Birthday Girl Ch. 3byFrederick Carol©
This is a work of fiction, written for enjoyment and amusement; hopefully yours as well as mine. Comment and constructive criticism welcome.
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The drive to Dawson on Monday went well and Mike and his father reached home just as night was falling. Mike tended to the horses as his father went indoors. The moon was near full and Mike stood for a while just enjoying the night. He turned and went indoors.
"Do you want to stay close to home tomorrow, son?" his father asked as he went in. Ma was setting the table for supper and Pa was at his ease in his big leather armchair.
"I'd like that, Pa. I like Miss Lisa and I'd like to be around when they arrive."
"The cattle on the top range need moving. I'll take Tom and Jack. You can bring up that bunch of horses we have in the river bottom corral. There are three or four of those that might suit your Miss Lisa."
"She's not my Miss Lisa, Pa. Not yet, anyhow."
"You'd like her to be?" His father's tone was affectionate, gently mocking.
"Yeah, Pa, I would."
"All right, son. You can dicker the price with Doctor Evans. Since you're sweet on the gal, I'll take ten dollars under my usual asking price. Just this once."
"Thanks, Pa. That'd be swell!"
"And if you want, show Lisa around the range. Your mother and I won't expect you until supper time if you do."
"Pa, that would be great. Pa?"
"I'll probably have to take Lisa back to Miz McLean's. If it's late I'll sleep in her barn and come straight to the top pastures in the morning."
"Yeah, son, that will be fine."
His father reached over and ruffled his son's hair. "I was your age once, believe it or not. I can still remember what it was like."
Next morning passed like the movement of cold molasses for Mike. He had fetched the horses by ten and had combed and curried the three he thought Lisa might like until they gleamed, then gone and washed himself. Again. Eventually, it was nearing noon and he looked out along the trail yet once more for the buggy he expected. A distant dot grew larger and he studied it carefully until he thought he recognised the pair of bays Doc Evans used on the buggy.
"Ma?" he called. "Company coming, I think."
His mother came out onto the porch beside him, followed by Katie. The three of them stood and watched until Mike was certain. "That's them, Ma."
"I'll pour some coffee," his mother said. "Bring the folks inside when they get here."
"Sure thing, Ma."
A few minutes later he was helping Lisa down from the buggy while Doctor Evans did the same for Louise. Katie came across and he introduced her to Evans and Lisa. The two girls studied each other for a moment, then Katie smiled and held out her arms to Lisa and hugged her.
"Mike said you were nice," she said. "He didn't say just how much. Come and meet my mother." She linked her arm with Lisa's and the two girls headed indoors.
"Shall we?" said Evans to Louise.
She curtsied slightly and led the way, followed by Mike and the doctor. Inside, Katie had just finished introducing Lisa to Mrs Delaney. She looked across as Louise came in and smiled. "Louise, my dear, it's so good to see you again."
"Ma," said Mike. "I'd like you to meet Doctor Evans. Doc, my mother, Kathleen Delaney."
"Your servant, ma'am."
"Welcome, sir. Please, sit down. Coffee's in the jug, help yourself to cream and sugar if you want. There will be something to eat in a half hour or so. If you want to see the horses first, fine, nothing will spoil."
"Please, Daddy, can we?"
"I'll show Lisa the horses, Doc, if you want to have your coffee in peace," said Mike.
"Go on then, Mike," said Louise, laughing, "leave us old folk in peace.
Lisa took his arm and Mike led her out to the corral.
"I don't know what you like in a horse, Lisa, but I picked out three that I think will suit you. The bay with the white sock, there, that calico dun and the sorrel mare. Beside the far fence."
"Are they saddle broke?" Lisa asked.
"All of the horses in this corral are used to a saddle. Pa broke most of them, including the bay. I broke the calico and the sorrel and about a half-dozen of the others."
"Can I try them before I decide."
"Sure. We've just about got time before Ma serves the grub. You can think about them over the meal. Which one first?" asked Mike, building a loop in his reata.
An hour later they were finishing the delicious meal that Kathleen Delaney had prepared.
"Picked your horse, sweetheart? Evans asked Lisa.
"I think so, Daddy. I tried five, but the one I like best is one Mike had picked out for me. I want to see if you pick it too."
"You mean I have to guess which one you want? All right, if that's the way of it." Evans was amused. He drained his coffee cup. "Mrs Delaney, that was delicious. Between you and Miz McLean, this territory has ruined me for going back east, the food back there is terrible compared to what we've eaten since we got here."
Kathleen Delaney laughed. "I doubt that, Doctor Evans. But go on with you, take Lisa out and buy her a horse. Louise and I will catch up with the gossip. Katie, are you going out or staying in? Make up your mind, girl, please."
"I'll go out to the corral, Ma, see if I can guess which horse Lisa has chosen."
Mike led the way, followed by Evans, Lisa and Katie. Behind them, Louise leaned towards Kathleen Delaney and began speaking quietly.
At the corral the little group paused. Mike had rigged a rope divider. On one side were the three horses he had originally chosen, plus two others, another bay, this one unmarked by white, and a little chestnut.
"Right, Daddy, which one?" asked Lisa, taking her father's arm.
Evans studied the horses carefully. He turned to Mike. "Can I see them moving?"
"Sure thing, Doc." Mike ducked under the corral rails and shook out his loop, neatly lassooing the nearest.
Twenty minutes later, Evans checked out the mouth of the last one and turned to Lisa. "If I was you, sweetheart, I'd pick that sorrel mare."
Lisa hugged her father. "That's the one I wanted, Daddy."
Evans turned to Mike. "Do I deal with you, Mike, or wait until your father gets in?"
"Pa left it up to me, Doc. Come on inside and we'll talk about it."
Thirty minutes later, Mike finished putting Louise's saddle, which Lisa had borrowed, onto the sorrel.
"Where can I get Lisa a good saddle of her own, Mike?" asked Evans.
"I was in Atwell's store about a week ago, Doc, and he had a nice saddle in, would suit Lisa fine, I think, if he still has it."
"The one with the silver decoration?" asked Katie.
Mike nodded. "That's the one."
"It was still there yesterday," said Katie.
"We'll have a look tomorrow, Lisa," said Evans.
"Thanks, Daddy." She pulled herself up into the sorrel's saddle.
Mike mounted Caesar and pulled up alongside her.
"Enjoy yourselves. Look after her, Mike." said Evans.
"My word on it, Doc. I'll have her home before dark, I promise."
Lisa glanced across at Louise, who unseen by the others gave her a significant look and a wicked grin. Lisa coloured slightly and smiled back.
"Is Lisa staying with you again tonight?" Mike asked Louise.
She shook her head. "No, she's going back to the hotel tonight. When Doctor Weiss leaves at the end of the week, Dafydd and Lisa will move in there."
"If I'm late getting Lisa home, can I sleep in your barn?" Or your bed, thought Mike.
"Of course. I'll look out for you," said Louise, smiling at him. She turned to Lisa. "Enjoy your ride, honey."
"Thanks, Louise, I'm sure I will."
Mike kicked Caesar gently into motion and led Lisa out of the yard and onto the open range. He turned to her. "Any place special you want to see?"
"On Sunday, at Louise's, you pointed up to the ridge. You said it was lovely up there. Can we go there? Is it too far?"
"We can go, sure, but I promised your Pa I'd have you home before dark. We can't go too far into the hills, not unless we camp out."
Lisa grinned at him. "Not this time, Mike, maybe another. Show me somewhere pretty."
"I know just the place." And the prettiest thing there will be you, he thought.
Mike gigged Caesar into a gentle lope and led Lisa on the road towards Louise's place. They rode in companionable silence for a while, side by side, letting the horses make the pace.
"Have you given the mare a name?" Mike asked Lisa suddenly.
"I thought, >Cleopatra'," said Lisa, grinning at him.
Mike laughed. "Caesar and Cleopatra. Quite a combination."
"I think so," said Lisa simply. She smiled at him. "I like you, Mike. Louise says she trusts you. She says I can trust you, too."
"That's mighty nice of Louise. I'm proud she thinks that way."
"She's very fond of you."
"Did she tell you that?"
"She did. Now, tell me about this place you're leading me. Is there anything special?"
"I guess not, at least if you think about it, kind of saying to yourself, >what is special about this place? Is it the trees? The rocks? The pool?' Well, by itself, there ain't anything special. It's the way it's put together."
Lisa was curious. Mike obviously liked the hill country, and she knew from Louise that the pool was nice. She decided to wait until she saw it for yourself. "I'll wait until I see it for myself, Mike. Now, how about you? Are you going to work with your father, or do you have plans for yourself?"
"I like working with horses, sure, but I want my own place. There's a little valley about thirty miles south, plenty of water and trees, plenty of grass. I've staked a claim and registered it and Pa's given me the money to start off, and my choice of the breeding stock. I'm going to build a cabin and move there next spring."
"I wish you well, Mike. I'd like to see it sometime."
"We have the branding to do soon, but by the end of September we'll be free for a while. How about then? It'll mean staying out overnight and camping."
"Sounds like fun. Do we go much further today? I'd forgotten how hard a saddle could be!"
"See the notch? It's about a mile from there. We'll be there in a half hour."
"Lead on, Michael Delaney. Sooner we get there, the sooner I can get out of this saddle."
When they reached the clearing and pool where Mike and Louise had swum, he reined Caesar to a halt. He gestured to Lisa. "There it is. Like it?"
Lisa looked around, smiling. A rocky bowl reflected the sun into the basin. Oak and cedar lined the hillside, grass, rich and long, lined the bowl. The pool was oval, fed by a spring on the hillside, dammed by a spur of rock, spilling over into a miniature waterfall. The overspill fed a series of small pools before finally making its way out of the basin and tinkling its way down the valley. A small bench, ringed by rocks, made a natural camp area, close enough to the water for convenience, far enough away not to prevent the birds and animals from drinking. She turned to Mike.
"It's beautiful. Can we go down?"
"Sure. This way." He led the way through the rocks and trees and down into the hollow. He reined Caesar to a halt and stepped down, then turned to help Lisa. She staggered slightly as Cleopatra moved nervously, stumbling. Mike caught her arm and she swung towards him. Automatically, his arms went around her to steady her. Her face was close to his, her eyes wide. They stood motionless for a second, then Mike bent his head slowly towards her, giving her time to break away if she so wished. A smile came into her eyes and her arms went around his neck. Their lips met in their second kiss.
Lisa's lips were warm and soft, slightly salty. The kiss was gentle at first, exploring new sensations for each of them, gradually building. Lisa's lips parted and Mike let his tongue trace the outline of her mouth. Her own tongue joined his, questing, exploring, dancing with quick darts and swirls. Lisa's arms tightened around Mike's neck and she pressed against him. She felt his hardness rising against her and, suddenly nervous, broke away, breathing deeply. She gestured to the horses, Cleopatra's reins still in her hand.
"Can we picket them, Mike, please?"
"Sure thing, Lisa. Here, let me do it." He breathed deeply, willing his erection to subside. God, he wanted her! "Go and sit over there. The trees shade you from the sun there." He pointed and Lisa smiled at him before going where he indicated and sitting down on the grass, leaning against a twisted oak.
Mike loosened the cinches of the two horses, let them drink from the lower pool then picketed them on the rich grass of the lower basin. He went over and sat down beside Lisa. She reached out her hand and took his.
"Sorry, Mike. I guess I got scared."
"Scared? Of me?" Mike's voice was gentle.
"No, Mike. Me." Lisa smiled nervously, a flicker of her tongue over suddenly dry lips.
"Sit up a litle, let me sit against the tree, then you can lean on me," said Mike. "You'll be more comfortable that way."
"That's very gallant of you, Mike. Thank you," said Lisa simply. She eased herself away from the tree so that Mike could sit, then leaned back against him. She was sitting at an angle to Mike, so that as he sat against the tree, his legs straight out in front of him, Lisa's bottom was against his hip, her right shoulder against his chest. He put his left arm around her shoulders to steady her. She looked sideways and up at him, and smiled.
"That's nice, Mike."
He gazed steadily at her and her smile slowly faded. He bent gently forward, giving her every chance to protest, but as his lips got closer to hers she raised her face to his and closed her eyes. The kiss was gentle, exploring, both of them enjoying the sensation. Lisa's tongue came out cautiously, questing. Mike sucked gently on it, then let his own tongue play with Lisa's, swirling, licking her lips, pushing forward and darting back.
Lisa gently broke the kiss. "That's nice, Mike, I like kissing you." She brought her lips back to his. There was more heat in the kiss now, urgency, a fire building in both of them. Mike gently brought his right hand up from where it had rested against Lisa's hip and stroked her cheek, a featherlight touch of fingertips. His fingers danced against her throat, caressing, stroking, then moved down, almost of their own volition, moving lightly over the stuff of her shirt where it covered her breasts, gently cupping, moulding, her left breast.
Lisa moaned deep in her throat and pressed his hand against her. Mike could feel her nipple growing hard beneath his fingers. Her right hand moved from his cheek and covered his on her breast, pressing it against herself, before gently disengaging his touch. A protest died unborn in his throat as she took his hand and slid it inside her now unbuttoned shirt, to touch her breast, feel its heat, caress the hard button of her nipple. She gasped as she felt his fingers caress the bud, her mouth moving frantically on his. He pulled her closer and let his left hand seek its way down from her shoulder to her breast, his other hand moving to complete the cupping of her beauty.
Impatiently, Lisa tugged the tails of her shirt free from the waistband of her skirt, breaking the kiss.
"Kiss them, Mike," she whispered. "Be gentle."
He lowered his head and took her nipple into his mouth, sucking gently, nibbling her with his lips. She gasped with pleasure and held his head to her bosom. "Oh, Mike! Oh, goodness! Oh, my god!" She moaned. "It feels wonderful!"
Mike gently slid his hand down her leg and pulled gently at her skirt. Her hand stopped him. Reluctantly they broke their kiss.
"No, Mike, I'm sorry. Not here, not now." She smiled ruefully, making no attempt to cover herself. Her breast were lovely, firm, high, rounded. Smaller than Louise's, he thought, but just as lovely.
Mike took a deep breath. "Sorry, Lisa, I thought perhaps you wanted me."
"Mike?" Her voice caught and she swallowed.
"Mike, I do want you." Her voice was a whisper and she avoided his eyes. She turned and looked him in the eye, bright spots of red on her cheeks. "Mike, do you get horny?"
Mike flushed in his turn, but nodded. "Yeah, all the time."
"So do I," said Lisa. "Mike, I'm still virgin, and I want to know what it's like to make love, properly I mean, to have a man's pecker inside me. I asked Louise about it. She said you were honest and trustworthy and if anyone could help me, you could." Lisa smiled at him suddenly, a mischievous look. "She told me about you two, so you come highly recommended."
Mike flushed again, then grinned ruefully. "I won't try to deny it, if Louise already told you." He looked Lisa in the eye. "Let me get this straight. You want me to fuck you?"
Lisa winced. "Put like that, it sounds so cold-blooded, but yes, Mike, I do, I want you to make love to me."
"Well, why did you stop me?"
Lisa smiled ruefully. "Because it's the wrong time of the month for me. I like you, Mike, very much, so when the time comes, and we're both in the mood, I want it to happen."
"Lisa," said Mike, taking her hand in both of his. "I want it to happen, too, so very much! Thank you for your trust, I'll try very hard to be worthy of it." He laughed suddenly. "Goodness sakes, that sounded pompous, didn't it?"
Lisa giggled. "Just a little." She squeezed his hand. "I think my drawers will be permanently wet for the next few days."
"My pecker will be hard, that's for sure." He reached out his arm and put it around her shoulders, drawing her gently to him. He kissed her ear. "In the meantime, Miss Evans, can we continue our kissing?"
"We certainly can, Mr Delaney, we certainly can. Now shut up and kiss my tits!"
An hour later they were on their way to town. Lisa had proved enthusiastic in her attitude towards kissing, delighting in the feel of his lips anywhere above her waist, her shirt discarded in the grass. By tacit agreement, they had avoided any other contact, neither of them wishing to spoil the moment for the other.
"Mike?" said Lisa as they moved onto a wider part of the trail, moving Cleopatra beside Caesar.
"It's my birthday on Sunday. I guess Daddy will want me to dine with him, but I want you there as well. And Louise. I want to see her and Daddy get on well together, too."
"Yeah. Louise has been lonely since Tom died."
"She told me she wants Daddy in her bed."
Mike laughed. "She told me, too!" He reached across and took Lisa's hand, squeezing her fingers gently. "If I came for you early on Sunday morning, could you get away for the day, if I have you back by late afternoon?"
Lisa grinned at him. "You wouldn't have anything special in mind now, would you Mr Delaney?"
"Whatever gives you that idea, Miss Evans?"
"Something you said earlier. I could make us a picnic and we could have a swim in the pool. I wanted to today, you know."
"Me too. A picnic would be great. Just the two of us?"
"With what we have planned, I think we ought to come by ourselves, don't you?"
Mike laughed. "I certainly do!"
The sun had just dipped below the horizon when Mike escorted Lisa to the hotel, her mare safely unsaddled and cosy in a stall at the livery stable.
"Do you want to come in for a while, Mike?"
"I'd better not, I'll have to sleep in Louise's barn as it is. I won't have time to get home before it's dark, and the trail over the ridge is too dangerous at night. Anyhow, I told Pa I'd meet him on the top pasture tomorrow morning, and Louise's place is nearer."
"Well, kiss me goodnight, then," said Lisa, moving into his arms. The kiss was warm, a promise. Lisa leaned back in the circle of his arms and gazed gravely at him. "Mike, don't sleep in Louise's barn, sleep in her bed. It will do you both good." Without another word she turned and went into the hotel, leaving Mike gazing dumbfounded after her.