She opened her eyes the world was spinning: rocky cliff face then vast sky & vista of mountains & valleys, then rocks, then vista, rocks vista rocks vista ….
‘Lucy bloody talk to me!’ Drew bellowed hauling on the rope and praying the top tree held!
But with all the drought and then the wet the earth is not as stable as it once was and these trees have been here a bloody long time, it could very well be their time to go, time for the whole bloody mountainside to go! He had no idea what she did but the tree that the rover had been dangling from was now somewhere on the ravine floor and the rover, and it’s tree was dangling from his Nissan Patrol’s winch! The land around the huge tree’s roots had gone with it and he’d nearly gone too! If it wasn’t for his practice of roping off to his truck when working near the cliff edge he could very well have ended up down where the tree lay!
‘Christ woman! Answer me!’
‘What was the question?’ she asked and coughed ‘Man my head hurts!’
‘Thank God you’re alive!’ he couldn’t see her but the sound of her voice was music to his ears!
‘The tree gave way!’
‘The one your truck was dangling from.’
‘Oh’ the word was very small as she realised just how lucky she’d been ‘Ouch!’ she said putting her hand up to stop her head from hitting the cliff edge.
‘Surfacing!’ she called back as she turned herself and assisted by climbing over the edge and up the small embankment with it’s loose dirt and rocks dropping at nearly every hand and toe hold!
All he could do to help was keep the rope taught, take her weight from her until that became just keeping her steady and then she was up. He dropped her rope and grabbed her pulling her away from the edge and into his arms. She was happy to cling to him as much as he was to hold her tight.
‘I’m sorry I won’t ever do that again!’ he was saying kissing her tangled dirt ladened hair. ‘Nothing is worth endangering your life!’
She pushed back from him and suddenly he realised what he’d been saying. Embarrassed he let her go and turned to deal with the ropes. She stepped back to give him room, not sure of how she felt, except relief was not one of them. His hug was exactly what she needed to feel secure again safe again. But him letting her go had her feeling just as insecure as dangling on that rope! Bereft like she had never felt before. Yet when she would have retreated to the safety of “man-hatred” in the past, she now found herself longing to have him look at her.
‘So will we be able to get my truck up?’ she asked
‘We should.’ he answered with a cough but he didn’t look at her as he walked to the edge to check. Thankfully the cable to the tree was along the chassis of the rover between the tyres and the tyres were facing the cliff face. ‘With luck we should get it up, provided there’s enough room on the track.’ He decided looking at where his vehicle was parked and how much land was left behind it. He needed to winch his patrol further up the track and then hopefully hers will fit. His eyes unbidden glanced to her and he wished he hadn’t.
‘Mines a short wheel base if that helps’ she informed him with a smile.
‘Well then we should get it up.’ he relaxed a little, realising he had been calculating for the worst, a long wheel based Troop Carrier, the short one should fit safely.
Why did she have to smile? He was doing fine putting his thoughts back in their box, keeping control of his urges, forgetting his fear of losing her when she was dangling in the unknown, ignoring his desire to take her and make her part of himself! His eyes were locked to those big beautiful eyes watching him, waiting for him to make the world right for her. He took a deep breath through his nostrils and calmed himself and gave himself permission to court her, knowing that he would never try for another woman again.
‘Now the fun begins!’ he grinned deliberately walking up to her. His grin deepened when he saw a glimmer of excitement light her eyes.
‘You mean that wasn’t fun?’ she replied astonished
Pausing he dropped a kiss on her nose as he reached past her and in through his open window to start his patrol’s motor. He liked the effect it had on her. She didn’t move instead just stared at him and he knew his neck was mere inches from her nose. A fleeting image of her face against his chest had him itching for it to happen! Memories of her naked in his arms danced in his mind and he closed his eyes and swallowed.
‘Nope.’ he replied and pulled back from her before she may have gotten an idea of just how turned on he was.
He moved their rope anchors from his vehicle to a tree further up the track while the front winch slowly pulled the patrol further up the track the back winch began pulling her vehicle up. He didn’t want them hauled over as well if the winches snapped and they lost the lot! He kept checking the winches for trouble and the cables for fatigue and the rover to make sure it was still coming up on its wheels. It was all going to plan and he glanced up to see Lucy watching her good hand holding her bandaged one and both against her mouth. She looked so bedraggled with half the cliff in her hair that he knew he would have to run her a bath later so she could feel human again. The idea of her naked wet and soapy in his old copper hip bath by the fire …
A gust of wind made him recheck the weather. He’d been reading the mountain weather most of his life and was usually pretty spot on and didn’t like the look of the clouds coming their way. They had that brown tinge of snow to them! There was no way he’d ever make it back up if he went down. He didn’t want to go down but he would if he had to and now he wasn’t so sure he’d want to come back up if it meant he wouldn’t see her any more. But if those clouds came through with their threat of snow there would be no going anywhere!
‘Thar she blows!’ Lucy called
He looked to see the nose of the rover surface. Then the rover’s back rose up before the front wheels brought it forward over the edge. It banged down on its undercarriage and scraped until the back wheels made contact and then it came up no problems.
The patrol’s front winch was wining now pulling both vehicles up the muddy track and the dangling log behind. He hauled out of the patrol his axe and hovered behind her rover. Did he cut the cable and lose the tree and years of fuel or did he hope it came up without too much duress? Her winch was useless as the battery was dead it was going to mean several hours of lumber-jacking to trim it to get it up the track there was no way he could jump start her motor or swap batteries to run her winch that would forfeit the strength of his.
He glanced up at the ever menacing advancing clouds. Would the weather hold? They had been lucky so far with the lull in the rain, but the wind was picking up again and the chill factor was growing!
Just when he was about to lose the log it came up roots first and got stuck. He swivelled and hacked into the roots that were snagging it and then it slid up onto the track as easy as you pleased! Shouldering the axe he stopped the winches. It was going to make a hell of a mess of the track but he could get it up to his place.
Smiling he slid his arm around her and pulled her against him.
‘Feel up to steering your vehicle?’
‘Yep’ she smiled back
‘That a girl!’ he grinned and let her go.
He threw the axe in the back of his patrol and helped her out of her rope and harness and then stowed it in it’s allotted bag on the patrol’s back seat, adding his own, then helped her in behind the wheel of her rover. There was stuff everywhere but she could steer it safely enough. It was all uphill so no breaks would be needed. All she had to do was keep her wheels in his ruts and he’d pick out the best route up to bring her and the bloody tree.
‘All set?’ he asked and she grinned
‘Yep!’ the sense of accomplishment was huge!
‘If she starts to go again jump!’ he told her ‘I mean it get out and don’t go over yourself!’
‘Ok ok but it won’t!’
He looked at her. He knew if he started it they could do a “yes it can / no it can’t” argument! Instead he chose to believe her optimism, why not? He smiled and heard her breath catch.
‘All set then?’
She just smiled coyly at him and he leaned in closer to her. He wanted to kiss her. He allowed his lips to get within a breath of her. He felt her breath erratic shallow on his upper lip and knew her chest was heaving. He looked at her eyes, the pale sunshine lighting the unusual greyness with their flicks of green and gold. When he would have sealed the deal with his lips on hers he remembered the predicament they were in and he knew when he started it would not stop at one kiss.
‘Good’ he said and pulled out of the cabin closing the door and striding up to his vehicle before he changed his mind and took her there and then on the side of the mountain in the approaching snow!
What was a woman doing alone on the side of a mountain in an old landrover anyway?
Drew supposed he’d have to rescue her … exactly why he gave up people! They always needed rescuing!
It suddenly hit him she could have been in it had she’d been successful with the winch cable and not trapped outside.
Too late she realised her mistake as soon as she’d finished speaking. He seemed to snap at her with some sort of malice attached; almost like a child pouting his mate was choosing to go home!
‘I just remembered the radio’s not in my camp. How dangerous is my truck?’ She looked down at her rover nose ‘How Einstein?’ she asked giving him a wry disbelieving smile
He knew when he started it would not stop at one kiss. Closing the door he strode up to his vehicle before he changed his mind and took her there and then on the side of the mountain in the snow!
Just a bit of mountain madness (lol) a story exploring a fantasy
Not really a kids story and I have no idea where it’s going but it’ll while a cuppa break away!