Walt’s been trying to ignore the short sundress and the tall boots she’d worn that morning. He’s been trying because she’s got her seat tilted back and her feet propped up on the dash, casual, like it’s the edge of his office desk and they’re just working their way through morning coffee and morning Post-its.
And besides, this isn’t one of those Top-40 pop-country songs about girls and trucks and back roads - the ones with too much base and not enough acoustic in the guitars. The ones Vic won’t admit to liking, despite being caught with the scratchy old radio in her unit cranked and tuned to the local station.
It doesn’t stop him, however, from noticing how the wind whipping through the open windows flips the hem of her skirt, fluttering the light fabric and hinting at an impressively toned thigh. He’s always been a sucker for women in skirts and boots, and he’s pretty sure she’s figured that out by now. He tells himself that she’s wearing them because she’s off duty and they were dropping her mother at the airport, and somehow the dress and the boots are yet another volley in some long-standing battle he’s not even going to attempt to understand, much less get involved in.
But he’s barely seen her outside of work since her mother’s arrival for the wedding-come-extended visit and he worries that something’s been said and something’s changed between them. He’s playing it safe, assuming that the dress and the boots probably have nothing to do with him. Or with him and her, and that maybe all his misgivings and second-guessing are the reason things have cooled off considerably.
Or maybe she’s just been on her best behavior. He’s never really sure with her.
Vic sighs and stretches an arm across the front seatbacks. He tries to ignore the careless way she lets her fingers trail near the headrest behind him, the way she thinks nothing of invading his space.
Walt concentrates on staring straight ahead, watching the highway’s parallel white lines merge toward infinity until his eyes start to water. From the back seat, Dog lets out a sleepy chuff, easily confused with a miniature steam engine. A gust of wind somewhere off to his left catches his eye when it starts picking up bits of sand and dust, a dervish crossing the road to buffet the truck and wash through the cab, rifling papers and skirts and loose debris as it goes. He takes his eyes off the road long enough to catch her pulling the hem of her dress back down before one of the front tire catches the gravel shoulder. He jerks the wheel back and pretends he didn’t just get more than an eyeful of those legs or catch a hint of silk and the smooth crescent of hip.
The smart thing to do would be to close the window and crank the air conditioner, full on the floor so it can’t cause any more dangerous distractions.
He blows through the 4-way stop on the outskirts of Sheridan instead.
“Keep that up and I’m going to have to issue you a ticket.” Vic keeps her eyes on the road, but the smile’s there when he glances her way, that feral curve that draws attention to that slightly oversized canine tooth and makes her look like something just this side of dangerous.
He grunts. “You’re a little out of your jurisdiction here, Deputy.”
She turns to him fully and leans over to check the speedometer, the seatbelt straining across her shoulder and cutting close between her breasts. He can feel the heat of her skin despite the wind rushing through the cab. “Won’t be for long from the looks of it.” As she shifts her weight, her palm presses into the seat beside his thigh, dipping it, and him, slightly in her direction. He can smell the dust on her skin mixed with the sweat from the late summer heat wave, and his resolve starts to waver. He eases his foot off the accelerator even as she asks, “Am I going to have to ask you to pull over there and cut the engine? Maybe ask you to step out of the vehicle?”
Her voice lilts up in suggestion. When she offers to frisk him Walt thinks that pulling over right now might just might be the smartest idea ever.
He pulls off the interstate at the next exit and makes a sharp right some three miles down onto a stretch of washboard gravel that makes the back end of the Bullet buck and wag before he lets it roll to a stop. A pale cloud of road dust overtakes them. It's trailing edges curl in through the windows and dust sticks to the back of his neck. He cuts the engine, tosses the keys on the seat, and doesn’t bother to close the door behind him.
He’s standing at the edge of the gravel road, hands on his hips and knee deep in dry switchgrass and thistles when Vic catches up to him. She slides her fingers along his lower back and her hand drops into his back pocket, where she lets it rest. A cloud of grasshoppers whines, hidden somewhere amongst the tall grasses. The sound washes over the plains in waves. As much as he wants her, Walt’s still trying to work past the many ways this might be a bad idea. He’s well past the hormonal teenager stage, and even during the early years of his marriage he’d never been known for the kind of spontaneity that leads to adventures on back roads and in back seats. But the sweet smells of sage and yarrow are heavy on the air and he’s feeling a little heady because he hasn’t been alone with her, in any sense of the word, in what feels like ages. And right now, somewhere between the heat shimmers up ahead and the stand of ancient cottonwoods behind them, they are very much alone.
Vic leans her head and lets it rest on his shoulder. “Shit Walt. Five weeks. I thought she’d never leave.” She reaches up, takes his hat and settles it on her own head, and the invitation’s clear. The rest of his doubts evaporate on the breeze.
They can skip the stop in town at the office, he decides, bypass it altogether and head straight back to his place. But apparently Vic has other plans. He’s barely turned back to the open driver’s side door before she catches him in a wrist lock and backs him up against the side of the truck. She bumps a knee in between his and nudges his legs apart. It throws him off balance slightly, but not as much as the way she lets her knee ride higher, until her thigh’s pressed between his. She leans in and applies enough pressure to keep him effectively subdued. He wants to ask her if they teach this technique in the Philly PD, but her eyes narrow and he decides now might not be the best moment.
She glances away. “Sometimes you are such an idiot.” The brim of his hat shades her face, but the shake of her head softens her words. She reverses her grip on his wrist and pulls his hand down and around so he’s cupping her ass. Her fingers press into his. When she moves her thigh again, he feels the fabric of her sundress sliding against her bare skin, and a slow ‘oh’ is all that he can muster. He tries to make a mental Post-it to make sure her underwear don’t get left anywhere in the truck, but there’s nowhere left to stick it.
Which is fine, because she’s got the front of his shirt bunched in her other fist and she’s pulling him down so her mouth is on his, and the missing panties are now the least of his concerns. She seems satisfied that he’s not going to beeline back to the driver’s seat because she eases her knee back and the pressure against his thigh is an entirely different sort; deliberate and soft all at once, and he feels himself responding to her.
He shifts his weight forward and pushes off from the truck so he can kiss her slow and deep the way she likes it, but it puts them both off balance. Her foot slides on the gravel and she grunts and pulls back when their teeth hit. Vic tilts her head and runs her tongue along her bottom lip. It's already starting to swell. Her hand is still attached loosely to his wrist when he brings it up to run his thumb along the corner of her mouth where he’d nicked her.
“Missed you too.” There’s a teasing note to her voice, but he notices that while her fingers in his shirt have relaxed, she still hasn’t let go of him. Maybe there’s some part of her that’s still thinks he’s going to bolt if she does; not that he isn’t certain she couldn’t take him down if he did, but it reminds him that as carefully as he’s trying to navigate this thing going on between them, she’s vulnerable here too.
As much as she’ll let it show.
So “I would have never guessed” stops at the tip of his tongue. The temptation to fall back into their usual pattern of dissembling and double-talk is there, but he has missed her and he doesn’t want to sour the mood.
What he’d really like is to take a week off, maybe drive up to one of those resorts high in the Big Horns – those places with the cabins right on the lake and no phones. He’d like to sit out on the deck with her and watch the sun slip below the peaks, until she’d get impatient with him and start making colorful suggestions for better ways to pass the time, each more lewd than the next. Then he’d drag her down on to the deck chair and let her ride him at her leisure just so he can watch the way her eyes spark when she comes.
She must have caught him woolgathering because she bumps her hips into his and tugs on his shirt; a little kick with the spurs. Vic always knows what she wants and is more than happy to drive; he's got no problem riding shotgun with her, but doing this out here instead of back at his place where he can take his time and worship her, this is going to be a compromise. He wants it to be an even one.
She stops, brow raised question. "Wait?"
"I want to... We should..." He's a teenager all over again as he struggles to articulate even the most basic of all the things he wants to do with her.
He kisses her instead, soft this time, hesitant on her swollen mouth. He leads her backwards to the truck, one slow dance step at a time, culminating with an unceremonious bump into the right quarter panel. He feels the corners of her mouth turn up under his; he wedges his own knee between hers and her grin widens at the reversal. Walt pulls back just enough to watch her face while he fumbles the tailgate open.
There’s hint of surprise, quickly covered by a playful look when he grabs her hips and settles her on the lowered gate. “Funny, I always had you pegged for a back seat kind of guy.”
Walt lets his hands rest on her bare knees and doesn’t fail to notice that she’s still holding on to his shirt, like they’re both waiting for some unscripted cue. There’s a pause, and then, “No leg room. Besides, I think Dog’s still sleeping back there.”
Vic snorts, an undignified sound that makes her body jerk and her knees come up to dig into his sides like she's riding a bronco as she leans forward to bury her face in his shirtfront. Something loosens inside him as he gets carried away by the way her shoulders are shaking. He finds himself smiling even though he can’t make out the words being mumbled into his chest.
“Do you remember…” she manages to finally get. “When he fell off the bed because he wouldn't move over?”
“I remember he had some help.” He also remembers the mournful look Dog had given him, until he’d settled his bulk in the pile of laundry in the corner and watched them with a wary eye, not understanding what he’d done to get himself evicted from his usual spot on the foot of the bed.
“Hey, I’m all for trying new things, but that’s not exactly my idea of a threesome.” She looks up him then, sobered slightly, but still with that playful glint in her eye. He takes a step forward and pushes between her knees. He pulls her forward so she’s just perched on the edge of the tailgate.
The truck suspension creaks with the shift in weight. He slips his hands behind her knees and draws her legs up around his waist, holding her there. Waiting for her. “This going to work?”
She runs her tongue along her bottom lip again. “Dog can have the back seat.”
“Figured.” He runs his palm up her thigh and keeps his eyes locked on hers as his hand glides under her skirt. She’s watching him with that hint of challenge, like a spider in the mood to play with the prey in her web and he’s dinner.
He finds that’s not such a bad place to be.
He drops his fingers along the inside of her leg and isn't surprised she’s already damp. She loops both hands in his belt, working at his buckle, but he’s not ready for that quite yet, so he holds on to them with one hand while with the other, he slides a finger inside her. The wind gusts up the road, kicking up more dust, but it’s the slow drag of his knuckle that finally closes her eyes.
She shivers as the angle changes when he leans in to trace the sundress strap along her shoulder with his mouth, her knees tightening in his sides. The sound she makes when he pulls his hand back is unmistakably annoyed. He runs his other hand up under the dress to grab her ass and she takes advantage of the opening to work his belt and fly. Her hands are strong around him and for once he’s thankful of his age and that small amount of learned control.
“Fuck, Walt.” She’s impatient, but after a whole day of trying not to look at her in those boots and that dress, he’s going to drag this out as long as he can, pushing her skirt up and letting himself hover so the tip of his cock is just brushing her with each breath. He waits until she finally meets his eyes, then pushes himself fully inside.
They find an easy rhythm. The grasshoppers sing and the truck suspension moans. He buries himself so deep inside her that he thinks there might not be an end to him, and when those eyes flash and she clenches around him, he’s got just enough time to think that yeah, this is a pretty decent compromise.