Rating: PG - some suggestive content

Disclaimer: I do not own The Magnificent Seven in any way, shape or form. That honor belongs to Mirisch, MGM, et al. The character of Brianna Colby is mine, however.

Comments/Warnings: This short blurb contains an OFC. If the very idea is threatening to you, please go away now while you have the chance. :)

Comments are welcome, but flames will be ignored. 

 

The Encounter

By: Ladyluck7

Brianna Colby glanced in the mirror one last time. She patted a stray strand of her dark hair into place, and spritzed on some perfume. Finally satisfied, she picked up her purse on her way out the door. Brianna sighed as she smiled in anticipation of the day.

Every morning for the past month she had looked forward to the same ritual. After her morning ablutions, she would walk from her hotel to the restaurant down the street. Strolling down the boardwalk, she watched as the small town came to life as she breathed in the crisp morning air. The shop owners would be just opening up for business as she slowly made her way to Miss Maggie's for breakfast.

Mrs. Potter would always greet her with a smile as she passed the General Store. So would practically all the townspeople along the way. Yes, for the most part everyone was friendly in Four Corners. More than once did she contemplate moving here permanently.

Especially if it meant seeing him every day. 

Brianna smiled to herself as she thought about him. The man's smile alone could melt her into a puddle... 

Suddenly she was startled out of her reverie by bumping into something solid. 

With a start she realized it was a person. A man, she thought giddily, by the decidedly masculine scent that radiated from him as they made contact. 

He must have seen her coming, because he had his arms out to steady her. 

Embarrassed to be caught daydreaming, she looked up shyly at her victim, only to be rendered speechless. She found herself staring into the very same deep blue eyes that she had just been thinking about.

Eyes that were now twinkling at her in amusement. 

"You alright, Miss Colby?" Vin Tanner asked gently. 

She blinked in confusion. Trying desperately to form coherent words, she realized he was still lightly gripping her arms. She took a step back from him a little too quickly, like a startled rabbit.

Brianna's heart was beating wildly against her chest, and she feared that he could hear it. The handsome tracker was still smiling at her, waiting for her response. Waiting patiently, giving no outward sign of noticing her distress.

"I do apologize Mr. Tanner. I was.... distracted." She cast her eyes downward, no longer able to trust herself to say more. 

She felt warm,flushed. *My god*, Brianna thought, *how could he not know what effect he has on me?* 

Vaguely Brianna wondered just who Vin Tanner saw when he looked in the mirror when she heard him speak. 

"Miss Colby?" 

The tone in his deep, gravelly voice was so unusual, so achingly gentle that Brianna willed herself to look at him. Her emerald green eyes locked with his cool blue ones. She couldn't help but gasp when she saw the way he was looking at her.

Normally the staid tracker showed little emotion. He could often be found sitting by himself, opting to quietly observe those around him. Brianna wondered if he knew how often *she* observed *him*. On many occasions Brianna sensed an overwhelming sadness permeate the air around him, as if a dark cloud loomed overhead, threatening to storm. She remembered pondering what would make this beautiful, soft-spoken man so morose and seemingly unreachable.

In her daze she wondered, as she had many times before, just how old was Vin Tanner? He appeared no older than she, which was five and twenty. 

Even with his perpetual beard stubble, he had a youthful face, kissed a soft brown by the sun. He had a lanky frame, with long, lean legs. Although he was only about four inches taller than her, Vin Tanner gave an impression of being much taller because of his confident, self-assured demeanor.

His eyes, though. Those world-weary eyes. They told a different story; one of a man who had seen too much, too soon. Brianna was always taken aback by the depth of the pain she saw there. At those times of pensive reflection, when he seemed to be the most vulnerable, she wished to take him in her arms and comfort him. Hold him until the hurt was gone.

But this . . . this expression was entirely new to Brianna. 

And it was absolutely intoxicating. 

The man's eyes burned with such an intensity it almost hurt to look at him. It seemed to Brianna that he was staring into her very soul. 

Brianna gazed back at him intently. She was unaware of anything except Vin. She saw the rising and falling of his chest as he breathed. Saw the way the breeze gently pushed his long brown hair back off of his broad shoulders. It was as if nothing existed except the two of them.

"Please... call me Brianna," she heard herself whisper. Watched as his lips parted and the way he licked them before he spoke. 

"I reckon that means you should call me Vin," he rasped. 

Brianna's breath caught in her throat. Dare she believe what she thought she saw in his eyes? In his voice? 

"Brianna," he continued, "Mind if I escort you to wherever you were goin'?" 

She caught herself before she could sway from the dizziness that came on. 

Since she arrived this man occupied all her waking thoughts. 

And even in some of her dreams. 

She nodded her acceptance, and clutched the arm he proffered. 

Brianna smiled at him then, a sweet, unaffected smile that displayed the warmth she felt for him. Vin, as always, seemed to understand that no words were needed. His grin matched her own as they made their way to the restaurant.

******* 

Unbeknownst to the couple a lone figure was smiling to himself in satisfaction. Buck Wilmington had witnessed the scene, and even though he felt that he was intruding at first he found that he could not take his eyes off of his friend and the pretty lady. For the past few weeks Buck had noticed both of them trying their best not to let on that they were watching each other. Seems that fate had finally allowed something to happen. Grinning, Buck turned around and headed for the saloon. He needed a drink.

 

the end 

 

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