Part of the A Good Honest Man series

by Silver

Back to: Confidence

He was never good at being honest. All his life he had to survive by the lies he made others believe. Being deceptive about who and what he is was a state of being for him. Not to mention he liked it. But to be honest about who and what he really was and to open himself up to his lover was a whole other kettle of fish, so to speak. What if Vin didn't like what he had to say? What if Vin did not like the real Ezra? He had opened up to only one other person and look where that had gotten him.

Ezra sat sideways, facing Vin on the couch, but he never broke contact with his tracker. He needed the quiet reassurances Vin gave him. The soft caresses, the gentle kisses, all went a long way in calming his skittishness.

"I was working on this expansive drug case at the time. Cauldron is the top drug czar in Atlanta. How he did so well in a state full of rednecks is beyond me." Ezra stared down at their joined hands and smirked, then he looked up letting all his emotions show. "At the time, I was sitting in bars hoping to make contact with him. One night I was leaving after another unsuccessful night when I was jumped from behind and pulled into the alley. They were beating me pretty bad at the time. I could hardly do anything against the four of them. Then out of nowhere I hear a voice. At the time, I had thought it was the deadliest I'd ever heard, until I met Mr. Larabee that is. The voice told them to let me go, and they did. When they had backed away from me, I saw why. He had a handgun in each hand, but it was his eyes that concerned me. His eyes were icy and so eerily dead. I figured it was just from the situation. Later on I would catch him looking at me with this expression of detached hatred." He shivered as he tried to pull away from the memory that rapidly untwisted itself into the horror of reality that the last night with Dakota had been.

He couldn't do this again! Not again. He wouldn't survive, wouldn't want to survive, the loss this time. He had to get away from the memories and the arms that were like bands of steel holding him in the nightmare he had long denied. Then his salvation came in the form of a soft Texas drawl, effectively pulling him from the helpless terror he was reliving.

"No Ezra! No more runnin' from this or anything else. We deal with it now!" Vin whispered fiercely as he pulled his struggling Southerner flush with his body. His voice softened as his lover calmed, melting into his protective embrace "We, that's you and me, Ez. We do this together. You're not alone anymore. I love you, Ezra."

Ezra let Vin's voice flow through him as it washed the memories away. It wasn't until he heard the "I love you" that he suddenly understood that he had to tell Vin the truth if he truly wanted to be free of the pain Dakota caused him. If Vin loved him he would still love him even after he told him what had happened. Since he knew without a doubt that Vin loved him, it should be easier for him, but the words stuck in his throat much like, he would assume, eating crow would. To distract him for a moment so he had time to gather his thoughts, he rose up enough to take Vin's mouth in a hard, demanding kiss until Vin opened up to him. Then he gentled it rubbing his tongue against his tracker's, dueling for dominance, before he pulled away breathing just as heavily as Vin.

He rested his head on his lover's shoulder as he started his tale, from that first night up until the last night he spent with Dakota. He wasn't sure he could tell him it all but he had to at least try. So he proceeded to tell him that he came home early that night to Dakota in a good mood, which was strange in itself during those last few weeks, but he had brushed it aside figuring he would just enjoy it. Dakota had a drink ready for him as he fixed dinner but that was the last thing he remembered until he woke up tied to the bed face down. He felt Vin's hold tighten around him as his voice faltered. He couldn't go on, he just couldn't as the tears streamed down his face.

Vin held the trembling man closer, feeling the tears against his chest; he felt his own coursing down his face wishing he could kill the bastard all over again. He rubbed soothing circles on Ezra's back, his heart breaking for him. "You don't have to go on, Ez, if you don't want to."

Ezra wished it was that simple but, as with all things in his life, this was not to be one of them.

"Yes, I do. He'll always be there if I don't, and he has no place here between us any longer."

Ezra took a steadying breath trying for just this once to bring the memories forward instead of pushing them behind his wall with all the other painful memories. "When I woke up I started screaming for Dakota, thinking something had happened to him also, but he came to stand next to me."

Past - Last night with Dakota

Still groggy from whatever was in his drink, he looked up at his lover, his eyes trying to focus. "Dakota, get out of here while you can and go for help. I don't know what is about to happen but I don't want your blood on my conscience." When the blurry silhouette of his lover stood there, neither helping nor running for help, and laughing, the haze that held his mind slowly dissipated giving way to understanding. Dakota was behind it. He started to struggle, pulling at the rope that bound him to the bed realizing just how bad things were about to get. He had never let Dakota take him, never trusted him enough. It would seem his instincts, even deadened by desperation and loneliness, were still on target.

"Dear One, it's about time you awoke for the festivities. I was about to begin without you." He put a condom and KY on the bedside table. "I know how important it is for you to be safe."

Dakota grinned evilly as he started to strip his clothes off, slowly as he would have for a willing partner he was intent on seducing. But that wasn't the case; this time he had a captive and unwilling audience, which excited him even more. He was going to finally have his prize. He was going to take his lover the way he had wanted to take him from the beginning. He knew that Ezra was a virgin to men and hated to give up control, which was everything that turned him on.

Dakota ran his hand down the bound man's body. When he reached his buttocks he dipped his finger inside the tight hole, exhilarated when Ezra tried to pull away from his touch. He was so excited that he couldn't wait any longer. His clothes were off and he was as hard as he had been in years, the scent of a virgin that he could take finally driving him over the edge.

At first, he laid his body on top of Ezra's then the hunger took over. He didn't prepare Ezra, didn't even use the condom or KY he set on the bedside table. No, he took Ezra in the most insidious and base way a man could, after all he did have a job to do. At first, he had thought he would just take him and get it over with, but when Ezra made no indication that anything was happening, he lost all control taking Ezra over and over with as much pain as he could cause to get a reaction from the man below him. He was careful to not do too much damage where the blood would flow easily from the torn tissue, but after hours and no reaction, he no longer cared for he knew that no one would come for the reclusive man for days if not weeks.

The only thing that stopped him was he had fallen for the undercover agent. The cool aloof exterior was there for everyone that was looking but the gentle caring side surfaced when he thought no one was looking. He had caught it and fallen for it. Now instead of killing Ezra, he would have to destroy him in mind and body.

Present Day - In Vin's Arms

Vin Tanner was a simple man. Believed in God and a beer at the end of a day, but tonight he truly wished to kill Dakota Paske all over again and feeling the unchecked tears of his soul mate only made it worse. How many times could you kill a nightmare before it was understood the threat was gone? Right now Hell would be paradise compared to what his gambler went through with that man. Since he couldn't kill him again, he would have to put his actions into both deed and word, and one he was no good at.

"Ezra," he tried raising his lover's chin but Ezra refused to look at him. "Please Ezra, look at me."

When the gambler finally looked, he was overwhelmed by the pity he saw in those indigo blue depths and started to pull away from the Texan, growling, "I have no need of your pity, Mr. Tanner. I confessed my sin now you can leave with a clear conscience and never look back."

Vin, stunned by the vehemence in his lover, had loosened his hold but only enough for Ezra to sit up before he came to his senses and switched positions. He was now lying on top of his lover with the full intent of making him understand that he was stuck with him until Hell froze over.

"Listen here, Ezra P. Standish. There is no pity towards you. It was towards the situation you were in. Let me just make this clear. You belong to me now. No if's, and's, or but's about it. You belong to me heart and soul. I know why you were... reluctant to start this relationship, but he is gone, ghost and all. It's just you and me from now on. No more ghost to come between us." His voice softened, as did his manner, as he watched his lover's face. "Ez, no matter what you told me he did to you, you couldn't drive me away from the only man I have ever loved." As he stared at his lover's disbelieving face, he couldn't help but cradle it as he whispered, "You don't understand, do you? I would fight for you. I would die for you. I would even lie for you. There is nothing I wouldn't do for you and you alone. If you look into your heart you'll find the truth of my words, but only if you want to see them will they appear to you. Do you believe, Ez?" His lover nodded his head. "Do you truly believe me or are you just agreeing?"

Ezra choose his soul mate's language, letting his body speak for him as he reached up and pulled his sharpshooter to him, stopping a hair's breath away from the sweet sanctuary of his lover's mouth.

"Yes. I believe," was all he said before he took possession of Vin's mouth. Tongues dueled for dominance, as hands touched exposed skin, but seeking more from each other. Each strained to gain more from the other. Hands quickly rid each body of any clothing; nothing escaped the detailed attention of the lovers' hands. Bodies on fire, with no secrets between them, became explosive. Hands couldn't touch enough, mouths couldn't get enough of a taste and neither wanted to miss the other's reaction as they watched each other.

The truth had been spoken. Ezra realized Vin still loved him, even after the revelation, and he held onto that security much like the blanket Vin used himself. It was good to know that, no matter what, Vin Tanner loved him and always would.

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