Mistletoe '04: Deep, Crisp And Even

Ezra pulled his coat around him and took in the scenery. The snow that had been falling all day had stopped just after sunset, the clouds had parted, the moon and stars had come out and the land was peaceful under its new laid blanket of snow. Ahead of him, a soft yellow glow led him to the Wells farm.

Nettie had taken Casey to visit some relatives for Christmas and had asked the seven of them to look after her property and stock while she was away. This had proved most welcome; it provided the Four Corners pack with somewhere to gather over Christmas, away from prying eyes and with enough room to accommodate them all - just.

Chaucer huffed and snorted great clouds of steam as he picked his hooves high over the soft drifts.

"Never mind old friend, nearly there."

There was a lamp burning in the barn, for which Ezra was grateful. He dismounted and then shook his head as he looked at the bed laid ready for his horse. There was, in his opinion, nowhere near enough straw considering the freezing temperatures outside. Ezra then took time to lay another foot of straw, building up the sides another foot on top of that. While Ezra avoided all forms of manual work, he made an exception when it came to his horse's wellbeing, for whom nothing was too good. With Chaucer properly bedded down, he set out for the sturdy cabin, grateful someone had taken the time to cut a path through the snow to the house. Nevertheless, when he did make it to the porch, he had to stamp his feet to remove the thick covering of show from his boots.

"So you made it?"

Ezra looked up to see Chris smiling at him from the doorway.

"That should be obvious. Though it must be said that the snow is most…evocative of the season, one could even say its de…"

"Don't say it, I've had that damn carol sung at me by these two all day. How are the others?"

Suppressing a laugh, Ezra reported on their missing pack members. "Fine, looking forward to coming out here tomorrow."

Nathan and JD had chosen to stay in the town and attend church in the morning, then ride out to the farm with Josiah.

"Will you two git in here and close the door! Ya want me t' die of pneumonia?" The unmistakable voice of Vin Tanner called out.

"I see Mr Tanner is coping with the inclement weather as well as ever," Ezra chuckled as they hurried to get inside.

Once inside, Ezra was about to pull off his coat when he noticed they were only three.

"Where's Buck?"

Chris shook his head, still grinning. "Where d'ya think?"

Ezra returned the smile and turned back the door.

"Oh fer God's sake, make yer mind up!" Vin griped from the rocker by the fire, Nettie's old patchwork quilt wrapped around him.

Ignoring this, Chris and Ezra went back outside. Chris led Ezra to the far end of the porch, from where he could see the open land to the side of the house. There, frolicking in the deep snow was Buck, in wolf from, rolling, jumping and ploughing his great snout through the snow.

"Hey Buck, look who's here!" Chris called.

Buck looked up, yipped and, waving his tail, began to bound toward the house, leaping up and over the porch rail with ease. He then greeted Ezra with his usual enthusiasm.

"Much as I appreciate being licked and covered in snow," Ezra began sarcastically, "I'd rather be kissed."

Buck jumped back and yipped happily. They were all accustomed to seeing the big Two Blood make the change and now recognised the signs when it was about to happen.

"Buck, wait!" Chris called. Buck cocked his head on to one side quizzically. "It’s freezing out here, you change now, parts of your anatomy are gonna be in serious danger, and I have plans for them parts later."

That was all it took, Buck was running for the door.

"You have plans?" Ezra asked. "What about my plans?"

"I'm the alpha, me first," Chris reminded good naturally.

As the two of them entered the cabin they we confronted by a naked Buck entwined with a well clothed Vin, they were kissing passionately, hands roaming freely over each other's bodies.

"It would appear to be Vin first," Ezra observed.

"Darn it!"

"What say we keep them company?"