tagRomanceDifficult to Reach Ch. 12

Difficult to Reach Ch. 12

bySarahFennel©

Fen woke several times during the night, each time very aware of the proximity of Daniel's long, hard, powerful body beside hers. But it was a comforting feeling. She felt at great peace. Safe. As dawn broke, Fen slowly woke to find Daniel beside her, his eyes crinkling gently at the corners.

'Morning, you,' said Daniel.

'Morning, you too,' replied Fen.

'I don't think I've slept so well in... actually, I don't remember the last time I slept so well. Thank you.'

'You're welcome,' murmured Fen, unconsciously caressing his firm chest. 'I aim to please.'

'Now, that's not very fair, is it?' asked Daniel, looking uncomfortable.

'What?' teased Fen, secretly delighted about her apparent control over him.

'I did give you my word last night and I don't intend to break it,' said Daniel seriously. Fen cast a coquettish look at Daniel and continued to move her hand.

'Unless you want me to break my word, that is?' mocked Daniel in the sexiest, most suggestive voice Fen had ever heard. 'Do you? Because who knows where that might lead? I can scarcely dare to imagine.' His words immediately had the effect he'd anticipated; with a flushed face, Fen quickly withdrew her hand. Daniel laughed.

'Come on, trouble! Get up!'

*********************

After they had seen to the sheep, cattle and hens, and also managed to eat some breakfast themselves, Fen and Daniel set out in the tractor to check how Olly was getting on with Snowflake. Like the true farm dog he had morphed into, Merlin trotted along happily behind the tractor. There hadn't been any further snowfall overnight, but the route remained treacherous, even in a tractor. As they drove past Madeline's house, they noticed multiple tracks of footsteps leading up to her front door and the upstairs curtains closed, which seemed strange, given that Madeline was staying at Daniel's house.

'Looks like Madeline's had a shindig that we weren't invited to,' observed Fen wryly.

'Brilliant word,' chuckled Daniel.

'Shindig?' queried Fen.

'Yeah,' agreed Daniel. 'Some words are just delightful, don't you think?'

'My favourite word of all time word has to be one I learnt at school; Onomatopoeia,' explained Fen, joining in as Daniel laughed. 'How about you?'

'My favourite word? Hmmm. No-one's ever asked me that before. Let me have a ponder,' he said as they pulled up outside Fen and Mary's cottages and had a quick look around to ensure no pipes had burst in their absence. Fen was pleased to find everything just as she had left it, albeit very cold compared with Daniel's wonderfully comfortable farmhouse. As they climbed back into the warm cab, Daniel cleared his throat importantly.

'Right, I think I've come up with my top five words.'

'Let's have them, then,' grinned Fen. 'No more pontificating.'

'In no particular order. Mellifluous, ethereal, palindromic, serendipity and petrichor,' murmured Daniel, seemingly enjoying the sound of each word rolling off his tongue, as he spoke in his strong, rumbling voice.

'What on earth does petrichor mean?' asked Fen as they pulled up in the Harris-Jones's driveway.

'It's that amazing smell which accompanies the first rainfall, after a long spell of dry weather,' smiled Daniel, turning to look at Fen. Once again, she found herself mesmerised by his piercing blue eyes that seemed to gaze hungrily into hers. Fen could feel a flush working its way across her neck and chest. Daniel didn't seem to be immune either; Fen was sure his breathing had become more laboured. Time seemed to stand still for them, until Fen heard someone approaching through the snow and the moment was broken.

'Fen, it's lovely to see you, how are you?' asked Charlie as she opened the tractor cab door for her. 'Let me help you down.'

'Um,' stuttered Fen, more than a little confused, as she stepped down to the floor. Had they been gazing at each other for so long that they had been transported into a parallel universe? Fen noticed that Charlie was smiling welcomingly at her, so was tempted to plump for the parallel universe option.

'I just want to sincerely apologise for my previous behaviour,' said Charlie sincerely, bowing her head slightly. 'And I hope we can be friends?'

'Um, of course,' replied a wrong-footed Fen.

'I'll hopefully catch up with you later? Oh, hi Daniel,' Charlie added as an afterthought as, with blond hair flying out behind her, she raced back into the yard.

'What on earth was that about?' asked an astonished Daniel.

'Search me.'

'But what did she have to apologise for?' he asked.

'Oh, several things probably. For lying about her relationship with you, I guess. And also for calling me a Pikey.' Daniel roared with laughter. 'Twice,' added Fen, as an afterthought. 'How is that funny? You're not supposed to laugh!' exclaimed an exasperated Fen, shoving Daniel with her elbow.

*********************

Fen was delighted to observe Snowflake looking a much perkier version of himself than he had been a couple of days previously. He remained in his sling but Olly seemed confident that within a week, they could try to gently walk him around his stable, or the yard, if the snow had cleared by then. Fen had smuggled a few carrots out of Daniel's kitchen and slowly approached Snowflake, hand outstretched. Fen smiled as hot, warm breath snorted out of Snowflake's nostrils and his hairy lips wrapped gently around the offering, clearly extremely appreciative of the treat. As Fen quietly left the stable, she noticed Sally, who raced over and hugged her tightly.

'It's so good to see you!' she cried. 'How have you been?'

'Great,' grinned Fen, aware of Daniel laughing across the other side of the yard. The boys were all in a huddle, no doubt discussing all things farming. Charlie, unusually, was standing in the corner, keeping a very low profile. Upon hearing Daniel's laugh, Sally raised her eyebrows and looked questioningly at Fen.

'Come in for a drink?' offered Sally. 'Boys!' she shouted. 'Come and join us for a drink when you're ready.'

'Hi Fen, Sally,' shouted Peter, dragging two wheelie bins behind the stables along a cleared path, their wheels ineffective against the depth of snow. The girls waved back, smiling.

'What's Peter up to?' asked Fen. 'I can't see us getting our rubbish collected.' Sally giggled.

'No, we're definitely not expecting the dustmen. Peter's burning whatever rubbish he can to get rid of it. Our bins are full and we've run out of space. I expect Daniel will be doing something similar. There's quite enough excitement going on around here at the moment, without kicking off a rat infestation or an outbreak of the bubonic plague.'

*********************

As Fen entered Sally and Tim's house, she was immediately aware of its tiny proportions. The two girls squeezed past the assortment of jackets that lined the hallway and various pairs of boots and shoes that provided a trip hazard for any unsuspecting visitors. Fen glanced at the staircase which ran alongside the hall, noticing various piles of clean washing, on almost every step.

'Come on, Merlin. There's a good boy. You must come in too!' said Sally to Merlin who was loitering cautiously on the threshold. 'Can you give the front door a good, hard shove please?' called back Sally as she reached the kitchen.

There was barely any more room in the kitchen. A mass of mismatched furniture filled the space. In the centre of the room was a small kitchen table, piled high with random Christmas decorations, receipts, candles, half-opened letters, magazines and cooling fairy cakes that were responsible for a deliciously warm and tempting baking smell pervading the air. Overall, the feeling Fen got from the house was a tiny, untidy, friendly and relaxed home.

Sitting down at the kitchen table, Fen decided that the reason it felt so cluttered was due to the miniscule dimensions of the property. She was surprised one person could live here, yet alone a couple. Fen pointed to the mass of half-burned candles.

'Been having a séance?' enquired Fen cheekily. Sally chuckled.

'No. The generator keeps packing up, so we have those as a backup for when we are unexpectedly plunged into darkness.'

'Oh no!' sympathised Fen.

'Yeah, it's a bit of a pain. I keep imagining it's Belinda flicking the switch off to save ramping up their bills, once Peter's gone to bed.'

'She wouldn't?' gasped Fen.

'I've learnt to put nothing past her. Now, help yourself to a cake,' offered Sally as she made two mugs of steaming tea. 'And then tell me all about what's been happening with you since I saw you last.'

'Firstly, you have to tell me,' insisted Fen. 'Has the world gone mad? What on earth has got into Charlie? She opened the tractor door for me and I believe she even used the word 'sorry' although I might have been hallucinating at that point.' Sally laughed, pushing a mug across to her friend.

'Well, she's shifted her liberal affections from Daniel to Olly. I think because of the way Olly's looked after Snowflake. God bless the man. I mean, he's slept in the stable for two nights,' explained Sally. 'He must have been freezing. I finally persuaded him to leave Snowflake to go and take a shower this morning. I could smell him from here, with all the windows and doors closed! Although, by all accounts, it was lucky he didn't leave Snowflake on that first night. Horse panicked and had to be doped again. If Olly hadn't been there, Snowflake might not be with us now.'

'Wow. So, Olly and Charlie are an item now then?'

'No. Strangely not. After years of desiring her from afar, Olly's playing seriously hard to get. I mean properly, impressively, hard to get. He's told her he's not interested.'

'Why? Is it an extreme version of treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen?' asked Fen, gratefully inhaling the warming steam from her welcome beverage.

'I think he basically told her that having witnessed her past behaviour and how she treats people, he's realised he wouldn't want to be with somebody like her after all.'

'Ouch,' replied Fen. 'That's gotta hurt anyone. Even somebody as thick-skinned as Charlie.'

'Yeah, but the funny thing is, I think he really means it. Anyway, since then, she's being as nice as pie to everybody. Apologising for all her previous bad behaviour. Amazing. Even said sorry to me and confessed what she said about Tim the other night was a lie. Don't know how far it's going to get her, though. Never seen Olly like this,' Sally pondered. 'Anyhoooo, enough about that. How's tricks with you?'

'Yeah, we've had a pretty interesting few days.' Fen described Terry's arrival and how Merlin had been the one to find him.'

'No way! Clever boy, Merlin!' said Sally, ruffling the fur on his fluffy head and rewarding him with a custard cream, to much tail wagging.

'Fortunately, Terry seems to be improving in leaps and bounds at the moment. Especially with Nurse Mary in charge. You haven't seen bossy until you've seen Mary in action,' giggled Fen.

'God, I can imagine. And how about you? And Daniel?' asked Sally, teasingly.

'Both fine, thank you,' grinned Fen. 'I've been learning all about farming. It's fascinating actually. I've really been enjoying myself.'

'And have you shagged him yet?' demanded Sally. Fen burst out laughing and shook her head. 'But I can't believe the change in him. You must have snogged him though?'

'No,' replied Fen, shaking her head. Sally looked quite disappointed.

'Really? You must want to though?' probed Sally, as the front door was shouldered open and Daniel's head appeared around the door. Fen smiled at him, appreciative of his good timing.

'We're coming in for tea now, if that's ok?'

*********************

Fen and Daniel spent a pleasant afternoon with Tim and Sally, chatting, drinking, eating and generally relaxing. Fen was pleased that Sally had ceased her interrogation, although was sceptical about how long her good behaviour could continue for, particularly when the white wine came out.

'Isn't it a bit early for that?' queried Tim. 'It's barely three o'clock.'

'Live a little, Timothy!' retorted Sally. It only took one glass of wine to give Sally the necessary courage to re-commence her line of questioning. 'So, Daniel?'

'Yes, Sally,' smiled Daniel, leaning back comfortably in his chair.

'How's tricks?' asked Sally. She was so blatantly grasping for straws that both Daniel and Fen laughed. 'Oh! Why won't anybody tell me what's happening!'

'Just maybe... there's nothing to tell?' replied Fen, glancing at Daniel who took up the mantle.

'Or alternatively, perhaps Fen and I have been exchanging hot lingering looks over the beef herd?'

'And maybe Daniel has let slip his porn film viewing habits?' joked Fen.

'And maybe Fen's been moaning and groaning in my bedroom, and I've had to shove a pillow over her face to stop her corrupting Madeline and Mary?' said Daniel, smiling back at Fen.

'And maybe each night I've spent at Daniel's house, we've been wrapped in each other's arms?' added Fen sweetly. Daniel burst out laughing.

'Oh, shut up you two! Stop winding me up!' said Sally in mock exasperation. 'OK. I get it. It's none of my business. But I tell you, something's going on! There's no way you would be acting like this, Daniel, if you hadn't at least snogged Fen?'

'I hate to disappoint you Sally,' said Daniel smiling. 'I really do, but the answer is no.'

'Then I'll ask you the same question I asked Fen. Do you want to?' demanded Sally. Tim shook his head in exasperation.

'Sorry mate,' he muttered.

'What an interesting question,' replied Daniel, fixing Fen with a long, hard, intensely sexy stare which pushed her heartrate into warp speed. 'And I'll be more than happy to answer that question, once I know what Fen's answer was.'

'She didn't give one. You came blustering into the kitchen at exactly the wrong moment!' All heads turned towards Fen but she only had eyes for Daniel. Maintaining eye contact, Fen stood up, took Daniel's hand and led him through the doorway to the study, closing the door behind them. Nevertheless, that didn't drown out the extremely loud whooping emanating from the kitchen.

'I'm only teasing you,' murmured Daniel. 'We can wait for a minute, then go back out there and really wind Sally up.' But Fen, despite her racing heart and shaking legs, decided against following Daniel's chivalrous suggestion on this occasion. Instead, with a courage that she certainly hadn't possessed only a few weeks before, Fen stood in front of Daniel, put her arms around his neck, leant into his body and lifted her face towards his. Automatically, Daniel slowly moved his hands to her face, dropping his head to kiss Fen gently, teasingly, temptingly on the lips. Their kiss was sweet, slow and long and both parties became completely lost in it. Despite the surge of adrenaline coursing through her body which made her mind spin, Fen remained extremely aware of Daniel's increasingly hard body pressed firmly against her softer one. Eventually realising that they had become anything but gentle, Daniel groaned and pulled away. They stood face to face, breathing deeply.

'Bloody Hell!' was all that a grinning Fen could manage. Taking a deep breath, she slowly opened then closed the door and returned to her seat in the kitchen, a non-committal expression on her face.

'What's going on?' demanded Sally. 'Did you? Didn't you? Are you guys just putting on an act? This is so infuriating!' But a few minutes later, when Daniel had finally composed himself enough to walk back into the room, hair mussed, face flushed, pupils dilated, dazed expression, Sally had her answer.

'Yippee!' she yelled. 'At last!'

*********************

Thank you so much for your voting feedback, comments and emails which I am very happy to receive.

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by Anonymous

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by Anonymous08/18/18

MORE!!!

I take from your response to Ted, if I want the rest of this story I have to buy it from Amazon. I really enjoyed the story so far, but.....
detroitdave

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by SarahFennel07/25/18

Thanks Ted!

Wow - thanks Ted, what a lovely comment to receive :-) I have completed this story (it is available on Amazon) and I can assure you that explicit language isn't used in this book. Thanks so much formore...

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by pooky1234907/25/18

Fen

Well, Sarah Fennel, I just spent the last two hours reading all twelve of your chapters and thoroughly enjoyed them. The writing was wonderful, the story moved along at a lovely, deliberate pace, themore...

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