Back to: Ambiguous Disclosure Part 1
Vin opened his eyes, trying to figure where he was. 'Ah hell,' he thought to himself, 'I'm at Nathan's.' "Nathan....," his voice, raspy from non use. "Nathan?"
Nathan jumped up as he heard Vin's weak voice call out for him. "Vin, let me get you some water." He placed his hand on his back and lifted him up enough so he could drink.
Vin nodded, "Thanks." Then remembering, "Ezra? He okay?" Concern colored his voice.
"Ezra's fine. I just sent him off to sleep, couldn't get him outta here 'til your fever broke." Nathan shared.
Vin nodded. "More water."
Keeping him propped up, he let him drink as much water as he wanted. Vin already looked winded, so Nathan laid him back against his pillows. "I feel as weak as a newborn kitten." Vin was disgusted with himself.
Nathan gently took a look at the wound and asked, "How'd you get shot? What he do?"
Vin bristled as he clarified the 'he'. "Ezra?" Nathan nodded. "Ezra saved my life. Bounty hunters captured me and Ez walked in as calm as you please. Demanded they let me go. They didn't and he shot them. As we were escaping, others shot at us and hit me. You sure he's okay?"
"Yeah, jus' exhausted."
"The last I remember is when Ezra had to take out the bullet and cauterize it." Vin tried to remember more, just a few hazy images. Some words, being held, but nothing solid. He sighed, "How long was I out?"
"Six days." Nathan tried to make it sound normal.
"When ya find us?"
"Except for the fever, the wound itself looks real good. He did real good by you."
Vin would have smiled he'd had the energy. Nathan seemed surprised and Vin never doubted it. "Why didn't Ezra tell you what happened?" Looking at Nathan's expression, Vin knew, "Chris got all worried and let fly at Ezra, and Ezra didn't say a thing to refute it." Vin shook his head at his two friends. His eyelids could barely stay open.
Nathan grabbed some of his herb mixture and told Vin, "Drink this, it'll get rid of any remaining infection and help you sleep." He just got it in him as his head hit the pillow.
+ + + + + + +
Ezra slept straight through until the next morning. Hard, rocky ground or not, sleep, he did. He cleaned himself in the pond and as he waited for his hair to dry, he made coffee. Donning a clean shirt, he tucked it in and combed his hair. Trying to use his morning rituals to keeps his thoughts at bay. But they were determined to invade and as he drank his coffee, the gambler reflected.
Vin. He had feelings for Vin. Lust? Oh, yes he could feel that desire now. Was that all he wanted? He fiercely wanted to say yes. But his mind screamed at him........why had he agonized so much over the potential loss of the man. He was an invaluable member of the group. Liar, his mind screamed out again..........don't be a coward to yourself. Face it. Vin. He loved Vin.
Vin had called out for Chris in his delirium. Stating that he was his. Vin had feelings for the enigmatic leader, and Ezra could never compete. The pain that lanced his heart was devastating. To discover that he could love, only to never be loved in return. The gambler rested his head back against the rock, closing his eyes to the realities and let his mind drift to the bittersweet images of Vin in his arms.
When Ezra awoke, it was afternoon. The sky was still clear, but the sun had move dramatically along the horizon. He didn't have the mental energy to deal with the others and decided to spend another night out here. The hard ground would be more welcoming than those he worked with.
+ + + + + + +
Chris brought up two bowls of stew to Nathan's place. He told Nathan to get some food for himself. He wanted to spend some time with his friend. Vin nodded his thanks and they ate in a compatible silence.
Nathan took at seat between Josiah and Buck. "Food'll be here in a minute, pard." Buck told him with a smile.
Nathan nodded his thanks and took the coffee offered by Inez. He looked around, trying to locate the conman. He half expected him to show up last night to see Vin. He thought that Vin had expected it too. "Ya all seen Ezra?"
Buck answered airily, "Nope, haven't seen him. He's probably still sleeping."
JD looked more thoughtful, "He didn't play any poker last night, and he's not ordered any food. Is he sick?" JD liked the gambler, saw some of his good qualities that the others ignored.
Nathan was about to get up. Josiah put his hand on Nathan's arm, restraining him. "Eat, I'll go check on our wayward son." Josiah proceeded up the stairs to the second floor. He knocked on his door but received no answer. So he tried the knob, the door swung open. No one was in the room, the bed hadn't been slept in. Josiah walked downstairs with a heavy heart.
JD knew something was wrong as soon as he saw Josiah's face, "What is it?" He asked of the older man.
"He's gone." Sadness evident in his voice.
"Where?" The youngest member asked.
The other three looked askew at him, Buck said it aloud, "If we knew that, we woulda known he was gone." Just when he got to thinkin' that JD was maturing, he'd go and ask some fool question. Buck shook his head at his friend.
"When do ya think'll be back?" JD asked, wanting some information.
"Don't know that he will," Josiah answered.
Nathan finished his meal, then said as he prepared to leave, "Guess, I'll have to tell Chris and Vin."
+ + + + + + +
Vin was distressed. He wanted to get up and go find him. Vin knew he'd be able to find him. But he couldn't make it to the outhouse and back by himself.
Chris got pissed. "Damn fool."
Vin looked at his friend real serious. "Chris, you're half the reason he's out there. You jumped down his throat, blamed him. You're always hard on him."
"Don't trust him."
"Oh, really, afraid to have him at your back?" Vin asked quietly.
"Chris said, "Well, no...but that's different. He's a good shot."
Vin snorted, "Ya know he'd be there, same as the others. Non of us tell him we do, wouldn't surprise me if he's gone for good." Vin was unprepared for the wave of loneliness that settled on his soul with that statement. He would truly miss that man.
+ + + + + + +
Ezra was at war with himself. Part of him wanted to runaway, protect himself from the heartache on the near horizon. Part of him needed to stay, to be within range of his beloved. To protect him, keep him safe. It would be better for him to be with Chris, than to be deceased.
Ezra wasn't sure if he was strong enough. Could he do that day after day? Yes, he has stayed, stuck it out, trying to earn Chris' trust. And that sure doesn't seem a realistic possibility. Except for JD, Ezra wasn't even sure the other five liked him. Heavens, when did that become important. Why does it hurt just saying that. The battle raged on.
He'd be able to continue reading to Vin. He knew the tracker enjoyed that, enjoyed other places with just the words. He loved that faraway smile he would get on his face, in his eyes. His eyes, blue pools of cerulean, deep enough....deep enough to see the truth. Ezra didn't think he could leave it just yet. He'd stay and collect a few more memories.
He'd have to bury what he was feeling, remember not to drink too much, least he give himself away. He's put up with the others, take their neglect and mistrust. Be near Vin for a little while longer.
+ + + + + + +
"Nathan, I feel better, I want to get up." After three days cooped up, the tracker wanted out. "Jus' want ta go down to the saloon. Not goin ridin or anything." Vin pleaded with a 'I'll be good' look.
"We woulda told you if he'd returned." Nathan said quietly.
Vin looked down, not sure what he was feeling. He was mixed up inside about Ezra. Didn't rightly understand all he was feeling. He just new he missed him.
"He'll be back just to check on you. He took his care for you very seriously. Why he even got angry with Chris about leaving the other night. See, ya called out Chris name in your delirium and Ezra wanted him to stay in case you did again." Seeing the bemused look on Vin's face, the healer shared with him, "He musta almost worked around the clock trying to keep your temperature stable. He'd warm you up or cool you down. He saved your life. He took that seriously. He'll be back." His voice trying to reassure him.
"Still want to go down to the saloon."
"Okay, tomorrow. If.........you get some rest tonight.
Vin nodded. He sat back thinking, trying not to read too much into what Nathan had said.
+ + + + + + +
Ezra rode back into town, back straight, his poker mask firmly in place. His emotions submerged below the conscious line, protected. He approached the livery and dismounted. He brushed Chaucer down, enjoying the routine and gave her the last of the sugar from his pocket. He pressed his forehead to hers and placed a small kiss there as he left.
Chris was relieved to see Ezra walk down the street. He left the sheriff's office and cut straight across the street to intercept the gambler. He needed to apologize. He tried to smile, but Ezra's nonexpression made it difficult. He tried again, "Ezra, Vin told me what happened. Sorry I jumped down your throat. I was just worried."
Ezra's expression didn't change, his step didn't falter, "No matter, Mr. Larabee. I'm sure it'll be true someday." Leaving a bewildered Chris in his wake.
Ezra entered the saloon through the back and went to his room first. He changed his clothes and made his hair presentable. He needed to be strong for his first glimpse of Vin in several days, and he needed to steel his reaction. This would the hardest part. Taking a deep breath, he went down stairs.
Vin was sure his heart danced as Ezra entered the saloon. He had been worried that Ezra may not return. He had to stop himself from rushing over there and throw himself into his arms. So he settled for just watching him from under the brim of his hat. Ezra didn't make eye contact, didn't even look their way. He went straight to his table and sat down. Pulling out a deck of cards, he began a game of solitaire.
Josiah looked at Vin and the two of them joined Ezra at his table. They both anted and Ezra gathered up the cards and started shuffling. With a neutral voice and look, Ezra inquired, "How are you faring, Mr. Tanner. You appear to have regained your color."
Vin was disappointed in Ezra's response, he had expected more. Or perhaps Nathan was wrong. But the sunlight seemed to leave Vin's day. He played in silence, which would seem normal to most, but Ezra knew that Vin was brooding, and figured it had to do with Chris.
+ + + + + + +
Over the next six weeks, other than patrolling, Ezra hardly spent any with the other peacekeepers. Ironically, this ended up saving Chris Larabee's life.
Two men that looked like they had seen tough times, rolled into town and ended up in Ezra's poker game. They hinted to a big payoff coming up. They let Ezra become privy to the knowledge hoping that he would extend them credit. Sensing the opportunity to ascertain their plans, Ezra considered it.
They willingly shared, "We're here to kill a man."
"Does this walking dead man have a name?" Ezra asked as though he had very little interest.
"We'll tell you as our entry into tomorrows game." The older man spoke as if he had a secret.
Ezra raised his glass and said, "Tomorrow, gentlemen."
The two men nodded and headed out back of the saloon to relieve themselves. Ezra followed discreetly. Staying in the shadows, Ezra over heard the older of the two laugh, "By the game tomorrow, Larabee will already be dead." The two laughed as the ambled down the alley.
Ezra returned to his table lost in thought. Vin had planned to talk to Ezra, find out was wrong, but he got up and left before he could. He watched as headed up the stairs.
Ezra knew he had to keep Larabee alive for Vin. Even though the gambler was sure that Chris was making Vin unhappy, he couldn't allow the man to die. He would watch over him all night, in case the assassins decide to strike early.
It was just a sort bit after sunrise, and the light cast eerie shadows on the town. Chris took his morning patrol about town on foot. He heard the cock of a gun, but never felt the bullet as Ezra stepped in front to intercept it. Chris had his gun out and shot both men that had fired their weapons. Both their bullets had hit Ezra. He lie crumpled at the gunslinger's feet, blood pooling about the gambler's face.
Before Chris could call out for Nathan, Vin's anguished cry could be heard echoing off the building. He yelled out for Nathan as he rushed to the fallen man. Chris was already on his knees, having turned the body over. Vin pushed Chris aside as he folded the gambler into his arms, whispering fiercely into his ear, "Don't you die on me, ya hear? Don't you dare die."
Nathan was down the stairs with his bag, as Buck and JD came out of the boarding house still buttoning their shirts. They hurried over to the fallen man. Nathan tried to see to Ezra, but Vin wouldn't relinquish his hold. Nathan said gently to the tracker, "I need to see to help him." Some part of his plea must have made an impression as Vin released his hold. Nathan saw the blood flowing out and used Ezra's own coat to press over the holes. "Here Vin, hold this firmly. Chris, help me carry him." The three men got Ezra up to Nathan office.
Vin refused to leave, so the healer put him to work. Nathan cut his shirt off as Chris removed his boots. Vin kept the pressure on the bandage until Nathan stared to operate. Then the tracker held the lamp so Nathan could see better. No one said a word as Nathan worked at getting the two bullets out. One came with ease, but the second was close to his heart and Nathan worked slowly as not cause further damage. The blood soaked cloths littered the floor, and hope dwindled that the conman could beat the odds.
Finally, with the bullets out and the wounds closed, the healer could wrap the gambler's chest. Vin pulled up a chair and planted himself next to Ezra. Chris was going down to let the others know that Ezra had at least made it through the surgery.
Later that evening, after Nathan had checked the wound for infection, he laid his hand on the tracker's shoulder. "Vin, why don't you go get some rest. He'll probably be out 'til mornin."
Very quietly the tracker answered, "No, I'll jus' wait here. In case." He brushed the hair out of the gambler's face.
Nathan looked at Vin, he held Ezra's hand, occasionally talking to him. Vin was more than just worried about a friend.
Without taking his eyes off the man in front of him, he asked Nathan, "Ever since Witford, Ezra's been different, distant. Me or JD haven't even been able to get him to talk to us. Nathan, what's wrong with him?"
Nathan sighed before he answered, "I dunno." He paused, then decided to tread where neither of the two men might want him to go, but this fell into mental health, so they were patients. "Vin, this goes back to when you were shot..." Vin looked over at Nathan. Nathan sat across from Vin, on the other side of Ezra. "Vin, in your fevered dreams you would thrash about wildly. The only way to calm you down, each and every time, was Ezra. He would hold you and you would rest. No one else could get you calm. Just Ezra." He let that sink in, then he added, "In your fevered dreams, you would talk, the only words that Ezra heard, were the same I heard here. You called out for Chris, then you stated that he was yours. Vin.......I saw Ezra's face, he was hurt. Ezra got mad at Chris for not staying the whole time, but it wouldn'ta mattered, only Ezra's touch calmed ya down."
Vin didn't say anything. He sat staring at Ezra. He couldn't remember any dream. He couldn't remember Ezra holding him. That made him sad.
Nathan very gently asked, "Vin, you got soft feelings for him, don't ya?"
Vin looked up alarmed, fear on his face.
Nathan smiled, "None of my business who you care about. Not my place to talk about it." He hoped Vin understood what he was telling him.
Vin must have, "Yeah Nathan, I got soft feelings for him. But he don't back." Dejection oozed from his depressed posture.
"Your wrong Vin. Ezra does care, he jus' thinks you want Chris." Nathan waited. He was rewarded with a tentative smile that grew as the words sunk in.
Vin looked at Nathan, didn't see anger or disgust in his eyes. Only saw the caring for two of his friends. "He took special care of you. Ezra isn't usually inclined to be so giving." The healer saw a new determination set on the tracker's face as he looked down on the injured man. He reminded him softly, "We still don't know if he's gonna live."
Vin touched the cheek of the man he loved, "He's gonna live. He's jus' gotta." Vin leaned down and kissed his head.
+ + + + + + +
Ezra was drifting through a dark haze. He didn't feel anything, but something nagged at him. He couldn't remember, but the urgency was there, that he should remember. He worked himself through the haze, searching.
As the dark lifted, the pain returned. The pain burned, he burned and he remembered. Vin was lost to him. He wanted to go back to the dark. He whimpered in anguish as words penetrated, 'We still don't know if he's gonna live.' He understood, he was dying.
Before he died, he wanted just one thing. Only one, he should get it. He had to face the pain though, but then he could die happier. He'd face the pain. Ezra then struggled through all the haze.
+ + + + + + +
Vin and Nathan both heard the whimper. Vin grabbed the gambler's hand and rubbed it. "Ezra, fight. Come back." Vin's voice was rough with unshed tears as he called into the conman's ear, hoping he would hear him.
Nathan bathed his face and neck, trying to keep his body cool.
+ + + + + + +
It sounded like someone was almost in tears. His mother, she would cry for him. But then he heard his mother say clearly, "My darlin' son, I would never cry in public over you." Ezra acknowledged that this was true. He listened harder, he then recognized the voice, it was Vin. He was elated. Then, he became sad again. It figured that as he was this close to death, he would hear whoever he wanted crying for him. It wasn't real. But he could get his one thing, he just had to tell Nathan. He must try. "Nathan."
Nathan heard the weak voice ask for him. He moved to his side, "Ezra, I'm here. Glad to have you with us." He bathed his head again. Vin still held his hand.
The weak voice tried again, "Nathan, as I'm.....dying, can.....I have....one last....wish.?"
Vin whimpered at hearing Ezra say those words, but Nathan shushed him. "What do you want Ezra?" He asked.
"Do you think Chris would mind if .....I just want Vin to hold me, one last time." Nathan had to lean close to catch all the words.
Nathan looked over at Vin, "Can you do it?" Looking at the tears that were running down his face.
Vin nodded and went to the other side of the bed and laid on it. Then he gathered the gambler into his arms and he whispered into his ear. "I'll hold you, Ezra. Forever I will hold you. Stay. Fight. I need you here. I love you. Only you Ezra." He buried his face in Ezra 's neck as he held him tightly in his arms, rocking just the slightest bit.
Ezra breathed in the scent. Vin. Vin was here, holding him. Vin. Then words floated to him. Vin was talking to him. He couldn't hear all of them.....shush, he told himself. Then he heard words he never thought to hear. Love. Ezra was loved. Was this true?........Maybe he should try and fight to live a bit longer, just to find out. Yeah, maybe. Then all was silent as he fell into a restful sleep.
"Nathan, did he hear me?" A tear filled voice asked, hopeful. Not wanting to lose love this close to finding it.
Nathan checked Ezra's breathing. He smiled at Vin, "Yeah, Vin, I think he did. He's in a restful sleep, the healing kind. He has a fighting chance now."
Vin planted a light kiss on Ezra's head, then rested his head lightly over the kiss, never letting go of the man in his arms.
By morning Vin was cramped but happier. Ezra was resting much easier and his fever was down. The healer tried to get Vin to leave but he refused. He said doggedly, "I'm staying 'til Ezra wakes, I want him to see that he was held, his wish was granted. Telling him won't do no good. He has to see for himself."
Nathan conceded that Vin was probably right on that one. "I'm going down and have some breakfast. I'll bring some back for you."
"Just coffee, I'll eat later." Vin looked over at Nathan and smiled. Nathan nodded and closed the door quietly behind him.
Vin rested his cheek back on Ezra's head. He was pleasantly surprised when he heard a soft voice speak.
"Vin?....Why are you here?" Ezra knew before he opened his eyes, that Vin was next to him, holding him. The unique scent that was all Vin, surrounded him. He inhaled deeply, loving it.
"Ezra, I held ya cause ya asked, I stayed cause I love ya." Vin kissed his forehead as he sighed in relief that Ezra was awake.
"Love me?" The dream had been true, a warm feeling filled the silent cold places in Ezra's soul.
"Yeah, Ez, I love you. Always you." Vin moved so he could make eye contact, let him see the truth in his eyes.
Ezra looked into the blue eyes that showed the love he spoke of, and more. Ezra reached up his hand and lightly touched Vin's face. Stunned at what he saw. More love in one look than he had ever received in his whole life. Ezra sucked in his breath, afraid he was still asleep.
Vin read everything in the green eyes. Delight, stunned amazement, fear. The emerald eyes had a sheen of tears that didn't fall. Vin connected his eyes with Ezra's and slowly leaned down and pressed his lips to the gamblers, letting him read down to his naked soul, the love he had for him, just him. The kiss started gentle, exploring, but the sheer joy both men felt translated itself into a spark of passion that erupted into the fiery yearning to be as close as they could be. The need for air, the only reason the kiss ended.
"Vin, I've never loved more than I love you." Ezra said in a soft voice. Daring to believe that this was real.
"Oh, Ezra, I love you dearly." Vin rained little kisses on his face. He then held his love as he slept again.
+ + + + + + +
Over the next three days Ezra slept as much as he was awake. Nathan was pleased with his recovery. Nathan couldn't get over how much Vin could get him to do. Take all the bad tasting herb drink. Eating, changing the dressing and staying put. Ezra had never been so compliant. A little love went a long way.
Vin was taking all his meals with Ezra, but no one had asked many questions, Nathan didn't divulge any information other than the condition of his patient. JD and Josiah were anxious to see Ezra. JD had been concerned for a long time about his friend.
As JD entered, he saw that Ezra was awake and sitting up. Vin was seated in a chair right next to the bed. Vin held the gamblers hand and didn't let it go as JD came in. Both men smiled at JD. He pulled up a chair and smiled back at both men.
"Gee, it sure is good to see you smile, I was kinda worried. How you feeling?" JD rushed it all together.
"Mr. Dunne, I am feeling much better than I have in a long while. Thank you for caring, my friend." Ezra said plainly, his voice still not real strong.
"Actually, Vin, you're lookin mighty happy too." JD stated, but the question was there.
"Ezra's gonna live, I could dance." Vin said as he looked into Ezra's eyes. Blue to green, green to blue, lost in each other.
JD smiled too as he said softly, "Wondered if it wasn't like that. You two are good together. Thought so since that time on the road, when Ez read to us." JD just sat there grinning.
Nathan stepped in quietly and JD pointed at the two men starring into each others eyes, "Ain't it great Nathan?" JD sighed, truly happy for his friends.
Nathan answered, "Yeah, JD, when you see em, it does make you feel that way."
JD got up to leave and said to Nathan, "I ain't gonna say nothing. They can tell the others in time." He left the healer's place easy and Nathan couldn't help but smile at how often that Kid was underestimated.
The following day Nathan released Ezra to go to his room as long as he wasn't alone. Vin volunteered. Nathan wasn't surprised.
After getting down the stairs, Ezra was ready for a rest. He sat outside the saloon, looking at the town he almost left, happy to be staying. One by one, the other guys joined him at the table. All glad to see him up again.
"When you're feelin up to it Ez, I'm lookin for a good poker game." Buck smiled at the gambler.
He raised his eyebrow as he inquired, "Been practicing, Mr. Wilmington?"
"You'll have to play to find out." Buck played with his mustache.
"I'll look forward to it Mr. Wilmington." Ezra smiled. The first one that Buck had seen in a long while.
Chris got up and put his hand on Ezra's shoulder as he said, "Glad to have you back and thank you, Ezra." He gave it a gentle squeeze before walking away.
Nathan and Vin got Ezra up to his room. Nathan told them he'd be up at dinnertime to give Ezra more medicine. Before he closed the door, he said, "Nothing too strenuous," and with a wicked grin, shut the door.
Vin smiled at Ezra, "First, I should make sure you're comfortable." He took off Ezra's boots, then put a pillow behind his back. He started to unbutton the borrowed shirt when Ezra stilled his hand. Vin looked up to questioning green eyes.
"You don't have to do this." Ezra said to Vin.
"Want to. Need to. I want to touch you so bad, I could die from it."
Vin's honesty bemused Ezra and he put his hands out as he said, "Can't have that." His smile had Vin breathing a little harder.
Vin brushed Ezra's errant hair aside and kissed him with all the promise to fulfill dreams. He continued his task with the shirt and gently pulled it off the wounded side, then threw it to the floor. Ezra's eyes stayed right on Vin, the shirt's whereabouts didn't concern him at all. Vin placed both hands on the exposed chest, careful not to touch the bandage. He spread his fingers wide and lightly caressed as his fingertips played along the skin. Ezra's quickly indrawn breath was music to the tracker's ears. He stopped one hand at the nub protruding and he played with it. It responded so quick to the touch, that Vin had to know what it would do if he licked it. The owner of the nub moaned in pleasure, the nub became harder still.
His lips went back for a kiss as his hand went to the gambler's pants. First he traced the bulge that now strained against the fabric and moved under his light brush across it. Ezra's hips moved up of their own accord to stay in contact with Vin's hand. Vin smiled and stole another kiss. Using both hands, he undid the fastenings of the gambler's pants and freed his throbbing member. Ezra jerked as Vin took it in his hand. Ezra made eye contact and he could see the same desire and love that was in his eyes. The tracker pulled off the trousers completely and quickly took off his own clothes. Ezra's eyes were glued to the tracker as each garment hit the floor. He caught his breath at the sheer beauty of the man before him. Questioning for a moment, that this man could love him.
Whether it was a fleeting expression, or a trace body movement, Vin knew what was in Ezra's thoughts. "I love you more than the air we breathe." He laid beside Ezra, looking deep into his eyes, "You'd recognize a lie if you saw one, look deep and you'll see the truth."
Any doubt that might be lingering was banished by the look that Ezra saw in that man's eyes. He cupped Vin's cheek and with tears in his eyes he vowed, "I pledge to make you happy. That will be my life's work." He put his fingers into the long, soft hair and gently pulled the mouth he wanted on his, closer. Barely touching his lips, Ezra breathed on them, "I love you, Vin Tanner," and he crushed their lips together.
Tongues touched and caressed each other, then let the other explore the new mouth. Hands explored the chest and back and as Vin moved closer, their erections brushed each other, desire ignited passion and they moved against each other in an age old rhythm. Each gyrating and meeting their match, thrust for thrust until they climaxed with synchronous explosions. Warm fluids mixed together on their chests, satisfied smiles upon their faces.
Vin tucked Ezra's head under his, pulling him close. He kissed his temple as he felt Ezra drift off to sleep. Vin moved his fingers in little circles on Ezra's shoulder. He thought to himself, 'I love this sensitive man that all others assumed was as hard as the shell he projected.' Vin knew he could look into his lover's soul and see forever there, the emerald eyes that didn't know how to lie to him. He whispered aloud as he sighed in happiness, "My heart's come home." He was even more overjoyed when he heard an echo in a southern accent.
"My heart's come home, too."
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