New Beginnings Ch. 02bysoftkisses©
Anne Ramsey stretched and contemplated the sun that was just beginning to glow in the window that faced east. It appeared that it was going to be another clear, summer day. She had some correspondence to answer today, as well as some figures to go over in regards to the new stallions that she was buying, but other than that her day was largely free. Which was fortunate since she hadn't gotten much sleep.
She'd had the dream.....again.
Although her husband had been gone for nearly two years, there were times that Anne still thought that she felt him in their bed, his warm presence making her feel safe. She'd had these sensations...these dreams.... almost since he'd first passed on. But, for the last few months, the dreams had taken a decided twist.
They would all start out the same, feeling him against her back, waking her with kisses against her neck as he had often woke her during their married life. But then, something would change. It would feel different, more intense, the kisses more intimate than Bart had ever displayed. And she felt a hand snaking around front, cupping a breast and stroking it and then moving down....down over her stomach....lower...lower .... stroking between her legs until she would gasp and roll over to find....to find......
In this same dream that occurred over and over, instead of Bart Ramsey, it would be Glenn Lambert's mouth covering hers as his strong hands stroked and caressed her body. It would be him, lying atop her, bare skin to bare skin, her hands roaming over his muscular back. It would be Glenn Lambert stroking and suckling her to a writhing, gasping frenzy, murmuring in her ear, insinuating himself between her spread thighs and then...and then.....
She would wake up.
She would always be disoriented, feeling that she was just this close to...to...something and then she would remember and collapse back against the pillows in frustration, her body feeling as tight as a drum and the telltale moisture running slick between her legs. She would end up throwing the covers back to allow her overheated body to cool off and usually ended up wondering how things had gotten to this point.
She had always admired Glenn and thought him an attractive man. It wasn't just his looks, but his presence and his heart that she had found attractive as well. His faithfulness to Lucy for all those years. His unconscious manner of leading people, even when they didn't realize that they were being led. His intelligence and business sense. He was just a man who drew people to him. He was a leader and she found that very appealing.
She remembered speaking to Bart about Glenn's solitary life after Lucy died. They had been laying in bed one night after they had had their version of intimacy, and Bart had told her what he and Bill Tate had planned to propose to Glenn the next week during Bart and Glenn's trip to Reno. While she had initially been shocked that they were going to propose he spend time with a high priced whore, she came to see the wisdom in it. Glen and Lucy had had a very happy marriage in every aspect; that was witnessed by the fact that they had seven children. She knew that the intimate part of their marriage ended shortly after Lucy had been diagnosed with her heart problem. Anne admired Glenn for remaining faithful to Lucy, even after her death. But, she also soon realized he was not a man meant to be alone, at least not in bed.
She remembered the difference in him after that trip, how much more relaxed and content he seemed. And, in many ways, she envied him, not that she could share that with anyone. It became a well know "secret" that he made several trips to Reno a year after that, to spend time with this Lorraine Harris that Bart had told her about. Once, on a trip to Reno with Bart, she'd insisted that he take her to The Gray Dove, just so she could see what the woman looked like. Looking through the window, she had been surprised at how very attractive and genteel the voluptuous blonde had appeared, not at all what Anne would have imagined a whorehouse Madam would have looked like, other than the rather low cut dress that accentuated her charms.
Once Bart had passed on, Anne and Glenn had naturally gravitated together to share their grief. Glenn had made a point of going over her books with her in case she had needed any assistance in understanding the workings of the ranch, but had been very impressed with her knowledge, realizing that she was really the driving force behind the business end of the Ramsey's ranch. Anne, on the other hand, knew what a gap Bart's passing had left in Glenn's life and, to his amusement, suggested an occasional fishing trip to a lake or stream that he and Bart used to frequent, or she would accompany him on a morning ride to some of his favorite parts of the ranch.
Anne always remembered the time that she had stumbled upon Glenn at the side of the lake in the meadow that he loved so much. She had been on the way back from taking some staples to the wife of a neighboring rancher who had fallen on hard times. She had just been about to emerge from the pines into the clearing when she saw Glenn's horse and then saw Glenn. It was clear that he'd just been for a dip in the lake, as the water still glistened in his hair and on his skin as he lay on the boulder in the sun, drying himself. Anne had been rooted to the spot by the fact that he wasn't wearing the first stitch of clothing.
While she had been a virgin when she married, Anne had grown up in a house full of brothers, most of whom she'd seen over the years either undressed or close to it, either on bath night or when they'd all been to the swimming hole in the summer. So, she wasn't completely unfamiliar with the male anatomy. However, even in his relaxed state, Anne had never imagined that there were men as well endowed as Glenn Lambert was! She wondered if a tool that large would cause pleasure or pain, but thinking about how happy Lucy had always seemed, she decided it was the former.
For a while after that, she had had a hard time looking at him without blushing when they met, as all she could think of was what was hidden beneath his clothing. Eventually, their friendship returned to an even keel, but that was about the times the dreams started. At first, they were dreams about Glenn and Lorraine Harris! Even though Bart was gone, Anne knew that Glenn still went to Reno to spend time with the owner of The Gray Dove. She would dream of the both of them on the boulder by the lake, making love in the bright sunlight. Or, sometimes, in the haymow of one of the barns at the Flying L, with Anne stumbling upon them and watching the ecstasy in the blond woman's face as she writhed beneath him. But, as Anne and Glenn had become closer friends, the dreams transformed from Glenn making love to Lorraine Harris, to him making love to her. Here. In her bed!
With a sigh, Anne decided that she was only frustrating herself further by this train of thought and swung her long legs over the edge of the bed to start her day. She had taken a bath the night before, so she simply availed herself of the washstand in the bedroom and filled the porcelain bowl with water from the pitcher. She took a quick sponge bath and then walked over to the closet, deciding upon a split skirt and blouse. Once her morning duties were done, she thought she'd take a nice long ride to, hopefully, clear her mind.
Anne went downstairs for breakfast, sitting alone at the large table, as was usual these days. She looked around at the large house, thinking that, while she loved the life that they'd had together here, it was still very much a reflection of her husband. Anne had never been fussy about decorations and the house reflected a warm, comfortable but decidedly masculine atmosphere. It was still very much the house that her husband had built when the ranch had begun to prosper and, while she had added her own touches here and there, it was a very large home that was filled with leather and wood furnishings, a great deal of heavy wood paneling and dark, masculine colors. It was her home and she loved it, but sometimes it became almost oppressive and she found that she had to get out into the sunshine to shake off the melancholy that she occasionally discovered herself slipping into.
After the cook served her breakfast, she went to the study to work on the books, deciding that the correspondence to her mother and her sister in law could wait until later. After looking over the figures she was pleased to see that there was more than enough to purchase the horses, as she had hoped, and dashed off a letter to the owner of the Hayes ranch outside of Carson City, informing them that, as per their prior correspondence, she would take all six horses and would send a crew to pick them up in three weeks.
She had just finished the letter when she heard a knock on the front door. Informing the cook, Rosa, that she would answer it, she opened the heavy oak door to discover Glenn Lambert standing on the other side.
"Morning, Annie. How are you on this fine day?" he asked, his hat in his hand and a smile on his face.
"Glenn, won't you come in?" she exclaimed, an answering smile creasing her face. "Would you like some coffee?"
"That sounds fine," he said, entering the house and looking around, a bit nervously Anne thought.
"You caught me at a good time, I've just finished looking over our books and you saved me from having to write a deadly dull letter to Mother," she chuckled, bringing the coffee pot from the dining room table into the den. It was the room that she and Glenn always seemed to gravitate to, and with its large welcoming stone fireplace, comfortable deep leather chairs and couch and the rifle cases mixed in with the bookcases, it was usually conducive to a nice, long chat. Usually.
They talked for a time about the horses that she was purchasing from the Hayes ranch and the breeding program that she was going to begin. While the Ramsey ranch would still primarily be a cattle ranch, she hoped to one day have a viable horse ranch as well. Glenn was impressed with the specifics and her vision of the future of the place and was quick to tell her so. However, it became clear that something was on his mind, and she finally asked him about it.
"Glenn, is something wrong?" she asked, frankly. "You seem out of sorts."
Glenn Lambert remembered the advice that Lorraine Harris had given him several months ago when she had tried to convince him that Anne Ramsey would be the perfect wife for him. She had listened to his concerns about Anne's seeming lack of interest in marital relations, at least that was what Bart Ramsay had seemed to think. And she had advised him to simply talk to Anne about it. That was the problem, how did a man go about asking a lady if she thought she'd enjoy a good, proper fuck with him, should they get married?!?!?!
"Would you like to take a ride?" he asked, abruptly. He had no definite plan for the rest of the conversation; however the walls of the house suddenly seemed as if they were closing in.
"I'd enjoy it very much. I was actually planning on a ride this morning anyway," Anne said, still puzzled but, deciding that perhaps patience truly was a virtue, holding her tongue.
She and Glenn walked to the barn and he had her favorite horse, Sassy (short for Sarsaparilla) saddled in short order. Anne could have saddled the horse blindfolded, but it was clear that he needed something to keep him occupied so she acquiesced.
"How about over by the lake?" he inquired. At her nod they headed both horses in that direction, kicking them both into a long, lazy lope.
Forty five minutes later, they came into the meadow clearing that was home to the lake that had been such a part of both their lives. The place was full of fond memories of family picnics, fishing and swimming excursions and hundreds of other gatherings of one sort or another over the years. Anne was pleased to see that Glenn seemed more relaxed by the time they dismounted. They both watered their horses in a comfortable silence, and then tied them to a low hanging branch on trees at the edge of the woods.
Strolling back towards the lake, they talked about one of the family picnics here from long ago, back when the Lambert children were small.
"Yep, been coming here for years," Glenn sighed in contentment, as he climbed up onto his favorite perch; the boulder overlooking the lake. Anne tried to shove the memory associated with this boulder to the back of her mind and just let him talk.
"We've known each other for a lot of years too, haven't we, Annie?" he asked, unconsciously using the affectionate nickname that he always associated with her.
"Yes, we have. Twenty three years, if I remember correctly," she smiled, somewhat amazed that it had been that long since she'd come here as a bride.
"I remember the first time Bart met you. All he talked about for weeks was the pretty gal that he met at that party," Glenn chuckled. "He thought you were way too young for him, he couldn't believe it when you agreed to correspond with him."
"Well, my parents thought he was too old, too," Anne smiled, remembering the row that she'd had with her family over a man who was nearing fifty courting the Senator's twenty year old daughter. "But I liked Bart. He was the kindest man that I'd ever met. As we corresponded, he shared parts of himself with me that I couldn't imagine my father or brothers ever sharing with anyone. He was an easy man to fall in love with, and I'll be thankful for the life we had together until the day I die."
"That's the way I felt about my Lucy. Sometimes it's still hard to believe she's gone, she seems such a part of all of this," he said, gesturing to the land in general. "In the early days we worked this land side by side, I'da never been able to finish our first cabin before the snow flew without her. She was right there with me, swinging the axe and notching the logs."
"I loved her so much," Anne said softly, a faraway look in her eye. "She never talked down to me or made me feel as if I were a silly, young bride who'd been educated back east. She always treated me like an equal, like a friend. She made all the difference in my life here; she was the only woman friend that I had for a long time."
"Well, I remember when Bart brought you home. You looked like a scared young filly, all long legs and big eyes," he smiled, teasing her a bit. "But you never acted like a silly young thing, Annie. You always fit in, right from the start. You've turned into a hell of a business woman too, if you'll excuse my language."
Anne's cheeks flushed with pride. The fact that Glenn recognized her contributions to the family business meant the world to her. Bart had always loved working on the ranch, he loved the hands on part of it, but he had hated the bookwork. Once she had arrived and he had initially shown her how things were run, she had taken the paperwork over, devised her own system of bookkeeping and soon the ranch began to show profits that had surprised both her husband AND her. While she had always been content to let outsiders think that Bart ran it all, she was gratified that Glenn knew the truth.
"Anne, you and I, well......we've been friends for a long time now, haven't we?" Glenn began, determined to somehow or other get this conversation going in the direction that he wanted, come hell or high water.
"Yes. Twenty three years, I believe is what we just said," she said, teasing him a bit.
"Yep. And we've gotten closer during the last year or so, since.....since Bart's been gone, haven't we?" he continued, swallowing the lump in his throat.
"We have. You've been the best friend that I could have ever asked for, Glenn," she said, suddenly wondering if this conversation was going where she thought it was going.
"Well, that goes both ways, Annie girl," he said, looking at her, enjoying the red glints that came out in her chestnut brown hair in the sunshine. "You helped me get over the grief of losing my best friend. I feel like I've gotten to know you better. Not just as Bart's wife, but you as a person."
"I know what you mean," Anne admitted, suddenly feeling a bit shy at these revelations. "You were always Lucy's husband and Bart's friend. But, now, I feel like I know things about you...well...things that are a part of our friendship together."
"I'll never stop missing Lucy, I won't lie to you about that. But, over the last year or so, I've come to realize that I don't want to live the rest of my life alone, either," he continued, looking her in the eye for the first time since he'd begun his ramblings.
Anne felt her heart begin to beat faster and her cheeks flushed with becoming color. She had heard people speculating about the two of them, Glenn and her, wondering if they would marry. Anne hadn't allowed herself to think on it very much since she was afraid it would stain their friendship, particularly if he didn't ask. But, she had been honest enough to admit to herself that, should he ask, she would accept. She cared for the man very much and admired him more than she could say. She knew that they could have a good life together.
"I'd like to marry again, Anne, but not just anyone," he said, becoming a bit agitated, which confused her somewhat. Suddenly she wondered if he was going to ask her opinion about asking Lorraine Harris to marry him!
Jumping down from the boulder, he began to pace alongside it, to the lakes edge and back.
"Glenn, what is it you're trying to say?" she asked in as gentle a tone as she could muster while trying to prevent her voice from shaking too badly.
"What I'm trying to say is...is...that I'm sixty two, Annie, and that might seem old to you," he said quietly, as he came to stand closer to her. "But, even at sixty two, there are certain parts of a marriage that I couldn't live without. That I wouldn't be willing to live without. Do you...do you understand what I'm saying?"
Anne stared at him, thinking that she was following the train of thought that he was clearly trying to present in such a delicate manner. He was trying to say that he wanted a marriage that included physical intimacy, which was perfectly normal, to her way of thinking. But, for the life of her, she couldn't understand why he felt the need to spell it out this way for her.......until suddenly a light went on and she DID understand. He knew the kind of marriage that she and Bart had had....she had always known that he and Lucy were aware of Bart's injury and it didn't surprise or upset her that Bart had told Glenn about some of the intimate aspects of their life. She, herself, had confided in Lucy on occasion when she felt that she needed someone to talk to about things. But, somehow, she realized that Glenn was under the impression that, should the two of them marry, that she might not want to fulfill her wifely "duties".
Glenn saw so many different emotions flittering across Anne's face that he lost track of them all. He just knew that the final one reflecting from her hazel eyes was amazement. Reaching out to grasp her hand, he squeezed it hard and inquired, with regret, "I've offended you, haven't I?"
Anne miraculously resisted the urge to laugh and shook her head no, as she slid down off the boulder.
"No, Glenn, you haven't offended me," she said quietly, her hand still resting in his. "But, I'd like to ask you to do something for me."
"Anything you want, Annie" he said, feeling that he owed her this after what he'd just.....well...almost asked her.
"I'd like for you to follow me for a ways. You'll know where we're going when you see it," she said, pulling him by the hand towards their horses.
The two remounted and Anne headed Sassy to the west, prodding her into a canter with a touch of her heels. They continued north and west from the lake, crossing back onto Ramsey property but not heading towards the main ranch house.