Poster: Evan Hunt
Post # 77
Evan hadn't stopped since he left CrystalGold Lake, running through town
like a man possessed, which indeed he was. He had to dodge people and
carts, and got alot of odd looks for his appearance: still barefoot,
shirt half untucked from his pants, fishing rod over his shoulder and
hair a wild overgrown mop of brown over his eyes. Skidding to a stop at
the woolshop, he swallowed and drew a deep breath, lifting his hand to
knock - which is when he saw the note in the window. Carefully
unpinning it to read, he glanced up, and around. He had never been to
Willow Lake but by God he would find it. After re-pinning the note he
was off again. Of course.... being new to Heathfield, he had only a
vague idea of where he was going. When he finally arrived at the lake,
it was via a near tumble right out of the bushes. He'd taken an
accidental detour through the woods where there was no trail, and the
bits of leaves stuck in his hair and shirt testified to that. He skid to
a stop again and looked around, catching his breath after the flight.
Had he missed her? Was she somewhere else now?
The day had been far too hot and was only getting worse. Even with the
fan her father had installed in her shop, it couldn't keep the heat
down. No one sane was around shopping this day unless it was a
necessity. To stand around in such heat was asking for sunstroke or
dehydration. Most stayed indoors or at the many lakes, both large and
small. Some took to the forest brooks and swimming holes set in the
deep woods. Not Mariah, the closest place was Willow Lake and one that
she knew would not be crowded. Stripping down to the pantaloons and
camisole top she had emerged with a sigh, the waters cooling skin and
reviving her from the sluggish heat. She had dipped beneath, holding her
breath while swimming underwater to see the bottom until she could stay
no longer. Up she went surfacing as blond hair streaked out upon the
water around her. Lashes heavy with droplets were blinked away a few
times, and blinked a few times more when she saw what looked like Pan
coming out of the woods about a hundred yards from where she surfaced.
Yes, it was bloody HOT out; he had come to realize this somewhat
painfully in his run across the lands. He was sweating like a racehorse
and grateful for the shade. At first he could see nobody, only a small
lake, an idyllic setting for its quiet and intimacy. He started to get
that pang of disappointment and failure when with a muted splash, she
suddenly surfaced. A mermaid or Grecian goddess or water nymph... none
were an exaggeration in his mind for how she looked floating in the lake
like that.. and wearing only that. His eyes nearly bugged out of
his head as he looked at her, then blinked rapidly to recover himself.
"Uhhhhhh..." What an intelligent greeting, Evan. He blinked
again. "I uh.." he motioned towards the fishing rod over his
shoulder. "..was just looking for a good fishing spot." He
nearly grimaced, that wasn't what he'd meant to say at all!
Only 'that' was worse once she found footing and started to emerge. It
left just enough to the imagination as it clung to her skin. Nimble
fingers pulling at the wet clothing unconsciously to unstick it. Eyes
held upon him the while as she realized just who it was. It was not Pan
at all but Evan! Her smile growing like sunshine to brighten her
features. "Hello Evan, I was hoping to see you now that you are
back." Although the last had her blink as she stood there in the
wake of the lake. "The fishing is much better at the bigger late if
you want to catch something huge.." figuring he might not know
that. "Although there are plenty of pan fish in this lake."
She pointed out a small cropping of rocks down a short distance.
"That area seems to be a good place for them to bite."
So she had heard that they were back. That made him feel sheepish all
over again. And as she stepped out of the water, soaking wet and barely
dressed.... he could hardly look at her. "Uhh.." He darted his
glance sideways, lifting a hand to rake through his hair... finding a
few leaves and tossing them away, then rubbing the back of his neck. A
quick glance her way then he followed her pointing finger. "Oh.
Right." He looked at the outcropping of rocks some distance away,
then found his nerve. "Actually, no, I uh... went to your shop to
see you and found your note." Phew! He'd said that awfully quickly.
Hazel eyes moved back to her sheepishly. "Do you want to. Uh."
Motioning towards the other clothes she'd left abandoned on the
That pleased her far more for a pout almost started that he was not here
to see her but go fishing after being back. Especially since his letter
and all it had said; presently his actions had almost negated the words.
Relief flooded her. "It was why I left the note, in case you
came." Words became quiet as with the last she dipped a glance over
her makeshift swim wear. It was not uncommon to go swimming in such but
of course she could not see what he could further away. "I am
sorry, I didn't know I was indecent," again her words were quiet as
she was over to put on the wrap around skirt and peasant blouse that
only added a layer over the camisole top. Left her shoulders bare for
the cuffs going down over the top of her arms. She turned around in a
slight swirl of skirt, "there, is that better?" Top was dark
blue which brought out the color of her eyes and the skirt white with
bright splashes of blue and yellow.
Blink. There was surprise at her words about the note, then a deep
glowing pleasure. "Really?" A grin was starting on her lips
but paused when she spoke of being indecent. "No, I didn't
mean..." he trailed off when she twirled about in that fetching
ensemble. "Ah, yes," he gave a slight laugh, "I just
didn't want you to get a chill." He was grinning shyly again, but
this time he was teasing both her and himself... it was hardly the type
of day that one could catch a chill no matter what they did! He finally
stepped forward, now that she didn't seem almost naked.... he still held
his shoes in his hand, so he tossed these onto the grass, and his
surcoat and the fishing pole as well. Then he straightened, trying to
think of what else to say, but just ended up looking at her again.
Soaking her in after not seeing her for so many months. This was the
moment he'd been waiting for, for all those months too.
"A chill, silly lad, it's far too hot to catch a chill, from the
weather.." not that she really thought of Evan as a 'lad' but it
was a common phrase for the Irish born. Only chill she might catch would
be initiated by something else, that which she eluded to. Coming closer
as she spoke and a serious expression to capture her features. He stood
there so silently it near caused her to pause a step leaving her at
about two feet away with her head tipped back a mite so she could drink
in his features. "I thought you were Pan," which was humorous
to her. "How did your trip go?" Leaving it wide open to say as
much or as little as he wanted. She was very interested.
Didn't she know what she did to him, walking towards him all dripping
wet, and tilting her face up like that?! Evan swallowed as she
approached, turning his gaze down to look at her in return. For a moment
he looked very solemn, his hazel eyes locked on hers with that magnetic
force.... and then she spoke. Ev cleared his throat and scratched the
back of his neck sheepishly. "Ahh, yes... I uh, took a shortcut
getting here. Well... I didn't know the exact way and sort of lost the
trail in the woods, actually," there was a boyish grin teasing his
lips as he admitted it. "The trip was, real eventful. A story for a
few hours and at least a few drinks." There would be time enough
for him to share all that had happened, and share he would, if she
wanted to hear it. But for now he just ended up murmuring the one thing
from the journey that stuck out in his mind. "I missed you." A
gaze flicked to her eyes, held there.
Mariah was not male savvy. Sure she understood some things but most was
due to lack of experience. It wasn't until she sucked in a breath of a
sudden that she realized she'd been holding one with him this close. His
escapade in getting here drew a smile to warm her features as she kept
her stance and eye contact. "I would love to hear every detail,
when and where you'd want." Knowing a different location might suit
better. Like her kitchen table at the wool shop. That's when words came
out in almost a whoosh, "I got your letter and responded. Did you
get mine?" All the while eyes held to his which had her become
dumbfounded, or so felt, in what to say. It was all so new but with each
bit of communication it was becoming easier. There was a buzzing feeling
in her head when he admitted to missing her and sounding like a parrot,
except it was the truth, "I missed you too." Quiet honest
"I'll tell you everything you want to hear about it," he
promised. "Just so long as you tell me if your ears start to
fall off from me talking too much." Another little grin, and each
one was just a bit less shy than the last. He was starting to feel more
and more silly for avoiding this for so long. Well.. it had only FELT
long to him, only a matter of a few days in truth. Her mention of the
letter had him nodding vigorously. "Aye, I did, I was real
surprised to get it. Did you only get one from me? I sent a few but I
guess they got lost. I thought any you might send might get lost too,
but I did get the one from you. I was really pleased to get it...."
Yes, he was babbling and shut himself up abruptly. Going quiet when she
said she missed him, too. His heart missed a beat or ten as a warm flush
took him. "You did?" His hand crept out, daring to take her
own fingers lightly in his.
"Everything you want to tell me," which would be all she would
want to know in this matter. "I will let you know, I promise but I
know that will not be the case". The next question had her to
pause. "There were other letters?" See her pout, not even
realizing that her bottom lip became fuller and slightly more protruding
than previously. Next moment it was back to normal as blue eyes
brightened, "what did they say?" He wrote them after all so
would be able to at least retell them. Hopefully. Her fingers slid to
lace with his, in that moment she wondered if he was as shy as she, or
maybe even more shy than she was!
She was... adorable, when she pouted like that, and he was not usually
the type to use the word adorable. He had to blink to register
her questions. "Aye, a couple others and you'll hear everything
that was in them... later. Since you said you wanted to, and I'm gonna
hold you to that." Another little grin and, encouraged by the way
her fingers slid through his... Evan's other hand reached out to hold
her other hand as well. It wasn't really a step he took but he did seem
to move a bit closer to her. "One of 'em said.... your hair was
like the morning sun. And your eyes like a lake we passed, crystal blue
and clear to the bottom."
Getting to hear it later, meant she would be seeing him again in order
for that to happen. The thought thrilled her but the chill came with the
skipping beat of her heart when both hands were taken, fingers
interlacing and he all that closer. She took a step towards him as a
natural response, head tipping back a touch more for the height
difference. She was becoming very aware of him, the breadth of his
shoulders, his scent. The way his eyes kept hers there as if she could
read beyond words but the words had the flush of pink to her cheeks and
her head feeling like it was full of the wool she sold. Her eyes
betrayed her thoughts in that moment as lush darker blond lashes dipped
and caught sight of the curve of his lips.
She had not pulled away yet and the thrill of being so close to her was
intoxicating. A subtle movement drawing him yet closer, until their
bodies nearly touched, a tantalizing bare centimeter of space.
"Another one said..." his voice became hushed, "that
nobody could know what would happen... or if I'd be coming back. But
that it would all be worth it, if I'd only gotten to..." he trailed
off then, hazels faltering to her lips. A man could only resist for so
long... and inevitably he found himself leaning yet closer... stooping
down a bit closer to her height until their faces were only a whisper
apart. His eyes closed as he hovered there a moment, breathing in her
natural perfume, a heady scent. It was an almost agonizing pause as his
cheek pressed against hers... giving her that moment to pull away or,
you know, slap him. And if she did not... his lips would ever so gently
press to hers.
A torturous bare centimeter. She could feel the heat from his body.
Her mind was mush, her heart doing leaps and bounds. Her knees getting
weak with a strange feeling that ran down them. "Yes," came
quietly, her eyes softening with almost a glazing effect. A long breath
sucked in as he came closer and at this slow rate she wondered if the
torturing would have her faint way in anticipation. How many nights did
she try to visualize how it would be to be kissed by Evan. Never
quite capturing it for lack of kissing experience. She felt so naive at
the moment that surely he could tell and be repulsed. But one had to
learn somewhere, didn't they? Although she had been swimming there was
still a touch of jasmine to linger about her hair. Lashes were lowering,
eyes looked like they were crossing to keep focus on his lips this
close. Eyes closed as cheeks met, she took in a breath, one almost
swallowed as she was caught in the lure. Turning. Turning, so slow until
his lips were found simultaneously. A sweet touch, a gentle molding...
The end of his sentence went unspoken... at least in words, for he had
been about to say, to kiss you. Instead, the act itself, a slow
tilt of the head and gentle claiming of the lips. Every movement was
slow, careful, ever so gentle especially for a man of his size. He too
would be in danger of fainting dead away for he almost forgot to
breathe. He, too had imagined what it be like to lay his lips against
hers... and the reality was even better than all those fantastical
dreams. Her lips as sweet as honey and the kiss, good enough to make him
die a happy man. It was almost painfully exquisite, and he had to hold
himself back from devouring her lips like a starving man faced with a
plate of food. Instead he was slow, and tender, one hand extricating
itself from hers to slide up her arm, and gently cup her cheek. Even if
he had to hold himself back.. he would never let anyone hurt her,
including himself. He knew in that moment he'd kill anybody who so much
as harmed a hair on her head.
It was almost as if she had read his mind, or was it something she
wanted as much as he? Oh, the reality was far better as nothing ever had
her toes curling before. The feel like she was falling and yet not
enough, she wanted more, the little hussy! She couldn't help it as a hand lifted having fingers
curl into his shirt in a vice grip. She felt like it made her his and
she didn't balk like she would have with others. No, she was riding the
wave or more like waves of this new experience. Getting kiss by the man
you dreamed about was exquisite! He was exquisite and his lips were full
of magic, branding them, making her body feel like gel. The other hand
slid up and around his neck, fingers locking into his hair there, he
wasn't going to get away, least it might give that impression!
Evan had a moment of wondering if he had fallen asleep or been knocked
out by some tree branch along the way. Surely he could not be this
lucky, to have her not only letting him kiss her.... but returning it.
Seemingly with just as much feeling. Her letter had been sweet and kind,
filling him with hope but he had never dared to hope for so much. Her
fingers claiming his shirt, and sliding up into his hair made him almost
shudder, and now that his other arm was free, it moved to wrap around
her waist and pull her that much closer against him. The man was
thoroughly swept away with it, drunk on passion which surely inhibited
judgement as much as wine could. He was endeavoring to keep it gentle,
soft and sweet but for just a few seconds... he gave into it, putting
more pressure against her lips in a brief burst of emotion.
She wasn't experienced but she made up for it in feeling behind her kiss
and the need that was there naturally for his kiss. She was being swept
away, coherent thought abandoning her and the rising desires scared her.
The more passionate kiss went from a heady to dizzying quality that
at first she met, and the promise of passion was given before
drawing back; her heart pounding in her ears as she took in a few quick
breaths. She went to say something but she had no voice.
It was a good thing she pulled back too, just in time, before he really
got run away with it. He surfaced from the kiss with almost a gasp for
air, immediately contrite, for he'd sensed that moment of fear in her.
"I'm sorry," he murmured, tender and careful once more as he
pressed a warm kiss to her cheek, "I'm sorry," repeated with
another kiss to her other cheek. Only then did he pull his face back,
just a tad, enough to be able to peer at her... and make sure she really
was alright. His arms had unwrapped from her slim frame, hands sliding
down to take hers again, but his eyes didn't waver... the hazel eyes so
warm and caring as they looked deep into hers. "You may smack me if
you wish." He spoke it quietly and almost looked like a puppy,
trail drooping as he awaited a thwap across the nose with a newspaper.
"I'm not," came in a whisper back even if she needed to end
it, try and assemble all that the kiss invoked in her. The grip to his
shirt remained, an anchoring fact and she was now well aware of how her
body molded against his. That may have been half the effect the kiss was
having. Her cheeks turning a brighter pink as the unwanted sight of the
ram with the ewe played and was dashed away! She was embarrassing
herself. She had a healthy glow, that kind that was as intoxicating to a
male to see as was the warm feelings it generated inside or more a
reflection of them. "It is hot," and hotter still after that
kiss. There was some relief as their proximity was distanced enough to
allow coherent thought attempt a come back. "You would have to
smack me then too." She was just as much a part, "shall we
sit?" Before her legs gave out on her!
He relaxed in relief that she was not angry or upset with him. And he
was more than happy to hold her up, easily done with one strong arm, as
she seemed to be limp and sagging against him. In fact it was a
wonderful feeling holding her like that, and brought those protective
instincts to surge within him again. He saw the way her cheeks burned
and eyes blazed, and he looked much the same, flushed and eyes almost
glowing with inexpressible happiness. A nod was given at her words, yes,
it WAS hot... enough to have trickles of sweat sluicing down his brow. A
chuckle burst free at her words of smacking her, as if he would ever
consider such a thing! And the chuckles bubbled into true laughter, a
sunshiney grin cracking across his face. "I've a better idea.
C'mon." He pulled back but kept hold of one hand, a gentle tugging
towards the lake. "You already got to have a swim, and you had the
right idea I think." He would turn it into a race too, dropping her
hand to pull his shirt over his head and running towards the water. Well
defined muscles of the shoulders and abdomen rippled, and his new scars
from that bear claw in the Colonies shone pink and healing in the
sunlight on his chest.
She looked like she was coming down with the flu but there was a
difference that separated it from a sickness. She was well aware of his
strength, of feeling protected while in his arms or close. These were
all new sensations that she needed to get use to. She finally understood
what Scott and Carisa had, Christopher too if he felt that way for AJ.
But this was all her own and she delighted in it. Laughter slipped free
in an almost startled way. The challenge she rose to as she slipped out
of wrap around skirt and the blouse, leaving them discarded behind while
following him. Soon feet were splashing in the wake as she got closer
and saw the scars. "Evan, what happened?" Her voice higher
pitched with the concern.
Evan was laughing also as he ran like a demon was on his heels, throwing
himself into the lake with a wild abandon. Even still it was not enough
to release the flood of joy that months ago, he would have considered
ridiculous. She'd kissed him back!! Surfacing from his dive, he pushed
his overgrown hair back from his face, blinking the water from his eyes
with a grin. Then her question came and he sobered some. "We ran
into a grizzly bear." He said it so gravely it might almost lead
one to believe he was pulling her leg. Too bad he was dead serious.
She had paused and watched him until he surfaced and was around.
Swimming out to him she tentatively touched the scars left as he spoke
on them. "Grizzly, you're lucky to be alive." The last word
near caught in her throat for the reality of it. The length of blond
hair was starting to float about, tendrils reaching out before she half
ducked in the water to come closer, touching her lips to the spot as if
that would make the difference. She recognized the mark of a grizzly.
"Aye... I am." He replied, still in that grave tone of voice,
for she was absolutely right. It had been a close thing, that battle
between man and beast. He watched as she drifted closer, enchanted all
over again by her floating hair, the way the water beaded against her
skin. He tilted his head down when she pressed her lips ever so lightly
against his chest and the puckering scars there. "Not to
worry," he said more quietly, lifting a hand to gently run through
a few strands of her hair. "We fought it off, and managed to best
it in the end. I even delivered the killing blow." He wasn't
bragging persay, but there was a shyly proud grin surfacing there.
"This is one of the stories." She also realized it was getting
much later than she had planned to be away from the store. The food in
the basket untouched yet too. "Would you like to come back with me
to the shop and have something to eat? I would like to hear the full
story," even if they got interrupted if any customers came but most
likely it would only be the deliver lad from the wool mill with more
"Would that be alright?" He brightened further, if that was
possible. "Aye, I'd like that, and I promise to tell the story well
to make it worth your time... with voices, and animal sounds, and
everything." That boyish grin which all the ladies found ever so
charming came naturally to his lips.
"You will be the grizzly?" That actually sent a chill up her
spine as she playfully splashed him. His smile worked on her but not for
its usual charm on others. It was because it was his smile. Hers curled
adding a dimple to her cheek before she was around and doing her best to
run through the water gaining the shore. From there she would be
collecting her skirt and top to pull over the pantaloons and top over
"Aye... And I shall get you, me pretty!" He even let out a
growl as she ran from the water, and he gave chase, splashing and
sloshing none too gracefully from the lake to run after her.
Which had her squealing and a lot of trouble for how quick she got on
that wrap around skirt, half falling off as well the top. She grabbed up
the basket like a shield but then pressed it to his chest when he got
close. "Your treasure lies within.." food. Smile like sunshine
burst forth as she hooked her arm round his so that they could walk like
they belonged together too.
"Rawrrrr," he growled again, pretending to grab her up, but it
was a careful and brief embrace as she was still trying to shimmy into
her clothes! The next time he lunged, she blocked him with that basket,
and he reached up to take it and swing it from his own hand. His stomach
producing a real growl at the mention of food, "I can't wait."
He looked down at her when she linked her arm through his, and his smile
was megawatt as he pulled her just a bit closer. Grinning down into her
sparkling eyes, he could've confessed his whole heart then and there.
But...time enough for that. And what a grand feeling it was to know that
they had that time.