|"Mary Sue and the Marlboro Man"
Disclaimer: Valenti belongs to Jason Katims. I belong in a nuthouse.
Summary: The Sheriff pulls over a speeder and gets more than he bargained for.
Category: Sheriff Valenti
Authors Note: I'm aware that this is a blatant Mary Sue fic and I don't apologize for one bit of it, LOL. I may, however, hide and blush a lot.
|Maya heard the siren before the flashing lights appeared in her rearview and she swore under her breath and then over it, too. "Damn rassafrackin' Hell. Shit." Her day was about to go from bad to worse. She was three miles out of Roswell, New Mexico. . .not nearly far enough. The town had whizzed by like the cardboard scenery of a movie lot, much smaller than she'd expected and heard. Not that it mattered since she was on her way to Las Vegas--and she had no real idea where it was in relation to Roswell. If only Elaine hadn't decided to elope with some guy she'd met on the Internet and pleaded with her to come witness the ceremony. She wouldn't be lost right now. She wouldn't be being pulled over for speeding. She wouldn't be in this mess.
She eased off on the gas pedal, watching the dial go from 75 down to 55, then to 35 and then to 5 as she pulled her black Dodge Viper over to the side of route 285 South.
The sun was starting to set and the rapidly cooling air rushed in as the window whirred downwards. She eyed the figure approaching from the parked police car in her driver's side mirror. A beige cowboy hat crowned what looked like short, fair, hair. Mirrored sunglasses obscured the face and she could see a silver badge gleaming on the breast pocket of his denim shirt. Tight blue jeans hugged narrow hips and long legs. And he wore cowboy boots.
The petite Indian girl groaned, slumping down and resting her forehead on the steering wheel. Great. She'd been pulled over by the Marlboro Man!
She peeked at him from beneath strands of her long black hair. "Miss," he greeted, touching the brim of his hat. "Are you all right?" What she could see of his face was craggy and weathered--the character-filled face of a man in his forties somewhere. His courteous smile definitely was more of a smirk.
"I'm fine," she muttered, sitting up and brushing her hair back from her face.
"Well, that's good to hear." His mocking was tinged with a southwestern drawl. "I expect you're fine enough to realize, then, that you were going well over the speed limit?"
She sighed, turning to look up at him. Before she knew it, the exactly wrong, completely sarcastic, words burst forth. "No, Officer, I had no idea, because I'm a woman and I know nothing about my car. I just put my pretty little foot down and before I knew it, there you were flashing your lights!" She clapped her hand over her mouth. Too late. "Damn it!"
Eyebrows rose up above the sunglasses and the smirk turned into an amused grin. "Sheriff," he corrected, gesturing at the badge on his shirt. "Sheriff Jim Valenti." He leaned on the door, head tilting towards her black platform sandals. Her equally painted-black toenails peeked from the tops. "And your feet do look mighty pretty. Can your pretty little *hands* show me your license and registration?"
All she could see was her own reflection in each of his sunglass lenses. It was annoying. And intimidating. She broke away from the cop's face and undid her seat belt, reaching over to the glove compartment for her registration. "Here." She handed that over without looking and then grabbed her purse from the passenger's seat and pulled the plastic Ohio driver's i.d. from the front pocket. "And here's this, too." She slapped the card into his open palm, glaring up at the man with the coldest look any brown-eyed person could manage.
"Easy, Miss. You'd think *I* was the one breakin' the laws, here." He shuffled the registration and the card back and forth, reading both. "Hmmm. Cincinnati, Ohio? This a little far south to be traveling alone, isn't it, Miss Maya Fernandes?"
"That's my business, Sheriff. Not yours," she snapped, wishing he'd take his damned shades off and quit grinning. "Give me the ticket...I want to get to the next town before it gets totally dark."
"The next town isn't for quite a while. . .you might want to just turn around and drive back to Roswell for the night," Valenti suggested, tapping the papers against one palm.
"Oh, yeah. . .because its just *such* a hospitable place." She snorted, clenching her hands around the steering wheel. "Even the aliens that crashed here ended up in Dayton, Ohio, instead."
The smile disappeared. "Its my town." Finally, a hand came up to remove the sunglasses. "I'd like to think we're welcoming." Bright blue eyes met hers and made her wish he'd kept them obscured. "But if a young woman with attitude problems can't accept that, then she might as well take her speeding ticket, fancy car, and crappy attitude and get the Hell out of my jurisdiction."
He turned on his bootheel and walked back towards his squad car with the stiff-shouldered, proud, walk of a classic John Ford hero. All she could do was try to swallow the lump of guilt that rose in her throat and try to forget the fact that Valenti's eyes were absolutely gorgeous. His ass wasn't bad either.
She could hear him calling in the violation to the dispatch, listened to him spell out her last name--her father had been from Goa in India, where many people were of Portuguese descent. The Sheriff gave her license number next and then her birthdate. February 5th, 1975.
Maya had no desire to pay some exorbitant fine. She had no desire to be on some road in New Mexico with her grouchy attitude and a pissed-off county Sheriff. All she wanted to do was drive through a few more states and go to bed. She had a feeling that wasn't going to happen.
Jim Valenti had seen more than his share of smart mouths in all his years at the Roswell Sheriff's office. Most of Kyle's friends, for instance. Maya Fernandes, speeder, was either Miss Ohio in the All-American Bitch pageant or having an off day. He suspected "off day." No. . .that wasn't right. He sighed and hung the CB back up, finishing scribbling the necessary details on the girl's ticket. He suspected "bitch". He *hoped* "off day."
Her big brown eyes had been tired and as cold as the dry night air. Comfortable sandals, ripped jeans, and a black t-shirt were signs of a long drive--which her driver's i.d. and attitude had confirmed. Anyone would go stir crazy after that many hours on the road.
He ripped the speeding ticket off the pad and slid it behind the registration and i.d. as he walked away from his cruiser and towards the black Viper. An appropriate car for such a temperamental driver.
"Here," he murmured, reaching in to the window and dropping the papers in her lap. She moved them to the passenger seat without seeing how much of a fine she'd racked up. She was barely tall enough to see over the dashboard, he noticed. Even more when she was slouching and looking angry.
Her voice was a scratchy soprano and heavy with sarcasm. "Thanks."
He didn't know what made him speak to her again instead of just minding his own business and going back to town. "You heading towards Mexico? Have you got kin there?" Maybe it was the painted toenails. He'd always been a sucker for that. And nice skin. She had nice, smooth, unblemished skin the color of tea with milk in it. Or maybe he was just a hopeless do-gooder with nothing better to do. Michelle had been gone a long time, after all. . .and while Amy DeLuca was cute, she didn't really hold his interest.
Maya's mouth tightened into a thin line and he could see where she'd worried the light red lipstick from her bottom lip. "I'm not Latina," she said in a much softer tone than he expected. "My parents are from India." Her hands slipped off the steering wheel and she dragged them both through her hair as she sighed heavily. "I'm driving to Las Vegas. . .my best friend and her fiance are getting married in some Chapel of Love and they wanted me to come."
"Las Vegas?!?" He had to laugh. "Miss Fernandes, you need to go west, not south."
She laughed, too. A weak laugh filled with tension. The bitchiness faded away completely, leaving a girl who was just worn out. "I know. You keep laughing, Sheriff. Give me a ticket for stupidity, too."
"Unfortunately, stupidity's not against the law." Jim smiled sympathetically. "How long have you been in that car?"
"Feels like forever. I get out and stretch at rest stops once in a while and I don't drive at night." She smiled back at him. . .and he was surprised to see that she had dimples the size of half dollars. It changed the stubborn set of her face completely.
He stepped back from the driver's side door. "Maybe you should take a stretch now, Miss Fernandes. You've been pretty keyed up."
"Is that an order, Sheriff?" A flirtatious question, not a bitter one. Her dark eyes danced with feigned innocence. "I don't respond to orders."
Nice skin, nice dimples, and an attitude. What was he thinking? He swallowed, sliding his hat back and rubbing his forehead. "No. . .I think its a proposition."
"Well, then. . .that's a whole different story."
When she stepped out of the car and swayed towards Valenti, she knew she was making the latest in a series of dumb mistakes, but at least this one would feel good. Her arms slid around him and she leaned into the comfort he was offering. No questions asked. Just a little of Roswell's small town hospitality. His hands spanned her waist and lifted her onto the hood of the Viper. "Don't want to strain my back and your neck, now do we?" he murmured, a teasing light in his piercing blue eyes. "That would defeat the purpose of getting you out of the car."
"Why are you being so nice?" she wondered as she felt the warm metal hood through the long rips in the backs of her jeans.
"I *am* nice," the Sheriff drawled as his palms flattened on either side of her, trapping her with his arms. "Why are *you* being so nice?"
She knew she was blushing. Goosebumps were rising on her skin from the chilled breeze. "Because I'm tired. . .and I'm lonely. . .and you're kind of cute for an annoying old guy who pulled me over."
"'Kind of cute' and 'annoying old'?" The smirk was back and this time it just made her blush deeper and wish she could hide behind her hair again. There was nowhere to hide. This strange and fascinating and infuriating man was just a few inches away. "I think you've offended me again, Miss."
"Maya," she corrected, feeling her mouth go dry. She was suddenly in the middle of a bad porno, wasn't she? Lost on a desert highway with a sexy Sheriff. . .*whatever shall I do?*. "I only insult the people I like," she whispered, linking her arms around his neck.
"In that case I'm flattered." Valenti chuckled, low and sultry.
She knew that this was when they were going to kiss. His mouth made the inevitable journey downwards, slanting over hers. She gave herself up to the delicious cliche and multiple hours of driving melted away. . .Elaine and Rob's elopement melted away. They both slid back on the hood together. He angled her so her back hit the windshield. She was locking lips with the Marlboro Man and loving every second of it.
This unconventional Roswell, New Mexico rest stop was going to go down in history as the most memorable. Maybe she could get lost again on the way back to Ohio. . . *
The sound of the police dispatch radio was what woke him up. The road was dark and his engine light was blinking on the display, protesting strain. Why was he out here on 285 South? How long had he been sleeping?
Suddenly, a barrage of images hit him.
*A speeding car. A girl with a smart mouth. Maya. *
There was no sign of a black Dodge Viper anywhere. For a second, the back of his neck prickled and he pulled his partly untucked shirt all the way out of his jeans, expecting to see a silver handprint on his chest when he lifted it up. There was nothing.
He breathed a sigh of relief, running a hand through his hair. It stilled partway through as an amused realization dawned. Then, his eyes floated over to a piece of paper ripped in half, lying on top of the dash. The speeding ticket. Laughter bubbled forth when he sat up and reinserted his key in the ignition. As he revved up the motor and pulled back onto the highway, he pictured a short, fiery, young woman zipping along another long stretch of road.
He hoped no other lucky S.O.B. pulled her over before she finally found Las Vegas. And he wondered if his cowboy hat looked as sexy on her as he imagined it did.
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