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Author's Voice of Warning (aka Author's Note): English is not my first language; it's German. This is the best I can do. Any mistakes you find in here, collect them and you might win a prize. The spell-checker said everything's okay, but you know how trustworthy those thingies are.....
Background: Chris and Ezra are shape shifters, and a bond forms between them. Ezra becomes the last member of Chris' team in law enforcement.
Link to the official Boarderlines site: http://home.arcor.de/larabee/mag7/m7slfic.html
Chris stared at his reflection, scowling. The Glare intensified and was fixed on a particular spot. When had that happened? When had it slipped by him and settled there? Why hadn't he discovered it before?
Lowering his head he splashed water into his face, then toweled himself off. He had just shaved and showered, but it didn't play over the fact of his discovery, nor did it anything to quell the rising worries. Hazel eyes raked over his skin, taking in the scars on his upper body. Knives and guns, mostly. One burn, a small scar on his shoulder. His eyes were drawn over to the latest addition, a slash mark that crossed over his ribs. Another knife. The criminal elements seemed to prefer them to the bolt guns whenever they were getting close to an Agent. It had bled a lot, saturating his shirt, ruining another uniform jacket, but it hadn't gone deep enough to nick the bone. Nathan had applied 'med glue', as they called it. He would be okay within a few days and the stitches had come out yesterday.
Chris sighed and touched one of the bolt scars, tracing the white that stood out against his tanned skin. A display of how many times he had come near death, a map of his close encounters.
And now this.
He raised a hand and touched his hair, almost as if trying to feel the difference.
Shit, he was getting old.
He would have laughed about it, but with the thought something else rose. It wasn't just the age or the many wounds he had suffered in his chosen profession. Chris had known the dangers of being an Agent, he had accepted them. Sarah had accepted them when they had married. He had done everything to alleviate her fears, he had tried to be there, show her how much he loved her. He had cared for his family, so that if the worst happened, they would be taken care of. But Sarah had died before him, with their son Adam. The pain had been incredible, but he had survived.
Just to find someone else. A very unlikely someone. In a very unlikely way. He had found a soul partner, someone who was Bonded to him, who was a missing piece of Chris Larabee himself, whose life was intricately interwoven with his. Someone who suffered with him when he was injured. Not just emotionally, but physically as well.
Chris sighed explosively. That was where the problem lay. It was where the vicious circle resided. Ezra Standish wasn't just a part of his life. He wasn't just a team member. Not just his lover. Ezra was part of him. He felt his pain when he was hurt.
And he would die if Chris died.
He felt a tremor race through him. Chris couldn't really handle this. He had tried not to think about it, had tried to banish it from his mind, but it had come back when the smuggler they had been after had first knocked out Vin and then nearly stabbed Chris. Damnit, it had been close! Ezra had felt the pain, despite the partial shields, and Chris had seen the pale, drawn features of his partner when the rest of the team had finally made it to where Chris knelt next to an unconscious Vin Tanner, bleeding, close to blacking out.
Chris wasn't afraid of dying. He had faced death a thousand times, had even wished for it after his family's death. But now... now he would pull Ezra with him.
Chris, who was older.
Ezra, who was younger.
He bit his lower lip as that ugly demon raised its head. Heck, that was another problem he had been chewing on lately. Ezra was nearly ten years his junior. He had his life still ahead of him, but Chris would pull him down with him. He would destroy him.
Or maybe his lover would one day finally realize what he had gotten in this deal. An old man. Scarred from life. Someone who had a temper that would surface after endless, pointless meetings or when faced with incompetence.
Chris turned away from the mirror and walked into his bedroom, dressing almost on automatic, evading the mirror.
Ezra was younger, damned handsome, smart.... He could have anyone. He had Chris.
<And it's not like I want someone else> a voice whispered through his mind.
Chris whirled around, eyes wide, cursing the Bond. Shit, he had let the shields go down! Even the small fraction of a second had been enough for his partner to get an idea of what was going on in his mind. Now Ezra stood in the doorway of the bedroom, green eyes capturing and holding his.
Those damn green eyes. They could be so expressive, so deep. A window into the other soul.
<Chris, I didn't make a 'bad deal'> Ezra pressed on. <I didn't make any kind of deal>
Standish raised a hand and silenced him. <Let me speak. If anything, I forced the Bond onto you. I'm the one who is Borderline, who has latent empathic abilities. I was the one who triggered you. I pulled you in and you had to accept because I was the only one you could talk to when we met. As for the later development.... I wanted it, Chris. I wanted you> <Because of the Bond. We wouldn't have become this close, lovers, otherwise> Larabee argued.
<True. We might have become friends. Grudgingly.... yes. With a lot of fighting and scathing arguments>
Ezra walked closer and Chris remained rooted to the spot, the t-shirt he had been about to pull on hanging forgotten in his hand.
<I'll never want someone else, Commander Larabee, because we are soul partners. We share something so deep, no one will ever be able to give it to us but the other half>
Chris swallowed at the expression in those fascinating eyes.
<And to hell with the age difference> Ezra growled.
<Ez, please.... If... if something happens to me, it would destroy your life!> Chris argued.
<Because part of my soul would be dead then. No one will ever be able to replace you, Chris. I'd gladly accept death if it meant escaping a dark life without you, if it meant not feeling the coldness of a severed link> Ezra stopped, gazing up into the dark eyes. <We are one> Larabee tore his eyes away from the serious face. He couldn't really come to terms with it, but he had known it since the day Nathan had confirmed that this connection was tighter than anything he had ever seen in his career.
A finger tracing the outline of one scar startled him back to Ezra's close presence.
"You're not old," Ezra whispered out loud, voice dipping. "You are Chris. Just Chris. Part of me. And sometimes a mean, old grouch."
Chris glared at him and Ezra chuckled. Those gentle fingertips wandered to the next scar.
"And these are reminders for me."
Chris sent puzzlement and Ezra smiled.
"Of how lucky I am you are here with me. Of how many chances you were given to survive till the day we met." The fingers stilled. "You don't know what you did for me, Chris. You... saved me. My life. My soul. I was given a second chance."
Chris caught the trembling fingers and Ezra looked up. There were emotions in his eyes that Chris had rarely seen there before. While the Bond was complete openness, it didn't mean the other half knew all about his partner.
"If I had made if off BP-379, I would have gone back to my old life. I was good. Still am. But I'm Borderline, Chris, and it can kill you. It would have killed me." The voice shook now.
"I'm glad you're alive," Chris whispered.
"You gave me a second chance," the thief repeated, not looking at him. "I don't care about the dangers of this job; I have lived in more dangerous environments. I don't care about your age either, Chris. Do you know what you're doing to me? Do you know how much I want to be with you?"
The last was barely a whisper and Ezra dropped his shields. The emotions rushing over the Bond almost floored Larabee. He inhaled deeply, steadying himself. Then he leaned down and brushed his lips over the thief's. Ezra responded, their kiss turning almost desperately rough. They parted, breathing hard.
"I'm not going to fall for someone else," Ezra said huskily. "Male or female. I'm not interested in men or women. I'm only interested in you." He pushed Chris back onto the bed, stradling him.
Chris felt his arousal strain against the confines of his sweat pants. Ezra was radiating raw sexual need and Chris wasn't inclined to fight it. A tongue traced the red outline of his latest scar and he closed his eyes. Nimble fingers opened the pants and stripped him.
<Only you> Ezra whispered as he drew Chris into another hard kiss. <Just us. I want to feel you inside me; I want to be inside you. I want you to scream my name; I want completion with your name on my lips> A feral expression crossed the handsome face. <I want to fuck you senseless sometimes, Commander Larabee>
He inhaled sharply, his own desire multiplying at the words. Chris surrendered to the sexual assault, projecting his need and desire, and finally screaming his release. Ezra kissed him again, softer this time, tongues dueling lazily. Green eyes roamed over his sweaty body, the expression predatory. Ezra almost purred through the link, a highly erotic sound that made Chris tingle.
"That's not what I call old, Chris," he muttered. "And I like the hair. Gives you... character."
Chris chuckled. "Wait for your turn."
Mock insult flared in the green depths. "I'm not going to turn gray any time soon, Mr. Larabee."
"I think I can see one just... there."
Ezra snorted. "Do I have to remind you that you are quite a lot older than I am....?"
"I thought age didn't matter. And it's not 'quite a lot'," Chris argued good-naturedly.
"Eight years, two months and seventeen days, to be precise."
Chris pounced him and Ezra laughed, trying to get away. "Dark hair is even worse than blond. You'll show a lot sooner," he threatened.
"I can dye," Ezra teased.
"You would." Chris even believed it. Ezra would dye his hair just to hide the gray one. "What about giving you character?"
"I think I have enough."
Chris had wrestled the smaller man onto the mattress, sitting on top of him, arms pinned over his head. He smiled devilishly.
"Oh yeah?" he breathed.
Ezra shivered as he looked into the dark eyes, reading their intent.
Chris leaned down, their faces half an inch apart. "Prove it?" he growled, then nipped at the inviting lips.
This was going to be a long night.
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