The evening sky was swirling with clouds, uniform all across the heavens and forming a bright halo effect around the new December moon. There were tiny specs of snow floating in the air, only adding to the biting winter climate and to the already foot of snow on the ground.
"Storm weather." Bass mused, looking up at the sky as if sensing Charlie was thinking that same exact thing.
They'd been riding on horseback for almost the entire day, after a last minute supply run to the nearest town. But near wasn't near enough, as the distance and the passing of time had proven. Truthfully, they’d been foolish to even make the trip with so much snow already covering their path.
"This is definitely not how I imagined spending my Christmas Eve." Charlie muttered, feeling Bass's grasp tighten around her waist.
Her breathing hitched and her muscles flexed in response. They were in a strange place nowadays—not quite just friends, not quite anything more than that. The only thing that remained constant was their bickering.
"Well, maybe you should take better care of your horse next time." He said close to her ear. His breath encompassed hers with warmth, causing a shiver to flow through her body. The sensation was gratifying and she felt it all throughout her being.
She turned to look at him with dagger eyes, hiding her emotions as she usually tended to do when it came to him. "You scared it away with your gun!"
He smirked. "And that wouldn't have happened if you had tied it down."
Bass loved watching her argue with him. He made it a point to push her buttons as often as possible just to see her reaction. It had become a habit that brought him a twisted form of satisfaction, seeing as he was sure that would be the only satisfying Charlie Matheson would ever do for him.
Charlie pursed her lips and rolled her eyes, feeling a cold snowflake land on her nose. She wiped it away, staring up at the sky and noticing the clouds were now much thicker and the snow was falling a lot more rapidly. A sudden rush of wind and the back and forth sway of the trees cause the horse to panic.
"Easy." Bass said, pulling on the reins and trying to keep control.
The thunder rumbled in the sky above. Charlie sounded concerned. "Shit." She wiped her eyes, trying to clear the deposit of snow crystals that had accumulated over her in just a short period of time.
Bass kept a good hold on her with one hand and steadied the horse with the other. "We have to find a place to rest until it passes. We won't get far like this."
Charlie nodded, pointing to a hilly area less than a mile away. "There's a small barn on the other side of that hill! I saw it on the way to town!"
He did as she suggested, making the horse gallop as fast as he could in that direction.
The blizzard made the wind howl between the cracks of the wooden barn walls. It would've been pitch dark inside had it not been for the oil lamp Charlie had been carrying in her pack.
"How long do you think it'll last?" She asked, listening to the constant banging of loose boards on the roof. She was aware that the storm had only intensified since they'd gone inside.
Bass wanted to say that a blizzard like that one would probably last a day—some even lasted weeks. But instead, he went with a more subtle answer. "Hopefully only a few hours."
Charlie slouched against a dry mountain of hay. The smell of wet dirt and wood was dispersed through the damp air, adding to the earthy smell of the barn. She wrapped her arms around herself, bringing her knees up to her chest. Her teeth began to chatter no matter how much she tried to make it stop.
"What?" Her eyebrows raised, noticing that Bass was keeping a steady gaze on her.
He smiled. Watching her attempt to keep herself warm only filled him with thoughts of how he could do that for her. But Charlie was stubborn and admitting she wanted him too was still something with which she struggled.
He unrolled a sleeping bag on the floor and shook his head. "Stop being a brat and use the sleeping bag. It'll keep you warm."
"I'm okay." She replied hastily. “It’s not the first blizzard I’ve lived through and it won’t be the last.”
Bass shot her a skeptical look but otherwise accepted her answer. He walked over to his bag, digging through it until he found what he was looking for. The small unlabeled bottle was about three quarters full of amber liquid. He swished it back and forth and smiled broadly, the gesture reaching his eyes. Charlie couldn’t deny she loved it when he smiled like that, feeling her whole body react in agreement.
"Well then..." He unscrewed the top, taking a swig before handing it to her. “This will warm you up pretty well too.”
Charlie laughed, she took the bottle and drank from it, scrunching her nose in response to the taste. He plopped down next to her, the warmth of his clothed body was enough to transfer a comforting heat to her shivering form. They looked at each other without saying a word. They found moments like that were usually ruined when either of them talked too soon.
The heavy snowfall was pummeling the roof of the barn with force. Charlie’s head tilted back, seeing the darkness above her as the oil lamp only partially illuminated the surroundings.
"It's not going to be over soon is it?" She asked, inching a little closer to him in the process as she searched for more heat.
Bass didn't say anything, he just shook his head and took a small sip of whiskey. After a few seconds, he leaned his head to the side, looking at her intently again. Charlie loved it and hated it at the same time. She wished he didn't do it so often. It made her feel vulnerable and that scared her more than anything. Her heart sped up, thumping in her chest like a rotor. It was a fluttering that at times got so out of hand it made her sick. He was so close, Charlie's mind was racing, conjuring up all kinds of different possibilities.
"I'm sorry." He said quietly, pulling away slowly—much to her disappointment. "I know you'd rather be with your family tonight than here with me."
"This is actually not as bad as I thought it would be." Her voice was soft and mellow. She took the bottle from his hands and was about to take a swig when something came to mind. "But if you want to make it up to me, maybe you can think of a way we can pass the time. It's too early to go to sleep."
He looked at her with hungry eyes, fiery and riveting just like his whole demeanor. Charlie chuckled nervously. "That's not–" she gulped, "I didn’t mean we should–"
Bass cocked an eyebrow. "What?" He asked teasingly.
Her eyes widened. "You probably thought I meant we could—wait, what did you think I meant?"
"I don't know, Charlotte. You always make things much more complicated than they have to be." He was toying with her and despite it being annoying before, now she found it vaguely amusing.
A smile appeared on her face. She kind of liked this playful side of Bass, it always caught her off guard and he always found a way to fluster her.
It was quiet for a minute while she thought of what to say. Her legs outstretched before her and she reclined back on the hay as if it were a giant pillow. "Never have I ever been more confused." Charlie said with a chuckle, handing Bass the liquor.
He snapped his head to the side, raising one eyebrow and giving her a half smile. "A drinking game?" His hands took a hold of the cold bottle. "Something tells me you might regret it." He said with a smirk.
Charlie scoffed. "Oh, please." She rolled her eyes and watched him take a drink. She wanted to ask what perplexed him so much but she had a feeling she already knew.
It was his turn now. "Never have I ever spent Christmas Eve with someone I hated." He said with a hint of sweetness.
She laughed, threatening to take a sip. Her eyes focused on him, before thinking up of another scenario. He smiled, content with her decision not to drink. "Hmmm..." She contemplated. "Never have I ever kissed someone I didn't like."
Bass took the bottle and drank. Charlie raised her eyebrows. "I don't even know why I'm surprised."
The smirk on his face was playful. "It was along time ago, college, drinking...” He trailed off. “Never have I ever..." He paused. "Had a one-night stand that turned into something more."
He handed her the bottle and his demeanor went calm, serious, as he awaited Charlie's response. She cleared her throat but didn't drink. A tiny mischievous smile graced her face. "Never have I ever paid someone for sex."
His lips parted in astonishment. "You're playing dirty now." He replied, taking a drink and inspecting the contents of the bottle. There was still enough for a few more rounds. "Okay. Never have I ever lied about my feelings for the person sitting next to me."
"Really?" Charlie countered, bringing the game to a screeching halt.
Bass beamed. "What? Regretting the game already?"
She stared him down in defiance, refusing to drink. Her mouth lifted in a coy smile. "Never have I ever–"
"You do realize this is a game about honesty." He chimed in, maybe a bit too defensive.
"What? You think I'm lying about my feelings for you?" She felt her stomach clench. Even her body was punishing her for being a coward.
His eyes were dead set on her. "Not lying, just omitting the truth."
The low guttural sound of his voice made her heart pound harder. "And what truth is that?" She could feel the alcohol taking effect, it was delaying her reactions and making her thoughts fuzzy. Her eyes kept flickering between his lips and his gaze.
“I could answer that for you.” He muttered, getting closer to her face, his lips ghosting over her cold cheek until they reached her ear. “I could even make things easy for you and kiss you right now. And goddamn it, I want to.” His fingertips trailed over her neck, making her breath quicken and her center pulse. “But I won’t do that, Charlie. You already know you could be mine if you wanted to, I just need to hear you say you want it just as much as I do.”
Charlie's insides were fluttering, the wetness between her legs was evidence enough that he was right. She bit down on her lip, her hand clinging to the lapels of his jacket and her mouth watering at the thought of his taste. "I'm afraid of what will happen next." Her voice was mousy as she admitted the truth.
Their noses touched with feathery softness, as she came to her knees in front of him. "Don't be." He said breathless, still refusing to be the one to go in for a kiss.
She looked at him, his blue eyes radiant like clear ocean waters. He was essentially asking her to take a chance with him and in that moment she realized the world in which they lived in might not give them a second chance.
With the bottle still in her hand, she tipped it toward her and drank from it. “There. But I never actually lied.”
He smiled wide, watching as her lips closed the distance between them. She nipped at them slowly, and he could feel his heart begin racing with anticipation for more. His hands began an eager exploration, sliding over the hills and valleys of her body as she pulled him in closer and kissed him more passionately.
They broke apart for a moment. "I'm still freezing," she said.
Bass came to his feet and began unrolling the other sleeping bags. He threw his jacket aside and beckoned her to join him, as he took off his shoes and slipped underneath the covers. Charlie smiled, stripping off her top layer.
The heat of their bodies was immediately comforting. Charlie lied on top of him, her legs spread over his hips and her fingers running through his hair. She leaned down. He was so warm and his body, while lean, was muscular in all the right places. His silence was unnerving, however. Was she being too brash?
“Say something.” Charlie whispered.
Her heart felt like it was ready to burst.
“Is this what you want?” He asked, licking his lips almost desperately. He’d been holding out for far too long.
Charlie nodded. “I do.” There was a soothing silence between them. “I want to be yours.” She finally admitted. It was a liberating feeling hearing her tongue pronounce the words and Charlie regretted not saying it sooner.
Bass caressed her cheeks and raked her hair with his fingers as he brought her face down closer to him. Her lips crashed into his with fervor, their hot exhales invading each other’s tongues. Charlie’s hips began moving over him, yearning for so much more. She was growing more impatient the longer he kissed her. He rolled her over, his hardened cock poking her center as he spread her legs and began undoing her pants.
Charlie was anxious. She helped him undo the zipper and then moved on to undoing his. Their lips met in between, hungrily nipping and sucking at wet flesh. When he had her in nothing but her undergarments, he traced her body with his hand, running them up and down her feverish skin and paying close attention to her most sensitive areas.
Her body snaked with every touch of his fingertips. They found their way underneath the thin fabric of her underwear, plunging in and out of her wet slit and circling over her engorged bud. Charlie moaned, loud enough to rival the thundering of the storm outside.
Bass’s cock was pulsing with want, every whimper rising from her throat was a jolt of stimulation to his manhood. He felt as his fingers became enveloped in her steamy release. The look of pure bliss on her face and the flush shade of her cheeks made him ache for more.
He stripped off the rest of her clothes before taking off his own, until they were both lying naked. Their skin rubbed together, creating a friction that heated them further to the point of perspiration. His lips trailed over her chest, hardening her nipples before he flicked them with his tongue. He grasped one breast with his hand, enjoying the feel of her supple skin between his fingers, as he lightly bit down on her stiff nub.
Charlie praised his name, mincing in curse words to express her approval. She reached down and grabbed his erect length, pulling on it with applied pressure and pumping him enough to make it slick.
“I want you, Bass.” She muttered, opening her legs and placing him between them.
He teased her opening with his tip, rubbing it up and down her slit before finally sliding inside her. Her mouth dropped open and her breathing hitched as he filled her up. Charlie held on to him, sliding her hands over his lower back and tightening her grasp over his ass. She could feel him speeding up the pace, the sound of their bodies joined together and the feel of his cock penetrating her walls was exhilarating.
Bass kept immersing himself in her, alternating his pace until she begged for him to go harder. It was only a matter of minutes before he had her whimpering and coming all over again.
He kissed her, slipping his tongue inside her mouth and swirling it around hers. He’d wanted her for so long and she was finally his, all his. The thought brought him over the edge. He pulled out of her and turned to the side, spilling his seed over the floor and breathing rapidly.
When he was all done, he lied down again, back pressed against the ground. “You’re all I’ll ever need.” He said, turning to face her. “I just want you to know that.”
Charlie smiled. “Good. Because I was thinking, you could also be mine. If you want...” She said coyly.
Their lips met again, this time exuding more tenderness and devotion. He muttered against her mouth, “Never have I ever been more happy to miss out on Christmas Eve dinner. ” Charlie laughed and kissed him one more time.