E L E V E N
You know those moments in life where you wish you could pause time?
Like going to Mardi Grass and partying from sunset to sunrise or finally doing something so worthwhile in your life that you want to play that memory on repeat over and over again? It’s like everything in that small amount of time is perfect, and right as you comprehend that this- this tiny instant in your life- is the moment you want to hold on to, it begins to slip through your grasp.
I think I’m going through one of those moments.
The air is silent between us as I drive slowly through the windy street to her apartment. Kelly Clarkson sings in the background creating white noise that I can’t even focus on.
How am I supposed to pay attention to the road when all I can think of is the way her outfit clings to her perfect breasts and hips? Or with the moonlight illuminating her creamy thighs that make me want to pull over and have my way with her in the backseat of my truck.
I squeeze my hands tight around the wheel, my knuckles turning white from the force. Breathe.
It shouldn’t be this hard to start up a conversation. I basically word vomited everything on my mind back at the restaurant and the space between us was way closer than it is now.
I don’t know how to act when I’m around her. My head becomes void of all thought and I have no control over my tongue that just flaps out words without my permission. She doesn’t seem to mind, and if I didn’t know any better, it would seem like she actually enjoyed my company.
“So, wonderful weather we’re having tonight.” She says breaking the silence, an amused smile gracing her lips.
I roll my eyes but end up chuckling nonetheless. If anyone else were to say that to me I wouldn’t have given any acknowledgment to the statement, but with Dani, her words have my heart on a leash, just like a dog; she could say the stupidest thing and it would still roll on its back and wag its tail for her.
No one else has this effect on me, and to be honest, it’s a little frightening.
“The weather’s fine now but give it an hour or so and it’s going to rain.” All my time spent living in the woods has helped me spot tell-tale signs of when a storm was about to rage.
I glance over at the passenger seat only to see Dani already staring at me, giving me that how do you know kind of look. I swear, if she was standing, her hands would be cocked on her hips, trying to give me the most intimidating look her face could muster. If anything she resembled a fussy kitten who had gotten their yarn taken away.
With another chuckle, I point out what I see. “You can tell a storm is coming just by looking at the clouds. See there,” I point to the clouds in the distance, “they’re growing taller, not wider, and the bases are dark rather than being puffy and white. Also, the temperature has changed drastically since this afternoon which is another huge signifier of what’s to come.”
“You can tell that just by looking at the clouds?” She asks in exasperation.
I shrug with my hands now resting them loosely on the steering wheel. ” Comes with the whole package of being the local Mountain Man, I have a reputation to uphold.” I shouldn’t have sounded as bitter as I did, it’s not Dani’s fault that I’m feared throughout the small town. That would be my own fault I suppose.
I was waiting for her to reprimand me for my tone, however, I’m surprised to hear a soft snicker come from her instead. “You know, I never understood how that nonsense even started. I know I haven’t been here long enough to know everything about everyone but I certainly think I know enough to call bullshit on the whole thing.” She leans over the console and looks back and forth as if she’s about to share a lifelong secret. Bringing my head closer to hers, while simultaneously keeping my eyes on the road, I feel her warm breathe fan across my cheek. “I think having your own nickname is kinda cute. Makes you seem a bit more punkass,” she whispers.
My jeans suddenly become tight and I can feel my cheeks growing warm. I peek at her from the corner of my eye. Holy hell, the effect this woman has on me is crazy.
“Awww you’re blushing!” She squeals before grabbing both my cheeks in her hand, catching me off guard. I accidentally swerve the car into the other lane. A pair of headlights blind me from straight-ahead causing Dani to scream out. Instantly I straighten the car back onto our lane and quickly pull off to the side of the road.
Shutting the engine off I face Dani, connecting my narrowed eyes to her widened ones. Her trembling fingers clench tightly in her lap.
How can I be upset with her when she already looks so guilty? She probably thinks I’m going to yell at her. My face softens a bit upon thinking this.
Grabbing her shaking hands I bring them up to my lips, kissing each of her fingers delicately, trying to soothe her. Holding them against my mouth I close my eyes and sigh. “You’re gonna be the death of me, you know that?” Kissing her hand once more I look up and give her a small smile, conveying that I wasn’t mad.
Her eyes are bright in the darkened night, entrapping me in their rich forest green hue. I could stay here forever, just staring into the endless pool of her unyielding beauty.
And then she laughs.
Nowhere close to the short sweet chuckle I thought she sounded like, but a full belly laugh with tears forming in the corner of her eyes and all.
“I’m so sorry,” she tries to say through a laugh but can’t seem to find her breathe.
I shake my head, trying to keep the smile tugging on my lips at bay, but when a huge snort leaves her mouth my whole resolve breaks and I can’t help but laugh with her. She’s so infectious, her nails are already buried deep into my soul and I know that if she were to remove them and leave she’d end up taking my soul with her.
She has me absolutely wrapped around her finger.
I don’t know how long we’ve sat here but the beginning patter of rainfall causes our laughter to slowly die down. Dani tugs her hands out of mine that I forgot I was still holding and wipes the tears running down her face.
“Oh my gosh, it has been so long since I’ve laughed like that. My sides physically ache, I need to work out or something cuz I feel like I just ran a full marathon.”
“As if you need to work out,” I quip, “you’re so tiny, I swear if I hugged you I’d squeeze you to death like a ketchup bottle.”
She gasps in a mocking manner and crosses her arms. “I bet you say this to all the girls to get them on your good side.”
I lean forward and grab her chin. “If by girls you mean you, then yes, and is it working?”
The rain from outside pelts harder against the windows but everything is faded out except for Dani. She’s gorgeous just the way she is and I hope one day she can see that.
Her eyes linger on my lips. “If I say yes what will you do about it?”
A light growl vibrates throughout my chest and I tug her closer until our noses are touching. “Oh doll, when will you realize I’ll do anything for you? All you have to do is ask.”
Her eyes stare into mine, every single emotion portrayed in their depths. The light dusting of freckles scattered along her nose and cheek contrast to the paleness of her skin, making me want to count every single mark on her skin. What I would do to be able to cherish every scar, crevice, and dent on her body.
She closes the distance between or lips and right before they touch she pauses. If I just moved my head up by an inch she would be mine.
“Kiss me,” she whispers. Even through the pounding of the rain and the howling of the wind I could still hear her words crystal clear. Without any more thought, I close the gap and tenderly press my lips onto hers.
She moves her mouth against mine, hesitantly at first, almost like she’s trying to gauge my reaction thinking I’ll push her away.
Not a chance doll.
I grab her arms and wrap them around my neck, then placing my hands under her thighs, I pick her up over the console and place her on my lap, straddling me.
I moan against her lip, she tastes so sweet. Like mangos and mint on a summer’s day. I could kiss her all day and never grow tired of it.
Her hands run through my unruly hair, eliciting a groan from the back of my throat. My arms wrap around her waist and pull her closer to my chest.
I need to be closer to her.
Suddenly she pulls away and leans her head against mine, our heavy breathes mixing and echoing through the truck.
“Wow,” I say lightly.
“Wow indeed,” she giggles before leaning back on the steering wheel.
I peck her lips once before tucking an auburn curl behind her ear. I rest my head back on the headrest, drinking in the radiance she oozed.
“You’re beautiful.” Admiration coats my tone.
A blush instantly grows on her cheeks. Could she get any more perfect?
“We should probably continue driving to my house before the storm gets worse.”
I smirk, tugging her closer. “We could always stay out here in my car. Just you, me, and the rain.”
She rolls her eyes before climbing back into the passenger seat. “I’m not trying to be stuck out here for longer than I have to so chop chop Mountain Man we got places to be.”
“Aye aye captain.” Chuckling, I turn the engine back on and we continue the drive to her apartment.
And for the first time ever, I’m not offended by my nickname.
THE CHAPTER YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!!!
I know it took a while but they finally got there. I’m so excited for them, I wish I had an Alex who would make me feel like the only girl in the world 🤧
Anyway I realized that Alex and Dani weren’t getting enough alone time as I hoped for so for the next few chapters I’m going to be working solely on their relationship.
Thank you for reading! Please like and comment, I wanna know your thoughts!
Hope you enjoyed your time in Joker’s Basement