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?, and The All-Ezra FanFic Archive --- all others, please ask.
Summary: Ezra and Chris celebrate their second anniversary.
Warnings: Slash content, nothing too blatant; more or less a PWP.
Author's Note: Hope you find this a happy little story and you will find that I do leave something, or someone, to the imagination.
Completed: 8 March 2004
Feedback: email@example.com welcomes comments
Chris looked around suspiciously. No one was really watching as far as he could tell but he felt eyes on his back anyway. The woman was wrapping up the package meticulously. She'd removed all the markings first, something he'd learned to insist upon. Ezra was a good coach that way.
"Would you like this gift wrapped as well?" She seemed to think this was an everyday thing, buying watered silk sheets. Matching them to a swatch of cloth snipped from the hidden hem of a drape.
Larabee nodded. Surely it was obvious that these were not for himself? He bit back a mean-spirited retort and ground his molars some more.
"I have a choice of papers here." She spread out several tidy sheets of colorful paper.
In desperation, he pointed to the pearl-like green one. It would match Ezra's eyes. Chris did not say this aloud. When the last curl of ribbon was arranged in place, the receipt presented and a plastic bag for transport provided, he heaved a sigh of relief and tried for the 'nonchalant' look as he forced his pace to a slow stroll when all he wanted to do was stampede out of there like the hounds of hell were yapping at his heels. A small quirk of smile broke his glacial look as he moved steadily through the house wares, then down the escalator past the women's lingerie. That hint of smile was enough to turn quite a few feminine heads, a fact of which he was blissfully unaware.
Pushing out the doors of the upscale department store, Larabee cast a quick look about again. He really didn't want to have to explain this to five other men who would take the opportunity to add his mission to their endless list of topics with which to aggravate him.
"So, what did you get him?" Buck stood up close to Chris at the bar, shoulders rubbing as he leaned in even closer to hiss loudly in Larabee's ear.
Chris took the opportunity to step casually on Wilmington's instep, damn near crushing it with his boot heel. He turned toward Buck as he administered his little physical admonishment, as Ezra would call it, and smiled at Buck's follow up curse. "What was that, Buck?"
Wilmington, who was now hopping on one foot, bent over and massaging his other, shook his head. "Guess I shouldn'ta asked."
"Nope." Chris gathered up two mugs of ale and shouldered past his old friend, a smile growing on his face as he headed for the team table at the back of Inez's Saloon.
Ezra, sitting next to JD Dunne and shuffling a deck of cards in a relaxed way, looked up and smiled back at Larabee. He patted the seat next to him and pulled it out.
Chris slid in and shifted one of the mugs to the table in front of Ezra without a word.
Vin, sitting across, grinned at the men now seated very closely. "Gonna stay awhile tonight?"
Chris met the dancing blue eyes with lazy hazel ones. "Nope." He nudged Ezra's shoulder with his own. "Just share a neighborly drink with you boys, then we're heading out."
"Night's young," Josiah commented expansively, leaning back in the captain's chair he'd claimed at one end of the table.
Nathan Jackson, who sat next to him, leaned in and murmured something quietly in the big profiler's near ear. Josiah blinked. Eyebrow raised, faded blue gray eyes checked out Nathan's deep brown warm ones. Josiah snorted and then, catching sight of the nervous way that Chris was fingering his mug, his expression became benevolent as he added, as if he'd never even paused, "but some folks need their beauty sleep."
Buck, who'd just managed to limp back to the group, one large hand clutching a mega-sized beer bottle, guffawed as he dropped to the last vacant seat. "And some beasts need their beauties, too!"
JD's rebuke had the teasing big guy pull his beer back away from his mouth, "What? What'd I say?"
JD put a hand on Ezra's shoulder and patted it. "Ignore him, Ez, he's just feeling put out 'cause Inez still won't give him the time of day!"
"That's it!" Larabee rose, dumping the rest of his ale down his throat. "Ez, time to go."
Standish took a small sip of his ale, courtesy of Chris, and then stood with that dignified grace that was such a part of him. "Gentlemen." He bestowed a gold-glinting smile on his teammates.
A chorus of well wishes from the rest rose from the table. As they left, Larabee grit his teeth as he heard Buck lament, rather loudly, "I still don't know what he got'em." The shushing noises that followed made him shake his head. No class, those boys had no class at all. Good thing they're same as family or we'd have to part ways.
Cold, fresh air hit him in the face as they exited the Saloon for the parking lot outside. Ezra was already over by the Ram, waiting. Larabee strode over to him, stopping right up against the man, nearly squashing the smaller figure against the side of the truck. Green eyes smiled up at him. "So, what did you get me?"
"What makes you think I got you anything at all?"
"It is our anniversary." Ezra dimpled, hands coming up to play with the black leather lapels of Larabee's jacket. "And, I got you something."
"What?" Chris was suddenly intensely interested. Then suspicious. "Did you tell them? Tell Buck?"
Ezra shook his head no wordlessly, then stood up taller on tiptoes.
Chris couldn't resist and leaned in for a soft kiss. The warmth of the lips touching his was an elixir to his blood. He could feel it start to burn. He reached past Ezra and unlocked the passenger door. "Get in there, you."
Ezra flashed him another dimple and complied. Chris, not through, leaned in and secured the seat belt, spending extra time making sure it fit firmly but not too tightly over Ezra's lap. This involved quite a bit of tugging and tucking, not to mention testing by slipping fingers under the band and sliding along it. And, incidentally rubbing against Ezra's lap.
"Thank you for ensuring my safety, dear sir," was chuckled breathlessly into his ear.
Chris grinned down at that lap and gave a final, gentle tug. All was well. And growing snugger. Then, he looked up and the smile dropped away as he looked deep into those greeny pools. "Keeping you safe is my life."
Ezra's smile melted into a happy hum and he raised one hand to stroke down Chris' jaw. "Thank you."
With a nod, Larabee reluctantly backed away enough to close the door and then quickly pace around the hood of the truck to his own door. He climbed in and powered up, the thrum of the engine making the truck's cabin vibrate. "So, did you get me something?"
Ezra leaned back, turning his head on the backrest so that he could drink in the smiling face of his long time lover. "More of a package than an object."
"I got you something too." Chris turned to face the road and put the truck in gear. "Actually, got it for both of us."
"Really? Sounds intriguing." Ezra slumped over slightly on the bench seat so that he could rest his thigh next to Larabee's. He began to trace small circles on the trouser-covered length of his man.
"Ez." Chris' strangled monosyllable was enough to cause Standish to hesitate. Briefly.
"Ezra. You know I can't drive if you do that." Chris brought the truck to a stop at the exit to the street.
"Oh, very well."
"So, about this package."
"I gift-wrapped myself."
The squeal of the brakes accompanied the swift jerk of the truck as Chris jammed his stiff leg on the pedal. Shaking, he stared straight-ahead out the truck windscreen with arms locked and braced, hands fisted around the wheel. He didn't speak.
Inhaling slowly, deeply, then exhaling, Larabee relaxed visibly, put the truck in gear and carefully headed out, taking time to look both ways and monitor traffic in his rear view mirror as they began the drive northwest toward their ranch. Clearing his throat, Chris finally spoke, "When do I get to see the, um, wrappings?" He coughed lightly, and continued, "And when can I unwrap it, um, you?"
Ezra tucked one hand under the hard muscled bicep beside him and snuggled a bit closer. "Right after you give me your present."
"You don't even know what I got yet."
"Something wonderful. Beautiful, tasteful, elegant."
"You don't know that either."
"Chris," Ezra thumped the side of his head lightly against Larabee's shoulder, "You got it for me. It can not be otherwise. It is from you."
The drive always seemed long after the end of a long day of work and even longer when they socialized for a bit with the boys. Tonight, it seemed to go on forever. And still Chris' imagination wrapped and rewrapped Ezra in a variety of ways, each more lurid and exotic than the one before.
By the time he pulled the truck to a stop in front of the main building of their ranch, Chris was ready to do mayhem. In a very controlled way, of course.
They each unbuckled and withdrew from their respective sides of the truck. Chris gathered up his package from the back seat. Ezra didn't comment on the scrawled icon of the store that graced the outside of the bag. Together they moved up and into the house, automatically moving through routines that were long established.
"No dinner, not yet." Chris tried to make it sound like an order, but inside this house, his dictates held little sway. Ezra simply smiled up at him. "Please, Ez?"
Ezra relented. "Very well. We can always have a fashionably late repast, perhaps a midnight meal."
"Let's go." Chris grabbed up his package in one hand and Ezra's arm in the other and headed them down the hall to the bedroom.
Ezra dropped down on mattress at the end of the bed and sat waiting. His green eyes shone with happy anticipation.
Chris, suddenly nervous again, turned away and pulled the wrapped present from the carry bag with his back to Ezra. Turning back around he chewed his lower lip and ducked his head a bit, blond hair tumbling forward, unaware how the movement endeared him once more to Ezra.
"Here." Shoving the neatly wrapped and beribboned box into Ezra's hands, Larabee sunk to the floor cross-legged at Ezra's feet. He looked up and waited, holding his breath.
"Breathe, Chris." Ezra smiled, still holding the box and looking affectionately at the blond. Then he slowly pulled apart the ribbons, snagged off the bits of tape, and folded back the stiff paper. "Oh."
Instantly alert to possible disaster, Chris was up on his knees, leaning forward to peer into the box with Ezra who had twisted and laid it down, open, beside him on the bed. Larabee's chest against Ezra's knees, he hung over Ezra to watch first Ezra's face, then look down again into the box to be sure the right stuff was inside, then, hesitantly, back up at Ezra. "Ez?"
"Oh." Standish lovingly and reassuringly slid his far hand and arm up and over Chris' shoulder and back as he reached across him and lifted the top bit of fabric, one of the pillowcases. "Oh, this is just lovely." He held it up into the air, the fine thin fabric seemed to glow in the subdued bedroom lighting. He brought it to his cheek and rubbed it thoughtfully against his skin, his face transforming into a sweet, pleased smile. "Chris," he looked back and down at worried hazel eyes, "I was right. Anything from you is always perfect. But, this time you have outdone yourself. These are exquisite." He laid the cloth down on top of the rest in the box and slipped his arms under Larabee's, tugging up slightly.
Chris came up all the way on to his knees and leaned into Ezra's hug. "You really like them? They're not too impersonal?" He asked just as Ezra took his mouth in a passionate kiss that lingered on and on.
When they parted finally, Ezra smiled into now inquisitive eyes. "Yes. I absolutely adore them." Then, with a short peck to those pouty lips, he added, "And wait until we make the bed with them. Then I shall give you my present and it will be the perfect foil for it."
"I thought you were my present? Just wrapped up?" Chris gathered Ezra closer, nuzzling under that chin he so loved.
Ezra hugged back and then pushed the blond away a bit. "Yes. Specially wrapped just for you." He rose against his partner, urging Chris to his feet also. "Let's put these on the bed."
"Now? It could wait." Chris tried to bargain even though he could see that Ezra was going to be stubborn about this.
Ezra just grinned at him and made shooing motions.
Working together, they had the bed stripped and remade in record time. Leaving the top sheet folded back, Ezra crawled up into the center of their king-sized bed and sprawled on it.
"My turn?" Chris stood poised at the edge of the mattress.
Ezra rolled sideways onto one elbow and hip. He fluttered his eyelashes and dimpled again. He fingered the top button of his oxford button-down shirt. "You really think you're ready for this, big boy?"
Chris took a deep breath, his upper lip rising in his trademark grin. "Yeah, I think so, honey." And he reached over to start unwrapping his present.
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