"I, Ezra Patrick Standish, take thee, Inez Esperanza Recillos, to be my lawfully wedded wife. To have and to hold, for better or worse, in sickness and in health from this day forward as long as we both shall live," Ezra Standish said as he looked down into the dark gaze one Inez Recillos. He lifted his eyes to gaze at the men who surrounded them before focusing his gaze on Inez. He felt her hand tremble as he slid the single gold band onto her marriage finger. As he looked into her eyes, he saw the tears and her fingers tightened around his.
"By the power vested in me and in the eyes of God, I pronounce you husband and wife," the priest sad. "You may kiss your bride."
Ezra stepped closer and cupped Inez's face. He studied her a moment before lowering his head to hers. His lips were gentle as he caressed hers, his tongue encountering the salty taste of her tears as they released their tenuous hold on her lashes to slip down the smooth skin of her cheeks. His thumbs brushed at the moisture before throats were being cleared around them. Lifting his head, Ezra glared at the smirking man nearby.
"Not so hard then, was it?" Micah Anderson asked.
"No, it wasn't," Ezra drolled. "Now that it's done, I do hope you and your men will leave my wife be?"
Inez moved closer to Ezra, finding solace in his presence. "I want to go home," she said quietly, enough for Ezra to hear.
"A perfect idea," Ezra said, his arm coming around her to pull her closer.
"No... honeymoon?" Anderson asked, a feral grin on his face.
Ezra's arm tightened around Inez, especially when he felt the tremor that slipped through her. He lifted his chin, anger simmering beneath the surface. Forced into this situation, he wasn't about to stay any longer.
"I think it best if my new bride and I returned to our preferred domicile so that we might share our joyous news with our friends," he said.
"Now, now," Anderson said. "We've been rather hospitable to you and your fian-- I'm sorry, your wife. No need to be running off now."
"I must disagree," Ezra said, his eyes a cold emerald as he regarded the man. "You have caused enough distress to my wife, I will not tolerate anything further."
"You will tolerate it and like it, pansy man," Anderson said, his voice growing colder. "Remember where you are and who you are dealin' with."
Ezra narrowed his eyes. "I know exactly who I am dealing with, but I refuse to allow you to continue to hold us hostage," he snapped. "You've done quite enough as it is."
Anderson started towards Ezra, anger obvious in his stony features, when he was suddenly stopped. He looked over to his cousin, Marcus.
"Let'em go, Micah," he growled. "Ain't our problem anymore. You got what you wanted."
Anderson jerked his arm away from his cousin. He yanked the material of his vest down, straightening it. He shot Ezra a cold look then smirked. "'Course," he said. "Don't rightly mean to be putting you out, now am I?"
Ezra inclined his head. Alert to his surroundings, he put his arm around Inez's shoulders and quickly led her away from the group. He managed to keep his eye on them as they backed out of the church, never turning around till they were out of sight and only then was it to escort Inez away as quickly as he could.
"This ain't over, pansy man," Micah Anderson murmured beneath his breath.
"Are you ever going to talk to me?" Ezra asked the lovely Mexican woman sitting across from him. The first thing Ezra had done after the two had gotten away from Anderson and his cronies was to pack their bags, check out of the hotel and grab the first stage out of Miller's Crossing to head back to Four Corners. His faithful steed, Chaucer, was tied to the back of the stage. Ezra and Inez were the only people in the stage and the silence had been deafening for the past few hours.
"What do you want me to say?" Inez asked, her voice soft and dull as she stared at the window. She had yet to look at him. Her thumb would sometimes absently play with the band circling her finger. Ezra's own hand would sometimes disappear beneath his jacket, fingering the engagement ring he kept close. It was the same one he almost lost in that horrendous game with Big Lester Banks. He let out a breath as he realized how much he had wanted to give it to Inez during this trip.
They had slowly started to grow closer over the past few months, finding an easy camradrie that had blossomed into love for him. When she said she was taking a few days to travel to Grovers Ridge, Ezra had arranged with Chris to take some time for himself and offer to escort Inez. Chris had simply give him a knowing smile and agreed.
What had originally started out as a simple escort trip while he took a few days to himself and to spend more time with the woman he found himself falling in love with, quickly turned to hell when Micah Anderson had taken an interest in Inez. Ezra had stepped in when he wouldn't leave her alone, calling her his fiance. Inez quickly picked up on it and went along with the charade. It wasn't until a night they tried to leave that Anderson had stopped them and forced them to go through with a rushed marriage. Unfortunately, despite the rush, it was very much legal after making sure both the town's priest and a visiting judge where in attendance for the nuptials.
That wasn't how I wanted to marry her... Ezra thought to himself. He studied Inez as she sat, her eyes diverted from him the entire time.
"I... don't know," he finally answered her. Inez simply nodded, still not looking at him. He squelched the pain that wrapped around his heart and studied the scenery as it passed by, the trip growing ever more silent.
"Stage is coming in," JD Dunne called as he leaned against the post in front of the saloon. He frowned a bit. "Ezra's horse is tied to the back."
"Well he did escort Inez to Grovers Ridge," Buck Wilmington said.
The stage came to a stop and the door opened. Ezra stepped out, tipping his hat to the two men, now being joined by Chris Larabee, Vin Tanner and Josiah Sanchez. Nathan Jackson, the group and town's healer, was nowhere to be seen. Ezra took a moment to contemplate where he could be before he focused on Inez stepping out. She gratefully took his assistance, but then stepped away just as fast once her feet were in the ground. She murmured something he could barely hear and hurried to head towards the saloon.
"Inez, wait," Ezra said, moving to hurry after her. He sighed at how she managed to get past the others and into the saloon faster than he could catch up.
"Things not go well?" Vin asked, cocking his hip as he studied his friend. He knew how Ezra felt about the woman. They all did.
"Hell, pard, maybe Inez just ain't interested in that way," Buck said, his jovial voice sympathetic as he had once been on the receiving end of Inez's rejection.
"No it's..." Ezra sighed a bit. "It's suddenly gotten a bit complicated."
Chris arched an eyebrow, leaning against the post. "Define complicated," he said.
"Well," Ezra said. "How complicated does marriage sound?"