by Amber Nation
I was reluctant to let her explanation go, but I would definitely be on the lookout. I could possibly let the Sheriff’s department know to be on the lookout as well.
And I was extremely excited to even hope that she would stay in Brown County permanently.
She put her booted foot on the coffee table and stretched again.
“Oh, I forgot to tell you, I had my Doctor’s appointment yesterday and apparently I’ve been doing too much on my feet and haven’t been resting enough, so I’m stuck in the boot for another four weeks. I’m just ready to get this damn thing off." She said as leaned forward to try and readjust the boot.
I was surprised to hear that she had her appointment. How in the world did she get there?
“Why didn’t you tell me about your appointment? How did you get there?"
She scoffed a little before I could tell that her smart aleck self was about to make a reappearance.
“I’m telling you now, and I took a cab. I knew you had to work and have been working a lot lately, so I didn’t want to bother you with my appointment."
Well, when she put it that way…
We were now finally underway into the summer months as it was closing in on the end of June. Things were pretty amazing if I did say so myself, which obviously I did.
I admit that Sheridan and I still tiptoe around the obvious attractions we have for one another, but I could sincerely call her my best friend.
I never thought I would identify with someone so well, we complement each other perfectly.
We went yesterday to get her cast taken off and I never thought that I would see someone so excited to be able to wear two normal shoes. The first thing she wanted to do was go get a pedicure and she made me endure one with her. Although I would deny this to my grave, it actually felt amazing.
I drew the line at a manicure. If Brock would’ve taken one look at my nails and saw my cuticles cut down and clean nail beds, I don’t think I would’ve heard the end of it.
I actually found myself wanting to be home with her rather than working. I still worked my normal paramedic shifts, but I didn’t go to the garage as much, which meant that Sheridan’s car was really no closer to being finished.
She really didn’t seem to mind though, we laughed and carried on all the time, and we’ve even taken to making dinner together. And yes, we still watched Roseanne pretty regularly. And she was in fact right, being in the Conner family would’ve been pretty awesome, there definitely wouldn’t have a lack of hilariousness.
To the average person looking in, you would see that I was, in fact, happy for the first time in a long time. I was just missing that one special piece of Sheridan that I truly wanted; her heart. I’ll be a man and admit that I was already halfway in love with her and what I wouldn’t give to make her truly mine.
But there was absolutely nothing that I could do about it, she had pulled out that friend card over a month ago and I would take what I could get. She was etched so deeply into my heart that I couldn’t risk losing her by taking this further.
Sadie brought me out of my reverie by placing her tennis ball by my leg and nudging her cool, wet nose on my hand.
It was such a beautiful day out, so Sadie and I were playing fetch outside. Well, Sadie was doing the fetching while I sat on the patio.
It had rained all day yesterday, so an idea sparked in my head as something fun to do. And I could almost bet that Sheridan had never done it before.
Speaking of the goddess, Sheridan came outside dressed in yet another pair of cutoff shorts that accentuated those long, lean legs and a racer back tank top. Today her hair was piled on top of her head, she had already been complaining of the heat with her long ass hair, but refused to cut it. I silently thanked God that she did. She handed me a glass full of iced tea before she sat down beside me.
I took a long gulp, it tasted so refreshing. Sheridan really knew how to make the perfect sweet tea.
“Thank you that hit the spot."
“You are very welcome." She took a drink out of her own glass and sat it down on the patio table. “You know what? I want to do something fun today. I mean I just finally got my cast off and I think we just need to go have an adventure or something."
Could she read my mind or what?
“Well, I actually just had an idea for something fun to do myself. I’m sure that it’s something that you’ve never done before and as long as you aren’t opposed to getting a little dirty, I think we would have one hell of a time."
“We are doing what?" I screeched once we pulled up in front of an old style brick ranch home that was absolutely gorgeous and had a scenic lake basically in its front yard. It was complete with a dock that sat two hunter green Adirondack chairs. God what I wouldn’t give to be able to sit in those chairs sipping iced tea for the next fifty years.
“You heard me," Mike said with a bit of cockiness in his tone as he smirked in my direction, “we are going mudding." Of course, I had heard the term countless times before, after all I did live in Georgia, but I’ve never been one to actually go mudding.
I looked down at what I was wearing and I supposed it would suffice although the flip flops would make walking rather hard in the mud. He said we could get a little dirty not a little muddy. And then I looked over to him and it suddenly all made sense. No wonder he looked like he was getting ready to go to the shop, he knew that we were going to end up getting filthy.
He was decked out in these sexy as sin tattered up old jeans, holes were worn in the knees. You could buy jeans like these nowadays, but these weren’t factory made. All kinds of hard work went into those jeans. The shirt he was wearing, if it could even still be called a shirt, was just some old, faded t-shirt that had the sleeves cut off basically from the collar down, so there was very little shirt covering his skin. From this angle, with him sitting in the driver’s seat, I could see just the briefest hint of hair smattering over his chest. And dare I say that I could perfectly see his nipples, which made me giddy because they made my mouth water just thinking about biting them. Topped off with an old pair of work boots and his seen better days baseball cap. I think that would be the first thing I did when I got a job, buy him a new baseball cap so he didn’t have the wear the old ratty one anymore.
Wait, back the truck up. I think I was officially crazy, me thinking about biting his nipples. But in my defense he was a heaping of sexy. I had told him that we were friends, which why I did that I hadn’t even the slightest bit of an explanation. Anxiety I guess, I thought that if I just issued that friend card that things would be better for us, and really they had. I could absolutely without a doubt call him my best friend. We have had so much fun lately, staying up late watching old Roseanne reruns, making dinner together, even just sitting on the back patio talking about anything and everything.
But then there was that tiny part of me that absolutely wanted this man. Ok, if we were being honest, a big part of me wanted him. I knew everything he had been through and I could tell that he was happier than he had been in the past, but there was that little inkling telling me that I needed to keep things between us in a friendly territory.
I felt a little nudge at my shoulder and realized I had checked out and it was Mike pushing me.
“Ass, what was that for?"
“If you don’t want to go mudding we don’t have to. I thought it would be something fun to do." I guess he took my silence as being opposed to this adventure outing.
“Nope, we are already here. Let’s do it! I’m not really wearing the right kind of footwear for mud, but I’m not afraid to get dirty."
“You probably won’t get as muddy as you think. We will be in a truck the entire time so your feet won’t need to touch the ground. If you like going mudding in my truck sometime we can come back and take a ride around on the four-wheelers, but with you just having your boot taken off yesterday, I didn’t want to risk you getting injured again."
My heart actually skipped a
frigging beat that he was concerned with me getting hurt.
“So we are going to take this truck in the mud?"
He immediately scoffed then started softly caressing the dashboard of his truck. “Don’t you listen to her, she didn’t mean it." Then he looked at me, “The Beast will not be going into the mud. I’ve put too much time and money in her for her to deliberately get dirty."
Ok, was it only funny to me that he called his truck the Beast and it was also apparently a girl? What was with boys and their toys? I guess I’ll never understand.
“Well, excuse me," I annunciated every word in a mocking tone. I loved being able to be a smart ass to him anytime I wanted.
But what I didn’t anticipate was him leaning over the center console and grabbing my chin as he said sternly but with the hint of smile on his face, “Your smart mouth is going to get you in trouble one of these days."
Oh my God! Cue damp panties. I felt a liquid rush to my core and I wanted to bait him more to see how far he would go. Seriously, Mike shouldn’t make promises he didn’t intend to keep.
I was thoroughly surprised that by him grabbing my chin it didn’t trigger some kind of unwarranted reaction, if anything I wanted more of demanding Mike.
He hopped out of the Beast and came around to open my door and to offer his hand in helping me down. My foot was healed, but still on the weaker side, so I was very thankful for his help.
I followed him up the gravel driveway towards a detached garage which looked like it would hold at least ten cars. Ok, I may have been exaggerating a little, but it came pretty close.
“Whose house is this?" I asked while looking around for a sign of anyone else, but coming up short.
“This is Ray Monroe’s house, Brock’s dad and owner of Ray’s Auto where I help out sometimes. Brock should be in the garage, he and his wife Tessa are going to come out with us."
This was news, and although I’d met Brock I was excited to meet his wife.
He opened the door to the garage and urged me to step in, once I stepped over the threshold I couldn’t believe what all I saw. This was truly a country boy’s wet dream. I started taking everything in until I looked directly to my right and came almost face to face with an animal, one that probably could have outran me.
I swear I jumped six feet high and directly into the arms of Mike. “Holy shit, what is that?" I clung to Mike as he wrapped his arms around me.
He whispered into my ear, “It’s ok Sheridan. It’s not real."
“Oh, ok." I felt pretty stupid as I started sliding my body down his chest and he immediately did a quick intake of breath.
I heard someone coming up behind Mike chuckling, so I quickly let go the rest of the way from Mike and looked over to see Brock and a beautiful blonde coming our way.
“Now don’t let him fool you. That there moose head is most definitely real. My dad killed it on his hunting trip to Alaska last year, he had the taxidermist mount the head for him, and he just hasn’t gotten around to bracketing it up higher." Brock clarified.
I put my hand over my still racing heart, “Well that thing almost gave me a heart attack. That is seriously friggin creepy."
“Tell me about it, if that freaks you out don’t go into the house. I seriously don’t know how Brock’s mom lives with all of the stuffed creepy critters that are in that house. Blake, our almost two year old, thinks they are the funniest things. I’m Tessa, Brock’s wife," she came forward with her outstretched hand, introducing herself to me.
“Sheridan, nice to meet you. So are you going mudding with us?"
“You bet your sweet bippy I am. I’m so excited that a girl around here wants to actually go mudding. I’ve tried to get my best friends Emmalynne and Toby out here forever. Toby is afraid of messing up his manicure and Emmy just flat out refuses, although now with a newborn, she has an excuse."
She turned around to walk away and I looked at Mike with a questioning look on my face and mouthed, “Sweet bippy?"
Mike chuckled, “Just go with it. Tessa is…different. She’ll say some weird things, just a warning. Come on."
I followed him throughout the garage, we passed several different ATVs and dune buggies, even a few dirt bikes were in the mix. There were several locked gun cabinets lined against the back wall and Craftsman tool chests filled with I’m sure every tool imaginable.
This truly was a man’s haven. The ultimate outdoor store blew up inside of this garage.
Mike realized that I was still lingering about and cleared his throat to get my attention. Meeting his eyes, he said, “Over here."
He stopped in front of a truck that had really seen better days, that was the wrong term. This poor truck should’ve been put to rest decades ago, it was decrepit.
“Will this truck break down on us?" It was a legitimate question.
“No, it won’t break down," he said in a mocking tone while making a funny expression with his mouth. He slapped a hand on the hood of the truck and actual dirt billowed up from where his hand met the metal. That did nothing to reassure me in the slightest.
I looked at the truck even more as I walked around it, I wanted to do a thorough inspection even though I had no clue what in the world I was doing. On the back tailgate, I had to giggle because apparently it used to be a Dodge and now it just was a Dog indicated by the vehicle insignia letters on the back. The color was now a mixture of primer and rust, but I did have to say it had the biggest tires I had ever seen on any type of vehicle. That had to account for something. It reminded me of a Bigfoot truck, just not as nice anymore.
He opened the door for me, like a true gentleman, and waved a hand indicating it was now time to get in, “Your chariot awaits." He put his hands on my hips and hoisted me up into the truck. My, oh my, did I love those little subtle touches from him, his hands could linger for the briefest of time but it would still send electricity soaring throughout my body.
I needed a cool breeze, it was officially getting hot in here.
I situated my butt on the seat, which wasn’t in the greatest condition either, but then again why would you take a nice looking vehicle out in the mud and woods to get damaged? You’d be pretty messed up in the head to do that.
The floorboards were ripped free of the carpeting and there was dried mud everywhere.
I looked out the front windshield and something sticking out from the hood piqued my attention. Mike climbed into the truck and saw my quizzical expression.
“What are you looking at?" He looked out of the windshield to try to get a glimpse of what was befuddling me.
I raised my finger and pointed at the odd looking contraption and said, “Is that a snorkel?"
He tipped his head back and really belted out a laugh, one that came from deep inside your belly. It put a smile on my face to know that I could get such a reaction out of him. I definitely loved this side of him and would choose it over rude, broody Mike any day.
“Sweet-uh-Sheridan, that is a snorkel," he caught himself before the word was entirely out of his mouth. I was torn whether I was happy or sad about that. “This entire truck had to be modified for mud boggin’. Much of the same modifications that I did for the Beast I did for this one as well, such as the suspension lift, which raises the entire truck giving you enough clearance to go over higher terrain. But this truck also has mud tires and the snorkel. The snorkel is used so the exhaust fumes expel from it instead of underneath the truck. It helps so the transmission doesn’t get flooded. This truck is amazing at off road excursions and driving in the mud."
And I was lost. “Ok, I didn’t really understand half of that, but then again I don’t speak man. So I’ll just take your word for everything."
I was getting excited I began searching for my seatbelt and clicked it in place. I placed my feet on the dashboard getting all giddy. I looked over at Mike and he had a humorous expression and I said, “I’m ready! Do I need a helmet or anything?"
He chuckled again, but not as deep, “You are to
o damn cute," which instantly made me feel the heat creep up into my cheeks. “But no, you don’t need a helmet. I’ll be taking things pretty easy today since this is your first time."
“Hey!" Tessa yelled from outside of the truck. I turned to see her decked out in a pair of coveralls with a short sleeved shirt on underneath them. I was kind of glad to be in the confines of an automobile, it’s too hot to be wearing pants outside. She had a helmet tucked underneath her arm and said, “You ready to get ‘er done?"
I gave her a thumbs up the same time that she placed the helmet over her head and Mike fired up the Dog.
Pulling back into the drive leading up to the garage, Mike put the mud caked truck into park. He quickly came over and helped me down before he went to retrieve a hose so he could spray off some of the big clumps of mud from the truck.
Even being out of the truck and onto solid ground I still felt as if I were bouncing around in the cab as Mike traveled over the rough terrain and through the mud pits.
I had to literally hold my breasts down during the impact of the bumps and holes that he hit, and he seemed to hit every single last one of them. I think in a demented way he liked seeing me in pain. Luckily my boobs weren’t just a bit bigger or I’d run the risk of blacking an eye. Next time, if there would be a next time because besides the casualty of my boobs I really had enjoyed myself, I would definitely be either taping these puppies down or wearing a regular bra plus a sports bra over top.
Brock and Tessa were on their way back, they had a bet going on who could win out of the two of them racing back here. And the loser had to clean off both of the four-wheelers before they were put up in the garage for the night.
You could hear the rumble of the ATV engines as they roared up next to the filthy truck.