Chapter 25

After dinner, Martha once again refused any help with the dishes, chasing the two younger women out of the kitchen, popping her dishtowel at them with glee.

Lex grabbed Amanda's hand and laughingly drug her from the mock battle, threatening to return similarly armed. She pulled the blonde down the long hallway, until they came to the den door. " Want to watch a movie? " she asked, turning to her companion with a gentle smile.

Amanda squeezed the hand that held hers. " I think I'd like that very muchbut I need to call my grandmother first, if that's okay with you."

" Sureyou know you can use the phone anytime." She gave a courtly bow, pulling the young woman's hand to her lips. " My castle is yours to do with as you wish." She gave Amanda a slight nudge towards the office. " G'wan. Take all the time you need." She sat down on the sofa and propped her barefeet on the coffee table. " I'll save ya a spot." She grinned.

Amanda looked towards the office, and then back at the lazily sprawled rancher. " You know, it is getting late" she started towards the sofa, " And I'd hate to disturb them - my grandfather really needs his rest." She sat down next to the older woman and snuggled up close. " Besides, I called them from Martha's house today. I'm sure they're okay."

" How's your grandfather doing? I haven't seen him since he's gotten out of the hospital." Lex asked, putting her arm around the blonde, who gave her a puzzled look.

" You saw him at the hospital? Why didn't I ever see you? " she edged just a little bit closer.

Lex looked down at her with a fond smile. " Well, I'd only visit once or twice a week, mainly to make sure Mrs. Cauble was doing okay, and it was always first thing in the morning."

" Oh, well that explains it. I normally wouldn't get to the hospital until nine or ten, since I would stay so late the night before." She stopped and thought for a moment. " Waitaminute! It was you, wasn't it? "

Lex met her gaze. " What? " she asked quietly.

" Monday and Thursday mornings there were always fresh flowers by Grandpa Jake's bed." The young woman smiled. " You were the one who brought them, right? "

Lex looked somewhat embarrassed. " Uh, yeahwellthe florist was on my way in." She felt small arms slightly constrict around her. " And Mr. Cauble has always been really nice to me." She motioned to the entertainment center. " He made that, you know." Trying to change the subject a little, she asked her original question again. " How's his leg? Has he gotten his cast off yet? "

" Yephe's almost back to his old self, but he's got a pretty heavy limp. Although he's told us that it's only temporary." Amanda leaned up close to Lex's ear. " But he's doing much" she kissed the tender skin, " much" a slight nibble on the nearby lobe, " better."

Lex moaned, and turned her head, meeting Amanda's teasing mouth passionately. They took their time, both enjoying the gentle contact. Lex pulled the smaller woman into her lap, and the blonde reciprocated by tangling her hands in Lex's dark locks, gently kneading the strong neck.

The rancher was the first one to break away, a slightly glazed look in her eyes. " Wow" she cleared her throat. " That was"

Amanda placed a soft kiss on her chin. " Oh yeahit most certainly was." She smiled. " But you know, that may have been a fluke." She nibbled on the dark woman's lower lip. " Shall we try again just to be sure? "

Lex answered her with a quiet growl, and began a fierce exploration of the blonde's pale throat. She worked her way up to a small ear, and gave it a gentle tug. " Sounds like a plan to me." She whispered, enjoying the little shiver she could feel running through the young woman.

They continued almost hesitantly, neither in any hurry to push the other too far. Feels so good Amanda thought, using her small hands to map out the strong muscles in the older woman's back. She was feeling almost overwhelmed by the incredible sensations coursing through her body. I've never felt anything like this before. She thought that what she had found with Judith was special, at least until now. No, that was friendship, or maybe even infatuationthis is a low moan escaped her as Lex found a particularly tender spot on her neck. This is incredible!

Lex couldn't seem to get enough of the tender throat under her lips. She bit down gently on the pulse point, eliciting a low moan from the woman sprawled in her lap. Even though her heart was pounding in her ears, the dark woman had never felt such a complete feeling of peace before. When Amanda began running her hands up and down the rancher's broad back, Lex knew deep in her soul that she'd come home at last.

By unspoken agreement, neither woman took the activities any farther, both wanting to savor the moment. Lex regretfully pulled back. " It's getting pretty latewhy don't we continue this 'conversation' tomorrow? "

Amanda ran a trembling finger down the rancher's flushed face. " Probably a good idea" she could feel the older woman's chest heaving with effort. " Why don't we go upstairs and get some sleep? " she climbed off of Lex's lap, grabbing one of the large hands and pulling the still seated woman to her feet. " C'monI'll tuck you in." A wicked smile was her answer. Amanda blushed. " Lex! " she slapped her arm, " You know what I mean! "

The tall woman smiled and pulled the red-faced Amanda into a strong hug. " Sorryit's just you're so cute when you blush." She kissed the blonde head under her chin, " But you're rightIt's been a pretty long day." She allowed the younger woman to step back, but caught her small hand. " Can I walk you home? " a smirk.

Amanda chuckled. " HmmmI dunnowhat would my parents say? "

Lex grinned. " They'd say I was incredibly lucky." She pulled the blonde to the door. " Let's goI don't want you turning into a pumpkin, or some other such nonsense."

Navigating the stairs had been an experience, to say the least. Lex took the opportunity to stop at almost every step, citing some unknown house rule about a kiss per step. Amanda didn't want to jinx the house, so of course she obliged. Fifteen minutes later, they found themselves at Amanda's bedroom door. Lex pulled a small hand to her lips and kissed it gently. " Goodnight" she whispered, her blue eyes locked with Amanda's.

The smaller woman released the hand in hers, and put her arms around Lex's neck. She stood up on her tiptoes and zeroed in on a pair of slightly bruised lips. " Goodnight." She kissed Lex with abandon, wanting to send the older woman to bed with something to remember her by. " Sleep well." Amanda placed a final peck on Lex's lower lip, then released her and turned towards her door. " See you in the morning." She smiled, and closed the door behind her, leaving a stunned but grinning rancher staring after her.

" Oh, boy" Lex turned and headed across the hall, " Maybe I need a cold shower." She laughed to herself, as she crossed the room towards the dresser. " NahI'll just put on my boots, and go check out the car." That should calm me down. Yeah, right!


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