For my sake, and for the sake of this idea that I had that I really like, we're just going to say that Courtney wasn't voted off. I hardly think anyone's going to mind, really. And if you do…suck it up.


To be completely honest, I didn't actually think she'd come. I mean sure, I whispered a suggestion to meet me in the woods at midnight on the sly, right before she took off to her own cabin and Geoff and DJ came at me with knowing grins. But the chances of Princess ruining her perfect reputation any more than she already had (projectile vomiting is no one's best feature) were slim to none in my mind. Given an entire hour to come down from her badass high before midnight, I was almost positive she wouldn't be making an appearance in the woods that night. Hell, she was probably in her cabin beating herself up over that kiss on the porch – or if you ask me, over the fact that that kiss on the porch was on camera. They girl obviously wanted me, but I'm pretty sure her straight laced side was my greatest rival right then. Other guys I can handle easy. The thought process of a stubborn princess? Not so much.

But I went out there anyways. To the woods. After all, you can't blame a guy for trying, even when the odds are against him. I found a sturdy log not too far into the forest and sat down, figuring I'd wait maybe ten minutes before giving up. Sure, Courtney was into me and I didn't want to disappoint on the off chance that she showed up, but hell if I was gonna look desperate…even if there weren't any witnesses.

So imagine my surprise when I heard a rustle in the bushes, and suddenly Courtney herself stepped into the clearing, pulling a stray leaf out of her hair with a dismissive hmph.

"Could you possibly have chosen a more difficult area to find for a midnight meeting?" she hissed as soon as she was close enough for me to hear her.

"Aw, what's wrong Princess?" I raised an eyebrow at her and gestured to the space beside me on the log. "Did you break a nail? Wanna talk it out?"

"I think I'll pass," she hit me with one of her laser beam stares that I swear is gonna set my hair on fire one of these days. "And could you get any more vague? Meet me in the woods at midnight? Do you have any idea how big the forest is? I could've searched all night and still not have found you."

"Wow, I didn't realize you were so dedicated," I shot back. She really didn't look like she was gonna sit down any time soon; instead she decided to lean against one of the massive trees that surrounded us, close enough for me to hear her irritated but hushed tones, yet still putting some space between us. Inspired, I got up and moved closer to her defensive, arms-crossed, tough-and-independent-woman type figure – with, I'd like to add, a killer ass.

"I'm not," she muttered, like she was trying to convince herself as well as me.

"I had to make sure the camera crew didn't think anything was up," I explained, moving in close enough to make her squirm a little. My right arm went up over her head, supporting my weight on the tree trunk as I hung over her and leaned even closer. Meanwhile, my free left hand hooked one of the belt loops of her Capri's with the pinky while my thumb brushed against the barely exposed skin of her hips. "I'm sure you wouldn't want this next part on national TV…"

"Oh, keep your hands to yourself, Pig," she snapped suddenly, planting both hands on my chest and shoving me away forcefully. I was only a little surprised by her reaction. Just my luck that she'd come down from her rule breaker high now. More than anything else, though, the challenge she presented made me grin.

"Isn't that why you're here, Princess?" I asked, my full smile dimming to a knowing smirk that would probably just aggravate her that much more. She stalked away and I turned to follow her with my gaze as she went, leaning back against the tree I'd had her pressed up on moments before. Out of what I think was supposed to be spite, she decided to take my spot on the log, legs outstretched across the full length of it so I couldn't join her.

"I…" she faltered for a second, but then her brain caught up with her mouth and she gave me the best classic indignant look she could work up under the circumstances. "Maybe I just wanted to talk strategy with you, Duncan. Ever think about that?" Then she let out one of the prissiest little sniffs I've ever heard in my life, and I couldn't stop myself from doubling over with laughter.

"Strategy?" That's the best you can come up with?" Her eyes darkened and she moved to get up.

I liked where that was going.

"For your information, you…you Neanderthal," she rose from the log and was in my face before I could blink, "carefully planned strategy is crucial to-"

"Scoring?" I provided with an easy smile.

"Winning," she growled at me, her entire body centimeters away from mine. I could practically feel the frustrated heat radiating from her, which wasn't surprising considering how worked up she always got around me. I didn't say anything; just kept on smiling. Sometimes letting things marinate in silence does more than any spoken retort. Courtney's eyes held mine for a good ten seconds before they started darting around, taking in the close proximity of our faces for the first time.

"Personal bubble invasion much, Princess?" I mocked, raising my voice a few octaves to imitate her own. Pink sprung to the surface of her cheeks and she started to take a flustered step away from me.

"Well it's not like I was trying to-"

"Yeah, you were." And that's about the time I grabbed her arm, pulled her back to me, and kissed her. Sure, she fought a little when I first took hold of her, but as soon as her body pressed against mine, as soon as I moved my fingers through her hair and pressed her lips to mine, she was gone.

And surprisingly, so was I.

I don't usually put much thought into kissing a girl. It's more like, Okay, I'm kissing a pretty hot chick. Damn, she has a nice ass…rack's not too bad either. And while Courtney's ass and rack were pretty desirable, I actually found that I was somehow losing myself in the kiss. All things considered, it was a pretty generically good one; just enough pressure, a little tongue. But I don't think I've ever gotten so caught up in just kissing a girl, in feeling the kiss.

That is, until I suddenly felt a small hand sliding down my back and into my pants. Nothing brings you back to earth like a nice, firm ass-squeeze from the most straight laced girl you've ever met. I jerked away from her, completely thrown.

"What was that?" I asked, not angry, just caught off guard. She could read it on my face apparently, because she just smiled and moved towards me again. There was a burning in her eyes, and not the usual irritation kind. I'd recognize Badass Mode Courtney anywhere. It was sexy as hell, just to start.

"Oh, c'mon Duncan, don't tell me you didn't like it," she replied, resting her hands on the bottom of my shirt. They didn't say there long, though; in a moment they were moving up my abs. A little close to the belt buckle, too.

"Sure," I told her, taking a chance and putting my hands on her waist. She didn't seem to mind, "but what happened to Innocent Courtney?"

"Don't flatter yourself with the delusion that you're the only guy I've ever been with," Courtney ran her fingertips along the top of my pants and raised the other to touch my cheek, "and don't start thinking that you know everything about me from a couple of kisses."

That much blood rushing south could not be healthy.

"Well alright then, Princess," I leaned in to whisper in her ear. "Show me what you've got."

Holding down my surprise when she angled her head slightly, bit my ear, and practically purred, "You asked for it," was a lot harder than it sounds.

And then just as I was about to go in for another kiss, she pulled back and smiled at me, that ever-ready, indignant smile.

"Maybe another time, though. It's getting late," she said, punctuating her words with a yawn for dramatic effect, "and we have a challenge tomorrow. And as much as I'd enjoy kicking your butt for making us lose, I'd rather just win and be done with it." Without even a lingering stare, or whatever the hell it is girls usually do after something like that, she started heading back to the camp.

"Kick my ass or grab it? You seem fond of both!" I called after her. She didn't even turn around.



That girl was driving me crazy…and I wasn't complaining.