This is a fan fiction story based on characters from the Lonesome Dove television show,
which belong to Rysher Entertainment and Hallmark. No infringement on copyrights is intended.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is an alternate, "what if" scene for SNOWBOUND in which Hannah goes to Clay's room to enlist his aid for Newt and the town. I always felt cheated that the writers didn't pursue the moment's tension further. What follows below depicts one possibility.


Honor Bound
by Sharon Uzarewicz

"I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not honour more."
-- Richard Lovelace

"And why should I do that for you?"

"Because youíre the only one who can, Mr. Mosby. And Iím asking you. As a friend."

"Friend?" Clay gave a short laugh. His angry eyes glinted dangerously and his drawl dripped with contempt. "Why Miz Call, surely you can offer a better reason than that."

Hannah felt the flush spread up her cheeks as her breath quickened, but she held his gaze, her small mouth tight with determination.

"Perhaps I can," she replied with bravado unfelt as she walked past him, entering his room. Coming to an abrupt stop, she whirled around but Clay had not moved from the door. Somewhat in shadows, his eyes were unreadable and he remained silent.

He waited.

Her discomfort grew as she stood a few feet from his bed, unable to look anywhere that was not a reflection of his most intimate life. Confused and conflicted, her pulse began to race and she felt incapable of forming a single sentence.

He took a step toward her and her chest heaved with the effort of drawing breath.

Another step placed him directly in front of her and she slipped her hands into the folds of her skirt to hide their trembling.

One last drag from his cigar and he leaned forward slightly to extinguish the butt in the ashtray on the table behind her. His eyes were level with her own, their faces a mere breath apart.

"Go home, Hannah -- go home now."

He glanced at the open door, and though he made no effort to touch her, the deep southern voice contained unmistakable warning.

She faltered, but the sound of her given name on his lips caressed a place no one before him had reached. Unable to break their gaze, she swallowed hard, blinking back tears. "I love Newt...," she whispered in desperation.

"Then go." His voice was hard, unyielding, his eyes amber pools with a fire that burned darkly.

Hannah could almost feel his breath on her face, yet Clay stood his ground, making no effort to bridge the final distance.

"Damn you to hell." Her voice broke on a sob. She turned aside, moving past him towards the open entry.

The door closed and the man reflected in the mirror beside it flinched, only to inhale sharply at the sound of the key in the lock a moment later. Slowly he faced her, shoulders square, standing tall in his stubborn pride.

"If this is for Newt -- get out."

Back against the door, unable to speak, Hannah shook her head. Though only steps separated them, she knew her legs would never support her that far. Her chin raised in attempted defiance, but her voice broke as she spoke his name.

"Clay...."

He approached slowly, their eyes locked. Placing one palm on the door above her, he gazed down at her tear-streaked face and ever so gently wiped each cheek with his thumb.

"Hannah -- thereís no going back from here." He took a deep breath. "You can still leave. I wonít stop you."

Again she shook her head. Again she spoke his name.

Cupping her head in both hands, he tilted her face upwards and searched her eyes. She met his gaze openly, her own desire burning bright.

"Hannah...," he whispered. The longing she heard sounded as if torn from the depths of his soul and when his mouth came down on hers, it was with a fierce possessiveness.

Hannah parted her lips with an answering hunger, savoring the taste of tobacco and fine whiskey that had haunted her dreams since their kiss in the cabin. She barely felt his hands slide the coat and jacket off her shoulders -- her whole being was focused on the power of his kisses. Gentle, almost teasing at first, they deepened as his tongue probed and explored, invaded and demanded. She grew limp at his relentless penetration until she remained supported by his arms alone.

Lost in sensation, it was a moment before she realized he had stopped. Her eyes opened in surprise. His own glowed with an intensity beyond desire that set her heart racing. He touched her face in the way of the unbelieving, and when she turned her mouth into his hand with a kiss, he shuddered.

She caressed his face in wonderment, only now beginning to grasp the depth of his emotion. His eyes shut tightly as if even the lightest contact caused inexplicable pain.

"Hannah...." His voice was ragged, and when his eyes opened, their look took the breath from her body.

Effortlessly, he swept her into his arms and carried her to his bed. No one had ever touched her as intimately as his gaze did now and she shivered in anticipation as he laid her down.

The bed took his weight as he sat beside her, yet for several heartbeats he simply looked down at her, a glimmer of a smile lighting his eyes. Long fingers unfastened the buttons of her blouse with maddening care. She reached for the buttons of his shirt, but catching her hands, he leaned forward and pinned them to the bed above her head.

"Clay...," she protested, squirming slightly in frustration.

He grinned.

His mouth descended on hers in a hard kiss that indented her head deep into the pillow, effectively ending any further objections. Before releasing her hands, he kissed her thoroughly, then lowered his mouth to taste and tease her throat and neck. His hands roamed freely and she responded with a soft moan as they covered her breasts over the thin material of her chemise.

Nothing that had come before could have prepared her for the terrifying intensity of his unleashed passion. She buried her fingers deep in the thickness of his hair and pushed his face lower as her body arched against him in growing need.

She whimpered as he suddenly withdrew, but it was only to sit up and remove his shirt. The lamplight played across the muscular torso and her hand was drawn to the dusting of dark hair on his chest.

He inhaled deeply at her touch, and covering her hand with his own, raised it to his lips. A devilish glint lit his eyes as he kissed the top with gentlemanly courtesy before turning the palm to his mouth with the intimacy of a lover.

Abruptly -- as if struck -- he froze. Hannah watched the light in his eyes flicker and die, turning so distant and cold she shivered.

Without relinquishing her hand, he lowered it slowly and she saw him stare down at her simple gold band in mute fixation. Instinctively she pulled back, but his grip tightened. For the briefest of moments, his eyes shut tightly. When they opened, he released her hand and stood up.

"Clay ... what is it? Whatís wrong?" Hannah sat up in bewilderment and watched him cross the room to the desk.

He offered no explanation as he grabbed and opened a bottle of whiskey. His back still to her, he poured half a glass and tossed its contents down in one swallow.

She swung her legs over the side of the bed, but did not rise, her heart pounding with a nameless fear. "Clay, please...."

He refilled the glass, but did not drink from it. A shudder seemed to pass through him, yet when he turned, his jaw was set, his voice resolved. "You have to go, Hannah. You have to go now." He paused, breathing deeply. "Iím sorry."

At first his words were incomprehensible. But as she stared at his resolute face, their meaning sunk in and she reeled from the blow of it. Her face flushed and her eyes filled with unbidden tears as she felt the full measure of her shame, her humiliation. Unable to stop their trembling, her fingers fumbled with the buttons of her blouse. Oh God, she had trusted him.... Words choked in her throat as she thought of what she had almost done.

"Hannah -- listen to me..." He took a step toward her.

"There is nothing you could possibly say I would want to hear," she snapped. Ignoring the current of tears that streamed down her face, she looked past him for the rest of her clothing.

A second step and he blocked her retreat. "You donít understandĖ"

"Understand?" she interrupted. "Oh, I understand you perfectly and you turn my stomach. Get out of my way."

Grabbing her by the shoulders, he gave her a hard shake. "Damn you, listen to me. You think I want you to go? Do you know how many nights Iíve dreamt of this?" He took a ragged breath. "But while youíre still his wife -- it would only destroy you -- destroy us. Without honorĖ"

Her derisive laugh cut him short. "What could a man like you possibly know of honor?"

He dropped his hands and stared at her.

The cut went deep and she was glad for it. She wanted him to hurt as badly as she hurt, but the look in his eyes was unbearable and she glanced away first. Her coat lay on the floor near the door and she moved past him to retrieve it.

"Hannah."

Her hand gripped the doorknob harder as his voice pulled her up short. She didnít dare turn around. "Donít." Her eyes squeezed shut. The fingers of her free hand clutched the open halves of her coat in a tight fist. "My name is Mrs. Call. Donít ever forget that again, Mr. Mosby."

The door slammed with all the conviction she lacked.

THE END

Send Sharon your feedback here!
June 28, 2002


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