Missed Chapter 1? Find it here!
Content Warning: This is a sexy Christmas story. There is cursing and sex and if you’re sensitive about the Nativity, you might not want to read to the end. I’ll release at least one chapter a week until Christmas. Enjoy!
Chapter Two – Jenny
Jenny was used to people underestimating her. For one thing, she was only five feet tall. For another thing, she was an Asian woman. No one came to her for help unless there was math involved — and she was terrible at math. She usually enjoyed flouting expectations, and it was frustrating as hell to have to ask for help, even from a tall, gorgeous mountain man with icy blue eyes and a deliciously full brown beard. She’d been imagining sitting on his face from the moment those cool blue eyes looked into hers. It was a complication she didn’t need. She just needed a place to hole up, earn some money, and build her strength back up until the lawsuit settled. Then she’d head back to LA and continue kicking ass. If Jake Connors could tell her where to get some decent whiskey, great. But that’s all she needed him for.
Once they got this beam out of the damn floor.
It took twenty minutes to borrow the tools from Burke, and another hour to get all of the bolts and screws and other improbable hardware out of the stupid thing. Jake helped her drag it outside, then they went back into the classroom and he swept up the debris while she did a hopping victory lap, humming the theme from Rocky. She finished her lap and playfully smacked Jake on the butt. “Come on. I’ll buy you lunch.”
The look on his face almost made her laugh. You’re not in LA anymore, she reminded herself.
“Sorry,” she said, “I shouldn’t smack people immediately after we’ve met.”
“How long do you usually wait?”
It sounded like an invitation, and she briefly imagined this beautiful burly man on his knees in front of her. She was tempted to push the issue, but it probably wasn’t a good idea to offer to beat a man she’d just met, so she smiled and said, “I at least buy them lunch first. Any suggestions?”
“Well, there’s the Dairy Freeze. They have great burgers & shakes. Or there’s Mountain Pizza. And there’s a pretty good Mexican place.”
“I’m not sure I can face Utah Mexican food yet. But a burger sounds amazing.”
“Great. I’ll drive.”
He led the way to a Ford F-250 and unlocked the doors with his remote. The old blue truck was splattered with mud, but it looked like he took pretty good care of it otherwise. He’d outfitted it with a lift kit, light bars, and a locking tonneau cover. Nice tires, too.
“Why does a math teacher need an F-250?” She asked him.
He looked surprised. “It has heated seats.”
She laughed. She was relieved that he didn’t insist on helping her up until she tried to get into the cab. And couldn’t. Just a year ago she would have lifted herself up with one arm. But she was still too fucking weak. She was furious and embarrassed when Jake had to come around to help her.
He went to one knee and cupped his hands for her to use as a step. She could see his strong shoulders bunching under his red plaid flannel shirt. She imagined ripping his shirt off, running her hands over those muscles, before gripping his head and pressing his mouth to her clit. Get it together, Jen. She must have stared at him a minute too long, because he turned red, like he could read her thoughts, and she quickly stepped onto his hands and into the passenger seat before she could say something really stupid.
“A lift kit, too, huh?” She teased him when he climbed into the driver’s seat.
He shrugged, stretching the fabric of his shirt. She had to stop staring. “My cabin’s kind of remote. You wouldn’t believe how often I have to drive over a fallen tree or climb a mudslide.”
The burger place wasn’t far, and in a few minutes Jake pulled into a large parking space, in between a Chevy Silverado and a Ram 3500. Attached to the restaurant was a convenience store and gas station, and a huge parking area in the back had a few semi trucks.
Jenny wasn’t feeling too confident about a gas station burger, but all she said was, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many different kinds of pickup trucks in one place.”
Jake looked around the parking lot like it hadn’t ever occurred to him.“Trucks are practical. What do you drive?”
Jake laughed. “You’re going to want something different before the snow starts. But if you can’t handle a truck –”
She cut him off. “I can handle any vehicle you put in front of me. I drive a Prius for the gas mileage, not because I’m afraid of a truck.”
“I didn’t mean – ”
“Yeah, the men in this town aren’t used to women who can do things. I’ve only been here a week and I’ve figured that out.” Sweet hell, Jenny, quit biting the head off the only person in this town who knows how to get a drink.
Jake started to say something, then changed his mind, hopped out of the truck and came around to the other side to help her get down. She imagined doing a front aerial out of the truck, just to show off. Except that she wasn’t sure she could land it, and her leg buckling under her would probably activate Jake’s damsel-in-distress mode. So she put her hands on his shoulders and let him swing her out of the truck. She could feel the soft flannel of his shirt, his biceps bulging under her arms, and fuck, the man smelled good. Like spruce trees and wood smoke. She wanted to bury her face into his chest and take a deep breath.
Bad idea, Jen. She let go and stepped ahead of him into the restaurant. He waved to a few people who waved back and stared at her.
They ordered at the counter and sat down in a booth. Jake fiddled with the straw of his Coke and finally said, “I just meant that a Subaru might be a good option for you. They handle really well in the snow but they’re closer to the ground.”
“I’ll think about it.” She tore the wrapper off her straw and pushed it into the plastic lid of the cup.
“I know a guy in Vegas. I can give him a call, see what he has. Save you some money.”
Her strawberry shake was so thick she couldn’t suck it through the straw. Hopefully the burgers beat expectations, too. “You know a guy in Vegas? Does he sell cars, or kill people, or both?”
“The Prius will be fine.” She was a little more curt than she meant to be. She told herself it was just because her leg was throbbing and her entire body ached. She just wanted to eat her lunch, take twenty ibuprofen, and lay in bed with a heating pad. She didn’t like how weak that made her feel, and she sure as hell didn’t want this compelling stranger to see how weak she felt.
And she definitely needed to stop thinking about spanking him.