Title: Let Me Count the Ways
Author: untapdtreasure
Pairing: Rachel & Carl Hutchins
Summary: It was easy to forget that they had family waiting on them back in Bay City. New York was very much a part of them. It flowed freely beneath their veins, and neither of them wanted to waste a moment of their time.
A/N: This story takes place while Rachel and Carl are making wedding arrangements in New York City.

Carl stepped between her and the street just as a taxi split a puddle at least half a foot deep. He was drenched from what seemed like the top of his head to the tips of his toes.

Rachel put her hand to her mouth and tried unsuccessfully to stop the laughter before it bubbled free. "Ever my white knight, my darling."

He met her eyes, clearly amused with her. "You, dear lady..." He shook his finger slightly. "Be thankful I love you so much or this..." He gestured to his soaked clothing. "...would be you." He held out his arms to her. "Doesn't that warrant a kiss or at the very least, a hug?" He moved closer, a wicked gleam in his dark eyes.

"You wouldn't dare!" She held her hands in front of her, trying to keep him from moving any closer.

"Wouldn't I?" He raised his eyebrows. "Rachel, I am a silver tongued scoundrel after all... Come on. Give me a kiss." He turned his cheek toward her and patted it playfully. "Pay the toll, or you'll wish you had."

She gave a soft laugh and shook her head. "I'll take my chances. We still have places to see today, and I can't show up looking like I've been playing in puddles, my darling."

"Oh. I see that you don't give a good damn about my appearance, hm?" He brushed his clothes off, adjusting them best he could. "Next time, Rachel, you can just get wet."

She turned, mouth agape. "That's how we're playing it, are we?"

"Yes." He had to almost bite his tongue to keep a straight face. "Shall we?" He gestured for her to move first on the sidewalk. "We must keep going. Don't want to be late."

She stepped closer to him then, her hand on his hip as she kissed his cheek gently. "My hero," she whispered.

He tilted his head only slightly. "That's better." He kissed her mouth tenderly. "Sure we don't have time to go back to our suite and change?"

She shook her head. "We're almost late as it is."

He let out a dramatic sigh. "Fine. If we must..." He held out his hand to her, which she took quickly. Their hands were a snug fit. Almost too perfect, he thought. Almost.

"Just two more places after this one, darling. Then you can have me to yourself all afternoon. What shall we do? Retrace our steps some more?" She glanced up and over at him under the fringe of her hair.

He looked up at the sky. "Looks like we won't be doing anymore walking, my heart. Rain is coming soon." It had only just stopped an hour or so prior to their outing. "Honestly, Rachel. I would just rather be alone with you. A nice candlelight dinner, a hot bath, maybe some more of that book of sonnets, champagne..."

"That sounds lovely." She forgot all about him being soaked and hugged him tight, running her fingers through his ponytail. The cool dampness slipped quickly through the silk of her shirt. "Oh! Drat..."

He chuckled. "Well, my heart, it's no fun being all wet, is it?"

The rain held off for the remainder of their appointments, but as soon as they stepped outside the church, the sky opened up and it let loose a torrential rain. He used his suit jacket best he could to shield her, but it was pointless.

By the time they arrived at their hotel several blocks away, they looked like drowned rats, but their moods couldn't have been more joyous. She held on tightly to him.

"I feel like a kid again." He nuzzled her neck and nipped at her damp, cold skin. "Dancing in the rain... Oh! Wait, my love. We forgot to dance. We were too busy running..." He took her hand, tugging her back toward the revolving door. "We must..."

She tugged back on his hand. "No, we must not!" She shook her hair. "Carl, I'm freezing!" She held tightly to his hand, knowing full well that anything he desired would be done. In that moment, her body shivered under the cool air inside the hotel lobby. As did her lips.

Ever the gentleman, he stepped closer and kissed her softly on the mouth. "Can't have that, can we?" He lead her straight to the elevator and jabbed the up button. "A hot bath and some coffee will warm you right up." Even though he was just as soaked as she was, he pulled her close once they were in the privacy of the elevator car. "I'm sorry, darling. I should have called for the limo..."

She shook her head. "I wanted to walk. I'm a fool in love, my darling, and I thought I could strong arm God into giving us a beautiful day. He's not to be intimidated. We're here now. Safe and dry." She buried her face into the crook of his neck and gave a soft sigh. "Once we've slipped into that hot bath..."

"We?" He stroked her hair. His eyes closed as their bodies huddled close together for shared warmth.

"Yes, we. I want you with me." She looked up at him as the car stopped on their floor. "Always."

It was easy to forget that they had family waiting on them back in Bay City. New York was very much a part of them. It flowed freely beneath their veins, and neither of them wanted to waste a moment of their time.

She started the bath immediately as she began to shrug out of her wet clothes. "Oh Darling?" she called as she let her shirt slide elegantly from her body and pool into a mass of dark silk onto the floor. "Do hurry, won't you?"

The bubbles she'd poured were causing an intoxicating scent to fill up the air around her. She lit the dozen or so candles that had been provided and dimmed the lights just before stepping into the tub. "Carl, are you with me?"

He stepped into the room, both hands behind his back. "Oh damn. Done started without me, I see. What's that?" He sniffed the air. "Honeysuckle?"

She placed the bubbles about her naked body seductively. "Well, you were taking an awfully long time. And mmhmm. Do you like it?" She inhaled deeply, feeling her head get all fuzzy from the scent alone. "Do hurry. It's awful lonesome without you." She licked her bottom lip seductively. "What's behind your back? What are you hiding?"

He shook his head. "Ah. For me to know, and you to wonder, my dear lady. Close your eyes and open your mouth."

She looked up at him curiously. "Oh. That old line." She happily obeyed and opened her mouth. It wasn't long before the scent of strawberries mingled with the honeysuckle. She moaned before the plump berry even touched her lips.

He watched as she took a dainty bite. Juice dribbled down her chin. He sat on the edge of the tub, bending so that his mouth could suck away the juice before he kissed her deeply. "You approve?"

She nodded slowly, taking his hand. "Do hurry of you'll not even need to get undressed. I'll just pull you in clothes and all." Her hand moved up his arm where she got a good hand hold.

"Alright. Alright. Unhand me, and you'll get your wish." He stood up and preceded to undress. He slipped in quietly behind her and cradled her back to his chest. "Much better?"

"Oh! Yes!"

The next morning dawned with sunshine on the horizon and bird song in the air. She blinked slowly, finding the bed empty beside her. "Carl?" She pulled the sheet up to keep herself covered. "Darling, where are you?" She frowned when she found herself alone. She reached for the first garment she came in contact with which just happened to be Carl's dress shirt he'd draped over the chair to air dry from yesterday's wet excursion.

She managed to button three of the buttons and pad barefoot and completely naked underneath into the living area of the suite. "Where has he gone to?"

Just then the door opened and Carl stepped in carrying a shopping bag. He met her eyes. "Oh damn. You were supposed to sleep in..." He licked his top lip. "Although, I'm not minding your apparel in the slightest. Model it for me?" He made a circle with his finger in the air.

She obliged him and then put both hands to her head to smooth her hair down. "I must look dreadful."

"On the contrary, Rachel. You look simply radiant. Now go on back to bed like a good girl. Let me wake you up how I intended." He reached for her arm, tugging her closer. "But keep on the shirt. Suits you far better than it suits me. Much more pleasing to the eyes." His finger slid along the underside of her breast before releasing her. "Go on. Scoot. To bed with you."

Her insides were a quiver. The things he did to her without having to even so much as look at her. She felt the heat rise in her belly as it felt like a million butterfly wings erupting at different intervals but all at once. "Please hurry. I miss you."

Rachel wasn't a patient person by nature. Hearing him buzz around the tiny kitchenette almost had her out of bed, but she remained in bed like he'd prompted. She was glad she had when he stepped through the door carrying a silver tray of toast and fresh honey. Her mouth watered at the scent of the cream cheese pastries. "Oh! You have been busy." She scooted so her back rested against the headboard.

"You have to be quick to beat Rachel Cory out of bed so you can plan such affairs." He placed the tray over her lap. There lay a single red rose. He immediately picked it up, knelt by the bed, and presented it to her. "What's in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet."

She took it and placed it to her nose and inhaled deeply. "I cannot wait to be your wife." She shifted only slightly to kiss him softly on the lips. "Come on. Can't expect me to eat all this by myself." She sat the rose aside and picked up a danish and held it to his lips.

And all too quickly their little getaway to New York was over. That sat snug inside the Cory jet waiting for it to finish being refueled, and it would be back to Bay City for them.

He took her hand gently in his own and brought it to his lips. He pressed a gentle kiss against her knuckles. "Feels like a fairytale, doesn't it?" He searched her eyes. "How do I love thee?"

She leaned into him, wrapping herself around him. Her eyes closed. Her lips found his in a tender kiss. She then nuzzled her nose against his neck as his arms went around her, holding her tight. "Let me count the ways."