So how many were impressed by my rather speedy review responses to the last batch of fics I posted?? LoL! I'm gonna try and keep up with them from now on, I swear! But in case I don't, you guys know I always appreciate reviews and feedback, so just keep them coming! ;D



The dull thud of raindrops had grown to a constant drumming against the window over the bed, but Vala realized it was the absence of Daniel next to her that had woken her up. She pushed herself up on one arm, drawing the comforter to her chest with the other.

"Daniel?" She called out softly. When no response came, Vala shifted off the bed. Releasing her grip on the comforter, she stepped over to Daniel's dresser. She pulled open the second drawer down and tugged out a t-shirt.

Vala slipped it on and headed out the bedroom door. The hallway was half illuminated by the light over the kitchen stove, so she figured that's where Daniel had snuck off to.

Stepping out from the hallway, she stopped when she saw him. Leaning down against the counter on his elbows, Daniel had his back to her. And even in the poor orange light, Vala could see the definition of his muscles under bronzed skin. Her eyes trailed down his back, to where the edge of his pajama pants clung to his hips. From the angle he was standing at, Vala was getting a rather spectacular view of Daniel's ass.

The sensation of having such a toned and hardened body under her fingertips just a few hours before came back. The remembered feeling of having his muscles work beneath her desperate grasp while he'd thrust into her was an intoxicating thing, and Vala had to lean against the wall to keep from swaying.

She now understood why all those women who'd claimed to have had him practically drooled when he'd walk by. Daniel was definitely very skilled when it came to the bedroom two step. Hell, she'd had him one time and she was already fantasizing over the experience.

And Vala felt a part of her, at least, should be feeling trashy now that she was another one of those women. Daniel had her in his bed just a half hour after confessing his love for her, and now she was barely concealing herself with one of his shirts…

But she knew this was different. Daniel had been so hesitant to take her, prolonging the foreplay and kissing in an attempt to show it wasn't just about the sex. When he'd finally gotten down to business and pushed inside her, Daniel had kept the rhythm slow and steady. It wasn't just a fuck, but love-making. Something Vala could tell he hadn't done in a very long time.

The thought made her smile dopily. She wasn't just another to him, and he'd done so well to prove it in the hours since the incident at the bar.

"You gonna stand there all night?" Vala finally called out to him, making Daniel jump a fraction. When he looked over his shoulder at her, she grinned. "Not that the view is bad or anythin' like that."

A smile came slowly, but his eyes looked a little guilty. "Did I wake you? I was tryin' to be quiet."

Vala pushed off the wall, shaking her head. "You were plenty quiet." She began to casually make her way over to him. "It was the fact that you weren't in bed anymore that woke me." Stopping behind him, she ran a hand up and down his back. "What're you doin' out here anyways?"

"Uh, well…" Daniel shifted so he was facing her, his back pressed against the counter. That's when Vala finally noticed the ice pack he was holding to his cheek. He gave her an almost embarrassed look. "Nursin' my wound?"

Her grey eyes widened at remembering the punch he'd taken. "Oh Daniel, I forgot about that!" She stepped up tight against his chest, pulling his hand and the ice pack away to examine his face. "Damn, that's nasty lookin'." Her fingers ghosted over the purplish bruise.

Daniel winced even though her touch was feather light. Vala pulled her hand away. "Guess Bobby can throw a hell of a punch, drunk and all, huh?" When his blue eyes just continued to watch her, she gave a faulty smile. "I s'pose the slap I gave you didn't help much either."

As Vala eased his hand holding the pack back to his cheek, her other hand fingering the hair around his right ear, Daniel gave her the most pitiful gaze.

"I'm sorry." He whispered, the embarrassment clear as day now.

Vala frowned. "Whatever for?"

Taking her hand toying with his hair, Daniel gazed down at it shamefully. "I made a fool outta myself tonight." He softly stroked his thumb over the back of her hand. "I embarrassed you in front of everyone. I lost my temper and it hurt you."

He laughed nervously. "One helluva way to start off bein' your guy."

Heart fluttering at the 'your guy' part, Vala couldn't help but smile at the adorable nature of the man before her. For everyone to see, he was the tough redneck. But she'd already seen another side of Daniel – the tender, repenting man who wanted to love but had never had the right person to do it with.

Vala was aware now that he was hoping she was the right person. She hoped she was too.

"So it wasn't all poetic or anythin'…" She admitted to him, pulling her hand from his grasp. Placing her fingers under his chin, Vala tilted his gaze up to meet hers. "But it was enough. I'm here, ain't I?"

He shook his head. "Yeah, but…"

Her finger was at his lips, quieting him. "No buts. If I hadn't found it to be enough and didn't want to be here, doin' what we did tonight, I wouldn't've left with you." Vala smiled again, shrugging. "And to be quite honest with you, if I hadn't been so damn pissed, I'd have found it to be romantic."

A grin fought to break free across Daniel's face – or at least the half she could see. "You find me beatin' a man senseless romantic?"

"You could've used some different wordin', and it definitely wasn't any Shakespeare." Vala informed him, trying to sound as serious as possible. "But yeah…" She nodded. "Yeah, it was romantic. I mean, you were defendin' my honor."

Daniel wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her tight against him. "I really didn't like what he was sayin' 'bout you. To imply you're just like all those others…" Pulling the ice pack away from his face, he leaned in to kiss her. "Stupid prick." He muttered against her lips.

Hoping to get his thoughts off Bobby and the events at the bar, Vala deepened the kiss and wrapped an arm around his neck. She grinned against him when the sound of the ice pack hitting the floor erupted through the kitchen, followed by his hand working up her back, under the shirt she'd borrowed.

He easily maneuvered her around so her back was to the counter, and then brought his hands to her hips. Vala let him hoist her onto of the cool surface, wrapping her legs around his upper thighs. All the while, they continued to kiss and nip at each other's lips.

Things were starting to heat up, one of Daniel's hands sliding up the inside of her thigh, when the front door flew open. Still wrapped up in each other, the two didn't notice Cameron had been the one to barge in until-

"Hey gu- whoa!" His shout of surprise echoed around the kitchen and living room, and startled Daniel and Vala from their kissing. They looked at him in bewilderment.

Holding one hand over his eyes, Cam waved in their general direction. "Y'all two need to warn a guy!"

Daniel pulled Vala down from the counter, glaring at his friend. "And you need to stop just bustin' into this house… especially now."

"Now what?" Cam's hand fell away and he looked at them with curiosity. When Daniel wrapped an arm around Vala's waist, drawing her back against his chest possessively, it clicked. "Oh, so I'm guessin' you two've…" He grinned and nodded.

Blue eyes stared daggers at Cameron. "That's none of your business."

"Well, it's my house too…" Cam challenged with an even bigger grin, bouncing on the balls of his feet.

Vala spoke up before Daniel had a chance to let his temper free again. It was obvious their friend had continued to partake in the festivities after they'd left, and Cam wasn't a very observant drunk. "Is there a reason you've barged in and interrupted us?" She knew it was a little more edgy than he deserved, but he had interrupted what she was sure would've been another memorable moment.

"Actually, yes there-" Cam looked at her, and then really looked at her. His slightly unfocused blue eyes raked up and down her semi-naked body. "Damn, cowgirl…you've sure got-"

"Why are you here, Cam?" Daniel's voice was loud and annoyed as he tugged Vala behind him. She had to press her face into his back to keep from giggling. It was actually quite amusing to watch Daniel get territorial with Cameron… a drunken Cameron.

Dripping wet from the downpour outside, Cam stepped closer to them. All humor was gone from his face. "He's on his way into town. Sam said she saw him while on her way back to Stoley's from Shelby."

He stopped right in front of them. "Roland's back."


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