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REMINDER: I write long stories. Many chapters don’t have naughty bits, but those that do will be way more fun if you read the others, too! Also, although TT2 is a stand-alone novel, it takes place in the same family as Texas Trio, so you might want to read that one first! –Stefanie
–:–:–:–:–:–:– Chapter 21 –:–:–:–:–:–:–
Catherine’s voice finally penetrated her veil of concentration, and Becky looked up from her book. “Yes?”
Everyone in the parlor laughed.
Becky blinked. “I’m sorry. Have I missed something?”
Her question didn’t alter the room’s good humor. Her own mood was almost inviolable, she supposed, offering a serene smile and lifting her book. That was when she realized what her family found so amusing. Her corner of the room was dark. She’d daydreamed her way right through sunset and lamp-lighting time. She couldn’t see to read.
She tried not to, but she couldn’t help joining in with the laughter. She set the book down on her chair and stood, putting her nose in the air. “Didn’t anyone ever teach you any manners? Well-bred ladies and gentlemen do not laugh at one another’s mistakes.” She held a match to the cotton wick of the lamp nearest her chair. “It’s extremely rude.”
She opened her book when she was seated again.
“You been sittin’ there staring at that book for a quarter-hour with no light on, Miss Becky,” Nanny chuckled.
“Not answering anyone’s remarks,” Catherine added, “which is also extremely rude!”
“Exteme– eXX––– steamy– ex– ex– eckssss.” Lily added, rolling off Topper’s side and joining Becky in the corner. “Aun’Becky, it’s night now. C’we see stars?”
Becky lifted Lily to her lap as she glanced at the clock atop Cat’s beloved writing desk. “It’s a little late for seeing stars, Poppet.”
“No, Aun’Becky. Stars never go’way.” Lily said in her most serious voice.
Becky hugged her. “You are absolutely right about that, but Nanny never goes away, either, and ‘past your bedtime’ is too late for Nanny to say ‘yes’ to star-gazing.”
Nanny pressed her lips together, suppressing a smile. “If I wasn’t already standin’ here waitin’ for the girl, I wouldn’t let you burden me with that, Miss Becky. I ain’t the only grown woman in this parlor.”
Jem glanced over his shoulder, “I don’t know, Nanny. Becky seems to be as good at gathering wool as any of the children,” he smirked, commenting on the depth of her former reverie.
Becky wrinkled her nose at him, because Cat and Nanny would both fuss if she stuck her tongue out. It was also extra-childish, which would have made Jem’s point.
Yan swept in from the dining-room and plucked Lily from Becky’s grasp. Nanny was the queen bee in the servants’ hive now. She no longer had to do the lifting and scrubbing of children; she could supervise and snuggle.
Lily leaned down, and Becky stretched to get her kiss. “G’night, Poppet. We’ll see stars tomorrow night, all right?”
Lily smiled, and Yan turned away.
Jem swung around in his chair, putting his cards face-down on the table so Colt couldn’t see them. “Bring her here.”
He and Colt got kisses, too, but as Yan started for Catherine, Jem stopped her. “Just a minute, Yan. I wanted to ask what you think we should do about Lily’s reading. You’re with her most of the time–”
Colt straightened up. “Mmm, good question, Jem. Shouldn’t she know her letters by now, Yan?”
Yan smiled sweetly from one man to the other before continuing on her way.
Cat kissed Lily good-night, and Nanny followed Yan upstairs.
Cat waited until she heard the nursery door close, then hissed at her husbands. “You two! Stop teasing the poor girl! Hasn’t she been through enough?”
Colt and Jem were back to playing cribbage, and for once, neither heeded Catherine’s scolding. In fact, Colt didn’t even look up when he answered. “She ain’t been through anything at all for at least three years, whereas I almost got killed getting her away from that chef in Austin, after you went flyin’ offa the wagon, throwin’ yourself between Yan and that behemoth’s ham-sized fists. You’re wastin’ sympathy on the wrong party, wife.”
Cat sniffed and went back to her needle-work, leaving both husbands smiling. They were determined that Yan should try to speak English, since she apparently understood every word they said to her. So far, even their most creative plans had failed to get a rise from the slim young woman. None of them knew anything of her güvenilir bahis history before Cat saw her being beaten in an alleyway behind a hotel. After Colt’s rather forceful physical interaction with the chef, Yan gathered her pathetically light bag of possessions and came home with them. And that was that.
Colt’s complaint to his wife unanswered, he turned his attention on Becky, who was staring into space. “Did you do anything interesting today, Becky?”
The casual inquiry should have flustered her, since she’d been thinking about Brody in a decidedly indecent manner when Colt asked. She wasn’t usually this distracted, and the fact he suspected something should have turned her cheeks pink, at least. But she offered her brother-in-law another serene smile before changing the subject. “Colt, I was reading a review of Terrence Powderly’s new book yesterday, and it quotes Mr. Gould as say–”
Colt threw his cards down on the table and hollered, “Jay Gould should stop givin’ quotes to newspapers and spend his time trying to pull his head outa–”
Colt glanced at Cat and, after pausing for a steamy battle of stares, heeded her reproach. He shot an altogether different kind of look across the room to Becky and picked up his cards, grumbling under his breath.
Jem turned his head slightly and winked at his sister-in-law.
Becky coughed to cover her chortle and lifted her book again, hiding her face from Catherine.
All four people in the parlor knew exactly what she’d done, but that didn’t make baiting Colt any less effective– or any less fun.
Catherine unintentionally punished her for the infraction, however, when she rose to lend her husband moral support. Instead of submitting to a simple kiss on the cheek, Colt pulled her into his lap for a much more thorough embrace. By the time he lifted his head, Cat was squirming in his lap.
She half-opened her eyes as he rumbled his love. “Woman, you’re gonna be upstairs gettin’ started on that baby if you ain’t careful.”
Cat smiled and reached up for another kiss, while across the room, Becky was quietly grateful that the low lights hid her blush and the uncontrollable desire surely burning in her eyes.
When she retired to her room a short time later, after having given Colt an extra kiss on the cheek to make up for her devilry, Becky returned to her fond recollections of the bunkhouse, a place she’d previously disdained as dirty, dark, and smelly. Thankfully, with all its windows open, the aroma had been absent today, but she didn’t think even that would have spoiled the experience for her.
She’d gone there in a panic looking for some way to handle Brody after his kisses in the stable proved too much for her to handle. She’d stopped believing that she could calmly endure six months of his unwanted attentions. Brody wouldn’t let her keep him at a distance. More than that, she could feel her resolution weakening. Soon she wouldn’t want any space between them, and there went her fortune, her independence, her studies, the rest of her life. Hence her visit to the bunkhouse.
Obviously, she hadn’t gained anything in the way of control, but courtesy of Brody Easton, she was left with a very different view of the situation than she’d had this morning. Becky was no longer wondering how to get away from Brody and the debt she owed. She’d been foolish to ignore the heat between them when Brody could give her such intense pleasure.
Unconsciously, she squirmed under the light coverlet.
Brody was intelligent and amusing and his kisses made her feel like she could fly. Who wouldn’t want to be with him? Not in marriage, of course, but why should she wed him when stolen interludes could leave her in such a pleasant haze?
Becky stretched and rolled, hugging a pillow to her chest and savoring her memories.
Half a mile away, in the bunkhouse down the valley, Brody was less restless, less fatigued, and twice as satisfied, though he couldn’t imagine sleeping anytime soon, and it had nothing to do with the fact he hadn’t come.
Women who wanted the same things Brody did were very, very rare. Even most whores were only play-acting their submission. In his whole life, Brody had only been with two women whose desires complemented his own. He’d left both before he could grow dependent. Even though he hadn’t liked either woman as a person– and he suspected neither liked him– severing those sexual ties required Herculean türkçe bahis sacrifice.
Brody had always assumed he’d marry one day and settle down to a lifetime of adequate lovemaking. He didn’t know if he’d be able to go forty or fifty years without succumbing to his baser needs, but he planned to try. If he couldn’t, well, he could darn well make sure whoever he married never knew anything about his outside activities. No woman deserved to be hurt just because she couldn’t live up to his every salacious fantasy.
Back in San Francisco, where Brody had once tried finding a wife, his darker desires had never factored into his criteria. It never occurred to him that he might find a woman who would provide companionship as well as fulfilling his desire to be sexually dominant.
In thirty minutes Becky had dismantled beliefs he’d held for most of his thirty years.
In his arms, he’d discovered that the woman he was already coming to love was also a woman who shivered when she submitted to him. The experience had thrown his whole world just slightly off-kilter from what he’d always known it would be. He didn’t love Becky because of it, but it made her arrival in his life feel all the more amazing.
–:–:–:–:–:–:– Chapter 22 –:–:–:–:–:–:–
Several times over the years since they’d taken up residence in Liberty Falls, Catherine tried talking Becky into furthering her education, an option which hadn’t been available to either of them back in Galveston. At first, Becky was afraid leaving the ranch would put them at risk of Uncle Harrison discovering their location. Once Harrison was dead and discovery no longer a factor, Becky had given the matter more consideration. In the end, she couldn’t imagine subjecting herself to the taunts and ostracism female students often suffered at the hands of male students and professors, when she could learn most of what she wanted to know from books. On the KCW, Becky was afforded the luxury of educating herself as she saw fit, and she was quite confident in her progress thus far.
Normally, her approach to obtaining information was to ask her family, figure it out herself, or order a book on whichever topic she was currently studying. But, between her decision to take her pleasure with Brody and what she’d seen in Mr. Perkins pictures, she’d realized she had a lot to learn about sex, and it wasn’t anything she’d be able to “figure out herself.”
While there was already a book on the subject in the library downstairs, the contents of her sister’s book were mostly medical. That left her family, which in this instance translated to “Catherine,” because there was no chance at all of Becky asking one of her older brothers . . . though she did succumb to a private chuckle imagining the panic she’d cause them if she did.
Becky waited until she and Catherine were alone.
Catherine turned pink, and then white, and then pink again, without saying anything at all.
Becky begged, “Cat, please– I have no one else to ask.”
Catherine covered her scarlet cheeks and took a deep breath, squaring her shoulders. “Alright.”
Becky’s shoulders dropped a full inch as relief flowed through her. “Thank you.”
She’d practiced in her room that morning, but her eyes fell as she uttered her introduction. “Nanny– and your book– say all sorts of things about making babies, but I’m sure a lot of what goes on in bed isn’t about making babies.” She peeked up at her sister from beneath her lashes, asking a question whose answer she already knew. “It . . . feels good?”
Catherine, her hands covering her face again, nodded emphatically.
Becky grinned, suddenly relaxed. “Remember the first time I saw you kissing Colt and Jeremiah– by the river in Galveston, before you were married– I almost fainted, d’you remember?”
Cat grinned and nodded again.
“I had no idea anyone used their tongue!”
Both of them giggled like schoolgirls.
Becky hesitated. “D’you do that– use your tongue, I mean– other places?”
She knew the answer to that, too– from Mr. Perkins pictures. Becky either grimaced or shivered every time she thought of those, depending which image popped to mind, but this time she felt a flush creeping over her cheeks. When she looked up, though, she saw that Catherine’s blush was fading.
Cat dropped her hands and reached across the table to take one of Becky’s between her own. With a deep breath and a sharp nod to reassure herself, she answered, “Yes, güvenilir bahis siteleri Becky. You use your tongue. Anyplace you want. And, if you’re with the right person, you’ll want to use it a lot of places.”
Becky’s eyes opened wide, and her flush deepened.
During the next twenty minutes, her eyes were opened figuratively, as well as literally, while Catherine told her everything Nanny hadn’t mentioned. In fact, Becky was pretty sure Cat told her everything in the world anyone ever did in the bedroom. At least anything involving men and women– which, thanks again to Mr. Perkins’ pictures, Becky now knew wasn’t always the case!
When her education had ended for the day, Becky hugged Catherine tightly, whispering, “Thank you, Cat.”
Cat smiled as a bemused Becky fled the room. Once she’d gotten started, their little discussion hadn’t been anywhere near as difficult as she imagined. In fact, she’d kind of enjoyed parts of it. Goodness knew, Becky had given her plenty of shocks over the years. Watching Becky’s reaction as she described Jem fucking her while Colt’s cock was in her mouth had been darned amusing, though she’d studiously refrained from smiling at the time.
Catherine’s smile widened as she turned toward her own room. She’d gotten a little carried away at the end there, forgetting to phrase things impersonally, saying “he” and “I,” instead of “the woman” and “the man,” but she’d also left out quite a bit. There were some things that were private, after all, things that Becky could learn on her own, once she was married.
Cat hurried upstairs, her pulse racing. Thank goodness Nanny and Caleb had taken the children to town for pencils and new shoes. She really needed a “nap” after that chat!
Out in the yard, any arousal Becky had felt before beginning their conversation had long since dissipated. Even seeing photographs of people doing things Catherine had described wasn’t as shocking as hearing her sister explain them in intimate detail, because Becky knew Catherine was talking about her own experiences.
She climbed into her favorite thinking spot, the low, cradling branches of a twisted old mesquite tree on a slope above the house. There she sat pulling apart leaves, ignoring the lovely view of the western hills. She’d been just fourteen when they moved to the ranch after fleeing from Galveston, and this had been the spot she’d chosen back then. She was older now and forced to be more discrete, but her thinking-spot was only four feet off the ground, and she could climb into it without ever showing her calves. She wondered what Brody would think if he saw her sitting in a tree. He’d been shocked by her trousers, but he’d barely mentioned them. Maybe he was the kind of man who didn’t mind a woman climbing trees.
Becky began to shred another leaf, thinking how little she knew about him, even if she now knew everything it was possible for them to do together.
She took a deep, shaky breath.
What the hell had she been thinking, toying with Brody? She was only nineteen, for God’s sake, callow and naive– no matter how tough she felt when she was riding around in her trousers, clambering over rocks and fording streams. Brody was thirty. He’d been all around the world. He didn’t need a sister to tell him any of the stuff she’d learned today– Brody had no doubt done all those things himself, with women far more experienced than Rebecca Connor.
She wanted to cry, though she wasn’t sure why. Brody’s kisses inflamed her, and when his big hands caressed the curve of her spine, she wanted to rip her own dress away and feel them everywhere else, but . . . all that other . . . stuff . . . she couldn’t do that. Becky made a face. Sure, she liked Brody a lot, and he made her hot all over, but she wouldn’t know where to start. And she was pretty sure Catherine wouldn’t be giving her lessons, either.
She shredded another leaf, picturing Cat, school-marm-like, using a parsnip as both pointer and prop while she lectured. She giggled and clapped a hand over her mouth, giggling some more.
Maybe Brody could teach her.
Becky stopped giggling abruptly as heat flowed through her body, lighting up every place Cat had mentioned earlier.
And the language her sister had used! Becky recalled, smiling again. She was pretty sure Nanny wouldn’t approve any of those words!
AUTHOR’S NOTE: As usual, thanks for the hearts, stars, and comments, and make sure to check out my bio for ETA on upcoming chapters and updates on TT3! PS–Please vote if you enjoyed these chapters: it might seem like a silly little thing, but that feedback matters– to me and all your favorite writers here on Lit!
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