Bass takes another swig from the bottle while he leans into the kitchen counter behind him. He watches Miles who is doing his whole pathetic frowning thing sitting on top of his kitchen table. His boots are casually placed on the kitchen chair in front of him. Bass looks at him as he lets the whiskey burn through his system.
Rachel is throwing some kind of birthday party from hell for her dad. He is definitely not going to that one, even if someone puts a fucking gun against his head. Or in Rachel Matheson's case, threatens to shove a screwdriver through his chest. And after the fight Miles had with her earlier today, something about accusations and him spending way too much time with him and his evil kid, he isn't going either.
Which means a lot of time for a bottle and the both of them in the kitchen of the small house Miles found after they all returned to Willoughby after the war.
They both look up when they hear grumbled curses coming from one of the bedrooms upstairs. Bass has to bite back a grin. That is until those curses make their way down the stairs and she walks into the kitchen and he isn't grinning. Not anymore. He feels like a moron, standing there with his mouth slightly open and his whiskey forgotten.
Bass follows Miles' eyes. Charlie Matheson is walking into the kitchen in a fucking beautiful black dress. Her hair is deep blonde warmth in the evening light and she is wearing high heels that do a lot of things to certain body parts. Bass shifts his weight from one boot to the other to make some more room in his damn pants. He puts the bottle back to his lips.
'Well..look at you,' Miles says when Charlie walks into the kitchen, gentle warmth and admiration hidden in a grin that is slowly spreading across his face.
Bass knows Miles loves Charlie. Hell, he would do anything for her. He can see that love right there in his brother' eyes. But leave it up to his brother to wrap a compliment in Matheson mockery.
He can see the honest compliment in Miles' eyes. The problem is, Charlie can 't.
'Ah, thank you Miles, ' Charlie says. Sharp annoyance is there in her voice as she smirks. She is unable to hear the sincere gentle tone in Miles' words. She is fighting with one of the soft black shoulder straps of her dress. Again. Hoping Monroe will keep his stupid mouth shut.
Bass can see rare insecurity in her eyes that she is trying to hide behind all of her Matheson mockery. He tries to focus on his whiskey but his mind is screaming to keep on looking at her. Dammit. She is a sight for fucking sore eyes.
Charlie fights another lock of hair that keeps on moving in front of her eyes. It is bad enough she has to go to some party that involves a lot of conversations and people she really does not give a shit about. It is even worse to have Monroe looking at her with something in his eyes she cannot identify.
She is pissed they get to drink themselves into being very drunk while she is late for a party she wishes did not exist. She'd rather stay with the both of them and that bottle of whiskey than be a version of herself that she really does not feel comfortable with.
Bass tries to hide his grin when he puts the bottle back to his lips because of so much of her stubborn irritation. Bass watches how Miles tries to reach Charlie. Good luck with that brother.
'No kid, I meant...' Miles starts.
Charlie's eyes move from Miles to Bass and then back to Miles.
'Yeah whatever...' She sighs as her hand moves her strap back over her shoulder one more time. Next time she is wearing her jeans and tank. She makes a mental note to move straight to the booze when she walks into the Porter Residence in about ten minutes across town. 'Have to go...already late.'
And with those three words, Charlie Matheson slams the kitchen door behind her when she stomps of the steps of the porch in her high heels and black dress.
Bass is enjoying some time alone with his bottle. Connor had stopped by earlier tonight and he enjoyed spending time with Miles and his kid. He sits on the small wooden bench on the porch. His kid went to the one decent bar in town to probably charm his way inside some girl's pants and his brothers is snoring inside, passed out on the couch.
It's a clear night and bright stars that break the darkness of the night lingering over the town are keeping him, and his whiskey, company now midnight is already far behind them.
He sees her before she sees him. He can see the thunder in her eyes. He can see the frustration in her angry steps.
Only Charlie Matheson could march back home in those fucking hot heels of hers the way she is doing now. He feels another grin spreading around his mouth.
He watches how she stops. Sighs. She is too far away to hear exactly what the hell she is saying, but Bass knows there is a lot of cursing involved. The grin on his face spreads to the lines of his eyes. His eyes are glued on her slender body in that fucking beautiful dress. With her right hand she leans into a small fence next to her and with her free hand she moves her heels from her feet with a relieved sigh he can see flowing through her shoulders.
And then, with her high heels lazily dangling in one hand and her fingers that move casually through her long hair, she walks to the house. And towards him.
Charlie is fuming. The party had been boring. And long. Frank Blanchard had been there, talking to her when his eyes had been roaming over her dress. She knows Miles has tried to kill him once. And after meeting him, she understands why.
She just wants her bed. And to get out of this dress. Pass out. And forget about this whole night.
She takes a right, walking up the small path that leads to the porch of the small house she is sharing with Miles. She is about to walk inside when familiar broodiness and blue eyes stop her.
'Rough night?' His low voice moves through the Texan night.
She ignores him, although the bottle in his hands looks kind of inviting. Of course the asshole has noticed how her eyes have already found the bottle in his hand. She is a Matheson. He is a Monroe.
He grins. 'Want some of this?' He reaches out his hand with a slow grin that moves over his face, with the bottle in it.
'Nah, I'm fine.' She tries, but she knows Miles and Bass somehow always find the best whiskey in town. This time she also tries to ignore the slow burn in his voice and the many implications hidden in one question.
She is craving a drink. But that means accepting his offer. What really irritates her is the amusement in his eyes when she can practically hear the battle inside her own thoughts, a short fight between craving that bottle and one man.
Her irritation makes her hand move towards the door knob of the kitchen door.
Bass puts the bottle on the small bench before he gets up from his place. Charlie can hear the wood of the porch sigh under the weight of his body.
'Come on,' He reaches out his arm, his hand waiting for her.
There is honest confusion in her eyes that does more to him than he wants to admit right the hell now.
Charlie looks from Bass to the kitchen door and then back to him.
'You are not going inside just yet. Not in that dress.' His voice sounds rougher and lower and at the same time there is slow low warmth in his voice that finally melts some of the steel in his eyes away, steel she knows so well.
She is slowly killing him right here on this fucking porch when he watches how she making her decision. But then, she drops her heels onto the wood of the porch and reaches out her arm to move her hand into his.
Charlie feels the warmth of his hand flow through her system when her hand glides into his. His hand is big, his fingers that normally play with the trigger of his gun, strong and yet gentle when he wraps his hand around hers.
He guides her down the steps of the porch and when they reach the soft grass Bass slowly moves in front of her. His fingers entangle with hers. She looks up at him and follows the line of his jaws and his beard to the lines around his eyes until she meets his eyes under a clear night and countless stars high above them.
She can feel his warm strong arm moving around her lower back. She can feel his fingertips making a slow trail over the fabric over her dress. She feels the pressure of his fingers on her skin even through her dress. The pressure of his gentle touch is powerful. She sees how he is taking her time. She can feel it in the movements of the tall man in front of her that normally breathes impatient rage and hunger for control. She can see how he is waiting for her in his eyes.
Bass swallows. He feels her so fucking close. He can smell her hair. He can see how the nightly blue in her eyes changes with every second he is standing right in front of her. He can follow the lines of her cheeks to the soft lines of her neck that gives him an enticing view of the soft lines of her breasts that are so damn close to his jacket.
Charlie can feel the stupid strap of her dress move over her shoulder. She is about to move her arm when Bass moves first. She can see a smirk on his face, that is too close to something softer all of a sudden.
He moves his fingers to the rebellious strap of her dress when it flows down her arm again. She does not look away from him when his fingers move the strap back over her shoulder. He brushes the soft skin of her slender shoulder with his fingers. He can see a small shiver going through her that is like a fucking bullet to his system.
Charlie feels how her eyes close slowly with a will on their own at the slow and rare gentle touch of his fingers. They linger longer on her skin than they have to. When she opens her eyes again, he is even closer.
She is not sure if he is pulling her closer to that wide chest of his in front of her or that she is slowly moving closer to him because she is leaning into him. When she meets his eyes and he looks at her she knows it is both.
And she suddenly feels how much she wants to be here. The nightly blue in his eyes tell her the same. And then, Bass slowly starts moving, guiding her and taking her with him in a dance in a back yard in a small town in Texas.
Bass can feel the exact moment when she relaxes in his arms. Her hand moves to his chest, his hand lands somewhere on her back, his hand wide and steady under her shoulder blades. He wants to tell her how fucking beautiful she is, but he is too afraid to break this moment between the both of them.
Her belly is close to his body, her legs so close to his wide muscled thighs. Her slender frame is leaning into him. His mind tortures him as it yells to him in shock at how willing she is and how much she is letting him in. Her trusting eyes soothe that building pressure out of his jaws and make him focus on her and only her.
Charlie lets Sebastian Monroe guide her, as she is wearing a black dress and her bare feet touch soft grass and his eyes burn into hers and he is close enough to take in his warm whiskey breath.
Under the stars and with a strong warm arm wrapped around her back, she dances with him, to the beat of his heart and music only he remembers.
Author's Note I had the opportunity to see Vincent van Gogh's work and his paintings were the inspiration for this night. This is my story for Short and Sweet '16 for the Good ship Charloe. I wanted to tell a story about romance in this blackout world and a night of stars and whiskey. I wanted to write about that moment that could lead to other moments between the both of them. Thank you to Threemagpies for her wonderful help and feedback for this story. Sending you love and a night filled with stars, Love from Love