Summer Sun and a few sweet chords.

Summer Sun and a few sweet chords.

It actually wasn’t Summer time or anything close to it. It was late fall actually and she was tired…just so tired from everything that happened in her life. She was in her late forties now and while her life hadn’t exactly been a train wreck it hurt.

Living your life can just hurt at the most normal of times and that’s true for everyone. Add in being transgendered for the balance of her life stuck behind the male shell she wore hurt even worse. It could drive you past the point of no return. She had been hurt by that part of her life really badly. Even now she was sure if she pulled off the mental band aids she’d be bleeding underneath.

She was aching with her fingers hurting from the hints of arthritis and years of working with her hands. She hadn’t really been the day laborer type but she’d always been a hard worker and aging just sucked she mused as she set the first of many boxes out of her car and set them on the deck of her new home. She stared at her new home as she opened her denim shoulder bag and took two aspirin washing it down with part of her bottle of crystal light she had made up for the trip.

Becky looked at the place. It was still in her home state of Ohio and she got it for cheap. On one of the back roads near a little town called Rome close to the Kentucky/Ohio border and Shawnee State Forest. Her new home had a dirt driveway about three hundred feet from the dirt road she had to take to get out here. There was a bit of mixed woods all around her home that was this sixty year old farmhouse.

The house itself wasn’t in that bad of shape actually being bought by some yuppie couple who though they’d like to have a place near the park out in the country and had a lot of it rebuilt. But when the economy tanked and all these kids that spent way too much more than they’d ever pay off lost everything to the banks then the banks folded up too things like this property out here in this location went for almost literally next to nothing.

So when her Mother passed finally and her responsibilities like that were handled she left her house she had lived in for so long and moved here. Her brother was living at her old house and as things had gotten worse he had to bring in his ex and their kids when they lost their place after a long struggle. It was too cramped and he was just too much of an ass. Her house was paid for and there was money left over from what had been left to her by her mother. Not that she let her brother know how much that was there, or what she had for her meager saving for the SRS fund she had scrimped away for years only to get chipped away by the recession.

No he’d be more than happy to plead poverty and try to weasel out of paying her anything. Instead she had a paper drawn up that said he had to pay her to a direct deposit account the money needed for the remaining payments on the place such as they were and the taxes. Becky wasn’t going to let him live there for free, she’d carried his ass for too long already and she wasn’t going to lose her place because he never paid the taxes.

Oh he had threw a complete hissy fit that turned into a three week sulk as he was “Made” to get his paycheck put direct deposit into the bank so the payments would come out automatically. It took his girlfriend-ex-girlfriend S.O. to point out forcefully that a hundred and eighty dollars a month was a bargain even if he had to pay his own utilities and groceries. He hated it though, and would hate Becky even more if he ever found out who she really was.

Somehow all of that bullshit seemed so far away right now and made this place all the more special because of that.

Three stories and with this faded barn board colored stain that she really hated because real and weathered shouldn’t be repeated by chemists and stiff. She liked the size of the rooms and the old refurbished hardwood inside. There was still a lot not really done the place had been in the works still when everything crashed.

Still the old hand-made cabinets and cupboards were still there, and made her smile. She loved that old fold down ironing board and the fact the kitchen had a larder. The old stairs, the old wrap around porch in that ranch style that you used to see in the country so much, she loved so much of this place even if she was locked sort of away from the world.

It was an old hobby farm with a few fruit trees a place where a garden once was because you could see this left over struggling few pole beans trying to clamber up still out of the weeds on this old shovel that hand been shoved in the ground for god knows how long. And an old grey barn that was going sideways and looked like the ivy that covered it was pulling it down. Her fingers felt that feeling that need to paint it all before she started to clean things up. Everything was overgrown, wild and sort of being reclaimed by the world and beautiful. There were only a few acres but it was hers.

Hers…It was her time to finally try to be herself, to try to live as the Girl she had always known she was. Starting as young as maybe eight when she wasn’t quite sure of why she felt off but it just continued. Wanting to go out like her sisters did looking so excited and happy and like there was this light that got in there somehow.

She wanted so much to feel that. It’s not that she wanted even back then her sister’s boyfriends, or to have sex like that hell she still wasn’t sure. Her only sexual encounters had been as her old self and while there was some really great girls there and some decent but short lived relationships she just never got that spark.

And she was pretty sure that she never gave those girls the same spark of life, lit them up like some of the guys that her sisters had gone out with. Now getting closer to fifty, and alone she was getting to that point where she just wanted to be complete and just live the rest of her life feeling complete.

It took her a lot longer that she thought to move her things in. She actually had a lot of stuff but not that much really. She had left most of her furniture there at the old place; she’d thought she’d pick up a few things as time went by. She had her art and her art supplies that had sank down to a dwindling stockpile since the recession, her tapes, records and cd’s, her meagre book collection but she had been more that thrilled to see a set of real bookcases in what would have been someone’s office and now was going to be her study. She had her guitars all nine of them and her gear for them. There were a few things she just couldn’t bear to leave behind just stuff posters and old band tee-shirts and stuff.

But other than that and some old family things like dishes and cook books her mom’s knitting and sewing stuff and just things her brother just would have sold or turfed or given to his ex-ex-girlfriend or someone else if he fucked things up with her. She took those damned few family treasures with her. Even if Becky wouldn’t likely ever get to know her family. Even though it was really Becky taking care of them for most of those long years.

It really wasn’t all bad. That night sore and aching she took a few more aspirin and after a few of those pole beans for a snack just washed off with a bit of salt she sat with some lemonade and her Stratocaster and once tuned and plugged in she played for hours just revelling in the way the guitar carried out into the country side.

***
Ryan had seen the strand beat up and weighed down old car go up past his lane in the early afternoon and then drove back down until the car could be heard pulling up the old Thompson place. He heard the occasional thump sound of doors closing of her car and then later hearing her playing an electric guitar in the late evening. Real nice stuff that old bluesy kind of rock.

She might just fit into the few oddballs up here on Old Haven Road.

Ryan had moved here about four years ago. Born technically here in the United States his parents had been on a vacation up in the Niagara area and had crossed the border to check out a bit of the states. So he had ended up with dual citizenship.

He had grown up however in the province of Nova Scotia down in the Annapolis Valley and had been a poor rural kid living just outside of this little place called Bridgetown. Really sick of all the stuff at home he went into the Canadian armed forces as soon as he graduated high-school and ended up in there for twelve years going to Golan Heights and then he was based awhile in Canada until he had ended up going over to Afghanistan. After his time there and the things he’d seen he had been more that ready to get out of the services.

He went home for a few years and pretty much kept to himself. There were a few people that he had known in high-school that were still around and had peaked as it were during that time. These jackasses were always more than ready to relive their glory days of when they were king shits of turd hill.

There was always some idiot who wasn’t a piece of him either verbally or physically and he was more than sick of the same bullshit that was going on home as when he left. It was worse in ways with the girls or the women that were around. First there were the ones he actually couldn’t stand in school that made all these flirting advances and stuff that was like they were still trying to be teenagers.

He was a poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks back then and they didn’t want anything to do with him then. Now apparently he had been a lot better than the losers they had married then divorced and stuff. They saw him and his pension; they thought that he didn’t remember actually how shitty human beings they had been back then.

Oh yes a few of them had changed and most of the worst ones not for the better. Now some of the ones who weren’t in those popular crowds and stuff that were still around seemed to have pretty good lives and were pretty good people.

It had gotten unbearable after he had won the lottery. 1.2 million dollars sounds like a lot right? Not really, oh it would have been if Ryan had been an absolute prick but he just wasn’t that kind of guy. His parents he set some money aside so they had a retirement nest egg. He paid off the mortgage off their house and he paid off the student loans for his brother and his sister. But it brought out the worst class of people looking to him for hand outs and made him out to be the worst kind of sonovabitch if he said no.

Finally fed up he went online and found a nice piece of property in Ohio, lots of land and in the middle of nowhere and best of all where no one really knew him. He packed up his things and he bought the property and with some government things smoothed over with his dual citizenship and his military service he was able to move into the area pretty easily.

It was really a nice big chunk of land really and he had just enough cash to build. Lot’s of land and actually lots of woods he hired guys with one of those portable mills and cut most of the lumber they needed. Put in that in ground heating system but doing it all with local guys. It was short time work but he hired local guys and shared the wealth as it were but he was also right in there with them working his ass off building his house. He even gave away a lot of the scrap lumber and stuff after the garage was built and the barns to the three guys who burned wood in the winter.

He had a nice place, mostly with that stained beams and kind of cabin style home look to it with the gabled barn styled roof and some solar to help with things and his own big diesel jenny in the garage and satellite TV and a few other modern amenities Ryan mostly kept to himself. And as much as being the world weary army vet who lived in the back woods he still kind of liked it that way.

The first year he just spent cleaning up his property. He bought a tractor and a good bunch of farming gear used off one of those dying farms you here way too much about and it’s where he got just a few cattle too. He had three milking cows and three he kept to raise for beef and a bunch of goats. He learned about all of that stuff as a kid. Goats were good to have around because if you fenced them in an area you wanted cleared off of grass and brush and stuff they’d do it no problem. He actually started up his own little farm but he did it to make a few bucks here and there and to feed himself and so on.

Milk he had and what the locals didn’t get off of him in trade he’d make into butter, buttermilk, yogurt, cheeses and cream. He had the stuff he needed for simple batches by the second year he was there and most of that were just refrigerators. He learned by trial and error and from stuff on the internet and even television. Some of it turned out like total crap and a waste of time and things but by his third year here he was an old hand at things

Sometimes he’d sell things to the locals and then there was the farmers markets he could go to and in these days he had people with kids from town calling him to buy milk because he’d sell it or trade for it and he’d even give some away, the same with some veggies and things out of his garden. There were some people around who just needed things and the economy here was totally falling apart. He had enough to suit his needs, and he put things down. He just wasn’t really about the cash in hand life style. Just give him what he needed to live and he was good with the world.

But this was Old Haven road; it seemed to collect people like him over the last few years. He listened and smiled as his neighbour played and it was that totally into it complete not self conscious kind of playing that even though it was bluesy rock there was heart thrown into it.

He grabbed a big peach basket and went out to his garden and picked her a welcome home. Not welcome to the area but he always liked to call it a welcome home basket. He picked beans and peas and pulled some fresh carrots and beets and onions and pulled a couple of potato plants and washed everything off. A mason jar full of homemade ricotta and another of thick yogurt and a jelly jar of goat cheese with chive and he was set…wait milk. He grabbed two glass quarts of milk and headed down the road with most of the stuff in a wheel barrow.

He left his lane the way most people had theirs here on this road yards and yards away from prying eyes. People here seemed a bit different, a little non-traditional like Emmet Young and his wife. They lived about two miles away and about a half mile in from the main road. If you didn’t know where the place was you’d never find it. A really big barn kind of place they had their own water driven mill and bakery Suzy made great bread in this big outdoor over but Emmet brew his own beers and made whiskey and they served up a mean homemade pizza and a few other things. They took barter and trade just as much as cash and there was always someone at their place for a bite or a drink and you could count on it having close to twenty sometimes on the weekends. It was just one of the things that made this place home. Just an old hippie couple living the way that more people should live. He hoped she’d like it here. He had a feeling she would fit in as soon as he saw her junky old car.

The other couple in their shiny SUV and their attitude just didn’t fit in around here. He did this once for them and heard the young guy’s wife complaining about the bugs and being back in the ass end of no where from the road. They had every light they had on like they were scared of the dark. They had every appliance they owned going he swore just so they wouldn’t have to hear the quiet.

Yeah nobody liked them very much. There weren’t a lot of comments when they left.

But tonight she fit in and he knew it. He parked the wheelbarrow at where the lane met her yard and she was there on her porch with just the light coming it from her kitchen window lighting her up and she kind of wandered back and forth as she played and she was singing in this light kind of just a little throaty kind of Bonnie Raite kind of way “These Dreams.” by the band Heart.

He mover closer and just listened as he leaned against her car with his arms full and smiled. She had no idea that she was there and she put on a good show. She must have played in a few bands before.

She must have had a bath or a shower because her hair was still wet and doing that little wavy natural curling thing and even here he could smell the scent of strawberries on her. It was cute the way she was dressed. A thin summery printed country dress white with little yellow flowers on it and by the look it was none of the shoulder strap kind. She must have gotten cold because she had on this men’s large sized black tee-shirt with the art/picture of Steve Earle’s Copperhead Road Album tour on it looked like one of the originals all faded and worn and kind of perfect.

She was skinny at about a hundred and forty for her height of around five ten. She had these really perky small breasts you could really see through the dress and the tee-shirt accentuated by the guitar strap. Slender hips and there was just this look, with her dark brown long hair kissed with greys and these deep brown mysterious eyes behind these sexy glasses she was far more pretty that he suspected she’d ever admit to.

But the most transitioning girls felt that way.

Yeah he knew, he knew because she was still raw, still getting used to becoming herself and he knew a couple of guys in the forces that had done the exact same thing like being in combat had shook something loose or being in therapy had. Likely it was getting through that and just knowing life’s too short for the bullshit.

She was just wrapping up and heading for another glass of lemonade when he cleared his throat and made her jump. She squeaked like a girl when he surprised her, but she changed her grip on her guitar…and stared at him. She took a step back and turned on the porch lights.

***

Becky jumped and squeaked in surprise when there was this guy just there from out of the middle of nowhere and as started as she was she changed the grip on her guitar. She never deliberately hurt one of her babies but she wasn’t expecting this guy to come out of the darkness.

He smiled at her and she felt very vulnerable and even more self conscious. Then she noticed his arms were full and he spoke with this not local sound to his voice. He wasn’t from here for sure but he spoke normally. Maybe from a different part of the country?

“Evening…miss.” It wasn’t him searching for what to call her gender-wise he was…he was staring at her hands. Like looking for a ring. That never happened before. Truth be told she hadn’t really been out in public much. Just the trip here to move in really. And that was scary enough. Becky couldn’t hide the blush that crept into her cheeks.

“Good evening, you uhm…you really startled me there.”

“Sorry about that I was going to introduce myself but you were right in the middle of a really good song and I didn’t want to stop the show.”

She blushed again. “I usually never play in front of people.”

“You should you’ve a nice voice and you’re a great guitarist from what I’ve been hearing.”

“Oh…oh sorry, was I disturbing you?”

“Not at all, rap music now that disturbs me.” She giggled, in front of someone for the first time in her life her own real laughter bubbled up. He smiled at her. “You need to do that more.”

“Pardon? What?”

“Laugh, smile. You need to do that more. You light up when you do.” She couldn’t help but blush even harder as she thought. Is this guy real? Am I dreaming? That’s it I lifted something too much and had a freaking heart attack and this is some freaky coma dream.

“You mind if I put these somewhere?” He gestured with a shrug that showed off his impressive arms and shoulder muscles. It got warmer suddenly, and she could feel this not too familiar but familiar all too perfect ache as her nipples got as hard as little diamonds. She hadn’t had that happen outside of her fantasies such as they were before.

“Uhm sure please let me take those.” She reached out and he passed her the smaller carrier thing with the milk and things in it. He kept the heavy basket though. “Here let me take these inside for you Miss….?”

“Oh…uhm Becky…uhm I mean Rebecca Foster.” She couldn’t help but blush a little more. “Uhm come in the kitchen’s right this way…?”
“Ryan, its Ryan Hunter.”

Ryan…that’s a nice name, she couldn’t help but to think as she led him into her unfinished kitchen. He set the things on the counter and looked around.

“The last owners didn’t have the money to really finish the place. I’m going to have to do a lot of the rest myself. Which is a good thing since what they did isn’t really my taste in things.”

“I could help.” He said smiling at her and slipping his hands into his front pockets of his faded yet tight and revealing jeans. She blushed again as she realized that she just checked him out. She’d never really done that before.

“I couldn’t ask you to do that it’s a lot of stuff and I don’t want to take you away from your work.”

“I’m self employed. I think I could clear it with my boss.” He smiled and she couldn’t help but give him a little smile back. Just a little one.

She didn’t see a ring on him either. “Your girlfriend won’t mind?”

“Sorry, I’m a single guy.”

He answered with a mild shrug. She looked him over. Six four and about two hundred and fifty ponds of muscle, hazel eyes under a pair of steel rimmed but kind of modern looking glassed, medium length brown hair not messy, just kind of an average cut. He hadn’t shave since this morning or maybe yesterday and he was just in jeans and old sneaker and a army green muscle shirt/tank but it wasn’t united states army green this was a little darker even if it was faded. He was actually really good looking, not that actor or model kind of way buy built, clean, with kind eyes and a nice smile.

Why the hell wasn’t he married or have a girlfriend. Was he…? “Boy friend?”

He chuckled a soft kind of laugh that said he had this strong but soft gentle side to him. “No, no boyfriend. I like women just fine, just single.”

When he said women he had looked at her in this way she had always wanted. It felt so good it was amazing. And scary, there had to be something wrong with him. She knew she was giving him this strange look as she was putting the milk and stuff in the fridge. He sighed and smiled. Then moved to leave. “I should go Rebecca, I’m keeping you up.”

There was this hint of tired more than working or whatever in the sigh and there was a little sad something in that smile as he left. She followed him out so totally unsure of what the hell to say to make it better because she knew whatever this was that was going on between them, it just got the wind taken out of it.

It hurt. It actually hurt to watch Ryan walk away into the night alone and being too freaked out and scared to say anything to stop him or to get him to come back or even just to say she was sorry.

She stood there for ten minutes staring out at the night before it hit her like a tons of bricks. The tears welled up and she ran through the house until she found her bed which was right now just her box spring and mattress on the floor and flung herself down on it and bawled her eyes out.

***

He got that a lot. He got it in town sometimes when someone would flirt with him or try to set him up with someone.

That look like something was wrong with him. There were times that he thought maybe they were right. He just couldn’t settle, there were lots of nice young ladies he guessed and there were some that seemed nice but just didn’t click with. There had always seemed that there was something missing in them? He didn’t even care about looks, not really.

His one saving grace with that was that somehow the fact that he was an ex-soldier got out. There were people who just chalked it up to that. It did bring the occasional loudmouth who talked shit when they found out he was Canadian and he was a Canadian Army Ranger. They talked lots of smack until they found out he had been over in Afghanistan. There were a lot of people still under the impression that just because Canada didn’t go into Iraq that they didn’t do anything.

After his first two years around here he didn’t have to prove anything. He even knew a few of the guys just in the next county that had been over there with the U.S. troops when he was over there.

It did a lot to shut the assholes up.

But a lot of them thought it was why he was the way that he was. Maybe it was…he had enough looking through his scope dreams. A lot of them thought why else would a guy leave Canada to come and live down here and not just down here but all the way out there.

He honestly couldn’t answer any of it.

But there really hadn’t been a girl that sort of left him with that kind of kicked feeling in a long time. And when Becky gave him that look… he felt that yeah, maybe there was something wrong with him.

He didn’t even really go to bed that night. He just ended up going inside and lying down on his couch and stared just at the wall. He stayed like that until he heard the birds and the sun was starting to come up.

***
Becky couldn’t stay asleep and got back up and rubbed the sleep from her eyes and still kind of snifflingly worked at putting her things away, finding places to unpack her stuff some more and getting her guitar and stuff in from the porch before the night air messed with her stuff more than it had.

Eventually she had gotten around to putting the things he brought over away and found the note in the basket saying simply. “Welcome Home.”

That set her sliding down the unfinished drywall of her kitchen crying because of what just happened tonight. She had never had what was happening between them tonight and she hadn’t even really seen where she was going to go wrong coming and she ruined it.

She hadn’t really figured out just how much she wanted it until he was gone.

**(Hours later.)
She had cried and cried and spent until ten in the morning in bed. Then she showered after taking her hormones and her meds and dressed and got in her car and headed into town.

Town…

Rome wasn’t a big town. It was actually just a little village maybe, maybe about five hundred people total. It was just small enough for Becky and still public enough to be scary.

It was a hat and sunglasses and her denim dress and her jacket and wearing two tight pairs of panties kind of shopping trip. She bought a whole lot of things that she needed and put a heavy bite out of her spending money that she had allowed herself. She had lucked out at the hardware store seeing their carried art supplies she bought those there too.

But most of her cash went on tools she didn’t have like a good heavy lawn mower and an electric set of hedge clippers and things that she’d need to spruce up her property.

People were nice to her and they didn’t seem to “Make” her and if they did they didn’t say too much.

She bought some “Hunter Creek.” Butter at the gas station that had a bit of a grocery attached.

**(A week later.)
She combed her hair out for the dozenth time and finally after screwing up her courage she took the home-made peach pie from the counter and she took the empty milk bottles and headed up the road to where she had heard the Ryan lived. She couldn’t believe that she was doing this. She’d never do this but it had been a week since that night and she just couldn’t get him out of her head.

It was about a half a mile up the road and the lanes and everything before she got there and when she cleared the cottonwood trees and pines and poplars she just stopped and stared at his place.

Trim lawn all around the place in the front he had the woods bordered off from the woods by this hedge of tall rose bushes with the colors of wild pink and yellows and a smattering of reds in through them. There was a big front lawn set off by the lovely almost delicate looking two birch trees out in the front and the rest was just as stunning.

This big almost lodge styled log home with a gable roof and lovely deck. She saw solar panels up on his roof and in back she could spot a large barn and a garage all built in the same style as the house. Just to offset the whole thing was a bit of pasture where she could see a few cows and a few goats and a large vegitible garden.

He was there in that garden cutting what looked like squash from the vines and putting them into a wheel barrow. He had no shirt on and he was even better looking in the daylight than he had been that night or even in the light of her kitchen.

Scared as scared gets she walked up her who posture that shy girl thing. If her hands hadn’t been full they’d be folded behind her back. She made her way over to where he was and was going to cough when he looked up very, very suddenly.

Oh yeah he was supposed to be an army ranger. So he was likely to be hard to sneak up on. She had heard that the other day in town at the bank when she had to send in money from the account with her brother to pay on the taxes. It seemed even if they thought he might be damaged goods they still talked about him…well the women did.

Becky almost eeped right then it was such a sudden him looking at her kind of thing and then.

Then he smiled.

Oh god it was this genuine glad to see her kind of smiles. It was a smile that she had never had aimed at her in her life.

Right then and there she felt that spark she had always wanted to feel in her life.

“I…I uhm, brought your bottles back.”

“Thank you that smells really good.”

“Thanks, I though I’d return the favour.”
“What is it, it’s familiar but I don’t think I’ve smelled it before?”

“You haven’t? It’s a peach pie.”

“I’ve never had peach pie before.”

“Never?” she turned her head quizzically at him. He walked over and offered his arm in a gesture towards his house.

“That still looks warm, how about we take it inside and have a slice?”

He smelled better than the pie. She could almost swear that there was this something coming off of him that…she didn’t really know. It could be her hormones going full tilt and her body reacting to him but there was just something…electric about him.

“Sure, it goes really good with a glass of nice cold milk. Got any?” she asked playfully. She was flirting; she was actually flirting with him! He smiled at her and slid his hand into the small of her back and guided her into the back porch of his house. She’d never dreamed even that would happen for her to feel that just normal thing a guy would do for a girl. Her nipples went all achy hard all over again.

It was as nice inside as it was outside and clean too, that kind of nice and neat but not too neat that you get she guessed from a military guy but a retired one.

He had a nice big kitchen too. This wasn’t just some guy’s house or something this was a home. Or he built it to be one even if he was living alone. She loved the place; the back porch was kind of a tile floored cloak/mud room where he could take stuff off without it tracking into the house. Just off of that was this strange kitchen place thing that looked like it was where he made his dairy at. He had lots of fresh herbs growing in there and a lemon tree? In the corner and the place just smelled of those things and not really that milky or sour milk scent, it was operating room clean though.

The rest of the house had wooden walls of white pine or spruce and the knots in the wood made this beautiful look to the place. Varnished but not stained it actually made the place brighter with all the windows he had in the place. Hardwood floors except for in the kitchen where there was more tiles in case of messes or spilling.

Walking into the kitchen he got her a seat in this very large and very comfortable breakfast nook/booth and set the pie on the table and he went to the fridge.

***

Ryan smiled as he went to the fridge; this was a really pleasant surprise. It really was a surprise too because he never really though he’d see Rebecca that much after that night and to have her just show up out of the blue…

Well apparently that was a good thing. He found himself smiling at her almost instantly and what happened, the other night…he took one look in her eyes as she was there beside the garden and fffft…just like that, it was gone.

And when she had that little quirky smile as she found out he never had a peach pie before. God he barely knew her but he already loved that smile.

He dug into the freezer and smiled. “I’ve got better than that; I’ve got home-made cheesecake ice cream.”

“Ice cream? Cheese cake? Uhm I’m not a big fan of cheesecake actually.”

She smiled and grimaced at the same time while kind of hunching her shoulders in the cutest way. God he knew that she was transitioning and yet she was giving him the hardest…uhm…she was somehow just touching something in him that most girls just didn’t touch. He knew it wasn’t some fetish thing because he never though of stuff like that…okay, well maybe he liked rocker girls and seeing them dressed in band clothes and the naughty librarian thing/school teacher look certainly had it’s merits but…this was much more than that.

“Creama-gellato then?”

“Crema-whatta?” The look on her face as she asked was just. He’d known girls his whole life that didn’t have that spark of personality.

“Creama-gellato, it’s my own invention. It’s a heavy cream ice cream with just egg whites in it and just the littlest amount of sugar and stuff in it.”

He loved the way she looked as she was mulling it over kind of playing with her glasses and he took some of it out of the freezer and took out a parfait spoon and scooped off a small helping of it. She looked at him and her eyes just danced as he fed her that spoonful.

She did that eyes closed mouth closed moan over the spoon as she tasted it. He knew it was good; he made ice cream home growing up since her was fourteen as a summer job. This was very gently scalded down to half volume full milk and cream with just a hint of added sugar and a pinch of salt and just egg whites and a bit of melted unflavoured gelatine to help it all thicken. It needed the gelatine when you lose some of the thickening from not having the yolks. But it was like having this really cold, but slightly just slightly sweet creamy mouthful of frozen milk but it’s not milk.

He as really tempted to feed her another spoonful just so she’d make that sound again. Even so he just couldn’t help himself. “Foodgasm?”

She opened her eyes with a snap and they went all OMG! Shit! As she seemed to realize the sounds that she made. She took the spoon out of her mouth and covered her face in her hands and let out this little anguished girly cry of “Ooooh, god I’m sorry, you must think I’m a loser.”

It was so teenaged girl in this woman that had never gotten to be a teenaged girl before it was cute as hell. “Actually Becka I think it’s cute as hell.”

She stared at him peaking through her fingers. She was so looking if he was serious, even if he was joking; she wanted to see if he meant it.

He smiled at her and took the spoon not wiping it off and took a spoonful of his own. He kept smiling as he looked her in the eyes and then got up and went and got them two small plates still smiling around the spoon. He waggled his eyebrows a little as he took out his ice cream scoop and gave it a toss in the air and all not-suave it bounced off the meat of his palm and he kind sort of juggled it in a completely stupid way before catching it before it hit the ground and he almost dropped the too plates in the process.

She had her hands over her face the entire time.

Ryan took the spoon out of his mouth before he choked on it and looked at her. “See, now that’s how to look like a loser.”

She laughed.

There wasn’t a sweeter laugh that he had ever heard in his life. It was a bit giggly and really girly but it bubbled up like pure joy right up out of her soul and god he swore he felt something inside him he hadn’t really known was hurting that much heal just a little bit just then.

He couldn’t help but stare at her and how beautiful she was and he wanted so much to reach out to her and hold her, to stroke her face, he really, really wanted to kiss her. He bit his lower lip a little and set the things down and got them but forks and a pie server.

“I was right.” He said.

“Right about what?”

“That you should laugh more, that you should smile more.”

***

Becky stared at Ryan, she couldn’t help it. No one in her life had ever made her feel like this. She had never felt this way about anybody. Nobody had ever looked at her like Ryan did.

He made her feel like he seen her. That he knew her and there was this look in those hazel deep forest eyes of his that just melted away at that cold lump of self imposed frozen exile.

OMG…that ice cream was good. It was almost as yummy as he was. They ate his first peach pie slices together and apparently in Nova Scotia they didn’t really grow peaches much and most of theirs came from the states or from Ontario. They canned them and sometimes made jam out of them but he had never had a peach pie before.

He put the dishes in the sink and she looked outside and offered to give him a hand with the garden work. He said he’d love that and they went out into the garden together and worked and talked. She had never talked as much about her life to anyone so fast or so easy and everything just poured out of her like the gates of the dam had been opened.

She told him about her life and how she had grown up in the country and even on a farm with her grandparents raising them and helping out her mother who was a single mother with five kids growing up. She told him about going to college and taking art as her major and that she had spent a large chunk of her life working one job or another usually doing something artistic like working in a print shop saving up money and waiting.

“Waiting for the day you could finally start your life?” He said it so casually like…

Oh god, oh god oh fucking god he knows, he’s known all a long!

Fear and instinct took over and with a sob she ran.

She didn’t even make it three feet before he had her wrist. She cried out scared as he pulled her to him just honestly freaked and expecting a beating. Instead he just held her; he pulled her close both arms pulling her into him her back to his chest and held her. It took a minute or too for Becky to realize that he wasn’t hurting her.

Ryan was holding her and it was strongly but not hurtful, just strong and he was shifting from foot to foot gently rocking her. She hadn’t been rocked by a man since her grandfather and she had been young then…it had been too long, too fucking long and something in her cracked.

Then she heard him saying. “It’s okay Rebecca, its okay. I’ve got you. Its okay, you’re safe. You’re safe with me. I promise…” between that and this sweet way he gave her this trying to make it alright kiss to the back of her neck broke what was cracking at the rest of those walls she had been just timidly peeking out of to see if it was safe to live came crashing down.

She couldn’t help it and she turned around in his arms and cried out decades of pain into his chest and his embrace it sounded more like a keen. She barely felt him scoop her off her feet and carry her into the house and into this other room with a big sink into it sofa and he just held her through the waves of pain and tears and through her getting the hiccups and everything.

Ryan gave her the sweetest looks of compassion and caring as he got her water to stop the hiccups, tissues for her nose and somehow he knew to make her a hot strong cup of wild mint tea to calm her down and make her feel better.

He looked at her as he came in and set this little clay teapot on the coffee table and pulled a blanket over her legs. “Thank you…” she sort of still sniffled looking up at his eyes as she sipped her tea.

“No problem. You’re staying the night.”

“Wha...what?”

“Becka, you’re in no shape to be alone tonight. I’ve got lots of room and it’s already getting late.”

“But…but…”

“You’ve got a nice butt.” He smiled and there was this dancing spark in his eyes.

“How’d you know?” (sniffle)

“I copped a feel carrying you to the couch.”

“You…It’s not nice, it’s boney, not even there almost…”

She sort of pouted; sort of not this was actually making her feel better because nothing seemed to really change. Ryan was still treating her the same as before and he knew. Plus she really wasn’t satisfied with her butt as it was. Hey she was a girl and even not counting the big issue of her plumbing she still had some other body issues just alike any other girl.

“You have a perfect butt and I should know, I had my hands on it several times.” He smiled and she blushed and tried to hide a bit behind her mint tea. She couldn’t help the smile that was there or feel that feeling that her sisters always seemed to have.

“I don’t have any of my things.”

“I’ve got a few things you can borrow.”

“I’m not going to wear guys clothes Ryan, I’ve worn them too much and I don’t want…I don’t want you to see me like that. Like a guy, I’m not a guy I never was.” She hung her head a bit, not liking the image or the feeling she had of him seeing her in boy mode.

“You couldn’t look like a guy to me Rebecca even if you tried. Trust me.” He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. He backed away maybe six inches or so then he blinked a few times and looked her in the eyes then he leaned in and kissed her on the lips.
It was her first kiss.

Yeah, seriously…it was like she had never really been kissed before in her entire life before Ryan kissed her. He kissed her and he knew…he knew and he still kissed her.

“There’s some stuff in the redwood stained dresser and you can take a bath if you want. I’m going to start supper even if it’s a bit late and make a fire on in the fireplace.” He got up and walked away heading for the kitchen. “It’s the last room at the top of the stairs.”

She waited a few minutes then slid into the kitchen shyly and got her purse of the chair she had been using. He smiled at her as he was chopping onions and other things. Becky made her way upstairs and found his bedroom, just as nice as the rest of the house. She loved the bathroom with that old fashioned claw foot bath tub.

She bit her lower lip the entire time she took her bath excited, scared, excited and nervous. She was too scared to take her time really and was wrapped in his big huge towels. Luckily she had a spare set of panties in her purse and managed to wash and blow dry out her hair a bit and fussed with it as best she could.

God she had butterflies in her tummy even with the mint tea, but they were good butterflies, shiny happy, girly and pretty.

She looked through the dresser he mentioned and found a few things. She absolutely couldn’t wear any of his pants or jogging pants, she just swam in them and as much as she tried to fasten them they kept sliding off her bum.

Then she looked for a sweatshirt or something big enough that it’d hang low enough to cover her down there.

Her eyes went wide as she saw the Cleveland Browns hoody. She slid it on and it was nearly like a dress. It must have been baggy on him because it came half way down her thighs.

She felt it, she felt this was something. Even if she was too scared to call it a sign. God, god it was just so…it was her favorite team, even if they lost games they were still her favorites.

She came down stairs and peeked in and couldn’t help but inhale at the smells of what he was cooking. “Uhm Ry, is this alright?” she pulled a bit of a pose, actually scared to do it because he might laugh or something. One leg sort of slid back hiding behind the other and string at him just over her glasses just under her bangs and still unable to help it chewing her lower lip just a bit.

The look he gave her was so…

He took a deep breath… he took a deep breath as he stared at her and said. “Wow.”

***

Ryan actually found it hard to breathe, he had never seem somebody look that beautiful in his life. He agreed with his dad there’s nothing as sexy as a girl…your girl standing in front of you just wearing one of your shirts.

Yeah his girl.

He knew it right then and there.

He walked over and kissed her. “More that alright Angel…” his voice had gone all emotional and rough. “Supper will be just a little bit.” She nodded at him and smiled.

“I’m going to go and finish my tea and take advantage of the blanket and the fire you made.”

“Okay.”

He finished getting supper started and he just made this chicken stew in his pressure cooker and dumplings while he waited for it to cook. He slipped into the den and he picked up his acoustic guitar and smiled at her when he walked into the living room and sat on the edge of the couch as she sipped her tea.

Ryan played her “You look Wonderful Tonight.” By Eric Clapton and he even sang to her.

**(Three years later.)

“And that’s how we fell in love sis. It started that night and it took awhile but really we never looked back. I think I’ll always love Indian summer because this was when we met and we fell in love. He say’s he fell in love with me the first time he saw me rocking out. Guys huh. Yeah…well we sold my place and I moved in with Ryan, more than actually. The money from that paid for me finally getting myself set right and well. I’m sorry it took so long but we’re off to New York to get married. Then we’re flying to Nova Scotia after our honeymoon and we’re going to meet his family.”

Becky stroked her late sister’s headstone lovingly and set the roses they had brought from home at the base of it. She kissed her fingers and touched them to the surface and smiled.

“I just had to tell you that everything’s alright with me. Out of everyone you’d have gotten all of this, hell you’d be teasing Ryan if he could hear you right now. Love you Sis and I’ll stop by to see you and mom on the way back.”

The end:)



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