Jason sat still while Doc pulled the stitches from his scalp. It tugged more than it hurt, which he figured was a good thing. Betsy had taken Willow to town for some groceries.
“So, how’s things going?” asked Doc as he pulled the last of the stitches out.
“Okay. We hold hands, she’s kissed me a few times and she cuddles up to me at night,” said Jason. He’d already explained the sleeping arrangement, which Doc had smiled about once he understood what was going on.
“Good. You do realize that she may never be able to cope,” Doc said.
“Yes, I realize that. I’m going slow and to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been so clean in my life,” said Jason. He was masturbating in the shower almost every morning to keep himself on an even keel.
“Ah, Sally Suds aye?” smirked Doc.
“Yeah,” said Jason trying not to blush.
“Do yourself a favor,” said Doc.
“How so?” asked Jason.
“Let her catch a glimpse of that morning wood. She may not be advancing her own emotional state because you are being so guarded,” said Doc.
“Okay, but in my book, no matter who it is, no means no until they say yes,” said Jason.
“Good! But you don’t have to look like a neutered saint, just act like one,” said Doc. “Let her know that she affects you. Let her know that you still hold back inspite of being turned on.”
Jason thought about it for a moment. Doc had a point. “I’ll give it a try,” he said.
Doc smiled, packed his bag and left for town.
Betsy and Willow got back an hour after Doc had left. They came in giggling and carrying bags of groceries. Betsy set the last of the bags down, and went to check on Jason. Willow started to put groceries away.
“Hey Jason, how you doing?” she said as she entered the living room where he was sitting.
“Doing okay. How’d your shopping trip go?” he asked.
“Very well. We got some real food for this house and even a surprise or two that you’ll just have to wait for,” she said with a smile.
“Oh? Not even a clue?” he asked.
“Nope! Not one red cent of a clue,” said Betsy. “Just be good and you might earn a surprise.” With that said, she turned and headed back to the kitchen to help Willow.
That night after a supper of tortellini, salad and garlic bread, Willow headed up after the dishes to take a shower. This was a departure from her regular routine, so Jason wondered if something was up on the ‘date front’. He sipped his coffee and read his book until he heard the shower turn off. Then he headed up to the bedroom and got ready for bed. Jason had just had enough time to take off his boots and unbutton his shirt when Willow came out of the bathroom. Instead of her usual flannel pj’s over long underwear, she had on a set of brushed cotton pj’s with a bit of lace at the collar, cuffs, and the pocket. There were no long undies on under them either.
“Hello,” said Jason. He looked her up and down in an appreciative manner.
“Do… do you like them?” she asked shyly.
“Yes, they look very good on you. Much better than the shapeless flannels you’ve been wearing,” he said. And, as per Doc’s suggestion, when he stood up, he didn’t shield the fact that he had the beginnings of an erection. He watched her eyes dart down to his crotch and back up. He just kept walking to the bathroom to get his pajamas.
When he came back, Willow was in bed and reading.
“So, you and Betsy had fun shopping?” he asked.
“Yes. I got the new pj’s and she got a new nightie as well. By the way, she said you two use to date. Why didn’t you stay involved?” Willow asked. She had Betsy’s answer, and yet still wanted to hear his. Her heart about exploded when she’d seen his reaction to her new pj’s. She hadn’t expected that. It scared her and made her smile at the same time.
“Well, Betsy and I grew up together. Everyone thought we should date. So, we gave it a try. No sparks. So, I have a good friend. Anything else you want to ask?” he said.
“Why no girlfriends? No wife?” Willow asked.
“I’ve never found anyone who could cope with me and the ranch. A few wanted me to sell the land and move to the city. One wanted me to move her family up here and turn it into a subdivision. That isn’t what I wanted to do, so either they left or I dumped them. Hell, you’re more of a girlfriend than I’ve had in ages,” he said softly. “And now to see how that flies,” he thought.
“Oh, Betsy said something about you not having anyone who wanted to share the ranch life, but she didn’t explain,” said Willow.
“Well, she didn’t know the whole story on some of them,” he said. He turned in bed towards her and put his hand under her chin. “What would you like?”
Willow felt herself blush as he asked that question. She couldn’t look away because he had her chin in his hand. “I… um… I want to feel normal again. I want to love and touch someone and not be afraid. I want to have sex! I realized I actually miss sex. Hell! It’s why I bought new pj’s, because I want to feel sexy again and not just invisible,” she said.
Jason looked at her and smiled. “You aren’t invisible to me. You haven’t been since the moment I found you in the forest,” he admitted softly. “She’ll either freak or she won’t at this point,” he thought.
“You … you what?” asked Willow totally confused.
“I saw someone hurt. I saw someone who fought to live. I realized that you were worth getting to know, because you fought to stay alive. Especially when you fought the doctor and the sheriff about letting me stay in the room when you were examined. When you showed up on my doorstep a few months ago, I wondered why you’d come. Each day as you’ve healed, I’ve let a little hope grow in my heart. Were you someone who really liked me and the ranch? Or, were you just staying here to get your head on straight? Would you stay or leave with the next storm?” he said.
“Oh,” said Willow.
“So, Willow, what do you want?” he asked. “Do you like my ranch? Me?”
“I do like it here. The snow drives me crazy, but I like it that we are somewhere quiet and yet there are things to do like feeding the animals and taking care of each other,” she said.
“Okay. What else,” he asked knowing that there was more to her thoughts.
“I… I find you attractive and I…” she stopped, and buried her head in the pillows.
Jason counted to ten and then gently extracted her head from the pillows. “Willow?”
“I… I feel like a nervous fifteen year old on a first date!” she said.
“Alright, nothing wrong with that. What do you want?” he asked.
“I wanttogettoknowyoulikearealgirlfriendandboyfriend,” she said so fast that all the words ran together.
“You what?” he said. He’d understood her, but knew she needed to own her words.
“Oh why is this so hard?” she asked rhetorically.
“Because you got raped? Because you’re mixed up? Because I’m the ugliest thing this side of the Canadian border, but you think you can get me cheap?” he asked knowing she really hadn’t meant him to answer her.
Willow laughed. “You bastard!” she said gasping for air.
“No, my parents were married. I’ve got pictures,” he said. “Willow, what do you want?”
Willow took a deep breath. “Now or never,” she thought. “I… I want you. I want you to kiss me and hold me and make me feel wanted,” she said and blushed.
Jason smiled. He put one hand on her shoulder and leaned in to kiss her. She tilted her head up and their lips met. He kissed her gently, but firmly and slowly pulled her into an embrace. She held still at first and then slowly kissed back. After about the third kiss, she put her hand up on his shoulder and participated in the embrace. Slowly, Jason kissed her a few more times and then gently let go of her.
“You okay?” he asked.
“I think so. I didn’t panic. My heart’s going ninety miles an hour, but it isn’t because I’m scared,” she said.
“Good. May I hold you as we go to sleep?” he asked.
“Yes,” she said and snuggled into his arms. She fell asleep almost at once. Jason lay there awake for nearly an hour. He waited to see if she’d have nightmares and for his erection to relax.