(Continued from Maddie – 4)
They were downstairs in the library. He was leaning against the desk and Duke was moving-not exactly pacing but almost a box step-in front of the fireplace. Before both of them, on a couch that faced away from the door, Beth Barton lay face down, twisting her neck to see them.
“Jesus, Duke”, she said, trying to follow his wanderings, “Would you settle where I can see you?”
“Sure…Sorry”, he said and moved more completely into her field of vision.
“Thank you”, she said feigning exasperation.
Beth was naked from the waist down with two ice bags on her swollen bottom. There were swaths of angry purple showing where the ice didn’t cover. She was up on her elbows.
“You’re sure they weren’t military?” Duke said pulling on his lip.
“Military?” she asked.
“Well…ex”, he replied.
“I don’t think so,” Beth said. “They were too loose…didn’t have a real plan. Didn’t know what they were after…What do you think?” she asked turning her head.
“No”, he answered still leaning laconically against the desk. Beth thought it an affectation-trying overly hard to look cool and nonchalant. “The one on the road was a mook”, he said. “A nothing. But they knew they were after something…”
“He-the one with the paddle-kept talking about money…” Beth said.
“Never mentioned gold…” Duke chipped in.
“No”, he agreed. “If they knew gold, they’d have said gold.”
“What about Best?”, Duke asked. “You think he had anything to do with it?”
“Naw”, he answered after giving it a short ponder. “He’s semi-retired. Happy with his life on the lake…”
“What about Angela?”
“Angela? Christ no. What would be her motivation? If I had half of her money I’d throw mine away.”
“Still, we could reach out to see if they know anything. Send one of your operatives…” He said it with a smile and he laughed along.
“Operatives. That’s funny.”
“What about your girl?” Beth asked. “She’s gotta be military.”
“I honestly don’t know…but it seems right.”
“Helluva shot”, said Duke.
“Not just the shots”, he answered thoughtfully pulling at his lip. “She has the moves…the carriage…smooth as silk.”
“Not just another pretty face”, said Beth.
“No, I guess not.”
Out in the hall Chelsea walked lightly trying doors looking for the library. Damn house was bigger than it looked. She heard low voices inside and knocked lightly.
“Come in”, called Beth’s voice.
She opened the door tentatively and poked her head in face to face with the men. Beth’s disembodied voice came from the couch. “Is this my hero….?”
She slipped through the door and closed it quietly behind her.
“Come around so I can see you.”
Chelsea stopped short when she stepped around the couch. “Come on, come on…nothing you haven’t seen before”, hailed Beth holding a hand out. Chelsea took it and squeezed. She had a difficult time keeping her eyes on her eyes. Beth was older than she was, certainly but exceedingly and determinedly well kept. There’s no denying the calendar and genetics, she’d spread a bit back there, but Chelsea wanted a closer look. Wouldn’t take one-but wanted one. Maybe Beth read her mind.
“Boys”, Beth said. “Go and enjoy the party. Make sure everyone who’s still here is having a good time. Let me get acquainted with my savior, here.”
Chelsea didn’t notice any firmness in her tone; nothing that would indicate that she was giving them an order. But they agreed that they needed drinks and he, with a wink and Duke, with a quick squeeze to her bicep, slipped out the door beyond Beth’s field of vision. She waited a moment after the door clicked shut.
“Are they gone?” she asked.
“Good. Do a girl a favor, would you? Get this ice off me. Duke is sweet and wants to help but giving my ass frostbite might not be the best idea. I’m fucking freezing!”
Chelsea lifted the ice bags leaving her bruised cheeks puckered, goose-pimpled and wet.
“There’s a sink behind the bar”, Beth told her. “And a clean towel.”
Chelsea dropped the bags in a sink and brought the towel. Beth, head laying on crossed arms, was pointedly not moving. “Do you mind?” she asked. And when she felt the slightest hesitation, “I’m going out on a limb and assuming mine wouldn’t be the first woman’s ass you’ve touched, right?”
Chelsea allowed half her face to grin unseen.
“Maye not even the first one tonight…” That got a bigger smile that Beth couldn’t see. “That’s OK…” she went on. “Hoping everyone has fun.”
Chelsea dabbed slowly, careful not to rub or in any way abuse or aggravate the bruises. Once dried, she brazenly allowed herself a pat, then a touch of the cool tight flesh. “How’s that feel?” she asked.
“Numb”, Beth answered. “You could probably bite a mouthful off and I wouldn’t notice. Not that I’m inviting…just saying.”
“It will be. Here,” she reached back. “Help me up…” Chelsea pulled her arm and helped her up onto her hip, then to a sitting position. She wriggled slightly. “Oh, yeah…I can feel that.”
Beth’s short hair was died jet black but she allowed her neatly trimmed southern foliage to color itself a more appropriate salt and pepper. Her thighs were thick and firm up top and slimmed at the knees. Chelsea couldn’t help thinking that she could be comfortable across that lap. She grinned slightly, amazed at her state of arousal given the session she had just finished upstairs.
“What?” Beth asked, seeing her lips flutter.
Her heart jumped, as if her unbidden fantasy was about to come true when Beth patted the cushion beside her. “Sit”, she said.
Chelsea did, careful to leave at least a sliver of space between them. Beth took her hand and closely inspected it-the back then the palm. Chelsea watched along with her as if about to discover something about her own hand she never knew.
Then she sat eye to eye as Beth looked over her face surely counting every dim freckle and that hideous bump on her nose. The examination wasn’t uncomfortable though-it felt natural, even intimate.
“What’s that scent you’re wearing?” Beth asked.
“I’m not…wearing any…”
The older woman leaned closer to her neck. “So, it must have rubbed off of someone.”
This time Beth was treated to a full, twisted smile and hint of a blush.
(To be continued…)