tagNovels and NovellasWolf Creek Ch. 10

Wolf Creek Ch. 10


Estelle Hopewell proved to be Ada's saving angel—and far more than in their intimate moments, of which there were many in the ensuing years. Estelle immediately fell in love with the hidden Colorado valley of Wolf Creek, and she virtually moved in with Ada and Frank in the Wolf Creek Ranch main ranch house. Frank never really took to her, but he tolerated her for Ada's sake. Estelle was visited in turn by her adventuring husband, who one day looked in the passenger seat of the RC-38US Douglas Ward Cruiser DWC he was test piloting, noticed that his chronicler companion wasn't there, and came looking for her. And she also was visited by her lover, the male bonding novelist J. Harvey Kincaid, who took to the Wolf Creek valley like it was his Atlantis or Nirvana.

The spring of 1926 saw the release, to international acclaim, of the novel Estelle wrote, Pristine Valley, while she was in residence at the Wolf Creek Ranch and that was being touted for a Pulitzer or National Book Award now that her Quentin had come and swept her away to Europe to celebrate the publication of a book of a young, charismatic German political leader who had piqued Quentin's interest as the statements therein matched many of his own views. Estelle didn't understand the man's book, Mein Kampf, but she could not refuse following her husband on his various adventures. Before she had left the ranch, however, she had planted in Ada's mind the notion of turning the Wolf Creek Ranch into a dude ranch for those in the literary and art world who wanted to escape the cities and prepare their art in peace. The publication of her own book would surely, she said, provide the impetus for the flocking of the literary and art world to this pristine Colorado valley.

And so it did. Ada barely had time to prepare for the influx of celebrity visitors to the newly established Wolf Creek dude ranch before their sleek automobiles, completely unsuited for the mountain terrain, started kicking up dust on the canyon road entering the valley. Frank was all for turning his spread into a dude ranch as long as Ada did all of the arranging; the cattle business had slowly been going down hill for several years, and he had had to let William Hagen's logging operations, now part of a large and prestigious construction firm headquartered up in Denver, creep ever farther into his virgin timber areas in the foothills of Hahn's Peak adjacent to the Medicine Bow National Forest.

It was during the summer of 1925, after Estelle had departed and when Ada was able to focus more closely on the real world around her, that Ada observed just how totally her ten-year-old son, Hugh, was bonding with Frank and just how much the youngster loved the ranching life. It occurred to her that both Frank and Hugh would love for the ranch to pass from one to the other and that this could only smoothly happen if she married Frank. But he hadn't asked her to marry him for months, and she was afraid his intentions might have changed—especially as he had watched with some irritation Estelle's possessive mannerisms and observed how often they had disappeared from his view for long periods of time and had both come back into his company with the unmistakable of air of sexual fulfillment in the air.

She must rekindle Frank's ardor—and his proposal of marriage, she realized.

She prepared for him one day after he had ridden the range all day checking the fences that had become necessary to separate his cattle grazing areas from those of the sheep of neighboring spreads. If sheep got onto cattle land, they grazed the grass so short that the grasses were killed and no longer good for feeding cattle, so the cattle ranchers had to keep constant vigil on their grazing lands.

"Frank, you look so tired and worn," Ada called out to him from the porch. "You really should stop riding the range yourself on horseback. I worry about you."

"The day I can't ride a horse into the ground is the day I die," Frank said grumpily. But as he descended from the saddle, he noticed that Ada looked particularly beautiful this afternoon and was wearing one of the dresses that made his juices flow.

Ada drew him a warm bath, and as he was soaking and almost dozing off, she came and stood before him and disrobed. By the time she had finished, he was in full arousal, and when she slipped into the tub with him and reached for his manhood and stroked him with her hand while kissing the nipples on his weather-beaten and deeply tanned, barrel chest, he was panting and wanting her badly.

She did not tease him long or disappoint him, but straddled him with her pelvis when he was engorged and rode him in ways that he didn't ride his horse.

By the time he had ejaculated deep inside her in a full-throttled pumping action, he had whispered his marriage proposal to her yet again, and she, at last, to his great astonishment and delight, had accepted him.

Hours later, when Ada had at last worn out the vigorous and virile rancher, they sat, drinking coffee, in the kitchen of the rambling ranch house, and Frank decided it was time to set the direction for their lives.

"I know how much you want this celebrity dude ranch," he said. "And it if will keep you from needing to escape to the big cities as often as you do, I'm all for it. It's time we moved ahead on that, I think."

"Thanks, Frank," Ada said. "I'll start thinking about what we need and who we can get to do it."

"If we're going to do it at all, we're going to do it right," Frank said. He set his coffee cup down with a thump on the table. He'd known this moment was coming and he'd been avoiding it, as Ada's past life was not secret to him. "I've already been in touch with the Rocky Mountain Construction Company. They are all the rage now, as they are rebuilding the lodge at Old Faithful up in Wyoming at Yellowstone Park. If we're going to attract the celebrity dudes, we have to be up to date. So I want the same thing RMC is building up at the park: High-ceiling rooms, log siding, big picture windows, and mammoth rock fireplaces."

Ada had been paralyzed from the moment Frank had mentioned the RMC. "That's William Hagen's company, Frank. I don't see how we could work with William on this."

"I don't see how we couldn't, Ada. I've talked to him and he's interested in our project. What he created down at Brook House is exactly what I think we need here—but on a grander scale. We need our look to be the same as they are building up at Old Faithful. It's just good advertising."

"You've talked with William?" Ada asked. "And he's willing to work with us?"

Two weeks later, Ada was checked into a suite on the seventh floor of the venerable Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver. William Hagen's main offices for the Rocky Mountain Construction Company, which now included a full architectural arm and was the builder to get for all of the mountain mansion projects starting up in the mountain villages to the west of Denver, were right across Tremont Street from the hotel.

William Hagen, now very distinguished looking and still handsome and trim, met Ada in the hotel lobby and walked her over to his offices. If he had any reservations about seeing her or working with her on the basis of his painful past in trying to court her multiple times, he didn't show it. He fairly beamed at seeing her and told her, with much delight, how radiant she looked. Ada did, in fact, look radiant and far younger than her age in this fortieth year of her life. She came from an excellent gene pool and, if anything, she had grown more beautiful and intriguing—and with that added little jolt of sensuality—with each passing year. And now a famous artist in her own right, she also showed superb fashion flair and the confidence of one who was supremely comfortable with herself and her impact on the world at large.

"I'm so glad that you and Frank have chosen us for Frank's lodge facility construction up at Wolf's Creek, Ada," William said when he met with her in the lobby of the Brown Palace Hotel. "And how is Brook House holding up? I've used quite a few of the concepts I used there in my later projects. It would be nice to know the roof hasn't caved in."

"The roof hasn't caved in, William," Ada said, already uncomfortable and a little fearful about where the conversation was going. "But I haven't lived in Brook House since you left the saw mill. I live at Frank's ranch now. We're . . . we're to be married next spring."

"I see," William said. He didn't show that he was crushed at the news, but, of course, he was—as he always was whenever he thought he might have a chance with Ada. "Well, come on over to the office. We've already started working on plans for the new lodge, and I think you'll be impressed. They are quite impressive."

"Not too impressive, I hope," Ada said with a slightly nervous laugh as Hagen handed her out the front door of the Brown Palace and looked for a break in the traffic so they could cross Tremont.

"Not to worry there. I actually have a proposition to make for you that will bring the cost to almost nothing."

Ada suddenly felt naked. Had William changed? Was he going to directly proposition her after all these years of near misses? She hadn't thought that possible, but her mind was now racing. What would she say if he did? She owed so much to Hagen. And he was still a handsome and obviously well-built man. Could she deny him attentions now after all he'd done for her?

Ada was so taken with the "what iffing" of these thoughts when they entered the three impressive stories of the Rocky Mountain Construction Company that she was completely unprepared for what happened next when she'd entered the management suites of RMC.

"Ada, I'd like you to meet—or at least to become reacquainted—with my Denver operations chief. I think you know each other."

Ada was completely nonplused. There, standing before her, by the table in the conference room where the proposed plans of the lodge at the Wolf Creek dude ranch were rolled out for inspection, was Pete. Pete Fair, her mountain lover. And a Pete Fair who was still stunningly handsome and in good form. A Pete Fair who stepped forward and took her elbow and supported her as unobtrusively as he could when there was every evidence she would faint dead away on the spot.

"I don't understand," Ada stammered as soon as she was able to gain some control of herself. "I thought . . ."

William Hagen was looking at the plans on the table, not at either Ada or Pete during this unexpected introduction. Whether he was purposely not looking at them, not wanting to see a rekindling of a primeval connection between them, or whether he was innocently turned away, ready to start his pitch on his architectural plans for the dude ranch would never be known. But he did break into Ada's weak-voiced statement before she could say something that would embarrass both her and the two men in the room, both who had loved her—one with his heart and one with his cock.

"Pete showed such promise at his work at the saw mill that I offered him the job of opening my company offices here in Denver. And he's made all of the difference. We would never have become the premier architectural and construction firm in Colorado without his drive and ambition."

Ada, who had known quite a bit about Pete's drive and ambition in a different vein, recovered quickly, and, after saying a few niceties to Pete and learning that he had become quite the politician in Denver and was even contemplating running for public office—with the backing of his new wife's father, a political kingmaker in the western states—she turned her complete attention to William Hagen and the plans he'd had drawn up for the Wolf Creek ranch lodge and the stable buildings.

Her reaction to the situation must have pleased William greatly, as he warmed then to both her and to his presentation of the plans.

At length, after she had poured over the plans, Ada sighed and said. "If only this could happen. We can't afford this, William. It's just what we need to attract the celebrities, of course, but this is far more ambitious than we can afford. We'll need to start off with something far less majestic than these plans and work our way to this."

"Ah, this is where my proposition comes in," William said.

Ada steeled herself for "the" proposition. She'd already decided that she wouldn't deny William anything he wanted if he wanted sex. She was more than somewhat pleased that he had changed to the point of making such a proposition to her. Steel in the crotch had always been the main element he had lacked.

"You are such a well-known artist, now, Ada. You catch the spirit of the West perfectly and you have such style with colors. My proposition is . . . if you'll become the interior design stylist for RMC's line of vacation mountain cottages up in what are developing as popular ski areas to the west of Denver—and you allow us to use the lodge in our advertising, which would be good advertising for your dude ranch as well—we will construct the lodge and stables and new ranch hand quarters—the whole coordinated complex—for the costs of the supplies. And, as we'd be taking the logs off the mountain right there by the ranch, the cost of most supplies will be very low."

Ada was so overwhelmed by the proposal, which made perfect sense from every angle she could readily see, that she bounced up from her chair at the table and hugged and kissed William.

This not only surprised Hagen, but it inflamed him. He had never given up on the possibility of winning Ada, and the closeness of her now and her impetuous embrace sent him over the moon. As they were concluding their deal on the construction of the lodge, which William said could start almost immediately, Hagen threw caution to the wind and asked Ada to have dinner with him in the hotel's posh Palace Arms restaurant that evening. And Ada, in her enthusiasm for the concluded business of the day, readily accepted the invitation.

When she left the offices, Ada told William that she could see herself out, and William let her go, which was a big mistake on his part. Pete Fair was waiting for Ada in the reception area on the first floor.

Three hours later William, stood at the door of Ada's seventh-floor suite at the hotel, a dozen red roses in one hand and his heart on his suit sleeve. And he knocked and he knocked and he knocked, but no one answered his call. In a panic, he convinced the hotel evening manager to check Ada's rooms, but they were empty. Ada, having forgotten her dinner appointment altogether in the glow of what Pete had proposed to her in the lobby of the RMC, was then in another suite on the hotel's ninth floor, flat on her back on a soft bed, her legs spread wide, and Pete Fair splitting her asunder with his long, thick cock and pumping her to orgasm after orgasm in their long-remembered dance of exuberant lust and desire.

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