On The Bank Of The River Euphrates
(Old West)

by MAC

Disclaimer: I don't own them, or the show they rode in on. I wrote this for fun, and no profit is made from it.
Archive: Starwinder's, You Want Fries With That?, EBOS, and The All-Ezra FanFic Archive --- all others, please ask.
Summary: A long languid day by the side of a stream, the boys simply enjoy each other.
Author's Note: Answer to a title challenge at EBOS. Winner of 2003 Gold Ezzie for Old West Slash Fiction - short category
Completed: 9 January 2003
Feedback: gentlerainfall@yahoo.com welcomes comments

It was hot. Blow flies and beetle bugs were the only movement near at hand, although he could hear the drone of a bee. One dry stalk of tall prairie grass poked from his mouth as he chewed the thin, gritty fragment between his teeth, lips pursed in meditative thought.


"Mmm?" Ezra blew out the weed stalk and rolled over slightly onto one side, his back colliding with Buck's chest softly. A big hand came to rest lightly on his skyward shoulder.

"Thinkin'?" Buck tasted his beloved's skin, just under the back corner of his jaw, making Ezra shiver despite the heat of the day.

"In a way." Ezra slowly tipped his head further back until it rested against Buck's corded neck muscles. Felt the man swallow through the contact, smiled. "It is such a perfect summer's day, Buck, and you are such a perfect companion."

A sigh, and Buck's head nudged forward to stop against his, then rub slightly, the coarse hairs from Buck's mustache rough against his temple. Ezra raised one languid hand up to cover Buck's across his chest. "I could stay here with you for a lifetime."

Soft as down, Buck puffed a breath of air against his ear. "Stay then."

Ezra looked up, up into a sky so blue he felt as if he could drown in it. As he let his eyes follow a coasting, circling hawk's wingspread, he caught sight again of the tall willow that hung over the creek bed near their spot. Shallow water reeds testified to the tenacity of this particularly slow moving body of water. A drowsy afternoon, skinny dipping in the chill water followed by a lazy sprawl of limbs as skin dried in the heat of the still high sun, Ezra chuckled suddenly.

"What?" Buck's deep voice, nearly a whisper, was full of affection.

"Just thinking that I'd hardly have pictured myself like this and equated it with the absolute heights of contentment, yet here I am and, I am contented. Absolutely."

"Good." Buck tugged lightly, pulling the smaller man's body closer, one large hand sliding down the smooth skin of his chest to rest with easy intimacy in the nest of pubic hair that curled damply. Long fingers slid in and out, raising tiny goose bumps there as the blunt, short nails caught, then released, stiff auburn curls. "Aim to keep you that way, always."

Ezra arched suddenly, reacting to the gentle stimuli with a stinging of nerves at his groin. He could feel himself fill, grow hard, yet again.

They'd been here all day, or nearly so having ridden out of Four Corners with the rising sun. The morning coolness was time for playful splashing and wrestling, ending with very physical, deeply satisfying moments. They'd subsided into relaxed sleep, tucked up together beneath that same willow. Twice since, they'd roused and aroused each other. They'd feasted on still warm muffins and honey, drinking sparingly from Ezra's flask and more from the fresh, cool water cupped in hands dipped in the fresh creek water. Teasing and laughing, they tossed apples to each other after sharing halves with their horses who grazed in only halters in the meadow above them. Flashes of white and tanned skin shone in the sunlight as they played, the muscles lean and firm beneath their smooth surfaces. They'd enjoyed crisp, tart bites of apple, the juices running from the corners of their mouths.

It had been such an idyllic day so far that Ezra was loath to see it end, but he wasn't sure he could sustain another full bodily engagement.

"Buck! I -" Gasping, he moaned a bit, then bit back his next remark to sigh and sag back down into Wilmington's arms as Buck's hand moved on to rest on one taut thigh.

"Relax, sweetheart, just wanted to touch, didn't mean to ruffle you." Kisses started to rain down on his shoulder, light, endearing touches that only Buck had ever shown him. Only Buck. Ezra caught a breath in his throat at a sudden tightness there, emotions suddenly rushing through him, desperate fear of ever losing this man squeezed his heart.

"God, Buck, I love you so much." Ezra twisted in the rangy lawman's arms, sliding his arms around Buck's neck and dragging himself back up against the tall man. He felt Buck's hands settle comfortably on his buttocks and squeeze gently, reassuringly.

"Love you too, sweet pea." With that Wilmington sucked in air and, lung cage expanded, rocked back down, taking Ezra with him. Rocked down on to the nest of soft new grasses that they'd claimed earlier where their clothes heaped atop their splayed saddles at the edge of the willow's gray-brown shade. Dropped nearby was Ezra's book, he'd read to Buck from some sonnet or other earlier in the day and now it lay abandoned, having incited the pair to more energetic pursuits.

The sweet grass smell and the rustling sound of the taller, dryer reeds crushed beneath Wilmington's back were nectar to Ezra. He felt dizzy with the sultry heat and silky air. He ducked his head to nip and nibble at Buck's lower lip, raising his own green eyes to meet warm midnight blue ones. "Think we've been missed?"

"Figure we've got a few hours yet before we need to show our faces again, Chris told me that we could have the day." Buck made sure his voice was tender as he leaned in for another one of Ezra's grazing, softly consuming kisses. "This is all I need. All I want, Ezra. Just you and me, some warm sun, a nice place to nestle, and maybe a little of your smooth malt later."

Blinking like a sun-napped cat, the green-eyed southerner pushed up on his elbows and stared down intensely at the man beneath him. He let his hands, palms flat, slide with aching slowness along the hard lines of Buck's jaws to cup his strong chin, skin barely touching skin. Studying the man, his lover, his other half for these past three utterly, deliriously happy months, he nodded his head slightly. "My dearest heart." He reached to the side and retrieved his silver flask, offering a tiny sip to the waiting lips below him before taking just a taste himself. Sliding down the side of Buck's chest, he let himself be gathered in again and turned enough to be able to study the slow moving current of the small stream beside them.

Little whirls and ripples trailed the stubborn wading reeds that stood against the moving water, reminding him of their own stand against the tide of their brothers. Men who'd not wanted to acknowledge Buck's and his new allegiance at first. But then, as they two held true, the others had come around, finally accepting the new configuration of their brethren and accommodating. That had been weeks past now and the ripples in their lives had smoothed back out, rather like the sluggish waters near his lazy hand. His fingers played mindlessly with a blue cornflower that had grown randomly along the creek bank.

"Wall-eyed Creek. Not much of a name for so entrancing a body of water."

"Just a name. Today it could be something else, still taste as good when I take it from your lips."

Ezra blinked. When Buck got poetic, Ezra was often torn between laughter and mush, wanting to let his ever ready wit loose but somehow also wanting to simply listen with a melting heart to the man. Ezra, my dear, you have it bad. "To quote our estimable colleague, John Dunne, 'Buck, you are so full of crap.'"

"Ah, Ezra. You know it's not so."

"Yes, I do. But sometimes -" He let the words drift off as he snuggled back in tighter against Buck's big warm form, feeling the softness of the man near his own tail. "Buck, we should name this body of water with a nobler name."

"Oh? We could call it Ezra's Wine. Like that fine tasting leakage of your own sweet body." Buck stuck his tongue out to lay it broadly against the back of Ezra's shoulder and lap up in a spine tingling brush of muscle. "More especially of your own sweet milky cum, Ezra," he murmured.

With another gasp of pleasure awakened, Ezra trembled, then stilled as large hands stroked and soothed, tongue replaced by dry lips kissing with a healing, gentling repetition.

"No, no, we'll name it our Euphrates." He lifted one arm enough to bend his elbow and rest it up and back on Buck's hipbone, letting fingers dangle down between their bodies to toy with Wilmington's lax tool, feel it quickly thicken in response.

"Now, Ezra, what kind of name is that for some harmless little creek?" Buck turned his own gasp into a small cough as he plucked Ezra's wandering hand free and tucked it back safely in front of his southern charmer.

"Ah, but there sir, you see I compliment our damp neighbor. Euphrates, the great River Euphrates of Persia, was once home to a poet who thought much as you."

"This poet thought like me?" Buck leaned back again, easing Ezra's head onto his shoulder, enjoying the sight of the burnt brown curls tossed in abandon, gleaming warmly in the sunlight and shadow.

"Yes, he lived in far off Persia, and wrote over five hundred years ago."

"Then how -?"

"A Mr. Fitzgerald published a delightful translation of his works only a bit over ten years ago."

"So, what did this poet write?"

"Lovely epigrams, bits of thought that catch and pull at the mind and heart." Green eyes flashed up as Ezra turned his head to look at Buck. "As you do me."


"Yes." Ezra leaned in and kissed Buck on the cheek, dimpling when eager lips tried to capture his and then retreated when he leaned back. He raised his hand to trace the small laugh lines at the corner of one of Buck's eyes, eyes glowing with love. In a dulcet whisper, Ezra continued,

"'A book of Verses underneath the Bough,
"'A jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread - and Thou
"'Beside me singing in the Wilderness -
"'Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!'" [i]

and then he leaned back in for that kiss.


If you enjoyed this story, we're sure that MAC would love to hear from you.

[i] Verse 12 of 'The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam' (twelfth century, Persia), as translated by Edward Fitzgerald in 1859.


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