tagRomanceEverything Happens for a Reason

Everything Happens for a Reason


My grandfather used to tell me that everything that happens to you in life, good and bad, happens for a reason. I always thought he was giving me just another one of his maternal lectures that had been passed down by my mother, as she'd told me the same thing for years. I never realized how right they both were until.....

Chapter One

My name is Tom Mason and I was a pretty normal kid. I grew up on a live-stock ranch, in a household of five consisting of my older brother, my older sister, my parents, and of course, me. I don't think my parents had really planned on having me, but I was still loved none the less. However, starting at the age of five, I was given a list of chores to do every morning before breakfast, and once I was old enough to attend; I went to the same school as my older siblings in the same dusty, south Texas cattle town, from the first grade, all the way to twelfth grade. Sure, I had flings, or should I say, slight dalliances, with the girls in my school while I was there and came away with what I thought was a fairly good knowledge of the sexual act. Because I had no desire to go to college, I joined the Navy for six years, right out of high school. Like I said before, because of my experiences with the girls I grew up around, I considered myself to be somewhat worldly but nothing would've or could've ever prepared me for the sexual education I received when I went overseas for the first time. Because of the job I had qualified and then trained for in the Navy, I was able to see many other places all over the world, as well as being able to "sample" some the "beautiful delights" in each country I visited.

Two months before the end of my enlistment, my father, John Thomas Mason, J.T. to his friends, died in his sleep. My mother, Tara, was devastated, as my father was only 51 at the time. The Navy went ahead and gave me an early release because of my accrued leave time and because my Commanding Officer was very fond of me and knew I needed to be home for my family. I was really going to miss him, not only because I enjoyed working under him, but because he was very highly respected by all who knew him.

Speaking of respect however, my father's funeral was like nothing I'd ever seen before. My whole family was really surprised. Almost everyone who ever knew or had ever done business with my family attended my father's funeral, about 1200 in all. It was so big that we had two procession lines of people, in single file, on both sides of his casket who wanted to pay their last respects to my dad. I was very touched by some of the things I'd heard said about my father that day and it gave not only my mother, but the rest of us, his children, comfort and we were all grateful. My grandfather's words rang in my ears that day, "Everything happens for a reason, son". Well, excuse me if I was having a hard time seeing the reason that my father had to die at such a young age. But, I figured that heaven must've been in a real bad way if God needed my father there. He could fix anything and make it work better than it did before.

Because my sister and her husband lived and owned their own business in Seattle, Washington and because my brother and his family lived and worked in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the job of running the day-to-day business of the ranch fell upon my shoulders. I knew very well how it worked. Hell, I'd grown up there, and it was ingrained deep in my blood from the time before I took my first steps or spoke my first words. If my father could take 50 acres and turn it into 750 acres inside of twenty five years, not to mention that he and Mom raised three kids along the way, then the very least I could do was to make damn sure it stayed in the family.

When the time came for me to step up to the plate, I dove in head first. Also, when our previous foreman, Mike Watson, was given the opportunity to do better for himself and his family, which was unfortunately elsewhere, my dad, hired a man named Rudolpho Herrera to be the acting foreman when I was eight years old. The first time I met him, he called me a "Pansonsito". In Spanish it means "Little Fat Boy" and I guess I was kinda chunky as a kid. But still, he welcomed me back home with open arms, just happy to see me again. After he released me from the hug, he held me at arms length, and with a bright smile, said, "You are the new "Patron" (Boss) now, and we will take up together, where your father left off. He will be proud of us both!"

I grinned and said, "Si, Senor Rudy," and then chuckled like I used to do when he would banter with me as a boy.

For the next ten months, the days saw me, Rudy, or both of us, either in the main ranch offices, or in town checking beef prices at the local auctions. I would spend the evenings having dinner with my mother so as not to leave her alone in the house, all by herself. It was on one of those evenings during dinner that my mother looked at me from across the table and asked, "Honey, when was the last time you went out and had a good time?"

I looked at her, and knowing what she was getting at, said, "I don't have a lot of time for that right now, Mom. I've got too much work to do here. Besides, who's gonna look after you if I'm not around?"

I saw, if only for a second or two, a side of my mother that had only ever manifested itself when I had been really bad as a child. Now, with her displeasure at my previous remark barely contained, she hastily and sharply informed me, "Let me tell you something, boy! Don't think that I didn't learn a thing or two about this business from your father. You didn't know this, but I'm the one who has been keeping the books all these years and I know as much about running this place as your father did and; this ranch can run itself with or without your presence, I assure you." Before I could respond, she continued, "And don't even entertain the notion that I need to someone to take care of me. I put diapers on your butt when it was little so, don't think I'm too old to tattoo your ass right now!"

By this time she was smiling and all I could do was get out of my seat and walk around to her side of the table. I knelt down beside her, and gently placing my arms around her neck, said, "I love you Mom, and I meant no disrespect!"

After kissing me on the cheek, she patted my face and said, "I know you didn't, sweetie. But, you need a vacation and not only as your mother but, as your boss; I'm telling you to take at least a month off, maybe two!"

I didn't see that one coming. Although I was considered 'The Boss', my mother was the heir to the ranch if my father were to die before she did. The provisions of my father's will had been very specific about that. All I could do was look at her and say, "What am I supposed to do for two months, Mom?"

"Do you remember Mr. Mike, Mike Watson, the man that Rudy took over for?" Mom asked.

I smiled at my childhood memory and, beginning to laugh, and teasing Mom, said, "Of course, I remember him. He was a real nice guy, he and his wife, Ms. Julia. They also had that bratty daughter that always used spit water at me when we played together. What was her name?"

"You know her name is Laurie," said my Mom, with an almost sly smile.

"Yeah, that's right, I remember now," I lied. In my childhood memories, I still vividly recalled the little girl with long dark pigtails, tied with baby blue ribbons and her big pretty blue eyes with long dark lashes. I never forgot her, and although I would never have admitted it at the time; I more than just liked her. I had secretly carried a torch for her for many years after she and her parents left.

My mother grinned, and handing me a piece of paper that looked like a brochure, said, "Mike and Julia Watson have a cattle ranch up in Big Timber, Montana and I'll bet they'd love to see you again. Besides, the air up there might just do you a world of good."

That night, Mom got on the phone and after a three hour telephone conversation; everything was all set. Although I felt that I'd somehow been shanghaied into going, I hadn't seen my mother this excited since before my father died so, at 6:00 am the next morning; I was flying out of Houston, Texas, headed to Billings, Montana. Little did I realize what lay in wait for me there?

Chapter Two

It was on a Friday that I flew into Billings, Montana's, Logan International Airport at 10:00 am. I looked out of the passenger windows of the aircraft as it taxied down the runway to the terminal, and all I could see was mountains and sky. I couldn't wait to get out and breathe the air. I knew was that someone was going to be there to pick me up, I just didn't know who. Once again in my life, I was not prepared for what happened when I walked into the terminal bay. I hadn't taken two steps when, in front of me stood the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen. She stood 5'10" to my 6'2" and I would guess that she weighed no more than 130 to 135 pounds at the most. I'm not good at guessing bust sizes but her breasts seemed to be about the size of grapefruits, from what I could tell. She was wearing a pair of blue jeans that were so tight; they looked as if they'd been painted on and accented with a pair of black roper boots on her feet. She wore a red and white checkered, sleeveless shirt that was tied at the waist, showing a dazzling display of her bare flat tummy and beautiful midriff. She had big piercingly blue eyes and long dark eyelashes with long dark brown, almost black, hair, shiny and full that flowed to her waist. She was truly breathtaking. Her face seemed somehow familiar to me. Then she smiled and said, "Hi Tommy! It's good to see you again."

"Do I know you?" I stupidly asked.

I was totally taken by surprise when she hugged me, put her lips close to my ear, and softly breathed, "I promise that I won't spit anymore water at you...at least for a while anyway," and then she kissed me on the cheek, laughing as she let go of me.

"Hi Laurie, how are you?" I replied, feeling like an idiot as well as being embarrassed to no end at not recognizing her.

She must've picked up on my embarrassment because after gently squeezing my shoulder, she smiled and said, "Don't worry about it Tommy. We were only six or seven the last time we saw each other, but I must say; you sure have changed a lot since then!"

Just the sound of her voice somehow managed to put me at ease because all of a sudden, I relaxed, and taking the chance to look her up and down, replied, "Yeah, you too. Oh...and...I go by Tom now!"

"Maybe to everyone else, but you'll always be Tommy to me," Laurie replied, almost bringing me to my knees with brilliance of her smile. All at once her face saddened when she took my hand, then gently squeezed it, and said, "I was very sorry to hear about you Dad and I want you to know that if you ever want to talk about anything; I'm here for you." Then suddenly, and not allowing me to feel sad, with quick a motion of her head, she smiled and added, "C'mon, we'll go get your bags and get out of here. Besides; Mom and Dad can't wait to see you."

I followed her to the baggage claim area and along the way; I found that I simply could not take my eyes off of her butt. There is something about the sight of a woman's ass in tight blue jeans that brings my blood to the boiling point. I knew that she had caught me staring at her at least half a dozen times, but to her credit, she simply smiled and winked at me saying nothing.

After retrieving my bags, she led me outside to the parking lot and on to an old red Chevy truck with a dual wheel base in the rear (commonly called a "Dually"). "Just throw your bags in the back and hop on in, sweetie," said Laurie, smiling as she opened the driver's side door and got in. I followed suit and it wasn't long before we were on our way. Laurie remained silent for the first couple of miles or so, allowing me to take in the beautiful scenery around me. If you've never been to Montana, let me tell you; there's a reason why they call it 'The Big Sky Country'. I bore witness to some of the most spectacular country-side I'd ever seen before and I was moved. However, it wasn't long before Laurie broke me out of my reverie when she said, "It really is good to see you again, Tommy. Your Mom said that you were in the Navy for six years. How was it, being in the Navy, I mean?"

I turned to look at her, and finally beginning to feel a little more at ease around her, replied, "It was good. I got to travel to a lot of really neat places and worked around a bunch of really cool people and I made a couple of really good friends that I'm gonna miss a lot."

"I know that I would've loved to be able to travel the world like you did," she replied, "But I don't regret my life so far. After I got out of high school, I went to the University of Montana and got my degree in Veterinary Medicine and now I work with Mom and Dad on the ranch as the resident Large Animal Vet."

"I'll bet that your parents like that a lot," I said stupidly, and for lack of a better reply. Laurie just smiled and then reached over and patted the top of my leg, just above my knee. Up to this point in my life, I'd been with a more than just a few, but not enough to constitute many, women in my travels thus far, albeit not recently though. However, none of them had ever induced the effect that Laurie was having on me at something as simple as her touching my leg. I felt a slight flutter inside of me that I'd never experienced before. We rode the rest of the way not saying much of anything for about another ten miles. Then she slowed the truck and turned right, down a long, solitary road with fenced property on both sides.

After fifteen minutes of traveling further down the road, the main highway began to disappear and Laurie waved her arm and said, "We've been on my family's land ever since we turned off the highway!"

I looked all around us from inside of the truck, and as far as I could see was vast landscape with the mountains in front of us, and realizing that I was seeing God's true handiwork, I excitedly said, "It must be nice living up here surrounded by all this beautiful countryside."

Laurie laughed, and moving the hair from her eyes with a toss of her beautiful head, said, "You might not think it's so beautiful after you've been here a month or so into a hard winter."

"Well, maybe so, but I still think it's very beautiful," I replied, not meaning to look at her when I said the word, 'beautiful'.

"Why thank you, Tom. I never been told I'm beautiful before," Laurie teased.

"I....uh, I mean......I was talking about the countryside," I sputtered, being totally caught off guard.

"You don't think I'm beautiful, then?" said Laurie, her sensual lips in a full pout.

"No....I mean....Yes...I mean....Aw, hell. I don't know what I mean," I replied, looking down at the floorboard of the truck and shaking my head.

The sound of her laughter filled the cab of the truck, and reaching over and squeezing my arm, Laurie smiled and said, "I know what you meant, and I think you're pretty hot, too." I couldn't believe my ears at what I heard. She said nothing else nor did she have time, because right as we reached the foothills of the mountains; we came upon another long road that snaked off to the left and crept deep into the larger hills that were closer to the mountains and Laurie said, "We've only got another three or four miles and then we'll be home!"

"Three or four miles, wow, you guys live quite a ways out, huh?" I asked.

"Yeah, it's nice and peaceful too. Dad says that you can truly find yourself out here," she replied. Just the sound of her voice was beginning to give me a sort of inner peace, and for the first time in my life; I found myself approaching a not too distant crossroad.

Chapter Three

After we'd made it safely to the Watson's home and were in their driveway, Mike and Julia Watson were there waiting for us on the front porch. The minute I stepped out of the truck, they were at my side. Mr. Watson stuck out his hand and said, "Well, hello there Tommy. How in the world are ya, son?"

"I'm doing real well, Mr. Mike, thank you, sir," I replied, shaking hands with him.

"You don't have to call me Mister, ya know. You're grown now so, call me Mike like everyone else does around here, and the same goes for Julia too," laughed Mike, pointing at his wife.

"Thank you, sir. In that case; you can call me Tom." I replied, grinning.

Laurie most definitely got her looks from her mother because, as Julia Watson stepped up to greet me, I thought that the two of them could've passed for sisters as opposed to mother and daughter. "It's so good to see you, Tommy, sweetie," she said, as she hugged me. Then she pulled away from me, and gently putting her palm against my cheek, added, "Boy, you sure grew up to be a handsome devil."

Just as the heat of embarrassment began to turn my face crimson, Laurie giggled, and pointing at me, said, "Look Mom, he's blushing. How cute is that?"

Before Julia could reply, Mike cut in, saving me, and said, "You two quit that and leave him alone. Hell, he ain't even been here but a few minutes and you two are already trying to run him off." Then, helping me with my luggage, Mike looked at me smiling and said, "Come on Tom. Let's get inside and get you settled!" With his help, I got my bags out of the truck and into the house.

The house looked similar to something out of an old western novel or maybe a John Wayne movie. There was one big room with a kitchen off to the left and a dining room, with a back door off of it. Directly across the room from the entrance was the door to a small restroom and halfway between the dining room and the bathroom door was a stairway. To the far right was the door to the master bedroom. Mike put my bag down and said, "Laurie! Take Tommy upstairs and show him his room."

"Yes, Daddy," she said, while looking at me. She then picked up the bag that her father had carried in for me, and motioning with her head towards the stairs, looked at me and said, "Right this way, cutie." Just the sound of her voice had me going a little weak at the knees, but I sure as hell couldn't let it show....ever! As we climbed the stairs, it took every ounce of will power I had not to stare at the beautiful vision of Laurie's butt not three feet away from my face, wiggling delightfully with every step she took. It was a good thing too, because out of the corner of my eye; I saw Julia Watson staring at me. She was not giving a look of scrutiny, but, loving, the same way my mother does from time to time.

When we got to the top of the stairs, we took a few steps down the hall to where two doors stood facing one another and stopped. Pointing to the one on our left, Laurie smiled, and opening the door, said, "This is your room, Tommy. Mine's right across the hall, in case you're wondering, and that door at the end of the hall is the bathroom." Then as we set my bags down, I started to say something, but before I could get the words out; Laurie pressed herself against me, hugging me tightly, and softly in my ear, said, "I'm so glad you're here with me...err...I mean us." Then she pulled back, kissed me ever-so-lightly on the lips, and then smiled and quickly left the room, her face blushing as she closed the door behind her.

I sat on a queen sized bed that, from the looks of it, was placed away from the window where the morning sun wouldn't wake me at first light. Man, you had to love whoever thought of that. The rest of the room was painted an eggshell color with southwestern style trim. All in all; I felt comfortable there and knew that I would sleep well. The next thing that came to mind, actually it never left, was Laurie. She was more beautiful than anything I'd ever seen, no doubt about it. But, she acted like we've been friends for years and I hadn't seen her since right before I turned seven and that was almost twenty years ago. To be totally honest with myself, I had been smitten the moment I saw her at the airport. And to beat it all; I had never had any trouble talking to women before. So, why was it that I became so shy all of a sudden? I layed back on the bed mentally exhausted, and rested my eyes for just a few minutes.

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