Chapter 8

Joe had stalled long enough he figured as he finally closed the barn door for the night. He had kept himself busy brushing Cochise twice and cleaning up the tack room, so hopefully the two lovebirds were done arguing by now. Whistling a lively tune Joe headed for the house but stopped when he got to the front door. Not quite sure what he would find once he opened the door, he tentatively pushed it open just a crack. The scene that greeted him as he opened the door wider was not quite what he had expected. It looked like a tornado had gone through the living room, sparing the inhabitants but leaving quite a messy room in its wake.

As Joe looked around the room he saw a broken lamp, what was left of a figurine lying on the floor by the table, a broken vase with water and flowers lying near by and apples—lots of apples were strewn all around the great room. Apples? What on earth were apples doing all over the floor Little Joe wondered, as he stuck his head in the door and let out a low whistle?

"Is it safe to come in here? And what on earth happened to this room?"

Adam was casually leaning against the back of the couch with his legs crossed at his ankles and his arms firmly planted across his chest as he tipped his head in Alissa's direction.

"Our little miss here decided to have a bit of a temper tantrum," Adam said smugly, with a hint of a grin.

"Ali did all this?" Joe asked, as he scanned the mess in the great room until he came to where said person was bent over sweeping up some broken glass by the table.

"Good grief, Ali! What got into you tonight? Did you suddenly have a fit or something?"

The answer Joe got to that question was a pillow hitting him on the head as it came sailing through the air. Surprisingly enough Alissa actually hit something that she had aimed at for once, and poor Joe didn't even have time to duck because he hadn't seen the pillow coming.

"Oh be quiet, Joe. I am not in the mood for any of your smart remarks tonight," Ali warned, as she stood by the table with her hands on her hips glaring at Joe.

Looking uncomfortable Joe shrugged and smiled rather weakly as he laid the pillow on the settee.

"Sorry, Ali, but I was dead serious. I thought maybe you had a fit or something like that, otherwise why would you throw things all over the room?"

Joe quickly scanned the room again and then hurriedly got behind the settee to protect himself just incase Ali decided to throw something else in his direction.

"Shows you what you know, Mr. Joe Cartwright! For your information a girl can just get mad or upset at someone and take out her frustrations on whatever is around her! And your annoying, overprotective brother here made me so angry that I did just that…and started throwing whatever I got my hands on at him."

"Oh, well did you ever hit him or just mostly all the things in the great room? And more importantly…has pa seen all this?" Joe curiously asked, as he tried to hide his grin not wanting to incur Ali's wrath any further.

Not finding his question amusing in the least, Alissa reached down and grabbed an apple off the floor and was getting ready to throw it at Joe when Adam cleared his throat.

"Don't even think about it, Alissa. I think you have thrown enough things for one night, don't you?"

Alissa slowly lowered her arm all the while glaring at Joe before she finally decided Adam was probably right about throwing enough things tonight and walked over and placed the apple in the bowl on the table.

Then she pointed her finger at Joe as she firmly declared, "You are real lucky, Joe, that I decided that maybe I have thrown enough things for one night, because I am just not in the mood for your humorous remarks right now. And yes, Mr. Nosey Ned, Ben has been down here tonight."

"Nosey Ned," Joe mouthed, as he looked over at Adam chuckling to himself.

Grinning wickedly Joe couldn't help but add another snide comment, "Yeah, well I guess we are lucky that you didn't break anymore lamps with your terrible aim, cause I sure don't think we could spare too many more lamps."

Slowly tapping his chin as if he was thinking out loud Joe smirked, "Actually, come to think of it, you are the lucky one if pa saw this room and didn't start bellowing so loudly that they would have heard him clear out in the bunkhouse."

Then he burst out laughing holding onto his sides as he tried to contain his laughter. But Ali was not amused by his comment as she quickly headed in Joe's direction as that famous temper of hers flared.

"Joe Cartwright, I am going to…"

Adam was by her side in a flash as he put his arms around her stopping her from getting any closer to Joe.

"Whoa, there sweetheart, let's don't hurt Joe tonight. I need him on the ranch tomorrow, not laid up with a broken arm or something worse," Adam chuckled, as he held onto Alissa.

Then he turned to Joe as he playfully said, "Oh little brother, when will you learn you never antagonize an already angry woman, especially one with a temper like Alissa's."

"Okay, okay I will leave you two alone," Joe laughed, as he put up his arms in defeat and headed for the stairs.

Then he stopped at the bottom of the staircase and turned on that Joe Cartwright charm as he added, "Ali, you know I love ya like a sister and I just couldn't keep from teasing you."

"I know, you little brat," Ali answered, with a slight grin.

"See you both in the morning…I hope," Joe muttered under his breath as he took the stairs two at a time, hoping they didn't have round two down here because the great room was already quite the mess.

"Smart move little brother," Adam quipped, as he bent over and easily picked Alissa up in his arms and headed for the blue chair.

Sitting down with Alissa comfortably on his lap, Adam wrapped his arms around her petite frame and held her close until she finally relaxed and laid her head on his shoulder.

"Oh, my little Alissa, you are the most spirited, impetuous, headstrong and enchanting woman I have ever met. And you make me smile with your little show of temper…or most of the times you make me smile. You definitely have brought excitement into this house with that firery personality of yours."

Suddenly sitting up on Adam's lap Alissa eyed him warily. "Oh really, well then why did you get so upset with my temper earlier tonight?"

"I said most of the time. Your little show of temper earlier tonight was an out and out temper tantrum. This little bit of temper with Joe was just you being your usual, sassy self. And they are two different things for sure, young lady."

"Yeah, I guess you are probably right about that," Ali agreed, as she turned and smiled at Adam before she started to slowly run her fingers through his wavy hair, until her hand settled on the side of his face as she gently caressed his cheek. Then she leaned over and lightly kissed each of his irresistible dimples before finally ending with a kiss on the cleft in his chin.

"I so love your dimples, Adam. And the cleft in your chin…well it just makes you so devilishly sexy and desirable to me that it is all I can do to keep from kissing you and tearing off your shirt," Ali giggled, as she gave him a saucy wink.

"Alissa, how you talk," Adam said, shaking his head as he blushed slightly from her comment.

Alissa couldn't help but laugh at her big strong man blushing from her flirtatious remark as she adjusted herself on Adam's lap and grinned.

"So now that I am in this lovely position, my sexy man, why don't we take advantage of it?" Ali eagerly suggested, as she wiggled her eyebrows as her green eyes twinkled mischievously.

Adam paused long enough to grin, flashing those dimples that Alissa so loved before he gently took her face in both his hands as he smothered it with tender kisses, until finally focusing on her sweet lips. Lowering his head he lightly ran his tongue across her parted lips, teasing the entrance of her mouth until he finally captured her waiting mouth with one deliriously long and sensual kiss. Alissa could only moan from the intensity of his full lips on hers as her thoughts took on a mind of their own, and she became swept away in the moment.

Finally as their lips parted Alissa pulled back long enough to murmur softly against his enticing mouth, "What about cleaning up the room?"

As Adam breathed in the fragrance of lavender from her hair as it lay against his cheek, he eagerly slipped his hand to cradle the back of her neck and pulled her closer as he whispered, "I think it can wait for now."


Later that night as Alissa was getting ready for bed she couldn't help but smile as she thought about their time together in front of the fire. Adam's kisses had made her body think of things that definitely would have to wait until after they were married. But darn, it was getting harder and harder to pull away from his loving arms, and it definitely was a good thing that they would be getting married soon she smiled as she walked over to the bed.

As she drew back the comforter she remembered how sweet Adam had been when he helped her clean up the great room after their little romantic interlude. Occasionally he would act like he was going to throw an apple at her and then he would rush over and grab her in his arms and kiss her before he placed it in the bowl. He was the most attentive and romantic man that she had ever met and she was hopelessly in love with this man.

"Although sometimes he does make me angry," She said out loud, as she found herself smiling. "But then I always know I can never stay mad at Adam for very long."

Then she sat down on the edge of the bed and quickly remembered why she had been so angry with him a few hours before as she felt a slight discomfort on her backside.

"Oh that man! One minute he is making me so furious that I could scream with his bossy and opinionated ways, and then the next he is making me melt in his strong arms as they wrap around me like a blanket, leaving me feeling safe and loved. And oh those kisses of his…I think that man is a keeper," Ali whispered, as she leaned over the bedside table and blew out the lamp.

Fully intending to dream about that handsome cowboy of hers, Ali Snuggled down between the covers and smiled contently as she slowly drifted off to sleep.