Counting to Three

by Carole

Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven and its characters are the property of MGM, Trilogy Entertainment, the Mirisch Corporation, and the Hallmark Channel.

"I'll call you first thing in the morning, darlin'," Buck Wilmington promised, a wide grin on his mustached face. "Talk to you later. Bye." He listened for a moment, the phone still at his ear, then laughed. "I'm not going to hang up first. You hang up first."

Glancing up from his computer in the otherwise-empty office area, Ezra Standish shook his head, recognizing the familiar game that Buck and his latest romantic interest could play for what seemed to be hours on end.

"No, you hang up first." Buck switched the phone to the other side. "No, you. Uh, uh, you hang up first."

"I would be most pleased if one of you would bring this most vexing conversation to a quick resolution," Ezra muttered, rolling his eyes.

His eyes twinkling, Buck suggested, "Hey, how 'bout we do it together? I'll count to three, and we'll both hang up. Okay, here goes. One... Two... No, no, no! You can't go back to one!" he exclaimed.

The southerner raised his eyebrows. "Perhaps the lady in question is numerically challenged."

"Now, I mean it," Buck continued, oblivious to the undercover agent's sotto voce comments. "We're both going to hang up on three. One... Two... No! That's not fair." Wilmington shook his head in amusement. "You're not allowed to repeat 'two' over and over again, darlin'. Okay, this time I'm going to count to three and we're both going to hang up. One... Two... Hmmm... Wonder what comes after two?" he chortled, leaning backwards in his chair and lifting his boot-clad feet to prop them on the edge of his desk.

"Good lord," Ezra sighed.

"No, not four!"

Setting his work aside, Ezra got to his feet, determination written on his face.

"Let's try it again. One..."

Unnoticed by the ladies man, Ezra moved closer to the wall behind Buck.



As Buck looked up in surprise, Ezra held up the end of the phone cord, neatly detached from the jack. "Three," he drawled.



Author's Note: Inspired by a commercial for some product or another (actual product made a real big impression on me, as you can see)