Rich sat on top of the picnic table outside, Dana sitting on the bench seat, his knees open so that her head was resting just underneath his chest. Cody had come back, rolling in dough apparently, and after regaling everyone- except Carol and Frank, who were upstairs arguing still- with his travel tales, he began reminiscing about the good times living in the backyard.

He stroked Dana's hair gently. It was interesting to hear him talk- he was a pothead if Rich had ever met one though; he didn't care what JT or the others naively thought. But, he liked him, and he'd keep that little opinion to himself. He was hard not to like, actually...

JT suddenly smirked at Cody, taking a swig of drink. "Dude, Code-man, you 'member when you fell out of that treehouse you were trying to make for Brenden and Mark?"

Cody laughed. "Shyeah, I remember... broke my wrist and two fingers."

Rich winced. "Ouch. How'd you fall; I thought you were in construction?"

"Dana scarred him for life." JT chuckled, and Dana reached into her glass of water and fished out two ice-cubes to bounce off of JT's head.


"Nice shot, babe; two points!" Rich chuckled.

Al and Karen collapsed into giggles at JT's expression.

"So... what did happen, then?" Rich asked, looking down at his girlfriend.

"Well, he picked the wrong tree to build it in..." she said lightly, almost hesitantly.

Rich quirked an eyebrow at them. Something was being left out...

"I didn't realize until after I'd been up there a while that the treehouse would've had a view directly into the window of the upstairs shower." Cody clarified.

Rich froze, not sure he liked where this was going.

"Yeah... so Dana goes in to take a shower, and I'm guessing the sight of it just scared him pretty good cause he fell." JT smirked.

Rich frowned at JT.

"It was pretty funny. Dana was all weird for like two days." Karen nodded.

Sam, however, could see that Rich didn't seem to find the story as funny as the family did. She also noticed that Dana just looked at her hands, blushing.

"What's the matter, Rich?" Sam asked gently.

Suddenly, all eyes were on him, and Rich fidgeted, uncomfortable. "Wrong? Oh, what could be wrong? Nothing... story about someone seeing the woman I love naked before I even got to... hi-freaking-larious... Just... awesome..." he said sarcastically.

Al and Karen exchanged raised brow glances, but it was clear they were enjoying the shift of drama. Dana hopped up and took his hand. "C'mon, baby- we're going to be late."

"Late for what?" Karen asked cluelessly.

"For... being somewhere that is not here." Dana blurted out, and walked Rich to his car.

After driving in silence for about ten minutes, Dana pulled the car into a motel parking lot and stopped. Rich looked at her curiously.

"What are you-"

"Go check us in. I want to have total privacy and talk. There is no privacy in our home, and... well, I don't like relegating conversations to a car."

"Conversation, okay..." Rich nodded, furrowing his brow, and walked to the front desk.

He came back out with the key and walked with her to a small room. Dana flopped back onto the bed.

"Okay, so... you mad at me?"

"At.. what?" Rich frowned, dropping next to her. "Dana, no... I just..." he fumbled, feeling embarrassed to vocalize his feelings.

"Someone else was 'there first'?"

Rich nodded, a tinge of red on his cheeks.

"He saw for half a second, and he didn't get to... touch. Better?"

"Only a little..." Rich mumbled. "If you'd told me he had tried I'd've probably wanted to go back there and-"

"Rich, he has three black belts. That'd be a bad idea."

Rich winced.

"Anyway, I look way better naked now than I did at sixteen."

Rich smirked. "Is that so?"

Dana nodded, and stood up.

Rich's eyes went wide, as she slowly undid her buttons on her dress, and it pooled on the floor around her ankles, and she was only in her bra and panties, which she slowly slid away, until she was standing before him. She reached for his hands, putting them on her hips.

"Feel better?"

"I'm... I'm gettin' there..."

"Your turn..."