Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters. "The Magnificent Seven" belong to MGM and Trilogy Entertainment.
Comments: I have been a big fan of M7 and especially Ezra for some time now and having read so many well written stories wanted to try writing one myself. And this is how this short story and my first fanfic was born. I hope you enjoy it.
Thanks: To my beta, Debra M for all her help.
She looked out anxiously through the dry goods store window. Where was he? He was late today. Jessy sighed and looked up the other end of the street towards the saloon. Was it possible he had already gone by today? Just as she was about to turn away from the window Jessy caught sight of him striding along the boardwalk.
Ezra Standish was tall, very handsome and always dressed nice. Everything a girl could want. She didn't think he was courting anyone, at least she had never seen him with anyone. Would he just walk past today or would he come in? Jessy held her breath and watched as he came closer and closer. Just when she thought her lungs would burst Ezra took first one step and then another towards the door of the store.
Jessy stepped back from the window and hurried down the back towards the counter. Stepping behind it she looked around to see where Henry Clements, her fathers store clerk was located at that moment. Seeing he was out the back in the store room she knew that she would not only get to wait on Mr. Standish but also have him all to herself for a few moments. She smoothed her hair and brushed her hands over the front of her dress and looked towards the door. The little bell attached to the back of the door tinkled as Ezra pushed it opened and strode towards the counter. Henry, also hearing the bell, stepped out of the store room ready to take care of the customer.
"It's okay Henry I can manage here," Jessy said hoping Henry would go back to the store room.
Henry looked at her and replied "Alright, but let me know if you need any help."
"I will," Jessy answered and turned back towards Ezra. Her heart was beating fast as she looked up into Ezra's face.
"May I help you, Mr. Standish?" she asked.
"Yes I would like some black boot polish please," Ezra answered with a pleasant smile.
Jessy turned and walked to the other end of the counter and climbed the stepladder so she could reach the top shelf. She still wasn't quite tall enough so she stepped onto the top step and stood up on her tiptoes and reached toward the boot polish.
"Be careful there Miss Jessy. I would hate for you to fall and injure yourself," Ezra said as he watched her.
Jessy looked towards Ezra and smiled "I'm alright, Mr. Standish," she said and turned back toward the shelf. At that moment Jessy's foot slipped on the ladder and she felt herself over balance and start to fall. Jessy screamed and desperately tried to grab the shelf and right herself. It was too late. Just before she hit the floor Jessy felt a man's strong arms catch her and pull her against his chest. She was safe. Jessy looked up into Ezra's face and blushed prettily and then lowered her eyes.
"Thank you for saving me, Mr. Standish," she whispered.
"You're welcome. I am always happy to help a damsel in distress," Ezra replied with a dimpled smile before he leaned and kissed her on the cheek. He placed her feet on the floor and climbed the ladder and retrieved the boot polish. Jessy just stood there and watched him with her hand covering the spot where he had kissed her. As long as she lived she would never wash that cheek again.
"Whats going on out here?" Henry asked as he hurried out of the store room. "Whats all the screaming about?"
Jessy turned and looked guiltily at Henry. She knew she should have asked for his help. "I fell off the step ladder," she replied sheepishly and looked at the floor.
"I told you to ask for help," Henry snapped back.
"Now, now Mr. Clements," Ezra said. "There is no need to be hard on the little lady. I caught her before she fell so she didn't hurt herself. She just got a fright, isn't that right Miss Jessy?".
"Yes Mr. Standish," Jessy replied and looked adoringly up at him.
"Well , as long as youre alright," Henry said facing Jessy again. "You had best get your lunch pail and head off to school before your father returns."
"Yes sir," Jessy answered grabbing the pail and heading out the door. She grinned to herself as she ran towards the school house and couldn't wait until recess so she could tell all of her friends about getting a kiss on the cheek from the handsome gambler. None of the other girls had been that lucky. Out of all of the ten years of her life this was truly the best day of all.
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