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Stranded: Surprise

Posted on Wed Mar 19th, 2014 @ 1:47am by Unawakened Jana Rotherbridge

Date: March 22nd, 2010
Time: 10:30 am
Location: Bedroom at party house, Lake Texoma, Texas

“Wake up, love.”

Jana sat up with a gasp, looking to her right. Gabe should be there. He had been. Instead, there was Simon, sitting on the bed and smiling, still in his jeans from the night before, though he’d gotten his shirt back sometime that morning.

Which meant he was more decent than she was.

Jana moved across the bed, away from him, and realized her legs were completely bare. And, finding herself on the other end of the bed, that Cole was gone, too. She was far more panicked by the first one, though, and slid her hands under the covers, pushing her skirt back down from where it had rucked up during the night. “What are you doing here?” she demanded, sliding from the bed just as Simon moved to follow her across the bed.

He raised an eyebrow. “I should think that would be obvious. Cole appears to have taken over the basement in what I can only describe as the largest Dungeons and Dragons campaign I have ever seen, and Gabriel is otherwise occupied. I thought I’d see if we could pick up where we left off last night.”

The news about Cole didn’t surprise. Tommy had a brother, now off at college, who had been into D&D in a big way, and his collection of ‘manuals’ had been one the big reasons Cole had come to the party. That he was down in the basement with just about every other nerd who came to the party last night was pretty normal, under the circumstances. If she were to search on her own, it would be one of the first places she’d have checked.

It was the second part that really got her attention.

“What do you mean Gabe’s ‘otherwise occupied’?” she asked suspiciously.

Simon sat up on what had been Cole’s side of the bed, throwing his legs over. “I had nothing to do with it,” he said, showing mild affront. He studied her. “You really don’t know?”

“Know about what?” she asked, backing away from the bed.

The way he grinned made her want to slap him. “You really don’t know. Never say that the Rotherbridges keep secrets from one another? You certainly didn’t wait to tell him about me.” His grin had faded slightly, and he sounded slightly bitter.

“It just slipped out.” So had that. Inwardly rolling her eyes, she raised a dubious eyebrow. “He told you about it, huh?”

“As you say,” he said, motioning to her. “We had quite the conversation while you were in the ladies’ room last night. He’s very protective of you.” He studied her, leaning forward. “Your reaction when you thought I’d done something to him tells me that you are just as protective of him.”

Jana nodded. “Yeah,” she said, stopping a foot from the wall. “Pretty much.” She watched nervously as he stood from the bed. “We really should talk more.”

He shook his head. “We did enough talking last night,” he said, backing her into the wall. “But I’m willing to listen, if there’s more you want to say.”

That wasn’t anywhere near the point. But she had trouble finding the words as he came in closer, making her unbearably hot even in what little clothing she had on. “Uh, well…” She cleared her throat. “This is… a bit closer than I thought we would be for the talk.”

Being surprisingly amendable, he pulled back. “Very well. I gather there are still reservations.”

“You could say that,” she said, moving away from him to find the wicker chair once more. Simon moved with her, kneeling next to the chair. His attentiveness wasn’t so surprising, but it was a good deal less… physical than he had been last night. She decided to take it at face value. “It’s… fast. Very fast. Feels… too fast.”

Simon raised an eyebrow. “It seemed as if you were all for it last night, love.”

She glared at him. “I wasn’t in my right mind. Besides, flatter a girl like that and I dare you to find any girl that’s going to say ‘no.’”

He gave her a nod. “Touche.” He caressed her hand. “What were you thinking we should do about this?”

Jana shivered, but forced herself to breathe, capturing his hand with hers to stop the movement. “I really think it should be slower.” She saw him cock an eyebrow. “Really. I mean, it’ll be my first, I don’t want to rush. I know you’re going to be gone by fall,” she assured him. “But… I’m not as ready as you are for this.” There. She’d said it. Now she’d prepare for him to walk away.

He seemed to mull this over. “You aren’t saying no?” he asked, squeezing her hand.

Jana shook her head. “Shy and nervous, not stupid.” His understanding seemed out of character. She didn’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but… he’d been pushing really hard last night. “You’re being very… flexible.”

Simon shrugged. “I know what I want,” he said. He caressed the back of her hand. “Some of the best things are worth waiting for.”

Jana felt tingles go up her arm. “Is that right?” she said, not stopping him. She wasn’t sure how to put a stop to it but not make him feel rejected.

Simon nodded, moving to make his head level with hers. “Most definitely,” he said, releasing her hand to cup her jaw.

She sighed. “We need to work on our communication,” she said with a tone of mock-lament.

Simon smiled, looking incredibly sexy. “I agree, though I’m rather done with words, for the moment. I’m in the mood for a… more direct form of communication.”

Jana felt a smile cross her face. “Direct, huh?” She knew she shouldn’t, but… she was drawn to him. She’d never felt this way before, about anyone.

“Very,” said Simon, his voice deeper, more rumbling as he closed the distance. She lifted her head to meet his, and their lips met.

It felt so good. She’d been kissed before, but this was a whole new experience. Where his lips and hand touched her, she felt branded. The pressure was light, coaxing. As if he were the shy neighborhood boy at the door asking if she can play. She responded, her hand going out to grab his neck, pulling herself up, closer, as the kiss continued.

She heard a snicker. Feeling dread, she ended the kiss and looked at the doorway. Standing there, looking gleefully evil, was Bridget Collier.

Bridget was a small blonde, about 5'4”, compact and curvaceous. Her hair fell in ringlets around her face, her blue eyes framed by long mascara-ed lashes. She wore short-shorts and a tiny tank top Jana felt certain her beloved Mama didn't know she even owned, let alone wore.

“Well, well,” said Bridget, her grin all that was unholy, “it looks like little Jana has a secret.” It was an obvious diss, since Jana had five whole inches on the stupid little bi – bit of fluff. “You two look cozy.”

Jana put on a “I’ll smother you in your sleep” smile. “I'm surprised you're wandering around, Bridg. Shouldn't you be leading Bible study?” Jana was a Christian in the loosest sense of the word, in that she did good unto others that were good unto her, but Bridget was one of those fake pious people that made Jana want to become a complete atheist.

Bridget pouted. “Don't call me that. I happen to be looking for my Mark. We planned to have couples study, but I can't seem to place him.” She looked falsely concerned. “Should you really be alone with a boy in a bedroom, Jana? What would your aunt say?”

Jana’s smile turned devious. “She'd be proud I left the door open.”

Bridget opened her mouth, a pithy comment on the tip of her tongue but then she thought better of it. No good little girl admitted to opening closed doors. Not to mention how she might be called to explain why she looked for her boyfriend behind closed doors. She shut her mouth with a click of teeth, turned with a toss of her hair over her shoulder, and marched down the hall, looking like a young and very annoyed Farrah Fawcett. Except not as pretty.

Jana drooped with a sigh of resignation. After everything that happened since coming to the party last night, it felt like her life was out of her control. The biggest reason for it was kneeling next to her chair, but she couldn’t be mad at him. She gave Simon a tired look. “I give it until she gets to the bottom of the stairs before she finds a way to spill that doesn't make her look bad.”

Simon kissed the back of her hand. “Best to spike her guns, then,” he said, standing with a sense of resolve. Simon reached for her hand like a gentleman. “Come along.”

Jana blinked, startled by his gesture as she gave him her hand and let him pull her to her feet. “Where are we going?”

“Downstairs,” he said, finding her shoes.

“Together?” she asked, cursing the squeak in her voice.

He put the sandals at her feet. “Of course. Put them on.”

Jana gave him a surprised look, but her brain caught up when she slid her flip-flops on. “You want to out us? I thought...”

Another sigh. “I wasn't planning on forming this sort of attachment, no. But that little upstart makes it so that we cannot conduct ourselves without the world watching. The best way to handle it is to make a declaration.” He took her hand again, pulling her toward him.

She looked up at him. “So... we're dating?”

Simon smiled, amused. “I suppose. That really should not be so strange, but... yes. How does next Friday grab you?”

Jana giggled. “It's fine with me. So long as I'm not grounded.”

Simon chuckled. “Knowing what I do about your aunt, I somehow doubt that. Far more likely, she'll smother you with attention when you finally make it home.” The social had not been the last time Simon had seen Mariah in action.

Jana snorted. “If there was somewhere for it to land, she'd be here in a chopper to pick us up the moment the rains stops.”

Simon wrapped his arm around her as they left the room. “She adores you, as well as your brothers.”

Jana sighed. “Don't I know it.”

Simon chuckled at her put-upon tone as they descended the stairs.


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