Lightning in a Bottle, where do I even begin? Once again I’ve been enchanted by my favorite festival. Once again I’ve left thinking that this time it was even better than the last. Once again I’ve left inspired, recharged and more comfortable with who I am.
It’s always hard to put into words exactly what this festival is about and what it means to me. When I come back after the weekend everyone likes to ask, and I find it hard to use just a few words to explain the feelings it gives me and the world it creates. So this piece might be a little rambly and long, but I want to paint a picture for you of the full experience.
LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE - THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM
On Friday, we arrived Lightning in a Bottle (LIB) bright and early. This was the first time we’d decided to do car camping. We were there by 10 am and I found the car camping area to be pretty packed already. It seemed that Thursday was the busy night for the LIB team, with the bulk of campers arriving then. Luckily we had a friend who came in Thursday night and saved a nice space next to his tent for us.
Let me tell you, car camping is a total game changer. I will never not car camp again at LIB. Moving our stuff from the car to camping was 100x easier. It also really helped that it was overcast Friday morning when we arrived. By the time we set up our tent, the sun was clearing out the clouds and warming up the day.
We got a new tent this year too. It was a Coleman 10 Person Instant Tent. We got it at Costco for about $200 and I have zero regrets. Previously we used a six person tent – which holds six people if you’re laying side-by-side next each other in sleeping bags with literally nothing else in your tent. With the 10 person tent, and four of us in it, we were able to fit two queen air mattresses, stand up to get dressed and have a lot of room for all of our other stuff inside the tent this year. We didn’t even need to set up a canopy to keep us shaded because it came with a really great one that attached to it.
Setting up the tent and seeing the lake was totally amazing. For those of you who don’t know, this was the first year that LIB has been at the San Antonio Recreation area with a lake. It’s incredible to see that we had so much rain this year in CA.
After setting up our camping area, we grabbed some beers and went for a walk to check out the lake. It didn’t take us long to realize how the lake was affecting the San Antonio recreation area. Over the course of the weekend we saw two snakes, some half-dollar-sized spiders, and lots of little flies/mosquitoes. Surprisingly, none of these bugs bit us and I don’t have any marks which was a really nice surprise. The snakes were also harmless, mostly just scary. This was solved though by a guy next to our campsite who we ended up dubbing “Jake the Snake”. This crazy guy collected the snakes for us and moved them away from our campsites. (Thank you, Jake the Snake).
It also turned out that the festival had to be reorganized a little bit, because of something else the lake brought with it. Where the Woogie stage used to be, a bald eagle had made a nest and laid some eggs in the tree. Talk about amazing. Some people even got to see it. We tried to look for it once but we couldn’t find her or the nest.
We had one friend arrive at our campsite after us because she had to take a separate car. To offset the carbon emissions, LIB charges single car drivers $30 to park at the festival. Once she arrived, we changed into our first looks and headed into the festival for the first time.
Friday we themed “holographic space lamb”. My group and I really like coordinating themed outfits. I wore my Glamorous UK blush pink mesh maxi dress, holographic J Valentine bottoms, lightning bolt pasties, and some new platform pink boots I had purchased from Hot Topic. It didn’t take me long to need to put some insoles into those shoes. They were cheaply made but became much more comfortable once I had the shoe pads in. They were a ton of fun to frolic in around the festival. I always recommend bringing a pair of insoles to any festival. They can be a totally game changer.
The weather Friday was perfect with the morning haze, then even still once it cleared up. During the day it never got too hot and then at night I layered my look with some leggings and this really cool faux fur jacket I got off Poshmark for $20.
Once changed we headed into the festival to explore. The Thunder and Lightning stages were the same beautiful set up they’ve always been. A new Pagoda Bar, Woogie stage and other some other new structures were set up with beautiful bright colors reflecting on the lake.
Because of the way the festival was reorganized, it did feel a little squished in some areas. I felt like there was a stage near the Gong Sanctuary and The Cauldron tents that was a little too close. The music overpowered speakers there and the meditation space. I also felt like there were a lot more vendors than previously, which was fine, but it just took a little learning curve to learn the new festival grounds.
We checked out a class in the Learning Kitchen, “Digestive Psychology” on Friday. It was about how we often just try to treat an problem vs finding the underlying issue. For example: perhaps we have back pain and we’re dealing with a lot of stress; we should learn to deal with the stress primarily vs medicating the back pain, because the stress could be causing the pain.
Friday night was a lot of fun bouncing around to check out how art pieces transformed into glowing night structures, dancing to music at multiple stages, and eventually closing the night with Rufus Du Sol. We’re not really the group of people who stay up past 2am haha, we were beat and called it a night after 2am. There’s of course music all through the night for those who want to stay up.
Saturday I wore matching tie-dye overalls with my boyfriend, which we dyed together the weekend before. This look was totally his idea and they turned out amazing. Everyone loved them, I swear I got more compliments on my outfit that day vs any other day. We purchased the white overalls from Forever 21 and got a tie-dye kit from Michael’s with a coupon. I actually ended up having to dye the overalls twice because the first time we didn’t properly fill in all the white space. That worked out fine and they turned really great. I loved having all the pockets and it wasn’t too warm to wear during the day because we didn’t wear any shirts underneath. and at night, I just added my coat again and I was perfectly content.
Saturday we ventured out and checked a few different classes. First was “Sex, Love & Awakening: 4 Keys to Ecstatic Partnership” at Haven. Let’s be real, we wanted to check out at least one class that had sex in the title. I really ended up liking this class and the speaker. She was super well spoken and had a lot of interesting points. She talked about the fours stages of a relationship that she’s studied as a psychologist, and my friends and I had some great discussions after about our own relationships.
Then we went to “Tarot Readings with the Tarot Woman” at Craft-Folk Arts. Each reading was $20. After, we went and checked out a favorite from last year, Benjamin Pixie and salmon skin tanning. This year the class was hands on and we saw a little of the process he uses. Mr. Pixie has some great stories and a love for sharing them that makes his smile quite infectious.
We checked out another Learning Kitchen class Saturday called “Flavor Tripping: A Trip Down Sensory Lane” which was really cool as well. This one was presented by New Belgium Brewery, and they had some beer samples for us while they talked about the process and different tastes of each. They also told us about this thing called a Miracle Berry and let us experiment with it. It’s a plant native to West Africa that contains glycoprotein, something that causes sour foods to taste sweet temporarily. We all got to have one of these little pill versions of the fruit, then they passed out lemons and limes to taste. It was totally crazy because you really did have a tastebud change!
Saturday we also checked out the 2nd Annual Soapbox Derby which was so awesome, and spent most of Saturday night at the Grand Artique which is set up like an old Western town, and played some arcade games. I won a rabbits foot on my first try.
While it may sound like we had very organized days, it was was really made up of a lot of hopping around. We’d taken a look at the schedule before and picked a few things that sounded interesting, but for the most part we would check out a class here, listen to some music there, grab a snack or sit by the lake. There’s really no set schedule you have to abide to at LIB and that’s one of the things that makes it so much fun. We weren’t living by the clock and rushing to keep to a schedule. Most people also have no service at the festival, and you either decide it’s too frustrating to try to keep to posting things, or you just don’t care anymore and you put your phone away to just experience everything.
Sunday was the hottest day. We woke up feeling hot for the first time, and decided it was time for us to venture down to the lake for a swim. The water was so refreshing and felt so nice. The shore was rocky but once in the water you could swim or float without touching it. Everyone was in the water Sunday AM it felt like. Pockets all over the grounds were filled with colorful floats. One of my favorite things about LIB is how we all accept the fact that just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy life and have fun. We still like to play in the water, climb on playgrounds and be silly. I love that we’re given this freedom there. I love that no one judges anyone there. The festival had artists build a few climbing structures on land, then a few floating art pieces as well for us to all play on to further facilitate our play.
I think what always keeps me coming back to LIB is this overarching theme of freedom. I get to wear all my “crazy” outfits with lots of colors, dye my hair pink and do my makeup with tons of glitter. I get to play dress up and people don’t stare at me like I’m a weirdo, but appreciate the creativity in it. I get to walk around with a backpack filled with cold beers and drink responsibly instead of trying to drink a ton before getting into an event so I don’t have to pay ridiculous amounts to drink once inside. I never feel harassed by security or pestered by rules. It’s an adult playground; we’re given the freedom to explore, take charge of our own bodies, take charge of our own time, and express ourselves in our own creative ways. It’s one of the most freeing experiences of my life each time I go.
Sunday we went back to Craft-Folk Arts to listen to “Storytelling - Animal Awareness with Rainbow Dreamer”. It felt like story time in school again- Rainbow Dreamer was a flawless storyteller, with a mesmerizing cadence. From there we went to one of the last Sound Healing sessions at the Gong Sanctuary. Here you lay down with your eyes closed and they play all these sounds around you like rain sticks and gongs for about 20 minutes as a mediation session.
We then hiked up to Mediation Point to take in the view, and ended the day like every other day, watching the sunset from a cliff with other festival-goers. This is always such a magical close to the day, and it was even more beautiful this year with the lake reflecting the light. After howling and clapping at the sunset, we changed for our last night at the festival. Sunday night was the coldest and the most windy, but we had a great time again closing with Bassnectar.
Sunday I wore a hot pink metallic one piece swimsuit I had been pining over since I first saw it online. I waited for a good sale and purchased it, the brand is Motel. I wore it with some fun alien hoop earrings my boyfriend got me for Christmas, and at night with some glitter tights. During the day I had a faux fur purple vest with it from Poshmark, then at night again my faux fur jacket to stay warm.
There’s so many things to explore at LIB, but my friends and I felt like we didn’t miss a thing this year. We experienced it all as it was meant to be, by fulling allowing ourselves to journey through the festival. We went to some great classes and lectures and then took those further into wonderful discussions together as the sun set each night. We grew together over this weekend, and I know we won’t forget the memories we made anytime soon. I love this feeling I leave LIB with, and I hope it stays with me for a long time until it’s time to be refreshed again next year.
Note: I’ve never done a challenge like this…. so, I hope it doesn’t suck. Here’s the link to the challenge post. My numbers were 11 (quote), 18 (location), and 12 (situation). I hope I did it justice! Thaks to @sammiielli & @fan-fiction-galore for coming up with this!
The Outside Lands Fest was Palm Desert’s annual summer festival. The small resort town of Palm Desert was just 120 miles outside of Los Angeles, smack dab in the middle of the Coachella Valley. It was something that all the locals looked forward to, for the music, food, and fun, not to mention the boost it brought to the local economy. The lineup this year was a great mix of the year’s most popular acts, from Sam Hunt and Jessie J to X Ambassadors and SZA. It wasn’t anywhere near Coachella, but it was just as amazing. There were always tons of great food trucks and bars on wheels. Plus, it was hard to go wrong with a giant ferris wheel. Michelle DePalma had been excited ever since she bought her tickets three months ago. A group of friends were all planning on attending the festival together. Well… they had been planning on going together. That was until Ashley and Josh flaked. So then it was down to just Michelle and her close friend Mojo Rawley. At the last minute, Mojo called, asking if it was cool if he invited some friends from work. Mojo was a WWE superstar and Michelle was most definitely NOT going to turn down the opportunity to hang out with some of her favorite wrestlers, especially if a certain Italian/Samoan giant was tagging along.
The day of the festival, Michelle planned on meeting Mojo at the front gates, near the entry security checkpoint. She was dressed in a pair of cutoff shorts, cowboy boots, and a tank. Comfortable for this heatwave, but still cute in case she ran into any potential hotties. She spotted Mojo’s large frame the second she rounded the corner towards the entrance, a huge grin on her face when she saw her dear friend. She couldn’t help the laughter that bubbled up out of her as he ran over and picked her up, swinging her around playfully. That was one of the many things she loved about him. His energy and that smile of his were infectious and never failed to make her happy.
“How are you, baby girl?”
“I’m good… just workin’ all the time, you know.”
“You should come to the show tomorrow. I’ll get you some tickets.”
He slung his arm over her shoulders as he guided her back over to his buddies. She recognized a few of the faces in the group, including Jinder Mahal, Jeff Hardy, Naomi and her husband Jimmy Uso. Mojo introduced her to everyone and she took in all the smiling faces. These dudes were way bigger than they looked on TV. And Naomi was twice as hot.
“We’re just waiting for one more. Big Dog is always late,” Mojo said with a chuckle.
The loud rumble of an approaching motorcycle had Michelle turning to see. The dark figure approached on a black Harley Davidson Dyna Wide Glide and Michelle tried really hard to not drool in front of Mojo. The man pulled to a stop, his long leg kicking the kickstand down as he pulled his helmet off. Long hair tumbled down his back and Michelle’s pale pink tongue darted out to lick her lips as he climbed off his bike and started towards them. It was the Big Dog himself, Roman fucking Reigns.
“Damn,” Michelle murmured softly.
“That’s not the first time he’s gotten that reaction from a woman,” Mojo said, nudging her arm as he teased her.
The answering blush on her cheeks made Mojo chuckle. He’d actually invited Roman along because he believed the big man would be perfect for his friend. Michelle was too damn gorgeous and sweet to be single and as far as he knew, Roman hadn’t really dated anyone since his last girlfriend six months ago. Roman was a genuinely good guy. Mojo had gotten to know him pretty well over the last year or so. He’d always said in the past that he didn’t want one of his friends to ever date a wrestler, just because of the lifestyle, but Roman was a safe bet. Safer than most. He wasn’t like a lot of the guys in the locker room. Never entertained the women who threw themselves at him night after night. Never in any trouble. Roman was the good guy girl’s parents loved. Besides, a little flirting never hurt anyone.
As Roman approached, those warm brown eyes of his flitted over to her as he nodded his hello to his coworkers.
“Mojo didn’t tell me his friend was so fine. I would have been on time if I’d known that.” he joked.
“Bro, you’re never on time,” Mojo said with a big grin.
“Yeah, you’re right…”
Michelle felt the blush heating up her cheeks again as she shook the hand he held out.
“Nice to meet you, Michelle.”
She grinned up at him.
“Nice to meet you too.”
Mojo had a smile on his face as he watched the little exchange.
“Everyone ready to head in?”
The large group made their way towards the festival’s security entrance, where they received their wristbands and VIP badges. Michelle found herself between Roman and Mojo as they moved through the crowds that were already forming, both men keeping other people from bumping her. She smiled when she noticed the way Jimmy did the same thing for his wife. There was one main stage for the big acts and it was surrounded by tons of food and beverage trucks. Sam Hunt was up first and Michelle couldn’t wait to see one of her favorite singers.
Michelle sang along during the entire set and after, the group grabbed food and beer. As she enjoyed her freshly grilled pupusas, she also enjoyed Roman’s flirtatious attention.
He wasn’t too overpowering with his innocent flirting. It was just enough to give her butterflies in her belly. After eating, they headed back over to the staging area to see Michelle’s favorite band, X Ambassadors. Roman lifted the small woman on his shoulders so that she could see over the crowd. Heat blossomed in her belly when she felt his large hands on the bare skin of her thighs, holding her steady. Michelle gleefully sang along with Naomi, the women swaying and dancing on the tall men’s shoulders. The sun was setting and the moment felt magical, like she didn’t have a care in the world as she sang her heart out to her favorite song.
Once X Ambassador’s finished their set, the group headed over to one of the mobile bars to get more beers. The sun had just disappeared over the rim of the horizon, casting them all in a beautiful bronze glow. Michelle happily took her fourth beer of the night, sipping on the ice cold drink as she gazed up at Roman. The dark haired man glanced down at her with a crooked smile.
“You’re cute when you’re drunk.”
“I am not.”
“Yeah, you are.”
Michelle pouted and Roman laughed, taking another sip of his beer.
“That pout right there? Adorable.”
All Michelle could do was roll her eyes, unable to control the smile that tugged at the corners of her mouth. The last thing she wanted was for him to think she was cute. Screw cute. She wanted him to think she was hot.
“I’m not drunk… just a little tipsy.”
Roman grinned over at her as he drank his beer. Michelle was a pretty little thing and based off of their many conversations that night, smart as hell. That was sexy. Pretty girls were a dime a dozen, but smart ones? Those women were that next level of sexy.
“You wanna ride the ferris wheel?”
How could he say no to that face? He took her small hand in his and they walked over to the brightly lit ferris wheel together, standing in line. When it was their turn, Roman carefully helped her inside the gently swaying passenger car. He sat down across from her, his dark eyes soaking in her face as she closed her eyes, a breeze catching a dark tendril of hair. The ride slowly began to move, taking them up high above the desert.
“I love ferris wheels,” she said softly.
“Because I can get away from the noise. Do you see how beautiful it is up here?”
“I do…” he murmured softly, staring over at her.
Michelle felt an answering blush on her cheeks as she looked over at him. His big body took up the majority of the seat and he sat with his arms splayed across the back of the seat, his long legs open in invitation. Michelle bit her bottom lip as she tore her eyes away, not wanting him to see the blatant thirst in her eyes.
“I get what you mean about it being peaceful up here. Sometimes, it feels like I’m always running from one show to the next or one autograph signing to the next. Being up here is quiet. No one is asking me for anything.”
“You can just be.”
He smiled over at her and she smiled back.
“You’re a nice guy, Roman Reigns.”
“I try to be. You’re a sweet woman, Michelle. Mojo knew exactly what he was doing tonight.”
“Mmhmm. He knows I’ve got a thing for beautiful black women who are smarter than me, with killer bodies like yours.”
“Oh?” Michelle felt her breath hitch in her chest as her eyes met his. The alcohol surged through her veins, giving her a tad more courage than she would normally have. “Why smarter than you?”
“Smart people keep me on my toes. If you’re smarter than me, you’re always challenging me, teaching me. I never have the chance to get bored. Plus, a smart woman is sexy as hell.”
“Good to know.”
Roman winked at her, enjoying the blush on her cheeks. The ferris wheel slowly went around one more time before bringing them back to earth. Once again, he took her hand in his, helping her off of the ferris wheel. Their group of friends was waiting at the bottom and Roman headed right towards them. Right before he got to his friends, a guy popped up, a cocky sneer on his face.
“Hey, you’re Roman Reigns, aren’t you?"
Roman took a deep breath as he glanced down at the guy. He’d been hoping to avoid running into a guy like this.
"Yeah. I am.”
“I knew it was you. Yo, you fucking suck!”
Michelle frowned over at the asshole, her drunk mind trying to rationalize what was happening.
“Thanks for letting me know. Do you mind? You’re in my way.”
“Make me move, bro. What are you gonna do, Superman punch me?”
Roman clenched his jaw before moving to step around him, keeping Michelle close behind him. The asshole stepped to the side, effectively blocking Roman’s path. Over his shoulder, he could see Mojo on a warpath towards them, a frown on his normally happy face.
“I’m just trying to have a good time like everyone else. I let you state your piece. Now let it the fuck go,” Roman growled.
Michelle watched a bit of the color drain from the asshole’s face and he finally stepped aside. Roman pulled her in front of him and walked by. At the last second, the asshole lunged at Roman, shoving him violently into Michelle. His big body collided with hers and she felt a tearing feeling in her ankle as she toppled to the ground. Before Roman could even turn around to get at the guy, Mojo had already tackled him to the ground. Roman immediately went over to Michelle, wincing when he saw the obvious pain on her pretty face.
“Are you ok?”
“I think so. My ankle hurts though.”
Roman took her small hands in his and gently pulled her to her feet. As soon as Michelle put weight on her ankle, she groaned, immediately favoring her other leg. The alcohol in her system was probably numbing the pain a bit, so she knew she’d probably have to visit her doctor tomorrow to have him wrap the ankle.
“I probably just need to put some ice on it.”
Roman’s big arm came around her waist and he swung her up into his arms, holding her small body close to his chest.
“Put me down, it’s just a sprained ankle.”
Roman glanced over at Mojo, who by that point had gotten the attention of security guards at the event.
“Just let me help you, Michelle. I don’t want you to hurt yourself more.”
Michelle sighed softly, letting her body rest in his arms. It was quite a comfortable place to be, surrounded by all that strength and warmth. Even though she wished it was under different circumstances. She chuckled to herself as she thought of Roman as the lead character in the werewolf erotica novel she was currently reading. If she couldn’t have Joe Manganiello as her wolf man, she damn sure wouldn’t complain about being in Roman’s arms. A girl’s gotta have a fantasy, right?
Mojo walked over with some ice for her ankle. He had fashioned a little wrap for her out of his undershirt and tied it tight. That was yet another one of the things she loved about her friend. He was always taking care of her, making sure she was ok.
“You’re welcome, little bit. We should get you home.”
“I’m sorry the night got ruined,” Mojo said softly, a small frown on his face. “No way. I had a blast with you guys tonight! Not gonna let some idiot ruin it. I’ll be just fine in no time.”
“I’ll make sure she gets home ok, bro,” Roman said, his deep voice vibrating through her body where they were touching.
Mojo pressed a kiss to her temple and winked at her before walking back to his group of friends, who all waved good night to her.
“Did you drive here tonight?”
“No, I ubered…”
“I’d rather not put you in the back of some strange dude’s car like this. Mind if I take you home?”
“On your bike?”
“Yeah. I’ve got a spare helmet.”
“What if I fall off?”
“I won’t let you fall off, princess.”
The look of contemplation on her face was both adorable and annoying. He wasn’t gonna stick her in the back of some weirdo’s car tonight, so that as out of the question. It was either his bike, or he was gonna be crowded in the back of some Uber driver’s Prius for a very uncomfortable ride.
“Either you’re riding with me or I’m riding with you.”
“You’re riding me?”
Laughter bubbled up inside of her and Roman couldn’t help laughing right along with her.
“If you let me take you out on a real date, we can work up to me riding you. Right now, I just wanna make sure you get home safe, princess.”
Michelle couldn’t stop laughing, her brain comprehending the words in a jumble. The exasperation on Roman’s face merely served as fuel to amuse her even more.
“Never brought a guy as perfect as you home before,” she murmured with a little giggle.
“I’m not perfect, princess.”
“Oh, you’re a ten. Trust me. Fine ass ten. You’re all big and muscly. And your hair is so pretty. Can I touch your hair?”
Roman bit back a laugh as he stared down at her.
“If it’ll get your pretty little ass on the back of my bike, you can touch my hair all you want.”
He laughed out loud this time when the drunk girl practically squealed, her hand immediately going towards the long, silky locks. He usually hated people touching his hair, reserving that honor for girlfriends only. He didn’t like the scents people would leave in his hair after they’d touched it and it was often an excuse for fans to get a little too close. While she had her fun with his hair, he carried her over to his bike, helping her straddle the big beast. There were passenger foot rests, so she could lean her ankle against the bike and not worry about putting weight on it.
“You good?” he asked as he buckled the black spare helmet on, adjusting it to fit her head.
Roman straddled his bike and took her hands, urging her to wrap them around his waist.
“You just hold on to me, ok, princess?”
Michelle rested her hands flat against his hard stomach, her mind immediately starting to wander what those abs looked like without a shirt on. It took her a second to realize that he was talking to her.
“I need your address, hon.”
“Oh! Sorry. It’s 371 Sandpiper St."
"Oh, you’re not too far. Hold on, princess.”
Michelle nodded, holding tight he started the motorcycle. The rumble of the powerful engine vibrated through her, drawing a soft gasp. Roman snickered, urging her to hold tight as they sped away from the fairgrounds. She lived about a fifteen-minute drive away. Roman smiled when he felt her lay her head on his back and softly patted her hand as he followed his GPS instructions to her neighborhood. He cut the loud engine as spotted her home, coasting into her driveway. After parking the motorcycle in front of her home, he helped her off the bike.
“Where are your keys, princess?”
Michelle reached down into her pocket, her dark eyes going wide when she didn’t find what she was looking for. She tugged her cell phone out of the other pocket, her ID and credit card tucked in the case. But no keys. Fuck.
“Shit. They must have fallen out… when I fell.”
Roman rubbed a hand over his face, his dark eyes glancing over her shoulder. All he wanted to do was get her inside and off of that ankle.
“Does anyone have a spare?”
“No. I just moved in a few months ago and I haven’t really gotten to know anyone else here. Fuck,” she whispered softly, her eyes filling with tears. The one thing Roman hated more than anything was seeing a woman cry.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. It’s ok. C'mon, don’t cry.”
“This is just so embarrassing. You probably think I’m a drunken mess.”
Michelle covered her face with her hands, willing herself not to cry. Leave it to her to finally meet a nice guy and embarrass the fuck out of herself in front of him. Roman wrapped an arm around her, pulling her against his strong chest. “I do not think that. The heat probably made the alcohol hit you a little harder than usual and you had no control over that asshole shoving me into you. None of this is on you.”
“How are we gonna get into my house? I knew I shoulda given a spare to Mojo just in case.”
“Do you have a patio? Somewhere with a sliding glass door?”
“Yeah, there’s a patio in the back,” she said, wiping a hand under her eyes as she glanced up at him.
He swung her up into his arms once again, careful of her injured ankle. Michelle guided him around the side of the house to the patio. He gently sat her down, making sure she had her balance before going to take a look at the window next to the door. If he could pop the screen out, there was a chance he could easily pop something in the seam of the window to disengage the lock.
“Alright. Don’t judge me for breaking into your house, ok?”
Michelle nodded, her dark eyes wide as she watched him take the screen off of her window. He jammed something at the bottom of the window and it popped open, immediately setting her alarm off. He shoved the window open, reaching over to unlock the sliding glass door. After he pulled it open, she hobbled as quickly as possible to the alarm panel, typing in her code.
“I don’t think I was fast enough.”
“Cops on the way?”
All Michelle could do at this point was nod her head, laugher bubbling up in her throat.
“Well… lets get some ice on that ankle in the meantime.”
She directed him to her kitchen, where she made a new ice pack and applied it to her ankle. Less than five minutes later, there was an authoritative knock at the front door. Roman helped her hobble to the front door, where two Palm Springs police officers greeted them. Michelle put on her best sober face, not wanting any problems.
“Miss, is everything alright?”
“Yes, yes. Everything is fine. I hurt my ankle at the festival today and I couldn’t reach the alarm fast enough. Sorry to waste your time, officers.”
She didn’t miss the way the younger of the two officers seemed to immediately recognize Roman.
“It’s not a waste, Miss. Um… I hate to ask, but do you mind taking a picture for my grandson? He’s a huge fan of yours, Mr. Reigns.”
“Not at all.”
Michelle had a grin on her face as the big Samoan smiled and posed for photos with the two officers.
“You two have a good night.”
“You too. Stay safe out there, officers.”
Roman helped her over to the sofa, where she plopped down, carefully propping her leg up. Roman carefully sat down next to her, one arm across the back of the sofa.
“Thank you for all of this, Roman. I know you didn’t plan on having to babysit a drunk chick with a bum leg.”
“It’s no problem. Really.”
Michelle thought about all of the antics that went into getting her home tonight, from her drukenly clinging to him on the back of his bike to him committing a crime in order to get her inside her own home. Yeah… totally no problem.
“I hope you don’t think I’m a mess…”
“I don’t. At all. As a matter of fact, I’d like to take you out for breakfast tomorrow. I know the perfect hangover spot in town.”
“Like a date?”
Michelle’s dark eyes searched his face, a little smile on her lips.
“Drunk me doesn’t scare you away?”
“Not a bit. I told you earlier…. you’re cute as hell when you’re drunk.”
“I am not cute.”
Roman smiled over at her, remembering their earlier conversation at the festival, where they’d had an almost identical conversation.
“Fucking adorable, princess. You ain’t winnin’ this one.”
Shakeby @riathedreamer. Rated M. Oh ho, whattya know, more Grimmons! Taking place right
after the “Freckles, shake!” incident, but an AU where Grif ends up with the
Feds and Donut ends up with the New Republic. Wonderful story, the characters
are written so well, and I highly recommend!