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 Summit of Summer, Tag: Riley Bennett
Dorien Spade
 Posted: Aug 28 2017, 12:54 AM
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Aug. 12. Day two.


The climb had been planned in advance now for nearly a month. As the days had ticked closer Dorien had grown more restless at work and home. He enjoyed climbing and Riley had been one of the better climbers he'd met. Colt had done great, too, but things happened and stuff changed. He doubted his brother would ever be joining them on another climb, or if he did, it wouldn't be a fast climb. Not that any climb ever was, including this one.

Friday the Eleventh had been the start of their little expedition. It started early in the morning with getting things packed up, getting a good meal in at Gertie's, and afterwards he and Riley had dropped Tyto off at the station one town over. Dorien never liked leaving Tyto behind in the station kennel but there was little other option. He couldn't risk putting him in a normal kennel for reasons that included but were not limited to: Breeding rights. Interaction with Civilian without supervision. Possible abuse. Possible attack when Tyto meant to defend. There were just too many risks involved. Tyto, however, hadn't seemed all that torn up about it when he'd been walked through the station and handed over to the trainer who would be keeping an eye on him. They planned to be back sometime Sunday but that was way longer than Tyto needed to be alone for at the apartment. A few hours was one thing, but it wasn't like the dog had a yard he could go out in at his pleasure. He'd need to be walked, fed, the works, while they were gone.

After that task had been completed it was an hour's drive to the base of the climb. Dor's truck was parked, all the gear was checked, and the shared tent pitched for a first night of camping and relaxing. While the tent claimed it could comfortably sleep four people, Dorien couldn't help but think they must have been exceptionally short people. But he and Riley slept well enough after calling an early dinner the night before. They wanted to get up with the sun, after all.

The next morning it was all about breaking down the tent, getting it back in the bags and the rest of the gear double checked for any faults. After that they loaded up their persons and strapped on the safety harnesses, having the other check each over for double damned sureness. Dorien couldn't resist flirting with Riley while he had checked her gear, crouched down in front of her and looking up with a grin. It was a view he could have gotten used to. Nothing quite like a woman who was comfortable in her own skin and the outdoors. After she had checked his, it was time to start.


Now they found themselves nearing the summit, the sun only three hours from setting. Would they make it in time?

Dorien inhaled as he lifted himself upwards, his legs spread and one hand gripping the cliff side the best it could. It was all about staying on the damn wall. The weather, while still on the warm side, was with them. The wind was a gentle breeze at it's softest and at it's worst a stiff breeze. Nothing that risked knocking either climber down. Dorien shifted his footing and began to anchor into the cliff side, "Heads up sweetness!" He tacked it in, pea gravel falling from the chink he'd made in the cliff side. It wasn't until the anchor was tested that he clipped their safety rope to it and leaned back enough to see below him, flashing Riley a bright, if not slightly sweaty smile, "Alright," He breathed out, "You're good. We've got a rest spot about twenty feet above us, then it's only two hundred to the summit!" Yeah, yeah they could totally make the summit by night fall. As he waited for Riley to take the lead for the next few feet that the rope would allow, Dorien 'got comfy' on his little patch of the cliff. The view was absolutely beautiful from their level, but he knew it would only be breathtaking once they reached the top.

He could see the entirety of Stonelake, Lochland Grove, and it's neighboring town. They were like tiny dollhouses in the distance.

(Outfit)

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Riley Bennett
 Posted: Sep 8 2017, 12:25 PM
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Saturday, August 12th. Day Two.

Their rock climbing trip had been planned for about a month now, and the weekend had finally arrived! August was going to be, and already had been a busy month for Miss Riley. This trip was the thing she was probably looking forward to the most though, more than her own birthday, which was coming up in two weeks. She didn’t have anything major planned for it though, so this trip was going to be the highlight of the month for her, and probably the summer in general.

They had planned to start out early yesterday, so she had requested Friday through Monday off of work, which was luckily approved so she didn’t have to worry about anything in regards to that. They were able to focus on getting all their climbing and camping gear packed up into Dor’s truck that morning, and then get a good meal in at Gertie’s on the way out of town. Her Jeep probably would have done the job fine, but his truck was 4-wheel drive so it was the better option for where they were going.

After they were through eating it was time to hit the road, though there was one last stop they had to make. They had to drop off Tyto at the stations kennel. Two days was too long to leave a dog alone. She, herself, left her dogs with her parents for the weekend. Thankfully they never minded watching her furbabies for her and they had a nice yard they could run around in too.

It was still an hour drive to the place where they were going to start their climb. But the first day, they decided to make camp and go to bed early, wanting to get an early start tomorrow morning.

When morning came, they packed up the tent, and made sure all the rest of their climbing gear was good to go. Dorien, of course, shot a few flirty remarks her way as he was crouched down in front of her checking her safety harness. She couldn’t help but laugh and retort with some witty remark, thinking all the while that if Colt was there he probably would have jumped on his brother for flirting with his best friend.

~~~~~

A few hours had passed and they were getting closer to their goal; the summit at the top of the mountain. She was starting to get tired, but she knew the view from the top would be so worth it.

Dorien was currently leading the way and she was ‘sitting’ pretty on the side of the cliff, waiting for him to find a good place to hold him so they could switch and she would take over and climb up a bit further. The weather was good, pretty warm, but there was a nice breeze that helped keep them a bit cooler. She had been taking a drink from her water bottle when he called down to her. Seeing the small pieces of gravel falling towards her, she shifted her weight slightly so she wouldn’t get hit. "Alright. You're good. We've got a rest spot about twenty feet above us, then it's only two hundred to the summit!" Thank God. She could use a short break. ”Awesome. Sounds good!” she called back, yelling up to him so he could hear her over the wind.

When it was her turn to climb up, she found a good gripping spot and hoisted herself up. Slowly but steadily she climbed her way up next to him. Pausing for a moment, as she found a good foot holding. Smiling over at him at him confidently, ”Alright, I’ll take over from here big guy.” She said before looking back up at the rock wall before them. Finding a good spot, she tapped her hammer into the solid mass and then anchored into the cliff. Climbing the few more steps before finding another spot about a foot up and repeating her action. ”Stop staring at my ass!” she yelled down at him, teasing him as she climbed a bit higher, smirking to herself. She couldn’t see him staring of course, but somehow she just knew he was.

She eyeballed a good spot about another, probably five feet up, she could safely stop and let him take over the rest of the way to the resting point. She removed her tack and re-anchored it into a new spot on the cliff side, tugging on the rope to test the security of it when the rock she had nailed into came loose and fall down the side. ”Oh shit, watch out!” She called out to him. Her knee jerk reaction was to hurry out of the way but in doing so she lost her footing and slipped a good foot or two down her rope. Essentially free-falling, she wasn’t able to contain herself and initially she let out a scared scream.

As she fall, she swore she could see her life flash before her eyes. But immediately, her survival instincts kicked in and she was able to grab onto the cliff side again, catching herself. Her fingers digging in for dear life. She was not going to die today! She wasn’t going to let Dor die today either!

Taking a breath before looking down below her, she saw he had fallen a ways too. The weight of her falling must have pulled his anchor out of the rock he was attached to too. Fuck! ”Are you okay?!” She called down to him in a panicked tone. ’Please, please be okay.’ she prayed to herself. If he had been knocked unconscious or hurt in any way, she was never going to be able to forgive herself. She was going to wait for him to respond before doing anything else. His condition would determine how she would proceed.

[Outfit]

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Dorien Spade
 Posted: Sep 8 2017, 01:06 PM
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”Stop staring at my ass!” Dorien had totally been staring at Riley's ass. He grinned like an idiot once caught, "Can I claim I was just admiring the view?" Come on. Riley was smoking hot. It totally couldn't be helped! Well it could, sort of, but that was besides the point. He shifted as much as he would allow himself and looked out over the lake as Riley made her way up. It was so peaceful. So quiet, except the wind blowing past them. Just as he were about to comment on such there came a shout from above, ”Oh shit, watch out!” Now usually a person's first instinct was to look up when someone spoke to them, especially if that someone was up higher than them. As it was Dorien had just been lifting his chin when Riley's knee jerk reaction caused her to fall, and subsequently, him as well.

There was a clear thunk! as the falling rock made contact with his helmet- thank God for that. But seconds after Dorien had found himself being jerked down and, after a sudden hitch where his safety anchor had caught, another jolt of panic ripped through him when that anchor ripped out of the wall. Greatest fail of his life--- in that moment at least. Riley's panicked cry, the sound of their rope whipping through the eyelets of the anchor, the anchors themselves breaking free of the wall, all these sounds happened within seconds of each other and before he could properly react, Dorien gasped as his back made contact with the cliff side. He hung there, upside down, arms above his head, for a good thirty seconds with the wind knocked out of him. Slowly, cautiously, he looked upwards to where he could just see Riley clinging to the wall some ways above him.


This. Was. Not. Good.


What was holding his weight up? Was it Riley? How had she managed not to get jerked off the cliff side? He weighed a considerable amount more than her and Dorien was fairly sure, even with as active as Riley might have been, that she was not secretly some crazy strong chick. The blood rushing to his head and the ebbing of adrenaline that had shocked his system was starting to make him dizzy and turn red in the face. "F-ck..." He groaned, slowly lifting one arm to grab the rope tied to the clasp at his waist. Seconds felt like minutes. He didn't dare twist one way or the other until, after staring upwards and trying to puzzle out exactly what was going on, he found something new to get worried about. The rope between them had, by some miracle he was sure, coiled around a small outcropping. It had taken the bulk of his weight and prevented it from pulling Riley down with him.

Unfortunately Dorien did not have faith in the outcropping and how secure the rope was to it. Swallowing hard, he reached up with both hands and gripped his line, basically doing a sit up on the side of the cliff but not daring to pull himself up entirely yet. "Riley," He carefully tried to get his feet against the cliff wall. He could tell she was startled- safe, not hurt by the looks of what he could see, but startled. He had enough experience to know that if that outcropping gave way, he'd take Riley down with him and they'd both be gone. Fuck, their bodies would probably be scavenged before the park rangers even made a pass through these areas and found them.

Colton would never forgive him if he died and took Riley with him. Fuck, Colton would never forgive him if he knew this had even gotten this far. Ah hell. Colt just wasn't going to forgive him period.

He took a breath, feeling himself tense as his feet made contact finally. Every move was deliberate at this point, not a single one done quickly. "Anchor yourself in." Even his words were spoken carefully as if they might make them fall. "And tell me when you've done that. " He felt sick to his stomach but recognized it for what it was. Fear. He didn't wait for Riley to respond before he had started to look at the portion of cliff under his feet and around him.

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Riley Bennett
 Posted: Sep 11 2017, 03:26 PM
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"Can I claim I was just admiring the view?" Was that his defense? Really? She laughed and shook her head, knowing better. She’d known Dorien like half of her life, she knew how he operated. It didn’t bother her though, that was just the kind of relationship they had. They always flirted with each other, but it’d never really gone past that. ”You can, but I wouldn’t believe you.” she replied with a smile, you could hear it in her voice, though it was hidden from view since she was looking upwards at the cliff trying to find where she was gonna grab hold next.

Then when she went to move from her current position, the world turned on it’s side. Quite literally. She went to test her rope and anchor before starting to climb again, and thankfully she did because the rock she had thought was secure, was most definitely not. As she went to test it, it pulled loose, and in the next second she simultaneously, yelled down to Dorien trying to warn him while also shifting out of the way so she wouldn’t get hit.

In the seconds to come, several things happened.

First: She heard the rock hit Dor’s helmet, or what she guessed was his helmet. It didn’t sound correct for it to have been the cliffside. In that same moment she also lost her footing; causing herself and subsequently, him as well, to fall. This was her biggest mistake of her life. At least that she could remember at the moment.

Second: She was sliding down her rope - a good couple feet she fell.

Third: She screamed, before feeling the safety anchor on her harness catch her. Her body lurched to a stop, the momentum from the fall and her body weight combined caused for her to be flung back against the cliff. She hit the wall with her front, turning her face to the side just in time so the helmet took the impact there, but she certainly got the wind knocked out of her when her stomach rammed into one of the protruding edges.

Upon impact though, thanks to the adrenaline crossing through her veins and the want to live, she was able to push aside any pain she might have felt and just grabbed hold of the cliff side for dear life. She was not going to let them die like this if she could help it, and if she could just hold them up on the cliff long enough for Dorien to get stable, everything would be okay. Right? Well that’s what she was telling herself as she clung to the wall.

Thanks to the outcropping (which she was completely unaware of at the moment) she was not jerked off the wall again. Which allowed her to stabilize herself. Not knowing that same piece of stone was what had saved Dorien’s life.

After another moment she allowed a slow breath from her lungs and she risked a look down below her, afraid of what she would find. She could see Dorien dangling from his rope, hanging upside down several feet below her. ’Oh F-ck!’ she thought to herself. She yelled down to him, asking him if he was okay but multiple seconds passed by and he didn’t answer. It didn’t look like he was moving! She couldn’t see his face either. Was he unconscious? Dead?! ’F-ck, f-ck, f-ck!’ she thought to herself.

Crap! What was she going to do?! If she had to, she could probably get down to him... but if she did that, his rope would probably slack and he would fall more… Goddamn It! She couldn’t just let him dangle there though!

She was about to yelled down to him again to see if she could any sort of response when he actually, hesitantly, called her name.

Oh sweet Jesus he was alive!

”Dorien!” she called back, her tone a mixture of relief and panic. She was so glad he was alive, but she knew they weren’t out of the woods yet.

She watched him as he started to shift, crunching himself into like a ball and started to get right side up again. She watched him with bated breath, too scared to move as if she might somehow f-ck up what he was trying to do.

"Anchor yourself in." What? She barely comprehended the fact he even said anything. Right! Yes, she needed to get them anchored back in! "And tell me when you've done that.” She nodded even though he wasn’t looking, ”Okay…” She slowly, carefully, let go of the cliff with one of her hands and grabbed her hammer that was still (thankfully) attached to her harness. She immediately started looking for a good anchoring spot, biting her lip nervously. It was safe to say her confidence was shaken after what just happened. It wasn’t entirely her fault, but she felt like it was. They almost just died because of her mistake.

She shook herself mentally though, kicking those thoughts out. She could not second guess herself right now. She needed to fully focus and get them anchored back to the cliff so they could get safely to the rest spot and then the top!

Ah ha!

She found a spot and chipped her hammer into the solid mass before setting the anchor. Once tested and nothing shifted or moved that wasn’t suppose to she glanced down at Dorien. ”Okay, we should be good! Are you able to climb?” She let him know, following that up with her question. She had no idea if, and how badly he was hurt. If he couldn’t, she would have to think of something.

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Dorien Spade
 Posted: Sep 11 2017, 04:26 PM
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Riva


Although he could see Riley from a view he would have normally quite enjoyed, Dorien was still nervous enough about, oh say, falling to his death, that he didn't have time to enjoy the view. If the circumstances would have been different there was no doubt that he would have continued along the same line of flirting with Riley. Fuck, if Colt hadn't been such a cock blocker who was to say his and Riley's friendship wouldn't have progressed further? But no. Colton was protective over his friend and Dorien supposed on some level he understood why. But was that going to stop him from flirting with Riley? Not in the least. Would it stop him from putting the moves on her when Colton was around? Nope.


Thanks to the rope wrapping the outcropping of rock, Dor couldn't feel every move Riley made. He had closed his eyes while she hammered and turned ducked his chin down, just in case any other rocks aside from pea gravel came toppling down again. This particular climb was one he'd made, he felt, a thousand times. He knew this particular section of the cliff and felt the rock letting go had to have been from years of wear and tear of other climbers using the same upward path. Things like that happened and he'd already decided he wasn't going to hold it against Riley knowing full well she wasn't as experienced as himself.

Finally the chips of rock stopped showering him, for he was directly below Riley, and the woman called out. ”Okay, we should be good! Are you able to climb?” He hadn't even let himself register the pain in his back or access any injuries possibly sustained. His helmet had taken what he was sure was the worse of it and that was as much as he had allowed himself to look into it for now. It wasn't even a question of having Riley wait, either. "Listen," He shifted slowly again, pulling himself to the face of the cliff again. His voice was gruff, tense with pain he was otherwise trying to ignore, but this too subsided the more he spoke. "I'm....." He sighed, his cheek making contact with the warm stone, letting himself take a deep breath before tilting his head back and looking up. For the sake of making this seem better than it was, he grinned a little. "I'm going to find my footing," Which he had already started to do, his eyes darting between Riley and the outcropping which kept them both on the wall, "And."


A short pause as he found a good grip with one hand, then the next, then he found the best footing he knew he was going to find. "Okay, and now," He had looked up again, this time with a serious expression that rarely graced his features around others. "I want you to detach my rope from your harness." He didn't give Riley time to argue if she felt this was a bad idea, "Look," A hard breath, "You see that outcropping?" He couldn't move his hand to point so hoped she located it if she were willing to look down for it. "It's the only thing that kept me from jerking you down with me. It still is. So I need you to detach me. I'm out of anchors on my belt." Which meant his safety line between them would do him little good, anyway. "I can't get to my spares until we make that rest spot." His voice had taken on every bit of his Police Officer Authority. He spoke as clearly as he could manage, not a hint of his own stress in his voice. It held a certain authority to it that suggested he would not be argued with.

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Riley Bennett
 Posted: Sep 13 2017, 12:42 PM
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Pea gravel tumbled down the side of the cliff as she got the anchor set in the new location and tested it. Thankfully no repeats of what happened just minutes ago. She let him know she had finished once she deemed it secure. She asked him if he thought he would be able to climb; she should be able to, though it might be slower moving than before. It all depended on what pains she would start to feel when she started to move. All the adrenaline that was still crossing through her though would hopefully help numb the worst of it.

”Listen,” He started, and just from that single word, she was already getting a bad feeling. She could feel knots twisting in her stomach, fearing the worse. He was gonna tell her he couldn’t feel his legs or something. "I’m....I'm going to find my footing," Or maybe not… She still didn’t like his tone though. It was way too serious for him. It made her think he was hiding something from her, like he didn’t want her to see or know how hurt he really was. She watched him silently, intently as he got his footing and positioned his hands.

"Okay, and now," He had looked up at her, this time with such a serious expression it made her even more scared that something was wrong. She couldn’t remember ever seeing that manner of seriousness on his face before. Unless it was for some sort of joke he was trying to pull over on someone, but even then that expression was different from this one he was giving her now and usually didn’t last long. This one wasn’t fading. He wasn’t joking around. Obviously. "I want you to detach my rope from your harness." Did she just hear that right? ”What?!” she blurted out, unable to believe her own ears. ”No!” she protested immediately. That was a horrible idea! Unthinkable! ”Look,” He started again, not giving her a chance to argue further. "You see that outcropping?" What outcropping? What was he talking about?! Her blue eyes shifted away from him to look and she spotted it right away. "It's the only thing that kept me from jerking you down with me. It still is. So I need you to detach me. I'm out of anchors on my belt." No! She didn’t like this. There had to be a better solution! ”Dor there-” has to be a better option, is what she wanted to say but he started to say something again. "I can't get to my spares until we make that rest spot." She didn’t like this idea one bit. It was too risky! Yes, he was a more experienced climber than her, but that didn’t mean he could or should free-climb!

She was fighting the urge to cry. That was how much this idea scared her, but she recognized the tone in his voice, nothing she said was going to change his mind. She bit her lower lip nervously, looking down at him. ”Are you sure you can do this?” She asked, naturally still hesitant to actually do what he was asking her to.

But she did.

She detached him, and as she unclipped him she felt like she was going to throw up.

”Be super careful Dor. I mean it! If you die, I swear to God!” Swear what? She didn’t know, but something! She would not be able to live with herself. She wouldn’t be able to face Colton or the rest of their family ever again.

God, this was such a bad idea.

As she saw him slowly start to make his way up the wall, she started also. And even though she was still safely harnessed to her rope, she still moved carefully. Not wanting to cause anything to fall in his path. One small mishap could be detrimental to him right now.

Seconds seemed like minutes, and minutes felt like hours. But she finally made it to the rest spot they had discussed. Once she climbed up to the flat plank, she quickly turned right back around to look over the edge to make sure he was still climbing. He was. ”Now that I’m up, use my rope to help get the rest of the way,” she suggested sternly. He wasn’t far out and probably could make it on his own but it was the safer option. He just better fucking do it.

She never took her eyes off him. Afraid if she blinked or breathed too hard he might fall. Another minute or two passed and he was finally at the cusp. ”Almost there,” She encouraged him, though he probably knew that. ”Here,” She extended her hand down to him once he was just below her to help pull him up. She leaned back slightly, putting all her body weight into heaving him up, almost falling backwards but his hold onto her, which was just as strong, helped balance her as he got his footing.

And as they were both safe on the flat surface of the resting point, a huge wave of relief washed over her. So strong, she couldn’t stop the few tears that spilled over from her crystal blue optics. With no prompt or warning, she rush hugged him. Wrapping her small arms around his waist, she gripped at him tightly. ”Oh my God, Dor... “ She breathed out against his shirt roughly, ”I’m so sorry,” she apologized as she continued to hold onto him. ”I can’t believe that happened…” She took another breath trying to calm herself, she did not want to turn into a blubbering idiot in front of him. Letting out another breath, she slowly and a bit reluctantly, let him out of the death hold she had him in. ”I’m so glad you’re okay,” she said sincerely, and quickly wiped the tears away from her face before looking up at him with a small subdued smile.

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Dorien Spade
 Posted: Sep 13 2017, 01:30 PM
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If his life hadn't actually been in extreme danger, Dorien might have found Riley's panic mess of emotions to be, what, cute? She was worried about him, it was super sweet! Mean, really. But Dor was worried about himself, too. He just wasn't going to show it. She was met with nothing short of simple answers when asked if he were sure about this- and when she 'swore to god', he looked up with that same stupid grin of his. Oh come on. He could fall to his death here. Part of him really wanted to spend those last few chances on flirting with Riley and making her feel like this was going to be entirely alright. The other part of him was telling himself to shut the fuck up and keep moving.


Free-climbing was dangerous. One misstep and you fell to your death. The only comfort Dorien had was knowing that if he fell, he wouldn't be taking Riley with him. He knew she were close enough to the summit that she could make it to the top--- so long as she kept her wits about her. Grace under pressure was a divine gift. Not even every Police Officer or other Emergency Response personal had it, and unfortunately those were the ones who never really recovered from their first great crisis while on the job. Remembering fallen officers was a difficult memory. Remembering the ones who fell at their own hands were ultimately the hardest to deal with.

But now certainly wasn't the time to be thinking on that matter. When he finally reached where Riley's rope was, he was able to use it, plus a few strategically left behind anchors once she'd gotten closer to the rest flat, to help him along. Her encouragement was nice, unneeded because falling to death wasn't on his schedule today, but nice! When he finally had reached the flat, Riley helped 'pull' him up. Which if Dorien hadn't been hanging on the ledge might have been cute. Seriously. He needed to totally focus here and all his near-death-experienced mind could seem to focus on was Riley. Having someone this worried over you was nice. It meant they'd miss you if you were gone.

The second he had made it onto the flat Riley was on him, and was he going to fucking complain about that?! Hell no. She threw her arms around him and Dorien wrapped one arm around her, glanced over the edge, and then firmly wrapped his other arm around her as well, backing them up until his back was against the wall. Clearly that ledge could go fuck itself.


”Oh my God, Dor... “ Despite them having just climbed up a fucking cliff and nearly died, Riley smelt nice. His brain was obviously not giving up on this. ”I’m so sorry,” "This wasn't your fault," He interjected quickly. ”I can’t believe that happened…” He couldn't either. She released him, reluctantly, and Dorien appeared just as hesitant to release Riley from his arms. As it was he kept his hands at her elbows and when she stepped away from him he navigated her to the side, making sure she was no where near the ledge. He didn't take his hands off her,
instead brushing them up her arms, watching her brush away the tears. ”I’m so glad you’re okay,” "Yeah," He finally breathed out, not realizing he had been holding his breath, and gave a nervous chuckle as he reached up and brushed her cheek with his thumb and the heel of his hand, "Come on, I totally had that." A false reassurance. No, he had not totally had that. There was so much that could have continued to go wrong. A stiff wind, his heavy pack getting the better of him. So much. "I wouldn't dream of leaving you up here on your lonesome." Pretty sure it was somewhat a defense mechanistic to make things seem way less terrible than they had just been, but Dorien was already back to using that flirting tone with her.

Anything to get that subdued smile to blossom further.

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Riley Bennett
 Posted: Sep 18 2017, 09:45 PM
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Of course she was worried about him! The situation they currently found themselves in had the potential to be fatal. She had no idea what was going through his mind but if she had known she was the focal point for him while he climbed up, somewhere in the midst of her panic she probably would have felt flattered. In a way, he was the focal point for her as well. Every move she made was slow and steady, and with him in mind. Where she put her foot, what section she used to pull herself up. One wrong move and she could have caused for him to fall. As she climbed her way up, and she got closer to the rest flat she left a few of her spare anchors behind along the way for him to be able to use.

After she made it up, she turned around and hung her head over the cliffside to watch him. A small, minuscule amount of relief released from her chest as she saw him using the anchors she left for him and her rope to help pull himself up; even if he wasn’t fastened in, at least knowing he was using the grips and rope made her feel a tiny bit better.

When he was safely up next to her, her emotions took over. Without warning, without hesitation, and not giving him a choice in the matter, she hastily engulfed him in a hug. As she clung to him, and he wrapped his arms around her she lost it. Tears of relief ran down her face, and she breathed into his shirt. She barely comprehended that they walked a few steps backwards towards the wall and away from the edge as she gruffed out an apology. He was quick to try and reassure her that it was not her fault, but she just shook her head against his shirt. It was nice of him to try and console her but she wasn’t going be able to let it go that easily. She felt it was her fault, it was her error that caused that near-death-experience to happen.

Expressing her disbelief that it had happened at all, she then took a deep breath trying to calm herself before she loosened her hold on him. Just as she was reluctant to let go of him, he seemed to not want to either. Funny how near-death-experiences will bring people closer together, physically and emotionally. Not that she was going to complain; his touch was comforting to her. Feeling his hands rub up and down her arms as she worked at wiping away the few tears that trickled down her face, she smiled a bit up at him and told him how glad, how thankful, she was he was alright.

He agreed it was good he was alive with a nervous chuckle, it was probably his way of dispelling his nerves. Then his hand found her cheek, and his thumb was caressing her skin. The intimate touch caused her breath to hitch in her lungs, and her light blue eyes locked with his steel blue ones in a tender moment. "Come on, I totally had that.” Moment over. She gave him a incredulous look but didn’t say anything just yet. Not use to him being affectionate like that towards her she was unsure what to do or say. When they flirted, it wasn’t usually physical, all verbal. What he was doing felt different than just normal flirting though. Was he trying to comfort her? They did just survive a very traumatic situation, perhaps he was looking to connect with her somehow? Maybe she was just reading too much into it...

Her brain was still trying to recover from what they went through minutes ago and catch up and process everything happening right then when his words seemed to bring her out of her thoughts. "I wouldn't dream of leaving you up here on your lonesome." And just like that he was back to flirting with her. How quickly he seemed to fall back into his normal routine. Almost like nothing happened. Almost. His thumb was still softly stroking her cheek as he spoke which made it a little hard for her to concentrate. But his words caused her small, forced smile to morph into a smirk. ”Good, you better not.” She brought one of her hands up to gently poke him in the chest, her finger lingering there for a couple seconds as she said, ”Cause I need you,” What for exactly? Well, she would let his mind take that one and swim with it. Purposely not finishing her sentence. Her voice taking on a flirtatious tone of it’s own as she caught his gaze once more.

They probably should get back to fixing his gear but she wasn’t any hurry to move at the moment.

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Dorien Spade
 Posted: Sep 19 2017, 04:37 PM
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Riley appeared as hesitant to move from his arms as he was to let her go- and there was a moment there, as she poked his chest and let her hand linger, that Dorien had considered kissing her. "Cause I need you,” One hand had pulled away and cupped over the lingering hand at his chest where he squeezed it softly. God, those four words. It sparked his imagination- she probably knew exactly what she'd said, too, and what it had done. Saying she could have possibly felt a pulse was the understatement of the century. Because despite his trying to look calm on the exterior, his heart was still going ninety to nothing in his chest, the physical touch not helping the matter. There were absolutely no doubt Riley could have felt his heart beating as hard as it was after he had placed his hand atop her's and held it there. But that moment. It could have been perfect. But even cupping his hand against her cheek and having leaned in without realizing it, a little voice at the back of his mind reminded him that they still needed to climb the rest of the way up.

They couldn't camp here on the rest ledge all night- His gear needed to be checked- and sharing a kiss, tender or steamy no matter how badly he wanted it, with Riley, was just not a good idea. Before that little voice had completed it's debate over why he shouldn't kiss her, Colton being not one of the reasons, Dorien had leaned in so close that it were already obviously meant to be an action followed by a kiss. Instead his hand softly rubbed Riley's cheek, "We...." What? We what? His brain was still trying to process the reasoning as he lingered there. "Should..." He knew what he wanted that 'should' to be. Ultimately that little voice won out-- one of the rare times it had, "Check my gear. . . ."
Finally her other hand was released as he straightened up. He had to hold back a disappointing sigh at himself. Fuck. When had he ever been responsible!? WHY NOW!? It had been one of the most perfect moments to take advantage of a situation they'd just shared. Uhg.

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Riley Bennett
 Posted: Sep 24 2017, 06:00 PM
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Of course she knew what she had said was going to cause his mind to wander. It had been the main intention behind her words. It was only fair after he teased her. There was truth in those words though too; she did need him. Like to put up their tent tonight. Okay, okay, so it was more than that. She also just needed him in her life, period. I mean, after having someone in your life for 10+ years, you couldn’t really imagine your life without them, could you? At least she couldn’t, and didn’t want to. He was a close friend of hers after all this time. She genuinely cared about him, even if he was a serial flirt and pain in the ass sometimes.

Her index finger gently poked his chest when she playfully taunted him. His reaction -- was honestly unexpected. He took the hand that was not on her cheek and cupped it around her fingers of her hand that had been touching his chest, now pressing her palm against his chest completely and squeezed her hand softly. She certainly could feel the beating of his heart as he held her hand against him. It’s hammering making her all the more aware of her own rapid heart beat. Much like his, her’s was going a mile a minute too. Was Mr. Confidence nervous?

He looked calm, though the look he was giving her made her feel nervous, and he was definitely leaning in closer! Oh God, was he going to kiss her?! He was totally going to kiss her wasn’t he?? Her lips parted just the slightest as she let out a soft breath as she locked her blue gaze with his.

”We…” He started, and as he did her blue eyes dropped to his lips. Their faces were just inches apart at this point. Did she even want him to kiss her? If she was being honest… yes, she did. She couldn’t deny that she’d thought about it before, but just like he was battling it out inside his head, so was she. Unlike him though, his brother was a factor for her. She didn’t want him to get pissed off at either of them. Though I guess he didn’t exactly have to know if it happened, right? What he didn’t know, wouldn’t hurt him. But she’d feel bad not telling him…

”Should...” Dorien’s next word, a whispered breath caused a shiver to shoot down her spine. It pulled her out of her thoughts, and back to the present. He was so close now! She could feel his breath on her lips, their mouths mere millimeters apart. He really was going to kiss her!


Or not.

He pulled back! He pulled back? He sure as hell did. While stroking her cheek... ”Check my gear…” he finished. Really dude?! That was what you were thinking about now? Why did he have to be responsible now of all times?! Ugh.

She closed her mouth into a tight line, blinked, and cleared her throat; trying to regain her composure. Fucckk.

What the fuck dude?!

Had that all just been a cruel joke? That he just wanted her to think he was going to kiss her but not actually do it?! … But his heart had been pounding… If it was just a trick to him, would his pulse have been racing like that? She didn’t know. She didn’t know what to think, but maybe it was for the best… No matter how disappointed she felt now. They did need to get up to the top of the mountain. Stopping here was not an option.

She tucked some loose strands of her blonde hair behind her ear and looked over at him from her position, not having moved yet. ”Yeah, probably a good idea.” she replied matter-of-factly.

She felt the strong urge to ask him what the hell that was all about, but at the same time she didn’t want to get upset with him. They still needed to finish the climb and having a clouded mind, whether it was from anger or lust was not a good idea.

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Dorien Spade
 Posted: Sep 24 2017, 09:57 PM
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”Yeah, probably a good idea.” Phew. Dorien caught that matter-o-fact tone and acutally cringed after he had pointedly turned away and acted like he were adjusting his belt. Damn. He'd just fucked up and he knew it. Why did that stupid little voice of reason win? This is why he never listened to it! He imagined himself stuffing a tiny little shoulder angel into a glass jar and shaking it up like a firefly. Mother fucker.

Well.

Riley wasn't pitching him off the side of the cliff so it must not have been that bad of a fuck up. Unless she were planning a more silent type revenge. He took a deep breath- no, make that a few deep breaths as he eyed the sky while his back was to her. Then found himself glaring at a harmless little cloud. Mother fucker. Why had he screwed that up? No, his mind was not going to let it go. Dorien knew he'd probably have it buzzing around his head the rest of the way up the cliffside.

After a minute he turned back to Riley and ruffled his hair, unclipping his backpack and swinging it over his shoulder to the ground. This allowed full access to his harness even though it was only around his waist and down. It beat having to have Riley inspect his ass-gear under the backpack, right?


It only took about nine minutes to fully inspect Dorien's gear and get the rest of his anchors from a side zipper of the pack. So much easier to do when your weren't having to hold onto the damn wall for dear life. After he had been checked out as far as he was willing to let Riley look him over (he really didn't want to know what his back looked like), he had pulled his backpack on, clipped it in place, and off they went again after collecting Riley's rope. The only real damage to his gear had been to his helmet- it now sported a sizable dent on the left forward side that left no doubt in Dorien's mind. If he hadn't been wearing a helmet, he'd probably be hanging upside down with his brains pouring out onto the cliff below. The helmet would have to be replaced once they reached town again but there was little that could be done for it at current. Much better to keep on a damaged helmet than no helmet at all.

And so, gear checked, the pair set off up the wall. They managed the last stretch of cliff side with roughly thirty minutes before dusk. Just enough time for them to start making camp. It was a team effort to get the camp set up. A spot had been chosen well away from the side of the cliff but not quite on the tree line and while Riley gathered up some kindling to be used as firewood Dorien got the tent set up. Since everything had to be carried up the cliff side it wasn't the worlds most magnificent or the largest tent, but it would do. Big enough to snugly accommodate himself and Riley at the least. Which he would not have been against, had he not still felt like he'd ruined a perfectly good kiss moment back there on the rest spot.

It wasn't until after he'd tossed the bedrolls in- without setting them up- that he dropped his now considerably deflated pack just inside the tent's mouth with Riley's. Dusk had fallen by that point, shrouding everything in that purple blue haze that tricks your eyes into thinking you can see fine up until you walk into a low hanging tree branch.

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Riley Bennett
 Posted: Sep 26 2017, 02:39 PM
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He turned away from her rather abruptly to “adjust his belt” and she just stood there and sort of watched him. Her eyes were directed towards him, but her mind was going back over what had just happened. She felt disappointed, which was probably only natural when you thought you were going to be kissed and then suddenly not, but there was more than just that underneath the disappointment. She felt humiliated and rejected, also a bit confused and even angry? She didn’t know what to think or how to feel. She wondered if it all had just been a cruel joke on his part and that is what was pissing her off. And as much as she knew she shouldn’t be thinking about it all, she also knew she was going to be anyways, the entire rest of the day.

She needed to snap out of it though, they still had the rest of the climb to finish. When he turned back around, she let out a sigh, refocusing, and walked the few steps over towards him. He toss his backpack on the ground in front of him and got the spare anchors out that he needed. As he did that, she took the opportunity to re-adjust her own harness around her waist and took out a few more of her own anchors she had stashed away; she’d just leave the others on the cliffside for when they went to descend tomorrow.

They double checked each other’s gear just like this morning… well, at least as thoroughly as each of them would allow the other, and with much less flirtation. She perform the task at hand very business-like, and without many words. After what just happened a few minutes prior, she would admittedly say she felt a bit awkward but she didn’t let that affect her judgement when making sure all his shit was in order. She wanted no repeats of earlier.

She readjusted her helmet on her head, snapping the strap back into place under her chin and after they collected her rope they were off once more. They managed to finish the last stretch of cliff side just before the sun was about to start to set which was good because they still needed to set up camp before it got dark.

Climbing over the final edge that revealed their destination, Riley beamed to herself as she looked out across the landscape. They made it! Hallelujah!

Dorien was close behind her, and when she heard him pull himself over with a huff, she looked back over her shoulder at him. ”We made it!” she cheered, smiling back at him, totally forgetting she was suppose to be mad at him. She was just happy they survived and could now relax a bit. She tilted her head to the side a bit and unclipped her helmet, holding one of the straps in her left hand and fluffed out the top of her hair a bit. Helmet hair was not flattering on anyone.

Once their camping spot was determined, she set her pack down on the ground, and clipped her helmet to it. Next, tasks were delegated: She would go get some firewood and he would set up the tent. See, it wasn’t a lie. She did need him for that.

But really her going to get some wood was fine by her, it gave her the chance to be alone for a few minutes and try to sift through her thoughts. That didn’t really go as planned though, as she gathered some branches and sticks off the ground she just found herself getting worked up again. Why didn’t he just kiss her?! The need to know overwhelmed her to the point she had completely stopped where she stood and wasn't even looking for firewood anymore. Looking down at the stack she had gathered, she figured she had gotten enough kindling to at least start a fire and she decided to head back. She had to ask him.

It had been maybe ten minutes since she originally disappeared into the trees when she arrived back at camp, arms full of firewood. The tent was already up she could see that much, but where did Dorien disappear to? She went to set the branches down in a pile next to the firepit when rustling sounds caught her ear. She twisted slightly in her bent over stance and glanced over to the side of her to see Dorien kneeled down inside the tent, laying out their bedrolls. Suddenly, seeing him made her nervous, and second guess herself for a moment. Did she really want to do this? She hated confrontation, almost more than anything else and she was about to cause it. But she needed to know!

Gathering all her courage she walked over to the tent. Stopping just in front of the entrance, her feet planted about six inches or so away from his own that were sticking outside the tent. She crossed her arms over her chest and took a deep breath. ”So.” She demanded his attention with that one word. Not waiting long for him to react before continuing, ”I just have to ask - were you just trying to mess with me earlier or what?” she asked him flat out. She was determined to know what his intentions were. If he was just taking flirting and teasing her to the next level, well that would be kind of fucked up, but she could deal with it.

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Dorien Spade
 Posted: Sep 28 2017, 01:29 PM
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”So.” Ah crap. Here it came. Dorien stopped what he was doing and sat back on his knees, staring down at the bedrolls.

”I just have to ask - were you just trying to mess with me earlier or what?”

Fucking shoulder angel.

He twisted around to look up at Riley and took in her stance. Arms crossed. Feet set. She wasn't in a mood to play around, she was here for answers. He couldn't stand up and turn around since she were less than six inches from him, which put his face pretty much crotch level when he had turned around before looking up. Under any other circumstances he might have enjoyed this. But right now he was too busy trying to gauge Riley's mood. It had been a pretty fucked up thing to do to someone. Dorien was flirt, a terrible, terrible flirt, but he wasn't a tease. Mean, not until he had actually slept with someone because after that all restrictions were out the window if he knew it could get him in bed with the person again or if they'd reacted positively to the sexual teasing. What? He had his limits, even if he didn't make them obvious from the start.


"No," He spoke honestly. Honesty was sometimes hit or miss with him, really, but he interacted with Riley enough to know that lieing was only likely to stir up more drama later. The truth might stir it up now, he might be sleeping outside the tent afterwards, but at least it wouldn't spring up later when he least expected drama to rear it's ugly head.

Being twisted at the waist wasn't the most comfortable position, so he turned to correct it. He sporting himself with his hands and turned on his knees to face Riley, still looking up to her since standing up in the tent was out of the question. Maybe if he'd been about four feet tall he could have stood up in it, but as it was it just wasn't happening. Especially kneeling in the doorway of it. He looked her down and then back up, unable to help his fucking self, and once he'd met Riley's gaze again he looked away with at a slight loss for words. Right. Probably shouldn't be looking the woman up like that until he explained himself.

A quick draw of breath exhaled as a sigh and he looked back up, lifting his hands slightly, "I really wanted to kiss you." His words came out with a half laugh attached but he made no attempt to hide the regret in his tone, "But if I'm being honest here? I don't think I could have focused on the climb up if I had." He pressed his lips together in a slanted frown, "Still ended up regretting it every dang inch up the climb after that." He'd only marginally been able to keep his attention on the wall of the cliff to avoid a repeat of what had gotten them into that situation to begin with.

Right now, even amidst the confession, Dorien was having a pretty dang hard time keeping his hands off Riley. It was like having a physical craving to reach out and touch another person. It wasn't even a question. Dorien was straight up addicted to the physical touch.

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