The First Time
by Sammy Girl
Disclaimer: Not mine, never were, never will be.
Author's Note: This bit of PWP fluff is for my mate and cyber twin Kerry - Happy Birthday! It continues the relationship between Buck and Ezra started in Reassurances And Revelations and The Long Weekend, but is not a sequel as such. My thanks to Sue N for proofreading this for me.
Back to: First Encounter
"Mmmm," Ezra Standish sighed as he pushed himself against his lover. Buck Wilmington's long frame seemed to surround him as they lay together in front of the fire, whose light filled the room with a warm glow and an ever changing show of shadows and light, dancing on the ceiling. "Thank you for my birthday present," he said with another sigh.
"This wasn't your real present, you get that t'morrow, when it's yer birthday, this is just a birthday treat." Buck pulled him closer as he explained.
Ezra didn't respond other than with another contented sigh.
When he had come home after a long Friday, after a long week, his lover had met him at the door of their shared home.
"Don't move," he had instructed.
Buck had then taken his laptop and briefcase from him. Ezra had been testifying in court every day for nearly two weeks. He was exhausted and would happily have headed for the bedroom then and there, even though it was only just gone six in the evening. Had he been more awake he would have noticed the door to the living room was shut, as was the door to the guestroom. This was unusual; the under-floor heating worked best if air circulated freely, and so long as they didn't have company they generally kept all the doors open. Buck took the tired man by the hand.
"Follow me," Buck instructed.
"To the ends of the earth, my Beloved," Ezra breathed.
"No, just the bathroom." If Ezra hadn't been so tired he would have been intrigued or even aroused. Buck could work wonders in a bathroom.
The huge and luxurious master bathroom was bathed in candlelight. An aroma that was a mixture of pine and cinnamon and sandalwood filled the air.
"Relax, put on something comfortable," Buck instructed him before turning to go.
"You're not staying?" Ezra asked, somewhat surprised and disappointed.
"Not this time." Buck gave him a gentle kiss on the cheek. "Come into the dining room when you're ready."
Ezra turned fully to face the man around whom his whole life now revolved. He gazed up into midnight blue eyes while running soft skilled fingers through Buck's luxuriantly thick, dark hair.
"Take... take all the time... you, err, whenever you're ready." Ezra's ministrations were distracting him, as the fingers moved to stroke Wilmington's ear. "I gotta see to something, you... you enjoy your bath." With a quick kiss to Ezra's inviting lips he forced himself to leave.
It turned out Buck had cooked. Since moving in together, they had both been forced to learn to cook better. They couldn't live on take-outs and eating out meant always being on their guard, never able to even look lovingly into the eyes of the adored one sitting just in front of them. Never able to share a spoonful of chocolate mousse, never able to run a toe up the leg of your lover. So they learned to cook, nothing too difficult, just simple dishes to start with. Tonight, the eve of Ezra's birthday, Buck had tried something a little more ambitious. For starters they had Jannson's Temptation, tiny matchsticks of potato, cooked in cream, onion, butter and anchovies. That was followed by Hungarian Goulash, cooked, Ezra had to admit, to perfection.
"So where, Beloved, did you learn to cook such exotic cuisine?" Ezra asked as he fed Buck another fork full of succulent beef in creamy tomato sauce.
"From a book. I went and got me a book and just did what it said. You know it ain't all that difficult? 'Cept fer cuttin' up all them 'taters so small." He showed Ezra the myriad of small cuts on his hand.
"Well we can't have you suffering, come here." With that he proceeded to kiss each tiny cut. "Better?"
"Much. You ready for dessert now?" Buck captured the hand that was holding his and kissed the back of it.
"Did you make it?"
"Every last bit of it." There followed the most devilish waggling of eyebrows Ezra had ever seen.
Dessert turned out to be homemade chocolate mousse, their joint favorite. But Buck wouldn't let him eat it at the table; instead he led Ezra into the living room. The living room that had been shut until then. It, like the bathroom, was lit with candles, and a fire in the grate.
Ezra stood in amazement. He had always known the fireplace was open, but he had never tried to use it. Usually a simple brass fire screen stood in front of it.
"What? How?" Ezra for once was lost for words.
"Well, last month, when you was away at that conference for two days, I had Butler's come and clean it out. You know they didn't leave one speck of soot?" Buck shook his head in amazement.
Ezra continued to stare. Only now did he take in that all the furniture had been pushed back and the mattress from the spare bed was now in front of the fireplace, beautifully made up with pillows and a comforter over a crisp white sheet. At least he now knew why the guestroom was locked.
"You know," Ezra started, "...eating chocolate mousse in bed could be messy."
Buck nodded sagely. "Very, might be an idea to take off that fancy designer shirt of yours - to, err... protect it."
Ezra glanced down at his light chinos. "These are almost new, I would hate to see them ruined."
"Best to take them off then." Buck started to undo his old jeans, old but very snug; Ezra liked to see him in tight pants. "Can't say these are gonna get ruined, but they are a might tight to lie down in." By the time Ezra was down to his silk boxers, Buck was wearing nothing but a tee-shirt.
"Don't you ever wear underwear when you're home?" Ezra asked, letting the boxers slide down.
"Not when you're here - no point!"
Ezra ran his hand over Buck's now naked hip, then up under the red shirt, letting his sensitive fingertips trace the pattern of muscles of his abdomen and then further up over the rib cage.
"Chocolate is a most stubborn stain, you know, and this is such a nice soft shirt," he whispered seductively as a second hand began to work the shirt up, exposing Buck's chest. "Mmmm, someone is eager," he commented, eyeing the erect nipples.
"For you, Babe, always for you." Buck helped pull the shirt off.
A now naked Buck took an equally naked Ezra by the hand and led him onto the mattress. They sat facing each other, Ezra's powerful thighs resting over Buck's slim hips while Buck's long legs wrapped around Ezra. Buck had produced a single bowl of dark, rich chocolate mousse, but no spoons.
"Beloved, we appear to be deficient in suitable silverware," Ezra pointed out.
"Nah, we don't need nothing but what we got here." With that Buck dipped his right index finger in the smooth dark dessert and held the now generously loaded digit in front of Ezra. For a moment Ezra did nothing, then he very, very slowly leant over to take the finger in his mouth and suck the bittersweet, creamy mousse into his mouth.
"Mmmm," he purred, licking his lips before copying the action and offering Buck a finger of mousse.
Buck took the finger, sucked the chocolate dessert down and then held the finger just a little longer than was needed, only releasing it very slowly.
"Mmmm, that worked rather well, must remember that recipe," Buck commented of his own cooking.
"It was all good. You have hidden talents, my Beloved. May I have a little more?"
"More?" Buck asked, an eyebrow raising questioningly.
"I believe I could eat a little more, yes."
Buck dug two fingers into the mousse and offered them to Ezra. This time Ezra just licked the mousse off the fingers until they were quite clean, he then finished by running his tongue down the crack between the two digits, forcing them apart and running his tongue between them.
"Yer makin' me hungry. Guess I could eat a little more myself," Buck purred, breathing chocolate-scented breath over Ezra as he did.
Ezra just smiled and mimicked Buck in offering his lover two fingers loaded with chocolate mousse. Buck took the whole lot in his mouth and just sucked, pulling the dessert down his throat without using his tongue. Then his teeth gently took hold of Ezra's fingers as his tongue wrapped itself around each digit separately before finally releasing them. Ezra, who had been still and transfixed, just gulped out a breath, unaware he had been holding it in.
"How did this happen to me?" he finally breathed. Buck just raised an eyebrow. "How did I get to be so happy, so lucky?"
Buck put the bowl of mousse down beside them. "Because you deserve it. You are my precious one, my darling, my one and only." He placed a large hand alongside Ezra's cheek, brushing the fine cheekbone with his thumb. Then he pulled him closer and kissed his lover's lips gently. There was just a hint of chocolate on them, which Buck savoured before he gently pushed the kiss deeper, exploring the warm, softness of Ezra's mouth. The mixture of Ezra's own unique taste and rich chocolate was intoxicating. After revelling in the sensation of being kissed for a second or two, Ezra returned the kiss. Always a demanding and passionate kisser, Ezra lifted his hands to hold Buck's head, his fingers intertwining in his thick, slightly wavy hair. Finally Ezra, all tiredness forgotten, pulled back and began to kiss Buck's neck. In response Wilmington lifted his head, the better to facilitate Ezra's ministrations. As he reached his lover's collarbone, Ezra ran his tongue into the hollow under the bone, sucking on the ridge as he moved toward the shoulder.
For once Buck let Ezra lead. Most of the time it was he who was the instigator - like tonight - and Ezra liked it that way. He liked, needed, to be taken care of, to be led, to be looked after. So much so that on the rare occasions he took the initiative, Buck had learned to let him, knowing how important it was to Ezra to occasionally demonstrate his deep affection in a very physical way. The kisses moved along his upper arm, becoming more insistent, little bites joining the kisses. Buck gasped, feeling his already semi hard manhood swell and harden almost instantly as Ezra moved down, brushing kisses and small bites to Buck's sparsely haired chest. So much so that when Ezra finally reached his already erect nipples he was fully hard and aching for attention, attention he knew he would be getting, though Ezra would make him wait a while longer.
Ezra, lost in the moment, unaware of the passing of time, pulled his legs back so he was now kneeling over Buck's lap, one hand still running through Buck's hair, the other pressed flat against the nipple he wasn't kissing, sucking and nibbling. Buck gasped out loud, then sucked in a deep breath; one arm groping back to support himself as the other ran over Ezra's broad muscular back, his head thrown back as Ezra finally moved on, leaving his always responsive nipples standing proud, red and aching. Ezra brushed kisses over the flat stomach, dipping in to the navel, causing Buck - always ticklish - to laugh, as his muscles involuntarily contracted and rippled away from the stimulation.
Buck had boasted once that Ezra gave world-class head, and it was no lie. The anticipation of what was about to happen made him shiver and his ramrod straight, hard as steel cock, began to weep in anticipation. Ezra finally noticed his lover's reactions and looked up, a grin of pure devilment on his face.
"Easy, tiger, we'll get there. Patience is a virtue."
"Hell, Ez!" Buck gasped. "I'm the least virtuous person I know."
"No, my Beloved, you are the most virtuous, never forget that. Of course, you are also the horniest as well!"
"Oh yeah." Buck got no further as Ezra shimmied his hips back and ducked down, blowing warm breath over the tip of his lover's manhood. "Oh God," Buck finally gasped out. "This was meant to be your pre-birthday treat, not mine," he pointed out.
Ezra looked up, somewhat puzzled. "Don't I get to do what I want on my birthday?" he asked.
"Yeah - 'course."
Ezra grinned. "Good, because this is exactly what I want to do." With that he bent down again and brushed the tip of Buck's cock with his lips.
Forced to let go of Ezra altogether, Buck's other hand went back to further support himself, his hips making instinctive attempts to thrust his crotch up to meet the lips offering tantalisingly gentle stimulation. But the bulk of Ezra, kneeling on his legs, thwarted him. Ezra really was in control this time.
Buck's head was swimming, his own amazement that he had found love, the kind of love he had always thought he was destined never to have, mixed with the intense sensations Ezra's attention was producing. This was an intoxicating and heady drug which had him higher than any narcotic. He had looked at Chris and Sarah all those years ago, and been more jealous than he could bring himself to admit. The same was true of Nathan and Rain.
His mother used to tell him, "Buck my darlin', you have a huge heart, with more capacity for love than anyone I have ever met, and it will need someone very special to fill it. But once full it will be a fragile thing, broken by just the smallest knock. Be careful my love, choose well."
Like all his mother's advice, it was good advice. He had given his heart to Ezra, and Ezra had almost broken it; almost but not quite. As it turned out, once the break was tended to, it proved to be no more than a scratch, now so well repaired it was invisible.
No one he had ever met had made him feel the way Ezra did, no woman and definitely no man. He had looked at other men, appreciated their looks, their bodies, even imagined what it would be like to lie with them. That included Chris and Vin; he had even had thoughts about Nathan. But that was all they were, just thoughts, idle imaginings. That day Ezra had walked into the office, his head, his gut and his groin reacted as one. It was like nothing he had ever experienced before, more powerful than holding Adam for the first time, more sexually charged than losing his virginity, more exciting than his first shoot-out. When Chris introduced him, he didn't stand up to shake hands, he couldn't, he was as hard as a rock. But he gave Ezra one of his hundred watt smiles, extended his hand and tried to sound just friendly and not wanton.
In his wildest and most erotically charged dreams, he never guessed Ezra could return his love. Even as those jade green eyes and tantalising dimples were torturing him, day in day out in the office, he didn't think he could find love with Ezra. Even when he caught sight of Ezra in the shower, water cascading off his sculpted, hard, well-muscled body, and had to turn tail and run or risk coming then and there in his pants, he thought his love would be unrequited. But... Ezra had started to flirt with him. Oh, Buck knew he wasn't aware he was doing it, wasn't aware of the signals he was sending out, but to Buck, raised in the sexually charged atmosphere of a brothel, the signals were as clear as day. It had taken some very careful manoeuvring over more than a year to ensure that his advances wouldn't be repulsed or that if they were, he wouldn't risk exposure. And when he finally made his move and Ezra didn't repulse him, didn't run scared, didn't reject him or look at him with pity or loathing, he could have walked on water.
Taking pity on his lover, Ezra took the tip of the satisfyingly big, hard member before him into his talented mouth. To begin with he just sucked, very, very gently. He could feel Buck attempting to force him to do more, wiggling and squirming beneath him, but he took no notice. At his own speed he moved it up a gear. Buck always tasted great and he loved to savour the flavour of his lover. It was a mixture of the plain glycerin soap Buck preferred, the salty, bitter taste of cum, and an intoxicating musky flavour that was all Buck and pure man.
Ezra didn't deepen his hold on Buck but just let his tongue sneak out to run tantalisingly down the back of his cock, to stimulate the ridge that ran down it - one of Buck's most erogenous places. In response the tall man beneath him practically came off the mattress, all but levitating in pure erotic pleasure.
"Oh Christ, Ez, don't do this, please, please, I'm beggin' here, please..."
Ezra looked up and into pleading midnight blue eyes. He lifted his head up, causing Buck to groan as the stimulation was lost. "My birthday treat, remember," he reminded.
"Oh God, I've created a monster!" Buck lamented as Ezra returned to torturing him with slow delights.
Suppressing a laugh and taking pity on him, Ezra suddenly deep-throated Buck, sucking hard as he pulled back, letting his teeth drag over the taut skin before his lips further sensitized it as they followed the teeth.
"Oh God! Jesus H Christ!" Buck exclaimed as Ezra stepped up the pace. "Fuck Ezra! Warn a guy before you do that!"
Ezra looked up. "Where's the fun in that?"
Before Buck could answer, but while he was still looking at Ezra, drinking in the beautiful, dimpled face, damp with sweat, flushed with desire, and not looking at Ezra's hands, those hands were moving. They now cupped his balls, running a thumb over the soft sac, moving the balls under his hand. Buck convulsed, threw back his head and opened his mouth to speak, but nothing except unintelligible sounds came out. Before he could get himself together Ezra returned to his oral ministrations. There was no more deep-throating, just a return of the gentle ministrations of before, keeping Buck on the edge, but not letting him fall over, not yet. Even so, inexorably Buck was approaching his climax. He began to tremble involuntarily, something they both knew meant he was very aroused and very close to the edge. Suddenly Ezra stopped. Only semi aware of that was going on, high on endorphins, Buck looked up. Ezra had moved positions, opening up his knees so as to raise his ass off Buck's thighs.
"My treat," he whispered as he manoeuvred himself over the long, thick, dagger of hot flesh standing to attention before him. "Oh my, Buck! I thought I was lucky to find you, but this little beauty was some bonus."
"Watch what you call little," Buck managed to respond, getting some control over his vocal cords if nothing else.
In truth, Ezra had been scared when he had first seen the size of a fully aroused Buck, scared and excited all at the same time. It was said that size wasn't everything, and Ezra agreed; it was what one did with what one had that mattered. But, if one had size and technique, well that was hog heaven, and Buck sure as hell knew what he was doing.
"Oh don't you worry, I will never think on it as little, it is wonderful, superb, it is just magnificent."
All the time he was talking Ezra was discreetly preparing himself. Finally he moved, positioning himself directly over the shaft and lowering himself down to be impaled on the inviting pole beneath him.
"Ride 'um cowboy!" Buck encouraged as Ezra began to move.
"You bet!" With that Ezra stepped up the pace, raising his hips and then lowering himself faster and faster. Suddenly he shuddered, the ring of muscle encasing Buck's highly sensitised penis convulsed, and Buck almost lost it, but using all his willpower he told his cock to hold on just a little longer.
"That hit the spot, did it?" Buck asked dreamily.
All Ezra could do was nod, and he seemed to sway slightly as if not quite in control of his body. Buck brought his knees up to further support his lover as he rode him, propping himself up on trembling elbows to better enjoy the view as a look of pure joy spread over Ezra's face, indeed his whole body. Ezra moved again and again found his pleasure centre rubbing against the shaft within him. By now Ezra's own cock, until this time totally ignored by both men, was weeping. It wasn't anywhere near as big as Buck's but it was a good length and as Buck knew highly responsive. Ezra often needed no additional stimulation to come; the very presence of Buck within him, filling him, and stimulating him was enough to bring him to climax. Today Buck reckoned would be one of those days, but because Ezra had taken control, he didn't know if he could hang on long enough for him to make it all the way. There was no way Buck was going to leave Ezra wanting. Carefully he dropped back down onto the mattress so as to free his hands, then he reached out and captured the weeping cock as it bobbed about in front of him.
"Oh God!" Ezra cried, as he was assaulted by the twin stimulations to his sexual centre.
As Ezra continued to stimulate himself on Buck's shaft, Buck stroked, squeezed and pulled on his manhood, rubbing his thumb over the slit at the tip. He usually took it slow, but he knew he was going to have to let go soon, either that or pass out, so he upped the pace, bringing Ezra to the edge as quickly as he could.
"Babe I can't..." he gasped.
"I know, me too..." And that was it. In perfect harmony, they came together, Buck calling Ezra's name, Ezra weeping with sheer joy as he fell forward to lie panting on top of his Beloved, Buck still inside him.
Eventually Ezra, giving a little moan of regret, finally separated their bodies and rolled off his lover to lie panting beside him. Buck, now that his brain was finally working, reached out a long arm and fished about under the coffee table behind them, finally emerging with a slightly damp wash cloth. Before he could do anything with it however, Ezra had gently taken it and began to wash Buck's stomach, chest and hands, smiling with benevolence and love as he worked. Finally he sat up.
"There, all done," he announced.
"Thank you." Buck reached up and took the cloth, replacing it in the discreetly hidden bowl and pulling Ezra down beside him again.
"No, thank you, that was the best present I ever had." Ezra gently kissed Buck on the lips, not a hard passionate kiss, nothing that would bruise him, just a gentle, 'thank you' kiss.
Ezra rolled over to spoon up against his tall partner, Buck lifting one long leg up and letting it rest over Ezra's well muscled thigh.
"So what is my real present?" Ezra asked.
"Now that would be telling, but I hope you'll like it."
"If you chose it, I know I will."
"So," Buck began, his fingers playing with the little curls at the back of Ezra's neck, "...are you gonna do that more often?"
"Do what, Beloved?"
"Making me play 'follow the leader', all dominant and demanding like that?"
Ezra sighed, revelling in the heat of Buck's body pressed up against his. "No, it wouldn't be special if I did it all the time."
"I don't mind, you know," Buck assured.
"No, I like you taking care of me, I like you making all the decisions, it's just that occasionally I want to, to..."
"Take what you need?" Buck offered.
Ezra's heart sank. Was that what Buck thought? He was taking from him. They had been working on Buck's self image. He thought they had made progress, that Buck was beginning to truly believe he was not the poor white trash his childhood experiences told him he was. Now it seemed he still had work to do. He rolled around within Buck's embrace so he could face him, worry all over his face.
"No, no, not that, never. I would never just take my pleasure from you. No, I want to give it to you, to do for you what you do for me." His face fell even further. "Guess I'm still learning."
"No, oh God, no..." Buck reached out and lay his hand on Ezra's cheek. "...you were amazing, Babe, believe me, I ain't that good an actor. That was genuine, that was mind blowing, totally fucking amazing sex! I loved it."
A small smile made its way almost apologetically across his face. Then just as it came it went, replace by ill concealed worry. Buck, always good at empathising, took a guess at the reason.
"That don't mean I want it like that all the time. I like taking care of you, I still want to do that. But any time you feel the need to go all dominant and demanding, well, me and little Buck aren't gonna be complaining none," he assured, while all the time his thumb stroked Ezra's cheek.
"Thought we decided not to call it 'little'," Ezra teased.
They both descended into laughter. While Buck pulled up the covers, Ezra rolled over again to once more be held safe in the arms of love. He truly did want Buck to take the lead, to give him pleasure, to love him, to take away the need to think, to make decisions, to plan things out. He wanted to come home and hand over control of his life to the only person he trusted so utterly and completely he didn't even have to think about it. Much of his working life was spent so utterly in control, he almost had to think before he drew breath. Buck gave him the safety to totally let go, to be utterly relaxed and unguarded, the safety to stop thinking. But at the back of his mind was the fear that it was putting a lot on to Buck. Even though Buck kept saying how much he liked it and wanted it. Even though they were doing it primarily with Ezra's money, somewhere at the back of Ezra's mind, that same little voice that told Buck he didn't deserve to be loved, told him that if he was a burden or asked for anything or made a fuss, he would be abandoned.
Yet again Buck's empathy - Ezra was beginning to think it was telepathy - kicked in.
"Guess we're both still a bit screwed up. So let me say it one more time. I. Love. You. Always will. Always and forever. I love to take care of you, to give you pleasure, when I do I get pleasure from doing it. You are a great lover - the best! I swear it. And I will try to believe you when you tell me I deserve something as wonderful as you."
Ezra arched his head back to rest more fully against Buck.
"I love you too, always and forever, truly, madly, deeply. I love you taking care of me, making the decisions. When you make love to me, you touch me like no one else has or ever could, you make love to my soul and my body. I know you don't mind if occasionally I reverse the roles and will endeavour to remind myself that just because I need something from you, you won't abandon me."
"Never, Babe, never ever." Buck pulled him closer.
"Buck," Ezra whispered; there was no response.
Even though it was quite early, enveloped by a post-coital, hormone-induced haze, they had drifted off to sleep in front of the fire, Ezra pressed up against Buck, his tall lover's strong arms wrapped protectively around him.
"Buck," he tried again a little louder.
Sometime while they slept Wilmington had rolled away to lie in his customary sleeping position, flat on his back. Ezra still lay beside him, his head resting over Buck's outstretched arm.
"Buuuuuck," Ezra tried, slowly rolling over to face his Beloved, whose face, a face he loved so much, he could just make out by the last dying embers of the fire.
"Buuuuuuck," he tried again laying a hand on the broad chest before him and playing with the sparse silky hair with his finger.
"Mmmm," Wilmington finally responded, neither opening his eyes or moving.
"Are you awake?"
"N'h," Buck muttered.
"Buck, are you awake?" Ezra asked more loudly.
"W's up?" Buck asked without opening an eye. "S' one hurt?"
"No, everyone is fine."
"Goo..." The end of the word was lost as Buck began to drift back to sleep.
"Buuuuck, it's five past twelve," Ezra explained.
"So," Buck mumbled, barely listening.
"It's my birthday."
It took Buck a little while to process this, then he opened one eye. "Happy Birthday. You want Buck to give you some good loving?" he asked in a low husky voice - guaranteed to get Ezra all hot and bothered.
"Always, but, umm, can I have my present?" Buck opened both eyes and tried to focus on the face before him in the darkness. Ezra bent down and bestowed a gentle kiss on Wilmington's chest. "Please, Beloved."
Buck reached out a hand and placed it gently and lovingly on Ezra's head, letting his fingers run through the silky hair. Ezra lay his head down on his lover's chest, listening to the reassuringly steady and strong heart beating within it.
Buck had wondered what Ezra's childhood birthdays were like. Not the traditional birthday party of Norman Rockwell art. No party at home with rosy-faced friends sitting around a table groaning with sugary delicacies and mother carrying in a homemade birthday cake, glowing with candles. Maude? Host a party for children? In her own home? Buck didn't think so! But then how many birthdays had Ezra spent with his mother? She had sent him to boarding schools, parcelled him off to relatives or left him with servants for most of his childhood.
His own childhood birthdays were not exactly traditional either. There was no way his mother could have his friends home for a party; most of the time home was a motel room or a trailer. They didn't have the money for a party at a burger joint, let alone a restaurant. Usually - since his birthday was in the summer - she organised a picnic in some local park, where they played games and ate sandwiches and cake. His mom always bought him a cake because she lacked the cooking facilities to bake one, but it was always personalised in some way, and this she did herself. There had been birthdays when they had been too new in town - or too long - and he didn't have any friends. On those occasions the two of them spent the day together at the zoo, on the beach or trail riding. This quickly became his birthday treat of choice, and when he was too old for toys, a day's riding was the best present he could have.
Then he had wondered what kind of presents Ezra had received, and came to the conclusion, knowing Maude, that most of the time young Ezra was given money or clothing, or some other improving or useful thing. He just couldn't conjure up an image of Maude Standish strolling the aisles of a toy store looking for the perfect gift. As far as he could see Ezra had no childhood mementoes in the apartment, not one toy, school sports trophy, no school art project, not even a book.
So he had deliberately kept his own childhood treasures out of sight. A sports trophy or three, a small toy dog that his mother had knitted for him, as well as a collection of little mementoes of a unique childhood. And then there were the books. As a child, Buck had been a great reader. Most of the time he borrowed books from the local library, but he had bought or been given copies of his all time favourites. Even when they were so poor that his mom could barely afford the rent she always got him at least one present. She would spend time looking for something he would really like, however cheap it was.
"Well, it's more like presents," Buck explained.
Ezra's head shot up and even in the near darkness, Buck could almost see the light burning in his eyes, not of avarice, as the old Ezra would have greeted the thought of acquiring something for free, but genuine excitement.
"Presents? As in, more than one? As in multiple gifts - for me?"
Buck had to laugh. He just couldn't help it; it was like having a four-year-old. He remembered Adam being like this. You could hear the excitement in his voice. And in a way that was sad; it confirmed all Buck's worst fears. "You are meant to wait for morning you know - traditionally," he explained, trying to sound serious.
"Oh." He sounded so disappointed Buck almost gave in completely then and there. "But there are several?"
"Could I have one now?"
"Please, Buck, please." This pleading was accompanied by small kisses and nibbles to Buck's chest; his left nipple was grasped and responded intently to having Ezra's skilled tongue circling it. He lifted his head one more time to rest his chin on Buck's chest and look pleadingly at his lover - though the effect was mostly lost in the darkness. "Please?"
"I guess one, since it isn't a thing as such," Buck finally relented. "You put some wood on the fire and I'll get it."
Suddenly Buck had rolled out from under Ezra and was up and moving towards the back of the room. Eager to get his gift, Ezra selected two medium sized logs and, somewhat gingerly since he was naked, he tossed them on the fire. He returned to the makeshift bed on the floor just before Buck, who had a small object in his hand, which on closer inspection proved to be the remote control for the CD player.
The tinder-dry, smaller logs took almost straight away and the fire sprang back to life, decorating the room with dancing shadows. Ezra basked in the flickering glow that illuminated the wonderful, handsome, open, strong face before him, a face he loved. Buck sat up and gently pulled Ezra to him so they were once again facing each other, their legs entwined.
"We don't have a song, we don't have 'our song'. Most couples have a song; Chris and Sarah had a song. Traditionally it's the first song you dance to..."
"What was it? Their song?" Ezra asked quietly when he saw Buck drop his head slightly at the mention of Sarah.
"Um, 'Heaven on Earth'. Not exactly classy, but like I say it was the first song they ever danced to. Now we ain't never danced." Buck swallowed. "An' I ain't saying we should just because we get a song. We will dance together, but it will happen when it happens. In the meantime I thought we should have a song... ah hell, this was a dumb idea!" he suddenly exclaimed.
He had been going through some old vinyl LPs, throwing out the ones he now had CDs of, and had come across one of his mom's, one of the few they had managed to keep through all their travels. Harry Belafonte, his mom liked Harry Belafonte. As he looked at the back he remembered a song, well-known and recorded by many, but this was the best. He had listened to it six times that day. It was their song, it was just so right. It took no time to track down a CD and purchase a new copy of the recording. But now, sitting in front of Ezra, it seemed dumb, and wrong, he had made a choice that wasn't his to make.
"I'll... I'll get you one of your presents, a proper one." Buck made to get up, but with lightning reflexes Ezra grabbed his shoulder.
"What is dumb? That you wanted us to have a song? That's not dumb, it's a wonderful idea, don't you dare move."
Buck eased back down. But his head still hung. "Sorry Ez, but it's meant to be our song, not my song. I mean I thought is was so perfect, but now... well we don't exactly have the same taste in music, you'll probably hate it. Look can't we forget I even started this?"
"No." Ezra eased the remote away from Buck and, aiming it at the music centre, he hit the play button.
"The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the night and the empty skies my love
To the night and the empty skies"
Ezra remembered looking down at Buck the first time he walked into the office, at those deep blue eyes that seemed to laugh and cry at the same time. He remembered the sudden jolt in his gut that he couldn't understand.
"The first time ever I kissed your mouth
I felt the earth turn in my hand
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command my love
That was there at my command"
Ezra remembered that first kiss as if it was yesterday, as if it was an hour ago, as if it was a second ago. Buck had managed to get him alone; they were in the office, ready to go to the saloon. The tall agent had been acting like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs all day, but the moment they were alone he calmed.
"Ez, can I talk to you in the conference room?" he asked.
Ezra had agreed and they walked there together. His heart had been racing, all his hopes, all his nighttime fantasias, all his secret dreams - were they about to come true?
"Ez, I'm gonna come right out with this," Buck had started. "'Cause if'n I don't I'll never get it out, an' it's crawlin' inside 'a me like you wouldn't believe." He paced just in front of Ezra, looking at the floor. "I got these feelin's an' I get the feelin' you do too, but if you don't it's okay, I won't ever say or do nothin' about it ever again, only..." He stopped pacing and looked up. "I... um... if you do, well I do too, an' I... that is..."
Ezra had stepped up and stopped Buck from pacing by stepping in front of him and placing a hand on each of his flushed cheeks.
"Yes." It was all he said.
Buck looked up, looked deep into jade green eyes, pleading written all over his face. "Really?" he breathed.
Ezra nodded. That was when it happened, when Buck first kissed him. The earth didn't turn in his hand, it moved beneath his feet, it shook, trembled, spun out of control. His heart pounded, he felt light-headed, he was floating on air.
"The first time ever I lay with you
And felt your heart beat close to mine
I thought our joy would fill the earth
And would last 'till the end of time my love
And would last 'till the end of time"
He remembered lying back, on his own bed, his body so alive and charged it seemed to be almost independent of his mind, making its own decisions over which he had no control. He remembered the electricity had run through him when one slick finger had pushed its way oh so slowly and gently inside him, the look of pure love in his Beloved's eyes as he gazed at him while that wonderfully skilled digit went about its work. Every now and then Buck would ask him if he was all right, all Ezra could do was nod, the power of speech having left him. Then Buck would lean forward and kiss him, then stretch him a little more. He didn't even notice when one finger became two. When Buck finally entered him he barely registered the slight moment of pain before he was so totally and wonderfully filled he thought he had already come, it felt so good. On that first time it only took one touch of his prostate for him to come, arching off the bed in an involuntary spasm as he lost consciousness.
"The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the night and the empty skies my love
To the night and the empty skies"
Buck finally looked up at Ezra. He didn't know what he was expecting, but it wasn't the tears he saw.
"It's perfect," Ezra managed to whisper through the tears.
Even tear-streaked and puffy-eyed, Buck could see the honesty in his expression. And as he always did when Ezra was distressed, he reached out and pulled the love of his life into his embrace.
Ezra bounced into the kitchen. He bounced with the step of a well-fucked birthday boy, first in the bed, woken up by Buck's gentle ministrations. It wasn't so much the kisses that danced over his back that brought him back to the land of the living, but the stroking of a slick finger between his buttocks, passing over his sensitive opening but not entering him, that really got his attention. Buck had whispered 'Happy Birthday' in his ear as he pushed his finger in. Buck made love to him very slowly and gently; neither of them was in a hurry, and they both revelled in every sensation and every touch. Then in the shower, as they washed each other, Buck suddenly leant into Ezra and whispered.
"Always, you know th..."
Before he could finish, Buck had spun him around and placed his hands on the tiles of the shower wall, then in one quick deft movement he plunged himself into Ezra, still open and slick from their earlier love-making. Large hands enclosed his shaft as it stiffened faster than he had ever known. Once, twice, three times Buck thrust into him, and with an aim as sure as Vin's he hit the spot every time. And on that third strike Ezra came hard, very hard. When he was spent, he fell forwards, resting his head on the wall in front of him.
"Oh God!" he gasped. "Oh my good Lord. That was... it was... that is to say... Oh my God!"
"Good?" Buck asked hopefully.
"Oh, you could say good, it's one way to describe it, awesome, that's another good word, and mind-blowing seems to pretty much sum it up, along with amazing and wow and did I say 'Oh my God'?"
"Yup." Buck gently pulled out and turned Ezra to face him. "Happy birthday, babe."
"You said that already."
"Yeah? Well, I aim to say it again, and again, and again." He planted a kiss on the wet but flushed lips each time.
Now he was energised and in need of food and presents! He was going to be getting more presents! Not that the night before wasn't present enough, but he couldn't help it. He had waited thirty-five years for a proper birthday, now he had it he was going to enjoy it!
Buck, freshly shaved, hair still damp and glistening, wearing the deep blue polo shirt and light pants he knew Ezra liked, wandered into the kitchen to find a slightly manic Ezra making pancakes.
"What are you doing?" he asked, leaning on the doorframe.
"Making us breakfast, coffee's all done." He picked up a cup, filled it from the machine and, placing it on a saucer, he walked up to Buck and handed it to him. As he did, Buck captured his arm and held him until he could kiss him.
"Happy Birthday, darling."
Ezra grinned; this was at least the sixth time Buck had said it this morning.
"You don't cook on your birthday - rule one of enjoying your birthday is let others do all the work, so sit down."
Ezra stood on tiptoe to kiss Buck again. "If you say so, love." With that he obediently sat down.
Buck made pancakes, toast, and fresh juice. He watched his lover enjoy the food and yet he could see the excitement and anticipation building in the strong frame. He just hoped the rest of the day would live up to Ezra's expectations.
"What are we doing today?" Ezra asked, as he finished off another pancake.
"Well we are going out to the ranch for a ride and some lunch with the guys, and then..."
"...and then we shall see what treats I can come up with."
Just then the doorbell rang.
"Why don't you go and see who it is?" Buck asked.
"Rule one," Ezra reminded.
"Ah yes. Rule two - when you are 'encouraged' to go somewhere and look - that is generally a good thing, on your birthday."
Ezra needed no other explanation, he bounced... *Damn, he's turning into JD* Buck mused... up from the table and out into the hallway. While he was gone Buck made a quick call to Josiah just to be sure he would bring the cake to the ranch. Buck had as long as three months earlier probed Ezra about his favourite cake. This turned out to be some fancy European cake called a Sacher Torte. Buck had thought his chances of finding such a cake in Denver slim, but was pleased to find that nearly all the caterers and confectioners he contacted knew exactly what he was asking for. The cake was commissioned from a local caterer who worked from home. While Ezra was in court Buck had gone to her home, and after a quick lesson from the sympathetic baker, added his own words. They were simple and basic but he had wanted some personal input. Now the rich dark chocolate cake was safely at Sanchez's apartment with the words, in slightly uneven white icing, "Happy Birthday Ezra ~ LFB", inscribed on the top. The door opened and he heard a brief conversation though he couldn't make out any of the actual words. Seconds later Ezra all but ran back into the kitchen. Cradled in his arms was a bouquet of a dozen long stemmed white roses. He was pulling out the attached card and reading it as he walked.
"Oh, Buck, they're just lovely, I never expected flowers," he gushed.
"You don't mind I hope?" Buck asked. "I mean men don't usually get flowers, but why not? We appreciate beauty, we like our homes to look nice and smell nice..." He paused while Ezra inhaled the scent of the roses.
"Oh and they do, here..." He held out the flowers so Buck too could inhale the delightful aroma.
"So I thought, why not roses?"
"And it was a wonderful thought, I love them, thank you." He bent down to kiss his thanks, a kiss that got progressively deeper and threatened to crush the roses, until a thorn sticking into Ezra's chest made him pull back. "Water!" he exclaimed, placing the bouquet on the drainer and going in search of something to put the flowers in. "And don't give me rule one, I want to do this."
Buck smiled as his lover retrieved a tall green glass vase.
"A suitable receptacle I think don't you, Beloved?"
"Reckon they'll look right nice in that, Ezra, and don't go frettin' about rule one, 'cause rule three is - on your birthday you get to do what you want."
Ezra looked up from his examination of the vase. "As young Mr Dunne is so fond of saying - cool!"
Buck sat back and enjoyed the sight of Ezra meticulously trimming and arranging the flowers. Then, picking up the vase, he made his way to the living room with Wilmington following on behind. Once he reached the room his eyes widened in surprise. The makeshift bedroom of last night was gone, and all the furniture was back where it was meant to be.
"When did this happen?" he asked.
"Just now, while you made coffee and batter. Come on, put your flowers down and open yer presents."
Only now did Ezra register the fact that there were two parcels on the coffee table and a card. Depositing the flowers on the wide mantelpiece, Ezra moved eagerly to his new gifts.
There was a small box and a medium sized package. The card depicted a Mississippi riverboat, inside Buck had written a few simple words. 'To the Gambler, Happy Birthday, from the Rogue.' The box contained cufflinks, each with a small dice encased in a glass ball; Ezra played with them for a while.
"I reckoned you could wear them t' court, yer always saying how boring it is," Buck explained.
"Indeed, these will prove a useful but discreet distraction, thank you." The thank you was followed by another long kiss.
"Present," Buck managed to mutter through the kiss.
Ezra smiled and broke away to open his last present. Just as he was about to reveal what was inside the simple gold paper, he found Buck's strong hand covering his.
"It, the thing is if you hate it or think it's dumb, that's okay, you don't have to pretend like you like it. What I mean is, I kinda got it on an impulse and now it's..."
"Buck, Beloved, stop this nonsense, we've been through all this, whatever it is, you chose it for me, and that makes it perfect." Buck let Ezra lift his hand away and continued to open the paper.
For a long time he held the gift in his hands, just staring at it, struck dumb, too surprised and choked to speak. Finally Buck couldn't stand the silence any longer.
"Dumb, right?" he ventured.
The reaction to his statement brought a sudden and surprising response. Ezra Standish suddenly launched himself at Buck, gift in one hand, and wrapped his arms around Buck's neck.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you..." he started. As the thanks continued they became less intelligible as Ezra lost his battle to stop the tears falling. Finally giving up the fight, he just held on to the only person in the world who had ever truly loved him, a love his gift had so ably demonstrated. For he had given Ezra the one thing he had most wanted as a small boy and had never received.
Once he had recovered from the shock, Buck's instinctive need to protect, to protect Ezra, took over. His hand came up to rest on Ezra's powerful back, rubbing gentle circles.
"Hey, Babe, hush now, it's all right, I'm sorry it upset you, hush, I'll get rid of it, don't worry."
"No!" Ezra pulled back, clutching his gift to his chest. "Never, I have been waiting all my life for this. No one..." He looked down at his gift. "...No one ever cared enough to give me one of my own, until you."
The small mohair teddy bear was only about ten inches high; it wore a small knitted top of bottle green with the words EZRA'S BEAR in gold written across the chest. Buck frowned at him.
"I thought it would just be a bit of fun, I didn't... you mean you never... oh Ezra, darlin'." He pulled Ezra back into his arms. And held him while Ezra gazed at his bear.
"Mother never let me keep toys I had outgrown. I guess I may have had a teddy or something like it, but I don't remember it. I was always going to new places, new people, I wanted so much to have something to hold on to, a friend to tell my troubles and fears to, but she said it was just unnecessary clutter, one more thing to carry, one more thing to lose."
Buck couldn't think of anything comforting or soothing to say, so he contented himself with just holding his Ezra close, until he was once more his normal composed and controlled self. They sat in silence for a long time, no words passing, just quiet, content to feel the other close, to take comfort in the closeness, to know neither was alone in the world any more.
And that knowledge was, in the end, the best present either of them could ever have.
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