Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in this story. I am simply taking them out for a spin. I am not making any money off of them.
Main Characters: Buck and Inez
Hi Darlin, its me, Buck. Buck twined the phone cord about his finger as he leaned back in his chair. The others had left for lunch and he had told them that he would join them in a few minutes. He wanted to make this phone call without prying ears around.
I think I recognized who it was calling me. How is your day going? Inez reclined back in her rocking chair. She was at home, just about to fix herself some lunch. She looked forward to his call everyday. They had only been out three times and the supposed ladies man had yet to even come into her house. Inez knew, however, that this was the man for her. And with that knowledge, she found she was scared to death. She couldnt wait to see him again and she feared the day he would say they were through.
Couldnt be better. Well, it could but then, youre not here, are you. What did you do this morning? Buck began to relax, hearing the womans gentle banter. His life had been empty until two weeks ago. That was when he had asked the fiery brunette out and she had accepted. From that day on, he had been filled with a wonder and longing he had never felt before.
I puttered in the garden, spreading fertilizer, just like you do. She laughed and the sound of her laughter sent shivers down his body, setting loose butterflies in his stomach.
Ah, Darlin, that hurts. Have I ever fed you any BS? Honest now, he replied.
Not lately, at least not that I know of. And my roses are blooming bigger and brighter than ever. Inez closed her eyes and pictured the big man right in front of her. His smell filled her senses and she sighed contentedly.
Im glad. Inez, sweetie, I wanted to ask you somethin and I know it would take some doin on your part seein as its a Saturday night. Darlin, would you go with me to a black tie shindig on the 3rd? The Judge just told all of us that we all needed to go and coming from him, that means its an order. I sure would like to be the one with the prettiest gal in the room on my arm. He held his breath, waiting for the answer. He hadnt told the others that he was seeing the Mexican bar owner and he wasnt sure that he was ready for them to know but when Orin Travis had told Chris that Team 7 needed to make an appearance at his wifes charity ball, Inez was the only one he thought of taking.
Yeah. Do you think you could get someone to take over at the bar for you that night? Buck wasnt ready for the answer she gave him.
I have a date for that night, Buck. I told him a long time ago that I would go out with him. Its not anybody that you know. Inez felt guilty, like she was cheating on him. Why would she feel like that when they had only been on three dates and he hadnt gone any further than kissing her. Jeremy was an old flame. Nothing serious had ever transpired between Jeremy and herself but they had been very comfortable with each other. That was before she had bought the bar and met the members of Team 7. He had called her a month ago and asked her to accompany him to a fancy black tie party the night of the 3rd. It had been a long time since she had gotten a chance to dress up and she had agreed. That, of course, had been PB, pre-Buck.
Oh, well, uh, have fun. Are we still on for Sunday? The disappointment was clear in his voice.
Yes, Buck, we are on for Sunday. Listen, I would gladly go with you but Jeremy asked me over a month ago and I owe him. He helped me find the bar and get it financed. Hes an old friend, okay? She wanted him to be all right with her seeing another man. It was important for some reason.
Hey, no big deal. Ive got a few old friends too, so I know how you feel. Where would you like to go Sunday? I was thinking a drive up into the mountains. I know of a wonderful little restaurant about an hour away. There are some nice hiking trails around there too. Buck was feeling better, talking about plans with the beautiful Hispanic.
She smiled to herself as she listened to his plans. He was the only man who thought about her and the outdoors. Most men wanted to take her to fancy restaurants and the theater or to a concert. Not her Buck though. The first date had been horseback riding out at Chris Larabees ranch. The second date had been a hayride at a friends farm with a bunch of other couples. The third date had been dinner at a pizza place in old town and a country/western bar where he taught her line dancing. She hadnt laughed that much since she was a small girl and she realized then that she was in love with Buck Wilmington. That sounds like a great day. Buck, I.... nothing. Ill see you on Sunday if you cant make it to the bar on Saturday night. And Buck, thank you for inviting me. I would love to go with you any other time, you know that, right?
Yeah, Darlin, I do. Ill try to get to the bar Saturday. He said but he thought,Its just so hard to see you when youre busy and I cant be the only one that has your attention. What is it about you, Inez, that has captured my heart so completely?
Buck, are you still there?
Yeah. Look, the guys are waiting for me down at the China Palace. Ill call ya tomorrow, okay? He didnt want her to know how disappointed he was about the charity ball. He had already seen her in his mind, dressed in a low cut shimmering white dress, her hand draped over his tuxedo clad arm, as they made their appearance. He could just see the guys with their jaws dropped open, envious of him. Oh well, he had her all to himself on Sunday. Bye, Ill be thinkin of ya.
Me too, Buck. You be careful. Bye, bye. And she was gone.
+ + + + + + +
He picked her up on Sunday morning and they drove for over an hour up into the mountains, north of Denver. It was cooler up there than in the city and Buck had thought to bring a jacket for him and a sweater of his for her. He thought she was beautiful, bundled in his over sized sweater, the sleeves rolled up at least three times.
They stopped for lunch at a small log cabin restaurant that served the most tender steak she had ever had. She discussed recipes with the owners wife while Buck sat out on the front porch, having a glass fo wine with the owner.
They then went hiking further up the mountain, stopping a babbling brook to rest for a while. He pulled her close and kissed her tenderly on the cheek. She turned her face to him and beamed up at the handsome man.
God, youre breath taking, Baby. I wish I could hold you for a week, just feeling you by my side, smelling your hair, hearing your voice. Its heaven for me. He sighed as he rested his cheek on the top of her head.
We would starve to death, Im afraid. Can I ask you a question, a personal question? She stayed tucked in by his side.
Anything, you know that. He pulled her even closer, slightly concerned about her question.
I know you have seen a lot of other women, slept with a lot of women. Are you still seeing others? She needed to know. She was busy on Friday and Saturday nights and she figured he was out with other women, sleeping with them, as she had yet to go beyond kissing with him. It was only natural for him to continue his libidinous ways.
Buck was shocked that she would be asking him that. Of course he wasnt seeing any one else! But as he thought about it, he decided that she would suspect that he was still flitting from one flower to another. He tried to reassure her. Darlin, you fill a place in me that no other woman has ever touched. No, I am not seeing other women. And I dont plan to except maybe when an old friend calls. Shit, he shouldnt have said that! He was still slightly ticked by her date with Jeremy.
She was hurt by his choice of words. She had wanted to hear the answer he gave but he had gone too far. I told you that had been set up before we started seeing each other. Jeremy and I used to date and yes, we slept together. But, it has been over for years. He is from out of town now and he needed a date for a ball. I like dressing up, just like most women do, so I told him yes. It has nothing to do with you, with us.
Im sorry, that was unfair of me. I guess I want you all to myself. And Im sorry I didnt show up last night. JD had a fight with Casey and I got in the middle of it somehow. By the time they made up I just wanted to go to bed. Inez, you are a very special woman. I hope you believe that. He let her go and turned so they were facing each other. He leaned down and kissed her, tenderly at first but it grew into a lingering, passion-filled kiss that neither of them wanted to break.
When they released each other, Inezs dark brown eyes were ablaze with passion. Buck...
I think we should head back. Itll be getting colder soon. I ... Let me help you back to the path. He stood and held out his hand. Reluctantly, she took it and they walked in silence back to the restaurant. The drive back was comfortable but Inez sat close to the passenger door. She fought the urge to make the tall handsome man pull over to the side where she could ravage him. She was getting more and more frustrated with him but she didnt know how to bring it up.
Arriving at her home, he walked her to her door. They stopped while she unlocked the front door and then she turned to him. Would you like to come in? she asked hopefully, her body yearning for his touch.
Swallowing his passion, he shook his head, not trusting himself to say no. He didnt want Inez to be like all the others. He wanted to know all about her, her mind, her heart, before he knew her body. He couldnt explain it to himself, he knew he could never make her understand. He only hoped she would be patient with him. If he set one foot inside her home, which he pictured to be warm and comfy, a place he may never want to leave, he would take her and make love to her and the magic might fade. He never wanted how he felt towards Inez to change.
Disappointed, she nodded her head. Raising up on her tiptoes, she made her move for a chaste kiss good night. Instead, she was enthralled when he pulled her tight to his body and she sensed his body responding to her closeness. His tongue found her open mouth and he explored where he had been before. His hands found her back and then moved lower, pulling her body even closer, his hands cupping her buttocks.
She wrapped her arms around his neck, her fingers entwining in his dark hair, bringing his mouth unrestrained onto hers. Breaking the kiss, she leaned her head back, inviting him to taste her neck. He nipped her neck as his hands moved up, one reaching between them to fondle a breast. The heat between them was unbearable and she moaned her flaming desire.
Suddenly, he was gone, his mouth, his hands, his body, all detached from her body. She opened stunned eyes and saw him, panting, almost three foot from her. Buck?
I have to go. Ill call you later. Please, Darlin, understand. I cant, not yet, not now. Good night. With that, he turned and was gone.
She fell bonelessly against the door and watched as he drove away.
+ + + + + + +
The week leading up to the 3rd was a busy one for Team 7. Ezra had concluded his assignment and they had taken down the bad guys without a shot being fired. There were massive amounts of paperwork however and lots of evidence to be logged in. Buck never got a chance to stop by the bar to see his lady. He called her two, three times a day but he never got a chance to see her, to touch her. Saturday came and he found himself dressing in his tuxedo, his mind a million miles away where Inez was draped on the arm of another man. Jeremy! He hated the man, the name, the thought of his hands on Inez.
Buck, aint you ready to go yet? My God, you aint even got a date. Lets go! JD had been waiting down in the living room for over half an hour now. The ball started at seven and it was now seven thirty. And they still had to pick up Casey! Im calling Casy again. Dont make this harder on me than it already is, Buck!
Dont get your shorts in a knot, Kid, Im ready. Come on, lets go. You can call Casey from the truck. Buck came down the stairs two at a time. He looked amazing and JD was jealous for just a moment. Buck looked like a goddam movie star!
They made their way to Caseys and then to the hall in downtown Denver where the womens league was having their annual charity ball. JD took Caseys arm and escorted her like a gentleman should into the ballroom, Buck following behind. He scanned the crowd and spotted Chris and Vin talking to Mary and a redhead he didnt recognize. Must be Vins date, Buck thought as he made his way towards them. Evie Travis caught his arm and pulled him over to introduce him to several of her friends on his way. He began to enjoy himself as he flirted casually with the older ladies. One of them called her daughter over and Buck found himself dancing with a pretty blonde.
As that dance ended, Buck was tapped on the shoulder by another stranger, a woman with light brown hair piled high on her head. He smiled his dazzling smile and whirled her around the dance floor.
Inez came out of the powder room to find Jeremy talking heatedly with the mayor. She didnt feel like getting mixed up in politics so she made her way to the refreshment table and, after taking a cup of spiked punch, she turned and scanned the crowd of dancers out on the dance floor. She spotted Chris Larabee and remembered Buck saying that all of Team 7 had been ordered to a shindig. Was this where Buck had wanted to take her? Feeling the exhilaration building inside, she searched the crowd for the tall federal agent. Her breath caught in her throat when she saw him twirling a beautiful blonde around the outside of the mass of dancers. She tried to keep him in sight but with all the people it wasnt easy.
She saw him, a brilliant smile on his face, heading with the blonde towards a group of women. When he reached them they all laughed. Inez could just hear him telling the ladies a risque joke and her dander was up. She approached the group but was still twenty foot away when the music stopped. She had to wait for the way to clear before continuing her trek.
Buck sighed to himself. He was enjoying himself but his mind was on the fiery Mexican who held his heart. He hoped she was having a good time wherever she was. With Jeremy, he thought, yet again. He smiled down at Evie Travis and listened to Gen McGruiter tell a pretty stupid joke. He had a quick recollection of JD telling the same joke. Wanting to get away and join his friends, he excused himself and turned to see a vision in white standing twenty foot away. His jaw dropped and he took a step towards her before his mind was aware that he was moving.
Inez had bought a new white, sequined silk ball gown for the evening. It was strapless and cut very low. She had her long black hair piled on top of her head, showing off her long thin neck. Her deep cleavage drew the mens attention as did her slim waist and curvaceous hips. Her red lips and dark, sparkling eyes made every male melt with desire. But she stood alone, her eyes glued to one man.
Buck bit his lip as he made his way to stand in front of her. He stopped several feet away as if afraid she was only a vision in his mind. He took a deep breath and identified her scent from all the others surrounding him.
You are ... He couldnt begin to describe how absolutely gorgeous his lady love was this evening. You are a queen, Sweetheart, an absolute queen.
She smiled and moved forward until she could reach out and touch him. Her hand on his chest, she gazed up into his dark blue eyes. I couldnt believe it was you out on the dance floor. You look so handsome, Buck.
Would you dance with me, Senorita Rocillos? He bowed slightly and she curtsied. He took her offered hand and led her out onto the dance floor.
The crowd vanished as they moved across the dance floor. It was just the two of them, moving with synchronized grace, across the wooden floor. Bucks hands held her like she was breakable porcelain as he whirled her with grace and ease. She felt like she was floating as she moved in his arms, everyone but the two of them gone from the room.
Mary noticed the dazzling couple on the dance floor and tapped her date on his arm. Is that Buck?
Chris turned his head and stared at the tall ladies man who seemed to be in a world of his own. He hadnt even realized that Buck had arrived. He looked closer and discovered, much to his amazement, that he knew the alluring beauty he was dancing with. I thought he was coming stag.
Vin looked in the direction that Chris was gazing and recognized the dark haired enchantress too. Whoa, shes beautiful! He woulda been crowin like a banty rooster if shed agreed ta be his date. He must of snagged her away from her date. They do look fine together though, dont they?
They sure do. Are you sure they didnt come together? Mary couldnt take her eyes off the couple. There was something about the couple that made her weak in the knees. An aura of romance floated about them as they whirled around the floor.
Mary, Inez hasnt given the man the time of day since we first met her. Believe me, if Buck had made head way with her, the rest of us would know. That man cant keep anything about his women a secret from us. Chris clinked glasses with Vin as they grinned at each other. However, a niggling bit of doubt began to creep into his mind as he turned back to the dance floor and watched as Buck and Inez finished their dance. Damn, they did look good!
Out of breath, the two brunettes moved off the wooden floor and disappeared into the crowd. Buck didnt want to let her go but he knew she was Jeremys for the night.
Sweetheart, I cant take my eyes off you and it wouldnt be fair to your date. Inez, I love you. This is a poor place to tell you that but I do. I dont want to see you with Jeremy. Im gonna go now. Do you think I could come over tomorrow? Buck looked longingly into the fiery Hispanics eyes. Why had he waited so long to tell her he loved her and why did he do it now?
I love you too, mi amour. I cant wait until tomorrow. Would you wait for me at my house? She said, her voice soft and sultry. She touched his arm, willing him to understand her needs.
He nodded, his voice choked off by the large lump in his throat. He put his hand over her hand and bent to whisper, I want you, tonight, please.
It was her turn to nod. Her body ignited and she wanted to feel his mouth on hers, his hands on her bare skin.
He noticeably sighed and smiled the most amazing smile she had ever seen. Then he disappeared into the crowd. She couldnt move for several minutes. Gathering herself, she made her way back to Jeremys side.
+ + + + + + +
An hour later, a black Mercedes pulled up to the curb in front of Inezs house. Jeremy walked the gorgeous Mexican up to her front door and kissed her chastely on the cheek. I hope he treats you well, love. You deserve the best.
Thank you, Jeremy. I love him and I guess he loves me too. Hes amazing. Thanks for agreeing to bring me home so early.
No problem. Good night, Inez. He waved as he climbed back into his car and drove away.
Inez turned to unlock her door and felt a presence behind her. Turning quickly, she saw the handsome ladies man leaning against the corner of her house. She smiled at the love of her life.
He smiled back and, holding out a bouquet of flowers, he moved to join her at the threshold to her home.
Would you like to come in?
Are you sure? His tie was untied and hanging loose from his open collar. His eyes held a smokey allurement as he gazed down at her.
Oh yeah. She tried to pull a deep breath into her lungs but she felt as if she was drowning. She wanted nothing more than to be in his arms.
I dont want a one night stand. I dont want someone to see for just awhile. I want someone who loves me completely, someone who needs me as much as I need her. Ive had enough hurt, Inez. I want you, now, tonight, and for the rest of my life. Buck reached out and touched her cheek with the back of his finger. His gaze drove straight into her soul.
She reached up and took his hand in hers. She opened the door and pulled him inside. Im yours, Buck, for now, tonight, and for as long as you want me. I love you.
Their mouths met and the rest of the night flew by, ablaze with their passion.
| When You Say You Love Me
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