It took a lot for Bass Monroe to pass out after drinking. In fact, it never happened which is why Bass could be forgiven for failing to notice his attire after waking up covered with a blanket on the ground outside their current safe house.
Groaning and fighting queasiness, Bass slowly pulled himself into a position that let him lean against the house as he rubbed his face and brushed away dirt. With eyes half closed and a headache that was begging for a handful of pre-blackout aspirin, Bass somehow managed to stand upright with the blanket wrapped around him and headed into the house while trying his best to remember what had led to him being face down on the ground.
"Morning, Cupid," a very cheery Miles called out as he heard the screen door creak open. "We're in the kitchen having breakfast."
The smell of real coffee had Bass actually salivating as he shuffled over toward Miles' voice with an outstretched hand and eyes closed to the brightness of the day.
"Here you go, Cupid. Let's see if this helps get your arrow flying straight again."
Quickly guzzling down half of his coffee, Bass's brain started to click into gear.
"Why the hell are you calling me Cupid, Miles? If you need a fuck buddy, you're going to have to find her yourself. I am not open for business. And what the hell happened last night? I can't remember anything."
Looking at Miles while he sipped the coffee and started feeling more human, Bass began to pay a little more attention to his surroundings. Were those snickers? Bass slowly turned around toward the other side of the kitchen only to see Charlie, Aaron, and Connor with tears streaming down their faces as they tried to contain their laughter. Hell, even Rachel was showing some teeth in what he supposed was a grin.
"Does somebody want to share with me why the fuck a hangover is suddenly so funny? It's not like you all haven't done this at some point, too." Bass was starting to get angry.
At that, Charlie and Connor collapsed against each other laughing hysterically while Aaron held on to the door jamb as he struggled to contain his laughter.
"Uh, bro…you might want to look down. Whatever you were drinking last night packed quite the wallop!" Miles managed to gasp out between his now uncontrolled guffaws.
Bass took an angry look down at the floor and suddenly stood there open-mouthed. "What the fuck did you guys do to me? Where are my clothes? I am going to kill someone for this!"
"You mean you didn't dress like Cupid on purpose, Bass? It is Valentine's Day after all. We thought maybe you were trying to spread a little love and affection around. By the way, props for the boxers with all the little red bows and arrows and hearts. What did you use to paint the word "Cupid" on your chest? Is that some kind of edible body paint?" Miles, leaning against the counter, actually had the nerve to wink at Bass as he looked him up and down.
"Oh, I don't know, Miles," Charlie started to weigh in. "I'm really a fan of the red, what did you call it? Oh yeah, the banana hammock with the propeller at the end that says 'Hand crank'. I don't remember ever seeing an airplane with a propeller on it so thanks for the history lesson, Monroe."
Eyes narrowing, Bass looked over at Charlie who was still having trouble controlling her laughter. "There's another saying that used to make the rounds a lot in the old days, Charlotte. Payback is a ….!"
Miles took a step toward Bass, effectively cutting him off and blocking his view of Charlie. "Bass, seriously man. You need to calm down. We all needed a good laugh after the last few weeks, and, for a change, this time it was you providing it. You owe Charlie. Not only did she cover you with a blanket and then sit watch over you last night after trying hard to get you into the house, she's the one that made us save you some of that real coffee we picked up in that last town we were in."
"Okay, gang. Show's over. Now that Cupid is awake and aware, we all have some things we need to get done before we can enjoy the rest of the day. Bass, are you going to be okay on your own for a while or do we need to find a cherub to keep you company?" Miles said with a grin.
"Fuck off, Miles."
Entering the safe house after completing her assigned task of finding their meal for the evening, Charlie was met with complete silence. Calling out a greeting netted no return voices. Looking into each of the rooms confirmed her assumption that she was the first one back. She had lucked out three times today. The first was finding and killing that deer so quickly. The second was the town butcher bartering with her for half the deer, agreeing to butcher her half, and then actually giving her a couple of cured hams, too, in agreement for also providing future meat. When was the last time any of them had eaten ham? And now, she had the house to herself for a couple of hours which meant that she could scrub out that claw foot tub, and actually soak in some hot, scented water for a change thanks to that quirky Cupid's Closet store in town that had provided some scented soap and lotion in addition to Monroe's outfit last night. This town was quickly becoming one of her favorite places.
Still out of sorts after the morning's events and then stepping in a rather large camouflaged pile of animal dung while gathering firewood, Bass stomped into the safe house after leaving his boots at the door. No sense tracking that crap all over the house. Calling out a greeting as he walked in barefooted and getting no response, a grin creased his face as he realized the house was empty. That tub was his, and Cupid was about to get his clean on. Who knew when he'd get another chance to soak out his aches and pains in a tub of warm water rather than having to spit shine in a cold stream. And he deserved a treat after the morning he'd had.
Taking the first heated pot off the fire, Bass headed to the back of the house and the almost hidden doorway that led to nirvana. Pushing the door open with his shoulder, he entered the bathroom and stopped short at the sight in front of him. Long golden curls cascaded over the walls of the tub as rosy tips stood at attention peeking through soap bubbles to tease him. Sucking in a deep breath, Bass suddenly felt a wave of lust wash over him as he gazed at a very relaxed, sleeping Charlotte. A hint of vanilla hung in the air as he stared at the woman who had been at the center of his very heated dreams for months now.
Thankful that he had already taken off his jeans which would have suddenly become uncomfortably tight, Bass stood there in the cupid boxers from this morning just enjoying the view. Knowing he should back out quietly, he took a step closer to tub. The urge to touch her was overwhelming. Instead, he opted to slowly pour his hot water into her bath to warm it up again.
"Mmmmm….." Charlie moaned catching Bass off guard. With eyes cracked open only a slit and still under the effect of an incredibly arousing dream about her secret desire to be with Bass, Charlie saw only hearts and arrows. "Cupid?" whispered out of her lips.
He couldn't help it. He had denied himself too long. Bass leaned over trailing a finger up her arm and around her nipples as he leaned in to feather his lips onto hers. Pulling back, he was startled when her other arm came up to grab his neck.
"Don't go. I've been waiting for you."
"Charlotte? Wake up. It's me, Bass. Are you okay?" Inwardly cursing himself for his lack of control, Bass waited for the explosion he knew was about to come his way as he turned to head back into the hallway.
"Bass?" Charlie was fully awake now. "What are you doing in here? Why are you standing there in those ridiculous boxers? Did you just…just kiss me?"
Surprised at her lack of reaction to his presence,, Bass warily looked back over his shoulder at a gloriously naked Charlie who had yet to cover herself from his view.
With a very dry throat, Bass came close to stuttering his reply. "Sorry. Thought I was alone in the house and figured it would be a good time to take advantage of the tub. Umm…Charlotte, you do realize I can see all of your, uh, attributes? "
"Yes, I do realize I am lying here completely naked. Why did you kiss me, Bass? After last night, I wasn't sure what was going on."
"I don't really have a good answer for you, Charlotte. It felt like the right thing to do at the time, but I know Miles will kick my ass if he ever finds out, and I'm sure you're planning the same thing as soon as I get out of here so you can get dressed." Turning to leave was one of the hardest things Bass had ever done. How had it come to this? How had General Monroe been felled by the charms of a female half his age and one that he couldn't even do anything about. He was so screwed.
Bass heard a sloshing sound and then one word, "Bass." Risking a look back, he was stunned to see Charlie standing up in the tub, rivulets of water running down her body.
"It's Valentine's Day, Bass, and I stayed outside with you all night. Please…"
"Please what, Charlie? Are you trying to get me killed? Get a towel or something. Wait...why did you stay with me last night?"
"Do you really not remember anything about last night? Think, Bass. Remember the choco-tinis and our trip to Cupid's Closet? You wanted to be Cupid last night. You painted an arrow over my heart when you wrote Cupid on your chest. You told me I would always be yours. You even picked out something for me and asked me to wear it today if I chose you, too."
Motioning to a scrap of red silk on the shelf by the sink, Charlie continued. "I was going to put it on and show you later. I want to be with you, Bass."
As Bass struggled for something to say, Charlie stepped out of the tub and walked over to him. Putting her arms around his neck and plastering her body to his, she pulled his face down and kissed him like she had fantasized about for so long. Instinct kicked in and Bass found himself kissing her back as if he would never let her go. Pulling his lips from hers and trailing kisses down her neck, Bass let his hands roam wherever they wanted. Memories of last night started coming back in snatches – feelings and sensations, a boatload of Charlie ensconced on his lap, lips meshing, bodies tangling, too many clothes …
Charlie's fingers, meanwhile, were exploring every scar, every sculpted nook and cranny of the stunning body he had teased her with last night when she suddenly found herself at the waist band of those silly Cupid boxers.
"I've gotten you all wet, Bass. Don't you think it's time we let Cupid run free? He's done his job." Yanking the shorts down, Charlie grabbed Bass by the hand and led him back to the warm bubbles. "I also think it's time for the bathing to commence. What was it your propeller thong said?"
"Hand crank," Bass groaned.
"Mmm…that's right. I'm going to practice my hand cranking now. Are you with me on this? Are you ready to fly with me?"
"Yeah, I think I'm okay with that. Welcome to Bass Air, Charlotte."
It's about time, Cupid."
Author's Note: For the Good Ship Charloe's Short and Sweet Valentine's event. I have lurked around and been reading all the wonderful Revolution and Charloe stories for quite some time now. I even emailed Lemon with an idea about a very clean Charlie and a waterfall, and she wrote a wonderful story for me. My resolution this year was to do things outside of my comfort zone so I thought I would give Short and Sweet a try. Welcome to the very first thing I have ever written. I know what I hear and see in my head, but it's hard to capture all of that and write it so others will see it, too. I hope I've succeeded a little bit and you enjoy it. And now I've actually kept a resolution!