A/N: Meh, since the link doesn't like to work I'm reposting this, with some added stuffs. It's my first post on here for too long. Sorry to keep ya'll waiting. -.-'

Chapter Twelve:

What had he gotten himself into?

Quinn stood at the back of the truck, hand shielding his eyes as he watched Jo's lithe form walk across the top of the tank, hoses in her hand. She worked quickly enough, perhaps making up for some lost time but in her swift movements he wondered how long it would be until she slipped. The damn woman confused the hell out of him. Beautiful and headstrong he wanted her even now, stubborn and simply mean he wondered if he'd ever loved such a woman.

The color drained from his face, leaving his complexion paler than the ghosts that seemed to haunt him. A few months, in just the few months of knowing her, then the few days of intimacy. Frozen in that deep ditch her hat knocked him upside the head snapping him from his trancelike state. "Hey! Alive or what? Hose two's kinked." She'd seen his expression, but not the depth of it. "Damn it I'll do it." Scrambling down the side of the truck, her booted foot, slipped over the ladder near the rear, doused with a few precious drops of spilled water.

Suddenly preparing to hit the ground she found herself only smashed against flesh, a much softer padding than dirt. She turned ready to mutter a thanks when his mouth met hers, but it had been like nothing before. She only had a moment to glance up, into his face, and thoughts wiped from her mind. Almost lazily he ran his lips over her own, so sweetly that she had to simply comply. Turning to face him in the sudden rush of want she framed his face and tried desperately to deepen the kiss.

He pulled his head back, gold meeting green. Blinking, Jo frowned and pulled herself away, his arms wrapped around her shook her head at herself before moving to undo the tangle that jerking he hose had caused.

Needing to do something with his hands before he strangled himself Quinn walked over to the other hoses, turning them a bit as water rushed in the truck from one of his wells. The hoses we're thick and snakelike as they fed the machine, four of them speeded the process up, but still it remained long and tedious work.

Jo drew her arm against her forehead, having already tossed her hat back into the truck. The sun beat down on her, sweat running down her face she debated whether to simply keep going or to leave it half filled and go back now. No, she thought gritting her teeth, she'd have already been done if she hadn't…if they hadn't. Furious at herself she demanded it of her will to stay here until it was full, her cattle depended on it. "You need out of the heat." Quinn muttered and scooped her up by the elbow, leading her towards the cabin of the truck.

She set her heels in the ground, "I'm fine." Though she'd felt like she'd been knocked over by a stampede she still fought at him.

"We've been out in it too long." he said in retort and jerked open the door. Before he could get another word, another step she brought her hand up hard and boxed his left eye. His head run with the blow as he released her, but still she came, poking a finger at his chest.

"It's one thing to sleep with me, it's another to start ordering me around." Her eyes pulsed jade in furious battle before she felt the wave of nausea come up. Her legs went a bit weak, but found herself scooped up anyway and shoved, quite forcefully into the cab. "Heat stroke." She muttered setting her head back, done fighting for the moment.

"Yes, you idiot." He muttered eye beating with the left hook she'd delivered, swinging her legs into the cabin. "Now stay." he shut the door harder than he'd meant and walked back to get the hoses disconnected, they had almost ¾ of a tank. That'd have to do he figured and went to work wrapping them up, sweat stinging his own eyes.

Inside the truck Jo kept telling herself the reason she didn't get back out was simply because she was feeling rather ill, body over heated gripped for the water canteen they always left full under the seat. Somewhere in her head she knew she was only staying here because he'd made her, if she knew one thing about herself it was that she was too stubborn for her own well being.

When he opened the drivers door again it took what she had not to tumble out, "It couldn't possibly be full." she muttered, eyes dark.

"It's not."

"But-" She was cut off rather abruptly when he shifted her over, out of the drivers seat and sat himself instead.

"Give me the keys Jo." He turned his stare to her and her frown deepened.

"I can drive, it's my damn truck."

Instead he simply pulled her over reaching his hand into her pocket, receiving another bat against the ear, though not so hard this time as he retrieved them. "If you pass out and roll the damn truck you're going to lose all the water in it as well as break your fool neck." He shoved it into the ignition, turned it over. "Why didn't you tell me you we're getting overheated?" Hell, he should have seen it earlier, one had to be careful working under the sun.

With a silent retreat she snapped her seatbelt on hard, she wasn't going to pass out, it wasn't that bad. "You aren't my mother." she snarled, back bristled like boars. "And I said I was fine. You're the idiot." She didn't like being called stupid, for too long that was how people had seen her, not even able to speak more than a few words of English when she was sixteen. She'd proven them wrong, shown herself she wasn't what they believed of her, and thrived.

He took off down the dusty street, no longer prepared to argue with her, driving past the shaded spot was tempted to pull over again. She too seemed to sense what was going on in his brain eyes shifting up to his glanced back to the road just as quickly, "Drink." he said and shoved the canteen at her.

"You know…I don't like being pushed around." She took it anyway, knowing it was what would eventually put her back onto her feet, the bodies life source.

"And I don't like being hit in the head, but you've managed that twice within an hour." He spared a glance at her, but only to watch her take a long drink, a few dribbles getting past her lips ran down over her throat, her flesh hot. When he heard her mutter something else, he was sure it wasn't English, but cruised down the road just the same.

He parked the truck back where it had been and turned it off, "Feeling better?" Quinn asked undoing the belt around his waist. Her color had returned, most of it, her cheeks we're still a bit red.

"Yeah." she said finally pushing the door open, but did not bother to get out. "Uh…thanks, I guess." With the long ride back to Circle A she'd managed to stuff most of her pride back down, and to see that maybe she did owe him one. She shifted and brushed her mouth over his quickly, the least he deserved for putting up with her she figured.

When she went to pull away, to get out he kept a hand behind her neck, but did not kiss her again. Instead his breath lingered on her lips eyes on hers, "Have dinner with me tomorrow." A restaurant, something that would be considered an actual date he supposed.

"I can't." her voice was little more than a whisper, the hardened edge of it gone.

He'd been prepared for her refusal, and his eyes shifted a bit, "Why not?"

"Because…tomorrow's the last Friday of the month." Because question flooded into his eyes she shifted her hand through his hair. "Tell you what…I'll be at Sully's and you can come if you'd like."

Friday, clicked into his mind. Pool, and as much beer as anyone could drink was a monthly calling to the boys around these parts at Sully's Tavern. Though it didn't surprise him much that she'd made it a fact to go, he was more surprised he'd been invited. "It's a date."

"No, it's not." she smirked and kissed him lightly again before pulling out of the truck, she'd get James and Mac to empty the tank as she still was a bit nauseous.

He watched her walk off, setting his hat back onto his head walked back down the road a bit where he'd left his truck, unable to get into the gate of Circle A. She was one hell of a woman, one he planned on keeping around for a while.

Cameron lifted the cue stick, lined up as he slammed the 5 and 2 into opposite pockets. With the second shot he nearly missed the last solid he had on the green. Picking up the Coors on the edge of the table he lifted it, "Your turn." He gestured to Jo who lifted the cue up from where she'd been watching her friend play. Things had started to settle between them, not so much awkwardness, though she'd now noticed how he watched her, spoke to her. It made her ache because she couldn't give it back not how he would have liked.

With a quick glance towards the table she found her spot and drooped down, hearing the whistle from her as she bent to shoot. She turned her head to see it was a red headed boy, who was barely old enough to drink. He had two buddies with him, men who looked as if they'd spent every hour past their birth working with weights. She turned her attention back to the table and sunk three stripes in her last shot, drawing around the table to tuck the 8 safely away.

Smirking she held out her hand, "Cough it up." Several bills we're placed into her palm, knowing they'd be won back later when she decided to be a bit lazier.

"Yeah I'll cough for ya honey." She turned to see the red-head had approached her and saw Cameron tense, she held out her hand eyes lifting.

"Oh yeah?" With a sudden jerk she cupped her hand hard over the denim she wore, saw his face go pale when she squeezed hard. "Go ahead" When he held his hands up, she let go and turned back to her game, watching Cameron smirk. She heard the boy give a curse, his friends laughing at him as they went back to nurse their beers.

"Another round?" Cameron asked glancing at Mac who'd been his round partner then to James and Jo. James was busy eyeing the pinball machine at the end of the bar, let in but given a root beer instead of a draft.

Jo took half of what she'd gotten from the round before and handed it to James, "Go ahead." She smiled noting where he'd been staring for the last twenty minutes. He let out a whoop of excitement taking his money towards Sully to change it into quarters. She leaned against the cue, "Looks like we're down a person."

"Not entirely." The dark drawl came up from behind her, as she turned to glance at Quinn who'd just stepped into the bar. Dressed in crimson and jeans his hat rode low on his brow. Tension exploded in the room as she noted Cameron tensed again.

"Can you keep up Russell?" Cameron asked eyes darkening as he snagged up his beer again. He was quite sure Quinn had his sites on Jo, disliked the way that made him feel.

Quinn's eyes lifted, "I got fifty that says I can."

Feeling like a referee to a child's football game Jo sighed, "Fine, Mac, you're on my team" Both of the others blinked at her, Mac grinned. Her head lifted cockily, "Got a problem with that boys?" Her gaze traveled from the man who was blood to her, and the other who she had become intimate with. Each shook their heads and she nodded with the same smirk. "Good."