At The Heart Of Love
(Old West)

by Sophia Moon

Disclaimer: not mine
Pairing: Ezra/Vin
Rating: NC-17
Feedback: always welcome
Many thanks to my beta-reader Ra.

Vin gave Peso a firm, but not unfriendly slap on his flank. "Ya go to your mate, stubborn mule. Chaucer is getting a might impatient."

Peso snorted in an almost "what do I care" way, but when he heard Chaucer's whinny, he was off fast as the wind. For a few moments he would play hard to get, even threatened to bite. But it was all for show, and sooner rather than later he gave in to the heavenly feeling of being nibbled in a particularly itchy spot.

It pleased Vin that he no longer needed to tether the gelding in order to keep him from wandering off too far. It all had become much easier since Ezra and he became whatever it was called. Peso went where Chaucer went and because Chaucer went where Ezra went, all Vin had to do was to wait until Ez whistled his own horse.

He sighed in contentment. The miscreant, as Ezra called the pathetic little cattle thief with a personality as nondescript as his name, had been delivered to the judge. Nothing much was happening in Four Corners when they left and five men were more than enough to keep the peace. Ezra and he were taking what they liked to call "the long way home." Vin had to admit: it was kind of nice to be told by each of their friends on separate occasions that there was no hurry for him and Ez to return. It was even nicer than nice to see Chris smile, not a dirty grin, mind you, a genuine smile, while he said: "I haven't forgotten it."

There had been no need for Vin to ask his friend, his brother, what exactly he had not forgotten. No need to talk about love and how one always remembers.

He walked back to the secluded spot at the creek: a small clearing, lush with green and yellow and a few dots of red and blue. No dust, no nothing: just him and Ez and enough time and quiet to ignore certain facts of life. He was a private person, but he didn't care for enforced silence. He didn't feel the need to advertise his attraction to Ezra in the Clarion, but neither was he inclined to needless shame. It hurt him when he had to stuff a piece of cloth in Ezra's mouth to keep him from crying out his pleasure, because even in the privacy of Ezra's room the danger of being discovered, of being chased away, was ever present.

Sometimes, no often, he wanted to touch Ezra. No big gestures or any crude behavior, nothing of that kind: just laying a hand on his shoulder to let him know he was there for him during a game of poker with some drunken farmhands, or stroke his face because it was such a beautiful face, or pluck a piece of imaginary lint from his jacket because he felt like it.

It's not always easy to keep your hands to yourself when you love someone, Vin realized. Even Peso and Chaucer understood all too well that sometimes standing very close together and touching, just touching, is what makes a living creature feel wanted in the right meaning of the word. And he needed more from Ezra than sucking and fucking, although he wanted that too in a bad way. He even wondered if the silent blessing of his friends and the played ignorance of Four Corners, would be enough in the long run. He was so proud that Ezra had chosen him as his bedmate and perhaps even more, that on some days he threatened to choke holding back the words he could never say aloud.

He shrugged to rid himself of the useless chain of thought. No matter how bad life seemed in some moments, today it was about a patch of green, good weather, plenty of idle hours, and a gorgeous man to share his riches with. His body tingled all over at the mere thought of what Ezra and he were going to do. His cock seemed to agree with him whole-heartedly, and pushed against the barrier of his dust colored trousers. He chuckled.

And went very quiet when he saw Ezra.

Naked, smiling Ezra, a gleam in his eyes, lying on his side, leaning on his elbow like a model in one of those paintings from long ago, Ez had showed him once in a book. Only so much more prettier, with light and shadow playing on his lightly tinted skin like an inspired Mother Nature was creating her very own piece of art.

"We are in paradise and you my dear Vin, are still dressed."

"Sorry Ez." Vin started to undress with fingers clumsy and awkward like he was a toddler all over again.

"Do it slowly. I'm rather enjoying the view."

"What's to enjoy 'bout skin and bones?"

"I'm an aesthete, I know when I see a beautiful thing."

While Vin easily admitted that Ezra had a good eye for pretty things, he had severe doubts about his own physical appeal. He had a body that mostly did whatever it needed to do, even if on most days some pain in his back was unavoidable. He was somewhat proud of his sharp eyes and steady hands, but what was beautiful about that? Still, if Ez wanted him to undress slowly, he would slow his movements. He felt a bit silly, and more than a bit shy with Ezra's eyes on him like he was a famous actor at the opera house. But he definitely felt the temperature of his body rise by several degrees when, out of the corners of his eyes, he saw how Ezra wrapped his fingers around his turgid cock and started a lazy stroke. He wasn't sure if his lover did it on purpose, but the tip of Ezra's tongue wetting his lips was enough to drive any man to insanity. And did he have to look at Vin with those green, green eyes like a big cat observing its prey before going for the kill?

"Do you mind?" Ezra grinned wickedly.

Vin pretended not to understand. "Mind what, Ez?"

Ezra looked his most innocent while he speeded up the pumping and tugging. "Me pleasuring myself while I look at you." If anything, it was an admirable achievement to be that close to shooting the load and still be able to say a whole sentence with far more words than Vin would have used. "Or perhaps do you like what you see?"

Vin felt like a fish thrown out of the water: gasping for air and not sure what to do. In his case, it wasn't a really bad feeling, but he still had no idea what to say. He loved seeing Ezra this wanton, and his head struggled around the certain knowledge that he could not watch from a distance and touch from close-by at the same time. Then he realized that there was no hurry; he could undress as slowly as Ezra wanted and watch Ez. They could eat or talk or just lie together and try how many times they could come within an hour or take a stroll, or....

"Yeah, I like what I see."

"Indulge me?"

He couldn't pretend to be able to refuse Ezra anything, even if it was doing one of the most private things he ever did. It was scary and made him horny as hell and in a strange way it made him feel as close to Ez as real lovemaking. Perhaps this was just another form of making love. They could hear and see each other, did what they did to please and entice the other. And even if the idea was more perfect than the actual performance, because concentrating on two extremely stimulating things at the same time proved to be a problem, the orgasm that followed within minutes left them breathless and grinning like fools.

Both wiped their hands on the grass, then Ezra reached out for Vin and they were in each other's arms within seconds.

"Thank you, thank you so much," Ezra whispered in Vin's ear.

"Ya got a wild mind, Ez." Vin kissed him again and again.

"You make me curious about..." Ezra paused to think.

"'bout what?" Vin could not stop kissing Ezra's face between each word they spoke.

"I'm not really sure."

"You can think on it when we're back in town. I've got a trail to follow."

Ezra slightly tilted his head. "A trail?"

Vin grinned in an almost Larabee manner before he moved to Ezra's feet. "You."

"And what do you hope to find?"


Experience told Vin that Ezra would think up some clever, wordy reply, but before the gambler could even begin his first syllable, he gently took Ezra's right foot in his hands, brought it close to his face and studied it intensely. It wasn't a part of Ezra he had seen very often. At least, not with his full attention.

What a pity that had been, because this was a foot worthy of many hours of adoration. It was almost small for a man, but Ezra was not a big man, so it was well within proportion. It had a perfect arch and was without any deformities. It showed not only that Ezra was indeed from top to bottom a handsome man, but also that his body had been taken care off. He lacked the ugliness that so often came with severe poverty and deprivation from a young age. Plenty of food, and shoes that actually fitted, had not been withheld from the child Ezra.

"Purty and all, yer foot," Vin muttered while he lapped the sole, holding Ezra firmly within his grip when his lover began to wiggle. The giggling sound delighted him. It made him feel all warm inside when he made Ezra drop his mask. To see him with a genuine smile, to hear him laugh out loud in honest gaiety was worth the world to Vin.

"It tickles." Ezra hiccupped.

Vin took pity on the squirming man. Not solely out of the kindness of his heart, because a far less altruistic motive made him divert his attention to the toes. He kissed them one by one, small pecks that he simply could not limit to the toes alone and so he let his lips travel over sole and heel and instep. For a moment he wondered if the thin, soft part right under the foot had a name of its own. Ezra probably would know, but Vin wasn't going to ask. He was far too busy taking the heel in his mouth and sucking gently, after a few moments doing the same with the rest of the foot.

He wanted to feel the texture with his tongue, wanted to know Ezra in every conceivable way. He needed to learn the difference between the bony and the fleshy parts, between muscle and softness. He had not ventured out to find out what excited Ez enough to gasp and moan, but he sure liked it when he heard those delicious sounds as he sucked and probed the sweet row of perfect toes with his tongue and teeth. He even kissed the clean and neatly filed nails, smiling at the idea that Ezra took so much care at details that were not even visible for others.

Then he remembered there was still the left foot. So he repeated everything in the same attentive way and with reason, because he could detect minor differences that were easy to miss. And only when he was sure he knew everything there was to know about Ezra's feet, did he, after having kissed every single toe one last time, shift his attention to the legs.

He asked Ezra to plant his feet firmly on the ground and bent his knees, like he would do when he wanted to lie comfortably between his lover's thighs.

First he simply squatted and looked. Of course he'd seen Ezra's legs before, if only before a swim or when Ez was drying himself off after a bath, but he intended to take all the time he wanted before he came to the touching and kissing bit. Ezra's legs were as comely as they came. At the back of his legs a sharp, bony ankle gently sloped into a curvy, yet nicely muscled calf, while at the front his shinbone formed a straight line from foot to knee, dusted with fine hairs that were of a somewhat lighter brown than the hairs on his head.

Vin loved the way Ezra's knees hooked over his shoulders when he fucked him hard and fast.

Perhaps later... much later.

He remembered all too well the firmness of the muscled thighs and the softness of the skin right where his hand would travel almost out of its own accord to the heaven of prick and balls. How could he not bend down and kiss the exactly six freckles, yes he had counted them, that by contrast made the inner side of Ezra's thighs seem white as the soul of a virgin. He traced the meandering blue river of a very nearly invisible vein with one respectful finger. This part of his lover's body reminded him in equal terms of sin and purity. It was something worth pondering on when he sat on the porch of the saloon and enjoyed the idleness after a job well performed.

"Vin..." Ezra's voice sounded small and pleading, his accent thick as the haze of an early winter morning. "Ah am only human."

Vin nodded. This was not the time for the delicious cruelty of endless teasing until one of them gave in and the other followed eagerly. There was no misunderstanding to be had: he was going to follow this trail to the end, but a little diversion would hardly be a problem. It kept the eyes focused and the mind clear, after all.

He simply used his hands, because he wanted to wait a little longer before he tasted Ezra's essence, and perhaps because in all its simple beauty it was a method all too often neglected by more experienced lovers. But oh, how lovely was the glide of warm, pulsating flesh between his fingers. How welcome were the grateful moans that so very much sounded like his own name.

When the moaning became even more intense he knew Ezra was about to come, and faster than he thought himself to be on a good day, Vin took a plunge and sucked as hard as he could. Almost to the second his mouth was filled with the one thing he could never have too much of. He savored the taste: mostly salt this time, with a hint of bitterness and quite some sweetness. Because this was Ezra's second release in a relatively short time, the amount was somewhat less than usual and the substance a bit more watery.

Vin reacted a bit slowly when Ezra reached out to him, but with no less enthusiasm. He gave his lover a sloppy kiss, sharing the mixture of their flavors. Perhaps they should rest for a few moments, considering the long ride still ahead of them. And boy, was he planning on making it a mighty fine ride for both horse and rider, even if it could still be argued who would be the horse and who the rider.

"You're doing all the work, and still I seem to be the one unable to lift a finger for the next half hour or so." Ezra tried to smother a yawn, but it only made him look comical in an endearing, innocent way.

"Ya stay nice and easy here, and I'll... ya know." Once again Vin moved lower alongside Ezra's body until his head was resting against a strong thigh. He loved it there, always did. He deeply inhaled Ezra's rich scent while he nuzzled the crisp hairs. He loved the vulnerability of his lover's spent cock, the almost too tender weight of the sac on his tongue. He loved the content, slow breathing of a happy man at peace with himself and the world for a few blissful moments.

A hand stroked his hair. He smiled and moved a bit so he could look Ezra in the face. Happiness came in fleeting moments, Vin had known that for most of his life, and holding on to it was futile. Still, it was not easy to let it rest on the palm of his hand like a butterfly, accepting that it would leave again without any promise of returning. He did not doubt Ezra's affection, even if the word forever had not been spoken between them, but bullets did not care if they hit a gambler with a wicked gleam in his green eyes or whoever else just happened to be there. It did not matter one way or the other, because time was the only gunslinger that never missed.

Such useless brooding, while the breathtaking stretch of Ezra's belly and chest waited to be rediscovered again and again. Maybe it was because he himself was so sparsely built, so all bones covered with muscle and skin, that he could not get enough of Ezra's more stocky and solid body. It was in a way a deceptive body, because it was harder and stronger than it looked at first glance, much like its owner. Too many had underestimated the gambler because of his overly polite manners, fancy dressing habit and almost too pretty face. Vin had to admit that there had been a time when he would not have guessed that underneath that red, or sometimes green or black jacket, was hidden something that was worth exploring for the rest of his life. If a body was a place, Vin had found his home.

He laid his hand low on Ezra's belly and let it rise and fall with his breathing. It made him want to be inside, to fill it as deep as he could and stay there as long as possible. His cock throbbed in agreement, because inside Ezra's body was a good place to be: all snug and warm and tight but not too tight.

Not yet. There were other places to visit that were nice to be and they still had a good number of hours before they had to ride home. So Vin let his fingers travel over soft skin and hard muscles, dipping inside the shallow navel then going further up until he met the protective structure of ribs and sternum. He wished he could make it even stronger, so Ezra's heart would be safe from all harm. And at the same time he wished he could reach inside and take that warm and courageous heart in his own hands. It was by no means a heart without blemishes and scars: Vin was not blind to Ezra's obsession with money and his bouts of self-pity. But he had met Maude, and for a moment had allowed himself to wonder if a mother's death really was the worst thing that could happen to a child.

He would defend Ezra's heart with his life, because it was worth defending.

There he rested on his lover, his head fitting pleasantly under Ezra's chin, thinking his quiet thoughts, his hands doing what hands want to do when they feel their beloved's naked skin. Still curious after dozens of times his fingers grasped the muscles of an upper arm, his full hand rounded an elbow, his palm caressed a wrist. Such a lucky hand that made a journey through an ever changing, never boring landscape.

Again Vin changed his position so he could push his nose right into one of Ezra's armpits. He closed his eyes and opened his mouth slightly, like a cat concentrating on a particularly interesting scent. It was sharp and strong, and spoke of maleness and arousal. He moaned, his tongue greedily lapping beads of sweat from short, dark hairs. His body no longer accepted his command and his hips started to grind against Ezra's until the friction made his cock swell and pain and pleasure were no longer distinct from each other. He came like a boy who had yet to learn self-control.

Ezra gently stroked his hair until he was able to speak again. Vin heard the soft chuckle, but also the undercurrent of honest amazement when Ez said: "Sweet heavens, I never thought that part of my body would be of so much interest."

"I'm partial to ya body. All of it." VIN reached for a clump of grass to wipe the strands of semen from Ezra's body.

Ezra stopped him. "Clean me with your tongue." He sounded halfway between an order and a plea, but Vin could not refuse him either way.

There was something delightfully wicked about what Ez asked of him. He could propose things Vin never thought existed. And it wasn't like Vin hadn't seen part of the world and some more. Perhaps it was because Ezra had spent much of his life in big cities, or because he had read books that were not meant for delicate eyes. It was not always that way, because more often than not they shared the simple pleasures of two people being in love, but when Ezra got in a playful mood, Vin sure had a lot of fun.

He had tasted himself, years ago, out of youthful curiosity, but this was something else. It was distinctly different from how Ezra tasted, but also very much the same. Just like they both were clearly and easily recognizable as male, even if the differences between them were as obvious as could be. He wanted to read the story Ezra's body had to tell, the chapters that were familiar to him as the poems in his own head as much as the new ones. Part of it would be written by him: Vin Tanner.

His own taste wasn't bad by far, but he preferred the salty aftertaste of Ezra's skin. He liked it so much he kept on licking just a bit longer than was required to clean up the strands of come. And since he was busy anyway, why not tease the tiny light brown nubs until they were hard as gems? If only because it was a foolproof way of making sure Ezra produced those lovely sounds. When he, very carefully, stretched a nipple with his teeth, he was rewarded with a long moan that made his belly feel all weird and warm. It was the sound that indicated that Ezra wanted to be fucked. There was a need and urgency in the noise he made that was irresistible to Vin. The sea of time was forgotten, the trail was left behind when he kissed Ezra and turned him on his stomach.

As much as Vin liked to see Ezra's front, the backside of his body was just as inspiring. The detailed study of all there was to know had to wait 'til later, but that didn't mean Vin couldn't take a long, good look. So much creamy skin to touch, such firm muscles to feel under his hands...

He drew in a sharp breath when Ezra spread his legs, giving a tantalizing view of the secret that lay hidden between delectable cheeks. No matter he had come twice before - the second time less than half an hour ago- his prick announced in no uncertain terms that it wanted to be inside the happiest place it imagined a prick could be. And while Vin had to admit that at some moments in his life his cock had proven to be the owner of a less than prudent mind, in this case he agreed whole-heartedly.

His whole body vibrated in anticipation. His heart thrummed so loudly he could hear it in his own ears. His hands didn't know where to touch first and so they went up and down in nervous gesture, trying to feel as much skin as possible. His lips, almost parchment dry with desire, kissed from neck to heels, without pattern.

He knew what he wanted, had done it before, but his desire was so immense, that he was afraid that he would somehow hurt Ezra by not giving him enough time to adjust. Part of him just wanted to push in, never mind using the nice smelling oily stuff Ezra had ordered in Mrs. Potter's store under the guise of needing to maintain the tactile sensitivity that was of the utmost importance in his profession...

Tactile sensitivity. Vin could bare witness to the truth of that undeniable fact.

"Vin?" Ezra craned his neck to look up at him. "Is there something wrong?"

Vin shook his head. "I want ya something fierce..." He made a helpless gesture, like he was looking for something but was not quite sure what. Or perhaps he knew all too well what was so close to his mind: the part that was about taking and dominance. Beneath the smiles and the gentleness, what more was he but an animal in heat?

He respected Ezra's autonomy, his free will, but part of him just wanted to mount the other man any time and place he felt like it. How could a man possibly allow such a thing? He was sure Ezra would not appreciate a blatant disregard of the fact that people were sometimes otherwise occupied or simply not in the mood. Not that Vin ever would ignore Ezra's wishes, but the feeling was there, and when he looked at his lover, naked and almost ready, he felt it stronger than ever. He was not as nice and gentle as people thought he was. At least Ezra's faults were plain for all to see, ugly as the scar of a badly treated wound, and with the same brutal honesty. Vin would sooner die than force Ezra to do anything against his wishes, but it did not stop him from wanting it.

"Vin? Please tell me, what am I doing wrong?" Ezra asked.

"Nothing. I'll get the salve." Because of the worried look on his lover's face, Vin gently kissed the nape of his neck before he took the small tin in his hands and warmed a good dollop in the palm of his hand. He quickly used it on his erection. Then he took some more lubrication and gently prepared Ezra to be entered. He ignored the impatient groan and slowly worked one finger in, waiting an agonizing length of time before he even considered trying it with two fingers.

"I distinctly remember we have done this before. For god's sake, Vin, I am hardly a virgin in this matter." If possible, Ezra tried to spread his legs even more. To underscore his willingness to be taken, he used both his hands to pry his cheeks apart, drawing Vin's full attention to the tiny, but relaxed hole. He looked so wanton and submissive and beautiful that it made Vin desperate, because he did not want to know about the violence that lay at the heart of love.

It was not clear to Vin if he had waited a second too long, or if Ezra simply wanted something else, but before he knew it he lay flat on his back with Ezra squatting over him. For an infinite short moment he could not accept it; he was the one to dominate, he was the one to serve and give pleasure.

There was nothing slow or careful about the glide of his cock into Ezra's ass. So deep he went it served as a reminder of where he belonged, of what he would miss if he should lose it.

"You want this?" Ezra smiled wickedly at him when he moved up until all of Vin's cock but the head was out. "You want my heat? My tightness? Well, do you?"

Vin nodded wordlessly. Perhaps he had underestimated the gambler's ability to read him, and all he left unsaid.

"Vin, I only ask you to take what is given freely."

It was as simple as that. Why would he presume that a full-grown, able bodied, clever man like Ezra was unable to defend himself against Vin's ugly side? What was the matter with him, being so overprotective? Why was he so afraid someone, including himself, would hurt Ezra? Why these uncalled for concerns when they were making love on a bed of lush grass, fresh water at hand, and enough time and privacy to really indulge themselves?

Was he out of his mind?

Vin smiled. "I want it hard and fast. Do you?"

"You think you can fuck me as hard as I need you to? I want to feel it all the way home, with every step Chaucer takes. I want it so hard it makes my ass burn and then I will ask you to do it even harder."

Ezra looked so breathtakingly beautiful, fire burning in his eyes and his body all flushed with desire. His large, fully erect cock jutted out from a thatch of dark hair, drops of clear fluid forming on the loveliest color of dark pink Vin had ever seen.

"Show me my strength."

One last time Vin felt how Ezra lowered himself on him, the muscles of his hole tightening around Vin's cock like he wanted to keep him there. Then suddenly Vin was left at attention in the cooler air of the late afternoon. He needed to be back in Ezra's heat and he couldn't wait any longer. He smiled approvingly when he saw how Ezra knelt down and presented his ass: his thighs widespread and his head hidden between his hands. He did not need to ask or challenge Vin again.

The way he gripped Ezra's hips with his hands, he knew he would leave bruises. For days to come there would be small, colorful traces of his existence, of him having to do with Ezra.

He knew they had both used the salve, and that Ezra was relaxed and opened, but the fast, hard push that slapped his balls against Ezra's ass forced a sound from both of them that might not have been all about pleasure. Vin panted like a dog that had spent too long chasing cats on a hot summer day. He had done what Ezra had asked of him, and he felt shame creeping in on him. He was welcome, he felt that with every fiber of his being, but his entrance had been rude and hasty. No matter that Ezra had asked for him to not hold back, this was too much about the part of himself of which he was not particularly proud.


It was an order, plain and simple. So Vin moved, but he was gentle. The need to control the monster was still stronger than the need to please his lover.

"Harder. Please Vin I need you to do it harder." The order changed into a plea. How could he ignore this plea? How could he tell Ezra that he was unwilling to look into the abyss with him? That there was an insuperable difference between having a good hard fuck and letting go, no matter the consequences. And Vin knew that what Ezra asked of him he would not ask of anyone else.

He was asked to let go of the reigns, to let lose of all thought and act on instinct. He was asked to do the impossible.

For Ezra Vin would try the impossible.

So he flexed his muscles to see if he could get deeper into the body of his lover. He wanted to be a wolf, so he could get stuck for hours on end, effectively claiming his mate against other contenders.

He latched his teeth on Ezra's shoulder and made him howl.

He forced himself a fraction of an inch deeper and cursed.

He could no longer tolerate the fact that he was unable to see Ezra's face, so he pulled out with as much violence as he had pushed in and turned Ezra on his back with one rough gesture. He entered him again before Ezra could even think about what was happening.

Before Vin himself could think about what the hell he was doing, Ezra firmly cupped Vin's head between his hands and kissed him, surprisingly chaste, on his lips. "I love you."

Ezra's soul lay open and bare. He had made himself so vulnerable that Vin found it almost painful to look into his eyes. The gambler with the perfect poker-face, the man whose smile so often did not reach his eyes, looked at him with implicit trust. That took a lot more of a man's courage than facing bullets or diving right into a fist-fight. He had allowed Vin to explore his body like it was a landscape. He had shown his need to be submissive to his lover. He was, with very few exceptions, always the one who initiated the more unusual variations in their love-making. For one who left nothing to chance, Ezra was willing to take some mighty risks in matters of the heart.

But was he?

Even if Vin placed his own behavior during the year-and-some Ezra and he were together under scrutiny, he could find no reasons for either of them to be ashamed or offended. When they had done something that was not entirely to Vin's taste, he had said so in gentle words and Ezra had never shown any signs of being distressed about it. No two lovers could agree on everything all the time. Besides, there was very little that he didn't enjoy doing with Ezra.

He moved his pelvis slightly forwards. "You want this? You want my cock so deep inside you, you can taste it?" He grinned and hoped it looked as wickedly teasing as he meant it to be.

"Is this all you have to offer? Do you hold me for some pretty china doll that breaks all too easily? I wear you out, boy, without even trying."

Ezra challenged him and he took the bait all too eagerly.

"Don't come complaining to me tomorrow when ya have to walk beside yer horse because you can't sit for more than two minutes." To prove his point, Vin pulled back and then thrust in hard and deep. It made him more than a little proud to hear Ezra's startled sound. So he did it again and Ezra became even louder.

"Just in case yer getting seconds thoughts, with ya having a funny walk and all tomorrow: I'm only getting started." Vin didn't quite understand in which part of his brains he stored such crazy words, but he didn't mind saying them. Not when he saw Ezra's eyes light up.

"Why, mister Tanner, you are full of surprises."

Ezra's downright flirtatious look shot right into Vin's groin and made him push again. It felt great, but he wished he could go deeper. The banter between them had not diminished his need to claim Ezra -body, mind and soul- as his. Even though he knew that when everything was said and done, Ezra belonged to himself, this was what he wanted. He was just as sure that it was what Ezra wanted.

"Give yerself to me. Let me see how much ya want me. Let me hear it too. Let me feel it." His voice became a barely audible whisper. "Don't ever ride anywhere I cannot follow."

Such useless words, but he had to say them.

"Vin, there is no such place. Even if I have to wait a while, or you have to wait a while, we will always find each other." Ezra's voice was calm and sure. This was what he believed, Vin realized. It was not a romantic's dream about an eternity together without pain or effort, but the conscious decision of a grown man, who knew about the futility of promises made both to him and by him in the past.

Vin kissed him, at first gentle and tentative like a groom at his wedding, then more demanding and greedily. Their teeth clattered and he only just prevented himself from biting down on Ezra's tongue. He heard himself growl and Ezra whimper.

They both took a gulp of fresh air at the same time. They did not want to end this yet, and so Vin paused. He stayed inside Ezra, waiting for the telltale signs of orgasm stirring in his groin to lessen. It gave him some time to look once again in those eyes. Sometimes they were deceitful eyes, often they were hiding eyes. Now they were full of love and trust. Vin might have been the one with the infatuation, but it was Ezra who had been the first to declare his love.

Ezra was a different man than he was, Vin was all too aware of that, and they showed their devotion to whatever they had in different ways. But Vin had stopped doubting at a certain point that Ezra's intentions were any less honest than his own.

He looked at the full lips that he had kissed until they were swollen. Then he kissed some more and kept on kissing until Ezra made exactly the sound he wanted to hear. He loved Ezra's voice no matter what, but he adored it when Ez was in sexual heat and made those mewling and keening and moaning and even growling sounds. The combination of nibbling the underside of Ezra's lip and giving a slight push with his hips resulted in a short, but lovely moan. Sucking Ezra's tongue and stoking at that special place inside him as fast as he could, produced a lengthy sigh.

"I love the sounds ya make, Ez but I think ye're holding back. In a day or so we're back home. This is just me and you," Vin whispered in Ezra's ear, using the opportunity to take the lobe carefully between his teeth. "Just us."

"Perhaps, when we have a house of our own, I'll let you tie me to our bed and talk me into Nirvana with that sexy rasp of yours," Ezra said in a voice that was not quite as cheerfully innocent as he usually managed.

"Ya really mean that?"

"Your voice having a certain effect on me? You bet!" Ezra grinned. "But now I'm in need of some other qualities you possess."

Suddenly they stopped grinning and talking. Vin made a short gesture and it was enough for Ezra to unwrap his legs from Vin's middle, so Vin could, gently, very gently, push them backwards until Ezra's knees touched the sides of his head and his weight rested on the upper part of his back. So it was inevitable that Ezra's feet pushed against Vin's shoulders. It was a precarious balancing act for both of them, but who cared?

After a few tentative strokes, more intended to find his perfect pace than out of consideration for Ezra, Vin started to seriously thrust into the body of his lover. This was hard work, with toes and fingers clawing into grass, and rivulets of sweat starting to itch the crack of his ass.

It was nearly impossible to keep his eyes open enough to notice how Ezra's face distorted in what looked more like pain and anger than love and lust.

Ezra started to babble like he couldn't stop talking but didn't know how to say something Vin could actually understand.

Vin pounded harder. He was no longer able to look at himself from a safe distance. He had turned into the beast that lived deep inside his soul, no longer able to be aware of the fact.

But he heard Ezra. Heard his unintelligible pleading and begging. Felt Ezra's feet pushing against his shoulders. Felt the bone-hard ass when his sac slapped against it. Felt the iron grip of the guardian muscle around his cock.

Then Vin felt something he didn't quite understand: fingers searching where cock and ass were connected, ghosting over sensitive skin. Vin wasn't sure, but it felt like Ezra was prying himself even more open. His clouded mind couldn't form any words, but for a moment he stopped all movement. He had to, because he felt a thumb gliding in next to his prick. Then the other thumb followed.

Vin forgot to breath for a few endless seconds. It felt strange and hot and he wasn't sure if this was pure pleasure or something else he couldn't name. He moved again, and the added sensation sent shivers from exactly the point were his cock was touched by Ezra's thumbs to the rest of his body.

He only wished he could understand the sobbing, moaning sounds Ezra made. Or that he could measure the depth of his eyes, so he could at least have a chance in guessing what it all meant.

The thumbs were retracted and his body lost even the last pretence of a forceful yet controlled fuck. It jerked and shivered, slammed home and still pushed forward in a vain attempt to make two separate beings one, because it did no longer wished to be apart from the beloved's body.

Vin came so hard it felt like something was tearing inside. He had never been this deep inside another man's body. And no man had ever allowed him to look inside his soul with such unassuming trust, and thus giving him a chance to see the depth of his own soul. No human being had ever loved him this much. Vin had never been closer to anyone.

He had never been more lonely.

But he was comforted by the sure knowledge that the man resting exhausted in his arms was just as familiar with the inherent loneliness that came with the reality that man, despite all his efforts, is condemned to be alone. The bodies of lovers will never become one.

Of course, that undeniable fact would never be reason for Vin to stop trying, if only because Ezra wanted him to.

They had been so close for a few precious moments. That was far more than he had ever hoped for in his life. Vin kissed Ezra's face, whispering his gratitude in words that didn't need to be heard to be understood.

A slight shift in Ezra's body, and a very soft whimper was enough to alarm Vin. Perhaps he had let himself too much out of control. It didn't matter that Ezra had just about begged to be taken in a vigorous manner: he should have realized that every act, however wished for, has its consequences.

"Please Ez, lay quietly on yer side so I can see if everything is right."

Vin heard Ezra's protest that he was only exhausted and perhaps a bit sore in a most wonderful way, but he wanted to see with his own eyes. He suspected his lover would rather put on his poker face, than let Vin know that he had been hurt during their lovemaking.

When Ezra was in a comfortable position, Vin gently spread his cheeks and was relieved to see the area around the anus was somewhat red and swollen, but that there were no tears and the fluid that trickled slowly down was not stained by blood.

Without giving it a moments thought, he followed the trickle with his tongue, tracing it back to its origin. It tasted very much like himself, mixed with more than a little bit of Ezra. He used the very tip of his tongue to trace the slack rim. Then he kissed and sucked and lapped the whole area. There was nothing urgent about what he did, he just calmly enjoyed Ezra's smell and taste and the different textures.

Perhaps it was all so relaxing that he fell asleep, because the soft touch of Ezra's hand startled him a bit. Still, it was nice waking up with his nose buried against his lover's ass and his arms firmly wrapped around his body.

"Nice," he sighed.

"As much as I enjoy this, I think perhaps my scent might become a bit too rich even for your taste."

"Never." Vin gave a few "until later" kisses before he started the daily routine of peeing, washing himself, cleaning his teeth, and taking care of breakfast. Now and again he looked at Ezra and smiled. Ezra always answered his smiles, even when it seemed he was totally preoccupied with transforming himself in his gentlemanly self. It was good to do something that reminded them of the ordinary part of life.

"When ya reckon well be back in town?" Vin asked while he ate the last bit of cornbread Ezra had bought a day ago. It was a bit stale, but he was hungry and he had tasted worse.

"If we hurry, we might be there by nightfall." Ezra swallowed the last of his coffee. "The question is: do we want to hurry?"

"Nope." Vin grinned and pounced. What did he care about fancy clothes, if the wearer of said clothes look good enough to be kissed within an inch of his life?

A snort and a whinny made them look up at the same time. Vin could swear Peso looked at them with a mocking eye.

"What? I saw ya with Chaucer yesterday. Scratching an itch... yeah, right." Vin grinned, turned again to Ezra and kissed him soundly on the lips.

Peso snorted.

Ezra laughed with a sound that made Vin as warm as the sun on a bright day. He said it out loud, if not in exactly those words, and that made Ezra quiet as a night full of stars.

"I want to grow old with you." Vin took the chance, even if there was something slightly unsettling and perhaps ridiculous about those words. He might have a chance and outlive the bounty hunters, but could he outlive the plain facts of life, the things that were so taken for granted no one really talked about them? Was there a place for them, even if it was a nameless place invented by themselves?

"You'll be as thin as a twig, in serious risk of being blown away by the wind. But by that time I will most likely have gained a few extra pounds, so you'll just have to hold on to me." Ezra gave Vin one last kiss before he walked to the horses, digging in his pocket for some treats. "So I guess that's settled then."

Vin nodded. "I guess it is."

It was a good ride home, even though Ezra put up a brave face when his behind touched the saddle and Vin couldn't stop teasing him about it. They made every excuse to take a pause, before they gave up on the excuses and just said they wanted to make love, even if they had done so an hour before, and the hour before that too.

When Ezra asked Vin to be sucked, Vin just dropped to his knees, unbuttoned Ezra's fly and obliged with great enthusiasm.

Later, when Vin asked Ezra to be fucked, he only had to drop his trousers and hold on to the nearest tree. Of course Ezra did not refuse him.

During the ride they groped a lot and kissed a lot, they talked a bit and laughed a bit and were quiet most of the time.

The night before they arrived in Four Corners, they made love without haste or urgency. Afterwards Vin held a sleeping Ezra in his arms, accepting the calm happiness he felt. He would try to hold on to the memory of how beautiful his lover had looked, how trusting he had been, how giving and eager to receive everything Vin had to offer. He would remember how happy they had been.


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