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The Mistakes Not Made Under the Moonlight

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The RV was cold. Frigid cold to be exact. Jeff had expected it to be cold, they were after all stranded in an RV with no battery in the middle of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. But still for May it was far too cold. The group had divided up places to sleep there wasn’t enough room for everyone to have comfortable spot, so he got stuck with the bench by the table. He tried to protest but he didn’t win. Jeff used to win court cases, with no degree. But now he couldn’t even win a stupid argument with a group of community college students. Maybe he had gone soft. Especially since the idea of referring to them only as community college students made him angry for some reason. He was far too tall to be trying to sleep on a couch that was made for midgets. Then again he could barely stand up in the RV without his hair touching the ceiling.

The only sound in the RV was the sound of someone snoring. He wasn’t sure exactly who it was. He glanced around at all of his friends who were fast asleep trying to identify who it was. It wasn’t Britta, he had spent the night with Britta enough to know what her snoring sounded like, and it wasn’t as cute sounding as the one that filled the empty space right now.

Jeff got out of the little booth careful not to step on Frankie who was laying on the ground right underneath him. He tiptoes around her to the door which he unlocked and opened as quietly as he could. The moonlight flood into the trailer illuminating everyone. He made a mental note of the way Annie was fast asleep in the chair in the kitchen, if you could even call that little space a kitchen. There was little bit of drool on the side of her mouth. Any other girl and Jeff would’ve thought that was disgusting. But with Annie for some reason, it made her somehow more attractive. If that was even if possible

Outside the air was brisk, but no more cold than it was in the RV. The wind whipped through his sweatshirt and his hair. Instinctively he wrapped his arms around himself trying to produce any sort of heat. There wasn’t a cloud in sight, the moonlight and stars shined so bright it felt as if the sun itself was out. He didn’t know exactly where they were, but there was not a single light in sight. They must have been in the middle of nowhere. As scary as it was, the idea of being stranded in the Rocky Mountains, there was something peaceful about it, almost calming.

Jeff shuffled his feet slightly in the gravel, creating a noise to drown out the crickets. Dean was not lying when he said it would be hard place to do stand up, not that the rational of doing stand up in the middle of nowhere made any sense at all to Jeff.

The door to the RV opened, the sound of it swinging on it’s rusty hinges stood out like a sore thumb in the undeniably quiet night. He turned to see Annie stepping out of it, a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. She closed the door behind her before approaching him.

“Hey.” She whispered. “What are you doing out here?” She was shivering and it made a part of Jeff’s heart swell. He wasn’t quite sure why, but the idea of her being any condition less than perfectly content made him angry.

“I don’t know.” He admitted honestly. “I was having trouble sleeping. I’m way too tall to be sleeping like that. Plus I have become accustomed to at least an 800 thread count sheet. What about you?” he asked

Annie laughed slightly. Of course he couldn’t sleep because there were no soft sheets. “Well I woke up, when I heard the door open. I’m a light sleeper. Any sudden movement and I’m awake. I think it comes from living in a bad neighborhood for all those years.” She looked out over the mountains. “It’s really nice out here.”

“Yeah it is.” Jeff agreed. “Not stuffy like it was in the trailer.” Annie nodded in agreement. “Plus” Jeff continued. “Someone in there was snoring.”

“Oh that was probably me.” Annie said. “Britta and Abed both say that I snore at night. But at least I don't talk in my sleep like Britta does.”

“She does do that! I had completely forgot about that!” Jeff said, but the second he said it he wished he could have taken it back. It wasn’t very often that the group talked about the fact that him and Britta had slept together and oftentimes if it was mentioned, especially in front of Annie, Jeff felt bad. Almost as if he had cheated on Annie, which was absurd because him and Annie had never, and probably will never even really date. It was an idea that kept him up at night sometimes.

Annie looked back out over the mountains. There was a calming sense standing underneath the moonlight with him. She shivered slightly as the wind blew through the hollow blanket. Jeff must have noticed because he reached out and wrapped his arms around her shoulder. She leaned into his side, and tried to convince herself that there was nothing romantic about their current situation. Yet her brain could not ignore the faint scent of cologne radiating from him.

Besides it’s not like anything romantic ever happened under the moonlight. She couldn’t help but notice the way his jaw line was drawn under the given light. He looked different at the school, in the study room, under all the fluorescent lights. But out here there was something that she hadn’t really noticed before. He looked down at her, making eye contact and his eyes seemed to be a thousand shades bluer than usual. Maybe this is why in all the romantic comedies the big moment happens underneath the stars.

She couldn’t help but to wonder what it would feel like if he leaned down right now to kiss her. If he took a leap of faith and lightly pressed his lips to hers. Then again, she could also take a leap of faith. Maybe the fact that something hasn’t happened between the two of them wasn’t all his fault. “It’s cold out here” She whispered.

“It is.” He agreed as he pulled her closer to him. She opened the blanket and wrapped her arms around his torso. She wrapped the blanket around him as best as she could. He tucked her head under his chin and she rested her head on his chest. She tried over and over again to tell herself that it was platonic, but it was getting harder and harder to believe.

She felt good in his arms and he hated to admit that. A part of him was terrified at the way that he was holding her. Partly because he knew that eventually he would have to let go. Eventually the sun would rise and the moment would be over. Everything always seemed different in the light of day. It was like when the sun went down so did his rational thinking. He always seemed to make the mistakes that he had been dying to make during the day at night. He started swaying back and forth, while still holding her in his arms. The movement helped to bring feeling back into his legs.

She allowed herself to move the same way he did. “Are you okay?” She whispered. With her head resting on his chest she could hear his heartbeat, and it was beating faster than what she assumed a heart should beat. The two of them kept swaying in the dark.

“I’m okay.” He whispered back voice kind of hoarse trying to not spill the thoughts that were actually on his mind. That he wasn’t really okay, because she wasn’t his. He moved his hand further down her back to rest on the small of her back. He felt her lean in closer to him, causing him to sign slightly.

She felt the goosebumps on her skin, goosebumps that were in no way there from the cold. Even Annie couldn’t deny that. A part of her couldn’t believe this was real, she had been dreaming about this moment since that first day freshman year. Back when the only girl in the group he cared about sleeping with was Britta. Annie cheeks grew slightly red at the idea of him wanting to sleep with her. Her. It was like highschool all over again, only this time the cutest most popular boy wanted her, and it wasn’t that out of the question that maybe they would get together.

Annie moved her hands from his torso, where she was gripping, maybe just a little to hard, up to his neck. She laced her fingers in between each other, playing with the hairs on the back of his neck. When she moved her hands the blanket had fallen to the ground, but neither of them seemed to mind. She kept her head exactly where it was listening to sound of his heart beat.

The crickets outside continues to chirp, although they seemed slightly louder than they had before. The two of them were still swaying back and forth when Annie whispered “I’m really cold.” Jeff took one of her hands that had been around his neck. He let her go for a second and spun her out before pulling her back in.

“Then let's keep moving.” Jeff seid. Gradually their swaying turned into real dancing. Although neither one of them really knew how to dance they seemed to be in sync with each other. In the quiet of the night the only rhythm was his heartbeat and the crickets that never quite seemed to stop. Annie could’ve sworn that if she really listened she could hear a river running somewhere in the background.

Slowly they returned to swaying back and forth, her standing on his shoes. When she glanced up at him they made eye contact. And neither one of them looked away. His eyes glanced down to her lips as she licked them ever so slightly. He moved one hand from her waist to her face where he caressed her check, before leaning down a softly kissing her. Annie thought for a moment that in the distance she could hear fireworks, but it was just her imagination.

She didn’t hold back as she kissed him the same way she had during the debate, or after the tranny dance. The only key difference was that this didn’t seemed rushed. He took his time brushing his tonuge over her bottom lip. It was the kind of kiss where if it was the last she would’ve been okay with that. If he stopped right now and never kissed or touched her again, she wouldn’t die out of lust. At this point however, she had given up on the idea that they could ever be anything close to resembling platonic. She would always want him, and she was starting to think that he would always want her.

When Jeff pulled away Annie did feel a ping of sadness. “I, Can't-.” he said stammering to get the words out of his mouth. He looked down at her with the sad puppy dog eyes that she herself had mastered a long time ago. He let her go slightly. She was still close enough to him to see all of his features, but not close enough to stand on her tiptoes and kiss him again.

“Can’t what?” She asked partially afraid of the answer she would get. She had told herself she would be okay if it was the last kiss not that she wanted it to be the last kiss.

“I can’t do this with you tonight.” He said his voice low. Although he was trying to sound tough and cool, Annie could tell that he was hiding something. Over the years Annie had grown exceptionally good at reading him.

“Why not?” She asked looking up to him with her puppy dog eyes, which were far better than his, if she did say so herself.

“Because pretty soon, I am not going to be able to stop with just your lips.” His voice was dripping with desire and his eyes were a shade darker than she had ever seen before. He glanced down at her lips before he allowed his eyes to begin to roam all over her body. “The things that I want to do to you, I can not do with all of our friends sitting in the RV.” He gestured to the rv that was parked right behind them.

Annie could feel the blood rusing to her cheeks and was grateful for the fact that people were color blind at night and red was the last color most people could see. “But I-.” She stopped herself before she said something she would regret. Part of her wanted to jump his bones right here, right now. But she also knew that long term she would regret that. “Okay.” she finished. She started to pull away from him. Much like Jeff, if Annie stayed here much longer she wasn’t going to be able to stop herself.

Jeff grabbed her by the wrist before she could get too far away. “Just so you know, tomorrow when we make it back to Greendale, we have to finish this conversation.” He dropped her wrist by her side.

“Maybe if we find a rest area on the way home.” Annie said with a hint of hope in her voice.

“No.” he said without a single hint of doubt in his voice. “You are better than some crappy rest area, and you are worth waiting for.

Annie once again blushed at the idea of her being worth waiting for. Annie Edison being worth waiting for according to Jeff Winger. “I’m. I’m going to go inside.” She said to him

“Okay.” He said looking down at her. “I’m going to stay out here for a little bit longer.” He watched her walking to the RV and climb up the steps before she went inside she turned around to whisper goodnight.

Jeff stayed outside for a little while longer admiring the view of the Rocky Mountain Overpass road they were on. It was a gorgeous view, but yet it wasn’t the prettiest thing he had seen in the last 24 hours.