Cathleen Kaisand was tired. She had been driving all day and the headache piercing her forehead just above her right eye was agonizing. Every passing car light served to exacerbate the pain, the brightness seeming to stab into her skull. It didn't help that a heavy rain was falling against the windshield and reflecting the oncoming lights, intensifying their brightness.
She rolled her shoulders, twisted in the cramped seat in an effort to relieve the tightness bunched in her upper body. A dull burning sensation had settled at the base of her neck and her right knee felt as though a sharp needle was being driven into it. The long day of driving was beginning to take its toll.
"I wish I could find someone to take care of me for a change and I didn't have to work," she mumbled. "Wouldn't that be nice?"
The warm air from the defroster was beginning to make her sleepy and she was vaguely aware of a dangerous lassitude setting in. Between the monotonous sweeps of the wipers swishing away the pouring rain pelting the windshield and the bone-deep fatigue crying out for relief, she felt herself starting to drift off and jerked upright in the seat, opening her eyes wide to stave off the drowsiness.
"You'd better find a place to pull off, woman," she said aloud.
Glancing down at the radio faceplate, she winced, for it was close to midnight and she was still at least two hours from her destination. Yawning, she almost missed the rest area road sign.
Thankful she didn't have to relieve herself, she was nevertheless annoyed the rest area contained No Facilities. Being able to get out and stretch, get a soda, and wash her face would have been nice. When the turnoff came into view, though, she felt a wash of relief flow over her. Just to be able to close her eyes for awhile, to get the migraine somewhat under control, was a godsend.
The arcing curve of the rest area was barren as her headlights swept over the tall trees, encroaching shrubs, and three dented green litter barrels beyond the gravel drive. No other vehicles had claimed the rest area this wild, stormy night and that was both unsettling and reassuring. Cathleen sat there with the engine idling for a moment--chewing her bottom lip, trying to decide whether or not to stop--but at last her weariness outweighed any disquiet she felt so she turned off the engine. Upon dowsing her headlights, Cathleen found herself enclosed in pitch darkness with not even the shimmer of the pounding rain to break the ebon scenery beyond. She felt as though she were cocooned within her $45,000 vehicle and that, too, was both comforting and disturbing.
Even knowing the power locks were engaged and all doors and hatchback secure, Cathleen nevertheless pressed the button on the door before unbuckling her seat belt. She felt as safe as possible and let out a long breath.
After reaching down to adjust the power seat away from the steering wheel and to recline it, the new regional manager of WindGenInc Power twisted around and snagged the blanket from the backseat. Tucking the blanket around her, she stretched out as comfortably as the seat would allow and closed her eyes.
"What I need is a sexy man who thinks only of me," she said. "Someone who could make all the decisions for me. Someone who would do it all. I'd be one happy camper."
Outside, the wind howled and rocked the luxury car slightly, the drumming of the rain upon the roof mesmerizing. Warm beneath the soft wool blanket, relaxed in the plush leather of the seat, Cathleen sighed as sleep reached out to take her gently in its protective arms.
Held safe within those strong, shielding arms Cathleen traveled deeper into the Realm of Morpheus. Her breathing slowed, her body became weightless and pliant. Now and again she would moan lightly as her incorporeal self flew through time and space, her eyes looking down upon lush emerald green fields sparkling with bright golden sunflowers and serpentine sapphire streams running down from the jagged diamond peaks of snowcapped mountains. The air smelled of gardenia and a soft breeze swept beneath her toes.
When that first tentative caress pressed softly, fleetingly across her cheek, she turned her face to locate again that velvety touch. Finding it, she nestled into a warm palm and smiled as a soothing thumb arched across the sweep of her closed lids. She sighed as fingers trailed down her jaw line and her lips were stroked by that heated thumb. She opened her mouth as the pad of the slightly rough appendage delicately pulled her lower lip down to trace the curve. Strong fingers spanned the column of her neck--the thumb soothing lazy figure-eights along one side as the hand moved lower.
"Umm," Cathleen said in her sleep and writhed in her seat.
The fingers splayed out over her upper chest and massaged gently. Heat radiated from a firm palm and was absorbed by the sleeping one's flesh. Spirals of warmth fanned out and swept along her nerve endings until they found the hollow of her womb and settled there with a rippling little squeeze.