Author's Note: This fic comes very close to 'adult' territory, you're warned.

There wasn't much he could do to fight; he didn't have the heart for it….

Not when she was unbuttoning his shirt, her fingers slipping inside to tease his skin with promises of more to come.

Outside the canopy of the trees was midnight black, the moon having slipped behind the cover of the late summer clouds. They were alone, young... and in love. There was no other excuse needed for what was about to happen.

She pulled the ends of his shirt from the waistband of his pants and reached up to slide the cotton from his shoulders. Her arms, stretched to reach around his body, slid along his skin… slick, the heat was affecting them both.

Slipping his hands free from his cuffs, he held her face in his hands, thumbs playing over her cheeks, wiping the dew from her skin.

A thumb slipped down to trace the swell of her bottom lip, rosy brown in the moonlight, white teeth just visible above.

He swallowed hard. In his mind he knew he should send her away. "You don't have to do this, Lou. You don't have to do this if you don't want to."

Her eyes flickered with understanding and her hands came up to rest on his chest, her fingers driving him to distraction with their gentle touch.

"Tell me that you want to wait, and we'll wait… it's up to you."

"Jimmy," she sighed, turning her face into his palm, her teeth nibbling at the callused skin, "I'm right where I want to be."

He saw it in her eyes. Knew that she meant her words, even if his mind was telling him she couldn't mean it. Even if his body was telling him he really shouldn't care, he did, more than he cared to admit.

If this one night was all they could have for now, then he'd wait… savor the longing looks a little more, suffer the torture of her touch in public and dream about it at night.

He felt a tug, a single twist of her hand and the buckle of his gunbelt opened and her hands took the weight of it, lowering it to the ground, leaving him wondering how she'd managed to untie the leather thong around his thigh. A moment later when she reached for the button at his waist his thoughts turned to other topics.

"Aren't you going to touch me, Jimmy?"

Her words took his breath away and as he looked down into her upturned face he couldn't help the way the breath seemed to disappear from his lungs. There was no way to tell her how much he'd waited for this… to explain how much he'd dreamed of this very moment. So he showed her.

His fingers fumbled over the buttons of her blouse, twisting the fabric into little whirls with each slip. His breath hissed over his tongue as he mumbled his thanks that she'd worn a blouse that buttoned up the front. It was only three buttons down from her neck when she covered his hands with hers, gently confining them.

The ground fell out from under his feet, his heart stopped beating for a moment as he prepared his apologies… he'd pushed too much… demanded too much… fallen back into the man the Judge had told him to become… taught him to become. "I'm sorry, Lou… I didn't-"

Words, apologies, all died on his tongue as her fingers continued what he'd started, easily slipping shell buttons free from the holes on the front of her blouse. Lou laid open the halves, her hands delving farther to the stays that wrapped around her body and unlocked them in a slow, practiced rhythm that had his heart pounding. When she let them fall behind her to the growing sprawl of discarded clothing at their feet and reached for the neckline of her chemise he found his voice again.

"Let me." The style was simple, plain cotton with careful even stitches. He slid his thumb under one shoulder and felt the shiver that passed through both of them and slid the gathered edge off the curve of her shoulder. The neck opened, sliding down until the edge balanced on the fullness of her breast. Instinctively he reached for it and thought better for a moment, his eyes seeking hers. What he found was the twinkle of light in her eyes, anticipation alight, her lower lip tucked slightly between her teeth. A simple nod of her head became a groan of submission as he drew the chemise to her waist.

*** ***

The door slid closed, the lock clicking in place. Teaspoon gave Polly a nod and she sent back a sympathetic smile as he walked through the near empty saloon. He pulled out a chair and sat down one chair over from the Kid. "Heard you were intent on stayin' til closin'."

The Kid didn't bother looking up at his boss. "Some people got big mouths."

Teaspoon let out a sigh. "That may be, son, but they do it 'cause they care about you."

Thinking back to his earlier 'conversation' with Buck, Kid decided it was time he start keeping his mouth shut around his 'friends.' Life would be much easier and quieter if folks just kept their noses out of his business. He poked at the side of the heavy glass and watched the amber liquid inside slosh around the walls before falling weakly back into the bottom. "I still don't wanna talk about it."

There was a long moment of silence between them and Kid pushed the glass aside. "I get it Teaspoon. I messed up everything I could have had with Lou and really, I don't understand why everyone thinks they have to explain it to me."

Sitting back, Teaspoon tried to see past the wall of anger that the Kid had set up around himself. "It ain't a scoldin' we're tryin' to give you, Kid. That ain't the point of us bein' worried about you." He watched the quick rise and fall of Kid's shoulders and resisted the urge to touch him on the shoulder. With that many conflicting emotions bottled up inside he might explode like one of those fireworks he'd seen at the last Founder's Day celebration.

"Then what?" The words were sudden and by the expression on Kid's face, it had shocked him as well. "What's the point?"

Polly came toward the table with two mugs and set them down between the two men, her hand quickly removing the glass that Kid had been staring at for more than an hour. As she moved away, Teaspoon felt her hand brush against his shoulder.

"Sometimes you put all your hopes on one person. Think that everything in the world revolves around them and somehow… if that person don't return that love… well, the world seems to fall down around your ears." Teaspoon picked up his mug of coffee and lifted it almost to his lips. "We don't want you to think that-"

"That ain't it…" Kid looked up at Teaspoon, pain shining in his eyes where anger had been a moment before. "That… ain't what happened."

Teaspoon took a long sip of the coffee, smiling as it warmed his insides. "All right… when you want to… if you want to… I'll listen to what you want to say."

Kid held the mug between his hands, the steam floated up to his face. "I wanted what I thought… what I thought," he stared down into the dark liquid as his thought settled. "I told her I loved her… but I wanted something different. I didn't see it at first… didn't see it for a long time." He gave Teaspoon a rueful smile. "I compared her in my head to Samantha with her fancy hair and fashionable dresses. I saw the 'perfection' that Samantha offered, but I didn't see the lies and the confusion behind the smiles and sweet words."

"Many a man has fallen prey to a woman like Samantha… temptation in a pretty package."

Kid didn't appear to hear him as he continued on. "I knew I wanted a wife and children and a woman like Lou. A woman with a job… riding like a man, dressing like a… you see the-," shaking his head, Kid looked up at Teaspoon. "That's the problem… my real problem, Teaspoon. I kept expecting everyone to see… for Lou to see there was a problem with the way she was living her life." Kid gave a sigh that sagged his shoulders visibly. "The problem was that she was happy and I couldn't see it… couldn't believe it." He took a sip from the mug and set it back down noisily on the table. "I held on so tight, Teaspoon, wanting to make it work between us when all she wanted was to be… who she was."

"Think there's still hope for the two of you, son?"

He gave a subtle shake of his head and just the hint of a smile. "She's happy, Teaspoon. She's happy… me, I'm gonna have to find my own way."

*** ***

The cool air whispered past her thighs and she looked up into the canopy of leaves overhead, her mouth opening to a sigh. Jimmy set his hand on her hip, his face inches from hers and when she looked up into his eyes she had to smile. There was a wonder and a deep yearning that she knew was alive in her face as well.

Reaching up, she slid her fingers through the lengths of his hair and watched them fall through the moonlight, tinged with silver the ends tickling along her palm. Her cheeks blushed hot with color as she imagined his hair brushing along-

"I've wanted this… wanted us for a long time."

Jimmy nodded slowly, lifting his free hand to cup the side of her face. "I've only let myself dream of lovin' you."

She leaned into his touch, her eyes closing for a moment when his thumb caressed her lower lip, his other hand shifting to the small of her back. "Then love me, Jimmy… I want to know what it feels like."

The moment he let go of his fears she knew it instinctively. Felt the way his muscles changed beneath his skin, all anticipation and pent up energy. She could let go… let him take her over the edge… send them flying through the night in each other arms, but she wanted more. Wanted to be there racing beside him through the stars.

He laid her down half on and half off the pile of clothes, the soft tips of the grass brushing along her shoulders and the backs of her legs as her hands explored the heated surface of his body. She sighed as his breath hitched in the back of his throat, her hand splayed over the curve of his hip.

Her eyes flew open as the hard length of his thigh slipped between her legs and she gazed at the silvered contours of muscle along his arm as she moved against him. His forehead fell down against her shoulder as his hands fisted in the grass beside her head. "Careful now…"

"Careful?" The word purred from her mouth as more of a challenge than a question. "Why?"

"You keep movin' like that… and I don't know how long I can-" He raised his head with a gasp as her hand found the tender stretch of skin where his thighs met the muscled curve of his backside, "Lou."

"Jimmy." She smiled up at him, her face bathed in moonlight and invitation. "I'm not askin' you to hold back… not now, not ever." She shifted slightly beneath him, setting her shoulders flush against the whisper-soft grass and wrapped one leg around his waist and the other around the back of his thighs and pulled him closer… closer until they came together with a sigh.

She felt his lips brush a kiss along her neck and she dug her fingers into the broad muscles of his back as he began to move. Lou looked up into the canopy of leaves above them and saw the moon peering through the thousands of leafy tips. The beginnings of sweet release began to bubble up through her body as she clung to the man she loved, moved along with the eager strain of his muscles as she gave him her body as surely as she'd given him her heart.

Two young lovers with their bodies on fire…
Achin' to swim that river of desire…
Leavin' innocence there on the bank by their clothes
A man holdin' on to a women lettin' go…

There's a man with a bottle
On the other side of town
Swimmin' with a memory
That he can't drown
Lord it ain't sunk in that she ain't comin' home…
A man holdin' on to a woman lettin' go…

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