Kiss and Tell
by Brenda Lee Jackson
Summary: A chance for one woman to have a little adventure with the help of some of the boys.
Author's Notes: Not beta'd so all errors are mine and mine alone!
Acknowledgments: Linda Lady Fair created the female names and I've borrowed them (with her permission) for this little adventure. She's also known as Ladyhorsewhisperer! Thanks Linda! She also inspired me to start writing in the first place.
Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven is owned by Trilogy, CBS and MGM. If they sue me they'll get nothing 'cause you can't get blood from a stone.
Feedback: Sure! Whatever floats your boat! Positive, negative, constructive. I welcome all of it! It'll be a learning experience.
The book signing in San Francisco was a catastrophe. "Meet and greet your favorite author," was an idea before it's time. 'Central Publishing' demanded all their authors attend. Considering most of their novelists lived in the east, the cost of transportation was complimentary.
There were forty-eight in attendance, almost all male, and the crowds had congregated around the most well-known writers. The female authors had drifted together for mutual support and felt that even though the public ignored them at least they could support each other.
That was how it started.
The ladies decided to travel together and take a more southerly route back east.
Amber Victoria Farraday was a Romance writer and thought the journey would give her tonnes of material for use in her work. Handsome, rugged, 'Manly' Men of the 'Wild, Wild West' would definitely be an inspiration. She was practically drooling as the visions floating through her overactive imagination.
Linda Murdoch was a 'chip off the old block'. Her father had been in publishing for years. She had started as a 'proofreader' and then took to writing because she thought she could do better than the 'crap' that kept crossing her desk. She had turned to adventure as her genre simply because it was what she craved and the untamed wilderness of the western frontier seemed like an opportunity she could not pass up.
Mallory Richard unlike the others had turned to writing as a means to support herself after the death of her husband. She'd actually been 'spinning tales' for years. She had just never put any of them to paper. Mal' loved a good mystery and was remarkably good at creating 'intrigue'. She thought the whole 'Wild West' thing was baffling and her curiosity was peaked. She had to 'tag along' to investigate.
The last of the group was a horror writer. Horror fiction was not a common genre for a female writer but Robin Reynard was uncommon. She'd lived a hard life and had seen too much. She figured she may as well use the knowledge to her advantage so she turned to writing what would turn most young ladies stomachs. The concept of, 'Writing what you know,' appealed to her sense of fairness. She could turn a negative into a positive and earn a living from it. The west held little interest for her but she had become friends with the others and thought their naiveté could get them in trouble.
The group traveled by stagecoach and thus far found the trip neither inspiring or interesting. Then they entered the town of 'Four Corners'.
Amber was unsettled by the amount of dust that had accumulated on her clothes. "I'm filthy!"
"Of course you are honey, you write romance fiction," replied the sweet tone of Mallory.
"Ha, Ha, very funny," Amber answered, "You know very well that kind of novel isn't permitted to be published."
"Doesn't mean a person can't write one," came the smart ass reply from Kelly.
Amber turned beat red at the statement. 'She couldn't think that I'd ever ..... No. .....'
"Don't think on it Amber they're just teasing. We know you'd never write a dirty novel." Linda tried to assure the young woman.
The women had bathed and sat down to a meal at the Hotel. They were looking forward to a short respite after their bumpy ride. Not one of them enjoyed the confines of the stage and even the hard wooden chairs they now sat upon were a blessing because they stayed put.
The group was collectively miserable and Linda decided to fix it. She thought that if adventure couldn't find them then she'd just have to create some.
"A bet," said Linda.
"Excuse me?" replied Robin.
"It's what we need to break up our boredom. We need an adventure. We need a mystery. We need some ..... romance," answered Linda.
"I notice you didn't mention horror," came Robin's smart reply.
"Would you like a little horror. We might be able to conjure up a gunfight for you ... this is the 'Wild West' you know," came the sarcastic response.
"What did you have in mind?" The mystery begins thought Mallory.
"Oh, I thought that you ladies might like to make a bet as to whether I can accomplish a goal. The three of you have to devise a task that I must complete." Linda was looking forward to anything their collective deviousness could conjure.
"You're kidding!" from Mallory and Amber in unison. Robin was looking .... thoughtful.
"No. I came out here for an adventure and I am ... damn well going to have one." ... 'Oh my God. I just swore in public,' she thought. Linda wasn't sure whether that was a good thing or a bad one.
Robin decided to take the bet. She walked outside to the street to look for a challenge that Linda could face. The others not understanding Robin had come to this decision followed.
Robin spotted just what she wanted. "I'll take you up on that bet." She thought it would be perfect.
"Okay what's the bet?" asked Linda.
"Oh no! You have to agree to the bet and then we make a wager," stated Robin.
"But .... I don't know what I'm betting on."
"Precisely," said Robin. "You did want an adventure, .... Right!"
She had made the admission. "Fine. .... Yes. .... I'll agree to complete the challenge."
"Twenty dollars." Kelly thought it would be enough money to make the bet interesting and harder to back out of.
"Fine. .... Twenty dollars."
Mallory and Amber were standing to the side watching the exchange with morbid fascination.
"What did I just agree to?" asked Linda.
"You see those six men standing around the outside of the saloon."
"Yes." Linda thought Robin was bent on making her regret this decision.
"You have to kiss every last one of them," and then added, " Without revealing the bet."
Linda's jaw dropped. Robin was just kidding right. "Come on, what if they're married or engaged or .... dating someone."
"You're supposed to kiss them not bed them," was Robin's answer.
Linda turned beat red at the notion. 'The very thought of me .... doing that with ... them.' The thought of just kissing all of them was putting her stomach in knots. 'Yes, some of them were extremely attractive .... but really. ... Could I. ....... ...... Should I.. .... It's not like they'll ever see me again.' She pondered the possibility. 'I'm an adventure writer. ..... I should be able to come up with a plausible ..... lie.' She smiled at the prospect. 'I can do this. .... I need to do this. I wanted an adventure. ..... Coming up with a reason to kiss six unique men would definitely qualify as an adventure.'
"Fine." She'd come to a decision. She had accepted the bet and she was not about to back down.
Linda thought she could pull it off she just had to figure out who to kiss first. 'Who's going to be the most difficult? .... He should be first.'
She gathered up what little courage she thought she had and proceeded across the street.
The men that were gathered noticed her approach. Buck took the initiative. "Ma'am. Are you in need of some help?"
"Yes," came Linda's reply. "I do need some .... help." She looked at the men and tried to come to a quick decision as to who she should approach first.
The decision was made for her. "Ma'am, I'm Chris Larabee."
'This one is definitely a man who takes control. He's got to be the most difficult of the group. I mean just look at the man.' Linda grabbed Chris's lapels on his duster and pulled the man forward. She looked deep into his eyes noting the confusion and proceeded to lay her lips to his.
Chris grabbed her shoulders and was about to push her away, at least he had meant to. Instead he pulled her forward and intensified the kiss. 'What the hell?' What was this lady up to. After a measured time he got a hold of himself and pushed her away. "Ma'am?" was his only reply. This was .... 'out of the norm' for him and he just didn't know what to say.
"Mmmmm. .... Smoke. ...... Alcohol. .... and ......... you smell of fire and horse," Linda stated 'matter-of-factly'.
Linda turned and walked to the man that had been leaning against the post and grabbed him and leaned in and kissed him. Vin was stunned. He felt her sweet lips and then her mouth opened ever so gently and he found himself deepening the kiss just to taste her.
Linda pulled away, "Soft. .... Rough. ..... Spicy."
She then proceeded towards the gentleman in the fancy red jacket, who was seated. His jaw was unhinged at her antics. She leaned over him placing her hands on the armrests and kissed the side of his mouth. She was growing bolder. Ezra closed his mouth and leaned back watching the strange, beguiling creature. She followed him and changed her kiss to a lick across his top lip. Ezra was stunned. Linda then kissed his lips and he melted under the exchange. She pushed her tongue into his mouth and licked the inside of his lower lip and then followed it by slowly sucking that lower lip into her mouth.
The others were speechless.
Linda leaned back and watched as Ezra tried to 'right' himself. His eyes found hers and she smiled. "Expensive cologne. .... Expensive liquor. ...... Tasteful and elegant."
She stood back up and proceeded on to her next target. Josiah, was 'not having any of it'. He backed up and put his arms out in front of him to grab her. "Now Miss, I don't know what you think you're up to but ...."
Seeing his reaction she turned abruptly in another direction and Josiah let his guard down. His mistake and she took full advantage of it. She had turned halfway back and grabbed his sleeve. She spun the larger man and grabbed the massive shoulders pulling him forward. Then she smiled and leaned in to kiss the man. Josiah wasn't sure whether he should like it or not. Then it was too late. She gave him a rather chaste kiss in comparison to the others but he decided she meant no harm so he relaxed and enjoyed the sensation. Then she released him.
Linda studied the man, "Strength. .... and a voice that could melt any woman." Josiah actually blushed at the compliment.
She was studying the remaining two. J.D. sensing the scrutiny tried to make a hasty retreat but Buck was looking forward to his turn and the bigger man was now blocking his exit.
"Ma'am what in the world are you doing?" Vin's wits had finally returned.
"Let's call it a survey," replied Linda.
"Survey," squeaked J.D. as the woman grabbed him.
"Yes!" Linda was descending on the young mans lips even as his hand met her arms in resistance. She tilted her head and crushed J.D.'s lips beneath hers. She opened her mouth and stuck her tongue between his lips. J.D. was starting to get a hard-on and was humiliated by both it and the fact that this woman was overpowering him. He had failed to realize that the others hadn't 'faired any better'. Linda realizing that the young man was mortified let go and cupped his cheek in the palm of her left hand. "I'm sorry," she meant it. "Endearing. .... Kind. ...... Sweet. ....." She showed a smile and saddened eyes that she'd caused injury to his pride.
She was almost ready to leave. She was tempted to back out but when she caught the look on the remaining mans face. She realized that would be an insult to him. He looked at her with his head cocked to the side, his expression questioning.
She went up to the tall man and smiled up to him. Buck leaned down at the invitation and kissed her. He put his hands on her arms and drew her up to him. His moustache tickled and his soft lips yielded to grant her entry. She tasted his tongue, his teeth, his lips. He was tender. His tongue danced over hers and then traced the inside of her lips. Then he pulled away and placed a kiss ever so gently on her pert nose and released her. He smiled in an almost condescending way.
Like he knew what she was up to and didn't mind in the least.
Linda's breathless response, "Passionate. ..... Gentle. ....... Tender. ....." was missed by everyone but Buck.
Chris asked, "Ma'am, did you make a bet with someone?"
Linda knew if she revealed the truth to that statement she had lost. "I'm a writer, a novelist, an author. I write works of fiction; tales of Adventure. I just wanted to have my own real adventure." She looked contrite. "I apologize if I caused you any harm, ... any grief. It was not my intent." She looked over the group of men and smiled ruefully, "I have never really taken chances in my life. This was my first attempt." Then, "I have to admit I enjoyed it."
The men were honored that she'd chosen them. That she had made a choice and taken the risk. Anything worth having was difficult to achieve, and they each wondered if they'd ever met any woman that would take that kind of risk? Yes, men were simple and women were ...... complicated. She'd just proven that. Hadn't she?
They just smiled and nodded in understanding.
Linda left them then. She felt empty like she missed the true measure of them. She returned to her friends who had watched the whole scene play out before them. She turned for one last fleeting glimpse of those most wondrous males. They however had retreated to the saloon and she had missed it. She had missed them. She missed them.
Robin knew that "The Seven" resided here. She also knew of their reputations and that they were good decent men that wouldn't take advantage of someone so .... naive as Linda. She didn't really think the woman had it in her to complete the task; the endeavor; the bet, but was proud and scared to think what could have happened if she'd chosen any other men. She'd chosen well. She was never going to admit, however, that she envied Linda. To kiss all those fine, handsome and daring gentlemen was something she'd only ever dream of. She'd never have the nerve to pull that off but she'd never tell Linda that. 'Good thing Mr. Jackson wasn't present,' she thought.
Amber had seen the men watch Linda cross the street and as a romance novelist she envied the woman. 'She kissed all six of them."
Mallory could see the envy on the other two writers faces and could understand it. She had been married since she was seventeen and only ever kissed her husband in 'such a fashion'. She too envied Linda and her little adventure. Perhaps the next one would be hers.