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Walkabouts
Topic Started: Sep 1 2016, 01:50 PM (347 Views)
The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Maybe I thought listening to you," Cris poked Jane's breast, enjoying the soft give under his finger, and gave her a playful smirk, "was more interesting than talking."

Personally, he rather liked the Monolith Gardens, and more importantly, she'd done her whole giving-orders thing one evening and told him to pick a trail they hadn't hit together next time they hiked. This was one of the ones on the list; honestly, he'd just picked at random, and in the time they'd known each other they'd gone to most of the trails already anyhow. They'd been walking the lasso loop of a trail for a couple hours now, their pace easygoing and Crisanto holding the water in his pack, and for a lot of the first portion Jane had been ragging on his choice of trails.

The first time, he'd reminded her she said to pick a new trail, and this one came up almost by default, but after that he just let her rant. It was good for her, clearly, and she was fun when she was all fiery. As annoyed as she seemed now, they'd be enjoying themselves a lot more afterwards. The ridgelines and rock spires loomed above them while patches of wildflowers and desert grass swayed to and fro in the sparse summer breeze, and their voices carried into cloudless sky to evaporate in the heat. Somewhere in the distance there was the clatter of hooves, a horse and rider galloping further along the trail. The rider saw them and shouted a little greeting as his massive beast overtook them a while back, before passing off into the distance.

There was quite a bit to appreciate out here if you had an eye for it, even if it did all make him feel unbearably small in the world. Jane didn't seem to have that eye, though, which honestly surprised him given the gusto she hit other trails with. Less surprising was the way she kept turning to gaze at him and acted like he didn't notice, but that was fine. Their arrangement came with staring rights.

The rock face to his right had a little crack in it, dressed with lichen and a sprout of verbena that emerged from the fissure. His hand darted out and took one of the flowers by the stem, plucking it free before presenting it to her as a little peace offering.
Edited by The Burned Handler, Sep 2 2016, 02:43 PM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
(Minor GM approved)

As Jane drew back from his cheek, Cris reached out to pull her into a proper kiss. He buried a hand in her hair and put an arm around her waist to hold her against him. The heat melted away as for a time the world was their lips moving together and their bodies pressing against each other. Cris forgot the sun and sand and the small trails of sweat from the hike, but he knew her body language enough by now to know when she wanted to break a kiss, so when he felt her starting to send those signals he slowly detached. He felt her breath on his skin as he pulled away, giving her a sly grin as if apologising for the surprise.

"Couldn't help myself."

Sure, he was like that with a lot of girls, but that didn't mean he didn't mean it. The separation reminded him of the heat, however, and he knew Monolith Gardens. No source of water to be found, little shade, which was why his pack had so much water in it. The weight of plastic and liquid wasn't any real burden to his strong shoulders, but it was still important, and after regarding her for a moment he slung it off with one hand.

"What do you think, hydration break? We've got a little shade."
Edited by The Burned Handler, Sep 3 2016, 04:46 PM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"And what a shame that'd be."

As casually as a game of long toss in practise, he fished out a bottle and flicked it to her, letting it curve in the air softly enough she wouldn't have any trouble catching it. Before it even finished its journey, he had one in his own hand and popped off the little plastic cap with a flick of his wrist. Water wet his lips and rushed down his parched throat in a great gulping torrent, while a sigh of relief could be heard even through the bottle.

Crisanto was something of a religious water-drinker, to the surprise of some. Drink at a party? At least two glasses of water for every shot of booze. Coming down off a high? Break out the Poland Spring. Game day wraps up? Bet your ass he was hitting the water tank. Hydration was king, you could go weeks without food but only a couple days without water, and with his physically active lifestyle out in this damned desert his internals could dry up like the Sahara if neglected.

Besides, it meant that in all his parties, he'd not once woken up with a hangover. A real godsend, that, especially on rare pregame party nights. He'd coached friends through enough of those he wanted to make damn sure he avoided it himself. Within seconds, his bottle was empty, and rather than litter - what kind of animal did people think he was? - he stuffed it back in the pack and fetched another.

This time his sips were gentler, and he stepped into the shadow cast by the wall of rock next to them, letting out a contented little noise at the cool stone against his back. While he drank, his eyes roamed up and down Jane's body as they had done many a time before. He still wasn't at all bored of the view.

"Feel any better?"
Edited by The Burned Handler, Sep 3 2016, 08:45 PM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Aw, c'mon. I've been good and everything."

He took the pokes to his abs in stride and felt a little shiver where her finger trailed up his chest. He even gave a little chuckle at that and her snarking, which might've gotten a faintly disinterested glare from him coming from anyone else. Somehow that fire she carried around inside her rarely failed to get him on his feet or at least thinking about something other than the black dog which tailed him every day. If she didn't have that, she probably would've been just another pretty girl with a nice rack he hooked up with at some party and whose name he then forgot, but instead she lodged in his mind.

Crisanto, unlike some, actually liked girls who had spirit. She had him actually joking with her, for one, and after his little mock-complaint he leaned down to kiss her again. Nothing too much this time, just a quick little peck on the mouth followed by gently nipping her bottom lip as he pulled away, but enough to keep her going despite the heat.

"I'd do it for you, you know."

Which he probably could. Baseball was far more physically demanding than most realised, and pitching in particular put enough strain on the human arm and shoulder that to keep at top form and avoid injury Crisanto spent as much time in the weight room as some of the wrestlers and football players, if not more. His max was somewhere north of twice Jane's entire body weight, and she was all soft curves instead of hard metal. She hadn't believed him when he said so, once, and so he'd demonstrated by lifting her clear off the ground in one smooth motion, with permission of course.

Sometimes it was fun to prove people wrong. It was certainly a story he liked to remember.
Edited by The Burned Handler, Sep 4 2016, 02:50 AM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Works for me."

A little quick, but whatever she was happy with. He finished his second bottle and stepped away from the rock face, giving her a little gesture as if to say "lead the way."

Whether she did or not, he got going himself, shrugging the pack onto his shoulder again with a nonchalant smile as he strolled back onto the trail. Sweat still trailed down himself but less so, as he walked back into the sun.
Edited by The Burned Handler, Sep 4 2016, 08:23 PM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Cris paused mid step and looked over his shoulder at her, his gaze sweeping over her. Sweeping might have been the wrong term for a rather halting look-over that paused for several seconds each to linger on first her chest, then her hips.

"Nah."

Except maybe a tiny bit in the areas he liked most. If anything she seemed to be losing a little, her stomach steadily flattening bit by bit. He just hoped she wouldn't obsess over it.

For her earlier question, he turned away and for a long moment pretended to solemnly scan the horizon. He was keeping both time and the water so he already knew, but the sun was still high and he felt like having some fun with it.

"We're about halfway through. At our normal pace we have a couple more hours or so."
Edited by The Burned Handler, Sep 4 2016, 09:33 PM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Cris had been contentedly humming along as he strolled until the question reached his ears, at which point he didn't stop but he did go quiet for a moment as if picking his words.

"Well, the seniors are gone. Some drafted, some not. Mets jumped on Taro like he lays golden eggs so he's off to Vegas. The rest of us have been practising, letting the whole 'state champs' thing sink in and figuring out who'll take over for captain. Coach says not to get lazy but a lot of us have been putting our feet up."

To be cliché, it still didn't feel quite real. They'd gone to Surprise Stadium and played their hearts out, bolstered by it being the first chance at state title glory for Cochise since 2011, and it turned out to be enough. Just barely. Hours after the final game his pitching arm had still been sore enough he could barely use it, such a slog it had been. Hadn't he told Jane about it when the Coyotes got back to Kingman? He couldn't remember. It probably didn't matter, even if he found himself straightening with pride, his voice going up just a tiny bit in pitch, as he thought about what his team had accomplished. The rocks and sun and desert grass looked on, uncaring, but he could ignore the heat if they were like this.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
It stung just a little, how she seemed almost uninterested. Sure, he knew not everyone had his passion for the game, but "'kay"? Really? He never dismissed her talking about her interests. Her attitude usually slid right off him, partly because he didn't particularly care and partly because he understood where she was coming from, but for just a second his back stiffened and his pace quickened and he let out a little huff. There were days his obligations to the team were all that got him out of bed in the morning, so it could be a bit of a sore spot.

They kept walking, but the offence bled out of his stance as he reminded himself she didn't mean harm. It was only that that was a very rare thing that could actually get to him, and he idly wondered which of them would be more surprised that something could still sting him at all. They were walking away from the sun which helped with the heat and the harshness of the midday light, and Jane fell so silent he actually took a glance over, once, to see if she was even still there.

She was, of course. He gave her a little grin, as if to say 'all's well', then returned his attention to the trail. The horse and the rider had long since gone their own way and left the pair's sight, leaving Cris to scout ridges and monoliths and cacti. He could see why it might not be the most terribly exciting view of Kingman's many hiking paths, but the variety was something, wasn't it? The desert had a character all of its own, even if there were no trees for them to sneak behind or whatever if that mood struck. Too hot for that kind of thing anyway.

And then, a soft little tug, the warmth of skin on skin. Cris blinked and looked down, saw her hand cupping his. Slowly, surprised rather than reluctant, he turned over the hand to grip hers, squeezing gently. They kept walking like that, and after a few steps his thumb began to stroke the back of her hand. Her hand was so much softer than his, and he enjoyed the sensation, even if it did mean slowing his stride to not detach from her.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
You didn't get where Cris was in his sport without developing excellent reflexes. You needed to be able to react in an instant to pick off a runner or catch a fly ball, or to get your bat near an opposing pitch. Compared to a baseball, which could be moving at times nearly a hundred miles an hour, Jane's stumble was in slow motion. He moved forwards, jostling the rock out of his path with a quick little sweep of his foot, and caught her with one arm across her midsection. Not too hard, only enough to arrest her forward momentum; he didn't want to knock the wind out of her after all, only to stop her fall. He stayed there for a moment, letting her stabilise herself against him if she chose and enjoying the feeling of her weight, before lowering his arm and stepping back.

"You all right, there?"

It wasn't like Jane to stumble like that, she was usually much more sure-footed. Maybe the heat was getting to her - he'd lived in this desert all his life but it still bugged him now and then, sunk into his muscles and threatened to slow his reflexes. After they finished the trail he'd make sure they hurried to somewhere with air conditioning, maybe. That, of course, was still a couple hours away, but maybe if they picked up the pace a little.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Sounds good to me."

She would've gotten pissy about it whether he caught her or didn't, so the implied annoyance in the look she shot him slid right off. If Jane was determined to be irritable about something, Cris had learned, she would be. Really, it wasn't like she'd gotten hurt or anything, everybody stumbled occasionally. Occasionally he'd grumble back at her, all in good fun, but the dry heat baked the inside of his throat and left him not feeling too up to bantering. He looked her up and down to make sure she was okay and once satisfied gave a little nod down the trail.

"Let's keep going then, or should I kiss it and make it better?"

Okay, he wasn't totally above a little jab, but just playful. He could have fun with this and forget how irrelevant the concept of fun really was.
Edited by The Burned Handler, Sep 19 2016, 02:42 PM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
The rest of the hike was uneventful.

((Continued elsewhere))
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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