Sarah couldn’t see any activity around Jonathan’s cabin. Was he off hunting or tending his trap lines? He certainly wasn’t in his small cornfield as any farmer would be in the afternoon. She had taken so much care to make this trip in secrecy, so much effort in getting up her courage, she didn’t know whether she could do it again. But then she saw a doe hanging by its hind legs from a tree limb. It was only partially butchered, so Jonathan hadn’t wandered off. And, when she came to the door of the cabin, she saw that the latchstring wasn’t hanging out. So, Jonathan had to be inside. She knocked softly without hearing a response.
She waited. Knocking was so forward. But Jennifer had told her in sworn secrecy that this was an experience she would regret missing for the rest of her life. She knocked harder.
Jonathan was dead asleep. He’d been up long before dawn waiting to ambush the deer as they went to the water hole. The doe hadn’t been shot as cleanly as he would have liked, and he’d had to chase her for a mile by ear. Then, after slitting her throat, he’d had to pack her all the way to the cabin on his back. When she was lifted high enough to escape four-legged hunters and her intestines were removed, emptied, and soaked, he’d sought his bed. Now, a knocking woke him.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me. Sarah. Sarah Mitchell.” Jennifer’s sister. Jennifer’s even-prettier sister, and getting better looking this past year. “Open the door.”
“Give me a minute.” He dragged on his trousers, got his rifle, loaded, cocked and primed it. Were anyone to think of attacking him, they would probably not bring Sarah Mitchell with them. On the other hand, Jonathan had enough declared enemies. Who knew what Jennifer had told, for that matter? When he opened the door, only Sarah was there. She stepped in. With her in the light and him in the shadow, he felt safer. “Well, Sarah, it is very nice to see you. Can I do something for you?”
“I ... I hope so.” He waited. This was an odd response. “Jennifer told me ... She told me that you had helped her.” That last came out in a rush.
“I am happy that whatever I did was of some use to her.” He knew damn-well what he had done for -- or to, or with -- Jennifer. And she had enjoyed it nearly as much as he had. Still, what they’d done was one thing, and what she’d told her sister was another thing.
“And Michael sometimes hurts me when he hugs me to kiss.”
“You’re engaged to Michael?” His hilltop cabin was a mile from the settlers in the valley, but he heard the news when he traded meat for bread. “If he does not please you, then break off the engagement.”
“I can’t. There are only a few others, and they are waiting for the younger girls. Besides, they are no better. Daniel might be worse.” He knew she was right. A town with a hundred unmarried youths would have provided each of them a choice. The settlement, with but four families, provided damn few. Of the three unmarried men older than her, one was her brother. It was late in the summer, too late to plant, too late to expect another family to settle. On top of everything else, rejecting an engagement would mean a feud splitting the meager settlement.
“Well, does this kiss hurt?” He took her gently in his arms, giving her every chance to reject him. His kiss was gentle, but he could feel her shape against him. His erection pressed against a firm belly; his chest pressed against soft, young, breasts.
Sarah thrilled when their lips met, thrilled more when she felt his chest against her suddenly-tight nipples, thrilled most of all when their tongues met.
“Oh, yes! I mean no. It doesn’t hurt at all.” She turned up her face to his again. This time, when he kissed her, he ran his hands down her back to hold her by the seat. The touch added to the thrill of the kiss. His tongue entered her mouth again. When it retreated, hers followed his. He sucked it gently. Finally, when she was breathless, he held her shoulders while he stepped back further into the shadows. When she moved to follow him, he turned her around. She braced to resist his pushing her away, but instead, he drew her back against him. She came into his arms with a lurch.
“Gently, lovely Sarah. We’ll go gently.” He was whispering into her hair an inch above her ear. He kissed the top of that ear. As he trailed kisses along the back of the ear, he swept his hands from her shoulders to her wrists. They returned up her front to her breasts. He stroked both nipples through her dress as he thrust his tongue into her ear. “We’ll go slowly,” he said before he began kissing the side of her neck.
“I can’t go slowly.” All these kisses were thrilling. Where Michael grabbed, Jonathan caressed. And Jonathan was already caressing where Michael had never been permitted to grab. The kisses, the caresses, the sense that her feelings mattered to Jonathan, were arousing her; besides... “The preacher’s due on Saturday. The wedding’s scheduled for Monday.”
That was a problem, and a young pretty girl in his arms distracted him from the problem. If he’d been alone, he could probably have reckoned what day of the week this was. But Jennifer had resisted each step of the way after the innocent conversations outside his cabin -- as if she had an innocent reason to visit his cabin. He was fairly sure that this would be Sarah’s only visit. And he was already hard as iron against her back; the breasts under his hand were even sweeter than the skin under his mouth. If she wouldn’t go through with this, and the lass seemed skittish -- look how she’d stumbled when he pulled her back -- he’d be frustrated as hell. Well, he’d see.
“Take it off.” He’d taken one hand off her right breast to pull her own hand up to the top button on her dress. She unbuttoned immediately, wanting his hands where they had been. Then, she changed her mind. His hand slipped inside her dress; his fingers stroked her bare breast, tweaked a nipple. That was even better. He was kissing the corner where her shoulder became her neck. Her emotions soared as her dress dropped.
Jonathan stroked down her body. He noticed that she was wearing no drawers. Clearly, she had made her decision before coming to his cabin. He wanted her. Was it time to lead her to his bed? But the grass in his mattress was crushed and smelly. He decided on a better place; the patch of mint would be in the shade of the cabin this late in the afternoon. He reached her mound, parted those lips, stroked her juices up the slit. The girl was ready for him, and he was damn ready for the girl.
“Sarah, we’re going outside. I’ll get the quilt.” He stooped in habit because the roof slanted down well below his height; grabbed the quilt off his mattress; returned to the doorway. She was holding her dress in front of her. He took her hand to lead her out and around the corner. Grass had grown to tower over the mint. It was too late to scythe it; the grass would provide padding for their bed. He tossed the quilt over the long blades of grass and helped her down on it. She was still wearing shoes, if nothing else. He lay down beside her and began to kiss her breast.
If his hands on her breasts had excited her, his lips and tongue on her nipple drove her wild. While he kissed her there, he removed her shoes. Then his hand stroked up the inside of her legs. When it reached the junction, the thrills increased. She soared.