Disclaimer: They do not belong to me. But I'm originally from the South and Wade is the ultimate country boy. Grrrrrr…
Author Notes: Zoe experiences her first southern storm. Not to worry. Wade will keep her safe. I've been writing fanfics for a couple of years, but this is my first fanfic for this show. I have fallen in love with it and having been through storms like this, I couldn't resist. I can't believe the show hasn't done more on the weather yet other than when they had the heat spell.
Wade finished polishing and putting away the glasses that just came out of the dishwasher as he and the rest of the bar full of people watched the weather report. The storm he had been watching was headed their way. He thought about the cute little brunette doctor he had fallen so hard for and knew he needed to check on her. He was pretty sure she would be freaking out soon.
"All right everybody, looks like things are about to get interestin'. I'm closin' up early so you folks best be gettin' home and hunkerin' down as well. Last call."
It took another hour to get the last drunk out and lock up. The wind had picked up and the hair on Wade's arm was standing on end. It was a sure sign lightning was in the air. At that exact moment he saw a flash that lit up the sky followed by a clap of thunder a few seconds later. It was starting to get darker now and Wade could count the miles away after every lightning strike. One Mississippi…two Mississippi…three Mississippi. The thunder growled. It looked to be only three miles out. He hit the accelerator and headed for the plantation as fast as he could.
Zoe stood on her porch. She could smell the rain in the air. That was something she never experienced in New York. There was an eerie calm right now, but she new something was about to happen. The hairs on her arm were on end. It was unnerving. She wished she could run over to Lavon's, but he was in Mobile at some stupid political thing.
Wade must be working at the Rammer Jammer. She wished the next few hours would pass quickly and he would come home. She hated being alone out here at the plantation. Heck, she wouldn't even mind seeing Burt Reynolds right now, but the alligator was nowhere to be found. Figures. She sighed and sat down on her porch steps.
She watched as clouds began to block out the sky and the wind started to pick up. That's when she saw the first flash of lightning. It split the sky horizontally with fingers that led off in several directions. She'd never seen it do that before. After a bit she heard distant thunder. It was still pretty far away and not that loud. As the minutes passed the clouds darkened and swirled while the lightning flashes became more frequent. The accompanying thunder came faster and louder. She could feel it coming. It was the most terrifying experience she had ever had with the weather. A lawn sign blew across her yard along with some other debris.
Suddenly a brilliant streak of lightning lit up the sky immediately followed by the loudest clap of thunder Zoe had heard so far. It felt like the ground shook. She was shaking like a leaf and wrapped her arms around her waist as Wade's truck turned into the lane and headed straight for their two houses. He threw it into park and looked at her through the windshield. She breathed a sigh of relief. He was home early.
The instant he was out of his truck Zoe launched herself into his arms. He held her close and swallowed hard.
"It'll be okay Doc. It's just a little old storm."
"Wade, I'm so glad you're here. I was so scared."
He ran one hand into her hair and held her close with his other arm wrapped tightly around her tiny waist.
Zoe turned her face into his neck and breathed him in. He made her feel safe. She was always so independent but this man had a way of making her feel so protected and cared for. He was in a word…masculine. It was…maddening at times…exciting at others.
She realized they were in dangerous territory here and moved away from him as hard as it was to do. Wade dropped his hands and stepped back, giving her some space.
"I'm sorry Wade."
She looked so damn cute and a little lost. Wade stepped closer to her again and tilted her face up.
"Don't be sorry Doc. I know it's your first storm. It takes some gettin' used to. Now we better get these shutters closed before the rain and maybe some hail starts."
"The wind can blow it sideways and it can break your windows."
Zoe's eyes went impossibly wide and Wade had to chuckle to himself.
They worked together and got all of hers closed and latched, before they started on Wade's. As they closed the last few shutters the heavens opened up and a deluge began to fall. The drops were so big and came down so hard they actually hurt.
"Woman, if we don't get inside soon, we're either gonna drown or get hit by lightnin'."
He grabbed her hand and started running for her house as some small hailstones came down mixed in the rain.
The made it to Zoe's porch just as a massive hailstorm dumped golf ball sized stones on the ground. They were hitting so hard, they bounced up on the porch and Wade scooted her back to her front door. He reached up and brushed her wet hair from her face and took her hand, leading her inside.
Walking straight to her bathroom, he grabbed a towel and started drying her hair while Zoe watched him. She didn't say anything, but kept her eyes on his the entire time. The sound of stones hitting the shutters over the bathroom window made it clear that Wade was right. Hail could go horizontal in a southern storm. It sounded like someone was throwing rocks at her house.
Wade dropped the towel on her shoulders and pulled on the ends to pull her close again.
That's when it happened. A bolt of lightning lit up the bathroom through the slits in the shutter, immediately followed by a deafening clap of thunder. The whole house shook. Zoe threw her arms around Wade's neck just as the lights went out. They stood holding each other for a long moment.
"Got any candles Doc?"
Zoe released the deathlike grip she had on Wade's neck and walked cautiously through the house into her kitchen. She pulled open a drawer by the sink and took out two small votive candles in glass holders.
"When this storm is over, we are going to get you outfitted for future events. Around these parts the lights can stay off for hours, sometimes even a whole day or night."
Wade took the lighter Zoe offered and lit the candles.
"Come on. Let's get you some dry duds."
Wade followed Zoe into her bedroom and held the candles while she opened her closet and took out a dry t-shirt and some more yoga pants. She took one candle into the bathroom again and changed while Wade stood by the corner of her bed holding the other one. He didn't dare sit down or he would get her covers all wet.
When she came out he smiled as he watched her comb her hair out. The storm was in full swing and the sound of rain and hail hitting the house was a little unnerving.
Zoe could tell Wade was cold and miserable.
"You better get out of those wet pants and shirt."
"Are you sure?"
"Underwear is like a bathing suit. Besides, I've seen you in your birthday suit in case you've forgotten."
Wade grinned and slipped his shirt over his head. Zoe drank in his delicious abs and darted into the bathroom for another towel. She tossed it to him as he unbuckled and slid his wet jeans off. He was a boxers man. She liked that. He dried his chest and legs and then sat on the edge of Zoe's bed. She surprised him and stepped in between his legs to take the towel and dry his hair for him.
"Just returning the favor."
The storm kept raging outside and Zoe's face was tense. Wade took the towel and draped it around his neck. He reached for her and pulled her down on one of his knees.
"I won't let anything bad happen to you Zoe. This thing will blow over in a few hours. I think it's best if we blow out one candle just in case though. That way we can have twice the length of time we would have. Just in case the lights stay off."
Wade knew she was struggling with something.
"Spit it out Doc."
"I'm cold and I was wondering if we could just climb in my bed and stay warm for now."
Wade grinned from ear to ear.
"Doc, did you just proposition me?"
Zoe stood up and walked away. He could tell she was feeling vulnerable and realized how much pride she had swallowed to ask him into her bed.
"Never mind. We can go back in the living room or the kitchen."
Wade rushed to grab her hand and turn her back to him.
"I'm sorry Zoe. I'm an idiot. Can we start over? I think stayin' warm in your bed is a very sweet offer and I promise to be a complete gentleman if you'll let me."
"You just called me by my first name."
He pulled her over to the bed and lifted the covers.
Zoe shivered when he used her name again. She crawled under the covers and Wade followed her. They lay facing each other on their sides and she flashed him a shy smile.
"I never thought I'd be afraid of Mother Nature like this ever."
"It's pretty amazin' what happens when a warm front and a cold front collide."
"That's what makes a monster storm like this."
"Come on. You're a doctor, didn't you study science growin' up?"
"Yeah, but I don't remember much of it when it comes to weather. Just medicine."
"You won't tell anybody how silly I acted tonight will you? Not even Lavon. Please?"
"Just a secret between me and you Doc?"
"Yeah. Would you mind?"
"I'd like to share a secret with you Zoe."
Wade reached up, brushed her hair behind her ear and sifted it between his fingers for a few seconds. Zoe closed her eyes at his touch. This was feeling very intimate all of a sudden.
Wade looked in her soft brown eyes and then his gaze dropped to her lips. They looked so soft and sweet. He leaned towards her and she leaned towards him. Her eyes fluttered shut and he sighed softly as he went to press his lips to hers. It was at that moment that all sound stopped outside. Wade pulled back. Zoe's eyes fluttered back open.
"Oh, the storm passed."
"No Zoe. No it didn't."
"Zoe, run to the bathroom and get in the bathtub."
"Just get in the bathroom and get in the tub now!"
"It's a tornado and that's the safest place we can be right now."
Zoe's eyes latched on to his and she flew out of the bed. Wade pulled the mattress off the bed and followed her in dragging it behind him.
"Lay down Sweetheart. It's gonna be okay."
Wade climbed in and lay down behind her pulling the mattress in and wedging it in over them. He put his arm around Zoe's waist and held her tightly against him. She whimpered and he put his lips next to her ear.
"I've got you. When I say to, push against the end of the tub as hard as you can to hold yourself in. Don't let go of me no matter what, okay?"
Zoe trembled in his arms and nodded slightly. He knew she was crying and he gently kissed her behind the ear and smoothed her hair back before he pulled her against him again.
The sound of breaking glass and of debris crashing into the house was followed by a roaring sound. Like a train his mama used to say. Zoe turned in Wade's arms and pressed her face to his chest. She looked up into his eyes.
"If I'm going to die I want your face to be the last thing I see."
Wade's heart skipped a beat and he covered her lips with his. When he released her he rolled her under him and covered her with his body.
They braced themselves as best they could and waited out the twister. Finally the roaring stopped and Wade let out the breath he didn't know he'd been holding. The tornado had passed close by, but they had not been hit. Zoe's house was still standing.
The two of them relaxed finally and Zoe took in their intimate embrace. Their bodies were pressed together and Wade's face was hovering above hers. She remembered the kiss and started to blush. She had to distance herself quickly. She tried to push Wade off. He let her roll him to the side.
"Ah now Doc, don't go spoilin' everythin'. It was just a kiss. It was a moment. Let it just be that, okay? You needed me. I was here. Right? I know you don't like me like that. I get it. Just don't spoil it for me with all those words you throw at everythin' that happens to ya."
Zoe could see the hurt forming in his eyes. Before she could respond, he reached up and flipped the mattress off them and stepped out of the tub. He turned and took her outstretched hand and helped her out. When he went to release her hand, she held on and pulled him back to her.
"Who said I don't like you like that and who said it had to be just a moment?"
Wade's eyes went impossibly wide as she closed the distance to his lips and kissed him back with passion. He dropped the mattress and wrapped his arms around her pulling her flush against him and kissing her back with all he had.
When they finally pulled back, Wade let his arms drop to encircle her waist. He rocked her back and forth and smiled at her with so much affection she thought her heart was going to burst.
"Yes, it was…"
Wade framed Zoe's face with his hands.
"In case you don't know it yet Doc. I'm certifiably crazy about you."
"Hmmm. Not sure there's a medical solution for that Wade."
"Good. I don't plan on getting' cured any time soon."
"You better not. As you Southerners say, I don't plan on being a notch in your bedpost. Got it?"
"I just want you Zoe from now on. I mean that. If I'm lyin', may lightnin' strike me dead."
"Hey! Don't say that. Not tonight."
Wade laughed and let her go to haul the mattress back on the bed. They worked together to smooth the sheets back in place. When they were done, they stood staring at each other from opposite sides of the bed. As if by mutual consent they climbed on the bed on their knees and met in the middle.
"I sure do love a good storm."
Zoe giggled right when Wade reached for her again.
"Me too Wade. Me too."
"Come here you."
"Finally a compliant woman."
"Well, don't get used to it."
She slipped her arms up around his neck and as their lips met again, they slid down onto the bed wrapped in each other's arms. Zoe smiled into the kiss.
Thank you Mother Nature.
A/N: Thanks for reading and I hope you liked it.