Title The Protection Of Darkness
Author Devylish
Pairing DoVe Veronica/Lamb
Words 4086
Rating NC-17
Warning S e x
Spoilers None
AN Unbeta'd
AN2 This is a response to the Gogetem Bobcat LJ prompt to write a story with our characters Lost and in the dark.

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And once again, Lamb had screwed things up for her. Veronica held her body rigidly as she silently fumed. If he hadn't distracted her while she was working, they wouldn't be in this predicament.

She blew out a puff of air. Of course, HE was probably, blaming her silently for their situation. After all, she was the one who had decided to stake out Arthur Bowe's reputed business headquarters. She smirked wryly, IF you could call the parking lot of the 'Quick Liq' liquor store a headquarters.

She'd been chasing down leads on the supplier of some heavy-duty, nasty drugs that had been making it onto the campus in the last few months – drugs that were leaving students dead. Her research had led her to the rather innocuously named Arthur Bowe – drug distributor to the stupid and young. Arthur, while not the creator of the drugs he sold, would be a definite door to the makers.

And so she sat, on a Saturday night, or morning, depending on your feelings about 4:30 a.m., in her Saturn, on the corner of Blanco and Noir (yeah, the city planners hadn't been very inventive when it came to naming streets on this side of town). Actually, they hadn't been much of 'anything' when it came to this side of town. Ramshackle, half boarded up buildings littered the streets in any direction for about 7 blocks. If Neptune had a rundown, forgotten about area, then Greystown was it.

Veronica was attempting to keep a low profile, skulking low in her car seat, sitting a block and a half away from the parking lot that was apparently Arthur's main office (i.e. his car). She was attempting to keep a low profile, and doing a pretty good job of it, in her estimation that is, until her passenger door was pulled open and Don Lamb settled in beside her. His sudden, unexpected presence surprised her; although, when she thought about it, it really shouldn't. Lamb had gotten much better at keeping tabs on her the past few years. Finally, seemingly, gleaning a slight understanding about how her mind worked.

"Jesus, Lamb! Bell. Neck. You. Look into it!"

"Good morning to you too, Sunshine." He reached under the seat and pushed the chair back to accommodate his long legs.

"Don't get comfortable. Get out."

"Not happening, Mars."

She tried a different tact; an innocent 'I'm-not-up-to-anything' tact. "What're you doing out and about in this part of town, Lamb? Actually seeing you in an area that might suffer from a little crime – so not expected!"

"Bitch."

"Asshole." She paused, "and now that we've played our little name game, again I say: get out."

"What part of 'not happening' don't you understand?"

She sighed. "Why are you in my car?"

"Why is your car in Greystown on a Saturday morning before even God is awake?"

She used the excuse she'd prepared to share with anyone who questioned her presence. "I'm studying the plight of lower income/forgotten members of society. Just wanted to get some pictures of the area, the people; for my journalism class."

"NNNNGGGGGHHHHHHTTTTT!" Lamb buzzed loudly, "Sorry, please try again. And this time, include some of the truth in your answer."

"Whhhaa –?" She started to argue with him when a tap at her window caught her attention, she turned her head to find the barrel of a gun pointed directly at her.

The gloved hand holding the gun motioned for her to lower the window, which, being the authority loving figure that she was, she did with only the smallest complaint. "Shit."

"You can say that again." Lamb mumbled as she lowered her window.

A thin voice, slightly muffled behind a ski mask, demanded: "All right, get out. Both of uz." Their masked captor backed up a bit but kept the gun leveled at her.

Veronica glanced at Lamb as she slid her hand to her seatbelt. His eyes were glued to hers and he didn't take them off until he had opened the passenger door and climbed out.

"Leave yer purse in da' car." The masked man ordered as Veronica casually tried to reach for her satchel.

Well there goes the taser and the cell phone. She wondered if Lamb was carrying his gun with him. On a Saturday. His day off. At 430am. Crap.

With a quick glance up and down the street, their captor waved his gun at them and motioned for them both to head down the street; toward the Quick Liq parking lot.

Fuck! I'm never leaving my house without my gun again! Lamb thought as they walked. Having no gun, he offered up a feeble verbal attempt to free them. "Look, mister, I don't know what you want. Or who you think we are, but my girl and I were just meeting up before heading back to my place. We don't want any trouble."

Masked Man remained silent until they all reached the deserted parking lot. Deserted except for the one car she'd been trailing/chasing after for the past couple of days. Arthur Bowe's. She hated it when the people she was trying to catch caught her instead. It always made for a bad day.

Once they reached the car Arthur spoke again, "Okay stop."

He tossed a single key at them which she caught. With a flourish of his gun, he motioned for her to open the trunk.

Crap. Not good. Think, Mars. Her hands shook ever so slightly as she turned the key in the lock. You could toss the key away, but, she glanced back at Bowe, he still has a gun, and trunks are really only convenient for hiding bodies in. Guns are for killing. Not giving him access to the trunk wouldn't do much for their situation.

Standing aback after she had opened the behemoth of a trunk, she glanced at Bowe. He indicated she should toss the key back to him.

Giving it a soft lob she made certain the key landed a couple of feet away from him. Apparently, looks can be deceiving, because their captor didn't even flinch or attempt to collect the key. Instead, he reached into his lightweight dark jacket and pulled out something shiny. Shiny and silver.

Handcuffs. Two pairs.

Throwing one to Veronica, and the other set to Lamb, he ordered them to put them on.

"You know, silver really isn't my favorite color when it comes to jewelry."

"I couldz maybe give you something in the blood-red family." He lifted his gun a fraction.

" – on the other hand, a woman needs to learn to expand her horizons." Veronica slapped the metal links around her wrists."

"Good girl." He lifted his gaze to Don. "Now you pretty boy."

As Lamb placed one end of the bracelet around his right wrist, Bowe interrupted him. "Naw, naw! Put your arms around your girlfriend. We don't want her gettin' lonely now do we?"

"Look --."

"Sherriff, I don't have time for dis, it's gettin' bright out here. Put one arm over her shoulder and da other around her waist."

Bowe's use of Lamb's title didn't go unnoticed. Don just hoped that Bowe's knowledge that he was dealing with the local sheriff would deter him from doing anything really bad – like killing them.

Doing as he was told, Lamb stepped up behind Veronica and draped his right arm over her right shoulder.

"Like a pretzel. Yeah, dat's it."

Lamb bit back a retort as he slid his left hand underneath Veronica's shackled arms. Bringing his hands together he clicked the second cuff shut. Jesus Christ I'm a sick bastard. Facing probable death and all my stupid mind can focus on now is how close I am to her. How small she is. How soft.

"Dhere! Dat's all right. Now get in." Bowe gestured with the gun again, pointing them toward the open trunk.

"No way! Not happening! I'm not getting in there." The words were out of Veronica's mouth before she could think.

"Iz she always dis much trouble?"

Lamb smiled darkly and bit out "Always." But even as he said the word, he tightened his arms around her, silently trying to reassure her. He'd made the connection between her panicked proclamation and her fear of small spaces. The fear that Aaron Echolls had helped create. He wasn't sure how long he'd been aware of this little phobia of hers, but he'd seen her in situations in the past few years that had driven the knowledge home for him.

Bowe looked back at Veronica. "I'm sure your boyfriend here would prefer not to be packaged wid dead weight whilst his in da trunk, but if you prefer…?"

Veronica delivered a look that made most men she knew run in fear. Bowe laughed. She wound herself up to argue with him further, but Lamb tugged her closer to him and lowered his mouth to her ear. "You can do this Mars. We can do this. It'll be okay."

He could feel the tension seep out of her body and took the initiative to back them up to the mouth of the open trunk. Sitting himself on the edge of the bumper, he slid down into the trunk, edging Veronica in after him as gently as possible.

He curled into the hard, metal trunk and although Veronica could have conceivably stretched out almost fully, she was forced to curl her frame so that it was cupped by his. They shifted, uncomfortably for a few seconds – parts of their bodies touching and brushing against one another that had never been in contact before. She'd just settled her neck against his arm when Bowe leaned over their prone forms and reached up for the hood.

"Now make yerselves comfortable in dhere, we got a bits of a ride ahead of us." And with that he slammed the trunk shut, leaving them in darkness.

tpod tpod tpod tpod tpod tpod

So, yeah, once again, Lamb had screwed things up for her. Veronica held her body rigidly as she silently fumed. If he hadn't distracted her, Bowe wouldn't have been able to sneak up on her, and then he wouldn't have put a gun to her head, and most definitely, she wouldn't be stuck in the trunk of a car – with Lamb.

She took a calming breath. She hated being in small spaces. Small enclosed spaces. At least she wasn't hyperventilating this time; which, actually, was odd. She didn't even like getting into elevators anymore. Especially crowded elevators, and yet, here she was, uncomfortably squished next to the town idiot (Dick's face flashed through her mind) – okay, the heir to the throne of town idiocy – and she wasn't panicking.

Encaged with one Don Lamb in a small space, and she almost felt safe.

Almost.

She closed her eyes and opened her mouth. "So, do you have any idea where we are?

"The trunk of a yellow 1972 Cadillac."

"Hmm, and to think I've always thought you to be useless."

He chuckled and a small puff of his breath brushed against her ear.

"Do you have any idea where the aforementioned yellow 1972 Cadillac is?"

Lamb carefully tilted his arm and clicked a button on his watch – blue green light filled the cabin. "We've been traveling for roughly 20 minutes… east I think, so that puts us somewhere around Devon or maybe Shasta."

"Are there any bodies of water in Devon or Shasta big enough to, say, lose a Cadillac in?"

"Not a one. Desert towns. They don't even have enough water in them to lose the tires of a Cadillac in."

She sighed. "So what other horrible means of death could he have in mind for us?"

"There's always straight up suffocation."

Veronica lifted her arms, and consequently Lamb's, and ran her fingers over a series of small holes in the trunk. They were big enough to allow air in, and small rays of illumination. Not enough to make the space bright and lit, but big enough to make the darkness of the trunk less inky.

"Okay, so not suffocation. He could have a big hole in the ground to dump us in. Cover it up with earth…."

"New topic!" She stopped him and lowered her hand, tucking both of their arms back around her frame.

"How about we come up with a plan, Mars. An escape plan."

"Brilliant. You first."

"What!? Miss-Nancy-Drew-know-it-all doesn't have a blowtorch hidden in her pocket? A contingency plan to wiggle her way out of yet another dire situation?"

"I left my blowtorch in my purse back at my car." She responded dryly.

And again with the chuckle and small warm burst of breath against her skin – really, it was kind of irritating.

"This is YOUR fault you know."

Lamb lifted his head slightly, "My fault? You want to try that again?"

"Bowe recognized you 'Sheriff Lamb'. Not me. Ergo, if you weren't pestering me this morning, we wouldn't be in this predicament."

"So, you're not going to take any responsibility for being in Greystown to begin with? Or for, once again, sticking your nose into business that is most definitely not your business?"

"I hate to play a broken record for you but: 'I was, once again, doing your job, Lamb. Staking out the bad guy, getting photos of the bad guy, you know… working'."

Lamb opened his mouth to tell Veronica about the tap his department had put on Bowe's phone a few weeks ago, but he paused as the car slowed and slowly squealed to a stop. Feeling Veronica's quick intake of breath, he wrapped his arms a little closer around her. She was a perpetual pain in the ass, but he'd do whatever he could to prevent her being hurt. Protection, that was his job after all.

They both felt the subtle rocking of the car, and then heard the slam of a car door. They could make out the faint sound of footsteps against gravel, and then, the sound stopped. Just outside the back of the car.

Two loud thumps on the metal hood made them both jump.

"Alrights uz twos. You just stay nice and cozy in dhere for a while. I'll make a call in a few hours and let someone know you're here. Until den, don't do nuthin' I wouldn't doos." Bowe laughed and began to whistle as he walked away. Now all he needed to do is catch a cab, and head to the airport. He hadn't planned to go to the Caymans for another couple of weeks, but sight of the Sheriff this morning had moved his plans up a bit. He'd be in the lap of luxury in a few hours. Him, the quarter million he'd saved up, and his big beautiful queen, LaSheena.

Bowes walked down a side street in Shasta CA, rubbing his hands together happily as he headed off to his new life. And out of Neptune for good.

tpod tpod tpod tpod tpod tpod

Lamb couldn't believe his luck. Their luck. "Christ Mars! How do you do it!?"

"Do what?" She responded numbly, she was still in shock. Would Bowe really 'call someone' and have them released in a few hours?

"Wiggle your way out of every fucking bad situation that comes your way."

A little bit of euphoria seeped into her bones. "What? You can't see my magic force field? Bullets, knives, and bad men just bounce right off? Can't get within 2 feet of me!"

He smiled at her gleeful tone. And then the words were out of his mouth before he knew what he was saying. "See, I told you I'm not a bad man – I'm definitely inside that 2 foot zone."

She was suddenly aware of his hands, one curled at her waist, the other on her hip. And she was suddenly very aware of his whole frame, larger than hers, firmer than hers, pressed against hers. And then, there was his damn breath gracing the curve of her cheek, the line of her jaw. She was super, hyper, extensively 'aware'. And she was silent.

Lamb half expected Mars to pinch him, or elbow him, or somehow or other attempt to maim him. But he wasn't expecting silence. Mars didn't do silence. She did glib remarks, biting remarks, attacking remarks. She did all of that, but not silence. Her silence spoke in ways her words never did.

The slight clink of silver chains was the only sound that he made as he smoothed his hand along the curve of her hip.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he wanted to talk to her. To tell her he was sorry for being such a jerk to her for the past seven years. To tell her that he was sorry that she'd been hurt by him, and by others. To tell her that he wouldn't hurt her again.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he wanted to talk to her. But he was afraid to break the silence. Blessed silence.

Veronica held her breath; scared to make a sound. Afraid to disturb the warmth that was suddenly surrounding her, suddenly melting through her nerve endings. Dreams of Lamb touching her flitted though her mind. Dreams she hadn't had since she was a pubescent girl, blushing and teasing her father's deputy. Dreams she hadn't dared to think about in years.

Suddenly his warm breath left her cheek and she could feel his head nuzzling lower against her until his lips brushed her neck.

Don Lamb's lips are touching my neck. Was it a mistake? And then they moved against her skin again. A kiss? A caress?

Somewhere in the back of her mind, she knew she should be rigid, fighting, struggling against him – against this 'whatever this was' – but instead, she was dissolving, melting. She stretched her neck, tilting her head backward a bit, giving him further access to the sensitive skin at her throat.

That little head tilt was all Lamb needed, the only encouragement his mind needed to completely shut off and give in to the dreams he'd had. And it was appropriate in many ways. Those dreams of her and him, together, coupled, only came to him at night. In the midst of darkness. It was appropriate that now, with her body pressed against his, in the dark, that his dreams would surface and take over.

He trailed his left hand back up over the curve of her hip, letting his fingers curl under the hem of her shirt to trace the human silk that lay beneath.

Veronica's stomach muscles tightened beneath his fingers; an involuntary reaction to touch and pleasure. And it was pleasure. Veronica's body was suddenly on edge, anticipating heat and delicious bliss. It was rare for her to turn off her thoughts, to give in totally and completely to what her emotions and body wanted. It was very rare. But here she was; alone in the dark with an ex-friend. And she was giving in – totally and completely.

He momentarily stopped his tender ministrations when he felt her tentative touch on his hand, but when she soothed her fingers along the back of his hand, the fleeting tension in his body faded away. He traced a finger along her navel and smiled at the soft hitch in her breathing.

Sheer and utter madness. She knew this was insane. She knew she'd probably regret this moment as soon as it had passed. But it hadn't passed, not yet. She was lost, in the dark, with Lamb, and she was reveling in the sensations.

Applying pressure, Veronica slid their joined hands down to the edge of her jeans, her back curved against his chest and she felt the burgeoning, hard, proof of his interest in their activities.

Lamb took her cue and deftly unbuttoned the top button of her jeans, groaning quietly as her ass pressed against him. Dipping his fingers beneath the supple denim he encountered the thin cotton of her panties. Taking a breath, he edged his fingers beneath the elastic.

A soft curse fell from Veronica's lips as Lamb's fingers delved downwards. She slowly raised her left leg, coiling it over Lamb's thighs, giving him easier access to the heat that lay between her legs.

His index fingers skimmed along the trimmed covering of soft curls before taking advantage of the moist warmth that was being offered to him.

His mouth nibbled at the soft skin that graced the column of her neck. Salt and sugar greeted his lips. And that was Veronica all over, sweet and bitter, soft curves and hard edges, ice cold queen and scorching hot seductress. She was especially scorching hot between her thighs.

As first one and then another finger slid into her, he stroked his thumb against the tight little collection of nerves. She arched against his hand seemingly desperate for more contact. Within seconds, his fingers were slicked in her wetness, coated in the arousal that he was slowly drowning in the scent of.

Tilting her head to the side she let her lips sweep across his forehead, a move that shocked him more than her parting her legs for him had. He lifted his head in the faint grey of the trunk and peered into her eyes before pressing his lips to hers.

It was a soft kiss. A kiss protected by darkness; they both knew that the light of day would destroy the delicate web of understanding that was being weaved between them.

As he nipped at her lower lip, teasing it with his tongue and his teeth, Lamb curled his fingers upwards as he stroked into her. She arched against his hand; her body echoing the strokes of his fingers.

They were connected, at the lips, at her center, for minutes – with Lamb bringing her just to the edge, then pulling her back, time after time. It wasn't until she'd reached the peak, once again, and whispered his name, that he finally pressed his thumb against her clit as his fingers curved inside of her. The simultaneous, continual pressure of his questing fingers finally sent her over the edge; into the promised delicious bliss.

Don withdrew his hand from between Veronica's legs, wishing he was strong enough to break free of the manacles on his wrists. Wishing that he could lift his hand to his lips and taste her essence.

He settled for bringing his head closer to hers, and looking into her eyes in the dim, dim light.

As she faded back to reality Veronica's eyes fluttered open, and in the faint grey of the car trunk she saw the shadow of Lamb's face, staring down at her. She didn't know what to say to him. She didn't know if there was anything to say. So she simply smiled, hoping he could see it, and that it would be enough.

Shifting back onto her side, Veronica closed her eyes and listened to the sound of Don Lamb breathing.

tpod tpod tpod tpod tpod tpod

"Hello!"

Veronica and Lamb woke with a start, both of them moaning at the cramps raging through their limbs.

"Hello!"

A voice was calling to them from outside of the car.

They raised their hands in tandem to hit the hood and yelled out.

"In here!"

"We're in here!"

"Help!"

"Their in this one. Over here boys."

A minute or two later, and a drill bit broke through the car lock, and the hood was lifted.

Sunlight poured down on Veronica and Lamb, curving around and over the three figures of the Shasta sheriff's officers who peered down at them.

"Well what do you know? It wasn't a prank call." One of them said.

"Welcome to Shasta. Boys someone get those cuffs off of our visitors, then let's get them down to the department for a little chat." As he spoke, the sheriff, moved away from the car, letting his 'boys' take care of the 'visitors'.

Within seconds, the officers were moving, and talking, and disconnecting Lamb and Veronica. As they helped them climb out of the cramped space, Veronica and Lamb both blinked at the sunlight that pushed against their eyes.

Through the din, and the light, and the cramped legs, Veronica and Lamb studiously avoided looking at one another. That is, they avoided looking at one another until they both heard, over and around the din, the sound of the sheriff singing softly: I once was lost, but now am found… was blind, but now I see….

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The end?