DISCLAIMER: Don't own the boys, wish I did, but I'll take comfort in knowing they have each other. No money being made.


WARNINGS: Harsh language

NOTES/COMMENTS: Vin's POV. A bit emotional, trying hard to hold true to the guys'personalities, but when love steps in, the walls come down. Not beta'd.

SUMMARY: Vin contemplates his relationship with Chris, wondering if it's more than just physical connection either of them are truly needing.

To Hear The Words
by Heart Quest

It ain't easy. The passion inside both of us is gonna end up ruinin' us. I sit up and look down at his sleepin' face and I want him again. Damn, but he gets me all twisted up inside, like I'm some sort of tornado whippin' across the plains. My heart aches for the wantin'. Is this all we are? Just a roll in the sheets and off to livin' life in the shadows? Walkin' next to each other and we can't even say the words. Not like they needs to be said, but sometimes...I just wonder what they sound like? Just once I want to hear the words from someone I know means 'em. 'I love ya', Cowboy'. I could say 'em, mean 'em, too, but will that cheapen what we have? Will that make it less of what we are to each other? 'We know'.... 'We don't have to speak'. 'We talk with the touchin'.' I sigh. "Got's to mean more." I don't even realize I spoke out until I feel his hand brush up and down my arm. "Say somethin', Vin?"

I look at him and try to smile but the effort is lost. He sits up and faces me, concern in his eyes. "You all right?"

I look down. I can't do this. It's stupid. I'm stupid for even doubtin' what we have. My voice closes up. I couldn't say anythin' now if he pleaded with me.

His arms slowly wrap around me. His hands brush up and down my back, soothin', so damn comfortin'. What am I needin'? What is it he's givin' me that I crave so bad? The sex is good, hell, better than good, better than just a casual fuck to ease the urge. It's passion, but is there nothin' more? Hell, we just had a wonderful night of joinin' and I'm all fuckin' depressed. What the hell is wrong with me?

Chris is tightenin' his hold. "I'm here, Pard," he whispers. I'm a fool to think he'd ever say the words. He don't talk like that...did he to Sarah? Did he say them to her? Course he did...it's what a man and woman say to each other. But I'm a man...he's a man. God, is he a man! Shit, Tanner, get a fuckin' grip. You ain't never been so damn prissy your entire life. Why is now such a fuckin' difference?

It's a fuckin' difference because he almost got killed. That bullet last month durin' that shootout with those wranglers. One inch, Nathan had said. One inch between livin' and dyin' and I wouldn't be sittin' here next to him, bein' in his arms. He'd be six feet under. Before I realize what I'm doin' I'm tracing the scar near his heart. It's healed real good, but I can't get that image out of my mind. Him layin' there and passin' out in my arms. His blood coverin' my hand.

He pulls away and looks down at me, at my fingers tracin' the healing wound. I must look somethin' awful, cause his fingers are running down my face. "Scared?" he asks and his voice is so full of understandin'.

I don't bother to hide. I wrap my arms around him and hold him close. "Shit, Chris," I whisper and I surprise myself at the emotion seepin' out.

He sighs and lowers his head to mine, holdin' me tight. "So that's it," he tells me. "It just hit you, didn't it?" It ain't really a question.

I tighten my hold to answer him.

He tightens his hold even more. "I got ya'," he assures. "Not goin' anywhere soon, Cowboy."

I can't speak. I feel the tightenin' in my chest, the tears burnin' my eyes. I shut them. Damn! Don't cry in front of him! He don't need to see your damn weakness!

"It's all right, Vin. Let it out."

He knows. Damn! He always knows. Reckon that's why I can love him so damn much it hurts me to think about it.

"Been too long, Vin, too long to hold all that pain inside you. The tears stay with me and I ain't gonna tell a soul."

"I..." I start and can't go on, as the tears pour out of me. Never sobbed so damn hard in my life. Never.

I feel his lips on my temple. His kiss is lingerin'. He ain't pullin' away. There's no hurry to his movements. No passionate desire. Just...love. Ain't never had this, least ways not in years. "You hide it well, Vin," he says softly. "Damn walls are so strong, almost can't see into your soul sometimes."

"Want you...to see," I manage to get out between the sobs. "Ain't had no one who means enough...to let them...see."

He reaches up behind me and pulls my hair away from my neck. I feel him bury his face there and kiss me. "God, Vin...I love you."

My breath catches. "You...said them."

"Got a reason to, now, Cowboy. Don't need to hear you say them, though."

I close my eyes as he continues to kiss me and I hold him close. "Love ya', too," I whisper. I doubt we'll ever say those words again, but this time...this time they needed to be said. And if I never hear them from his lips again...once was enough.


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