Love Rides a Chestnut Horse Ch. 10bytigrlily320©
Back upstairs, Bella began to dream. In the dream, she and James were sitting on the porch like they had been so often recently. The door opened and out walked her father. She glanced up at him, surprised, and then smiled up at him, introducing him to James. The two talked about the ranch and shared horse tales while she watched. She smiled in her sleep, a happy tear dripping down her cheek.
At that moment, James returned to the bedroom, climbing into bed next to her though trying to cause as little movement as possible. He wrapped his arms tightly around Belle, noticing the tear on her cheek. He brushed it away gently and rested her head against the back of her shoulder. Feeling his presence she awoke slowly, looking around for him. She turned to look at him as he leaned forward and brushed a soft kiss over her lips. As he pulled back she smiled wide.
"Daddy likes you," she whispered.
"What, baby?" he asked sleepily.
She said again, "Daddy likes you. He told me he did."
James awoke fully, sitting up and looking down at her. "What do you mean, honey?"
She shook her head, "not really, baby, don't worry. I had a dream. I talked to Daddy and he met you. I mean, I know it wasn't real but he felt real."
He nodded, kissing her forehead again. "I'm truly happy he likes me."
She leaned back into him. "He even said he's happy you're living here. He hasn't ever been happy to have anyone here," she sighed. "He seemed like his old self again. From before Mama."
"Good," he smiled. "I'm glad. He had to be a great man to have such a wonderful daughter."
She blushed lightly at the compliment. "He was brilliant. That is, until Mama..." her voice drifted off as she looked away.
He placed his hand on her cheek and pulled her back around to face him. "You don't have to talk about it, honey." His hand slowly caressed her face.
She nodded slowly, "I know, but I want to..." She paused, looking into his eyes. "I just need time."
"Take as much time as you need," he smiled and squeezed her to him. "We have the rest of our lives together."
She nodded and turned closer to him, curling up with her head on his chest. He held her tightly, burying his nose in her neck, inhaling her scent. He sighed happily and rubbed her back.
She grinned. "You sound so happy, baby."
"That's because I am," he nodded.
Her forehead wrinkled with concentration. "Were you happy before the war?"
He nodded, "I was happy enough. But I'm much happier now."
"What does that mean?" she asked.
"Well," he sighed, "I was alone before the war. I had family, but no girl."
She smiled, "was your family close?"
"I was close with my mother," his hand rubbed idly up and down her back as he thought about her question. "My dad and I got along but were never what you'd call close." He paused, "I can't wait to marry you, Isabella."
She squeezed him gently. "Will your mother like me?"
"Yes," he nodded. "I'm sure of it."
She laughed, "I'd be good enough for her boy?"
"Oh, absolutely," he kissed the top of her head softly.
She grinned, nodding. "Are you hungry, babe?" she asked as she heard his stomach growl.
"I'll be ok," he smiled. "You rest."
"I feel much better now. Let me go make you some dinner," she moved to slide out of the bed, but he pulled her back to him. He stroked her face adoringly, and she slid her arms around his neck.
"Hi there," he whispered.
"Maybe..." she whispered back, "you're hungry for something else."
"Are you?" he smiled as he rubbed her back.
She tilted her head, a smile lighting her face. "I could be convinced," she nodded.
He softly raked his teeth over her shoulder. "Oh?" His eyes stayed on her face as he moved.
"Why Mr. Buchanan, are you trying to seduce me?" she laughed.
He nipped gently at her shoulder. "Whatever would give you that indication, Mrs. Buchanan?" As he used her future name, he watched a small shiver of happiness course through her. She smiled, leaning down and kissing his lips hungrily, pressing her body against his. He sucked her eager tongue into his mouth, teasing it with his own. She ran her hands over his body, up and down his back.
"That feels so good, baby," he whispered.
She smiled, "does it? What else would feel good?"
"Why don't you hunt around and find out?" he murmured in her ear, smiling wickedly.
She laughed softly, pushing him onto his back. She slid slowly down his body as he laid back and stretched out, sighing happily. Suddenly, she gasped and stopped. She looked over at Doc, still on the bed and picked him up. She set the small dog down on the floor and looked back up at James, who laughed loudly.
"You don't want our son to see?" he asked.
She shook her head, "it's not appropriate for young eyes. That's much better," she smiled at him as she moved back over.
He ran his hands through her hair as she reached inside his pants and pulled out his hardening member. He moaned softly as he felt her touch and she began to stroke up and down gently. Her eyes gazed up at him as she licked lightly from bottom to top, running her tongue over the ridges in the head. He stretched in the bed beneath her, loving how she felt on him. She took his head into her mouth, suckling gently. Her tongue ran along the bottom and she heard his quiet moan. She began to move her head carefully up and down.
He sighed, "oh baby, I'm not going to take long if you keep doing that."
She grinned up at him, "should I stop then?" She took him back into her mouth, sucking harder than before.
"I'm almost there, baby." He groaned, stiffening suddenly. He cried her name as he climaxed into mouth. He continued to moan her name as his hands tangled in her hair. She took in every last drop, licking him and then her lips clean as he collapsed back on the bed, breathing hard. She crawled up the bed to lay next to him, running her hand over his chest. He pulled her to him and kissed her passionately, holding her to his heaving chest.
She glanced up, "you ok, baby?"
"I am great, love."
"Good," she smiled. "Now, how about some dinner?" She slid out of the bed and held out her hand to him.
He stood shakily and took it. "Sounds good, honey. But you didn't let me return the favor."
Bella smiled, "I'm fine, baby." She stooped to pick up Doc and placed her other hand on her stomach, "we don't want to scare your little boy."
"Our," he smiled, putting his hand over hers.
"Yes, our," she returned his smile. Then she turned and led him from the room and down the stairs. She set Doc down as they reached the bottom of the steps.
James followed her into and watched as she opened the icebox. She turned to him, "did you have a preference for what we should serve Doc and Sarah tomorrow?"
He shrugged, "you tell me. You're the cook, love."
"Well, you bought the meat. I'm not sure what you got," she stated as she wrinkled her forehead in concentration.
He nodded, "how about rib eye steaks? Baked potatoes, and say a salad?"
"That sounds perfect," she smiled. She reached in and pulled out some pork chops and seasoned them. She slipped them into the wood stove, and he smiled as he sat and watched her. She pulled out the last of the fresh bakery bread and slicing it and then cutting up some fresh fruit and placed it on the table.
"We'll need to buy or bake some bread tomorrow," he noted.
"I can bake it, honey," she replied, not looking up from the fruit.
He walked up behind her, grabbing her hips and grinding against him. She gasped and leaned her head back. He ran a hand down over her rump, squeezing firmly. She bit her lip as he slid his hand down between her legs from behind. Her hands gripped the edge of the sink, and she moaned softly. He lifted her skirt, pressing his hand further between her legs, his fingertips finding her now wet lips. At her moan, he bent her farther over the counter and pushed her legs apart. She felt the head of his already hard member at her wet entrance, pushing and prodding. He pushed harder forward, thrusting it in. Her head snapped back and she cried out, pushing her body back into him. He started to rhythmically thrust in and out over and over. Her fingertips clenched the counter tightly as he grabbed her hips and pushed deeper inside than ever before. He pulled her back to him and kissed her hungrily, sucking at her tongue as he moved inside her again and again. Her moan was desperate as he moved faster and faster. Her eyes widened suddenly, her body tightening as she reached her climax, crying out loudly. Her legs buckled under her and he wrapped his arms around her, holding her to him. He shuddered as he climaxed as well, shooting his seed deep inside of her. Her body shook as she leaned back into him, both of them breathing hard. He slipped out of her, then picked her up and carried her to the couch.
He smiled down at her, kissing her forehead. "You look exhausted, honey."
"Gee, I wonder why," she laughed. "Baby, our dinner will burn."
"I'll take care of it," he grinned. "Lay down."
She curled up on the couch, sighing in contentment as he covered her with a throw. Her eyes closed and she drifted off as he walked back into the kitchen to check on their meal. Seeing nothing amiss, he walked back to the living room, taking a seat on the couch next to her. He gently covered a foot that had kicked the cover off of it, laughing quietly when she mumbled in sleep and kicked it off again. He again covered it, waiting to see her reaction. She mumbled again, louder this time. It sounded as if she were arguing with someone. Her foot kicked out, harder this time. As he saw her demeanor chance, he took her foot and gently shook it to wake her.
"Honey, wake up," his voice was soft, but firm.
She gasped, sitting straight up on the couch. He reached out to hold her. "Shh," he whispered. "It's me. It's ok. I'm here." He gently rocked her back and forth as she calmed. "What were you dreaming about, baby?"
She shook her head into his shoulder, "nothing."
He lifted her chin until she was looking at him. "No, not this time, baby. Please, tell me." He looked down into her eyes, and gently brushed the hair from her face.
"It's not important," she sighed. "It was just a stupid dream."
"Isabella Renee..." he began.
She glared up at him at the use of her dreaded middle name. "It was stupid. Just an old childhood memory," she shook her head.
He straightened, "Mrs. Buchanan, tell me now or I sleep in my old room tonight."
Her eyed widened, her resolve faltering. "I just don't want to upset you. You must think I'm some ridiculously tragic figure by now anyway. It was just stupid kids, playing a joke."
"Go on," he stated gently.
"I don't know why I dreamt about it now, I haven't thought about it in years." She sighed, "When mama died, I was only 7. But daddy couldn't take care of the daily chores and errands anymore. So I used to ride into town on my horse to do them for him. One day, I met up with a group of kids my age when I got there. Daddy's reputation, courtesy of Mrs. Sawyer, had already spread."
He sat silently stroking her side, almost dreading what he was about to hear.
"They shut me into this old outhouse behind the store. No one had used it for years. But they blocked the door so I couldn't get out," she shook her head, shrugging.
"Oh honey," he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her tight against him. "I'm sorry."
"It was just a stupid prank," she sighed. "They said if no one would lock daddy up for murder, they could at least lock me up."
"That's horrible, baby." His voice became more low and dangerous. He leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead, a complete contradiction to his tone. It showed that he was angry, yes. But not with her.
"It was a long time ago," she stated calmly. "Dinner's probably burning by now," she muttered as she pushed herself off the couch.
His hand gently pushed her back down, "I checked on it a minute ago, but I'll run out and check on it again."
She nodded, "OK."
He walked into the kitchen and she could hear him getting plates out. She stood and stretched, following him in. She leaned in the doorway and watched him set the table. He pulled out some glasses, filling them with tea and ice. She smiled as she watched, and he looked up and met her eyes.
"Oh, hi baby," he smiled back at her.
She crossed to the oven, opening it to look in on the meat. She pulled it out of the oven, assuring herself it was done, but not burnt.
He pouted slightly, "I had it under control."
She smiled and placed a soft kiss on his cheek. "I know, but I can't let you do everything around here."
"Yes, you can." He looked at her seriously.
She shook her head, "I'll be no pampered housewife, James Buchanan."
He smiled, "Mrs. Buchanan – you already are and will remain such."
She glared at him as she shook her head, but was silenced by his tone when he spoke next.
"Isabella," his voice was strong and almost stern. "All you need to do is take care of yourself and that baby. I won't see either of you hurt."
Her eyes widened at what she took to be an accusation. "I'm not trying to hurt either of us."
He softened, "I know, honey. But for a year or so you are doing as few chores outside as possible. Doc agreed with me this morning, remember?"
She sighed as she nodded. "I know that, James. But I've been taking care of this place since I was 7. It's hard to break the habit."
He took her hands and squeezed, "well, you're going to have to."
"Am I?" she asked.
"Yes!" His tone had changed again to one of annoyance and exasperation. "Because you say so?" she smiled widely, showing him she was kidding.
"Because it's what's best for you and the baby!"
She took a step back as he yelled, dropping her own voice to a whisper. "Ok, baby. I'm sorry."
He sighed, "There's nothing to be sorry for. You just don't have to try so hard anymore. I'm here now."
She nodded, "OK." She took a seat at the table with no further argument.
"Thank you, baby." His voice was now a whisper as he kissed the top of her head. She smiled softly, and reached down to pick up Doc, who had wandered inside.
"Hey, buddy." James smiled as he brought the food to the table and put some on the plates. He gave her a large pork chop and a big helping of beans, with a large slice of buttered bread.
She glanced up at him. "You know I can't eat all that, right?"
He placed the same amount of food on his own plate, and smiled down at her. "Yes, you can." He sat down next to her and began to eat. "You're eating for two now, you know."
He ate slowly, looking over at her. He slid his hand over and squeezed hers, relieved to feel her gentle grip back. He smiled, holding a piece of pork out to Doc, who hungrily ate it up.
"I'm running to town first thing in the morning, but I'll be back before the vet gets here," he stated softly.
"What do you need to go into town for?" she asked, surprised.
He shook his head, "don't you worry about it, baby."
She raised an eyebrow, but then nodded. "Whatever you say, honey. But I'll have it known that sometimes you like your secrets, Mr. Buchanan."
He laughed, "sometimes I do."
"So, I won't be getting this one, then?" she smiled.
"Nope," he answered. "Not until tomorrow night."
She nodded slowly. "OK, then."
He finished his meal and pushed his plate back, glancing over and noting the huge amount of food still on her plate. "Baby," he stated with frustration. "Eat. Please."
She smiled, "honey, no one could eat all this."
"A pregnant woman can," he laughed.
She pouted over at him, "Well, maybe our son hasn't found his appetite yet." She continued to eat, until she felt stuffed. She pushed the plate back and glanced over at James, leaning back.
He smiled, "good job, baby." He sliced a piece of meat of the chop and set it on a plate on the floor. Doc hurried over and began eating it. He kissed the top of her head as he stood and took the dishes to the sink. He washed them off and then placed them in the rack to dry.
A quick glance toward the window showed Bella just how dark it had gotten outside. He followed her gaze and smiled over at her, "ready for bed, love?"
She nodded, smiling up at him. He pushed away from the counter and walked to her, offering his hand. He pulled her up and hugged her tightly. After releasing her, he began to walk up the stairs, the puppy following them. The three of them settled into the bed, falling asleep in each other's arms.