Title: Chores

Author: Night_Lotus

Rating: NC-17

Pairing: River/Jayne

Word Count:

Chapter: 1/1

Disclaimer: Not a speck of this is mine. All hail Joss.

Author's Note: My version of how the "pot" works and what is being played for in Tall Card is a bit different. For purposes of this story, whoever leaves the table with the least amount of chore scraps is the winner. The loser/losers are faced with doing all of the chores written on the scraps they leave the table with at the end of the game. But, then again, are you really reading this story for the game mechanics? ;-)

Sleep refused to come. The cacophony of voices bounced relentlessly off of Serenity's worn metal hull, permeating her brain. These weren't mere mental projections tucking themselves into the folds of her dura mater.

As Kaylee's girl powered herself down, the comforting hum of the sleep cycle clicked on, and Serenity sailed through the black, starlight bathing her metal skin, the crew settling into their nighttime routines. The random pieces of cognition were the loudest and most intrusive then. Anger, desire, introspection, regrets, fears and everything else held back during the day came rushing over the dam, flooding her brain, overwhelming her.

Over the past several months, she had taught herself to filter out the psychic interference from the others, protecting their privacy and the fragile threads of sanity that she had struggled so hard to rebuild.

So, when she sighed in annoyance and got out of bed, left her room and padded silently down the hallway on bare feet, it was not clairvoyance guiding her. Rather, it was the booming voices, raucous laughter and good-natured insults that drew her to the social heart of Serenity.

Seated in mismatched chairs around the scarred dining room table, Jayne, Book, Wash and Simon laughed and joked, glancing at the cards held in their hands, piles of chores, hastily written on torn scraps of paper, their ante. An almost empty bottle of Kaylee's engine brew sat uncorked, closest to Jayne.

Quietly slipping into the dining room, River hoisted herself up onto the counter, intensely analyzing the game being played.

Book was the first one to notice her presence. He glanced up from his cards, his eyebrows lifting questioningly. "Child, did we wake you with all our noise?"

She placed her hands behind her, arching her back and pointing her toes, the stretch causing one thin strap of her white tank top to slide down her shoulder. "Do not worry, she likes to watch."

The big merc snorted, his dark blue gaze lingering on the pale, creamy globe of her exposed shoulder. "I just betcha do, Moonie."

Wash choked back nervous laughter, almost feeling the head slap Zoe would give him for encouraging Jayne's behavior.

"Really, Jayne, must you?" Disgust and annoyance edged Simon's voice as he looked at his sister, concern etched in his features.

"River, do you need a smoother to help you sleep?"

She finished her stretch, easing her legs, which were clad in thin, heather-colored yoga pants, into a cross-legged position. "She is fine, ge ge, thank you. She will just watch until she grows tired and will then return to bed."

Simon sighed audibly, quickly inventorying the rapidly accelerating list of chores in his and the others' piles in comparison to Jayne's meager collection. "It shouldn't be much longer, at this rate."

"She estimates Jayne will win the game in approximately one more hand."

"See there?" Jayne leaned back cockily, tossing back his last swallow of hooch. "Even Crazy knows ya ain't gotta chance."

"That remains to be seen," Book remarked dryly, raising an eyebrow as he placed his next bet. "Shall we?" he inquired, gesturing at the other men with his cards.

She was very skilled at estimating outcomes. That's why Mal started allowing her to accompany them on jobs and why she was not surprised when the anticipated grumbling and scraping of chairs against the floor commenced precisely as she predicted.

River felt the most sorry for Wash, who was shoving handfuls of chore scraps into his pockets. "You really know how to bleed a man dry, Jayne," the normally jovial pilot accused. His strawberry blond hair stuck out at odd angels, clashing horribly with the multi-colored parrots taking flight on the oversized Hawaiian shirt hanging from his lanky frame.

"Well, little man, if ya spent more time playin' cards than ya do playin' with toys, maybe ya wouldn't find yerself in such an uncomfortable predickuhment."

"See, there's the sympathy I knew you were capable of, Jayne," Wash snarked as he walked away, pockets full, to the waiting arms of his wife.

Book watched Wash's garishly-clad back disappear down the corridor before he rose from the table, looked at Jayne and imparted some unsolicited advice. "Son, you really should search for a little compassion for those not quite as skilled as you. It would do your soul good."

"Hell, Shepherd," Jayne leaned back casually in his chair, his biceps straining against the thin material of the tight, short sleeved t-shirt as he crossed his arms over his chest. "Cumpashun ain't a part uh my vocabulary." One side of his mouth quirked up in a rakish smile, and he winked at the man of God. "And, what soul was you referin' to?"

The preacher feigned a sound of exasperation and shook his head. "I truly don't know why I even attempt to try."

Simon sighed, gathering his chore strips as he watched the Shepherd retreat to his quarters. "River you should really get back to bed." He worriedly looked over his sister's thin form. "You need your rest, mei mei."

She hopped off the counter and walked over to her brother as he pushed his chair back and stood from the table, his white shirt still crisp and astoundingly wrinkle free. River looked up into his concern-filled eyes. "It's okay, ge ge. She will return to slumber shortly. She needs to question Jayne first. Go Simon, Kaylee dreams of you."

The doctor's eyes flitted hesitantly between the merc and his sister.

"Don't worry Doc. I ain't gonna let loony talk at me fer too long."

"River, what can you possibly need to discuss with Jayne?"

Jayne turned in his chair toward Simon, his eyes narrowed to dangerous blue slivers, but he was just as curious to learn the answer as the doctor.

"She wishes to discuss game mechanics with Jayne."

Jayne's eyes returned to full size as he focused on the petite Reader, trying to suss out what exactly was going on in that convoluted brain pain of hers.

Against his better judgment, Simon went to join Kaylee, leaving the two alone.

The sharp, medicinal smell of alcohol wafted through the air, tickling her nose as Jayne poured the remaining finger of home brew into his glass. The empty bottle made a hollow thunk against the wood as Jayne set it on the table. She was being creepifyingly quiet. It made his skin itch when she was quiet. "So, Crazy, whatcha wanna talk to me about? Say what yer gonna say, girl. I don't got all night."

She abruptly came to stand in front of him and looked him straight in the eye. Tiny thing, but brave as all get out. She had bigger balls than most men he knew. You earned them when you sliced and diced your way through a horde of Reavers without so much as breaking a fingernail. He could still see the crimson blood dripping from her duel blades, chunks of gore sliding down the wet metal as the blast doors opened. She was magnificent. Dark, tangled, sweat-slicked locks framed her face. Her chest rose and fell slightly, barely betraying the enormous amount of energy she expended dispatching the manmade monsters in a macabre dance of death. Her eyes, almost black, locked with his. She was wild, untamed. She was pure, brutal, carnal beauty, and he wanted to possess every single inch of her.

"Is he listening to her?" River questioned, after having a one-sided conversation with Jayne, who was staring into space, somewhere over her right shoulder. Growing annoyed and a bit confused, she tried again to draw his attention. "Jayne, she asked you a question," she said as her small fingers gripped his shoulder, giving him a light shake.

"Huh? 'Course I'm listenin' to ya, Moonie." He looked, with newly cleared vision, at the delicate, pale fingers resting all tiny and innocent like on his broad shoulder. Dainty yet deadly, just like the rest of her.

She didn't remove her hand from his shoulder. Couldn't. She remained anchored to him, his heat continuing to seep into her open palm, traveling down and permeating her fingertips. She was merely a spectator as goose bumps rose on her flesh in the wake of the searing blue fire trailing up her arm as his eyes fastidiously traced their way to her face.

"I heard ya just fine." His voice was low and deceptively casual. "Now, what's this about me cheatin' and you thinkin' you can beat me at a game uh Tall Card?"

She didn't like this. Didn't like the way he made her feel, the way he made her lose focus. The way her thoughts fled, bouncing off of Serenity's outer hull and scattering into the black when he looked at her, really looked at her.

Without warning, her hand snaked into the front pocket of his cargos. Jayne may not have been expecting it, but his reflexes were lightening fast. He grabbed her wrist, stalling her motion. Their gazes locked. "If you want ta do more'n just play cards," the roughened pad of his thumb stroked lazily back and forth across the soft, sensitive skin of her shackled wrist. "All ya gotta do is ask." Blue eyes sizzled into brown, issuing both a challenge and an invitation.

Her breath caught in her throat as his eyes left hers and journeyed slowly down her face, latching on to her lips, making them burn, lingering at the hollow of her throat as a tiny pearl of perspiration welled up, and then settling on her breasts, causing her nipples to pebble under the thin, ribbed material of the tank top.

His eyes returned to hers and images flooded her mind. She was wrapped around him, her ankles crossed, her heels digging into the small of his back, pressing him closer, deeper as he jack hammered into her, beads of sweat glistening in the dimly lit bunk as his hips pistoned and she bucked wildly underneath him.

His teeth, lips and hands were everywhere, scoring, sucking and searing her skin as he consumed her from the outside and filled her up on the inside. His chest molded to hers, the coarse hair rubbing against her breasts, causing her nipples to stiffen into aching, swollen buds that slid up and down his sweat-glazed skin as he rode her.

She shook her head, trying to clear the images from her mind, not sure if he put them there or if she had.

"You change your mind, girl?"

"The girl wants to play," she licked her lips nervously with the tip of her tongue. "She had to ensure that you weren't concealing any cards on your person."

Jayne chuckled softly. "Well then, girly, let's play."

A shiver electrified her spine as she caught his deliberate emphasis of the word "play."

Her wrist was still bound in his grasp, and he tugged, causing her to tumble forward. River gave a small gasp of surprise as her free hand shot out, her palm planting itself in the middle of Jayne's thigh, feeling the power practically humming from the hard, finely honed muscle mass as she caught her balance.

Still holding her, he eased his other arm around her, his hand settling in the dip of her lower back, fitting perfectly in the shallow hollow, as he helped right her. She stood between his open legs, allowing him to hold her there as heat enveloped her, threatening to ignite. "Y'know, there are lotsa places a man can hide his cards." The tip of his index finger languidly traced across the strip of exposed skin above the waistband of her pants. "You feel free to continue yer inspecshun."

She backed away, like a skittish colt, and he allowed her to break free from his restraint. Her hand emerged from the pocket of his cargos, empty. "No, no need for further inspection," she said shakily as she took an unsteady seat across from Jayne at the table. "She will be able to determine if he is cheating."

Jayne actually had the audacity to guffaw in response. "I ain't gotta cheat to beat you, little girl. Now, what are we playin' for?" he asked, shuffling the regular deck, passing River the tall cards to shuffle.

She chewed on her bottom lip as she shuffled the round cards, placing them in the middle of the table when she finished, all the while calculating her odds of besting Jayne in her very first game of Tall Card and deciding what and how much to risk.

"Whatsa matter, cat got yer Tongue, Crazy?"

"No, a feline has not absconded with her tongue, Jayne. She is merely assessing the situation and determining how to proceed."

"Well, since you ain't never played before, I'll make your first time real nice and gentle." He winked at her as he dealt them both hands, continuing to speak. "Best two out uh three games, winner gits to make the loser do one chore uh his or her choosin'." He looked at his hand and then looked at her. "You good with that?"

River picked up her cards and studied them. She met his eyes over the top of her cards. "She finds the parameters of the wager acceptable."

His eyes narrowed. "How am I supposed to know yer not cheatin' and readin' my cards usin' that spooky psychic shit uh yers?"

Hurt crossed her features, and she lowered her gaze and her cards. "She would never betray his trust by reading his thoughts," she said in a small voice.

Jayne actually felt guilt twist in his chest, a feeling he thought he had parted company with a long time ago. "Okay, girl, don't get all riled up. I didn't mean anything by it."

She peeked up at him through her lashes, a small smile on her face. "She forgives him."

"Good," the tightness in his chest loosened considerably. "Now let's git this shindig started," he decreed, flipping the first Tall Card over, lying it on the table, face up.

After winning the first game, Jayne was riding high, the sweet taste of victory already dancing on his tongue. He leaned back in his chair and propped booted feet up on the table as he crossed his hands behind his head, waiting for River to deal the next hand.

A radiant smile lit up her face and nearly stole Jayne's breath away as River won the second hand. "She won!" She was literally bouncing up and down in her chair. Her excitement was so genuine and infectious that he struggled to look away and barely kept himself from smiling back at her.

He worked at adding a hard edge to his voice. "Well, the fat lady ain't gone and sung right yet. We're all tied up, so deal them cards and let's git on with it."

"Well, I'll be good and goddamned" Jayne swore. "I ain't ever seen anything like it. Gotta be beginner's luck." He sulked as she swept the cards from the table, returning them to their respective decks after she won the last hand.

She rose from the table and walked to his side. He crossed his arms over his chest, still brooding as he lifted his eyes to her face.

"Does he still intend to honor his portion of the contract?" she asked, the expression in her eyes unreadable. "If he does not wish to, she will release him from his obligation."

He lowered his arms from his chest, flattening both palms on the table as he pushed hard against the scarred wooden surface, the chair legs scratching across the floor as he stood and turned to face her, his hulking mass towering over her small frame.

Pride and indignation flashed in his eyes as he stared in to hers. "Jayne Cobb has never backed away from a bet, and I ain't starting now."

He was standing so close that the warmth of his breath caressed her face as he spoke. If she lifted her arm straight up, she could touch him, let her fingertips glide across his clean shaven cheek and trail down, allowing the whiskers of his goatee to tickle her fingertips.

"What's yer chore, Crazy?"

Big, round brown eyes looked up at him. "Meet her in her room at 0200 tomorrow night, and she will provide him with instructions."

"Uh, uh, Moonie, I ain't gonna caught in yer room in the dead of the night and get m'self spaced, 'specially not over a stupid bet."

"He promised."

River's lower lip jutted out and began to quiver.

"Gou zao de" Jayne muttered under his breath. He was being played like a well-tuned fiddle, but hubris and curiosity even more so, demanded that he pay his debt. "I'll be there, but you'd better be ready to tell me real clear like what it is yer 'spectin me to do, dong ma?"

"She understands. Goodnight Jayne. Thank you for playing Tall Card with her and being a good sport, even if he is displeased that she won."

With that, she flounced out of the room, leaving him to wonder what was going on in that feng le head of hers and what he had gotten himself into.

Jayne sat on the edge of his bed fidgeting. He was actually fidgeting, and it was damn unnerving. He never fidgeted. Hell, he was more riled up than he'd ever been before a job, even one where he knew that Mal's cockamamie plan was going to go south and he would probably end up getting shot. He was literally sweating thinking about what little crazy had cooked up for him.

At one minute shy of 0200, Jayne climbed the ladder out of his bunk and made his way to the passenger dorms, keeping a sharp eye out for any of the crew, a prefabricated excuse already formed on the tip of his tongue.

When he reached the door to River's room, he paused before knocking, what he was preparing himself for he couldn't even begin to guess. As he raised his fist to tap softly against the door, it slid open, revealing River, barefoot as usual, wearing a white, billowy, sleeveless cotton nightgown that hung past her knees. Jayne didn't know what was more creepifying, her answering the door before he even knocked, or appearing all virgin like in that white nightie.

"Come in Jayne, she is ready." She stepped aside, letting him in, closing the door behind him.

He was truly afraid to ask, but he did, anyway, curiosity getting the better of him. "Ready for what?"

"Ready for him to help her complete her chore."

She walked back to her bed and sat on the edge, silently watching Jayne as he walked a few feet into the room, giving her and the bed a wide berth.

"You gonna get around to sharin' with me what that is?"

She looked imploringly at him and held out her hand. "Come and sit with her, Jayne, and she will explain."

His booted feet remained firmly planted. Not even a swarm of Reavers storming into the room could make him budge an inch and go anywhere near that bed. Sure, flirting her up in the dining room was one thing, getting caught alone in her room with her, especially on the bed, was a spacing waiting to happen.

"I'm fine right here. Get to talkin' or I'm leavin', and you'll have ta take care uh your little chore yerself."

She jumped up from the bed, a look of pure panic crossing her face as she practically ran to him. "No Jayne, don't leave." She grasped his much larger hands in her smaller ones. "She honestly requires your assistance."

It was the pleading in her voice that was his undoing. She never asked anyone for anything, least of all him. So, instead of pulling out of her grip, turning away and high tailing it back to his bunk, as his instincts demanded, he stayed. He stayed, and looked into her eyes. "Tell me, River," he said softly. All traces of annoyance and cockiness were gone from his voice.

Relief and hope shone in her eyes. "She needs him to help her feel."

Jayne's skin started itching again. Ai ya. This was going to end very, very badly for him. "Girl, if this here conversation is headin' the way I think it is, you'd best be explainin' real plain and simple like exactly what yer gettin' at."

"Please, Jayne, come sit with her, and she will explain," she requested, releasing one of his hands and tugging on the other as she turned and walked toward her bed.

Surprisingly, he acquiesced and allowed her to lead him back to the bed. He sat next to her and rested his hands on his knees, angling his body toward hers, waiting for her to speak her piece. If he was about to get himself spaced, he may as well be comfortable.

She looked up at him through her lashes, suddenly nervous and more than just a little bit embarrassed. He tipped his chin up and threw his head back slightly, his silent nod giving her the courage to begin.

"She is 21 years of age, and the girl is no longer a child. She is a woman now. She has a woman's body, the look of a woman and the feelings of a woman." Jayne swallowed hard.

"She is a part of this crew and has been assigned adult duties and responsibilities by Captain Daddy. While not able to replace what the blue hands stole from her brain, she has constructed different pathways, created new connections and has begun to fit the remaining pieces back together with Simon's help. She feels more whole, but she is not complete.

When she started feeling sexual urges, she was uncertain how to best satiate her cravings, so she sought help from Inara and Kaylee." Jayne clamped his jaw shut and clenched his teeth as his fingers dug into his knees.

River continued. "Inara gave her advice and reading materials that she studied and put into practice."

Jayne felt the acid start churning in his gut and his eyes narrowed. He wouldn't have been surprised if his eyes had turned from blue to green. "Who 'xactly you been practicin' with?" he interrupted.

She was quick to correct him. "She has been practicing with herself. Kaylee helped her to select some electronic devices the last time Serenity was planetside." Jayne was unable to withhold a groan. "They provide satisfactory stimulation, but she does not derive complete pleasure from them. She requires human touch."

The itching was getting worse, creeping up the back of his neck, causing him to scratch. Yep, he definitely didn't like the direction this here conversation was headed. Jayne was having a hard time accepting that he and the girl were even having this type of conversation, but she was there, he was there, and they might as well see it to its end.

"Well, ya know, girl, there's lotsa ways to touch yerself in a pleasin' manner. 'Nara told ya that, right?" Please, Buddha, let 'Nara have told her about that.

"Oh, yes," River was quick to assure him. "Inara explained and provided her with several illustrations of the many ways to engage in proper self stimulation. They just do not bring her to full completion. This has been her nightly chore, and she has still not experienced complete success."

Nightly? Sweet mother of Buddha. Girl was touchin' herself every night, almost within spittin' distance of his bunk. Jayne signed, scrubbing his hand through his close-cropped dark hair. He was being punished, punished by the Verse for winning all of them hands of Tall Card last night. There could be no other possible explanation for why he found himself in such a situation. Karma was a right bitch, and she had just torn a gigantic chunk out of his ass. He swore he could hear her chewing on his misery right now.

"And you're lookin' to me to help ya cross the finish line?"

She turned to him, a radiant smile on her face, clearly relieved that he understood. "Yes, Jayne, that is what she is asking him to help her do."

He swore so fast and low in Mandarin that she couldn't catch it all.

"Moonie," he began. "I know ya may be crazy, but ya sure as shit ain't stupid. Right now about a thousand reasons come to mind why this is all manner uh wrong, number one bein' me gettin' spaced."

"She will not allow Captain Daddy or anyone else to eject his unprotected body into space."

"I'm an old, lecherous hundan who gets his sexin' from whores. You deserve better than that, little bit. Girl like you needs a man to marry 'er, to make babies with 'er. A man that'll give ya a life, not a back birth that'll give ya a quick fuck in the middle uh the black on a ship held together by spit and promises."

"He is not old. He is in good physical condition, and she is not looking to tether him to her. She knows for a fact that he takes care to give the women he is with pleasure before he seeks his own, and he is very skilled at doing so." Jayne couldn't help but smirk at the truth of that, pride momentarily stealing the driver's seat from self preservation. "And, she promises not to tell Kaylee what he said about Serenity."

"Thanks, Moonie. I don't need her tossin' a spanner at my head like an angry mama bear."

"He is welcome. She is confident that he can help her 'cross the finish line', as he put it and make her climax."

Jayne coughed, suddenly choking as his mind drowned in the images flooding his mind.

"I ain't a nice man, and I sure as hell ain't an honorable man." His deeds on Ariel pricked sharply at his conscience. "You don't got no reason to trust me, and what yer wantin', well, that demands a helluv a lotta trust."

"He has paid for his sins many times over, and she regrets that he continues to punish himself. She knows he is sorry, and he has proven this to her and the rest of the crew many times. She trusts him with her life and she trusts him with her body."

She scooted behind Jayne and stretched out flat on the bed, her arms crossed under her head as she calmly studied him.

He twisted around to look at her, noticing how the thin cotton of her nightgown settled just right against her slim body, outlining womanly curves that he could have sworn appeared overnight. "Well, I guess that means we're done talkin', huh girl?"

"She has explained the problem and provided the most reasonable solution. She is just waiting to see if he will aid her in completing her chore."

"Reasonable solution," he muttered under his breath. He had come to respect the girl and even considered her a friend, maybe something more. But, now wasn't the time to sort out his lady feelings. They were here because she had won a bet fair and square, and he had a 'chore' to complete. Oh yeah, he was definitely going to Book's Special Hell.

He slid to the end of the bed and lifted her feet onto his lap, holding her heels in his hands as he firmly, yet gently massaged the soles with his thumbs. "You sure about this, River?" he asked as he stroked the tops of her feet with his fingers. He could already feel her relaxing under his touch. "This ain't something that can be undone."

"Mmmm, yes, Jayne, she is certain. She likes very much what you are doing and how good it makes her feel."

"Well, baby girl, yer gonna be feelin' a whole lot more'n just good," he promised. He got up and knelt on the floor, lifting her legs, turning her torso toward him, balancing the heels of her feet in his palms as he traced the rounded bone on the outside of one ankle with his tongue, nipping at the sensitive skin with is teeth before lavishing the same care on her other foot.

Her breath hitched in her throat, and she felt moisture wet her core as her inner walls contracted in response to his tongue and teeth on her and the sensation of his goatee scraping against her skin.

He ran his calloused, work-worn palms up and down her legs, gently squeezing her toned calves, enjoying the feel of the firm, warm muscles in his hands.

Hooking his hands behind her knees, he draped her legs over his broad shoulders and slid her nightgown slowly up her thighs, gravity causing the lightweight material to pool around her waist. His chuckled low in his throat as his knuckles brushed across the dew-soaked curls crowning the apex of her thighs. "You was all prepared, weren'tcha, girl?" he husked, growing hard.

Instead of responding, she gasped as he caressed the sensitive skin covering the top and sides of her mound lazily with a finger. His nostrils flared as he scented the heady smell of her musk.

He dipped down deeper, tracing her slick inner lips, her wet heat drenching his fingers as they glided across her clit, the nerve endings in the little bud pulsating in time with her rapidly accelerating heartbeat.

She came off the bed, arching hips as he slid one and then two fingers inside her tight, slick core. River could feel herself cresting high, riding a wave of pleasure as she clamped down on his fingers, drawing them deeper inside her, milking them as plunged in and out of her, the heel of his hand rubbing against her clit.

He could tell that she was close to coming as he felt her inner walls squeeze his fingers rhythmically and her breathing was reduced to short, fast, stunted puffs.

Just as she reached the precipice and was about to fall, he abruptly pulled out, grabbing her hips, jerking her to his mouth, teasing her clit with a flick of his tongue before sucking the engorged bud into the heat of his mouth.

"Jayne," she cried, his name both a prayer and a plea on her lips, as he withdrew, lapping at her inner folds and licking up and down her seam.

"Patience, baby girl, I hear it's a virtchoo," he murmured, right before piercing her core with his tongue, driving in and out of her. Guess I know what Heaven tastes like now, he thought as River's low, keening cry pierced the sex-scented air and she began to fall.

Jayne drank deeply as she climaxed into his mouth, holding her tightly against him as she fragmented around him. He held her in his mouth until he felt the last trembling flutters of her inner walls against his tongue.

He eased back, lowering her legs from his shoulders and placing them back on the mattress. He climbed into bed next to her, turned toward her on his side and wrapped his arms around her, drawing her against his length.

She was soaked from head to toe and surprisingly silent as she snuggled into his embrace. He reached up and brushed damp tendrils of hair from her forehead. "Ya all right, baby girl."

"No, she is not all right, Jayne." Fear that he may have hurt her squeezed his chest. "She is much more than all right. She is complete."

She giggled as he pulled her closer, nuzzling her neck with his nose, kissing along the salty skin. "Well, darlin', ya definitely crossed that finish line and came in first place."

"She wishes to play another game of Tall Card with Jayne."

"Yer on, sweet girl," he responded. I've definitely gotta few chores I need help with, was his last thought as he drifted off into sleep, wrapped around his woman.

~Fin