Author’s Note: This story takes place immediately after my story ‘When Cowboys Collide’. Pairing: Buck/Ezra
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these characters, and I’m not making any money from this story.
Warnings: Slash, Hurt/Comfort, Disciplinary/Erotic spanking

Gambler's Luck

Ezra was in a foul mood. Last night he had lost…yes, LOST…at poker. He had far too much to drink, and then stumbled off to bed alone, again. When he awoke in the morning, head pounding, wallet decidedly empty, and his best jacket stained with whiskey, he took it all out on the nearest available scapegoat. That happened to be Vin Tanner.

When Vin had gone stomping off, obviously both hurt and angry, Ezra had felt a momentary twinge of conscience. After all, he hadn’t really meant the things he said. He was just playing with words in his usual fashion, seeing how sarcastic he could get before provoking a reaction. Usually, the reaction was a swinging fist, which Ezra was well accustomed to dodging. Unfortunately, Vin reacted differently than most of the other targets of Ezra’s barbed tongue did.

He was actually considering following Vin out of the saloon and offering an apology, but he never got the chance. A large hand descended heavily on the back of his collar and literally dragged him out of the chair and onto his feet. Ezra was then spun around to face a decidedly angry Buck Wilmington.

“My dear Mr. Wilmington,” Ezra shook himself slightly to settle his coat and shirt back into place, “what on earth has caused you to resort to such totally unnecessary physical violence?”

“You!” Buck growled back at him. “And I’m about to resort to even more.” Latching onto the back of Ezra’s collar again, Buck proceeded to haul him bodily up the stairs to his suite. Pausing just long enough to yank open the door, Buck loosened his grip and gave the gambler a shove that sent him stumbling into the room. He barely had time to catch his balance before he heard the door slam with considerable force and once again experienced a strong hand on his collar forcing him towards the featherbed.

“We’ve all about had it with that mouth of yours, Ez. You think it’s fun to use all those fancy words of yours to hurt people. Well, it ain’t fun. And I aim to see that it stops, now.” Buck’s voice was low and menacing, not at all like his ordinary blustering and yelling. Ezra felt a shiver move up and down his spine. What in the hell was the man intending to do?

He found out way too soon.

Ezra was at a disadvantage. He could extricate himself physically from most circumstances on the rare occasions when his silver tongue failed to talk his way out. He had any number of sneaky, underhanded, and vicious ways to escape from tight situations. Unfortunately, there were none he was willing to use against a…friend. And, much as he hated to admit it, Buck was his friend. Well, maybe friend wasn’t quite right. But still…

His friend was now advancing towards him with something that roughly approximated the desire to commit murder stamped on his face. Ezra backed up a step and held up one hand in protest.

“Now, Buck, let’s not do anything rash here. Surely we can sit down and discuss this small…misunderstanding…like civilized gentlemen…” He trailed off as one strong hand clamped down on his upper arm.

“Oh, we’re gonna discuss it, alright, Ez. But we’re gonna discuss it MY way…” A quick movement had Ezra’s jacket off and flung unceremoniously to the floor. Ezra winced and reached instinctively to pick up the expensive garment and hang it properly. He was stopped short as Buck yanked him upright and expertly removed both his shoulder holster and the derringer he kept strapped to his right forearm. They followed the jacket to the floor, albeit a lot more carefully.

“Mr. Wilmington, I really must protest your cavalier attitude towards both my person and my…” Ezra never got to finish his protest. With a grunt of impatience, Buck reached over to the gambler’s waist, unbuckled his belt and slipped it out of the loops all in one swift movement.

“Real fancy belt you got here, Ez. Nice soft leather, all decorated pretty…” Buck’s firm hands once again turned the younger man around, this time forcing him face down on the bed with one arm twisted awkwardly behind his back and the other pinned firmly beneath him.

“Let’s see if it’s sturdier than it looks.” Holding Ezra flat against the bed, Buck raised his right arm high and brought the strap down on the seat of his pants with a fierce CRAACCK! Ezra uttered a startled yelp.

“Hmm…not bad, but seems to me we need to make a little change…” swiftly Buck reached beneath the shocked gambler, unfastened his pants, and yanked them down to his knees. He stared at the creamy white globes on display in front of him for several seconds longer than was strictly necessary. Then Buck finally shook his head to clear it and got back to business.

The belt descended again, with the full strength of his arm behind it, loud enough to wake the dead. Ezra bit his tongue so hard it bled in an effort to keep himself quiet.

“Buck!” He gasped out, “I really must insist…”

CRRRAAAACK! The belt landed again, and Ezra totally forgot what he was going to insist upon as the flash of fire across his ass was rapidly followed by another. And another. And another. He was dismayed to find tears welling up in his eyes, even as he held back another moan at the pain in his posterior. He could not, would not, CRY for pity’s sake!

Another series of burning stripes left him gasping, and then, totally incongruously, he felt the strong hand that had been wielding the belt gently caress his blazing backside.

“Ain’t like you to hurt one of us like that, Ez. What got into you, anyhow?” Buck’s voice was soft and warm, and that wonderful large hand was still moving tenderly across the blistered flesh of his ass…Ezra was drifting off into a state of oblivion where nothing mattered…nothing except the feeling of that hard calloused hand rubbing soothingly against his scorched flesh…

Ezra snapped out of it fast and hard. Good Lord, what had he been thinking? Lying there letting Buck do that…he rolled frantically away, scrabbling unsuccessfully to pull up his pants as he did so. Buck watched him with an amused grin.

“What’s the matter, Ez, never had your butt blistered before?” Buck teased softly. “Bet there’s other stuff you never had, too…” Moving quickly, he captured the gambler against the bed and held him firmly in place. His face was just inches away from the wide green eyes that regarded him with apprehension…and doubt…and…something else? Yes, definitely something else.

With a self-satisfied smile, Buck lowered his head and kissed Ezra full on the lips.

An eternity later, as Buck loosened his grip, Ezra backed slightly away. Staring bemused at the man, watching the edges of his moustache quirk upwards in that familiar grin, the gambler hesitantly raised one hand to rub gently at his lips.

“Wipin’ it off, Ezra?” Buck inquired, using that low, throaty voice again. “Or rubbin’ it in?” Moving forward, he wrapped the smaller man tightly in his arms, and bent his head for another kiss. Seconds passed; Ezra stayed cold and frozen in his embrace. Buck began to fear that he had been wrong, had made a terrible mistake. Then Ezra’s lips moved slightly against his own, and the delicate hands splayed flat against his back, pulling him even closer.

Buck smiled. No mistake. He tumbled Ezra back onto the bed, one hand lowered to cup the heated buttocks, his smile growing as he thought about being the cause of that heat…and of what was to come next.

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