Jesse woke to find Neva curled up against him with her head on his chest and her arm wrapped around his waist. The only problem was that he needed to get up. “Neva, I… I need to get up,” he said softly.
“Uhhh,” she moaned softly, never really waking up.
Jesse gently moved her arm and then crawled out of bed, doing his best to be careful. He pulled the covers over Neva and headed to the bathroom. Five minutes later, he came back to find her curled up in a ball in the middle of the bed. He just smiled and shook his head. Jesse crawled under the covers and wrapped himself around Neva. She felt good in his arms. Her hair tickled his nose. Jesse moved his head and soon fell back asleep.
Neva realized she was way too warm. The blanket was wrapped tight around her. She tried to move and then realized that it wasn’t a blanket. It was Jesse. When she had wriggled, he had held tighter. Opening her eyes, she realized it was nearly dawn. She tried to stretch again, and managed to move a little. Jesse relaxed his grip on her waist and she rolled towards the side of the bed. His hand trailed from where it had been to across her ass. She smiled as silly thoughts crossed her brain and fell back asleep.
“Hey sleepy head. You want coffee this morning?” a voice asked far far away.
Neva blinked and tried to shut out the light. Then she realized that there was a cup of something that smelled good about a foot from her face. “Oh, coffee?”
“Yes. Sit up and I’ll hand it to you,” Jesse said.
Neva worked to achieve a sitting position. Once she was still, Jesse handed her the cup. “Oh this smells good.”
“Breakfast will be up soon,” he said as he left the room.
Neva sipped the coffee and wondered when he’d gotten up. It was barely 7am. She could hear noises coming from the kitchen. Her curiosity was rewarded a few minutes later when Jesse carried in two plates on a tray. Eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns, jelly and butter.
“Oh damn,” she said trying not to drool.
“I figured if I was hungry, maybe you were,” Jesse said.
“I am.” She took her plate and dug into the food. “You know, I shouldn’t be surprised that you can cook, but my brain keeps going, ‘oh damn! He can cook!’ like I’ve never eaten.”
Jesse laughed. “I can cook, clean house, do laundry, run a ranch and repair trucks. Need anything else done?”
Jesse looked at her puzzled for a moment and then realized exactly what he’d said. It was his turn to blush. “I’m… I’m sorry, I…” he stuttered.
“It’s okay. I know what you meant. It was just my brain that went farther and embarrassed myself. Not a problem,” she said.
“Still. We just slept together and um… it felt really nice to hold someone in my arms,” he admitted.
Neva nodded, not trusting her voice.
“How long for you?” he asked wondering if it was the right thing to do.
“About five years. You?”
“Longer. Much longer. Unless you count a couple of drunken dates that didn’t turn out well come daylight.”
“We won’t count those. Why so long?” Neva asked. “In for a penny…”
“Just too damn busy with the ranch. Women like cowboys, but they don’t want them to really smell like horses or cattle.”
“I can see that. Just like most men don’t want to hang around with women who know more about car engines than they do. Unfortunately, most men barely know where the oil cap and dipstick are on their cars,” said Neva.
It was Jesse’s turn to laugh. “Agreed. Let me take these,” he said gathering up the plates. He took them to the kitchen and was back in a few minutes. Neva was just coming out of the bathroom.
“How’s your head?” he asked.
“Much better I think. The room didn’t spin when I stood up. Nor did I think I was going fall over if I moved too fast.”
“Good.” he turned Neva to look at her head. He gently pressed the area next to the cut on her head. “Tender?”
“A little. Not too bad though.”
“Alright. Feel up to a shower?” he asked.
“Yes! In case you haven’t figured it out, I love a hot shower,” said Neva. She got some clothes off the pile that Jesse had brought and headed for the bathroom.
Jesse smiled and made the bed.
Neva let the hot water cascade over her body. As she scrubbed, she imagined it was Jesse’s hands and not hers. Her nipples hardened and she felt that warm tingle start between her legs as she washed. “Damn, I’m horny!” she thought. After she rinsed her hair and body, she turned the taps to make the shower just a little colder before she finally got out. “Gotta cool down!” When she walked out of the bathroom with her hair wrapped in a towel, she found the room empty.
“Jesse?” There was no answer to her call. She toweled her hair dry, combed it as best she could and then headed for the living room. No Jesse. He wasn’t in the kitchen either. She walked back to the bedroom, grabbed her book and headed back to curl up on the couch. “Wonder if I did something wrong,” she thought as she settled on the couch and opened her book.
Jesse went out to take care of the chores. He fed the animals, checked water in the troughs and gathered eggs. Only six so far. He feared that one of the chickens had a hidden nest. He put the egg basket on the steps and headed out to check on the horses. Plus, the walk would give him time to think. It had been a while since he’d let his heart out for another to hold. This felt right, yet he wasn’t certain. As his brother had joked, “You can think with your balls, but it ain’t a safe bet.”
Standing out on the prairie grass, he watched the horses. They came running up to see if he had any sugar cubes. Digging down in the pocket of his Carhartt’s vest, he found a piece of sugar for each of the four horses. They ate their treat and headed off to see what the wind had blown across the field. Jesse let his mind float as his eyes watched the movement of horses, the wind, clouds scuttling over the mountains. After a while, he headed back to the ranch house.
When he got there, he heard noises in the kitchen. Walking into the house, he found Neva putting sandwich makings out on the table. She looked up startled when he walked into the kitchen.
“Hi! I… um… I got hungry and decided to make myself some lunch. I didn’t know where you’d gone, and…” she rambled.
Jesse walked over to where she stood and wrapped his arms around her. She smelled of her shampoo, and he knew he smelled of horses and sweat. Neva had stopped chatting and wrapped her arms around his waist. He looked down at her upturned face. “What do you want?” he asked softly.
Neva looked up at him. She buried her nose in his shirt. The scent of him mingled with horses, grass and dust tickled her nose, but it smelled good. Looking back at him, she realized there was only one answer. “You.”