Love on the FarmbyRightThere©
This is more love story than sex story. If you hang in there long enough there's eventually some sex, but that's not really what it's about. Don't say I didn't warn you. If that's not what you're looking for, if you're too young to view this legally, or if the idea of two women falling in love and having sex just weirds you out - go outside and play.
I'm indebted to jacuzzigal for editing and more. To whatever extent this story has merit, it would have had much less without her help.
* * * * *
For what seemed like the hundredth time, Jeanne alternated taking her hands off the steering wheel and flexing her fingers to relieve the cramped muscles. "Damn it, I'm never going to get there," she thought. Almost as soon as she had started driving, a heavy fog had rolled in, making her to slow to a crawl and grip the steering wheel so tightly that her hands cramped. Then to add insult to injury, when she was still about an hour away the rain started - and came down in buckets for the rest of her drive.
Diana had been sitting on the wide windowsill for nearly an hour now, worrying and watching for Jeanne. She had tried to keep herself occupied, but as the evening wore on, she found herself unable to concentrate on anything else. When she finally saw headlights coming up the lane, hours late, she ran out to meet her friend with a huge umbrella. They put off the greetings until they could run in out of the storm.
When they were finally on the dry side of the door, still catching their breaths, they paused and looked at each other. Diana said, "Hi. Glad you could make it," and they both laughed, relieving some of the tension they had been feeling, each for a different reason.
Diana gave Jeanne a big hug. "Seriously, I'm so glad you're here, Jeanne. I've been worried about you. Was your drive horrible?"
"Horrible doesn't do it justice," Jeanne replied. "It's going to take me a while to unwind."
"Would a glass of wine help?"
Jeanne didn't have to think long. "Sounds wonderful."
Diana disappeared into the kitchen, telling Jeanne, "Make yourself at home. And try to relax."
As she waited, Jeanne studied her surroundings. This had to be one of the coziest rooms she had ever been in. Old, obviously, with stone walls and hand- hewn ceiling beams, and a massive fireplace taking up most of one wall. Small though; with a bit of a stretch, she could touch the ceiling, and she could probably cross the room in five or six steps. With all the wood and stone and antique furnishings, it seemed like the room would be dreary, but it was just the opposite. With the fire burning away, adding a faint wood smoke aroma, and Nora Jones playing softly in the background, she could easily see herself curling up in one of the big stuffed chairs and spending hours here. Or days - which, come to think of it, was the plan.
When Diana came back with two glasses of Riesling, they sat and started to catch up. Jeanne lost track of Diana's words for a moment, though, as she found herself staring. Diana looked...well, fantastic. Better than she had in years, Jeanne thought. She had thought for years that Diana was wearing her auburn hair too long and full for her face, but whoever had cut it this time really knew what they were doing. It was finally flattering; much softer. Really flattering, in fact. It didn't just frame her face, it positively caressed it. And country life seemed to have given her face a color that made the whole package - hair, skin, and eyes - work together terrifically, and really made those green eyes pop. It was more than skin-deep, though. Diana seemed to have a calm and a confidence that Jeanne hadn't seen from her in a long, long time.
When the tables were turned and Diana had time to study her friend, her thoughts were less flattering. Jeanne looked absolutely exhausted, and what's more, she looked like this wasn't a recent development caused just by the drive. She seemed nervous, not remotely relaxed. And was this the girl who usually took a lot of care with her appearance? She didn't seem to have given it an instant's thought. Diana was increasingly glad she had invited Jeanne for a little break.
If nothing else, Diana decided, she would at least make sure Jeanne left here more rested. "I was thinking; it's pretty late and you're exhausted. What if I draw you a nice hot bath, and we save most of the catching up for morning?"
Jeanne's instinctive response of, "No, no, please don't go to any trouble," died before it crossed her lips. She had to admit that a hot soak sounded wonderful.
"Then come with me," Diana said, taking Jeanne's hand and leading her up the stairs.
Turning to the door on the right, Diana showed Jeanne her room, and excused herself to run the bath. Jeanne hadn't tried to bring her bags in from the car in all the rain, so she just sat on the edge of the bed, taking in the amazingly cozy room, sipping her wine, and waiting for Diana. She was also thinking about her friend. Diana had always been a dynamic sort of person, and no one's first impression of her would have been that she was the nurturing kind. But Jeanne thought nurturing was a good word for the way Diana was acting now. Imagine Diana thinking to draw her a bath! And Diana had obviously been genuinely worried when Jeanne was late. This was a calmer Diana, more concerned about other people, and Jeanne thought it was a little different, but really very touching.
Diana returned, with an arm full of towels. "There's a smaller bathroom downstairs that we'll make yours while you're here," she said, "But to soak in a big tub, I'm afraid you'll have to use mine."
"I wouldn't care if this tub was in the garage, Di; just point me to it."
The tub was just getting full when they crossed the hall to the opposite door and went through Diana's bedroom to her bathroom, and the bubbles were piling up. Diana turned the water off, handed Jeanne towels, and said, "I'll be downstairs if you need anything. But if you're bushed and want to go straight to bed, that's fine, I'll see you in the morning."
"Oh, I'll see you before I turn in," Jeanne replied. "I'm pretty sure I couldn't unwind enough to go straight to bed."
Jeanne peeled off the clothes that felt like she had been sweating in them - which in fact she probably had, she realized - and paused in front of the mirror for a moment. Who was she to make judgments about how Diana wore her hair? It was obvious she hadn't been taking care of herself these past few months. She could use a good cut herself, and her honey brown hair was just scrunched into a shapeless wad on the back of her head, without a thought given to how it looked. Her golden-brown eyes, that she had always considered one of her best features, were getting lost in the tiredness showing there, and she hadn't made even a token attempt to do anything about that with makeup.
They were the same age, and it pained Jeanne to think that while she probably looked older than her actual age, Diana looked years younger. She certainly hoped a little time here would be as good for her as it seemed to be for her friend.
And yet, as she settled into the hot water, she knew none of that would matter to Diana in the least. She thought, "Now I remember why I made that god-awful drive. It's so nice to be with an old friend that I'm completely comfortable around."
Jeanne lay back in the tub, sipping her wine, and enjoying the faint floral fragrance and silky feel of the bath salts, and feeling the tension drain from her body. As she started to relax, her mind wandered over the things that had led her to this point. Her current funk was, at least on the surface, caused by her second husband leaving her for someone younger...a lot like the first one had. That had knocked her for a loop, of course, but it seemed to be more that that. He'd left nearly six months ago, and she should be recovering a little more by now. Jeanne thought she was too young for a mid-life crisis, but here she was, feeling completely dissatisfied with nearly every facet of her life. She didn't know what would fix that feeling - God knows she wasn't ready for another man in her life - and she had really been sort of drifting for a few months.
She felt like her life was less together than when she left college almost fifteen years ago, and although it seemed like she should surely be all cried out by now, the reservoir of tears was apparently bottomless.
While Jeanne soaked, Diana sat downstairs with a magazine open in her lap, but the pages weren't turning. Jeanne's presence had brought up thoughts of her own past that weren't particularly pleasant.
Diana had been through some pretty rough times of her own. But she really was getting through them, and coming out stronger than ever. She'd had marriage troubles of her own, as Jeanne knew all too well. Diana could never forget the night she had shown up at Jeanne's door with tears running down her cheeks and blood trickling from her lip. "I didn't know where else to go," she remembered sniffing through her tears. That was the beginning of six weeks of staying with Jeanne while untangling herself from an abusive husband. She could never forget Jeanne's support and generosity during that time. It was entirely possible, she knew, that Jeanne had saved her life. Inviting Jeanne here now and offering whatever comfort she could wouldn't begin to repay her for that, but Diana would do much more very gladly for the woman who had pulled her through that horrible time.
Husband problems would have been plenty to deal with, but on top of that Diana had also had horrible luck with her career, being downsized three times in two years. She couldn't pay her bills, she couldn't keep her car in good order...on and on. She had done her share of crying on the phone with Jeanne as well.
That's why Jeanne had been so happy for Diana when she inherited this farm. Well, that's what Diana's family had always called it: the farm. But when they used it at all, they actually used it more like a summer place, a getaway. While Diana certainly missed the great aunt who had left it to her, it couldn't have happened to her at a better time.
It was a small stone building, just four rooms - two up and two down - as would have been very common in the 1830's, when it was built. It still sat on nearly a hundred acres that had somehow escaped division into little building lots, probably because it was so far out in the middle of nowhere. It had been in the family for twenty years or so, with the house sitting unused while big plans were made to develop the land.
But Diana's grandfather and her great uncle had passed away before the development could happen, and her great aunt had finally decided to fix up the house and use it sometimes.
Diana's great aunt had done a superb job of keeping the character of the place intact while modernizing it. The room where Jeanne was soaking, and the room under it on the first floor (which had been divided into a smaller bath and a laundry room) were the only additions, and it was still just a little farmhouse. It was spotlessly clean and beautifully decorated, though, and everything that counted was modern and comfortable.
Jeanne had to admit that the atmosphere was one of the most relaxing ones she had ever felt. After being here only a little more than an hour, and not even seeing all of the rooms, she was feeling quite at home.
Diana had retreated here a few months ago to try to put herself back together, and it had obviously done her a world of good. Jeanne could tell just from talking to her on the phone that she was much better since she had come up here, better than she had been for a couple of years, or since her marriage fell apart, in fact. So Jeanne hadn't had to think about it very long when Diana asked her to pack a bag and come up here to do a little recuperating of her own.
Jeanne's morose thoughts were interrupted by a soft knock at the door. Grateful for the interruption to that particular train of thought, Jeanne said, "You don't need to knock!"
The door swung open and Diana came in with a big terry cloth bathrobe and the rest of the Riesling.
"Here's a robe," she said, hanging it on a hook on the back of the door. "I don't want you to go back out to the car in this storm. And here," as she held out the bottle with a smile, "is a refill."
Jeanne chuckled inwardly a bit at this mothering attitude. "Thanks. That's sweet of you, but I'll have to go back out to the car before I turn in anyway. There are a couple of things I'll need."
"Oh, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, all that stuff."
"Don't be silly, I've got all those things."
"The storage case for my contacts. The solution for them."
"Well, at least a change of clothes for morning."
"We've worn the same size for fifteen years, you dope! Would you relax?"
Jeanne smiled, loving the fact that she was with someone who could call her a dope and give her a chuckle. "You win. I'll get my stuff in the morning."
Diana refilled Jeanne's glass and started to back out the door, until Jeanne stopped her.
"Di...sit for a minute?"
Diana came back in and perched on the edge of the tub. Jeanne laid her hand on her friend's, and said, "Thank you so much. Not just for the robe, or the wine. Thanks for...everything. For inviting me. For taking such good care of me. I think this is going to do me a lot of good."
Diana leaned over and gave Jeanne's forehead a soft kiss. "I know you'd do the same for me. You have, in fact."
"Still," Jeanne said, "you're being wonderful about this." Then, "I think I might turn in after all, I'm feeling much better, thanks to you, and I'm really beat."
Diana leaned in and kissed her forehead softly again, and said, "You go right ahead, Jeanne. Sleep as long as you like, and I'll see you in the morning."
With that, Diana scooped Jeanne's clothes from their pile on the floor and left.
For her part, Jeanne climbed out of the bath, dried off, pulled on the robe, and headed across the hall to bed.
Diana had the covers turned down for her, so she dropped the robe and slid right in between the cool, crisp sheets. It felt better than climbing into bed had in a long time, and there was a small smile on her face as she sank almost immediately into sleep.
* * * * *
Jeanne slept like a log and woke up feeling more refreshed by a night of sleep than she had in months. She felt that jolt that comes from waking up and not knowing where you are for just a second, and when she remembered, that little smile returned. She could still hear rain against the window, but instead of being depressing, this morning it actually sounded kind of soothing.
She had no idea what time it was, and there was no clock on the night stand, but she had the feeling for some reason that it was quite late. She tossed the covers back, slid out of bed, and found the bathrobe on the floor where she had dropped it last night. That wasn't like her, and she realized that she must have been practically asleep on her feet. Odd, she thought, how unlike that she felt this morning.
She crossed to the dresser and found things spread out there: shampoo, a brush, toothbrush, all the essentials, along with a note from Diana, saying, "Just use my bathroom this morning. We'll set yours up later." She could have sworn she had laid her watch on the dresser with her earrings before she took her bath last night, but she didn't see it now.
After taking a long, hot shower and freshening up, Jeanne returned to her room to find that while she was showering Diana had laid out some clothes in a neat pile on a chair. She found a pair of jeans, a big soft sweater, even underwear and socks. No bra, but then, giving her one of Diana's would have been pretty pointless. For Jeanne, bras were really just a propriety thing, there wasn't much to support. Only in her dreams could she fill one of Diana's.
As she started to get dressed, Jeanne was surprised by the underwear Diana had laid out for her. In the pile on the chair, its plain white appearance hadn't grabbed her attention, but it certainly did now. First of all, it was a thong, which she didn't wear. It was also gorgeous, with lots of lace. But, she didn't have any alternative, so she slipped them on.
As she made her way down the stairs, she ran into the aroma of fresh coffee coming up, and realized that she was starving.
When she turned the corner into the kitchen, Diana was already pouring her a cup of coffee. "Good morning, sleepyhead! Would you like some breakfast?" And then, with a grin, "or should we go straight to lunch?"
"Why? What time is it?" Jeanne asked as she slid into a chair.
"Beats me. Late morning, I think. I haven't been--"
"How could you not know? And speaking of the time, have you seen my watch?"
Diana came to the table and put the coffee cup in front of Jeanne, then moved behind her and put her hands on her shoulders.
"I don't know because I've realized I don't need to know. Except for a few appointments, I haven't looked at a watch or a clock for a month now."
"You're kidding. I don't remember the last time I saw you more than ten feet from your PDA, much less without your watch!"
"Nope, I'm not kidding. It's been incredibly liberating."
"Wow. I don't know if I could do that."
"Well, we're going to find out," Diana laughed. "That's why you couldn't find your watch."
"Oh, Di...I don't know..."
"Shush. I've learned a few things since I've been up here, and you'll have to trust me on this one."
Did she really need to know what time it was, Jeanne wondered? She leaned her head back and rested it against Diana's tummy. "All right, I'll give it a try. It sure seems to be agreeing with you."
"Good girl," Diana said, giving Jeanne's shoulders a little squeeze. With that, she put together some breakfast. Or brunch. Or whatever you would call it for whatever time of day it was.
* * * * *
It rained all day long, which made Jeanne a little restless at first. But Diana accepted it so calmly that Jeanne eventually understood that it wasn't the end of the world. As it turned out, they never set foot outside the house that day. They drank coffee at the kitchen table and caught up with each other's lives. They played cards. Diana built a fire in the fireplace, and surprised Jeanne again with her relaxed mastery of a skill Jeanne was sure she hadn't had in the city.
They settled into opposite ends of the couch and read longer than Jeanne had let herself read in probably years. One thing they did not do was watch television; Diana didn't have one here. That had seemed like lunacy to Jeanne just a day ago, but she was starting to think of it as brilliant.
At one point Jeanne stretched out and rested her feet in Diana's lap. As Diana almost unconsciously rubbed her feet, Jeanne sank into a nap. Diana laid her book down and smiled faintly, looking at her friend, sleeping so peacefully. It just seemed so right to have Jeanne here. It was like they hadn't spent a minute apart. How strange, she thought, that she would feel this so strongly, when she had been working hard on her independence and not needing another person to be happy. But there was no denying how comfortable this felt. Maybe this visit was going to be as good for her as she hoped it would be for Jeanne.
They went to the kitchen when it seemed like dinner time, and cooked together, which they hadn't done since before Jeanne's first marriage. Diana had a great dish planned with chicken in port and gorgonzola.
"This is pretty fancy for you, isn't it?" Jeanne kidded, as she chopped chives. "Since when do you know this much about cooking?"
"Well, I've had to feed myself since I've been here, and you know what I've discovered? It's not really any harder to cook good food than mediocre food. Besides, I've got the time for it now."