Pleading Her Case

bygriffin57©

Drew was finally warming up. It had been a long, cold day cutting firewood up by the Dam road. But his trailer was full and he was on his way home, attempting to beat the snow storm that was forecast. Three inches had already fallen and there was no end in sight. Predictions of close to a foot of the white stuff peppered the news on the radio and he was looking forward to a hot shower, a steak and a few beers, in that order.

Damn he was sore and that he turned 50 today didn't matter to anyone. His wife Clair died of cancer four years ago and he had been alone since. Drew kept telling himself that this year would be the last year he would cut firewood. But he had been telling himself that for the last three years now. Somehow cutting wood had kept his mind off Clair; well almost. Still, no matter how busy he was, his time spent alone had forged him prison walls that were seemingly inescapable.

She appeared out of nowhere and Drew almost missed seeing her standing by the edge of the road. She wore white jeans and a pale green coat whose color was almost obscured by the falling snow. This area was often referred to as Bum Fuck Egypt or Iowa, depending on the speaker. In other words, the middle of nowhere. Barely a county road, lined with trees and more trees as far as the eye could see, in any and every direction.

As he ground his truck and trailer to a halt the woman turned toward him. Seems she had been plodding down the road, wearing clothes that, not only seemed out of place for this area of Michigan, but were a bit too thin for being out in this kind of weather. She approached the truck and reached for the door handle.

Drew touched the window control and she pulled the hood on her jacket back so she could see him more easily. The two day scruff of beard and the Stihl ball cap couldn't hide his thinning, blonde, graying hair. Blue eyes twinkled behind the crow's feet laugh lines, giving him an almost boyish, mischievous aura.

"Enjoying the weather Ma'am?" he smirked.

Kelli Marie Martin couldn't help but smile. She had expected him to demand why she was out in a GD snow storm or wonder if her car had broke down, why didn't she just stay with it? His inquiry had caught her completely off guard.

Drew noticed her damp, reddish /chestnut hair and the way her blue eyes sparkled with warmth, even in the swirling snow. Her face was a bit weathered and had an almost masculine quality to it, but that could have been because she appeared to be close to him in age. He did know immediately that he liked her smile.

"Just out for my daily constitutional. Hard not to enjoy weather like this." She smirked sarcastically, partially blinded by the wind swept snow.

Drew decided then that she was heartier than she appeared and it secretly tickled him to no end. Just to be out in this storm and to speak so casually proved that she might be a force to be reckoned with.

"Well, I was going to offer you a ride, but seeing you are enjoying yourself, I will just leave you to this beautiful day." he teased.

Foregoing the breach in etiquette she shook her head, opened the door and climbed in. Drew noticed she was shivering, raised her window back up and jacked up the heat, adjusting the blower vents toward her. She hunkered down as she soaked up the warm air that the heater was pushing her way.

"So why were you out there? Car get stuck?"

"No, some jackass dropped me out here as the storm started to get some steam." She acted disgusted.

"Jackass?"

"A date. Some loser I found on Craig's List. He sweet talked me and told me to meet him at that Bar in town, the Tally Ho. He took me for a drive out here and told me either I blow him or he was dropping me off. At first I though he was teasing so I got out of the car to humor him. Bastard took off like a bat out of Hell. That was 2 hours ago. You are the first one that came along. If I had stayed out in this blizzard any longer I was going turn into a Kellie sickle."

"So I guess your name is Kellie. They call me Drew." she offered him her hand and he noticed it was cold.

"Just as long as your name isn't Brad!" She made a gagging sound. "Bastard."

"Umm, this Brad didn't drive a blue Jimmy, did he?" Drew returned.

"Yeah, you know the bum?"

"I know him." he smirked. "A friend of mine, Kim, owns that bar and I don't know how many times she has kicked him out. He gives a bad rep to bad news."

"You have warm hands Drew." Kellie smiled slyly and Drew colored when he realized he was still holding hers and pulled away. "It's okay, I kinda liked it."

Drew decided to change the subject. "So where are we headed, young lady?"

"My car is at the bar if you could drop me off there please." Kellie pulled a new pack of cigarettes from a pocket of her coat, looked at it ruefully and unwrapped the cellophane. "Been trying to quit these damn things."

"Could I have one?" Drew piped up.

"Sure." She relented and handed him the pack. Drew hit the button for his side window, pitched them out into a snow bank and headed down the road. "Damn it! That was my last pack! Gawd, I hate going cold turkey!"

Drew motioned. "In the glove box is a small brown bag." With a surly glance at him she reached over, opened the compartment and removed the brown bag. Inside were individually wrapped cubes that reminded Kellie of caramel candies, only they were purple in color. "Hope you like berry flavor."

Still annoyed, Kelli bemoaned. "Candy isn't going to get me through this Mr. Lumberjack." She drawled.

"Ain't candy. It's an all natural nicotine replacement. A friend made them up for me. I quit smoking a while back after chewing these for two weeks, so they might be a little stale. He is applying for the patent."

Kellie eyed him skeptically. "How do I know these are not roofies?"

Drew sighed. "Number one; I ain't Brad and number two; I'm like Superman, I always tell the truth."

Kellie actually laughed at the comment, unwrapped one, popped it in her mouth and began to chew. It was delicious and her nicotine cravings subsided almost immediately. She smiled, "Your friend is going to make some serious cash if this is as good as I think it is."

"Hope so, I got money invested in it."

"Smart man. You know, I have connections back in Grand Rapids. My brother Hank is the best patent attorney in the city. Has this finished with the FDA trials yet?"

"My friend David said that it already passed and just waiting for the paperwork to catch up." Drew remarked. Then on a more serious note. "Kellie, you are smart, funny and ain't hard on the eyes. Why the Hell are you shopping on Craig's List for a date?"

She hesitated almost apologetically. "That is my business Drew."

"Okay, fair enough. My place is on the way to the bar. Got to drop off my trailer before the snow gets too deep." Kellie just nodded.

The boarder collie that came bounding up after Drew backed his trailer into the pole barn couldn't wait to be petted. Drew roughed up the fur on her neck and introduced her to Kellie. "This is Sadie." Sadie took to the woman in a heartbeat and sat for a good scratching. Kellie seemed quite pleased at the reception.

"Such a beautiful rascal. Is Sadie a good girl?" she asked the dog as Kellie continued to pet her. Drew unhooked the trailer and closed the garage door back up.

"Do you mind if Sadie rides with us back to the bar?"

"Of course not." She laughed.

********************

"Well, that stinks!" All four of Kellie's tires on her Ford Bronco had been slashed.

Drew looked over by a street lamp and saw Brad's Jeep. "He's inside. He better have cash, cause we don't take checks or credit cards." Drew started for the front door.

"Drew... there is something I have to tell you before we go in. The reason I was looking for a date on Craig's List is because... I am Transgender. Brad answered my ad for a date. He seemed so nice at first and then..." She trailed off.

Drew's brow wrinkled. "Transgender? Like Caitlyn Jenner?" He smirked. "Didn't see that coming." He shrugged and motioned toward the door. "Come on. Let's go get you some new tires."

*******************

"Get out of my face Taylor and take that nasty tranny with you." Brad Lewis growled when Drew confronted him. He had been sitting at the bar and from the smell of the beer on his breath, had been sitting there for a while.

"Brad, think you owe this Lady some tires."

"She is no Lady, more like a Ladyboy. So buzz off dweeb." Brad took another sip from his beer.

"Not only do you owe Kellie some tires, but you are setting in my usual spot."

The owner, Drew's friend Kim, stood behind the bar. "You had enough Lewis, get your mangy ass out of here."

"Get out of my chair Brad."

"Just where does it say this is your seat?" He scoffed.

"My name is right here on the bar." Drew pointed to a spot. Brad looked down and squinted at where he was pointing. Kim flinched as the sound similar to a double bitted axe, splitting a chunk of fire wood, broke the barroom clatter. When Brad raised back up, his forehead showed a red smear, not previously there and his eyes seemed out of focus.

Kim chuckled. "Saw that coming from a mile away." She turned to the bartender. "Sal, better call the deputy. Think old Brad here needs a room for the night."

Kellie stepped up in shock. "Don't be angry at Drew. He only..."

"Don't worry Honey, Drew and I go way back." She interrupted. "This isn't an LGBT bar, but we are LGBT friendly."

Drew stepped back away from the bar and looked around at the other patrons. "Kellie is transgender. Anybody else have a problem with that?" Not only did no one have a problem, but applause broke out when Brad finally passed out and fell off his stool.

The deputy came by and collected the slob on the floor. Brad, finally awake, made noises about being assaulted. But when a witness came forth who saw him working over Kellie's tires, he clammed up. As the deputy took him away, Kim approached Drew and Kellie.

"The motel is booked up, but Kellie can stay at my place, till they can put new tires on her Ford. Course if the snow keeps up, it may be a while. Hope you don't mind sleeping on my sofa."

"Course if you want to stay with me, I have a perfectly good spare room." Drew wasn't sure why he volunteered. He didn't know her at all, but there was just something about Kellie he liked.

Kellie smiled. "Sure I'm not going to put you out?" Her eyes danced. There was something that she liked about him as well.

"Then its settled. Maybe we can grab some dinner and head for my place before the snow gets too deep." Drew peered out the window.

"Already way ahead of you Sweetie." Kim handed him a pizza delivery sleeve. "Your favorite Drew and some of my garlic breadsticks, on the house. Just drop off the sleeve next trip into town." She kissed him on the cheek. Kim leaned in to whisper something to Kellie and hugged her. "Drive safe." Were her parting words.

After loading Kellie's luggage aboard, the truck was on the road back to Drew's house. She scratched Sadie's head as the dog leaned forward and between them from the back seat of her master's crew cab pickup. "Kim seems very sweet. Surprised that you and her don't..." She trailed off.

"I love Kim alright, but she is more like my sister. She was my wife's best friend and she and I --well -we became closer after Clair passed. But as for being romantic, she bats for the other team and I can respect that."

"That's why she said that the bar was LGBT friendly." She concluded. "I was wondering why you barely batted an eye when I told you I was Trans."

"Actually Bruce Jenner was my hero when I was younger. When she became Cait it threw me for a loop. After watching the show and doing a little research on my own, I came to the conclusion that ladies like you weren't delusional and there was validity to your claim of having a female mind."

"That is very progressive of you, Drew." Kellie exclaimed in partial surprise.

"Not trying be progressive, just telling you what I feel. Now lets get back home and - Fuck!"

Her head snapped around toward him, her eyes widened in shock. "Excuse me?"

He motioned forward. "The damn power must be out." Sure enough, there were no lights on when he turned into the driveway. Neither the yard light or the porch lights were lit as they were when they had left earlier.

"Fuck is right!" she remarked.

Since the outside wood stove wouldn't function with out power, Drew started a fire in the stone fireplace. It was blazing in nothing flat. Candles lit the table as they enjoyed the pizza that Kim had fixed them. "Called the power company. We wont be getting service back till tomorrow some time. Gonna get cold here tonight. The only room that will be decent, will be here next to the fireplace. Maybe we better make plans."

It was a few hours after night fell and the two had Drew's King sized mattress set in front of the fireplace. Kellie fussed till the blankets and pillows were just so. "You sure that you want us both to sleep here?"

"There's plenty of room for both of us and will keep us fairly warm. If you can put up with me, it may not be too bad. We each can stay on our own sides of the bed,"

Hours later Drew stirred and looked at his watch. Just after midnight and the fire was starting to die out. He rose off the mattress, gently as not to disturb Kellie. Funny, he thought that he would have trouble falling asleep with a strange woman in his bed, but her vanilla scent lulled him to sleep in no time. He took a poker and stirred the glowing embers till they blazed and added several logs. The fire built up quickly. He closed the metal mesh screen of the fireplace, washed his hands and let Sadie out to do her duty. When she returned she curled back up on her doggy bed near the fireplace, while Drew slid back into his own.

He waited till he was sure Kellie was still asleep and rolled on his side facing her. She stirred a bit and still asleep backed up into him and cuddled up. Drew was taken aback by the action but laid still. Kellie's warmth sparked a memory and reminded him of how he and Clair use to sleep together, tight like cards in a deck. He put his arm around her waist and her head raised enough for him to slip his arm under her neck. Memories came flooding back and tears seeped from his eyes. But it wasn't long before Kellie's rhythmic breathing and vanilla scent calmed him and he dropped off to sleep.

Kellie, who in actuality, had been feigning sleep, relaxed when she heard the sounds that meant Drew had fallen back asleep himself. Drew's own scent, a mixture of old spice and wood smoke from the fireplace secretly pleased her. His warmth and the way his arm naturally wrapped around her, gave a feeling of security she had not experienced in a very long time. Before too long the comfort she felt sent her to dreamland as well.

Clair came to him that night. He held her for the longest time as they kissed. "I've missed you so much Sweetheart."

"Me too Andy Baby, but you have to move on. You don't have to be alone. I don't want you to be alone. I don't want you to be alone. I don't want you to..." The image of her softened as her last words echoed over and over again, growing fainter each time. As he continued to sleep, a single tear traced down Drew's cheek as he held the woman spooned up against him.

****************

The sun peaked through a frosted windowpane and shone on Kellie's face. Drew was still plastered up against her and she never wanted the feeling of closeness to him, to ever go away. Then she felt another sensation. Apparently Drew's morning 'wood' was nested up against her backside. This too was a 'feeling' she never wanted to disappear. Because she was Transgender, Kellie never had a relationship ever last long. She badly missed the closeness of human contact, physically as well as sexually. She had tried a few times with women but her female 'wired' brain longed for a man's touch and love. And it seemed that Drew exhibited many of the qualities that she admired in a man. Maybe she would try, one more time to seek the happiness she desired and needed. Maybe she would try with Drew.

Drew stirred and pulled up even tighter to Kellie. His eyes never opened as he leaned in and nuzzled her neck. His eyes snapped open and he stiffened, realizing what he had done and was doing. Kellie leaned back into him, keeping the contact for as long as possible.

He mumbled an apology in one run on sentence. Kellie trapped his arm when he tried to rise. "You don't have to move on my account. I kinda like you there handsome." After second thoughts, Kellie released him and made her own apology as she colored slightly. "Sorry Drew, it felt so nice to be so close to somebody like this. It has been so long." She rose and slipped a robe on, over her nightshirt. As she walked into the kitchen, the lights lit the living room.

"Yes, finally!" Drew sighed. Sadie bolted for the door and he let her out to greet the morning.

Without a word, Kellie busied herself in the kitchen. Soon coffee was brewing and bacon was frying. Drew was amazed on how she seemed right at home even in a strange kitchen. He couldn't help but smile as he watched her bustle about. He crossed back into the kitchen and began to set the table for breakfast.

"Kind of remind me of how Clair use to operate, the model of efficiency."

Kellie turned toward him. "Are you lonely Drew?"

"What?"

Kellie took in the question in his eyes. "Are you lonely? Do you miss Clair?"

The question took him aback. Few people had asked about Clair, in fact Kim was only person that spoke openly with him about her. That is why the two of them were so close. Now a complete stranger was moving into that territory, uninvited. Normally this would piss him off, but there was something about Kellie that calmed him and soothed some of the hurt instead of making it worse.

"I miss her everyday. I loved that woman like no other." He stated softly.

"What do you think she would say if she could see you here now, building walls and welcoming the loneliness like an old friend? Do you think this is what she would want for you?"

Tears dripped from his eyes as he gazed out the window. "She w--would probably say I was a d--damned fool." he choked.

"And she would be right. Loving, practical and efficient. Damn, I never met her and I feel like she could have been like a sister to me." She set breakfast on the table. "Better eat up."

******************

The roads were still pretty impassible for a vehicle without 4 wheel drive. Kellie called into town and found out that her Jeep had new tires and that she could pick it up at any time. But until the roads were plowed, she would have to stay put at Drew's place. That in it's self didn't bother her at all. She figured that Drew took a shine to her. Well it was about time to see how far she could go.

Rather than assume the power would stay on, Kellie and Drew brought a good supply of extra firewood inside. That evening, after a meal of homemade stew, she whipped up, on the fly, they both took hot showers. While Kellie busied herself getting dressed in her Pjs, Drew wondered why he was attracted to her so much. Surprisingly enough, he was strangely attracted to Caitlyn Jenner too. Maybe he was attracted to trans-women in general. But Kellie was special. Drew felt that their personalities really meshed. Maybe she was right. Clair would have wanted him to move on. Is it possible that Kellie had been sent by Clair to end his loneliness? And what did she feel about him? Could his conscience even let him try?

His right shoulder twinged in spasm. He reached over with his left hand and tried to massage it. After a few moments of a useless effort he felt an new set of hands on him.

"Let me do that." Kellie whispered. Skilled hands worked the muscles in his neck and shoulders. "I could do a better job, if you took off your T shirt, Drew." She had him set down on one of the barstools near the island in the kitchen.

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bygriffin57© 10 comments/ 14586 views/ 22 favorites

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