The Green-Eyed Monster


Companion Stories

Ezra, OFC

Note: Once again thanks to my beta and this one also takes place before Making Up’s Half the Fun. So I do hope you enjoy.
Oh, lol, special guest star for this one is, David James Elliot aka Harmon Rabb from JAG.

Disclaimer: Don’t own the Mag 7 characters, but we all wish we did. We just like putting them in little situations and creating, shall we say, our own episodes since someone and I’m not naming names, took our beloved boys away from us.

Another morning has dawned on the small and dusty place known as Four Corners. The seven peacekeepers are scattered around the town. Chris and Vin are on watch outside the jail, cups of coffee in hand. JD is getting ready for a fishing trip with Casey. Nathan, Josiah, Buck, and Ezra can be located in the saloon, eating breakfast.

"Would you like some more?" Inez asks Josiah, as she pours Nathan some more coffee.

"No thanks, I’ve got plenty," the preacher responds.

Inez moves back to the bar as Samantha walks down the stairs.

"Mornin’ boys," she says, walking towards the table.

"Would you like some breakfast Senorita?" Inez questions.

"No, thank you Inez, I’ve got someplace I need to be," she says, with a smile.

She starts to walk past the table and Buck looks up.

"Where you got to be this early in the morning?" Buck asks her.

"Oh, I’m the...well, story teller for the youngsters. I offered to start telling them stories, and they seem to thoroughly enjoy it," she replies.

Buck slowly nods his head in understanding.

"So, I’ll see you later," she tells them, then saunters out of the saloon.

"She loves to tell them kids stories, doesn’t she?" Nathan says, picking through the food on his plate.

"Yes, and they are good. I’ve listened to a few of them. Quite an imagination she has," Josiah says.

"Yes well, it would seem logical that she'd have a vivid imagination," Ezra remarks, looking at his food.

"What makes you say that?" Buck questions, tilting his head to one side.

"Well, she is constantly reading books, and I have often seen her sitting by herself just writing away in a journal," Ezra replies, bringing a forkful of food to his mouth.

"Wonder what she likes writing about?" Nathan asks.

"Probably stories about places she’d like to visit or stories about something she imagines," Josiah responds, settling back in his chair.

"Or about us," Buck states, with a grin.

+ + + + + + +

Samantha heads towards the church steps, the place she normally tells the children stories. Walking hurriedly along, she bumps into a nicely dressed man walking out of the general store and almost loses her balance. The man reaches out and grabs her arm to keep her steady.

"Oh, sorry," Samantha says, regaining her balance.

"No, I'm sorry. I should watch out for pretty young ladies walking down the boardwalk," the man states, with a smile.

Samantha blushes a little and looks down to her feet.

"The name’s Harmon Mackenzie, but most people call me Mack," he says, offering his hand.

"Oh, Dunnison, Samantha Dunnison," she replies, looking up and taking his hand.

He brings her hand up and kisses the back of it. Samantha once again looks to the ground.

"Well, it was nice meeting you, is Miss isn’t it?" Mack asks, looking down at her.

Samantha looks up into his blue eyes.

"Yes, it is Miss," she replies, with a smile.

"Well, could you, Miss Dunnison, tell me of a place where I could get a good meal?" he asks.

"Yes, right down that way. I’m sure you’ll find a hot meal there," she says, pointing down the boardwalk from where she had come.

"Thank you. Maybe I’ll have the pleasure of running into you again," he states, with a chuckle.

"It's a small town sir, I’m sure you will," she says, with a smile, and then continues on her way to the church.

His eyes follow her as she walks down the street, then he turns around and tilts his head with a smile as he heads to his destination.

+ + + + + + +

About an hour later Samantha sits surrounded by children, including Billy and Alexis.

"And then this giant dragon appeared and the knight turned to face him, ready to do battle," she says, with enthusiasm.

The children watch her every move intently as she holds them spellbound, nearing the end of the story.

"So, the dragon agreed to leave the knight and the princess be, as long as he could keep his tail," she says, with a smile.

The children giggle a little as Samantha stares Billy head on.

"So the knight went into the tower and rescued the beautiful princess," she continues, looking to Alexis, "and the two lived happily ever after."

"What happened to the dragon?" one boy asks.

"Well, he agreed to the knight’s proposal so he kept his tail and then went on to guard the knight and princess in their new castle," Samantha tells him, with a big grin.

The children applaud and then give Samantha a hug one at a time as they leave.

"That was fun," Alexis says, with a smile.

"Glad you enjoyed it," she says, hugging the little girl.

"Now you two better get, I bet Mary’s got lunch fixed for ya," she says, shooing Billy and Alexis away.

The two children take off running toward the Clarion. Samantha stands up and stretches her muscles, which have tensed from her sitting on the steps so long. She then makes her way to the saloon, for a glass of water and maybe a quick bite to eat.

+ + + + + + +

"Well Mr. Mackenzie, looks like I have finally found a worthy opponent," Ezra states, dealing another hand to Mack.

"Glad to know you approve Mr. Standish," Mack responds, picking up his cards.

The pot in the center of the table has managed to grow at an amazing rate during the past thirty minutes.

"Looks like Ezra finally met his match," Vin states to Buck, both watching from the bar.

"Maybe, but I think ol' Ez still has a few more tricks up his sleeve," Buck replies.

"Or cards," JD adds, with a grin, lifting his mug to his lips.

Samantha saunters into the saloon and looks to the table that Ezra and Mack are sitting at. She continues her walk to the bar with a smile upon her face.

"The usual," she says to Inez.

"Inez, I need two beers over here," Ezra calls to her, from the table.

"Si Senor," Inez responds, getting out two mugs and filling them.

Inez then begins to move around the bar to take the drinks to them.

"No, let me," Samantha says, taking the mugs.

"Thank you," Inez replies, beginning to fix Samantha’s order.

Samantha carries the drinks to the table and sets them down in front of the two poker players.

"Here you go Ez," she says.

"Thank you," Ezra responds, not looking up from his cards.

"Well, Miss Dunnison seems your prediction was right. It is a small town," Mack says, looking up to Samantha and giving her a big smile.

"It appears as though you two have already met," Ezra states, looking up from his cards.

"Yes, Mr. Mackenzie and I sort of "bumped" into each other outside the general store and he kept me from getting a mouthful of dirt," Samantha tells him, grinning.

"Yes well...," Ezra says, looking back to his cards.

"I’ll see your five dollars and raise you another five," Ezra says, placing the money in the pot as Samantha turns to walk away.

"Well, Mr. Standish, it seems I have run out of things to bet," Mack says, digging through his pockets.

Samantha stops and turns around with a mischievous grin on her face.

"Wait," she says, taking the ribbon from her hair. "To the victor of this match," she adds, laying the ribbon on the table, "a dinner with me."

Ezra looks at her in astonishment, as Mack looks at her with a smile.

"Now, I like the sound of that," Mack says, with a charming grin.

"Well then, continue," she states, waving her hand to the table.

She gives them one last smile, then turns back and walks to the bar.

"What happens if Ezra doesn’t win?" JD asks Buck.

"I don't think Sam cares if Ezra wins or loses," Buck replies, taking a sip of his beer.

"Well, what do you have?" Mack asks Ezra.

"Three kings," he replies, laying out the cards. "And...a pair of fives. I believe that would be a full house."

Ezra flashes a smile as Mack looks to his cards with a solemn face. Samantha turns from eating her food to watch, as do JD, Buck, and Vin.

"Well, that would definitely beat my three of a kind," Mack states, laying out the three jacks and a seven.

Ezra reaches for the pot, but Mack holds up a hand.

"If... I didn’t happen to have this, he says, with a smile as he lays another jack down. "That’s four of a kind, Mr. Standish. Looks as if I win."

Ezra opens his mouth to say something, but nothing comes out, as Mack begins to pick up the pot.

Buck gives Vin a questioning look, but all Vin does is shrug his shoulders.

"Miss Dunnison, looks as if I will be meeting you for dinner at say, six?" Mack asks, handing Samantha her ribbon.

"Looks as if you will Mr. Mackenzie," Samantha replies, with a smile, taking her ribbon back.

"Until then," Mack tells her, with a bow and then takes his leave.

Ezra watches him as he walks out and Buck walks over to the table.

"What just happened here Ez? How could you lose to him?" Buck questions the card sharp.

"He...he...cheated," Ezra replies, disgustedly and looks back down to the cards.

"Now Ezra, just because he beat you doesn’t mean he’s a cheater," Buck tells him.

"Yeah and you never call me a cheater when I beat you," Samantha states, as she walks over to the table.

"That is because I know you have yet to acquire the skills of cheating," Ezra tells her, giving her a small grin and tilting his head to look at her.

"Well, looks as if you have a date," JD says, patting Samantha on the back.

"I believe you’re right," Samantha says, with a smile.

She then turns and heads out of the saloon.

"Seems as if Mr. Mackenzie is quite the charmer," Buck states, sitting down beside Ezra.

"Apparently so," Ezra replies, in a hushed tone, gathering his cards.

"Now Ez, is that a touch of jealousy I hear in your voice?" Buck asks, leaning close to the gambler.

"Why would a man such as myself be jealous of a cheater?" Ezra questions, shuffling his cards.

"Well, maybe because it looks as if ‘the cheater’ has managed to catch the eye of our dear Miss Dunnison," Buck says, imitating Mack's drawl.

"And you think that should bother me?" Ezra asks, raising an eyebrow.

"No, I guess it shouldn't. Just thought maybe you were looking forward to having dinner with Sam is all," Buck replies, as Vin and JD get up and leave the saloon.

"I could have dinner with Samantha any time I want to," Ezra states, as Buck stands up to leave.

"Okay Ez, whatever you say. Just wondered what she'd say if you ever asked her out to dinner," Buck says to him and then turns and follows his friends out the door.

+ + + + + + +

Later that night Samantha meets Mack at the restaurant and the two go inside. Ezra stands across the street in the shadows watching as they enter the eatery. Before long, Chris comes walking by the gambler, headed to the saloon.

"Mr. Larabee," Ezra calls, turning to catch up with Chris.

"Yeah, what is it Ezra?" Chris asks, turning around to face the gambler.

"I was wondering if you would like some’s on me," he adds quickly.

"Does this have something to do with Sam and that new guy?" Chris questions, raising his brow.

"No. Why would you suspect it had anything to do with that?" Ezra asks, tilting his head to one side.

"Oh, no reason. Guess if you're buying, I could eat a bite or two," Chris tells him.

The men head toward the restaurant and enter the building. Ezra immediately picks a table straight across the room from Samantha and Mack’s table, and pulls Chris towards it. The two peacekeepers sit down and Chris studies the menu.

"So, how long will you be in town Mr. Mackenzie?" Samantha asks, taking a sip of her drink.

"Oh, just till tomorrow morning. I’m on my way to California," Mack states, getting a forkful of food.

"California? Wow! Do you have a business or family in California?" she questions the handsome man.

"Yes, both. My brother has opened up a new business out there and he invited me to come and help him run it," he tells her.

Samantha nods her head in understanding, not being able to say anything, since her mouth is full of food.

"May I ask you somewhat of a personal question?" Mack asks, leaning across the table a little.

"I guess so," she responds hesitantly.

"What type of relationship do you have with Mr. Standish?" he asks her.

"What concern of yours is that?" she asks, looking right at him.

"Well, he appears to be drilling holes in your back with his eyes," Mack states, looking over her shoulder.

"I see. Is he alone?" she asks.

"No, there’s another gentlemen. He’s dressed in black," he replies, leaning back in his chair.

Samantha nods her head and leans back in her chair a little, putting her napkin on the table.

"I don’t particularly like being used in some sort of a con," Mack states, frowning.

"What do you mean?" Samantha asks, surprise on her face.

"I feel that you are using me to get back at Mr. Standish for some reason," he tells her, watching her face and reading her emotions.

"He could have won just as easily as you did, although he does believe that you cheated," Samantha tells him, with a slight grin.

"Well, it appears he does need a wake up call," Mack states, picking around at the food on his plate.

"So now, what does that mean?" she questions him again.

"Well, I know I would be a little bit jealous if I let a pretty girl such as yourself go out to dinner with someone else...someone like me," he tells her, with a grin.

"You could be right. Well, thank you for the dinner, but I must be going," Samantha says, getting up from the table.

He stands up and offers his hand once more, but Samantha gives him a hug instead.

"If I don’t see you off in the morning, good luck in California, Mr. Mackenzie," she says, kissing him on the cheek.

"Thank you," he tells her.

He waits till she walks out, before sitting back down to eat, watching as she exits the building.

Chris looks at Ezra who fiddles with his drink, watching the whole scene with interest. Finally the gambler stands up and glances one more time over to Mackenzie's table.

"Ezra, don’t do it," Chris tells him.

"Mr. Larabee, I would never debase myself in such a manner. I’m going to bed," he states, laying some money on the table.

Ezra walks out of the restaurant and heads toward the saloon, to the comfort of his room. He makes his way up the stairs, thinking on the day’s events. He reaches for the handle on his door and slowly opens it, jumping a little in surprise, to see Samantha sitting on his bed.

"What are you...?" he questions, walking into his room.

"What right did you have following me to the restaurant tonight," she says, standing up to face him.

"Whatever do you mean?" he drawls, cocking his head.

"Ezra, you stared at me and watched every move I made while I was in there," she tells him, heatedly.

"I was only..." he begins to say.

"You had no right to follow me," she says again, this time her voice raising in anger.

"I had every right," he points out, raising his voice as well, "You don’t even know this man, he could be a murderer for all you know. I followed you to make sure nothing happened, that's all there was to it."

"Well, nothing did happen, now did it?" she questions, lowering her voice some.

He looks down at the floor as she walks toward the door. She begins to open it, but Ezra puts his hand against it, stopping her.

"What...?" she begins to protest.

"Look, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have followed you. I shouldn’t have yelled at you and I shouldn’t have lost that game either," he states, looking down. "I know you can look out for yourself. I just...well, can you forgive me?" he asks, looking at her.

Samantha moves her eyes to the floor, thinking, and then looks back up.

"Yeah, I forgive you," she tells him, as Ezra removes his hand from the door.

Samantha opens the door, goes out, and begins to cross the hall to her room.

"Samantha?" Ezra calls out to her.

Samantha turns back and looks at the gambler.

"Would you have dinner with me tomorrow night?" he asks, leaning against his door.

She cracks a smile and gives a small laugh.

"Yeah, but only if it's you and me. Chris can’t come this time," she says, jokingly.

"All right," he replies, and gives her a nod of his head.

"I’ll see ya in the morning Ez," she states, then turns back to her door.

"Good night my dear," he responds, and then shuts his door as Samantha opens hers.

Samantha shuts her door, and Ezra reopens his to see hers close. He shuts his once again and Samantha opens hers to see his close. She smiles and then shuts hers again.

The End

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