Title: "The Art of Flirting"
Written by: Shawn
Summary: Why does a man take it for granted that a girl who flirts with him wants him to kiss her - when, nine times out of ten, she only wants him to want to kiss her? - Helen Rowland
Rated: M for language and strong sexual content
Characters: Tommy, Kim, Katherine, Billy, Jason, Adam, Tanya, Trini, Rocky, Aisha, and Zack.
Timeline/Spoilers: Everything up to and including the end of Dino Thunder is canon, though I don't go into much detail because I didn't watch DT all that much.
Disclaimer: Saban and Disney own it all. I'm not making a dollar off of this.
Authors Notes 1: The former Rangers gather each year for a five-day vacation together, renewing their friendship while celebrating all that they survived over the years. This years destination is the US Virgin Islands.
Authors Notes 2: Tommy and Kim are in their late twenties in this story as it takes place in 2007.
Dedicated to: Gina for being so amazing and wonderful and so damn good at the boom chica bow wow.
There are times not to flirt: When you're sick. When you're with children. When you're on the witness stand.
Friday, June 4, 2007 6:47 PM
Estate Salt River,
"Cheers," Tommy lifted his drink to the
fiery sunset above the crashing waves of the
Standing alone on the dimly lit stone balcony of the
lovely eight-bedroom Villa that Billy rented for this years annual Ranger
gathering, the former leader knocked back his drink and then sat the shot glass
on the railing as a warm evening breeze caressed his face with a lovers touch.
The alcohols slow burn erased the last of his jet lag as he stole a quiet
moment away from the others. The vivid distant lights of St. Stomas and
As the sun slowly faded into twilight a heated surge of something primal came over him as he pondered the week to come. As wonderful as each gathering of the team was he had an ulterior motive this year. A faraway dream from his past at long last needed to be fulfilled and after all these long years he had decided to finally take the bull by the horns and claim what he desired so badly.
"And then she showed up with a guy on her arm," Tommy half-smiled to himself while peering out over the ocean. As if the mysterious mystique of Kimberly Hart could ever be solved, no matter the many instances she made it seem as though she only wanted him to try.
Their game had begun anew.
Only this time neither were seeking forever and the twin gold bands that marked such a sentiment. Perhaps that just wasn't in the cosmic cards for what amounted to an angsty sweethearts high school romance that ended like millions before it and since.
As for the present day, they're dancing around one another as if rivals seeking to provoke the other into something... something elusive and erotic.
A new friendship between them existed after so much
more once upon a time. Recent years saw serious talks, phone calls, and periodic
lunch dates when she moved back to
That was the plan at least.
Alas, chemistry wasn't something you could wish for or away, They had it from the very start and as time passed even in the here and now a blind man could see how they were together. How looks lingered and eyes spoke of a silent longing unfulfilled. They shared a daring way of speaking to each other, as if this person was special enough to reveal every aspect of the good, bad, and dark sides of their personalities.
Time passed as they found the rhythm of just being friends was satisfying after all, never mind the shadowy attraction simmering beneath the surface.
Instead of ignoring it, Tommy reveled in how they would flirt dangerously and taunt each other from time to time. Phone calls would come late at night, dates detailed over whispery tones and what would you have done to end the evening sort of queries. They seemed to enjoy skirting the razors edge of more while never crossing the line. There wasn't a desperation to change things between them because in a way they were perfect for where each of them were in their lives.
Having a True North didn't mean you had to be in a romantic relationship with that person, only that they had to always be there for you. Unconsciously, Tommy and Kim fell into those roles while tempting the sweet desire escalating between them.
A month ago after a casual lunch date of which they were in a group of eight, Kim called Tommy while driving home and confessed she wished he had kissed her when he leaned over earlier and whispered something charming in her ear.
She hung up before he could reply.
That was the last time they spoke.
With the brilliantly lit twin cities of
Pleasuring Kimberly Hart to his hearts content.
Their friendship could survive the experience and she certainly seemed as game as he was. Tommy craved just one incredibly passionate night with Kim and then they could on about their lives with no regrets for what might of been. The beast inside him would finally be slain, laid to waste by their unleashed desire.
Tommy slowly traced his finger around the cool ring of the shot glass and sighed. Soft footfalls approached. He smiled accordingly.
"What's up, Doc?"
Her alluring voice lifted soft and sensual behind him, as if she walked on air. Tommy felt her enticing presence before she even spoke. "I retired the whole Doctor O thing a while ago, Kim."
"Just like you retired from being a Ranger two or three times?" Kim teased as she deftly moved by his side, gazing out over the endless sea. "There are some things you just can't let go of."
"Unless you use a letter, right?" he added with a bit of snark upon finding a smirk adorning her lovely face.
Kim gently tugged her bottom lip, toying with the way he stared at the motion. "Letters don't bring closure."
"No, I guess they don't," Tommy replied softer than he intended. Daring a second glance, Kim was stunning in red. The form-fitting spaghetti strapped dress accentuated her gorgeous athletic legs while exposing so much skin Tommy had to swallow deeply in the back of his throat. "How did you know I was out here?"
"When there's a crowd Tommy won't be around for long," she offered as the beginning of an explanation. "I just looked for the farthest distance away from from people and then the darkest most quiet spot."
Kim was forever impressive in his eyes. "And how do you know I didn't want you to find me here?"
"That's easy. I know you did."
And so the game begins...
"What are you smiling at?" Tommy observed amidst the enchanting the scent of her perfume carried from her wrist when she sat her drink glass beside his.
"You're wearing all black," she answered, shifting to face him close... but not too close. "All of us have long since stopped the obsession of wearing the colors of the last powers we held, but you just can't seem to let it go."
"Women have told me I look good in black."
"You do, but that's beside the point."
"If you think so then that is the point." He held her stare captive for a moment longer, amplifying the tension between them. Breaking the moment, he turned back to the sea as the night had only just begun. She wasn't going anywhere he wouldn't follow to the ends of the Earth. "So how was your flight?"
Seemingly silencing what she was going to say at first, after a pause Kim offered, "Interesting."
"Yeah," she gave a mysterious nod on purpose before glancing away. "Paul was in a mood."
Tommy searched her face for any hidden feelings behind her new friend. "So his name is Paul?"
"You were going to ask eventually."
"And how do you know that?"
"Because I know you."
"I might not care."
"If you came here with a woman I didn't know and you never spoke of I'd want a F.B.I report on her."
"Why?" Tommy just had to ask. Kim casually sipped from her drink, some fruity concoction she seemed to enjoy. When it was obvious no answer was forthcoming he let it go... for now. "So why was your flight interesting?"
"How about we talk about yours?" When she veered away he captured her slender wrist in his warm hand, soothing over her pulse. His touch sent her heart racing. "Let go," came in a faint, breathy tone.
"Do you really want me too?"
"No," she admitted despite what it might cost her. Despite the heady feel of his skin against hers. When his thumb began massaging her wrist in tender circles she felt a bit light-headed. "You're not playing fair."
"Are you trying not to tell me you and this Paul guy joined the Mile High Club?"
Slowly lifting her gaze to meet his, Kim pondered out loud, "Would you be mad if we did?"
"I wouldn't have the right to be."
"But would you?"
"I'm jealous of any man who's ever kissed you."
That made her smile bright. "So you're jealous of my dad too?"
Tommy blinked. "Maybe I should have amended that to say any man that's kissed you on your beautiful mouth."
Not a trace of fear lived in his warm brown eyes. He was as ready to jump head-first into the fire as she was. The entire plane trip here she thought of him and letting go of all her inhibitions for a short time to simply be with him. The synergy they shared left her dreaming of him at night and now that she's here with him miles away from home...
"I'll tell all." Kim playfully lifted her free hand. "Girl scouts honor."
Tommy shook his head. "You were never a girl scout."
"Yeah, but I liked the cookies." Slipping her wrist from his hold, she exhaled at the loss of his warm touch, needing a second to regain her
faculties. He just looked so good tonight. And now the question tugging at her heart strings was how long did she want to prolong the
inevitable. "Paul and I aren't involved in anything but a wonderful friendship."
Giving her no room for escape, Tommy forced her to meet his eyes. "Like us?"
"Never... no ones like us."
A quiet moment shared as the crashing waves of the
Despite his cologne wrecking havoc with her senses, Kim soon found her voice again. "So, anyway, Paul and I have been close for a while now, but nothing even remotely romantic."
Tommy lifted her glass and took a taste of her drink, finding it exactly what he expected. The glare she shot him was more cute than angry. "You never spoke of him before."
"I know," she replied. "He lives in my apartment building and in the last two months we've gotten closer ever since he broke up with his
boyfriend." That seemed to please Tommy more than he wished he let on. "Relief looks good on you," she quickly teased.
He rolled his eyes away from her. "I wasn't afraid if he was competition."
"So you're that confident?" No reply. He's setting the pace early on. "Paul's a great guy to talk to and go shopping with. The fact that he's gay was never an issue with me. After his breakup we went out for drinks one evening and found allot of common interests and stuff. He's had a rough time of it and only came out to his family six months ago. I just thought this little vacation would be great for him and knowing how cool all our friends are he'd feel comfortable around us."
Being such an amazing, compassionate woman was only one of the many things that drew Tommy to Kim like a moth to a flame. Her outward beauty perfectly complimented her inner beauty. "Inviting him was a great idea. I can't wait to meet him. I only saw him when you guys walked in."
"He said you were cute," Kim just couldn't resist revealing that little tid bit.
"What do you think?" asked while invading her purposely personal space, so close the scent of her perfume drifting lightly from her exposed neck was intoxicating. It was as if her body were calling out to him.
"I'm somewhere between telling you to go fuck yourself," she began while bushing her palm over his strong chest, "And begging you to fuck me."
After a line like that all Tommy could do was finish off her fruity drink and then chuckle under his breath. Yeah, she won that round. Good thing the night was young. He inhaled a long, deep breath of fresh air to calm down. "Are you ever going to finish your interesting plane ride story?"
Kim heard the music playing louder from downstairs, but still far enough away not to intrude on the intimacy they were creating. "It wasn't very interesting at all. I have no membership to the Mile High Club. I was just messing with you. "
"I must be your favorite target?"
"In a manner of speaking," she added while sharing the adoring smile he wore. "So how have you been the last month?"
Tommy moved behind her, slowly, just to feel the heat of her body next to his. "You mean the month you disappeared?"
Hating the need she felt, Kim instinctively leaned back against him just one time, needing to feel him against her. "Can't we get to that later?"
And they would without a doubt, he thought to himself. Unable to resist, he pressed his lips to the back of her neck one time. The merest contact caused her to shiver pleasurably. "Its been quiet for the most part. I've been teaching my summer courses while considering the job at the Board of Education that was offered to me."
After the world began spinning again she remembered him telling her about that when the school year ended. "So no new alien fores emerged from underground, deep, or the sea that require new Rangers to fight them?" When he suddenly turned his back to her she became instantly worried and angry, "Thomas James Oliver, so help me God if you are a Ranger again I will stick my high heel so far up your..."
"Enough with the violence, k?" He was laughing when he faced her again, until he recognized the serious expression she wore. His safety meant something to her and that was a humbling thing to see. "No, I'm not a Ranger again nor have I put together another team. Haley and I have retired for good."
"So you're including Haley in things these days?" Dammit, that came out awfully green-eyed monster like. Kim ducked her head briefly. She didn't need to see the knowing smirk on his face to know he was doing just that.
"She was my partner during the Dino Rangers stint and a great friend. So yeah, she was a huge part of all of that."
"Like Kat was once upon a time?"
"No," he answered her straightforward. "You know Kat and I dated. Haley and I never did."
The possessive streak she still held dear was her own personal secret where he was concerned. It wasn't appropriate or politically correct, but her soul still claimed him as her own, no matter the circumstances. "Why?"
"Why didn't you ever date Haley?" Kim fired his way, her arms now crossed her chest in a curious pose. "I've seen pictures of her and she's attractive. You told me she's brilliant, trustworthy, honorable, and that you genuinely like her. Why not date her?"
Kim was far from the first person to have posed that question to him, and even Haley broached the subject once during a profoundly awkward conversation. He was never really good at letting anyone down, gently or otherwise. "There are some people that are a part of your life who hold their own dear, special place. You see them as family and love them the way I love Hayley."
When he took a step forward she backed one away until the wall left no where else to go. Where was her vaunted bravado now that he drew her undivided attention? And if he kissed her right now could they even make it to the nearest bed?
Lifting his hand to gently caress her cheek, Tommy continued, "And then you find that one person who ensnares your heart so completely you know deep down they were made to spend their life with you." Regret tinged wetness in her brown eyes, as did the loss of what might of been. His hand slowly fell away, as if he'd forgotten his place. "And then life steps in and that person may not see you the same."
"Life is sometimes wrong," she sighed, slipping past him, needing space. "You can spend years wishing you would have done things differently."
"There's no guarantee if you would of stayed the course everything would have turned out perfect."
"Yeah, but in our case I would of taken those odds."
So would he though he couldn't bring himself to admit it. "Kim?" She looked up upon hearing her name. "Marry me?"
Her snort came suddenly as she laughed at how easily he broke the tension between them. "Let me date around another decade or so and if I still haven't met the next Mr. Right I'll get back to you, k?"
"So I'm not even second or third choice, I'm Mr. Ten Years down the line when you're ready to give up dating and just settle for the old high school beau?"
"I did say the 'Next' Mr. Right, you know." His eyes told her he hadn't stumbled over that remark. "So no recent dates?" When he covered his face with his hands in a embarrassing way she had a feeling he had a story to tell. Funny thing was so did she. "Spill. Now!"
Shaking his head, he revealed, "I let Rocky set me up on a blind date from an online Internet service that's supposed to pick people compatible with you."
Kim stared at him in a blank expression. "Are you smoking crack? And what makes you think Rocky is aware of any Internet website without the words big booty, juggs, or porn in the title?"
"Trust me, I've had better ideas in my life. This just wasn't one of them," he explained. "Anyway, her name was Nikki..."
"Sounds like a porn star."
"I wish she was after I found out some things about her."
"Well, we honestly did have a lot of common interests in terms of reading, working out, movies, music, and stuff like that. She was fairly attractive and all, but... well... she had just gotten out of prison after serving a seven year sentence for robbing a Toys-R-Us at gunpoint."
Tommy expected her to lose it and she did, now holding onto his shoulder as a fit of giggles roared through her. "I'm happy to have amused you so much. Really, I am."
"Tommy, that will teach you to never, ever let Rocky sign you up for anything online under any circumstance. I let him give me a free magazine subscription once and now all I get in my email account are offers to make my penis bigger and enter lottery contests overseas."
"Alright, alright. Now you. Any dates to speak of?"
"Unfortunately yes," she offered as if it happened to someone else. "I took a shot with a new guy in my building for dinner a couple of weeks ago and then found out he had six kids by six different girls."
"Did he tell you?"
"No, all his babies mothers showed up at the building with an attorney the next day. They had been looking for him for over a year and finally found him. I told him to forget I existed and be a father to his kids. Then I went home, ate ice cream and watched Desperate Housewives on my Tivo. Its a girls best friend you know."
She was as charming and beautiful as ever. And far to sexy for her own good. Tommy had to remind himself to breathe in her presence. "We clearly suck at dating."
"We didn't suck at dating each other."
"Not until you dumped me."
"You always bring that up," she declared with a mock of a teasing frown. "Can't we just gloss over that?"
"Fine," he laughed at her blatant attempt to change the subject, not that they weren't far past any issues with the letter other than joking about it. They were so close now they arms brushed as they peered out over the sea once more, enjoying the ocean breeze. "I still have the letter, you know?"
"I do. Its in my sock. I had it laminated." She swatted his shoulder, laughing at the silliness. When he caught her hand, holding it to his chest now all pretenses fell to the way side. All the humor and mirth gently faded as they were finally left alone with the longing that connected them.
"I..." Kim started to say before pausing as his heart beat against her palm. "I didn't come here to get back together with you."
"Neither did I."
Why did a small part of her heart ache when he said that? "I don't know what the future holds, but if we... if it happened... I'm not saying it hasn't crossed my mind on some level." Her eyes closed shut in the span of a heartbeat when his hands fitted around her slender waist, effectively trapping her against the railing, his gaze piercing into hers. He pressed harder against her, buzzing heat throughout her body. "What do you want?"
"You," he whispered over her neck before placing a warm kiss there. "Always you."
The sensual feel of his lips brushing over her neck made her toes curl. "I hate how badly I want you."
Such blunt truth, and yet he understood it completely as it matched his own thoughts. "This isn't about falling in love because we've loved each other for years." Her small hands came to rest over his chest, fingers ghosting just inside his shirt, tantalizing his senses. The desire she awakened in him left his hands trembling at her sides. "I can't stop thinking about you."
"I've imagined you in my bed hundreds of times," Kim found the courage to confess softly as he drew her closer. This man... God, this man did things to her without even trying. Hunger sparked white hot in her belly as his warm breath fanned her face, his lips the only sustenance for her appetite.
Pressed firm against her, Tommy spanned her back with his hands, finally free to touch her the way he's fantasized for years. The soft whimpers escaping her lush mouth left him aching to satisfy the carnal lust scalding them alive. "I need you."
Crushing her lips to his, Kim felt her feet lift from the ground, now pressed high against the wall as her mouth was plundered so wickedly. Her legs circled his waist high, the rapture of their hungry kissing sent them flying towards some heavenly euphoria. They were utterly lost in each other, arms clutched tight, their mouths locked in a greedy embrace of lips and tongue.
Slow, lush kisses left them gasping, eyes shut, drowning in their surging rapture. She was liquid where he was hard as the need to be one became painful, now writhing against the wall, all inhibitions gone.
"I don't... I don't care how bad this sounds," Kim gasped hot over his lips, drawing another deep kiss. "I don't ever want you to love another woman as much as you once loved me."
"Done," growled before reclaiming her kiss, his hands filled with the firm, toned thighs of her legs as she drew a hand down between them, seeking his belt...
"Boom - chica bow wow - chica bow wow - boom chica bow wow - chica bow wow."
"Oh my God!" Kim blushed furiously, her face pressed in Tommy's shoulder after looking over it to see all their friends standing in the balcony entrance way laughing their asses off. Of course it was Rocky who provided the instrumental porn music. "Put me down."
Keeping his back to his friends, Tommy did as he was told and had no intention of turning around until things... until he calmed down a bit.
"Y'all nasty," Aisha called out to a chorus of laughter and claps. "But it was kinda hot."
"I do believe our neighbors in the adjourning Villa's didn't pay for the show you were about to give them," Billy offered in the doorway, grinning
wildly. "I could charge if you'd like?"
Trini walked forward, wagging her finger. "Its not that we saw anything surprising as we knew you two would go at it one day, but for crying out loud we all just got here. You two are suffering from an acute case of the hornies."
"I'm happy we've amused you all so much," Tommy said when he found his voice, knowing they will never, ever live this down. "Now will you kindly leave?"
"Bro," Jason called out while shaking his head. "You know we're all a bunch of gossiping old ladies at a beauty salon. What you two were doing is called prime time gossip. And while I didn't want to look I found myself unable to turn away. It was like watching a train wreck or something."
"I hate all of you!" Kim shouted despite finding this as funny as it was incredibly embarrassing.
"You guys were about to get all Buffy and Spike against that wall right there and you expect us to just walk away," Rocky announced. "Sorry, not gonna happen. Now to get you guys back in the mood..." He cleared his voice, "Boom chica bow wow - chica bow wow."
"The next person who says anything gets hit with my high heels." Kim took off her shoes and the sight of which, especially considering they all knew she was a expert shoe thrower cleared the balcony in seconds.
"BOOM CHICA BOW WOW," came from a chorus of voices, "CHICA BOW WOW!"
Tommy could only laugh. "This night will live in infamy."
Kim approached him slowly, smiling. "Yes it will. But not for what just happened." She produced a small card-key and slipped it into his pocket. "Lets go out with our friends tonight, have a great time and a couple more drinks, and then later..."
"Later," he understood the sensual tenor of her voice, stealing a final kiss for now before she sauntered off, leaving him alone with his thoughts and a gorgeous night sky.
The Blue Vista Villa
Friday, June 4, 2007 11:50 PM
Estate Salt River, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
"What are you grinning at?" Tommy joked with himself in the foggy bathroom mirror as if he didn't already know why. Palms braced on the sink, his heart raced a mile a minute in his chest, his thoughts centered squarely on a certain Ms.Hart and the decadent way she pressed her body against his on the dance floor tonight. The way she sat in his lap at one point and whispered wickedness in his ear while his hands caressed her bare thighs.
It couldn't of have been more obvious to anyone watching them where their night would end. They weren't being subtle in the least.
Now was the time to cross the line forever.
Fresh from a hot shower after a fantastic night of partying at the Club 54 nightclub with his friends, Tommy finished shaving and then traced cologne behind his ears and on his wrists over his pulse. The secret places women's senses seemed to gravitate towards the most. Satisfied he was presentable, he caught sight of the white boxers with hearts all over them he laid out earlier. Kim's joke Christmas gift.
"What the hell," he muttered under his breath before putting them on. He just couldn't wait to see her and if the sight of those silly boxers made her smile then all the better. Soon enough she'd be crying out in pleasure.
The couple of drinks he enjoyed at the club calmed what was left of his nerves as Kim remained by his side most of the evening despite the relentless teasing they suffered from their friends. What was there to be ashamed of at this age? They gave as good as they got, seeing as how none of the former Rangers were Saints themselves and a great time was had by all. In addition, he had a chance to get to know Kim's good friend Paul, who seemed like a great guy himself.
An all and all fantastic night was about to get infinitely better.
Slipping on a simple white cotton T-shirt and a pair of faded blue jeans jeans, Tommy went for causal as he fled the bathroom towards the front
door. Reaching inside his back pocket he found the card-key Kim gave him earlier. Entrance to paradise, he thought to himself, grinning from ear to ear.
Exiting his room, the dimly lit hall was thankfully empty. Tommy crept down the hall, seeking the last door on the left. No one seemed the wiser as he quickly reached the door, slipped the card-key in the door slot and watched the little light turn green.
The door unlocked.
Wasting no time. Tommy let himself, finding nothing but darkness awaiting him. His eyes adjusted as he quietly moved across the room and saw the figure of a person lying under midnight blue satin sheets. Heaven was five feet away as the moment stole the very breath from his lungs. Just this side of thirty years old, he swore he was six and it was Christmas morning and he was about to get exactly what he wanted.
Deciding to surprise her, Tommy quickly shed his shirt and jeans, opting to leave on only his boxers and socks.
Facing his prey, he gently lifted the covers and slid underneath the sheets, then moved across the bed and in one strong swoop wrapped himself around Ki... uhm... wait a minute... what in the world!
"Well, well, well isn't this a surprise? I must admit I'm flattered."
"WHAT THE HELL!!!??!!" Tommy shouted so loud one could imagine the walls shook and the floor buckled. He flew from the bed, throwing the covers with him and turned on the lamp on the nightstand, his heart pounding against his chest. He knew he felt much less than the soft, slender body of Kim when he wrapped his arms around the slim, muscular physique of a man. "Paul, what in the hell are you doing here?"
Smiling wide as he quickly surmised what had to have happened since he locked his door, a boyish expression lifted about his face, lighting his hazel
eyes. "Tommy, dear, this is my room and you are the gentleman caller this evening. I should be asking you why you're here and I might advise you to be a bit quieter lest you cause a commotion."
Shock and awe were all that Tommy felt as he looked at the bed, then Paul, then the bed, then Paul. His mind was having a hard time processing this. "I... I... Kim gave me her card-key and wanted me to..."
"Ohhh, Kim's been a naughty girl," Paul teased while giving Tommy's chiseled upper body the once over, hands behind his head, throughly enjoying the
moment. "I feel you might be the victim of a little practical joke. Kim has a strange yet evil sense of humor."
Pacing back and forth in front of the bed, Tommy ran his hand over his hair, "Look man, I could care less that you're a guy, but you're supposed to be Kim."
"I could be if you liked?" Winking just to mess with him, Paul simply couldn't stop laughing when Tommy stomped out of the room no doubt in search
of Kim. "YOU LOOK CUTE IN THOSE BOXERS," he shouted before leaving the bed himself.
Tommy stalked to the front door, swung it open and slammed it behind him, now seeking the room at the other end of the hall he had assumed was Paul's. What he instead found was the curious expression worn by his ex-girlfriend and teammate, Kat.
Never one to gloss over a chance to gaze at his gorgeous body, Kat stared at her ex-beau after hearing a loud shout only moments ago. "Is everything alright? Who screamed like that?"
"I didn't scream."
Kat arched a mysterious brow. "That was you?"
Sensing the need for patience, Tommy pointed down the hall. "Is the room at the end of the hall on the right Kim's?"
"Yeah, but why do you wa..." Kat didn't finish as the Tommy stood in front of door opened again, revealing Paul in a pair of white boxers with hearts on them. A pair that clearly matched Tommy's. Now you have to understand that for Katherine, a woman whose seen pretty much everything anyone could imagine this was a long stretch for even her vaunted imagination. Still, feminine instincts, girl revenge tactics and the eternal push and pull of relationships between men and women led her to come up with a possible explanation for this. One that was going to bring her no small amount of fun.
"Tommy, it's alright," she began carefully. "I understand. Its cool, really."
Unable to believe he was in this situation, Tommy shook his head while standing next to Paul. And when he realized Paul was wearing a matching pair of boxers like his he just wanted the ground to open up and swallow him. "Look Kat, I know this looks one way, but its really another. Paul's my friend and..."
Kat slowly walked forward and tenderly cupped Tommy's cheeks, a mock of a serious expression on her face. "I now understand why we never worked. But its alright. I support any lifestyle that makes you happy and fulfilled. I'm sorry I didn't have a penis while we dated, but that's all in the past now," she began cracking up at the end.
"Kat, please. You are not helping." When Paul casually swung an arm over Tommy's shoulder the former White/Green/Red/and Black ranger glared at him. That only seemed to make Kim's friend smile wider. "I'm the victim of some sort of practical joke and I accidentally walked in Paul's room and slid into bed with him."
"Accidentally?" Kat nodded slowly, and then toured a circle around her one-time love. "Its alright to be curious how the other half lives, Tommy. Really, don't be ashamed. Embrace this curiosity."
Tommy sighed as Kat and Paul continued laughing at him as if this was the funniest thing ever. "I'm not gay and not curious about it, no offense," he offered Paul who just kept right on grinning. "I just walked into the wrong room and climbed into the wrong bed."
"But you're wearing matching boxers," Kat pointed out.
Tommy lifted his hands as if to convey, "Coincidence, Kat."
"And you had to have a card-key to get in his room. Explain how you did that without him giving it to you?"
"Kim! She gave me a card-key and I assumed it was hers."
Kat shrugged before another door opened as a sleepy-eyed Adam peeked out into the hall.
"What the hell?" The sight of his former leader in matching hearts boxers with Kim's gay pal caused him to walk over a number of scenarios in his
mind. Ever the quiet, cool-headed member of their wacky band of retired teenage superheroes he gave Tommy a look. "I never judge."
"Oh Jesus," Tommy muttered under his breath as Adam laughed and them walked back into his room. Having had enough of their teasing he traveled down the hall past Tanya's now open door.
"Cute boxers," she complimented. "Very manly."
"Thanks." Her laughter followed him to the next door where Rocky was waiting for him. Tommy just wasn't in the mood. "Before you ask, Kim gave me the wrong card-key and I slipped into Paul's room and his bed before realizing Kim was playing a joke on me."
Rocky thought it over for a second and then yawned. "Eh, I been through worse. I had to walk home naked once after a girl played a joke on me. Women are evil... unless their naked. Then they're naked evil and that's the good stuff."
Moving past the former Red Ranger, Tommy walked down the hall until he reached a throughly grinning Jason rubbing his chin by his bedroom
door. "Bro, not now."
Jason pointed at him. "I caught you checking me out once. But it was cool. I was flattered."
"That one time two years ago when we were working out and you were staring at me on the floor."
"I hadn't seen anyone do the new kinds of stomach crunches you were doing. I was learning the technique."
"Sure you weren't checking out my abs? I'm insulted."
Brushing past his chuckling best friend, Tommy soon found Trini and Aisha at the end of the hall ready to get their kicks in.
Sha turned to the original Yellow Ranger. "He was never interested in me, T. I just thought he wasn't into the chocolate, but I guess it was the vagina altogether."
Trini playfully noted, "Well, he did wear his hair almost as long as ours for years."
"Yeah, I noticed that too."
"I hate both of you," Tommy growled while walking past them as the hall erupted in laughter until he reached a very smug Kimberly Hart standing in her doorway. She was biting her bottom lip to keep from laughing while attempting to look innocent. Innocent, she was not. "I suppose you think this is one hell of a joke?"
"It was a simple mistake, I assure you," Kim defended herself in a slightly aloof tone. "Love the boxers though."
She was playing the hall as if they were in the palm of her hand, goading their friends laughter. Tommy was incensed and embarrassed and extremely horny and frustrated and just couldn't for the life of him understand why this crazy short woman captivated his heart so. "We are not done, Kim. Not by a long shot."
He spun away and stomped back down to his room in those oh so cute boxers. Kim followed his every step, admiring his ass while loving him even when he was angry with her. "No, we're not done, Tommy. And we never will be."
The beach just outside the Blue Vista Villa
Saturday, June 4, 2007 12:40 AM
Estate Salt River, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
As the soft white sands of the beach caressed warmth on her bare feet Kimberly wondered if she's been searching for Tommy her whole life.
In her innocent youth when she dreamed of a handsome prince that would sweep her off her feet one day she never imagined he would be a martial arts master with a bad memory wearing a pony tail nearly as long as hers. In her teen years when she was so sure she had found him, Tommy was the sunshine on her cloudy day. The first sweet love her heart played kiss and tell with. And as time, distance, and life inevitably interfered despite other interests and a love or two he still remained the benchmark her soul judged all men by.
Kim didn't always know if that were a good or bad thing, but it was a fact of her life she's long since stopped fighting.
Watching him as he meditated on the beach, Kim was overcome with a sense of destiny as a brisk night breeze lifted her shoulder-length brown hair. Her past awaited her in the present, offering an unpredictable future. So be it, she gently smiled in the face of danger. Toying with Tommy earlier had been fun, but her physical craving for him led her on a path that could change things forever.
She just had to see him.
Be near him.
Make love to him.
Just once... God, just one time and then she was sure he would be out of her system and she could finally feel as though there was another man out there her heart could love even more than him once upon a time.
Tugging the thin lavender blanket she draped over her shoulders tighter as the temperature dipped ever so slightly, her eyes followed every graceful motion of his Kata, drinking in the way he moved with such purpose and power. He was a truly beautiful man, shirtless by moonlight, captivating her utterly. She didn't want to race towards him and beg for his heart back, nor ask him for a second chance. Her life was her own now, successful and fulfilling... to a degree. It was the forbidden fruit he offered... the kind of white hot passion women dreamed of.
Women like her.
She knew it would be just that damn good with him.
The searing kiss they shared earlier brought her blood to a boil was better than most of the sex she's had in the last four years. As infatuated as she was with Tommy as a teenager the man he grew into was simply the type of man she wanted in every way. But she's gotten used to life without him as her other, only now as a very close friend. Its enough... been enough for a couple of years now... as long as she's just outside his reach.
That way she can focus on simply wanting him and not wanting to be with him.
So how to proceed? She could do the safe thing, walk back inside and go to bed. Maybe apologize to him in the morning and enjoy the rest of her
vacation. Or she could could throw caution to the wind, fall into his strong arms tonight and awaken a new woman tomorrow, sated and thoroughly satisfied that her most cherished sexual fantasy was every bit as good as she dreamed it would be.
Before Kim realized it she was moving within a few feet of her prey as the south shore winds brought in big rolling waves by the shore. She slowly approached Tommy from behind, careful to keep a short distance between them. "Do you need to hear I'm sorry?"
Her voice was as familiar as hearing a beloved song on the radio. Even when the notes faded and the lyrics were somewhat forgotten as soon as you heard the sound you loved it all over again. "Do you need to say it?"
Lying her blanket in line with his, she perched beside him, and then assumed his new meditative pose and shut her eyes. "It was an honest mistake."
She was. "Your eyes are closed. How do you know?"
"Because I can hear it in your voice."
She knew he was smiling too. "So you think you know me that well, huh?"
"Without a doubt."
"What was I thinking when I found you out here a few minutes ago?"
"If making love to me was worth risking our friendship."
A heartbeat later, "... damn."
Despite miles and miles of shoreline they were all alone at this late hour, basking on a moonlit beach. Silence reigned over their kingdom of two as both felt the winds of change blustering around them, forever altering their lives from this moment on.
Stealing a sly glance at her, Tommy felt his jaw clench at how beautiful she looked tonight. "Move your blanket."
"No and why?"
"Because I'm mad at you."
"If I take my top off will you still be mad?" His attempt not to laugh was oh so cute as it failed utterly. His focus shift out to the sea while hers remained trained solely on him.
"You gave me Paul's room key on purpose."
"I won't deny."
"So you admit it?"
"I didn't say that."
"But you just said you don't deny it."
She was as exasperating as ever. Opening his eyes, he found the expression she wore devilish in contrast to his frustration. She had the ability to irritate him like no other. If only he didn't long for her to the very depths of his being. "You know what, you can stay out here all by yourself. I'm leaving. I don't need your head games."
"You love the game we play as much as I do." Kim captured his annoyed stare, holding it captive as his impatience only underscored the hot tension simmering between them. "I'm sorry?" she offered at last.
Even the bite in his tone aroused her. "For having not made love to you years ago."
With those daring, softly spoken words she robbed him of his very breath. Her verbal slap was intoxicating. "... is that all?"
Her voice caught in the back of her throat, threatening to choke her with a truth she wasn't yet willing to face. Kim quickly calmed herself down, enjoyed a deep breath and then gave him what he wanted. "No."
Hidden meanings aside, Tommy accepted what she meant without debate. It was enough for now. Honestly, it might be all that he would get for the rest of his life. And he wasn't entirely sure how he felt about that. He decided to switch gears. "Paul isn't offended, is he?" he asked. "I don't want him thinking I think being gay is disgusting or shameful. I was honestly just mad at you and embarrassed."
Kim casually waved him off. "Don't worry, Paul took it all in stride. He thinks you're pretty cool, so you're good." Tommy nodded in relief, giving her the idea to scoot a wee bit closer. His reaction was to move the same distance away. They were matching each other chess move for chess move, lost in the
game. "Are you afraid of me or what you want to do to me?"
Sparing her a hot gaze that lingered a moment longer than he meant too, Tommy closed his eyes once more, pausing briefly before he spoke again. "I'm twenty-eight years old, Kim. I've loved you nearly half my life."
Her thighs tensed when he wet his lips with his tongue, dragging it over his lip. Every little thing he did tore her up inside. "That's beautiful, but not an answer."
Sighing, he added, "I can live without you."
"And I can live without you too," she reminded him despite a small break in her heart. "But that doesn't mean we're better off because of it." Shifting her body closer to him, she added, "Or that we don't want to fuck each others brains out." He smiled wide, partly shocked by her bluntness as well as turned on. A thrill shivered up her spine that she could be so bold and yet still be herself. "I'll never stop loving you, Tommy. No matter what does or doesn't happen tonight. I haven't in over ten years past and I won't for the next and every decade after that. That's just the way it is for me."
Opening his eyes to her she was as luminous as the early morning sun, even bathed in twilight. A vulnerable note graced her face after what she said, which greatly humbled him. "We dated so many years ago and yet its going to kill me to see you fall in love someday."
Gently tugging on her bottom lip, her fingers fumbled in her lap. Why did what he said make her feel so good and sad at the same time? Why was he such a complication in her heart? "The feeling's mutual."
As a gentle silence settled in they gazed out over the endless sea, watching the waves crash against the shore. The inevitable was dangerous no matter how badly both wanted to tempt fate. But sometimes in life being selfish, if even for a moment is worth the risk.
The fire they shared was battle-tested, had burned white-hot, faded gently, simmered once more, but never flickered out. Perhaps there was one way and one way only to finally put it out.
Or would the fire just as easily blaze out of control?
"I want to tear your clothes off every time I see you," Tommy gave voice to his desire, now caressing her inner thigh with the back of his hand. Kim's eyes drowned in his, her lips parted just so. "I want to run my mouth all over your body until I have kissed you everywhere." Their decade-long dance was slowly winding down as the night was closing to an end. "I want to be the best lover you've ever had or will have in your entire life."
Dipping her head slightly, Kim confessed shyly, "You're making me blush."
He was so confident that he was charming her she felt she had to put a stop to it, no matter that it was the truth. Picking up small rock near the edge of the blanket she sat on, she tossed it at the rolling waves, watching it skip across the surface before sinking into the waters. "I'm singing again... I mean I will be soon."
"Really?" Tommy nodded surprisingly, though not that she changed the subject. "I remember you telling me that you're writing songs again. I didn't think you were so close to returning to the stage."
"There's a small club called 'The Outhouse' a couple of minutes from my apartment that me and my girlfriends frequent from time to time. They have amateur weekend performances for new bands and a couple of weeks ago I met these cool guys who were looking for a female singer/song writer. I introduced myself and we had drinks one night. I showed them some of my songs while they played a demo of their music and now we're talking about putting together a band. Something causal for weekend gigs mostly."
"Wow, I'm impressed. I know music has been a passion of yours for years."
"Just like you," she insinuated wearing a smirk he obviously enjoyed to no end.
Staring into her lovely brown eyes, Tommy was drawn to her, his sirens song. "I miss teaching the martial arts," he revealed out of the blue about his own personal life. "Jason and I have kept quiet about this, but we've been discussing pooling our money together and finally opening a school."
"That would be fantastic. Its been a dream of yours for years."
"We actually have the money now, which is strange in itself," he admitted. "As much as I love teaching in the classroom, the martial arts are a part of me," he declared as her eyes slowly lifted to meet his own. "Just like you."
He was making her toes tingle from the way he was drinking in the sight of her, his mood obviously sensual. As badly as she wanted to touch him she knew the moment she did... "I love my life these days, you know."
Tommy gave a slow nod. "So do I."
She felt she needed to say, "I don't have time for a relationship."
Familiar words from the past came back to her, as haunting as ever. "I miss you."
"Trust me, in my life I've missed you more."
Kim had no rebuttal for that one as the past was what it was. But deep down she loved that he had never forgotten her even when he moved on with his
life. She had made a genuine impact on his life despite the pain she caused him. "I'm lonely, sometimes," she revealed while casually dipping her bare toes in the white sand. "I haven't had someone special in what feels like forever."
Tommy could relate. "Neither have I."
"But when you walk into a room," her hand brushed warmth over his bare chest, grazing the hard muscles beneath her fingertips. "I can't take my eyes off of you."
Her touch left his heart pounding in his chest. "The way your voice sounds so late at night when we're on the phone," he leaned in closer, invading her personal space. "I can't get enough of you."
Kim blushed for a second time, shaking her head at how the heat between them left her so hot and bothered. This was the pure freedom she craved so badly. Being able to indulge her most basic urges with the unknowing star of her most deep-seeded sexual fantasies. "When I think about you I think of giving myself to you," she quietly confessed.
Endearing words he's longed to hear for so very long were now in his sole possession. Closing the short distance between them, Tommy grazed her soft lips with his own, sampling the hypnotic allure of her sweet kiss. Their eyes locked and then he dove in a second, longer time to plunder her ripe mouth. She lifted her hand to his face, cupping his cheek to break the kiss as they stared into each others eyes.
"I'm going to write you another letter," she whispered to him, tenderly stroking his cheek before her hand descended just past the blankets edge. With a single finger she began tracing words in the white sand.
'MAKE LOVE TO ME,
Her cherished request became the center of Tommy's universe. Instinct took over as he drew her solid to his chest before capturing her lips in a wildly hot kiss, savoring the heady taste of her tongue sweeping over and around his. He was overcome at how small, soft and feminine she felt in his arms. This was real and it was perfect, divine even. Heaven sent for certain. From the way she moaned deeply in his mouth as strong hands caressed her lower back beneath her top. They were so beyond coherent thought, aching to finally satisfy their hunger for each other.
So they acted on their passion, unleashed at long last.
As the world seemed to slow around them Tommy gently laid Kim down on the side-by-side blankets and then began to undress her slowly, taking his dear time to commit every square inch of her nude figure to his memory so that he might never forget the best moment of his entire life. She appeared glorious before him, his hearts desire, both shy and seductive at the same time. His voice trembled when he offered his praise, "You're so beautiful."
"No, I'm yours," Kim assured him as the unsuppressed joy of finally having him came over her. Tommy undressed in a time that gave her ample opportunity to take in all that she had never seen before. Her mouth watered as she couldn't even blink. "Tommy, you look so damn..."
He covered her that very second, her body and mouth with a kiss so deep and thorough she whimpered in response, her thighs tensing as they locked around him. Her fingers combed through the short strands of his hair, anchoring him to her mouth, devouring him with wanton abandon.
Tommy shuddered above her, loving the way her legs welcomed him between her thighs. The sensual feel of her beneath him was intoxicating as they shared long, lustful kisses that joined the crashing nearby waves as the only sounds around them.
It didn't matter that they were outside on the beach or that they could be caught if anyone walked by. In fact, in Kim's mind that only amplified the excitement tenfold. She shoved all thoughts of discretion from her mind as she couldn't... wouldn't stop this for anything in the world. She needed him, God she needed to feel all of him just to know him in that one way she never had before. Loving her as she knew only he could. Her eager hands fanned his shoulders and back, caressing all of him that she could reach, her nails dragging over hard planes of muscle. The heady feel his cock throbbing along her inner thigh left her hotly moist, twisting impatiently beneath him.
Dragging himself from the alluring drug her lips left him addicted to, Tommy drank at the column of her throat. Next, his mouth fastened over her pulse one moment, then his teeth nipped her ear lobe. The result, a loving pout that curved her lips.
The heat of his breath descended her chest, brushing sensitivity over a firm, hard nipple seconds before his warm mouth paid loving homage to it, suckling firmly. Silent chants erupted from her lips as he bathed the peak in saliva and then his mouth pulled on the tip so decadently, his free hand squeezing her other breast as her back arched off the blanket. "Mmmm, that so feels good."
Smiling, his tongue rolled along the gentle slope of her breast, seducing her as he took his time giving her reason to moan and sigh in pleasure. His mouth traveled lower, Frenching the valley of her naval before ascending her body as his need for her grew overpowering. "Kim..."
The strained tenor of his voice implored a question she intended to answer with action rather than words. Reaching down between them, she cradled his hard cock in her warm hand, stroking him slow until his eyes rolled backwards as his head dipped to her shoulder in humble worship. Her legs lifted slightly above his hips, parting wider as she drew him inside her.
"Now," she pleaded softly to him.
Unable to resist, Tommy eased into the heated depths of her in one long surge, eliciting a delicious gasp from her when he was fully sheathed inside
her. Never had anything felt this good as her slick warmth pulled so wickedly around him. Restraint... mercy he needed restraint before he lost his
mind. Lifting his gaze, he found her staring at him with the most desirable expression he had ever seen before. He dove for her lush mouth, kissing her deeply as a slow withdrawal was followed by a hard advance that forced a hoarse cry of ecstasy from her lips.
"So good, Tommy you feel so good," Kim groaned through clenched teeth as he moved above her, sealing their hips time and time again while she twisted passionately beneath him. The solid feel of his body above her, pushing her down into the sand-cushioned blanket felt incredibly sexy. Her vision strained to not miss a single heated expression on his handsome face as he pulsed deep inside her, claiming her at last.
The sensation of her nails grazing over his back joined the incredible feel of her molded oh so tight around him. A tide of hot pleasure was drowning his mind to anything but making love to Kim forever if he could. Her bare heels locked over his backside, pulling him into her just the way she liked. The noises she made...she was killing him softly, fulfilling his every wish. The rhythmic smacks of their colliding hips added to his arousal as they were sucking hungrily at each others mouths.
All of a sudden her deep shaky breathing gave way to a series of gut-twitching contractions around him.
"Oh God... Oh... right there, God!!" Her climax swept over her like a thief in the night as the grinding vibrations over her clit set her off. Hot sensations raced up and down her spine as her mouth gaped open and her eyes shut tight, crying out through the strong shuddering waves of a gloriously intense orgasm that wrung her body out. Moments later when her eyes opened she found awe etched on Tommy's face, illuminated by moonlight. "I..."
"Love you too," he finished for her, his hips driving her into the blanket now as the last tethers of his vaunted self-control fell away. Her face contorted with ecstasy each time his unyielding hardness thrust deep. The blanket shifted and rolled in the wake of their aggressive passion as her heels now dug at the sand. Sweat-soaked skin glistened as the combined friction of their vigorously working bodies left them gasping loudly.
The firm cheeks of his backside clenched in her hands as she held onto him while he took her time and time again, making love to her so long and satisfying she felt tears wet her eyes. This was the wild passion she's craved for so long and he didn't disappoint. Now lost in how much time has passed as they just couldn't stop, thoroughly exhausting each other, moaning and tossing on the blankets, his rigid shaft pounding into her now as they raced toward a final, blissful end.
As the moment of no return hit Tommy's entire body tensed powerfully. He grunted Kim's name through clenched teeth against her neck when his orgasm hit in hard spurts of sweet release, followed by her climaxing a second time so hard her right hand fisted a handful of sand, her left arm clutched tight around her lovers neck.
It was glorious. Fucking glorious.
As the wide-open sky slowly opened up to her again, Kim didn't want Tommy to move while she couldn't move herself. Her ears were still popping, her toes only now uncurling as she tried to focus a single thought on anything other than holding him close, as if she never wanted to let him go. He slumped above her, and while she normally wasn't a fan of this, this time was different. This man and this experience was different.
Everything was different.
Gently withdrawing from her, Tommy moved down beside her so close their arms were touching. Naked as the day they were born on a public beach at night, their smiles methodically evolved into snickers that led to full-fledged laughter as the insanity, relief, and satisfaction of what they had done swept over them.
No, the world didn't end. No wedding invitations were being written or friendships collapsing under the weight of making love. It simply happened and it was wonderful.
"I hope you don't think this means I want you back?" Kim teased while gazing at the full moon.
Tommy laughed with a happy heart. "I wouldn't go back to you if you begged me."
"I'm glad we cleared that up," she stated, still smiling...
... now holding his hand.
Rolling onto his side half on top of Kim, Tommy gazed at her and accepted that no matter what they said, their eyes were revealing something
else. Something cautious and unprepared for. Something to discuss at later date when they were ready and sure of what this all meant. "I'll never forget this night."
"Never." He kissed her again, lazy and sensual.
After stealing a final little peck, Kim added, "Don't go falling in love with me again, Mr. Oliver."
"You had better heed your own words, Ms. Hart."
"Touché." Smiling, Kim laid back down not caring at all that she was naked. This was her damn vacation after all. She's worked five days a week like everyone else and lived a good girls life long enough. She deserved some politically incorrect freedom. Some wildness for a change. And some great sex which she just had and didn't regret in the least. "Okay, I'm just gonna go on the record here. I would like to do this again before we fly home."
"Kim, I could do this again in the next fifteen minutes if you want?" he laughed, quickly joined by her.
"We'll see," she replied cheeky. As her head finally cleared she slowly sat up and looked around. Swiping away as much sand as she could from her clothes and herself led her to stating, "No more sand sex. It goes in bad places."
"Agreed. And the sweat didn't help at all either." Tommy saw patches of sand on her legs and knew he had to have the same. "Hungry?"
"Starving for pizza. Let's clean up and then order in. Sex gives me the munchies."
She was a lady after his own heart, though she already owned it. Tommy grabbed both of the blankets. "Your room or mine?"
Kim slipped on the rest of her clothes while watching him do the same. "My room is about to be ours for the rest of this trip," she winked. "That answers your question." Spinning away, she set off back towards the villa.
Following her closely, Tommy inquired, "Just so I'm clear, you don't want me back?"
"And you're not in love with me?"
"And you don't want to fall back in love with me?"
"Its not in my immediate plans, so nope."
"But you want us to keep having sex?"
"Oh yeah," she answered, peering over her shoulder. "You got a problem with that?"
"Nope, but you're a terrible liar."
Blushing furiously, Kim didn't dare offer any sort of rebuttal or comment. All retorts died on the tip of her tongue She let it go... for now. But she was smiling. And she had never been happier.
Upon walking inside the back entrance of the Villa, Kim and Tommy found Aisha, Trini, Tanya, and Katherine all seated at the kitchen table staring daggers at them. Sparing at glance at her new lover, the former Pink Ranger had to admit he looked as guilty as she was sure she did. And did she notice Aisha and Kat's bedroom windows were open and facing the beach just a minute ago?
A collective "Mmmm, Hmmm," came from the girls as all four shook their heads.
"You know," Trini began. "Considering how both are you look flushed, are covered in interesting places with sand, and Kim's hair looks like she was standing to close to a helicopter I just have to ask what the hell is going on with you two?" she grinned while pointing.
Shrugging, Kim spun on her heel down the hall while singing, "Boom chica bow wow - chica bow wow." Tommy followed, laughing as the sounds of their friends gossiping and laughing as well faded gently into the night.