-O's AN: This has been in the works for a long, long time. I finally finish it. This takes place after the "Cobra Stops the World" episode. In case you haven't seen this episode for a while, this fic picks up after Scarlett suggests that Duke could take her to dinner and a movie. What? Hello! Wide open for a continuation in my book, so here it is. (Oh, and in case someone else did a continuation on this cartoon, no infringement intended. I just always liked this episode, and it cried out for more.)

-O's Disclaimer: Lest I forget, general disclaimers apply. I do not own GI Joe. Marvel, Sunbow, Hasbro, and Devil's Due are the rightful owners and creators. bummer And I can guarantee you that Sunbow would not approve of my continuation of their cartoon, but the characters had a good time.

Thanks so much to DesertFox for beta reading this.


Title: The Pearl of South America

Author: Scarlett Storm O

Rating: R for sexual situations and innuendos

Summary: Read A/N and Rating comments.

Feedback: Yes, please


Duke guided the SkyStriker to a smooth landing on the runway at Air Brigade "El Palomar", located in the Buenos Aires area, just north of the Patagonia region in which GI Joe once again had just stopped Cobra from trying to take over, or in this case stop, the world. The base was most happy to allow the two weary Joes access to their base, facilities, and vehicles. The soldiers at "El Palomar" welcomed the Joes and thanked them for doing such a fantastic job in their goal of stopping or containing Cobra.

Duke glanced over at Scarlett, who had not really spoken much since her idea that he could take her to a dinner and movie. It had been a long day, and they both were tired. The movie may be out for the evening, but entertainment may be in, after dinner of course.

"You've been awful quiet lately. What's on your pretty little mind?" Duke asked her as he drove along from the base into town, headed towards a highly recommended restaurant that the base personnel had suggested that they try. The base had been most obligatory in letting Duke and Scarlett use one of their jeeps, and allowed them space to freshen up and a change of clothes. Even Scarlett could change out of her uniform thanks to the presence of a few women on base.

Scarlett looked at him, her crystal blue eyes sparkling in the moonlight, and smiled sweetly. "Nothing much, just thinking of the day's events. You know, I really did almost put a thermal arrow through you and Ace's engine. Something kept me from pulling the trigger though." She remembered that horrible moment when the Cobra Rattler was bearing down on her. She had brought her crossbow up and had aimed it to fire a bolt into the approaching Rattler's engine when something told her to wait a moment.

Duke laughed and placed a reassuring hand on her thigh, "Red, I know you did and don't worry about it. We all had near misses today. Ace and I both saw your raised bow. I think that is just about the time that Ace suggested we 'throw a wild card into the deck'. The Cobra ground troops thought that we would take care of you, but instead, we gave them a surprise."

"I wish you guys would have signaled me. I would have felt awful if I would have released my bolt at you."

"You wouldn't have seen a signal. The sun was in your eyes. That's why we veered off when we saw you," Duke explained.

"Hmm, I suppose you are right." Scarlett placed her hand over his and caressed it gently. She felt relaxed and content, not to mention tired. Her brief stopover on base hadn't allowed for any downtime. She was returning from an Intel mission when the Cobra threat escalated. She made her stop along the West Coast at the quaint, little white-picket fenced home as Duke had explained to her via the communicator, and then high-tailed back to base in time to rally the guys for a raid at the Falkland Islands.

Duke pulled the jeep into the little Italian place that the base personnel had suggested. They both were starved, and the time to unwind and freshen up had rejuvenated them. After they had ordered, they chatted about the recent day's events. She filled him in on some of her findings on the research project that she had finished along the West coast.

The waitress brought them their salads, bread, and a bottle of Merlot to accompany their meal. Scarlett raised an eyebrow in his direction and asked, "We are still on duty, aren't we?"

"No. You and I are off duty for a 24-hour leave. I radioed base and spoke to Colonel Sharp while you were changing, informing him that we would be returning tomorrow. I lied and said that you were not feeling well so we had to stop in Buenos Aires."

"You didn't!" She quietly exclaimed with a glimmer in her eye. "Oh sure, make me be the ill damsel in distress," she teased.

"Well, I had to, babe. I had already been captured once and in need of a rescue," he grinned, wide-eyed back at her.

She bated her eyelashes and said in a very sultry voice, "Oh, are we going to play 'rescue me from the evil Cobra thugs' tonight?"

Duke's heart melted at her suggestive tone. "Only if I get to be the one in distress," he flirted back at her.

She slipped off her sandal and inched her foot up his leg, resting it on his inner thigh. "Hmm, but I thought you told everyone that I was in need of rescuing," she said with a slight pout and a gleam in her eyes.

"I told you that I lied," he replied with a devilish grin, but they both quickly ceased their flirtation as the waitress appeared with their entrées.

The talk subsided again as they enjoyed the excellent Italian food. They were both in a distant, dreamy state of mind. Part of the reason may have been from the wine that had gone to their heads on an empty stomach, but more likely because they had the entire night alone, just the two of them. No interruptions. The rest of the team was on their way back to base.

The two had developed this relationship months ago and had come close to consummating it but had always been interrupted by something or someone. The team knew something was up between them, but then the rumor mill, revolving around Scarlett and Duke, had been running rampant since the Joes formed. Even Lady Jaye had constantly hounded Scarlett for information, but Scarlett denied everything. The rumors were mostly hearsay, but those closest to them, knew something had changed in their relationship. This was each of their careers on the line. They had to be discreet, but things were getting progressively tenser between them. Their undeniable attraction to each other was making itself increasingly prominent.

They had finished their meal and relaxed in each other's company while finishing off the remainder of the wine. The conversation had ceased for the moment, when Scarlett looked over and caught Duke's gaze. His eyes narrowed, and he smiled thoughtfully at her. She felt her heart jump into her throat.

"Conrad," she said, switching to his real name, "what are we doing here?"

He grinned at her mischievously and replied, "Well, we ate, drank, and are enjoying each other's company in this lovely, little Italian restaurant in the Pearl of South America."

An annoyed huff escaped her as she clarified her question, "That is not exactly what I meant."

"I know, Shana." He reached across the table and gently placed his hands over her folded hands. With a deep penetrating stare, he whispered, "Whatever we want to do."

She arched her eyebrow, eyed him suspiciously, and in a sultry voice asked, "Do you promise?"

As Scarlett uttered that bold question, she felt her heart skip a beat. She was sure of her feelings for him but didn't want anything that may happen tonight change their working relationship. Maybe the relieved tension between them would make the work atmosphere better, but maybe it would work the opposite. The tension was more of an ache then a threat to anyone...only to themselves.

Duke leaned across the table and confidently said, "I promise you that tonight there will be no interruptions, and only what you want to happen, will happen."

"Hmm, then I think we better leave here," she replied in a seductive voice.

"Whatever you say, Milady," Duke happily obliged.

As the couple left the restaurant, Duke put his arm around her waist, pulled her close to him, and whispered in her ear. Scarlett shivered from the feel of his warm breath in her ear and on her neck. Many suppressed urges were beginning to awaken, and now tonight, the couple had the chance to act upon their heart's desire.

Scarlett and Duke walked over to a hotel just down the street from the little Italian restaurant, and Duke requested two rooms, preferably located next to each other or across the hall, so they could be close, just in case. They had discussed the possibilities of what the night might bring to each of them and had agreed that staying on base was too risky. Duke had also requested the two rooms just in case she changed her mind. He thought too much of her to force her into doing anything that she didn't want to do. If she had a change of heart, she could kick him out, no questions asked.

The hotel clerk eyed them skeptically but made no comment. If they wanted to pay for two hotel rooms and only use one, then that was their prerogative. As Scarlett took her key and moved away from the counter, the clerk, thinking she was out of earshot, informed Duke that the rooms were next to each other and had connecting doors. Duke wanted to throttle the egocentric jerk but instead signed the credit card receipt and picked up his key.

"Shall we?" He offered his arm to her and led her to the elevators. The elevator carried them up four stories. They came to Scarlett's assigned room first. "Would you like a nightcap, Señorita?" He asked as he took her key and slid it into the lock.

"Si, Señor," she replied, a rather confident tone in her voice.

"Well then, after you."

As the door closed behind them, Duke wrapped his arms around her slender waist and pulled her back into him, kissing the back of her neck. She needed no words to just melt into his embrace. He turned her towards him as he moved his hands partway up her sides. She looked into his piercing blue eyes. He radiated that confident but concerned and caring look that made her fall for him the first day that they had met. She leaned into his body, and their lips met. He tasted of dinner and wine, and their mouths parted as they continued their passionate kissing. Their hands roamed each other's bodies like they had in the past, but tonight, it was different. They didn't have to stop if they didn't want to.

As they both pulled apart slightly to replenish their breathless bodies, Duke said, "I meant what I said, Shana. The entire night is ours. It's only you and I, but I won't..."

Scarlett silenced him with her kisses. She had made a decision and decided to follow her heart. Her body ached for him more than she could ever remember.

Something stirred inside each of them as their hands moved across each other's firm bodies once again, and their mouths eagerly devoured each other with their kisses. Duke reached up and pulled Scarlett's ponytail loose so he could run his finger through her long, fiery red mane.

Their bodies moved closer to the bed, as he seemed to subconsciously push her backwards. Suddenly, the edge of the bed caught Scarlett in the back of the legs. Only a slight nudge backward would send her tumbling back into certain ecstasy. At that moment, she felt totally comfortable with Duke. They pulled apart slightly and looked into each other's eyes. "Are you sure?" was all Duke said as Scarlett's reply was the only audible sound in the world to him. "Yes."

Duke quickly swept her up in his arms and gently laid her on the bed. He quickly accompanied her, and they lost themselves in unbridled passion.


As their heartbeats slowed to a more normal pace and their bodies cooled from the heat ignited by their passion for each other, Duke pulled Scarlett to him so close that not even the thinnest thread could separate the two. "You okay, love?" He whispered.

"Never better – that was wonderful."

"Mind-blowing is more like it. Muchas gracias. I've wanted to do that to your body since the first day I laid eyes on you in Hawk's office," and he kissed her neck and nibbled on her ear, recalling the countless times that he had envisioned the scene that they had just played out in real life.

She smiled, remembering her exact feelings as well. That had been so long ago. They had been torturing themselves long enough. "So what will we do now?" She asked.

He replied again with his phrase from earlier, "Whatever we want to."

"But what about..."

"Hush. Don't worry about that or them. We'll keep it just between us for as long as we can, and frankly my dear, I don't give a damn what they think or if they dare to say anything," he smirked. Truth be told, he did care because their careers were at stake, but he knew that the two of them could continue in a professional manner. It would just take a little bit more tact.

She shot him a wicked glare for his reference to Gone with the Wind but continued her rebuttal. "Yes, but you're my superior."

"And you are my slave," he interrupted.

"Yeah! That's what I'm afraid of."

Offended, Duke asked, "What? Being my slave?"

"No, no, not that," she rolled onto her back and looked up at him, "What if things get...uh...messy between us? What then?"

"Shana, you and I have much more based on and invested in this relationship then sex. Look, I would never hold our relationship against you. I love you and care for you too much to humiliate you. Besides, look at what we have overcome already. Cover Girl has finally given up trying to get my attention, and Snake Eyes has conceded in being strictly a working partner with you. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he still has feelings for you, and God knows he has awakened my jealous tendencies. Sometimes I feel like I'm acting like Flint when you two are on a mission together."

"Conrad, Snakes and I are the past. You are my present and future, and only my future. I don't want Snake Eyes. He knows that. What he and I had, could never measure up to what you and I have. He cannot compete with our love. Plus, I was on that roller coaster ride once with him, and I don't ever plan on riding it again."

"Good. That's all I want to hear you say."

Scarlett started to giggle.

"What's so funny?" He asked with amusement as he matched her smiling face.

"Just thinking of the team and all of the rumors. You know that most of them think we have been sleeping together since the M.A.S.S. device. Wouldn't they just die to know that the last year of speculations just now commenced?"

Duke laughed with her. "I knew the team always thought that something was going on between us for a while, but ever since the M.A.S.S? You've got to be kidding me. Hell, I never even touched you or kissed you until, well, after..."

"I know," she quickly said, remembering that wonderful first kiss in that LA hotel room, "I don't even think Allie believed my denial of 'us', and she wasn't even on the team yet. Go figure."

"Well, all I can say is if the team thinks that something has been going on between us since the M.A.S.S. device, then we have a lot of catching up to do."

Scarlett shrieked with delight as he rolled over on top of her to ravage her once again.

-Fin (The End)-