Cash shook his head, a crooked grin spreading on his lips. Well, touche. He could see her ability to keep him humble was alive and kicking, and he couldn’t help admiring her for it. Seemed there was a lot to admire about Phoebe to his way of thinking. Things like her face in profile, and the way she befuddled him - did he just want to enjoy the view of her or bring his lips to taste the smile on hers? This was the kind of day that Ramona had probably envisioned him having when they agreed he’d come here - completely carefree and far from the stressful world of the spotlight.
Cash raised his eyebrows at her choice of word, but he said nothing. Friends was a funny little word, especially the way things were these days. Just like the phrase ‘I love you,’ it was a word that could address someone who means the world to you and someone who means next-to-nothing. He wondered how far up on that scale he registered, and found himself hoping that it was closer to meaning the world. He looked away from her smiling face, out towards the water with one of his own. He’d never known something like that to matter so much to him, especially about a woman.
When he finally looked back at her, he shrugged casually. “Most friends ask permission,” he said, matching her drawl for drawl. Keeping one arm firmly around her waist, Cash brought the other up to touch the camera, studying it before gazing back at her with amusement.
“Now, is it the camera bringing out all this sass or is it just me?”
Phoebe felt free and playful, just being outside made her feel better with warm sand under her feet. She grinned at him still, her eyes occasionally glancing out at the waves. She was glad it wasn’t too sunny or the beach would be blinding, and not good for pictures. Phoebe looked at him and playfully shook her head. “But I like candid pictures, catching people for what they really are, you know?” She said. “A smile is so much more genuine when you’re not trying to pose.” She looked up at him as his arm was still tight around her waist.
"If you really don’t like it, I guess I can delete it, but I think you look nice." She said, tipping her head a little, looking up at him. He reached up touching her camera and it made her hesitate a little. She knew she could trust him though and she was still. She laughed again. "No, I think it’s more the fact you let me keep my clothes on finally." She winked and started to try and pull out of his grasp. "Come on, lets go closer to the water." She blinked her pretty eyes up at him innocently.
“The day you show up at my door naked is the day I’ll know I’ve died and gone to heaven, darlin’,” he drawled, winking at her little “threat.” She certainly did not dress like a nun, not by any means. Cash thought she dressed just the way she was, modest and neat, but always just enough to give a man thoughts that would make a whore blush. Well, at least his own would. He thought about telling her as much when the first click of the camera went off.
Cash’s first instinct was to turn his head away. Well, she’d caught him off guard, alright. He hadn’t been thinking about himself being her inspiration - at least, not with his clothes on. He wasn’t much for taking pictures, but he hadn’t really shied away from a camera in years. There was no way he was going to start now, especially when Phoebe was so happy about it. He smiled for her, wishing he felt free to tell her just what she was doing to his heart. He didn’t know if his body could carry it anymore; could stand not quaking under the might of his pounding heart responding to her sweet laugh and simple joy at being outside and taking pictures on a good day. He shook his head for both of them.
“Thought you were inspired by nature,” he said as he got closer, reaching out to take her in his arms.
Phoebe burst out laughing as he winked at her and she shook her head. She certainly had no plans to do such a thing, not yet anyways. She was quick and managed to get a picture of him looking right at her and she grinned at him as he turned his head away. He looked back at her and she only continued to smile, but it softened and she managed to look at him sweetly again. He proceeded to move closer as she took a few more shots of him walking towards her.
Phoebe grinned again. “I am.” She said. “The scenery behind you is beautiful.” She said smiling. “Plus you’re pretty cute too.” She tipped her head at him as he pulled her into his arms. She tipped her head towards the forest, the light was coming through the trees just right and it looked beautiful as Phoebe turned taking a few pictures in his grasp, not minding his arms around her. “That’s what I really wanted.” She said, pulling the camera down from her face. “But I couldn’t resist.” She said smiling at him sweetly. “Besides, don’t most people get to take pictures of their friends…” She drawled out.
That flirty little mouth of hers had been nothing but trouble since they stepped out the door, and Cash lifted a warning eyebrow at her tongue. It was doing hot things to his blood and he didn’t think that was what she wanted right now, for him to be thinking of fifty better ways to use it. He pointed at her. “I might be a creep, but there’s plenty of little kids out there that don’t want to wear clothes and I wouldn’t be surprised if one of ‘em was Luna,” he replied with a chuckle, dropping his pointing hand. “A summer dress musta been daring for you at the time.”
Cash strolled in her wake, lengthening his strides a bit to keep up with her as she took off down the beach. She looked like some kind of little kid, and Cash couldn’t suppress the bright smile that grew on his face. He was very much used to seeing a certain side of Phoebe, and seeing her let loose like this a little felt like something special. He shoved his hands into his pockets.
“You lookin’ for the perfect spot or something’, sweetheart?”
Phoebe kept her grin up as Cash gave her a look. He pointed at her and she shrugged her shoulders. “Well, you’re not wrong. I mean, there were definitely times, but my parents would yell at her if we were in public so by that age she was pretty good about it.” Phoebe laughed. “I guess she never really grew out of that habit.” She said her hands up in the air for a moment. “It was not, I still like summer dresses. Are you saying I dress like a nun or something?” She said a bit offended. “Just you wait til I show up at your door naked next.” She threaded.
Phoebe was happy, she felt better outside than indoors, she just felt freer. She was quick and kept her feet moving until she turned to look at Cash. He was definitely not rushing and Phoebe nodded. “Yeah, I’ll find it eventually. I just have to find inspiration you know?” She said, taking a few more steps down the beach looking around. She reached in her bag, pulling out the camera and adjusting the settings as he walked towards her. She grinned, quickly picking up the camera and taking a shot of him. “Cheese!” She laughed stepping back some more as she took a few more shots of him playfully.
A fun hobby was almost exactly what he’d thought, even less than that, but Cash was very much thankful to be proven wrong.
“Cheap disposable cameras for the rich and famous.” Cash shook his head, almost unable to wrap his mind around it. The Haywards were generous folk, but they could still afford the very best for their babies - he found himself admiring them again for not giving in to their fame and buying extravagant things just for fun. His mind did take to the image of a young Phoebe running around taking cameras and taking pictures. He chuckled at the vision, his hand still tucked into hers. “I now know not to leave my camera laying around around you.” He shook his head. They passed the pool, and for a minute Cash felt sorry that they weren’t wearing bathing suits. Nothing wrong with what she was wearing, but if she kept laughing like that he might be tempted to take off her clothes this time. Be a lot easier without the full outfit…
Lucky for her, they passed the pool entirely and their feet hit the soft, white sands, the rich calm of the ocean side spread before them. Cash squeezed her hand. “Now the real question about that picture is, were you all dressed up for Sunday school and was Luna even wearin’ a stitch of clothin’?”
Phoebe looked at Cash and laughed. “I was like 6, and we were at the ocean. Real camera’s would have been awful, considering Cynthia couldn’t even hold hers half the time.” She said. She smiled as he chuckled at her and she nodded. “Well, you might get something out of it if you did.” She said with a shrug. “Never know when I might feel like taking nude photographs.” She grinned playfully at him as they walked past the pool. Phoebe didn’t feel like swimming, it was too grey outside and she was definitely in photographer mode. She smiled to herself as they stepped onto the sand, it was nice and warm even still.
She looked up at Cash and stuck her tongue out. “We were little kids!” She said. “I think I’m in a summer dress, and Luna has shorts and a tee shirt on, you creep.” She teased him. She let go of his hand reluctantly and stepped out a head of him. “Come on.” She said, walking a little faster, running down the beach some, not telling him where she was going.
Cash didn’t show it beneath the faint smile on his face, but he was surprised when she came back to him and linked their hands, casual and sure as if they did it every day. It was just like the shave itself, and warmth shot up his arm and straight to this place…that wasn’t below his belt. Make no mistake - when it came to Phoebe, he was definitely feeling it there too. But this other place was much more concerning. Still, he wasn’t about to let go as she tugged him along behind her. Cash followed without comment, letting her lead him into their next and very new adventure.
He eyed her camera case as they traipsed down the stairs and out the door. It was one of those fancy ones, and it held a pretty fancy piece of equipment, too. He knew that she had been working at Vogue, but he had just assumed that it was all just something for her to do as a bored child of celebrities. All of this was before he’d come to know her, of course. Should’ve known better.
“Pretty serious about taking pictures, I see,” he said, just to make conversation.
Phoebe smiled at Cash as he followed along willingly, glad he didn’t seem to put up a fight about it. She walked down the stairs, carefully holding her camera bag firmly to her side. She turned her head up to look at Cash as he mentioned she was serious about her pictures. “Very much so. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, ever since I was a little girl.” She said, nodding her head along with her thoughts. “Why, did you think it was a fun hobby I was doing?” She teased.
"We went on a trip to Florida when my sister’s and I were little. We went to Disney, and the beach, and all the places you’re supposed to see. Our parents gave us each a camera, I’m sure it was a cheep disposable one, but I was hooked. I ended up stealing Helen’s camera, since she had no interest, just to take some more pictures." She said with a laugh, sharing her memories with him. "I have one of me and my sister’s that I took from the trip in my room actually, I’ll show it to you some time." She said sweetly, as she walked out the back doors, heading towards the pool and then to the beach.
She’d put her hands on his chest, but Cash was smug as he noted that she hadn’t pushed too hard. Her eyes had shown just as bright as he caught her lip between his teeth, and any protest there had died a vicious death.
He laughed as she answered him, knowing she’d say yes. She was giving him back all the fun he was shooting her way, and that damn near killed his intentions toward her for the rest of the day. He wanted to kiss the bare skin of her shrugging shoulder, and steal the breath from her teasing little mouth. that would definitely be a day well spent with her in his opinion. She said nude and Cash thought that was even better.
“Don’t know about that, darlin’,” he said, tilting his head to look down his body and hers. He dragged his eyes back up to her blues, just a little darker and hotter. “Seems like the perfect angle to me.” He stole a lingering, rough kiss before pulling back, grasping her hand to pull her up with him. He ended up pulling her to his chest, smiling down at her. He’d like to skip the portraits and just get nude, himself, but this was her thing and he wasn’t going to give in to distraction…yet.
“Go get your camera,” he rasped against her ear, letting go of her hands.
Phoebe could see the way he was looking at her, the same way Cash always seemed to be looking at her. She wanted to tease him about it, but the gaze was too powerful to even mocking, making her feel defenseless to him. It wasn’t hard to miss the way his eyes dragged down their bodies at the mention of nude photography. She could definitely feel the heat from his body, and loosing her clothes right about was starting to seem like a good idea.
Their lips met again and Phoebe was powerless to even want to stop him. Her lips were satisfied as his crashed against hers roughly, making them tingle as he pulled back. He pulled them both to their feet and she would have gladly admitted she liked holding his hand as their bodies pressed together again, this time standing up. She smiled back up at him as he looked down at her. She looked up at him, almost studying his features in that moment as he moved closer to her ear, telling her to get her camera and letting her go free.
She nodded, pulling back and moving away from him to the other side of the room. Her camera was plugged in, charging on her desk and she quickly grabbed it, and then her protective case sitting on the other side of her laptop. She walked back over to him, and let her hand slip back into his. “Come on.” She said, gently pulling him cheerfully. She’d do her best to stay off her back as long as she could for the rest of the day now.
She liked his plains and she didn’t believe he could be a little more gentlemanly. Well, he’d spit hay before he’d admit it, but the more he touched her skin the more he thought she might be right. He smiled at she kissed his cheek, his steps sure as he took the well-worn path to her room. Cash just took the fact that she liked his plains for granted. They finally reached the door and he decided to keep his laughter to himself as she struggled for her key. She might think he was no gentleman when it came to her, but he’d be damned if he’d drop her. He carried her over the threshold and tried not to think too much about the significance of that as he zeroed in on the bed.
Cash watched her move fast as he put her down, but he gave a lascivious grin and crawled on top of her, his movements smooth as he forced her to lie back down on the comforter. He nipped at her bottom lip and chuckled, pulling back just a little as he let one hand flirt at the hem of her skirt.
“Goin’ somewhere, sweetheart? Think you’re just gonna mock a man’s god-given voice and get away with it?” He arched an eyebrow, sure that some mix of lust and laughter were playing in his eyes right now. Cash was surprising himself. He wasn’t usually a man to play these types of light games, but Phoebe seemed to bring out a playfulness he hadn’t seen since middle school. He might be in some trouble here.
Phoebe was thankful his strong arms acted as if holding her was as simple as carrying a pillow. She might have been wrong about hills, because he certainly had strength in his arms. She wasn’t about to admit that, after telling him what was what just moments before.
As she attempted to get off the bed, Cash was quick, and he was still strong, strong enough to over power her and have her laying on her back beneath him again. She wanted to complain but his teeth nipped at her lower lip, making her look up at him with wide eyes. His fingers trailed against her leg and she put her hands up against his chest, trying to give herself as much space as possible, before she let him get away with this a second time today.
"As a matter of fact, yes, I’d like to." She said smiling at him pleasantly. "Well, I was thinking I might…" She said with a playful shrug. "You know, since you like me so much, and I was just teasing you." She said. She pushed back against him. "Besides, I can’t take nude portraits of you from this angle, and I need my camera." She said smiling at him all the same.
Cash quickly caught Phoebe just as she reached for the handle, his arms closing in a vicelike hold and hauling her up in the air by her middle, his breath hot against her ear as he chuckled. She almost got him there, but he was on to her wiggly little cheating ways.
“My body is a landscape,” he insisted with a laugh, leaning back so he could maneuver one arm under her knees. He successfully cradled her against his chest. “But since I’m only good company sometimes, maybe I just ought to be a little more gentlemanly.” He said it matter-of-factly, but his fingers were stroking the skin of her knee and his mind was on her billowy skirt hanging off of her bottom. He could probably see her panties if he wasn’t holding her. He thought the naughty thought as he looked into her face, not hiding it one bit on his own.
“Put your arms around my neck, darlin’.” Cash smiled and didn’t wait for her to comply, walking out of his room on the way to hers.
Phoebe laughed as he caught up to her again, she didn’t mind, she was just teasing him for once. She grabbed his arms, gently trying to pry him free. She didn’t really mind. Phoebe’s eyes rolled. “You don’t have valleys or hills, but you do have some very nice plains.” She corrected him. She gave a bit of a startled look as he maneuvered her up into his arms and she was able to look at him again. “Well, that would be nice…” She said. “But I have hard time believing that’s possible.” She said with a smirk. His fingers brushed on her skin, only reminding her just how wily he could be.
"Yes, Darlin’." She said, mocking is accent for a moment, smiling innocently at him as she wrapped her arms around his neck. She placed a kiss on his cheek for being so troublesome and let him carry her to her room. She squirmed as she fished her key out of her pocket, opening the door as he refused to put her down. They walked into the room and he put her down on the bed. Phoebe was quick to sit up and smooth herself out before he could get any ideas. Now, she had to find her camera.
Cash’s eyes moved with her fingers, the wily digits leaving little invisible scorch marks in their wake. His lips curled into a schoolboy grin as she confirmed that he was, indeed, all hers - at least, in today’s sense. He was thinking about all of the fun they could get up to in bed together when her lips came to his, giving them a light kiss that was nothing like his wayward thoughts. Her next words brought all of that to a screeching halt, and Cash blinked up at her.
Now, this was usually the moment when Cash would tell her not to thank him, but there was a weight, a feeling behind her whispered words that made him pause. He raised his eyebrows at her, trying to muddle through what might be happening behind the deep blue of her eyes - but he didn’t wade too far. Cash could feel his own heartbeat picking up a little in the moment, and he knew that he just might find out some things about himself that he wasn’t particularly interested to know if he went too deep. He let one hand thread through the long, soft tresses of her hair, coming softly to her shoulder and stroking down her arm and back up again. He gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze and tried for a light smile - not a smirk, but a genuine little thing to show his appreciation.
“Your birthday, sweetheart,” Cash said slowly, purposely keeping his tone up. “I couldn’t let ya have a simple one. That woulda been downright rude.”
Phoebe watched Cash’s facial expression change as she spoke softly. Phoebe couldn’t tell what he was thinking, and it was one of those strange moments she felt like he was reading her mind again. She smiled, looking down at his chest, her fingers gently tapping over his heart as his fingers ran though her hair. If she hadn’t been so warm, she would have blamed a draft of the goosebumps still running up her spine as his fingers traced over her shoulder. Phoebe looked back up at him again, smiling back at him.
"Well, it was still nice, one of the best birthdays I’ve had in a long time." She said sweetly. She moved to rest her head against his chest, her arms wrapping around him. She knew he probably wouldn’t be too happy with the cuddling, but she couldn’t help it. "I don’t need anything fancy from you, I really don’t." She whispered. She was sure he had had other thoughts, but Phoebe would be content to lay like that all night with him.
Cash had to admit that Phoebe felt good beside him. He laughed outright when she finally decided to speak, pleased with herself he could see from her grin. He patted her hip, taking a deep breath.
“You really know how to keep a man humble, sweetheart,” he groaned, one side of his lips curling up into a half-smile. He moved his legs, kicking his boots off to let his feet breathe. Then he sent his hands patting the bed until one found Phoebe’s discarded hat. He held up the hat, admiring the pink headgear with a shake of his head.
“I think I gave you a right nice cowgirl hat, darlin’.” He covered her face with the hat, chuckling. “And ya ride nice enough for it, too.”
Phoebe smiled at Cash, his hand going to her hip. Phoebe sort of shimmed against him, covering herself a little more and staying against his warmth. She shrugged a little. “Well, we can’t let your ego get any bigger on my account.” She said with a smirk as she glanced down, seeing him kick off his boots. She watched his grab the hat again and she looked at it. It definitely wasn’t her sort of thing, she certainly wasn’t a cowgirl, and she hadn’t ridden a horse since she was about 8.
Phoebe smiled at him again, and then quickly gasped as she covered her face with it. She pulled it back and then poked him with the rim of the hat in the stomach. “It’s a nice hat.” She said with a nod, She felt a blush creeping on her cheeks and turned, reaching back and putting the hat on the bed post. Phoebe turned back to him and grinned. “So, now that you’re here, I’m making you stay.” She smiled. “I don’t really want to be alone on my birthday.”