Second Chances Ch. 02byharemgirl©
Naomi came slowly back to awareness, briefly wondering about the sense of total peace that she felt for the first time in as long as she could remember. It took a few moments for her addled senses to realize where she was and what had just happened. She lay cradled in Aidan's arms, with his firm chest pressed against her back and one large hand cupped around her naked breast. His strong, steady heartbeat against her back was like a soothing balm to her soul.
Only she knew how astounding it was that she had seduced a total stranger. Prior to meeting Aidan, the only man she had ever felt desire for was her husband. She had met Nathan when she was seventeen, and she had been instantly smitten with his handsome face and charming wit. She had been full of girlish dreams of having a husband and family of her own.
Naomi was an only child, orphaned at the age of twelve. Having a big, happy family of her own had always been important to Naomi. Her parents had died the night their house burned to the ground, and she had been left homeless and alone. An aged aunt took her in out of obligation, but she always let Naomi know that she was not really wanted. During the five years that she lived with her aunt, Naomi nurtured her dreams of making a life for herself with a loving husband and children she could cherish. When she met Nathan, she just knew he was the right man to fulfill her dreams.
At thirty years of age, Nathan had barely noticed Naomi at first, but she had made up her mind that he would be her husband some day. She had been dedicated to making him see her as a woman and winning his affection. It hadn't taken long for Nathan to fall under the spell of Naomi's enchanting beauty and sweet disposition. Before he quite knew what had happened, he was madly in love with her. The day he proposed marriage, it seemed that all her dreams were coming true. Nathan swore that her agreement to become his wife made him the luckiest man alive.
Nathan was an adoring husband, a tender lover, and her best friend. Naomi blossomed as his wife, and it seemed their marriage was perfect. Nathan was a prosperous businessman in Sacramento, California. He provided Naomi with a lovely home, clothes, and fine furnishings. He lovingly nurtured her as she grew into a mature young woman. His relatives became her family, his friends became her friends. She built her entire world around her husband, and her life became happy and full. She was no longer alone. She no longer felt unloved.
Their life together had indeed been perfect, except for one very important thing. The one thing Nathan asked of her, she could not give him. In all the time they were married, Naomi never got pregnant.
They hadn't worried about it at first. In fact, during their first few months together, Nathan teased her that they would simply have to try harder. They shrugged off the comments of family and friends who kept asking when they were going to have children. Over time, the comments stopped, to be replaced by pitying glances. It was obvious that everyone thought Naomi was less than a perfect wife. She was a disappointment. She was a failure. Nathan's parents, anxious for grandchildren, didn't bother to hide their outright disapproval. A woman who couldn't bear children was something less than a real woman.
As months and then years passed, their lovemaking became more of a chore than a pleasure. Each time Nathan came to her, it seemed he was on a mission, and each month when she had her courses, his moods would alternate between despair and anger. He never said it in words, but the blame was there in his eyes when he looked at her. He eventually stopped making love to her at all.
Then, just as quickly as Nathan had come into her life, he left her. One day, he was a strong, vigorous man in the prime of his life, and two weeks later, he was dead. At first, her friends and Nathan's family gathered around her, supporting her through her grief. They visited her often, trying to comfort her. When her prescribed period of mourning was over, they seemed to think she should move on with her life, meet someone new and remarry. She ignored their advice. Over time, the visits became more infrequent, and finally, they stopped altogether. Naomi was once again alone.
As far as Naomi was concerned, a second marriage was out of the question. Knowing she could never have a real family of her own, she preferred to remain a widow. In the two years following Nathan's death, not a single man had stirred her emotions or inspired even a hint of desire in her. The idea of being some man's wife left her feeling completely disinterested.
Naomi spent two years feeling depressed. She barely ate, didn't go out of the house, and spent most of her time sleeping. There was no sparkle in her eyes, no smile to brighten her face. She felt like her life was utterly pointless, without any purpose or goal.
Then, one day, fate stepped in to dally in her life once more. One of the maids gave notice that she would be leaving Naomi's employment because she was getting married and moving to Oregon with her new husband. Naomi began to dream about what it might be like to go to a new place, where no one knew her or pitied her or disapproved of her. She could be alone and not have to worry about the opinions of others. She was sick of being told what she should do.
Naomi began to read about Oregon. She began going to the library, tracking down old newspapers and maps of the area. It sounded like a land of opportunity, a place for new beginnings. It sounded like the place she wanted to be. When she came across a newspaper notice of a farm that was for sale in the Willamette valley, it sounded like it was heaven sent, just for her. It sounded like this farm in Oregon might hold some tiny bit of purpose for her life.
Without a second thought, Naomi put in a bid on the farm. When she found out that her bid had been successful, she sold her house and furnishings. She raised just over two thousand dollars, enough to buy the farm and still have enough money to see her through the first few years while she made a fresh start. With only the barest of goodbyes, she packed her things and left. She told no one where she was going. She didn't want any reminders of her old life to follow her.
She hadn't been looking for a man. She had only been looking for peace and solitude. For two long years, she had believed that any womanly desires she possessed had died with Nathan.
Meeting Aidan had changed her entire perspective. She had been astonished to realize that not only were her passions alive and well, they were stronger than ever before. The desire she felt for Aidan was not the girlish infatuation she had felt for her husband, but the full-bodied, overwhelming, mature desire of a twenty three year old woman. In fact, the passion she felt for Aidan was an all-consuming need that she had never felt before.
Naomi knew she should probably be feeling shameful or guilty. She had not only seduced Aidan, she had encouraged him to totally ravish her. Yet shame and guilt were not among the emotions she was feeling. She felt invigorated, amazed, incredibly feminine and desirable, and surprisingly ready to repeat the experience. She had thought that making love with Aidan would satisfy her hunger, but instead, she found she was ravenous for more.
Aidan stirred behind her, and his hand tightened reflexively on her breast. Naomi shivered, moaning softly as she pressed the mound against his palm and rubbed the back of his hand in encouragement. He came awake with a start, lifting his head to stare at her in amazement. She wasn't just a fantasy, the result of his lewd imaginings, she was actually lying naked and thoroughly tempting in his arms. The sight of her nubile body writhing sensuously against him shook the last few cobwebs from his brain.
Naomi turned in his arms to face him and feathered kisses along the strong line of his jaw. "Hello again," she purred. She slowly unbuttoned his shirt, trailing kisses down his throat and chest as she exposed more and more of his flesh. "I thought you would never wake up."
At her prompting, Aidan shrugged out of his shirt, somewhat in a daze. This was not what he had planned. From the moment of their meeting, he had known he wanted a relationship with Naomi, but he had been thinking along the lines of a courtship and marriage. He hadn't intended to seduce her the first day, and he was struggling to comprehend where they now found themselves.
Naomi pressed lightly on his shoulder, and he fell onto his back. She began exploring his chest with her soft lips, nipping and suckling his nipples and running her fingers through the crisp matting of hair. He gripped the sides of her head and lifted her face until she met his eyes.
"Naomi, we need to talk. Everything is happening so fast. I hadn't planned to take advantage of you. Believe it or not, I've never been a despoiler of honorable women."
Naomi fought the urge to release a frustrated sigh. Talking was the last thing on her mind, especially if it involved honor and society's expectations of how a man and woman should behave. She had finally stumbled upon a man who made her feel alive again, and she wanted to relish the sensation. She shrugged out of his grasp and resumed her exploration of his delectable chest.
"I don't want to talk, Aidan. I want to make love again."
"I need to apologize to you for..."
Naomi placed a firm finger over his lips to silence whatever he had been about to say. "Don't say another word. I don't want anything to spoil the way I am feeling. I couldn't be happier. Now shut up and kiss me."
She leaned over and kissed him, plucking at his senses with her moist lips and teasing tongue. Aidan moaned as she deepened the kiss, trailing her dainty hand over his ridged abdomen to grasp his throbbing erection. The fleeting thought that he was not the seducer passed through his mind, but at that moment, he didn't care.
He gripped her head again, but this time it was only to pull her closer for his kiss. He groaned in ecstasy as she stroked him, clutching him tightly in her tiny fist as she slid her hand up and down his length. When he began to kiss his way to her breasts, she surprised him yet again by rising up to dangle the luscious orbs just above his mouth. Had he died and gone to heaven?
She straddled his waist as he clasped her breasts in his two hands and feasted. The sight of her, lips parted on a moan, shimmering hair tumbling in disarray all around them, ivory skin flushed pink with passion, surpassed every fantasy he had ever had. The sensations of her, hardened nipple in his mouth, hands like heated silk caressing his shoulders, scalding wet flesh sliding against his abdomen, made him ache like he had never ached before.
He lifted her and held her poised over his throbbing cock. She locked her gaze with his and sank onto his length with excruciating slowness. When he was fully seated within her, they released mutual moans of approval. Then she pleasured him, with undulating strokes of her velvety wet heat. She gripped him so tightly that he could feel every ridge and hollow of her inner sheath.
After enjoying the sight of her bouncing breasts, Aidan shifted his gaze to Naomi's glistening pink pussy. He stroked her outer lips, fascinated by the sight of her stretched over his cock as she impaled herself over and over. He located her clit and teased it as she loved him. Every helpless moan he elicited was like sweet music to his ears, and he gradually increased the stimulation until she was nearly frantic. Rising onto one elbow, he pulled her forward and suckled sharply on her nipple. She climaxed with a scream, clutching his head against her breast.
Aidan waited for her to catch her breath before rolling to pin her beneath him. He thrust into her forcefully, braced on his arms to watch her face as he plundered her softness. She clutched him with her thighs, encouraging him to sink deeper inside her with every stroke. Their joining became frenzied as they struggled toward their mutual fulfillment, until they finally reached their goal and their hoarse screams mingled in the air. He rolled to his back and pulled her against his side, where she collapsed in satiated bliss.
As they panted together, reality settled on Aidan like a leaden weight. He would have to find some way to catch his bearings and get them back on track. As much as he relished her body, he wanted more from Naomi than just sex. He had never believed in love at first sight. Lust at first sight yes, but love took time to grow and develop between two people. That was before this had happened. Naomi had just satisfied his lust with mind shattering thoroughness, not once but twice. If lust was all he felt for her, he would be feeling completely satisfied.
Aidan felt anything but satisfied. He felt confused, out of control, and lost about how to proceed. He wanted Naomi, in every way it was possible for a man to want a woman. He wanted her love, her trust, and her devotion for the rest of his life. Yet, he didn't know anything about her. How and why he could want her so desperately when he barely knew her was a complete mystery to him. Aidan didn't like mysteries. He liked to be in control of his own destiny, not to have it knock him on his ass when he least expected it!
As he lay stroking her hip, all the questions that had plagued him since he met her the day before resurfaced in his mind. Where had she come from? Why was she alone? Why had she come to this place? What were her hopes and dreams? Until he had answers to these questions, there was no way to know how to win her heart. Until he won her heart, there was no point in talking about marriage.
Naomi struggled onto one elbow and gave him an impish smile. "Now can I feed you some breakfast? Everything is cold by now, but you must be hungry after working so hard."
Despite his worries, Aidan made an effort to mimic her lighthearted humor as he kneaded her bottom with bold familiarity and returned her smile with a crooked grin. "Yes ma'am. We have work to do. Stop trying to distract me or we won't accomplish anything today."
He gave her bottom a sharp slap and watched with interest as she hopped up from the bed. She gave him a playfully petulant look of indignation before tossing her hair over her shoulder and walking to retrieve her discarded nightgown and robe from the floor. He watched her dress as he donned his own shirt and buttoned his breeches.
They shared a breakfast of eggs, bacon and biscuits. Even though the food was cold, everything was delicious, and Aidan mentally added another item to his list of reasons he wanted Naomi for his own – she was an excellent cook.
He unloaded the wagon, bringing in baskets of peaches, a large sack of sugar, crates of glass jars, and a large box of paraffin wax. By the time he had finished ferrying the items inside, Naomi had cleaned the dishes from breakfast.
"Why don't you get dressed and come outside?" he suggested. "I want you to have a look at the garden with me, and you can decide where you want everything planted."
"Alright, give me five minutes."
Although Aidan would have liked to stay and witness Naomi dressing, he decided it would be far better to wait for her outside. He needed some time and space to gather his wits. If he was going to win her heart, he would need to show her that he was good at something besides bedding her.
He scanned the garden patch, mentally weighing where each vegetable and herb should be planted. He would have to get rid of the weeds first, but even so the task would only take him a couple of days to accomplish. After that, he would have to find some other reason to be near Naomi because spending time with her was the only way to find the answers to his questions.
Naomi emerged from the cabin looking fresh and feminine in a dress of light blue muslin. Her hair was brushed and wound neatly into a bun at her nape, and she had a white apron tied around her waist. Aidan was assailed by the thought that she looked like a perfect farmer's wife. She crossed to stand beside him as they turned their attention to the garden.
"Tell me, what did you have in mind?"
Aidan motioned with his hand as he showed her the boundaries of the imaginary sections. "I thought potatoes here, then carrots, onions, garlic, beets, radishes, cabbages, rutabaga, beans and herbs over there." He waited for her reaction and was pleased when she merely nodded her head and smiled.
"That sounds perfect. I'm sure you know how to design a garden much better than I do."
He grinned down at her. "I think you are the first woman I've ever met who doesn't have to make a bunch of suggestions and changes."
Naomi quelled the urge to tell him that her easy acceptance of his plan was due to her total ignorance of how to plant vegetables. She had never farmed in her life. That fact had not even entered her mind before she had made her decision to buy a farm. Maybe she was naïve, but she had assumed that she would simply figure things out as she went along, and she was immensely grateful that Aidan knew what needed to be done. She flashed him an answering grin.
"As long as you don't try to tell me how to make peach preserves, I won't tell you how to plant a vegetable garden."
She retreated to the house before Aidan could reply. He watched until she had disappeared inside and then blinked a few times to clear his head. She was a mystery alright. A saucy, tempting, beautiful mystery, and he intended to unravel every last one of her secrets!
Aidan worked diligently for the rest of the morning, stopping only to share a hearty lunch that Naomi prepared for him. The weather was cool and crisp, but they enjoyed the sunshine as they sat on the wagon bed eating soup and cornbread.
"So what brought you to Oregon?" he asked, trying to make his inquiry sound like idle curiosity rather than a burning desire to know more about her.
Naomi shrugged and looked off toward the trees. "I just wanted to make a fresh start. What about you?" She eyed him with interest.
"The same reason, I suppose. My brothers and I moved out from Kentucky to build a life for ourselves." He finished his meal and set his dish aside. "Did you come from back east?"
"No, I grew up in California. My parents moved there when I was just a baby, so I don't remember living anywhere else." His questions were beginning to make her feel uneasy. She had come here to escape the past, not to rehash it.
"I'm surprised that your parents would allow you to move here all by yourself."
Naomi shot him a sharp glance. "My parents died when I was twelve. I really prefer not to talk about it."
"I'm sorry, Naomi. I didn't mean to pry."
"Didn't you? Let's just say I would rather not talk about the past and leave it at that, alright?"
When she would have scrambled down from the wagon, Aidan caught her hand in his much larger one. He saw raw emotion in her eyes, but he couldn't tell what she was thinking or feeling. He only knew he didn't like the pain he had glimpsed.
"Alright. I really didn't mean to upset you." He kissed her softly on the mouth and then raised his head with a sigh. "Now, we had better get back to work."
She sighed, releasing the last of her irritation. "You're right, of course."
She let him lift her down from the wagon, and once again, she retreated into the cabin with the dishes from their lunch. Aidan felt preoccupied through the afternoon, thinking about their brief conversation. She had seemed so vulnerable and hurt, but he had no idea who or what had hurt her. One thing was clear. Questioning her was not the right way to gain the information he needed. He would have to find some other way to make her open up to him.
Naomi stood at the window, watching Aidan work, nibbling on her bottom lip. She had been curt and rude to him, and he didn't deserve that. He had no way of knowing that she didn't want to delve into her past with him. She had learned that looking to the past or the future was too painful. She wanted to simply enjoy the present with Aidan. Whatever small amount of time she was to be granted with him, she would treasure it and not ask for more.