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Grabbing a Shovel

Chapter 2

She waited a full five minutes before speaking to him again. "Just what the hell was that?" she demanded.

John put on his best innocent face. "What was what? You mean the little nibble? Nothing special, just making you feel welcome."

"Uh-huh." Her tone suggested disbelief. She looked out her window, annoyed enough at him that she didn't want to look. Buildings flew by, gradually giving way to more and more trees. The area was unfamiliar to her, so she asked about their destination.

"I don't know, I'm not driving."

"What?" she answered. "Didn't you plan something out before doing this?"

"Of course I did. I told Will that I would fill his gas tank and to drive us around. Anywhere he feels like going, is where we're going."

"Umm... Okay." She mulled it over for a moment. "Hey, Will, where are we headed?"

The driver shrugged a response. "I'm not sure yet, kind of depends on how bumpy the road I want to take is."

"Well, where are we now?" Michelle asked.

"In the northern part of town," John answered for his friend. "We're headed toward where we both live. You've been there."

She looked out of all the windows again. Two lane road, pine and fir trees on both sides. Almost no streetlights, no reflectors in the road. If they hadn't been driving for only a few minutes, she would have been sure they were out in the wild somewhere. And top that off with the two guys that she didn't know as well as she'd like in the car with her. She began wringing her hands.

"What's the matter, sweet thing?" John asked in smooth tones.

"Nothing," she answered, her irritation still apparent. "I'm just... Not sure about where we are is all."

John smiled, but didn't bother to smooth out her fears. She could use a little dose of reality.

They continued to drive, and Eddie Vedder's warble had given way to a radio station playing love songs. Mr. Big's To Be With You was currently droning it's way through the speakers. She remembered that he liked music, and was always willing to discuss it.

But, that wasn't what she was interested in now. "So, what are we going to do when we get there?" she asked.

"Well, I don't know," he answered. "That kind of depends on you. How do you see this meeting?"

"Meeting? Isn't this a date?"

"Is it? You know, I thought it might be, but I thought it would be best to be sure."

"Okay, yeah. It's a date," she assured him, shaking her head at his weirdness. "And if it makes a difference, it's not even our first date."

"Well, that does make a difference," he responded. "I'm to assume that we got the first date weirdness out of the way along with that pesky first kiss?"

"Pesky? You weren't complaining." She huffed. "And what's with the formalities and the over-educated tones?"

He smiled at her. "Precautions. Rather than me just taking what I want, I thought I'd be absolutely certain of both of our motives."

"'Just taking what you want,' eh?" she asked. "What is it that you want?"

"More than he should," Will answered for John. "Hang on to something, the road is about to get bumpy." The car dipped down a bit in front, finding the end of the pavement, but the road continued on. The ride did get bumpy, bouncing the big Caddy around as the road was turning into what was more or less a rocky trail.

"Where are we now?" Michelle whispered to John.

He knew exactly where they were. I owe him so much more than I paid him. "Disaster evacuation route for the northern ridge," he answered her. "Not that it's well maintained, or would even work for anything less than a big four wheel drive truck, but that's what they call it."

"Why did we come down here?" she asked, but before she could get an answer, she gasped audibly followed by an "Oh" as the canyon ahead came into view. The lights of the college town they had seen the movie at on one end, miles away, but close enough that the lights provided a soft and somewhat romantic setting.

John flashed a crooked smile at her. "Welcome to our town's version of Lover's Lane."

The pair of them had left the car to walk around the area. The evacuation road continued on to the right and down into the canyon. To their distant left were the city lights and closer up was thick brush. Ahead of them was more brush, too thick to walk through, even if the downward slope didn't pose a problem for footing. The area Will had stopped in was a wide and relatively flat expanse, interrupted by the occasional rock sticking out of the ground. Someone that had been there on some other occasion had brought railroad ties to mark the beginning of the slope and indicated good places to park. One such tie was near a large tree stump that John had decided to sit upon, staring down at the city far away.

They had walked mostly in silence, him pointing out roots, rocks and other debris that she seemed to inevitably trip over, forcing him to pull her close to him, and instead of just holding her hand, he found he had to keep her pressed against him. She still seemed to stumble, and often, but not nearly as bad when he just had to sweep one arm in front of her to keep her upright. After her third stumble in as many steps, he sighed with exasperation and scooped her into his arms, much as he had earlier that night. For her part, she pressed her lips against his neck, inhaled deeply and allowed herself to be carried over to the stump that now doubled as a stool for John.

She sat in his lap now, staring at him, wondering where his mind was. He was a million miles away, it seemed, or at least the twenty or so that the city providing the view was. "So, what are you thinking?" she asked softly.

He turned his head so that their faces were close together. "Are you sure you want to know?" he asked in the same hushed tone. It made his voice sound husky, she noticed.

"Would it scare me? Do you think I couldn't handle it?"

He smiled, that same crooked grin from earlier. "Yes, and yes. It's definitely more than you can handle."

She pulled her face away, leaning away from him, but still holding on. "Do you honestly think that I'm that innocent?"

"I know you're not. That's why you're sitting in my lap tonight instead of someone else's. But you're far away from the dirty girl that you try to portray."

She shoved her way out of his lap, and got to her feet. "Dirty?" she sounded shocked. "Is that what you think of me?"

"Dirty, sleazy..." he listed, counting off on his fingers as he went, "not to mention a few other choice words that are out there for your type."

Her jaw fell open, and she stared at him in stunned silence.

"Hey, you asked me to take you out. I'm not your boyfriend, and it would probably benefit the both of us if that remained true. Girls like you... You're doing this to my best friend. You'd do the same to me."

"Then take advantage of what you have in front of you. I'm here willingly. There must be something to it."

"Of course you're here willingly," he nearly yelled as he stood up, towering over her. "This was your damned idea."

"Not entirely," she reminded him, just as loud. "I wasn't driving. I thought maybe we'd do a movie or something. Not come up to a make-out place and argue."

He made a frustrated noise and stalked away from her. He found a log on its side, put one foot up, and stared down at the city lights again. She waited until he had settled himself into the new position before making her next move.

She walked carefully to where he was now standing with his back to her. He could feel her behind him, but wasn't going to turn back and acknowledge her. She had other plans.

Her hands found the hem of his jacket, and reached underneath, drawing her closer to him. She could now feel the shirt he wore beneath his jacket, and that it had come loose in back, providing more space for her hands. There was nothing but bare skin underneath. Warm male flesh, she thought, pressing both hands through the opening against his back. She felt him shudder and gasp at the same time. It made her feel powerful.

She continued reaching, moving closer as she needed to. Her hands traced their way around to his stomach, feeling the tension there. Fingertips found their way delicately up now, finding that the tightness was more that just tension. "Poetry and abs, eh?" he heard her ask.

He couldn't find his voice to answer. He wouldn't have been able to hear himself over the sound of his heart or ragged breathing, anyway. Soft fingertips gave way to light caresses by fingernails, drawing a very primal growl from his throat. She stopped abruptly at the sound. She pulled her hands free, and took a tentative step back. Not far enough.

He caught her wrist in one hand and yanked her to him, pressing close enough that she could practically feel the storm that was raging behind his eyes. She gasped when his other hand found the back of her neck, drawing her much closer to him than she had been, until her mouth met his. She made her own surprised noise at the contact, but then melted away, adding her own need to his.

He held her there, tasting, feeling, possessing, dominating. He felt her breathing become as erratic as his own, as he pressed on her, drawing her in deeper, stroking the fires of her need as he did. She could feel his tongue touching all around the inside of her mouth, massaging hers and even felt his teeth nibbling on her lower lip. It made her nerves explode and sing with joy at the same time.

When they finally stopped for air, she discovered that she had been leaned back to the point that the entirety of her weight was supported by his arms, held against his chest with her feet between one of his and the log where his other was braced. Once she caught her breath she asked, "would you mind returning me to my normal, upright position?" Her eyes met his again, hoping that there was some bit of the humor in him that she know was there, and instead finding that the storm hadn't truly subsided. When he moved, he still didn't release her, but kept her close as he straightened up. Her feet were far enough off the ground that her toes weren't touching.

"Umm... Put me down?," she asked, in the tone of one that wasn't sure about the end result of her request.

Still not speaking, he shifted his weight and brought both of his feet to ground level, and stared down at her face. Wait for it...

She met his eyes. It seemed that he was waiting for something. "Please?"

There it is. Still holding on, he bent his knees until he could feel her feet fully down, then jerked back up suddenly, shifting her up several more inches, and eliciting a yelp from her. His crooked smile returned at the sound. He nuzzled her where he could reach and felt her breath draw in sharply, yet again.

Her audibly pounding heart threatened to rip its way out of her chest as his face brushed fabric over the sensitive parts beneath her shirt. She heard another primal noise while he held her as he did, and it surprised her to realize that she had made that noise. Too much. Have to get away before... "John?"

"Mmm?" he responded, his mouth inching to the neckline of her shirt.

"John?" she asked again, feeling a bit of fear touching her voice as she did.

It was enough. He heard the tone, and unceremoniously dropped her, her breath coming out in a grunt as her feet finally met with the ground. By the time she had gathered her senses and properly caught her breath, she realized she was standing alone.

John sat on the hood of the car, next to Will, the both of them observing Michelle as she calmed herself. Another car could be heard coming down the trail. "May be time to go," Will observed.

"Could be," John replied through a clenched jaw.

"You know, you scared her a bit."

"Thank you, Captain Obvious," John said, rolling his eyes. "Poor little weak thing."

They could hear the radio in the other vehicle, now, playing the soft rock station at a volume that must be hurting the driver's ears. The other car came to a halt on the other side of the clearing from where Will had parked, rolled down its windows, and shut off.

The music remained. And it was the special show that was all love songs. Fantastic. An unfamiliar voice sang out:

And when your body's had

Enough of me, and you're laying

Flat out on the floor.

When you think I've loved you

All I can

I'm gonna love you a little bit more.

John muttered under his breath to Will, "I think maybe we should get the little one home and call this one a bust."

Before Will could respond in agreement, a soft feminine voice penetrated their thoughts. "John, would you come back over here, please?"

Will's barely audible snickering shook the car as John pushed himself back to ground level. He turned and shot his friend a withering glare, only to be met with much louder giggling. "Who's weak now?" Will gasped out between giggles.

With a resigned sigh, John went back to where Michelle was still standing. "Yes?" he asked when he came within a few feet of her.

She motioned for him to follow, and they walked to where the railroad ties were laid out. "I... I'm not ready to go yet. I... um, that is... I think I'd like to spend more time with you."

He arched his brows in surprise. Oh, God, no. What the hell am I getting in to? "What would Mike say?"

"I don't care anymore. He doesn't make my heart flutter, and knock all my good sense out of me just by touching me. And he damn sure doesn't kiss like that. Or at all, really. I didn't realize how much I wanted that kind of attention until I was getting it."

"Sooooooo," John began, really drawing out the 'o.' "You want more 'special attention'?" he asked.

"Yes. Kiss me again."

He pulled her close to him, his arms wrapped around her shoulders and leaning over, brushed his lips across hers in a semi-chaste kiss.

"Again. More this time..."

He followed her request, this time leaving himself connected to her long enough to taste her shuddering breath, before leaning away.

"Mmm..." she moaned. "Stop teasing me and kiss me, already."

He unhooked his arms from around her, and dragged his hands down the length of her arms, grabbing her wrists as he reached them. Walking carefully backward, he maneuvered her to the line of railroad ties.

I'll do such things to ease your pain

Free your mind and you won't feel ashamed

Open up gonna come inside

Gonna fill you up

Make you cry

This music will be the death of my sanity, he thought. Michelle had stepped on top of one of the ties, and was consequently a bit taller than him. He raised one foot, and planted it between hers.

She sat down on his knee, straddling it and giggling madly. Reaching for his jacket, she whooped, "ride 'em, cowboy."

He grinned up at her, enjoying her laughter, willing himself not to bring it to the abrupt halt his body was suddenly crying for. Slowly... His hands reached for her, finding the belt loops at her hips. She leaned over to him, forcing him to kiss her this time, holding herself there until she started sliding down his thigh.

The sensation of grinding her way down his length made her break the kiss, gasp for air, and throw her head back to moan. Her downward slide continued, making her dizzy with sensation. So wrapped up in her utter lack of awareness, she failed to notice that it was not gravity, but his hands that were dragging her down. He had abandoned her belt loops, and had grabbed her hips, pulling her to meet his own.

"Holy, crap!" she gasped out as their hips met, his hands cupping the cheeks of her buttocks. She opened her eyes, but found herself unable to focus. More or less in the same position that had scared her earlier, there was a lot less fear this time.

"You were saying something about taking a ride?" he asked.

She shifted her weight left and right, noting the extremely intimate grinding sensation, and exclaiming in pleasure. "Not exactly what I had in mind," she responded.

"How about this, then?" he whispered, bringing his mouth to the place he had nibbled when he buckled her in to the car. He pressed in with light kisses, moving around in a circular pattern, before dragging his teeth over the nerve near the surface. He could feel her hands clenching his shoulders, her fingernails leaving a small impression despite the two layers of cloth they would need to go through. He nudged her head up, and moved his across her throat to the other side of her neck, trailing more kisses as he went. She allowed her eyes to close and gave herself completely to the sensations.

"That's lovely," she shuddered. "You can do that just as long as you like."

He chuckled deep in his chest. "Don't you think I should stop eventually?"

She shook her head, eyes still closed. "I don't have anywhere to be..."