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Pen Your Pride


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          "Candace, I'm going to kill you if you don't stop moving that light." I freeze, sucking in my breath to obey.

         "Okay," I whisper, sending the flashlight whizzing. Connor sighs and kneads his forehead. "I'm sorry," my voice comes out whiny and high-pitched and I immediately know it'll irritate him, but I can't stop. "What are you looking for anyways? We've been out here for hours." Connor looks up at me and glares, not the first I've received today.

         "Candace, I told you. It doesn't matter, you'll know it when you see it." I stick my lower lip out in a pout and make my eyes go big, a trick I learned from my best friend, Alexis. Connor's glare slips and he stands, running his warm hands along my arms. "Candace, I promise, this treasure will be worth it. It'll be worth all of it." He leans his forehead against mine, letting me stare into his bright blue eyes. God, his eyes are sexy. I lean the extra inch to press my lips to his, but he turns away. "Why don't you help me dig for a little while?" He shoots me a half-smile, and the annoyed part of me melts.

         "Okay," I agree, even though I'd rather do anything kiss him...or...

         He shoves something into my hand: a shovel. Inwardly I groan. When Connor first invited me on this trip I thought he'd been joking, that he was referring to a completely different kind of "treasure hunt". "You can dig over there," he points to a place in the distance, a place that escapes the light from the flashlight. I can't hide the look of disgust that overcomes my features. He ignores me and resumes his crouch.

        "Seriously, Connor? I thought you were...I don't know, joking." He stops sifting through the dirt and turns to me again, and I'm surprised by his expression. The hotness I'd been admiring all day is gone, marred by a furious glare.

        "I am serious, Candace. You chose to come, I didn't make you. If you don't want to help, fine, go home. I'll become rich and famous without you." The anger in his voice scares me and I can feel tears welling up from inside me.

       "You're my ride...." I trail off and he softens.

        "I'm sorry, baby." He stands again and wraps me in his arms. This time, he kisses me. This is more like it. I lean into him, letting his muscled arms take my weight. I groan and curl my fingers into his hair, pulling slightly, like the magazine I read in the car says to do. He responds to my touch, grabbing me around the waist and lifting me. I go giddy as his hand grazes over my butt. "You're so hot, Candace," he whispers into my hair as I move away to breathe. I grin into the darkness and begin kissing his neck, letting my lips nibble his ear. He groans and starts carrying me over to the area he pointed at, to the shadowy darkness. Butterflies swirl in my belly and my veins catch on fire with thoughts of what will come next. "Do you know what would make you even hotter, Candace," he asks, setting me gently down onto a soft pile of dirt.

        "Yes," I breathe, arching my back to better catch the dim light of the flashlight. He pushes my shoulders into the dirt, roughly, taking control just like the article said. He reaches for something in his back pocket and a thought bursts into my head. Good, he thought to bring a condom. While he fumbles around in the dark I reach my hands up and unhinge my bra. It's a Victoria's Secret, and the clasp is a little too complex for my taste. He lifts himself off of me, letting his outline graze over me. I moan again and run my hands into my hair, already imagining the stories I'll have to tell Alex when I get home.

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