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An Affair to Remember Ch. 01

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Amateur Allure

ONE: Jus Primae Noctis

It was raining the night they met.

The rain slick road seemed to roll on and on into the drab darkness punctuated only by the occasional flash of lightning and the reverberating grumbles of thunder. Mother Nature was a pissed off bitch with a score to settle and the world was her unfortunate scapegoat.

The wild winds whistled around the few straggling and struggling motorists on the lonely road, sending cars careening and sliding like penguins on an ice flow. Headlights punctuated the pervasive dark with dogged intensity, providing drivers with patches of vision amidst the swirling maelstrom.

A storm had come to River Run and with it a few pathetic travelers.

Highway 109 ran a straight path from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg and since the invention of the freeway hadn’t seen more than a few truckers still set in their ways and the occasional bus filled with eager old folks looking to make their way to Gettysburg for the war memorials. Those unfortunate enough to be traveling this particular stretch of mostly deserted highway at three in morning were not the most jolly or generous of Samaritans.

One such unlucky soul found himself broken down on the side of this deserted highway in the middle of an October down pour with sixteen dollars in his pocket, a can of AMP in his saddlebag, and a motorcycle with a flat tire.

Now he was 35 years old. Plenty old enough to know how to change a tire or even to know to carry a SPARE tire with him when he traveled.

But, you see, this particular traveler hadn’t seen fit to get the spare checked for air in sometime. He might have but the weekend he was going to do this very important thing, a very dear friend had arrived into town and previous plans had fallen by the way side.

So here he was, soaked, stranded, starving and trying to hitch a ride at the witching hour from one of three cars that had wildly driven past him in the last hour. It seemed, shockingly, that no one wanted to stop and pick up a six-foot-one, two hundred pound man who was built like a brick shit house in the middle of the night. Imagine his surprise.

So what, you may ask, was he doing out on the highway at three in morning? Was it espionage? Was it life or death military details that simply couldn’t be put off? Was he racing to save the town from a nuclear strike?

No. No indeed. He left that shit to much braver-but not buffer-mediocre super hero types.

No no. He was on a much more important mission. He was on his way to his sister’s wedding.

If he was late not even a horde of flesh eating, face melting minions from the lowest, blackest pits in the seventh circle of Hell would be worse than what his sister would do. Anna would string him up by his gibbly bits and flog the flesh from his bones with very pointy sticks.

He’d left with plenty of time to spare. The wedding wasn’t until six the following evening. He should have gotten to her place in River Run by eight A.M. or so. Instead, he’d be lucky to make it at all.

What kind of hero, you ask, is frightened of his sister? A very, very smart one.

And Chris Marshall was smart. Super smart. Uber smart. Mensa quality smart. Harvard smart…just not smart enough to do the common sense thing of making sure his bike was ready for a long distance trip.

You see – this hero didn’t LOOK smart. He really didn’t. He was the type of man a woman might see and call words like: beef cake, eye candy, hunk. He was as ruthless on his body as he was smart.

He was given the extraordinary gift of good genes and had maximized on those by adding rigorous work out ethic…punctuated by poor diet mostly consisting of nachos and beer. And any SMART man knew that if you wanted to eat like garbage – you had to punish your body to keep fit while doing it.

Currently the hero in question was slicking a hand back through his tossled tresses and contemplating the benefits of purchasing a cell phone when a dark sedan slid to the curb a few feet in front of his bike and idled, red tail lights bright in the pulsing darkness.

A small head poked out the window and called above the rising wind, “You broke down?”

Without missing a beat, Chris replied, tonelessly, “Nope. Just taking a few minutes to appreciate this gorgeous weather we’re having.”

There was the hum of a window rolling up, the clunk of a car being put into gear and the rumble of the engine as the car pulled away from the curb. Of course this was done with a great splash of water from the puddle beside the road which managed to soak him from head to toe. As if he wasn’t already wet enough.

Sputtering, Chris glared daggers at the retreating brake lights. The car made it another ten feet before it rolled again to a stop.

Waiting, Chris leaned on his motorcycle.

The driver side door of the sedan opened and a small figure emerged in a rain coat followed by a very large umbrella in bright yellow. With a loud Ka-thwack the umbrella was opened against the down pour and the little person started toward kozyatağı escort him.

Chris observed two things as they approached. One: it was a girl…or a woman actually, slim of build and likely dark haired. Two: she had a very big gun pointed at him.

Amused, he simply watched her until she was a few feet from him.

“You know,” He said finally into the silence, “If you’re planning to car jack me, you might be wasting your time.”

Her mouth twitched a little. “Just wanted to let you know I’m no sucker. In case you got any ideas in your head.”

“Noted.”

She tucked the gun into her coat pocket. “So what’s the problem?”

“Flat.” He kicked his rear tire to prove it. “Spares flat too. I could use a lift into town.”

“Okay.” The little woman beckoned toward her car. “Come on. I have a phone you can use if you want to call for a tow truck.”

“Appreciated.” He followed her toward the car and slid into the passenger seat. It was warm in the car, the leather seats heated. On the radio, Alanis Morisette was singing about having one hand in her pocket.

Quirking a brow at her choice in chic rock, Chris waited while she shook the umbrella and gingerly set it in the back seat before climbing into the driver’s side.

It was a nice little ride. Instead of the sedan he’d taken it for he realized it was an Impala. A suitably fast machine given the right driver.

In the overhead light of the car, he saw that she was pretty even though she was damp. Her eyes were big and dark beneath a fringe of long, thick lashes. Her hair was dark and swept off her face in a long ponytail.

She was familiar somehow but he couldn’t put his finger on why.

Turning her head, she met his eyes. “I’m Vivi.”

He took her hand and shook, “Chris.”

Nodding, Mia opened the center console on the Impala and withdrew her cell. She passed it to him and turned her attention to sliding the car on to the deserted highway.

Chris dialed up Lem Holbrook, owner of Holbrook Autobody. After a brief conversation, he was assured that someone would pick up his bike and have it towed to the shop to be looked at in the morning. When he closed the phone, he turned his attention back to his rescuer.

“So, Vivi. Why stop to help me?”

Shrugging, Vivi focused on maneuvering through Main Street toward the Adolphus Hotel. She wasn’t sure where this guy was going but she was renting a room there for the week.

“Stranded guy, dark road, middle of the night. I’m a fan of slasher flicks. Like to live dangerously.”

Smirking, Chris relaxed in the seat. “I left my shovel on the bike.”

“Shame. I was so hoping to have to try to dig my way out of an early grave tonight.”

Chris laughed a little and scooped a hand back through his soaked hair. He felt like a drowned rat and likely looked worse. The thick leather riding jacket he wore was good at repelling water but tended to suction cop to the skin when wet to create a variable prison of damp cloth and humidity.

He turned his head a little toward his pretty savior. “You mind if I take this thing off? It’s cooking me.”

Vivi smiled a little. “Knock yourself out.”

Vivian prided herself on being immune to the charm of most men. Her job put her face to face with arrogant assholes pretty much on a daily basis. She had a reputation for not giving a shit about anything with a penis. In fact, around the office, they referred to her as the Ice Queen. This title actually made her proud since most of her office was punctuated by inter personal drama that she was generally content to be separated from.

But then the moment came when her “rescued” passenger peeled himself out of his leather jacket. And the Ice Queen felt every blood vessel in her body fire from her toes to the tips of her ears. She was surprised, actually, that the entire top of her head didn’t simply blow off from the amount of teenage girl hormones that pumped furiously through her.

Men should NOT be built like that. Not. Nope. Never. Not if anyone was expected to ever get anything done but sit around and stare at them in abject female appreciation.

The black shirt beneath its matching black jacket was literally pasted to his flesh. She could see every muscle outlined as if by a playful hand beneath the plastered material. Did he have no decency? He should cover himself.

But, of course, he was covered. He wasn’t TRYING to look like sex on a stick. He was just sitting there politely trying to dry off.

Her attention turned to his face which, in hindsight, wasn’t a vast improvement. It was handsome. Strong jawed and full lipped and topped off by a set of really beautiful crystal blue eyes. Handsome…yes but not overly so. It wasn’t a face that would stop you in a crowd to stare at how perfectly it was made. No. But it was a face you wanted to keep looking at. Masculine – like the body it sat atop.

A horn sounded and Vivi cut her attention back to the road – horrified to realize küçükçekmece escort she was drifting into the oncoming traffic lane. Well that was truly the lowest of the lowest. She’d actually let him distract her from driving in a rain storm. How truly, awfully embarrassing.

“You ok?” He queried, seemingly genuinely concerned for her.

“Long day,” She answered, “Just a little tired.”

“You want me to drive?”

She smiled, ruthlessly keeping her eyes on the road and off him. “That’s ok. That certainly woke me up.”

Chris nodded and leaned back against the seat, scooping his hair off his face again. This sort of movement showed his chest and arms to full advantage. Not that she was paying attention.

“So what brings you to River Run?” He asked, forcing her to turn her attention – at least mentally – back toward him again.

“I have friends there I’m visiting. What about you?”

“Family.”

“Ah. From there originally?”

“Yup. Born and raised.”

Vivi nodded a little. “You moved away?”

“Yeah. I’m in Boston now. Work took me there.”

“You mind me asking what you do?”

Chris shrugged a little. “No secret. I’m former military. Now I’m in the private sector. It pays well and allows me to only work a few months a year.”

“What do you do with the rest of your time?”

He laughed. “Whatever I want. Sometimes I travel, sometimes I volunteer.”

“Sometimes you break down on the side of the road in the middle of the night.”

Chris met her eyes briefly and they both smiled. “Yeah. Something like that.”

“Sounds pretty awesome.”

“No lies. It is. I worked my ass off in the

military. I’m getting some much needed down time.

I’m taking a few months off now for family. When I’m ready – I’ll get back in and make a bunch of money guarding some pop starlet or running security for some desperate tv house wife and then take another few months off after that.”

Vivi sighed loudly. “You poor man. Sounds awful.”

“You’d be surprised how annoying and stupid celebrities can be off camera.”

“It wouldn’t surprise me.”

He shifted toward her, giving her a full on view of that face and body in the low moonlight that was obscured by the pouring rain. It cast light and shadows on his face and body that made things low in her own tighten uncomfortably.

“What about you? What do you do?”

Vivi shrugged a bit. “I’m a computer nerd mostly.”

“You don’t look like the type.”

She laughed. “What’s “the type”?”

“You know. Uptight, nervous. Or maybe like that chic from N.C.I.S. Closet goth meets nerd.”

“That’s some pretty sad stereotyping. In the interest of humoring myself, what type do I look like?”

He was quiet for a handle of seconds. “Like a gypsy. Mysterious and dark and dangerous. Like you should be telling fortunes and saving hunchbacks.”

Vivi met his eyes again and snorted. “I prefer saving possible homicidal maniacs from the side of the road.”

“For which I am much obliged to ya and so will spare you from being gutted and strung up by your own intestines.”

They shared a smile as Vivi navigated into the parking lot of the Adolphus Hotel. “This is my stop, psycho killer. You gonna be okay from here?”

Chris smiled again, charmed a little by her wit. “Turns out I’m staying here myself. So it works out perfectly.”

Vivian smirked again and reached over to open the glove box of her car. She withdrew a box of tissues and handed them to him. “You’re dripping on my leather seats.”

Neither of them was sure how it happened but when her fingers brushed his, thunder rumbled somewhere in the distance. Startled, Vivi dropped the tissues.

Without thinking, both reached toward the floor board of the driver’s seat where they’d fallen. It forced him to lean over her and put their faces inches from each other. A handful of seconds passed before Vivi leaned abruptly back and allowed him to claim the tissues.

He dried his face a little and handed them back to her.

“Thanks.”

“Sure.” Her voice sounded small. Her skin felt like it was being eaten by electrified ants. Not entirely an unpleasant feeling…somehow.

“Well…” He murmured. He was aware the dynamic in the car had shifted. He’d clearly made her uncomfortable and was sorry for it. He’d been enjoying the teasing they’d done on the drive. It was nice to simply sit and talk with a woman for a change. He spent so much time surrounded by prima donnas who were good on the eyes and terrible on the nerves. Skinny stupid bitches with more money than brains.

“Well…” She answered quietly, “If there’s nothing else…?”

Was that an invitation? He thought. And wondered what it would be like to lean over and kiss her. She looked like she might fall out the door she was pressed so tightly against in a fit of panic if he tried. Some women were intimidated by his size. Maybe she was one of them. Although she’d been fine with him minutes earlier.

“Thanks kurtköy escort again.” Chris said by way of goodbye.

“Sure.”

“Good night.” He grabbed his jacket and slid it back on, hefting his bag in the other hand.

“Yep.”

He climbed from the car and headed toward the building. He rubbed his tingling fingers together the whole time.

Vivi waited until he’d cleared the building before she let out her breath she’d been holding. It wheezed out of her lungs like a starving thing.

She pressed her forehead to the steering wheel and took deep breaths. After a few long moments, she got out in the pouring rain – grateful for it now as it attempted to cool off her burning flesh.

……

It was insane. It was stupid. She didn’t even KNOW this guy.

Standing on the roof of the Adolphus a half hour later, letting the rain soak her heated face, Vivi was having a crisis of epic proportions. She’d picked him up, helped him out, dropped him off and couldn’t get him out of her mind.

He wasn’t even her type.

He was..well…BIG for one thing. Big and unshaven and sort of snarky. She wasn’t even into that. She only dated intellectual types. Wasn’t Craig intellectual? Wasn’t he an MBA and on his way to being CFO of a major fortune 500 company?

Yes. Yes he was. They had all their life goals in common. He came from a wealthy family with good connections. He was polite and well-spoken and pedigreed. Nana Ann loved him and her parents loved him and he’d proposed just like he was supposed to over spring break. He was really perfect on paper. And he NEVER made her heart race like that.

Lord her palms were still sweaty. Ridiculous, stupid to be salivating up on a roof at four a.m. over a man she’d met on the side of the road for ten freaking minutes. A sort of rude, over muscled, blue eyed, five o’clock shadow wearing man with…with the most kissable mouth she’d ever seen. And those ARMS. Dear lord, she wanted to lick the rain water off those biceps.

She thought one might be as big around as her waist. Something inside her quivered at the idea. He was just so MALE.

That’s what it was. He appealed to the most basic, dark, dirtiest and prurient female instincts. Something about him screamed: MATE.

That’s it. That’s all it was. It was just that little part of all women that craved a bad boy.

Shaking her head at herself, she turned to head back inside out of the rain.

He was standing a few feet away by the roof door. The look of surprise on his face probably mirrored her own.

And there was something there in her eyes he’d never seen in another woman’s. Something that had no name but resonated in his groin like she’d stroked him there. She looked at him like she was starving for him.

Her hair was down now and long and dark and wet. She wore that same proper business suit soaked by the rain and clinging to a curvy body with full hips and big tits that were obviously meant to be hidden in the suit. And he felt saliva pool into his mouth at the sight of her and that look in her eyes. It had a thousand names since the dawn of time but only one that sprang to his mind in that moment: lust.

A thousand coy and clever things spring to mind to say to him.

He had about a hundred of his own to say in response.

Neither said anything.

Lightning flashed, thunder rolled and his hands caught her beneath the arm pits. He lifted her and turned, slamming her back against the wall of the roof entrance. He was almost a foot taller than her and twice her size.

Quivering, mad, she snaked her fingers into his hair and drug his mouth to hers. Tongues tangled and battled and took from each other. His stubbled jaw scraped her delicate skin as he dove into her over and over, plummeting her mouth with fearless abandon.

Darkness spread, breeding something inside of her that was boundless, endless, ceaseless in its hunger. Her coat was torn aside, buttons pinging off the metal roof of the Inn, that flap of the material lost to the driving howl of the wind and the hammer of their hearts.

Her hands gripped and ripped, tearing the shirt from him, finally, feverishly touching and taking, tearing her nails down his chest and up over his muscled back. With a hiss of appreciation, his hand shot up under her skirt. He shoved the pencil thin, practical business skirt up to her waist not even bothering to remove it.

She whimpered, torn between her own desire and his. Beneath the skirt were garters, he almost came at the sexy sight of the red garters against her creamy thighs. The lace between drove him mad. He ripped away her panties and the garment gave with a sound like a scream.

She had a flash, a moment, where she almost changed her mind. Too tawdry, too dirty to do this.

And his fingers were in her, deep inside her, forcing her the breath from her lungs in cry of surprise and passion. She came, wet and hot, after one thrust from them. She came in his hand, bucking and crying, one leg hooked over his hip, the other trying to turn to jelly and drop her to the floor.

He caught her, carried her weight easily as she came, tightening around his fingers like a fist. Unable to resist, he jerked at his zipper with his free hand. Lightning flash again, bright and hot, illuminating the wanton greed in her eyes and the unleashed need in his.

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