The licensed characters aren't mine; I only borrowed them for the use and abuse factor because they are so much fun to create stories around. Many thanks to the wonderful creators, as well as to the wonderful actors that put so much of themselves into what would otherwise be one-dimensional characters.

From Bunny Hills to Bootleggers

Chapter 1

© June 2010

"You're what?" Pete asked in disbelief, as he stood close behind Mikki, hands on either side of her waist. "I don't think I heard you, correctly." He chided.

"Pete Malloy, you heard me right, the first time; don't pretend that you didn't! Now I told you, I do NOT want to do this!"

"That's not what I thought I heard; I thought I heard you say that you were afraid." Pete chuckled at the mere thought. He'd seen Mikki stare down the barrel of a loaded gun on a couple of different occasions and now she expected him to believe that there was something that she was actually afraid to try. He knew she had to be pulling his leg.

In a smaller, less forceful voice, "I'm scared to try this Pete. I can't help it, I just am. I've never done this before. It's gonna hurt…I just know it is!"

He laughed again, still sure that she was telling him a tall story, "Yeah, right…you're scared and you've never done this before. I hear ya; I don't believe ya, but I hear ya. I didn't fall off of the turnip truck yesterday, you know; besides, you're no stranger to pain and you've been through a lot worse than what could happen right now, so just relax, spread your feet apart just a little and bend slightly. It's all about technique. I promise you that you're gonna love it. I know I do…" By using his hands to apply a little pressure to her midsection, Pete managed to get Mikki into the position he wanted.

"Don't make me do this Pete, I mean it; I swear if you make me do this, I will…"

She didn't have a chance to finish her sentence before Pete cut her off at the pass with a determination that he normally reserved for use in dealing with criminals. "Now listen, Mikki, all week long you've talked about nothing else than wanting to try this; so much so, that just listening to you go on and on about it has made me excited about seeing you through your first experience at this. Now, I gave you a chance to back out earlier, but you insisted that you wanted to try, so, just close your eyes, pray, curse at me, or do whatever it takes to get you through this 'cause it's gonna happen right now, whether you want it to or not." And with those words, his hands tightened around her waist as he pulled her backwards, towards his body. He then gave a forceful shove that sent Mikki spiraling down the bunny slope at lightening speed. She was screaming and cursing at him all the way.

He threw his head back and gave a hearty laugh as he watched her descent. He quit laughing, though when she lost her balance halfway down and went sprawling head over skis. "Ooohhh…she wasn't joking; that probably did hurt. Guess I'd better go schmooze her over." He muttered to himself, before pushing off with his ski poles. Gliding down swiftly, he expertly slid to a stop next to where she lay, in a crumpled heap, at the bottom of the slope.

He looked down at her sheepishly, "Uhm…you okay?" He smiled slightly and tried to loosen the mood of the moment, "You know, it was quite a comical site from up there." He added as he pointed over his shoulder toward the top of the hill. The icy glare that he was received discouraged him from saying anything else.

Mikki gritted her teeth together to stop them from chattering, partly from the chill of the snow beneath her and partly from the rush of adrenaline coursing through her at the moment. She glared up at Pete for what felt like to him a brief lifetime before she held out a hand and demanded, "Help…me…up!"

Pete reached toward her and when their hands connected, Mikki grabbed on with both hands and quickly pulled Pete down into the snow with her. His skis popped off, and in one lightening flash move, before he could react, she managed to flip him onto his back, straddle his hips and pin his hands above his head. Bending forward, she claimed his lips in what could only be described as the ultimate, passion-filled kiss. He was more than willing to be an eager participant, figuring that if she was kissing him, then she probably wasn't too upset with him. He relaxed and let her have her way with him.

Breaking the kiss, she reared back, "OH MY GOD! THAT WAS AWSOME, EXHILERATING AND FANTASTIC, ALL ROLLED INTO ONE! I wanna do it again!" She exclaimed, breathlessly.

Pete lay on his back, smiling; he had rather enjoyed it himself and decided that if that was what she wanted, he wasn't going to argue, even if the snow was a little cold on his backside. "Well, go ahead; I won't stop you. You know I always enjoy your kisses."

"Huh?" Mikki asked skeptically. "What are you rambling about?"

"You said you wanted to kiss me again. You said it was 'awesome and exhilarating', and, I believe I even heard you use the word 'fantastic.' He had a dreamy smile on his face. Yeah, he had enjoyed he kiss, the evidence beneath her bottom left no doubt in her mind that he had enjoyed it thoroughly.

"No, you idiot…not the kiss; I'm talking about the trip down the bunny hill. That was fun! I wanna do it again!" Her face was lit up like a thousand-watt bulb.

Pete looked at her like she'd grown two heads. After the passionate kiss she had just planted on him, her only thoughts were on going down the bunny hill again? He couldn't believe it. "And I, wanna do this, again." Expertly, he turned the tables on Mikki and flipped her over so that she was on her back in the snow and he was straddling her hips; pinning her hands above her head, he leaned in and claimed her lips in a long, hard kiss. Pulling away, he asked, "Now, what did you say you wanted to do again?"

"I said, bunny-hill be damned; I wanna go back to the lodge." The look in her eyes promised him that more than just another passion-filled kiss was on the horizon.

"That's what I thought. It's so nice that we can be on the same wavelength…and so often, too."

Mikki giggled and patted Pete on the rump. "Uhm huh, now help me up before my derriere gets frostbite. I don't think I'd enjoy that at all!"

Laughing, he helped her to her feet, "No, I don't suppose that would be very pleasant." They picked up their ski poles and skis, and made their way to top of the hill where Mike was getting ready to give Barbara Ann a ski lesson.

"Geez…you two are something else, you know that. From up here it looked like you were gonna do the deed right down there in the snow. You'd think it was you two that just got married, instead of Barbara Ann and me! Even we are taking time out of the 'wedding duties' to enjoy some skiing." Mike teased, as Barbara Ann blushed at the references being made by her new husband.

Pete cleared his throat, and looked a little on the red side, "Uhm, hi there…I uhm…well, I didn't know we had an audience."

"Yeah, obviously not. Look at that bare spot at the bottom of the hill…I think the two of you must've melted all the snow within a twenty-foot radius. You know, just because it's called the 'bunny hill', doesn't mean you gotta hit the bottom and then go snoggin' like a couple of ornery little bunnies."

"Mike! Don't you have a ski lesson to give to your bride?" Mikki shot at him, cutting him off short and causing him to let out a hearty laugh. She could see that poor Barbara Ann looked a little uncomfortable at the compromising position she had witnessed the two of them in, along with the unspoken innuendo of what she and Mike had been doing in the lodge before coming out to join Pete and Mikki on the slopes.

Pete quickly changed the subject, hoping to spare Barbara Ann any further discomfort; "Did you two happen to run into Jim and Jean up at the lodge? They were supposed to meet up with us awhile ago, but they haven't shown up yet."

"Uhm, yeah, Jim was just coming out of their room when we were leaving ours to come down here. I don't think he had skiing on his mind though…he was in his robe and heading to the ice machine with the ice bucket. You should've seen the look on his face when he ran into us." Mike offered.

"Oh, well, then I guess that explains why they didn't make it down here, then." Pete commented with a chuckle. "But then again, the way Jim talked, this is the first real 'alone' time that he and Jean have been able to enjoy in nearly a year. Last time they planned a weekend away, Jimmy came down with the flu, so they cancelled. I am really surprised that Jean agreed to leave Jimmy with her sister all week so she and Jim could get away, to tell you the truth."

Mikki chuckled, "We'll if that's the case, we'll be lucky if they get out of the lodge room at all, then. Good thing for room service, huh?"

"Yeah, I'd hate to tell Mac that I brought Jim back malnourished and unable to do his job. It's bad enough that now I'll have to explain why he's coming back completely exhausted from what is supposed to be a relaxing week off!"

The two couples laughed and talked for a few more minutes, making plans to meet up for dinner at six o'clock before Mike and Barbara Ann took to the bunny slope, leaving Pete and Mikki to walk, arm in arm, back to the lodge, chatting as they went.

"You sure you don't want to stay out here and ski awhile longer, Pete? I'll be fine playing on the bunny hill if you want to try one of the slopes for the more experienced of skiers." Mikki knew he'd been looking forward to this for a couple of weeks and she wanted to make sure he had time to do some real skiing.

"No, Babe, I'm fine. We can hit the slopes a little later on. Right now, I just want to spend some time with you…frolicking where we can frolic in private, and finish what we started earlier in public." He squeezed her a little closer to his side as they walked.

Mikki smiled up at him as she thought about how ecstatic Pete had been at the prospect of coming to Aspen for Mike's wedding. He and Jim had both taken a couple of days vacation, in conjunction with normal days off and they had arrived by airplane two days prior, on Thursday.

The wedding had taken place on Friday, in front of the lodge fireplace. It was a small wedding, with only Mike's close family and friends, in attendance. Barbara Ann didn't have any family left, so she wasn't set on a big wedding. Mike's mother had finally gotten over the idea of Mike marrying someone other than Mikki, and was quick to warm up to Barbara Ann; she then look a liking to Pete, and tried her best to push for a double wedding. Thankfully, Pete handled the situation very tactfully, telling Mrs. Sanchez that he and Mikki didn't want to take any of the focus off of Mike and Barbara Ann; after all, it was their day, and he and Mikki might soon have their own. That seemed to pacify Mike's mom, for which both Pete and Mikki were thankful.

Mike's family had spent the night at the lodge and had then left early that very next morning, for the return two-hour drive to their ranch, just outside of Denver. Mike and Barbara Ann were going to spend the week at the lodge and then drive their rental car to his parents' house for a few days before flying back to Los Angeles.

Pete, Mikki, Jim and Jean had also rented a car, and were going to drive to Mikki's parent's house the next day, Sunday, where they would spend two nights and then drive back to the airport in Aspen on Tuesday afternoon, to take the evening flight back to Los Angeles. Scheduled to touch down at the Los Angeles airport near midnight, Pete and Jim would have about twelve hours after returning home, before they would have to report for work on that Wednesday afternoon.

Mikki hadn't wanted to visit her family, but she knew that if she were in Colorado, and didn't visit home, she'd never hear the end of it. She just prayed that she would be able to get along with her siblings and her parents for the nearly forty-eight hours that they would be there. She was also thankful that Pete, as well as the Reeds, would be there to act as buffers.

"Yoo-hoo, earth to Mikki." Pete said, leaning slightly forward and looking into her eyes as they walked. "Did you even hear anything I just said?" He questioned with chuckle.

"Huh?" Mikki asked, startled out of her silent reverie of wondering how her visit with her family would go. "Uhm, no…I'm sorry, what'd you say?"

"I said, I really am sorry for sending you flying down the hill. I really thought you were kidding when you said you'd never skied before, especially with growing up in Colorado. You didn't hurt yourself, did you?"

Hmm…I can play this to my advantage, Mikki thought, with a delicious little smile. "Mmmm, well, I don't know; I probably won't know for sure until we get to our room and you check over every inch of my body for injuries. And I mean really, really closely check…you know, help me flex muscles that don't normally get flexed, maybe give me a massage with some warm, aromatic oil."

"Warm, aromatic oil? And pray tell where am I supposed to get that? I seriously doubt they sell it in the lodge gift shop." Pete's voice dropped a little as they entered into the lodge and walked up the steps leading to their room.

"Nope, probably not, but I happen to have it on good authority that I have a bottle packed safely away in my suitcase. I suppose I could be persuaded to let you have that bottle."

"Oh, and just what would I have to do to persuade you?" Pete's voice took on a sexy, low, growling sound.

As they neared the door, Pete took the room key from his pocket and unlocked the door, opening it and allowing Mikki to go in first. Mikki shrugged out of her coat, then her ski clothes and lay down on the bed and said, "Anything you want to do, Dear…anything you want." It didn't take Pete very long to shed his garments and join her on the bed.