19577 fans currently online (305 members and 19272 guests)
The Panama Connection
Alexis Morell Carrington loved yachts.
Well she loved other people’s large expensive yachts that chauffeured her around the Caribbean or between jet setting hot spots such as St Barts or Acapulco. She especially loved the fit young ship hands that usually came along with them, and who with a little flirting were more than happy to keep Alexis entertained after her affair with their boss had long since lost its sizzle.
What she didn’t like was being stuck on a yacht in a damn dock due some problem with a permit of all things and having to put up with the leering glances of the heavyweight military officials who kept having to come on board for some reason. God why had the USA ever agreed to start handing over control of the canal back to the Panama government, Alexis would never understand it?
What she did understand was that this damn delay might mean she missed the party of the season. It had taken more than a little of her best persuasive tactics to secure her invitation to a certain Hollywood movie star’s exclusive private retreat. Isla Taborcillo was a reported paradise and only the crème de la crème of European and American society would be there. So when her newest conquest, a blue blooded Spanish don who had more money than sense thanks to his mining operations in Brazil and Columbia, offered the use of his fifty foot personal yacht to ferry her there in style Alexis could hardly have refused.
Now however Alexis was having second thoughts.
Yes she would have savoured her sister’s green face when she turned up in a yacht bigger than Zach Powers, but now she ran the risk of not seeing Cassey whatsoever and Alexis flatly refused to allow her little sister the pleasure of rubbing that fact in her face the next time they bumped into one another.
Her mind made up Alexis jumped up from her sun bed causing the young man who was massaging her feet and shooting her puppy dog eyes to start in surprise.
“Señora…I do…wrong something?”
Waving him aside, Alexis didn’t have the time to waste or the slightest inclination to sooth his ruffled feathers….Then again as she took in his toned tanned physique, perhaps she might find a use for him after all. Catching his hand Alexis all but dragged the smiling boy back to her cabin. His smile quickly sliding from his face at Alexis’s next command.
“My bags…mis maletas…pack them.”
It was a testament to her own determination and just how much she wanted to get to this party that saw Alexis arrive in Panama city late into the evening, having almost lost her lunch and dinner when the light aircraft she had been travelling seemed to bounce up and down in the air like she was on a fairground ride. It was far too late to take a car from the city down to Punta Chame from where you could catch a boat out to the island.
Besides the prospect of arriving at such an exclusive retreat on some fisherman’s scow was so far beneath Alexis’s sense of dignity not to mention there would be no living with Cassy if Alexis turned up like any old commercial traveller!
It was already dark and Alexis had been travelling for hours and was exhausted. It wasn’t like she had been able to catch her beauty sleep on the plane. Checking into a hotel was always an option but that simply put off the problem of how to arrive at Isla Taborcillo in style… something to make her sister’s jaw drop with shock and jealousy…But also complete with an escort that would manage to make the handsome millionaire Zach Powers seem like a consolation prize.
For any other woman it would have been impossible but then Alexis Morell Carrington wasn’t like other women and her little black book was an extensive list of the most handsome and well-connected men in the world. There had to be someone in its pages who could fill that tall order?
Smirking as her eyes fell upon one name in particular, who after that little spat with his father had withdrawn over here to lick his wounds. Alexis strode over to the public telephone booths, fumbling in her purse for what little currency she had bothered to change. It wasn’t until moments like this that Alexis ever needed her own money; normally her companion of choice took care of such little details. It had enabled her to invest her funds in far more important things, like her wardrobe!
Finally able to find something that would fit in the phone booth, god knows how long it would give her, Alexis dialled the number, relieved when the private number was picked up an answered. “Ahmed Residence.”
“This is Alexis Carrington put me through to Rashid.” Alexis never bothered with niceties like please with the hired help.
A moment later a familiar voice caressed her ears. “Alexis! How wonderful to hear from you, what can I do for you my darling? The last time we parted you were off to sail the Caribbean with Don Pedro don’t tell me the poor man is a wash up in bed as he is at the roulette table?”
“Well I cannot attest to his gambling skills but he is lacking in other areas!” Alexis snorted, mentally adding the ability to get his paperwork in order being one of them. “Rashid I need your help…I’ve got this party to go to at Isla Taborcillo tomorrow and I am in need of dashingly handsome escort!”
“And you thought of me?”
“Who else?” Alexis teased. “I am in Panama City at the moment and I know you have a hideaway nearby…”
“And you were hoping I would put you up for the night…well we have to negotiate the rate for board and lodgings my dear Mrs Carrington…” Rashid drawled suggestively.
“I look forward to bartering with you darling.” Alexis retorted her playful tone turning panicked as the damn phone started to pip and she didn’t have any more change. “Rashid I can take a taxi from the airport but I am somewhat short of local currency…and I need your address.”
“Oh don’t worry my dear I will settle with the taxi driver when you arrive, we’ll just add it on to your bill.” Rashid drawled suggestively. “Just have him bring you to the Villa Lucra, San Miguel….”
“Rashid.” Alexis called out but it was no use the pips had finished and the line was dead. Still she had the address and Rashid would compensate the driver for any detours needed to find the place.
Signalling to the porter who had been hovering with her luggage Alexis strode confidently out to the waiting taxi line, avoiding by instinct the dangerous looking hawk eyed younger men who immediately began to clamour for her business; approaching instead a short and portly older man who hadn’t even glanced up from his paper.
Clearing her throat the old man all but had a heart attack yet he regained himself quickly. “Senora?”
“You speak English?” Alexis asked, her Spanish was tolerable and had improved after a few weeks with Don Pedro, although most of the new words she had learnt weren’t really fit for polite conversation.
“Yes yes.” The driver answer beaming and revealing a gummy mouth. “English…Queen Elizabeth…”
Curbing revulsion Alexis nodded politely and stepped into the cab after her driver opened the door and hurried to load his trunk with her copious luggage, in the end her small vanity case had to come inside the car with her as there simply wasn’t enough room. Giving the driver Rashid’s address Alexis finally allowed herself to relax and her mind to wander…imagining just what Rashid had in mind for payment.
Resting her head against the back of the seat she closed her eyes a wicked smile playing about her lips as the gently vibrations of the car and her exhausting schedule finally caught up with her and what Alexis had meant to be a moment to recollect and rest her eyes saw her drifting off to sleep.
SoapChat Make-up artist
Nice! I hope that she makes it to Rashid's villa. Since she fell asleep, who knows where the taxi will end up. I would be interesting to read about an Alexis/Rashid romance. I hope that there's more to this story.
The dim lights of the local taverna shone brighter and more welcoming than the bright gaudy lights of Las Vegas. However after days trekking through the thick jungle, afraid to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time for fear his pursuers or even the local wildlife might take a fancy to him, any sign of civilisation no matter how grubby would have been a welcome one.
Right now he needed a drink and something to eat and perhaps if he was lucky a room for the night but it probably didn’t even need to be a room, he was so tired a chair or quiet corner would have been enough…although he would feel a damn sight safer resting behind a locked door until he could contact someone and get the hell out of this lawless sink hole.
Any county that could permit the routine capturing of hostages for ransom was not one he wanted to remain in for long…not with those rather angry kidnappers hot on his heels that was.
Still he had time for a drink and hopefully a hot meal…patting his pockets for the loose change that he had on him…he could only hope he had enough for that. God knows how he was going to pay for his transport out of here, and somehow the prospect of walking all the way to Panama didn’t really appeal.
Yet if that was what it took he would walk every single step back to the United States rather than give those Columbian extortionists the satisfaction of getting their hands on any of his money.
It was the sudden braking that woke her. The driver having slammed on his brakes for some reason that had Alexis half siding off of the back seat. Having regained her balance before slamming into the back of the drivers seat Alexis retained her grip on her vanity case. Glancing out the window even in the darkness Alexis felt her confusion mounting.
All around her were tall dark looking trees, they were on a bumpy road in the middle of nowhere and squinting at her watch Alexis was aghast to realise four hours had passed since leaving the airport. She should have been at Rashid’s hours ago; his villa was close to the airport.
Perhaps it was because she had just woken up but it took a good few moments for the thought to occur to her…She was being kidnapped.
“Where are you taking me?” Alexis screeched startling her driver as she leant forward and smacked him on the shoulder; causing him to swerve dangerously off the road, and come to a stop a hundred yards from some run down shack that probably passed for the social high life in this back of beyond.
“Where am I…donde estoy?” Alexis repeated her question in Spanish when it became clear her driver really had no English to speak of, punctuating her question with another smack.
“San Miguel!” The Driver retorted hotly his tolerance for being slapped by his passengers far lower than expected.
“No this can’t be San Miguel!” Alexis spat shaking her head as her dark curls bounced emphatically. “You’re lying…mentiroso.”
However if her driver objected to being slapped he took being called a liar to his face even harder. In fact he was so furious that he got out of the car and stomped round to open the passenger door, reaching inside to take Alexis by the arm and dragging her protesting form from the car.
Screaming out her outrage at being so manhandled Alexis smacked at the old man with her vanity case, yet despite his appearance the old driver was reasonable strong and had her out of the car and dumped at the side of the road.
“How dare you….” Alexis began her anger turning to disgust as her heel sank into something soft and moist sounding. “I demand you take me back to Panama City at once.”
Huffing the driver shook his head, mumbling under his breath undoubtedly about crazy foreign ladies who didn’t know where they wanted to go. Holding out his hand expectantly the driver rubbed his thumb and finger together. “Two hundred.”
“Two hundred!” Alexis screeched.
Scoffing in disgust Alexis refused there was no way she was paying this incompetent senile old cretin two cents let alone two hundred dollars that she didn’t even have on her.
Clearly that had been the wrong answer as the driver decided to cut his loses stomping back to his own door and getting back in. Hearing the engine start up Alexis began to panic, she was not about to let some old fool drive off and abandon her in the middle of nowhere…and certainly not with her luggage in the damn trunk!
Yet before she could stop him the old man had thrown the car into reverse, pulling back onto the road, before executing a high speed three point turn and speeding off back in the direction of Panama City without her. Shivering in the dark as the taillights of the car grew further and further away, and with it all hopes of a reunion with her one of a kind couture wardrobe housed inside her three Louis Vuitton suitcases. Alexis only had two options left to her, start walking…or the roadside shack.
SoapChat Make-up artist
Alright! It's a romance between Alexis and someone new. So, no Rashid. That's okay. This sounds like it might be a romance/adventure like Romancing the Stone. I can't wait to read more of this! I hope that you will still continue your other story because I enjoy reading that just as much. Thanks.
yep this is heavily influenced by my recent watching of that film
He noticed her the moment she entered the bar.
Even if he hadn’t been sat with his back to the wall facing the door, so as to keep an eye out for his own pursuers, he would have noticed her entrance. The general hubbub of men complaining in a variety of languages and the clink of glass against wood stopped the moment she entered the room.
She had balls, that was for certain…either that or she was as stupid as she was beautiful?
Still as she swallowed her fear and made her way towards the bar he couldn’t help but admire the courage that must take, with every greedy male eye in the room on her, most of which would be less than welcoming.
Women…well decent women didn’t exactly enter a place like this, and judging by the fine clothes and expensive jewellery this lady was a lady…or she was incredible successful at not being a lady. Either way it painted a large target on her and he couldn’t help but be concerned…damn his heroic tendencies.
He was already half to his feet by the time the first drunken bastard made a grab for her. A few seconds later and his fist was connecting with the man’s large face, the force of the blow causing his folded jowls to wobble as he slumped down from his seat to the floor unconscious.
That first victory was brief as several others got to their feet and he was forced to step back to avoid the blows.
His time in the jungle had made him sluggish and too many blows connected, but no one had said he had to fight fair and when down on the ground he used his legs to take the feet out from under a few of them before getting back to his feet and breaking a chair over their backs.
They had the sense to stay down then.
“Anyone else wanna give it a try?” He called out to the room grunting as the other men either retook their seats or avoided his gaze.
“Thank you perhaps you could help me, I…” Her voice was low and warm like honey the English accent most attractive but her thanks would only get them killed.
Right now the others had backed down because he had kicked their arses and because their drink was calling them. Yet given enough time they would whip themselves back into action and he didn’t have the strength to take on all comers.
No there was only one way out of this without another beating, win the crowd…
Grabbing the back of her head he threaded his fingers into her hair yanking her mouth up to meet his as the bar patrons applauded their approval by banging their glasses on the table. Pulling her struggling body against his he pushed down the disgust at his own actions as he ran his hand suggestively over her curves.
Breaking for breathe he didn’t waste any time, doing his best to ignore the way his ribs ached he lifted the struggling woman, slinging her over his shoulder, hiding his wince as she proceeded to kick and punch him. Catching her ankles he smacked her pert backside in punishment causing the drunks to laugh out loud before turning to the barman.
Snorting the barman nodded over his shoulder and he followed the man’s directions, taking his struggling prize out through the back of the bar into what could have been a kitchen or storeroom. Scanning the room he sighed in relief at the back door. Fumbling with the lock and stepping outside the fresh air was a blessed relief after the heat and stench of the bar.
Unloading his burden he winced as the woman used that opportunity to swing her vanity case and smack him hard about the shoulder before making a break for it.
“HELP….” She began to scream and seeing no other option he tackled her to the ground, covering her mouth with his hand.
“Shut up unless you want to kill us both…I am trying to help you….I just saved your life or at the very least stopped you from being raped…Jesus…” He hissed when sharp little teeth bit into the skin of his palm. “Well that’s gratitude for you…Lady you had better do exactly as I say or I really will leave you to those dogs in there!”
Her answering glare told him exactly what she thought of that proposal yet having no other choice he hesitantly removed his hand.
“Dear god don’t you ever wash your hands they are filthy!”
Of all the things he was expecting she might say that was not one of them and for a moment he could only stare down at the woman trapped beneath him in stunned surprise.
“Are you deaf as well as unhygienic?”
“Sorry Your Highness, next time I will be sure to wash and moisturise my hands before you bite them!” He retorted sarcastically rolling off of her. “Look I don’t know what the hell you are doing out here but this is not a place you want to be staying in for long…What the hell are you doing in San Miguel anyway?”
“Not that it is any of your business but a friend of mind has a villa here…or at least I thought it was here.” Alexis retorted finally calming down long enough to look at her kidnapper/rescuer.
The accent was American, or at least American sounding. Yet that ratty beard, greasy hair and bodily odour that smelt like he hadn’t bathed for weeks were hardly that of a civilised man. Not to mention his breathe when he had forced that kiss on her was hardly minty fresh.
“Sounds to me like someone got their San Miguel and their San Miguelito mixed up!”
“Says the man who can’t even find his way to nearest bathroom.” Alexis spat her eyes narrowing in disgust. “I only hope you don’t have anything contagious!”
“Well if I did now so do you….share and share alike as my dear old mother used to say. Look lady if you have a way out of this place may I suggest you take it now, before Manuel and Juan in there decide I’ve had you all to myself long enough!”
“Why do you think I entered that dive in the first place?” Alexis scoffed. “My taxi driver abandoned me here…drove off with all my luggage…where ever here really is.” She added running her fingers through her hair before a sudden spark of an idea came to her.
“You could take me back…To Panama City…I’d pay you…well I don’t have the cash on me but you could have my watch or ring.”
“Look Your Highness I don’t want your jewellery. I am as much stuck here as you are….although…”
Perhaps she might be of some use, if he could get her back to Panama City or even just further back towards civilisation La Palma wasn’t that far away. If she really was supposed to be visiting a friend, then that friend was bound to be wealthy and have connections….connections that could help keep him safe from the very people out for his blood long enough for him to get out of the country.
“Alright I’ll help you but you’ll have to trust me and stay quiet…this isn’t going to be entirely legal.”
Frowning at the way he said that Alexis’s better judgement warred against trusting this vagabond but then she really didn’t have any other option. “I am not going anywhere with a stranger and what do you mean not entirely legal?”
Huffing at her incessant attitude and questions he rolled his eyes snapping back in a provocative tone. “People call me Dex…now tell me do you have much experience hot wiring cars?”
SoapChat Make-up artist
Finally, a name! This is going to be so good! I just know it!
“I don’t like this.”
Gritting his teeth Dex tried to ignore the repetition, yet if his tag along was deliberately trying to get on his nerves she was succeeding beautifully.
“I heard what you said Your Highness.” Dex snapped not caring if he bit her head off, all she was doing was standing their complaining not doing anything productive to help. She wasn’t even doing her one job of keeping a look out properly, preferring instead to stand over him asking pointless questions and complaining about how long it was taking.
“Look you have two choices we walk or ‘borrow’ a car…of perhaps you’d like to head back inside and ask one of those charming gentlemen to give you a lift? So I suppose that would be three choices, it’s up to you lady!” He added swearing as he banged his head on the damn steering wheel he was crouched under.
Still as the engine roared to life Dex forgot all about his sore head, letting out a whoop of excitement. “Nurse we have a pulse!”
“Thank goodness.” Alexis sniffed making her way around the car and staring at the door expectantly even as Dex slipped behind the wheel, making no move to get the door for her.
“Well get in Your Highness.” Dex huffed caving in and leaning across the cab to pop the other door, but that was as far as he was prepared to go, what more did she expect? For him to get out and hold the door open for her, perhaps lay down a red carpet as well?
Biting back her own petty comment Alexis struggled with the heavy door and the step up into the truck, something not exactly easy in a pencil skirt. The amused smirk of her would be rescuer irritating her further and she all but flung her vanity case at him in retribution.
“Jesus lady why are you carrying this thing around?” Dex muttered wincing as the surprisingly heavy case made contact with his already bruised side. “What do you have in here, gold bars?”
“My make up if you must know.” Alexis huffed, choosing to omit the fact that along with her makeup there was also a whole tray of expensive jewellery, some of which had been leant to her so she could showcase it at the party….A party that right now it looked like she was going to miss.
“You need that much makeup?” Dex huffed his eyes raking over her features which even in the moonlight he could tell were pretty much flawless, why on earth would she need to trowel makeup on looking like that?
Choosing to ignore that question Alexis instead gazed around the truck, her delicate nose crinkling at the smell and the dust and dirt everywhere. Still since it was her only real option and so she chose to keep any comments about why he chose to steal this particularly old truck instead of any of the others parked outside the taverna to herself.
The sudden vulgarity surprised Alexis as did the way the truck suddenly accelerated and she had to grip onto the door handle for support. Yet one glance in the wing mirror and Alexis understood the reason. The sight of a somewhat drunken bum waving his fist as he tried to chase them down was all the clue she needed.
“I think we might be getting a little company….”
SoapChat Make-up artist
Oh, man! I hope they make it out of there.
Dex’s grip on the steering wheel was so tight his knuckles were white, yet his iron grip was necessary considering the way the old truck bounced around as it seemed to hit every pothole on the old road as he pushed the engine to its very limits. Even his verbal companion had the good sense to realise that now was not the time to interrupt him with inane comments…although the fact that he had told her to keep her opinions to herself might also have had some impact there.
In fact Alexis had her full lips pressed together tightly as her fingers dug into the edge of the seat and the door handle to try and keep herself from flying into the air at every little bump.
“Damn it.” Dex huffed as one glance in the mirror confirmed his suspicion their pursers were catching up with them and Dex could only imagine the fate that would befall both of them if they were caught…and as much as a bitch as his companion was no woman deserved to go through that.
If they were going to get out of here he was going to have to do something drastic.
“Hold on I’m going to try something.” Dex barked as the truck barely made a bend in the road and the headlights briefly illuminated a smaller track just up on the right. Reaching out he switched off the headlamps and swerved the car off of the main road and onto the dirt track, driving practically blind in an effort to lose their pursuers.
“Are you insane?” Alexis all but squealed as she bounced up and down like a jack in the box, her posterior sore and probably already bruising from the abuse.
“No and I don’t recall you coming up with any other suggestions.” Dex grunted as he stepped off the gas a little, squinting at the moonlight that managed to filter through the narrow gap in the trees. It seemed his idea had worked, at least for now as the trucks following them had carried on passed the small turning…Yet considering the way their luck was going that was unlikely to last.
“I distinctly remember a certain person telling me quite rudely to shut up!” Alexis spat back. “So forgive me if I thought I wasn’t allowed to contribute ideas.” She added testily, unable to contain her sigh of relief when this ‘Dex’ seemed to slow down a little.
Yet both of their relief was short lived. The sudden glow of headlights in the gloom behind them, even if it was further back than before, showed that they hadn’t lost all of their pursers.
“Bloody hell.” Dex spat cursing whatever divinity he had offended as he was forced to floor the accelerator and the already juddering truck groaned under the strain.
“For god’s sake turn on the headlights before you drive us straight into a tree or something!” Alexis exclaimed, her horror growing as this maniac she had ended up with continued to drive like a maniac into the dark gloom of the jungle.
“I do that and they’ll no for sure we are here!” Dex retorted, ignoring the fact that she might have a small point, there was little point of escaping if he was only going to kill them both. Yet as he hurtled around a bend at the last minute the decision about whether or not to turn the headlights back on suddenly became mute as the dense canopy of trees opened up…
Alexis’s scream rang out clear and loud as the truck shot out, going to fast to stop and Dex struggled to straighten it out, yet there was no fighting gravity…
The front of the truck shot up into the air as the tires smacked into the small rail that ran the length of the bridge. For a mocking moment the vehicle seemed poised for flight, and then the back tyres clipped something and the truck span in the air before plummeting like a stone into the river below.
The sudden coldness came as a shock, the darkness and feeling of panic Alexis had somewhat been expecting but for some reason the icy coldness that seemed to freeze her in place came as a shock. Yet as she gasped at the top of the truck’s cab where there was a small pocket of air remaining even as the water level continued to rise it didn’t take long fear to overcome even the paralysing cold.
Taking a breath Alexis ducked under the water struggling to see in the pitch blackness, feeling with her fingers for the door handle she first found her vanity case, then some floating cloth…cloth that had a limp arm inside…
Oh god what if he was dead….the moments leading up to their descent into the water were all one horrid blur but Alexis could distinctly remember the crack of Dex’s head as it collided with the steering wheel.
Panic overwhelming her Alexis couldn’t control her breathing, rising back to the rapidly diminishing air pocket she gulped for air before the rising water forced her back under. This time she knew she had to get out here. Finding the door she tried the handle but the damn thing just wouldn’t open…then it hit her and she fumbled for the old fashioned wind down window.
The sudden inward rush of water as the last of the air escaped didn’t phase her, how the hell she was going to get them both to the surface was far more worrying…
Inwardly screaming in frustration Alexis fumbled around in the dark her hand closing on a wrist, following it along to find a surprisingly toned bicep, then looping her arm around his muscular chest Alexis tugged with all her might surprised at how easily he moved. Squeezing them both out through the window was another matter entirely and for one panicked moment Alexis actually thought they were stuck and they would both drown.
In the end it came down to a choice and as Alexis reluctantly let go using her now free hand to push on the side of the truck, freedom was assured but at a price.
Kicking hard against the current, part of her wanted nothing more than to give up now…she was cold she was tired, the air burned in her lungs screaming at her to breathe…Then relief as she broke the surface, too tired to fight the current she let it take her where it wanted.
It felt like an age but when in fact it was probably only a few minutes later that the brush of foliage against her back made her realise how close she was to the bank. Groping for a branch with her free hand it was all Alexis could do to hang on at first, then using the last of her energy she kicked and crawled onto the low back, dragging her burden with her.
With little ceremony Alexis could only pound at Dex’s back, willing the stupid idiot to live if for no other reason than she could yell at him. When that didn’t work she turned him onto his back, smoothing back that disgusting beard and covering his lips with her own, breathing into him. The chocked splutter of water, followed by a rattling breathe was the first positive sign and Alexis didn’t even care when most of it was spat up over her, she was already soaked to the bone what more could a little water do?
Sinking back beside him in the mud Alexis stared up at the stars twinkling in the sky, they were far brighter here than she could ever remember seeing them. It was like a thousand glittering eyes staring down at her, and with the stars keeping watch over her and Dex’s slow but steady rattling breathing beside her Alexis Carrington fell into well deserved and exhausted sleep.
That was Dex’s first conscious thought. His head felt like it had been jumped up and down on and was now being squeezed in a vice for some reason.
His sides ached every time he took a breathe and that didn’t come close to the feeling of needles being driven into his eyes when he dared to try and open them and the bright sunlight nearly blinded him.
By contrast the sudden sensation of someone gently stroking his hair out his face and something being placed against his lips to encourage him to drink was incredibly reassuring. Wherever he was…whatever had happened at least he wasn’t alone.
Then he tasted the earthy tainted water, as his nose crinkled at the smell of socks of all things and the memories began to trickle back.
Panama…the rescue mission to retrieve the European survey team that had been kidnapped and offered for ransom by a bunch of Columbian dissidents…the mission a success until someone had rumbled them and a distraction had been needed…Dex ignoring Daniel’s order to stay with the team instead leading the rebels on a merry dance through the jungle away from the rescued hostages.
Then that bar and her…
Groaning as the realisation struck him who it probably was stroking his hair soothingly and talking in a low tone, Dex could only wonder that miss high and mighty had enough compassion not to have left him behind. But then again she probably still needed someone to get her back to civilisation…
Then the chase…the bridge…
Dex could remember the feeling of terror as the car began to fall, could recall his companion’s scream and then…nothing…
There was nothing else but pain.
How had they survived? How had they gotten from a truck at the bottom of a river to here…wherever the hell here was?
Forcing his eyes open ignoring the pain it took a few moments for the blurriness to go away and for Dex to be able to focus on his surroundings, yet when he did the vision before him damn near stole his breathe away. He had thought her beautiful in the dull unflattering glare of the neon lights of the taverna but in the light of day with not a scrap of makeup on and her dark curls hanging wild and messy about her face she was breathtaking alright.
Emerald green…It was strange that of all the things he could have focused on, knowing the colour of her eyes was strangely satisfying. Her eyes were very emotive, even with her full lips drawn in a line as she scowled a little at him, those eyes told a different story…concern…relief…fear…
Perhaps he had been a little quick to judge her.
“Well are you going to lie there staring at me like a damn fool or are you actually going to say something?” Alexis spat testily shifting slightly uncomfortably at the intense scrutiny of those knowing chocolate brown eyes. “Get up we haven’t got all day you know!” She added getting to her own feet and breaking their gaze.
Groaning Dex forced his aching body to cooperate, scowling as his companion’s complaints made his headache worsen…maybe his first impression had been the correct one after all?
Her feet were killing her and they had only been walking a few hours. Not that that was unexpected, her heels had not been designed with this sort of terrain in mind, the concrete jungle yes, the actual jungle no!
However despite her complaints Alexis now knew better than to actually voice them out loud. It seemed her rugged companion had a somewhat short fuse when it came to her griping and the last time Alexis had dared to ask for a break to catch her breathe he had stormed off telling her she could rest if she wanted but she shouldn’t expect him to wait for her.
Still she really was in pain this time. By now she could only imagine her blisters had blisters and Alexis dreaded the state of her feet when she finally took her shoes off, they would undoubtedly look terrible, bleeding and sore just like after the ballet classes she had been forced to attend as a child.
Yet she forced herself to try and keep up with Dex’s long strides, whilst inwardly fuming at his ingratitude…damn it she had saved his life…had pulled his heavy carcass out of the damn river and breathed life back into him, but from the way Dex was acting it was like she was the one who owed him a favour!
The last straw appeared suddenly in the shape of a large tree crossing their path and a small muddy stream that had turned all the ground around it boggy. Dex scrambled up on to the trunk easily, carefully balancing as he made his way along. Yet for all her efforts Alexis just didn’t have the strength to pull herself up and her damn pencil skirt stopped her from lifting her leg high enough to get a foot hold to help her climb the damn thing.
Smothering a scream of fury Alexis smacked her hands against the bark when she slid down once again, the mud seeping over her shoes and in between her toes.
“It’s just a bit of mud there is no need to fuss so!” Dex’s chiding voice mocked from above and Alexis lost what little hold she had left on her temper so when Dex bent down to off her his hand she couldn’t help but give in to the petty impulse that rose within her.
One quick tug later…
And a stunned and now very muddy Dex was staring up at her from the boggy ground.
“Oh dear.” Alexis simpered. “Well it’s only a little mud…” She added mockingly her green eyes glinting with malicious humour, before squeaking as Dex slung a handful of the foul smelling gunk in her direction.
“That was incredibly childish.” Alexis huffed.
“That coming from the woman who dragged me into this mess in the first place.” Dex retorted struggling to try and get to his feet until Alexis offered him a hand.
Staring at it for a minute Dex raised his gaze to meet hers. “Oh lady I am not falling for it twice.”
“Suit yourself.” Alexis huffed leaving him sitting there as she once again tried to get up on to the damn log before failing spectacularly. Alexis was so engrossed in her own attempts that until a pair of large strong hands settled on her hips, she hadn’t even realised that Dex had managed to extract himself from the bog.
“Wha…” Alexis began mildly panicked at the sudden presence at her back, her heart beak quickening as there was a moment when Dex seemed to circle his thumb over her hip bone…then he was boosting her up and Alexis could only scrabble as she found herself pushed onto the damn log.
For Dex his lingering irritation at being turned into a walking bog momentarily vanished as his eyes locked on the firm pert backside encased in a fitted skirt that was now directly in his eye line. The way it was squirming was entirely too distracting and despite his headache and ever present tiredness Dex couldn’t help but be affected…he could only imagine what a sight it would be without the skirt on at all…a pale ripe peach perfect for sinking his teeth into.
A muddy heel smacking into his chin soon brought that particular fantasy to an end and Dex couldn’t help but scowl at the pleased expression on Her Highness’s face, the bitch had probably done that on purpose. Climbing the trunk himself Dex felt his patience tested as the woman before him seemed to take forever, taking ridiculously small hesitant steps.
Resisting the urge to push past her Dex bite his lip. His hand just reaching out in time to steady her when she began to wobble on those ridiculous heels of hers…why did women wear such impractical footwear?
Finally they reached the end and Dex waited for her to jump down ahead of him, his patience at and end when she just stood there dumbly.
“What are you waiting for a stepladder? Jump woman!” Dex grunted.
“I can’t its too high…my shoes and skirt…” Alexis protested. Her comments cut off when suddenly the sound of renting fabric filled the air. It took a moment for what Dex had done to sink in and then Alexis was filled with righteous fury…How dare he?
“Now jump!” Dex commanded trying not to be too distracted by the goodly amount of thigh and surprisingly enough stocking top that was now on display from the new side split he had added to her stupid tight skirt.
Gritting her teeth Alexis bent down and slipped off her shoes, wincing as her blisters protested, then turning she shoved the muddy shoes into Dex’s chest before turning back and jumping down to the forest floor. Yelping as she landed on all fours Alexis was relieved when nothing seemed to smart too badly, before scrabbling out the way to allow Dex to jump down.
Which he did without any fuss, landing softly on his feet with a smug smirk on his lips.
“Here you go Your Highness.” Dex drawled patronisingly throwing the shoes at Alexis’s feet. “Now lets don’t dawdle we have at least another mile before we can rest again!”
Cursing him, his father, grandfathers and all his forebears Alexis forced her battered feet back into the heels, blinking back the tears as she watched Dex march off into the jungle without so much of a backward glance…Swearing that when she got the chance Alexis would make sure Dex suffered for this…even if it meant smothering him in his sleep…he would pay!
It was a good hour later that Dex knew he needed to stop the walking had been mostly up hill through heavy terrain. He had pushed his body as far as it could go and if he didn’t stop soon he doubted he would have the energy to find them something to eat or a safe place to stop for the night.
Then it seemed something or someone upstairs decided to give him a break.
He could hear the rush of water first and the ground suddenly began to grow rockier and steeper. Then suddenly the forest canopy cut away as did Dex’s breath when he caught sight of the view.
The ground before him was cut away in terraces, the softer rock worn down by the flow of water, which now dropped down in a waterfall into a clear plunge pool.
Nodding Dex for once agreed with his companion. “You sure wouldn’t get this with the usual tour guide that’s for sure.” He quipped his dark eyes scanning the safest route down.
“Come on.” He added reaching out for her hand, surprised how small and soft it was and how easily it fit into his own…not that he was seriously considering how nice it was holding her hand…but if she fell and hurt herself on the way down Dex would never hear the end of it, nor did the idea of carrying her fine arse through the rest of this jungle appeal to him.
Even if Dex surprised himself by being able to imagine just how that might feel…he had no intention of every sweeping this high maintenance woman off of her feet period!
No woman no matter how beautiful or even with an arse that was practically sculpted perfection was worth tying himself down for long. Dex had endured enough of his parents’ marriage to know how a partnership of unequals panned out. Not being able to stomach their daily rows had been one of the main reasons he had ran off and joined the army as soon as he was legal.
Then living day to day on your luck and wits tended to stop you planning for the future…not that Dex was really the settling down kind, at least not yet at any rate. Daniel just joked that he just hadn’t met the right girl yet. Jokes like that earned Dex’s former commander a salute of the two fingered variety.
Besides he liked his life the way it was, Dex Dexter worked and played hard.
Most of his time was dedicated to building his own empire from scratch, and then when the urge and Daniel Reese came knocking Dex couldn’t help but jump at the chance to put his skills to the test. His father called him reckless, he said Dex had to have something wrong with him in the head to need to go off and ‘play hero’. Well Dex didn’t give two figs for his father’s opinion, Sam Dexter wouldn’t know what a true hero was if one came and kicked him in his fat useless arse!
“Do you think the water’s safe?” The tentative question jarred Dex back to the present.
“Probably…Why don’t you jump in you’ll soon notice if any little critter starts nibbling on you.” He mused ignoring his companion’s irritated huff at his flippant reply.
Dismissing Dex as practically useless Alexis hobbled towards the pool, lowering herself down on to one of the rocks and gazing into the water. There was some fish in there but they didn’t seem to be aggressive and Alexis’s feet were so sore…Deciding to chance it she slipped off her shoes and sank her ruined feet into the refreshingly cool water.
“Oh god that feels good.” Alexis sighed arching her back and staring up at the blue sky as she trailed her feet through the water. Even the insects that buzzed around couldn’t ruin this moment, after a day spent traipsing through the tangled jungle, accosted by biting insects and assailed by the humidity Alexis was about ready to drop.
The sudden splash of water had her eyes snapping open though and Alexis couldn’t help but glare at the man responsible…Yet her gaze lingered for another reason entirely…Damn he was toned.
Swallowing as her throat felt dry all of a sudden Alexis couldn’t tear her gaze away… at the moment all she could see was his broad back…golden tanned skin…broad shoulders tapering down to a toned waist and hips…then as he suddenly dived down under the water Alexis got a glimpse of a tight arse in wet cotton shorts and muscular thighs covered sparsely with dark hair.
Fanning herself lightly Alexis forced her gaze away lest Dex suddenly remerged and caught her staring…then when she started to examine her poor feet she wished she hadn’t. They looked like something out of a horror movie, red and sore, the water had washed away the blood and pus from her blisters but still they looked enflamed and very angry.
Still the water cooled them and Alexis could only gaze longingly into the cool depths, the rest of her could do with cooling too and she could only imagine how she must smell by now…at least Dex had to smell worse and considering the stench under his own nose from that vile moustache and beard of his Alexis doubted he would be in any position to comment if she smelt less than fresh herself. Still the water looked very tempting…perhaps if Dex wasn’t here…
Groaning as the water eased his aching muscles Dex tried to concentrate on trapping and catching a couple of the larger fish and not on the woman sitting on the rock with her feet in the water. Yet the way she was leaning back, her back arched, pressing her breasts against the thin silk fabric of her blouse was making that simple task a little more difficult and Dex could only wonder how that transparent that shirt might go if he accidentally pulled her into the water.
Pushing his dirty thoughts aside Dex retrieved his shirt from the rock where he had left it; using it as a makeshift net Dex smirked when after a few false starts he was able to capture two reasonably sized fish.
Flinging the makeshift net up onto the rock Dex couldn’t contain his shout of triumph, instinctively turning to his companion expecting praise, and getting merely an eye roll.
Damn she was hard to please.
Now all he needed was some wood to start a fire and a couple of green sticks and maybe some wild banana leaves if he could find them and they could have themselves a BBQ.
Pulling himself out of the water Dex ran his fingers through his dark hair, trying to comb it back into some semblance of his usual neat style, before running his nails through the beard that had grown during his week long trek through the jungle. God he hated his facial hair, it grew like a bushman’s, the sooner they got to civilisation and he found a razor the better.
Glancing quickly at her highness Dex wasn’t surprised to see her eyes closed as she rested on the rock. Taking advantage of her distraction he kicked off his wet underwear and reached for his trousers, missing the moment when Alexis opened her eyes only to get an eyeful.
Dragging her gaze away as Dex buttoned his fly and turned back to her Alexis did her best to contain the flush of appreciation on her cheeks…It wasn’t everyday that she came across a man who was actually as big as his ego!
“I’m just going to go collect some firewood.” Dex explained his irritation growing when her highness didn’t even bother to meet his gaze. “Do try not to get yourself into any further trouble whilst I am gone!”
“I’ll try to contain myself!” Alexis spat back, god the nerve of the man, just because he was hung like a donkey didn’t mean he had to act like an ass! Still at least this meant she would finally get some privacy and perhaps there would be time to slip in a little swim of her own before he got back?
Dex Dexter couldn’t sleep and it wasn’t for the want of trying but his damn brain refused to stop…or more to the point refused to stop playing a certain memory across his brain.
Grunting as he shifted on the hard ground Dex tried to control his own natural reactions, something that was far harder than it sounded…and dear god speaking of hard…
Things had been going so well. Dex had found himself relaxing a little, the spell alone in the jungle had calmed him down a little and Dex had been full of quiet satisfaction when his foraging had found not only leaves he could use but also a bunch of ripe wild bananas as well. He had been quite chuffed with his own ingenuity as he made his way back to the little oasis, so caught up in his own thoughts that it wasn’t until he was about to step out from the cover of the jungle that he actually realised what he was seeing.
When his brain finally caught up with his eyes Dex had stopped dead, his feet refusing to move another step…
Naked perfection standing underneath the waterfall, hands raised above her head as she ran her fingers through her trying to wash out the dirt and sweat and probably work out the knots. The expression of pure delight on her face sent a jolt of excitement to his groin and Dex had to stifle a groan.
His eyes moved of their own accord downwards.
Full breasts and pink nipples hardened by the cold water…Dex could imagine taking those between his lips and satisfying his growing hunger. God the way they moved with her every stretch and every time she raked her hands through her long wet curls.
Following the water down Dex couldn’t help but stare, her waist was tiny then flared out to curve at the hips, long slender thighs and…swallowing down his lust…Dex couldn’t help but stare at the strip of thick dark curls at the junction of her thighs, chortling to himself at the realisation that someone wasn’t just obsessed with the bodily odour of others but herself liked to stay neat and tidy… everywhere it seemed.
Then the sound of a bird breaking cover startled them both and Her Highness seemed almost panicked, rushing back over to her pile of clothes and Dex couldn’t help but feel a sliver of shame for standing there watching her in such an intimate moment. Only perverts spied on women when they weren’t aware and Dex had always liked to think that despite his many faults that at least he was a gentleman.
He had never pursued a woman who had asked him not to, he had never pushed one into a situation they didn’t want, or used alcohol to their lower inhibitions. Those were tactics his father used to get his own fat useless arse laid. Dear god Dex doubted there was a secretary at Dexter International who hadn’t been “persuaded” to give it up to the big boss by one means or another.
So Dex allowed her time she needed to get dressed, then whistling loudly he took his time before reappearing and began to make himself busy trying to light a damn fire. Concentrating on those tasks and forcing certain images to the back of his mind and it had worked…until now that was, and now with nothing else to occupy his hands or mind Dex found himself held captive by his photographic memory and libido.
Shifting onto his back he stared up at the stars and began to count, sighing to himself when a bird squawked and he lost count and had to start again.
“Dex are you awake?”
For a moment Dex considered ignoring the question but something about the almost hesitant tone made him reconsider. “Unfortunately.” Then realising how rude that must sound he added stuttering…unsure when just talking to this woman had turned him into a nervous wreck… “Ground’s a little firm for my tastes.”
For a moment he was almost certain she had seen through his hasty cover and had taken umbrage at his abrupt tone.
“Well it’s not the most comfortable bed but not the worst either.” Alexis added chuckling to herself as she added. “At least this one isn’t moving.”
Frowning it took Dex a moment for his brain to catch up. “Get seasick do we?”
“Only on small yachts, but yes stuck on one of those catamaran thingys in the middle of the Mediterranean during a storm definitely beats this in the dreadful bed stakes!”
“At least the company had to have been better?” Dex quipped depreciatingly pleased when he got a loud snort of laughter in response.
“Actually no!” Alexis snorted as certain memories played out. “I was lulled aboard with a false promise of secluded beaches, cold champagne and well…you can guess the rest…” She trailed off smirking to herself.
“And the sailor didn’t live up to expectations?” Dex couldn’t help but ask; having only spent a day in her company Dex was in no doubt about her demanding personality and he could only assume that also carried over to the bedroom as well.
“That sailor was a blustering playboy, who knew as little about real sailing as I did!” Alexis snorted.
“He spent most of the trip hogging the bathroom or throwing up over the side. In the end we had to radio the coastguard to come and rescue us but there were a good few hours when I thought I might not live to see dry land again…this trip has been equally eventful…”
Alexis paused snorting once more in amusement. “But at least you haven’t thrown up on me…not yet at any rate, not properly and I suppose water doesn’t count.”
Chuckling along Dex couldn’t help but pause at her last words. “I did what?”
“When I got you out of the river, you weren’t breathing so I tried CPR and then you decided to thank me by spitting up water all over me.” Alexis answered simply surprised when her companion suddenly turned onto his side to stare at her in surprise.
“I assumed you had guessed but then I suppose you did hit your head pretty bad.”
“You…Saved my life…Thank you.” Dex spluttered in surprise his dark eyes widening as he looked, really looked at his companion as if seeing her for the first time and something about his intense scrutiny made Alexis thankful for the darkness as it would go someway to hiding the embarrassed blush.
Lust and desire she was used to seeing in a man’s eyes but gratitude and respect was far harder to come by.
Turning back on to her back so as to avoid that piercing dark gaze Alexis could still feel his gaze on her and it unsettled her…but not in a bad way…there was something exciting about having a man look at her like that again, to be valued for something other than her looks, wit and skill between the sheets.
“You’re welcome and I couldn’t just leave you there, besides you stepped in to save me in that bar the least I could do was return the favour.” Alexis added relieved when her voice contained none of the breathless excitement she was feeling, trying to convince herself that it was simply the circumstance she found herself in and had nothing whatsoever to do with the sneak preview she had gotten earlier.
She did not find him attractive…honestly…nor did thoughts of what might be lurking under that vile beard keep her distracted and away from sleep.
A slightly less awkward silence settled between them as both tried to get comfortable enough to get some sleep. “Good night Dex.”
“Good night…” Dex paused the realisation coming to him suddenly that he didn’t even know her name; the woman had saved his life had he hadn’t even bothered to ask her name before now. “I…urghh this is awkward…”
Smiling at his hesitant boyish tone Alexis couldn’t help but smother her smile, yet he could probably hear her amusement in her voice anyway as she answered. “Alexis, my name is Alexis.”
They were close; Dex was so certain of it he could almost taste it. Although the way the jungle had gradually thinned and given way to land that was farmed had been a pretty good clue that they were at least heading towards civilisation and not in completely the wrong direction. His optimism had him picking up the pace and it took him a good few minutes before he realised Alexis had fallen behind.
Alexis…the name rolled easily off the tongue and it suited her…it had just the right regal tone to it without being stuffy and commonplace.
Things had been different between them today. Or perhaps it was his new view of the lady that had changed the way he reacted to her. Either way she seemed to complain less today…or perhaps it was simply that Dex found himself looking forward to the occasions when she spoke to him that he found himself ignoring or not even noticing any complaints she might have muttered.
He was so wrapped up in pondering that thought that it wasn’t until he turned to ask Alexis if she wanted to rest for a few minutes that he realised she wasn’t just behind him like normal. In fact she was about fifty yards back leaning against a tree and she seemed to be fussing with her shoes.
Biting back his small flair of irritation Dex walked back to her, his irritation quickly smothered out when he caught sight of her feet. They were red raw and Dex couldn’t help the feeling of guilt as he remembered his behaviour only twenty four hours before when he had quite coldly told Alexis to keep her complaints about her sore feet to herself.
At the time he had believed her to be exaggerating when she said her feet were killing her. Now it seemed that statement wasn’t that far off the mark…some of those sores could quite easily get infected.
“Sorry I’ll just be a minute…” Alexis began before attempting to force her battered feet back into her shoes, surprised when Dex reached out to stop her.
“These are nasty.” He muttered and the genuine concern in his voice surprised her. “Why didn’t you make me listen?”
Shrugging aside his question and trying to ignore the gentle way he touched her sensitive feet Alexis suppressed the shiver of something that ran up her leg and up and down her spine, it was as though the feeling of his bare skin on hers sent a jolt through her body causing her hair to stand on end.
Reaching into his jacket for the small emergency first aid kit Daniel made the carry, a precaution Dex had always scoffed at before now…After all what good was a length of gauze and tape, and some antiseptic wipes against a bullet? Still now he found himself thankful for his old commanders old wise head.
Leaning back against the tree Alexis watched as Dex delicately and thoroughly cleaned her wounds before binding the nastiest looking ones in some medical gauze. When he had finished with one foot he moved onto the next and Alexis found herself mesmerised by his thorough and thoughtful attention, even if she had to bite her lip when he used the wipes on her already smarting flesh.
“There that should help until we can have a real doctor look at them.” Dex pronounced pleased with his work but knowing that it left them with one big problem.
“They feel much better…I’m sure I can…”
“No!” Dex insisted as he realised she was just going to force her battered feet bandages and all back into those tiny shoes. There really was only one other alternative, one that would require another clothing adjustment. “I’ll have to carry you.”
“Carry me?” Alexis scoffed, sure Dex was buff but she was hardly a featherweight.
“Yes carry you.” Dex added cutting off any further objections. “A piggy back…please you can’t weigh as much as some of the pack’s I’ve had to carry over the years…although it will require a small sacrifice.” He paused waving down to her skirt with a blush that made him seem far younger than his twenty-nine years.
“If you’d allow me?” He added, remembering to ask for permission this time.
“Be my guest.” Alexis replied softly her breathe quickening slightly as Dex knelt back down and took the other side seam of her skirt in between his strong hands and with one tug rendered it split up to the top of her thigh.
“Sorry about that…” Dex fumbled getting up from his feet as he tugged nervously on his ear. “It was a nice skirt.”
“It is…was couture.” Alexis snorted. “Well I guess it is still one of a kind.”
“It’s definitely that.” Dex mumbled trying and failing to keep his eyes off of her legs and from dwelling on the knowledge that in a few moments those slender pins would be wrapped around him…Trying to keep his thoughts from automatically drifting to what else he could get up to with those fine thighs wrapped around him.
“Well shall we?” Alexis asked breaking the awkward tension that had built between them. Yet as the moment came as Dex crouched down and Alexis placed her hands on his shoulders and lifted one leg feeling his large strong hand on her thigh she couldn’t help the heat that seemed to build in her flesh at his very touch.
Similarly affected Dex forced his eyes shut and gritted his teeth to stifle his own groan as he felt her breasts press up against his back and her legs spread and wrap around his hips. Standing up he felt Alexis panic her grip on his neck becoming almost suffocating, so he reached back and with an impressive show of strength boosted her higher. Now with her thighs able to grip onto his waist and his own hands looping under her knees Alexis was moderately more secure.
Still as he took a step forward and then another Dex had to realise he had traded one impossible situation for another…yes they were moving at least…but when with every step he could feel the heat from between her thighs against his lower back and the teasing brush of her breasts as she slightly rose and fell with his movements…Dex could feel the blood rush south...This was going to be the longest walk of his life!
Alexis wasn’t exactly heavy yet Dex was still somewhat relieved when a passing farmer had agreed to give them a ride on the back of his cart amongst the fresh fruit and vegetables until they reached the outskirts of the two horse and one street town that could only be La Palma.
Jumping down from the cart Dex automatically reached out to help Alexis down, his hands firmly on her hips as he lifted her down carefully as if she were fragile porcelain. Then as their arrival seemed to be drawing a little attention from a few old boys who had nothing better than sit on rockers and watch the world passing by, Dex tucked her in under his arm and kept her there.
“Come on lets get you to the doctor’s.” Dex insisted his dark eyes glancing up and down the street for trouble pleased when most people seemed far too engrossed in their own business to give the pair more than a passing glance. It wasn’t hard to find the only doctor’s office the red first aid cross painted on the whitewashed building was somewhat a give away. Then depositing a somewhat annoyed Alexis there with a nurse that looked trustworthy and at least a hundred years old Dex promised to be right back…he just had to pop to the bank.
Well the closest thing this outback town had for one, the pawnshop.
It took a good ten minutes of haggling but Dex was able to get a reasonable figure in exchange for his gold pinky ring. It was a fair price for the weight but not the sentimental value… Dex had bought himself that ring with his first proper paycheque, one he had earned through his blood, sweat and tears and not one of his father’s pathetic handouts.
He could have gotten more…The pawnbroker had really been interested in the antique gold set Rolex but there was no way De would part with that…It had been his grandfather’s and Dex earliest memories of the man were tied with that watch, being held safely as he rode in front of his grandfather on one of the ranch horses, his young fingers curling over his grandfather’s wrist and holding onto that watch as some sort of safety blanket.
Still some money in his pocket was better than none, now they had enough to get a couple of bus tickets out of here, enough for food and a place to stay overnight…probably even with a bed and roof over their heads…Although sharing both would help save money Dex mused…
He was so caught up in thoughts of what else they might end up sharing that it wasn’t until some old man tapped him with his cane to move along that Dex looked around him. People were starting to trickle out into the streets, tables were being set up in a long line and lanterns were being hung up. Wondering what was going on Dex turned to the old man who was huffing and grumbling in some local dialect.
“¿Qué está pasando?”
The old man seemed to find hi question hilarious as he burst out laughing and stared at Dex like he had grown another head.
“Martes de Carnaval.”
Of course Dex had been so long in the jungle he had forgotten the passage of time, and it wasn’t like Dex was the type to keep track of religious holidays that he didn’t share…sure he knew how big Easter was in the Latin countries but being raised in a somewhat more dull Episcopalian tradition Easter was more a time of fasting and reflection than an excuse to throw a party.
Glancing at his watch Dex took a quick glance at the shops which were still open and doing a thriving trade…perhaps these people had it right, after everything they had both been through in the past few days and yet survived, perhaps now was the time to celebrate after all?
OK they weren’t quite what she was used to but they were clean and reasonably attractive if a little more ‘ethnic’ than her usual style…but more important than any of that was the fact they fit and weren’t ripped and covered in god knows what she had carried back from the jungle. Even the slippers looked comfortable, well that was what the flat little leather shoes looked most like to Alexis and Dex had at least been amused and not offended by her observation.
That he had even thought about her discomfort at all gave Alexis a warm feeling inside…a feeling she was not accustomed to.
True many men had showered her with expensive gifts and presents over the years but that was more about them showcasing how wealthy they were and trying to get into her knickers, it wasn’t about giving her something that would please her.
That he had relinquished the tiny hotel room to her was another pleasant surprise…and it seemed this ‘Dex’ was a young man full of surprises…as before he had left, after handing over the bundle of clothes he had bought for her, he had instructed her that he would call for her in one hour.
An hour that was rapidly passing.
Alexis had managed to squeeze in a shower and as slow and as tepid as the water was…Alexis didn’t care…She didn’t even care about the lack of shower curtain or the crack in the tiny vanity mirror over the only sink. Compared to the last few days this was paradise itself.
Drying herself off with the only towel provided, a small yellowish rag that was patched but at least was clean, Alexis squeezed as much water as she could from her curls before turning to the clothes she had laid out on the bed.
The white peasant style blouse, fastened with a drawstring at the neck meant wearing her bra was out…and Alexis couldn’t help the frisson of excitement that knowledge brought to her, or more to the point what effect that knowledge might have her companion.
Not that she was really attracted to him…well he was wonderfully built and underneath that rough exterior she suspected lay a well protected heart of gold…but that beard had to be there for a reason, no man grew something like that unless he had something to hide.
Still it seemed her body didn’t particularly care about his facial features judging by the way her pulse quickened every time he laid so much as a finger on her…perhaps if they kept the lights off…but then she would miss out on ogling that incredible body.
Cursing her own uncontrollable libido Alexis dressed quickly, forgoing underwear since it seemed Dex hadn’t had quite that much foresight and even though she had washed out her knickers they were still far to wet to put on. Besides with the knee length patterned skirt complete with ruffled edging it wasn’t like anyone would notice.
Still it was probably a good thing that there was no full length mirror in the room as Alexis had no desire to see how she looked, lest she lose the courage to leave the room entirely. Yet she couldn’t help but wish there was something she could do about her hair…the lack of makeup she could just about cope with having always had a good complexion.
Huffing as she paced the room and tried to rake her fingers through her wet curls which as usual knotted themselves together, Alexis was just about to scream in frustration when she spotted it…lying on the patchwork bedspread half sticking out of the shawl that completed her Dex selected outfit…and in that moment Alexis made the decision that beard and possible facial disfigurement aside a certain someone was getting lucky this evening.
All because he had bought her a comb.
Alexis couldn’t stop staring.
Even as her companion wound his way through the crowded street over to one of the many vendors who had set up a small stall in order to procure something for them to eat. Even as he chatted and joked with the rotund chef and picked up a couple of bottles of something…Alexis couldn’t drag her eyes from his face…and more specifically those dimples.
Dear god those things should be labelled extremely dangerous…simply because all women within a hundred yards vicinity of them were in danger of reflexively dropping her knickers whenever they were flashed….At least in this Alexis was somewhat lucky, having no knickers to drop she was in only slightly less danger of embarrassing herself.
Yet that didn’t stop the unattached girls at the carnival and half of the married ones eyeing him like a particularly fine piece of fillet steak they would like to sink their teeth into.
Perhaps that was why Dex had grown the beard in the first place? Perhaps he had gotten tired of having to constantly fend off horny women and decided hiding those adorable dimples underneath a bushman’s beard was the quickest and safest method for all concerned…or of course Alexis could just accept Dex’s explanation that there weren’t many barbers in the jungle and that he had been dying for a shave for days.
Yet Alexis had been too struck dumb on opening the door of her hotel room, her stubborn nature had already been half won over by Dex’s gentleness and consideration…well that and his incredible body might have had a little to do with it. On opening the door for a moment she had stared blankly at the ruggedly handsome young man before her, her eyes automatically raking over his figure and liking what she saw. Then he spoke…
“You look beautiful…come on you don’t want to miss the party.”
And the penny dropped…that was Dex…still if her unusual silence had struck Dex as odd he was too polite to comment on it, instead grasping her hand and tugging her along behind him.
Once out of the street the loud music and party atmosphere made conversation a little difficult, instead Alexis enjoyed the feeling of being protected and envied at the same time as Dex tucked her in under his arm and kept her close at all times. She didn’t even have to do more than flutter her eyelashes in order to get him to dance, instead he surprised her with both his willingness and dancing ability, even if he clearly preferred the slower numbers to the faster tango beats.
Although he did seem to enjoy any excuse to pull her against him, and every time Alexis’s pulse jumped in response, her nipples hardening through the thin blouse as their chests brushed and judging from the way Dex’s grip on her back tightened he must have noticed. For a while on the dance floor things had almost become dangerous. Dex’s dark eyes had bored into her before dropping to her lips and Alexis couldn’t fight the impulse to moisten them in response.
For a moment she was certain he was going to kiss her…and she was going to kiss him back audience be damned.
Then the music had stopped and some local official got up to speak and the moment and the mood was broken…that was when Dex suggested they get some food and Alexis agreed even if right now the only thing Alexis wanted to eat was Dex himself.
Dex Dexter was nervous, not shaking hands nervous, he had that much control at least but definitely butterflies in the stomach…except his weren’t just fluttering about, the butterflies in Dex’s stomach were doing a polka!
Covering his nerves Dex joked with the chef pulling together their enchiladas, before taking a long hard pull on his beer as his eyes automatically flickered back over to their tables…
Yes Alexis was still watching him.
The hungry way her emerald eyes seemed move over his body set his blood aflame and Dex had to struggle to control his reaction, taking another sip of his beer. He was hardly a naive ingénue and before now Dex would have categorised his style with women as suave and smooth. True he did tend to go for the older more experienced type.
Dex had always avoided younger women simply because they tended to be clingier and assumed that a hot night in between the sheets inevitably led to a relationship. Whereas women in the thirties had either already been married and were in no hurry to tie themselves back down or they had at least been around the block enough to realise a one or two night stand for what it was…good sex and nothing more.
However as a result he now found himself in new territory, he wanted Alexis…that wasn’t earth shattering…she was one of the most beautiful women Dex had ever seen and in normal circumstances he would have probably have bedded her already. Yet their unusual situation had meant Dex had focused his attention on getting them out of the jungle in one piece, and sex no matter how attractive the partner was the last thing on his mind.
It had meant he had actually spent time getting to know Alexis a little, she was demanding and perhaps more than a little spoilt but she was also brave and strong and funny. Dex had been surprised to find himself enjoying her company and he had been so focused on their survival and controlling his libido that he hadn’t even seen the real danger he was in until it was upon him.
As preoccupied as Dex was with protecting them from dangers all around them clearly he had taken no such precaution with his heart.
For as experienced as Dex Dexter was in the matters of the flesh when it came to matters of the heart he was a completely unprepared…he had never been in love, not properly in love with anyone and so the suddenness and intensity of these new feelings were overwhelming.
It almost felt like a boy with his first crush; even a half smile when Alexis directed it at him had his blood pumping. Then when he had actually touched her as they danced his palms had gotten hot and sweaty and embarrassed Dex had tried to cover that up by sliding both his hands around her waist. The feeling of her breasts as they brushed against him had the blood draining from his brain and Dex had dumbly clung to her, his eyes transfixed by those inviting emerald before dropping to gaze hungrily at those damn fine tempting lips.
He wanted to kiss…he wanted to do more than kiss her and it seemed Alexis was receptive to such ideas if her hardened nipples were any indication. Yet part of Dex was hesitant. He wanted her but he wanted more than just one night in her bed. The idea of having her and then having to let her go froze the fire in his veins and he even in the tropical heat he shivered.
Yet how could he convince Alexis to consider the possibility of more when Dex himself didn’t even know how a relationship was meant to work?
It was crazy to be even thinking it but since their return to civilisation…or close enough to it…Dex hadn’t so much as glanced at another woman and he knew there were plenty of pretty young things giving him the eye but with Alexis here they all paled in comparison. She was all he could think about and it was driving him insane with desire and an ache in his chest that seemed to physically pain him when they were apart.
He could only imagine that when they finally returned to Panama City and she took a plane back to Europe and left him behind, that the sudden separation might actually prove fatal…and what was worse was that Dex felt powerless to be able to prevent it.
What the hell was taking so bloody long?
Alexis Morell Carrington was not a woman accustomed to waiting and right now she couldn’t work out what game Dex thought he was playing. One moment he couldn’t stop touching her, taking her hand, tucking her under his arm, pulling her close when they danced…almost kissing her…making her heart beat wildly…leading her on…
Then he was pulling away…running away!
He had left her to wait alone at a table whilst he went and got food and beer of all things when what he should have been doing was dragging her back to the hotel and if he had such an appetite eating her instead! If she didn’t believe it to be impossible Alexis would almost think he was a blushing virgin from the skittish way he was behaving.
But please one look at that man and the way other women were drooling over him and there was no way on earth Dex could still be a virgin…not unless he had really grown up in the jungle or perhaps some vast Wyoming plain with only his horse for company and not a whorehouse in riding distance.
If she had been an insecure woman Alexis might have assumed it was her, that Dex didn’t find her attractive but although some might call her arrogant Alexis knew the effect she had on men regardless of their type. Even one of her gay male friends had often declared she must produce some sort of pheromones as even they found her physically attractive. Besides Alexis knew Dex wanted her…the telltale bulge in his jeans as he swaggered to the bar told her that much.
So that meant he was consciously choosing not to act on the attraction that sparked between them, he would rather suppress the chemistry that was bubbling than act on it, and that could only mean there was somebody else…perhaps a little wife at home…or a steadfast little fiancé waiting on the front porch all earnest and true and disgustingly annoying.
Well Alexis Carrington had never let another woman come between her and what she wanted…the bond of marriage was only as strong and sacrosanct as the partners willpower…besides after all that she had been through trekking through the jungle, loosing her couture clothing and half a million dollars worth of jewellery Alexis felt she was owed a little compensation and if orgasms were her currency of choice then Dex had better start paying up immediately if he wanted to expunge his hefty debt before Christmas.
It was the sight of a smiling Dex surrounded by several local girls that finally caused her to act. The flair of anger akin to jealousy was quickly stomped down as Alexis fixed her eyes on her prize and settled on a strategy.
Pushing herself out of her seat Alexis strode through the crowd, catching Dex’s gaze when she was still a few feet away from him. Smirking as he seemed both relieved to see her and suddenly nervous Alexis had no qualms whatsoever in pushing through the girls who huffed and complained.
Alexis took no notice of them. Her attention was focused on a pair of dark eyes that seemed to burn into her own.
Closing the foot remaining between them and using the element of surprise she stood up on her tip toes her hand reaching up to cup the back of his head as she pulled a dumb Dex down within her reach. A moment later and her lips were covering his.
Stroking her tongue along his lips as she teased him Alexis was oblivious to anything else. What she had meant as a simple marking of ownership quickly changed…
It was like a switch had flicked…one moment Dex was stood frozen in place, shocked by her forwardness, the next he was alive with lust and fire. The kiss that Alexis had started he quickly gained control over, his mouth opening under her inquisitive tongue as his own came out to play. Lips, tongue…hands one moving to thread into her hair and the other to cup her backside and pull her body firmly against him.
Feeling his arousal press into her stomach Alexis couldn’t help but groan into Dex’s mouth, her own body burning with need as she rubbed her breasts against his firm chest.
Panting they pulled apart and Alexis couldn’t contain her victorious smirk and the look of total lust and abandonment on Dex’s face. Raking her finger through the hair at the nape of his neck Alexis gazed up at Dex through her lashes…
“Do you want to get out of here?”