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AUDRY01 hurt our feelings when she told

Audry

A tale of Romance by The Star*

[Author's note: This is the first in a 10-chapter novel. There is sex,
and love and violence and some characters who fascinate me. I hope you'll
enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you're looking for a
stroke story, try one of the others in this newsgroup. If you enjoy plot
and character development, welcome. Comments are always welcome.
<extar@hotmail.com>]

The first time I saw her, she was tiny, red, wet and noisy. I couldn't
see what my mom was making such a big fuss about. Seemed like a lot of
commotion from such a little thing.

Of course, I was only three.

My cousin Audry was a constant in my life. Her parents lived in a house
Uncle Rick built on the other side of grandpa's ranch from our place. Dad
and Uncle Rick both worked in the family business, raising and training
horses for show jumping, and Black Angus cattle for breeding stock.

By the time I was four, and able to sit my pony by myself, I was usually
assigned the 'job' of making sure Audry didn't get underfoot and hurt by
one of the animals our dads were training or working with. I often did
that by taking her in front of me on my little saddle. She loved the view
from horseback as much as I did.

mom was a world-class equestrienne, with an Olympic bronze, from games
before she married dad. She still looks real elegant in a saddle. So does
dad, though he never achieved mom's fame in 'horsy' circles.

While we lived in an area of Oregon that really was part of the "Old
West", I grew up spending more time on an English saddle than on the
comfortable western rig of the cowboys... Though I threw on the western
saddle whenever I could get away with it.

Grandpa died suddenly when I was five.

Grandma Hazel stayed in the big house. She was one really cool
lady--and didn't look like a 'grandma'. She looked more like a foxy chick
with laugh lines. The thing I liked best about grandma was that she always
had time for me. And she always treated me like an important person. I
could talk to her about anything and get a straight answer--even when she
was fighting hard to keep from laughing at some nave kid's question.
Grandma looked as elegant on a horse as mom, too.

Uncle Rick married a beautiful lady, Aunt Elin, who has the sweetest
spirit of any woman I've ever known, with the possible exception of Audry.
Elin was a 'hippy'--a 'flower child' of the 60s. She wore her blonde hair
long, occasionally putting it in a French braid, to keep it out of the
way--but usually it flowed down her back naturally. And she never wore a
bra! Not even to church, which scandalized mom.

Even so, mom and everybody else loved Elin. She was just a nice
lady--and always a lady, in spite of her free-spirited ways.

Audry, from the time she took her first steps, looked like a tiny blonde elf. Her heart-shaped face was narrow, with faint smudges under her large,
slightly slanted, gray eyes. Her ears even seemed to have dainty points,
when they appeared through her straw-colored hair.

Inheriting her mother's spirit, Audry was a remarkably mellow kid, and
fun to have around.

You'd think that a boy would be disgusted, having to spend his time
looking after a younger cousin--a girl at that. It was never that way.
Dad and Uncle Rick raised me to be all boy, all right. But our ranch was
in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains, thirty miles of bad
gravel road out of Sisters, Oregon. (When we went to 'town', it wasn't
that much of a town!) With no brothers or sisters--an older sister had
miscarried, and after me, mom couldn't have any more--the only other kid
around was Audry. Dad had the sensitivity to a very young boy's male ego
to make her my responsibility. I took that seriously.

Audry didn't take anything seriously. She was mellow, and easy to look
after. But she loved fun. She could make fun and excitement from
anything. As soon as she started walking, she started riding; first on a
gentle pony, then on a mare too old for her mother to ride. Before I knew
it, she was challenging my riding skills in daredevil races across the
ranch, or in the finer points of dressage.

We grew up with show jumping and dressage--but I lived for the days I
could ride with Uncle Rick in a western saddle and work the cattle, hard
work though it is for a boy.

The division of labor was that dad and mom supervised the horse business, while Uncle Rick ran the cattle. Everybody did whatever needed
to be done and we all had plenty to do, without worrying about 'whose job'
it was. Uncle Rick was an excellent horseman, who preferred working with
the Angus breeding stock. We didn't raise cattle for beef, like our
neighbors. If a calf didn't work out as a breeding animal, we'd raise him
to slaughtering size. That helped us document the results of our breeding
program. Most of the cattle, though, went to ranches that were raising
Angus for beef, to improve their herds. Our reputation was such that each
of our animals was a very valuable item. We shipped them, literally, all
over the world.

mom had a big part of the work, training horses for jumping and
sometimes working with a rider who had aspirations on the national or
international level. She'd give lessons--and help match the rider to a
horse that suited him.

Aunt Elin kept house and taught school. Until I was eleven and Audry
eight, we were 'home schooled'. Not because our parents were unhappy with
the public schools, but because the nearest school was thirty miles away,
by narrow gravel road. Then a new 'highway' was built, and the time and
distance was enough shorter that a school bus stop only two miles from the
ranch allowed us to attend the 'local' school.

Grandma was too involved in her own interests, to worry about the ranch
much; though she was never too busy for Audry or me. She traveled a lot.
Sometimes on ranch business--often on personal business, when she visited
one of her many male friends.

At our new school, there must have been a couple hundred kids, in grades
one through eight. Not that big, but intimidating to a couple of
home-schooled ranch kids. Audry and I clung to each other, emotionally.

I was later told that, about that time, Audry announced to grandma that,
when we grew up, she was going to marry me. The adults thought that was
just too cute for words.

All I can say is, as we grew, we also grew close. We were pals and best
buddies, sharing everything. We went skinny-dipping in an isolated
irrigation pond and trapped crawdads in the creek. We rode together all
over the ranch and in summer, high up into the mountains. We worked beside
our parents more and more, as we grew into the work, both on the horses and
with the cattle. Audry and I were perennial winners of both dressage and
jumping competitions at the state fair and the occasional weekend horse show. We were also pretty proud of the prizes our own Angus cattle won.
Without exaggeration, I can say that I was as happy about the awards Audry
won as she was--and she, about mine.

Along about my twelfth year, puberty started. Audry and I had no
secrets from each other and had seen all there was to see of the other
countless times. But suddenly it seemed that I was looking at her a new
way. I got really confused and so did she, because I started acting
different around her.

Grandma Hazel was a lifesaver. (Mom and dad were there and included me
in everything, especially the talk around the dinner table. It was just
that I could _talk_ to grandma...) She gently drew out what was bothering
me, and gave me the best advice she could. She also reassured me that what
I was feeling was entirely normal, and that I shouldn't feel guilty about
the emotions and ideas racing through my mind and body.

When I told her, "But, grandma, I'm thinking those things about Audry,"
her calm response was, "Of course you are. Who else is there, for you?"

Maturing earlier, as girls do, Audry was looking more 'feminine' daily,
to my hormone-enhanced vision.

Desperate, I asked grandma for advice.

"Have you talked to Audry about this?"

"No!"

"Why not, Rob?"

"She'd think I'm a pervert or something."

"Well, I think you need to--and right away. I'll bet she's wondering
why her best friend is avoiding her."

It was good advice and I knew it. It took me awhile to work up the
nerve to open the subject with Audry, though. And then more time to find
the right time to do it.

On a ride up into the national forest land bordering the ranch--we'd
stay out a couple of nights, and move any cows we found back towards the
ranch (Western saddle! I loved those trips!)--I finally got up the nerve
to talk.

I talked a lot more than I intended to. It seemed that, once I started,
I couldn't stop. I didn't know, then, that Audry is extraordinary when it
comes to drawing people out. All of that was focused on me and I didn't
have a clue it was happening. She had, naturally, noticed that I'd acted
kind of withdrawn. It bothered her, but she knew that she could fix it
eventually. When I finally ran out of drivel and got to what I really
wanted to talk about, it was awful. I couldn't stop talking, but I
couldn't say what I HAD to say. "Audry, you know that we're really good
friends?" She nodded, and steered her horse around a fallen log. "Well,
lately, I've been thinking about it..." I waited for her to respond, but
she just kept riding.

"What I mean is, I'm starting to think about you... and me... and
maybe about things we could do together. I mean... Aw! Audry, help me
out here!" I cried to her tiny, elegant form, on the horse ahead of mine.

In a moment we came to a wider spot. She nudged her horse to the side
and waited until she could look at my face.

"Rob, I've been thinking those thoughts about you. I've been having the
same conversations with grandma you have. And don't think she's been
saying things she shouldn't. She just shared some 'girl-talk' with me.
Momma thinks you're 'delicious', and asked me how I'm doing, growing up
with you around all the time."

I was dumbfounded. She could see that, and quietly started her horse on
up the trail.

I just sat there, my mouth open, attracting flies and everything. Then
I booted my horse into a trot, to catch up.

Shortly, we topped out on a ridge and paused to give the horses a chance
to blow, while we admired the view out over the ranch.

"Does that mean that you want to learn about kissing...and things...with
me?" I asked. Real cool... NOT!

Audry gave me her 1,000-watt elfin grin. "That means I want to learn
about kissing and everything with you!"

"Wow!" was all I could say...and that almost as a prayer. I reached
over and took her hand, giving a squeeze. That was all we could do on
horseback, on the narrow trail.

That afternoon we came to a high meadow. We were about 5,000 feet up,
and didn't really want to get much higher. The park we found had a spring
of clear water flowing into a fairly large rock basin, before the water
escaped into a small stream that wandered across the meadow and down the
mountain.

We staked out the horses and set up our camp. It wasn't elaborate--we'd
only be there overnight. I cleared a space for a fire and gathered
firewood while Audry laid out the ingredients for dinner. When the fire
was going, I set out our bedrolls by our saddles, and checked the horses.

Dinner was simple--steaks roasted on an open fire, with potatoes baked
in the coals. When we'd cleaned up, we sat on our bedrolls, leaning
against a log, looking at the fire and the stars... talking some. Just
like we had countless times before.

Then Audry moved over against me and pulled my arm around her.

Smiling at me, she said, "This is better. Don't you think?"

I smiled and nodded. She felt pretty good to me. But then, I'd never
had an arm around a girl before.

Next thing I knew--I really don't know how it happened--her hand was
behind my neck, and I was kissing her.

Now, I knew as much about kissing as I did about integral calculus.
Mostly, I just mashed my lips against hers. She taught me, though. (Aunt
Elin just assumed that a daughter of hers needed to be taught about
pleasing men--and herself--and included those lessons in the home schooling
that didn't stop for Audry when we started attending public school.)

Audry's face backed up--an inch or two--and she whispered, "Relax. Open
your mouth. Taste me."

I tried to do what she said. It was too much. My first ejaculation ever was in my jeans, kissing Audry.

She wasn't experienced, either, and wasn't aware of what had happened to
me. Embarrassed, I wasn't about to tell her. She was already light years
ahead of me.

After moaning at the feeling of my hands running over her back and
sides, Audry firmly placed one of my paws on her breast. When I
reflexively started to knead it, she breathed into my mouth, "That's nice.
I like that." Her hand started stroking my chest, too, feeling the muscle
I'd developed doing the work of the ranch. It wasn't much, since I was
barely into adolescence.

While we'd been doing this, twilight had come. When I noticed, I got up
to check the horses--our parents had trained us well--and make sure the
fire wouldn't spread. Meanwhile, Audry spread out our bedrolls.

Except that we ended up with one bed.

"What's this?" I demanded, when I returned from my chores.

"We're so high, we'll be lots warmer if we just pile the blankets on
top, and share one bed," she said, innocently. (Yeah. Right. But she's a
good actress, when she wants...and always could play me like a fiddle.)

So, sitting each on 'our' side of the bedding, we removed boots, jeans,
and the flannel shirts we normally wore in the high country, and slid under
the blankets. (I say, 'blankets'. We each carried a blanket, a large
sheet, a down comforter, and a plastic tarp, when we went camping up high.
That kept the weight low and provided a lot of warmth.)

As I was settling myself for sleep, Audry snuggled up against me. When
my arm went around her, I discovered that she'd lost her panties along the
way. I discovered this when--entirely by accident--I felt the sparse fuzz
between her legs. In fact, she was completely naked, and my other hand was
filled with a delectable handful of budding girl-breast.

"Ooooh! That's nice, Rob!" she breathed, wriggling her butt against my
rapidly hardening cock.

In a couple of moments, she felt the intruder and, reaching between her
legs, groped my shorts until she found the opening, and pulled him out. As
a boy, I was only somewhere between four and five inches, but Audry seemed
excited, not disappointed. She caressed it a bit, then tried to jam it in
her.

It didn't work.

She didn't realize that the position and technique just weren't very
good for two virgins.

It sure wasn't experience, so I'll have to plead instinct: I wrapped
both arms around her, and immobilized her hands.

"Audry, let's try something else," I said, as I started kissing her
ears, and neck--and then her eyes and mouth, as she rotated to face me.

I kicked off my shorts and Audry helped me off with my t-shirt. Then it
was heavenly--my bare skin against hers. Her breasts were still small.
(Unlike the generous globes they are today.) But they left trails of fire
in my nerve endings as her nipples traced a sensuous path across my chest,
while she crawled on top of me.

Then, while I was concentrating on giving her a kiss she'd never forget,
she dropped herself on my hard little cock.

Almost before she hit bottom she was bouncing back up and yelping in
pain. But I kissed her and gently pulled her to me. Then we lay there,
mated, for a long time. It may have been a minute. It may have been ten
minutes. It may even have been an hour. Neither of us has any idea how
long that time was. Audry lay atop me, gently encasing me, while we kissed
and stroked each other, and whispered how much we loved, and how good the
other made us feel. I was in heaven. I discovered that night that I loved
Audry. Oh, sure, she was family. The only sister I'd have. My best
friend and my pal. But this was different. I loved her--to the extent
that I would, gladly, do anything to make her happy.

That night, we explored each other's bodies and minds. She started
involuntary contractions around my intruding member. I remember thinking,
'This is really neat!' and then surprising us both by coming in her.

We discovered oral sex by giving innocent kisses to the parts of the
other that had given us so much pleasure--and finding that the kisses gave
their own form of pleasure. By the time the sun rose--much too early--we
had fallen in love. That day, we did spend about four hours in the saddle,
looking for cows, but really looking at each other.

Our night was spent at the same enchanted meadow.

This time, we were able to make love properly... if you can call
completely ignorant children's matings proper. After we ate and checked
the horses, I stuck my cock into Audry's hot, impatient, hole and pushed up
and down until I came in her. Her pleasure wasn't ignored, as the deep
scratches from her fingernails in my back would attest. We were both on
the hair-trigger of the barely adolescent and neither of us knew any
better.

The angel who saved us from destruction was Grandma Hazel. She deduced
what had happened almost immediately...she had expected this for years.
Remarkably free from 'hang-ups', grandma thought it was perfectly logical
that Audry and I would love each other. She hoped we'd 'make it' together
and give her some great-grandchildren in the not too distant future. Of
course, she knew that Uncle Rick would be horrified and that Aunt Elin,
though not unhappy about such an event, would be happier if we were four or
five years older. But grandma felt that our parents had forced us
together, and it was only natural that we would love each other. So what
was the big deal?

Cool lady, grandma.

I don't know if she saw us holding hands, or Audry giving me a kiss, but
grandma soon had a 'talk' with the two of us.

We were embarrassed and scandalized when she flatly told us she knew
we'd had sex with each other.

Our anxiety decreased when she told us she thought it was not only
natural, but she thought it was good.

But then she really hurt our feelings when she told us that we would
have to hide our love--no holding hands. We'd done that since we were
tiny! No kissing. We hadn't done that much. But, lately, that was all we
wanted to do--unless we could get into bed together.

And no fucking! WHAT??!! UNTIL we (she) got Audry protected.

It hadn't even occurred to us that Audry had had periods for a year, and
that we could get her pregnant.

When that sunk in, we agreed with grandma. She'd take care of us, and
we'd do what she said.

Grandma took an eager Audry with her to Bend for a 'shopping trip.'
Along the way, they visited grandma's gynecologist, who gave Audry a
complete checkup and a 'three-month' shot. The doctor was a lover of
grandma's, who went along with her requirement for secrecy. He agreed with
her that pills would be too hard to hide from Aunt Elin.

They brought home a two-week supply of condoms, too. Grandma agreed
that there was no reason for Audry to 'do without' while she waited for the
shot to take effect.

Grandma slowly and quietly made her big house a home for Audry and me.
She'd invite us over to 'keep her company'. My parents usually didn't know
that Audry was there, too--nor Audry's that I was usually there when Audry
stayed over.

They certainly didn't know that Audry and I shared a bedroom when we
stayed overnight with grandma.

~~ * * * * * ~~

The next couple of years went by pretty smoothly, looking back on them.
Audry and I were not getting all the sex we'd like, but were 'getting
together' on a regular basis, thanks to grandma.

We learned what the other liked and how to turn each other on. Of
course, with adolescents, that isn't hard. [Pardon the pun.]

Grandma had occasional chats with one or the other of us--and made
suggestions from her much more sophisticated sexual experience, which we
would promptly try on the other.

Although I didn't know it, by the time I was 16, and Audry entered high
school, we were both pretty sophisticated lovers, with the knowledge and
experience to please almost any partner.

Audry hit our little high school like a box of dynamite. She had just
turned 14, and was built like a solid brick outdoor convenience. The
blonde hair and expressive gray eyes, in that elfin face, just made her
irresistible.

Overnight, I became the cousin on the other side of the ranch.

Meanwhile, she was dating the captain of the football team, or the
president of the student body, or some other older boy, who drove to the
ranch to see her, and take her out.

Not having a car, I hadn't been able to date--and didn't care, when I
loved the girl I had at home. Audry's sudden defection destroyed me.

Grandma tried to help. She told me, over and over, that Audry would be
back. "Don't worry too much, Rob. She's just proving to herself that
she's a woman, and learning the things women have to know."

"But gram! She's always out with those guys. And I know she's fucking
them. And she ignores me--won't even sit with me on the school bus. She
hasn't spent a night with you--and me--since right after school started."

"Honey," grandma said, her face full of compassion for my pain, "it's
hard for you to imagine, but I do know what you're going through. And I
know how much it hurts. Just take my word for it. One day it will be
over, and Audry will be back. And she'll be a better woman for it."

Her encouraging words helped. They made the pain bearable--just.

And she often told Audry that she was behaving like a complete bitch.
Audry literally didn't hear that--she was having too much fun, in a
completely new environment.

Sisters is a little town. But when all you've known is a ranch, it can
seem a real city, and be fascinating to a young girl, getting lots of
attention as a woman for the first time.

Meanwhile, my heart was breaking, and what healing occurred was scabs
over the open wounds.

The hardest was when Audry started dating a guy from my class, who I
knew was a complete jerk and asshole. He literally didn't care about
anything but himself, and considered anyone who didn't think like he did a
'sucker'. I later learned that the clinical definition is 'constitutional
psychopathic deviant'.

I spent my last two high school years in misery--hard work on the ranch
and on the books kept me from cracking up entirely. Audry acted as if I
was invisible.

My parents were college graduates and expected me to be, too. They
contended that ranching was hard work and very competitive. Only the smart
survived. college would teach me to think, even if I didn't learn anything
'practical'. I really loved the life on the ranch, and went to Oregon
State, to study agriculture and animal husbandry.

As a freshman, I joined a fraternity, which provided me several lifelong
friendships. I soon discovered, however, that many of my friends were more
interested in parties than studies. Some were smart enough to get away
with it. I wasn't. I moved out of the fraternity house my sophomore year
and rented a small apartment near the campus. My love life was
non-existent. I just couldn't find any girls who interested me...

At least my grades were good.

A bit before Thanksgiving, that sophomore year, I answered a knock on my
apartment door and was amazed to see Audry on the porch... A pregnant
Audry. My sociopathic classmate had remained in Sisters after graduation.
Somehow Audry had forgotten to get a new shot or something--maybe she
wanted to get pregnant. Anyway, when the guy learned he'd knocked her up,
he slapped her silly and told her he wasn't interested in kids--only in a
good fuck! Broken-hearted, Audry had come to me, unable to remain on the
ranch.

With my own heart breaking all over again, I listened to her story.
Then I asked, coolly, "So? What do you want from me?"

It was as if I had hit her.

Recoiling, she said, "I hoped for a haven. A place to regain my sanity
and carry this baby in peace. I won't bother you--I'll go home in the
morning." I should have gathered her in my arms and just loved her. But
somehow, I couldn't do that. She had broken my heart daily for two years
before I left home and I never heard from her while I was in college. I
was too deeply hurt to forgive her.

"OK," was all I said.

On the bus, on the way back to Sisters, she had a miscarriage. I didn't
know about it until June, when I went home for the summer and grandma told
me. Audry finished high school, though no one would even talk to her,
since everyone shared my opinion of the guy who had knocked her up--and of
her for associating with him.

My parents were more on the ball than I realized. They knew all about
me and Audry, for instance. They never said anything because they
approved. And they silently died with me, when Audry took up with 'the
jerk'.

They wanted only the best for me. They still loved Audry and hoped that
somehow we would work it out.

I was still too immature--and too hurt--to understand much of this.

I'd been home for summer break about a week. In that time, I'd seen
Audry once--across a pasture. She'd given me a half-hearted wave, which I
returned in kind.

Dad asked me to take a swing around the hills to the south and west of
the ranch. We'd lost a couple of horses and a half dozen cattle in that
area. If I could find any of them and shag them home, it would be time
well spent. Figuring to be gone a week or more, I took a packhorse and
alpine tent. It would be too cold to be sleeping under blankets only, at
the elevations where I'd be working. Experienced in that country, I took a
lot more provisions than I'd need. No trouble to bring the extra home. A
lot of trouble to go hungry, if I had to stay out longer than I planned.

It was great being home. I can't think of country I like--no,
love--more. Not only is it beautiful, the land yields a good living to a
family that works with it. And the vistas that unfold before me delight my
eyes.

Late in the afternoon, I topped a ridge above a high meadow where I
planned to camp for the night. I'd been there before. There was the
spring in its rock basin, feeding the creek that crossed the meadow.

There was also a plume of campfire smoke from the place I intended to
camp. Nothing for it but to ride on down. I could ride on an hour or two,
if necessary. Normally the meadow was plenty big enough for two camps. I
didn't recognize the horses picketed on the grass. I did recognize the
slender figure that rose from beside the fire.

"Glad you made it in time for dinner. I thought for a while there I'd
have to eat this all myself," Audry said

Swinging down from my saddle, I turned just in time. Audry jumped from
two yards away and landed on me; arms around my neck and legs around my
waist. Although this was pleasant, I hadn't settled how I felt about
Audry.

So I gave her a perfunctory hug and put her down. Then I asked if she'd
mind if I camped there.

Coolly, she said, "Suit yourself."

While I unsaddled the horses and picketed them for the night, Audry
busied herself serving the dinner she'd prepared.

At the time, it didn't occur to me to wonder why Audry was there, or how
she'd known I'd be along. I'd matured from a nave 16 to a cynical 20.
But I hadn't grown up. (Elin and grandma had arranged things, with Mom's
blessing, after Audry had cried bitterly all one afternoon about how she'd
treated me and how stupid she had been. They arranged for Uncle Rick to
send me on the trip and Audry to meet me there. She'd been prepared to
stay in that meadow for days, until I showed up.)

Our dinner was quiet.

"Thanks for the supper, Audry. It's nice not to eat my own cooking on
the trail. You've learned a bit about cooking, too. Good meal." (She had
learned. She carried a cast-iron Dutch oven, figuring the extra weight
paid off in better and healthier food. A lot less grease, and a lot better
and more varied menu than the skillet most cowboys carried.)

In the morning, I contributed the bacon and eggs--Audry cooked them.
When I was about ready to go, Audry asked if she could ride along.

I looked sharply at her. There was no guile or other expression on her
face. She just wanted to go with me. I nodded and we saddled our horses.

That afternoon, we topped out on a ridge higher than either of us had
gone before.

Her horse moved alongside mine. Leaning over to grip my arm, Audry
said, "God, Robbie! Have you ever seen anything prettier?"

Looking out over the ranch and half of eastern Oregon, I thought the
view was marvelous. But it couldn't compare, in my mind, with a view of
Audry, writhing in ecstasy, with my cock imbedded in her.

What insanity possessed me, I don't know. I merely said, "Yeah. I've
seen prettier sights."

Stung, Audry demanded, "Yeah? What?"

"If you really want to know...?" She nodded, impatiently. "You. Naked.
Making love to me."

Instantly, her face crumbled and tears coursed down her cheeks.

She almost fell from her horse and batted the animals out of her way as
she came around mine and pulled me from my saddle.

When I was on the ground, she attacked me with her mouth; kissing
whatever skin she could find. As my shirt got unbuttoned, she kissed her
way down my chest. I don't know how we got on the ground, but I remember
removing my boots, so she could pull my jeans down.

Somehow Audry got naked, too. A different Audry. Still petite but
nevertheless a mature Audry. With generous breasts that defied gravity. A
delicately rounded, toned belly. Womanly yet slender hips. Legs that went
on forever... And, when I took the time to study it, a face that rivaled
any on magazine covers--with marks of character to give it interest.

Both of us were licking and kissing any skin we could reach--almost in a
frenzy. When I realized what we were doing, the absurdity hit me with
uncontrollable laughter. It was a catharsis... Audry caught it too.

We lay there, both naked, rolling over the debris on the ground,
laughing our fool heads off. Of course, we were holding tight to each
other while we were doing it.

As soon as her breath was enough under control that she wouldn't choke,
Audry kissed me. Deeply. And with pushes and tugs and little whimpers,
guided my body above hers.

Then she guided me in, as women always do, to her most sacred place.
Like our very first time, as children, we lay there a long, unmeasured
time. We were again mated. We were home. There in the dirt, and the
little stones and twigs of a high-country trail.

That realization came to us both at the same time. Our motion quickened
and we soon carried the other over the crest into ecstasy.

That evening we found a small alpine meadow, with a tiny lake of
snow-water and a carpet of wild flowers. I pitched the tent while Audry
prepared our meal. After making sure the horses were OK, we hurried to
bed.

It seemed that every part of Audry's body was responsive to my touch.
It might be an exaggeration, but it seemed to me that she would come if I
only caressed her breasts, or sucked her nipples. I know she came when I
licked her core, gently swiping my tongue along her love-bud while I
sampled the taste of her arousal.

And she surely knew how to ring my chimes--with her mouth and hands and
breasts--and even her ass.

The only reason we left the meadow was that the horses ate all the
grass, and we didn't want to destroy its delicate ecology.

So we retreated to that first, lower meadow, where we stayed three more
ecstatic days--and nights.

We returned to the ranch side by side, holding hands.

~~ * * * * * ~~

Grandma convened a family meeting. Besides holidays, this was rare.

"We have a problem!" grandma started, when Audry's parents and mine were
seated, with us, around grandma's big table.

"What's that, mom?" Uncle Rick asked. "We've had a good year. The only
bank loan we have is for the new tractor. And we could pay it off out of
reserves."

"Not that kind of problem, Rick," grandma said.

"Well, what then?" mom demanded. She was the least respectful of family among us. Her eastern family had always felt we were beneath their exalted
breeding.

"Rob and Audry are going to have babies soon. They want them pedigreed.
How do we handle it?"

mom looked ready to faint. Then she thought about it and calmed down.
Aunt Elin looked surprised and pleased. Dad was happy, but Uncle Rick
looked ready to kill us both.

"Mom! What the hell...?" Uncle Rick started, rising.

"Sit down!"

Our parents were raised to respect their mother--just like they'd raised
us. He sat.

"You have raised these kids in a manner that allows them only one
choice--each other." Looking at Uncle Rick, grandma continued, "Maybe you
don't see that right now. Think about it. You've conditioned them, from
birth, to love each other. With your training and example, where else
could they find a mate?"

"How about at college?" mom ventured.

"How about at college?" grandma returned. "How many dates have you had,
these last two years, Rob?"

"One" I answered, truthfully.

"And did you get in her pants?" grandma asked--not concerned if her
question might embarrass me.

"No. I didn't try."

"Why not?" That old woman sure bored in for the kill.

"I just wasn't interested."

"Don't you like girls? boys interest you more?"

"Grandma! I am one hundred percent heterosexual. boys turn me off! I
just never met anyone at college worth the effort."

"And Audry?"

"Yeah, grandma. She's worth the effort."

Grandma nodded to both sets of parents, then started on Audry.

"Audry, why did you keep going with that classmate of Rob's?"

"I thought Rob was taking me for granted. And Larry was exciting."

"Didn't you know how you were hurting Rob?"

"At first, I really didn't. Then, it seemed that Rob didn't care--and I
was too involved to stop."

"What did you feel when you visited Rob in Corvallis?"

Both sets of parents sat up straight. They didn't know about this. In
fact, grandma and Aunt Elin were the only ones who knew that Audry had been
pregnant. (How they could not know was beyond me. I'd taken one look, and
known without question.)

"Like my whole world had collapsed. I'd taken Rob for granted too--the
very thing I'd rejected him for. I'd assumed he'd love me, no matter what
I did--or did to him. When he made me realize that I had to face the
consequences of my actions on my own, without him, I was devastated. I'm
sure my miscarriage was the result of my complete humiliation."

Uncle Rick blurted, "What miscarriage?" while my parents jerked even
more upright than they had been.

Grandma told them, "For the past two years, Audry has had an affair with
Larry Stapleton. When she finally got pregnant, he threw her aside like
last week's laundry... As both Rob and I knew he would, since he's even
more shiftless, if that's possible, than his father."

Uncle Rick grunted. He knew Larry's dad to be about the most worthless
man in the county.

"Audry went to Rob, at Corvallis, for help. I knew all about it, but
she felt he could help better than I. I suppose there was an element of
not wanting to share her shame here at home, too.

"Rob loves Audry. He always has. That's why the girls at college aren't interesting to him. He'd already met his mate. But Audry hurt Rob,
very deeply, with Larry. When she went to him for refuge, pregnant by his
rival, having spurned him for years, she did not get the warm, forgiving
reception she expected, in her fantasy... Rob treated her better than she
deserved--he gave her a bed for the night. But he rejected her."

Audry, reliving all of that and, comparing the excitement she'd felt
with Larry against the deep, abiding love she felt for me, wept silently;
her tears trickling steadily down her face.

"Anyway, Audry miscarried on the bus and spent a couple of days in the
hospital in Salem. I brought her home from there." Aunt Elin nodded.
She'd wondered about the details.

mom asked, "Well, Rob? Do you have anything to say?"

"Yeah, mom. I do. Audry hurt me more than I've ever been hurt. I
hated her. I was angry, rejected, hurt, mad, wanted revenge... All those
things. And why? Because, mom, I love her more than anything or anyone.
My life, without Audry, wouldn't be worth living. I want, more than
anything, to be her man, the father of her children, the one she looks to."

Grandma nodded. "Audry?"

Quietly, just above a whisper, she spoke. "Rob. By all we've been
taught, at home and at church, and by the love we have for each other, I've
sinned against you. Will you forgive me? Can you forgive me?"

Her face shone with love, and longing, and regret. She knew, finally,
just what she had done to me. And she knew that she could never be
complete, apart from me. The moment was mine. She'd live--or die--with my
decision.

"Audry, I will forgive you. But I need to know, can you stand by
me--and no other? Can you resist the exciting, flashy guys, the 'Larrys'
who will try to steal you away?"

"Of course I can," she answered, with conviction. "You've shown me more
excitement in the last five days than I've ever known. And, Rob, you've
shown me what love is. I won't settle for less. You're stuck with me, if
you'll have me at all."

I couldn't answer. I just kissed her, tenderly--passionately.

Grandma rounded up our parents with a look and herded them into the
parlor, while Audry kissed me and tried to make up for my years of hurt.

My parents were happy. Aunt Elin was, too. She knew Audry would make
me happy--she'd see to it.

But Uncle Rick was still upset. He didn't think either of us was wrong
for the other. It was just that we were too closely related. Dad and
Uncle Rick are brothers, after all.

Grandma put a stick in his spokes early on in that argument. "Do you
think you're malformed or retarded in any way?"

"Well. No, mom."

"Well, what's the big deal then? Rick, your biological father was
probably my brother Dick. It might have been daddy, but Dick is most
likely. Anyway, you boys are half-brothers, so the bloodline between Rob
and Audry isn't all that close.

"And even if it was, several states allow legal marriage between first
cousins. Why should you be worried about the kids? Especially when you
raised them in a way that forced them together?"

He still wasn't buying it.

"OK, let's look at it rationally. If they were first cousins, at most a
fourth of their genetic material would be identical. As it is, it would be
something less than that--say fifteen percent. At that point, they are,
genetically, almost the same as somebody off the street."

He wasn't buying science. He was looking at emotion and possible
scandal. "Quit thinking like a moron and start thinking like a parent.
Like I've been doing for you with these kids. Do you want your daughter happy? Do you want her healthy and productive? This is your answer. I
think you need a reality check."

Dad and Uncle Rick, meanwhile, were coping with the revelation that they
weren't both grandpa's sons. Grandma solved that in a hurry when she
quietly told them that grandpa was also one of her cousins....

Dad grinned and asked why she didn't have any girl children--younger
sisters for him.

With a wolfish grin of her own, grandma asked if he'd looked at mom's
mother's family tree closely.

Audry and I didn't really notice our parents' departure, or grandma
closing the door to give us privacy. I was kissing her with all the
passion in me. The past few days in the mountains had rekindled the fire.

In moments we were on grandma's sofa, naked, pounding at each other. As
she came, Audry wailed, then screamed her passion--while digging furrows
once more in my back.

In the quiet cuddling time, after our passion was spent, we heard soft
chuckles through the door connecting to grandma's parlor. We realized that
our parents must have heard us... and that they seemed to approve, since
they were quietly laughing about something.

A bit later, we dressed and went looking for them. They had moved to
the porch, where they sat enjoying the sunset.

When we appeared, we saw smiling faces--of our family recognizing our
adult status. Grandma said, "I think you kids should move in with me. You
can have the big room, and I'll move into the room in back--where you won't
get me horny listening to you all the time. Then when you have kids,
you'll already have plenty of room.

We did that and never regretted it. A month later, we married in a
neighboring state that allows cousins to marry. That fall, Audry went with
me to Oregon State, where she easily obtained admission.

I realize how closely I'd dodged the bullet. She wouldn't have given me
another chance. She was too proud. I came frighteningly close to spending
my life apart from Audry.

And Audry, for her part, was filled with joy. She knew I was hers--and
she was mine. She knew that we'd work well together--we were a matched
pair. And that we'd raise strong children on the ranch, teaching them the
values and strengths of our family. Above all, we'd teach them love, by
our example.

Audry always felt a sense of contrition about the years of torment she'd
put me through. But she made up for it. Even though it took her the rest
of our lives.

*(c) 1997, 2001 Extar International, Ltd. All rights reserved. Single
copies for personal, non-commercial use may be downloaded or printed. Any
other uses, including reposting, or posting on an archive site, must have
prior permission from Extar International. Comments always welcome.
<extar@hotmail.com>


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