In the month after they had finally consummated their relationship, Jebb had only been able to sneak off to Atlanta a couple of times to see Kira. Instead, he'd been recruited to help his family with the preparations for the Christmas season. Not only that, but there were several events that he'd been roped into helping with in town as well. Still, each visit with Kira was worth the wait. When he was there last he'd even noticed the small packet of birth control pills that she had gotten since his last visit. He couldn't help but grin at the sight since that let him know that Kira had already thought about making their intimate activities a regular event.

The only thing that could have been better for him would have been if Kira would have agreed to meet his family for Christmas. He'd come close to asking but each time the subject was even approached he'd sense her pull away just a bit so he figured he'd drop it for a while. As a result, he knew that there wouldn't be a way to see his girlfriend on Christmas Day without drawing some suspicion. Instead, he and Kira agreed to meet the day after to exchange gifts.

To be honest, Jebb knew that Kira held that day to be more special to herself than the actual holiday anyway. After all, she'd once told him that for her, it reminded her of the fact that some promises could be kept. It had been the twenty-sixth of December that Ben Kyle had kept his promise to a young, fifteen year old girl who was disillusioned with the idea of the holiday that he'd gone to the hospital to help the patients in the pediatric cancer wing to celebrate. He'd left with the promise to return and he had the very next day to leave her a present. Now it was Jebb who wanted to prove to Kira that he, too, was someone that she'd never have to doubt that he'd keep his promises to her.

When he held out the large package to Kira as he sat beside her on the sofa the day after Christmas he chuckled as she did the mandatory shaking of the box as she tried to guess what the box might contain. Jebb leaned away as if the box might explode from the shaking before Kira finally carefully unwrapped the package. When she pulled out a new helmet with an image of a firebird on it Kira raised a brow in question at him.

"I figured that you'd need another one after what happened the last time you rode your bike. Now that it's all fixed up I thought that you might want to get back to practicing so that when you get out on the track next season you might give me a run for my money. I mean, I know that you usually enjoy the view that you have from your place on the track but every once in a while I'd like to trade places to enjoy one just as nice."

Jebb winked as he leaned back on couch as what he was saying sunk into Kira's mind before she muttered while shaking her head in exasperation. "Such an ass."

"See. I knew that you thought that was my best feature." Jebb burst out laughing as Kira slung a couch pillow at him while slipping her legs out from underneath herself to kick him off of the sofa.

"You're real sure of yourself, aren't you? And for your information, you have no idea of just what I'm capable of on the track anymore!" Kira tried to look offended but the affect was ruined when she joined Jebb in his laughter. As he stood up he leaned over to grab the pillow that Kira had sent his way and caught her eyeing his butt before he turned back around while giving her a knowing look.

"Uh, huh." Jebb tossed the pillow back before saying, "Care to prove it? Just once I'd like to some real competition out there again."

"Just as soon as it starts to warm up outside again, you'll be eating your words."

"I look forward to it."

Jebb settled back down onto the couch as Kira picked up the package that she had sitting next to her on the floor. He reached forward and tore the paper off to reveal a box for a new pair of boots for him. He yanked off the boots that he was wearing and pulled on the new ones to see how they fit. When he stood up to test them out he swore that he felt something in one of them. He pulled the boot back off and reached his hand inside and felt around until he found the object that he'd stood on when he had his foot in it. When he pulled his hand back out he saw that he held a key. It had no markings to indicate what it was to.

Kira saw the confused look on Jebb's face so she shrugged as she explained, "I figured that you might as well have a key to the apartment. You know, just in case you get to town while I'm out. You could just let yourself in."

Jebb glanced down at the key in shock. This was his real present. For Kira to give him a key to her place was her putting even more trust in him than he'd really thought that she was ready for. He knew for a fact that the entire time that she lived at Ben's that she had a room that even Ben didn't have a key to. That had been a present to her shortly after she'd moved in. To give her a sense of security. To be granted this key meant that Kira didn't need to keep a locked door between them. She felt safe with him.

Jebb quickly pulled out his wallet and put the key where he'd once kept his condom before Kira started her birth control. After returning it back to his pocket Jebb reached forward to pull her toward to him to give her a deep, affectionate kiss. This was a very merry Christmas indeed.

Kira stepped out of the courthouse and breathed in the spring air. It was Friday and she had plans to meet with Jebb at a roadhouse called Dixie Drifters halfway between Atlanta and Placid. Afterwards she knew that they would race around the back roads of the county while practicing for the upcoming race that would be the start of the season. Kira hurried to her apartment so that she could change from her business suit and into her more casual clothes.

At the door to her apartment she dug around her bag for her keys before she finally was able to get the door opened and practically ran toward her bedroom as she tore her blouse off as she went so that she didn't waste any time. After changing clothes she was just pulling her jeans up as she heard the door to her bedroom open up behind her. She spun around and instinctively grabbed the man in the doorway and slung him up against the wall while twisting his arm behind his back.


"Jebb?" Kira pulled back both a bit confused as well as embarrassed. "What are you doing here? I thought that we planned to meet up at the bar."

Jebb rubbed his shoulder a bit as he moved it around to work the soreness out of it. "Uh, right. I thought I'd surprise you. I guess that wasn't such a hot idea after all."

"Sorry about that." Kira stepped forward to give Jebb a hug in an apology. "I just wasn't expecting you."

"Next time I'll holler out to you before I come in, that's for sure," Jebb gave Kira a lopsided grin as he made a mental note to think better of sneaking up on her again. "So, how about we go get something to eat before we head off to go riding?"

"Great, I'm starving. I've heard great things about a restaurant down the street. Their ribs are supposed to be among the best."

After they went out to eat the two then headed off toward the back roads that would give them plenty of room to practice with their motorcycles. Jebb was impressed by just how well Kira could handle her bike. He wasn't sure why he hadn't thought about just how much her riding style had to have changed in the years since he'd last raced her. After all, this time last year she had been riding with a stunt riding group over in the next state. Though just thinking about her time there made Jebb's stomach tighten as he remembered that last show that she'd participated in. Especially when Kira started to work on a few stunts as she rode alongside him down the country roads.

When the two arrived at the roadhouse that they'd originally planned to meet up at they saw a few of the other racers from the circuit so they joined them at the bar for drinks. Kira sat on a stool while Jebb stood behind her and casually kept an arm wrapped around her waist. He'd started off on the stool beside her but it just seemed to him that every time another man came up to the bar for a drink he'd do so beside of Kira while getting a glance down her shirt or eying her up in general. That was when he'd abandoned his own seat and decided to stake his claim. Not that Kira seemed to mind if she noticed the reason for his new position that prevented anyone else from getting too close to her. Jebb felt her lean back against him a few times as he ran a hand along her side.

As the night wore on the racers began discussing the races that they planned to travel to that summer. Especially one that Jebb and his friends always stayed at a nearby campground when they went. When Kira agreed to join the group at the race and campground Jebb couldn't wait to introduce her to his love of camping.

Kira helped Jebb unload the back of her truck and glanced around their campsite that he'd chosen. He told her that he'd normally hike a ways further into the woods after driving in as far as he could but he wouldn't make her do that on her first trip out. After all, she was a city girl and not used to the great outdoors. Kira stuck her tongue out at him as she grabbed her sleeping bag from the back of the truck.

She felt like reminding him that she'd spent more nights outside in her lifetime than he did, and without the benefit of a tent or sleeping bag, when she was younger but decided against it. Instead she said that since she was so incompetent she figured that it would be best if he set the tent up on his own while she found a comfortable spot next to a tree and settled in to watch him work. In no time at all Jebb had the small two-man tent set up and had a fire ring made for their campfire. By that time he had a fine sheen of sweat from the hot July humidity.

"There. Not bad if I do say so myself." Jebb stood up and turned toward Kira. He'd convinced her to join him a couple of days early so that they could spend some time together before the rest of their racing troop joined them for the race weekend. Having her to himself off in the woods in a relatively isolated campsite gave him some interesting ideas of what all they could do to enjoy their respite away from both this family farm and the city that she worked in. One thing would certainly help him cool off after getting all sweaty from setting up the campsite. He walked over hand held out a hand to help Kira stand back up. "Come on."

"I thought that you weren't going to make the city girl go hiking in the woods. Where are we going?"

"You'll see." Jebb led Kira toward the river bank where the calm water looked very inviting. As he pulled his shirt off she asked him what he was doing. "You never went skinny dipping?"

Kira shook her head as she glanced around almost sure that she'd see someone else down by the river fishing or something. As Jebb stripped out of his clothes he knew that Kira was watching him as if he'd just lost his mind. He then wadded out into the water and turned toward her and waited as she decided whether or not she'd join him. When she sat on the riverbank and started to pull off her hiking boots he grinned and didn't even bother to pretend to look away as she stripped in front of him. He knew every inch of her body in great detail. It was something that he just couldn't get enough of. Fortunately the feeling was mutual. In the months since the two of them had started sleeping together Jebb was pleased to learn that Kira's newly found sex drive matched his own. It was as if each time they were able to get together they were trying to make up for lost time after years of celibacy while dating.

When Kira finally joined him in the water Jebb gave her a kiss before the two of them began to swim around to cool off from the hot summer heat. He then enjoyed coping a few feels in the water and splashing around while the two of them hadn't a care in the world. Eventually it was time to head back to camp to start their supper. Jebb followed Kira out of the water and made his way to where he'd left his jeans. He was just about to pull them on when he was taken by surprise by Kira shrieking at the top of her lungs as she put as much distance as she could between herself and her own clothes. When he went to investigate he saw Kira pointing toward her pile of clothes.

"What is it?"

"A snake!"

Jebb walked over to the pile of clothes and sure enough, curled up on Kira's underwear and bra was a black snake. Chuckling, Jebb reached down and grabbed the snake behind its head. It then wrapped the rest of its body around his hand, wrist and most of his arm.

"This little thing had good taste. If I wanted to find a bed out here I don't think I could have found a better one than he did." As Jebb spoke he took a step toward Kira. When she screamed again he teased her, "Aw. Come on. He's just a little rat snake. He won't hurt you."

"You keep that thing away from me. I swear if you come near me with it I'll head back to camp and hop in the truck and leave you out here!"

"Without your clothes?" Jebb snickered since neither of them had gotten dressed yet. When Kira glanced down at herself it was clear that her fear of the snake had made her completely forget her state of undress. "Go ahead and get dressed. I'll find some place to set this little guy free."

Kira slowly headed toward her pile of clothes as she asked, "Set him free? You aren't going to kill it?"

"Why? He's harmless. I'll be right back."

Jebb then took the snake a little ways into the woods in the opposite direction of their campsite and set the snake free. By the time he'd returned to the riverbank to retrieve his own clothes he saw that Kira had gotten dressed but was carrying her underwear in her hands. He supposed that she wasn't comfortable with putting them back on after a snake had used them as a bed. Jebb then got dressed himself before guiding Kira back toward the campsite. He had a bit of fun teasing her about her fear of the snake but he decided not to push it too far. After all, he wasn't stupid. He was sharing a tent with her tonight and he'd like to do more than just sleep in it.