Texas Trio Pt. 02 – Becky’s Debt Ch. 25-26

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Daisy Taylor

REMINDER: I write long stories. Many chapters don’t have naughty bits, but those that do (like this one!) will be way more fun if you read the non-naughty parts, too! Also, although TT2 is a stand-alone novel, it takes place in the same family as Texas Trio, so you might want to read that one first!—Stefanie

—:—:—:—:—:—:—Chapter 25—:—:—:—:—:—:—

Becky had the bad fortune to step out of the woods at the same time Jem rounded the corner of the barn, heading for the house. Only his unrelenting sense of self-discipline saved her from being hauled into the house by her elbow for a spanking. Instead, after exchanging her wet clothes for dry ones and combing her hair, she got a loud lecture on wandering around the ranch alone. By that time, Colt had arrived, so there were two large men pacing the library like angry lions, roaring their displeasure.

“Didn’t we tell you that someone’s been hanging around the ranch, cutting fences?” Colt glared down at at the bane of their leonine pride, furious at her comportment. Becky looked for all the world like she’d just wandered in here to choose a book.

“Yes, you did, and I apologize for not heeding your warning.”

Jeremiah took a turn. “You know how Catherine worries; what if something were to happen to you? How would your sister feel?”

“I do know, and I wouldn’t want to hurt her. I apologize for risking that.” Becky’s hands were crossed on her lap. She didn’t even fidget, though honestly, she’d been so eager to see Brody she’d never even considered the possibility of a brief absence worrying her sister.

Her brothers glared at her, their eyes glittering dangerously. Any man on the ranch would have been shaking, but Becky sat calmly, making direct eye contact and giving every impression of sincerity as she spoke—simply because she was sincere. She knew she’d been bending the rules, after all, and she truly didn’t want to worry Catherine, even if she did think they were over-reacting.

Colt made an inarticulate sound of rage as he threw his hands up, storming out of the library.

Jem turned on his heel and followed more slowly. He didn’t slam the door as Becky expected.

Becky leaned back in the chair and turned her face toward the window. A small smile settled on her lips. All the fuming and hollering had spared her the nervous explanations Cat or Nanny’s questions would probably have elicited. That had been her only worry after she left Brody to return to the house.

Becky supposed she should have a whole host of other worries about the possible consequences of making love with Brody, but she was absolutely, positively sure it was one of the best decisions she’d ever made. Chief among the worries she didn’t have was the risk of conceiving. Catherine’s own family-planning goals had smoothed Becky’s way with The Book, which said Becky probably wasn’t in danger this week.

After another minute of dreamy recollection in the library, she rose to her feet, smoothed her dress, and went in to help with the evening meal.

—:—:—:—:—:—:—

They’d never discussed the possibility, and Brody doubted the wisdom of showing up on her porch after dinner that night, but he couldn’t resist the urge to see her again, no matter that they’d only been apart for ninety minutes.

He was even more unsure of his chosen course when he arrived to find everyone but Becky in a prickly mood. He’d have said it was the heat, except for the occasional glares thrown Becky’s way by Colt and Jem, and the way Mrs. Connor was keeping a watchful eye on her husbands. If Becky hadn’t seemed so care-free, he would have been worried, but she gave him a serene smile and asked him to walk her around the yard.

He waited until they were out of earshot and bent his head. “Are you well?”

Becky smiled sideways at him, practically glowing in the evening light. “I am very well, Mr. Easton, thank you.”

He was puzzled. “Your family seems . . . perturbed. I thought they might have . . . .”

She waved a hand dismissively. “I am a constant trial to my brothers, but it has nothing to do with you or our . . . swim.” She ducked her chin, blushing.

Brody grinned. “Good. I would not like for you to be upset, or for your brothers to think less of me than they already do.”

He wondered whether he should mention matrimony to her before approaching Kendall and Wilson.

“Mr. Easton, I hesitate to ask . . . .”

He prompted her with a nod.

“The night you arrived at the ranch—”

Brody colored.

“—what exactly did you say about my sister that so aroused Clancy’s fury?”

He was appalled by the question and cleared his throat several times in preparation. “I’d like to apologize again, Miss Connor—”

“Never mind that, Brody,” Becky slipped into familiarity. “Please do say.”

He darted a glance at her from under his brows. “I’d been told by two men on the road that this—” He motioned to the house. “—was a comfort-house.”

Becky’s eyes widened.

“After güvenilir bahis your sister walked by, I—” He cleared his throat again and interrupted himself. “Becky, I was extremely tired and hadn’t—”

“Brody,” she prodded sternly, unconsciously channeling her older sister.

He swallowed. “After your sister walked by, I said she didn’t look like a light-skirt.”

He closed his eyes, waiting for the explosion.

She thought for a moment, and nodded. “Oh.”

A breath passed her lips and she spoke again. “There’s a church picnic this Sunday, I was wondering . . . .”

Surprised by her lack of reaction, Brody barely heard himself making plans to accompany her and her family to the picnic. By the time he emerged from his fog and thought again to mention matrimony, they’d completed their second circuit.

As they approached the porch, Kendall stood. “That’s it. I’ve had enough watching you two parade around.”

Colt ignored Catherine’s disapproving presence at his elbow and the piercing stare she directed his way. He pointed to the door. “Becky, get inside and go upstairs. Now.”

Becky turned to Brody and smiled sweetly, completely unconcerned with Kendall’s booming voice and thunderous stare. “Good night, Mr. Easton.”

Brody bowed politely over her hand. “Miss Connor.”

“Mrs. Connor.” Brody tipped his hat to Catherine, who smiled as she followed her husband and sister inside, leaving Brody alone with Jem.

With the light behind Wilson, Brody couldn’t see his face, just a broad, looming silhouette. When Wilson closed the door and leapt from the porch, skipping the three shallow steps, Brody tensed, but Jem headed straight for the barn.

“I’ll walk you down.”

Brody followed, wondering if he was about to get hung from a rafter. Becky said her brothers didn’t know what had happened between them, but maybe she was wrong. He only relaxed when Wilson propped his elbows on the top rail of Big Bob’s empty paddock, motioning for Brody to join him.

They were silent for a while.

“Brody—” Jem began.

Brody started. It was the first time either of Becky’s brothers had called him anything but “Easton.”

“—Becky likes you.” He glanced over with a wry smile. “I guess you know that.”

Brody tried for a small smile, hoping to keep the lovesick fawning in check.

“As you mentioned yourself, in very diplomatic terms, she can be stubborn.” Jem stopped, looking at nothing.

“She’s determined not to have her wings clipped, no matter what Colt, Catherine, and I say about her wandering the ranch alone.”

The tension flowed from Brody’s shoulders as he began to sense the purpose of their chat.

“I haven’t wanted to scare her—still don’t want to scare her—or the other women, so I haven’t mentioned it, but Colt and I think that fence-cutter is more than some troublesome local lad.”

Jem glanced sideways at Brody. “That man you spoke to on the road, who told you this place was a public house—we think it’s him and a partner cutting fences. There was a fire last week, too, an old birthing shed. A cowhand nearby saw a wisp of smoke and sent up a volley of shots. Half a dozen hands got there in time to stop it from spreading. We kept it quiet to avoid a panic—I don’t need men shooting each other when they go to the privy in the middle of the night—but Becky—” He shook his head. “I can keep everyone else safe, but not Becky. Not if she won’t listen to us.”

Brody was frowning when Jem looked at him again.

“I’m hoping you can help.”

Brody nodded sharply, positive he’d do something, anything, whatever it took to keep her safe.

“She might listen to you, whereas Colt and I are just,” he shrugged. “her brothers.”

Brody nodded again, his face stern. “Yes, sir.”

Jem pushed away from the fence, grinning, and whacked Brody on the shoulder with his hat as he passed, headed for the house. “Cut it out, Easton. Nobody’s buying those ‘sirs’ anymore.”

Brody almost laughed aloud.

As Jem walked away, Brody couldn’t help calling after him. “Yes, sir.”

Jem’s chuckles followed him into the barn.

—:—:—:—:—:—:—

Jeremiah was oddly reassured by Becky’s truculent approach the following morning, when she came to the office as he was ordering the monthly household accounts for Colt’s governance. “Becky?”

She planted her hands on her hips, and Jem thought he was about to get a lecture on feminine independence or women’s rights or some such thing.

“Did you and Colt ever think to ask Clancy what Brody said about Catherine that first night he was here?”

Jem was surprised by the topic but answered quietly. “No, I didn’t see the need.”

Becky glared. “After Catherine passed them, Brody told Clancy she didn’t look like a light-skirt.”

Jem tipped his head like he was listening to a faraway sound.

Becky nodded sharply, acting as though he’d agreed with her. “Exactly. It’s not much of an insult, now, is it?” She folded her arms türkçe bahis across her chest.

Jem suppressed a smile. She’d never get away with that pose if Catherine were present.

Becky continued to berate him. “If he’d said that about a saloon girl, it would actually be considered a compliment, now, wouldn’t it?”

Jem made a noncommittal sound.

After a long, meaningful stare, Becky departed.

Jem craned his neck to watch through the small window as she stomped back toward the house. Apparently he’d been right about her and Brody, he thought, laughing out loud as he bent again to the stack of receipts.

—:—:—:—:—:—:—Chapter 26—:—:—:—:—:—:—

The next day was Saturday, and Brody stopped in for the noon meal, hoping to speak with Becky’s brothers alone. Instead, he ate in the kitchen with the women, where he was then pressed into service entertaining them with tales of his travels while they prepared food for the picnic on Sunday. Becky sat at the table with him and one of the boys, who was working sums on his slate.

The ladies were thrilled with his stories of goings-on across the country, and aghast when he told them a watered-down version of being mistaken for a union organizer and jailed, shortly after arriving in Texas.

Catherine and Becky got into a lively discussion after Catherine dismissed the union issue as uninteresting, and Rebecca felt compelled to correct her sister’s lack of concern by explaining “Powderly’s stance on ‘women’s work’.” Brody wasn’t particularly interested in labor disputes, either, and if he heard one more Madame de Staël quote, he thought he might scream, but he loved to watch Becky’s face when she spoke passionately on any subject. And she was forever producing some bit of knowledge that astounded him, whether it was written by a Viennese physician or a Chinese chemist.

She paused suddenly as the jingle of spurs tinkled through the window. At the sound of a footfall on the back porch, she picked up her monologue with slightly more volume, and what seemed a precipitous change in topic. “In Prolegomena to Ethics, Mr. Green writes that true virtue cannot be limited to the cultivation of personal virtue alone, that the moral ideal must be continued by the state.”

Colt had closed the screen door and was halfway across the room to his wife when Becky finished. He froze, sighed deeply, and turned on his heel, leaving the room.

Becky giggled, but Cat was right behind her husband and pinched her sister’s arm—hard—on her way by.

Becky rubbed the spot, frowning.

“You could at least let him get a drink afore you start pokin’ at him, Miss Becky,” Nanny chided quietly.

Becky was stricken. She hadn’t meant to truly upset Colt—she loved him. She met Brody’s eyes, a query in her own.

One of Brody’s brows rose, and he nodded slightly in agreement.

Becky glanced down at her hands. “Will you excuse me for a moment, Mr. Easton?”

He took over with Jamie and the slate as she left the kitchen.

She took her time on the stairs, forming an apology, and arrived at Colt’s door with a lighter heart. Doing the right thing always made you feel better, like Nanny told the children. Wearing a serene smile, she lifted her hand to knock, but was forestalled by a knock from the other side. Confusion wrinkled her brow. Another knock followed from a lower spot, and a heavy thud from lower yet. Rustling fabric and shuffling sounds from the floor didn’t help make sense of the knocks, either—until Becky heard a tiny whimper, not far from where her hand still hovered.

She blushed bright scarlet and backed away, her eyes glued to the polished wood as a vision formed of her sister pinned against the other side, her skirts askew, her legs rising to embrace Colt’s waist as she eagerly awaited his penetration.

Becky’s hand flew to her mouth, and she fled silently back downstairs, thanking her lucky stars that none of the treads creaked. In the hallway outside the kitchen door she stopped, leaning against the wall with her breasts heaving as she tried to catch her breath. The heat in her face fled to her belly, leaving her legs weak.

If only Catherine hadn’t told her those things!

Becky twisted her head silently from side to side, reminding herself that it was her own fault. She’d wanted to know what to expect with Brody, though being forewarned hadn’t helped at all: no words came close to describing how thick and hot he’d felt inside her.

Her heart thudded wildly and she rested her hand on her chest, feeling the fluid echoing in her veins as her pussy clenched wildly, aching for . . . .

Brody.

He was sitting there in the kitchen, just on the other side of that door, awaiting her return. Would he be able to tell what she’d been thinking? Becky exhaled slowly and held her breath, concentrating on slowing her heart. She’d read a book about a swami in Bengal who could slow his heart rate to ten beats per minute for hours on end and come back güvenilir bahis siteleri to his senses refreshed and relaxed. That was exactly what she needed—to relax.

At last her pulse calmed, and she re-entered the kitchen, a polite smile pinned to her lips. “Would you like another cup of tea, Mr. Easton?”

Brody studied her face. “No, thank you, Miss Connor, I have to be going. Will you walk me out?”

“Of course.”

Brody thanked the other ladies in the kitchen, tousled Jamie’s hair, and followed Becky to the front of the house. Before they reached the door, he pulled her into the library, closing the door quietly behind them. He tossed his hat on a chair and came to her. “What is it?”

His hands, gentle on her upper arms, burned her skin through the light-weight cotton fabric, and Becky’s smile began to break.

“Did Kendall say something to you? By God, I’ll—” Blood rose in his neck, turning his brown skin ruddy, and Becky reached out to soothe him.

Her hands on his chest, she shook her head. “No, no, it was nothing like that . . . it was—”

What could she say? She couldn’t possibly tell him the truth, yet he’d know if she was lying.

Brody pulled her closer, his eyes drilling into her. “Becky, tell me.”

She shuddered at his tone, the same low rumble he’d used at the bunkhouse and the stable, after which she’d done exactly as he said. She was afraid she wouldn’t be able to resist it now, either.

She tried to slide sideways and away from him, but Brody wouldn’t let her move. His grip on her arms tightened, and he leaned nearer to say it again, more quietly this time. “Becky.”

With no follow-up, it was nonetheless an order.

Shaking her head ‘no’, she complied anyway, while looking sideways at the floor.

“I didn’t—I couldn’t apologize,” she whispered, her throat closing. “I didn’t—They were . . . Cat and Colt, I mean . . . they were—”

She choked on the words, but that was enough for Brody.

With her lids lowered to cover her embarrassment, Becky missed Brody’s predatory smile, but she could feel the heat of his ardor, knew the intensity with which he studied her face, because he’d watched her that way before, when she clung like seaweed to the bunkhouse wall. Her nipples hardened and pushed at the fabric restraining them.

“They were fucking?” Brody asked roughly, and the blood returned to her face in a rush.

She didn’t reply, so he bent his head again, rubbing his scratchy cheek lightly against hers. “Say it, Becky.”

When her silence answered, Brody shifted his grip. Squeezing her arms slightly also pushed her breasts together, putting her nipples within easy reach of his long, rough thumbs. He ran them lightly up the lower curve of her breasts, his touch becoming gradually firmer until he reached the tips and slowed. The tiny buds were so stiff they caught at his thumbs through three layers of lace and fabric.

Becky gasped, her eyes flying uncontrollably open.

He was waiting, and the grey eyes trapped hers. Once, twice more, he caressed her through the cotton.

All the hot, expectant tingles he pulled to the surface dripped directly to the spot between her legs where she most needed his touch, pooling there in anticipation. “Brody,” she gasped.

“Say it, Becky.”

“Yes . . . yes,” she whimpered. “They were there, on the other side of the door. They were . . . fucking.” The word sounded so obscene when she said it. Her flush returned.

As Brody’s mouth came down to claim her, Becky moaned against his lips. If she’d been capable of thought, she would have recognized the same sound she heard Catherine making a few moments earlier. But she couldn’t think. All she could do was feel. The hard length of Brody’s body pressing her against the library door was as shattering as she remembered.

He drew his mouth away slowly, his hands falling to her waist to pull her hips more firmly against his own. His erection felt huge, even through her skirts, and she whimpered again, no longer trying to get away.

His breath on her ear was hot and moist. “Like this? He had her up against the door like this?”

Brody’s hips thrust against hers, pinning the lower half of her body to the unforgiving oak. Even with her eyes closed, she could feel him watching her, the fire beneath her skin feeding his own.

Bracing herself, she opened her eyes. As though her eyes were the signal he’d been waiting for, Brody shifted his weight and turned her to face the door.

“Or maybe—” The low rasp of his voice was enough to make her quiver. “—like this.”

He nudged her knees apart like he’d done that day at the bunkhouse, making Becky feel unbearably exposed, despite the long skirt and voluminous petticoats she wore. With one hand between her hips and the door, and the other at her hip, Brody began to gather her skirts up.

He couldn’t! Her fingertips whitened as she pushed back against him, trying to get away. Not here!

Brody bent his knee behind her own, lifting her left foot off the floor, and Becky slid helplessly to one side, opening herself for the hands threading their way through the maze of her petticoats, one from the front and one from the back.

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