Bounty Hunter Ch. 03byintropervert©
Will awoke from his light, fitful sleep, still achingly aroused, only to find sometime in the cold morning hours his bed companion had spooned up next to him. Or, maybe he had spooned up to her, but he didn't really want to consider that possibility. His handcuffed arm was draped over her shoulder, and her round ass was pressing against his erect cock. Her hair ticked his face and neck, and she smelled sweet and...female. His body was demanding satisfaction.
He groaned and started to extricate himself from the tangle of limbs, but she shifted in her sleep and stretched her cuffed arm out, pulling him back against her. It also caused her ass to grind into his erection again. He let out a frustrated sigh. He couldn't quite get to the handcuff keys, so he was going to have to roll them both over onto their back before he could free himself from his uncomfortable situation.
He propped himself up with one arm and shifted her sleeping form carefully onto her back. Her curly hair looked tousled and sexy as hell, and he noticed her eyebrows and eyelashes were the same ginger color. He couldn't help his eyes drifted to her breasts again. Her nipples were still hard and outlined by her tank top; noticing it made another wave of lust wash over him.
She stirred a little and started to wake up.
Meredith awoke slowly with an unusual feeling of euphoria. The pleasurable sensations evaporated rapidly as details from the day before fell into place, namely she was sharing a bed with a strange man who was holding her captive.
When she finally snapped fully awake, it was to find him looming over her. She let out a yelp of surprise and tried to scramble away from him, forgetting they were handcuffed together. He fell on top of her.
"What are you doing? Get away from me!" she cried.
"Damn it, quit pulling on me and I will," he replied tersely. "Just lay there a second and let me unlock the cuffs. Shit!" He freed himself and swung himself off the bunk. "And for your information, you are the one who got all snuggly with me last night, so quit acting violated."
Meredith huffed indignantly and opened her mouth to protest, but then she remembered the time between her dreams and full consciousness when her body was blissfully aware of being enveloped in man arms and man scent, of feeling a powerful body pressing against hers and a hard cock occasionally brushing her butt cheeks. Oh, God, it was true! She felt her cheeks flame red and hot. Then she remembered her own loss of control the night before, and her embarrassment grew even more. What the hell had gotten into her? She flopped back down on the bed and pulled the blanket over her head.
Will watched her display of embarrassment with suspicion. He found it hard to believe it was genuine. On the other hand, he didn't think people who had a tendency to turn red like that could control it on command. He had played poker with a "blusher" once; the guy had been a lousy player because he turned red when he had a really good hand.
"I gotta see a man about a horse," Will stated gruffly, "don't go anywhere."
"I need to go too," she told him, obviously having noticed the camper didn't have a toilet.
Will ran his hand through his hair, irritated. Female detainees were a huge pain in the ass. At the top of the list was their inability to piss conveniently.
"Just get ready to go. There's some outhouses up here somewhere, right?"
"I'm not a princess; I can piss on the ground, you know," Meredith cut back at him.
"Yeah, but I bet you don't want me standing over you while you do it. And, it's easier for me to make sure you don't get away if you're in an outhouse."
Will stepped outside the camper and assessed the consequences of the torrential rainstorm the night before. Predictably, it was muddy as hell, and he had to step carefully around the side of the camper. It was an uncomfortable morning piss since he had woken up with a raging hard-on that wasn't going down.
He was still angry with himself for feeling so damned attracted to this woman—this woman he had sworn to himself would not be a temptation. The succubus, as Dan had put it. But, his anger didn't change his current predicament: he was going to have to start the morning with a dry wank, no way around it. As he began to stroke his cock, he told himself it was a simple matter of safety. After all, he had to be focused enough to somehow drive his truck off this mountain over near-impassable roads, and he had to make sure Brandi Lynn didn't trick him into doing something stupid.
He fully intended to think about someone else, anyone else, while he did the deed. Yet, his mind drifted to her immediately: her firm little titties and hard nipples outlined in that wet shirt last night, her deceptively innocent smile. He leaked enough precum to lube his hand just a little, but it was enough. He stroked himself faster as he imagined his hands on her breasts and ass, fucking her hard against a wall. He let out an all too audible gasp as he came, and his knees almost buckled underneath him, causing him to lean against the side of the camper to keep his balance. Christ, I hope she didn't hear that, he thought. His earlier irritation with himself came back with a vengeance.
Fuck all, he just needed to get off this damn mountain and start making some decent time back to Tucson, then the whole ordeal would seem so much closer to being over.
Inside the camper, Meredith stretched her sore, bruised body. Her knee was starting to hurt more, and it felt like every muscle in her body had stoved up. Mindlessly she began straightening the bunk out and was trying to figure out how to stow it back up, when she caught a flash of motion through a gap in the curtains. Creeping up to the window, she peered out to catch a glimpse of him. She couldn't see much, but she could see enough to tell he wasn't just taking a leak. The rapid arm movement and eventual gasp told her exactly what he was doing. It made her heart race and her still aroused body throb again.
She wondered why he had to do it. Was he hot and bothered over her as she had been about him last night? Or, did he just jack off every morning? Either way, she found herself turned on by her voyeurism. It was odd, because she normally would be rather repulsed by the idea of a guy beating off. But after last night, who was she to judge?
When he came back in their eyes met. She looked away quickly, but felt pretty sure he knew she knew. Needing desperately to clear the air, she asked him, "Can we please just leave now? I'd like to get this whole thing over with as soon as possible."
"Yeah, sure, you and me both, baby," he replied tersely. He looked around at the camper she'd straightened.
"It seemed like the right thing to do," she said. "None of this is the owner's fault."
He didn't reply to her, but he took out his wallet and dropped a twenty dollar bill on the table. "Lest you think I'm a whiskey thief."
Then he reached for the padded handcuffs he'd used to cuff them together last night.
"Oh come on, is that necessary?" she asked. "Please don't make me wear those all day." Seeing him pick up the cuffs filled her with dread and something else she couldn't identify with clarity.
"Sorry, baby. I'm not taking any risks with you. I could say they are for your protection as much as mine, but really they are mostly for mine. Turn," he commanded.
She hesitated, so he gave her an impatient, angry look. She crossed her arms in front of her in a protective, vulnerable gesture. "Please? Please, I promise I won't do anything stu—"
But he grabbed her firmly by the shoulders and turned her around. He pushed her off balance just a little and had to tighten his grip to steady her. As he fastened the cuffs, she realized with disgust she was getting aroused again. She wasn't one of those warped people who got off from being tied up! So why was this happening? Sullenly, she gave no further resistance as he led her to the truck and fastened her in.
It took hours—half the day at least—to get off the Uncompahgre Plateau. The roads were still slick, and there were some low areas badly washed out. Twice they got stuck, and he had to get out to put rocks under the tires for traction. The switchbacks were a nightmare: there were no safety rails, and losing control in some areas would plunge them off a several hundred foot vertical rock face. She spent much of that stretch of road with her eyes squeezed tightly together, trying not to hyperventilate.
When they rounded the hairpin turn of the last switch, it seemed as though the worst was behind them, but then they came upon a deep channel cut across the road by the storm runoff. Will hit his breaks but had insufficient time to stop. They hit it hard, jolting both of them against the constraints of their safety belts.
Will swore loudly and hit the steering wheel with his hand. "Fuck, fuck, fuck!" He eased the truck to a stop and got out to look under the front end. When he got back in, Meredith wanted to ask him about it, but decided to just keep her mouth shut.
He continued driving with a grim look on his face.
Finally they reached the highway. Being on smooth pavement felt like heaven to Meredith after hours of rough terrain. But, it was soon clear the truck had not survived hitting the trench unscathed. It started shaking and making a bad noise as soon as Will began to accelerate on the highway.
"That doesn't sound good."
With the harrowing journey down the mountain behind them, she realized she was ravenously hungry. She hoped he was planning on feeding her soon. "Um, Will, I hate to complain right now, but I haven't eaten anything in over 24 hours—since 6 a.m. yesterday morning. I may be passing out soon. Just letting you know."
"I'll see what I can do," he said sounding very distracted.
Will slowed the truck down to around 40 mph. He couldn't believe his bad luck. He was almost certain he'd busted a strut. He was going to be lucky if he got it limped in to a town. He didn't want to think about the logistics of being stranded on foot with a jumper.
The four corners area was a remote part of the country. Southwestern Colorado was almost as barren and unpopulated as northeastern Arizona. There was no way they were going to make it to Cortez, and he contemplated turning around and heading back to Montrose. But by a small stroke of good luck, there was a cluster of businesses outside one of the state parks they were passing. It included a gas station, one of the old fashioned types with a full-service pump and a garage. He pulled in. It was after 3 p.m. already.
To his amazement, there was even a mechanic on duty. Will showed the guy his bail recovery agent I.D. and explained his predicament. He needed to get his truck operational, and quickly, and he had to keep his prisoner secured. He explained she wasn't too dangerous, and they needed food.
"Yeah, we can fix you right up here, buddy," the mechanic assured him. "My momma runs that motel right 'cross the street. It's got a café, and if you need a place to put up for the night, well, it ain't the Hilton, but her rooms are clean."
Will looked across the road at the mid-century style motel/café combo. It looked to have no more than half a dozen rooms, and a flickering neon sign that said "Ranchito Motel."
Will got his prisoner out of the truck and escorted her across the highway. The café was mostly empty. As luck would have it, there was overflow seating partitioned from the main area by a stainless steel rail. Will asked for a booth next to the railing. He cuffed her to the railing and sat down opposite her.
"You're being awfully quiet," he commented. "You haven't spouted any lies, drama, smart ass comments, or other bullshit since we left camp. I'm starting to get worried about you."
She looked sullen and pale. "Yeah, well you scared the shit out of me on the switchbacks," she accused, hugging her free arm around her midriff protectively.
Will grinned mischievously. "That was nothing but a thing, baby. I've driven way worse roads than that." Actually, he couldn't think of any off the top of his head, but she didn't need to know that.
"And you've starved and dehydrated me until I'm nearly unconscious," she continued. "Do you follow the 'dead or alive' approach to bounty hunting?"
"I'm feeding you now, aren't I? There you go again with the melodrama. And you hardly look starved."
Meredith gaped at him angrily. "What exactly is that supposed to mean?"
Will sighed heavily and raked his hair out of his face. He always forgot about women and their ubiquitous body issues, and he always put his foot in his mouth over it. And, this was not a good day for him to have to walk on eggshells around a female ego.
"Nothing. It means you look plenty strong and healthy, that's all. Jesus. And no, I don't bring jumpers in dead—unless they really, really deserve it. And I think that fucking natural disaster last night has something to do with you being hungry. What do you think?"
The red blotches were back on her neck and chest. This time he was pretty sure it was due to anger rather than arousal.
Thankfully, the waitress picked that moment to arrive to take their order.
"You want to order, or sit there and pout about being hungry?" Will demanded.
Meredith glared at him some more before opening the menu. About then, the waitress must have noticed she was handcuffed to the railing.
"Uh, what's goin—" the waitress began, but Will cut her off by presenting his I.D. again.
"Don't worry, she's not dangerous. Unless by dangerous you mean irritating as shit."
Meredith felt angry and insulted, but she also felt too weak to argue with him. "I don't care," she said sullenly. "I just need food. Burger and fries. And, coffee with cream and sugar."
Will added water to her order, then ordered for himself. He stared at her in silence until their beverages arrived. It made her feel uncomfortable, like a bug under a microscope.
Just the smell of the coffee started to revive her. She struggled to tear open the several sugar packets with one hand and her teeth, scattering some of it across the table and onto her lap before getting any in her coffee. The individual servings of half and half proved even more problematic. The first one got mostly spilled down her chin.
Will grinned at her evilly and took his time handing her a napkin. He then opened one of the half and halfs for her. "How many?" he asked.
"Two more. Thanks."
The combination of coffee and sugar hitting her bloodstream was euphoric. She drank it as fast as she could and a second cup as well.
"Drink some water too," Will chided. "You're not starved, but you probably are dehydrated."
She sipped her water, only then realizing he was ordering her around, and she was obeying without question. That disturbed her. His apparent concern for her well-being disturbed her. In fact, just about everything about him disturbed her.
The food arrived and they both tucked in voraciously. A short time later, both had cleaned their plates. The waitress showed up asking about dessert.
"What do you have?" Will asked.
"Homemade apple pie today."
Will raised an eyebrow at Meredith. She shrugged. It sounded fantastic and she was still a little hungry. But she didn't usually order desserts.
"Sounds great. Bring us two."
Will looked at her enjoying the apple pie. He liked watching her eat. Some primal part of him was finding satisfaction in feeding her. The rest of him really didn't want to dissect those feelings too much.
He reminded himself she was going to be back in jail soon, probably to be subsequently sentenced to time in the state pen. But, that only made him think this might be one of her last decent meals. Soon she'd be eating jail cafeteria swill, dressed in an orange jumpsuit. He tried to imagine her surviving within a prison social structure, and found his conclusions disturbing. She seemed tough enough in some regards, but not in that way. Not standing up to prison gangs, or some butch prison chick trying to make her her bitch.
It was bad enough he was physically attracted to her. But now she was tugging on his heartstrings and that was just downright bullshit.
"You know, Will, I think I know what you're feeling right now," Meredith told him between bites of pie.
Will had a moment of panic, hoping his actual feelings were not somehow showing. He shuttered his emotions and tried to answer nonchalantly. "You don't say? And let me guess, you're going to share that with me now."
"It's called cognitive dissonance."
He raised an eyebrow at her, but allowed her to continue.
"That's when the rational part of your mind conflicts with your irrational beliefs. You can cover it up with sarcasm all you want, but at some level, you know, or at least suspect, you have made a mistake. You know I am not Brandi Foster or whatever her name is. Everything about me tells you that, doesn't it, Will? You're trying to ignore the evidence and clinging to your original concept of me. But, you're uncomfortable, because you're ignoring your rational side."
Will stared at her contemplatively. "That's not exactly a textbook definition of cognitive dissonance, you know."
She shrugged indifferently. "How many philosophy textbooks have you read exactly, Will?"
"You think I'm an uneducated hick?" he asked defensively. For a moment he felt like he was actually being belittled by a snooty academic rather than a career criminal who hadn't finished high school. "For your information, I have read a philosophy book or two. How many have you read?"
She laughed. "None. Scientists don't know jack about philosophy. I'm supposed to be a philosopher of science, but I never even took a logic class."
He shook his head, exasperated. "You're a piece of work. See, I would argue it is the rational part of my brain telling me you are Brandi Lynn Fowler: a shit load of circumstantial evidence plus the papers you had on your person identifying you. If I am suffering cognitive dissonance—and I'm not saying I am—it would be because you are doing your damnedest to manipulate my irrational sympathies."
"You're wrong," she countered stubbornly.
"What is the point of this argument, Brandi? I don't believe your story."
"Then you'll be up for a small wager, won't you?"
Will rolled his eyes. "Like what?"
"Like, if I'm right, you owe me something. Something big."
"And if I'm right?"
"Well, I'd be going to jail if that were true. So, I couldn't pay you back in any way, at least not for a long while."
"So what's my motivation to place this bet, then?
"To prove how sure you are I'm your bail jumper."
"But see, baby, I don't have to prove anything to you. You are in my custody, and I have all the control. But just out of curiosity, what would you be claiming from me if I were wrong?"
"Well, first of all, I think you would owe me a really nice dinner somewhere."
He laughed. "Wait. If you are right, then that means I'm kidnapping you, and you would want to go on a date with me?"
Meredith broke eye contact with him and picked at the last bite of her piecrust. "Well you are kind of cute. For an arrogant bounty hunter, I mean."
His jaw dropped a little. He'd been expecting a seduction, but it still surprised him. After the dick biting and titty flashing she'd used to seduce her previous victims, this seemed really...polite...prudish...sincere, even.
She continued, "...and I will be stuck in Tucson with no I.D or money, so you will need to chauffeur me back to Boulder."
"Fair enough. Hypothetically speaking, of course."
"Of course. And, finally, I think you should have to make up for the general disruption of a week of my life. That is how long this whole ordeal is going to take to play out to its inevitable conclusion. I think a week of slave labor would be fair repayment."