Sorry for the extreeeeemely late update, but I hope you enjoy. Thank you so much for sticking with me and thank you for PMing and reviewing to encourage the continuation of this story. I'm going to try and update this a little more this year. Slow and steady, but still updating! :)


Chapter 10

Boards and Brunch

Sara smiled in her bed the next morning, still asleep and loving every last thought that ran through her mind. She took a deep breath and sighed before she opened her eyes for the first time that day and happily stared out the bedroom window. Plenty of snow still on the ground, the sun hit it in such a way she couldn't resist the thought of carving it up on the slopes.

"Sara, are you up," Cameron asked through the closed door. "Jason's ready to go. We're just waiting on you."

"Yeah, I'll be out in ten," she said as she sat up in the bed.

"Okay," Cameron said as she walked away from the door.

Sara continued to smile and stare out the window, thoughts of the previous night fluttering through her head.

She chuckled and got to her feet, shuffling toward her clothes.

I love Vermont, she thought with a huge grin on her face.

Rick pounded on Catherine's hotel room door and ordered her to let him in.

"I'm not ready," she yelled out to him with a groggy voice.

"That's why I'm here. To make sure you get ready...now! ...So open up."

She groaned and dragged herself out of bed and to the door.

"This friendship thing is becoming a real hassle for me," she said as she opened the door.

He smiled and looked over her tired features and tangled hair.

"I take it you had a great time last night," he snickered.

"I did. I just wish I'd gotten laid. Then I'd have more to smile about."

"Well, you can smile about snowboarding, can't you? That's what's on schedule for today. Brunch at the lodge about half an hour from here."

"Great, because that's just what I needed. A chance to embarrass myself in front of everyone and chap my ass on freezing terrain," she sarcastically said as she stepped away from the door.

Rick stepped inside the room, a smile still on his face, and wrapped his arm around her shoulders.

"Oh, come on. How bad could it be? You take a spill like most of us there and you have a good laugh. Snowboarding is the perfect way to wrap up a great get-together, especially since none of us here will see you for a while."

She sighed.

"Good point."

She rubbed her face and tried to wake herself up within a matter of minutes.

"I'm gonna take a shower. Feel free to enjoy the television while I do that and don't even think about walking in on me."

"There are locks on the bathroom doors, you know."

"Have you ever known me to lock the door?"

"That's true. I never understood that about you, though."

"It's simple...if I'm going to take a shower with someone else in the room, I trust them enough to either let them see me in the shower or I trust they'll keep away from me in the shower."

"And you expect me to keep away?"

"Years have passed, Rick. I'm really not as good looking naked as I used to be. I would hope you'd like to remember me fantasy wise in the best condition possible."

"Well, you might not look the same...but I sure as hell still want to see you wet and naked," he grinned.

She smiled.

"Oddly enough, that actually makes me feel better about myself."

"Glad to help."

She laughed and shook her head as she disappeared into the bathroom.

"Promise me you won't come in here," she asked through the door. "It's a big thing for me to trust you after everything we've been through, you know."

"I know. You have my word. I'll keep to myself on this side of the door."

"Thank you."


"Who's ready to go boarding," Jason asked as the wedding party gathered at the ski resort's front doors.

"Bring it," Sara smiled before she looked over at Cameron.

"Oh, did I just hear a challenge," Cameron asked with a tiny grin.

"Maybe," Sara smirked. "Unless you don't think you can handle my mad skills."

Catherine shook her head and laughed, as did the rest of the group.

Within twenty-five minutes, the lot of them had their gear and day passes and were ready to head out. Catherine grew more and more nervous by the second, her hand reaching out to grab Sara's as they headed toward the first ski lift.

Sara smiled as she stared ahead when she felt Catherine's fingers lace with hers. She lightly squeezed Catherine's hand to comfort her. Catherine looked at Sara and leaned in to give her a peck on the cheek. The sweet and simple gesture gave the brunette goose bumps.

"Get a room," Rick teased from behind them.

When Catherine looked back at him, he only smiled and she couldn't resist the urge to playfully slap him on his arm and chest.

Sara lightly laughed and kissed Catherine on the cheek before she could turn back around.

"Now I think I'm gonna barf. All this lovey dovey affection is killing me."

"You know you're a sucker for it," Sara said as she watched Catherine giggle beside her.

Cameron shook her head with a wide smile spread across her face as Jason wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her closer.

"Are you guys even a couple," Danny asked.

Sara and Catherine looked at each other.

"No," they simultaneously answered.

"You sure as hell act like it," Martha piped up behind them.

Chelsea smiled.

"I think it's cute. Just because they're getting along as well as they are, doesn't mean it needs to be anything more than what it is."

"Little Miss Young Love over here," Danielle joked as she hitched a thumb over her shoulder at Chelsea.

Max chuckled.

"Let's just enjoy the day ahead of us and not worry about semantics."

"Here, here," Jason shot a fist in the air.

Cameron laughed and gently slapped his back.

"Dork."

"That's what you love most about me, isn't it...Mrs. Dork."

Sara's smile widened.

Catherine leaned in and whispered in her hear.

"I can't wait until we're alone so I can show you what I love about you."

Sara bit her lip and tightened her grip on Catherine's hand.

"Something tells me there's a lot to love, even though I'm not sure I agree," Sara replied.

"Hmmm, sounds like you need me to teach you," Catherine started to purr.

Sara snickered.

"You'll be the best damn teacher I've ever had. I can tell."

Catherine laughed.

"I hope this lasts even after we get back home."

Sara wanted to nod or promise it would, but the fear of becoming her schizophrenic mother reared its ugly head. She couldn't escape her past, no matter how hard she tried, she always knew she'd find some way to screw up everything amazing about her life. She knew she'd find a way to keep herself distant and miserable like her mother always bitterly warned.

"Are you okay," Catherine asked as she felt Sara's hand shake.

"Uh, yeah. I just...had a bad thought."

"Something I said," Catherine started to worry.

"No, I just...it's me. ...Don't worry about it."

Sara smiled again and looked into Catherine's eyes. She tugged Catherine toward the ski lift and got on a bench. Half way to the top of the lift, Sara leaned over and chastely kissed Catherine on the lips. They stayed connected by their lips for a good fifteen seconds before Sara put her hand on Catherine's jaw and a more powerful kiss ensued.

Sara's tongue timidly slithered out toward Catherine's lips, but at the last second retreated. Her hand fell from Catherine's jaw to her waist as their lips pressed harder against each other with every movement they made. But her tongue craved contact and slithered out again to meet Catherine's tongue. When the tips of their tongues touched, both women moaned and moved closer to the other, Sara's hand more anxious than her mouth as it slid lower onto Catherine's thigh. Her hand pushed back and forth at a tantalizingly slow motion and, for the life of her, Catherine couldn't help but moan even longer than the first time.

But the two weren't alone, or even inside, as the cool breeze reminded Sara all too briskly. She slowly broke their kiss and took her time removing her hands from Catherine's body. She wanted more, but it would have to wait.

Catherine knew that too as she accepted Sara's decision to stop her ministrations. She gently gripped Sara's wrist and the two smiled at each other when they made eye contact once again.

They silently moved closer to the rest of the group as all of them embarked upon the first slope of the day.

Admittedly, Catherine had never gone snowboarding in her life. She was born and raised in Las Vegas and never even knew weather below seventy degrees unless it came from her air conditioner in the dead of a Vegas summer. She knew she was going to make a fool of herself, but being with Sara made her want to shake away the insecurity. She knew she'd have a much better time if she could laugh it off and she'd never really been one to live in her head as much as she had during that weekend.

"You look nervous," Sara said as she lightly shook Catherine's hand in hers.

"I'm trying not to be. I'm not used to being self-conscious."

Sara smiled.

"You'll be fine. So what if you fall, right? I'm sure at least one other person here is gonna be sprawled out in the snow today," the brunette joked.

"Thanks."

"And if you really need help doing anything, you can lean on me...literally."

"Really?"

"Of course."

"I mean, you're good at this?"

"I'm good at surfing. It's not much different and I can balance pretty well so if you trip into me, I can keep us upright."

"You sure about that?"

"I'm about ninety percent sure," Sara grinned.

Catherine laughed.

"I guess we'll be testing that ninety percent soon," Catherine said as she stared up the slope, the two of them waiting in the short line at the chairlift.

Cameron and Jason were the first in line out of the group followed by Danielle, Chelsea, and Martha. Rick, Danny, and Max were mingling with the ladies as Sara and Catherine stayed behind the heard.

It didn't take long for all of them to take their seats on the lift and get hoisted toward the top of the slope. Each slope, for legal purposes, was marked with the proper level requirements of that specific terrain. The steeper the slope with more moguls throughout the decent toward the lodge, the higher the level requirement such as a black diamond, level six, or the seventh and final level.

As Sara and Catherine sat patiently on the lift during its slow ascension to the top, Sara noticed the slope was marked with a green square: level four. Since Catherine didn't know how to snowboard, she figured the redhead would have a difficult time riding down that slope. The steepness would be minimal for the rest of the group, including Sara, but it would surely cause Catherine to go a bit fast for her novice comfort.

"Okay, so I think I'm gonna have to teach you a few things on the way down the slope. Is that, okay?"

"That's more than okay," Catherine said. "But I thought you said you didn't snowboard."

"I don't, but I'm observant and I've picked up a couple of tips."

"All right. How bad is it going to be?"

"Not bad. All you have to do is relax. I'm gonna show you how to stop and the real trick behind not falling is to distribute your weight accordingly. Most of your weight should be placed on your back foot and you've got to lean back with the wind resistance just a bit."

"That sounds complicated."

Sara chuckled.

"You'll be fine. You'll see. It sounds troubling, but it'll feel right not awkward. You'll know what to do or at least your body will."

"Okay, but, um, Sara?"

"Yeah?"

"How do I get off this thing," Catherine nervously asked as she pointed to the near end of the lift at the top of the slope.

"Uh, well, you've got to put your back foot, the one that's not in the foot look on the board, in the middle of the board. You're gonna gently glide off the lift and ride across the snow like your foot is actually secured on the board like your front foot."

Sara took one of Catherine's hands and helped her off the lift, her back to the older woman as she guided them both around the corner to the landing at the top of the slope. Sara helped Catherine like the throughout the day as she taught her all the basics she could for the sport.

The group had split up shortly after the first hour and Catherine and Sara were off in their own world as the redhead started to get better control of her balance as she slid down the slopes like a woman who'd been through a couple professionally taught lessons.

With Sara's hand always at the ready to help Catherine, she never fell the entire time they were out there. Unfortunately, after what felt like a short lived two and half hours, Catherine had to call it quits. It was too cold for her to feel the harsh wind slap her in the face over and over again. Her eyes were watery from the severe conditions and her face felt stiff and dry. Her lips were turning blue as they chapped and her hands were shaking underneath the thin material of her black gloves.

Though Sara was a bit of a stranger to the cool as well, she still had at least another hour in her before she felt she might need to throw in the towel, but she could tell Catherine was tired. So she got Catherine back to the lodge in one piece within a matter of minutes and ordered her friend a hot chocolate.

"Thank you," Catherine said as she tried to keep her teeth from chattering.

"No problem."

"Today was great. I know everyone else is still out there having a good time, probably joking around with each other, making someone fall or playing some kind of snowboarding game like racing down the slope or something, but I really appreciate you sticking with me."

"Of course. Where else would I be," Sara beamed.

Catherine started to blush. She hadn't felt that way in a long time, taken care of. Had she been there on the slopes by herself she would've been able to pick herself up just fine and brush herself off without a second thought, but having Sara help her through everything, having someone there make sure she got what she wanted out of her time in the snow, she couldn't have pictured a better day spent with someone she cared about the way she started to recognize she cared about Sara.

"Take me back to the hotel," Catherine blurted as she intensely stared at Sara as they stood beside each other at a bar-style counter.

"I thought you were having a good time," Sara asked as she frowned, worried she'd done something to ruin Catherine's day.

Catherine shook her head.

"Take me to bed," she rephrased, still as serious as she was the first time.

Sara furrowed her brow as she looked over Catherine's face a second time. It was then she picked up on the way Catherine's eyes darkened with desire, a twinkle in them as she hoped the brunette would satisfy her request. It was then she realized Catherine's body language, at attention and ready to go as her chest rose and fell at a more erratic pace than usual.

"Oh," Sara simply stated as her eyes widened through her recognition.

The woman behind the bar-like area placed a cup of hot chocolate in front of Sara and started to turn when the brunette lightly grabbed the server's forearm.

"Actually, I won't be needing that," Sara stated as she took her eyes off of Catherine for a split second.

The server looked from Sara to the redhead still staring at the brunette. She wasn't completely sure what was going on, but she assumed it was something spontaneous and worthy of the trouble she put toward taking the unnecessary order.

She nodded at Sara and slipped out of the brunette's feather-like grasp, which allowed Sara to look back at Catherine.

Sara took Catherine's hand and floated out the door. She knew she had to return the rental boards and let Cameron know she'd left, but she wanted to please Catherine even more. She made sure all the lose ends were tied up in record time as she scurried through the resort to hand in their boarding boots and the boards themselves then sent a curt text to her friend.

"Going to hotel. With Catherine. Do not disturb. Sorry to ditch."

The drive back to the hotel was painfully long, but the wait was more than worth it once the women entered Catherine's hotel room.