AN: As usual thanks to my beta/pre reader/amazing woman, person and friend, Jasper's Black Widow, if not for her, this wouldn't be here.
Also I am making some editing changes, it won't alter the story but if you have any questions on characters and such just PM or review.
Remember to review! Reviews make the world spin round!
As I made my way back to camp I saw that Alice was already awake and looking perky as usual. Oh God I hoped she hadn't come down to the dam or heard anything that might give away my morning rendezvous. My mind was still reeling from Sam and his fingers, I had a feeling I had just opened the biggest can of worms about. Where to from here? What do I do now? What have I done? SHIT! Alice said something to me and I quickly looked up, "Uh what was that Alice?"
"Morning Bella, I said you're up early, did you sleep alright? You're looking a little flushed." As Sam joined the conversation, I felt my face redden, feeling the blush creeping down my neck. I bit my tongue to hold back a groan. "Yea no worse than usual, I've just been for a quick swim in the dam.' There wasn't anything too quick about what I did at the dam and it certainly didn't involve much swimming, but there was no way I was telling Alice that.
I turned as I heard Sue and Harry join the group and quickly greeted them, "Morning guys, I was just thinking about starting breakfast for everyone, are you all hungry?" I was answered with murmurs of agreement and Sam's stomach growling, "Oops, I think my morning swim made me hungrier than I realised… You're quite the swimmer Bella." My face flamed in embarrassment when I looked up and saw Sam showing that pantry dropping smirk. At this Sue looked at me again, "Have you already been for a swim Bella? How was the water?"
I felt my throat drop to my stomach and I swallowed thickly, trying to come up with an answer, "I…Uh… It was good… who's for breakfast?" I turned quickly and walked over to the fire, ignoring Sam's still smirking face.
As I hunted around for breakfast foods, I was relieved to see Harry stoking the fire. For now, all I could do was stay as far away from Sam I as I could until I had cleared my thoughts and decided my next course of action. For now I focused on flipping sausages and stirring spaghetti making sure nothing burned, shutting out all other thought. I felt the hair on my arms tingle and looked up to notice Sam moving to sit beside me, quick thinking I called out to Alice,
"Hey Alice, come over here, now is the perfect time for me to teach you how to cook different things."
I refused to acknowledge Sam's presence and hoped against hope that Alice would take me up on my offer.
"I don't know Bella everyone is pretty hungry, maybe we should do it another time…"
"Alice now is as good a time as any, now get your butt over here! I've already started so you just need to follow my instruction. Anyway I know that no one here will mind. Now come on!" As I said this I looked at everyone, daring them to argue my point, when no one spoke up, I looked at Alice with a take-no-prisoners-satisfied-smirk and moved over, waiting for her to join me.
As Alice sat down, I began my handing her the tongs and wooden spoon, "Alright at the moment all you need to do is to keep turning the sausages nice and slow so that they brown nicely but don't burn. Spaghetti you need to keep stirring so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Easy right?"
Alice looked at me with a look of panic, "Bella I don't think I can do all of that without messing it up, really" she spoke trying to hand me back the spoon and tongs. I stood up, I was not giving in or giving up on this, "Alice, stop acting like a baby and harden up, this is not rocket science, now you either sit down and shut up and do as your told or you can march your lil self back to your sleeping bag and starve!"
When I heard quiet snorts of laughter I looked up to see everyone watching mine and Alice's debate with amusement. I was already tense from my swim with Sam and Alice was not going to quit so as I watched her pick up the cooking utensils I sat back down with a satisfied grin and watched. As Alice stirred and turned I kept my eye on her, making sure nothing burnt or stuck, the concentration on Alice's face was intense but she slowly relaxed as she became more confident.
As I walked off to get plates for everyone, Sam followed, "Are you gonna avoid me all day cowgirl?"
I fought the urge to jump as his breath tickled the back of my neck, "What? Because I'm not hanging all over you I'm avoiding you now?"
"You're not hanging off me at all, in fact it seems like you are trying to put as much distance between us as you possibly can."
"I am trying to teach Alice and if you want to eat anytime soon, I suggest you back off alright Sam." I huffed and walked away, back to Alice, hoping breakfast was still alright. As I returned to the fire, I was glad to see Alice still following instruction, "It looks good Pixie, in fact I'd say it's cooked so carefully take them off the fire and let's get some breakfast."
Alice smiled, "wow that wasn't too hard at all Bella, it would have been better if we added some extra flavours to the spaghetti though."
"NO, the art of cooking is sometimes simplicity Alice, the less you add, sometimes the better. Do not forget, simplicity is key ok?"
Feeling Bella cum around my fingers so completely was amazing, it was as if her tightness grew impossibly tighter when her muscles clenched and she whimpered out loud. I fell over the edge just after her, her noises and ministrations tipping me over. When she kissed my neck, I closed my eyes enjoying the sensation and remembering last night. However when Bella swam away back to the camp I was confused, what the hell just happened? I have had my share of women, although by no means am I a manwhore, but no woman has ever acted as strangely as Bella. She was breathtaking in her natural beauty and feisty attitude. It was plain to anyone paying attention that Bella has demons as we all do and was dying to know.
I shook my head clear and headed back to camp myself wondering what would await me there, knowing that undoubtedly it would be interesting. I watched as Bella seemed flustered about this morning, apparent in the way she blushed and stumbled over her words whenever someone brought up her swim. I loved watching her blush and the things that it did do me and as my stomach grumbled at the mention of food, I smirked at Bella, "Oops, I think my morning swim made me hungrier than I realised… You're quite the swimmer Bella." Enjoying the instant blush that spread down her chest, I struggled to keep from staring as I watched her perky breasts beat in time with her heart as her breath flushed and quickened. For the rest of the morning I noticed Bella seemed to be avoiding me, finding reasons and excuses to stay as far away from me as possible. Was she embarrassed?
I had been at the Clearwater's nearly a month and my tan and physique had slowly been progressing, I was more pale brown now than a neon white and I was starting to see the definition of muscles in my body from working around the ranch. It had been two weeks since we had all gone camping down by the dam and I was well and truly settled into the ranch. I had spent my time avoiding Sam wherever possible, quickly offering my help to everyone else. Because of my lack of sleeping, I was the first one up in the homestead most days and could always be found in the kitchen making fresh bread in the mornings. It become my routine to help in Sue in the kitchen and with her kitchen duties eased, she had been spending more time in her gardens. While Sue has been planting and weeding, I have been dragging Alice into the kitchen and teaching her more basic foods. Alice is coming along well with her cooking despite her reluctance to 'simplify' but most of her food is now edible. In exchange for teaching her to cook, Alice has been taking me riding and we have explored much of the ranch. We often rode as far and for as long as we could, taking in the natural scenery. The paddocks that we rode through were big and open and the grass more often than not was a healthy green. However, the dryness of summer was here and some of the paddocks were starting to show this as green had begun fading into browns. I found that the wide open expanses gave me and Torrent the chance to let go and gallop away all our fears and troubling thoughts. As often as I spent time in the kitchen, I spent equally as much time helping Harry and the boys on the ranch, repairing fences, checking animal troughs and moving stock. The boys were currently in the process of teaching me cutting. Apparently this was a big must for them when moving cattle in case they needed to separate an animal or rejoin a wandering animal with the rest of the herd.
I woke up sweating to nightmares and flashbacks as usual and seeing the clock blaring 4am I knew that it was fruitless trying to go back to sleep. I stretched out of bed and made my way into the shower before heading downstairs to the kitchen. Grabbing my MP3, I turned it up and listened as Creedence Cleawater Revival belted out, I danced my way around the kitchen, kneading dough and humming along. By the time the others had made their way to the kitchen there was three loaves of bread made and coffee ready to be drunk. Over breakfast Harry turned to me while I was sipping my coffee, "Bella, would ya like t' come help around the ranch today? We're gonna be movin' some cattle and could really use the extra help." I nodded at Harry, "It'll be a good time to teach ya cutting as well as the herd ain't too big." At this I looked up, "what's cutting?" I queried. "Cutting is the ability to ride your horse without usin' ya hands, instead relying on the ability to work your horse with ya feet and have ya horse follow your aids. All our horses are trained for cutting so it shouldn't be too hard fer you t' learn, you're a natural." I smiled at Harry's compliment and was excited about going out to work on the ranch for the day.
After breakfast we packed what food we would need for the long day ahead and headed out to the stables. Seth was helping me saddle up Torrent who had become my regular steed, "You're gonna be great at cutting Bella, like Dad said, you're a natural rider." Seth smiled as he spoke, our conversations always came easy and often when we went out, I stuck with him and Embry, both very similar in their easy, safe personalities. As we made our way through the paddocks, heading up in to the hills, I rode close to Embry and Seth, laughing, joking and talking with them both, each giving me run downs of the aids I will be using today. As we approached the cattle, Harry turned " Seth and Embry I want you t' take either side an' Sam I want you at the back of th' herd with Bella and show her what she needs ta do." As he said this, I inwardly groaned, I had carefully avoided Sam whenever I could; however at times like this, it was unavoidable.
AN: Sorry for the delays everyone, but RL got in the way, I promise you the story is not forgotten!
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