A/N: Thank you for flying Fox Airlines. Please remain seated and with your seatbelts on unti all movement ceases and the captain turns on the "The End" sign. Hope you enjoyed your trip with us.

Xxx XXX xxX

Lindsay's mouth opened in shock and her throat went dry. Her nether regions, however, were experiencing quite the opposite. Who would have known a single phrase could turn her on so... so intensely? Fortunately for her, her arms were still around Danny's neck and his arms were still somewhat holding her, cause otherwise she's be sprawled on the floor by now. Which would be a very bad thing, cause knowing Danny he was bound to try and help her up, and, knowing herself, she was bound to pull him down on top of her...

She shook her head trying to rid it for X-rated thoughts. Danny's eyes were desperately searching her face for any indication of her reaction and she couldn't, for the life of either one of them, come up with the right one. The right one, in this case, being a socially accepted one, that is. Given the chance, Lindsay would clear up each and every doubt Danny had regarding her. Actually, she'd have started... satisfying... his curiosity some half hour ago had they been alone.

But they weren't. And if Danny had stumbled along the path of righteousness, she'd have to be the strong one. Mind over matter, or, in this case, mind over gutter... er... mind over flesh, work over sex. Saint Montana, standing tall and strong against temptation. Stoicism was her middle name. Mentally ravishing him whilst lying in her bed was fine; physically doing so in the middle of the dance floor was not.

And perhaps Lindsay would have gotten away with kidding herself, had it not been for the object of her affection. Danny Messer took things into his own hands, literally, to destroy what little resolve she thought she had. Almost simultaneously, he slid his tongue over his lips AND his hands over her back. Individually, each action was hard to resist. Together, resistance became an impossibility.

Less than a minute after he had stated his doubt, Lindsay Monroe, aka Messer's Montana, pulled his face down and kissed him for all she was worth.

Months of building sexual tension came crashing down the minute her tongue made it inside his mouth. This wasn't the soft, covert, almost tentatively exploratory first kiss he had envisioned theirs to be, but more of a full frontal, direct, needy attack, but who was he to complain? Here they were, kissing fervently like there was no tomorrow, and damned if he was going to be questioning the lack of finesse and tenderness he had always associated with this moment. Not that HE didn't want their first kiss to be this hot, mind you, but he had always assumed Montana to be more romantic than sexual when it came to their first kiss.

Or second. Or third. Or whatever number they were on, he'd lost count. Her hands were all over his face and hair and neck and shoulders, and he figured that what was good for the goose would be fine for the gander, so he allowed his hands to do as they pleased. And if touching his Montana like this was the devil's work, merry ride into Hell he'd have! They worked they way all over her naked back to her shoulders and neck, and then back. He had managed to resist the urge to tangle them in her hair, thus destroying her hairdo, but he hadn't been able to resist grazing the sides of her breasts or finally getting physical confirmation that she was, indeed, completely naked underneath that blessed dress.

When they finally broke up their mouth's affair, Danny was holding her face and Lindsay's hands were resting on his chest. He rested his forehead on hers, trying to calm down enough to be able to speak with some degree of coherence, but listening to their labored breathing wasn't making things easier. Lindsay thought that perhaps she should do the talking, try at least some form of salvage mission, but was too afraid to open her mouth. She had the slight suspicion that if she did, the first words that would come out would be "Please fuck me, Danny"... so she kept quiet.

"Montana..."

"Yeah?"

"On scale of one to ten, I'd give your response an eleven based only on originality only. But it didn't do anything to answer my question. Quite the contrary actually." Danny stopped and swallowed hard, his breathing still heavy, her knees still weak. "I'm dying here, Montana. Please help me. If I taste you... if I touch you one more time I won't be able to hold back. So if you're not sure about... this... I'm begging you Lindsay... take one step back and walk away from me. I SWEAR I'll understand if you choose to keep us professional..."

Lindsay looked at Danny and made her mind in a second. She took the step he requested. In the opposite direction.

"I sure hope as hell you have a car in the parking lot, Messer, cause damned if I'm going to wait for a cab to take us home... we're too old to be having sex inside a bathroom stall. Make tracks, cowboy. Now." She whispered in his ear, as she leaned forward.

Danny was speechless for about six seconds. Then he grinned and wrapped his arm around her waist and led her out of the banquet hall whilst his other hand clutched the SUV's keys in his pocket.

"So, Montana, think we're too old for a make-out session in the car before we reach my place?"

Xxx XXX xxX

"Having them two hook up was also part of the dress conspiracy, right?"

Stella couldn't help but smile when she heard this. "Dress conspiracy? Frankly, Don, I don't know what you're talking about.."

"You don't, huh?" His eyebrow shot up, giving her a questioning glance. "Let's analyze the facts, shall we? First you worry about me and Messer getting caught in the seduction net of a couple of blond kids. Then you decide to prove the aforementioned kids wrong regarding Lindsay's attractiveness. Then you get into a verbal sparring with Stevens and gauntlets were thrown. All these factors put together led to your shopping spree with Stefan. I'm assuming you women find that conclusion logical, cause I don't, but I know better than to argue with you."

"And assuming all your facts lead to a dress conspiracy is a logical conclusion, then?" It was Stella's turn to question his logic.

"I find no other way to call it. I understand how getting Lindsay to wear that dress was a key factor in showing them kids who's boss when it comes to Messer. I also understand how seeing her in that dress made HIM feel. And I KNOW what your dress is making ME feel. But call me an idiot if you'd like, but I simply cannot understand what your dress did to Stevens..."

Stella looked at him and smiled. Don Flack was so clueless some times, it was endearing. He may not know many things about women and their tactics, but when it came to her... Stella blushed a bit remembering how pleasantly surprised she was when she found out how well he knew women in other areas... he had just the right balance of life experience and youth stamina to keep up with her own sexual persona and for that she was thankful. She was also thankful for that lil' trick he knew involving her G spot and his fingers... and his highly skillful tongue... and...

"You haven't heard a word I said, have you?"

Stella snapped back into reality, a deep blush covering her face. He seemed slightly amused upon seeing it.

"Now what on earth were you thinking about, Bonasera?" Noticing her blush deepened, Don's interest was more than aroused. He leaned into her ear to whisper. "Don't answer me that one just now... I'd much rather wait until we get home to find out..."

His voice sent shivers down her spine, and it took a couple of deep breaths to get herself back in control. "So you don't understand what was the dress all about? I'm not sure you'll be able to completely understand it, as it is, in fact, a women's thing."

"Eight years ago Emma Lou made me look like a fool. And she made sure I'd never forget it. For her, it was always about proving that she was better than me. Since she works a 9 to 5 job, she does have a personal life. She also has money, and she made a point of letting me know she had both.. and I didn't. In the past couple of years her interest in the issue had waned, and I had assumed it was forgotten. But if it was, the whole deal with Frankie brought it back, with a vengeance. She started the rumor mill again saying I got what I deserved by living with a younger man..."

"But you weren't living with him!" Don protested.

"You and I know it, but the rest of the department didn't. I didn't bother correcting them and Emma Lou took my silence as confirmation. To make matters worse, she saw us together later on..."

"How? When? I thought we had avoided discovery until now.." Don's forehead was furrowed with worry lines. He hated the idea of Stella suffering because of him.

"Mac's last birthday, remember? He basically agreed on going out to celebrate so I'd go out as well. I was still feeling like crap and all you guys made sure I forgot about it, at least for the night. Emma Lou found out about the outing and arrived to the bar, hoping she'd find Mac alone and me nowhere in sight. But Mac was teaching Lindsay how to disco and I... I was dancing with you."

The memory of the party was still clear in Don's head. It had been, perhaps, the happiest day of his life. After the party, Stella had taken up on his offer of driving her home. He had been in awe of her ever since he'd met her and had wondered often about her in bed. But awe and lust had made way to something deeper and when he saw her beaten up at her place he could have shot Frankie himself for hurting her. The intensity of his reaction took him by surprise, and soon after he had to admit his feelings for her. That night after the party, at her doorstep, he had finally confessed them to her.

Stella, oblivious to his trip down memory lane, kept on explaining. "She got out as soon as she saw us. She knew she wouldn't be able to get close to Mac or me, and she began her campaign against me once more. I won't burden you with all the nasty rumors she started about me.. and you... and Mac, as well. She had it bad. And she thought she could "finish" me tonight. She didn't know about Mac and Payton, and she didn't know you ad me were a done deal, either. She thought she could embarrass me publicly again once more, thus settling once and for all the score in her favour."

"And the dress comes in... ah.. where exactly?"

"Back in the 90's I was so busy proving I was as good as any man and in the process forgot many of the things that hold woman's interest. One of them was fashion. Emma Lou was really chic and I was a total klutz. I learned my lesson. Emma Lou never expected me to be so in the game. She thought that by wearing a designer gown, albeit of an older season, would be enough to make me feel insecure. I'm almost certain she was sure I was going to show up wearing a pantsuit and sensible everyday shoes..."

"No wonder she was so upset about your attire. There's nothing "sensible" about those killer shoes you're wearing.." Don leaned forward and nibbled on her earlobe. "Please tell me you're keeping them in bed tonight..."

Stella knew what was coming... and she pulled away. Don's nibbling on her ear would surely be followed by his nibbling on her neck, which would surely be followed by kissing on her shoulders, which in turn... too much for a PDA at a Force's Fundraiser. Don groaned at her decision but decided to behave... for the time being.

"Just tell me something. If you knew Stevens was such a bitch, why didn't you go looking for her and settle matters before? Why wait until now?"

"That's simple, love." Stella smiled and leaned into him, "I remembered an old Spanish saying: REVENGE IS A DISH BEST EATEN COLD."

Xxx XXX xxX

A/N: Ladies and gentleman, Elvis has left the building.

Thank you, thank you, thank you very much.

Please don't forget to leave your reviews before heading out.

A/N2: I know some of you (okay, all of you) were expecting something a tad more...

M-ish... for this last ep. But since there are pre-school toys in the playground

(aka undearge readers) I decided to keep it as clean as possible. However, please

stay tuned for "AFTER THE BALL" coming to an X-Rated channel near you in the

upcoming weeks.