Author's note: Ladies, please meet farmer!Puck and popstar!Rachel. For my LiveJournal fictable prompt #34 - Rainstorm.
"Are you sure you want to re-route?"
Rachel Berry glares at the GPS system built into the dash of her expensive, brand new, foreign automobile. "Of course I do!" she spits out, as if the robotic voice can hear her. "The stupid bridge is washed out!" Pressing buttons angrily, she waits, casting frustrated glances at the water rushing over what's left of the bridge.
"Calculating route," the pleasant female voice tells her after a few seconds of silence.
Rachel taps her manicured nails on the steering wheel, her eyes squinting to see through the blinding rain that pelts her Audi from all angles.
"Make a legal U-turn. And then turn left in 500 feet," the woman's voice instructs, her annunciation haughty.
Rachel pulls back off the shoulder and does as she is told. Her car bounces along the pavement of the new road and she looks around, trying to get her bearings through the driving downpour. Her entire tripe from her father's home in Lima, Ohio to this spot somewhere outside of Nashville has been in some of the heaviest rainstorms she's seen in years. And the closer she makes it to her destination, the worse it's been getting. So now, she finds herself in her present situation: lost in the middle of farmland with bridges and roads washed out everywhere.
Rachel's Audi hums along the narrow road for a few minutes and her confidence returns. She's definitely going to find her way out of this godforsaken countryside and back towards the shining lights of the city of Nashville (civilization). But then she feels a jolt as the pavement ends and she finds herself on a stretch of muddy, barely-rocky road. The farther she gets from the paved road, the worse the road gets. Ten minutes later, she's completely hung up in the mud.
Being the internationally known pop star that she is (and used to having "people" who do everything for her), Rachel has little patience for this ridiculousness. Ignoring the rain and forgetting the fact that her entire outfit is "dry clean only" and will probably melt or disintegrate upon contact with water, she storms from her plush vehicle and into the blinding rain. She's a smart, resourceful 24-year-old. She's been famous since she was 17 and has more money in the bank than a majority of small countries. She can surely figure out how to get her car out of the mud, right?
Noah Puckerman is sitting on the front porch of his small farmhouse, guitar in his lap, as he watches the rain come down. Instead of thinking about the amount of money these fucking storms are costing him in damaged, unsellable crops, he's decided to just sit here in his oldest pair of jeans and watch it rain.
He sees the sleek, black car fishtailing its way up his road and immediately knows that some goddamn city person is lost again. Motherfuckers are always getting lost out here and ending up at his fucking farm. When the car gets completely caught up in the mud, he sighs because he knows who's going to have to fix that shit. Him. But instead of getting up immediately (because it's fucking raining), he sits there a little longer, strums his guitar a little more, and waits.
He's in the middle of some classic 80s rock riffs when he sees a trim, petite woman with dark hair pop from the inside of the car. Her clothes are expensive. It's obvious, even from his distance of a few hundred feet away, that she's not getting out of this mess on her own.
Groaning about never getting any fucking peace even on his own farm, he drops his guitar down on the rocking chair next to the one he has his ass in and stands up. He pushes his wide-brimmed hat down over his dark hair, climbs down off the porch, and heads toward the barn. His old cowboy boots make sucking sounds against the mud that's trying to swallow him as he finally enters the barn. Two minutes later, he's aboard his new baby (a 5E Limited Series John Deere that he just bought last week and that he loves more than his pick-up truck) to pull this little rich bitch out of the ditch. He can't help but think, even as he meanders down the drive, that he's living in a real-life goddamned country song.
Rachel looks up from eying her mud-covered car and pushes the rain-soaked fringe away from her face as she sees the large, behemoth looking green farm vehicle meander toward her like the road isn't practically a swamp. It comes to a stop right in front of her car and the door to the thing swings open. Seconds pass and then a man – a man who looked like he was made of all muscle and bronzed skin – pops up out of the monstrosity, staring down the brim of his cowboy hat at her.
"Stuck?" he asks simply.
"What's it look like?" she barks. "My stupid tires are ground into the mud and I'm lost and I need to get to Nashville. And seriously, where the hell am I anyway?"
Puck waits for the woman to stop ranting (although he enjoys watching her breasts bounce in that pathetic excuse for a shirt that's now rain-soaked) and then says, "Get in your car. I'll hook ya up and pull ya out of the mud. No sense in going further so once I dig this shitty car out, just follow me down my driveway."
Rachel glowers at the man because, despite the fact that he's exceptionally handsome and clearly has some incredible green and gold flecks in his hazel eyes, he could easily be a rapist. Or an ax murder. Or even a cannibal. The thing is, you just never know with these country people.
Puck sees the hesitation in the brown eyes set below the obviously-sculpted eyebrows and arches his own brow. "I'm not an ax murder. Or a killer."
Rachel jumps and stares at him. Did she say that out load?
"But I have been known to cannibalize, in a sense," he says with a tip of his hat toward her, rain running off the brim. Then he hops down and hooks a chain to her car. Rachel's staring at him in the downpour, trying to figure out what exactly he meant by that. A cannibal? In a sense?
It's only once she's back inside her car and is gripping the steering wheel tightly as the car fishtails itself out of the mud that she realizes what he meant. And then her face turns twelve shades of crimson and she has to remind herself that country people are also classless and not above rutting like animals. She positively cannot wait to get back to the city.
Rachel's more than just a little bit uncomfortable when she follows the man inside his house. Her car is parked next to his big, red truck and the huge green tractor, which he called "his baby" before he put it away, is now safely back inside one of the four barns that are peppered along the side and back of the house. She's not sure what she expects inside the house of a man who appears to be in his mid-20s and lives alone and she's even less prepared for what she finds.
The man, who told her his name was "Puck", tells her to make herself at home while he changes out of his wet clothes. She watches him kick his boots off and then toss his wet Stetson by the door before heading back towards the back of the house. His jeans are soaked and clinging to his thighs (which are exceptionally muscular) and his t-shirt is completely stuck to his chest and back (both also spectacular, in her estimation.)
While he's changing, she looks around and is impressed with what she sees. The living room is painted a butter cream color and there is fluffy, plush furniture placed across the polished wood floors. The kitchen is a light, grassy green color with deep green accents. The house definitely doesn't look like a man decorated it so she begins to wonder if he has a wife.
"This used to be my grandparents' place," Puck says as he walks back into the main room, tossing a towel around his neck. Rachel spins and looks at him, wondering if she accidentally spoke out loud again.
"It's nice," she offers.
Puck grins at her and gives her a look that tells her of his disbelief of her sentiment. She feels the need to defend herself. "No, really, it is!" Her eyes dart around what she can see of the house, taking in the surroundings. "It's not exactly what I would choose for a residence, of course, but it seems warm and comfortable."
"Yeah, uh huh," Puck says. His eyes travel over her wet shirt and soaked skirt and she's suddenly very self-conscious and crosses her arms to shield against his gaze.
"You got a change of clothes?" Puck asks her.
Rachel shakes her head. "My suitcase is in the trunk of the car. I just need to run out and get it."
She opens the door but suddenly Puck's arm is on hers. "It's pouring out there and you're going to get sick. I got clothes you can wear. Just hang tight."
He disappears again and comes back minutes later with a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. "These are from when I was skinnier so hopefully they'll fit you okay."
She thanks him primly and he says, "Bathroom is the first door on the right."
Rachel nods and disappears inside the room, which is as comfortable and homey as the rest of his house and is decorated in soft hues of blue. She carefully removes her clothing and folds it neatly into a small pile before pulling his t-shirt over her head. It's still rather large on her but it's warm and dry and she immediately feels better. She slides the shorts on and cinches the waist as tight as possible but the garment still hang off her hips slightly. She looks at her appearance in the mirror and realizes that her makeup is making a slow retreat down her face. Her face becomes red again that she allowed this man whom, despite his completely uncultured demeanor, seems kind and caring enough to drag her from the mud and save her from drowning, to see her in such a state. She quietly pulls open the closet in the room and snags a fluffy blue washcloth and turns on the tap, quickly scrubbing her face clean.
After draping the cloth over the edge of the tub to dry, she runs her fingers through her long mane of hair and sighs at her reflection. It will have to do.
Puck's reclining on the couch, talking on his phone, when she comes out of the bathroom. He motions for her to come into the room and sit down and she does, listening to him on the phone.
"I'm so sorry, Santana, baby… I wanted to see you tonight, too. But all the bridges are out and you know it's too fuckin' dangerous to come out here. So let's just take a rain check and I'll hit that sweet little ass up tomorrow, k?"
Rachel rolls her eyes at him and instead, turns her gaze toward the fireplace. Despite the fact that it's late April, she's nearly chilled to the bone due to being soaked and she's appreciative that he has a fire going.
When Puck hangs up the phone, he asks, "You feel better?"
Rachel smiles and nods. "Thank you for being so hospitable. You definitely don't have to go to all the trouble you've gone to."
Puck stands up and shakes his head. "Shit. My mama didn't raise me to leave a stranded woman out in the rain. I have plenty of room and you're not going to get anywhere in this weather."
Tucking a strand of hair behind her head, she smiles shyly. "Again, I appreciate it."
Puck looks at her for a moment and appreciates the fact that her face has been scrubbed clean of all that god-awful make-up. It made her look old and haggard. Now, her skin is clean and her cheeks are slightly red and she just looks… well, she looks pretty fuckin' beautiful, actually.
"My name is Rachel, by the way," she offers.
Puck acknowledges her statement with a barely perceptible nod of his head. He stands up and asks, "You hungry?" Then he turns and heads toward the kitchen.
Rachel stands up and follows him. "I'm starved but…" She bites her lip and Puck stops and turns around.
"I have a strange diet," she says quietly.
"Lemme guess. You only eat plants, right?"
Rachel crosses her arms. "I also eat vegetables."
Puck smirks and pulls open the fridge. "Vegetables are still plants. I got a head of lettuce in here," he says as he reaches in, pulling the iceberg from the crisper and hands it to her. "You can gnaw on that if you're hungry."
Rachel groans at him and he laughs, tossing the lettuce back inside the fridge and kicking the door closed with his foot. He glances around the kitchen and says, "You maybe want a baked potato or something? I don't have any vegan butter or sour cream or shit but…"
"I think, under the circumstances," Rachel begins, "that I can put a few dairy items into my body without suffering anything too detrimental. A baked potato would be lovely."
Puck bends down and pulls a few potatoes from the bin and proceeds to stab them with a fork a few times before popping them in the microwave. While the machine is buzzing away, Puck leans against the countertop and asks, "So you were headed to Nashville?"
"Yes, I had an appointment." Rachel doesn't want to divulge too much about herself.
"Meeting with your manager or your record label?"
Rachel's eyes shoot up and she looks at him. "How'd you know I was a singer?"
Puck snorts and says, "Hold on." She watches him walk out of the room and when he comes back, he has a CD jewel case in his hand. He tosses it down in front of her and she's staring down at her own face staring back up at her.
"You know who I am?" She was positive that he wouldn't recognize her. Sure, she's well known, but she doesn't expect this man to know who she is.
Puck snorts. "My ex-girlfriend, Quinn, loved your music. Even saw you in concert last September."
Her eyebrow ticks up and she smiles. "You came to my concert?"
Puck snags the CD away from her again and tosses it on the counter away from her. "Baby, there's a lot I'll do for pussy. Well, when it's good anyway. I wouldn't sit through that pop music shit for just anything." He looks up at her. "No offense or anything. You sure can sing."
Rachel's mouth drops open and she's about to start lecturing him on locating some manners when the phone rings. He snags it off the counter and props it up on his ear. "Hey, Tina… I know, baby, I'd like to see you tonight, too. The roads are just too fucking bad. Maybe Saturday? Okay. Cool. See ya."
He clicks the phone off and sits it back down. He can feel her brown, super-judgey eyes glaring at him. Exasperation in his voice, he says, "what?"
Rachel just shakes her head and laughs. "I can see you're a ladies man."
"If that's what you want to call it. I prefer to see it that I just have lots of female friends who like my company. I am easy on the eyes," Puck corrects her. The microwave chooses that moment to ding and so Puck's suddenly in action mode and doesn't see Rachel rolling her eyes at him. He pulls the potatoes out and puts them on plates, swearing when the pads of his fingers are burned by the hot vegetables. Then he pulls open the fridge and yanks out butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon bits and tosses it all down in front of Rachel. After snagging some bottled water for her and a beer for himself, he slaps some forks and knives down on the countertop, says "dig in" and proceeds to do exactly that.
Rachel carefully cuts open the jacket of her potato and then adds a tiny, almost miniscule dollop of butter on her potato before gently salting and peppering it. She mixes it all up and then dips her fork into it, pulling some of the starchy goodness out and sliding it into her mouth. She's so hungry. It was a long drive and she really just wants to eat and rest. It's starting to get dark outside and there's no sign of the rain letting up.
Puck blows through his potatoes and watches as Rachel gingerly finishes hers. He tries to ignore the way her mouth looks when she's eating because his mind just immediately goes to his favorite place and with this chick, it's probably not a good idea.
When she's done, she pushes her plate back and smiles. "Thank you so much. I needed that." Glancing around the room, she asks, "Do you mind if I take a shower? I hate to be a bother but I just feel so…"
"Gross? Yeah, go ahead. Maybe I'll take one after you." Puck ticks his head at her and she knows that means she should follow him out. He leads her back to the bathroom and hands her some fluffy towels from the cabinet. "Don't have any girly smelling shampoo or anything. Hope you don't mind Irish Spring."
"No, whatever you have will be fine. I just need to feel free of the mud and the grit."
Puck watches her place the towels on the closed toilet lid and lets his eyes skim over her legs. Despite the fact that she barely comes up to his chest, she's got incredibly long legs. They're toned and tan and are definitely nicer than most of what he's used to being wrapped around his waist – and he doesn't fuck with ugly babes, either. But this one? She comes from class and money and she takes care of her body and it shows with every fucking inch of skin he sees.
Before he says something that will get him punched, Puck closes the door and lets her shower. When he hears the water kick on, he tries to block out the fact that she's standing under his shower spray as naked as the day she was born. He knows the rest of her is fucking perfect, too, and he tries not to think about it because he refuses to get a hard-on with a stranger who happens to be a famous pop star in his house.
Halfway through Rachel's shower, Puck is on the couch watching the latest weather reports. There are still hours and hours of rain still heading their way and all the local officials are shitting solid gold bricks about all the flooding. Puck's just glad that his house is on high ground and that he doesn't have to worry. Sure, his crops are probably all gonna be destroyed and he won't know what the fuck to do for money later but he'll worry about that then. Can't do shit about it now.
He's flipping over to another station when suddenly the television, and everything else, goes off. "Goddammit," he swears, standing up quickly. The lights are fucking out, meaning that somebody probably took out a fucking power line. Great. That's all he needs.
The bathroom door opens quickly and Rachel emerges, a towel around her hair, another cinched around her body tightly, and the loose clothing he gave her tucked to her chest. In what's left of the daylight, he can see droplets of water clinging to her shoulders and his tongue nearly jumps from his mouth of its own accord. What he wouldn't give to lick that right off her neck and keep right on going down towards the promised land.
"What happened?" She's chewing her lip, obviously nervous.
"Power's out," he says simply. "And I better take a shower before the water in the cistern runs out. Fucking wells…" he mutters.
"Will there be enough hot water for you?" She feels guilty because she was able to shower and now feels so much better.
"Sure, should be fine." Without a care, Puck pulls his shirt over his head and tosses it onto the couch. Rachel finds herself staring because his chest is smooth, the muscles deeply defined. Other than a small trail of hair leading from his bellybutton down to the waistband of his jeans, he's not overly hairly. Rachel can't help but notice how completely hot it's suddenly gotten in his house.
Puck notices her eyes widen and smirks. He knows what he looks like. There's a reason women are all over him. And even though he doesn't need any validation (because he's fucking hot), it's nice to know that a woman who can have anyone on the planet appreciates what his simple, uncomplicated self has to offer.
Intentionally brushing his bare arm against hers, Puck walks past her and stops at the bathroom door. "Dammit," he says.
"What?" Rachel asks.
Puck grins. "Shoulda offered to join you earlier. It would have saved on water."
Rachel frowns at him and Puck chuckles. "See ya in a few, Princess."
He disappears behind the closed door and Rachel lets out a breath. He has absolutely no manners. She can't recall a time when she has ever been exposed to such an uncouth individual.
She hears the water turn on and once she knows he's safely under the spray, she drops her towel and immediately throws the clothes he'd given her earlier back over her body. She unwinds the towel from her hair and rakes her fingers through it, working the tangles out. By the time the water turns off, she's sitting in front of the fire, listening to the quiet.
And she can't believe how quiet it is. Other than the rain and the sound of her handsome host moving around in the bathroom (and she refuses to think about the fact that he's probably naked), she doesn't hear a single thing. She grew up on a busy street in a small town and since then, she's lived in New York City and Nashville. She's always surrounded by noises. Honking, sirens, people yelling at each other in various languages, babies crying, blaring music, dogs barking – she's used to it all. But out here… absolute silence. It unnerves her to no end and so she's relieved when the bathroom door opens and Puck steps back out into the hallway whistling. There's a towel slung low around his waist and water is still running in rivulets down his chest. Her eyes are instantly drawn to his pectoral muscles and she hates that she feels herself throb, deep inside. She knows that her body's reaction to him is completely normal but she doesn't like the fact that she seems so very aware of him.
Without a word, he disappears into the bedroom. When he comes back, he's dressed again and rubbing a towel over his wet hair.
"Well…what do you wanna do?" he asks. "No electricity means we can sit here and talk or…" His voice fades off and Rachel finds herself blushing. She can only imagine what else he would say, given what he's said so far.
"I could use some rest, honestly," she tells him.
Puck slaps his hands with his thighs, rubbing the wetness from them, and says, "Sure, you can take a nap in the guest room if you want."
Rachel follows him down the hall and he pushes open the door to a room across from the bathroom. It's decorated in cream colors and the bed is huge and inviting.
"Thank you," Rachel says. She realizes she's been thanking him way too much. "I'll pay you for your hospitality."
"Puck laughs. "The fuck you will. It's not a problem. Get some rest, okay?"
Rachel nods and Puck leaves her alone. She carefully pulls down the blankets and crawls under them. The sheets smell crisp and cool and, despite the fact that she's in a strange place, she is soon asleep.
When she wakes up a few hours later, it's dark outside. She can hear the rain bouncing off the windows and can see the lightning flashing through the thin curtains. Pushing herself out of the bed, she wanders down the dark hall and sees that the fire is still burning and that there are now candles scattered all over the room, giving off a small amount of light. She hears a snore and looks down to see Puck asleep on the couch, one hand tossed over his forehead.
Rachel cocks her head to the side as she studies him. He looks almost sweet when he's asleep, she thinks. She lets her eyes travel over his jaw and cheekbones as the candlelight dances over his face. Her eyes settle on the perfect nose that centers his face and she realizes that she's rarely, if ever, seen a man who is so close to physical perfection. She wonders how he ended up being a dirt farmer when he could easily be in New York City or Los Angeles, modeling for a living.
As if he can feel her eyes on her, Puck's eyes slowly open and meet Rachel's. "Like what you see?" he rasps, his voice thick from sleep.
Rachel blushes and is glad that it's not visible thanks to the poor lighting. Instead of answering, she stalks over to the loveseat and sits down, her arms crossed.
Puck sits up and stretches, his shirt rising up to bare his stomach to her again. She's already seen far too much of this man's skin and she wonders if he's showing off on purpose.
"So tell me about you," Rachel orders. "I don't know anything about you and you, obviously, know some things about me."
Puck snickers. "I haven't read your spread in Teen Beat magazine or anything but yeah, I do know a few things about you. Rich. Talented. Spoiled. Hot. Gets everything she wants. I know your type. Fuck, I've fucked your type more than once."
"Must you always be so crude?" Rachel demands. He shows absolutely no care for the words that come from his mouth and she finds herself shocked, over and over again, about what he chooses to say.
"Oh, lighten up, Princess," Puck answers. "You're an adult, right? You can handle a little bad language." Crossing his arm, he adds, "shit", for extra emphasis.
Rachel glowers at him and says, "So…the Cliffs Notes of your biography?"
Puck leans back on the couch and props his bare feet up on the coffee table. "Noah Puckerman…25 years old. Inherited this farm from my grandparents' two years ago. Also work as a mechanic a few days a week. I sing and play guitar, have a bitchy mother and a crazy, teenaged sister…" He shifts his eyes towards her. "I think that's about it."
"You seem to have a lot of girlfriends, too," Rachel adds and then rolls her eyes when Puck grins proudly.
"What can I say? Babes love the Puckerone."
Rachel lets out a genuine laugh at the ridiculous nickname he's given himself. He smiles at her and she notices how it transforms his whole face and makes him even more attractive than he was before (if that was possible.) Her breath quickens slightly and she admonishes herself for being so attracted to someone like him. She's used to men like her last boyfriend, Jesse. They're all smooth with dancers' muscles, perfect teeth, and are cultured and educated. And they certainly don't swear or use derogatory terms to discuss the female sexual anatomy.
A loud clap of thunder shakes the house and makes Rachel jump. It's followed quickly by a lightning strike that seems exceptionally close and it forces Puck off the couch and over to the window. He pulls open the curtains and stares at the windows, his eyes searching the darkness.
"Be right back," he says quickly. "I need to go check on the horses."
Rachel watches him head toward the door and she panics. "You can't leave me alone in here! There's no lights and it's dark and…" She lets her voice fade when she realizes that she's being ridiculous. Nothing is going to happen to her.
"You're scared?" Puck shoves his fingers through his hair. "Jesus," he swears. Looking at her, he says, "Well c'mon, but you're gonna get wet again."
Rachel doesn't say anything and before she can ask, Puck hands her a pair of boots that are much too large for her. She slips into them and gives him a thankful smile because her mud-covered heels would do her very little good in that.
Once his shoes are on, he grabs a huge flashlight off the shelf by the door and says, "Let's go," before jerking open the door. He darts out onto the porch and Rachel follows quickly behind, tugging the door to the house closed behind her.
He jumps down off the side of the porch and turns quickly, his hands bracketing her waist, as he lifts and turns her, setting her down on the ground next to him. Her shirt has ridden up and his thumb brushes across the bare skin of her torso. Their eyes meet and despite the fact that they're standing in the pouring rain with lightning dancing around them, Rachel thinks he's going to kiss her. Or maybe she's going to kiss him. Her eyes settle on the pink plumpness of his lips and her tongue darts out, licking her own lips in response. She thinks she feels him shudder slightly but then he looks up and away from her.
His thumb makes two more wide circles against her flesh and then he pulls away abruptly, breaking the spell, and stomps through the muddy grass toward the barn at the very back of the big graveled lot. When he pushes open the wide doors, Rachel can hear horses whinnying inside.
"Hey, girls," Puck says softly, walking from stall to stall. He brushes his hand, palm open, up the face of each horse and speaks softly to them. "You're okay, girls. It's just a storm."
One horse, a chestnut colored one with white spots dotting her coat, knickers loudly and Puck laughs. "Now, now, Bessie… I know there's a girl here but you don't have to be jealous. She's not gonna steal me from you."
Turning toward Rachel, who is standing a few feet away, Puck laughs. "Bessie gets jealous of other women. She apparently thinks she owns me. She actually grabbed Santana's hair once."
Rachel finds herself staring at the big eyes of the horse, illuminated by Puck's flashlight. She's never been so close to a farm animal before and she's surprised that she's not exactly uncomfortable by the large animal. Puck seems exceptionally comfortable with them, almost as if they're friends.
"How many horses are in here?" Rachel's eyes survey the expanse but in the dark, the space and its occupants are impossible to discern.
"Six. They're usually out in the pasture but the weather was just too bad so I made them all come in yesterday. Despite the fact that they are terrified, they hate being cooped up in here." Puck brushes his hand over the coat of another horse and then turns toward Rachel. "They're all fine. That lightning strike was really close and I wanted to make sure my girls were all okay."
Rachel smiles at the fact that he calls them his "girls" and can't help but think that this man is a bit of an enigma. He's all angular and hard and full of muscles and foul language but she thinks that there may be compassion and tenderness simmering under the surface of him.
Puck walks over to the wall and hits the hand sanitizer dispenser, coating his hands to clean himself off.
"I'm gonna stay out here with them for a few minutes," he says, "just to make sure they're okay. You can have a seat."
Rachel looks around for a chair and Puck points towards a stack of hay bales near the open door to the barn. She walks over and sits down, tucking the shorts under her thighs so that her thighs aren't too irritated by the scratchiness of the hay.
Puck drops down next to her and his eyes travel over her wet hair and down to the t-shirt now plastered to her body. Then he smiles. "You're fucking soaked all over again."
Rachel shakes her head. "I know. There's no point in trying to stay dry. We'll be drenched going back inside the house, too. Might as well get used to staying this way for the time being." Her voice is resigned but doesn't show any hint of irritation and for that, Puck is thankful.
They sit in silence for a few minutes, listening to the heavy rain ping off the tin roof. The lightning flashes steadily and illuminates them in the dark barn. Rachel expects to feel nervous out here in this big, dark building but for some reason, she doesn't. She's sure it's because of the man sitting next to her. She can smell him now…he smells like rainwater and Irish Spring and leather. She's used to smelling Armani cologne. This scent, this natural, all-male scent, is almost foreign to her senses and she finds that it excites her. Actually, everything about this crude man excites her. From the way he looks at her like he obviously appreciates what he sees to the fact that he nearly kissed her in the rain, everything about him seems to make her insides throb. She can't remember when she ever felt like this about a man and she hopes she can escape from his home in the morning without embarrassing herself.
The horses continue to shift restlessly and Puck whispers words of comfort out into the darkness of the barn. Rachel finds herself getting sleepy again and leans against Puck without realizing it until his arm goes around her shoulder and he tucks her against him. She tenses for a moment and then relaxes again when she notices that he's merely trying to help her get comfortable.
"We'll go inside in a few minutes," he whispers into her hair. "The girls are almost calmed down. Once they're totally quiet, we'll be fine to go back inside."
Rachel nods against his shoulder and lets her eyes drift closed. Puck shifts slightly and she feels him yawn against her head. She feels bad for him because he's probably exhausted from entertaining her all evening. She tells herself that as soon as they get back inside, she'll climb back into the guest bedroom and stay there until morning so that the poor man can get some sleep.
The storm seems to drift away but the rain continues steadily. When a horse whinnies loudly, Rachel jerks upright and realizes that she's been asleep.
"Puck," she says. He doesn't answer and she looks over and notices that he's asleep, too. She shakes him and he opens his eyes and grins at her. She opens her mouth to say something but her words are caught in his mouth because he presses his lips against hers instead.
Rachel gasps into his mouth, tells herself to pull away, but then leans into his body and kisses him back, winding her arms around his neck. His lips are as plump to kiss as they were to look at and they're surprisingly soft. When his tongue flits along her lips, slowly prodding for entrance, she grants it and then sighs into his mouth as their tongues make contact. She hasn't kissed like this in…well, she can't remember the last time she kissed like this. Being who she is doesn't afford her a lot of chances for true privacy and so her experiences, while meaningful, have been relatively limited. But this man…
Rachel shudders, partly from the cold but mostly from the desire swirling low in her belly, and Puck's arms slide around her. He lifts her effortlessly until she's straddling his lap on the hay bale. She breaks the kiss and peers at him.
"You okay?" he asks, his eyes full of concern and none of the cockiness she'd seen earlier.
"Absolutely," Rachel answers. She lets her eyes travel down his face, stopping on his neck. Then she leans forward and presses her lips against the side of his jaw and he groans into her hair. His heart is pounding because this woman is nearly a total stranger but she's so goddamn hot that he's not sure he's going to let her out of his arms anytime soon. Instead, he pulls her tighter against him and takes her lips again before sliding his lips along her cheeks and down her chin. Rachel shivers and whispers, "that feels so incredible" and he thinks he's hit the jackpot because she's going to be a fucking talker, he can tell.
Puck loosens his grip on her and with a quick flick of his wrists, pulls her (his) shirt over her head and drops it next to them on the hay. Rachel doesn't shy away from his gaze but instead, lets him look his fill before her hand slides up, cups the crown of his head, and pulls it down against her breasts. She's so fucking bold about what she wants that he groans appreciatively before his lips surround a pebbled nipple and he lets out a loud slurp as his tongue works her peak.
"God, yes," Rachel breathes out against his scalp. She's grinding into his lap and he can feel how insanely hot she is between their layers of clothing. He lets his other hand travel up and rub against the opposite nipple until it's equally as hard and ready for his mouth. He meets her eyes in the flashing light as his lips surround that nipple and smiles around her breast when she tosses her head back and presses herself against him.
When he pulls away to catch a breath, Rachel slides off of him. He's afraid she's going to grab the shirt and take off for the house but instead, she pushes the shorts to the ground and stands in front of him in nothing but a pair of small, white panties.
"This is the stupidest thing I've ever done, Puck. I don't know you or anything about out. But I want you… and we'll probably regret this in the morning but I need you. I mean, I really need this. I never, ever do anything spontaneous and maybe it's the rain or the storms or the fact that I'm in the middle of nowhere, but I feel like a normal person with you and—"
Puck stands up and presses his lips to Rachel's moving mouth to shut her up. She pulls back and he grins at her, his hands sliding across the bare skin of her back. "You don't have to make a speech, Rachel. You wanna do this, we'll do this. Fuck knows I wanna do this… So don't rationalize or make excuses…just shut up, okay?"
Puck steps toward her, twisting his hands into her hair as he presses his lips against hers almost frantically. While their lips are locked, he hooks his fingers over her panties and pushed them down her hips until they catch mid-thigh, his hand quickly sliding between her legs. When his index finger comes into contact with her clit, Rachel tears her lips from his to gasp. Her head falls back as he rubs his finger over it, his lips biting along her collarbone, leaving the skin red.
"Oh, God…Puck," she groans. Puck pressed against her, never moving his fingers from her clit, and backs her toward the hay bale. When her legs hit it and she collapses onto it, he quickly pulls her panties down the rest of the way and tosses them over his shoulder before grabbing her thighs and pulling her ass to the edge of the bale. With his eyes locked on hers, he pushes her legs apart and then looks down between her thighs.
"Goddamn," he rasps, his eyes raking over her glistening opening. "Fuck," he adds right before he dips his head and ghosts his tongue along her outer lips. Rachel arches her back, pressing her pussy into his face, and cries out so loudly that the horses whinny in response. His tongue darts into her and then back out, sliding up to suck her clit into his mouth. While she bows and moans, her fingers find his head and press him hard into her body. She'd never felt anything so amazing in her life. It's like her mind has shut down and everything in the entire world revolves around what his tongue and lips are doing between her thighs.
"Rachel," Puck's voice wafts up from between her thighs. "Open your eyes and watch, baby."
Rachel shudders, his words assailing her in nearly the same way his tongue is. She forces her eyes open and looks at him through heavy lids. When their eyes lock in the flash of the lightning, he lowers his head again and curls his tongue around her clit, his eyes never leaving hers.
Rachel bucks off the bale, her fingers finding her nipple. She tugs on it roughly, arching her pubic bone toward Puck for deeper contact. She needs him deeper. She needs more.
His gaze drops down so he can spread her open with his thumbs and then he's sinking his tongue fully inside her, twisting and swirling it along the entrance to her pussy before pulling it back out and licking a long line up her thigh.
Her body begins to quake as the sizzle that was building low in her belly seems to be climbing towards release. Puck pulls his head away, biting her thigh none too gently and then he's sliding three fingers inside her. The fullness she experiences makes her keen his name twice before she completely comes apart, leaning toward him with her hands in his hair as the orgasm tears through every part of her body. Puck's tongue darts gently over her clit until Rachel huffs loudly and falls back against the bales stacked up behind her.
"Intense," she musters, her eyes still closed and her thighs trembling.
"I'm not done yet," his voice cuts through the rain and distant thunder and she opens her eyes to look at him. "I don't think we need to continue in this barn, though," he adds. "I mean, I wouldn't mind fuckin' you right over this bale but I'm pretty sure you're a classy girl and might not like that."
Rachel laughs and then nods softly and takes the hand he's offering. He pulls her up and grabs her discarded shirt, carefully sliding it back over her body. He hands her the shorts and shoves her panties in his pocket. "You can have these back later," he promises. She arches a brow at him and he just smiles and helps her slip into her boots. Her legs are still weak from what she's just experienced so she leans on him slightly as they dart back through the rain and the mud and the lightning flashes toward his house.
He ushers her inside quickly, locks the door, and then she's back in his arms, pressed against the wall. He undresses her as fast as he can before pulling his own clothes off and then guides her toward his bedroom, slamming the door loudly at the exact same moment that thunder rumbles loudly outside.
In the morning, Rachel's eyes shoot open and she sits up, clutching the blankets to her body. She glances down at the man sleeping next to her and the entire night comes rushing back. Oral sex in the barn. Sex in the bedroom. Sex in the shower. Sex in front of the fireplace. Sex in the bed again…and again.
She slides out of the bed to go to the bedroom and moans at the pain shooting through her thigh muscles.
Puck stirs at the noise and opens one eye to smile at her. Rachel glances away, embarrassed at his tired but probing gaze.
"Don't get shy on me now," Puck laughs.
Rachel smiles and says, "I'm sorry. I'm just not quite used to 'the morning after,' honestly." She glances around and then asks, "Is this where you hand me my clothes and send me packing?"
Puck rolls his eyes at her and climbs out of the bed. He walks across the room, totally naked, and slides in behind her to press himself against her. She can feel that he's already hard again and any resistance she thought she was going to have this morning flies right through the window and out into the rain that's still coming down in steady sheets.
"Normally, yeah, that's what I would do," he says against her ear, his hands making big, hot circles across her abdomen. "But since it's still pouring, the bridges are out, and you're stuck here, why don't you take that pretty ass into the bathroom, do what you were gonna do, and join me in bed again? Besides, I kinda like you."
He drops a kiss against her neck and Rachel melts against him. "Yes, okay," she agrees. He lets her slip from his grasp and then disappears through the door while he climbs back in the bed.
Once she's in the bathroom, she looks in the mirror. Even without electricity, she can see that she's an absolute mess. Her hair is in tangled knots, her lips are swollen, and she can see what she assumes is whisker burn across her collarbone. And as much of a mess as she looks, she also notices something else. She looks relaxed. Happy, even. Her eyes are missing the lines that normally surround them and her brow is free of the normal creases that line it due to her constant stress. So as scandalous as her activities have been and as easily as the details of her time on this farm could destroy her career should it be leaked to the press, she finds that she can't muster up a proper amount of regret for it.
"Babe, you okay?" she hears him call from the bedroom.
Rachel quickly uses the restroom and then washes her hands before walking back into the room. She stands at the foot of the bed and marvels at the man who is lying atop the covers, his nakedness on display.
"I'm great, actually," she says. He raises his arm and motions for her to rejoin him in the bed. She bites her lip and smiles because she knows that a few soft, nuzzling kisses will turn into heated lovemaking in just a matter of moments and she lets a thrill – the type of thrill normally reserved for sold-out arenas and platinum records – sluice through her.
As long as the storms continue outside, she's stuck here. She hopes it's for another day (or two days or even a week) or so, at least, because she's not ready to leave. Puck's hands slide between her thighs and she opens them for him automatically. She's already burning again and thinks that maybe, when it is finally time to leave, she'll ask if she can come back. He's really not that far from Nashville at all (once she figures out where the hell she actually is.) And when he tucks her beneath him and whispers her name, she thinks that he may actually just like her just a little bit more than he's let on. That's totally fine by her because he may be disgusting and perverse but he's also a bit on the wonderful side, too. And most important of all, he's real. After years of being treated like a queen, she's needed a little bit of realism in her life. And even if that realism comes in the form of a 5'11", swearing farmer, she'll take it.