The Manor House Ch. 04byvelvetpie©
The days passed slowly.
While her bones knitted, Shandi had plenty of time to think and Rob took it upon herself to fill Shandi's time with knowledge. Every morning, with the arrival of half-coddled eggs and tepid coffee, Rob strode into the room, flung the heavy drapes open and let the healing sunlight cascade into the room. She'd give Shandi a quick kiss on the forehead and settle into the chair, opening the morning paper and would proceed to read to her.
At first, Shandi didn't know what to make of the woman. That first morning, she noticed that Rob was around the same age as she was and that she was a beautiful woman. She had long dark, brown hair and green eyes, so striking that she reminded her of the exotic woman that had once graced a famous National Geographic cover. She wasn't tall but she had enough height to make the rest of her bodily features look long and graceful and complained in mutters from time to time that her feet were too small.
What Rob noticed about Shandi is that she was probably the most beautiful black woman that she'd ever seen. Under the layers of bruised flesh and broken bone lay a girl, a sweet girl who tried with every fiber in her being to cling to the notion of innocence. She was a smart woman; she had visited a gallery just last weekend where her paintings had been on display and she had fallen in love with one of them in particular.
The setting was dusk and a smattering of stars peaked through the haze of approaching thunderclouds, joining the moon in directing beams of heavenly light on a farmer and the horse he was returning to the barn. It wasn't just the twilight of the scene that caught Rob's attention, it was the look on the farmer's face, a look that was filled with serenity and perhaps a touch of gratefulness to be able to look upon the beauty of the heavens even though he was tired from working the land.
Shandi had captured it so perfectly that Rob had returned several times and each time had been moved to tears. She had wanted to buy the piece but was told that it was not for sale; that the artist had only loaned it to the gallery to show along with the other pieces that were available for purchase. Because of the painting, she felt such a profound connection with Shandi that she found herself unable to leave the room at times. She stood at the side of the bed, looking down at the sleeping woman, reaching out to touch her cheek with tender fingertips.
Once, Shandi had awoken to the gentle touch and wondered what was going on but an orderly strode in with lunch, breaking their stare and she moved away, taking up her usual seat and beginning the next chapter of 'Sense and Sensibility'. Finally, thirteen days later, the doctor said that she could leave and Rob was right there, a big smile on her face.
"Have you made up your mind?"
Shandi finished the last of her deep breathing exercises, happy to feel that the cracked ribs were no longer giving her a reason to gasp in pain. "Made up my mind about what?"
"About staying with me."
"Rob, I ... I don't want to impose on you."
"You won't be." She fished a brochure out of her pocket and laid it on Shandi's lap. The glossy paper showed a place called Manor House, a residential home for battered women. It was located on ten acres of property and boasted a manmade lake, complete security and a gun range. Along with those amenities, Manor House also had individual and group therapy sessions, mud baths and massage therapy. Tutors visited twice a week to aid those who were interested in pursuing their GEDs and a separate tutor stopped by for ESL lessons.
"It's my place. I thought you might like to come and stay awhile."
"A home for battered women?"
"It's not just that." Rob grinned, having heard this from several women before Shandi and took a seat. "It's my home and my life's work. I think it'll be a great place for you to finish your recuperation and you can do me a favor by helping me out."
"How would I be helping you out?"
"By talking to the other women. By letting them see that things that happen to them are also shared by people that are wealthy."
"Robina ... "
"I told you not to call me that."
Shandi gasped when Rob leaned over her, her luscious strawberry red lips hovering just inches from her own. She didn't know why but Rob's proximity excited her. A sharp bolt of adrenalin tightened her stomach and a strange warmth flooded her pussy. "I-I'm sorry."
"Count yourself lucky." Rob nearly closed her eyes as she inhaled Shandi's singular scent, combined with the usual medicinal smells. "But I owe you a spanking."
For some odd reason, those words sent a thrill through Shandi and she shivered as her nipples hardened. "Wait till I'm fully healed and you'll have a fight on your hands."
Rob smiled, forcing herself to stand up. Shandi was still healing both physically and emotionally. It wouldn't do either of them good to throw sex into the mix just now. "I'll take you up on it." The woman offered her a rare smile and Rob returned the smile. "So, are you coming or what?"