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Chapter 26






Lex crept down the dark stairway feeling somewhat like a teenager sneaking out from her parents. She carried her boots in her hand, not wanting to make any noise that could awaken Amanda. Once outside, she slipped the boots on, suppressing a shiver as a cold wind ruffled her hair. Looking off to the right of the house, Lex was thankful that Martha's little cottage was completely dark. Good. Maybe she'll get a little rest. Growing up, Lex wondered if the ever-present housekeeper slept at all. Any time of the day or night the young girl could always count on seeing Martha about, usually in the kitchen.

Lex smiled to herself as she looked up at the cloudless late-night sky, the full moon illuminating the path in front of her. Maybe, with Amanda's help, I can try and get Martha to take it easier. Upon reaching the shed, the dark woman opened the door and slipped inside. Turning on the light, she pulled a pair of worn coveralls from their hook and quickly stepped into them. At least they'll keep me warm, she sighed, and moved towards the still dripping little car.

Three hours later, a dirty and exhausted Lex snuck back through the silent house. She had spent most of the night taking the Mustang apart, finding out that the water damage was not as severe as she had imagined. Once it dries out completely, it shouldn't take too much work to get it running again. She undressed in the dark, padding silently into the bathroom and starting the shower. Not even bothering with turning on the lights, Lex pulled open the glass door and stepped inside, moaning with relief when the hot spray hit her exhausted body. Almost falling asleep standing up in the shower, she quickly rinsed off and climbed out, wrapping a large towel around her body. Sliding between the sheets, Lex was asleep before she realized that she did not put on any pajamas, and that she was not alone in the large bed.

Amanda had been awakened by another bad dream, and no matter how hard she tried, she could not go back to sleep. She tiptoed to the bedroom across the hall, needing the presence of the dark rancher to sooth her frazzled nerves.

Standing in the doorway, Amanda peered towards the bed, trying to see if the older woman was asleep. "Lex?" she whispered, not hearing any sounds from the bed. "Are you asleep?"

Total silence. "She crept towards the bed, finding it empty. Now where on earth could she be? She looked in the bathroom, and found it deserted as well. Maybe she went downstairs for a snack or something. The young blonde made her way to the far side if the bed and sat down. I'll just wait here for her. A few minutes later, completely worn out, Amanda curled up on her side and fell asleep.



Lex awoke to gentle sunlight streaming through the windows, a heavy weight on her chest. She opened her eyes and saw light blonde hair spread across her chest. Wha? Sometime during the night, Amanda had not only found her way into Lex's bed, but had snuggled up against the naked woman under the sheets. Her left arm was casually slung across the older woman's chest, and her left leg was tangled with the rancher's own long limbs. Oh boy. This could get.InterestingDamn, what time is it, anyway? She glanced at the clock on the nightstand, surprised to see it was a little after seven in the morning. With a small sigh, Lex slipped out from under the smaller woman, making her way to the dresser to find some clothes for the day.

Amanda felt her mattress move. Move? What gives? She slid one sleepy eye open, and spotted Lex moving towards the dresser. Mmmmnice body. She mused, then jerked awake when she realized what she was seeing. Naked?!?! What is she doing in my bedroom naked? The young woman blinked, and realized with a start she was in Lex's bedroom. Peeking under the sheet, she was somewhat relieved to note that she had on an oversized tee shirt. Whew! Don't know if I am more relieved, or disappointed.Hmmmdefinitely disappointed.

Amanda saw the tall woman open a drawer and remove a handful of clothes, so she quickly slammed her eyes shut before Lex turned around. The rancher silently spun on her heel, then made her way to the bathroom and quietly closed the door behind her. Okaylet's just think about this for a minute. Amanda racked her brain, Ah, that's right. I was waiting for her to come back to her room, and I must have fallen to sleep. She frowned to herself. But why would she get into bed with me if she were naked? She bit her lower lip. Maybe she didn't realize I was herebut that still doesn't explain the fact that she had NO clothes on!!



The bathroom door opened and Lex stepped out. "I'm awake." Amanda said quietly.

The tall woman sat gently on the edge of the bed. "Good morningI hope I didn't wake you." She smiled.

"No, not at all" the small blonde would not meet her eyes. "SorryI didn't mean to fall asleep here. I had another bad dream, and couldn't sleep - so I came in here, but you were gone." She gave Lex a questioning glance. "Where were you?"

"I couldn't sleep, so I went down to the barn." Lex told her quietly. Not a complete lie, anyway.

"Ohanyway, I guess I fell asleep waiting for you. Didn't mean to take over your bed like this."

Lex patted the young woman on the leg. "Hey, no problem. I was so tired when I came in, I just took a quick shower and fell into bed."

Amanda covered the hand on her leg with one of her own. "What time did you get to sleep? I know it was pretty late when I wandered in here."

Lex stood up. "It wasn't that lateprobably right after you came in." She gently pulled Amanda up on the bed. "C'mon. Why don't you get up and get dressed, and I'll meet you downstairs for breakfast."

Amanda stood up on her knees on the edge of the bed. She linked her hands behind the tall woman's neck and pulled her close. "I've got a better idea."

Lex quirked an eyebrow, but didn't complain as the young woman took her time exploring her mouth. She found her hands drifting to Amanda's hips, unconsciously pulling her closer.

"Ahem."

They broke apart quickly, each shooting an embarrassed look towards the door. Lex found her voice first. "Good morning, Martha." She directed a grin at the housekeeper, who was standing in the doorway with her arms crossed.

"Obviously." The heavyset woman snorted, causing Amanda's blush to deepen.

"It'summmnot what it looks like, exactly." The young blonde stammered to explain.

"Right" Martha turned to leave. "Just wanted to let you both know that breakfast is ready." She winked. "I'm sure you've both worked up an appetite." She shook her head, leaving the room and closing the door behind her.

Amanda fell back on the bed laughing. "Oh, godshe's not going to let us live this down, is she?"

Lex put her hands on her hips and grinned. "Nope" she offered the now giggling woman a hand. "C'monlet's go face the music." Pulling Amanda up. "Does that bother you?"

The younger woman stood up, wrapping an arm around Lex's waist. "Nope. And I hope it doesn't bother Martha too much either'cause I'm not gonna stop anytime soon."

Lex laughed as they made their way out of the bedroom.



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