The Whispered Caress
(Old West/modern)

by Lissa Grinstead

Ezra awoke absolutely certain he was being watched. It was a prickly feeling, and it was very unsettling. But at the same time, he found it erotic. He opened his eyes, looking for the watcher.

There was no one there. Then he felt it. Light as a feather, he felt the touch of some unseen hand on his face. It was gentle and yet uncertain. In any other circumstance, Ezra would call the touch 'hesitant'. But it disconcerted him greatly. He could feel the fingers tracing his jaw line, but he could not see the fingers.

Ezra reached out to touch the hand, which now was gently exploring his chest, outlining his pectoral muscles. But his hand met thin air.

He felt a slight weight lay down beside him, and he shifted towards it, eyes still straining to see what his body could feel. Was this a dream? he wondered briefly.

He felt kisses being placed on his chest as the ghostly fingers moved down his body. Ezra's body was responding, even as his mind was trying to figure it out. His cock was grasped, gently at first, and Ezra was amazed to watch the response to the unseen touch. But he didn't reflect on that for long as the fingers were replaced by a warm moistness.

Ezra bucked involuntarily. The hands continued their exploration and Ezra gripped the sheets, biting back a cry.

Then suddenly, the touch was gone. Ezra lay frustrated and panting for more.

Jessica groaned as the alarm clock rang. It had been such an intense dream and she had not been ready to awaken yet. She could still taste the desirable man of her dreams. He had the smoothest skin and had been incredibly handsome.

The alarm still rang incessantly, and Jessica smacked it hard. Truthfully, she wanted to throw the damned thing against the wall and hear it shatter. But that wasn't practical. Then she'd just have to buy another one on her way home from work.

She sat up and went into the bathroom. The man of her dreams still haunted her. Jessica took a cold shower.

Ezra went up to his room early. It had been a long day, and it had not been profitable either. Ezra had been so distracted by last night's "dream," for that was the only thing he could call the experience, that he could not focus on the game. He had not lost at the tables, but he had not won either.

He removed first his hat, then his jacket. As Ezra began to unbutton his shirt, he remembered the feel of the fingers against his skin. Shaking his head, he finished removing his shirt. He poured some water from the pitcher on his dresser into the basin and damped a towel.

Ezra wiped the day's sweat and grime from his body, then finished removing his clothes. He turned down the bed and lay down. Within moments, Ezra Standish was asleep.

He was once again awakened by the prickly feeling of being watched. Ezra didn't try to open his eyes; he knew that he would see nothing if he did. Instead, he waited. The anticipation of the feather-light touch made him catch his breath.

When he felt the first light touch, he gasped. Ezra reached for the arm and this time, solid flesh met his own. He opened his eyes. Momentarily, he saw the outline of a person. But she faded from his sight almost as soon as he saw her.

He whimpered as she disappeared from his vision. The woman had been a blonde with brilliant emerald eyes. Beautiful. But Ezra knew he'd been hallucinating her, just as he was hallucinating the touch. Desiring companionship, Ezra believed he had created this illusion.

Ezra closed his eyes. The touch returned to him. She was caressing his chest almost reverently. Ezra reached out and hesitantly touched her. She was soft, yet ephemeral. He could barely feel her body under his fingertips and he knew that if he were to look at her, she would disappear yet again.

Soft kisses were placed on his forehead, then his eyes. She covered his mouth with her own as she moved to straddle his body. Ezra groaned. He could feel the heat of her body atop of him, but there was no substance to it, no weight. Just burning desire. The passion in the kiss which she gave him was intense. Ezra reeled from the erotic assault.

He felt her fingers tracing his jawline, and soon her mouth followed her fingers. First she would caress him, then kiss him. She teased his nipples by pinching, then her mouth nipped at them, licked them, and kissed them. Then once again, she paid homage to his mouth. Ezra felt lost in the intensity of this dream.

+ + + + + + +

Jessica reveled in the man. He was beautiful. Not that that was a word usually used to describe a man, but it was what he was. Sculptured. Godlike. He was an Adonis and she wanted to cherish him for an eternity.

He was hers. All hers. He was the man of her dreams. Her fantasy. Hers.

Jessica smiled when she felt him reaching out to her, pulling her closer to him. His strong mouth claimed hers. He licked her lips urgently, demanding entrance, which she readily granted. His scent permeated her senses.

He caressed her body and began to explore her, as she had explored him. He kissed her neck, then her shoulder. With a tortuous languidity, his mouth moved from her shoulder to her breast. Jessica moaned as he suckled her.

She ran her fingers over his back, raking them across. He growled lowly and nipped her. Then he continued his oral exploration. She moaned as he snaked his tongue around her navel before briefly dipping in.

Jessica gasped as his talented fingers caressed her inner thigh. She squirmed delightedly as he gradually moved his hand towards her center. Deftly he slid a finger inside and began to stroke her. He took her mouth in his, covering her mouth entirely as he spread her legs and climbed between her.

Jessica pulled him close to her and wrapped her legs around him, urging him to enter her.

Then he was gone. And the damned alarm clock was ringing again. Jessica woke up and glared at it, once again weighing the merits of killing it. She found she was still panting and sweating from the encounter.

Ezra screamed in frustration. Twice now... twice he had been left needing relief! He had felt her this time... tasted her. He could still smell her. Her scent was unlike anything he had ever smelled before. It was spicy, crisp, clean... but not floral. It was deeply sensuous. He could still smell the scent of her on his pillow.

He looked at the window and saw the beginning rays of sunlight piercing through the curtain. It was positively unholy for him to be awake at this hour.

+ + + + + + +

"Hey Ezra," Buck greeted as Ezra walked into the saloon. "Ain't it a bit early for ya?"

Ezra merely glared at him.

"You all right there pard? You're lookin' a bit up tight," Buck persisted. He grinned. "I bet Miss Daisy could fix you right up."

Ezra almost growled at Buck as he got a cup of coffee and moved away, but Buck followed. Ezra sipped his coffee, fervently hoping that Buck would disappear. He knew that the gregarious rogue wouldn't do that. Once Buck got an idea into his head, he didn't let go. "Yep, Miss Daisy, she's had her eye on you for a while. Told Blossom she wondered if them hands of yours were as good with the ladies as they were with the cards." Buck started laughing.

Ezra shot Buck a dark look. "So glad to have provided you and Blossom some fodder for discussion. Now, if you'll excuse me...." Ezra stood up.

"Oooo. Hit a sore spot, didn't I there, Ezra?"

"Mr. Wilmington, I suggest you drop it."

Buck just laughed. Ezra seriously considered the merits of shooting him. Instead, he left the saloon and went back to his room. At least there, no one would bother him.

Ezra sat on his bed and looked out the window. He didn't know how many more nights of this torture he could endure.

He once again felt the hungry gaze upon his body. As soon as the fingers reached for him, Ezra took action. Without opening his eyes, he pulled the unseen woman to him and held her close. He covered her mouth with a crushing kiss as he rolled her underneath him. He ran his hands urgently down her body, then parted her legs. He had never wanted anyone as much as he wanted this apparition of his dreams, and he could wait no longer for her.

Ezra continued his ministrations to her willing mouth as he positioned himself. With a single motion, Ezra thrust inside of her. He felt her breath catch under him. Deliberately and slowly, Ezra began to move deeper into her willing body. Her legs wrapped around him, holding him close.

She moaned softly at first, and as his passion for her increased, her cries became louder and more frenzied.

Ezra felt her fingers clenching into his back and holding him close to her. He risked opening his eyes to gaze upon her...

and saw Miss Daisy, who smiled at him and traced her fingers across his face.

Ezra felt disappointment as tangible as the woman beneath him. He removed her hand and backed away from her.

She tried to touch Ezra again, but he turned away from her.

"Get out." He spoke harshly, more harshly than the woman deserved. But he did not care. She had not been invited, and she was not the woman he wanted.

Several moments of awkward silence passed, then he felt her slowly get up and heard her get dressed. Then she left his room. And Ezra could not find it in his heart to apologize to her.

+ + + + + + +

Jessica set the alarm clock and prepared for bed. It was Wednesday, and she had to be at work in the morning. Otherwise, she would just have left the clock unset. It had become the bane of her existence.

Her thoughts turned to the man she had dreamed. The way he felt underneath her, the way his kisses set her afire, the way his touch left her hungry for more: no other man had ever left her feeling as alive as he had.

Every morning this week, she had awakened from a dream of him... a man she could not name. And she went to bed tonight hoping that she would dream of him again.

Jessica lay down, and almost immediately was asleep.

She smiled as she watched him. He was asleep, his brow furrowed. He didn't look as relaxed as he had on previous nights, and she wondered if he had a life outside her dreaming. Jessica determined it to be an odd thought. Then she moved and sat next to him, lightly stroking his back.

"I said 'get out,'" the man mumbled, and Jessica was amazed at his voice. She had never heard it before, but it seemed the perfect voice for him. His voice, with the elegant Southern accent, sent shivers down her spine.

Jessica continued rubbing his back. He turned and looked at her. "Who are you?" he asked her.

Jessica smiled. "Jessica. And you?"

"Ezra Standish, at your service."

Jessica leaned down and placed a kiss in the center of his back. "I'll say."

He reached out and pulled her to him. "Jessica." The way he said her name sent a shiver down her spine.

Jessica delicately traced his chest with one finger before bending down and kissing him. She briefly wondered where she came upon such an unusual name. But those thoughts were quickly dismissed quickly as Ezra gently caressed her body.

Ezra laid her back on the pillow and kissed her. Jessica marveled at the power of his kiss. He looked at her and smiled. "Are you really here, Jessica? Or are you just a dream?" He nuzzled her neck, and Jessica wondered about his question. He was HER dream... wasn't he?

She held him to her and caressed his body. Ezra looked up to her, and she could see passion smoldering in his eyes. She no longer cared whose dream this was, she just wanted this man with an intensity she had never felt before. She kissed his shoulder, then slowly drew his hand to her mouth. She kissed the tip of his finger, the slowly licked the digit, gazing into his eyes all the while. Ezra's breathing quickened, and Jessica smiled.

Jessica brazenly reached down and grasped Ezra's member. Ezra's eyes widened as she began to apply the slightest pressure. She kissed his neck, then slowly moved down his body. But Ezra pulled her back up.

Ezra kissed her then laid her back on the pillows once again. His fingers traced over her body.

Jessica woke up when Sasha jumped on the bed and landed on her stomach. She glared at the dog and grudgingly got up to let the dog outside. Jessica decided to leave the dog outside for the night, and went to take a long, cold shower.

Ezra beat the mattress. Gone. Again. Was some demon trying to drive him to the brink of insanity? He got up and got dressed. Ezra wrote a brief note and dropped it off at the sheriff's office. Then he rode out to the nearby stream, and took a long swim.

+ + + + + + +

Ezra rode out of the livery. He could not believe that Larabee had given him this patrol. Midnight to dawn. The hours didn't really bother him. But, Ezra was hoping to see her again, like he'd seen her or rather felt her, every single night this week.

So she wasn't real, so he was going insane... it didn't really matter to him much anymore. He just wanted to hold her in his arms.

Instead, Larabee had sent him out of town.

Ezra rode slowly along the path. He was watching the horizon, when Ace nickered. Something pressed against him, and he caught the faint scent of spices.

"Jessica?" he whispered.

She arched back against him and placed a light kiss on his neck. Ezra bent down and kissed her softly. Jessica raised her right arm and placed her hand behind his neck. He slowed the pace of the horse and wrapped his arms about her waist. He could feel the satin of the shirt she wore and his breath quickened as he saw her bare legs.

Ezra nuzzled Jessica's cheek and whispered, "I've missed you, my dear."

She sighed and turned to take his mouth with her own. She shifted her weight so that she was pressing up against him, even closer than before.

Ezra stifled a groan and ran his hands over her body. She responded by intensifying their kiss. Ezra slowly began unbuttoning Jessica's blouse. He allowed himself to gaze upon her body as he gradually revealed her flesh to his touch. Finally the shirt was completely open. He smiled to her. "You are so beautiful."

Jessica tried to turn around to face him and Ezra stopped her. She pressed one hand against his leg, caressing his taut muscles.

Ezra fondled her full breasts, and then caressed her flat stomach. Jessica leaned into his touch, arching her body against his and moving against his hardening groin. He devoured her mouth hungrily as his hands began to explore her body in earnest.

He slipped his hand into her undergarment and considered ripping away the obstructing article. Jessica gripped his leg as his fingers dipped into her. Ezra's tongue and his fingers worked almost in tandem.

Jessica gripped his leg and continued moving against him. Once again she turned to him. Ezra lifted her out of the saddle and started to draw her close to him.

And she was gone. Ezra screamed in frustration.

Jessica moaned as the alarm clock sounded once more. She could not take much more of this.

+ + + + + + +

Ezra went to the store and made several purchases. He was confident Jessica would return to him. She had to. He carried the parcel back to the hotel and ordered a bath to be sent up to his room. While he waited for the tub and water, Ezra unpacked the parcel.

A knock sounded on the door and a couple hotel employees walked into the room, bearing the bath. Ezra tipped them and informed them to return in precisely 45 minutes. As soon as they left, Ezra stripped down and stepped into the tub.

As soon as he cleaned up, Ezra stood and dried off. Then he shaved and put on a fresh suit. A few moments later, the tub was removed from the room.

Ezra set out the candles and flowers he had purchased earlier. Then he walked downstairs to the restaurant and ordered a plate of fruits. As soon as it was ready, Ezra carried it back up the stairs. She had shown up usually around 12:30 am. Ezra lit some of the candles and retrieved a book of poetry.

He must have fallen asleep, for when he awoke, Jessica was standing in the room, looking amazed.

"Were you expecting company?" she asked him.

"You," Ezra said with a smile.

He stood up and lit the remaining candles then walked over to her. "You aren't planning on leaving me tonight. Are you?"

Jessica laughed softly. "I wasn't planning on leaving before. But tonight, tonight there will be no interruptions."

Ezra pulled her to him and kissed her passionately. "No interruptions." He lifted her and carried her over to the bed. Ezra laid her down and then sat down beside her, leaning over her and kissing her deeply.

Jessica reached for him and undid his tie, then shakily unbuttoned his shirt. Ezra deftly undid the fastenings of her shirt.

"My dear," he whispered huskily. "I can wait for you no longer."

She nodded her head and pulled his shirt from his pants. Ezra kissed her and drew her close to him, pulling the shirt from her body and depositing it on the floor beside the bed. Both Ezra and Jessica quickly removed their clothing. He smiled to see her hungry gaze traverse his body, and he pulled her to him.

Ezra felt her body meld against him. She kissed his shoulder then looked up to him. "Fill me."

Ezra chuckled softly. "I intend to." He kissed her then laid her on the bed once again. Ezra lay down beside her and gently caressed her. She traced his chest then gazed at him.

He placed his hand behind her head and tilted her head back, claiming her mouth with his own. He looked deep into her eyes, then moved on top of her. Jessica spread her legs to allow him access to her. Ezra pushed ever so slowly, savoring every inch of her. Then he began to thrust in and out, moving with Jessica. She wrapped her legs around him and clasped him to her.

Jessica softly whispered his name, then her cries became more fevered as Ezra gradually picked up the pace. She raked her fingernails across his back. He gazed into her passion-glazed eyes and kissed her, silencing her moans.

The candles burned, illuminating their lovemaking. Ezra took his time pleasuring her, but finally could hold no more. With one long, deep thrust, he buried his seed within her, then lay atop of her. They both were breathing heavily, and gently caressing one another.

Ezra kissed her. "Stay with me?" Jessica nodded and lay contentedly wrapped in his arms.

But when the sun came up, Ezra was once again alone.


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