Disclaimer: Don't own, so don't sue. I never did like
Barbie, Ken was always my favorite. Since I'm too old to play with dolls,
I play with these guys instead. <g>
Possessive!Chris ahead. <g>
Author's notes: Praise
goes to Sherri and Tess for their brilliant beta'ing. Any final mistakes
are mine. Also a very big thank you goes out to Kimber and Serena for
putting up with me. <wg>
Summary: When Chris is
kidnpped Ezra must find him before it's too late.
Samuel Levit watched with a satisfied smirk as Chris Larabee parked his
car in front of the ranch. He waited until the ATF agent was out of the
vehicle before turning to the sniper standing beside him.
the dart with the tranquilizer, Michaels?" he whispered
The man nodded, rifle ready and aimed at Larabee's
moving form. "Just say the word, Mr. Levit," he breathed back.
it." Levit watched Michaels squeeze the trigger, his heart racing
gleefully as he saw Larabee's hand suddenly move to his neck, a pained
grimace on his face. The blond staggered precariously for a few seconds,
then collapsed on the porch leading to his front door.
sniper rose from their hiding place amongst the undergrowth. "Done, boss."
His cold, soulless eyes bore into Levit. "What now?"
"Go back for
the van, bring it here."
Levit waited until the sound of a vehicle
approaching reached his ears, before walking over to his
He looked down at the unconscious man lying on the
wooden floor, his mouth twisted into an evil smile. "Vengeance is mine,
Agent Larabee," he muttered. "When I'm through with you, you'll be nothing
but the shell of the man you used to be. And I will enjoy every minute of
He dragged the blond to the van with Michaels' help, throwing
his prisoner into the back carelessly. He climbed into the driver's seat,
Michaels staying behind with Larabee to watch over him. The first stars
were beginning to sprinkle the sky when he finally drove away.
Chris' return to consciousness was slow and painful. His thought
process was sluggish, his whole body felt numb and he seemed to have
trouble opening his eyes.
When he finally did, he realized he
was lying on a small cot, hands and feet tightly bound. He was currently
alone in a small sterile room, with no other furniture, no windows, gray
walls made of a material he couldn't identify and a solid, steel door the
only means of escape.
The door opened and a man walked in, brown
eyes gleaming as he noticed Chris was awake. Chris tried to place a name
to the six foot tall, slim figure, but failed to do so. He could only
wonder at what kind of mess he was in this time around.
hell are you?" he rasped out. "What do you want?"
His captor ran a
hand through his thinning dark hair. "I can understand how you might not
remember me; it has been some time and we only saw each other once. My
name's Samuel Levit. Does the name Thomas Levit mean anything to
Chris frowned in concentration, then shook his head.
"Well, it should." the man snapped, fury and madness burning
in his eyes. "He was my younger brother. You arrested him years ago, while
you were still with the Denver PD."
"Since it's been years, I'm
assumin' this is not because I busted him. Let me guess, he died and you
want revenge," Chris drawled sarcastically. It seemed he and his team
spent more time trying to escape family vengeances than doing their jobs;
it was beginning to grate on his nerves.
Levit nodded. "Got
it in one. You see, I had to watch as Tom withered away in prison, day
after day, week after week, month after month. I lost count of every new
bruise, of every new scrape. I lost count of the number of times he
couldn't make it to the visit because he was in the infirmary. I got to
watch the light fade out from his eyes, little, by little, by little." He
took a deep breath. "Until he finally killed himself six months ago. Your
fault, Agent Larabee, since you put him there."
Chris shook his
head. "Wrong. *His* fault, for doin' whatever the hell he did to make me
Levit waved a dismissed hand. "Doesn't matter. What
does matter is that I will be doing to you what jail did to Tommy. I'm a
scientist, you know? Specialize in chemical drugs," he explained
conversionally. "And I concocted a new drug especially for you, for this
"I'm touched," Chris gritted out, wondering if he wasn't
spending too much time with Ezra. Sarcasm had never been his thing before
hiring the undercover agent.
"This drug," Levit continued as if
Chris hadn't spoken, "will deprive you of everything we call civilized.
You will lose your will, your conscience, your humanity. You will be a
walking corpse, a vegetable with no willpower. It will take approximately
two weeks for the process to be irreversible. At that time I will let you
go, release you on the streets of Denver. It will be amusing to see how
long you will last before a street thug or even one of your fellow agents
He walked over to Chris, removing a syringe and a small
vial from one of his coat pockets. Chris struggled fiercely against the
ropes binding him, swallowing hard as he watched Levit fill the syringe
full of liquid.
He had been in dangerous situations for most
of his life, but this was different somehow. It was one thing to face
someone with a gun in your hand, knowing you had a chance to fight back.
But he was powerless against this madman, and he knew no one would be
coming to the rescue, at least not fast enough to prevent Levit from
drugging him out of his mind.
Levit pushed his sleeve back and
plunged a needle into his arm with cruel intensity. Chris bit his lip to
stop from crying out at the painful sting, trying to breathe deeply,
fighting the abrupt sense of panic that flooded through him. The insidious
drug hit his bloodstream, making him feel dizzy and disoriented, sweat
breaking out all over his body as his heartbeat increased its
As he felt his mind begin to shut down, he had enough
time to spare a thought for his friends, for the one he had lost his heart
to, then he knew no more.
Six days later
The sun was just
beginning to dawn through the trees as Ezra drove the rented jeep through
the forest road, his foot never leaving the gas pedal.
his jaw as he glanced at his bruised knuckles. He had nearly beaten a man
to death not two hours earlier. That showed him how hard he was taking
Chris' disappearance. He had always been able to control his emotions,
even if only on the outside. But for the last six days he felt like a
time-bomb waiting to explode and he knew the others were wary of being
They had searched relentlessly for their leader,
leaving no stone unturned, and still they had found nothing. He had been
forced to resort to his underground contacts, which had finally paid off
the night before. A known gunman for hire, who used to hang around a
certain bar, had been bragging about having been the one responsible for
Ezra's informant met him at the bar, showed him
who the gunman was. Ezra had waited until the man made it out of the
establishment before cornering him. For someone who had bragged so much,
the man had been surprisingly tough to crack and Ezra had lost his
patience, landing blow after blow until the gunman lay a whimpering puddle
on the asphalt.
It took time, but the man finally confessed
he had been the one to shoot the tranquilizer dart which allowed a Samuel
Levit to take Chris away from them. He didn't know for what reason, since
only Levit had access to Chris. But for the first time in six days Ezra
felt some hope of actually seeing Chris alive, some hope he might actually
get to say the words stuck in his throat for the last months. All he had
to do was rescue the other man and pray he was none too worse for
Reaching the location given to him by the gunman, Ezra parked
the jeep, eyes narrowing as he spotted the compound barely visible in the
trees to his left.
He dialed Vin's number on his cellular.
"Vin? Ezra," he said when the Texan answered. "I believe I have found our
leader." Rapidly he explained what he had done the night before and what
the gunman had told him.
"Damn it, Ezra! Why didn't ya call us?"
Vin snapped, sounding pissed off.
"I wasn't certain if the
information was accurate. But judging by the security at the compound, I
think we hit jackpot," he stated calmly, giving Vin directions to the
"Okay, Ez. You stay put, ya hear?" Vin demanded urgently.
"I'll call the others and we'll be right there."
Ezra hung up,
having no intention whatsoever to wait until the others joined him. Every
minute was time wasted, time in which someone might be hurting Chris. No
way in hell was he waiting.
Knowing the jeep was far enough away
not to be seen, he checked his weapon, the contents of the backpack he had
brought with him, took a deep breath, then ventured into the thick forest.
He saw the first man patrolling the walls surrounding the main building.
Putting to use the survival skills learned at Quantico, he snuck up
silently behind the guard.
"Hello!" he spoke loud enough for
only his prey to hear.
As the man turned, Ezra punched him
hard, knocking him out cold. He dragged the man off the path, behind some
large bushes, hoping the rest were as easy, but somehow knowing they
He jumped over the wall, half surprised when no
alarms went off, crouching down as he took in the facility. Not that big,
but he had some open ground to cover before he could reach it. Seeing no
other guards, he ran to the building, keeping as low as possible, eyes
constantly roaming over his surroundings, senses alert to any unexpected
He circled the building carefully, trying to find an
entrance. Before he could make it to the final side, a man holding a .45
pistol came around the corner. Acting on instinct, Ezra tackled the man to
the ground, straddling him, and without giving him any time to react,
slugged him twice.
Satisfied that the man wouldn't give him
any more trouble, he continued his search, finding a window on the first
floor wide open. He climbed into the creepy house, drawing his gun as he
allowed his eyes to adjust to the gloomy darkness.
himself in a lounge of sorts, a couch and countless chairs occupying every
available space, a coffee and tea machine resting on a table, magazines
spread throughout two other tables. With his heart in his throat, Ezra
crossed over to the door, emerging into a long, gray corridor with several
doors on either side. He held his breath as he stepped into the corridor,
taking a peek in each room, his dread increasing as he realized each
contained a laboratory.
He spotted a staircase and crept
over, suddenly knowing Chris would be up there. He found himself in yet
another corridor, more doors on each side. The first rooms were deserted,
but they were different from the ones below. These didn't have any lab
equipment and were considerably smaller. What set them apart was the fact
they were sparsely furnished -- if at all -- besides a single
He kept going, a drop of sweat trailing down his cheek as he
opened the last door. He nearly sobbed with relief at the vision before
him; Chris was lying on the cot, tied spread-eagle and apparently
unconscious, but very much alive.
He rushed over to
the other man, switching the gun to his other hand, already reaching for
the knife hidden within the backpack. He cut the ropes binding Chris to
the cot's steel frame, rubbing raw wrists tenderly as he tried to rouse
He gasped as Chris abruptly sprang to his feet,
backing away from Ezra. There was no life in Chris' eyes, no fire, no hint
he even knew what was happening or that he recognized Ezra. The stormy
green eyes were empty, all light drained out of them.
shout out his rage at the merciless skies, Ezra took a step towards Chris.
"Hey, there," he whispered soothingly. "It's me, Chris, Ezra."
inched closer, biting his lip uncertainly as Chris swayed slightly. Should
he try to reach him? To touch him? Chris didn't move as Ezra approached,
daring to rest his hand on Chris' arm. He simply stood still, eyes focused
inward, seemingly not aware he wasn't alone.
"All right, I guess
it's up to me to see us through this, at least for the moment." Ezra
pulled out a heavy winter jacket from the backpack and gently helped Chris
don it. "I'm a firm believer one should always be prepared," he said,
hoping somehow his voice would bring Chris out of his frightening
stillness. "It's cold outside and the weather's supposed to take a turn
for the worse soon, so I thought I'd bring this along. Fortunate for you I
did; you would have frozen if I hadn't."
He knew his babbling
was the only thing at the moment keeping him from falling apart. It simply
hurt too much to see Chris in such an apathetic state. He wanted the fire
back, the spark always present whenever they were together. He needed
"Who the hell are you?" a voice spat from the
Ezra turned to see a tall, lithe man standing at the
entrance, a gun aimed at him. "Who the hell are *you*?" he retorted. "Are
you the one responsible for his condition?" he gestured towards
The man smirked as he moved further into the room. "That
would be me, yes. I have been having quite a lot of fun with Mr. Larabee
there. An amazing specimen, actually. Would you believe he has been trying
to fight the drugs I've been pumping into him? Truly amazing."
felt a cold, hard fury take over his heart. This bastard was responsible
not only for kidnapping Chris, but also for stealing that which Ezra held
most dear in the blond; his soul.
Behind him he heard Chris
move, distracting the man targeting them. Ezra didn't waste any time; he
leaped, and spun 360 degrees in the air, his foot connecting with the
man's chin, snapping his head back with a sickening crack. He landed
solidly on his feet, his breath harsh, fists clenching, body coiled and
Sanity returned and he realized the man was dead, his neck
broken. Guilt stabbed at him for a moment, until his eyes settled on Chris
and a maddening rage washed over him again. Forcing himself to remain
calm, he held Chris' hand in his and pulled gently.
"Come on, we
need to depart from this place; I have no idea if there are any more
security guards around," he said as he snatched his weapon from the
Chris followed him meekly down the corridor, past the
stairs, along the second corridor. They made it outside, and this time
Ezra decided to venture through the gate instead of trying to climb the
wall; he didn't think Chris was up to it.
They were almost through
the gate when another guard came running up, firing his rifle. The bullet
caught Ezra in the left shoulder, throwing him backwards into Chris.
Firing instinctively, Ezra's shot struck the guard in the heart, killing
Pain invaded his world as he tried not to pass
out, knowing Chris was vulnerable at the moment and needed him to be alert
and functional. He grunted as he was suddenly thrown over Chris' shoulder
in a fireman's carry, surprised the other man had been able to do so on
He thought he heard Chris growl, 'Protect', then
consciousness left him.
Slowly, painfully, Ezra became aware of his surroundings. He was
half-lying on the cold, hard ground, half-sitting on Chris' lap. The other
man had his arms wrapped firmly around him and seemed to be rocking him
gently, although there was still no awareness in his features.
lifted his head from Chris' warm shoulder, scanning the woods around them.
The compound was nowhere in sight; all he could see were trees and rocks.
As predicted, the weather was already beginning to change. Heavy clouds
were gathering in the skies above them, hiding the early morning sun, and
the wind was blowing stronger.
Looking around, he noticed his
backpack was missing, probably left behind after he had gotten shot. This
meant the extra weapons and ammunition, bottled water, first aid kit, and
food were all lost. His gun was also missing, leaving them without any
kind of armed protection.
Gritting his teeth against the pain in
his shoulder he tried his cell phone, only to realize they were out of
range, and unable to contact the others.
He sighed wearily. Somehow
Lady Luck always seemed to enjoy playing with him, throwing him into the
most unusual plights and watching from the sidelines as he struggled to
the finish line. It was troublesome.
Opening his heavy coat and
peeking under his garments, he realized there was little blood soaking his
shirt, telling him he hadn't been unconscious for long. Pressing his lips
together to prevent a moan from escaping, he left the sanctuary of Chris'
arms, slowly removing his coat and sweater. Stripping his shirt off, he
ripped the sleeves off and turned them into a tourniquet for his
At least he could feel the exit wound at his back
and the bullet had obviously not caused any permanent
After redressing he rose to his feet, closing his
eyes for a moment as he fought the wave of nausea and dizziness assailing
him. With no way to contact the others, and without knowing their exact
location, the best thing for them was to keep moving. Perhaps they would
be fortunate enough to stumble across a road or a cabin.
Chris," he breathed softly, glad when the man followed
They picked their way carefully up the rough sloping
trail, Ezra keeping a close watch on the man walking beside him, hoping to
see some change in the uncharacteristic silence. Desolation replaced hope
as time ticked by and nothing happened.
As he treaded slowly, Ezra
could feel his heart breaking, wondering what would he do if Chris didn't
return to his former self. He had accepted long ago his preference towards
men, so his instant attraction to the blond hadn't come as any
life-altering revelation. But the fact that the attraction had morphed
into love frightened him, especially because during the last months it had
been getting harder and harder not to blurt out his
And now he might never get the chance.
stumbled on a root, then caught himself on a tree trunk. Leaning into the
tree, he tried to swallow around his dry throat. His strength was fading
fast, he would need to take a break soon. A real break, not the occasional
stop to take a deep breath as they had been doing since their journey had
He looked at the time, grunting in annoyance as he saw they
had only been moving for little over an hour. In his weakening condition,
it felt like much longer. Hot pain radiated from his injured shoulder, and
although the provisory bandage was doing its function so far, he was still
He shivered as a fierce gust of wind howled over
them. The snowstorm he had heard announced on the radio on the way to the
compound was approaching fast. The sky was dark and angry, the temperature
dropping with the rising wind. They needed shelter, or they would never
survive the day.
Their slow march continued for yet another
hour, then suddenly they reached an area full of ravines and
"There is a God," Ezra muttered gratefully, as he
spotted the mouth of a small cave not far from where they were standing,
near the crest of a low ridge.
They began their climb, his
focus never wavering from their promised shelter. His foot slid on the
slippery slope, slamming him into the ground. He curled into a fetal ball,
eyes squeezed shut, gripping above his left elbow and gritting his teeth
to keep from crying out, his breathing shallow and rapid.
couldn't possibly manage to get up again. Sweating from the effort,
hurting and shivering, he was at the end of his tether.
it was Chris who unwittingly saved the situation. Ezra felt the other man
drag him to his feet, helping him make it into the narrow cave. He leaned
against the wall, panting, trying to control the painful tingling in his
Opening his eyes, he saw scattered pieces of wood lying
around, in enough quantity to build a fire and keep it going for a few
hours. Clenching his jaw stubbornly, Ezra gathered the necessary amount to
start a fire, using the lighter he always carried with him. Pretty soon
the flames were warming up the small area, the smell of wood smoke filling
They huddled together instinctively. The throbbing
in Ezra's shoulder prevented him from falling too deeply into the sleep
his body craved, but allowed him to relax into a much needed rest.
"Well?" Vin asked grimly.
"Four men. Two unconscious, two dead,"
Buck informed him. "JD found Ezra's backpack near one of the dead. It had
food, water, a compass and his extra guns inside. His gun was a few feet
Nathan and Josiah approached the others. "Finished searchin'
the compound," Nathan told Vin. "One of the rooms on the upper level had
rope attached to a cot. My guess is that Chris was held
"Any idea what happened?" JD asked sadly.
shook his head. "No. It seems Ezra managed to free Chris, and subdue all
the men. I fail to see why they didn't remain here."
more," Nathan said, his face unusually serious. "I found this in one of
the labs." He held up what looked like a book. "It's a journal. I'm not
familiar with all the scientific jargon in it, but I understood enough.
This guy was testin' a new drug on Chris, givin' him two doses a day. Now,
he didn't know if it was Chris' fault, or if the drug's components weren't
mixed right, but it wasn't workin' as predicted."
Vin felt his
heart missing a beat. "What do you mean?" he whispered.
was supposed to leave Chris pliant, a 'walking vegetable' as he refers to
it in the journal. But between bein' nearly catatonic, Chris had periods
of extreme violence. He tried to escape twice while they were helpin' him
relieve himself, killed one of his guards in the first try. It might be
the reason why he and Ezra aren't here waitin' for us."
you're sayin' is that Ezra is out there somewhere with a mindless,
psychotic Chris?" Buck surmised hoarsely.
"Now what?" JD asked Vin. "The snowstorm is nearly here.
Maybe we should wait --"
Vin shook his head. "We've brought the
gear, we're goin' after them. We *have* to. Come on, let's get ready."
Ezra grunted when a weight was suddenly upon him, a wet tongue teasing
at the side of his neck, a quick nip on the soft skin behind his right
He opened glazed eyes, and Chris' face came into his
line of vision, blond strands bathed by the light of the fire. Hot breath
tickled his chin as Chris leaned down, and then lips were against his,
hands rubbing against his groin over his pants, and he felt himself
hardening in spite of the throbbing in his shoulder.
was fully aware of what was happening, Chris' hands moved to his waist and
taking advantage of surprise and Ezra's weakness, he flipped the
Southerner over and onto his stomach.
Ezra gasped at the
unexpected move as it jarred his wound painfully, his whole being consumed
by agony. Chris straddled his back, pinning him to the cave's hard floor,
an insistent knee urging his legs apart. Chris stretched out on top of
him, blanketing his body, hips grinding crudely against Ezra's buttocks,
his erection noticeable even through the clothes they were both
Dazed and hurting, Ezra moaned a protest as he felt
fingers fumbling beneath him, parting the snap to his pants. Hands tugged
at the garment, pulling it off along with his boxers until his lower body
was bare. He tried to crawl away, but he was too slow.
began kneading his ass cheeks, manipulating them wantonly, and once again
Ezra felt himself responding to the man's touch. He cried out abruptly, a
wave of goosebumps flushing through his body as a slick softness darted
along the crevice between his buttocks, long, thorough strokes that had
him writhing and whimpering shamelessly in seconds.
Chris took his
hips in his hands, holding him immobile as thumbs parted him, leaving him
exposed. Warm breath blew across his anus, Chris' tongue returning to
torment him, caressing the delicate skin, licking at it.
quivered, never having felt such an amazing feeling before, the sensation
intensifying as the tongue breached his puckered opening. His whole body
was shaking, he wanted to thrash against the touch, but the small part of
his mind still functioning, warned him about his wound.
working on him, lapping, stroking, slow, patient flickers of his tongue
along the tight channel to his body that took Ezra's breath away. The
slick heat darted past the sphincter once more and he cried out again,
then, as suddenly as it had begun, the touch was withdrawn, leaving him
When his head stopped spinning from both the pain and the
pleasure coursing through him, Ezra realized Chris was back on top of him,
panting harshly as his shaft nudged Ezra's opening. Ezra froze as he
understood why Chris had rimmed him so thoroughly; they had no
lubrication. Even if Chris wasn't fully aware of what he was doing, his
subconscious seemed to have retained enough information to know they would
need something for their coupling.
Spit wouldn't be
nearly enough to prevent tearing. Besides, no matter how much he loved and
desired Chris, this was not the way he had imagined their coming together.
Not to mention, Chris would forever wallow in guilt if he ever remembered
any of it.
"Chris, no!" he shouted, making another attempt at
escaping the other man's powerful grip as Chris positioned himself and
began to thrust, his cock rubbing against the ring of muscle. "Chris,
please. Stop," he groaned, as he was continuously pressed against the
cave's floor, his hands the only barrier preventing his wound from
impacting with the rock.
He tried to scramble forward again,
but hands seized his hips, dragging him roughly backwards. Teeth sank
painfully into his right shoulder, a clear warning to cease
"Mate!" Chris growled in his ear.
hard as he tried to control his fear, Ezra obeyed the command to remain
acquiescent, stiffening in anticipation of the pain to come.
weight holding him down retreated abruptly and Ezra scuttled to the end of
the cave, watching Chris with wary eyes. Still no emotion visible, no sign
of recognition, but there were definite changes. Chris was moving
animatedly now, his pacing no longer looking forced or
He was also sporting such a massive hard-on, Ezra
thought had to be painful.
He had to do something. Obviously
whatever drugs Chris had been given had left him unstable, going from
apathetic to primal in an instant. And if Ezra didn't come up with a
solution to their immediate problem, chances were Chris would end up
raping him, even if he wasn't aware of his actions. He knew the other man
would never hurt him under normal circumstances, but these were hardly
Shaking his head ruefully, he decided to reenact one of his
favorite fantasies regarding his blond tormentor. The setting wasn't
exactly what he had had in mind, but at least it would end their
Hauling himself onto all fours, ignoring the growing
weakness and the terrible burning in his shoulder, he approached Chris
carefully, his whole demeanor non-threatening. Eyes never leaving Chris'
face, he took the hard length in hand, opening his mouth and engulfing the
throbbing cock, enjoying the bitter, musky taste flooding his taste
He slid his tongue along the underside, then found the tip
and licked it teasingly, grinning as Chris groaned gutturally. His head
bobbed back and forth while he sucked greedily, his hands gripping the
firm flesh with his hands. He slowly worked his way up the shaft until
only the head remained in his mouth, flicking his tongue over the weeping
slit with slow strokes, tasting and nipping and swirling.
of his hands reached down to Chris' balls, gently cupping his sac,
fondling tenderly until he felt them tighten. Chris' legs quivered as he
threw his head back, his savage cry echoing loudly in the cave. His whole
body shook as he ejaculated, his seed filling Ezra's mouth, who tried his
best to swallow the offering.
Ezra closed his eyes, reaching down
to awkwardly tug his clothing back into place before collapsing against
the wall. He felt movement close by, but he was too exhausted to
investigate. Then Chris' lips were on his once again, pressing softly,
sharing taste and moisture and warmth. It was the last thing he felt
before darkness took over his world anew.
Vin thanked whatever lucky stars were watching over them. They had been
on the trail for almost two hours and so far the storm was holding off,
making it easier for him to track Chris and Ezra. It didn't seem to Vin
like the two men were making much progress, but considering Chris' current
condition, it was to be expected. They hadn't exactly been going round in
circles, but close enough, wondering aimlessly for a while before making
for higher ground.
He and the others had come fully prepared,
backpacks filled with water, a first aid kit, and a couple of blankets.
There was no way of knowing what kind of shape Chris and Ezra were
He glanced at the area ahead, noticing the ravines and knowing
their friends had probably found a cave to hide in, away from the
"Ezra! Chris!" he shouted, hoping the wind would
carry his voice. "Ezra, it's Vin!"
The others joined him in
calling, their shouts echoing loudly in the deserted woods. A strange
noise alerted him to a new presence and he turned, gasping as he spotted
Chris heading towards them. The blond man was making his way down the
rocky path, teeth bared, a savage expression twisting his features as he
growled deep in his throat.
Before anyone could move, Chris
had reached them, throwing himself at Buck, snarling as he hit the fallen
man repeatedly. For a moment everyone else stood frozen in shock, watching
in astonishment as Buck tried to parry the blows to his face and body.
Then, blinking out of his daze, Vin ran to the two men, the others
following his example, and tried to get Chris away from the ladies
It seemed like an impossible task. Chris fought them fiercely,
biting, punching, kicking, breaking free from their precarious hold. Then
a new voice was heard and the tables were turned.
Vin watched a pale and haggard Ezra staggering over to them,
clothes rumpled, winter coat open to reveal a bloodied sweater. The glazed
green eyes were focused on Chris, who had stopped struggling upon hearing
"Ez, you okay?" Vin asked.
Ezra gave him a
lopsided smile. "I have been better, Mr. Tanner. Think it would be
possible for you gentlemen to release Mr. Larabee?"
"Umm, you think
that is such a good idea?" Nathan questioned. "If we let him go, he'll
start hittin' us again."
"No, he won't. Please..." Ezra said
Vin nodded and they let Chris go. To his amazement the
blond didn't attack them as expected. Instead he made his way to Ezra and
remained quietly by his side, eyes downcast.
"Wow!" JD gushed out
breathlessly. "How did you do that?"
Ezra shrugged slightly, then
winced. "No idea. But he seems to be aware of my presence and understands
me up to a point. You wouldn't happen to have any water, would you? I'm
Josiah dropped his backpack to the ground, opening it and
handing Ezra a bottle, careful to keep his movements slow and
non-threatening. "Here, brother."
"Thank you, Mr.
Vin watched Ezra gulp down half the bottle, then
asked, "The blood on your sweater? Yours?"
Ezra nodded with a
grimace. "I was shot by one of the guards at the compound."
looked up from brushing dirt out of his clothes. "Why didn't ya wait for
"I'm afraid I passed out. Mr. Larabee took it upon
himself to take us to what he perceived as safety. When I regained
consciousness we were in the middle of the woods, so I thought it best to
keep moving," Ezra said, stepping closer to Chris and placing the bottle
against his lips. "Water, Chris. You need to drink some."
didn't move, an eerie passivity seemingly having taken over the savagery.
Ezra sighed tiredly, head tilted to the side as he evidently tried to
figure out a way to get Chris to drink. A slow smile graced Ezra's face,
and Vin shook his head fondly as he saw his friend dip a finger inside the
bottle, before running it gently over Chris' lips.
immediately Chris' tongue swept over his bottom lip, gathering the
moisture there, and once again Ezra placed the bottle against his mouth.
This time it worked; Chris reached for it and drank greedily, drops of the
precious liquid escaping and dribbling down his chin.
take a look at that wound o' yours," Nathan stated, once Chris was
standing still again.
"Let's try it," Ezra agreed. "But Nathan...
keep your voice soothing and don't make any sudden moves."
nodded and, armed with the first aid kit, walked over to Ezra. They sat on
the ground and Nathan did the best he could without Ezra having to take
all of his clothes off. It was getting colder and adding pneumonia to the
bullet wound wasn't the way to go.
"Want to rest for a while?" Vin
asked when Nathan was done.
Ezra shook his head. "We better head
back. I'm surprised the storm has held this long."
chimed in. "Someone's definitely watching out for us."
then. Think Chris'll behave?"
Ezra grinned weakly. "Your guess is
as good as mine, Mr. Tanner. But I will try to restrain him, should his...
more primal side make another appearance." He looked up at the rocky wall
behind them. "We left a fire burning in one of the caves."
squeezed Vin's shoulder lightly. "I'll take care of it."
later they were on their way back to the compound, back to their vehicles
and civilization. Vin kept an eye on both Ezra and Chris, concerned at
what he was witnessing. Chris was following Ezra with single-minded
intensity, although there was no life or expression in the man's face. On
the other hand, Ezra was obviously getting weaker, even if he did his best
to conceal it from the others.
It worried Vin that Ezra might not
make it on his own to the end of the line. How would Chris react if they
were forced to carry the other man?
"I'm surprised he didn't
get violent with you," Vin said, trying to get Ezra's mind away from the
Something flashed for a moment in Ezra's eyes, but
it was gone before Vin got a chance to identify it. "He did," Ezra
confessed softly. "There was a moment in the cave when he went decisively
frightening. Somehow he stopped before doing any actual damage to my
"Ya know why?"
Ezra shook his head. "No. Maybe he
sensed my... uneasiness. Whatever the cause, I'm thankful he didn't hurt
The conversation lulled after that; it was taking all of their
perseverance to keep moving down the rough trail, knowing they had to make
it as close as possible to the compound before the storm hit.
weren't that lucky. Halfway to their destination it started to snow,
gently at first, quite heavily after the first few minutes. By the time
they made it to the lab facility they were all freezing and soaked to the
bone, even with their winter gear.
Vin turned to ask Ezra
where he had parked his car, shouting a warning as the undercover agent
swayed and crumbled to the ground, his strength finally at its end.
He was mildly surprised to realize he was waking up to warmth and
quiet, instead of the expected numbing cold of the woods. There was a
painful twinge in his shoulder, but not the agony of before, and he felt
rested and stronger. All in all, things seemed to have taken a turn for
Ezra opened his eyes, smiling slightly as he saw Vin
sitting on a chair by the bed, Josiah on the other side. JD and Buck were
talking quietly by the window, Nathan was leaning against the wall,
reading a book.
"Vin?" he called out softly, when he noticed their
leader was missing. "Where's Chris?"
Vin looked at him with an
uneasy smile. "Hey, pard. Glad to see you awake. Ya been out of it for
almost twelve hours."
Ezra took a few sips of the water provided by
Josiah, his eyes never leaving Vin. "You didn't answer my question.
Vin sighed wearily. "Next door."
we sharing a room as usual? What are you not telling me?" Ezra asked, a
sense of dread taking over his heart.
"The doctors thought it best
to keep him alone in a room," Nathan replied. "After you passed out Chris
went nuts again, wouldn't let us touch you. It took me, Josiah and Buck to
pin him long enough for them to sedate him. When he woke up a few hours
ago he nearly strangled a doctor."
Ezra slumped back into his
pillow, eyes focusing on the ceiling. "No change,
"No." Buck confirmed. "Nathan's been readin' Levit's
journal, the bastard who kidnapped Chris, but so far there's not much
info. No antidote, no way of knowin' what kind of damage this drug has
done, if it's permanent, nothin'. The doctors aren't even givin' him
anythin' 'cause they're afraid it might react with the drugs in his
A loud scream had Ezra sitting up on the bed. "My Lord,"
he whispered. "What is that?"
"Chris," Josiah told him grimly. "The
doctors had him restrained. He's been out of his mind ever
"What?! And you allowed them to do such a thing?" Ezra
threw the bedding away from his body. "Where the hell are my
"Ezra --" Vin began.
"My pants!" he interjected with
Buck handed him a clean pair of pants and a sweater and
Ezra donned the garments rapidly, ignoring the increasing discomfort his
wound was causing.
He rushed out of the room, following the
hoarse shouts to Chris' room. He stopped in his tracks at the vision
before him. Chris was bound to the bed by his wrists and ankles, snarling
and shouting wordlessly as he writhed on the sheets. Two male nurses were
trying to calm him down without success.
"Keep these morons away
from me!" Ezra snapped angrily to the others as the two nurses tried to
He freed Chris' ankles, hearing Vin and Josiah
arguing with the nurses, not caring what happened as long as no one stood
in his way. When Chris' wrists were released from the soft leather
bindings, Chris jumped from the bed, throwing himself at Ezra and knocking
both of them to the floor.
Ezra leaned against the wall, his arms
suddenly filled with the warm blond. He parted his legs, letting Chris
settle between them, shuddering as the other man nuzzled his
"Rest," Chris rumbled.
"Yes, rest," Ezra choked
out, rubbing his cheek tenderly on the silken hair, feeling Chris
snuggling closer. "Lord, what am I going to do with you, Chris?" he
He became aware of the heavy silence in the room
and looked up. The male nurses were gone, leaving the others behind,
watching him and Chris with expressions which ranged from stunned to
suspicious. He gestured for them to come closer, Chris' quiet breathing
letting him know he was sleeping peacefully.
The others sat in a
semicircle, making a protective barrier between the two of them and the
"He talked," JD finally said, his voice hushed and
"Yes. He did it twice before when we were alone," Ezra
informed them, then cursed himself inwardly as Josiah asked the inevitable
"What did he say?"
"Well," Ezra began carefully.
"When the guard shot me, he carried me away and said 'protect'. Later in
the cave..." he swallowed thickly.
"Yeah?" Buck prompted
"He said 'mate'," Ezra finished, waiting for the
Vin blinked. "Mate? As in... mating?"
watching as the others analyzed what they had been told. Finally, Josiah
ventured a question, "Ezra," he said, his tone gentle. "Did Chris do
anything to you? Sexually?"
Ezra exhaled softly. "He tried. I
"What did you do?" Nathan
Something in Nathan's voice made him narrow his eyes as he
looked at the black man. "I handled it," he repeated through gritted
"That's not good enough, Ezra. What did you do?" Nathan
Anger bubbling at the surface, Ezra replied, "If you
really must know, I gave him a blowjob. Unless you would have preferred
for him to rape me."
"Jesus," Buck whispered, sharing the others'
shock at his words.
"It don't make it right," Nathan snapped. "He's
not aware of what he's doin'. You, on the other hand, took advantage of
him. We've all seen the way ya look at Chris when you think no one's
"Advantage? Christ, why does everything always have to
be so difficult with you, Nathan? Maybe I could have found another way of
dealing with the situation, or maybe not. But think about this; what would
have happened if he had raped me? I would have been all right in the end.
But would he? Do you really think Chris would be able to live with
himself? There's no way of knowing if he will recall any of what's
happening, but if he does... It will be bad enough to realize he acted in
such a manner, that he attacked me. I wish it could have been different,
but I did what I thought I had to do, what I thought was best. For me and
for him, as well. If you don't like it or can't accept it, that's your
problem, Nathan, not mine."
"And if he doesn't remember?" JD
"That would be for the best," Ezra replied
"Even if he never remembers how you cared for him, how
much you love him?" Vin asked softly, understanding shining in his blue
Ezra looked down at the man sleeping in his arms, then up at
Vin, knowing the unconditional love he felt for Chris was showing in his
eyes. "Yes, even then. I have always believed there was some truth to the
saying 'if you love somebody, set them free'. All I want at this moment is
for the old Chris to return, even if all he will ever be is my friend. It
will be enough."
He closed his eyes, the pain in his shoulder
making itself known again, now that the worst of the conversation was
over. He knew the subject would likely rise anew in the near future,
especially with Nathan, but he was too tired and too depressed to
"We have to talk."
Ezra closed at his eyes at the firm words
uttered by Nathan. During the last five days he had seen the other man
about four times at best. While the five men had gone back to work two
days after he and Chris had been admitted to the hospital, he knew that
was not the real reason why Nathan stayed away. After all, the others
spent as much time visiting as possible.
twenty-four hours of his arrival, as the shoulder wound was not serious
enough to warrant a longer stay, Ezra remained at Chris' side. He seemed
to be the only person the blond allowed close enough, the only person who
he seemed aware of. And, especially, the only person capable of making him
eat and drink enough fluids to keep his system from shutting
Ezra looked down at the man sleeping peacefully on the bed.
At least Chris' condition was improving. He spoke more now, even if he
still was incapable of full sentences, and more thought process went
behind his words. His eyes occasionally showed emotions as well, which was
more than he had been able to do when Ezra rescued him. Perhaps in time
they would get the old Chris back; at least he desperately hoped
Suddenly remembering Nathan was still in the room, he exhaled
gently. "So talk," he whispered, not bothering to face the
"I... I want to apologize," Nathan began, his voice oddly
hesitant. "When Buck told us some months back that he thought you were in
love with Chris, I didn't believe it. You always seem so aloof, so
distant, I..." He sighed. "Then I saw the way ya looked at Chris and I
figured Buck had lust confused with love, ya know? That's why I reacted
the way I did when you told us what happened in the cave. But... I've seen
the way you've been watchin' over Chris, and the others told me how
determined ya have been to see he gets the best medical care... It made me
think. Maybe you do love him."
Ezra turned to him, emotions held in
check. "I do love him, Mr. Jackson, very much so. But I would have done
this regardless... Not only with Chris, but with any of you gentlemen as
well," he stated calmly, enjoying the way Nathan flinched. "And if we are
being honest, I have to tell you that I enjoyed what happened in the cave.
Not when I believed Chris was going to hurt me, but what I did to make
sure that wouldn't come to pass. He had stopped, and perhaps he would have
stayed away, but I don't really think so."
To his surprise, Nathan
grinned ruefully. "Can't say I blame ya. I probably would've enjoyed it
too, had I been in your shoes with Rain. I've been thinkin' about it a
Something about Nathan's mischievous expression
made Ezra relax and smile back. "Apology accepted, Nathan."
other nodded, coming closer. "There's somethin' else. I know I don't show
it or say it often, but I care 'bout ya, Ez. We're about as different as
day and night, and I guess we'll always disagree on stuff, but you're
family, same as the others." That said, he surprised Ezra even further by
putting his arms around him and hugging him tightly for a moment. "I am
sorry," Nathan said again as he pulled back.
awkward at Nathan's strange emotional display, Ezra merely shrugged. "Like
I said, apology accepted."
Nathan sighed, relief clear in his voice
as he spoke. "I have to go. I sneaked out of the office so I could come
here; the others are probably wonderin' where I've gone to. We'll be back
"I will be here."
He watched Nathan walk over to
the door, open it, then turn back to him. "Ezra... Thank you."
smiled, understanding the meaning behind the words. "You are quite
welcome, Mr. Jackson."
After the older man left, Ezra sat by the
bed, leaning back on the chair and closing his eyes. Tired from his
constant vigil he promptly fell asleep, failing to notice the stormy eyes
fixed on him.
Ezra startled awake, not sure what had brought him to sudden
He brushed a hand tiredly over his hair, then
glanced at his charge, his heart lurching in his chest as he realized the
bed was empty; Chris was gone. Jumping to his feet he rushed to the
bathroom, his worry doubling as he found it empty.
He ran out of
the room, bumping into a nurse. "Have you seen Chris Larabee, the patient
in room #303?"
The young woman frowned. "No, I haven't. What's
Ezra didn't bother to reply, his eyes already
scanning the corridor for the other man. He searched room after room, ward
after ward, ran through every corridor, finding no clues as to Chris'
whereabouts. He decided to do a floor by floor sweep, starting at the
lower levels and moving up.
Minutes stretched painfully into
an hour, his anguish reaching new heights as his search failed to provide
him with any results. He was about to call the others for help when he
finally made it to the roof.
And there, hospital gown
floating on the winter's chilling breeze, eyes looking lost as he stared
at the horizon, stood Chris.
"Thank God," Ezra breathed,
walking cautiously to the other man until he was standing before him.
"Chris? What are you doing out here? Why did you leave your room?" He
touched the blond's arm and hissed. "My Lord, you're freezing! Come on,
let's go back inside."
Chris pulled free with a rough jerk, his
face twisted into an angry grimace. "Betray!" he shouted into Ezra's
Ezra shook his head in confusion. "I don't understand. What's
"Betray!" Chris snarled again, grabbing Ezra
abruptly and kissing him ruthlessly, the contact painful and bruising when
it should have been tender and loving.
Ezra managed to break free
from the tight grip, fingers touching his kiss-swollen lips gingerly.
"Chris, please," he begged as the other man made to reach for him anew.
Something in his voice must have broken through, for Chris
stopped advancing, his eyes lowering to the ground. Ezra moved closer,
carefully, once again placing a hand on the other man's arm and guiding
him to the door. As he took the now shivering man back to his room he
couldn't help but wonder what had caused Chris to react in such a manner.
It was the first time in five days that Chris had shown any signs of
And that worried him.
When the others walked into Chris' room at lunch, they found the blond
sitting on the bed with a distinctively sulking expression, Ezra watching
him warily from a chair.
"What's wrong?" Buck asked
Before Ezra could reply, Chris growled furiously. He
leapt from the bed, punching Nathan in the face and throwing him on the
floor. Apparently not satisfied, he straddled Nathan's body, grabbing his
shirt and shaking him violently, causing Nathan's head to connect with the
marble floor repeatedly.
"No take! No take!" he snapped, rage
evident in his features. "Never!"
"Chris, no!" Ezra shouted,
rushing over to separate the two men.
Chris flew away from Nathan
then, stalking closer to Ezra with an angry stride. He grabbed him by the
forearms, slamming him brutally against the wall. "Betray!" He shoved Ezra
again and again into the white plaster. "Betray!"
Ezra cried out,
his healing shoulder impacting against the wall. "Chris, stop!" he pleaded
Chris didn't listen to him this time. Instead,
he practically carried Ezra over to the bed, fury giving him an unexpected
bout of strength. He pinned him to the mattress, wrists held tightly over
Realizing fighting back would only make things
worse, Ezra froze under Chris' body, barely daring to breathe. He saw the
others standing uncertainly by the bed, obviously wondering if they should
act or not, afraid of hurting either Chris or Ezra himself.
do anything," he whispered softly.
Chris retreated abruptly,
tilting his head in confusion. "Why?" he asked, the fight gone out of
"Why what?" Ezra queried softly, sitting up slowly on the
"Fear, now. Fear, cave."
So Chris had sensed his fear
back at the cave, that's why he had stopped their 'mating'. A stab of
overwhelming tenderness shot through Ezra and he placed a gentle hand over
"I don't know how much you understand of what
I'm saying, but I am afraid *for* you, not *of* you. You are getting
better, Chris. And I know once you are back with us, the thought of having
hurt me would be too much to take. I'm afraid of losing you to guilt," he
Whether he was responding to the words or Ezra's
soothing voice, Chris laid back on the bed, taking Ezra with him and
snuggling to his warmth.
"What the hell happened here?" Vin asked,
careful to keep his voice low.
"Considerin' he attacked me and
Ezra, I think I can guess," Nathan replied ruefully, touching the lump at
the back of his head. "I was here earlier. Ez and I... we needed to talk.
I'm thinkin' maybe Chris saw me give Ezra a hug and misunderstood?" he
Ezra nodded slightly. "My guess, as well."
okay, Ezra?" Josiah asked.
He gave the older man a weak, but
genuine smile. "I'm fine, Mr. Sanchez."
"Ya know, Ez," Vin
began. "Under all that anger and the apathy, this is still Chris. I don't
think it's a coincidence he responds only to you or that he got jealous of
Nathan. I've been wonderin' for a while if Chris didn't return your
"I would love very much to be able to believe that, Vin.
But I think I will just wait and see, it's safer. You didn't happen to
bring us any nourishment, did you?" he asked, changing the
"We brought sandwiches," JD told him, placing a small
paper bag on the nightstand.
"Thank you. I will make sure we both
enjoy our repast as soon as Chris awakes."
Little by little the
others began to relax, spreading throughout the room and telling him, in
hushed voices, the latest gossip at the ATF office. Ezra closed his eyes,
listening absently as his body slumped deeper into the bedding, the
feeling of Chris' arms wrapped around him, comforting.
never heard the others finish their lunch or leave the room quietly.
'He was going to be late for work.
Locking the front
door, he stood for a moment on the porch, watching with an amused smile as
Sarah and Adam chased each other around the car, their laughter echoing in
the woods around the ranch. After seven years together, his heart still
sang every time he looked at Sarah, at their boy. He hadn't really thought
he would be able to adjust to married life so easily, but here he was, the
family man, happy, complete, settled down.
His only complaint was
his broken wrist, which prevented him from active duty. Desk work was not
his favorite thing. Like any cop, he would rather be out on the streets,
chasing the scum polluting Denver. Not to mention Sarah had to drive him
everywhere and although he loved her dearly, her driving drove him
She waved at him with a wide smile, ushering Adam
inside the vehicle and sitting behind the wheel. He saw her lean forward
to start the engine just before the whole world blew up into flames,
taking him along.'
Chris sat up on the bed with a pain-filled
gasp, sweat bathing his body, heart racing in his chest. He hadn't dreamt
of his family's death in months, and certainly not with all that vivid
Forcing his breathing to slow down, he glanced
around, realizing he was in his bedroom, back at the ranch. It didn't make
any sense; the last thing he remembered was being kidnapped by Levit,
being injected with a drug. Maybe the others had rescued him? But why
couldn't he remember anything?
Rising from the bed, he donned his
robe and walked out of the room. Seeing light in the living room, he
followed its beacon, stopping in the doorway as he found Ezra sleeping on
the couch. He approached the slumbering man, taking the rare opportunity
to see the younger man without his usual shields.
Sarah, Chris had ventured into a few relationships with other men; nothing
too serious, just the mutual enjoyment of each others bodies and hot,
powerful sex. When he met Ezra he had felt the pull, the attraction, but
had chosen to ignore it. They would be working together and that was one
complication he didn't need.
As the months went on and turned into
years, he surrendered to the knowledge that the attraction had changed to
love. But Ezra had never given any hint he was into men, so Chris had
swallowed his feelings, content to watch, to be there, to be a
It didn't mean it didn't hurt sometimes, that he
didn't wish to take things further instead of wondering 'what
He watched as Ezra stirred slowly, eyes blinking
sleepily, then settling on him. "Chris!" Ezra started. "What's wrong? Do
you need anything?"
"No, I'm fine," Chris replied, wondering
where he should start, what question he should ask first.
faster. Head tilted to the side in puzzlement, he regarded Chris silently
for a long moment. His eyes widened suddenly, and Chris was surprised to
see sadness and relief shining from within the green
Before he could comment on that, Ezra spoke. "You are
back, aren't you? You remember?" he asked, voice hushed.
on the couch. "I had a nightmare, a memory actually. Sarah and Adam's
deaths," he added at Ezra's quizzical expression. "And when I woke up I
was just... *here*. What happened exactly? Last thing I remember is Levit
injectin' me with some drug, but I have this feelin'... That was some time
Ezra nodded. "Yes. You were kidnapped approximately
two weeks ago. I... We rescued you a week ago, you spent six days at the
hospital. They discharged you yesterday. The doctors had no way of
identifying the drug Levit injected you with, or reversing its effects,
and since you were showing much improvement..." He shrugged. "We thought
familiar surroundings might help you recover. I guess we were right," he
"So, these two weeks... Have I been unconscious
the whole time?"
A strange expression flashed over Ezra's features,
but it was gone so fast Chris didn't have enough time to grasp it.
"Hmm..." Ezra pressed his lips together, his whole demeanor awkward. "You
weren't conscious per se, but you were moving and even speaking. Maybe I
better call our colleagues. I'm sure Mr. Jackson will be able to explain
At the mention of Nathan's name, Chris felt a cold fury
surging through him. That only confused him further. He had always liked
and respected the other man, why would he feel such rage against him? He
had a sudden vision of throwing himself at Nathan, of hitting him, and
"Ezra, did I ever hit Nathan durin' these two
weeks?" he asked carefully, almost afraid to hear the answer.
say Ezra was shocked at the question was an understatement. He flinched,
turned frighteningly pale, lips parting as if to speak although no actual
words were spoken.
Chris frowned at the unusual reaction,
forcing his mind to focus on the vision. It came back with amazing
clarity, the moment when he punched Nathan, throwing him to the floor. He
recalled the feeling of betrayal, thinking Nathan was trying to take Ezra
away from him.
That gave place to other images; Nathan
hugging Ezra, speaking to him at the hospital. He saw himself attacking
Buck in the woods; carrying Ezra over his shoulder and taking him away
from the place where Levit had kept him prisoner. And he remembered with a
sickening heart as he raped Ezra in the cave.
"Oh, God, oh, God,
oh, God..." he mumbled, jumping from the couch and backing away from Ezra.
He was a monster. He had raped his friend, the man he was in love with.
Bile rose in his throat, threatening to choke him.
slowly, brows knitted together in confusion. "Chris?"
made to approach him, Chris shouted, "Don't! How can you stand to be in
the same room with me?"
"What? What are you talking
"I raped you, Ezra!" Chris growled
Ezra sucked in a startled gasp, taking a step back
himself. "You... you remember? Lord, Chris, you didn't rape me, I
"Didn't I?" Chris spat at him. "I held you down, took your
clothes off, nearly rammed myself into you! You were forced to give me a
blowjob and you say I didn't rape you?!"
Ezra's reply was
forestalled by the opening of the front door, Buck's voice intruding on
their anguished confrontation, "Hey, Ez, we decided to join ya for dinner.
Ezra? Ez, where are ya, pard?"
The mustached man walked in
the room, the others right behind him, all of them freezing immediately as
they took in the tableau before them.
"What's going on?" JD
Chris looked at the five men, knowing he would
have to talk to them, but unable to deal with their questions or the
situation at the moment. "Leave," he snapped.
Vin crossed his arms
across his chest stubbornly. "I don't think so, Cowboy. I take it you're
back with us?"
"Yes, and I want you all to leave. *Now*. This is
between Ezra and I." When they didn't move, he snarled, "Fine! Stay!" He
turned back to Ezra. "Are you still goin' to deny I raped you?" He ignored
the gasps coming from his men; there would be time for them
Ezra exhaled slowly, eyes lowered to the floor. "All right."
He finally looked up, eyes locking with Chris'. "You were holding me down
and yes, I was frightened. But as I explained at the hospital, I was
afraid for you, because I knew this would happen. And no, I would never
have done it if you hadn't... taken the initiative. But..." Ezra firmed
his stance, facing him head on. "You weren't the first man I gave a
blowjob to and I can't really say I regret what happened."
reeled at the words. He had been expecting disgust, hate, contempt. The
calm confession was something new and definitely intriguing. He also
realized how much it had taken for Ezra to make it, especially in front of
"Out," he ordered, glaring at Vin.
knowingly at him, then glanced at Ezra. "Ez, it's up to ya. Want us to
stay or go?"
Ezra nodded slightly. "It's all right, Mr. Tanner. I
believe I will be quite safe with our leader."
"We'll be back in
the morning," Josiah assured, giving Ezra a wink before
Chris waited until he heard their vehicles driving away,
then asked slowly, "Not the first man?"
Ezra flushed slightly, but
replied honestly. "I have always been attracted to men, Mr. Larabee,
although there have been a few women as well. However, trust is a big
issue with me, so I rarely acted on that attraction. I... There was an
agent in Atlanta. We became good friends from the start and later, lovers.
He was the only man."
"How long were you together?"
grimaced. "Not that long. We were still... experimenting when the rumors
about me being on the take began. He chose to preserve his career over a
relationship with me. There was a lot we never did try, including what you
first attempted to do at the cave." A pause, then, "Can I ask you
Chris nodded, curious. "Sure. It's only fair, after
"Why did you react to me the way you did? You were
protective, possessive, and of course, you attempted to 'mate' with me,"
he teased gently.
"Ah." Chris sighed softly. Time to come out
with the truth. "I love you, Ezra. I have been in love with you for some
time now," he replied. "You were the last thing on my mind before those
drugs took over. I can't tell you exactly why I did those things, but
maybe it had somethin' to do with the way I feel about you."
are you experienced with male loving?" Ezra asked hesitantly.
I had a few relationships with men before Sarah." He looked at the man
before him. "You haven't said anythin' about my big declaration of love.
Are we talkin' unrequited love here, did I just make a fool of myself?
Because from the way you took care of me these last weeks, from what I
remember, I'd say you love me too."
To his surprise and delight,
Ezra gave him a wide smile, his whole face lighting up with happiness. "I
do love you, Chris. Very much so."
Chris returned the smile,
feeling his heart swell. "So, what's the next step?"
wickedly. "Hot, dirty, wild monkey sex?" he suggested
Chris felt his groin tighten at both the words and the
grin. He remembered the feel of having Ezra beneath him, whimpering and
thrashing as Chris rimmed him; remembered the urge to mate, to possess, to
make Ezra his.
He growled deep in his throat as Ezra slumped
against the couch in silent invitation, eyes closed, head leaning on the
armrest. Before he was even aware of what he was doing, Chris was moving
forward, until their lips were barely touching, sharing each other's
He stilled then, remaining that way until the green
eyes opened and locked with his, both knowing they were about to cross the
line, that there would be no turning back, both accepting the commitment.
Questions answered, they moved together as one, closing the distance,
kissing for the first time.
Tentative and gentle at first, the kiss
gradually deepened as their lips parted. Tongues met and dueled
frantically, their senses overloading into the searing kiss.
broke apart long enough to tear at each other's clothes, tossing them
carelessly onto the floor, then Ezra was on his back, Chris blanketing him
on the narrow couch. Hands and mouths moved over sweat-slick skin,
everywhere at once, tasting and touching and exploring.
kissed a path down the smooth column of Ezra's throat, across his
collarbone, a wave of fierce possessiveness overtaking him as he sunk his
teeth into the muscled padding of his lover's shoulder. He began to nibble
on the addictive flesh, applying a firm pressure until it left a mark --
his mark; a proof of his ownership, a warning to any would-be
Wanting to savor more of the body offered so
willingly to his touch, Chris turned his attention to Ezra's muscular
chest, eyes focusing on the two flat, rosy nipples. He licked and sucked
one little nub into his mouth, his fingers playing with the other, teasing
the protrusion to a hard, aching peak.
Ezra whimpered and
groaned, head pressing back into the armrest, body sliding against Chris'
as his hands roamed over Chris' body, fingers digging into his back in
Satisfied both nipples were now sensitive to the
merest of caresses, Chris continued his journey down the canvas of silken
skin spread out for his delight, licking and kissing his way down Ezra's
chest and abdomen. He spread his lover's legs apart then settled between
His finger trailed over the tip of Ezra's hard cock, drawing
the moisture he found there and tasting it wantonly. Taking the throbbing
erection into his hand, Chris ran his thumb over the head, Ezra's body
arching off the couch with a groan, hands clutching at the large
Chris' hand began a slow pumping motion, gradually
increasing the tempo of his strokes as Ezra responded to his actions. His
lover was panting, quick, shallow breaths as his hips thrust up, driving
himself into Chris' hand.
Needing to taste more of his
lover's unique flavor, Chris shifted his body downward, nuzzling Ezra's
cock gently before taking the head into his mouth, sucking and licking
until Ezra was whimpering continuously. He wrapped his fingers around the
base of Ezra's length, letting his tongue flutter along the large vein on
the underside, trying his best to take all of his lover inside. He relaxed
his throat muscles, uncurling his fingers from the base, and lowered his
head until every last inch was sheathed inside his mouth.
all it took; he felt Ezra's shaft swelling, felt his balls tighten up, and
then Ezra was coming, pouring himself down Chris' throat in long pulses,
crying wordlessly as the orgasm ripped through him.
reluctantly released Ezra's softening cock as the younger man's tremors
started to subside, patting the quivering belly gently. "I'll be right
back," he whispered, rushing to his bedroom for lube.
finding the tube of lubricant, he returned to a still recovering Ezra, who
smiled sensually as he noticed the tube in his hand. Chris squeezed some
lube onto his fingers, breath hitching as Ezra opened up to him, legs
parting to allow him access to his virgin portal.
his time preparing and stretching Ezra, slick fingers twisting and
burrowing into the tight opening, teasing and arousing. He was amazed at
Ezra's response to his touch, as the other man writhed feverishly, crying
out, pleading for more. He twisted his fingers, rubbing against the little
pleasure point inside, grinning as Ezra arched, sobbing broken pleas into
"Please, oh, please... I need you, Chris... Please!" Ezra
moaned, thrashing and thrusting against Chris' digits.
to be ready for him, Chris withdrew his fingers, moving over the other
man's body. He stroked his lover's thighs gently, raising Ezra's legs over
his shoulders, kissing first the inside of one knee, then the other,
chuckling as Ezra's legs quivered at the ticklish caress.
he guided his aching cock to his lover's opening, pressing forward, slowly
burying his length in the smooth warmth until he was fully inside Ezra's
body. He forced himself to wait, moving only when Ezra bucked against him,
trying to take him impossibly deeper.
Chris began to thrust
into the furnace that was his lover's body, backing out almost to the tip,
then plunging back in, reveling in the overpowering feeling of having Ezra
beneath him, panting and twisting and moaning his
Suddenly he ceased all movement, ignoring Ezra's
frenzied attempts to get him to move again. Pinning Ezra to the couch by
lying completely on top of him, Chris nibbled on an earlobe, then
whispered into it, "Tell me you're mine," he ordered huskily. "Say
Ezra glowered at him. "You bastard!" he panted breathlessly.
Chris gave a single, hard thrust into his lover's body.
"Say it, Ezra!"
Ezra arched off the couch, a sob escaping his
parted lips, eyes squeezing shut. "Oh, God, please... I'm yours, Chris,
always yours," he choked. "Please..."
Chris growled his triumph,
fingers gripping Ezra's ass painfully as he drove into him, again and
again and again, until they were both groaning uncontrollably. He wrapped
his fist around Ezra's cock, milking it to the pounding rhythm of his
hips. "Come for me, Ezra... show me how much you love me..." he whispered
His words seemed to have the desired effect, for Ezra
cried out, body tightening around Chris' shaft as he came for the second
time that night, bathing both of their bodies and Chris' hand with his
Chris gritted his teeth and slammed into his lover one
last time, shouting, "Mine! You're mine!" as he surrendered to the tight
grip around his cock, emptying every last drop of fluid into Ezra's
Half an hour later they were still enjoying the aftereffects of their
mind-blowing coupling, both still naked, both still on the couch. Ezra lay
between Chris' spread legs, his back to Chris' chest, head resting on his
right shoulder. Chris was running a lazy hand over Ezra's chest, while
Ezra traced aimless patterns on Chris' thigh.
"I can hear the
wheels going into overdrive inside your mind, Chris. Why don't you tell me
what's bothering you?" Ezra prompted gently.
"I've been rememberin'
everythin' that happened these last two weeks, everything I did. I've got
one hell of an apology to make, especially to Nathan and
Ezra looked up at him. "They understand, Chris. It was the
drug behind it all, no one's blaming you."
Chris cleared his
throat, feeling his face warming slightly. "It wasn't the drug just now.
I... Did I hurt you? I didn't mean to be that eager. Or
Ezra chuckled. "No, you didn't hurt me, although I
believe sitting down will be an adventure tomorrow. I'm definitely sore.
But... I enjoyed it, both the eagerness and the possessiveness. I would
never believe I would get off on having someone dominate me, but I did.
Perhaps because it was you and I trust you. It was the hottest sex I have
ever had," he confessed honestly. "And at the same time it was still
making love." There was something akin to awe in his
Chris brushed his thumb over his lover's kiss-bruised
lips. "What about the team? The main reason why I never made a move before
is because we work together, because I'm your boss."
saying everything will be a bed of roses, Chris, but I think with a little
work we will be able to separate our working relationship from our private
lives. Our colleagues... our friends already know how I feel about you,
and they suspected you felt the same. They will most certainly help us...
whether we wish it or not," he added ruefully.
Chris chuckled. "So,
you think we can handle it?" He asked seriously, lacing the fingers from
their left hands together.
nodded his agreement, laying a tender kiss on the chestnut hair and
closing his eyes, letting the warmth coming from the fireplace and his
lover's welcoming scent lull him into sleep.