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Disclaimers: The characters Janice Covington and Mel Pappas belong to MCA/Universal Pics..not me :-(
Subtext: Yep, there’s some of that, nothing graphic though.
And last, but not least, this was inspired by Reba McEntire’s Song by the same title...I just got back from the concert!! :-)

I’d Rather Ride Around With You
by MythBard

"I don’t care where this road goes,
I don’t want to turn around..."

--Reba McEntire

Melinda put the finishing touches on her makeup, then stood and smoothed the wrinkles out of her dress. She peered at the reflection of soft, peach-colored material in the mirror and sighed. "I have yet to see a decent-looking bride’s maid dress." The dress may have even looked nice - if not for all of the ruffles and frills adorning it. Mel felt like a six-foot-tall first grader in the outfit. "Well, cousin Loretta never did have good taste when it came to fashion," she told her reflection. The tall, dark haired Southerner glanced at the clock and saw that she still had a half hour before she had to be at the small church where her beloved cousin was to be married to a handsome young lawyer.

‘She’s so happy,’ Mel thought, remembering the excitement on her cousin’s face when she had informed Mel of the engagement. The dark haired woman also remembered Loretta’s comments to her on the subject of love.

"Oh Melinda!" the young woman had softly said. "I do hope that someday you’ll find someone who’ll sweep you off your feet and make you feel this way!"

Mel had smiled sadly, but said nothing. ‘I all ready have,’ she had thought. ‘I just don’t know where in Creation she’s run off to.’

Melinda was pulled from her memories by the insistent sound of a car honking in front of her house. She pulled aside the curtain from her bedroom window and stared in disbelief. "Oh my!"

Janice honked the horn of her new jeep and waved up at the woman in the window. "Hey Mel! C’mere!"

Mel threw open the window and called out, "Janice Covington! What - where have you been?"

"C’mon down, I’ll tell ya!" the blonde archaeologist shouted.

Mel closed the window and headed downstairs, trying to contain the smile on her lips. ‘You’re furious with her, remember? She just left you in Macedonia without so much as a clue as to where she was going - or if she’d come back,’ Mel’s mind told her. "But she did come back! She’s here right now!" Mel told herself as she burst through the front door with a smile on her face.

Janice smiled back quickly, then made a face. "Nice dress, sweetheart."

Mel rolled her eyes and said, "It’s my cousin Loretta’s weddin’. I’m one of her bride’s maids."

Janice shrugged and indicated the green jeep. "So, what do you think?"

"It’s an Army jeep," Mel muttered. "Janice, where have you been? You just left me - I was worried."

Janice looked down for a moment and said, "I - there was something I had to do. I - um - I didn’t want to risk you getting hurt, so I didn’t say anything."

"It would have hurt a lot less if you had told me, Janice," Mel said softly.

Janice met Mel’s pale blue eyes and said, "I’m sorry."

Mel gave Janice a smile and said, "Just don’t ever do it again."

Janice grinned. "Yes ma’am!"

"So, what are you doing here now?" Mel questioned.

Janice shrugged and said, "I was wonderin’ if you might be wantin’ to take a ride with me."

"I can’t," Mel said. "Cousin Loretta’s weddin’ is in twenty minutes!"

Janice grinned and gunned the jeep’s engine. "Ya sure?"

~~~ ~ ~~~~~ ~ ~~~

Mel closed her eyes and leaned back in the leather seat, feeling the wind whip her hair back. She let out a small laugh, then turned to her companion. "Where are we goin’ Janice?"

The smaller woman shrugged. "Hell if I know! Where do you want to go?"

Mel smiled and said, "I don’t care! Just keep going!"

Janice grinned and said, "You got it sweetheart!" She hit the gas a little harder and shouted over the wind, "So, you’re not mad that I’m making you miss your cousin’s wedding?"

Mel shrugged and told Janice, "To tell you the truth - I’d rather ride around with you."

Janice beamed and turned her eyes back to the road. "Would ya look at that!" she said as they flew down a dirt road on the way out of town.

Mel’s eyes opened wide as Trinity Methodist Church came into view. The front lawn was crowded and a happy bride and groom were descending the stairs at the front of the little white building. "Cousin Loretta!"

"No shit?" Janice asked, then honked the horn and waved at the couple.

Loretta stopped short and stared at the jeep, which had all but disappeared in a cloud of dust down the road. She turned to her husband and said, "I could’ve sworn that I just saw cousin Melinda in that car!" The young woman shook her head with a laugh, and said, "Nah, Melinda wouldn’t even ride the merry-go-round at the state fair because she thought it went too fast!"

~~~ ~ ~~~~~ ~ ~~~

Janice and Mel wound up at a peaceful lake, way out in the country, at dusk. Janice had surprised her companion by packing a basket of food for a picnic, which they were enjoying while curled up on the blanket which Janice had also taken along.

"So," Mel said softly. "Are you going to tell me where you went?"

Janice took a breath and looked across the still water. "I heard that the Nazi’s had gotten their hands on some of the scrolls - so I got ‘em back."

Mel closed her eyes, feeling her heart pound. She managed to choke out, "You could have been killed!"

Janice shook her head and cupped Mel’s warm cheek. "Not when I had to get back to you. Nothing was gonna stop me from that."

"Janice," Mel protested.

The archaeologist shook her head and said, "See - I forgot to tell you something before I left."

Mel’s pale eyes flew open and she breathed, "What was that, Janice?"

Janice leaned in and brushed Mel’s warm lips with her own. "I love you Mel."

The tall woman felt the tears well up in her eyes, and then Janice’s soft touch as she gently brushed the tears away. "I love you too, Janice."

The small woman pulled her into a warm embrace and Mel listened to Janice’s pounding heart. "Mel?"


"I won’t ever leave you again."

Mel threw an arm around Janice’s slim waist, and settled her head on the young woman’s shoulder. "I know."

After a while of silence and just holding each other, Janice spoke. "So, Mel Pappas - you ever thought about settling down and getting married?"

Mel lifted her head and met Janice’s warm green eyes. "Oh, maybe one of these days, if you ask real nicely - but for now, I’d rather ride around with you."



Well, hope y’all enjoyed.

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