Disclaimer: The characters from The Magnificent 7 don't belong to me, they belong to MGM, Mirisch, and Trilogy. I'm not making any money off them.

Rating/Pairing: NC-17 for explicit m/m sex; C/V

Notes: Thanks so much to my wonderful betas: Tarlan, Kap, and Raquel (Gracias :) Please excuse the lack of accent marks in the Spanish text. I'm not sure how to add them so they don't get messed up in e-mail. Feedback is always appreciated, to sammie323@aol.com.

by Stacie

The cantina was called Puerta del Cielo, and it was located on the edge of a forgotten town called Barranco Rojo, hidden in the Magdalena Mountains. The owner of the cantina was a former bandido who would sell his own mother, and had already sold his daughter. Vin Tanner knew all about him, and several of the other men slumped in chairs, staring at half-empty glasses of cheap beer. His own companion wasn't much more company. Chris Larabee hadn't spoken since...Vin tried to remember. Day before, just after breakfast, when he'd asked if they'd catch Morales before he hit the mountains.

"Hope so," Vin had replied. "Not too late to turn back."

Chris had only glared at him, then spurred his horse.

Now they were only a few hours behind the bandido, and Morales was wounded. He tried to steal a horse from a farmer after his had gone lame. He'd gotten the horse, and a bullet in the thigh as well, but they weren't going to catch him before he made it to the mountains. They'd decided to stop at Barranco Rojo to stock up on whatever supplies they could, and to rest before the trek into the heights.

Morales had stumbled into their town a week before, and then had ridden out on a stolen horse--after killing a bartender, wounding Ezra, robbing Mrs. Potter, and trying to kidnap her 10-year-old daughter. Before Morales's rampage, the town had been quiet, and despite their appearance of calm bordering on boredom, the seven peacekeepers were all itching for action. They had all wanted to hunt down the bandido, but Chris said only he and Buck would go, drawing a grin from the ladies' man and silence from Vin. The tracker had waited until the grumbling group had dispersed before falling in step beside Chris on his way to the livery.

"There a reason I ain't goin'?" he asked.

"You ain't over that spell of flu. Nathan said so."

Vin stared at his friend. "I'm fine," he said.

"It'll be a hard ride."

"I won't slow ya down. Besides, neither of you can track a Mexican down into Mexico."

Chris looked to be thinking it over. "Suit yourself," he said. "We leave in an hour."

But Buck's horse had twisted a hoof before they'd gone 10 miles, and he'd climbed off to walk the animal back to town. His curses could be heard for miles after.

"Old Bucklin might shoot that horse of his," Vin said as they continued on.

"Walk'll cool him off," Chris replied, then retreated into silence. Vin had shrugged and concentrated on tracking Morales, shutting out the feeling that something was going on with Chris that he should know about.

In the cantina, the heat covered patrons like they were dipped in oil. Even the bartender snoozed on a stool, pointing listlessly to a bottle when Chris asked for tequila.

Chris brought the bottle back to the table where Vin leaned back in a wobbly chair. He accepted a glass from the gunslinger gratefully, the burn of the liquor refreshing in the heat. It was too early to fight the warmth of the room they'd rented. The cantina wasn't much better, but at least they had decent tequila. Vin pushed his glass back for a refill, pausing as he saw movement from the bar.

A skinny whore, past her prime, slowly sauntered towards them, eyeing the tequila rather than the two men. Chris slid a refilled glass to Vin as she neared, and he swallowed it quickly. Before he put the glass back, she was at the table, draped over him, reaching for the glass to finish the drops he'd left. She eyed the bottle, then her eyes drifted to him. They were unfocused and red, and he could smell the burrito she'd eaten earlier on her breath. She moved his hand to her breast, heavy under the thin material of her blouse, and finally her eyes found his.

"You want?" she asked.

Vin looked over at Chris. The gunslinger's expression didn't change as he poured himself another drink.

"No thanks," Vin said, gently pushing her away. She stumbled dramatically, then stepped toward Chris. He looked at her sharply, and the glare was warning enough for her to stay away.

"Maybe you like him better," the whore said to Vin.

He grinned slightly, glancing at Chris. "Are those my only two choices?" he asked.

"Only if your hand is broke," Chris said, finishing his glass. Then he stood, grabbed the rest of the bottle, and left the cantina.

"Puto tacano," said the whore.

"Ain't the half of it," Vin said, sliding her a coin before following Chris to the hotel.

The room was sparse--one bed, a rickety table with a kerosene lamp, and a bucket in the corner.

"Indoor plumbing," Vin said as he followed Chris into the room. There were no other available rooms, so they had to share. Vin carried a cedar pillow that was flat as a felt-covered poker table, and extra blankets, supplied by the senorita who rented the rooms. He tossed the blankets and pillow on the floor.

"Flip ya for it," he said, gesturing towards the bed. Chris shrugged. Vin pulled out a silver dollar and tossed it in the air.

Chris called heads before Vin caught it. He looked at it-tails-before sliding it back in his pocket. "You win," he said, leaning against the wall. Chris tossed his saddlebag on the foot of the bed and sat down on the thin blanket. The bed creaked.

"Floor might be safer," Vin said. Chris didn't answer, instead leaning back against the headboard and lighting a cheroot.

"Ain't nearly sleepy," Vin said. "Feel up to some cards?"

Chris shook his head, exhaling a thin column of smoke. Vin wished the room had a window. The heat, smoke, and Larabee's silence were making the small room unbearable.

"Somethin' wrong?" he asked finally.

Chris glanced at him, seemingly surprised by the question. "Nope," he answered. "Why?"

"You ain't said two words since we left town."

Chris took another drag on his cheroot. "Nice weather we're having," he said.

Vin shook his head. "Suit yerself," he said. He checked the bullets in his gun then headed for the door. "I'll be in the cantina."

As he closed the door, he heard Chris's soft, "Watch yer back."

Night had fallen as Vin left the room and headed out into the empty street, the heat and the danger of darkness keeping people behind locked doors. Most people, anyway.

Vin walked slowly down the alley behind the cantina. The alley was nearly pitch black. Vin stopped as he heard soft footfalls enter the alley with him. He could only see a shadow, the outline of a man wearing a sombrero low over his face.

"Diez pesos," the man said in a low whisper.

Vin backed against the wall, pulling the silver dollar from his pocket. "Don't suppose ya got change?" he asked. The man didn't answer, but rushed towards him, grabbing the money quickly. He was shorter than Vin, and bulky. Other than that, Vin didn't look too closely. The Mexican knelt before him, surreptitiously patting Vin's pockets to check for more money. Vin grinned. "You took it all," he said, knowing the man wouldn't understand him anyway.

He closed his eyes and leaned back as the man undid his trousers and loosely fondled his cock. Every town he'd ever been in had a dark alley like this, an unspoken secret where the nameless and faceless met for a few hurried minutes of empty pleasure. Vin had never really utilized the dark alleys before he saw Chris Larabee gazing at him from across a dusty street. That gaze hadn't held what he'd hoped at the time, but Vin didn't mind. Chris had come to be more important to him as a friend and comrade, even when he did act pissier than a burro with a stick up its ass.

And it was Chris's image that appeared before his closed eyes as the Mexican took his cock into his mouth and expertly began sucking. Vin was silent and still as he was serviced, his only comfort to slowly run his thumb along the skin just under the waistband of his pants as his hand rested on his gun belt; he still had to be alert for those looking to rob, lynch, or collect a bounty. His eyes opened quickly as he thought he heard a match strike to his right, but no flare showed in the darkness. He turned for a closer look, but just then the Mexican found the sensitive spot just under his foreskin, and Vin pressed his head back on the cold wall to keep from crying out as he came suddenly, a quick jolt of pleasure that emptied just as quickly. The Mexican spit his cum into the dirt at his feet, then hurried away, leaving Vin panting in the cool air, wondering yet again what the hell he was doing paying somebody to suck him off in an alley, and how many more times he'd have to do it before the itch named Chris Larabee was scratched.

Vin heard another footstep enter the alley, but he couldn't see the person's shape. "Be outta yer way in a second," he said, turning back to the wall. He tucked himself back into his pants and began to redo the buttons when he was hit by a silent force and shoved flat against the cold gravel of the wall by a forearm on his neck. His right arm was twisted behind him and he grunted as his muscles were stretched and the rocks in the wall scratched his face. His other hand was caught between his chest and the wall. He was stuck, hit from behind and caught completely off-guard. Stupid, stupid, stupid, he berated himself. He'd even known somebody was there and he turned his back, because he'd sensed no threat. He must be getting soft. Being that stupid, he figured he deserved to get caught.

"Ain't got any money," he said as best he could with his cheek mashed to the wall. The arm pressed to his neck loosened and then snaked around his waist. Vin took the opportunity to push backwards against the weight holding him, but was met with unmovable solid muscle, and his arm was twisted further. He pressed his lips together to keep from crying out and stopped moving, panting as he waited for another opportunity to break free. The hand continued moving, across his pockets.

"Told ya, no money," he said. The hand moved further, to the half-done buttons of his pants, pulling one undone. "Sure as hell ain't no money there," Vin said, a small kick of fear churning in his stomach. "What are ya after?" He got his answer as more buttons were undone on his pants, and his fears were confirmed when he felt the man's hips pressed against him and an unmistakable hard column of flesh against his ass. He thought about crying out, hoping Chris was near enough to come running, but as soon as the thought entered his head, the grip on his arm tightened, warning him against any more foolish ideas.

Vin braced as the man's hand dipped into his pants, the touch gentle but firm as his cock was drawn out and the foreskin lightly pulled back.

"Don't know that I can go again so quick," he said, closing his eyes to fight the lure of the gentle stroke on his shaft, not wanting to give the bastard any satisfaction. For some reason Chris popped into his mind, but that was a mistake. His cock twitched at the image of the lean gunslinger pressed up against him, his callused touch on his shaft. He didn't want to sully Chris by thinking of him during this, so he cleared his head, trying to wilt his now hard cock, but failing.

Behind him the man's breath quickened, tickling his neck. The gentle touch moved lower, to his still tender balls, fondling and squeezing the slowly filling sacs. Vin tensed as he hardened completely, now in need of release instead of fighting it. He realized this was little different than the encounter earlier with the Mexican, except he wasn't paying for it-a nameless, faceless man getting him off in an alley. His straight spine relaxed, curving into the shape of the man behind him, spreading his legs so the man could press against him and reach deeper into his loose pants to flick a finger against his hole. As the man's hand finally moved back to his weeping shaft, Vin moved his hips with the rhythm, the man's grip the perfect balance of friction and pressure, counterbalanced by the thrill and danger of being outside, the lure of not having any control over his actions or reactions, the cool of the evening taunting his exposed skin where the man's hand wasn't and the twinge of pain as the man held his arm still twisted against his back. The stroking increased to a frantic pace and Vin grunted as he came, his seed exploding against the wall as he kept thrusting to continue to connection between him and the shadow behind him. For the first time ever he wanted to know a name, wanted to gaze at the face of the one who had pleasured him.

He leaned his head back to rest against the shoulder behind him. He felt a feather-light pressure of lips against the tender exposed skin of his neck and the tickle of soft hair brush against his jaw, but in the darkness he could see nothing but the outline of a head and an arm; all else was shadows.

They stayed that way for a few moments that seemed to Vin like an eternity. Finally he raised his head and said, "You gonna fuck me or not?"

The man behind him stiffened and held his breath, and Vin realized he'd said the one thing to scare the man off, a millisecond before the hand was removed and he was shoved roughly to the ground face first. He scrambled back to his feet, hurrying to the main street where the man had to have run, but the street was empty.

"Damn," he said, straightening his clothes and walking back to the alley. He lit a match, searching the ground for the man's footprints but it was too dark and the dirt too hard.

He hurried back to the room, slamming open the door as he walked back in, frustrated at his own stupidity, both for getting surprised and for losing control. And for having hopeless hopes about the nameless man. He stalked to the pile of blankets on the floor, kicking the useless pillow out of the way before sinking to the floor and pulling off his boots. He didn't look at Chris.

"What happened to your face?" the gunslinger asked, and Vin finally glanced over to see the parts of Chris's rifle spread on the bed and a cleaning rag in his hand.

"Nothin'," Vin answered.

"Don't look like nothing," Chris said.

Vin tossed his boots in the corner. "None of yer goddamn business then," he said.

Chris looked at him but didn't reply. Vin covered himself in the course blanket, turning away from Chris to the wall. "Any time you feel like turning off the light is fine by me," he said.

He heard Chris reassemble the rifle and step out of his clothing, then the light went out. "Night, Vin," Chris said. Vin didn't answer, and didn't sleep either.

The trail up into the mountains was narrow, hardly a trail at all; more like the absence of boulders. Both men were alert for any sound. Vin stared at the ground as they climbed slowly up the ancient path, looking for the telltale signs of recent travel.

He held up his hand, signaling Chris behind him to stop, then climbed silently off his horse, kneeling in the dirt to check an imprint.

Chris watched him as he worked, as always amazed and envious of Vin in his element, learning more from upturned rocks and broken branches than he ever tried to from people, a sentiment Chris shared. They'd both found it easier to let guns do most of their talking, but not by actually firing them. The quiet confidence that came from knowing you hit what you aimed at scared off more folks than actual bullets.

Vin's nimble fingers sifted through the dirt. Chris rested his hands on his pommel as he watched the graceful motion.

Vin's intense gaze diverted from the main path and landed on a smaller one off to the side. He stood quickly and followed the side path, disappearing behind brush and tumbleweed, his earth-colored clothes blending him in like a lizard. Chris blinked, and if he weren't staring at the back of the man's horse, he'd question whether Vin Tanner was with him at all.

He shouldn't be. Chris had tried to dissuade him from coming, or at least have Buck as a talkative buffer between them, but neither plan had worked out. Vin was here, alone with him, and that knowledge warred inside him, causing a calm he treasured and a rebellion he fostered. After nearly two years, Vin's presence was like his Colt, practically a part of his anatomy. Chris valued the tracker's quick wit, his steady nerves, and his understanding of quiet. Just when Chris had given up hope of ever looking forward to another day, in stepped Vin, and together they'd found a purpose to their talents and temperaments.

But somewhere that purpose had turned into reliance, to a need he wasn't about to think about. He'd known love. He'd had a wife he'd loved more than life, and whatever it was he felt for Vin wasn't the same as what he'd felt for Sarah. It was intense, powerful, but calm too. What he'd had with Sarah was sunlight, life-giving and bright. With Ella Gaines, it had been lightning, quick and destructive. With Vin, he could only compare it to fire, like a campfire that soothes on a cold night but one spark can destroy a forest. That was why he pushed Vin away, because Chris was not going to have his soul burned away again.

He'd told himself that the whole ride after Morales, and he'd told himself that last night after Vin had left the room, but the lure had been too much, and he'd followed Vin to the alley. Seeing Vin pay that Mexican to suck him off had angered and saddened him, even though he understood what Vin was doing. The look on the sharpshooter's face when he came was over too quick. Before he could stop himself, he'd pushed Vin into the wall, touching him as much as he dared, nameless and faceless in an alley far from home. It was cowardly, and a mistake. He'd known that at the time, but he thought he'd have the control to handle it. Until Vin had asked if he was going to fuck him; then all of his control shattered like glass. He'd never get that breathy question out of his head if he lived to be 100 and fucked every talented whore east of the Mississippi. Then the desire was replaced by anger. Vin didn't know who he was and didn't care. Lastly he'd felt sadness, at the corner he'd backed himself into, pinned in by pride and fear and his own warring emotions.

A slight rustle signaled Vin's return. He walked toward Chris's horse, nodding his head toward the path. He rested his hand on the horse's neck, slightly stroking the tired animal, the other hand on his mare's leg. Chris leaned down closer to him, the brims of their hats nearly touching.

"Found a lot of blood," Vin said quietly, his eyes hidden by the shadows of his hat. "Looks like he fell off his horse. But he's still goin', stubborn cuss."

"Then we keep following," Chris said.

"There's somethin' else. He might not be alone."

Chris looked around. "How many?"

"Only one other horse, but travelin' light. Maybe a pack horse."

"He didn't have time to get supplies," Chris said.

Vin shrugged. "Maybe I'm wrong, but we'd best be on the lookout."

Chris nodded and sat up. "Should we split up?"

Vin thought it over, then shook his head. "Safer together. Slow as he's goin', we should catch him before dark."

He walked back and climbed on his horse, and led the way up the narrow side trail.

They found two horses near dusk, wandering in the scrubs of the trails, and two sets of footprints. They weren't even trying to hide their path anymore. One set was large and the right foot was rimmed with red where blood was leaking down the leg. The second set was close to the first, small and barefoot.

"A kid?" Chris asked.

"Looks like it, or a small woman," Vin answered.

"Shit," Chris said.

"Yep." Vin led his horse to some dry grass, chasing the wandering horses away.

"Do we wait until tomorrow?" Chris asked.

"We got enough water, but not for..." The rest of Vin's words were cut off by a low wail coming from down the trail. Both men had their guns drawn and aimed in a second, trying to identify the sound.

"Sounds like Morales is dead," Chris said.

"Yep," Vin repeated. He glanced at the gunslinger. "Wanna check?"

Chris nodded and wordlessly grabbed his reins, leading his horse toward the tormented cries. Vin followed with his horse, still on edge.

As they drew closer, the wails took on the sound of words, and the two could hear "Papa, Papa, Papa." A small boy, nearly naked, dirty, black hair to his shoulders, knelt in the dirt beside the bloody huddle of Morales, who wasn't moving. The boy clutched his father's clothes, shaking him to try and awaken him, but the lifeless body barely moved.

Chris climbed off his horse, approaching the boy with his hands palms up. He knelt before him, not speaking, removing his hat and flicking away some of the flies that already swarmed to the blood. For minutes the boy continued crying, then his wails lessened to sniffles, and finally he looked at Chris.

"Gringo," the boy said.

"Name's Chris. What's your name?"

The boy eyed him warily. "Pedro," he replied.

"Pedro, we need to take you and your father's body back to town. It's not safe here."

The boy didn't understand him, that was obvious. Vin's Spanish was better than his, so Chris started to stand and motion Vin over, when Pedro drew his father's gun from beneath his body and pointed it at Chris's chest.

"Mata al gringo. Papa me dijo," he said, cocking the gun.

There was a loud click behind them as Vin pumped his mare's leg, but Pedro didn't move. Chris held up his hand.

"Tell him we'll bury his father," Chris said to Vin, his eyes locked on the hate-filled ones of the boy before him.

"Come again?" Vin asked.

"Tell him we'll bury his father before the vultures get him."

Vin hesitated, then said, "Enterraremos a tu padre para que los buitres no se lo coman."

Pedro's gaze faltered for a second. Chris could have grabbed the gun, but he didn't. There was one of two roads the boy could take-the hate-filled one of his father, or Chris's road, where you do what's right and deal with what life deals you, and then bury the dead. The boy's hand still clutched the gun, his finger trembling on the trigger, and for a second Chris thought he was going to end up killed by a 12-year-old, but then Pedro's eyes dropped back to his father. The gun fell to his side and he nodded, his shoulders slumped.

"Buitres," he muttered.

Vin found a soft bit of ground under the lip of a cave, and they dug all night, using their hands and coffee mugs in the absence of shovels, stopping only briefly for water and jerky and the occasional howl of a coyote that caused Pedro's eyes to widen. Chris rested a hand on his shoulder until the boy relaxed, then they continued digging.

Finally they had a hole deep enough that animals couldn't dig him out. They lifted the heavy stiff corpse into the hole, and Vin and Chris backed away while Pedro knelt before the cavity.

"Not what I figured on doin' with Morales's body," Vin said quietly, biting off the edge of jerky.

"Boy's father deserves a decent burial," Chris said.

"Boy's father is a cold-blooded murderer with a price on his head."

Chris paused. "Not to him," he said, then walked back to the hole. Vin watched as Pedro tossed the gun into the grave, then the two began refilling the hole. Vin wasn't sure he'd ever understand Larabee justice. The man saw right and wrong as clear as black and white, as simply as you don't shoot nobody in the back, and as compassionately as burying a boy's murdering excuse for a pa. That was what made Chris Larabee respected and feared, and what made Vin vow to follow him wherever he led, watching his back, even if it meant spending the rest of his life alone. They were like wolves, in a pack, who protected each other even though they fought among themselves. Another thing about wolves, they mated for life. Vin shook his head at his thoughts as he finished the jerky and walked back to the grave to help finish burying Morales.

By sunrise they were done, Morales buried under six feet of hard-packed earth and a tiny makeshift cross Pedro had forged from two sticks and some twine. They packed up the horses as Pedro stared at the tiny cross, tears running down the dirt caked on his face.

"Tell him we'll take him home," Chris said. Vin translated, and Pedro again looked at Chris with hate in his eyes.

"Gringo," he spat, and if he still had his father's gun neither of them doubted he would have shot Chris through the heart. Instead, he turned and sprinted up the path, disappearing into the cliffs.

Chris started to follow, but Vin held his arm. "Let him go," he said. "There's nothing more you can do."

Chris sighed and climbed wearily onto his horse. "I think I could sleep for a week," he said, nudging his horse.

"Heard that," Vin replied. They made slow progress down the mountain, not speaking and too tired to think.

They returned to town at dusk, bypassing food and bath for bed. The room was the same. Vin lay on the floor in the same spot, still wearing his boots.

"You sure you don't want the bed this time?" Chris asked. His only response was a light snore. He smiled at the tracker curled on the floor, hidden under a tangle of hair, then sighed. The longing was back, and he was too tired to rationalize it. He finally understood why Vin visited those dark alleys, although he doubted it was he Vin thought of in place of the stranger.

He glanced at the bed, every nerve in his body longing to lie down, but he knew sleep wouldn't come. Instead, he took the blanket from the bed and covered Vin, then stole out of the room, down into the cantina for some whiskey to drown the war raging in his heart.

Vin awoke with a start. The room was dark, but he knew he was alone. His eyes drooped back closed, but he fought the exhaustion and pushed himself off the floor, wobbling a bit and rubbing his eyes.

"Can't do nothin' the easy way, can ya Larabee?" he muttered as he left the room to hunt for Chris.

The gunslinger wasn't in the cantina, or the livery, and the madam hadn't seen him with any of the girls. She also said the town had been quiet, and Vin didn't get a sense of trouble, but still Chris was nowhere to be found. He decided to wait back in the room, and walked out past the cantina, when a shadow ducked into the alley behind. Vin paused. It was going to be a long ride back, especially if Chris closed up again after the scene with Pedro. He checked his pocket and drew out his last coin. He turned the dull metal over in his hand, then headed for the alley, saddened that this was where he'd ended up.

He leaned back against the same cold wall. Soon the Mexican appeared and started to walk towards him, but was stopped by an arm from the shadows. Again, Vin didn't even know anyone was there.

"Vamanos," the man in the shadows told the Mexican, and he scurried off. Soft footsteps approached, and Vin peered under the black hat.

"Chris?" he whispered. Chris stood in front of him, then took the coin from his hand and pushed his hat off his head. The sliver of the moon threaded through his light hair, and even in the shadows Vin could feel the intensity of his gaze.

"Undo your pants," Chris said.

Despite his shock, Vin's fingers hurried to undo the buttons. "You done this before, cowboy?" Vin asked.

Chris shrugged in the shadows. "How hard can it be?"

"Never pictured ya on yer knees."

Chris leaned closer, the moonlight revealing his grin. "I give as good as I get," he said, then pushed Vin back against the wall and knelt before him, taking his soft cock into his mouth and sucking him in. Vin gasped as he felt Chris's tongue swirl around his head, then his cock was engulfed in the warm mouth, lightly nipped by teeth but eased by his soft tongue. Chris grabbed his balls with one hand, lightly squeezing and tugging, and moved the other hand to the rod of his shaft, pumping, fondling, and sucking him all at once. Vin groaned as he was overwhelmed by all the sensations. He'd never had a blow job this good before. He felt the pressure building and tried to warn Chris, but only managed a low cry before he came. The muscles of Chris's throat tightened as he swallowed, and Vin spurted some more into the willing mouth, then fell back against the wall, spent. Chris stood slowly, wiping his mouth.

"So ya swallow too?" Vin said.

"Yep," Chris said.

"I ain't never been sucked off like that before."

"Then you've been wasting your money," Chris said. He looked down to brush the dirt off his knees, when he was grabbed and pushed into the wall, Vin's forearm on his neck and his arm twisted behind him.

"Payback's a bitch," Vin said. Vin's hand moved from his neck to the bulge in the front of Chris' tight pants. "You want me to give as good as I got?" he asked.

"Only if you want to. Ain't why I did it," Chris answered, and realized it was true. He'd waited in the shadows, telling himself he was going to visit the Mexican too, but he knew he'd been waiting and hoping for Vin. When the sharpshooter had shown up, looking like he wanted to be somewhere else, all Chris had wanted was to show him what real pleasure was, not just from a talented nameless mouth, but from a friend, someone you cared about and who cared about you. He still didn't know if this was what Vin wanted, or if that's what he got out of it. If he hadn't, then they were both better off walking away and forgetting it ever happened.

Vin loosened his grip and turned Chris around to face him. "That ain't what I want to do," he said. Chris nodded and started to push away from the wall, but Vin held him still. "You gonna ask me what I do want?"

"What do you want?"

Vin leaned closer, so his lips almost tickled Chris's ear. "You gonna fuck me or not?"

Chris sucked in his breath at the question, the same jolt shooting straight to his cock. He nodded, then stepped behind Vin, who turned to face the wall, and slowly pulled down the tracker's suspenders and eased his pants down around his slender hips. Vin's cock was already hard again, and he slowly stroked it as Chris undid his own pants, then pressed against Vin's warm body, running his hands across his hips, thighs, and ass, tracing taut muscles. He reached for Vin's cock, their enjoined hands stroking him together until drops of precum pearled on the tip. Chris gathered the drops on his fingers then moved his hand to Vin's tight puckered hole, tracing the pulsing barrier before sliding one slick finger inside. Vin tensed, and Chris pulled him close, touching him everywhere he could, lips against his warm neck.

When the barrier loosened, Chris opened him more, wanting to be inside him so bad he gritted his teeth. When Vin was ready, he pulled away, lining up his cock against Vin's hole and guiding himself inside, the hot tight channel making him softly moan as he slowly slid in. God, he'd never felt anything so good. Vin pressed back against him and he began moving, filling his friend as far as he could, wanting every inch buried in that ecstasy.

Vin braced his arms against the wall as Chris pulled his hips back, his cock swelling inside him as he thrust. The slow burn of being stretched disappeared as all his insides were stroked. He moaned "Chris," as the gunslinger nudged his prostate. Chris's thrusts quickened and Vin moved his hips to the same rhythm, his hands digging into the wall, his tender swollen balls slapping against his thighs as Chris rode him harder. When Chris reached around to again stroke his shaft, Vin felt himself slipping away, until all that existed was the intertwined creation of him and Chris, one ending where the other began. He wanted it to go on forever, this feeling of pure pleasure, but they kept going higher and higher, pleasure more and more intense, until Vin couldn't stand it. He came with muffled groans that continued until Chris came inside him, warmth coating his insides as he came back down to earth.

Chris fell against him, wrapping him tightly in his arms and placing warm slow kisses on the pulse in his neck. Vin couldn't believe all they'd been missing; all this time he'd sought out strangers, he could have had this.

"You coulda said something before," Vin said to Chris.

Chris paused. "So could you."

Vin turned his head to look at him, and leaned into the taste of warmth on his lips, when footsteps and voices came from the cantina. They both froze, then Chris pulled away and they hurriedly dressed. The scrawny whore from earlier escorted a stumbling drunk past them, where they waited in the shadows. After she walked past, they stepped out of the shadows back towards the hotel.

"We got a long ride ahead of us," Vin said. The hotel was empty. Even the low light seemed bright after the dark of the alley. Chris dug they key to their room out of his pocket. "Be even longer if we go around Socorro."

Chris looked at him, at the fading red marks on his neck, the sweaty tousled hair, the misdone buttons. He knew he probably looked the same-rode hard and put away wet. The thought made him smile. He wasn't anxious to get back either. "You think you could maybe get us lost on the way back?" he asked.

Vin smiled back, amazed at how Chris's smile made him feel. "Not even if I was blindfolded."

Chris stepped closer, lowering his voice. "Shame," he said. "Man can do a lot of interesting things blindfolded." He stepped back and unlocked the door, entering the room. Vin followed, knowing he wasn't going to be sleeping on the floor.


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