“Oh, Alan!” she cried out happily. George and Diana needed a week to pack and say their farewells to their children. Alan and Jobeth used that time to enroll Shawna in the local school, and to become accustomed to their new surroundings. Diana and George were dears, always there to help the younger couple with whatever they needed. Jobeth felt it was all too soon when the older couple sat in the buggy, glowing about their impending future. They wished Jobeth and Alan well and said their good-byes with warm embraces. “We are so lucky to get this house!” Jobeth said, jumping into Alan’s arms, laughing. Shawna sat on the couch with her dolls. She could not sit by and quietly watch Alan and Jobeth’s enthusiasm. Bouncing off her seat and sending her dolls tumbling to the plush rug, the bright child joined in the excitement, running into Jobeth and Alan’s waiting arms. “Are you happy, Jobeth?” Alan asked, holding her close to his strong chest. “Yes,” she breathed, deeply conscious of her breast pressed firmly against Alan. Tingling sensations rippled through her nipples and she felt them harden. Confused, she pulled away slightly. Alan was conscious of his effect on Jobeth and gripped her tighter to him. “Now that I have told everyone we are married, you won’t have to hide like before. Shawna can have friends at the house and you can, too.” He said in a husky voice. He looked deeply into Jobeth’s flushed face. His eyes dove into the depths of her soul. She felt a warmth between her legs and she pulled abruptly away from his embrace. “Let’s go see our animals.” Jobeth bent down to the giggling Shawna and lifted her onto her hip. She avoided Alan’s eyes, confused with these new emotions. “You heard your sister, Shawna, let’s go!” Alan clapped. He reached over and retrieved Shawna from Jobeth’s grasp easily placing the squirming six year old on his broad shoulders. Nothing was going to ruin his good mood, not even Jobeth’s hesitance towards him. He watched the back of her head as she demurely walked in front of him. Her long sandy hair was loose and it bounced softly down to her narrow waist. “We are going to like it here!” he roared, full of life, clasping Shawna’s legs firmly around his neck. The child wrapped her small hands under Alan’s stubbly chin and held on tight. “Go! Go! Go!” She squealed, roughly kicking Alan in the chest with little bare feet. Jobeth glanced over her shoulder shyly, unable to keep her heart from fluttering uncontrollably at the sight of Alan and Shawna so content together. “You heard our girl, Jobeth. Let’s go, go, go!” Alan teased, speeding past her. Shawna’s squeals trailed behind them. Jobeth blushed, turning a scarlet shade. She took a deep breath and exhaled, pausing a moment before she continued on. She needed to compose herself before she faced Alan again. Outside there was a small barn with a chicken coop nestled right beside it where chickens scurried to escape a bullying roaster. “Oh look,” Shawna pointed, “baby chickies!” Alan put the excited youngster down and opened the door to let her in. Shawna ran inside and began to chase the yellow, chirping puffballs. The mother hen, angered by Shawna’s pursuit of her offspring, pecked furiously at her exposed ankles. “Ouch!” giggled Shawna, gently pushing the mother chicken aside with her foot. Jobeth chuckled to herself. Shawna looked beautiful standing amongst the clucking fowl, her face animated. The child bent and retrieved a squeaking chick and nestled it to her cheek lovingly. Jobeth fondly remembered similar events that had happened in her own childhood at about the same age. She took a deep refreshing breath. It was good to know Shawna would have memories of the softness of a baby chicks’ down rubbed against a cheek. Maybe it would help to erase all the bad ones she had accumulated over her short lifetime.“Let’s go see the other animals,” Alan said over Jobeth’s shoulder. She could feel his breath warm on her neck, as goose bumps jumped forth from her skin like seedlings springing out of the newly dampened earth after a rain. Jobeth nodded, hesitantly rubbing the goose bumps on her arms. For some reason she didn’t yet understand, she was suddenly uncomfortable being alone with Alan. “Shawna, are you staying here?” Alan asked, leading Jobeth towards the barn. “Yes!” she grinned as a furry chick pecked at her hand. Jobeth laughed despite her apprehension. The sight of Shawna being attacked by chickens was too funny not to respond. She sighed nervously and followed Alan obediently towards the barn, feeling rather foolish. This was Alan, what was there to be afraid of? Inside the barn a medium size brown cow and her calf greeted them. The beast mooed lazily in response to their arrival and continued to chew on the yellow hay littering the barn floor. Her calf ignored the visitors and suckled busily from its mother’s udders. “We will have to get some pigs,” Alan said, walking over to the stall to examining the cow. “Maybe even a horse and carriage.” Queenie sauntered into the barn, her tail wagging playfully. She bent down low on her front legs and yipped at the mother cow. The cow, unmoved by Queenie, mooed back at the dog. Queenie, insulted, turned on her haunches and ran out the door, barking once more in defiance over her furry shoulder. Alan and Jobeth both began to laugh, the earlier tension between them melting away. Jobeth smiled warmly as she bent down and shooed the little brown calf away from its mother’s milk supply. Everything was going to be all right. “This is my dream house,” Jobeth said to Alan later that evening. They sat side by side on the couch, Jobeth admiring the handiwork of the furniture. Diana must have worked hard to make the cushions fit the carved wood frames. She traced her finger down the tightly sewn seams of the flush wine cushions, her eyes focusing on Shawna, who lay fast asleep on a matching chair. “Ever since Shawna and I ran away...” Jobeth stopped herself. She didn’t want to remember those times. Too much pain would surface, with the memory of other times. One bad memory would lead to another and another. This was a happy time. She had to learn to let go of the past and all that happened in it. “What?” Alan asked. He had always been curious about what had happened to Jobeth before he found her asleep on the dirty mattress with Shawna held tight in her grip. “Nothing,” she stood up, avoiding Alan’s eyes. “Shawna is asleep and we should put her to bed. Which room will be ours?” She reached down to pick up the sleeping body. Shawna’s pale blonde hair haloed her angelic face causing Jobeth’s heart to swell with love. She bent and kissed the warm, flushed cheek like a mother would a favored child. Alan stared at Jobeth, holding his breath. He couldn’t stand not to touch her any longer. He stood up and quietly walked behind her. Nervously he reached out, placing a gentle hand on her slender shoulder. Jobeth turned her hazel eyes upon him, and then quickly shifted her gaze down to her shoes. Alan summoned all his courage. She had responded to him in the barn. She had. It wasn’t his imagination. Jobeth began to shake uncontrollably. She was torn between fear and something else she could not explain. Something warm and good. “I thought...” Alan said, slowly caressing Jobeth’s arm with his finger. His breath became heavier and his heart pounded uncontrollably. “Since everyone thinks we are married...” He hesitated then leaned over and softly kissed the nape of Jobeth’s neck. A shiver raced through her whole body, like the rumble of thunder. Alan felt the goose bumps rise beneath his lips and continued to softly kiss her neck, savoring the tiny bumps. She was torn between pleasure and fear. Against her will, her hands combed through Alan’s soft chestnut hair, pulling his head closer to her waiting neck. Alan, encouraged by Jobeth’s grip on his head, kissed her straight, fine-boned jaw. She let out a sigh as Alan, unable to hold back, cupped her face in his hands and kissed her hard on the mouth. She acknowledged his touch, grasping him to her heaving chest like a starved person finally handed food He slid his tongue between her parted lips and without hesitation she opened her mouth and received him greedily. “Oh, Jobeth,” Alan moaned, clutching her savagely to him, afraid she would suddenly vanish and leave his arms empty, “I have wanted this for so long.” “Alan...” Jobeth sighed arching her head back allowing him to kiss her throat and collarbone. Warmth permeated Jobeth. She didn’t want his kisses to stop. Each time his lips touched her skin, she felt electrical current crackle through her. She felt Alan’s hand unbutton her blouse and his warm wet kisses cover her chest, slowly creeping to her breast held tight in her corset. The stays were quickly loosened and her perky breasts fell free from their imprisonment. Alan swallowed hard at the perfect beauty of the round flesh, with small rosebud nipples. “Oh Jobeth, I love you so,” he exhaled in a husky voice. His hand caressed the circular form. The nipple instantly became erect. Unable to leave the other bare he gently stroked it with his bottom lip. Jobeth, completely enthralled, held Alan’s head to her breast, wanting to cry out with delight. She jumped as she felt Alan’s lips encircle her raised nipple. It was moist and good. He began to suck gently and then with more fervor. Alan felt the uncomfortable confinement of his enlarging groin. His hands encircled Jobeth’s back and he pulled her to him, eagerly pressing her to his throbbing member hidden behind his trousers. She went into his arms willingly, pressing her pulsing body to Alan’s hard one. He rubbed against her intensely and Jobeth gasped. Suddenly Father James stood before her, fat and ugly, his purple snake enveloped in mangy black curly hair. Memories of him forcing that vile stick savagely into her flooded her mind. Revolted, she pulled away clutching her blouse over her exposed breast. “No!” Jobeth began to cry, horrified at what was happening between them. Alan stood stunned, his erection becoming increasingly painful in his pants. “Jobeth?” He reached out to her. “Stay away from me,” she yelled, not seeing Alan any longer, but Father James. She had been transported back in time to the house that had caused her so much pain.“Give me the whip, Father James. I don’t want to play these games. I promise I will never wet the bed again.” Jobeth fell to the ground, crying hysterically, pounding it viciously with closed fists. Alan, dumbfounded, dropped behind Jobeth and grabbed her arms, trying to prevent her from hurting herself. Everything was going terribly wrong.
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