tagNovels and NovellasNo Controlling Legal Authority Ch. 19

No Controlling Legal Authority Ch. 19


Moon Dog led him to Number Six with a half dozen quick strides. He was reaching to knock on the door when Caleb caught his arm.

"Hold on a minute, Dog," he said in a low, sort of conspiratorial voice, not wishing to announce his arrival prematurely.

Moon Dog half turned toward the younger man and looked at him questioningly.

Caleb smiled weakly and made a self-conscious attempt to brush his hair into place with his fingers. He tried to swallow, but his mouth felt as dry as dust bowl sod, and he couldn't find enough spit to lick a stamp. His hands were shaking with a fine, barely noticeable, tremor, and he could feel his quickening pulse beating in the hollow just below his Adam's apple. His stomach fluttered nervously, and there was an involuntary warming rush in his groin. Goddam, he cursed silently as the unmistakable signs of anxiety began asserting themselves. What the hell's wrong with me, he questioned himself squaring his shoulders resolutely, and he took a deep breath as though oxygen could cure his nervousness.

Why is it always like this, he wondered; why did he always react to the possibility of sex with a giddying burst of nervous excitement? It made him feel idiotic and inadequate; like a timid, overeager schoolboy; like that time when he was just a kid and the Thornberrys stopped by the farm on their way to a vacation in Florida. They brought their daughter, Diane, a gorgeous, sophisticated girl, who was a precocious two years older than he at the time. She quickly became bored with the adults' small talk and yawned a time or two without attempting much to conceal her disinterest in the discourse. Old Judge Montcastle recognized the girl's restlessness, and he suggested to Caleb, as an excuse to let her out of the house for a while, that she might like to go out to the barn to see their newest Arabian foal. The girl brightened some at that suggestion and eagerly allowed Caleb to lead her through the house and out the back door toward the barn. No sooner had they stepped off the back step and out of sight from the parlor and her parents, than Diane fished a crumpled pack of cigarettes out of her blue jeans pocket and offered him one.

"Here, Caleb, you want a smoke?" she said, while adroitly shaking a cigarette out of the package in his direction.

"Uh, uh, no, thanks," the boy stammered, and, when she shrugged him off nonchalantly, tugged the cigarette out of the pack with her lips and lit it with a battered old Zippo lighter, he thought she was just about the most worldly girl that had ever spoken his name.

He led her behind the barn, and she leaned against the paddock fence, blowing smoke rings into the still summer air, while he pointed out the coal-black stallion, Night Redeemer, which had sired the new-born foal.

"He's big," she commented after her eye had followed the line from his pointing finger to the dark horse standing alone atop a small rise on the far side of the paddock.

"He's actually pretty small for an Arabian," Caleb corrected, thinking the girl was pretty ignorant about horses in spite of living in Kentucky.

"Not the horse, silly," she replied without taking her eyes off the stallion. "His dick. See? It's almost dragging the ground."

Caleb was so shocked at the girl's casual reference to the horse's private parts that he jerked back from the fence and nearly tripped over his own feet. There was a tearing sound as the top strand of barbed wire snagged his shirt sleeve and ripped it open. He was blushing furiously at his awkwardness when she turned toward him, and, while grinding out her cigarette butt with a slow, deliberate twisting of the toe of her shoe, sized him up with an intuitive grin.

"Oh, gosh, look what I've gone and done; made you tear your shirt." If she was sorry, he couldn't tell it from the sound of her voice, which wasn't in the least remorseful.

"My own fault, I tripped," he replied tersely, but the deepening red on his neck and cheeks betrayed the lie, and she smirked at him knowingly.

"I bet you've never done 'IT,' have you?"

"Uh, huh, what?" he responded haplessly. 'It,' 'it,' what's 'it?' he wondered; darn girls always talking in riddles; did you bring 'it,' did you like 'it,' you think she would let you do 'it?' 'It' was nothing but an indefinite pronoun, he recalled from the lessons of his ninth grade English class and Mrs. Parrish's oft-repeated exhortation, "'it' doesn't mean anything until you put something with 'it' to give 'it' definition." Girls liked to use 'it,' he figured, 'cause it gave them the advantage over you; you never could be sure what they were asking, so if you said 'yes' and they didn't like that answer, they could just change the question without telling you, and get the answer they wanted in the first place. He found out about that trick the hard way once when Lizzy Morgenstern had asked him if he wanted to do 'it' with her, and he had said 'sure,' and, after he had kissed her a few times, he put his hand on her knee, and she slapped him so hard it brought tears to his eyes and she jumped up yelling that 'it' didn't include 'that,' after which he had been pretty skittish about discussing, much less attempting, 'it.'

"'IT,' you know, with a girl," she pressed, and she sounded a little strident, like she thought anybody with any sense ought to know what 'it' meant.

"I, uh, dunno…" he replied shaking his head in confusion. Whatever 'it' was this time, he was pretty sure he hadn't done 'it,' but admitting he hadn't done 'it' was another matter.

"If you don't know, that means you haven't done it," she retorted smugly.

He blushed redder, digging his hands into the depths of his pockets to conceal his embarrassment. "No, uh, no, I guess I haven't," he stammered, and she appeared to enjoy his discomposure.

"Oh, hell," she sighed as though he was the biggest disappointment ever to have come along in her young life. "Come on and show me the stupid foal."

He pulled the heavy, sliding barn door open enough so she could slip inside, and he followed her into the dim interior of the looming structure. Diffuse, slender beams of sunlight filtered into the darkness through a few narrow cracks in the siding and through an occasional gap in the loft flooring just above their heads. Their eyes gradually adjusted to the faint light, and he led her down the center of the barn toward a stall near the middle. The dark air was cool and smelled of hay, and horses, and of old, oiled leather. They were timeless and familiar smells, and they comforted him.

They walked slowly, picking their steps carefully for the floor was rough and uneven, and she clung to his arm for stability in the darkness. As they neared the center of the barn, the hay loft flooring above them opened and a large, cathedral-like chamber complete with a vaulted ceiling loomed over their heads. Stacked bales of hay surrounded the edges of the loft opening and reached upward toward the peak of the roof. They stepped under the opening, and immediately heard a noisy flapping of wings in the deep gloom high up near the ridgepole of the barn as their presence unsettled a roosting pigeon. The noise startled her, and her fingers tightened on his arm. She stopped and looked up toward the sound.

"What was that?" she whispered uncertainly.

"Nothing to worry about," he replied with an air of authority. "Just a pigeon; barn's full of them."

"Oh," she said with relief, and her grip on his arm relaxed perceptibly. He straightened his back some, proud, for once, to have regained a little stature in the girl's eyes, and swaggered slightly as he led her forward.

"Where is everybody?" she asked as though the returning silence had suddenly become conspicuous enough to require an explanation. "Gone," he answered matter of factly. "Gone fishing or picnicking or visiting family somewhere; it's Sunday, everybody goes off on Sundays."

Their progress had brought them to the middle of the barn, and he gestured toward a stall on his left where the upper half of the Dutch door had been left open. "Here we are, Diane; take a look."

She stepped forward and peered over the lip of the half-door into the near total darkness within the stall. Squinting at the distant corner, she could just make out the shape of a mare standing protectively over another, spindly-legged shape that was wobbling unsteadily beside her.

"She's beautiful," the girl gasped appreciatively when her eyes adjusted.

"He," Caleb corrected. "It's a 'he.'"

"Oh," she replied softly. "He, then," and she continued in a near whisper, " Can I go in and pet him?"

Almost as though answering that question herself, the mare whinnied and shook her head at the faces in the doorway. "Better not," Caleb cautioned. "His mamma's a little too skittish for company just yet."

"You think his mamma would mind if I went in and petted him just a little?" She turned toward him as she spoke, and he thought there was a mischievous twinkle in her eye.

"I know she would," he replied with the assurance of experience. "When she foaled last year, it was two weeks before she would let anybody into the stall without kicking a board out of the wall."

"Well, mammas can be protective like that," Diane replied reflectively glancing back toward the mare.

She pushed away from the stall and turned toward him. She studied his face as though trying to decide if he was too insignificant to be worthy of her attention, and he thought she was just about the most beautiful girl he had ever seen in his entire life. Her eyes narrowed provocatively, and she had a sort of dreamy look on her face, and when she spoke to him her voice was low and suggestive.

"I bet your mamma's like that, Caleb, isn't she? Protective? She'd probably kick a plank out of the wall too, if I petted you a little, wouldn't she?"

"I, uh, uh." The boy's confused response stumbled across his lips. He felt a quickening of his pulse and an abrupt rise in his respiration rate. He was close to panting, and there was a choking sensation in his throat; he felt lightheaded, nearly faint, and he tightened his hold on the stall door to steady himself. The girl's image swam unsteadily in the dim light, and her next words floated toward him like angels' breath.

"You'd like to pet me, too, wouldn't you, Caleb?" she whispered suggestively, and she reached to place her hand over his on the stall door.

The touch of her fingers was light and gentle, but it seared his hand like a branding iron. The barn floor tilted crazily for an instant and lurched upward. He reeled like a drunkard heading home after a long night, and he clung to the door as though it was the only lamppost on the street. His face burned with a crimson glow, which he felt certain she could see even if it was pitch black in the barn, and he tried to answer her, but his mouth was dry and the words wouldn't form on his lips.

"You're not afraid of me, are you, Caleb?" She was smiling at him coquettishly, and her words were said with the faint hint of a challenge.

He shook his head, ineffectually denying the obvious, and blinked at her. He felt like an idiot for his ineptness and inadequacy.

"It's OK to be a little scared at first; I'll show you what to do, if you don't know," she said smiling seductively at him.

"I, I, I," he stammered, and he wondered if she could feel his hand trembling under hers, and he thought she must think him a complete fool if she could.

She felt his tremors and his fears, and his inexperienced shyness encouraged her to be daring. Boldly, she reached toward him and began toying with a button on his shirt, tugging it and pulling him closer.

"I know what," she whispered, smiling reassuringly in an effort to broach the wall of his immature timidity. "We'll play doctor; I'll show you mine and you can show me yours."

"What?" he gasped.

She laughed softly and squeezed his hand. "I'll show you mine, you know, my pussy, and you can look at it, touch it, do whatever you want, and then you can show me yours. You'd like that, wouldn't you?"

Like that, like that? he shrieked silently and memories of the nudes in his brother's Penthouse magazines writhed tormentingly in his brain. Suddenly, 'it' had definition, a meaning, an identity; she had named 'it,' and 'it' was her pussy. Of course, he would like that; what fool wouldn't? He would like that because she was sweet and fresh and beautiful and experienced in the ways of things he had only laid awake at night and dreamed about, and the blood pounded in his ears like the hoof beats of a thousand galloping stallions, and his head bobbed eagerly.

She grinned at him and tugged on his button again. "Good boy," she breathed and he was astonished by the deep huskiness of her voice. "Take me somewhere where I don't have to stand in manure up to my ankles, and I'll let you see my pussy."

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