Katie sighed, stretching her legs. She'd been driving for too long, and she was tired.

She opened her car door, getting out and stretching her arms over her head, waiting for Ned to return from inside the gas station.

They'd been driving for hours, hunting for an estate sale that Melinda wanted some antiques from, just across the border in Pennsylania.

Melinda was too busy with her newborn, Emma, to go herself, but Katie knew that her mother would have preferred to go to this particular sale in person, for it had some very rare pieces that Melinda had been hunting for for a very long time now, for herself rather than the shop.

Katie and Ned...they were trying hard now, still newlyweds as they were, not even at a year yet. It was June, and Katie was enjoying her first full summer with Ned at her side, married as they finally were.

They'd always had a rocky relationship, filled with fire and ice, passion that was a very good thing in bed but had a downside when one of them was stressed or irritated.

They fought a lot, but when they made up...

Katie's lips curled into a grin, finally spying Ned coming through the door of the gas station, her long, lean legs carrying her across the parking lot to meet him halfway.

She saw the smile curling his own lips, how his arms rippled with lean muscle as he lifted them to embrace her, and she relished the solid feel of them around her as his lips fell onto her neck, sucking there. She sighed, a breathy sound that only made him pull harder, before moving to her lips and capturing them with his.

She kissed him back passionately, letting her tongue tangle with his, her hands clutching at his shoulders, pulling him closer.

And then he pulled away.

"I don't think we need to give the old man in there a show," he whispered, his hand nevertheless drifting down to cup her ass, stroke her inner thigh.

"Did you get directions?" She asked, slipping her hand into his and leading him back to the car, leaning on it as he took off the gas cap and attached the nozzle to the car, watching as the gallons climbed on the reader before turning to Katie.

"Yes," he said, sighing. "And that's the bad news."

"What?" She said, straightening and pushing herself off of the car.

She felt a tiny twinge in the area of her stomach, a reminder of the miscarriage she'd suffered back in January.

There was a time she'd been afraid that she and Ned wouldn't weather through it; that their relationship wouldn't survive the loss of their child.

But she'd been wrong, thank God.

"We're about 200 miles off," Ned said simply. "Basically we completely missed the estate sale. Your mom is going to kill us."

"Damn it," Katie said. "Where the hell did we go wrong?"

"The exit," Ned sighed. "We took the wrong exit but we thought that we were going the right way and we came about 200 miles in the opposite direction."

"Damn," Katie repeated, and picked up her cell phone.

"That's not going to work," Ned said. "I asked him. There's no cell reception out here, but he's got a phone inside and he'll let us use it for free; he told me."

"I'll go call Mom," Katie sighed. "You finish filling the car. Did you get directions back to the exit?"

"It's just backtracking," Ned said. "We'll be fine."

She nodded, stepping forward to press a quick kiss to his lips before heading inside.

The old man behind the counter grinned. "That your husband who was just in here?"

"Yeah," she said shyly. "We haven't even been married a year yet. It's still new."

"How nice," he said. "Ned said you might need to call your mom?"

"Yeah, we're picking up some antiques for her and I think we completely missed the sale, so I need to see what she wants us to do," Katie said.

"Here's the phone," he said, pushing it towards her.

It was old and dusty. Katie slowly lifted the receiver to her ear and dialed the number of her mother's store, easily envisioning her mother at the counter, maybe rocking Emma in her cradle.

"Same As It Never Was antique shop," came Melinda's cheerful voice. "What can I find for you today?"

"Hey, mom, it's Katie," Katie spoke.

"Katie! Why the strange number?" Melinda exclaimed.

"I don't have any cell coverage out here," Katie said. "Um, mom, we took a wrong turn. We're about 200 miles in the opposite direction."

"What?" Melinda exclaimed. "What happened?"

"We thought we were going in the right direction!" Katie said. "It never occurred to us that we weren't."

"Katie!" Melinda sighed. "The sale is ending, like, now!"

"Can't you call the owner and ask him to set aside stuff for you?" Katie pleaded.

"I guess, but it'll cost me more," Melinda said. "It's okay, Katie. Don't worry about it."

"I'm sorry, mom," Katie said.

"Don't be," Melinda scolded. "It was such a spur of the moment thing. I'm not surprised that you and Ned got lost. I don't blame you. The more important thing is, are you having a good time?"

Her mother's voice had lightened noticeably.

"Yeah," Katie admitted. "We've been joking this whole time, fighting over the radio."

"Good," Melinda said. "I'm so glad. You were on such rocky ground, I knew that this trip was what you needed."

"Thanks, mom," Katie said. "You know me and Ned better than we know ourselves sometimes."

"I just pay attention," Melinda said. "I'll contact the auctioneers. You and Ned just worry about getting home...or finding a private place."

"Mom!" Katie said, blushing and looking to see if the old man behind the counter had overheard her mother's words, but he was sitting there oblivious. "See you later," she said.

"Bye," Melinda said warmly. "Take your time getting home. I mean it."


Ned disconnected the hose from the car just as Katie strode from the store, looking surprisingly unworried for the news he'd just given to her, and what she had to have heard from her mother inside.

He took a quiet moment to admire his wife, as she took her time coming to the car. Long legs showed to perfection in tiny cut offs. A newly regained flat stomach...though he did miss how she'd looked while pregnant. He was glad, for her sake, that she'd lost the weight fairly quickly. It was hard enough to know that you had miscarried, but to still have that pregnancy body...he'd been present one day when a woman asked how far she was along.

The look on Katie's face...it was like the woman had punched her in the gut. She'd barely been able to respond, and the pain present there...

He never wanted someone to make that mistake again. He'd gone with Katie to a few sessions with her new workout coach, glad that she was regaining herself.

And now...

He knew for a fact that she had the beginnings of a six pack again, the lean lines on her stomach leading down to something even better. God.

He began to get hard just thinking about it.

About Katie. About how they made love now.

She dipped her head a little as she came over to him, the motion seeming to push up her ample cleavage, and Ned knew that he was a goner.

She was already getting into the car though, giving him no chance to grab a hold of her and make out until both of their lips were chapped.

He got inside with her. "So, what did your mom say?"

"She was disappointed but she said it's alright," Katie explained, studiously buckling up. "She might call the guy doing it; see if she can buy the remaining pieces or whatever. She told us to just think about coming home now."

"Well, does she want us to go up there anyway?" Ned said. "If she does get some via the phone, maybe we should do some hauling to make up for it."

"We're talking about furniture," Katie giggled. "Even our Rav 4 will not fit the pieces Mom has in mind. Besides, it takes a while to finalize sales. Mom'll be fine paying the hauling expenses."

"I just feel guilty," Ned explained.

"I know," Katie said. "Mom says we shouldn't, though."

"I feel like this always happens, though," Ned said. "No matter what."

They pulled out of the gas station, Ned making a careful right turn. It was easy enough to get back to the correct highway, and this time he'd get on the correct ramp.

Life happened.

"I got some stuff from the gas station," Katie said a few minutes later.

"Oh, yeah, I was wondering what you had in the bag," Ned said.

"Turn left here," Katie said suddenly. "Hurry, don't miss the turn."

Startled, Ned nevertheless made the turn, tires squealing a little. "What's this about, Katie?"

"Pull over at this forest preserve," she said urgently. "Come on."

"Katie!" He exclaimed, pulling in where she said, only to be utterly floored when she opened the door and jumped out, leaving him with no choice but to abruptly put the car in park and yank the keys out, locking the car as he ran after her.

Her legs were long and she had a headstart. Ned had a glimpse of her retreating back, groaned, and went all out, remembering trying out for track on high school, and his desperate and failed attempt to make a six minute mile.

But he'd been training for his police badge too, and he caught up to her in no time, grabbing hold of her around the waist.

"What are you doing?" He asked, laughing, pulling her close to him so she couldn't get away.

"I thought you needed a distraction," she said, smiling.

"The kind of distraction where you give me a panic attack?" Ned said, letting her hands go when she proved that she wouldn't try to get away again by curling her leg near his.

She smiled again, flipping her hair over her shoulder, and her fingers went to the buttons on her plaid shirt.

Ned inhaled at the sight of her undoing them; of the movement of nimble fingers gradually revealing more and more skin. And then it was slipping to the ground beneath them and she reached out to tug at the waist of his t-shirt, tugging it over his head before he could say anything.

"Should I?" She teased, turning a little so he could see the fastening of her bra. "Or do you want to do the honors?"

"Damn it, Katie," he muttered, grabbed hold of her and kissed that teasing mouth, until she wasn't laughing, only moaning.

One leg hooked around his waist and he could feel her pressing against him in a way that made him groan.

He found the fastening on her bra, and it was undone in one quick motion. He felt her breasts spill out, press against his chest, and it was almost more than he could bear.

Her hands were fumbling at his belt buckle, unable to get it quickly enough and, impatient, she pressed her hand against him, cutting off all brain function for a brief moment.

They fell back onto the crisped by the sun grass, a tangle of legs and tongues battling for dominance.

Ned was trying to catch her, pin her down, but she was wiggling beneath him, making him crazy with desire and frustration, until he finally let her have her way, giving in and letting himself be shoved onto his back, and she straddled his hips.

"I think we're both wearing a bit too many clothes on our bottom halves," Ned suggested.

She tossed her head. "I want to see if I can do something," she said. "You know that you've, um, gotten me to climax without even touching me down there. I want to see if I can do the same for you."

Ned laughed in pain, the very suggestion making him harder. "Katie, you'd win that in a second. Seriously, it's taking all of me to keep myself from coming this instant."

She scraped her fingernail over one flat nipple. "So you don't want me to try?"

He definitely couldn't breathe now. She was leaning her head down, bringing those incredible breasts closer to his face, and then her wet, open mouth was placed on his chest, sucking on his nipple.

He gave in to the movement, feeling his erection pulse, and Katie giggled as she felt it beneath her, purposefully rubbing herself against him.

He was done.

As her hands crept lower, he took control of the moment, flipped her over and yanked her shorts off in one move. "Ned!" She gasped, seeing the look on his face.

"I don't know if you're trying to drive me insane intentionally or if it's just coincidental.." Ned gasped, slipping his fingers inside her and making her buck against him. "But I think it should be paid back in kind."

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