Cowgirl Up! Ch. 4

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Cowgirl Up! Ch. 4Finding Wade in the main terminal of the Dallas-Fort Worth airport was like looking for a needle in a haystack. I never saw so many men wearing black cowboy hats in one place. My eyes were scanning over the throng of people when I saw a handsome young man running toward me. A black cowboy hat was shading his handsome face but it was unmistakably Wade!“You made it!” He shouted, scooping me up in his arms.We held onto each other like we were never intending to let go. Wade’s heart was pounding in his chest. His breathing was quite hard, coming in deep gasps.“Are you all right?” I asked.“I’m ok. I just got caught up in traffic.” He explained. “I’ve been running dead-on since I got here.” Our passionate kiss must have been drawn at least a dozen people. They totally surrounding us, displaying admiring glances and big smiles. We weren’t the least bit embarrassed by our public display of affection for each other. It was our moment and we didn’t mind sharing it with onlookers.After retrieving my overnighter from the baggage claim area, we walked out to Wade’s car parked way across the parking lot. The late afternoon sun was glaring down on us. My eyes were squinting even though I was wearing sunglasses.“Is it always this bright here in Dallas?” I questioned.“Sometimes. Since you got here, it just got a whole lot brighter.” Wade replied, pulling me in close.After placing my luggage in the trunk of Wade’s platinum Cadillac XLR roadster, we sped off toward Fort Worth. I was afraid to light up a cigarette in the luxurious sports car even though I was dying for a cigarette. Wade must have sensed my apprehension. Reaching down, he flipped open the cover concealing the ashtray.“We need to talk about a prenuptial agreement.” I remarked. “I don’t have all that much but I’m sure you do. My grandfather’s insisting on my having one.”“My dad’s bellowing about the same thing.” Wade responded. “I guess it’s for the best if we have one written up. It’d be more to set our minds at ease than anything.”“I agree.” I responded, nodding my head. “It’ll keep our families happy too.”Arriving at the jewelry store in downtown Fort Worth, Wade and I looked over their selection of engagement rings. I didn’t want anything too big or gaudy. Although money was no object for Wade, I didn’t want him spending a lot for a ring. After trying on several that I liked, we settled on a three-stone, platinum ring for under twelve-hundred dollars.Seeing the ring on my finger reminded me of my first marriage. I hoped this ring would bring me much better luck. With Wade as my husband, I had a strong feeling it would.After an early dinner at a quiet Italian restaurant, we drove to the west side of Fort Worth. Wade lived in an upscale apartment complex near the outskirts of the city. His two bedroom apartment was quite spacious with a view of a small lake. There were several small pontoon boats docked along the shoreline.“Why don’t I take a shower, then slip into something comfortable?” I suggested, smiling coyly.“Hmmm. Sounds like a good idea.” Wade replied with a grin. “I’ve got some great Cabernet chillin’ in the wine cooler.”Returning to the livingroom a short time later, I found Wade pouring two glasses of wine. Candles, strategically placed about the room, bathed the area in a soft glow. Wearing a white semi-transparent negligee, I sauntered over to my fiancee. Looking up at me, he almost dropped the bottle of wine.“Now that’s an outfit I hope to see you in quite often.” He remarked. “Or should I say, see you out of quite often.”Between sips of wine, we kissed lovingly. Before long, our passions had surpassed their controlling point. Wade’s moist lips were chewing on mine, tugging gently and sliding his tongue over them. When he snaked his tongue into my mouth, I sucked on it hard, arousing his desires even more.Wade’s hands slipped beneath the gauzy material of my negligee, parting it slightly. His warm hands, touching my bare skin, sent heated sensations throughout my body. My nipples were already hard, knowing his fingers were going to tease them. Cupping my breasts tenderly, his fingers massaged and stroked the firm flesh. My eyes were lightly closed, enjoying the sensual stimulations.Wade kissed around the nipples, continuing to manipulate my flesh. My hand, at the back of his head, guided his lips to my erect nipples. His mouth suckled on them, causing me to gasp aloud. His lips and tongue worked my sensitive nubs till he had me squirming on the couch.Scooping me up in his strong arms, Wade carried me into the bedroom. The covers on the bed were pulled down, revealing bright blue satin sheets. After placing me gently on the bed, I watched as he removed his clothing. Unlike our first time together, this evening we didn’t have to worry about someone walking in on us. With my lover wearing just his briefs, he climbed onto the bed with me. We embraced, kissing softly and tenderly.“Is that a shotgun in your briefs or are you just happy to be with me?” I jested in a sexy voice.“Both.” Wade murmured, before plunging his tongue into my mouth.His tongue was fucking my mouth. The sensual experience was arousing my desires even more. Wade’s hand slipped beneath the thin material of the string side panties, brushing lightly over my pubic mound. My legs spread apart as if they had a mind of their on. I was mumbling Wade’s name over and over, begging him to take me!Wade enjoyed taunting and teasing me till I was close to having an orgasm. Pushing my panties down my legs, his lips kissed downwards toward my knees. His warm breath, blowing gently over the folds of my pussy had it blossoming before his eyes. Wade’s hard tongue flicked over my sensitive clit, making me arch upwards toward his eager mouth.I grasped the back of Wade’s head, pulling his mouth to my wanton pussy. His tongue snaked inside me, sending me into sheer ecstasy. My orgasm came so sudden it made my muscles contract till they ached. Wade’s tongue worked feverishly inside my pussy, prolonging the orgasm. I screamed out his name, still clutching his head to my pussy.My breathing was still labored when I looked up to see Wade’s smiling face hovering over mine. We kissed between gasps for breath. Feeling the head of his cock pressing into my pussy, signaled the beginning of ultimate sexual bliss. My lover worked his thick, hard cock into me. Lubricated by my own juices, his shaft impaled me fully with little difficulty. His warm balls nestled against my ass briefly before we began fucking each other. Slowly at first, our tempo graduated to a series of hard thrusts. We seemed to be trying more to please each other than ourselves. Our rhythm gradually slowed as we fucked each other for pure sexual pleasure. Wade had the stamina most many only dreamed of. Working my pussy over the shaft of his cock, I found I could prolong his sexual energy even more.I matched Wade’s pace stroke for stroke till I couldn’t keep my orgasm from exploding. My juices were flowing uncontrollably as the orgasm ripped through my entire body. Feeling Wade’s hot cum gush inside me, heightened my pleasure even more. I worked my pussy over his cock, milking every drop of cream from his tired body. Collapsing on top of me, I held him tightly to my spent form. Neither of us spoke a word but we both knew we’d just shared the best sexual experience of our lives.It was a long time, maybe twenty or thirty minutes, before Wade kissed me, then rolled onto his side. Even though the air conditioner was operating, our bodies were soaked with perspiration.After taking a shower together, we returned to the bedroom. Wade brought us another chilled bottle of Cabernet and two glasses. We sat up in bed, discussing plans for spending our life together.We mutually agreed that living in New Mexico, somewhere near the Double D ranch, was our only option. Wade commented he wouldn’t mind living in the desert and getting away from the hustle and bustle of Fort Worth. Quitting his job was another issue though. Working in real estate development was all he’d ever done since graduating college. He’d started working for his father two weeks after receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Business. There were opportunities in Lincoln County for him to ply his trade but it would take money and plenty of it to get started. Even then, it was all speculation with no guarantees of success. I had some money in the bank and so did Wade. Neither of us was willing to put all of it on the line though.My suggestion of getting him involved in ranching and cutting horses fell on deaf ears. Confidence in his working abilities fell way short of confidence in his sexual abilities. Trying to build up that confidence seemed futile. I knew full well that if I could do it, Wade should be able to excel at it.“What do you think about a long distance marriage?” Wade muttered. “What if I stay here in Fort Worth and you live up in New Mexico? I could fly up on the weekends.”“If that’s what it has to come down to, I guess we could live that way.” I responded, shrugging my shoulders. “But not forever.” Changing the subject to having c***dren, seemed to ease our tension.“You think I’d make a good mother?” I questioned.“I think you’d make an excellent mother for our two c***dren.” Wade replied.“Two!” You wanna have two c***dren?” I exclaimed.“Yeah, a boy and a girl.” Wade answered. “Or twins!”I’d always said I didn’t want to have c***dren but with Wade as the father, it seemed like I couldn’t wait to get pregnant. If I couldn’t have Wade with me all the time, I could at least have our c***dren with me.We were both quite tired and lack of sleep was hindering our ability to think. Snuggled in each other’s arms, we drifted off to sleep.Sometime before morning, Wade awoke me gently from a sound sleep. His lips tasted sweet from the wine. Kissing was almost intoxicating for both of us. Wade’s cock was hard than ever. Our lovemaking lasted for nearly an hour as he fucked me from behind like a young stallion. Satisfying my fiancee’s sexual urges and desires greatly concerned me, especially if we were going to be living apart.I awoke just as the sun was rising over the city. Slipping Wade’s shirt on, I made my way out to the kitchen. After putting on a pot of coffee, I lit up a cigarette and began straightening up the livingroom from the previous evening. Checking on my lover, I found him still sound asleep. I took the opportunity to shower and fix my hair and make-up.Wade was sitting on the bed when I entered the bedroom. His eyes were intently watching me as I got dressed. “Are you bisexual?” Wade asked, out of the blue.“What?” I exclaimed. “Whatever made you ask that?”“I picked up one of your books. Twin Pines,” He replied. “I just started reading it. I noticed there were several lesbian scenes in it.”“There’s a difference between being bisexual and a lesbian.” I stated. “I hope you know that.”“I know there’s a difference.” He responded. “I’m just curious is all.”“Yes. I’m bisexual.” I blatantly declared. “Does that change your mind about wanting to marry me?”“No. Of course not.” Wade answered. “Like I said, I was just curious.”“I should be getting out to the airport to see about catching a flight back.” I commented. “There’s some fresh coffee in the kitchen if you want a cup.”My tone of voice had changed dramatically because of his questioning my sexuality. It was something we should have discussed beforehand. I wasn’t as upset with Wade as much as I was with myself. Although, I seemed to be taking out my frustrations on him.“Why don’t you stay a day or two so we can discuss things?” Wade asked. “We’ve still got a lot of decisions ümraniye escort to make.”“I’ve got to be getting back to the ranch.” I retorted. “My grandfather will be expecting me.”“I didn’t mean to piss you off.” Wade asserted, rising to his feet. “It doesn’t bother me that you’re bisexual.”I shrugged my shoulders instead of saying anything. I knew that if I spoke, it would be in anger. I just needed time to cool down a little.The two of us sat out on the patio, sipping coffee and looking out over the lake. Wade kept staring at me, waiting for me to say something. I purposely avoided looking his way. My hands were trembling, trying to hold on to my cigarette.“Why don’t you stay for a couple of days?” Wade suggested. “It’ll give you a chance to meet my mother and my grandfather. “Surely, J.D. will understand.”Turning my head to look at Wade, I stared directly into his eyes. My mind wasn’t thinking clearly, letting my emotions and fears do the talking for me.“I don’t think this is such a good idea.” I stammered. “We’re just k**ding ourselves about this whole marriage thing.”Twisting and tugging, I pulled the engagement ring off my finger. My attempt to hand Wade the ring went unheeded. His eyes stared into mine. I’ll never forget the look of disappointment on his face. I set the ring down gently on the table in front of him. Wade’s eyes dropped as he sat there, just staring at it.“I don’t want you to think I don’t love you.” I affirmed. “It’s because I love you that I’m walking away.”Reentering the apartment, I gathered up my things, stuffing them into the overnight suitcase. Wade locked up the apartment, then carried my luggage out to the car.The drive to the airport was over forty minutes. During that time, neither of us said a word. The tension between us was awkward and unsettling. At the airport, Wade pulled into the lanes leading to the various parking lots.“Just drop me off at the main terminal.” I asserted. “You don’t need to park the car.”Exiting the car, I pulled the overnighter from behind the seat. We didn’t say a word, not even good-bye. Catching a flight to Albuquerque proved difficult, if not nearly impossible. The best I could do on such short notice was a flight later that afternoon for Sante Fe, then a commuter flight to Albuquerque late in the evening. It would be six hours before my first flight was scheduled to leave. After roaming around the huge terminal for over an hour, I finally settled down in a bar, drinking one scotch after another. Time seemed to have slowed as I sorted out my life. I fought back tears but my emotions were close to being drained.After a very long and disastrous day, I finally managed to make it back to the Double D. Glancing at my watch, I saw it was almost 11:30pm. The house was completely dark except for the office. Entering the room, I found my grandfather sound asleep in his favorite recliner. The television was still on.“Wake up Grandpa.” I murmured, gently shaking his arm. “It’s time for bed.”“Hey! You’re back!” He exclaimed, adjusting his chair to an upright position. “I thought maybe you’d stay down in Fort Worth another day.”Slinging my purse off my shoulder, I set it down on the desk. I intentionally kept my back to him, knowing he’d see the distraught look on my face.“Let’s see your engagement ring.” He commented. “Bet it’s a dandy!”“There isn’t any ring.” I muttered, breaking into tears. “I couldn’t go through with it.”“What the hell happened?” J.D. inquired, stunned by the news. “I got scared.” I relied, choking out the words. “I’m afraid Wade won’t love me later on. He’ll find out about things I’ve done and he’ll despise me.”“Well… maybe it’s for the best.” My grandfather responded, giving me a warm hug. That night and the next several nights I found myself unable to sleep. I started catnapping during the day whenever I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I felt tired all the time and my eating habits had turned to snack foods and soft drinks. I was smoking constantly, putting up with the chronic headaches the excessive nicotine was causing. I couldn’t erase thoughts of Wade from my mind, no matter how hard I tried.A week past, then two before I started to recover. It took awhile to get back to being my old self. My writing had suffered terribly. I had a deadline to meet for the first book in my new series. Everything I tried to write seemed gibberish. I set aside the writing instead of wasting my time. At least, I had a handle on the ranching affairs. Beef prices had soared. We were sending off stock to the slaughterhouses by the truckload. Several of the horses we’d purchased in Amarillo had found new homes, adding to the ranch’s profits. My grandfather was quite happy with the success we were having. During the evening, Cody would frequently join us for a discussion on future plans for the Double D. Increasing our horse inventory was as paramount as our cattle herds. Managing the ranch, with my grandfather at my side, was taking up most of my time as well as keeping my mind off my personal problems.It was late one evening when the phone rang. Checking the caller I.D., I noted it was from Roger Garrett. I was hesitant to pick up the call so I had my grandfather answer it. The news wasn’t good. Roger’s father, Charles Garrett had passed away. He’d been a longtime friend of my grandfather and it hit him pretty hard. Roger and J.D. talked for several minutes before concluding their conversation.“We’ve got to get down to Fort Worth.” J.D. declared. “Charlie’s funeral is the day after tomorrow and we’ve got to be there.”“Oh God! Wade will be there!” I thought. “I can’t face him!”“Pack a couple of my good suits along with some dress slacks and shirts.” J.D. commanded. “We’ll leave early tomorrow morning.”“How about Cody going with you instead of me?” I suggested. “I can take care of the ranch-hands while he’s gone.”“Nonsense. I won’t hear of it.” My grandfather bellowed. “You’re going and that’s all there is to it.”With the Suburban loaded with our luggage, J.D. and I left early in the morning. Fort Worth was over seven-hundred miles away. With stops for food and gas, it would be late evening before we completed the trip. My grandfather talked incessantly about his friendship and business association with his lifelong friend during the journey. I didn’t sleep at all the night before the funeral, dreading the inevitable confrontation with Wade. Knowing how important it was for my grandfather to see his old friend one last time, I was determined to make it through the event.Arriving for the funeral well ahead of time, I clung to my grandfather’s arm as he spoke with Roger Garrett and his wife. There were a lot of mourners wanting to speak with them so we didn’t take up much of their time.My eyes were glancing around, trying to spot Wade so I could avoid being caught close to him. I didn’t see him but I did see an outdoor area with several men standing around smoking. I excused myself to grab a quick cigarette. My grandfather was chatting with several old acquaintances so he didn’t mind.I made it through the funeral and the ceremonies at the cemetery with the help of my grandfather. Seeing Wade, taking the death of his grandfather so hard, was difficult for me. He needed someone to comfort him but no one stepped forward.Roger and his wife insisted on everyone coming out to their house for something to eat after the ceremonies ended. J.D. wanted to comply with their request even though I was reluctant. The Garretts lived in an exclusive neighborhood of million dollar homes. There must have been well over fifty guests milling around, chatting. Standing in the kitchen with several women, I joined in on their conversation. Mrs. Garrett, Wade’s mother, took me aside. She was very attractive for a woman in her fifties. Her shoulder-length blonde hair and bright blue eyes were her most outstanding features.“Wade’s out on the patio, sitting by himself.” She murmured. “He’s not taking his grandfather’s passing very well. Would you mind spending some time with him?”“I… I don’t know if that would be such a good idea.” I stuttered. “We’re… not on the best of terms.”“I know. I know.” She retorted. “It’s just that you may be the only one he’ll respond to.”Nodding my head, I agreed to speak with her son. As I approached him, Wade looked up briefly. His face was pale, almost colorless. He looked ill. I stooped down in front of him, taking his hands in mine. Wade was mumbling incoherently about his grandfather. Guests stepping out onto the patio, sensed our wanting to be alone.The two of us walked out into the flower gardens, away from the house and all the guests. Sitting on a stone wall, we held hands. Wade’s touch was just as I had remembered, secure and loving.“I wish it were me that died instead of my grandfather.” Wade mumbled in tears. “Don’t say that Wade.” I responded. “You’ve got your whole life ahead of you.”“I don’t have a life anymore.” He asserted. “First, I lost you. Now, I’ve lost my grandfather.”“You didn’t lose me.” I replied. “I just gave up on myself. I didn’t want you hating me later on is all.”“I could never hate you.” He affirmed. I wasn’t sure of what to do or say next. My being with him seemed to have helped but Wade was still in a very deep depression. We sat quietly for the longest time, comforted by each other’s presence.My grandfather approached us as from the house. He walked cautiously as he neared us. He spoke consoling words to Wade, which seemed to help, mentioning how much he’d miss his old friend and colleague.“I’m going back to the hotel and get some rest.” J.D. stated. “I can drive myself if you want to stay with Wade for awhile.”“Yeah. I’m gonna stay for awhile.” I responded. “Wade needs someone with him.”It was late afternoon when Wade and I left his parent’s home. Knowing he was too upset to drive, I took the keys from his hand. With Wade mumbling the directions, I made it back to the Hampton Inn.“Why don’t you stay the night with me?” I suggested, pulling into the parking lot. “You’re in no condition to drive home.Wade accepted my offer with a shrug of his shoulders and a nod of his head. The doors between mine and J.D.’s room were open when we entered the hotel room. My grandfather was sitting on the bed reading a newspaper and watching television. “Hi Grandpa.” I greeted, peaking into his room. “You ok?”“I’m ok.” He replied. “How’s Wade doing?”“He’s better.” I retorted. “I asked him to stay the night with me. I think we’re gonna try and talk things out.”“Anything I can do?” He inquired.“Not really.” I responded. “It’s something we’ve got to handle ourselves.”Wade and I sat on the bed together but I found myself too tired to talk. Not having slept for over a day, my body and mind were suffering the consequences. Wade also looked extremely tired, more emotionally than physically. We decided to catch up on some sleep and talk later on.Snuggled in each other’s arms, we drifted off to sleep within minutes. The sound of the television playing in the other room didn’t hinder our slumber. We slept peacefully, waking about 9pm.Wade suggested ordering some food from room service. At that hour of the evening, sandwiches and snacks were all that were available. It’s all either of us wanted anyway. My grandfather joined us for the late night dining.“You gonna make an honest woman out of my granddaughter?” J.D. k**ded, biting into his sandwich. “That’s my intention, Mr. Kramer.” Wade responded. “I love Michelle more than anything.”“Whoa! Hold on!” I exclaimed, sipping on my soft drink. “Let me have a say in this. Ok?”“Wade, I won’t marry you.” I declared. “At least kadıköy escort not for awhile.” “Why not?” My grandfather questioned. “If you love Wade as much as he loves you, why not get married?”“We don’t need a legal document and an expensive wedding to declare our love for each other.” I replied. “But, I am willing to agree to being engaged. That’ll eliminate the need for a prenuptial agreement and allow both of us to feel we’ve got a serious relationship.”“What about k**s?” Wade asked. “We talked about having k**s.”“We can still have k**s.” I answered. “Not being married won’t prevent us from having c***dren.”“Michelle, your grandmother would paddle your butt for saying such a thing!” J.D. asserted. “And, your grandfather would paddle yours, Wade, if you agreed to it!”“I’ll do whatever it takes to keep our relationship going.” Wade muttered. “I’ve been through hell since Michelle left.”“Well, Michelle hasn’t had an easy time of it either.” My grandfather countered. “She’s done nothing but cry at night, hardly ever sleeps, mumbles your name when she’s napping and drinks Scotch like a boatload of sailors on shore leave. I won’t even go into that constant smoking habit of hers.”J.D.’s statements embarrassed me to death. Admittedly, they were true but I didn’t want them revealed, especially not to Wade!“I’ve got another week or so finishing up the warehouse project I’m working on.” Wade stated. “I could drive up to New Mexico when I’m done and see about finding something to do up there?”“There’s nothing in your line of work around Three Rivers.” I stated. “Besides, your father would have a fit if you quit working for him.”“What about the boarding stable and campgrounds idea you had?” J.D. remarked. “That would be right up Wade’s alley.”“That’s just an idea I have. It’s nothing concrete.” I replied. “I don’t have anything down on paper. It’s just in my head.”“Wade could work on it!” My grandfather countered. “You’ve got the ranch to run! And, those books to write! You may never get the chance to put it on paper.”“Whatta you think, Wade? You wanna give it a shot?” I asked, grasping his hand. “I’d allow us to be together.”“Of course I’ll do it.” Wade declared. “We can work together on it.”“One other thing.” J.D. added with a stern look. “No hanky-panky in the house. You two can get yourselves a place of your own if you’re gonna be… acting like newlyweds.”“What about setting a travel trailer on the ranch?” I remarked. “At least until we can have a house built or get a modular.”“That’s all right with me.” J.D. responded. “Whatever suits your needs.”With my grandfather’s help, Wade and I had worked through some of our problems. We both felt relieved that we were coming to terms with our relationship. Being together was paramount for both of us, although I was worried about how Wade’s father would take the news that he was moving to Colorado.We slept well through the night, waking early the next morning. After grabbing a shower and fixing my hair and make-up, I got dressed and packed for the trip home. The three of us ate breakfast in a nearby restaurant. Wade wanted us to stop by his apartment so he could put the engagement ring back on my finger.Wearing the ring, unlike the first time, didn’t make me feel apprehensive about making our relationship work. I wasn’t fearful of hurting Wade or losing him later on. I was going to quit running every time I got scared.Cruising along the highway, I set the speed control and relaxed behind the wheel. Lighting up a cigarette, I thought about setting Wade and I up with a place to live. I knew he wouldn’t feel comfortable living in my grandfather’s house. The miles passed quickly as thoughts and ideas crossed through my mind.“You need to think about building a house.” J.D. stated, reading my mind. “I don’t want my great-grandc***dren living in a travel trailer.”“There’s a nice piece of land at the north end of the ranch.” He added. “It borders the Bureau of Land Management property.”“How much do you want for it?” I inquired. “How many acres?”“I’ll let you have twenty acres. That’s all.” J.D. replied. “Call it an engagement present.”“What if I want more?” I asked. “Twenty acres isn’t all that much.”“After I’m gone, the Double D will be all yours.” My grandfather replied. “I’ve already had my attorneys change the deed so you’re name’s on it with mine.” He explained. “That’ll avoid having my will go through probate and you having to pay inheritance taxes on the ranch.”“What about Dad?” I blurted out, without thinking. “That bastard’s already got his inheritance!” J.D. exclaimed. “I should have had him arrested for embezzlement when he stole that two-hundred thousand from the corporation.”It was true. My dad had embezzled the money from his own father’s corporation. Out of fear from his stockholders and board of directors, my grandfather had replaced the cash from his own pocket. My father’s thieving ways had ruined their relationship as well as put him at odds with my mother. Thankfully, I was much too young to have had to bear any of the condemnation.“Looks like Wade and I are gonna be pretty busy at the ranch.” I remarked, changing the subject.“I see a lot of Wade’s grandfather in that young man.” My grandfather responded. “I just hope you’ll try and make your relationship work out.”“Getting off the hard liquor would be a good start.” He added. “I won’t ask you to quit smoking, even though I wish you would.”“I’ll see what I can do.” I muttered. “I won’t make any promises though.”“You can do it.” J.D. assured me. “It just takes willpower.”It was late evening when we made it back to the Double D. My grandfather had slept most of the way so he was wide awake when we arrived. I was just glad to be home. Thunder was booming off in the mountains, making the coyotes restless. Their howling was incessant and louder than normal. Scanning over the pastures, I didn’t see any of the horses out. “Cody must have brought all the horses in for the night.” I remarked. “Probably doesn’t want to be disturbed later on.” J.D. k**ded, gesturing towards his trailer.Looking down the hill, I saw the familiar Chevy Impala sitting next to Cody’s pickup. I assumed his newest girlfriend was spending another night with him.The following morning it was business as usual, enjoying breakfast with the ranch-hands, then working in the office most of the day. Cody noticed my engagement ring at breakfast, causing most everyone to ask questions, especially Juanita.The first day back was busy, spent trying to catch up on things while we had been gone. Wade phoned that evening, while I was sitting at the computer working on my book. Stepping out onto the patio with the cordless phone, offered me some privacy.I could tell by the tone of his voice, he was feeling much better, although he sounded tired. Wade had informed his father of his future plans to join me at the ranch. Surprisingly, he’d taken it pretty well. Although Roger Garrett had reiterated his interest in forming a partnership on my project for the boarding stables and campground resort, I wasn’t buying into it. I didn’t want his money or his possible meddling interfering with Wade and my project. Explaining it to my fiancee so he wouldn’t take it personally was somewhat difficult. Wade and I, along with my grandfather’s help, could make the idea a reality. I had confidence in Wade and I knew he wouldn’t let me down.One morning, right after breakfast, my grandfather joined me to look at travel trailers. It would serve as Wade and my temporary home until we could have a house built on the twenty acres J.D. had given me. There were several RV dealerships in Albuquerque so we struck out for there.While my interest was in finding something comfortable that afforded us as much living space as possible, J.D. was back on his kick for a motorhome. Since it was difficult to look at both at the same time, I resigned myself to let him find something first. Since money was no object, my grandfather started looking at high-end motor-homes first. Priced at over three-hundred thousand dollars, I felt they were a little extravagant for something that’d probably spend most of its time taking up space in the driveway. Reasoning with him, I managed to talk him into looking at motorhomes more suited to his needs. We spent most of the morning looking at everything they had on the lot before deciding on a Fleetwood thirty-nine foot motorhome with all the amenities and luxuries imaginable.Seeing the big smile on J.D.’s face eased the pain of writing the check for a hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Knowing the money could be used to increase our horse and cattle herds was offset by the happiness purchasing the motorhome brought him. Although, knowing I’d have to do most of the driving of the motorcoach was quite unsettling. After a two-hour review of the motorhome with one of the service technicians, I learned about all the functions, gadgets, switches and controls. Fortified with an armload of manuals and documents, I was ready to drive the huge vehicle home. Driving along Highway Fifty wasn’t too difficult. Maneuvering the motorhome through the narrow streets of the small towns along the way proved somewhat nerve-wracking, especially knowing J.D. was right behind me.Pulling the luxurious motorcoach into the driveway and up to the house, I was relieved to have made it safely with scratching my grandfather’s newest prize possession. After activating the hydraulic leveling jacks, plugging in the electrical cables and waterline connections, the motorhome was finally set up.“I’m gonna make out a list of things we need to get for the motorhome.” J.D. remarked. “Tomorrow, we’ll go shopping.”“Fine.” I responded. “I’m gonna catch up on some work in the office.”I wasn’t too happy about having spent most of the day without accomplishing what we’d originally gone shopping for. From the comment my grandfather had made, tomorrow didn’t look anymore promising. With Wade due to arrive sometime within the next couple of weeks, I really wanted to get our temporary housing ready.That evening I assessed my financial resources. With just under sixty thousand dollars in the bank, I was beginning to have doubts about spending a considerable amount of it for a trailer. The money would be better spent on building materials for a permanent home. Still, Wade and I needed some place to live. Maybe an apartment in Nogal or Ruidoso, both around thirty miles from the ranch, would be a better option. In a quandary about what to do, I thought it best to wait and discuss it with Wade when he called.As always, it was good to hear Wade’s voice when he called. He seemed in good spirits and didn’t sound as tired like the previous evening. I was hesitant to bring up the subject of purchasing a travel trailer to live in while we had our house built. Clouding our phone conversation with a discussion about money matters didn’t seem appropriate.“Have you found us a travel trailer to live in or have you even had time to look.” Wade inquired, bringing up the subject.“Well, sorta.” I stammered. “Grandpa and I went shopping but all we bought was a motorhome. It’s something he’s been wanting since he saw your father’s.”“Whatta ya think about renting an apartment?” I suggested. “I might be able to find something nice in Nogal or Ruidoso.”“I thought we were going to live on the ranch.” Wade replied, sounding somewhat discouraged.“Well, I thought so too.” I responded. “I just hate to spend twenty thousand dollars on a trailer when I should be putting that towards building materials for the house.”“Why don’t I send you the money for a trailer?” Wade bostancı escort suggested. “I could do an electronic transfer over the internet.”“No! Don’t do that!” I exclaimed. “If you want to buy the travel trailer, let’s wait until I find something first.”“That’ll work. Whatever’s easier for you.” Wade responded. “I should be helping you instead of being stuck here.”With the trailer situation pretty much settled, our conversation turned more intimate. With my grandfather sitting in the office with me, it was difficult to speak the words I wanted to say.“You and Wade having financial problems?” J.D. asked afterwards.“No. No problems.” I answered. “Just trying to decide how to spend our money.”“How much as Wade got in the bank?” My grandfather blatantly inquired. “How much have you got?”“I don’t know what Wade’s financial situation is.” I replied. “I don’t feel that’s any of my business.”“Which brings up the subject of his salary.” I quickly added. “What are we gonna pay him for his time?”“Michelle, you two need to sit down and go over your assets together.” J.D. asserted. “You need to decide who’s going to pay for what and so on.”Since my grandfather had totally ignored my question, I decided to ignore his remarks.“I’ll set his salary at a twelve-hundred dollars a week.” I boldly declared. “That sounds appropriate.”“He shouldn’t make as much as you.” J.D. argued. “After all, you’re the one bearing all the responsibility for running the ranch.”“I can’t very well pay him less than room and board.” I mumbled, letting my discontent show.“What? What’d you say?” My grandfather asked.“Nothing.” I answered “I didn’t say anything.”I didn’t want to get into an argument with my grandfather over money matters. Although I was bearing the responsibility of running the ranch, I wasn’t getting paid for it. We’d never discussed pay for my work. Although it was taking up most of my time, I didn’t feel it appropriate to expect money. Living in the house and eating Juanita’s meals had seemed reward enough. I’d never planned for the expenses I was about to face.The following morning I prepared to go shopping with my grandfather. The night before he’d jotted down a lengthy list of items he wanted for his new motorhome. Seeing him load his golf clubs in the back of his car, made me curious as to his plans.“You going golfing?” I inquired, trying to sound calm. “I thought you wanted to go shopping.”“Yes, I’m going golfing.” He retorted. “My list is on your desk. You can handle it without me tagging along.”I was immediately incensed at his thoughtlessness. It was all I could do to conceal my rage. “Doesn’t he realize I’ve got more important things to do than do his running for him!” I thought. “The least he could do is go with me!”Leaving immediately after my grandfather’s departure, I spent all day gathering up the items on his shopping list. My anger hadn’t subsided by the time I returned to the ranch late in the afternoon. I was still pissed, except now, I was also tired and suffering with a severe headache.I tossed all the purchases into the motorhome instead of taking them into the house.“Did you get everything?” J.D. inquired, coming out to see how my shopping trip had gone.“Yes, I got everything!” I exclaimed, letting my anger show. “Thanks for your help!”“Whoa there Girl!” My grandfather retorted. “What’s the hell’s the matter?”I let my anger explode. Reprimanding J.D. for all the extra work I was having to perform along with the menial tasks he expected me to do, I let it all out. By the time I was finished, I was hoarse from yelling and screaming. My headache had increased in severity to where I was squinting from the pain.My grandfather stood silent, dumbfounded by my outburst. I started to apologize but resisted saying anything. J.D. stepped out of the motorhome and walked back into the house. My head was throbbing something fierce. I sat down on the couch, resting my head in my hands. Stretching out on the couch seemed to ease the throbbing some.It was early evening when I finally entered the house. My grandfather was warming up dinner in the microwave. “Dinner will be ready in about ten minutes.” He announced.“I’m not hungry.” I muttered. “I’m gonna take some aspirin and stretch out across the bed.”“You need to eat something.” He retorted. “It’ll make you feel better.”I didn’t respond to his comments, knowing it would just start another argument. In an argument, there was no way of winning with my grandfather.It was almost 2am when I woke up. My headache had dissipated. I decided to take a quick shower. Revived by the warm water, I felt a little better. After putting on a pot of coffee, I lit up a cigarette and journeyed into the office. I shut the door to avoid disturbing my grandfather’s sleep.I sat in the dark, sipping the coffee and smoking one cigarette after another. It was time to make some decisions about staying on at the ranch. Things between me and my grandfather weren’t working out as I’d hoped. There were too many things to take into consideration. One of them being, my grandfather’s health, the other my future relationship with Wade.I skipped breakfast in the morning, remaining in the office to work. Stepping out onto the patio to get some fresh air, I saw J.D. approaching me.“Let’s go get you and Wade a travel trailer.” He suggested, smiling. “Time’s a wastin’!”“No! I’m not going to buy a trailer!” I retorted, turning my back to him. “Right now, I’m not buying a damn thing!”“Well, you and Wade are more than welcome to live in the house till you get yours built.” J.D. asserted. “That’s another thing I’m not doing.” I snapped back. “There won’t be any house built.”“What are you going to do?” My grandfather asked, sitting down in one of the patio chairs. “You going to leave the Double J?”“No. I won’t leave unless you want me to.” I replied.“I’m gonna call Wade later this morning.” I added. “I’m changing our plans.”“Whatta ya mean by that?” He asked. “You’re not breaking off the engagement again, are you?”“No. I’m not going to do that.” I answered. “I’m going to suggest he stay in Fort Worth and continue working for his father. There’s no reason for him being here.”“What about the boarding stable and campground idea?” J.D. inquired, raising his voice.“The hell with it! I exclaimed. “The hell with the whole goddamn idea!”For my grandfather and I, that moment was the turning point of our relationship. We were no longer grandfather and granddaughter. We were just two people working together to keep the Double J on a profitable course.I waited till evening to call Wade. His cheerful demeanor changed immediately when I told him not to join me in New Mexico. A heated argument ensued, which I expected. I wasn’t about to concede to his insistence on following through with our original plans. I eventually slammed the phone down on him to stop the bickering.Two days passed, then three without hearing a word from Wade. I wasn’t sure if he and I were still engaged or not. I was still wearing his ring until I knew for sure. J.D. was steering as clear of me as possible, knowing I was still angry with him. I worked on ranch business during the day and my book of an evening. Surprisingly, the solitude seemed to help me write.“Ok to come in?” Cody inquired, standing in the french doors leading in from the patio.“Yeah. Sure.” I replied, looking up from my computer. “J.D.’s out in the livingroom watching tv.”“It’s you I came to see, not your grandfather.” He remarked.“Oh. Is there something the matter?” I asked.“Yeah. You.” He answered. “Haven’t seen you around much, especially at breakfast.”“I quit eating breakfast.” I retorted. “I’m watching my figure.”“Thought that was my job.” Cody smarted off, grinning. “As I recall, it was fantastic the last time we were together.”“What’s the matter, Cowboy?” I countered. “Your current girlfriend busy tonight?”“Margaret’s off visiting her son in college.” He replied. “He’s a freshman at the University of Colorado.”“Good lord!” I exclaimed. “How old is she anyway?”“Forty-five.” He mumbled. “How old’s your mother?” I jested. “Not much older than that I’ll bet.”“Let’s not bring my mother into the conversation.” Cody responded, putting his feet up on the desk.“You wanna take your feet off my desk before I kick them off.” I threatened, glaring at him.“Why don’t you come down and spend the night with me.” Cody quipped, complying with my request. “I hate to sleep alone.”“Go to bed, Cody.” I suggested. “Switch hands when you jack off so you can pretend you’ve got a new girlfriend.”Cody rose from his chair and came around to my side of the desk. Turning my chair in his direction, he leaned down and kissed me hard on the lips. I didn’t make any gesture to protest his actions. Cody’s hot tongue snaked between my lips, swirling wildly in my mouth. I felt myself willingly succumbing to his advances. His hand cupped my left breast through the material of my blouse and bra.My passions were getting the best of me, taking control of my mind. Cody’s hand continued squeezing and massaging my breasts. Regaining control of myself, I pushed his hand away.“I’ve still got it.” Cody murmured. “Anytime you want it, you know where to find me.”I sat there, breathless, as Cody stepped out of the office and made his way down to his trailer. I came close to following after him but I resisted the temptation.A week passed, then a month without a phone call from Wade. I assumed our engagement was off, but this time at his discretion. I couldn’t bring myself to take the engagement ring off though.I finally finished the first book in the new series I was creating. It was a big load off my shoulders, getting it sent out to the publishers in L.A. I had time to relax before starting the second book in the series. It felt more like a reprieve than a respite.The free time of an evening allowed me to concentrate solely on ranching matters. I fervently increased out cattle inventory to over sixteen-hundred head of beef. The Double D’s horse sales were strong and consistent. For every horse we sold, I bought two! We hired temporary help to handle the additional livestock and chores.My grandfather and I were back on speaking terms although we pretty much kept our conversations to matters relating to the ranch. He was playing golf two to three days a week with his friends even though his game wasn’t improving. Over the summer months, Cody got engaged, then married a young woman from Nogal. He’d grown tired of running the numbers, as he called it and finally settled down with girl number ten. He moved out of the trailer and into a rented house in Nogal with his bride. We didn’t have any problem liquidating the travel trailer even though it was nearing the end of camping season.My book, Fire Ten, took off like a shot, making the top one-hundred best seller list two weeks after it hit the bookstores. It continued climbing the charts, settling in at number forty-nine. At least it made it into the top fifty, better than I expected it would! The glitzy, embossed cover probably had a lot to do with its high sales figures.As for Wade and I, nothing had changed. I hadn’t heard from him in months. He was always somewhere on my mind. The engagement ring was a constant reminder to something we once had. I was still wearing it, although I was feeling guilty about not returning it. I thought about sending him a personal check to reimburse him since I didn’t want to take it off. I felt that would be callous so I did nothing.The cool fall months were quickly approaching. Labor Day had passed and we were preparing for the impending winter. The hay barns were filled to capacity as were the grain storage bins. I was settling in to a daily routine, working on ranch business during the day and writing of an evening. My grandfather joined me each night, watching a western movie from his favorite recliner. My life had seemingly returned to normal… whatever normal was!***

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