Fancy Meeting You Here
"Well, well, well. What have we here?"
Maria let out a groan of embarrassed frustration as she felt the heat flood her cheeks in a blush that would most likely extend to her toes if she bothered to look. She squeezed her eyes shut, not daring to look down at what she was sure was his 'Smug Captain' expression. He would be teasing her for days about this...
Peering down through the leaves she could make out the six pairs of shoes and legs standing just beside the tree, behind their father.
"Alright, which one of you peached on me and told your father I was stu-, resting in this tree for a few minutes?" she asked, all the while trying to wiggle her foot silently out of the branches it had become hopelessly wedged between. She heard a sharply whispered, "Shhh," followed by guilty silence from below. Clearly no one was going to admit to it.
The Captain cleared his throat and addressed the waiting group, "Children, why don't you, ah, go and see if Cook needs any help taste testing whatever it is she's making, hmm? I'll be sure to have our girl down from the tree where she's resting, I promise."
She could hear murmurs about wishing to stay and see the daring rescue and what if Father had to chop the tree down with her in it as they all shuffled slowly back to the house. Which left her in a tree, dangling above her handsome husband who was leaning against the trunk and checking his nails as though he had all the time in world.
"Stuck are you my darling?" he drawled without looking up at her.
"No," she grunted out in frustration as she started to pull at her foot in earnest. But it was no use. She would need both hands to free the foot and that was quite impossible given the fact that she required them to cling to the upper branches for balance. The more she twisted the more tangled she became, she let out a huff of annoyance and then a roll of her eyes as she glanced down to see him smiling up at her.
Cat meet canary.
"Your certain, because I can leave you if you like?" Georg gestured toward the house with a nod of his head. "I can head back inside and finish those pressing letters I have. I'm sure Frau Schmidt wouldn't mind bringing you a tray of dinner-"
"Alright," she swallowed her pride audibly, "I'm stuck and I, I could use your help. Please."
"Hmmm, that didn't sound like you truly needed my help," he teased as he eased his shoulders from his jacket and slung it over a low branch. "I've always wanted to rescue a damsel in distress," he admitted, beginning to roll up the sleeves of his white shirt at the cuffs. "I hear they are want to give out their favors to the brave knight who rescues them from the lair of the dragon."
She took a peek down the tree trunk as he tested the branches, "Trees are not dragons Georg, you cannot slay a tree. Besides I have no favors to give you."
"Oh ho, I beg to differ. I am, uh, intimately acquainted with your favors, as it were."
"But," he said reaching for the lowest branch and swinging himself up with ease, "we shall negotiate my favors when I have successfully rescued you." Climbing carefully up the opposite side of the tree from her, he found himself remembering the simple joy of climbing trees and wondered at the last time he had done something just because. Drawing himself up level to her he reached out a hand to grasp her arm and steady her as his last swing had shaken the tree a bit and unsettled her.
"Alright?" he whispered.
Maria suddenly found the sight of his bare forearms fascinating, she was watching the play of the muscles as he shifted his grip on the branches, she often forgot how strong he was. She found the thought of his strength rather exciting and she felt herself blush.
"Mmm, just embarrassed at getting stuck in this tree," she fibbed, tearing her eyes away from his arms before he could catch her staring. Instead, she looked up into his eyes and caught the boyish gleam.
"You shouldn't be. I'd think you'd be more embarrassed about how much time I took stalling down there underneath you so I could catch a glimpse of those delightful little blue satin knickers-"
"You didn't! Georg von Trapp, knights who expect a favor should not be looking at their fair ladies undergarments!" Maria gave a haughty sniff which was in direct contrast to the bright pink her ears had turned. But she was determined to maintain as much dignity as possible, considering she was stuck in a tree and had apparently been flashing her knickers about. She attempted to level him her very best 'no more nonsense' look.
"I said I was a brave knight, not a virtuous one!" he said ducking her little balled up fist and reaching down to grasp her foot and tug the offending branch away to free her. He briefly ran his hands along her ankle and the exposed bones of her foot feeling for a sprain. Satisfied that she wasn't truly hurt he let her go with a little pat.
"Thank you, kind sir," she said, rotating her ankle which was a bit scraped and sore. Not that she would be admitting to that. In fact, she wouldn't be admitting to how she got stuck in the tree in the first place at all, ever.
Georg leered at her a bit from his perch, leaning back and looking for all the world as if he was in a glittering salon instead of a tree branch with bark clinging to his fine trousers. All he needed was a glass of champagne to complete the tableau.
"If you're certain you are all right, I believe we agreed to discuss my numerous favors…," he trailed off as he reached out to grasp her hand and kiss the back of it.
"As if you deserve one, peeking at my...unmentionables. One favor," she held up a finger, "Singular, sir. Name your price."
He flipped her hand over and studied the delicate skin of her wrist from a moment, "A kiss then."
"Very well," she smiled as she leaned in and puckered her lips comically and aimed for his cheek.
"Ah ah ah, not so fast," he said, gently grasping her chin to stop her.
"I will take my kiss at the time and place of my choosing, with the prospect of only one I will have to make it count. And I can't do that in a tree."
"Why ever not?"
"Need both my hands to do a proper job," and with that he glanced down and swung himself out of the tree like a well dressed Tarzan.
Before he could twist around and offer to catch her she was on the ground beside him.
"Impressive, young lady."
"You as well, an aged man like yourself must be careful, is your cane nearby to support you after all that strenuous activity? Shall I call the boys back with a litter?
He gave a bark of laughter and swept her up into his arms and she let out an undignified squeak of surprise.
"Are you going to claim your kiss now, brave knight?"
"Yes," he whispered as he leaned in and watched her eyes flutter shut in anticipation. He leaned closer, hesitating, feeling her breath brush across his cheek before he pressed forward one last inch and gave her a long and loud raspberry right where her neck met her shoulder.
She shrieked with laughter as he placed her back on the ground and took off at a run for the boathouse, turning back only long enough to make sure she was giving chase.
"Just wait until I catch you!" she yelled as she rounded the corner of the little building and found that he had disappeared. The latch, however, was undone and there was a telltale snuffle of smothered laughter coming from inside that could barely be heard over the lap of the water. Maria reached out a hand to sneak the door open and was given away when it creaked like an old rocking chair, there went her chance at a surprise attack…
Before she could come up with a better plan she felt a hand grip her arm and pull her inside the door, shutting it firmly behind them.
I couldn't resist the lure of this month's prompt...even if this is not strictly a first meeting!