tracker's back, causing Ezra to slide deeper into Vin and pounding into him in short, quick thrusts. The weight of the gambler on his back pushed Vin down, and with every movement Vin's upper body rubbed against the rought surface of the stump he was leaning over. Vin began to moan at the raw burning sensation the wood caused to his chest, and at similar sensation he was receiving from Ezra's hardness. Enjoying the slight pain, Vin continued to frantically move under Ezra eager to meet every thrust, until he felt Ezra's liquid heat inside him.
Ezra reluctantly withdrew from the luscious body, panting heavily and letting the rain wash away any excess cum. Vin straighted, and turned to face Ezra. Ezra noticed the redness to Vin's skin at the opening of his shirt. Reach out Ezra unbuttoned the front of Vin's shirt, pushing the material to the side. Vin sighed as he felt the cool droplets of water quenching the fire on his chest. Ezra added to the relief when he gently licked at the scratched area, stopping to suck at Vin's nipples as he came to them.
Vin's throbbing penis was also burning, and Vin was glad to feel Ezra's mouth moving further down. As Ezra knelt on the rain soaked floor, Vin vaguely wondered if he realised his trousers were getting muddy. However, all thought was wiped from his mind, as Ezra cupped Vin's swollen balls in his hands, and sucked Vin's erection into his mouth. Vin jerked his hips forward, and Ezra opened his throat to accommodate Vin's thrusting. Before Vin could get carried away, Ezra gave his length one more long suck as he pulled away. Vin groaned at the loss of Ezra's warm, moist mouth and opened his eyes to see Ezra grinning at him.
Vin growled into Ezra's mouth as he pushed himself against Ezra, backing him into a tree. Vin nibbled at the inside of Ezra's lips and then pushed his tongue into the other man's mouth. Ezra pushed back, forcing his tonge passed Vin's lips. Vin began to suck and bite at the intruder. Forcing one of his legs between Ezra's, Vin began rubbing his whole body up and down against Ezra.
Pushing Ezra's still undone pants down again, Vin pushed his fingers into Ezra's opening until the southerner broke away from Vin's lips and rocked himself backwards. Vin withdrew, but before Ezra could miss the sensations Vin's fingers had caused, Vin had spun him around and rammed his rock hard cock into Ezra's body. Ezra placed his hands against the tree for support as Vin slowly backed out of Ezra, stopping just before he withdrew completely.
When Ezra realised Vin wasn't going to thrust into him, Ezra pushed his butt backwards, impaling himself on Vin's erection, wanting to be filled. Closing his eyes and throwing his head back, Vin stayed completely still as he felt the cool rain wash down his face and chest in contrast to the delicious heat surrounding his manhood. Ezra began rocking over Vin, his movements becoming more and more eratic.
Vin looked down and saw Ezra's fingers trying to dig into the bark, and the muscles on his arms straining through the rain soaked shirt as he pushed himself backwards and forwards. Vin bent over slightly to trace his fingers Ezra's flexing arms, but Vin wanted to feel Ezra's smooth skin. He reached under shirt, and rubbed his hands over Ezra's chest and stomach. Vin teased the gambler's nipples into hardness, which effectively caused Ezra's own penis to harden as well. Vin still hadn't begun to move inside Ezra, letting Ezra thrust against him. Ezra started whimpering, and his seed gushed out into the rain when he felt Vin drag his fingernails down his chest. When Ezra's muscles clenched, Vin grabbed hold of Ezra's hips and pulled the southern towards him, groaning as he felt his own release.
Both men were panting heavily as they let the rain clean them, and adjusted their clothing. Ezra caught Vin smiling at him, and couldn't resist smiling back, before turning and sauntering back down the way he'd come.
* * * * * * *
Later that evening, Nick Carrick sat in the saloon nursing a whisky, waiting for Standish to show up. He'd gone for a walk around the town, and had seen Vin and Ezra together. He wondered how long they'd been together. Nick had asked around and found out who Tanner was, Vin and Ezra's friends didn't seem to know about them, and Ezra was contemplating his business offer. So, Nick figured that their physical relationship must have only just begun. Good, Carrick wouldn't mind taking Ezra to his own bed, Nick was sure he could offer the southerner more than Vin could.
Ezra came down the stairs, he didn't notice Nick Carrick, instead heading straight towards his six friends.
"How's your head?" Buck asked.
"Fine," Ezra answered.
"It should be," Nathan stated. "You didn't get up til late this morning, even for you."
"Shouldn't complain. He did actually do some work," Chris said indicating Ezra's red roughened fingers.
Ezra glanced at Vin who was chuckling softly, "Did you doubt my word, Mr Larabee?"
"That guy over there was askin' about you," JD changed the subject.
Both Ezra and Vin turned to see who JD was talking about. Vin had noticed the well dressed stranger earlier, but had figured he was just passing through.
"Mr Carrick and I have some business to discuss," Ezra explained a little uncomfortably. "If you'll excuse me gentlemen."
* * * * * * *
Ezra's eyes widened in disbelief, did he just hear right, did Carrick just proposition him? Admittedly, he hadn't been paying full attention, he'd deliberately sat down where he could still watch Vin, but he hadn't expected the conversation to take such a dramatic turn.
Vin smiled at Ezra as he walked past to leave the Saloon, Ezra resisted the urge to turn and watch the tracker walk through the doors.
Nick smiled knowingly, "I saw you and Tanner earlier today."
Ezra wasn't sure how to respond, so he stayed silent.
Vin had forgotten his hat, and Nick watched as he quietly re-entered the Saloon.
"Don't get me wrong, Tanner's very good looking." Vin stopped mid-stride when he heard Carrick saying his name. Carrick grinned and continued, "But now that he's out of your system, you should look for someone who can share a similar interest. You don't want to get bored, and what could be more exciting than making a profit and expanding a business."
Ezra didn't want to discuss Vin with Nick, but the idea of finally owning and running a saloon was very appealing, especially if he could link it with the hotel, maybe owning a chain of them in the future. Perhaps Vin would be willing to come with him to Clear Water. "I'll admit I'm always looking for something to help expand my financial situation."
Nick smiled to himself as he watched Vin exit the Saloon as quietly as he'd entered in the middle of Ezra's sentence, forgetting his hat again.
Nick listened as Ezra continued, "However, any other interests lie elsewhere. I'm not even sure I'll be able to depart with you to Clear Water just yet..."
"That's okay," Nick interrupted. "I'll be staying in Four Corners for a few more days. That should give you some time to get the money together. Perhaps if we do well in Clear Water, we could come back here and expand our enterprise." Nick got up, but before he left, he added, "You can't blame me for trying."
* * * * * * *
It had been a few days and Ezra hadn't been able to get Vin alone at all. The tracker had been so cold and distant, only speaking to Ezra when absolutely necessary and even then, his tone was harsh. In fact, Vin's whole body was posed as if to say, get the hell away from me. But Ezra wasn't going to, he'd seen Vin enter the livery and he was determined to find out what was going on.
"Mr Tanner, I thought perhaps you'd have come to my room one night to pursue the events that took place the other day."
Vin whirled around when he heard the southern drawl, "What for?"
Ezra felt as though he'd been slapped in the face, "Excuse me? I mean... Do you regret..."
Vin had heard enough at the Saloon the other night to know Ezra was just getting it out of his system. Vin wasn't rich enough, well dressed enough, or good enough for the southerner. Vin should have known that Ezra would never think of him as anything more than distraction until something better came along. And it had, Vin had seen Nick hover over Ezra when he played poker, patting him on the arm whenever he won a hand. Lately, everytime Vin walked into the Saloon, Ezra and Nick were together. Nick would pull his chair closer to Ezra as they poured over plans for whatever their business venture was, they seemed to have all their meals together, and they never seemed to run out of conversation. In fact, Vin was surprised Ezra came out alone today, Carrick was probably busy with something else and Ezra was just bored. Vin was too angry to listen to Ezra's ranting and interrupted, "Shouldn't you be out making money?"
Ezra stopped his rambling having only heard the word money, figuring that's what Vin must have wanted all along he asked "Do you require financial assistance?"
Vin clenched his fist with rage, he was ready to hit Ezra right there for even suggesting paying him. But he knew he couldn't harm the other man, so he just pushed past out into the fresh air, leaving a bewildered Ezra staring after him.
* * * * * * *
Ezra found Nick outside the hotel, "When are you leaving?"
"I was thinking tomorrow," Nick replied.
"Perhaps I'll join you after all," Ezra wanted to get out of Four Corners, away from Vin whom he just couldn't seem to figure out. He'd obviously said something wrong, if Vin didn't want money then he must have wanted Ezra to change. If that was the case, what he'd said was terribly wrong.
Nick clapped Ezra on the back, "Well then, we should celebrate," he said as he led Ezra into the hotel's restaurant.
* * * * * * *
Vin watched the exchange from the other side of the street, when Nathan approached, "Looks as if Ezra's finally going to get what he's always wanted."
Vin looked at Nathan questioningly. Nathan smiled, "A saloon of his own, in Clear Water I think."
Vin looked away from the hotel, he'd never stood a chance.
* * * * * * *
Vin rode up the next morning just in time to see Nick get on the stage, however Vin was too far away to see if Ezra was already in the carriage. As the stage rolled way Vin stalked towards the Saloon determined to find out whether Ezra had left, although he had no idea what he'd do if he found Ezra's room empty.
Ezra watched the stage leave from his window. When Ezra had asked Nick if he could accompany him to Clear Water without making a firm investment, Nick had refused. It seemed clear that without his money, Ezra held no appeal at all. His eyes drifted to the empty space where the stage had been and he saw Vin enter the Saloon. The tracker was the other reason Ezra hadn't left. Determined to get some straight answers out of Vin, even if it meant dragging the man up here by his hair, Ezra rushed towards the door.
As Ezra swung the door open, he almost crashed into Vin who was also reaching for the handle. Vin walked into the room, "You're here."
"It seems nobody seeks my company, unless they think I can offer them something more. Hell, my own mother barely corresponds with me, unless she needs help in some scheme. Why should Mr Carrick have been any different? Why should anyone?"
Vin tried to figure out exactly what Ezra was talking about, "I just came up here to see whether... I thought maybe... I wanted..."
"Finally, Mr Tanner tell me what you want," Ezra interrupted.
Vin just stared blankly at him so Ezra continued, "Half the people in my life want my money, or at least want me to make more. The other half want me to change my wicked ways. So, which is it? Do you want me to quit gambling, or drinking. Maybe I should give up my shallow ambition to be the proprietor of a successful enterprise. Or perhaps you've decided you need some material things. You might want to ask me to try and pay off that bounty on your head, provide you with a set future." Ezra whirled around to look at Vin, noticing he'd sat down on the edge of the bed. "Well Mr Tanner, what do you want?"
"You," Vin drawled quietly.
Ezra didn't trust what he was hear, "Excuse me?" he asked as he slumped down next to Vin.
"I was jealous before," Vin admitted.
Ezra tried to process what Vin was saying, "You were jealous over me?"
Vin looked into Ezra's eyes, "I can't give you anything. Like you said, I can't even offer you a future."
Ezra's mind was spinning, with those few words Vin had given Ezra more than anyone else had. Vin had just wanted him, nothing more; Vin hadn't rejected Ezra; Vin had actually thought he wasn't good enough for Ezra; Vin hadn't regretted anything; Vin hadn't taken advantage; Vin wanted to have a future with Ezra; Vin was leaving.
Ezra jumped up and grabbed hold of Vin's, stopping the tracker from reaching the door. "If all either of us want is the other person standing in this room, what exactly are we arguing about?" Ezra grinned at Vin.
Vin stared at Ezra, finally putting everything into place. As the slow, easy smile appeared on Vin's face, Ezra led him towards the bed and pulled the tracker down on top of him.
Vin lowered his lips over Ezra's, gently tasting every inch of the delicious mouth under him and allowing Ezra the same privilege. Ezra tried to follow Vin's mouth, as Vin broke away from the kiss.
"The last time I was here, you wanted me to undress you," Vin whispered. "Is that still what you want?"
Ezra nodded, "And before you start questioning me further. When you've completed that task, what I want shall become apparent."
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