Author’s note: I had an idea to do a collaborative piece and found two friends to help me in this endeavor. I would like to credit my friends, Eva St. James, and Chris McC for their collaborative effort in writing this series with me. Find her writing here, and his here. Thank you both.
“What?” she asked as she looked down at her pretty new sandals. A rainbow of colored straps on a wedge heel, she thought they were cute. They did compliment her sunshine yellow shirt and white denim shorts nicely, not to mention how they complimented her lean dancer legs.
“Jill, you can’t wear those, you are going to break an ankle or something.”
Ben was so frustrated with his girlfriend this morning. It was becoming most mornings these days. She just didn’t seem to get it. Yes he wanted her to look good, which she could pretty much do wearing a burlap sack, but there comes a time when logic rules.
How could she seriously think those were appropriate to wear for a hike along the escarpment?
They had gone hiking on the escarpment many times. There was a special spot they would often wander off to which was secluded from the main trail. A bit of a climb, without proper footwear they wouldn’t be able to get there. He was in a mood and wanted, no, needed to do something about it.
It was Jill’s looks that initially drew him to her. He couldn’t deny she was a gorgeous girl. Naturally sun-kissed skin, bright green eyes, a smile that could light up the night and legs that go on forever, she was a looker all right. He was lucky to have such a stunning girlfriend and he knew it.
Ben was more the geeky math club type. He wasn’t big and muscular, he wasn’t tanned and handsome. He felt his smile was still as crooked and awkward as it was back in junior high. He was smart though. Smart enough to know that having a beautiful woman beside him would increase his desirability to the people. As a politician some things are all about perception.
“Ben, this isn’t about the hike. You should know that,” Jill said, strapping the second sandal onto her left foot and grabbing her purse. “It’s about the walk down the street and to the car to get there. It’s about the voters that will be out this morning, Saturday morning, enjoying the beautiful morning at the farmer’s market. Lots of hands to shake, people to impress.”
He couldn’t deny that he had thought about the people he might encounter on the way. He had also thought about when they first met, long before he ran for city council, before he considered a stab at the mayoral race and where that might lead him, before they cared about image or public perception.
Back then, more often than not, their hikes would lead to sweaty couplings near a rock overhang under a stand of pine trees. Endorphins running rampant made them keenly aware of the smell of each other, the nearness of the others’ body. That adrenaline rush would not be taking place if Jill had to take tiny steps, careful not to damage herself or her pretty new sandals.
Ben came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her, cupping her breasts.
“I thought maybe we could have, uh, lunch al fresco,” he said softly, knowing his breath on the side of her throat would get a reaction. It did. He felt her nipples go hard. “You know, like we used to . . .”
“At our special spot,” Jill finished, her eyes closing, picturing the scene, remembering. “Those were some fun times.”
“We were always ready, then, weren’t we?”
Reality seemed to hit them both at the same second. They broke away from each other, the moment lost.
Ben tugged at his jacket, like Picard about to give orders. His hazel eyes ran across her as memories flooded his mind further. His mind wandered back to the night they had first met.
After a day of skiing and drinks at Keystone Mountain Lodge, the party at a condo in nearby Dillon, Colorado became the main event. He was still with Megan, his wife at the time, and Jill had come to the party with her boyfriend, Mitchell. The quaint town of snow swept streets and tiny boutiques was rather unaware of how many keys were in the bowl at that party.
Ben had been given room seven, of ten. The condo, one could hardly call it a condo, was in essence a mansion and his room, with the piece of foolscap and a thick “7” drawn in black marker hanging from the door, was near the far end of the second floor. Inside the room were overstuffed pillows done in purple silk fabric that would have made Prince proud.
It was not his first rodeo, so he was quite calm when he first heard the knock. He opened the door and smiled down at a petite brunette and into his wife’s grinning face. “Oh, come on!” he exclaimed with a laugh.
Megan giggled. “I’ll go pick again.”
They exchanged a quick kiss, and he slapped her ass as she turned back to the long carpeted hallway toward the stairs. He watched the wiggle of her ass as she walked before closing the door again.
He may have watched longer had he realized that would be the last time he would see her alive. No matter what anyone said, the snowplow driver was not psychic… the snowplow driver who ran a very drunk and naked Megan over in the early hours of the following morning. It was hard losing her, and hard to explain why she was even in that condition in the middle of the barren snow swept town.
Unaware of what was to come, Ben sat at the foot of the bed and waited. Already feeling numb from a few drinks, his eyes began to feel heavy and he lay back on the bed. This time, the knock made him jump.
He blinked a few times in a poor attempt to wake up as he stood to open the door again. Opening the door, however, he found himself looking down at cleavage before his gaze went higher to find the bright green eyes that were about to change his life.