Pairing: Ezra Standish/Chris Larabee
Rating: NC17
Disclaimer: the usual ... I don’t own ‘em, I’m not making any money off ‘em, I just brought ‘em out to play... but if nobody else wants ‘em, I’m more than willing to provide a good home for the boys.
Notes: This story follows the events of the episode “Serpents” and so has some spoilers for that episode.
Oh and I’ve described Chris’ cabin as somewhat larger than in appeared to be in canon... fanfic writer’s prerogative. When he had to rebuild after it got all shot up in Vendetta, he added an extra room. *g*

Warnings: there be a bit of bondage and spankin’ here, but all in good fun.
Summary: Ezra was a bad boy but Chris takes him in hand... literally.


Serpent’s Strike

by TimberWolf

Ezra Standish sighed as he eased the door to his room closed. It had been a long, tiring day. The gambler was both physically and mentally exhausted. Lifting his shoulder slightly, he shrugged out of his coat, testing the pain in his left side and arm as he did so. The movement produced a sharp ache, but was not so painful it would restrict his range of motion.

The ten thousand dollars he’d, liberated, and secreted in the lining of his coat really had saved his life.

He sighed again, it had saved his life, yes. But had it also cost him the trust of the man he loved?

For what seemed like the thousandth time since Nathan had patched his wounds, Ezra let his thoughts drift back over the events of the afternoon, damning himself yet again for his avarice. How could he have been so willing to throw away everything he’d found in Four Corners, the measure of respectability he’d gained, the camaraderie of his associates, good honest men? Worst of all, to toss aside the relationship he’d developed with Chris Larabee. And for what? Money.

Tightness squeezed his chest, as Ezra remembered too, the pride in Chris’ face fading, being replaced by a cold mask of indifference as Nathan pulled the first fistful of cash from inside the torn lining of his coat. Chris had responded to Ezra’s small joke then, but the humour had never softened his hard eyes. And other than a short exchange later, inquiring after his health, Chris had not spoken to Ezra again for the remainder of the day.

With an explosive release of breath Ezra moved further into the room, sinking onto his bed, flopping back to rest his head on the soft pillow. Hearing the crinkle of heavy paper at the same moment as he felt the sharp poke of a folded corner against his left ear, he reached behind his head, pulling out a crumpled note. Carefully unfolding it, he quickly scanned the hand-written words.

The message was short, terse, but it set Ezra’s belly aflutter as he read it again.

“YOU’VE BEEN A BAD BOY. MY CABIN. MIDNIGHT.” And it was signed only, “LARABEE”.

Ezra sucked in a breath, mind racing. What exactly did this portend? Perhaps Chris was not as angry as he’d imagined. Did he intend to give the gambler a chance to redeem himself? To return to Chris’ good graces?

He glanced over the note again. Or did he mean only to end their fledgling relationship? To invite Ezra to leave Four Corners entirely? And the family he’d found there along with it.

Steeling his nerve, Ezra stood tall. There was only one way to find out. He reached to the inside pocket of the jacket he’d tossed casually across his bed. Pulling out a small flask, he brought it to his lips, tossing his head back, draining it in three long swallows. Wiping his wrist across his lips, he tossed the now empty flask to the bed.

Slipping his left arm out of its makeshift sling, Ezra let out a small hiss. He went to his closet and pulled out a clean shirt and vest. Easing his injured arm into each in turn, he struggled with the vest’s buttons, eventually settling for doing half of them. Picking up the black ribbon tie from the chiffonier, he scowled, realising it unlikely he could manage it alone and instead, just draped it around his neck.

He grimaced at the unkempt reflection staring back from his small mirror. Not exactly the picture of attractiveness he would like to present to the man waiting for him. But then again, he thought, perhaps earning a little sympathy for his wounds couldn’t hurt in this instance either.

Pulling out the deep green coat that matched his vest and brought out the colour in his eyes, Ezra shrugged slowly into it.

“All right, Mr. Larabee. I’m on my way,” he muttered aloud, adding a silent prayer to Lady Luck as he settled his hat firmly on his head. Please, give me one more chance with Chris.

By the time the short ride to Chris’ small cabin was nearly over, Ezra had lost count of how many times he’d repeated that prayer. His arm was beginning to throb and his side ached with every small bounce.

He reined his horse to a stop at Chris’ front porch. As he eased down out of the saddle, the cabin door opened. Chris stood, tall and dark, a shadowed silhouette framed by the light spilling out the open door.

“Ezra.” It was short, terse. A simple acknowledgement.

“Chris,” Ezra returned, heart hammering in his chest.

“I’ll take care of your horse.” Chris’ tone brooked no argument, making it more of an order than an offer. “Wait for me inside. You remember where the bedroom is.” The light spilling out the door shone over Chris’ bare torso, highlighting the gold in his sandy hair as he stepped down from the porch, pulling the reins from Ezra’s suddenly nerveless fingers to lead the horse away.

Ezra watched him walk away for a moment before stepping inside. Did he remember? He might have thought the gunslinger was joking if he’d shown even the slightest softening or hint of humour. Chris’ cabin had only two rooms. The larger main room served as a combined kitchen, dining room and living area with the second, slightly smaller adjoining room being the bedroom.

He glanced around, easing the cabin door closed behind him. Everything looked very much as it had the last time he was there. It was clean and spartan, with very few personal belongings, not much there to proclaim this cabin as belonging to Chris Larabee and no one else.

Hesitant, the gambler made his way to the doorway connecting this room to the bedroom. The door was open, a pair of candles provided a soft, flickering light to illuminate the heavy, hand-carved four-poster bed that dominated the room.

Ezra gasped in surprise, stepping farther into the room. Slipping off his jacket, he tossed it over the back of the nearest chair, perching his hat there as well. He moved closer to the bed, running reverent fingers over the smooth, delicately carved details.

Chris spoke abruptly, “I warned you once about running out on me again.”

Ezra jumped, startled by Chris’ sudden, silent return. The gunslinger stood in the doorway, leaning against the frame, arms crossed over his bare chest as he watched Ezra smooth his light gambler’s touch over the bed frame. Ezra smiled at the other man, not able to hide the awe shining through his words, “You finished it.” He turned back to the bed, rubbing his hands up and around the nearest post. “It’s a wonder.”

The gunslinger stood straight, walking over to Ezra. Reaching forward to work at opening his vest’s buttons, he growled, “Why did you do it?”

Ezra sighed, giving up the hope that he could somehow avoid this conversation. “Do what, give in to the temptation, or decide to stay?” He couldn’t meet Chris’ clear green gaze.

Chris searched Ezra’s face, seeking the truth, “Both.”

“I don’t know.” At Chris’ disbelieving look, he added, “I’ve asked myself the same question all day. I don’t have a satisfying answer.” He lowered his eyes, hiding from Chris’ disappointment. “I suppose I came to the conclusion that since my comrades-in-arms were unable to trust me, that I need no longer endeavour to be worthy of their trust.” He swallowed, trying to loosen his suddenly tight throat, “I value your judgement, and if you don’t believe I can be trusted...”

“Ezra, stop. I didn’t mean...” Chris’ words faded as Ezra lifted his eyes, green eyes meeting green.

Smiling a wry grin, the gambler continued, “And too, I suppose I was thinking about what my dear mother might say.”

Having slipped Ezra’s vest and shirt off, Chris picked up the bottle he’d left sitting on the short bedside table, taking a long pull. “Then why did you stay?”

“I saw Stutz in the crowd. I just... I had to warn you. I kept remembering your disappointed expression, how I’d failed you so miserably earlier.” He looked away, “I wanted to make it up to you... to do something right.”

Chris closed his eyes, drawing in a deep breath. “And what about this?” he asked, pointing to Ezra’s side and bandage-wrapped left arm, “dammit Ezra, you could’ve been killed. What in hell were you thinking?”

“I didn’t need to think. Stutz was pointing that gun. He could’ve killed you. The hero or the swindler?” Ezra snorted a harsh, derisive laugh. “It wasn’t even a choice. The world would likely have been better off had he succeeded.”

Glass shattered as Chris threw the bottle against the wall. “Damn you, Ezra Standish! Don’t you ever say that again. The world would not be better off without you! I wouldn’t...” Unable to say more, Chris pulled Ezra into a ferocious, crushing embrace.

“I’m sorry Chris, I’m so sorry.” Ezra murmured over and over into the sandy-haired man’s neck, squeezing his own arms desperately around the other man. He held the embrace for several heartbeats, savouring the feel of the gunslinger’s lean strength against him, bare chest to bare chest.

Eventually, Chris pulled back, “Don’t move,” he muttered, “let me clean up the glass.”

Glass swept up, Chris walked slowly over to where Ezra still stood, visibly nervous, shifting slightly. He wanted, he needed to know that Ezra was staying, but was too afraid of the gambler’s answer to speak the question out loud. “We need to deal with this tonight,” was all he could manage.

Ezra swallowed sharply, nodding.

“I need...” Chris hesitated, “I need your surrender tonight Ezra. I need to feel your fire.” He wanted Ezra’s commitment, but having come so close to losing him, Chris was leery of rushing the gambler, of crowding him into flight. He knew it was much easier for the gambler to accept passion than to believe in love.

“Anything you want, whatever you need, it’s yours... Mr. Larabee,” Ezra whispered, lowering his eyes.

Chris could see the gambler’s breathing quicken, shared the anticipation he was hoping the gambler felt. But he only asked, “How’s your arm?”

He felt Ezra’s close scrutiny as the gambler answered softly, “The arm is fine, Mr. Larabee.”

“Can you raise them over your head? Does it pull on your side too much?”

In answer, the gambler simply lifted both hands up over his head, holding them there. Chris noticed the slight wince the movement produced. He waited a moment, but Ezra made no complaint.

Nodding his acknowledgement of Ezra’s willingness to proceed, Chris asked, “Can you hold them out in front of you?”

Once again, Ezra simply complied with the request in lieu of a verbal response, holding his arms out toward the gunslinger.

With the barest smile of approval, Chris reached back, pulling out the long coil of braided rawhide rope he’d tucked into the back of his belt. Pulling Ezra’s wrists forward, Chris’ hands were a blur of motion and in less than a minute, the gambler’s hands were tied securely together, with the remainder of the rope hanging in a low loop before eventually leading up to Chris’ hand.

Chris dropped the rope, letting it trail to the floor. He extended his hand, reaching to brush the backs of his fingers across Ezra’s left nipple, watching it pucker and tighten at the barest touch. He knew every inch of the gambler’s body, knew where the slightest touch could buckle Ezra’s knees, and he relished drawing each quiet moan, each panting gasp, from the Southerner’s throat.

Ezra sucked in a sharp breath, his eyes drifting closed. Chris grinned as the gambler arched into his rough hands with a whimper.

Chris chuckled. The gambler’s ’tactile sensitivity’ that he’d so often bragged about clearly extended beyond his fingers. In all his years, he’d never had a more responsive lover than Ezra.

He let his fingers slide down Ezra’s ribs, savouring the Southerner’s breathy moans. Turning his attention to Ezra’s remaining clothing, he made quick work of it, leaving the gambler standing naked and panting, while he quickly stripped out of his own pants.

Lifting the rope again, Chris gave it a short tug, leading Ezra to the wide bed. Laying Ezra out on its quilted cover, he secured the gambler’s bound wrists tightly to the post crossing the head of the bedframe.

Chris stepped back, a feral gleam lighting his eyes as he took in Ezra’s vulnerable form. Arms stretched taut above his head, the gambler’s back arched slightly to ease the strain, accentuating the lean lines of his chest. His shaft lay against his belly, flushed and erect.

Ezra shifted slightly under Chris’ hot gaze.

Chris urged him over to rest on widespread knees, his ass lifted high in offering. He let his hand trail over Ezra’s smooth flanks, eliciting another sharp groan from the gambler.

The gunslinger leaned close to whisper directly into Ezra’s ear, “You look so perfect like this. Naked and tied to my bed. I wish I could keep you like this forever.”

Ezra closed his eyes, shivering at the heated breath teasing against his ears and neck. God, he thought, I would stay forever if he’d ask me to.

“There’s only one thing wrong with this picture,” Chris continued softly, smoothing his hands over Ezra’s exposed ass. “There’s just not enough colour in these lily-white cheeks.” Tugging and lifting, Chris shifted their positions until Ezra lay, ass lifted high, perched across the blond man’s lap, his shaft hanging unencumbered in the open space between Chris’ thighs.

Ezra groaned, trying to shift enough to provide some stimulation against his aching cock.

“Stop that,” Chris muttered sharply, adding a quick slap against the gambler’s wriggling buttocks to punctuate the order.


Ezra gasped as the sharp sting was soothed away by gentle strokes, as Chris massaged the angry red mark. The blows continued to fall, varying in timing and location to keep the gambler off balance and unprepared. And tempered often with soothing, fondling strokes, fanning the flames of Ezra’s arousal.



Ezra muffled his groans against his arms, the growing heat in his ass being matched by the throbbing pulse in his groin, as each blow reverberated through his entire body. He squirmed, as the pain and pleasure began to meld, his desire burning more and more brightly, his body straining, hungry for more.

The gambler was fast approaching his peak, as he felt Chris slow his pace, alternating the sharp slaps with more smooth strokes of his heated flesh, teasing strong fingers between Ezra’s thighs to nudge against his hanging sac and up his crease to his tight opening.

The blows continued to fall, and Ezra could no longer mask his gasping moans, or the tears pricking at his lids, spiking his long dark lashes.

Chris shifted his thigh to brush up against the gambler’s throbbing shaft as he rained a quick succession of blows over the brightly glowing ass.

Ezra gasped, thrusting against the gunslinger’s leg as his climax shuddered through him, until he lay limp and panting across Chris’ lap.

Chris held the gambler, soothing his shaking body with long tender strokes through his wet tangled hair.

“Thank you,” Ezra whispered between panting breaths, smiling, exhausted.

Chris lifted the gambler, shifting their positions until Ezra was once again stretched out, wrists still bound to the bed frame, resting on his elbows and widespread knees.

“Thank you, Ezra,” the gunslinger breathed in Ezra’s ear before kissing a warm wet trail down the arched line of the Southerner’s spine.

Ezra moaned softly when Chris’ rough stubbled cheeks brushed across his squirming red ass as the sandy-haired man planted soothing kisses over his heated flesh. His eyes drifted shut, fingers clenching spasmodically on empty air.

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph,” he whispered in his soft Southern drawl, feeling Chris’ pointed tongue snaking a teasing wet trail down his cleft. He gasped, feeling a warm suction surrounding his sac. Eyes wide, he ducked his head to see Chris laying on his back with his head between Ezra’s open thighs.

Ezra groaned softly when that same warm wet haven moved on, latching around his burgeoning shaft, and the stubbled chin tickled his sensitive inner thighs.

Chris moaned around the cock he held in his mouth, needing to feel it deeper inside. Using one hand to finger his own opening, preparing himself, Chris continued to tease at the gambler’s growing shaft, enjoying the soft breathy cries he was wringing from the Southerner.

Shifting and wriggling, Chris started clambering, climbing farther and farther toward the head of the bed, causing a delicious rubbing friction as he slid against Ezra. The gambler’s aching shaft trailed down Chris’ chest and over his groin as he continued working his way under Ezra until they rested, aroused and panting, face to face.

Chris reached between their bodies, wrapping his fingers around the gambler’s aching shaft. “Give me your fire, Ezra,” he whispered, staring into the Southerner’s wide green eyes. “I need you deep inside, where only you have ever been.”

“Untie me?” Ezra whispered.

“Soon,” Chris shifted, pulling his knee back with one hand while the other held Ezra’s cock, guiding it to his waiting opening.

Ezra’s groan was echoed by Chris’ as the gambler pushed with a slow steady pressure into Chris’ tight passage.

“God, Ezra,” Chris gritted his teeth; wrapping his left leg around the Southerner’s back to pull him in closer.

Ezra sighed as he slid in the last few inches, tight sac coming to rest against Chris’ ass, his full length sheathed inside the gunslinger. “Chris, please, I want to touch you, to hold you,” Ezra pleaded.

Chris grinned. Sliding his hands from Ezra’s waist, up his sides, over ribs, along tautly stretched arms, he untied the rope binding the gambler’s wrists.

Chuckling, Ezra took immediate advantage of his freedom. Taking firm hold of his partner’s stubbled chin, Ezra brushed his lips across Chris’. Nibbling gently at the gunslinger’s lower lip, he traced soothing licks across the swollen lips, fighting a teasing duel with Chris’ questing tongue.

Sliding his hands lower, Ezra took Chris’ hips in a firm grip, initiating a slow, pumping rhythm.

Chris gasped, as each driving thrust scraped across his prostate, pushing him closer and closer to the edge. He could feel the tension in Ezra’s frame, the fine trembling beginning in the gambler’s limbs, the heavy panting breaths, all served to signal how close the gambler was getting to his own climax. With a grin, Chris pulled Ezra tight, clenching his ass around the gambler’s aching erection as he did so.

Ezra shouted his climax, shuddering as he thrust wildly into the gunslinger’s heat.

Chris arched, gasping, as Ezra’s climax triggered his own. Collapsing into a quivering, lethargic heap, Chris pulled the gambler close, wrapping Ezra in a tight embrace.

What could have been mere moments, or hours later, Chris shifted with a slight groan, smiling at the tender aching the small stretch produced. He smiled at Ezra’s lazy grin, brushing his fingers idly through the gambler’s chestnut locks.

“How do you feel?” he asked.

“Hmmmmm,” Ezra sighed, stretching, “marvellous,” he grinned.

“Good.” Chris smiled, a sharp, feral grin, “Now, Ezra, about your punishment,” Chris let his voice trail off, smiling at Ezra’s suddenly wide-eyed, open-mouthed expression.

“What?” The slightest edge of panic raised the Southerner’s voice a little, exaggerating his accent. “Chris, you already...”

“I’m sorry Ezra,” the gunslinger struggled to keep his expression sombre and earnest, “but you’ve left me no choice.”

“But you...”

“Punishment is something you suffer through Ezra, something unpleasant to be endured and remembered the next time temptation arises.” Chris let his hand slide around, smoothing it across the gambler’s still heated ass, “not something you enjoy,” he added at Ezra’s sharply indrawn breath.

“Chris, I stepped into the path of a bullet for you, without thought, I might add, as to the hazard to my own life and limb.”

“And you were ready to leave me...”

“Chris, no...”

“And take the money...”

“Chris, please,”

“I’m sorry Ezra,”

“No, please.”

“No cards Ezra. For two weeks.”

Ezra chuckled softly, “You, sir, are a hard man.”

Chris looked at the man in his arms. This scoundrel, this rogue who had dragged his worn, wounded soul back into the light, who’d brought the joy and the love back, this man who’s brightness had burned away the melancholy he’d used to shield his heart, layer by dark festering layer.

“Yes,” the gunslinger smiled, pressing his burgeoning erection against Ezra’s thigh, “I am.”

And Chris Larabee threw back his head, and laughed.


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© TimberWolf 2002