Chosen Mate Ch. 03byHarryHill©
Woods, Hill, River
Harry opened his eyes, puzzled by the weight on his chest. He raised his head to find Sandra resting on him, using him like a pillow clasped in repose; her arms were wrapped around his chest; her head nuzzled under his chin beard. She looked like a cat comfortably resting on a seat cushion. Her face held the glow of the morning sun in her contented smile. His head fell back on his pillow; eyes regarded the ceiling. A grin split his face as remembered images and sensations raced through his mind and body.
Shit, his mind breathed in awe... No lie answered his well-used body. He twisted his head on the pillow to look up at the time projected on the ceiling by his clock radio...6:30. It seemed there was no escape for him, trapped as he was by her. And he was trapped, both literally and figuratively. Yep, she had him, by the gonads. He sighed in contentment, happily contemplating his captivity, gently stroking her hair as one would a pampered pet.
He had missed the intimacy that comes with sleeping with someone. The shower they took somewhere around 1:00 A.M. came steaming up in remembered images of hot water, soap, and slippery bodies, cavorting under the forceful spray of water; but that had been a different kind of intimacy; twinkling dreaming eyes and wistful smiling lips drifted into sweet sleep.
Thirty minutes later the alarm blared country rock, eyes opened fully, roundly. He raised his head then let it fall again as if it weighed too much to support. Rolling to hands and knees, he crawled across the big bed, and beat the radio into submission.
Sandra was gone. Rising from the bed, he walked jauntily to the bathroom. She had been here. There was still condensation on the mirror from her shower. He wiped the glass and brushed his unruly hair and beard, then sat on the toilet for a moment. He took his own shower while inhaling the scent of strawberries infused in the shampoo she used. He breathed deep, savoring the aroma of her. Stepping reluctantly from the soothing heat and scent of the shower, he wrapped a towel around his waist, brushed his teeth, and stared in the mirror. Oldman was strangely absent; no wise-ass remarks intruded. The quiet was nice.
"Thank you for that sweet respite." Harry said to the mirror. He was left alone with himself for the moment. Returning to the bedroom, he dressed and packed a bag for the day.
Sandra looked up from the iron skillet, scooping the last of the fried eggs up and placing them on a platter with the rest of the eggs and crispy bacon. There was Harry, stepping down into the kitchen. She froze in awed surprise; this was a completely different person. He was dressed for the fields, the woods, and the forest, from head to foot.
A leather hat, resembling a wide headband with a top sewed on, had long laces hanging down in the back; it was placed squarely on his long hair. A tight buckskin shirt and comfortable looking pants that were tucked in soft boots covered his body. A large cylindrical bag was in his hand; pouches were tied to it from laces incorporated in its design. All were heavily fringed. He held his crossbow with his other hand, the quiver over a shoulder. Warrior, she thought again.
"Your skillet is smoking." He observed, halted by the sight of her intense inspection. She removed it quickly, placing it on the wooden chopping block beside the stove, then turned back to stare.
"I want that bag." She said, eyes boring into his.
"The oven is smoking too." He added, a wry grin twisting his lips.
"My biscuits!" she squealed, grasping a hot pad quickly and pulling a pan from the oven. His mother laughed from the chair by the windows. Harry stepped off the stairs, and dropping the bag, crossbow, and quiver, on the couch, inquired.
"Are you enjoying yourself mom?" Maddie smiled devilishly, nodding her head, while placing her book on the arm of the chair. Harry deposited a kiss on her hair, as she answered delightedly.
"Why yes, and you?" He walked away, muttering to himself quietly, moving faster when Sandra gave first call to the table.
"Let's eat while it's hot." Sandra called cheerily as she leaned over the counter between them. Platters of eggs and bacon, dishes of fresh sliced ripe tomato, and jellies and jams that Maddie had made were placed on the table. Harry sat across from his mom, removing his hat, and began filling his plate. In fifteen minutes he was wiping it clean and draining his second cup of strong coffee. The women were a little slower; they were doing more talking than eating. He left his dirty dishes and went to greet the day.
Carrying bag and bow, he went outside and placed them behind the seat to the truck. He checked the fluids and tires, waving to Maddie as she drove away to her women's club meeting. Returning to the kitchen, he stood behind Sandra as she washed dishes, running his hands over her body possessively.
"I'll make some lunch while you finish here. Breakfast was good, thank you." He whispered in her ear, hands on breast and waist, moving softly, sensually still exploring the curves that he never tired of touching. She moved under his hands and continued washing, rinsing, and racking the dishes. Small clatters of plate and cutlery were the only sound in the room. Harry released her reluctantly and began making a picnic of sandwiches, chips, and well iced jugs of sweet tea. Jelly biscuits left over from breakfast would serve as desert or a quick snack they could enjoy later in the day. She drained the sink, wiped the counters, appliances, and stove clean. They completed their tasks rapidly without speaking, each well aware of the others movements and actions.
"Are you ready to roll Miss Sandra?" Harry questioned, glancing about the room raptor-like, adding teasingly. "It's time to go play in the dirt." He looked to her feet. Yes, she had on lower calf-length buckskin boots; her pants were tucked in snugly. An energetic smile lit her lips as she too surveyed the room. Harry eyes came to rest on her face.
He saw his reflection mirrored in her wolfish eyes. Harry quivered, feeling like he was prey; the question was supper or dessert. Tossing the dishcloth on the faucet, she pulled a denim jacket from the back of her chair and moved silently in her boots to the door. Harry followed.
"Yes sir, let's get dirty. Miss Sandra is it? Did your manners retrograde with your apparel?" It was actually kind of sweet, she thought. There was no babe, baby, or honey that had been so common in other relationships she had been instructed in by Silas. There was nothing like a man that truly appreciated a woman and showed her a respect uncommon in others. Extraordinary respect, although he treated her like a slut in the bedroom; but that was fine, she treated him the same there too.
Sandra saw Max as they stepped out the door; he was lying in a flowerbed with the big yellow Tom between his legs, snuffling in his fur with clicking teeth. At first Sandra thought the cat was being mauled; it turned its head upside down from its pampered position in the big dogs grasp to look at them curiously if somewhat comically.
The dog saw them also, scrambling to his feet; the cat was instantly moving in a yellow blur to avoid the big feet. Max greeted them with his usual puppy like excitement as they walked to the truck. Sandra and Max bounded around each other trading body checks on leg and shoulder. Max knocked her down and then leapt to avoid her lunging grasp. Harry, shaking his head in patient disbelief, reached down and pulled her erect while fending off the dog with playful slaps. They staggered to the truck, pursued and harassed the entire way.
Before climbing into the cab, Harry secured a cooler in the truck bed, and then stashed the lunch bag behind the seat. He started the truck, letting the engine warm up while Max ran in circles around it, chasing cats that dared to wander too close. Harry glanced questionly at Sandra, buckled in by the passenger's window, instead of her usual mid seat position. Catching his glance and the unspoken question in it, she explained.
"In case it gets rough, I can hold on to the window. If it gets real rough I can hold on to you." She said falling across the seat to hold his leg while burrowing her face in his lap. He laughed, reaching down to fist his hand in her hair. He released her quickly; she rose, laughing also. Their lips met in the center of the seat, sharing the first kiss of the day deeply and passionately.
"I loved what you did with my earrings last night." She breathed in his mouth. "I love what you did after. I mean that was so... so..." He struggled to find an adjective for the incredibly erotic act she had performed and failed. His eyes conveyed his appreciation better than words. Her lidded eyes examined him with contemplation.
"We are never going to make it out of the yard like this. Better start driving or stripping." She replied in a husky voice, fiery points of lustful flames flickering from the frosty depth of her eyes.
"Dirt, dirt, dirt..." Harry chanted loudly as he slipped the truck in gear; Sandra joined the battle cry. They sped down the drive, chased by the rapidly moving dog. Stopping halfway down the hill, Harry got out of the truck, locked the front wheels into four wheel drive, and opened a gate; then, with a grin at Sandra, put the transfer case in four wheel drive and shifted into first gear while watching her.
Sandra raised an eyebrow. He waggled his up and down in answer then took off around the field of sunflowers, inspecting their maturity. They were getting very ripe.
"They are so beautiful." Sandra shouted over the sound of the engine, leaning with a hand on his shoulder and looking out the window to better view the plants and the yellow Finches feeding on them; the birds looked like flying flowers as they moved about the field.
"They will be ready to harvest soon too. I just hope the birds leave some," He stated, stopping to cut a large blossom and place it in her hands. She inspected the heavy, seed filled bloom; it was near as big as a dinner plate. She worried a seed loose, cracking it open with her teeth, and then chewing the sweet meat inside. The truck raced on, slowing rapidly at the end of the field.
"Hold on," Harry shouted, easing the front wheels into a ditch running alongside the field. He looked at her to see that she was braced, with one hand on the open window and the other pressed into the seat beside her. The sunflower lay in her lap. He drove the truck forward, gassing it as the front wheels neared the opposite lip of the ditch.
The effect was impressive; leaping cleanly over the ditch with a mighty roar of its engine, the truck landed, bouncing; the sunflower flew in the air, passing Sandra's amazed eyes and falling again to crash to the floor, scattering seeds in all directions. Rooster tails of dirt spewed clouds of dust into the air as Harry spun the truck in a circle, heading once more for the ditch. Sandra clung to the window, feet braced on the engine wall; her eyes round with alarm.
They passed through clouds of thick swirling dust. The truck jumped higher this time. Harry sped back down his tracks, slowing to turn between a blackberry-covered fence and the bank of a small pond. He floored it again coming out of the curve; the truck slewed site to side as it gained speed. Ahead, Sandra saw that the fence was ending; her mouth opened but her brain never sent a signal to her vocal cords. Harry braked hard, slamming into a skid, and then jerked the wheel to the left, sliding sideway, and accelerating rapidly to approach a hump revealed in the maneuver. He released the gas before hitting it.
The truck sailed. Sandra thought briefly that it would take flight, but then the earth again exerted a gravitational force and it descended. The smooth transit ended. Harry hammered the gas as the truck struck the ground. They were off again, this time roaring down the rapidly disappearing field toward a wall of foliage.
Harry decelerated steadily as they neared the woods; turning around a tree, they drove up a trail, climbing through a rock and bush covered slope, zigging and zagging between tall trees that umbrellaed the hillside.
Max galloped through the underbrush beside them, causing birds to fly alarmed in every direction. They passed several branches of the trail as they ascended and came finally to a stop in a cleared out corner; it was dominated by a column of limestone blocks that anchored horizontal and vertical fences.
Harry scrambled out of the truck and began untying laces at his waistband. Sandra slid across the seat to sit, chin on arm on knee, and watch as he opened the clever flap and voided alongside the large dust covered wheel. Ignoring her scrutiny, he shook, tucked, and tied himself up securely. He met her amused eyes with his own.
"Shake your head Sandra." He commanded, then laughed as a small dust cloud enveloped her head whipped hair. She cursed in unheard words, then bent and winnowed more dust from her tangled hair. She watched him while taking off her jacket and shaking it; he was removing his shirt, revealing a sleeve-less suede T-shirt with the same logo that was branded on her purse and boots.
It moved like cloth on his body as he reached behind the seat to pull a hand towel and washcloth from the bag packed earlier. He tossed the hand towel over his shoulder, tossed her purse at her, and then stuffed the washcloth in his waistband. He took her by the hand and led her toward the limestone column. The ground rose then dipped, revealing a circular stone walled shaft with steps leading downward.
They descended; the air became cool and moist as the shaft opened on a small cavern not far below the ground. The floor was a solid sheet of stone; a trickle of water ran out of the wall to run into a basin chiseled into the living stone below. Scooping the surface clean, Harry filled cupped hands with cold water and raised them to Sandra's lips. Holding his hands in hers, kissing them, she drank, after raising his hands slightly and bowing her head almost imperceptibly. The water was cold, sweet, delicious, and refreshing.
Removing the washcloth from his belt and soaking it in the rippling pool, then wringing it out, he tenderly wiped the dust from her face. Leaving the cloth in her hand, he turned her and pointed to a mirror hanging from a projecting stone behind her. She became busy, digging in her purse.
Kneeling on the floor, he removed a candle from a crevice, and flint, steel, and tinder from a small pouch, then, striking a bright spark, igniting the tinder which burned long enough to light the candle. He moved to a rock shelf, protruding bench-like from the wall beside the basin and sat, placing the candle beside him and removing his hat. He leaned back on the cool rock to watch Sandra brushing, wiping, and primping in the flickering light reflected in the mirror. Harry breathed in the chill, wet air in appreciation, and then spoke.
"I found this place a year ago. It was just a small hole that I never thought much about before, but in wet weather I could hear water running. I began to think that there might be a spring somewhere below. I began digging a little now and then when I passed by, playing in the dirt or checking fences. I was pretty well blown away when I found the stones circling the hole; then when I found the first step..."
He became silent, eyes far away, while thinking of the discovery. Sandra moved to him wiping his dusty face with the washcloth and combing his hair and beard with her fingers. He tilted his head, peering into her face lit warmly in the glow from the candlelight, then continued.
"It took a month to clear the shaft; I worked on it every day too. I hauled dirt out by the bucketful. The cavern took longer. Come look at this." He stood with the candle in his hand and moved to the back of the cave, hunkering down where water from the basin flowed down through loose rock, he pointed. The edge of a step cut into the floor appeared in the glow of the candle.
"How far down do you think it goes?" She asked, kneeling and inspecting the floor and then the ceiling of the cave. It appeared to have been filled deliberately rather than by falls from above.
"There's no way to guess. Grab your stuff. There's more I want to show you." Extinguishing the candle and collecting their possessions on the way, they climbed out of the cavern.
Emerging into the daylight once more, she followed him to a wall of brush. He pulled some branches aside to allow her to view partially excavated low walls of stone. She stared in wonder for a moment, and then turned to look at him with questions whirling through her brain; there were too many to begin asking. She became still, forgetting the stones mystery as a sentry's thought interrupted from his post in Backwater.
--Intruder, the Fay thought came. There is a Black One in Backwater.
"Let's drive a little further." Harry said, releasing the branches. She remained staring at his face.
"Hey!" he said forcefully, interrupting her thoughts, taking her head in his hands and tilting her face to his, kissing her with fire and need. She was like well laid hearth. The struck match of his kiss ignited her. She returned the kiss with fire of her own. He picked her up and moving to the trucks still open door, placed her on the seat, following her in. The kiss was unbroken for several minutes that somehow seemed to encompass a lifetime. He broke the kiss when he felt her fingers fluttering at his flap. He started the engine, handed her denim across the seat and began pulling his shirt back on. She frowned.
Her disgruntled expression disappeared with merry laughter when his head and hat became entangled in the opening of the shirt that was too small to accommodate them both. She helped him get free once more, then arranging his wild hair and placing the hat on his head, donned her jacket and sounded their battle cry.
"Dirt, dirt, dirt..." Max's barks from the underbrush seemed to echo the call for action. Harry engaged the clutch, shifting into gear, and eased them once again down the wooded trails. She scrambled into her seat belt, also fastening his forgotten one for him.
"Thanks now pay attention if you ever want to drive here. You can get hurt or damage your vehicle if you move too fast." She watched intently as he bumped and bounced between trees, boulders, and shrubs. The trails led in all directions now, broken only by the obstacles provided by nature. He shouted over the noise of the engine as they slewed around a pile of stone to face a long stretch of straight trail, but did not accelerate. "Now look ahead. What do you see? Look on the left there." She peered ahead intently and answered.
"There's a cairn of stone, painted yellow." They were approaching it rather rapidly. "And yellow means what?" He called back.
"Caution!" She exclaimed loudly. They rolled nearly to a stop at the edge of a large deep gully that crossed the trail. Harry let the truck drop over the edge, pulled down by its own weight; he accelerated gently, as they passed the smooth bottom of the gully to travel up as fast as they had traveled down. The effect was like a roller-coaster; she floated weightlessly at the far side; the truck hung motionlessly for a beat in time, and then began to drop once more into another gully.
"Look!" Harry bellowed." She swept her head to and fro, searching for the object of his emphatic voice, at last spotting it on the tree covered far bank; there were two cairns, one red one yellow. Stop, and then proceed with caution? She asked herself. The gully sloped off; Harry turned with it, again thundering along. The cab was below the gully lips as the truck raced up the foliage-topped tunnel.