FANDOM: Magnificent Seven -
SERIES: Ghostly Encountered AU
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Texas Aries created Ghostly Encountered AU.
DISCLAIMER: I do not claim any rights over the Magnificent 7 characters used in this story, which has been written for the joy of writing only. Trilogy Entertainment Group, the Mirisch Group and MGM own the Mag 7 characters/aspects of the story.
You can also read this story here An Evenings Attraction
You can read more stories like this one here: Lone Tree Creative Preserve
Ghostly Encountereds AU: An Evenings Attraction
Pre-civil war music from the live orchestra floating gently from the open windows mingled with the laughter and soft murmurs of people talking on the porch. The full moon and delicate fairy lights that decorated the greenery gave enough light to permit people to walk the manicured laws and gardens.
Chris Larabee closed the nursery door where his two sons, Adam and Billy lay fast asleep before making his way down from the third floor to the second. Pausing to look down at the people that were mingling in the front foyer of his home, he spotted his fiancÃƒ© of two months surrounded by a group of her friends.
Mary Travis was breathtakingly beautiful in her designer gown of emerald satin that drew attention to the white blonde in her hair and green of her eyes. Tiny diamond drops sparkled on her ears as she turned to talk to her friends, no doubt discussing the wedding that would be taking place in six months. Knowing that he had put off joining the glittering crowd as much as possible the blond straightening the cuffs of his tailcoat and descended the stairs to join his future wife.
The next half hour he made small talk, punctuated often with, "Yes Dear", and, "Whatever you think is best" while he waited for the appropriate time to exit. When the talk turned to wedding colors and themes he decided to make good his escape. He kissed his fiancÃƒ©, on the cheek before leaving her to make his way towards the bar and a glass of whisky.
Obtaining his drink he sipped at it as he moved through the various rooms, pausing to say hello to friends and neighbors, before continuing in his goal of finding someplace he could be alone.
For some reason he felt restless tonight, as if he was being hemmed in.
Maybe because he was.
Mary's father, Judge Travis had explained in great detail why it would be to his advantage, were he to be connected to one of the oldest families in the south by marrying his daughter. The Judge figured he could sweeten the deal by sending some very large and important clients his way during the preceding months making it extremely difficult to say no. Then there was Mary herself. A smart, beautiful woman that challenged his mind, but also someone he could get along with and enjoyed spending time with. So he proposed to Mary figuring that it was the right thing to do for his sons, for himself, and for her but sometimes he felt that he was settling.
Finding an unoccupied alcove in one of the card rooms he leaned against the wall and watched the people as they interacted with one another feeling separate from those around him. He continued to sip his drink while he checked his watch for the time and found that it was only eleven. His shoulder's slumped as he realized that he had about four hours to go before the party was over.
Taking the last swallow of his drink he began looking for a place to sit it down when he spotted one of the waiters hired for the evening, making his way past him. The blond signaled the young man over and placed his glass on the tray leaving the waiter to continue through the crowd.
Chris then settled back into this previous position hoping that no one would notice him standing here and he would be left alone for a while longer. It was only as he shifted a bit to relieve the tension in one foot that he felt a cool breath of air on the back of his sweaty neck. Turning he noticed that there was a small open door that was letting in the cool night breeze.
Chris was puzzled because he may have never noticed the door there before, but figured that maybe the contractors, who had renovated the old house, put it in according to Mary's wishes. He looked around remembering the old place of a little over a year ago when his uncle left him the estate in his will. Even though his great uncle could have afforded to keep this wonderful old home in shape he let it deteriorate to the point that it was unsafe to live in.
From what Mary, the Judge, and the town people told him, the old man was crazy as a coon. Apparently his great uncle believed that the resident ghost was out to kill him or drive him mad. The old man lived in the housekeeper's quarters and sealed up the rest of the house letting it rot.
When the old man died he inherited everything including enough money that he could fix up the old place, and still live comfortable for the rest of his life. But not being one to just sit around he had accomplished his dream of opening his own law office. Since he was going to work out of the house he could be here for his boys when they get home from school.
A perfect plan all the way around.
It took almost a year to fix up the family home, including putting in new plumbing and the best heating and cooling system he could find. Chris also decided to bring the twenty first century into the house by replacing the electrical system and laying networking cable through every room.
When he started to date Mary she offered to help him give the place the touch of femininity that was lacking at that point. Her excellent taste and sharp eye allowed him to concentrate on other things like his office and the boy's rooms.
The cool breeze brushed his sweaty brow bringing his mind back to the present. He watched as the white flowing drapes fluttered in the breeze almost like it was beckoning him, whispering of the coolness to be found outside of the room he was in.
Turning he slipped quietly out the door. A slight dizziness washed over him, he chalked it up to going from a too hot room to the coolness outside. Looking around he realized that he was in a small empty morning garden surrounded by tall hedges with roses and other flowers scattered outside of the small stone patio he found himself in. To the right was a stone pathway leading off to the other part of the estate. Centered in the area he noticed a small iron table surrounded by four chairs. A small settee was situated to the left of it partially cloaked in the shadows. Determining that the love seat would be better for him Chris walked towards it and sat down with a sigh of relief.
Making himself comfortable, the blond pulled out a cigarette from the pack he had hidden from Mary in his breast pocket, putting it between his lips. Shifting slightly he reached into his dress pants pocket and retrieved the silver lighter that his first wife, Sarah, had given him during their honeymoon. Flipping open the lid he watched the flame flicker into being before lighting the cigarette. Chris took a couple of quick puffs ensuring that the cigarette stayed lit before flipping the lighter's top down, smothering the fire. Shifting once again he replace the lighter in his pocket before settling down to enjoy his smoke.
Chris took a long deep draw of the tobacco letting it fill his lung and settle his nerves before removing it, letting it dangle from his fingers as he rested his arm along the back of the settee. Leaning his head back the blond slowly exhale the smoke watching it as the slight breeze broke it up.
The blond shifted slightly so he was more comfortable and he could look up at the stars that painted the night sky. Again he bent his elbow and placed the cigarette between his lips taking another draw, letting everything just flow out of him as he exhaled.
Then from behind him, Chris heard a masculine voice tinted with a southern accent, "It's a wonderful night isn't it, Sir?"
The blond twisted around to look over his shoulder at figure that stood in the shadows of what he thought was a solid hedge. Chris stood as the figure stepped out of the shadows and revealed a man dressed in the same era of clothing as he was, but on the stranger they seemed to be more fitting. The stranger also looked very comfortable in the clothing unlike himself who found the stiff collar irritating.
Chris watched, as the man seemed to flow across the stone patio towards him letting the moonlight reveal his face. He felt his breath catch in his throat, as he looked into eyes the color of new leaves that seem to hold him in thrall. He didn't even consciously acknowledge that he held out his hand until the beautiful stranger's firm grip wrapped around his hand.
Automatically he introduced himself, "Chris Larabee."
Neither man let go, both too lost in the connection they had, to move from one another. To Chris it was like having a warm, soothing current run from their joined hands up and down his body pooling in his stomach and groin. His eyes took in a face that was more beautiful than handsome. A strong square jaw that he wanted to cup, sharp cheekbones that he wanted rub his thumb across, and a plump bottom lip that called out to be kissed and nibbled at. The other man was shorter by 2 or 3 inches, and Chris knew that they would fit perfectly together. Even though he could not see the man's body under the well-tailored suit, he knew that there wasn't an ounce of fat, that sleek muscles awaited his explorations.
While at Harvard University, Chris had come to terms that he was bi and had gone out with both men and women until he met Sarah. Once he found her he fell in love and never looked at another man or woman until her death in a car crash about four years ago. Leaving him without his beloved wife, and their boys without their loving mother. It was hard moving on but he did start to date once again but only women because he didn't want his boys to be faced with the prejudice that was still very prevalent in the south and for that matter in the United States. Meeting Mary he thought he found someone he could be happy with. That was until he met this man that called out to him as Sarah had.
For it felt as if everything he had done in his life led him to this very place and moment.
The cigarette fell from lax fingers to the stone patio and rolled slightly away leaving it to burn out safely on the stones. Chris instinctively reached up to cup Ezra's face drawing the other man closer to him.
The music floating out of the house didn't detract from the atmosphere; instead it enhanced the moment as their lips joined for the first time. Warm soft lips parted as their bodies molded against one another. Chris wrapped an arm around the southerner's waist pulling him flush against his taller frame.
Ezra returned the embrace with one arm while the other reached up to cup the back of the Chris' head, encouraging him to deepen the kiss. A kiss that was everything romance novels talk about. It was slow, sweet, but also filled with passion and longing.
It was a woman's loud laugh that broke the spell the two men were under, making them spring apart only to stare hungrily at each other. Each man swayed towards the other with the blond taking a half step forward only to have the southerner's eyes widen before he turned and disappeared into the shadows.
Chris rushed after him calling "Ezra!" but was forced to stop when he couldn't see where the other man had gone. Defeated he turned around and made his way back to the patio by the faint light coming from the house. Dejectedly he straightened his clothing and took a deep breath to settle his nerves. As he stepped through the doorway back into the house another wave of dizziness washed over him. Pausing for a minute to allow the feeling to pass, he moved purposely through the house, determined to find out where Ezra had disappeared too.
As he cleared the little alcove he had hidden in he felt someone slip a possessive arm through his. Looking to the right he saw that it was Mary who was pouting prettily at him, "Chris where were you?"
The realization of what he had just done in the little garden came rushing back and he turned to look guiltily over his shoulder only to see a solid wall.
Chris was about to push Mary aside to investigate what the hell was going on when she started to pull him away. "Never mine! Come on ... we're going to miss the unveiling of the painting father had restored for you. It's supposed to be the portrait of the original owner of the Ace of Hearts Plantation."
Knowing that the mystery wasn't going anywhere he allowed her to lead him towards the foyer where a crowd had gather for the viewing of the painting. As he stood there Chris felt as if his body was too big for his skin and had a driving need to leave everyone there and try to find out where Ezra had gone. He ... he needed to see the man again.
"Pay attention Chris." Hissed Mary as she yanked on his arm.
He was about to tell her to let go when, he heard Judge Travis say, "... was a gambler that made his money out west before returning home to build this wonderful plantation. Apparently when certain..." Travis paused dramatically as he lowered his voice before continuing, "Indiscretions of his came to light he was mysteriously murdered."
One woman, excited over the drama that had taken place over a hundred years ago, asked "What was the scandal?"
The Judge turned to the woman. "Well apparently ... no one quiet knows. Some say that it was gambling, others say he was having an affair with another man's wife, while others suggested that he preferred the company of his own sex to those of the female persuasion."
There were suitable gasps and Chris heard from one low male voice, "That's what should happen to all those perverts."
"Harry! Shusshhh," a hushed female voice exclaimed.
Rage swept through Chris at that little piece of conversation and he turned to look at who had whispered the comment so he would never deal with the man. His attention was diverted when the Judge started to speak once again.
Travis grasped one end of the sheet as he announced "Ladies and Gentlemen. Mr. Ezra Standish." He whipped off the sheet covering the portrait.
To Chris it was as if someone had suckered punched him in the gut. He couldn't breathe. For the figure in the painting was that of the man he had just kissed out in the garden. The same beautiful green eyes he had lost his heart in, were staring out of the painting, right at him.
"They say that his ghost has appeared in many rooms of this house and some have even reported encountering him out on the grounds."