azombiewrites: (The Magnificent Seven)
[personal profile] azombiewrites
Title: Trust
First story in 'The Continuing Ezra Standish Saga'
Rating: PG
Warnings: Bad writing ahead!
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven
Genre: Hurt/Comfort
Summary: Marshal Hanley arrives in Four Corners, a man from Ezra's past but is he friend or foe.
Main Characters: Ezra Standish and the rest of the seven
Disclaimers: The guys are owned by CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, and The Mirisch Corp.
Beta: Not betaed – written in the early days when I didn’t know what the words grammar and edit meant. *shamed*
Notes: First story in the ‘Continuing Ezra Standish Saga’.
Spoilers: None.
Word Count: 15,416

Part One

JD stood on the porch of the Sheriff’s office looking up and down the street wondering what everyone else was doing now. It was the first quiet week they had since Judge Travis hired them over a month ago. Nothing had happened all week and it was showing. Everyone was starting to get jumpy. Particularly Chris who was snapping at everyone. He got like that when he had too much time on his hands - he thought too much, probably about his wife and son. Chris had picked on Ezra mostly, he had been short with Ezra all week and JD still couldn't figure out why. Ezra had a way of rubbing everyone the wrong way but that was still not a reason for treating as him as Chris had been doing. Ezra was only bored too as there was no one left in town for him to play poker with. And the other guys soon learned that you did not play with Ezra if you wanted to keep your money.

JD sighed. He wondered where the next lot of trouble was going to come from. He did not have to wonder very long, as when he next looked down the street towards the saloon he saw a rider coming in. He looked like he had been on the road for a while. The man on the black horse saw JD and headed towards him.

"Are you the law in this town," the man asked as he reined his horse to a stop.

JD was amazed. This was the first time that someone had actually assumed that he was the Sheriff.

"Yeah I am," replied JD "And you are?"

"Marshall Hanley. I'm just passing through town on my way to Tascosa. Gonna hang around for a few days. Both my horse and myself could use some rest. Thought I should introduce myself to the local law." He showed JD his Marshall's badge.

JD looked at his badge and then the man himself to see if there was anything to show him that he may be here for another reason. Such as Vin. But he couldn't read the man's face. He seemed to hide his intentions behind a poker face as well as Ezra does. The only thing he could see was that the man needed a bath and a shave.

"Well then I should take you to meet the rest of the guys as there are actually seven of us. Judge Travis hired us to protect the town."

"Why would you need seven men to protect a small town like this?" enquired Marshall Hanley.

"Four Corners didn't really have any law or a Sheriff for that matter. Place was dangerous for local folk. He thought it would need more than one person," JD answered with a smile on face as he thought about the amount of times that it did take the seven of them to deal with the local riff raff. "Come on there in the Saloon."

JD waited while the Marshall got off his horse and led him off to the Saloon not realising at the time the trouble and pain that this man was going to cause Ezra. If he did know, he would have put a bullet in the man right there and then.


"Can I engage any of you gentlemen in a game of chance?" Ezra asked in his southern drawl.

The five men in the saloon looked up at Ezra. They hadn't even noticed him come down from his room. He was wearing his dark green jacket, a large smile and was carrying a bottle of whiskey in one hand and his cards in the other as though he was all ready to take what money they had left. Vin grimaced at the thought of playing poker with Ezra; he had already lost most of his money to him.

"No thanks Ezra," mumbled Vin. The others nodded in agreement.

Chris though, just stared at him. He wanted to wipe that smile off Ezra's face. Ezra raised his eyebrows at Chris waiting for the sarcasm that was sure to follow as it had been this way all week. Ezra would make a comment and then Chris would take his frustration out on him. He had an idea why Chris was doing it so he just let it go for now.

"Why would anyone want to play with you Ezra, what being a cheat and all." Everyone could hear the sarcasm in Chris's voice.

"I do not cheat," retorted Ezra. Making sure that the hurt he felt did not show on his face. If he was glad of one thing about the trade his mother taught him, it was that he could hide his emotions very well.

Chris did not take any notice of the looks the others gave him. He was angry and frustrated, he needed to take it out on someone, and now he could not think of anyone better than Ezra. After all, he did run out on them at the Indian village.

"You’re also a liar and a coward and I am surprised that you’re still hanging around here." Chris saw the hurt that quickly flashed through Ezra's eyes but his poker face quickly replaced the looked. Chris smiled at the idea that he had actually been able to hurt the gambler's feelings. Ezra had not shown any emotion at all this week in regards to the comments, he had been throwing at him and this had made Chris even angrier.

The rest of the group held their breath not realising that they had made things worse by doing so.

"There is a difference between being a liar and a con-man Mister Larabee. A con-man cons, he does not lie and as for being I coward I think that I have proved more than once since taking on this position of trust that I am not a coward as you would suggest and I do not intend to leave at this point in time." Ezra was beginning to tire of his desertion from the Indian village being thrown in his face by this man. "And I take it that from the silence that I hear from the rest of the group that you all agree with Mr Larabee." continued Ezra. He knew this was going to be a statement and not a question.

As Ezra tried to look them in the eye Vin, Buck and Josiah looked away and down at their drinks. They were not sure what to say but Nathan looked Ezra in the eye. Nathan was thinking of the time that Ezra tried to make some money by selling those working girls as wives to rich men.

"Well then I think I shall find other company and let Mr Larabee wallow in his own self pity and the rest of you to enjoy such a pitiful show." And with that, Ezra turned on his heel and went over to his regular table where he usually partakes in an excellent game of poker.

Before things could get any worse - or so they thought - JD walked into the Saloon with a man, motioned him towards them, and started to give introductions. Across the room, Ezra looked up to see what the commotion was all about and dropped the bottle of whisky that was in his hand.

"Good Lord." groaned Ezra. He quickly got up and quietly left the Saloon. Only Buck saw him leave.

"Marshall Hanley this is Chris, Vin, Buck, Josiah and Nathan. Guys this is Marshall Hanley, he is going to be in town for a few days." JD noticed as they all turned and looked at Vin. "It's ok guys he's just here for a rest."

Everyone gave a quiet sigh of relief.

"Good morning gentlemen, like I told JD here I wanted to introduce myself to the local law just so there is no trouble," Hanley looked around. "JD, I thought you said there were seven of you?"

"Uh, yeah, where is Ezra?" JD asked the group.

"Ezra?" questioned Hanley.

"Yeah," smiled JD "You wouldn't think Ezra was one of us as he doesn't look the part being a gambler and all."

Hanley hid the surprise he felt. Could he have finally found Ezra Standish? This was too good to be true. He could get the revenge that he had dreamed of for the last three years.

"You just missed him, he left after you came in." Stated Buck. "You can meet Ezra later; just don't play poker with him."

"I have better things in mind for that man and they don't include poker," thought Hanley. "Well if you excuse me gentlemen I will catch up with you later. I got a horse to take off and a bath to take." He knew that if Ezra saw him come in that he would head for the stable and his horse. "Can you tell me where the stable is?"

"It's four blocks down on the right, behind the blacksmiths," answered JD. "Make sure you come back for a drink when you’re done."

And with that, Hanley headed after Ezra Standish to seek his revenge for the murder of Charlotte Ramsey.


Marshall Hanley turned into the alley and saw the stables ahead. He got off his horse so Ezra would not hear him coming because he knew that if Ezra heard him he would have a lot more trouble trying to catch the man so he could seek the revenge that he had been planning for so long. He left the horse where it was standing and headed towards the stable. He looked around the alley and into the street to make sure that no one saw him. The last thing he wanted was a witness that may contradict what he had to say about what was going to happen. He noticed that the door was slightly ajar.

"Ezra, you must be running scared to leave the door open like that so any one can sneak up on you," thought Hanley. "I will have to remember to thank you later, if you are still around that is." A smile crept up on Hanley's face as he thought about that.

He went through the door and saw Ezra getting his horse ready for an escape that was not going to happen.

"Hello, Ezra" called Hanley.

Ezra stood where he was and hung his head. "I am a dead man," he thought to himself. He turned around waiting for the bullet that would end his life. He knew that this was Hanley's intention since the murder of Charlotte three years ago and he was sure that his intentions had not changed in that time. He looked at the face the man that would be his killer and saw the hatred in his eyes.

"Mr Hanley, it's been a long time. Have you come for a social visit or will this be business?" there was no way that Ezra was going to allow this man any sort of satisfaction in his death.

"Still coming out with the smart mouth comments." growled Hanley. "I have come to arrest you Ezra or kill you, I don't know which yet."

"You can't arrest me; you are not a lawman anymore."

"So does that mean that I can kill you, anyway I still have my badge and that is all I need to convince people that I am a Marshall." he chuckled to himself about this. "I want you to put all of your guns on the ground and if I see any sort of movement that may cause an injury to myself I will shoot you. Particularly that right arm with the derringer up the sleeve."

Ezra took his time and placed his guns on the ground as he was told to do. He wondered why Hanley had not killed him yet, he thought it was the first thing that he would do when he saw him and now he knew why. He wanted something more.

"Your friends told me where I could find you, sent me straight to you they did." grinned Hanley, that would get Ezra to show some sort of emotion. Hanley had not seen any emotion cross Ezra's face since he first confronted him. He knew Ezra had a good poker face but thought under these conditions that he would show something. But he knew that Ezra could be a stubborn mule when he wanted to be. But he would soon change that.

"I assure you that they are not my friends," stated Ezra. "They are only acquaintances. I work with them." He hoped that he sounded convincing. Hanley was a hard man to con.

"Really." Hanley stepped up closer to Ezra and placed his gun against Ezra's temple. "I am going to tell you this once and once only Ezra. I am not going to kill you yet."

Ezra felt some of the tension and fears leave his body. Hanley continued though and Ezra felt what just left him return and his chest tightened.

"I am going to seek my revenge for the death of Charlotte Ramsey. You killed her and you are going to pay for what you did." Hanley breathed this last statement into Ezra's face.

"You know I did not kill Charlotte."

"You may not have killed her directly but you are responsible for her death. If it were not for you, she would still be alive. She was going to marry me but when you arrived in town, all she had time for was you. She no longer wanted me."

"Charlotte never loved you and she was not going to marry you." Ezra remembered the fear he saw in Charlotte's eyes when she told him that Hanley had threatened her life if she did not end her friendship with Ezra.

"That is why I killed her. But you were the one to blame for her death."

Ezra knew that it would be no good to argue with him so he said nothing more.

Hanley continued though. He had a lot more to say and what he said made Ezra fear for the other six hired gunmen that he had become to know more as friends.

"If any of your acquaintances try to help you out of this situation or interfere with the revenge that I have planned for you I will kill them." he smiled at this. "And you know that I will do this don't you Ezra?"

Ezra nodded. He could think of nothing to say. He knew Hanley would do what he said. He was a cold-blooded murderer.

"Now we are going to walk out of here and head for the jail. When your co-workers show up," Ezra wondered why Hanley would think the other men would be waiting for them when they left the barn. "I will kill them if they try to stop me. I won't get them all but I will get one maybe two and that will be enough for you to have another death on your conscience," continued Hanley.

Ezra saw the look change on Hanley's face. He felt the gun slowly slide down the side of his face, down across his chest until it lay on his right side. He felt the bullet before he actually heard the gun go off. There was a hot burning pain as the bullet entered and exited out of his body. He nearly blacked out with the pain but Hanley held him up.

That was just the beginning of my revenge Ezra, there will be more to come." smiled Hanley. “Stay awake, Ezra, you do want to help your friends don't you."

Ezra cleared his mind. He knew he had to stay clear-headed. He needed to be very convincing. Or it could cost one of his friends their life. Hanley dragged him towards the door and outside straight into six guns pointed in their direction.

Part One | Part Two

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