Revenge is Sweet
Buck stepped onto the boardwalk outside the jail and stretched, sighing in contentment as he did so. It was going to be a good day. He could feel it in his bones. He looked up and down the street and then set off toward the saloon. He looked over to the opposite boardwalk and slowed his pace as he noticed a rather attractive lady sitting taking in the morning air. She looked vaguely familiar. Buck furrowed his brow trying to think who she was. Miss Butler? No she was more buxom and had brunette hair not blonde. He continued walking as he thought. He looked across again and stopped dead. An unfortunate citizen of Four Corners who had been following behind bumped into him. Buck apologized before crossing the road to stand in front of the woman.
"Ezra?" he said in a disbelieving tone.
"Keep your voice down, Mr. Wilmington," Ezra hissed while looking furtively round to see if anyone had heard the use of his name.
"What the hell are you doing?" Buck asked incredulously.
"There are some people in town that I don't want to see," Ezra explained as if to an idiot.
"Well if they're men, you could attract rather more attention than you wish. I have to say you look ravishing."
"Kiss me!" Ezra demanded suddenly.
"Now Ezra, just because I said you looked good does not mean I want to start anything," Buck said, turning red.
"Kiss me," Ezra repeated more forcefully. When Buck didn't do as he was told Ezra grabbed him by the back of the neck and pulled him forwards and planted a kiss on his lips. When Ezra released him, Buck spat repeatedly and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
"What did you do that for? God that was disgusting," Buck complained.
"The people I wanted to avoid were passing by. Believe me, I didn't enjoy it any more that you. I just needed to be hidden. I couldn't exactly grab any passing girl and kiss her dressed as I am, now could I?" Ezra asked reasonably.
Buck grabbed Ezra's arm and pulled him to his feet. He was going to get to the bottom of this, but out of public view.
"Come with me," he instructed. He pulled Ezra along roughly and a passerby took exception, thinking Ezra was a lady.
"Hey treat the lady with some respect," the man shouted after Buck.
Buck spluttered in indignation and continued on his way. He heard Ezra chuckling quietly behind him. Buck took Ezra to the saloon and up to Ezra's room. Chris had watched Buck's entrance and saw what he thought was a young lady reluctantly being forced upstairs. He decided to follow. Buck usually treated women with respect.
Buck turned to Ezra when they were safely inside the room. "Now tell me what the hell is going on," he shouted.
"I told you. There are some men in town I owe money to."
"You'd go to these lengths to avoid a debt. God, I despair of you," Buck said in exasperation.
"It's quite a substantial sum involved. I assure you."
There was a knock on the door and Chris entered. He had heard raised voices and wondered what was going on.
"Buck? What are you doing in Ezra's room with a lady?" he demanded.
"She ain't no lady," Buck disagreed vehemently. Ezra had turned his back toward the door when he had heard the knock.
"Does Ezra know?" Chris asked, still none the wiser.
"Oh, he knows alright," Ezra replied turning round. Chris did a double take and let out a chuckle.
"Ezra is that really you? What are you doing?"
Ezra sat down on the bed and winced. "Female undergarments are not good for the male anatomy. I can tell you that for nothing."
"He owes money to some men and he's in disguise to avoid paying," Buck explained.
"Now why doesn't that surprise me?" Chris observed dryly.
Buck developed a mischievous look in his eye. A thought was forming in his head. He turned to Ezra who definitely didn't like the way Buck was eying him up and down. "What are you thinking? Whatever it is I want no part of it," Ezra stated firmly. He stood up and backed away across the room.
"I need a certain young person to be taught a lesson. A young barmaid, who shall remain nameless and JD played a trick on me with some love potion. It's payback time," Buck said smiling.
"Oh no. Leave me out of one of your schemes, especially if it means I have to stay dressed like this." Ezra turned to Chris for help.
"What are you complaining for? You wanted to hide didn't ya? If you stay in disguise that suits both your purposes," Chris said. Ezra settled for giving Chris and Buck a very dirty look and flopped down on the bed again in defeat.
"Come on Ez. It'll be funny," Buck wheedled. He explained to his two companions what he had in mind and in the end Ezra and Chris was grinning broadly. The three men left the room separately and returned downstairs to set their trap.
Ezra came downstairs last of the three and spied JD at the bar talking to Inez. He walked over and stood next to him. He was so close that their bodies touched. Inez had recognized Ezra and he caught her eye and shook his head slightly to keep her quiet. JD moved slightly away from Ezra before saying "Howdy Ma'am."
"Hello young man. Could you do with some company?" Ezra had altered his voice and JD had no idea who he was talking to.
JD looked at the new arrival and liked what he saw. There was something different about her. Not like the other women in town. "Okay," he agreed. "Can I get you a drink?"
"How kind. Whiskey please."
JD gulped. This was *some* woman. Buck had taken up residence further down the bar. He smothered a laugh in his beer glass and nearly choked. Chris walked up and slapped him on the back before guiding him back to the table. He didn't want Buck to give the game away. JD escorted Ezra to an empty table where he proceeded to make small talk. The rest of the boys came in and sat with Chris and Buck who took great delight in telling them what was afoot.
JD looked at the woman's hand. He frowned. That ring looked familiar. "Nice ring," he said distractedly as he tried to think where he had seen it before.
"Why thank you. A gentleman friend gave it to me. It's nice, isn't it?" Ezra had to be very careful with his use of language so as not to give himself away. He was having to concentrate very hard on not using fancy words.
"Could you excuse me a minute?" JD asked. Ezra gave a nod of consent. It would give him a chance to gather his thoughts and composure.
Buck had gone to the bar to get drinks for the other men. JD stood beside him and asked, "Do you know her Buck? You know most women in town."
"Me?" Buck asked innocently. "No, not personally. I know her brother though. Very well off he is. His family are into property you know. You could certainly do worse," Buck continued earnestly.
"What's the brother like?"
"Oh, very similar to his sister believe me." Buck was in danger in losing his poker face. He was saved by the arrival of Casey. She stood just inside the batwing doors and beckoned JD over. JD hurried over and ushered her outside. He didn't want her to know he was entertaining another woman. When JD had disappeared, Ezra ran upstairs to change back into his own clothes. He hoped Casey kept JD for a while. He changed in double quick time and rushed back downstairs. JD had not yet come back. Ezra retook the seat he had previously occupied just as JD returned and approached the table. He looked around the room with a puzzled look in his face.
"Anything the matter Mr. Dunne?"
"Where's the woman who was sitting here?" he asked in bemusement. Perhaps she had got bored with waiting for him to return he reasoned.
"I haven't seen anyone. I have only just arrived though." Ezra grasped the whiskey glass he had been using previously, lifted it to his lips and drank the contents. JD's eyes settled on Ezra's hand. The ring on his finger was the same as the woman's. He looked up into Ezra's face and saw the wicked grin tugging at his lips.
"It was you!" JD shouted loudly in astonishment. The rest of the seven started laughing. JD turned and said accusingly, "You all knew about this? Ugh. To think I even fancied you Ezra. God, quick get me a drink."
Buck passed him a beer and patted him on the shoulder. "You think that's bad, kid. I actually kissed him," Buck informed him. His friends collapsed in fits of laughter.
"I thought it was time to pay you back for the trick you and Inez played on me with the love potion," Buck finally admitted to JD.
"I might have known you were behind it," JD said, thumping Buck on the upper arm. Buck rubbed the spot distractedly.
A shadow fell across Ezra and a heavy hand dropped onto his shoulder. "I believe you owe us some money." Ezra looked up and saw the two men he had been trying to avoid. He dipped a hand in his pocket and produced the desired amount. He knew when he was beaten.
When the men had left, Ezra turned a withering look on Buck. "I am charging you for my services to the tune of two hundred bucks. They would never have caught me if I hadn't got involved in your shenanigans. I need to recoup my losses."
"Oh no. It was a mutual agreement. I'm not paying yer debts," Buck said as he backed toward the batwing doors. Ezra rose and followed him and their raised voices could be heard while Ezra tried to get recompense for his losses.
The rest of the men returned to their drinks. Laughing certainly worked up a thirst. Buck returned after having finally lost Ezra.
"Ah. Revenge is sweet," he said as he looked across at JD.