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RANCHER’S WIFE – CHAPTER THREE:

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RANCHER’S WIFE – CHAPTER THREE:
CHAPTER THREE:

Roughly a month later, we had settled into something of a routine. We still hadn’t gotten out to do shopping for me. I was still wearing his large tee-shirts, tank tops, and the old dresses I had taken in and shortened. I still used the guest room, but there were nights that I now spent with him in his bed. We were casual and neither of us spoke about the future, our desires, or specific expectations. Except for the case with FBI, of course. That one topic took us into the future with expectations and scheduling.

It was late summer now, the days were still bright and hot, but the nights could easily turn cold. Well, maybe not really cold as much as colder than before. Mitch mentioned in passing about the winters with deep snow in the valley and the winds and drifting on the ranch land on the other side. For weeks now, we have been building shelters along the eastern slope of the mountain for the cattle and horses, something he had ignored the two previous winters. It was as if he had an ‘Idiot’s Guide to Ranching’ book hidden away somewhere in his bedroom or office room. Every so often, there would be a new agenda item for the coming days, something new to learn and accomplish. With the coming of fall, those things seemed to take on more urgency as thoughts of winter approached. But he was still Mitch. He seemed to arrive at a comfort place with us and he felt free to go off doing some of the tasks he needed and leaving me with other things to do. As I continued to work on moving away from seeking his approval for every new action or completed task, he became more comfortable in assigning some tasks for me to take on. For instance, I became responsible for the cow, milking it, feeding and cleaning the stall.

I also took on responsibility for much of the house and surrounding area, such as the vegetable garden. It was something I had familiarity with and comfort doing, although it took some experience for cooking on the propane gas stove and range. I was clearly a city girl and as I quickly came to realize, he was very new to all this, also.

He came in very late in the afternoon, nearly dark, with the sun behind the mountain. I had a dinner prepared and warming due to his late return. But, before we sat down to eat it, I directed his attention to the Sat-phone on the counter. “Mitch, the message light came on about two hours, ago.”

He looked at it like it was an omen and perhaps it might have been much of his life. That light might have meant a new mission requirement, change of plans, or change of target. It wasn’t like a real phone that might simply be a message from his mom or family. He picked it up and brought it to the table, sat down, punched in his code, and listened. He looked up at me as I dished out the first servings and placed the remainder on the table. Somehow, along the way of living together, we became accustomed to sitting so we were at adjoining sides of the table rather than across from each other. It wasn’t that we frequently touched each other with the closer proximity, but it was as if we expected that we might.

He thought for a moment, looked up at me, set the phone on the table, punched in the number, and put it on speaker. “Special Agent Baxter.”

“Mitch Conner.” So far, I thought, these two aren’t too much into small talk.

“You have this on speaker, it sounds like. Is she there, too?”

“Catherine? Yes, she is. The only reason for your need to contact me would be about her case.”

“True. Okay … we need to meet here in our offices and the sooner the better. I think we should plan on at least a half day for briefings and re-interviews.”

“Is there a problem with the case? This sounds different.”

“I think it is subject to your perspective. But let us talk with all the information, not bits and pieces.”

Mitch agreed that we would be in Denver by noon the day after next. There was always things to think about when there were a****ls involved. He didn’t feel he could just lock the front door and leave for a couple days.

After a few mouthfuls of the casserole, “It looks like you are getting that shopping trip, after all. We’ll go up tomorrow afternoon, stop in Colorado Springs maybe. There should be good options for women’s clothes there. The next morning we’ll head up to Denver and look up the local FBI.” He looked at me with that look of deciding, “I suppose I should be a gentleman and ask, should I reserve two rooms or one?” I could tell by the look on his face that he was very serious about giving me the option. I could also see the implication of my answer in his face.

I reached across the corner of the table separating us, the short space that made the opportunity for contact so real, and put my hand on his arm. “I would like one.” And I felt it, again. Why do I do that with him?

We didn’t go nuts; at least he insisted that we didn’t. To my standards of money and shopping, though, we did. He took me to a nice dress shop where I was outfitted with two nice dresses that could be used in multiple occasions and a pair high heels in a color that would be good for either. A lingerie shop where I was discretely fitted for bras in various styles, then panties, and stockings. The stockings were interesting, he wanted both stay-up and garter belt. Next was a casual wear shop for some casual skirts and top, shoes, a jacket, and hats. Then an outfitter where he had me fitted for two pair of cowboy boots, one for general riding, and the other for work and dirty. I got three pair of jeans, work shirts, my own tee-shirts, and tank tops.

He continued to insist it wasn’t that much, that the case with the FBI was liable to take some time, and I didn’t have anything, anyway. He thought I should be comfortable in my own clothes. The funny thing was that the old dresses I had modified made me feel somewhere between a country woman years ago and a hippy woman. Of course, having the new clothes didn’t mean I always had to wear them when around the house, if I was comfortable in the others. And, once again, the act of buying clothes, the discussion of comfort, was completely independent of any discussion or recognition of the future or how it related to us. But things were mentioned, comments made about future events, fall coming, winter coming after that, plans for the a****ls and their feeding, and the storage of supplies for the winter when getting out could be difficult. We talked around it and continued to; at some point, it would need to be addressed.

That night, though, all of that was separated from us. That night it was just us, alone in Colorado Springs. We were checked into a very nice hotel, relaxing in the room, each with a bourbon from the mini-bar. Our talk was easy and casual, some about our plans for dinner, some about speculation about the meeting tomorrow. But all of it without stress or tension. He looked at the bedside alarm clock and made the decision that we should get ready and he established a plan. Did I mention he tended to take control when he just reacted within a situation? It is what he does, like then. He was going to shower first, dress, then go down to the lobby and decide on a restaurant for dinner and return. That would give me time to get ready.

I enjoyed the rest of my drink, sitting by the window looking out over the mountains to the West and Pike’s Peak to the Southwest. I heard the bathroom door open, turned, and saw him come out with a towel wrapped around his waist. He took out the clothes he intended to wear to dinner and laid them out on the bed, then stopped and looked at me. I continued looking at him.

“Do you intend to just watch me get dressed?”

I smiled, enjoying his slight feeling of awkwardness, “Yes, I am. There isn’t a woman I could imagine that wouldn’t want to be sitting where I am to watch you getting dressed.” He not only smiled at me, but also moved around the bed to where I sat, bent to me, taking my face between his hands, and kissed me passionately. He looked at me as if he was going to say something, but … he didn’t. He moved back to the bed, let the towel drop, and proceeded to get dressed. He blew me a kiss and was out the door. I didn’t move for several moments. I sat and replayed what just happened in my head. Yes, I teased him about watching him get naked and then get dressed. But, he didn’t hide from it, minimize it, or make fun of it. He came to me, acknowledge what I was really feeling, and reciprocated it with a kiss, a wonderfully passion filled kiss.

When he returned, I heard the card key unlocking the door and the door opening. I was standing by the bed in front of the wall mirror, dressed in stay-up stockings, a white lace thong, and white lace bra. I was bent over the bed to pick up the dress with my back to the door, knowing I was presenting him with a view of my ass as he entered. I heard the door open and not close. I turned just enough to look over my shoulder, seeing him standing in the doorway looking at me.

“Wow!” It was all he seemed to be able to say. It naturally pleased me güvenilir bahis to no end.

I smiled back at him, “Thank you, but perhaps you could close the door?”

He nervously laughed and came up to me as I turned to him. “Cat, have I told you how beautiful you are?”

“Amazing what nice clothes will do, huh?”

“No, not the clothes, but seeing you here like this … maybe out of the context of everyday … you really are beautiful. And … and I really am sorry if I haven’t said it more. I … you …” He couldn’t finish, didn’t know how to finish, I don’t know. But he took me into his arms, again, and held me, kissing me with passion and feeling. When he broke the kiss, “Maybe we should just stay here …”

“No way, mister. I finally get to the big city … first, you take me to dinner.” I pulled the dress over my head and turned my back to him. He zipped the dress up, I turned and kissed him lightly on the lips, “Then, sweet man, then … I have some ideas.”

That night was a new experience for us together. It was almost fairytale-like. We walked to the restaurant a couple blocks from the hotel, the entire time I was holding his arm. It was the first time in a long time that I had heels on, but it all came back to me quickly. And it felt so comfortable, walking along, hanging on his arm, and small talk banter between us. The restaurant was magnificent and we enjoyed a very nice bottle of wine. The walk back to the hotel was much the same, but much more so. Several times during the walk back those few blocks, we stopped to kiss, completely oblivious of anyone who might be around us.

Still half a block from the hotel and in a darkened part of the sidewalk, he stopped me again, pressed me up against the window front of a store, and kissed me passionately and intensely. He continued to press me against the window and pulled his face from mine to look into my eyes and face. I was nearly overwhelmed with desire and need. My mouth hung slightly open with deeper breathing and my eyes were entirely focused on his, searching him for the next move, the next whatever. And his eyes were searching mine at the same time, gauging my interest, my readiness, and willingness. With his hands on either side of my face, he kissed me, again, not gentle or timid, but with an intensity of a passion that was welling up inside us both. He kissed my neck and exposed shoulder, first one and then the other, his hands now on my sides and stoking up and down to my hips. His hands continued down my thighs and he lowered himself, couching in front of me. I watched as he slowly descended, still kissing me, but through my dress, his hands continuing down my legs until he came to the hem. He raised my dress up slowly and looked back up to my face and I continued to watch him as his hands raised up along my thighs, now under my dress, up my stockings until his hands were on naked flesh of my thighs above stocking tops. They continued higher and I sucked in air as he came to my hips and the narrow band of my thong. Then I gasped as he took hold of the waist band and started lowering it down my hips. He pushed them down my thighs until they fell to my feet.

He looked into my eyes. I was standing in front of him, pressed up against a shop window store … and my thong was tangled at my feet. He raised my chin so we were looking into each other’s eyes, “Hand me you thong.”

He stepped back slightly and I bent down to step out of the barely there piece of clothing. I immediately and willfully handed him the flimsy thong. He slipped it into his pocket and took my hand, leading me to the hotel entrance. As we walked into the lobby, he leaned close to me, “You are without panties right now walking through this lobby, how do you feel?”

“I have been naked in front of men for several years now until you. In all that time I didn’t feel as stimulated and turned-on as I do now.”

“Good, because we aren’t done.”

As we waited for the elevator, he looked around us. It was not terribly late but late enough to be quiet. Apparently satisfied that we were alone, he turned me to face the elevator door and slowly lowered the zipper at the back of my dress. I sighed and moaned at the recognition of his actions. What was going to be the next action? Was there even going to be more, or was this tease it? The elevator arrived and a couple slight older than us got off, but Mitch stood closely behind me while they exited. On the elevator, we waited for the doors to close, and then he slid the straps off my shoulders and pushed the dress down until it fell to my feet. He didn’t move to pick it up or to have me do so. Then, as I was coming to grips with the mental image of me standing in the elevator of a hotel in my bra and no panties, I felt his fingers working the hooks of my bra. The next thing I knew, he was picking up my dress and holding my bra. I was now in only stockings and heels. The elevator dinged as it came to our floor and I tensed, but when the doors slid open, there was nobody in the small alcove.

I felt his hand on the small of my bare back as he guided me out of the elevator and toward the hallway. I was nearly in a trance as he guided me down the hallway to our room. His hand moved from the small of my back to my butt, stroking it firmly. I couldn’t wait any longer and stopped in the middle of the hall. I pressed him this time up against the wall and kissed him, my arms around his neck.

“Mitch, I am so hot right now.” I was looking with lust into his eyes and he saw it. “I need you to fuck me, Mitch.”

He smiled and pressed forward into me until I bumped into the opposite wall and now I was the one pressed into the wall and he kissed me hard, his hands moving openly and urgently over my body. He then took my hand and led me further down the hall to our room.

I heard a door open and close somewhere down the hall in the other direction. I stood patiently behind Mitch as he took the key-card out of his pocket and opened the door. I was in the middle of the hall, not hiding behind him, wearing only my stockings and heels. It was one of the most erotic feelings from that exhibitionism. Yet, that act of exhibitionism was nothing compared to the humiliating exposure and treatment I had endured before numerous men before. It thrilled me what I have felt since Mitch took me in and started caring for me and guiding me through a re-entry to ‘normal’ life. I found myself continually anticipating and hoping for more experiences and intimacy.

Inside the room, I turn at the bed and put my arms out. He flipped the key-card on the dresser and walked into my open arms. He enveloped me as I did him. We kissed and kissed, our mouths in contact and our tongues coming into play. I pulled away, hugging him tightly, my head on his shoulder. I kissed him there and sighed into him, “Oh, God, Mitch!” His hands were moving over my bare back to my ass, he pulled me tightly into him, and I sighed more as his hard cock was pressing into my abdomen. And it was getting harder.

I took a step back and began unbuttoning his shirt, pulling it out from his pants, and then pushing it off his shoulders and down his arms. I put my hands on his now bare shoulders and lowered them onto his powerful chest, touching his nipples like a new ritual of recognition between us. I kissed each nipple, then his chest, then his face and lips. While I was busy doing that, though, my hands were busy with his belt, loosening it, then the clasp of his pants and the zipper. I pushed them down his hips and at the same time pushed him back so he was sitting on the edge of the bed.

I knelt down before, taking the waist of his pants down his legs to his feet. I removed his shoes, then his socks, and finally his pants. I put my hands on his thighs and stroked up to his underwear until I came to the waist band, grabbing it and tugging it down so he raised his butt up off the bed so I could remove his underwear. I returned my hands to his thighs, moving them up, again, only this time to his hard cock. I took his cock in my hand and glanced up at his face. He was watching me, not my hands, but me. He was smiling. I turned my gaze to the cock in my hand and crawled slightly further between his legs so I could bend over and kiss the head. I licked the underside to the head before taking it into my mouth. I sucked and swirled my tongue around the head. I pulled up to the top and off, I licked the length and looked back up at him briefly before returning my attention to it. It seemed magnificent to me and I have certainly seen a lot of cocks. It had to be ten inches and it might not be considered monstrous, but it was certainly big. But the most significant thing to me was that it wasn’t going to abuse me or even just use me. It was going to love me. And, I now truly believed that.

I continue to suck and lick him, just enjoying him, the feel of his cock. I then slowly stood and kissed my way up his body until I was kissing his mouth. When I broke the kiss, I just looked into his eyes, “Now, please, I need to feel you inside me.” With that, I moved perabet next to him, bent over the edge of the bed, my legs spread. I was exposed and ready for him. I knew my pussy lips were already glistening with my juices, I was very ready. I looked over my shoulder at him. His hand was on my ass as he stood up and took his position behind me, guided his cock to the entrance to my pussy. He could see the look on my face, the intense look of lust on my face.

Then, with hands holding both of my hips, he leaned forward and plowed deeply into me, driving his long, hard cock into me as deeply as he could. It was not a need felt only by me, but felt by both of us. I moan out to him, spurring him to continue, to drive me further and further into my increasing state of lust and overload. I couldn’t contain it any longer, “Oh dear god, Mitch, yes, please … oh, yes, please …”

He fucks me hard in this position, this dominating position. Then, after many minutes, he pulled sudden out of me and I moan my frustration and my pussy was clenching in an effort to regain the feeling of being full and pleasured. I feel the bed move and jostle me and I see him crawling up onto the bed, lying on his back, his head on the pillow. He was holding his glistening cock up in the air. I scramble up onto the bed, to him and straddle him, taking his cock from him and easing my body over it, then descending down its length. I was riding him hard, raising up, and dropping fully. I was oblivious to anything but this joint moment of pleasure. He had my nipples between his fingers, squeezing them, gently twisting them, and pulling on them. It was while he was pulling on my nipples that I felt it, him tensing underneath me, his hips rising, his mouth opening but soundlessly for moments until, “Ohhhhh … Cat, yes, yes, YESSSSS … oh, fuck … Cat … I am … am cummmmminnnggggggg!” And he did. Powerfully! And my feeling him cum inside me, the first powerful spurt of his seed into my hungry, convulsing pussy, and I came with him. I dropped to his chest and held onto him tightly, nearly as tightly as he was holding me. It was wonderful and everything I could have hoped for, and did hope for.

The next day we were at the FBI office building exactly on time and Agent Baxter is waiting just inside for us. He is noticeably taken aback by my appearance and it becomes slightly awkward. I am wearing one of the new skirts Mitch purchased for me. It comes to just above my knees with a wide belt and a white blouse with short sleeves. That I am also wearing a white lace bra is just visible through the fabric of the blouse. Beyond that, I am wearing flats on my feet. Mitch smiles at me and takes my hand. Baxter hasn’t seen me except from the horrible pictures and he few times at Mitch’s in one of the old, modified dresses. This is clearly a different look.

He gets us through the sign-in process and we get our ‘visitor’ badges that we are told must be worn and visible at all times while in the building. Up two floors, we are led into a small conference room. I enter and discover that Baxter has held Mitch back at the door; I stand just behind the table and wait.

They are speaking quietly and I cannot quite make out their conversation, except for a, “How is she doing?”

Mitch looks toward me and smiles, that alone making me feel more at ease, “She is doing great. I think she has mostly pulled out of the experience. I am no doctor and I am sure there will be moments of regression and fears resurfacing, but I think she is doing amazingly well.”

He just nods and enters the room. Mitch comes to sit with me and two more agents enter. They sit on the same side with Baxter. Then a woman enters and sits at the end of the table, separating herself from both of the groups. Baxter starts with opening introductions of everyone, including us. He identifies one of the agents as a technical specialist, the other an associate field agent. The woman is an assistant Federal District Attorney.

“Catherine, we want to officially thank you for all the assistance and information you have provided. Working on your case has opened a separate and very wide reaching investigation starting from the group you unfortunately were caught up with and spreading out to groups and individuals local to Denver and Colorado but also extending across the country. That’s the good news.”

Mitch squeezed my hand, and focused on Baxter and then the attorney, “That must mean there is bad news.”

It was the attorney, “Yes, there is, at least probably for Catherine. Of course, that is depending on how vested she is in the prosecution side of this. We do not believe we have a case against anyone on the abuse angle that is directly a result of her. The evidence doesn’t come together with strength to seek prosecution.”

I am shocked and look quickly at Baxter for support, but back to the attorney, “What? You have pictures of what I looked like. What about the videos that were recovered that showed the abuse and assaults? What about the camera guy that was captured?”

“Yes, all valid and very ugly. You are right, even the camera guy gave names and locations of these events. It looked solid, but … there is a major complication. We went to interview this guy Banks who was supposed to be the lead on the whole slavery side of the case. He already had his lawyer with him and … they showed us some things that pretty much eliminates our ability to show cause for a warrant to search his property.” I just waited and felt Mitch’s hand tighten on mine, his thumb lightly stroking. “They have a video of you specifically and coherently accepting all liability for the following actions that would be performed on you, that you agreed to the events that were to follow of your own free-will, and that you enjoyed the infliction of pain upon your body.” She then hit a button on a remote, the lights lowered, and a video flashed onto the screen opposite her. It did indeed show me saying all those things. I was naked, sitting on a stool in a room that I knew to be the basement, one of the few angles possible that would not show the BDSM equipment available. “Do you remember that?”

I started crying, not sobbing, but tears were streaming from my eyes. Mitch put his arm around my shoulders, “Yes, I do. You don’t understand how this worked! They could and would do anything they wanted to me, sexual, physical, and mental. They would do it all. They made us act out those tapings every so often. If we didn’t cooperate and be convincing, the activities were always much worse. So, yes, we did them and we made them to appear as pleasant as we could to stem some of the worst abuse.”

Baxter interjected, “Catherine, please, you have to understand, it isn’t that we don’t believe you. We have seen this before, but this guy is very careful and good. But, no judge is going to give us a search warrant to go into his house after seeing this.” The discussion continued about what the investigation was finding, the trail of money and d**gs, the trail of money and porn, prostitution, and what they believe is interstate slavery. Some of it they have already traced strongly enough to people to make arrests and to assign agents to pursue other angles. But, in this case, it is drying up. “We know from you and the camera guy that the basement of his place is the location of his operations. That is where the women, two more we believe, would be. We just can’t get in there. We’re sorry.”

With that, the meeting seemed to break up. The attorney got up and left, the other two agents did the same. Mitch started to rise and Baxter put his hand out to stop him. He waited until the others were out of the room, and then closed the door. He returned to his chair and leaned forward, looking at each of us in turn. “Our hands are tied. As law enforcement, we can’t do anything. It isn’t the old West, anymore. We can’t just kick in his door and force information out of him. That might be what needs to happen, but …” He was looking intently into Mitch’s eyes, now only speaking to him. “If anything more could come on the abuse and slavery part of this, Catherine’s situation, it won’t be possible by us.”

Mitch was staring right back at the FBI Agent, and then nodded, “I understand, Agent Baxter.” He stood up and assisted me. He stopped at the door, his hand on the knob, turned back to the Agent, “Has he been under surveillance, though? Is he still? Was it, is it, obvious or covert?”

Baxter smiled at him and that seemed strange to me. Both the questions from Mitch and the smile from Baxter seemed odd. “Yes, we have had him under watch since the first contact and, yes, we have been obvious. We didn’t want him to think he could move his operation or the women. We were hoping to find his setup intact. And, we do plan to continue watching him, but his lawyer will get an injunction against that. After four days we will have to pull the surveillance.”

Mitch put out his hand to thank him, but Baxter wasn’t finished. “Catherine, your assistance has been very helpful and we recognize the perabet giriş very real danger you could still be in. Until this is concluded or Banks is behind bars, there could be some retaliation on his part if he were to locate you. The government would like to offer a relocation for you. We can set you up in a new city, with a job, and place to live.”

I looked at him in surprise, “I don’t know what to say, that is very generous.” I felt Mitch’s hand release mine and back up just a step. My hand felt so empty after having had Mitch’s supportive touch for so long. I resisted looking at Mitch, remaining focused on the Agent, “Could I have some time to think about it and possibly where?”

“Of course, but this does close soon. This is Thursday, so get back in touch one way or the other on Monday, okay?” I stepped up to him, kissed him on the cheek, and thanked him.

The drive back to the ranch was very quiet. I was lost in three chains of thought: the disappointment that some form of vengeance or retribution might not be realized; persistent thoughts of Mitch; and, what my next choices should be. It had been years during the time of my control since I had a clear thought about what my life could be like, what I would want it to be like, or what I would even like to do with my life. The long drive from Denver to the ranch was only the beginning of the quiet time. It continued into the next day. If I spoke twenty words to Mitch, he might have not spoken more than half that in response. It was awkward, but I was absorbed in this thinking.

Friday night, I was finishing the dinner dishes when Mitch came in quietly, stood to my left, and put his arm around me, his hand on my right hip. I was again in one of the old dresses I had modified. They were comfortable, loose, and warm enough for the early fall evenings. It was only recently that Mitch had started a fire in the wood stove in the large room and he had done so this evening. It was nice to have his presence as I finished up with the dishes. His hand on me was reassuring, that our quiet time was not an issue, just time I needed, and he had sensed and honored that.

He pulled my hip against his and stroked my side from my hip up to alongside my breast. “How are you doing? I wanted to give you the time you might need. This could be a major change in your life. A good one, finally, but still a major change. The quiet between us is driving me nuts, though. So, how are you doing?”

I pulled the stop in the sink, rinsed the soapy water down the drain, and dried my hands. I turned into him and pressed my body into his. I could feel my unrestrained breasts press into him and I wondered if he could feel it, too. I was sure his touches had already confirmed that just because he bought me several bras, it didn’t mean that I was routinely wearing them now. As I leaned against his front, I put my head on his shoulder, and wrapped my arms around his body. His body is hard and muscled. I love the feel of it against me and under my hands.

I looked up at him after a moment, “Mitch, thank you for being understanding.” Tears started coming to my eyes and a couple escaped and dripped down my cheeks. He brought a finger up and carefully wiped the tears away, then lifted my chin to kiss me softly on the lips. He didn’t say anything, just gave me a small smile. He took me to the other room.

“Can we talk, then? Are you ready?”

“Yes, I want to. I need to.”

He went back the kitchen, retrieved two glasses and an open bottle of bourbon. We sat in what had become our own chairs; I had claimed the other one like his for my own. We talked for half an hour about the FBI, the lack of a case, the FBI offer to move me and set me up, and my feelings. He poured us each a little more bourbon. Rather than leaning back into his chair, he leaned his elbows onto his knees, the glass of brownish liquor in his hands between his knees. “I get the sense that you are not convinced about taking the FBI’s offer. You just naturally came back to the ranch with me when you could very easily have just stayed in Denver and be taken care of by them.”

“I guess you are right.”

“But, you came back here, why? But, let me finish that thought … I don’t mean that I didn’t want you to. What I am wondering, more than just wondering, is why YOU wanted to come back here? What is happening, what are you looking for?”

I looked at him with only glances as I stared mostly at the floor, his feet covered in socks, and my bare feet. I was nervous. This was the first time in all the time I had been at his place that he asked that question, the first time he broached the subject of future, of expectation. “I … I don’t know how … I …”

He stood up, went to his office, and returned with paper and pencils. He handed me a piece of paper and pencil and kept one for himself. He sat back in his chair with a magazine to write against. “I want you to write out your feelings, or thoughts, about why you are here, or why you are still here. I am going to do the same thing, only mine will be of my feeling about you being here. We can share them and talk it out. Mine is not going to take much, I already know. You take whatever time you need. Maybe this way it will be easier to express. Remember, this is to express our thoughts, so be open and honest. We can talk out the meaning it might have. Don’t try to anticipate what I might like or what I might not like.”

I found it was easier. What I couldn’t get to come out to him verbally, just poured out through the pencil onto the paper. I filled the front and turned it over to continue on the back. I looked up and saw him watching me, sipping his drink. I looked at the paper on the arm rest, then up at him, and back at the paper. There was only a line of writing on it. I thought about that and skimmed my own writing, smiled and added a short note at the end.

I looked up at him, “Now what?”

He put his drink down, uncrossed his legs, and held open his arms. He wanted me in his lap and it pleased me that he did. He was in control; he was leading me through the final stages of thinking this through. I got up, stepped to him, hiked up the hem of the dress, and sat back onto his lap. He arm immediately came across me, pulling me in tighter and in the process, his arm pressed up into my breasts. I leaned my head back and kissed his cheek, “Now what? This is always nice, but now what?”

He chuckled, “I think it is nice, too.” His hand came onto my front and I felt it lift my left breast. I leaned back into him, accepting the touch, and not dissenting. “We let the other read what we wrote. Should there be any order of who is first?”

He had his paper in his other hand, it contained so little writing. “Can I see yours, first?” He handed it to me and I turned it over. As I anticipated, it did only contain one line of writing: ‘Because I love you, STAY!’.

I could feel the tension in his arms around me as he waited for a response that seemed slow in coming. A delay that was not caused by uncertainty or confusion, but caused by my entire heart and soul feeling overwhelmed. I anticipated that a relationship of some level had begun to form between us, but I didn’t imagine that this man, so private and guarded, felt this intensely. I put the paper to my face as tears welled in my eyes … and I think this scared him.

“Cat …”

I pulled the paper from my face, it was wet in places from the tears on my cheeks, I twisted my head to look into his face, and I smiled, a reassuring and grateful smile. “Stay? Really? You want me to stay here?”

He kissed my cheek closest to him and wiped both cheeks with a finger. He’s been doing that for me, lately. Then he did what I have become so fond of; he put a finger under my chin and raised my face to his, and we kissed. “Not just stay here, Cat. Stay with me, be a part of me. I don’t understand it, Cat, I am bewildered by all this to some extent, but I trust it. I have never met anyone, man or woman, that I have been able to even begin to open up to, with whom I can be fully relaxed. Until you. But … this isn’t fair; let me see what you wrote before I say more.”

I handed mine to him. It was filled with thanks and gratitude for nursing me, caring for me, protecting me, and leading me from emotional and psychological vulnerability. I wrote specifically about how he led me to take control of my interaction with him, gain confidence in myself and relationships, and supporting, rather than taking over, my dealings with the FBI. I wrote about the freedom he allowed for me to consider the FBI offer without pressure or manipulation, another example of giving me back control over my decisions, life, and future. When he came to the bottom of the front page, I took it from him and folded it in half and gave it back to him, hiding the last thing I wrote in a determined effort to release my complete feelings. It was all more of the same but with more rambling as I was pouring out thoughts that were loosely connected. He stopped and looked at me for permission to turn it over. My god! How long had it been before Mitch, this sweet, strong, powerful man, since any man sought permission from me? I nodded in agreement and he read my final words: ‘I love you, Mitch! Can we make this work?’

* * CHAPTER FOUR will follow * * Thanks for reading.

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