Disclaimer: I dream, but so far I do not own. Actually, I'm lying. I haven't managed to have a single, solitary dream about our boys, no matter how hard I try. <g>
Comments: Just a little PWP. This is all Mady's fault. I read her Kiss stories and they made me want a C/B story. And of course, being me, my PWP has an angsty spin. <g> Sorry for stomping around in your territory here, Mady. I just couldn't help myself. And it is all your fault.
Chris Larabee paused just outside the boarding house and stood staring at the drab wooden building with a frown on his face. Taking off his black hat, he ran impatient fingers through his short blond hair. Then, shaking his head, he sighed, pushed open the door, and walked rapidly inside.
"Evenin' Ma'am." The gunslinger nodded politely to the middle aged woman just entering the room, but he didn't break stride. So intent was he on reaching the stairs at the far end that he failed to register her rather wary return greeting. Not that he would have cared overly much. Chris Larabee was used to respectable women not knowing what to make of him.
Chris climbed to the second floor landing and began walking down the long, narrow hallway til he came to the last door on the left. Letting out another sigh, he raised a fist prepatory to pounding on the door to demand entrance, then abruptly he lowered it. Reaching out instead, he grasped the doorknob and twisted. The door swung open easily and he stepped into the room.
"I don't recall invitin' anyone." Buck said, not even bothering to open his eyes and see who it was.
Chris closed the door quietly behind him and moved a little further into the room. Stopping at the foot of the bed, the gunslinger stared down at the tall, mustached man laying sprawled out before him. Buck had a bottle of whisky cradled beside him and Chris's gaze noted that it was still half full. Good. Maybe Buck wasn't too far gone to listen then.
"You musta not heard me real clear. I said I ain't in the mood for company." Buck's voice was cold, lacking any semblance of its usual merry warmth. He opened his eyes, frowning, when there was still no response.
"I heard you. Just ain't listening to you, is all." Chris replied calmly, still standing at the foot of the bed.
"Go away, Chris." Buck pointedly turned his face away from the gunslinger.
"Can't do that, Buck." Chris shook his head and walked over to grab the straightbacked chair by the window and drag it over to the bed, facing Buck.
"Sure you can, Chris. It's easy. You just put one foot in front of the other and keep goin'. Right on out the door." Buck lifted himself up onto one elbow and glared at the gunslinger.
Ignoring the sarcastic remark, Chris sat down in the chair and stretched his long legs out. Folding his arms, he studied his friend quietly. A hint of compassion flickered in the green eyes, and when he finally spoke, a hint of it could be found in his voice, as well.
"There was nothing else you could have done, Buck. She would've killed you without batting an eyelash. And the banker, too. And God knows who else she might have killed, before she was through. There was nothing else you could have done." Chris repeated, but he could see the other man wasn't listening. Wasn't hearing. Buck didn't want to be absolved for this crime, but Chris wasn't going to indulge him any longer.
"You don't know that, Chris. And I don't know that, either. She coulda been bluffin'." Buck lifted the bottle of whisky to his lips, swiping angrily at the drops of liquid that remained behind on his mustache.
"She wasn't bluffing." Miriam Callahan had been trouble with a capital T. Buck just couldn't accept that a woman was capable of being a stone cold killer for no reason other than the fact that she enjoyed it.
"And Mr. High and Mighty Larabee is speaking from the mound, now? Knows everything? Sees everything?" Buck sneered and raised the bottle of whisky again, blue eyes dark with pain.
Chris tightened his lips and shook his head. "I don't know everything, Buck. But I do know a killer when I see one."
"Yeah," Buck snorted. "Like you knew about Ella."
Chris clenched his fists and reminded himself that Buck was hurting and lashing out at everyone. But he could feel his own anger begin to simmer beneath the surface. That goddamn Callahan bitch hadn't been worth the spit it took to swallow, let alone Buck's seemingly endless supply of guilt and remorse.
"That was different." Chris replied evenly, slowly unclenching his fists.
"Different cause it was you sleeping with her instead of me?" Buck curled his lip and stared challengingly at the gunslinger.
"This ain't about me and Ella. This is about you and your goddamn stupid, pointless guilt."
"It ain't pointless to me. And you're a fine one to be talkin'. Three years have gone by and you still can't let go."
"Damn you. Leave Sarah and Adam out of this." Chris's green eyes glittered with true anger now.
"You don't like what I'm sayin', get out. Last time I checked this was still my room." Buck waved the bottle of whisky in the direction of the doorway.
Quick as a snake, Chris reached out and snatched the bottle of whisky from Buck's grasp. Surging to his feet, he flung it against the wall where it shattered, sending a spray of glass and amber liquid everywhere.
"You goddamn bastard." Now it was Buck's turn to surge to his feet and the two men stood, breathing heavily out of anger, fists clenched at their sides.
"Find some other way of dealing with this, Buck. Some way that doesn't interfere with doing your job." Chris turned on his heel to leave, not trusting himself to say anything more.
"I can't believe even you would have balls enough to say something like that. You goddamn hypocrite." Buck grabbed the back of Chris's black shirt and jerked him back around, shifting his grip so that he now held one of the gunslinger's arms.
"Let go of me, Buck." Chris Larabee's temper was hanging on by a bare thread.
"Make me." Buck yanked on Chris's arm for emphasis just as the gunslinger attempted to twist out of his grasp. The two men went down in a tangle of arms and legs. They thrashed around on the floor, cursing, arms and legs flailing wildly. Buck finally managed to gain the upper hand after a short, but vicious, struggle, and rolled the gunslinger over onto his back. He straddled Chris, using his knees to pin the other man's arms, and just stared down into Chris's furious green eyes, his breath coming in short, sharp gasps.
"Looks like you can't make me do shit, huh pard?" Buck laughed, part of him delighting in the pain and fury he saw in Chris's eyes. He knew he was acting like a real prize SOB, but the red hot pain and anger in his gut wouldn't let him feel sorry for it. Chris hadn't been able to bring himself to shoot that goddamn bitch, Ella, while Miriam had died by a bullet from Buck's own gun, in his arms. Chris had no right comin' in here and actin' like Buck was making too much of it. Like it was no big thing. Buck had never killed a woman before. Especially not one he'd shared a bed with only hours before he'd killed her.
"I'll make you sorry you were ever born," Chris promised, glaring up at him.
"You can try," Buck replied, pressing his weight more heavily into the gunslinger's midsection. "But not before I tell you what a bastard you are, comin' in here and tellin' me all that crap."
"You remember what it was like, Chris? Ella tellin' you she loved you? Pressin' her warm body against you? Puttin' her soft lips on yours?" Buck lowered his head as he spoke, til his mouth hovered near Chris's ear. Then he lowered his voice to a whisper. "Now imagine her warm blood soaking your skin and her lips cold and lifeless. And imagine that it was your bullet that brought all that about."
Chris shivered as Buck's warm breath tickled his ear. He didn't want to think about the images conjured up by the other man's words. He'd never told anyone about the dreams he had where he shot Ella as she rode away and watched her fall to the ground at his feet, dead. And when he awoke, he was never certain if he was sorry because it had been just a dream and she wasn't dead or if he was sorry because in the dream he'd killed her after all. "Buck..." He started to speak, then fell silent, uncertain as to what exactly it was that he wanted to say.
"She had the softest skin. Like silk." Chris flinched slightly in surprise as Buck ran a finger down the side of his neck.
"Buck...?' He tried again.
"And her lips were sweet as honey." Buck ran his thumb lightly over the gunslinger's lips as he spoke, ignoring Chris's strangled gasp.
Buck's voice was low, seductive and he stared down at Chris with an unreadable expression. The gunslinger felt a trickle of warmth begin in his belly as Buck gently stroked his jaw. He could feel the heat of the larger man's body burning through their layers of clothes and a sense of panic clawed its way through him, along with the warmth. He began struggling again, trying to get away.
"Why are you in such a hurry all of a sudden, Chris?" Buck's lips were near his ear again and Chris was unable to repress another shiver as Buck's mustache tickled his skin.
"Don't..," Chris said, turning his head to the side, trying to avoid the other man's touch.
"I haven't done anything yet, pard." Buck trailed his lips across the gunslinger's ear, sliding them along his jaw til he reached the corner of Chris's mouth.
Chris let out an involuntary groan as Buck licked lightly along the edges of his lips, one hand reaching up to tangle itself in Chris's hair.
"No." Chris was still trying to resist the unexpected feelings of pleasure Buck was conjuring in him.
"Yes," Buck whispered, covering Chris's lips with his own. He splayed his fingers out across the back of Chris's head, cradling it as he continued to explore the gunslinger's mouth with his lips, his tongue. Buck's other hand was tugging at the gunslinger's shirt, freeing it from his pants.
Chris tried to marshall his thoughts, regain control. He didn't know how the hell he and Buck had gone from shouting and cursing and trying to black each other's eyes to... this. They shouldn't be doing this. He didn't want to do this. Except he did. He didn't know if it was because all that anger and frustration needed an outlet. Any outlet. Or whether Buck just had goddamn magic powers. But whatever the reason, Chris was on the verge of surrendering to it. To him.
Buck lifted his lips from the gunslinger's and moved down, sliding along the length of Chris's body til his face was on a level with Chris's chest. Then he skimmed both hands lightly up and down Chris's sides, stopping finally at the first button of the gunslinger's black shirt. When Buck began to slowly unbutton the shirt, Chris closed his eyes, not wanting to witness his own surrender reflected back at him through Buck's eyes.
Buck shifted his weight, freeing Chris's hands, as he lowered his head to nip teasingly at the now bare skin of Chris's chest, palms still rubbing lightly up and down the gunslinger's sides. Chris brought his hands up to clutch convulsively at his companion's shoulders, biting his lip to stifle the sounds trying to escape. He could feel the hardness of Buck's cock against his thigh as the other man pressed closer, tongue swirling teasingly around the gunslinger's taut nipples. He could feel his own cock straining to get out. Goddamn, he could even taste Buck on his tongue still. The taste of whisky and heat. He opened his eyes and slid his own hands down Buck's shoulders, and across his back. The thin cotton material of Buck's shirt was warm from his body and damp with sweat.
Chris rucked the shirt up, wanting to feel bare skin beneath his fingers. "Buck." A moan escaped him as he felt Buck's slick, smooth skin beneath his fingers, but the man in question jumped like he'd been shot when he felt Chris's fingers on his skin, heard Chris's voice say his name. He rolled quickly off the gunslinger and sat up, scrubbing his hand across his lips, and shaking his head from side to side.
"Buck?" Chris lay there, still feeling slightly dazed from events. When Buck didn't answer, Chris slowly sat up, staring at Buck through eyes that were rapidly regaining focus.
"I didn't... I wasn't... It..." Buck stopped, then took a deep breath and tried again. Chris didn't say a word, just continued staring at him, face now impassive. Only the still too rapid breathing was any indication that something out of the ordinary had transpired.
"I was mad. At you. At me. At her." Buck looked down at his hands, unable to meet Chris's eyes.
"And you wanted to punish me, since I'm here and she's not. And punishing yourself gets old after a while. I should know." Chris twisted his lips in a humorless smile.
"Yeah. I reckon it was somethin' like that." Buck raised his eyes to glance at the gunslinger. He flinched when he saw Chris's bare chest, still revealed by the shirt Chris hadn't yet buttoned. Chris shrugged slightly in response, eyes gone cold and flat.
"You know, I never really believed all those stories you used to tell about growing up in a whorehouse." Chris got to his feet and raked his gaze up and down the other man's disheveled figure. "Now I do." Buttoning his shirt, Chris turned and slowly walked over to the door. He did not look back as he left the room.
Buck continued to sit on the floor for long moments after Chris had left the room. He had wanted to punish Chris and succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. So why was he sittin' here in the middle of the floor, feelin' lower than a snake's belly and with an ache in his cock that was almost as bad as the one in his chest?
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