The New Hand

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A Drifter asks a ranch widow for a place to stay and a meal in exchange for a days work!

Submitted: August 28, 2019

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Submitted: August 28, 2019

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From the window of the encased veranda I watch the drifter make his way up my drive from the main route through the county. A shotgun close by just in case he turned violent when I asked him to leave my property. There was only me and Lucas, my main hand on the property now and Lucas was on the back forty mending fences so it would take him a while to get back here if I needed him.
The closer he got, for some reason the calmer I became. His stride was like he was meandering along, his body language was one of despair, he barely looked up to see where he was going. I didn’t want him to close so I went out standing by the post supporting the eaves. Putting on an act of bravery “Can I help you Mister?”
I  startled him into stopping dead in his tracks, his head snapping up, looking straight at me “Sorry to trespass ma’am!” His hand coming up to his ball cap, removing it before continuing “Just wondering if you had any jobs that needed doing!” He spoke with a bit of nervousness in his voice. “I not looking for money!, just a place to stay and maybe a meal then I’ll be off on my next leg to Denver.” He never breaks eye contact with my eyes, something that surprised me.
Now I’m far from vain but I am used to men giving me the one over from top to toe but he  never moved his eyes from mine. It was strangely refreshing to meet someone who didn’t, maybe that was why I took him at face value “Well I need someone to help fix the fences on the back forty if your willing?
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The walk in from Ermel Road was a long curve like most ranch entrances in Fountain Colorado were. I didn’t want to appear threatening so I slowed my pace and kept my head down. I had no idea how long I was traversing the drive when I stop dead after hearing ““Can I help you Mister?” Only then did I looked up and lo and behold the most gorgeous face I've even seen in person captured me eyes.
““Sorry to trespass ma’am!” Taking me cap off like my dad taught me when in the presence of a lady. Nervous I continue “Just wondering if you had any jobs that needed doing!” Locking my eyes on her like mom taught me “I not looking for money!, just a place to stay and maybe a meal then I’ll be off on my next leg to Denver.”
Her eyes never leave mine ““Well I need someone to help fix the fences on the back forty if your willing?” Instant relief comes to me and I relax a bit inside
“Whatever ma’am I’m not proud to do an honest day’s work, just show me where and I‘ll begin!” 
“Wait here and I’ll get my keys and I’ll drive you out to Lucas!” I do exactly what she says . two minutes later a black Dodge Ram pickup drove around from the left side of the house and stopped, the passenger window rolled down “Hop in and I’ll see that Lucas puts you to work!” A few minutes later we pull up beside a grey pickup, it’s tailgate down, a guy dressed in denim shirt and jeans with a black ten gallon Stetson on his head.
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I don’t know why I feel so safe in his presence but i do! “Wait here and I’ll get my keys and I’ll drive you out to Lucas!” Returning inside I grab my keys and go through the house to the kitchen and to the door leading into the garage. Driving around  I swear he’s in the exact spot I last saw him in. “Hop in and I’ll see that Lucas puts you to work!” Within minutes we’re  pulling  up beside Lucas’s grey pickup  “Lucas this is …?” Then I realize I never asked nor did he offer me a name, looking to him.
“Graeme, Graeme Cartier!’ Holding out his hand towards me and after we shook, to Lucas
“Well Graeme Cartier I’m Amy Tenison and this is Lucas Harper!”  Turning to Lucas “He’s agreed to help with the fencing in exchange for a meal and a place to stay the night!” Lucas looks me dead in the eye with concern on his face, he’s about to say something by I give him the ‘don’t argue look’, shutting him up instantly!
Lucas gives Graeme a task and I stay to see how he goes about it, then I get back into my pickup watching the two of them work until I far enough away that they are like ants in the rearview mirror. I don’t see either of them until Seven PM.
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The rest of the day my mind kept returning to Cartier and how quiet he seemed. A little after six fifty I sat the table with three dinner settings and awaited the arrival of the guys. A little after seven the knock came to the door. Rushing it to open it I see both of them standing there sweaty  and I was hoping hungry!
Lucas did the standard brushing past me his eyes on the table, while Graeme waited on the veranda, sliding his backpack and bedroll of his shoulders. Setting it down,then he removed his boots before sitting down with his back to the door. “Graeme aren’t you coming in for dinner, after all that was part of the deal!”
 “I don’t enter someone’s home unless asked ma’am!” His response shocked me! In this day and age “Especially when I reek of sweat!”
“Oh yes I’m sure you would like to shower before eating, how stupid of me!” Moving out of the door pointing to the stairs, “Second door on the right, fist door is the linen closet where you’ll find clean towels!” At first I thought he was going to stay outside until i saw he picked up his boots and placed then along with his backpack by the door
“Thank you ma’am!” Coming in his head slightly bowed and making his way up the stairs while I went to the dining room to talk with Lucas! No sooner do I enter than Lucas starts
“Well Amy if it’s at all possible I would try to get that young man to stick around if possible!” Taking a sip of water before continuing “He more than did his fair share of the work and didn’t hesitate to try something he’s never done before!” Spooning some of the Cowboy Casserole I made for dinner into a Tupperware container. He went on to tell me all he got out of Graeme, about the reason he was walking from Fort Garland to Denver and how he’s been at it for the last five days by doing exactly what he was doing here, trading work for a meal and a place to sleep!
“I tell you Amy, I would do whatever it took to get him to stay, not a better worker have we’ve ever had here even when Jim ran the place!” The mention of my husband’s name brought my memories of his back to me full force. Even after five years his death cause me pain, the sudden onset of cancer caught us all by surprise. I inherited most of his personal wealth and decided to keep the only home the two of us really ever knew!
Before anything else could be said Graeme came down dressed in the same clothes he went up in. “Thank you Miss Tenison!, I didn’t think I would be proper company smelling like I was!” He actually reached into his pants pocket to extract money to pass me. “This should cover the water I used!” placing in my palm two twenties. I look at him and wonder what was going through his mind, people don’t pay to shower! 
I pocket the money thinking of ways to return it to him before he left my property. I sit down to eat, motioning him to do the same, as he does Lucas gets up. “Will see you tomorrow Amy and I’ll return the Tupperware also, Night Graeme, it was a pleasure working with you!” Reaching out his hand to him, shaking his and nodding to me then a wink!
That left Graeme and me, eating Cowboy Casserole in silence!
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The meal was one of the best things I’ve eaten since leaving home in Fort Garland. Seven days I’ve been on the road staying at various ranches, doing odd jobs in trade for food and a place to sleep, just like here. Outside of working with Lucas, I couldn’t get my mind off Miss Tenison, of all I’ve encountered to date , she’s been the only one not to threaten to call the police the minute I stepped  near the house.
Even now sitting across from me, I can’t help but notice how calm she is with a total stranger in her home, eating her food.Nor can I help notice how drop dead gorgeous she is, catlike Asian eyes framing a petite nose, two lips that seems to me to be screaming out *kiss me*. I try not to let my eyes drift off her face as I eat,don’t want her to feel that I was a rapist just waiting to get her alone.
She speaks and I almost miss it “So Lucas said you more than earned a meal and a place to stay and he usually does more complaining than complementing about people!”
I don’t know what to say to that nor do I know how to respond to the next thins out of her mouth. “Lucas also wanted me to try to tempt you to stay if possible?”  Thank god my mouth was full of food so I didn’t have to reply immediately! Ever since I approached her property I had a feeling of serenity, like this was what fate had planned for me from the very beginning. Swallowing the mouthful of food, I came right out with the honest truth “Right now it probably wouldn’t take much to get me to stay!” I didn’t realize just how close to finishing either of us were.
Helping her to clean off the table, placing things into a dishwasher, we then go retire to the living room to watch a bit of television. She was a big fan of “Wheel of Fortune” and more than able to hold her own at “Jeopardy”. I drift in and out of consciousness weary from the walk, the work and the good food of the day. I came too once more around 10:30 PM to find her watching some Hallmark movie, wiping tears from her eyes with a Kleenex. She turns the TV off and goes upstairs without saying anything, like she was ashamed to be caught crying at a romantic movie. I transfer to the couch, getting,my sleeping bag out to use as a blanket, once more drifting off to sleep!
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The story on the TV was Jim’s and mine to the word, two foolish kids making their way on a ranch, then a disease takes the husband and the wife is left all alone. She became celibate, cutting herself off from others, not wanting to suffer like her husband’s death made her do. I knew those feelings well, not saying I deliberately cut myself off but out side of Lucas, Graeme was the first male I let into my house in a long time.
Getting into bed I drift off with both thoughts in my head. I don’t know when or why I wake and knew that what I was going to do was wrong but I went for it anyway! Quietly coming down the stairs, I spot Graeme on the couch, his sleeping bag open like a blanket, no signs of his clothes in the chair or on the floor. I come closer to him, my heart beating loud enough to wake the dead three states over. I gently lift a corner of the bag and almost gasp out loud, barely catching myself as I see him dressed except for his boots
I look to his face, shocked that his eyes are locked on me “Miss Tenison?”
Then I lift the sleeping bag and slide in front of him on the couch “Could you hold me Graeme?” His left arm comes over my left side, avoiding my breasts and staying well away from my pubis mons. His hand was acting like a belt and for once I felt like a woman again.  He didn’t say anything nor did he try to take advantage of me and that brought tears to my eyes. Oh my god I don’t know why i though it but i considered that Graeme was gay, not just a gentleman. The only thing that told me that wasn’t the case was the bulge I accidently bumped against trying to get more comfortable.
I turned to face him, his arm still over my waist. Without saying anything we both just stared into the other’s eyes, neither of us realizing that we were holding our breath. As we both finally began to breathe it was like our minds were one, thinking the exact thing, our lips pursed and we kissed each other with longing!. His hand drifted down to my right ass cheek pulling me closer to him, oh god I wasn’t making a fool of myself after all!
I break off our kiss, and start to get up, taking his hand off my ass into my and gently pulling him up off the couch, leading him to the stairs, he speaks something that told me he wasn’t a regular at what happening “Miss Tenison are you sure?” Sure, I have no idea but I wanted human contact that I haven’t had in a long time, not since Jim passed away! Up the stairs he followed me, then into my bedroom where between us we strip each other.
He did something that only Jim did before under this roof, swooping me up into his arms and carried me to the bed kissing me with every step he took. Laying me down gently, he then out of nowhere “My god your gorgeous!” slowly he joins me on the bed. We kiss and our hands explore the other body so much that he was hard and i was damp, both wanting the other as bad the other. Even when he knew I was ready, he still didn’t rush in to fuck me. As he moved to mount me he once more left the decision to me “Miss Tenison…?” I stop him with two fingers to his lips 
“Please Amy and I want this!” With that he moves to enter me and I gasp in pleasure. For the first time in over five years I know the feeling of a man in my body.  He is a gentle lover, bringing me to the heights of passion that only Jim ever brought me to before. All the time we were together never once did he think about himself, it was like he knew that I had very little experience since Jim died. When we were sated we drifted back to sleep entangled in each other’s arms.
Morning came and I watched him dress and leave my house…
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I come downstairs from my shower to find Amy staring at the calendar on the wall, checking my watch, July rd 2019, damn our two year anniversary of meeting.Well today I had something else she could stare at besides a piece of paper with numbers on it! ”Hey Amy what the box on the table?”
She turns from the wall and spots what I’m talking about , diving for it like it was alive. Opening it shrieking in delight. Taking her hand I get down on one knee “Ami Tenison will you be the anchor this drifter needs in his life for all his days?”

 


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