Author's Note: Hey everyone! I'm so excited to present you with some of the stories and scenes I have come up with. Sometimes, I'm just too busy to work on large pieces, so for fun I like to work on little ones. Before each one, I will try and give you a little background information so that you won't be confused. Someday, I might take these scenes and make them into larger stories, but for now I hope you enjoy them as they are. Thank you so much for taking the time to read them, and hopefully, you will want to review. I appreciate any sort of constructive criticism you may have.

Facing Your Past:

A Short Scene

By

Lindsay Marie

Story (Background Information): Jake Mathews and Sherry Brennan have been best friends ever since they were little. They grew up in a small town in Montana. Her parents live in a small house in town, and his family owned a ranch. He has always been in love with her, but she never really saw him the same way, and she didn't know that he liked her. Jake's father dies in his senior year of high school, and instead of going to college, he was forced to take his father's place and keep the ranch going. Sherry goes away to college, and doesn't return for five years until her father calls her and tells her that her mother is dying. For one last winter, she comes home to spend time with her family. During this time she hasn't kept in touch with Jake, and he was hurt that she didn't want to see him again. They begin to spend time with each other again, and things are pretty awkward for both. On Christmas, their families come together and the best friends kiss under the mistletoe. Later that night, she gets into a fight with her parents and runs off. She gets stuck in a blizzard, and Jake must rescue her...

"Hold on!" Jake exclaimed and slowed his horse.

The snow was beating down on them hard, cold and impossible to see through. Only experience and instinct had gotten them back to the house. Montana winters were notoriously dangerous. Snow storms often came out of no where, and a rancher had to be constantly prepared for such an occurrence. Yet, this one had surprised all of them.

He'd been scared to death when he'd found out that Sherry was out in the blizzard. It was such a stupid and reckless thing for her to do, running away like that. It was Christmas Eve, and Jake had looked forward to a glass of brandy and a good book by the fire, not chasing after the headstrong beauty that had used to be his best friend.

If he hadn't been able to find her...

No, he wouldn't allow himself to think about what could have happened. He had found her and brought her back safe. She would be okay, he promised. Jake wouldn't have been able to stand it if she wasn't. Even after all she had put him through, he still couldn't live without her.

Jake climbed down from the sturdy brown mare and immediately lifted her into his arms. He tightened his hold on the shivering woman, muttering reassurances for his benefit as much hers. She was so cold and pale. Her face looked so white, as if her spirit had been dragged from her. The luscious lips he had kissed only hours before were turning blue, and her long blonde hair was covered in snow. She fought for life with every hampered breath.

"Oh God, Sherry! Just hold on. We're almost home."

He trudged his way through thick, accumulating snow with the desperate determination of a man about to lose everything. Missy, his favorite mare, pranced off into the warm barn waiting for her. Jake could barely see the house in front of him; the orange glow from the windows beckoned him in a midst of graying darkness. They had to get inside soon, or they would both be in trouble.

He breathed in a sigh of relief when the large porch came into sight. His muscles were screaming and aching from over exertion. It was better though, he knew, from the alternative. At least he wasn't numb. His body might wish for the sleepy reprieve, but his mind new better. You knew you were alive when you could feel pain.

Sherry whimpered as he bumped her higher into his arms for a better hold so he could move up the snow covered wooden stairs safely. He hoped the sound that escaped her meant that feeling was coming back into her limbs. It would be painful, but at least she would be all right.

He maneuvered their way passed a sliding glass door to get inside and brought her swiftly across the den into his study. The roaring fire that he had left glowed with diminishing embers. Jake set her down on an old love seat and wrapped her snugly in a fleece blanket. She whimpered again as her body warmed, and needles shot throughout her skin. She clutched the soft fabric of the couch with tortured fingertips. Jake brushed back curly strands of her hair as he watched her struggle. He wouldn't have wished this on anyone, especially her. He knew what it felt like.

Bending low over her, he kissed her forehead lightly. "I know it hurts, hunny, but you have to get warm." He rubbed his hands up and down her arms, hoping the friction would ease her pain and heat her skin. He could still feel her trembling from cold. Desperately, he looked around at the room. What else could he do to warm her up?

"I'll be right back, okay?" He picked up her icy hands and rubbed them together. "You're going to be all right, Sherry. You just have to stay warm."

Moving over to the fireplace, he added another log to the fire hoping that the flames would catch the bark quickly. When he felt sufficient warmth rise from the fire, he left the room and closed the doors behind him, adding to the insulation of the room. Leaning against the door, he wiped a hand across his forehead and took a long breath to steady his nerves.

"Keep it together, Mathews," he muttered to himself, ashamed with the way his heartbeat pumped rapidly against his chest. The fear he hadn't let interfere outside had suddenly made it past his defenses.

Taking another deep breath, Jake pushed the fear to the back of his mind and set off towards the staircase that led to the second floor of the ranch house. Everything around him was old and worn in, the way he preferred it. He had no use for brand new furniture and things that looked modern and cold. The house might have been passed down to him by a man he often resented, but he couldn't bear the thought of redecorating the house his parents had built years before. It just never seemed right.

Once he got to the second floor, he moved passed his room towards the bathroom. He turned on the bathtub so that luke warm water tumbled into its depths. He couldn't make the water too warm, because the pain for her would be excruciating. When he was sure the water temperature was perfect, he hurried back down the stairs.

She was still trembling when he made his way back to her, but color was beginning to come back to her face. Sherry moaned when he lifted her once again into his arms. "Your going to be all right. I promise." Gently, he kissed her forehead. "I'm going to take care of you."

Jake walked up the stairs as carefully as he could. She must be in so much pain, and she was probably wishing the numbness would come back. He knew, because he had felt this way before. He had been so foolish. He'd been ten years old and more trouble than he was worth. He probably put his parents through hell trying to keep up with him. He always had to be constantly doing something, whether it was exploring or climbing trees. He'd wanted to do so many things back then, be an astronaut or an explorer like Louis and Clark.

He'd gotten the idea one day to walk across the ice before it all melted. Sherry had told him not to, that it wasn't safe. He hadn't listened to her. He was determined to make it across the pond like the older kids did sometimes. He was brave, he could make it. That's what he had told himself at the time. He could remember how loud her scream was when he had fallen through the ice. Some ranch hands in the area must have had heard her, because within seconds, they were running towards them. The men had gotten him out of the water and calmed Sherry.

She had ridden beside him in the back of truck, holding his hand throughout it all. He could remember the tears on her face, how she had cried for him. He had fallen in love with her in that moment. She never even knew it, but he had. When she left...

Jake couldn't help but sigh, that was old news. He didn't regret not going to college, not really. His home was here in Montana. His life here was full and complete. He had great friends and neighbors. His ranch was thriving, and for the most part, he was happy. He had always been a simple man, desired simple things. A good home and family was all he really wanted out of life.

When he was younger he hated the idea of having his whole life planned out for him. He was expected to run the ranch after his father and his son after him. It didn't matter to his father if he'd wanted to do something else with his life. He had never been a cruel man, but he had made it clear that he was the man of the house and that it was his way or the highway.

Jake certainly hadn't made it easy on his father though. Everyday he'd been off on a new adventure, forgetting his chores and obligations. He had love those moments of escape, even more when Sherry would escape with him. They had always had a strong bond. It had been hard to watch her go, even harder to not go after her. His life had evolved around her for so long that he had to learn how to live without her.

He'd always loved their ranch, the way the sun came up every morning in a splendid glory of colors, how he could witness the circle of life first hand. It was a wonderful way of life. Maybe that's why when the time came when he could choose to stay or leave he had ending up staying. Sherry might have felt compelled to leave, but he couldn't, not when his family relied upon him to keep the ranch going. He had made his choice just as she had made hers.

He carried her through his bedroom into the large master bathroom. The walls were painted a soft blue, a hint of white detail surrounding a large mirror. If he had cared to look he would have seen a pale and disheveled man in his reflection, but he didn't bother. Sherry was all that mattered to him right now. Nothing could drag him from her side when she needed him. He couldn't deny that he loved her still.

Hurried but gentle, Jack stripped the blanket from her body. She whimpered, but stood still, as he carefully removed the clothing from her shaking limbs. Her drenched sweater came off first. The fuzzy fabric rubbed across her skin, torturing her in a way she had never felt before. It hurt so bad, everywhere. Her body was in flames, and every bit of friction hurt and soothed at the same time. She wanted to cry, to scream, to kiss Jack for being so wonderful. Sherry allowed herself nothing but a moan as he lowered her pants. The heavy denim scratch her legs into thousands of fire tipped needles.

"Jack..." she whispered. Her throat ached, and her was voice scratchy and harsh. She lifted her arms around his next for balance and piece of mind as he removed her jeans from her feet. She had been so horrible to him, and here he was saving her life. Desperation echoed through his voice when he rambled words to her, over and over again. She had stopped listening. The pain was so overwhelming. Dear God, she thought, make it stop. Please make it stop.

"I know, Baby. Its almost over. Just hang in there."

He rubbed his hands over her body, hoping his warmth and the friction of his heat would bring life back to her. Everywhere he touched, she seemed to quiver with pain. All that mattered right now was to get her warm. He would do his best to help her, to soothe and comfort her pain. There was no way to avoid it. They just had to wait it out.

In the corner of his mind, all sorts of thoughts came to him, thoughts he wouldn't dare act on. He was ashamed for wanting to. Her skin was so soft, more so than he had ever thought possible. Her tall slender frame seemed to be made for his hands. Each curve and dip of her body called to him. Her breasts peaked under the wet lacy bra he had left on for modesty sake, and he itched to warm them under his mouth. He didn't dare.

With one hand bracing her to his side, he struggled to free himself from his own clothes. The water would help, but it wouldn't be enough. He pulled the shirt over his head and kicked his worn jeans off. Clad in only his boxers, Jack helped her into the bathtub. They settled back into the warm water, his arms wrapped around her body.

At first the water was unbearable to her skin. The new warmth surrounding her inflamed the needles upon her skin. Sherry's only comfort was the man holding her in his lap, stroking her body the way a lover might. She held in her breath when his fingertips roamed up her leg in one gloriously bold move. It was a bittersweet pain.

She sank into him with relief when the pain began to fade. Tomorrow would come so soon she knew, just as it always did. Things would be different between them, though she wasn't exactly sure how their relationship would change. From the first instant she had laid eyes on him again after so long, she knew she wouldn't be able to leave with her heart intact. That was a new day though, and this was night. For this night only, she would allow her self to enjoy his company without the confusion and the hurt of the past. With a sigh, she closed her eyes and just felt his arms around her, truly and completely.