#1 10 May 10 :: 06:45

La Dorquetta de Prima
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 23 Jul 06
Posts: 21,558

STRANDED - An Adam & Joan (possible future Butterflies) Fic RATED R...


by Sisterdebmac & Carol

(possible future Butterflies)

Deb's Author's Note: This one came from a random place.  TeeJay was writing her Alphabet Soup series and Carol and I wrote a N is for Nostalgic chapter for it.  She ultimately went with something else so we posted our story on the MB, called it Valentine.  In it, we said something in passing that led to this one.  And that something rose from an uncompleted chapter for the Butterflies canon.  But mostly, I just really needed to write some smut.  ;-p

Carol's author's note: Well, I think smut is a pretty natural offshoot of these two being marooned in a secluded cabin fully equipped with fireplaces and mood lighting.  It's been a tense time for them and they really needed a romantic weekend together.  They get much more than they bargained for.  As always, many thanks to Deb and TeeJay for letting me play in their Butterflies universe.

Synopsis:  Adam and Joan rent a cabin on Mercer Creek for a long, romantic Valentine's weekend and get stranded with no power by a freak ice storm.  This is possible Butterflies A/J two years into their marriage.

Rating:  R for sweet smut.  Mature Audiences only!!!

Genre:  Total angst-free fluff.

Disclaimer:  They're not ours... blah blah blah. Barbara Hall... blah blah blah. CBS... blah blah blah. With apologies once again to all of the above and to the actors for turning the God show into porn.


Seemed like a good idea at the time.  They had talked rather romantically about doing something special for Valentine's Day, but having it fall in the middle of the week narrowed down their choices a bit.  And then it hit him.  Why not make it a long weekend and go away someplace?  No pressure, just some time alone to chill and reconnect.  He checked out several options and settled on a cabin on Mercer Creek.  They'd always loved hiking and picnicking there, even as kids.  The weather reports were all calling for a beautiful, mild weekend.  Spending a few romantic days together in a picturesque cabin on Mercer Creek?  It just sounded perfect.  Why not?

As part of the state park system, accommodations were very reasonable, especially during the cold, dreary winter months.  Even still, because the four remote cabins were so well-appointed, carefully stocked and meticulously maintained, they were almost always in demand.  Even in the often brutal Maryland Februarys.  And of course they were all booked for Valentine's weekend, but Adam learned rather randomly that there was a cancellation and he jumped at the chance to snag the last cabin.

When he surprised Joan with it, she was excited, all for it.  Said she really needed exactly that kind of a break from the real world.  So they made their plans.  For the entire month of January, they couldn't wait for that special weekend to come.

Everything was great…

…Until it wasn't.  They had a Murphy's Law week, well, more than a week, leading up to the trip.  Joan was piled on at work.  Adam had to make a last minute trip to Atlanta for a meeting to salvage a contract.

Then the water heater broke, late on a Saturday night.  At first they were afraid they'd have to pay a plumber double time to come out on Sunday and install a new one.  The Lowe's card pretty much stayed maxed out from their continued improvements on the old Rove homestead, so Adam had to take a painful bite out of their savings to replace it.  He'd been quick enough on the draw to gently refuse his father-in-law's offer of "help".  They were lucky that Brody's Little Brother, Tommy, was apprenticing with a plumber and could help instead.  That would save them the exorbitant labor costs.

Took them all day Sunday in the freezing basement, but Adam, Brody and Tommy got it done.  It was a giant relief.

And then Joan got into a fender-bender.  No one was hurt but, since her right side wheel well was crushed against the tire, the car wasn't safe to drive and had to go to the body shop.  And until the insurance reimbursement came through their savings account would have to take another sizable hit. The police had deemed the other driver to be at fault, but the guy was uninsured.  So there would be a court case.  And until that was settled, their insurance carrier would not pay up.

When they got back from their weekend getaway, they'd be looking for a lawyer, a prospect that neither of them found appealing.  And Joan refused to pay for a rental car, so she'd be without transportation for over a week. She carpooled to work with a colleague, but it meant getting up 45 minutes earlier for a week.  Other necessary trips, like grocery shopping, required either waiting until Adam's car was available or tagging along with a friend.

No sooner had Joan gotten her car back and things seemed to be settling down than Grace showed up on their doorstep.  Once they let her in, she claimed asylum and parked herself in the guest room where she stayed for three days, until Adam forced her into a room with Karen and they finally settled whatever their conflict had been.  Typically, Grace had never divulged what was wrong.  And, since she'd been forced to face Karen before she was ready, she felt it was her right to have the privacy to confront her.  So Adam and Joan spent a couple of tense hours stewing at The Local, watching some stupid hockey game they couldn't care less about, slowly nibbling on bar food and nursing beverages while their friends hashed out whatever the problem was.  They'd been run out of their own place.  And the longer they stayed out, the more irritated Joan became. 

"Grace and Karen have their own damn house to argue in.  Why can't they just go home?" she'd grumped.

"Grace isn't ready," he'd said.

"You're such a pushover for those two."

He knew it was true, but it stung that his desire to support his best friends seemed to bug his wife. They both knew that Grace and Karen had been ports in the storm for them in similar circumstances but, when Joan was irritated, she tended to forget these things.  Wisely, he didn't try to bring her around to his point of view, but it stuck in his craw a bit that she seemed to resent his having provided sanctuary for Grace during her time of need.  Consequently, even after Grace finally went home, Adam and Joan felt out of sync.

By the time they jammed the last of their supplies into the Forrester that Friday afternoon and took the winding, woody road to the creek, they were just exhausted from all the bullshit.

They barely talked on the way there.  This was more from weariness than any lingering aggravation.  In fact, he was pretty sure that she nodded off once or twice during the hour-long drive.  Even thought it wasn't quite 6:00 p.m., it was already pitch dark when they rolled up to their cabin. 

They both sighed and stretched as they got out and wordlessly gathered a handful of their gear from the car before climbing the five steps up to the small porch.  Adam opened the door with the key he'd been given at the ranger's station and reached in to feel for the light switch.  "Gotta be here somewhere."

"Here," Joan fished her own key chain with its little Mini Maglight out of her purse.  He shone it inside as he stepped in and looked back for a switch.  Nothing on the wall.  Weird.  He made his way to the nearest table and turned on a lamp.

"Whew!" Joan breathed.  "For a minute there, I was afraid there was gonna be no electricity."

"Noooo.  I wouldn't do that to you.  Of course there's electricity.  There's even a whirlpool bathtub."


He grinned.  "I was keeping that part for a surprise."

Joan finally smiled.  "Sweet," she said as they dropped their gear near the entrance and started back for more.

"No, you stay inside.  Look around.  I'll get the rest of our stuff and let's think about making a fire.  It's getting cold."

"Yeah, OK." She was starting to ease into the spirit of things.

He went back outside for another load and she checked the bedroom.  Very nice, big bed, down comforter, a small brick fireplace.  The living room of course, had an enormous stone fireplace and the far wall had two large windows facing the creek. She'd been expecting something much more utilitarian, but this was beautiful.  Rustic rather than grand, it had exposed wood beams in the living room, shiny, knotty pine floors with a really soft looking faux fur rug in front of the hearth. The kitchen was small, but fairly modern, all the necessary appliances.  And the bathroom was very nice.  There was, like Adam said, a whirlpool bath and separate shower.  It was obviously a selling point.  The whole effect was cloistered and cozy.  She could really get to like this...

As Adam brought their stuff to the appropriate rooms, she turned on more lights and located the cord of firewood they'd ordered in the huge utility closet right by the living room fireplace, along with all the necessary tools.  Two fireplaces and a whole cord of wood had been an extravagance, but what the hell?  They both felt like they'd earned it.  If possible, they planned to put any leftover wood into the trunk of the car so they could use it at home.  She was happy to see a basket filled with pine cones and small pieces of kindling, and knew she'd have no trouble building a really good fire, so she set about doing it.

Adam parked the last of their food in the kitchen and leaned in to watch her.  "Honey, you want me to do that?"

"No," she replied flatly.  "Why?  You want me to be the girl and put away the food?"

He threw up his hands, defensively, "I'll do it."  And he disappeared into the kitchen.

She wasn't sure why she was annoyed with him.  He hadn't done anything wrong.  None of their recent misfortunes were his fault.  But, damn it, they weren't hers either.  She'd just been so hopelessly irritable.  Everything bugged her.               

When the fire was crackling and all their perishables were put away, they went to the bedroom to break into their suitcases for their pjs and toiletries.  All of this they did in relative silence.

Before long, they met in the living room.  Adam had already pulled out a velvety-soft chenille blanket and cracked a very nice bottle of red wine.  "You hungry?" he asked.  "I made a batch of chili in the crock pot this morning before I went to the office.  It wouldn't take a minute to heat it up.  Or I could make you a sandwich."

"Sounds delicious, but I'm more tired than hungry.  I'll make you something, if you want."

"Nah.  I'd rather veg with you.  We'll eat a big breakfast tomorrow when we're awake enough to see it," he smiled.

She allowed a tired smile in return as she joined him on the battered but comfy old leather sofa and he handed her a glass.  She rolled the wine around and enjoyed the aroma before taking a generous swallow and leaning back onto the arm of the couch as she placed her glass on the end table.  Adam did much the same, relaxing against the opposite sofa arm.  When her feet found his lap he instinctively began warming them with his hands.  And pretty soon he elicited a moan from his wife as she relaxed completely under his touch.

Sucker for her pleasure that he was, he began gently massaging her feet.  And she melted, sliding down until their bodies almost met.  Not quite.  Almost.  Her feet on his belly now, he kneaded them and caressed her ankles and calves.


"Yeah, Babe?"

"I'm sorry I've acted like such a bitch all week," she murmured.

"I know.  I've been kind of a dick too.  Completely unintentional, I'm sorry."


He leaned forward, eyes droopy with his own weariness.  "Truce."

She met him for a quick kiss.  "I'm so beat."

"Me, too."

She laid back again and pulled the blanket up to her chin.  Adam reached over his shoulder to turn off the lamp on the end table, leaving them illuminated only by the glow of the fire as he nestled down himself.

"So tonight we sleep.  And maybe tomorrow, we hike?" he said.


"I'll make you breakfast.  We'll take a little hike, have a picnic if it's not too cold."

She could barely keep her eyes open.  "Sounds nice."

At some point that night, they crawled into their big, warm bed and became completely unconscious.  Saturday started off dark and gloomy and cold so they had a rough time waking up.  It was nearly 11 AM when Joan finally padded into the kitchen to start coffee.  Since she still felt bad about sniping at Adam yesterday, she decided to make a great breakfast for him.  In the drawer below the oven she gleefully discovered a large, perfectly seasoned iron skillet and set to work.  She started a pan of bacon and got a batch of buttermilk biscuits in the gas range.  Then, humming to herself, she set the table.

Hearing the bathroom sink running she smiled, knowing that Adam was up.  She poured him a cup of coffee then added cream and a dab of sugar, just the way he liked it.  She was turning the bacon when he stepped up behind her and gave her a hug.

"Something smells great," he sighed.

She looked back at him over her shoulder and he instantly captured her lips for a sweet kiss.

"Coffee's ready.  Everything else will be too in just a few minutes.  How do you want your eggs?" she smiled.

"However you do yours is fine."  Gratefully he accepted the cup of coffee she had prepared for him and smiled.  "I guess we're being lazy today, huh?"

"Yeah," she grinned.  "But I'd say we needed the rest.  We had a rough couple of weeks.  This weekend was perfect timing.  Thanks for thinking of it."

"Thank you for making breakfast.  I was going to make pancakes, but I love your biscuits even more," he said, sitting down at the table.

"Don't worry," his wife replied.  "You can make me pancakes tomorrow.  I was just dying to try that applewood-smoked bacon that was in that gift basket you got at Christmas."  One of Adam's clients, who owned a small chain of gourmet grocery stores, had sent them a huge basket containing, among other things, several pounds of the bacon, a three-pound sack of delicious (and outrageously expensive) Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans, and a large can of real Vermont maple syrup.  The whole basket had been filled with wonderful luxury items that they never would've bought for themselves and they were really looking forward to enjoying the special treat.   She'd been saving most of the contents for an occasion, and had packed them with the other food they brought.

Over scrumptious hot coffee with real cream, orange juice (extra pulpy, the way the both liked it), biscuits, and fried eggs and bacon, they started to plan their day.  "Since we got such a late start, do you think we should put off the hike until tomorrow," he asked.

"Nah, we've got plenty of time to do that 5-mile trail and be back way before dark.  The weatherman said the temps would only get down to high 30s or low 40s, today.  Tomorrow we might get a light snow.  I'd rather get some exercise in today while it's still dry."

"True," he smiled.

He thought about how, right after they'd actively started trying to have a baby, they got very conscientious about their health.  But then nearly a year went by with no success.  At first they were dismayed.  They were anxious to become parents and very disappointed when it didn't happen right away.  They'd even briefly considered visiting a fertility specialist.  Neither of them really wanted to go that route.  Finally, they decided to give it a rest, go back to the idea of leaving it up to you-know-Who.  And of course there were no answers from that direction, only more questions.  Even without the structure of trying to get pregnant, they'd stuck to their fitness routines for the most part.  Joan still wanted to be in the best possible condition for that someday she was sure would come, when she finally became pregnant. And they really liked walking/running/biking/hiking/whatever together.

"We'll feel better about being slothful tomorrow if we're good today."

Gazing lasciviously at him she smiled.  "I'm sure we'll be able to find a way to burn some calories indoors."


After thoroughly enjoying their breakfast (and giving the bacon and the coffee both an A+) Adam insisted on cleaning up, while Joan went to change into her hiking clothes.  Before changing into his gear, Adam plugged in their slow cooker, so they could have dinner all ready for them when they got back.  Nothing was better than big bowls of hot chili on a brisk, wintery day.  After relaxing for a few minutes to let their breakfast settle and carefully banking the fires in both fireplaces, they set off.

As they began, it looked like they had a perfect day for hiking.  There was just a hint of a chill in the air, but the morning clouds had burned off and the sky was a brilliant blue.  Even when it started clouding over again later, they didn't worry, since no one had predicted any precipitation until the next day. Though they were both dressed in t-shirts under thermal shirts under sweatshirts under down jackets, they both started to get pretty cold around the 1-mile mark.

Thinking they needed to exercise harder to get their body temperatures up, they sped up a bit.  But before they reached the 2-mile marker it became obvious that the temperature was dropping rapidly.  Both of them had bright red noses and their eyes were watering from the cold.  They put on their 180's.  It helped, but damn it was just getting brutal.  The wind picked up.  When a slight drizzle began, they reluctantly decided to head back.  The dirt trails could rapidly turn treacherous in bad weather, and they had no desire to risk falling on some of those steep hills.

When they were a little more than a mile away from their cabin the rain turned into sleet.  Already soaked and shivering they picked up their pace, Adam holding branches back for her to pass under.  Before long both of them had chattering teeth and the sleet and small hail continued to fall.  The pellets were sticking to her hood, his beanie and both of their parkas.  Though they were being careful, when they were just in sight of the cabin Adam slipped and crashed hard to his left knee.

"I'm OK, I'm good.  Let's just keep going," he said, but Joan's heart was in her throat as she helped him to his feet.  And, holding onto each other, it was a very slow, frosty descent down that last hill, to safe haven.

They'd turned back at just the right time.  The front steps to the cabin were already starting to ice over.  And the slate pavers on the path that had been such excellent stepping-stones on the way up were now as slick as cue balls. 

Once inside, she helped him to the sofa.  They carefully removed his pants and found that his knee was badly bruised, but that appeared to be the only damage from his startling spill on the trail.

"Honey, can you do me a favor?" he asked.

"Sure, anything."  She felt terrible that he was hurting.

"Get my keys and move the car closer to the cabin.  If the storm gets any worse, trees or branches could fall on it.  Pull up close enough so the cabin might break their fall," he sighed.

She laughed a little.  "Okay.  Stay there, I'll be right back."  Before she headed out, she took a quick inventory of the kitchen cabinets to see what the cabin offered in the way of provisions.  She was happy to find a well-stocked first aid kit and a large bag of rock salt.  In the kit, there were disposable ice packs, so she opened one and brought it to Adam for his knee. On her way to the car she spread the salt liberally across the front porch and the steps, hoping to prevent any further falls.  She then went out and pulled the car to the very end of the drive right up next to the porch and carefully climbed the steps to their door and quickly stepped inside, slamming the door tight against the storm.

Adam met her at the door with a dry towel for her hair.

"What are you doing up?  You're injured!" she barked.

"I'm fine.  A little bruised, but perfectly OK.  I'm making cocoa.  Want some."

"God, yes!"

"Want some cognac in yours?  They've got the good stuff."

"Sounds perfect.  I'll get the fire started."  She stirred the coals of that morning's fire that they'd carefully smothered before their hike and added enough logs for a big, warm blaze.  The firewood the park had sold them was freshly cut pecan wood, and burned for a good long time.  When the logs were hissing she sighed contentedly and moved to the sofa to keep Adam's place warm.

"Superwoman," he grinned, returning from the kitchen.

"Oh yeah, I park cars, I make fire.  The whole nine."

He laughed, handing her one of the big, jolly mugs of spiked, steaming chocolate goodness.

"Mmmmm.  Thank you, baby," she sighed.  "You really take care of me."

He put down his own mug on an end table.  "Right back at you," he smiled, rubbing her neck gently.  "Which do you want first?  Dinner or whirlpool?"

"Yesssssss," she giggled.  "Definitely whirlpool.  That sounds perfect!"

While he started the water to fill the tub, Joan turned the heat up all over the cabin including the gas wall heater in the bathroom.  Nothing was a bigger buzz kill then stepping out of a relaxing, hot whirlpool onto icy floors. 

They were happy to discover that the little cabin was snug and well insulated against the drafts.  When the weather had turned so suddenly, they had both been afraid that they were in for a very cold couple of days.  But they'd be fine.  As long as the heat held out.

"I didn't know which bubble bath you wanted to use…" he said.

She chose one from the bag.  "This one."

She poured a few caps full of a relaxing herbal bubble bath under the faucet while he went and pulled several large pillar candles that they'd packed out of their supply bag.  She tugged her sweater and thermal shirt over her head and pulled her hair back into a loose ponytail and then pinned it up into a bun on top of her head.  She quickly finished undressing, stacked her clothes on the large built-in pine dresser that served as both bathroom storage and as a linen closet, and flipped on the whirlpool jets.  With a deliriously contented sigh, she slipped into the fragrant chamomile and lavender bubbles and relaxed against the bath pillow.

He returned and arranged the candles around the edge of the pedestal sink.  Turning to look at her, he smiled at her totally relaxed expression.  It had been a long time since she'd really let herself unwind like this, maybe since before the holidays.  He stepped back out into the living room and got the long fireplace lighter.  Returning, he got ready to join her, stripping down to his socks.  Then he quickly lit the candles and turned toward the large, claw-footed tub.  She had opened her eyes and was leaning on her arms on the edge of the tub grinning at him.

"That's some outfit," she giggled.

"Thank you.  I love yours, too!  You gonna make some room for me?"

"Maybe," she smiled, raising her eyebrows suggestively.  "With all these water jets, I might not need you."

He laughed and then mock-growled.  "Move over, woman!"  He flipped off the bathroom light switch and prepared to dive right in.

"Fine," she huffed, laughing.  "But please lose the socks."

He quickly pulled them off and tossed them onto their pile of clothes.

Before he could join her, however, he heard a noisy static and a voice that seemed to be coming from the living room.  "Hello?"

Joan startled at the voice. "What the heck?"

"It's OK, just stay there."  Adam reluctantly pulled his shorts back on and went to check on the sounds.  "And don't start without me," he smiled at his wife.

"I'll keep your spot warm, but I make no promises," she grinned.  She leaned back and allowed the warm bubbles to relax away the tension in her muscles.  When the water was almost up to her shoulders she leaned up to turn off the faucet.  When Adam came back, she scooted up so that he could relax against the pillow and she leaned back against his chest.

"So, what was that?"

He sighed, wrapping his arms around her.  "There's a set of walkie/talkies on top of that bookcase.  It was one of the park rangers checking on us.  He said the ice storm came on so suddenly that they wanted to make sure that no hikers got stranded on the trails past dark."

"Oh, that's nice.  I didn't see anyone out except us this afternoon."

"He said we were the last on his call list and that everybody was accounted for."

"Oh, thank God.  I'd hate to think of anyone caught out in this."

"Yeah.  They say it's really bad in town.  They're so busy keeping the streets clear that the snowplows might not be able to get up here until Tuesday afternoon.  We might have to stay an extra day or so if it stays this cold.  He asked us to not try to drive until they can get the crews up here to make sure all the roads are ice-free."

She leaned her head on his shoulder, smiling.  "We brought plenty of food.  I don't need anything out there, do you?"

Whispering into the hollow at the base of her throat, he whispered, "I've got everything I need right here."

Since they were inside and safe, they succumbed to the unexpected luxury of having nowhere they had to be, and nothing they needed to take care of for at least the next three days.  As she snuggled closer to him, he finally felt that the awful tension between them was completely gone. 

"I really am sorry about all the distance between us lately," Joan began.  "I know I don't handle stress well sometimes.  I think I've gotten better about the stuff that can't be helped, but the unnecessary stuff still gets to me, you know?"


"Next time Grace and Karen have problems, let's don't give Grace a place to sulk, okay?  At least not for so long."

"Jane, come on!  Grace has been running away from home to that room since we were six years old."

"Yeah, it's great that she's comfortable in our home.  But it's not fair to Karen to give Grace a place to avoid dealing with their issues.  Three days is too much!"

"Maybe…  I don't know if I could throw her out."

"Yeah, but if she's at our place hiding from Karen then Karen can't come over.  And if Karen can't come over then we're taking sides, without meaning to.  And we can't take sides, honey.  We just can't.  I'm not saying we throw her out in the street, just a gentle nudge before she starts adding stuff to our grocery list."

Adam chuckled.  He knew it shouldn't amuse him that it pissed Joan off when Grace put in her requests for meals and breakfast cereals, but it did.  "Okay, I see what you mean.  About it not being fair to Karen."

"Remember that time I got so mad at you for going to New York that I fled to Grace and Karen's place?"

"Vividly," he said, shuddering at the memory.

"I was really upset with you.  And I still made it home in less than three hours.  Three days is beyond ridiculous.  And it was Grace who told me that it didn't do any good to run away from our issues.  She said I needed to talk to you.  And she was right."

"Okay, next time I promise I'll talk to her before she puts her weird organic Muesli and rice milk on your grocery list," he laughed.

"Thank you," she sighed gratefully.  "And I'll try not to get so tense about things."

He nodded, smiling at her. 

Truthfully he didn't mind these brief periods of distance as much as she did.  He missed her, but those times gave him the opportunity to fall in love with her all over again.  Without ever, for a single second, falling out.  It wasn't that he enjoyed being apart from her, but it made him happy to know that they could survive the rough patches that were part of every marriage.

A silence fell between them and he just held her, watching the steam swirl up around her shoulders.

God, she just quivered at the simplest touch from him sometimes.  Now was definitely one of those times.

"So, um..." she sat her mug on the table by the tub and pulled away to turn around on his lap until she straddled him, "I think it's about time to drop the small talk, don't you?"


"If I asked you very nicely, would you make love to me?"

"Oh, yeah,"  He nodded as he took her face in his hands and kissed her like he hadn't been able to in a long, long time.  There was no one else in the world.  Nothing mattered but her.

She sighed into him as she felt his hands slide southward until they were gripping her hips and pulling her tight to him.  They both moaned at the growing intensity of their contact, her hardened nipples brushing the hair on his chest.  Her hands found their way into his thick, wavy hair while his now kneaded her ass, under the bubbling water.

She couldn't stop herself from scooting toward him, rock hard and waiting for her.  If only the water wasn't hindering her efforts. She broke their kiss, "Baby, I need you.  Right now."

"Stand up," he whispered.


He nodded toward the window on the wall behind her.  "Stand up."

She rose off his lap and stopped and he joined her, Mr. Lovejoy at full attention.

The tub was against the wall, under a window with a wide sill that was at least two inches thick and 8 inches deep.  "The window," he said, "Grab hold of the windowsill behind you."

She nodded and he lifted her onto his hips, pushing slowly into her as she settled astride him.  "Oh God!" she breathed as they began to move together.     

Clinging to each other, the only reason they couldn't hear their hearts pounding was because of the steady rush of the Jacuzzi water.  They closed their eyes and relaxed into a pleasurable rhythm.  And suddenly the water stopped rushing.  And all they could hear was the staccato tapping and pinging as the ice and sleet hit the glass brick window.

Joan noticed first, looking down at the still water around Adam's legs.  "What the…?  Power's out.  Those  candles were a great idea, Baby," she murmured, smiling softly.

He opened his eyes and looked around, "Aw, shit," he replied, "I'm sorry."

"For what?"   

He began to slow his pace as disappointment crept over him.

"Honey, don't stop," she panted.

He carried on as he said, "Well, so much for our romantic weekend!  I drag you up here to the wilderness and now this shack has no power?"


"So, don't you think having no power up here's gonna suck?"

"Shhhh.  Forget it for now, please."  She closed her eyes again and sped up as the delicious friction began to flood their senses.  She tightened suddenly and pulled him over the cliff with her, as she emitted an adorable little squeal and went limp in his arms. 

He settled them back into the warm water.  She sat beside him, resting her head on his shoulder as they caught their breath.  "Still think the weekend is ruined?"

"Well, I don't think we should stay here if there's no power.  We should probably see if we can get out of here before the roads get too bad."

"Will you relax?  It's already too late for that.  Besides, the power's probably out at home, too.  We've got plenty of firewood and food.  And a gas stove to cook it on.  And we're all alone," she said, kissing his ear.  "Sounds pretty romantic to me."

"Pitch dark for at least 12 hours a day," he grumbled.

"Adam, come on!  We've got all kinds of foul weather supplies in that kitchen closet next to the pantry.  There are two huge flashlights and plenty of extra batteries AND at least four of those oil lamps with six quarts of extra lamp oil.  We could be up here for a month and never be in the dark."

Happy that she was seeing such a bright side to being marooned, he cheered up quickly.  "Guess it's one way to be alone, huh?  I'm just glad we brought so much stuff."

"Yeah and the candles."

"Yeah," he kissed her forehead. "They were a good idea, weren't they?"

"Mmmmmhmmmmm!  They sure were.  But you know what was a better idea?  NOT putting any on the windowsill," she smiled up at the damp sill she'd been bracing herself on only moments earlier.  "This water is gonna get cold soon, though.  Wanna run some more or should we get out?"

"Let's go ahead and get out.  It'll be warmer if we're dry in front of the fireplace."

Standing, she offered him a hand up.  "Sounds like a plan.  I'll meet you on that fur rug," she grinned.  They dried each other off.  Then he watched, rapt, as his voluptuous sylph wrapped herself in a fluffy white towel and took one of the candles with her as she slipped around the door frame.  He felt himself stir again as he leaned over to pull the plug and drain the tub.

Without bothering with his own towel, he grabbed their mugs and retrieved a blanket from the dresser.

By the time he reached the living room, there was a steady glow from the fireplace illuminating the white faux fur rug.  And there she was waiting for him, his stunning wife.  Her long damp hair fell around her shoulders as she pulled the hairpins out and sensually shook out her silken mane and stretched out on the rug.  Giving him a soulful glance, she motioned for him to join her.

He swallowed hard.  "Um, I brought a blanket.  No telling what's gone on before on that rug."

"Good point."  She rose and helped him spread the blanket atop the thick rug.  He also tossed her a couple of pillows from the sofa.

"Should I warm up the cocoa?" he asked.

"Nah, not right now.  I think I'm plenty warm.  Just come down here."

He smiled, more than happy to oblige.  The fire crackled as they snuggled in its warm glow.  He lay on his back with his arms wrapped around her.  She was on her side, halfway draped over him.

"This really doesn't suck, you know?  Power or no power," she said as she ran a finger over his chest, playfully encircling a nipple.

He felt his tummy flip and his breath hitch as he agreed, "It really doesn't."

She kissed his jaw, and ran her finger down the centerline of his torso as she rose above him.  She kissed his lips, gently at first.  Ever so gently, as she began to tease them apart.  Finally she plundered them.

He pulled her on top of him, wrapped her legs around him.  But before she could pull him inside her, they had another interruption.  Adam's iPhone rang, loudly playing the "Dragnet" theme, identifying the caller as Joan's father.  Adam, more than a little frustrated, groaned and fell back against the pillow behind his head.


Your Fairy Chrismother.  Keeper of Keith's leather wristband.  Keeper of Pocket Anomalies.  WWAJD?
REPORT BROKEN LINKS info@chris-marquette.com  http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=ho … ef=profile 
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#2 10 May 10 :: 06:45

La Dorquetta de Prima
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 23 Jul 06
Posts: 21,558

Re: STRANDED - An Adam & Joan (possible future Butterflies) Fic RATED R...


Seeing his reaction to the phone call from her father, Joan giggled.  She bent down and gave him a soft kiss.  "Don't go anywhere!  I'm not finished with you, yet."  Running her fingertips over Mr. Lovejoy, she murmured softly, "You, either!"

"Don't answer it.  Please," Adam begged.

"Baby, we have to answer it.  You know how he worries!  If he doesn't get a response, he'll send in the Marines!"

"Well, hurry.  I miss you already!"

She jumped up and ran to the phone, in Adam's coat pocket on the rack by the door.  "I won't be a second longer than I have to.  But the only way to get rid of him is to talk to him…"  She quickly grabbed it and pressed answer.  "Hey, Dad," she said, walking back toward the fire, sounding as enthusiastic as she was able.

"Hi, honey," Adam could hear Will's hearty greeting from several feet away.  He noticed that, talking to her father, his wife suddenly looked self-conscious and naked.  Which she was. 

Adam stood and, wrapping Joan's towel around his own waist, walked over to the sofa.  He grabbed the soft afghan and wrapped it around her shoulders and led her back to their little pallet in front of the fire.  She smiled gratefully and leaned back against him.

"Yeah, the power went out up here, too.  How is everything down there?  Are you calling from home?"

She listened to Will for a few moments.  She covered the mouthpiece and murmured to Adam, "He's offering to come up and get us in one of the county's four-wheel drive vehicles...", Then, into the phone, she said, "Oh, no!  We're fine up here, Dad.  This cabin is super cozy.  It has two fireplaces, so we're staying warm."  She listened some more.  "No, really.  We're fine.  Better off than if we were at home.  Our stove is electric and we've got gas up here.  We wouldn't be able to cook at home."

He supposed it really was sweet of Will to worry, but why would he call after bedtime on their Valentine's Day weekend?  He couldn't be that clueless.  Could he?  Adam pulled up behind Joan and wrapped his legs around her.  Pulling her hair back he began placing small, wet kisses on the side and back of her neck.  She began to shiver, and not from the cold.  She reluctantly pulled slightly away from Adam so she could say goodbye to her dad without revealing her distraction.  "Come up and join us?"  She laughed at Will, outright.  "No!  You guys have already got two fireplaces.  Besides, we can't drag you away from your work when you're so needed.  And even the four wheel drive might not make it on these steep, icy roads."

She rolled her eyes at Adam's shocked and appalled expression.  "Yeah, it's great up here.  You and Mom should come up here some weekend.  It's definitely the best bargain in Maryland.  But this one only has one bed.  So…"  She listened to Will's advice about driving home, explained that they might have to stay a few extra days, until the park officials told them it was safe to get back on the highways.  "Okay.  Yeah… yeah.  Thanks so much for calling.  We'll talk to you in a couple of days.  Love you too.  Okay, Dad.  Bye."

Finally relaxing from the interruption, they both dissolved into giggles.  Adam held her closely from behind.  He sighed as she softly collapsed against him.  "No way he was he seriously gonna bring your mom up here and join us, right?"

"I couldn't tell.  I mean it's nice that he's worried and all.  When there's any kind of a crisis, he likes knowing where all his babies are.  If I'd thought about it, I'd have called him," she mumbled.  "But I guess I got a little bit distracted."

"Yeah, you did.  I did, too.  I love your folks, but I'm glad they're not coming up…"

"Oh, there was no danger of that.  Even if we'd said sure, come on up, Mom would've set him straight."


"Oh, yeah," here Joan went into an almost pitch-perfect imitation of her mother's soft, southern drawl.  "Will, we are NOT barging in on the kids' Valentine's weekend!  Have you lost your mind?  If it was up to you, I'd never get any grandbabies!"

Adam laughed.  "I love your mother!"

"Me, too.  But let's don't talk about her anymore."

Leaning in for a kiss, Adam agreed.  "Yeah, let's... not talk.  Where were we?"

"Well," Joan smiled, "I think you were right here…" and she gently pushed him onto his back.  She placed a soft row of little butterfly kisses up over his belly and chest.  Then she threw one leg over him and said, "…and I was here…"

Before she knew what was happening he pushed into her, but only partially.  She pushed back desperately against him, but he held onto her legs, held her back so that he only partially penetrated her.  He kept his thrusts light and quick, his upward curve stroking her G-spot till it drove her to madness.

"Jesus-Jesus-Jesus!"  It didn't take long.  She squeaked as the first wave hit her and knocked her sideways.  They both felt the rush as she pushed down on him with all her might, taking every inch of him in, pulling him off the floor with her over and over again with the intensity of her orgasm.

The ripples and undulations surged through him as well.  Gripping her hips as she rode it out, he bit his lip till it hurt but he could not stifle himself. "Ja-aaaaaahhh!" he cried.

She collapsed on his chest and he just held her.

"Mmmmmmmmnnnnnnhhhhhhh..." she intoned, completely comfortable as she settled in beside him again with her leg thrown over his.  "That was amazing."


Before long, they drifted off into a blissful sleep.  It lasted for four hours.  They awoke just after midnight, not that time mattered.  Adam opened his eyes first, lifting his head off the pillow to see that there was no more fire.  In fact, it was long gone.  That's when he noticed that the room was freezing.  When he shivered, she stirred and her eyes slowly opened too.

"Man, it's cold," he whispered.

"Mmmhmmm," she murmured against his chest, snuggling in tighter.

"You know, I heard someplace that the best way to get warm is to crawl inside a sleeping bag naked with someone who's already naked."

"Well, if it starts raining sleeping bags, maybe you'll get lucky."

Adam laughed.  He was quoting one of their favorite X Files episodes.  It tickled him that Joan got the joke and quoted Scully's reply.

Suddenly, her tummy growled.  Loudly.  "Are you hungry?  We never did have dinner."

"I could eat.  Want me to heat up the chili?  We could have a bowl, maybe a glass of wine and then crash."

"Sounds great.  I'll restart the fire and bring the candles in here."

He kissed her. "Perfect."

Twenty minutes later, they sat on opposite ends of the sofa again, with hearty bowls of Texas red.  He topped it with shredded co-jack cheese, sour cream and chopped scallions.  They each had a large glass of wine on their end of the coffee table, and there was a big bag of tortilla chips open between them.

"Mmmmmmm," she moaned.  "This is amazing.  Best batch you've ever made.  Did you put steak in here?"

"Mmmmhmmm.  I used the ground beef for body and then added a couple pounds of sirloin chunks for texture," he smiled at her.  "I was hoping we'd need the extra protein."

"And we did," she exclaimed.  "I love our place, but there's just something about being away from home.  So relaxing…"

"Happy Valentine's day, Baby," he grinned at her, utterly content.

Her own expression matched his as she took a bite of the food he had so thoughtfully prepared.   "This is so good.  All of it.  You outdid yourself, Sweetie."

Without even thinking about it, they entwined their legs as they relaxed back against the sofa cushions.

"You're worth it," he winked, taking a huge bite of his chili.

"Even when I'm a being bitch on wheels?"


"Don't say one of your perfect things.  It's OK for us to tell each other when we're acting like jerks, you know?"

"Yeah, I know.  You've just been under a lot of pressure lately."

"So have you."

He nodded, so hungry he couldn't stop eating.  They were both pretty much famished, so they ate in silence for a while and polished off most of their wine.

Finally, she said, "I just think we should be able to call a time-out, take a breath and see if we can talk like grown-ups.  I wanna try anyway.  I hate it when we don't connect, Adam.  It just sucks the life right out of me."

He felt tears sting his eyes, but he smiled at her.  It felt good to hear her say that.  "Me, too."

She returned his smile.  "So does this amazing night count as make-up sex, or Valentine's sex, or what?"

"Doesn't matter."

"No, I guess not."

"What matters is that I feel closer to you tonight than I can remember feeling for a long time.  Being out here in the middle of nowhere, just us... it's like I get that you're my life, you're my future."

She stopped and watched his face as he spoke.

"You know, whatever happens out there in the world; jobs, homes, cities, money, friends.  Whatever changes we might go through… this is about us.  Together."

Tears filled her eyes too.  She heard only truth in those words.  And the strength of his love.  "Didn't I just tell you not to say one of your perfect things?"

He laughed.

One by one, the candles he'd lit earlier that evening, now all in the middle of the coffee table began to go out.

"What the…?  Is there a draft?"  He looked around, wondering if the door had swung open somehow.  Nope.

"Maybe Somebody's trying to tell us something."

"Like what?"

"Like it's time to go to bed," she whispered.

He carefully extinguished the living room fire while she started a fire in the small bedroom fireplace.  He brought the glasses and the rest of the wine to the room, but she wasn't interested.  She took his hand and led him to the bed.  They drew back the heavy quilt, blankets and flannel top sheet and curled up together, him spooning her from behind.

They settled into the warmth of the covers and each others' embrace and the world fell away again.  No discussion was needed, they were simply one.

When he was fully inside her, he reached around and pressed the heel of his hand against the flesh of her lower abdomen, reaching down into her damp curls with his long, lithe middle finger to find her clit.  He matched the stroke of his finger and the pressure of his hand with his thrusts.  And that sent her flying.

She pressed back against him, "Ahhhh! Ahhhh! Ahhhhh!  Aaaaaaaadaaaaaaammmm!"  It felt so amazing she could've let go right then and there.  But it was so delicious she wanted it to go on and on.  So she slowed herself to a smooth, steady pace.  She felt him relax across her back as he kissed her shoulder and matched her rhythm.  A soft, low moan escaped him and it made her smile.

"I love you so much, Jane," he breathed against her ear and she couldn't hold on any longer.  She grabbed a handful of bedclothes as they both gave themselves fully to their ecstasy.  It always devastated her when she could feel the power of his love for her in his every touch.  Her happiness threatened to overwhelm her.

When they finally lay together, spent but still holding on tight, she sighed very deeply, "Don't move Baby, please don't move yet.  Just for a minute."

She held him inside and he happily remained wrapped around her.  He wished it could last forever.  His heart swelled in his chest at the joy of melding with her and he felt a tear break loose and trail across the bridge of his nose to blend with a tear from his other eye.  It cooled his temple as it disappeared into his hair.

He kissed the back of her hair, his lips lingering there long enough to enjoy the aroma of the bath soap.  "I'm not going anywhere.  Ever."

Holding her closely, they both slipped off into a deep, relaxed sleep.

Though the icy sleet had turned into snow during the night, it was still bitterly cold.  Adam had listened to the radio weather report predict at least 8 more inches over the next 24 hours, though right now the sun was shining brightly.

When Joan finally opened her eyes the following afternoon, it was because she sensed a bright light in the bedroom.  Squinting from the too-bright glare, she peeped out the curtains to see where all that brightness was coming from.  The whole world was white!  So much snow!  These kinds of winters were really rare in  Arcadia.  They got snow, but it was seldom enough to immobilize the city.  Of course Chicago had really fierce winters, but they weren't white like this.  It always seemed like Chicago snow got sooty and dirty as soon as it started to accumulate.  This was beautiful, even magical.  All of the trees were encased in ice.  It looked like they were smack in the middle of a silver and crystal forest.

She hadn't noticed until she sat up that Adam had tucked the soft flannel sheet, blanket, and luxurious eiderdown comforter snugly around her bare shoulders.  As the bedding slipped off body, she realized how cold the cabin had become during the night.  Hurriedly she pulled on her long johns and then her flannel pajamas to go and find Adam.  Despite the freezing cold that continued inside their cabin, she was excited to see what the new day would bring.  After donning two pairs of cotton socks under a pair of heavy woolen ones and sliding into her bedroom slippers, she went out to the kitchen.

On her way, she noticed that he'd built an enormous fire in the living room fireplace.  The temperatures out here were almost comfortable. She found her husband putting together those pancakes he'd promised her yesterday.  Sliding up behind him, wrapping her arms around his waist, she bit his earlobe lightly.

"Mmmm," he sighed.  "Morning, honey.  How did you sleep?"

"I'm not sure I've woken up.  What time is it?  I'm glad it's not too late for breakfast.  I had my mouth all ready for a stack of your blueberry pancakes."

Turning to her, he pulled her tightly into his arms.  "It's like one-something, but who cares, right?  There's no law that says we can't have pancakes for lunch, is there?"

"Nope," she smiled, pulling him closer for a brief kiss that turned out to not be so brief at all.  It was light to begin with, but they sank into it until it was deep, languorous and completely breath-taking.

"Whew," Adam chuckled.  "What got into you?"

She grinned wickedly at him, her eyes dancing.  "Uhh, that would be you," she giggled.  "Last night was amazing, baby!  A three-fer!"

"It kinda was, wasn't it?  I don't think we've had a three-fer in ages," his smile was almost shy.  "Since I can't remember when.  But it's not about quantity."

"Of course not!  And it's always quality with us, sweetie.  Always," she sighed and he could feel her warm breath against the side of his neck. 

"I never wanna take that quality for granted, you know?"

"Yeah, me neither," she murmured happily.  "So, what can I do to help you?"

"Nothing.  Batter's all ready.  We just need to let it sit for about 10 minutes."

She pulled back from him and took a small saucepan from the cabinet.  "I know something I can do!  I like maple syrup better when it's heated."  She poured a deep puddle of Vermont's Finest Pure, Grade A, Medium Amber into the pan.  "It'll make it thicker, too."

Laughing he said, "Put the can outside.  That'll thicken it up!"

"Yeah, but I don't want ice pancakes, do you?"

"No, hot syrup sounds amazing.  But don't you think that's too much?  There's over a cup and a half there."

"Actually, it'll reduce quite a bit, or we can use it tomorr…---hey," suddenly she got an idea, and poured even more syrup into the pan.  "Have you ever made snow candy?"

"Snow candy?  What's that?"

"I'll show you later.  You'll love it!"  She put the pan over low heat and they went out to enjoy the fire.

"Sorry the bedroom was so cold when you woke up," he said.  "I would've gotten the fire going in there, too, but I didn't wanna wake you before you were ready."

"You're so sweet.  I'm just glad we packed our winter underwear and pajamas.  Even though I wasn't planning on needing pajamas," she told him, with a little wink.

"Me neither," he said in a voice still deliciously thick with sleep.  "You know, you'd think as much as the local stations brag about their high-tech meteorology they'd be on top of this stuff, but it looks like this one was a total freak thing."

"Yeah, we haven't had this much snow since the endless blizzard of '09."

"That was horrible."

"Yeah, it was.  I don't mind snow so much, but ice is scary.  It does so much damage if it's really heavy like this.  We had really bad ones in Chicago a bunch of times when I was growing up.  But there hasn't been an ice storm in Arcadia since we moved here.  Do you remember there being one before?"

He gave it some thought and then remembered the only other ice storm in Arcadia's recently history.  "Years ago," he said.  "Mid-90s.  I was seven.  It only lasted a couple of hours, not like this one.  I remember my mom had the hardest time trying to scrape the ice off our car windshield with a credit card, just so she could get to the store for supplies before the roads were impassable.  We lost power by mid-afternoon.  But Dad came home from work early and we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows in the fireplace.  They read books to me.  Where The Wild Things Are, I remember...  The next morning, we all built a snowman together in the front yard.  My mom dressed him up and everything.  In an old Hawaiian shirt of dad's, and sun glasses.  It was hysterical.  Her tropical snowman."

She watched her husband's face as he enjoyed this rare happy memory of his family.  "Maybe after lunch, we'll build one, too.  God only knows when we'll have this much snow again and the free time to enjoy it."

"That'll be fun."  He pulled her close for a soft kiss. 

They were startled by a loud knock on the cabin door.  "Hello," said the Voice outside the door.  "Anybody home?"

"Uhhhhhhhhgggg!"  Adam groaned at yet another interruption.  Joan giggled a little as he broke reluctantly from her to go answer the door.

It was the Ranger.  The One who was there that night, years before, when Adam got lost up on Mount Nashman.  Adam didn't recognize him but, of course, Joan did.  It was Ranger God.

"Everybody okay?" He asked.  "We're going around making sure everyone got through the storm okay last night."

"Oh, yeah.  Everything's fine,"  Adam sighed, comforted by the Ranger's presence.  He drew the drapes open and invited Him in to sit on the sofa.  "How are things in town?"

The Ranger gave a little wave to indicate he was good where he stood.  "They're without power down there, too, I'm afraid," He replied.  "There was just one fender-bender last night that might've happened anyway.  No casualties at all.  It was," and He appeared to grope for words, so Joan helped Him.

"Miraculous," she said, staring at Him.

"Exactly," He smiled serenely.

Turning to her husband, she said, "Do you remember the Ranger, Adam?  He was one of the crew up there the night you got lost on Mount Nashman."

"Oh, wow!  Yeah, I'm sure you don't remember.  It was years ago.  I'd gone hiking up there, and a huge rainstorm came up…"

"Actually I do remember," He said.

Joan rolled her eyes.  Of course He remembered!

"In this business," He explained, "we tend cling to the stories with happy endings.  Glad you made it through okay."

"Yeah," Adam said, with a slight shiver at the memory of that long-ago night.  "Uhhhh. So, uh, any word on when the power will come back on?  We've got plenty of firewood, but it'd be nice to have the heater and lights back."

"Yeah," said the Ranger.  "That's one of the things I came up to tell you.  Mayor Roebuck had a press conference a little while ago.  He's leaned pretty heavily on the electric company to get it restored.  They started out saying a few days.  But the mayor, with the governor's backup, has gotten their assurance that it'll only be a few hours more."

"That's wonderful," Joan said.  "We wanted to get outside and play in the snow a little later.  It'll be nice to come back into a warm cabin."

Adam got a whiff of the warming syrup coming from the kitchen. He turned glance in that direction and then turned to the Ranger.  "Excuse me for a second.  We've got breakfast on the stove.  You want some?"

"No," He said, "I really oughta get going."

"Thanks so much for making sure we're all right," Adam said, extending a hand to the Ranger.

"You're very welcome," He said and for the second time in his young life, Adam Rove unwittingly shook hands with God.

When Adam left to go check on their food, Joan turned toward Ranger God with a grin.  "Um, this big, freaky, outta-nowhere ice storm.  Was that You?"

"Now, why would I do something like this?"

"Always with the questions."

"That's right," He laughed a little, clearly enjoying Himself.  "Freak storms happen all the time, Joan.  What makes you think it's anything more than a natural occurrence?"

She shrugged, still eyeing Him skeptically.  "I'm just glad no one was hurt, much.  Adam got a bruised knee, but I guess we were pretty lucky.  Will the power really be back on in a few hours?"

"Maybe…," and Joan heard the whirring of the heater and light filled the room as the electricity came back on, "…even sooner," Ranger God replied. "You weren't wrong thinking this place is magical." 

"Hey," Adam exclaimed joyfully from the kitchen. 

Ranger God stood staring into Joan's eyes, but He made no move to leave. "So... it'll be okay for us to play outside?  Adam hasn't built a snowman since he was a little boy."

"Sure," He smiled, almost smirking.  "Just don't go near the creek.  There's a thin layer of ice, but it won't hold anyone's weight.  But yes, you two go ahead and have some fun out there!  You'll be fine," He said looking at her meaningfully.  "You'll ALL be fine," and His fingertips touched Joan's right hand where it rested against her belly.

It took Joan a second or two to grasp his meaning and when she did she would have fainted if He hadn't caught her by her elbow.  She couldn't hear anything but white noise in her ears, though she did see that Adam had entered the room and picked up her cell phone.  She hadn't even heard it ring.

She looked up at Adam as he walked toward her, holding out the cell phone to her.  She could read his lips as he said, "Jane? Jane," quizzically.  Then she thought she heard him say, "You're gonna be a Mother!"

Slowly she shook the remaining fog from her head.  "I'm sorry," she said softly.  "What?"

Adam repeated, "It's your mother.  She wants to make sure we're okay up here, and she also said something about this dream she had about a Boy in a corduroy jacket…"

She turned with a start to Ranger God, Who was still smiling, unperturbed.  Suddenly, she broke into a truly radiant smile as she realized that she finally had an answer to her biggest hope and prayer for the last year.  They were finally going to have their baby, and he or she was, in the words of God, Himself, going to be fine.  "Thank You," she whispered to the Ranger, taking the phone from her husband.

"You're welcome, Joan," He smiled as Adam walked him to the door.

"Thanks for everything," Adam told the Ranger with gratitude.

"You're welcome.  The snowplows probably won't get up here till about Tuesday morning.  We're a low priority, I'm afraid. They're predicting more snow tonight.  But they say the ice is over," He said.  "So you folks just relax and enjoy your time together up here."

"Sure," Adam grinned, "I can't think of a better place to ride out the snow.  You have a good day.  Stay warm!"

"You, too.  Bye, now," and He turned away, wiggling His fingers over His shoulder in a little backward wave as He descended steps.


"Hey, Mom!  What's up?" Joan said cheerfully.

"I dreamed about that boy in the tan jacket.  You remember…"

"The one you think is God?  You still have those dreams?" Joan could barely suppress a giggle.

"Don't laugh at your poor, old, senile mother," Helen warned.

"Oh, I'm not.  Believe me, I take your dreams very seriously."

"You'd better," she said.  "Because they usually come true.  And this was a good one.  Honey, could you be…," and here Helen lowered her voice to a whisper.  "…pregnant?"

"Actually, Mom…" Joan said, also in a very quiet voice since neither woman wanted to be overheard, "try not to freak, OK?  I have a feeling I just might be."

An excited squeal escaped Helen entirely against her will.  "Sorry, but yay!  How far along are you?  I mean if you are, and I just know you are!  Oh honey, I'm so excited."

"IF I am, I'm only like 10 or 12 hours along."

"What?  Then how can you possibly know?"

"I can't really explain it… I just have a feeling…"

"Well, I don't just have a feeling," her mother stated positively.  "God couldn't have made it more obvious if He dropped a Holy Anvil on my head."  Helen's words came out in an excited rush.  "How are you?  How do you feel?  Have you told Adam?  Are you gonna tell Adam?"

"I feel fine, Mom!  Really great, actually.  We're gonna build a snowman after breakfast.  Adam is making me a stack of blueberry pancakes."  She felt her belly rumble, as she was suddenly ravenous.

"So you did tell him?"

"No.  I don't think I should until I'm absolutely 100% sure.  We tried so hard there for a while.  He's been through enough.  I just couldn't stand to disappoint him if it's not real, you know?  I mean, what am I supposed to say anyway?  Honey, I'm pretty sure we conceived last night because I have a feeling and Mom dreamed about God?"

"No, you're right.  It makes more sense to wait till you've turned at least three sticks pink.  Let's see, it's mid-February…  I predict you'll be best friends with the toilet bowl by tax day…  And I'll bet you'll have something to announce by family night next month.  It's on the 28th, don't forget to put it on your calendar, " Helen's voice again betrayed her extreme excitement.

"I won't, don't worry.  I'm so glad you called, Mom!  I was just about to burst, wanting to tell someone," she sighed.  Then, changing the subject, she said, "Did Dad tell you he wanted y'all to drive up last night and join us?"

Helen groaned.  "Dear Lord!  For such a smart man, I swear sometimes your father has absolutely no sense!  I know he can't accept that you kids have grown up, but come on!  Mom and Dad sharing a cabin with you and your husband on Valentine's Day?  What was he thinking?  If it was up to him, I'd never get any grandchildren."

Whoa.  Joan giggled as she realized she'd absolutely nailed what her mom would say about her Dad when she joked earlier with Adam.  "Poor Dad.  I hope his feelings weren't hurt when I gave him the brush off."

"If they were he'll get over it."

They laughed together before Joan heard a clang from the kitchen.  "Listen, Mom, I think Adam has breakfast done.  I'll talk to you later."

"Okay.  Bye, Honey.  Love you!  You've made me very happy!"

"I love you, too!  Take care, Mom.  I'll call you in a day or two."


My baby outdid himself again with this breakfast, Joan thought to herself.  In addition to the blueberry pancakes, he made them both orange/pineapple/banana smoothies, and he'd cooked up the last of that pound of the bacon they'd started the previous morning.  He also made a huge pot of fresh ground coffee from that bag of gourmet beans that had come in the gift basket.  Joan looked longingly at the cup of steaming aromatic yumminess on the table in front of her.  He'd fixed it up just the way she liked it with Sugar In The Raw and lots of French Vanilla creamer.

She was just about to pick it up and take a sip when she remembered…  Caffeine.  A definite no-no if she was indeed pregnant.  "Damn," she sighed softly.

"What's wrong?" Adam asked as he brought the last of the goodies to the table.

"I, uh, I was thinking I'd forego the coffee today and just have juice and milk, both of which you have lovingly provided in delicious smoothie form," she grinned, reaching for the tall, frosty beverage.  She took a big swig.  "MmmmMmmm.  See?  Just what I was craving today."

"But, you love the fancy, fresh ground coffee." He was really surprised by this.  He'd never known her to skip her morning coffee in all the time he'd lived with her.

She sighed.  He was right, she did love it.  This was not going to be easy.  "Maybe I'll have a little sip of yours later, but I think I'll stick with this right now."  She took another swallow of her excellent smoothie and surveyed the spread he'd put out on the table.  "Honey!  This looks amazing!  Thank you so much."  She leaned in and gave him a quick kiss before she began filling her plate.  "Aren't you gonna join me?"

"Oh, you bet I am.  I'm starving."  He sat down in the chair next to her and offered her the small pitcher of warmed syrup.  After he took the first bite, he gazed mournfully out the large windows to the back porch and the creek beyond.  "You know what else sucks about this weather?  I was planning on grilling up a couple of ribeyes tonight," he sighed.

"Awww, that's okay.  We can save the steaks for Valentine's Day, when we haven't had such a ginormous breakfast.  I love it when you work the grill, but we can broil them if we have to.  They'll still be good."

"No!  Grilled is way better.  If the ice hasn't melted off tomorrow, I'll see if I can somehow defrost the grill.  We'll have our steaks.  But for tonight, what'll we have instead?"

"Adam, you brought plenty of food.  We'll find something."

"Yeah.  I just, I had the steaks half-way defrosted already.  Or the lack of electricity did…"


"Well, OK," he laughed, "I'm exaggerating a little.  I'm just kinda bummed that not much on this trip has gone as planned."

"Is that so bad?  I think we've had a pretty good time so far."  And then some! she thought.

He smiled at the wry look in her eyes.  "Touché."

"Honey, relax, everything is working out just fine.  I'm supposed to be the control-freaky one in this family, not you.  Let's just go with it."

He nodded and took a few bites of food.  "Oh, you know, I noticed that there's three steaks in the package instead of two, so we get one and a half apiece!  We'll have to make sure we work up an appetite tomorrow," he grinned.

"Wait, we have an extra steak?"

He nodded, chewing on a slice of bacon.

"Then I know what we're having for dinner tonight.  I've got that package of raw veggies to snack on.  I can chop them up with the extra steak and make a stir fry."

"Awesome.  Oh, I brought up that box of frozen egg rolls, too," he told her.

She smiled.  "Perfect!  So, it'll be healthy but not too healthy.  I saw some brown rice in the pantry and some soy sauce in the fridge.  We'll have to make do with ground ginger instead of fresh, since we're roughing it," she joked.

"I think we'll survive!  Now aren't you sorry you teased me about packing too much food?" he laughed.

"You have my sincerest apology," she said leaning over to give him a quick peck on his maple-syrup-sweetened lips.

"So, tell me more about this snow candy…"


"Come on, Lazy!" Joan laughed at Adam, playfully tugging at his arm, trying to pull him off the couch.  Breakfast was so huge it made them both pretty sluggish for a while, and she recovered first.  "If we're gonna get a snowman finished and make snow candy, we need to get a move on!  We're burning daylight."

"Hey," he mock-complained, "I was perfectly happy just snuggling with my wife and enjoying the fire.  Do I really have to get up?"

"Honey, come on.  This'll be fun.  We can be lazy when we're not on a special Valentine's vacation."

"All right," he sighed, relenting and letting her drag him to his feet.  They helped each other bundle up.  And then Adam produced a couple of pairs of hip boots he'd found along with the fly-fishing gear in the cabin's provisions.  They pulled them on over their own boots for extra protection and went out to the front yard.

Within an hour, they had a pretty good-sized snowman built, with a bottom, middle and a head.  It was a few inches taller than Adam.  They used charcoal briquettes to make buttons for him.  Joan ran inside and pulled some raw veggies out of her baggie in the refrigerator.  They used broccoli florets for his eyes and cherry tomatoes to make a smiling mouth.

Adam remembered an old beanie he never wore anymore that was in the trunk of his car in a box where he kept extra warm clothes in case of emergency.  "Good," Joan laughed.  "I never did like that one much.  It's kinda fugly."  It was light brown with beige lines and knots all over it.  Since it was old and all stretched out, it fit pretty well on the bulbous snow head.  Then Joan remembered she had an old scarf in the same box and pulled it out too.

"That's great," Adam said, admiring their work.  "But is he me, or is she you?"

Then Joan remembered something else in Adam's car.  He usually kept something in the glove compartment to snack on when he had to drive long distances on business.  Joan remembered that he had a large bag of Red Vines.  She opened the bag and began pulling the licorice strings apart and stuffing them up under the beanie to make hair.  "I think he or she is US," she grinned.

"Hey," he laughed.  "You're using up all my Red Vines!  You know that's like a crime in some states."

"Relax!  Once you've had maple snow candy, you'll never go back to this stuff."

After making adjustments and admiring their handiwork for a few minutes, Joan ran back inside and re-warmed the syrup they planned to use for the snow candy.  Adam got out his digital camera and took lots of pictures of the cabin and their snowman and just the lovely winter wonderland in which they were so comfortably stranded.

Soon she re-emerged with the hot syrup in a Pyrex measuring cup.  He watched as she poured it out onto the snow in the middle of the yard.  He put an arm around her, so completely content as they watched the combination of hot syrup and cold snow form brown, lacy patterns in the clean, stark whiteness.

"Since you've never had it before, you get the first bite," she said reaching down and breaking him off a piece.

To his surprise it was crunchy, a bit like peanut brittle.  And really delicious.  He rolled it around in his mouth, savoring the buttery goodness of that one-of-a-kind maple.

"You like?" she asked popping a small piece into her own mouth.

"It's pure genius," he laughed, grabbing another little piece.

"So are you for bringing me up here to this magical place."

"Yeah?" he grinned turning to face her.

"You done good, Mr. Rove," she teased as their lips met for a lingering kiss.  "You done real good."


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