Cold feet

Fallon put her feet up against Derek’s warm legs. They’d been climbing steadily for the last two days and the nights were considerably colder. Derek’s breath was slow and steady on her neck as she stared into the star laden night. Even outside her blanket, his arm across her thighs made her burn with desire. Parts often her body tingled in places she didn’t even know it could.

Brenzel’s words echoed in her thoughts, “You can encourage him.”

She thought she knew what that meant, or she could imagine. Each night they slept together, she thought about it more and more until her nighttime desires began following her around during the day.

“You keep away from men, missy,” her momma used to say.

“Why momma? How am I going to get a man if I keep my distance?”

A faraway look would come to her mother’s tired eyes, “It will just happen, the good Lord knows when. Until then, you keep yourself, you hear, girl?”

She didn’t want to keep herself any longer. No, not one moment.

She moved a little, raised herself up and slipped her nightshirt up above her hips, then snuggled back into him.

He kept sleeping.

He’s awake

She wiggled more, still nothing.

It felt good, though, and she breathed a little quicker.

Her night shirt slowly came up over her as she did one side, then the other. It took some time, but finally she pulled it out from under her blanket.

He’s awake.

“I’m cold,” she whispered, “Derek, hold me please?”

His arm came around more to her stomach, but still over her blanket.

Her belly moved, causing her hips to undulate, she licked her lips, then turned her head toward him, “No, like this.” She lifted her blanket up, inviting him in.

He hesitated as her skin dimpled in the cold air, then he slipped his big, strong hand around her tummy, causing the magical tingling to fan out from his fingers.

Hips undulating slowly, Fallon’s mouth opened slightly, a little moan escaping from between her lips.

“I love you,’ she said.

Still, she felt him hesitate.

Frustration grew and she put her hand to his, gently pushing downwards. “Please…”

His arm wouldn’t move.

“I need you, Derek,” she said, feeling her own body on the edge of something wonderful. “Please…”

His hand withdrew, and he turned over.


Snuggled up in her own blanket, Brenzel awoke to a woman’s voice shouting. What now? she thought as she heard Fallon’s voice in a shrill staccato. Sitting up, Brenzel looked over towards the commotion, trying to make out what she was saying.

My word, what’s going on? she thought.

Getting up, blanket around her shoulders, she walked over to their smoldering fire, finding Fallon in her night dress, standing over Derek, wagging her finger as she yelled.

“If you don’t like me, just say so!”

Brenzel sighed, “Not this again.”

“Hon, what’s wrong?” Brenzel asked, walking up to her angry protegee.

Folding her arms Fallon said, “Everything!”

Derek just sat on the ground, silent, looking like a scolded puppy.

“I did what you said last night,” Fallon said, turning toward Brenzel, “I did everything I could think of, and still he doesn’t like me! I know I’m not pretty, but I am a woman and I need lovin’ like everyone else!”


Brenzel could see Fallon was livid, more so than she’d ever known her to be, face red, eyes filled with fire and hurt at the same time.

The young woman looked at Brenzel in desperation, hands flying up, “I don’t know what to do! Tell me why he doesn’t want me!”

Brenzel came forward, taking her into her arms, “Come here hon.” She held Fallon close as she shook, breaking down.

Stroking her hair, Brenzel kept reassuring, “It will be okay…”

Looking over at Derek, Brenzel raised her eyebrows, hoping he would get the hint to do something.

Derek looked at her, then Fallon. After a moment, he got up, took his blanket, came close and put it about his woman’s trembling shoulders.

He looked up, then away, as if searching for words.

Brenzel said in a whisper, “Say something, talk with her…”

Derek looked back, nodded, then reached out and touched Fallon on the shoulder. “Miss Fallon, I’s sorry to have hurts you.”

Fallon quieted in Brenzel’s arms, seeming to listen.

The big scout reached out, pulling her hair back, and stroked her cheek in soft, tender movements.

Unable to look at him yet, Fallon said, “Why don’t you like me, Derek? You know I love you.”

Those words visibly moved the big black man, and his hand fell back to his side, eyes wide.

Slowly, he dropped to one knee and took off his hat. Fallon turned toward him, as he looked up into her eyes. Brenzel let go.

Choking up, Derek said, “I’s once told you I’s not a good man, but’s bein’ with yous, makes me wants to be’s better. I ain’t had much that’s good in my life, but you’s are my angel from heaven. I’s wants to do’s right bys you, Miss Fallon. I tried to find a ring, but bein’ out here…”

Eye’s wide

Fallon’s eyes grew wide as his hands reached up to take hers.

“I’s ain’t gots much, Miss Fallon, but I do loves you with alls my heart.”

Emotion playing across his features, Derek mustered the courage to say, “Miss Fallon, will you marry’s me? Proper, like ins church? Will you’s dos me the honor of bein’ my wife?”

Brenzel watched Fallon transform from a scared, hurt girl, to a woman in love before her very eyes, as her friend finally understood what the problem had been. It wasn’t that he didn’t like her, it was deep respect.

“Yes! Of course, yes!” Fallon answered excitedly, tears streaming down her cheeks.

Derek got up, happy and relieved, his shoulders squaring as he took her in his arms and hugged her tightly. “I’s just wants to do it proper like. I’s wanted you from the first time I’s laid eyes on you. Your beautiful.”

She lifted her face to his, closing her eyes as his lips pressed against hers.

Brenzel smiled, eyes filled with the emotion of the moment, too. Nodding her head slightly, she patted Derek on his shoulder as she left them to sort the rest out…together.

Desperado – cover by Jill Johnson