Ok, with a fair amount of anxiety, I present to you Chapter 13. A fair warning to everyone, this chapter is very explicit. Not PG rated. Not PG-13. If you would rather not read this material, you may follow up until Adrienne is heading back to the cabin with Drew at which point I would suggest holding off until I post Chapter 14. Additionally, if by some chance you are under the age of 18, you maybe shouldn’t read this either. Enjoy!
Colt was gone in the morning when I awoke, but I was surprised to find breakfast on the table once more. Apparently, he wasn’t completely furious with me. Or he was trying to keep the peace. Drew picked me up right on time and only referenced the night before once. “I know why you like him,” he had said. “You can’t help it,” and then everything was once again enjoyable and casual between us.
We pulled up in front of the rancher’s place at nine in the morning after crossing the rotting front bridge and herding Bob Sanders’s complete herd of nine cows out of the road. Bob was already stationed in the dirt lot in front of his house. He stood before a rumbling and rusted tan truck that wasn’t nearly as old as he was. In fact, the Ford Jeep circa WWII that was visible through the open door of the detached garage was still over a decade younger than Bob. Drew shut off the engine of his F250 and the diesel rolled to a stop between Bob and the creek twenty yards away. A fluffy orange blur flashed from sight as I slid from the passenger side of the cab.
Bob didn’t really move or smile immediately but he watched us intently and I swear his enormous ears pricked up. Ears are one of the things on people that never seem to quit growing. My first thought was to compare him to an ancient hound when its owner comes home—too sore to race to the door and beat its tail, but nonetheless still obviously happy to be in company again. Bob’s like that. He minimizes unnecessary motion and generally refuses to be rushed for anything. Decades of ranch work and hard labor, in addition to very infrequent visits to the physician in LowTown has left his hands weather-beaten, swollen, and twisted like the roots of the dead pine that Drew drug down the hill behind Bob’s house last winter. Despite the fact that most of his fingers bend sharply, and permanently away from his thumbs, every time I’ve seen him since that first day, Bob has faithfully maintained his grip on a can of Keystone Light.
Bob had lived in the valley since long before Drew and his family moved to the area. He walks and works precisely and slowly, unafraid of his own age but without the forgiveness of youth. His back is crimped and bends sharply forward between his shoulder blades. He never fully straightens his arms and a recent shoulder surgery has ensured that the left one likely never will again. Sharp eyes watched us from beneath eyebrows that time and wrinkles left in a permanent scowl. Although his advice and experience are as expansive as any king’s lands, he embodies a humility and small-town approachability that reminds me more of a grandfather than a monarch—even though he owns the appropriate acreage.
Bob drained the remainder of his can and gave it a squeeze that undoubtedly would have crushed the thin aluminum years ago, but now only dents it. There was another flick of orange in the periphery and I turned in time to watch a fat cat with orange stripes settle on the roof of one of the parked cars. He stretched in the sun and the tip of his tail tipped back and forth where it hung over the edge of the A-bar. “Don’t mind, Kid,” Bob said with a voice sloughed smooth by age and grit. At first I thought he was referring to Drew or myself, but then he said, “He’s never been very friendly. Just likes to watch mostly.” Kid the cat looks like Garfield incarnate.
I once had a friend from the city who described a certain piece of farm equipment as a “hay-pooper”—which, I suppose, is fairly accurate although the proper term is “baler.” Bob wandered off on the jeep while Drew coaxed the ancient baler into the uneven pasture. Bob’s first and only crop of hay that year had already been cut and lay drying on the ground between the slopes of the valley. Mountain sunlight streamed down, the yellow bars growing in intensity, bouncing off broken rock and bare soil, and quickly turned the warm morning into a scorching afternoon. Round and round in circles the baler turned with its rotating pinwheel rakes grabbing at the cut hay and forcing it into corded rectangular bales deeper in the machine’s belly. The baler was hauled from an attachment point on the back of an equally old tractor. It growled, it rattled, and finally dropped the finished bales in crooked line out the back. Get it? Hay-pooper.
A couple hours later, we had baled both of Bob’s two uneven fields, and were anticipating “pickin’” the bales onto the back of another trailer–If Drew could get the machinery running. Bob critiqued run a few feet back, suggesting different knots and where exactly to apply the little bits of wire. I nearly laughed myself onto the ground when, somehow, Drew managed to get the 1950’s model picker running with nothing more than a roll of baling wire and twine. The engine chugged to life and we rattled back over the road to the field. There’s no shotgun seat on a tractor, just a step-up plate on the driver’s side which I stood on while simultaneously dodging the arms and knobs that bobbed and jutted with the movements of the contraption behind us. If the driver is any good, the arm of the picker is lined up with the approaching hay bale, which in turn, feeds down a chute and triggers a mechanism that lifts the bale up and stacks it on the trailer. Sometimes, even when the driver is good like Drew, the damn machine breaks anyway and the hay has to be loaded twelve-stacks-high by hand. The picker survived most of the day and only the last couple rows in the second field had to be hand tossed.
By four in the early evening, all of Bob’s metal monsters were parked back in the yard and Bob was gently herding the sunburned-pair of us into the house.
Drew went to the ancient fridge and pulled out a plastic jug of water. As he poured two short glasses, I watched desperately thirsty.
“Sip, don’t guzzle,” he whispered when Bob’s back was turned. “He only buys a couple gallons a week and I don’t want to drink it all.” I sipped, and stayed painfully aware of my own thirst.
Bob liked to tell stories which I learned when we followed him onto the back porch.
“Do you see that round rock there, Allison?” he said.
“Adrienne,” Drew corrected gently.
“Yes, well this whole valley used to be under the ocean,” said Bob pointing to the rock in question. It was the size of a basketball and perfectly, I mean perfectly, spherical.
“That was a lava bubble came up from a volcano,” he continued. “They start to float when they’re hot, and then get solid and sink back down. You can find em all over the valley.”
I looked at Drew who grinned and shrugged his shoulders to say he wasn’t sure if that was true or not. The back porch looked directly at the adjacent hillside instead of out into the greater valley. I puzzled over its placement.
“I shot a couple elk right off the deck here,” said Drew. “Right there below the ridge.”
“That’s one of ‘em,” said Bob as he held up a trembling finger. I had noticed the bleached skull above the open door of the barn when we’d driven up. Those mounts appeared to be popular in the valley, but what had struck me were the walls of the barn itself. Like a giant pegboard, Bob had hung rows and rows of rusted old tools like gothic ornaments. They rested against the siding leaving long rust stains that dripped down the wood, deepening and lengthening over time.
I doubted any had been touched in years but the meticulousness of their organization along with the exactly divided piles of antlers, tires, round rocks, and other things made clear the pride Bob took in his home. His possessions were fading into the landscape right along with him—wearing their age and very gradually, sinking into the soil.
“See that, Abigail,” said Bob.
Drew sighed and looked at me apologetically. I smiled back and then tried to follow the line of Bob’s shaking arm.
I blinked a couple times and looked a little harder. There was a white rectangular box sitting a top the ridge about two hundred yards from the one directly in front of us.
“That there,” he said, “Is a tomb. Two of the first people to move here were trappers. A married couple—lived right here actually.” He cracked the top on another beer. “The wife died early, don’t know why. But she said she never wanted to leave the valley again. Her husband spent all he saved to build that stone box and bury her in there. We call her ‘the Lady’ and I talk at her now and again.”
Bob smiled serenely up at the mountain as the last threads of direct sunlight slipped beyond the peaks. His voice was calm and placid, “Her husband died a couple years later. That bridge out front been there a long while, but it ain’t the first. First one got blown out in a bad flood year. He was old and ain’t nobody else lived round here yet so he starved I guess.”
I looked to Drew again, feeling a little startled. He shrugged again.
We slipped into silence once more. Kid the cat crept around the edge of the house and watched us imperiously for a while. Eventually he strolled forward as only cats can and curled up on top of Bob’s feet.
We finally stood and went to make our goodbyes.
Before heading back through the house, Drew indicated an ashtray on the table top beside Bob’s chair. “You’re smoking again?” he asked.
“Ah, when you’re out here on your lonesome for forty years,” said the bent old man, “an addiction gives you something to wake up for.”
Drew and I made it a quick trip back to Coal Creek and I invited him in for a bite to eat. We’d barely settled down when Colt’s truck roared into the driveway.
“I’m going to help,” Drew whispered as Colt’s boots sounded in the entry way. He gripped my hand on the table top right as Colt walked into the room. In that instant, I knew that we had pushed Colt too far. He stared, first at me and then at the youngest Bishop and back again. In the moment before Colt spoke, Drew looked at me and in a glance said, you’ll owe me for this.
Then he sneered at Colt in a way that what so unlike his usual charm and said, “You’re kind of interrupting.”
Colt eyes blazed as Drew grabbed me around the nape of my neck, closed his eyes and drug my face toward his across the kitchen table.
Colt still held the edge of the hallway door in his hand and with a resounding crash he threw it back open so that it slammed viciously into the wall. Drew was instantly on his feet and braced. The chair toppled backward and I barely had time to get out of the way before Colt had him by the collar and physically forced him from the cabin.
I stood shaking and questioning my own nerves as the front door slammed and I heard the snap as the dead bolt was set in place. There was silence and then the heavy fall of Colt’s enormous boots on the concrete floor. He loomed in the doorway, impossibly large and radiating anger. A muscle in the side of his jaw ticked and those piercing blue eyes kept me rooted to the floor on the opposite side of the table.
The intelligent side of my brain was shrieking for me to run, that he could never be gentle now, that I’d made my bed and it wouldn’t be sweet and soft. The other side of my brain, fixed exclusively on Colt, was yelling equally loudly for me to strip on the spot and launch for him.
Colt coiled like a snake, bending slightly at the knee and spreading his palms just a hair’s breadth wider.
Intelligence won and I reflexively bolted for the back door behind me. With a second crash Colt upended the other chair and was on top of me and forcing the door shut even as I opened it. I shrieked as he grabbed a handful of my hair and spun me around to face him, forcing me to meet his gaze by slowing pulling down on his closed fist.
I felt as the butterflies launched themselves at top speed in my stomach and farther down between my legs the dull ache from earlier redoubled into a tide of longing.
Not like this, I thought briefly but my body had other ideas. Ice blue eyes transfixed me and he was breathing heavily barely four inches from my mouth. His other hand snaked around my back and I drew in a sharp gasp as his nails bit into the flesh inside the hem of my jeans. I couldn’t help my reaction, arching into his body and digging my own nails into the muscle below his shoulder blades. I was panting now and whatever remnants of anxiety I still had were shredded beneath the onslaught of Bucks touching me.
There was just a flicker of surprise before a wicked grin twisted on his face. It still emanated leashed anger but I could feel him hard against my thigh.
He smelled like leather and pine, and his whisper was dangerously low. “You could have just asked,” he said and then lifted me partially into the air. My hands flew up to grab his shoulders as he took two long steps and then brought himself down on top of me on the carpet of the living room. His hand released my hair, pulling out the hair grip so that dark locks pooled beneath my head. He bore his weight on one hand and forced my legs apart with the other and one of his knees.
Colt wedged his hips against mine and ground his weight against me, playing the line between pleasure and pain. I drew in a ragged breath just before his thumb pushed up at the corner of my mouth and he slanted his lips over mine.
His kiss was blistering, branding in its intensity as he forced his way into my mouth. His touch asked no permission, and my body yielded beneath his. I forced his grip from my face as my hands shot up and into his hair. I locked his mouth to mine and battled him for control as his other hand forced my shirt up and over my bra.
He broke the kiss and loomed above me, supported on his knees and he used one arm to lift me at my lower back. With a twist of his other hand beneath me, the clasp of my bra released and he was scalding me with his mouth on my ribcage. I clawed the teeshirt over his back as he bent to reach my torso and I heard as the worn material tear slightly as he ripped it over his head. I dug my nails into his shoulder eliciting a soft curse from him.
Colt grabbed both of my wrists and forced them up, pinning them just above my head in one massive hand even while I fought to lock my ankles behind his back. He broke my hold easily and pushed the fabric of my shirt and bra up over my breasts, baring them to the air. Then his mouth was on me again, nipping and drawing one peaked nipple into his mouth as his free hand covered the other. I cried out as he bit the skin and then lapped the pain away with his tongue.
I struggled like a wildcat and managed to free one hand long enough to pull his face harder against my chest as my lower back arched like a drawn bow.
He caught both of my legs between his again and wrapped an arm all the way beneath my back, catching the belt loop on the opposite side and pulling it roughly down and around. With my center of gravity resting on his arm I was forced to barrel roll so that I lay on my stomach beneath him with one arm still thrust above my head. I bucked and he caught me around the shoulders and drew me up so that my back lay flush to his front.
His skin was deliciously hot as he pulled the material of my shirt and bra free of my body. Both articles he tossed across the room and I heard them land somewhere in the hallway that led to the bedrooms. Then with a hand to one of my breasts locking my torso against his, his opposite wrist flicked near the button of my jeans and suddenly his fingers had slipped beneath the waistband.
My hips launched backward away from his burning touch but he drove his pelvis forward forcing me into his palm as his fingers found the crease below my panties.
I whimpered and grasped his neck behind my head, turning my face to meet his again. His erection was forced into the seam between my buttocks and he ground against me, rubbing the length of his shaft in the groove. I moaned and tried to turn around, but my legs from the knees down were locked between his and his forearm was like an iron bar across my ribs.
I heard the growl that escaped me, surprised that husky voice belonged to me even as he reacted to it. Colt’s control was finally slipping and I egged him beyond it by reaching for him through the fabric of his jeans behind my back.
He let go with his upper arm and nearly separated the tab of my zipper as he drew it down. Then my jeans and pants were forced down over my hips. He spun me around again, cradling my weight as I landed face up on the ground again.
Then my fingers were at his button and the fly of his pants. He batted my hands away long enough to pull the fabric from my kicking legs. Then he pushed his own pants passed his waist, rocking back so that he could get them just beneath his knees.
He paused then, looking down at me with my knees locked against the outside of his thighs. I lay before him completely naked as the length of his erection jutted above me. I saw the moment he decided on delay with the predatory glint in his gaze.
“Colt, no…” I started but he caught my hands and forced them beneath my lower back. He reached up from beneath my legs and gripped the index finger of each of my hands so that the backs of them were pressed into my butt and my palms were on the floor. Then he grabbed behind one knee and shoved my leg into the air so that my body weight pinned my hands in place.
“Colt!” I whined even as the intention shone on his face. He shifted himself so that he was staring up at me from between my thighs then he lowered his mouth to me.
I nearly screamed again as his hot tongue delved into the slick V between my legs. My chest heaved, straining for the roof as his warm breath was replaced by his open lips. In long slow, torturous strokes he covered me, spurring the mounting wave that had clenched deep within. He would draw me near the edge by focusing on the tiny nerve center before dropping lower to push his tongue partway inside my body.
I rode the gathering tide, grinding shamelessly against his face.
“Enough!” I said after he withheld my climax again.
Colt’s teeth were flashing. He drew his arm across his mouth and released my hands. I didn’t reach for him but instead drove myself back beneath him so that our faces were level and my hips lay open before his. It looked like the thickness of his arousal was almost causing him physical pain, and his hissed through clenched teeth when I wrapped my fingers around him.
He cupped his palm around the base of neck and lowered me to the ground with him positioned above me, our foreheads touching.
“This is your only opportunity to say no,” he said with his jaw clenched. “I can’t hold back after…”
He trailed off and I could feel his brow furrowed where it rested against my own.
“Like hell,” I whispered.
With a rough exhale Colt drove himself between my legs and, slick as I was, he buried to the hilt. I yelled as the walls of my body clenched around him and with steady even strokes he pumped into me. The tension was building in my body again and this time I fought it down to draw it out.
Colt’s width stretched the boundary of my ability to take him and every thrust set the tip of his shaft against my cervix. A brief moment of pain vibrated through me each time only to be replaced a desperate emptiness that sent me driving up to meet his next movement.
He dropped his mouth to my breasts again and I dug my heels into his buttocks, slamming him against my rocking hips. With an arm beneath my shoulders he rocked back so that I was impaled on him upright with my toes just skimming the ground. One smooth movement brought him to his feet with me still wrapped around his waist, the contact unbroken.
I called out again as my own body weight forced his full length deep inside of me. In four easy steps we were in the hallway but he didn’t aim for the bedroom as I’d imagined. Instead, he pushed my back roughly into the wall and began driving into me again.
My breasts swayed in front of me and I staggered my feet against the opposite wall, bearing some of my weight so he could pull out farther before thrusting forward again. I could feel wetness on my thighs and every draw of Colt’s hips revealed his slicked erection, stopping just below the head.
I couldn’t hold back any longer. The upright position allowed the bone in his pelvis to make direct contact with my most sensitive part and I was stretched full. The earthquake built low in my abdomen and finally with another long thrust I splintered as the climax ripped through my body. The walls of my body convulsed around him as I threw my head back.
The sight tipped Colt over the edge and his fist landed hard above my head as he roared his release. His shaft pulsed, wringing the last ounce of pleasure from me as my legs dropped when I could no longer support myself.
He kept me suspended as the spasms subsided. Eventually, once we’d both caught our breath, he gripped below my thighs again and carried me into his bedroom.
It’s hard something to appreciate all of the minor details we experience on a daily basis and truly revel in the moment. There are times however, specific moments and occurrences that remain vividly in your memory and play over and over again throughout the following weeks. For me, riding bareback at a full gallop, diving naked into Mirror Lake, and sleeping with Colt would be some of them.
That boy loved like the world would come crashing to a halt if he didn’t; touched me as though he’d never felt skin before. Alter the desperate way we’d joined together, I lay draped over his chest while he traced infinity signs on my shoulders with his finger tips.
He didn’t fall immediately asleep like some do, but neither of us said anything either. Didn’t need to. I felt bound to him in that cliche way women seem to fall victim to, and I refused to spoil the illusion by saying anything. He just kept right on tracing, occasionally twisting his fingers in my hair as his heart beat finally lulled me to sleep.