Dry Valley Ch. 11byjushorny©
Mitch kissed his mom goodbye and drove off to his place to clean up, the oil change and fence repairs having covered his body dirt and sweat. On the way home he schemed ways to best to convince Jess to stay in Dry Valley. He knew it wouldn't be an easy, most likely taking the entire six day limit imposed on by Jess or possibly longer.
Once home, he headed directly to the attic, knowing that's where the trunk was, the trunk his mom packed when he moved from his childhood home and onto his own ranch. He opened it to find it full of mementos from the first 18 years of his life. He never knew it at the time, but Sissy Walker had saved everything, figuring someday her son would appreciate having them. He laughed knowing that many of these things both he and his brother Tom had thrown in the trash, only to be pulled out and set aside by mom.
Mitch began digging through the trunk until he came upon the item he was looking to find. He pulled out the green binder, covered with a layer of dust, the title, Dry Valley in Photos. It had been Jess' final high school photography project and why she opted to give it to him instead of keeping it herself, he never understood. He hoped these photos, all of them depicting the beauty of Dry Valley would begin to show Jess she was meant to live here, that leaving was a mistake and that Dry Valley could hold promise for her life again as it had the day she came into the world.
After showering and dressing, Mitch headed back to his parents place, knowing mom would be more than happy to wrap the binder of photos for him.
"My...my...don't we look handsome tonight," Sissy Walker exclaimed placing her hands on her hips as Mitch walked into the kitchen.
"Mom, c'mon, it's a pair of jeans and shirt, and yea mom, I have on clean underwear," Mitch winked as he gave his mom a peck on her cheek. "How about doing a big favor for your favorite son and wrap this is some pretty paper? Maybe let me steal a rose from your garden to put along with it too?"
Sissy sat down at the kitchen table with the binder, commenting on each photograph as she turned the pages. She remembered thinking when she first saw this binder that Jessica Scout would one day be a famous photographer, even being secretly happy she moved to Atlanta to further her profession. Now, Sissy was about to wrap this for her son to use to win Jessica's heart and convince her to stay in Dry Valley. She wondered if she had done the right thing then and now found herself wondering if promoting the two of them getting together was right.
"Mitch, are you sure this is the right thing to do? Of course you'll make a great husband and father, you'll treat Jessica right because that's how we raised you. I know Jessica will treat you right as well, but...what if she doesn't like life in a small town, what if the big city has gotten into her heart. It might not come to surface right away, it could take time, and I don't want either of you to end up hurt." Sissy Walker looked up into her sons eyes after speaking her mind.
An hour long conversation later, Mitch was finally able to leave his parents, the binder beautifully wrapped, a red long stem rose lay diagonally across the pink colored tissue paper and red ribbon. On the drive over to Jessica's, Mitch thought long and hard about his conversation with his mother and knew in the end her reason for questioning his actions were only because she loved him. But Mitch knew he would never forgive himself if he didn't try his best to convince Jess to stay in Dry Valley, if he didn't make her...his forever. He thought he got the point across to his mom and hoped he could be even more convincing with Jess.
Mitch called out Jess' name as he walked through the front door of her house. She yelled from upstairs letting him know she'd be right down. Mitch thought about heading up there, but changed his mind, there would be time for that later. He answered back that he'd be out on the front porch. Grabbing a couple of beers, and moving outside, setting the present along side the chair.
Within a few minutes Jess came out the door wearing a short jean skirt and sexy little white lace top. He stood and took her into his arms, pulling them together. Their lips pressed together bringing his arousal back. As Mitch slid his tongue into Jess' mouth his hand roamed down the center of her back not stopping until his large hand cupped her ass. He could feel the softness of her breasts pressing against his hard chest, his present forgotten about for now.
Her hands caressed his neck and ran through his hair as they played a game with their tongues. Mitch pulled back slightly and licked and sucked on her neck, tasting her skin, moaning as the hint of perfume became more apparent. His hand was cupping a breast and teasing the nipple through the lacey top. When he felt her hand rubbing his chest, he wanted to carry her inside and make love like they had never done before. He wanted to show her with his body how much he loved her. He kissed his way up her neck to her ear, about to tell her just that.
"Mitch, slow down, the night is young; we have plenty of time for that later."
Mitch moaned, disappointed, staring into her eyes, unsure of what he should do next. Why did she make him feel this way? He was always one to know how to handle women to get what he wanted, how to convince them to see things his way. Jess was different, she was the only person who could convince him forgo his own pleasure. He cupped her face in his hands and pressed his lips to hers before stepping back.
"I brought something for you Jess," Mitch said as he guided them back to the chair, Jess sitting on his lap. Jess looked into his eyes, surprised at his thoughtfulness, yet a bit concerned as to what the package might hold.
"Mitch Walker, this better not be a red corset, I don't wear those things for anyone." Jess was nervous and tried to hide it with her humor. He chuckled and encouraged her to unwrap it and find out for herself. She could smell the fragrance of the rose as her fingers began opening the gift. Her eyes widened when she realized the binder and felt her high school memories come flooding back.
Jess placed her hands on top of the binder and Mitch could see the hesitation in her eyes. He kissed her cheek and opened it for her, her eyes following his hand. The first photo wasn't one Jess had taken, but was one Mitch had inserted. It was a picture of Jess and Mitch together, in each other's arms from the homecoming dance. He watched as her finger went to her lips and wrapped his arm tighter around her, taking her finger from her lips and bringing it to his.
"Jess, I'm giving this back to you so that you can see for yourself the beauty of Dry Valley. You could begin a whole new career here, I can build you the best damn darkroom technology offers, you can to a "Dry Valley Then And Now"...you can freelance...take only the type of work you like best...you can start your own business..."
Mitch did not feel like he was very convincing, but seeing Jess begin to look at the pictures she took a few years ago gave him hope. He held her face to his chest as she continued looking through the binder. It was when she stopped; taking an extra long time viewing a certain photo that Mitch began to feel he had a real chance. She didn't realize it, the but photograph showed the land Mitch now owned, his ranch, one she had taken from a rock cliff.
"Jess, lets go there, let's go to that rock cliff, where you shot that photograph, let's go there now, let me show you the view today."