Can You Hear It?
Disclaimer: Do not own any of them - damn it!! No profit involved, pure fiction. Based on the television series "The Magnificent Seven". No infringement upon the copyrights held by CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, The Mirisch Corp. or any others involved with that production is intended.
Author's Notes: Finally got this thing finished, it only took about 18 months! Anyway, thanks to those who sent help all those months ago - much appreciated. Apologies for poor grammar, spelling etc.
Feedback: If you want to - but be gentle, I'm fragile and very shy!
I've heard people say that you can hear it coming. Moving through the air as it seeks out its target. Well, when I strolled along the boardwalk that day - I didn't hear it.
He'd seen me pass by the saloon doors; he wanted to talk with me. He'd crossed the street to catch up with me, stepping behind me he called out my name. "Mr.Larabee!"
I turned to face him. He just looked at me.
I didn't hear the screams, or my name being shouted as Vin sprinted past me and after his prey. I didn't hear his name been yelled, even though I knew it emanated from between my lips.
All I did was see.
See him stare at me with those oh so beautiful eyes. I could see the look of pure astonishment in them. I could see his head look down towards his chest, and then come back up to look at me. I could see what he felt as the crimson stain slowly started to seep through the once pristine white shirt to peek out from behind his jacket.
All I could see was him. Falling. Ever so slowly, like the ground was sucking him down towards her.
Now I was feeling. I felt the hardness of the wooden floorboards as I knelt next to the man I had loved since I first saw that cocky gold-tinted grin of his. I felt his soft hair as I cradled his head in my lap, waiting for help. I felt the sticky heat of blood as I placed my hand on his chest and pushed. I pushed as if I could push it all back into him. I could feel his heart beating. Slower and slower. Labouring at every step.
I could smell now. A stench that seems to invade me all too often. A smell that should come with a warning label. But this time it was mixed with a fragrance I wished would never leave me. Pure Ezra. I could smell the lavender and sandalwood. Then the slight muskiness of the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. The man that was dying in my arms without knowing how much I loved him.
Then those eyes were staring at me. Looking right into my heart and soul. He spoke, ever so quietly, the Southern drawl weighing down each word.
"I. I didn't hear it Chris. I tho, thought you were s, supposed to hear it"
I didn't hear anything then. No feeling, no smell. Nothing.
You don't hear it coming you know.
I sit in the corner of Nathan's clinic, waiting. It's been several hours since a bullet meant to kill me hit Ezra instead. A tortured lifetime since that piece of lead drove its way into his chest.
I stood and watched as Nathan dug it out and stitched everything up.
"Wait," we were told. "Nothing more I can do," he said. "Up to Ezra now."
So I waited.
I prowled and listened as Vin told me of some misguided, revenge seeking fool, now residing at the undertakers.
I practically growled as I saw Josiah cool down Ezra's fever hot skin. I wanted to push him away and run my fingers over the perfect satiny body. To feel him against me. To worship each tiny piece of him. But all I could do was slouch and look on, hopelessly, as with each passing minute, he failed to improve.
I knew he was going to die. Everyone else I've loved had - why not him?
I'm not a man renowned for my patience. I must leave now. I've stayed here too long without being able to have him.
I need some relief. Not only from the unremitting tension of waiting, but from my own lustful needs.
I drag myself from the morbid scene and methodically take care of things.
Clean, I go to his room. I try not to think of myself as being perverse as I lay on his bed and inhale deeply the scent from his pillows and covers. Oh how I could spend a lifetime, lying here, with him.
Seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, touching all that makes one Ezra. P. Standish.
How long I slept on top of his bed I don't know. Long enough to appease my craving, nowhere near long enough to soothe my heart.
I didn't want to go back to the clinic. I knew he was dying - so why stay and watch?
But I'd twice been denied telling someone how much I loved them before they died. It wasn't gonna happen a third time. I had to be there when he breathed his last.
And before that happened, I had to tell him. He had to know. He must know.
I take a deep breath and hold it in, trying to get my heart to stop its rapid beating.
Releasing it slowly I open the door to Nathan's clinic.
My eyes scan over those present in the room, without particularly seeing them.
At this time they are unimportant as the task I need to complete controls me.
I take a suddenly vacated seat next to his bed. Without conscious thought my hand hovers a hairsbreadth away from his face, but does not touch.
It moves slowly over his mouth, just about feeling every slow exhalation.
He's still alive - for now. I must not take any longer. I must tell him.
I don't care who overhears me, and I do not care what they may think. He must know before it's too late.
As my hand moves down to linger close to his heart, I lean forward.
I take a breath, inhaling his scent. My eyes close for a moment as I luxuriate in it.
And then, letting out a gentle breath, I whisper to him, "I love you Ezra."
I look up to see his eyes flutter open and look straight at me. I lean over him slightly and ask, "Ezra? Did you hear me Ezra?"
With almost a satisfied smile on his face, his eyes flutter closed once more.
"Ezra? No. No. Don't leave me!"
"Ezra!" I spring forward in my bed, the scream of his name choking in my dry throat.
As I sit up in the middle of my bed, sweat soaking through the strewn sheets that have entangled my legs, I hear it.
Through my shuddering gasps for air in the coldness of my cabin - I hear him.
"I'm right here Chris."
The softly spoken words penetrate through the hammering in my ears.
"I'm not going to leave you."
As my breathing starts to calm I feel his strong arms gently encircle me and slowly lower me so that I am resting in his embrace.
I can smell that aroma of his that always tantalised my senses whenever it drifted my way. But this time it is mixed with the passions of our earlier lovemaking.
I rest my head on his shoulder, and with the aid of a sliver of bright moonlight, I see, right before me, the scar left by the bullet that so nearly took the life of the man I love, and my life with it.
Then, finally, as I relax into the comfort of his arms, and my eyes close, I hear it. So loud and clear. As if it was yelled in my ear instead of being murmured gently.
"I love you too Chris."
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