Love and Anguish at Bella's Barn


"Let's give this four weeks before the sutures come out. It's going to be quite painful for a few days—I'll prescribe some painkillers and antibiotics. Can you get yourself dressed, Ms. Gates? How are you going to get home? Is there someone we can call for you?"

"Please call me Sami. And I've got nothing to change into, doc. My new three-hundred dollar interview dress has a big hole in the side and is soaked with blood. Think you'd have something here I could borrow? I'll take a taxi back to my hotel and nope, no family or friends in town." There was almost a wink as she said the last part.

"Don't go away," he said. "I'll be right back."

Fifteen minutes later he was walking with her to the ER entrance. Except for a slight limp, she looked like she worked here, dressed in green nurse's scrubs and white sneakers; her bloody clothes and shoes rolled up in a plastic bag.

"Hey Sami, I have not eaten since 6:00 this morning—would you like to grab a sandwich and a bowl of soup in the staff cafeteria? The soup here is pretty good."

"I thought you'd never ask, doc." She was smiling—it felt like he'd known her for years, even though they'd never had a real conversation or exchanged personal information.

An hour later he knew that she wasn't actually a professor, but an unemployed associate. Her term had recently expired at the college where she'd graduated in Philly, three years ago. She had a couple of jobs lined up—she was in Phoenix for an interview at Arizona State. She had only one living relative; a sister in Canada.

And Sami was a bit of a genius. She didn't really have to work—when he'd met her in Vegas, she was counting cards and good enough at it, that the house hadn't caught her. She could visit any large casino and with a bit of luck, make between five and ten grand in four or five hours. She didn't spend too much time in any particular casino, spreading her visits over many of them to reduce the risk of being caught.

And she didn't really need the casinos—she was also a skillful day-trader. Thanks to her math skills, she'd written a series of automated trading algorithms and software, permitting her to make money whenever she logged into her E-trade account. Her slow and methodical routines eliminated much of the risk. She'd invested her earnings in carefully researched blue chip companies and already had a respectable nest egg salted away.

"Hence the thousand dollar chip," he said. She just smiled.

"Were you going to call?"

"Damned straight I was . . . I got home too late yesterday and I was still hung over, but tonight was going to be the night. I just about crapped when I walked into 6B and realized it was you. That's almost more coincidence than my simple mind can handle."

"Yeah, me too," she said. "At first I thought it was some kind of practical joke or maybe I'd fainted and was dreaming. Obviously, none of the circumstances could have been planned by either of us. We didn't know each other's names or where we lived."

They stared at each other for a minute, their minds working through the magnitude of the coincidence.

"So what were the odds of this?" he asked.

"Several gazillion to one," she said.

"Damn, you really are a genius."

"Just my luck; a hundred thousand semi-employed doctors in this country and I'm looking at a comedian for a boyfriend."

"I'm your boyfriend?" he asked, smiling.

"It's up to you, doc. Look, there is something going on here between us that will drive us both crazy if we don't have a more careful look at it."

He was staring at her again, mesmerized by the depth of her dark green eyes.

"Sami, I first became interested in the fair sex when I was fifteen or sixteen. I've met thousands of you females; lusted—mostly unsuccessfully—after hundreds. But it was all 'thrill of the chase' bullshit. You are the first woman I've ever met who has me thinking, you could be important in my life. Jesus H. Christ, I can't believe I just said that."

She was slowly nodding. "Yeah, I'm kind of in the same boat."

"I'll be a shitty partner. I've just signed up for two years here at Maggie Hall. That's twelve hours a day on a good day—eighteen or twenty on a bad one—some nights I might not even get home at all. That's four days a week and I'm 'on call' on my days off. I'll be a zombie most of the time. And for all that, I'll be earning about the same money as a truck driver. But after the two years are up, I'll be a slightly better prospect."

"Money is the least of our problems, doc."


When Matt's parents died a decade ago, they left him their house. Instead of selling it, he moved in. It was on fifty acres just outside of town in the Verde River valley—part of an old ranch. The property was surrounded by scrub desert trees and brush, the sprawling single level ranch home and pool were private; invisible from the highway about a mile away. There was a huge barn where they'd boarded horses when he was a kid. There were orchards and agricultural fields—all gone fallow—where his mother had grown fruit and vegetables. She'd operated a fruit stand out at the end of their driveway. It had been a great place to grow up. While the property was valuable and mortgage free, he was cash poor. All his money went towards taxes, utilities, and some upkeep—although not as much as required.

Maggie Hall was situated on the outskirts of Phoenix, five miles away. He could bike back and forth from his house in about twenty minutes. This saved gas and kept him in good shape.

After their sandwich, he and Sami were quiet for a minute. They could hear another siren pulling into the ER and he was paged over the PA system. He reached into his pocket and fished out his keys.

"Hey Sami, here's the keys to my place—I've got lots of room. I'll give you the address; why don't you jump in a taxi, go get your stuff at the hotel, then head over to my place. I'm off at 6:00 if it doesn't get too busy. You can crash with me until you decide what you want to do next."

"Where's your apartment?"

"It's actually a house. Tell the taxi driver to take you all the way down the drive to the front door—it would be a long walk from the mailbox with that injured hip. Help yourself to anything you want."

She took his keys and slipped them into her purse.

"Hurry home," she said and leaning across the cafeteria table, gave him a little peck on the lips. It was surreal and exciting and terrifying. Neither of them had ever done anything like this in their lives.

Chapter 3

Sami Gates sat in the back of the taxi, wondering what in the name of God was happening to her. Yesterday, she'd been pretty sure she'd be teaching mathematics this fall at Arizona State. Now having learned that its campus was apparently a war zone, she'd lost her enthusiasm for it. But even stranger—she simply could not comprehend her fascination with this goddamned MacTaggart character.

What the fuck's wrong with me? I've never acted like this before.

She'd been attracted to lots of other men before in her life, but nothing like this—never this quickly. To say there was chemistry between them would be a gross understatement—when they stared at each other, it felt like she was having a heart attack. Her pulse sped up along with her breathing and she felt little tremors buzzing through her body. She could tell she was having a similar effect on him. And the coincidence today was beyond belief—as though they were predestined to be together. She'd practically told him that she wanted to be his girlfriend.

Am I going fucking crazy?

She'd been pleased to learn that he owned a house rather than renting an apartment. It would probably turn out to be an old fixer-upper. On his wages as a resident—essentially a slave to the hospital—he couldn't afford much more. Sami was quite comfortable financially, thanks to her casino winnings and her automated trading software. She'd actually been approached by a few online trading firms, asking her to come to work for them. But doing that full time didn't interest her. But this goddamned doctor did interest her right now, and she had to find out why. He was certainly good looking, but good looking men are a dime a dozen; all her instincts were telling her, there was considerable depth to him, too.

The taxi finally turned down a side road off the highway north of Phoenix. A mile further along this road, they turned right again at a beaten old mailbox and crept down a rough gravel driveway. The brush was growing in from the sides, leaving just enough width for a standard automobile. It was at least a quarter mile to the house. Sami was instantly impressed as it slowly came into view through the overgrown landscaping; while a bit run down, the structure had been an elegant ranch house in its day. With a bit of work and TLC, it could easily return to its former glory. She guessed correctly that it had belonged to his parents and that he'd inherited it.

After paying the driver, she walked up to the front door and slipped the key into the lock. As the door opened, she continued to be impressed. The interior was post and beam construction with vaulted ceilings; the ceiling, walls, and floors were sheathed with a variety of hardwoods. It might have been too dark with all this natural wood, but the house had so many windows, it was actually quite bright in here. The furniture was old but still in good condition—a bit dated. She wandered through the rooms trying a get a sense of Matt but felt she was actually getting more of a sense of his long departed parents.

She found herself standing in the air-conditioned living room, looking out a huge sliding glass door onto a patio surrounding a large swimming pool—it looked clean and inviting. Sami headed for the master bedroom—at least he had a modern bed, neatly made and everything looking quite clean and orderly. Again she was impressed.

She rummaged in her suitcase, stripped off the borrowed scrubs, and changed into a very tiny bikini. She intended to swim in that pool; injury or no injury. Maybe he'd have a first aid kit with some tape or something. The wound was hurting now, the freezing having worn off; she'd take one of the doc's painkillers, too.

It was now 5:00 PM—Matt said he was off at 6:00 if it wasn't too crazy. She liked the fact that he had a good work ethic. He hadn't been complaining about the long hours at Maggie Hall; he was just telling her so she'd know what to expect. She could tell he loved the work—that was an important thing, too.

Tomorrow when he was back at work, she'd walk all around the property and find out what his folks had done here, before slipping their earthly bonds.


When Matt arrived home, it was starting to get dark out and he was soaked with sweat from peddling his bicycle. Now in early summer, it was in the mid-nineties and the last mile of highway was slightly uphill. The front door was unlocked and with his heart beating in anticipation, he entered, savoring the cool air that washed over him. After kicking off his shoes, he padded through the entry hall, the living room, and into the kitchen. No sign of her. Then he spotted her through the big sliding glass doors leading out to the deck; she was swimming slowly down the center of the large concrete pool.

He grabbed a beer from the fridge, took a long swig, and walked out to join her. She waved at him and carried on swimming a slow side-stroke, illuminated by soft lights just under the surface of the pool. Some bits of cloth he suspected were a tiny string-bikini, lay on a glass topped table. Looking at her again, he was delighted to see she was as naked as the day she was born. He smiled.

"Sami, even though you are the most gorgeous vision I have seen—possibly in my entire adult life—as your personal physician I must point out that you're not doing my stitching any good."

"Don't worry, doc. I covered the wound with plastic and some waterproof tape I found in a first aid kit in the bathroom. It is, by the way, the most elaborate first aid kit I've ever seen. Do you perform the occasional surgery out here? Come on in here and join me—the water is spectacular."

Without giving it a thought, he shucked off his sweat-soaked T-shirt, cargo shorts, and underwear, and set his half-empty beer on a table beside her bikini. He could see her watching him as he walked to the edge of the pool and dove in. The water did feel fantastic. He swam over and joined her, doing a slow crawl matching her lazy speed.

"You've got a nice bod, doc—everything and more than I'd imagined."

"You have the advantage, Sami—I've only seen your ass and I was in professional mode at the time. Even though it appeared to have been sculpted by Michelangelo himself, I was professionally obliged to abolish it from my memory afterward. I'm looking forward with great anticipation to seeing your bod, too."

"Oh bullshit, you don't just forget an ass like mine. Not even if you're the fucking Pope."

He laughed out loud at that, sucking in some water and hacking it back up. They swam side by side for a few more minutes, just making small talk. Finally, they slowed, treading water and facing each other.

"You know Matt, ever since I got here, I've been wondering what my reaction would be to you; here in your own home. Would it be different than in the Vegas casino? Or in the hospital ER? I've got to tell you, in those places I found myself drawn to you like no other man I've ever known. One set of instincts are telling me I'm fucking insane. But all the rest are telling me I don't need to play games; that you're the real deal. My ass could be out a mile, but baby we have to find out."

Matt had been going through more or less the same thought process. They drifted to the side of the pool, holding the edge and staring into each other's eyes.

"I tried badly to say that back at the cafeteria. My instincts are telling me that you're the most special woman I've ever met—maybe that I'll ever meet. I have nothing to base that on except primal instinct. I'm feeling like a virgin teenager, back in Grade 10."

They just stared at each other.

"Doc, there is one thing we can take care of right now—get it out of the way. I want to jump your fucking bones so bad, it's making me crazy. Maybe if we do that, we'll feel a bit more level-headed afterward."

"You do have a way of expressing exactly what I'm thinking, Sami."

Matt pulled her gently to him and they embraced; a long powerful full body hug, their lips grinding together. They were weightless; their toes just reaching the tiled pool bottom. He could feel the heat of her skin against his, even surrounded by cool water. He could also feel his erect cock slipping between her legs and then her thigh muscles contracting; clamping it tightly up against the folds of her pussy. He could feel the heat of her there too, radiating into the flesh of his member. With no further conversation and breathing heavily, they separated and swam to the built-in concrete stairs.

There was a shower at the end of the pool deck and they stood together under it, letting the cool spring water wash away the chlorine taint from their bodies. All the while they checked each other out, loving what they were seeing. It was like their communication was telepathic. There was a stack of towels on a shelf next to the shower and they took a minute to dry each other off. The dressing on Sami's wound appeared to be tight and waterproof.

Now that he could see her entire naked body, Sami was like a goddess—slim and muscular with small firm buttocks and a narrow waist. Her breasts were slightly above average in size and wonderfully firm. Rather than just round orbs, they seemed sculpted—almost pear-shaped. They were slightly wider at the base, tapering gently upward, presenting her large puckered nipples high and proud, begging to be tweaked and sucked. Her face was bordering on beautiful; full of life and energy. Her intelligent green eyes sparkled with humor. Her shoulder length red hair was now wet, hanging at the sides of her head, swept back behind her ears. A few freckles scattered across her forehead and down her nose added to her character and beauty. She was the most amazing woman he'd ever met.

Matt was just over six feet, about 180 pounds and in pretty good shape. He'd boxed in college and during his third year, won the state amateur championships in his weight class. For the past few years, he'd been training in amateur mixed martial arts. He bicycled a lot and worked just enough on the weights at the hospital gym to tone his large muscle groups. He had medium brown unmanageable hair, tousled and usually in need of a cut. Since grade school, he'd never had difficulty attracting girlfriends, but he didn't think himself anything special. Often when a really attractive woman paid attention to him, he wondered what she saw in him. He was feeling that now with Sami.

By now he also had a spectacular erection. While every guy probably wishes he was bigger in the cock department, Matt was actually pretty happy with his. He'd never had a complaint from any of his partners and it had never failed to serve him admirably. He knew he was a bit larger than most of the guys he played sports with; he'd taken no end of ribbing in the showers, and occasional horse whinnies in the background. He noticed that Sami was stealing glances at it as they walked back through the house to the master bedroom, just as he was checking her out from every conceivable angle. Her only flaw was the white first-aid dressing on her hip.

Once there, they went into another full-length body hug. It took a quick twist to prevent his wood-like erection from poking directly into her navel—it now lay sideways between them, pressed tightly along her flat firm stomach. Their kiss was deep and left them both breathing heavily; their tongues darting back and forth in rapid succession.

They fell onto the bed together, still wrapped in each other's arms. He was careful not to bump her injury—it must be painful, twisting and turning like they were doing.

"Careful of your hip," he said between gasps. "Let me do everything."

"Fuck my hip," she hissed. "Climb aboard doc; give it to me, babe . . . I want that beautiful big cock inside me right fucking now . . . Oh God Mattie, please hurry . . ."

He needed no further encouragement—her graphic talk had lit his fuse. There was no foreplay—they were both more than ready. His cock slipped into her like he'd been coated with the finest of lubricants. She kept the leg on her injured side flat to the bed, but her other leg was wrapped around his ass, straining to pull his loins tighter against hers. The sight of her perfect little body beneath him was almost more than he could bear. He held back best he could by diverting his mind—he thought about how sick he'd been in Vegas and about some kind of animal that had been shitting every night on the lawn by the pool. But nothing worked—nothing could distract his powerful lust for this exotic, sexy woman.

"I'm not going to last," he said, his voice stammering.

"Neither am I. Slam that fucking monster into me, Matt! Oh FUCK ME; I need it so bad . . .!"

Something snapped in his mind and he began rutting and plowing into her like a bull. His loins pounded into her with great violence, each thrust driving her ass deep into the mattress. Her breath became a series of tiny cries and then little screams and his grunts could be heard all through the house.

He might have lasted a whole minute—a performance that would normally have embarrassed him to no end. His load arrived quickly with little warning. It boiled up from his depths like a freight train with such powerful sensations inside his dick as it exploded out of him and deep inside her, that he nearly blacked out. She let out a wailing scream and clutched him tightly, burying her face against his chest, her powerful little arms wrapped around his back. He knew she was cumming too—he could feel her entire body vibrating. A web of little veins stood out on her forehead and temples—her face was flushed bright red. They both continued having little spasms for almost a minute before they began to untangle from one another and relax.

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