How A Cowgirl Rolls
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Rebecca stood up and leaned over him, the brim of her hat casting both their faces in shadow. For a moment she held his gaze, then she moved in and kissed him; it was firm, and demanding, and not the least bit yielding.

Finn knew what was coming, an idiot should have known, and he was not that. He kissed her back, his empty hand sliding cupping the side of her face. He growled softly against her lips, and very slowly rose to his feet while they kissed, until she no longer had to lean over.

There was, he affirmed, very little difference in their height. With her boots on, there was none at all. She fisted a hand in his hair and deepened the kiss long enough for her to run a hand down his back and into his back pocket. When the catcalling and whistling started, she released his hair to give the room a universally recognized digital opinion that was met with laughter and applause.

Finn, for his part, ignored the rest of the bar. His hand rested upon her hips, and when she deepened the kiss, he groaned unabashedly and drank it in eagerly. He felt her hand slip into his back pocket, and his hips rocked gently forward. He groaned softly, his hands sliding around to the small of her back to pull her closer as they kissed. It was, in truth, a bit of a novelty to kiss someone that was the same height that he was. He smiled slightly against her lips at the reaction of the crowd, and when her hand returned to his hair he growled and one hand slid to her bottom, pressing them tightly together. Finn did not seem to mind the venue, as he continued to kiss her, hungrily.

Rebecca growled and nipped at his lip before pulling back. She gave him a crooked smile as she adjusted her hat. Her pupils were dilated with desire and she had that 'just kissed' look. Her voice was husky as she said:. "Reckon we should be takin' this upstairs 'fore Maggie throws a pitch'r of water over us."

The chocolate hue of Finn's eyes darkened with his own desire when she nipped him, and his nostrils flared slightly as he took a deep breath. "I don't think a pitcher alone would do."

With that she grabbed the front of his jacket and led him to the stairs. Rebecca paused at the bottom, tipped her hat to the group making bets in the doorway between the public rooms, and then pulled Finn to her for a brief, but no less searing kiss. She released him without warning and a with a come hither smile as she turned to head upstairs.

Finn failed to conceal a somewhat smug expression. He'd left his cigar smoldering in the ash tray, and moved where he was tugged with a small smile on his face. He raised an eyebrow at the gamblers, and then he was being thoroughly kissed, with enough heat to leave him blinking almost drunkenly for a moment, before his dark eyes followed the line of Rebecca's form up and up. Finn made a sound of appreciation that rumbled in his chest, and he mounted the stairs to follow her, moving a little more briskly to catch up.

Rebecca continued with the assurance that he was following her. At the top of the stairs, she continued down the hallway to the door at the end of the hall. She opened it after fishing a key out of her pocket, and pushed it open for him to enter first into the room where low burning amps provided enough light to see.

Finn slipped into the room past her, he let his hand run along her arm until he was inside the room and having a look around. He smiled, and easily took note of the personal touches that said the room belonged to Amber's only Cowgirl Princess.

The room was nothing fancy; white washed walls and royal blue curtains over the windows. The furniture was simple woods, all polished to a sheen. There were enough little things that signified that no one used this room but Rebecca; the patchwork quilt on the large bed piled high with pillows, the carved wooden horses on the side tables, the lamps worked with silver horse heads. Wildflowers in a vase on the dresser, the large painting of a running herd over the bed, the red and black poncho draped over the chair by the window.

Finn wandered through the room, and admiring the personal details. He stood by the window for a moment, and ran his hand over the soft wool of the poncho, before turning around at the sound of the door closing.

She locked the door behind them, shutting out the sounds from below. Her boot heels thumped as she crossed the hardwood floor to hang her coiled whip over the bedpost. She turned to Finn as she sat on the edge of the bed to remove her boots. "I'll refra'n from rippin' that shirt offa ya, seein' as ya ain't got another. This once," she added with a smile. "Might be good to not test my patience too much."

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He smiled slowly at her, his eyes full of heat as he let his gaze wander over her. Then he stepped squarely into the center of her vision, and inclined his head. "Far be it for the Duke of Avalon to deny Her Highness." He removed his sword, and leaned it against the wall. Then he removed his jacket and nonchalantly tossed it aside. He stepped out of his boots, and now fixed his gaze on Rebecca. He removed his shirt, revealing a hard muscled torso without an ounce of space wasted on fat. His chest was covered in fine dark down, with a line that traveled down the center of his taut abdomen and into the waistband of his pants. Along his arms, in black ink against his dusky skin, the hints of a large tattoo wound and curved along their muscled length. They appeared to be the tail or body of a sinuous and fantastic creature. Amidst the black ink, hints of gold reflect the light along the edges of what must be scales.

Rebecca had already shed her boots and wiggled out of her jeans. Then she had stopped to watch him undress. She approached him wearing t- shirt, knickers, socks, and of course, the hat. She laid a hand lightly on his arm and let it smooth over muscles and flesh as she walked behind him to find the rest of his body art. Her fingers traced lightly over the design, and her warm breath washed over his neck as she leaned in by his ear. "Very nice…"

Finn watched her walk over to him. His eyes wandered over her body, and were they his hands instead, well they would have meandered over very pleasing places indeed. He found her eyes when she arrived close to him, and then closed his own as her touch slid slowly over his skin. He shivered when her fingertips ran over his back, and without thinking about it, he leaned towards her ever so slightly. Finn tilted his head to one side, and sighed, letting his body relax. Then her arms were around his waist opening his belt and the fastenings behind the buckle.

His pants fell with considerably more speed than they should have, and Finn chuckled at the slight click of hidden weapons. He kicked them aside, stepping lightly out of them, and turned to stand entirely bare before Rebecca. He kissed her firmly, passionately, and then broke it breathlessly. "You're over dressed." He whispered by her ear, before giving it a nip. "But you can leave the hat on."

Her response was a lowly growled "Ye-ha…"


Some time later — in the sweaty afterwards and surrounded by a completely trashed room, Rebecca's hat finally came off to hang over the whip. The hat's owner flopped onto her back to catch her breath. After a moment, she leaned over the now utterly rumpled bed. There was a rattle of glass on glass followed by liquid pouring before she propped herself up on one elbow and drained a highball glass. She refilled it and lay back down with the glass of water resting on her belly.

"Damn…," she exhaled. She turned her head to look at her partner and handed him the glass. Truthfully, she was a bit awed by the experience. Her own stamina had never been anywhere near matched. Until now — and damnation. She mentally shook her head as she watched the lamplight's flickering dance on the ceiling. It was tempting to have their meals delivered and just hole up here for a few days.

Her partner, or perhaps her ride, was sprawled across the foot of the bed, in a very loose Finn-shaped puddle that was once a generally tense and wary individual. Finn remained there for a short space of time, unmoving, utterly still, as he got his breathing back under his control, which had turned out to be no small feat for even him. Chi-Kung breathing clearly had not been formulated with this sort of epic exertion in mind, not to mention the more sensually mind-blowing aspects. He groaned when he heard the sound of glass and liquid, because he knew he would have to move if he meant to share a drink with the lady. Finn crawled up beside her, and settled in beside her. He smiled at her exhalation, and ran his hand along her thigh as he accepted the glass.

Finn took a deep drink, and sighed. "Yippee. Kie. Yay." He smiled slowly, and had another sip from the glass. He looked around the room, his eyebrows rising, and then laughed. He turned to Rebecca and gave her a kiss, before settling back down.

"Yippee Ki-Yi-Yay," Rebecca drawled, her toes pointing past the iron footboard when she stretched out fully. She paused and clicked her tongue thoughtfully. "I don' know 'bout you, but I think I could use a refu'lin'." Without waiting for a reply, she arched up and stretched to reach the bell pull by the bed and gave it a couple of sharp tugs.

Finn blinked, "Was that there the whole time?" He looked at the bell-pull like it had magically appeared, and then chuckled softly. He ran his hand lightly down her center line when she arched up, and then tugged Rebecca back into his arms. "I think that's a fine idea." He kissed her again, "What are we getting?" He glanced towards the curtain covered window, "I've completely lost track of time."

"Reckon it's 'round two or so," she shrugged. She looked vaguely uncomfortable when he pulled her into his embrace. She only stayed there a moment before she pulled back and pushed herself up. Rebecca grumbled and reached between the headboard and mattress to tug out the pillows that had somehow gotten shoved there. A couple more where on the floor on her side of the bed. "They'll send up a plate of san'wiches, most like," she offered belatedly

"Nothin' personal," she said as she stacked the pillows behind her to lean against. "I ain't much one fer snugglin' in the afterglow." From her bedside table she produced a packet of cigarettes and an ashtray that she set between them when she offered him one. "Snugglin' implies a certain .. emotion'l intim'cy to me, and I ain't lookin' fer that." She lit her smoke and then offered the burning match to Finn. "That's a whole sep'rate game than sex -" she smiled. "Even world tiltin' sex."

Finn smiled and took it in stride. He lit a cigarette from the match, and settled back to lounge. "World tilting indeed." He smirked as he regarded her, "You're not like any woman I have ever met before." He paused, "And that's saying something, considering how long I've been around, here and in Shadow." Finn leaned back, "No snuggling is fine," He chuckled, and smoked, "I hope it is a lot of sandwiches, I think we worked off the steak and potatoes."

"We ain't the first of our clan ta visit here," Rebecca replied. She relaxed again now that he had taken her announcement in stride. Few would in her experience. "I reckon they know how ta feed us." She stole the glass from him and leaned over to refill it, cigarette in the corner of her mouth. "I figur'd I'd best lay out my cards, so ta speak. "'fore this went on ta long." She sat back up against the pillows and drank deeply before offering him the rest of the glass.

"Not to worry. In truth, it is something of a relief, not that I expected you to tie me down or anything, but — I'm out in the field too long and too often to ever expect someone to be waiting for me." Finn shook his head, "I couldn't do that to someone, and it's nice to find someone that at least is of a similar mind about things." He turned to her,"Direct and honest is always best. You've no reason to be concerned that I will overstay my welcome." He smirked, "There's breakfast yet to come, at least."

She laughed. "Yep. Think it's pancake day t'morrow." She scooted down and onto her side where she propped up on one elbow to face him. "When ya got ta be back ta the field?"

Finn grinned, "Pancakes. Syrup. Sausage. Eggs. Bacon." He took a deep drag, and exhaled smoke with a sigh. He turned to her when propped herself up. "Rich and Hearty, indeed." He reached out and caressed a sensitive spot with a smile. "No more than three days. I try to keep to that as much as I can. Blake needed the time, whether he'll admit it or not, and I was tired of riding a borrowed horse." Finn chuckled softly, "If I eat like we have for three days I'm going to be spoiled for field rations." He smiled, "What are you up to for the next couple of days?"

"Long as I avoid an 'international incident'," she grinned, "an check in ev'ry day, I reckon I'm free fer a few 'til I gotta be at tha castle."

"In my lesser used role of visiting foreign Duke, I can promise you that relations between Avalon and Amber are quite good." Finn smirked, and winked, before he laughed his quiet laugh. "No international incidents are likely to happen in this bed."

"Though lord knows what else might," she chuckled.

A knock on the door interrupted their conversation. Rebecca rolled out of bed and headed for the door, naked as a jay bird. She was almost there when she remembered where she was. "Oops," she chuckled. She wasn't too fussed, because she just picked up the sheet off the floor and tucked that around her to open the door.

Finn watched her get out of bed with a bemused expression. His eyes followed her long, bare legs with a smoldering look in them, as they slowly followed her curves upward, and then back down. He admired her unabashedly from where he sat, and sighed in mild disappointment when she covered it up with the sheet. Finn continued to smoke, making smaller wispier smoke rings, until Rebecca returned.

After telling whoever it was that the next bell from her room would be for breakfast, Rebecca returned with a tray loaded down with roasted chicken and roast beef sandwiches and a pitcher of water and another of cold milk. She set the whole thing on Finn so she could climb back into bed and get comfortable.

He hissed a bit and chuckled when the tray was placed on his lap. "That's a bit cold." Finn smiled, and steadied it as she climbed back into bed. He settled in beside her, making sure the tray was in easy reach for the both of them. "They even make better midnight snacks here." He poured them both drinks, he started with water, and checked with her by gesturing at either pitcher, to see which she preferred with her sandwiches.

She had tossed the sheet off before climbing back on the bed, letting it billow back to the floor without concern. "Milk," she said around the thick roast beef sandwich she'd selected. Then she smirked at him. "We'll lik'ly need that water later."

Finn grinned as the sheet fluttered to the floor, "Well that's better." He chose a chicken sandwich and began to eat like a man that had not eaten a massive steak hours ago. He only had one glass of water, and that was only half, as he switched to milk when Rebecca commented that they may need to rehydrate later. He smirked and went on to a second sandwich of roast beef. "So what does my Cowgirl Princess do when she's not toppling unsuspecting swordsmen?" He smiled, "Have you been to the Road?"

"I have," she nodded. She paused to take a long drink. "Right creepy, it is. I rode 'long it fer a few days. Ain't nuthin' nat'ral were it touches."

"Just so." Finn agreed, washing down another bite of sandwich with the milk, and then eying the contents of the glass. "You know, I think its actually been years since I had fresh milk. It doesn't keep well, so water or wine is the norm in the field. Beer doesn't keep either and boiled wine is good for wounds, whereas boiled beer is a tragedy." Finn sighed and drank a bit more, "Did you run into any of the random beasts that seem to travel the thing? That's the hardest part."

"Nuthing too excit'n," she shrugged. "More like little annoy'nces. Ugly critters though. Buzzard butt ugly."

Finn chuckled, "You really can turn a phrase." He drank more of his milk. "The Road seems to have followed me from Avalon, but if we can stop it here, at the center of things." He shrugged slightly, and smirked. "Hardly appropriate pillow talk I suppose."

"Nope," she agreed easily while setting her glass down on the tray so she could eat. She smiled sly. "But I don' reckon we would have tha same pillow talk as most folks." With an uplift of her chin, she indicated his tattooed arm. "Tell me 'bout that."

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"Good point." Finn smiled in return. His eyes followed her gesture, and he glanced to the tattoo that rode the length of his arm. "A mark of distinction. Benedict's training is — difficult — at the best of times. When I came to the end of a particular set, I went into Shadow to study independently. When that was done, Benedict brought in an artist, a man so old and wizened, I was stunned he could see at all, let alone make this. Osensei gave it to me. It was a proud day." He slid down the bed a bit, and turned so she could have a better look at it, now that things were less — energetic.

"I ain't got no idea what an Osensei is, but I'm a-guessin' it's Uncle B from tha way yer usin' it," she said as she leaned over to actually look at the image and not just the lines. "Really is very nice." She reached out and traced one of the sinuous outer lines with her fingertip. "The gold's 'n int'restin' effect."

Oh, it means 'Great Teacher', at least literally, it implies 'Grandmaster'." Finn smiled, "I apologize, I am so used to these terms, I forget that someone else is more than likely not gong to understand." He shivered slightly, when she traced the line, and made a pleased half-growl at the back of his throat. "Yes. When I first got it, the slight shine used to catch my eye. Now I wonder how it was done, precisely, but the artist brought in to do the work was returned to where ever Benedict found him."

Her finger continued tracing the path of the dragon's spine slowly in the dim light of the lamps. "Did ya pick the design, or'd the ol' man?"

Finn did not answer for a moment, as his body arched towards her touch slightly, and he made that same low sound of pleasure. "Mmm, I chose it as the end of the natural progression, it could have been a kanji a piece of symbolic calligraphy as well. Many martial arts find their roots in the imitation of the spirit of certain animals, this goes back thousands of years in some Shadows. A dragon melds all those qualities into one, and mixes it with wisdom and the elements. It means not only strength and ability, but the wisdom to apply both appropriately." He smiled slightly, "And they are supposed to be good luck." Finn looked over his shoulder at her, "It's been working all day."

Rebecca looked up from he study of his dragon and grinned. "Yer jist sayin' that 'cause I fed ya well."

"Well fed indeed." He smiled in return, "But somehow still hungry for something."

She moved around so she could lay her leg across his lap. "I usedta have a brand. Back of my calf. But the damn thing healed, an' now thar's not a sign it's ever been. E'rned it after a spirit walk. Which is jist anuther way ta say I was wack'd outta my head fer three days an' saw shit that weren't real."

Finn ran his hand along the soft skin of her thigh, the other ran along her calf, gently kneading the muscle. "Our kind heal swiftly." He nodded, and laughed softly. "Many cultures seem to use hallucinogenics to find the soul, that or near asphyxiation in sweat lodges." Finn shrugged slightly, and gently began to rub her foot, smiling as he did so.

"Done that too." She made a face at the memory. "Slept fer the whole day after. An' I don' care what they say, thar was someth'n 'sides sage in those herbs they was burnin'." Rebecca slid their tray to one side so they wouldn't end up in a puddle of milk while he's massaging her leg.

Finn laughed softly, "I would have to agree. It's in the herbs, or in the water they pour over the heated stones to make the steam." He smiled at her and turned slightly as he tugged her closer, placing her legs to either side of him, his hands gliding along her thighs. "I take it your spirit quest was with an aboriginal guide of some kind?" Finn asked, his voice laced with something other than curiosity as his hands moved over her skin.

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"Nope," she smiled. She reached over for her glass and drank half its contents. "Alone out in tha wilds fer the whole thang. Jest me and a kettle of nasty ass tea. But when I come to, there was a strange horse in my camp. Said I summon'd him up, an' so he came."

"Aah, that would be Demon then?" Finn smiled, "That's very interesting. It is possible that you bent Shadow to your Will, and did not even realize it."

She paused to give that idea some thought. "Nah. I don' think so. I ain't the only one to come out of a Quest with a critter. Mind, it's usually small or a bird, but there's been a few horses 'fore mine. I was kinda expectin' a wolf, but I ain't complainin'. Demon's got my back."

"Really? I'd be curious to see that. Perhaps it is just something about your home that produces such things." Finn smiled, "It is not generally advised for those of us that have Walked the Pattern, to enjoy hallucinogens. Apparently, we can really wind up where the
hallucinations are real if there's enough forward motion." He shook his head, "Something I'd like to avoid." He smiled, "Blake was a Gift, I've had him since he was fairly young. Benedict gave him to me when I led my first major campaign in Avalon." Finn nodded, "There's a saying in Avalon, though I think it belongs to the Warlord really; 'Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long time, you learn about the character of your friend.' " He smiled, "I don't think its meant to be literal, but — it fits."

"Reckon it does," she nodded. Rebecca's very long legs hooked around his hips, and her arms draped over his shoulders. She pulled herself closer and smiled. "And no peyote fer ya if yer ever in Cimarron." She took a bite out of her sandwhich and offered to share it with Finn. "Since I've been here, I come ta think there's a coupla things not normal 'bout Cimarron. My Mam could talk to horses. All of 'em. An' they talked to her."

Finn met her eyes, smiling as she slid a little closer. He sighed, his hands sliding along her thighs to her hips as she moved. His fingertips brushed lazy patterns on her skin. "What's peyote?" He asked, his head tilting slightly to one side.

"Somethin' that'll whack ya outta yer head fer three days," she grinned. "An' makes a nasty ass tea."

Then he turned and had a bite of the sandwich, and chewed it down before saying, "That doesn't strike me as all that strange. Osensei's Daughter, Faylinn, she can talk to trees. And I talk to Blake all the time, but in a world where legends says we're descended from The Unicorn, it would be — silly — to raise my eyebrows about anyone talking to
horses." Finn smiled, "Can you?"

"You and I both know Blake ain't no normal horse. Demon neither, so it don' count," she countered. "And Mam weren't descended from no Unicorn. There was more'en one Horse Speaker in Cimarron." She stopped to take another bite, taking her time before answering him. She took another drink and slowly licked the milk from her lip, not even thinking about how erotic that action was. "I have yet ta meet a horse that didn' know what I was talking 'bout when I spoke to 'em." She gave him a narrow look. "And don' ya be talkin' 'bout it to anyone. Folks in the stables jist think I have a way with horses; they don' know we're conversin'."

Finn watched her as she spoke and ate and drank, appearing bemused, until she licked her lip. His nostrils flared slightly. "True, Blake is not a normal horse, if he is a horse at all, which you may be more qualified to definitively state." He shrugged lightly, "I won't say a thing. What I meant though was this; if my Sister can talk to trees, and there are horses like Demon and Blake out there in Shadow, places where they are as common as a standard horse around here, I can hardly find your ability to be anything but the gift that it is." Finn smiled, "I can't, but I can't talk to trees either. I should think it was terribly useful." He met her eyes, "Why keep it under your hat? So to speak."

She smiled. "'Cause horses hear things. If yer nice to a horse — treat 'em like the intell'gent critters they are, an' not some stupid beast — they'll tell ya things. Things they're riders might not want gettin' out. Some of 'em are open to brib'ry. Peppermint, sugar cane, apples. That sorta thang." She leaned forward and smirked. "I reckon I could blackmail 'bout half of Amber right now," Rebecca stage whispered. "'Nother way o' knowin' who needs a vase broke ov'r their head."

"I see." Finn smirked, "Rebecca, Cowgirl Princess and extortionist." He laughed softly, and drew her closer when she leaned forward, making a resonant, but quiet growl at the back of his throat. "But breaking a vase over someone's head that does not know why he's being struck seems less than effective. Unless the point is to hit them with the vase simply because someone should." He smiled and leaned forward to nip at the curve of her shoulder. "I had best give Blake more of his treats then, else he'll reveal my darkest secrets."

"What makes ya think he ain't already done it?" she replied lightly, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. "I did mention we knew 'im."

"So you know I sometimes enjoy pulp science fiction, where the men were men, and the women might have green skin?" Finn smirked, "And that sometimes I go way out into Shadow, where no one could possibly know me, so I can sing and play guitar without anyone ever seeing?" He nodded, "You did mention it. I remember. I'm glad I managed to avoid being better acquainted with decorative ceramics." Finn's hands slid down her back, and tugged her closer when they settled on her bottom.

"Yep, but he says I'm tha better guitar player," she chuckled. Rebecca leaned over to put her food back on the tray and then smirked at Finn when she shifted, wrapping her legs around his hips. "I got no idea what Science Fiction is, but I do know that if ya don' move that tray, Maggie'll bust yer head for makin' a mess. She might not give ya any pancakes in the mornin'."

"Not hard to manage, I don't play very often. Oji thought I should learn an instrument, and I did." Finn smiled, "Science Fiction, or Speculative Fiction, is about high technology and adventure. Spaceships — flying ships and pistols that shoot energy instead of lead. Swordsman, Martians of varying hues. Sort of like Dime Novels about gunslingers, but in outer space between the stars.' Finn smiled, and without moving Rebecca from where she was, he reached out and with the strength in his forearm and arm alone, moved the tray off the bed to the side table, managing only to spill a drop or two of water and milk when he set it down.

Rebecca was sure she was missing half of what he was talking about. But it hardly mattered at the moment. She admired the play of his muscles in his arm as he cleared the bed; something for more important then gunslingers in outer space.

His hands returned to her, "I'll need those pancakes in the morning." Finn met her eyes, and drew her closer. "Maybe I should wear the hat this time…"

His answer was a smirk and a lowly growled; "Ride 'em, cowboy….."


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