All the King's Horses
Part I: Chapter 18

This was nice. Really nice. No, better than nice. Leaps, bounds, hops, skips, jumps, and a few more leaps beyond nice. This was… Heaven, Alison thought, unable to keep herself from smiling just slightly with her lips pressed firmly against her angel’s. A small sigh escaped her, content, happy, whatever. She liked this… a lot. Her mouth opened more under his.

And surprisingly enough, instead of backing off, he took the invitation for what it was and deepened the kiss.

His tongue slipped past her lips to dance with hers. The dance fell into an easy rhythm, sexy and slow. Hard and tender, and simply breathtakingly easy. Kissing him was something she never wanted to get used to. But she wouldn’t mind seeing how many hundreds of thousands of millions of times she could kiss him before it stopped shaking her entire world. Not that she ever wanted her world to stop shaking when he touched her.

Alison moaned quietly, arching her back in pleasure, pressing her body more fully against his. Whatever innocence that may have remained in the kiss was lost at that moment. And neither minded in the slightest, though both did seem to notice.

He pulled back only slightly, knowing that this had to end. Unfortunately. Rafe couldn’t help but smile as well when she dug her fingers into his hair more, not allowing him to break the kiss like they both knew they should. “Alison,” he murmured, somehow transforming her name into a warning neither would or wanted to heed. Rafe sighed and claimed her lips once more.

His fingertips were feather light against the small of her back. The light blue cotton was soft under his fingers, but he’d be willing to bet, it wasn’t nearly as soft as she would be. A sudden desire to slide his hand under the sweater to prove to himself that her skin was as soft as he knew it would be was pushed aside. Despite the lightness of his touch, it kept her in place, right up against him. Alison was sure she could feel her skin burning under his hand, begging for the thin material of her sweater to be cast aside and shoved out of the way.

They both jumped back slightly at the sound of two people very close clearing their voices. The noises tore them apart harshly, much to their disliking.

Alison glared at her slyly smiling friend, silently cursing her for interrupting. Her gloved fingers were brought up to her lips, and she hung her head to end up in very much the same position she had been in a little less than twenty-four hours ago. She wasn’t feeling guilty, or sorry, just cold, empty, her skin still tingled where his hand had laid. And she found herself wondering just what it would take to get them to go away. A smile took over her features once more, and thankfully her hair hid her face from view.

“Sorry to interrupt you two love birds,” Lucy chirped. “But, you know me, nosey little me. I was just wondering what exactly this,” she motioned at the two of them. “means… exactly.”

She tried, she honestly tried not to, but she couldn’t help it. Alison giggled. “W-What do you… What are you talking about, Lucy?” Her words kept being cut off by her laughter, and when she finally raised her eyes, her teeth biting her bottom lip to hold back a smile and failing, she saw the expression mirrored in her angel.

Neither could hold back their laughter when their eyes met. One thought rang through the air between them. Busted. It was amazing how little they cared.

Livvie joined them eventually, finding the joyous sound contagious. Lucy just smiled knowingly and wiped away the smudge lipstick from her cousin’s face. “No, no, laughing isn’t going to get you out of answering me you know. I just kind of think you should tell me why it is you’re lips end up all over each other everytime you get near each other. Is that really such a- No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Stop laughing! What’s so funny anyway? I- Would you answer me? Please, please, please favorite cousin of mine?”

Rafe finally managed to control his laughter, though he still wore that same silly grin he couldn’t seem to rid himself of around Alison. “N-Nothing, Lucy.”

“Oh? Nothing? Well you know what? I don’t buy that.”

“Neither do I,” Livvie chimed in.

Alison shrugged her shoulders. “Neither do we,” she said, speaking for her angel as well.

“But,” Rafe said. “Nothing is the best answer you two are getting.”

“Oh, no, no! I don’t think so! I think you’re going to tell us just how close you two really are if you get what I mean.”

“How close…” Livvie raised her eyebrows and shook her head firmly. “Lucy, no! They aren’t sleeping together.” Her eyes swept over to the angel. “Right?”

“Right!” he agreed, speaking at the same time that Alison did.

Lucy waved off the answer. “Oh, whatever. Livvie, they are like two cute little magnets that are just drawn to each other! It’s so adorable!”

Rafe tugged on his ear. “Weren’t you the one telling me to stay far, far away from her just this afternoon? Now it’s adorable?”

“Well, yes.” Brushing her hair back, Lucy gave Alison an apologetic smile. “No offense, but really, you did have a boyfriend.”

“Boy,” Alison laughed nervously. “News travels fast in this town.”

Livvie rubbed her hands together to keep them warm. “I wasn’t going to lie to her, Ally.”

“Why was she asking?” Rafe asked, turning to look at his cousin’s overly innocent face suspiciously. “Lucy…”

“Well… I just wanted to know! Who better to ask than Alison’s best friend, who by the way, really didn’t answer the question I wanted to know the very, very mostest. Well, I guess she did in a round about sort of way, but, I mean, now I don’t need her to tell me because I know! I see it for myself and the two of you together, it just answered my own question. So, thank you, Livvie, but I don’t need you to tell me anymore. Because I know. You were right. Anyone with even just a half of a brain can see it clear as a bell!”

Alison cocked her head to the side, turning her gaze quickly to Rafe. “What is she talking about?”

“I don’t think we want to know,” he answered.

“I’m just saying that it’s so obvious you two are-”

“Lucy,” Livvie said a little too loudly to cut her off. “Lucy, these two are obviously really good friends and nothing more. And maybe we should respect their privacy and not ask what kind of friends can kiss each other all they want and then blow it off as if it means nothing at all. Let’s just leave them alone, Lucy.”

“W- But…. Why?” Finally she caught the look that was being sent to her by her new partner in crime. “Oh. Oh! Yes. You are absolutely, right, Livvie. We’ll just leave them alone about it, because I know that I wouldn’t want Rafe here questioning me about Doc or anything, and I’m sure that you wouldn’t want Alison digging into your business with Jack.”

“Um, excuse me?” Alison raised her hand slightly, looking between the two of them in confusion. “That’s no where near the same thing. Rafe and I are not a couple, and we never have been.”

“And we never will be.”

She fought of a frown at his words. “Right. So… See, comparing us to you and Kevin or Livvie and Jack is just so not right. Because it’s not like that between us. We’re just friends, and that’s the end of it.”

“Friends that keep kissing each other,” Lucy reminded her.

“Well… Ok, so we probably shouldn’t do that…”

“But you just can’t seem to help yourselves,” Livvie offered. “Don’t worry Alison, we get it.”

“Oh boy do we get it,” the older of the three women agreed. “We’ve so been there and done that a few times, haven’t we, Livvie.”

“More than a few I think,” she laughed nervously in agreement. Taking a step back, she motioned for Lucy to follow her. “Well, we were just going to go and see if my dad was in his office or not, so we’ll let you two get back to… whatever.”

Lucy nodded. “Right! So… ta!”

She started walking after Livvie only to be stopped by Rafe grabbing her arm. “You know what, Lucy? I don’t think so. You’re not going anywhere until you tell me what you are up to.”

Gasping, Lucy feigned insult. “I am not up to anything!”

“Lucy,” Alison said gently. “You and Livvie are kind of being a little see through with those looks. So, you know, just… You aren’t planning anything really horrible are you?”

“We haven’t planned anything!” Livvie informed them firmly, holding onto the one truth they still had in their favor. Stepping back toward them, she tugged on Lucy’s sleeve and Rafe released her. “I’ll make sure she doesn’t pull anything really crazy. Don’t worry.”

“Don’t worry?”

Livvie pushed Lucy behind her, urging her to go ahead. “Nope. Don’t worry about a thing. I’ll keep a really close eye on her and won’t let her pull anything crazy.”

The blond girl sighed. “Fine, but I want to talk to you later, Livvie, alright?”

“Yeah! I’ll call you. Oh! Or you know what? Are you working tomorrow?”

“Opening. You want to have lunch?”

“Sounds perfect. We’ll see ya.”

“See ya,” Rafe muttered.

“Ta!” Lucy called back to them.

Alison turned back to her angel. “What do you think it is?”

“With Lucy there’s no telling. Hopefully it’s nothing I can’t fix.”

“We,” Alison corrected, grabbing his hand and tugging him along behind her on her way across the street. “Hopefully it’s nothing we can’t fix. Sorry, Angel Boy, but you’re stuck with me now. We’re a team.”

“Just as long as you know it’s not going to be easy. Lucy’s going crazy over the whole thing with Kevin.”

“Well, then we will just have to handle it and play damage control. From now on, we’re in this together. Think you can handle that?”

His smile was just a little more charming than he knew. “I know I can.”

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