Chapters 21 - 25

October 20 2004 at 8:08 PM
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Erin  (Premier Login Mrs.B.)

Response to Southern Hospitality

Chapter 21
Rated R

The Basic Black employee's and their families had finally left, when the Brady family settled into the manor home. Ivan had outdone himself once again with the two large hams he had smoked for sandwiches for the Easter picnic. The two younger Brady brothers were fascinated with the large smoker and were eagerly helping him with it and with the clean up. They made several trips from the picnic area with the large serving trays and many empty bowls. Brady let each boy take a turn driving the golf cart, that Ivan had used to carry all the food out to the front lawn.

Vivian held court in the large family den. Between the Brady’s and John, conversations were sporadic. After Brady, JT, and Zach came in with Ivan, talk ranged from many current events to how well the boys had been playing Little League. John mentioned that he would be taking them to Turner Field to watch the Braves. Both boys were excited at this news. JT wanted to know if he could meet Javey Lopez since he was the hindcatcher. He was interested in him specifically because that was the position he played. John wasn't sure about that, but he promised to get them there in time for batting practice. Bo was even eager to go see the new stadium.

Hope agreed to go with them, but Vivian suggested that Belle give Mrs. Brady the tour of the spa center and receive a full treatment at the Basic Black Salon while the men had a day together. Belle was happy with that suggestion. She loved to be pampered and said so.

"Mrs. Brady, you will so enjoy having Pierre give you a massage. He has the best hands." Belle sighed when she said this. After she had finished her first week of work, she had treated herself to the full treatment. Pierre was the best masseuse that John could hire. He had been in demand at several other businesses, but he could not refuse the offer that Basic Black had made him.

"Better hands than mine?” Shawn leaned over and whispered in Belle's ear as she turned towards him, blushing a soft rose. Reaching out and giving him a swat on the arm she replied softly for his ears only, "Silly, He's not like that.' Belle made sure she had emphasised the word "he" when mentioning Pierre. "Besides Shawn Douglas, I want your hands to really touch me.”Raising her eyebrow at him, she watched his brown gaze darken, his nostrils flare, and the sexy grin that she had come to love, light up his face.

Hope Brady had watched the interchange between the couple as they sat at one end of the large sectional sofa. She could see that each seemed to have genuine feelings for the other. Shawn, she could read easily from years of practice. But she couldn't wait to talk to him alone.

"Please Belle, call me Hope. It sounds like it will be a fun experience at this salon. I will definitely look forward to a little pampering myself." Hope thought it would also give her some time alone with Belle and see how serious her intentions were toward her eldest son.

Bo stood up to go with John as they were taking a tour of the old smoking room that had been used during the pre-Civil War era. The room's name still stuck, even though it was used for something else entirely now. John still kept it stocked with liquor for after dinner drinks.

Vivian escorted Hope back upstairs with the younger boys to show her where the extra towels were stored. The long drive down had worn the boys out, and now they were beginning to droop. Hope promised to come back down as soon as the boys were settled in.

Brady decided to leave too, while Ivan went back to the kitchen to prepare more desserts for the next day. As Brady left, he reminded Belle to save him a seat the next day at church. On Easter, John expected the whole family to sit together.

After Brady made his exit, Shawn led Belle down the stairs to the conservatory, where he knew they would have some privacy. Closing the door with a predatory look, he advanced as Belle walked backwards until her knees came up against the covered love seat. Shawn swooped Belle up on his lap and gave her the punishment she deserved for tempting him when he couldn't retaliate with everyone watching. Ever since their intimate whispered conversation, he had just wanted to kiss Belle.

Urging her mouth to open, he began his assault with a hard driving thrust of his tongue. Leaving no surface untouched, he gentled the kiss, and began a seduction like none that he had given her so far. He explored the cavern that beckoned him. Her mouth was like sweet nectar as his velvet tongue seduced her. Smothering the soft cry that crept out of her throat, he recognized that as a sign of her desire for him.

Swirling his tongue along her bottom lip he traced the inside edge of the moist lips. Stroking along the rim of her mouth, he felt the tiny shudders of pleasure that he had caused. The texture of Belle's swollen lips were as tempting to him as a lush, ripe peach. The need that he felt to taste and touch was not to be denied this time.

Raising his dark head, Shawn used one hand to brush the fine golden tendrils away from her flushed cheeks. Belle's eyes opened, the crystal gaze held his as he said, "Peaches, I want to give you what you asked for upstairs. I want to touch you, feel you silky skin against me," Shawn slowly reached down to unbutton her blouse as he continued, never taking his mesmerizing gaze off of her. "I want to feel your breasts swell with arousal, and feel your nipples peak." His voiced throbbed with emotion as he felt the shirt open. "I need more this time."

Holding her blue gaze with his, Shawn let his fingers slowly trace the pulse that was pounding against the soft skin of her throat. Dipping his head, his lips fluttered a soft kiss there as his palm cupped her breast. Feeling her breath quicken, Shawn glanced back up to make sure Belle was all right with his advancement. Desire shimmered from the blue orbs and he had to swallow hard. There was no denying it. He loved Belle so much. The need to show her was too strong.

Belle felt the air blow cool from the air conditioner, but her skin felt scorched from Shawn's hot gaze. She watched his eyes as they glanced down and took in the soft white lacy bra that she had worn. Hoping that Shawn would touch her like he had promised, she waited with bated breath. Finally, his palm cupped her. His hot fingers slid to and fro against the lace that hid the bud from his hungry eyes. With anticipation, Belle watched as one lone finger dipped inside under the lace rimmed edge. Shawn had been watching her eyes as he touched her. Withdrawing that finger, he traced the white strap that rose over her shoulder. Pulling Belle towards him, Shawn reached around to unhook the back fastener. Slowly, he pulled the fabric away from his goal. Trailing the straps down her arms, he tossed the bra aside. Shawn took his first look at Belle and almost wept with his own pleasure. Beauty was truly in the eyes of the beholder.

"You're beautiful, Isabella." Shawn's voice shook as he reached out to touch the light rose velvet nipple. He had never felt anything sweeter and wanting to taste, he lowered his lips, eager to fasten on the hardening bud. Nearing his destination, he blew softly first on the tip and watched it curl even tighter. Wrapping his soft lips finally on the crest, he suckled as he felt Belle weave her fingers in his hair, pulling him closer.

Belle felt her lower body clinching with a new ache that she recognized. Hot flames rose in her belly, stirring up needs that were so far unquenched. Shawn had been the one to awaken these hot fires within her body. Her soul she had given to him, her heart was already his, now her body was ready to mate.

Gathering him closer, Belle felt his hot tongue trace patterns on her breast, and finally take it again in his mouth. His hand gave the other breast attention and now he switched sides. Letting his mouth take hot tugging pulls on the other tender flesh, he kept the twin mound taunt with his fingers. Feeling herself becoming more damp, Belle twisted and squirmed, seeking and finding the hard bulge in his pants.

Shawn released her breasts, and watched her eyes once more, as he lowered his hand to her hip. With anticipation, Belle opened her thighs to his hands. Needing relief, she wanted Shawn to touch her. As she felt his hands, hot through her linen pants, travel up her thigh, she eagerly waited this new loving.

As Shawn was about to cup her through the soaked fabric they heard Vivian on the intercom, calling them. "Belle, Darling, if ya'll are in the house come on back to the den. Hope wants to say good night before she retires."

Groaning at the interruption, Shawn let his forehead rest against Belle. Looking into the eyes that glowed with pleasure, Shawn knew he could become lost in those dark blue pools. He said with determination, "The time is coming when we are going to finish this Peaches." He let his large hand cup her face as he kissed her with frustration. His fingers tangled in the golden locks as he gathered it up. Grasping her hair, he pulled her as close as he could, her nipples, still hard and damp from his mouth, stabbing his chest.

He felt the soft skin of Belle's hand as she raised his head up. Meeting her eyes, she rested her palm against his cheek. Cuddling into the softness, he heard her answer. With a soft voice that was still uneven, she whispered, "I know we will Shawn, And soon."

Chapter 22

The Brady's were enjoying their vacation time in Salem. The days were just passing to quickly though. Their week was going to be up before they finished everything they had planned on doing. Shawn was a frequent visitor during their stay. Dropping by for breakfast some mornings as Bo joined him on the lake for an early boat ride, he knew he would be welcomed, and it gave him a chance to see Belle too, JT and Zach were like their mother, sleeping late when they had the chance.

John had been true to is word about the trip to Atlanta to Turner Field. The boys were eager to try and field the batted balls that the Braves were hitting during practice. Each had brought their own gloves, but neither JT nor Zach were able to snag one of the high foul balls.

It had turned into a guys night out, when Shawn and Brady both joined the group. His brothers' excitement was contagious as they made their way around the seats after the practice session. Walking around the inside of the stadium before the game began, Shawn bought his brothers t-shirts and caps.

Bo was glad to see his eldest son again. Shawn had filled out even more since his last visit home. He stood tall and slim as he paid for his purchases. The sun had bronzed his skin, his eyes were as dark as his own, but Bo thought, he has his mother's smile. He could see bits and pieces of his wife in him too. Bo walked up and slapped Shawn on his shoulder, as they climbed up the stairs to the skybox. "So, is Salem the town where you want to spend the rest of your life, Son?"

Shawn agreed as they walked slowly behind the noisy group. "Yeah Dad, I feel that here is where I can make a difference. It might not be what someone else would think of as a career, but I am happy. I..." He stopped, as Bo beckoned for him to continue, as they went inside the plush booth. "Realistically, I might get tired of all the paperwork that is involved with the job, but I wouldn't trade being out on the water everyday for a job that I had to sit behind a desk. I don't see how Brady likes being enclosed in his office as much as he is now."

Bo scratched his bearded chin as he listened. So far Shawn had not mentioned Belle Black' s name at all. Over the past few days, Bo had waited for Shawn to mention if he was dating anyone seriously. Maybe his Fancy Face was wrong this time. Shawn hadn't mentioned a woman at all and that was starting to worry Bo. He felt that Shawn needed someone with whom he could share all the joys and hardships of life. He needed his own soul mate, a wife that would stand up to the Brady temper when it flared, and to all the love that Bo knew his son possessed inside. "If you are happy, Sailorman, I can't ask for anything else. Just know, that if ever you want to come home, your room is still there."

Shawn hugged his Dad, as he thanked him for all that he had taught him. "I was telling Belle, the other night, how we used to travel to so many ports and countries. She asked if I had felt like a gypsy since we were on the move so much." He stood looking out the large window, as with an inner eye he saw Belle's reflection in the glass, instead of the green baseball field and brown earth below. Shawn wondered what she had been doing that day.

The plan was for Hope Brady to go to work with Belle today. Belle had given Hope a tour of the building and had planned an all day spa session with her, but because both John and Brady were not going to be there at Basic Black, Belle had to fill in when something came up. Belle was just planning on seeing his Mom that afternoon for the steam bath and massage. He sure would have liked to have been the one giving Belle the massage, But, if Hope had been in there in the room with them, he would have had to behave. Hope could give him the look that all the Horton women in his family used on a regular basis. And, he thought ruefully, his hands would have had to stay above the towel.

Belle's body had been so sweet and lush. His dreams had been about her every night since her return to Salem. Now they had taken a more carnal turn. Shawn wanted her to be apart of him and be with him both day and night. He had pledged to himself that she was going to be his very soon.

"Hey, Earth to Shawn, are you there?" Bo said louder than he intended too when Brady Black came by to hand them each a beer. Shawn quickly turned around, his dream vision of Belle, dressed is a soft sheer gown, the color of moonbeams, vanished. Blushing, he turned back to the window, his hard on clearly outlined under the faded denim jeans.

"Don't mind him, Bo." Brady said, as he stuffed a handful of peanuts in his mouth. "When he starts to think about Belle, he gets that look in his eyes." He grinned at his best friend as he backed up. Shawn could be quick to snag out his fist when they rough-housed it around sometimes.

Bo watched as the two young men faced off. "If you have something to say about your sister, then say it man." Shawn turned, his eyes darkened to slits, his stance was coiled with fury. The vein in his neck throbbed and his jaw clinched.

Holding both hands up, palms turned outward, Brady replied, “It’s no skin off by nose who you want to fall for Shawn. Belle's been crazy about you for years. I'm surprised it's taken this long for you to realize it." His own blue gaze, not nearly as light blue as Belle's, was narrowed in his lean face. His glasses were pushed up and gave Brady a studious look.

Shawn relaxed as he said, "It's not like that Brady. I.....I..lov.... I ....lov....I lo......" Shawn stuttered as he looked as his father. Knowing that he had had years to watch his dad smooth talk his own mom, he swallowed and said. "I am really in love with Belle. I want to marry her." Releasing his pent up breath, he watched as Brady's eyes widen and he smiled until he felt a strong hand clamp down on his shoulder.

Turning around, Shawn looked into John Black's eyes. John's stare was thorough and Shawn met it with one of his own "John, I guess that you heard that. My intentions are honorable. I do want to marry Isabella." He watched with trepidation as John's hand tightened on his shoulder, his hawk like features constricted with emotion. Then he was pulled into a bear hug that seemed to squeeze the breath from him.

John stepped back and offered his hand. "Welcome to the family then, Son" He smiled as he turned to Bo. "I wished for this a long time ago. I hope you're not upset by it?"

Bo shook his head as he congratulated his son for admitting what was in his heart, and for standing proudly to face John head on. "No, I'm not angry, just the opposite. I'm glad that Shawn has found someone to share his life with. Hopefully we'll get to know more of Belle during our visit."

JT turned away from the food table with a plate of hot wings as he said in a sing song voice, "Shawn's got a girlfriend, Shawn's gota girlfriend.." He quickly side stepped the hand that was going to pop him one on his bottom when Zach chimed in making kissing noises with his lips on his hand,

One glance from Bo Brady hushed both boys up as they turned back to the seats to see the players coming onto the field. Hearing the cheers from the stands, they could see the action live, plus on replay on the large tv screens inside the booth.

Shawn just shook his head as his brothers settled down. Reclining in his own chair, Shawn knew that his mom would be giving him the third degree after Bo told her his news. He just hoped he would be able to tell Belle first, before Zach or JT let something slip.

Hope Brady sat in the padded chair as she had a pedicure. The latest issues of several fashion magazines were laying around so customers could read as they relaxed. There were several ads for Basic Black included in the magazines. Hope found one ad particularly interesting. She decided to go shopping for herself to buy some new clothes after she finished. Belle was to join her for the steam bath and massage in an hour. Then they would meet up for a late lunch. Belle was taking her to the Kudzu Grill.

Hope wondered how involved her son was with Belle Black. They seemed to have been real cozy the other night on the sofa. When she had come back downstairs after the twins were in bed, she had noticed that Belle's blouse had been untucked, and Shawn looked like he was .....uncomfortable, disturbed..... frazzled... something was going on. Hope didn't know what, but she was going to find out.'

She looked up as Belle walked in the salon. She looked fresh and happy as she stood chatting with the receptionist. Today, she wore a red power suit with a short skirt. It flattered her figure and Hope could tell that she had a sweet nature, she seemed to really care about the employees. Her sweetness wasn't an act like those girls who used to call Shawn when he was home from college. Belle's flare for business was keen. It seemed liked she could hold her own in the company and Hope wondered if she would survive when the time came for her to present her fashion designs. She wondered if that was all that she had learned from her father. Her looks definitely had to have come from her mother.

"Hi Hope. Sorry, I couldn't come down before now. Mr. Callahan called wanting to speak with Dad and wouldn't take no for an answer." Belle shifted her purse to her own manicured hands as she continued. "Pierre is ready when you get through here. I'm going to go ahead and change clothes." Belle glanced around the salon. Even though she wasn't going to use it today, she liked it when everything was in order.

Hope arose too with her freshly painted brick colored nails. "Wait Belle, and I'll go with you. How do you like this color?"
Belle looked down and saw the darker color of polish.

"It looks pretty. I can't ever get away with wearing something that dark. But with you coloring, it looks fantastic." Looking closely at Hope's face, Belle could see a resemblance to Shawn. She said, “Shawn really looks like both you and Bo. I think he gets his smile from you and his wonderful eyes from Bo."

Hope genuinely smiled at that. Now she had an opening. "I have always thought so too. But he has his father's Irish temper. It flares up every now and then." As they both slipped on burgundy robes with the initials BB embroidered in black, Hope joined Belle as they walked into the hot room. Steam rose from somewhere, a smokey mist hung in the air. "So Belle, what do you think of Shawn?" Hope was very much interested in hearing her answer.

Belle looked up and met the older woman's eyes. They were brown also, but not as beautiful as Shawn's eyes. Belle could get lost just looking into those dark pools. Blinking, Belle responded, "I enjoy his company. We have had a lot of fun together since I moved back home." She thought of the Sunday afternoon when they had walked in the spring rain that quickly turned into a downpour. They had held hands and ran to stand under Vivian's covered bridge until the rain had let up. Stolen kisses had warmed them as they snuggled together.

Other times they had rented DVDs and watched them on John's wide screen tv in the play room. One night Shawn had even played the baby grand piano, that stood in the music room, for Belle. She had been putting out fresh vases of Peonies when Shawn had walked in the room. He had sat down on the seat and started to play. Belle had joined him for an hour for the mini concert.

"I think he is doing what he has wanted to do for along time. Shawn loves the water. He told me about growing up and traveling on your boat, the Fancy Face. How he fished on the docks with his Grandpa and uncle. " Belle smiled and blushed as she thought about the man Shawn was. "He misses his family a lot. He has told me about you annual Christmas tradition about the tree and ornaments. I thought that sounded lovely. Sort of like something you might see in a movie." Belle shrugged out of the robe as she lay down on the padded table.

Hope was listening carefully to how Belle talked. She believed you could read between the lines of what the younger woman was saying. "I feel like I have gotten close to Shawn in the weeks that I have been home. He's a wonderful man."

"But just how do you really feel about him Belle?" Hope was persistent. If her son was as crazy about this young woman as he seemed, then Hope wanted to know exactly how deep were her feeling for him.

Belle opened her eyes as she stared at Hope. "Hope, I think that before I tell you how I feel about Shawn, that he and I need to discuss it first." She turned her head away, biting her lips because she didn't want to cry.

How was she to explain to his mother, just how she felt, when she had not even told Shawn yet that she loved him? And love him, she did. That was a fact, like John Black always said. Belle thought her heart would break if Shawn didn't love her too. How could he touch her, whisper all the things he wanted to do to her, make her feel all these wonderful, wild, lustful feelings, if he didn't love her? Only finding the time to talk to Shawn and face her fear that he didn't love her, would she be able to ease the ache that had been building up inside of her over the course of the past few weeks. Rubbing at a spot on her chest, Belle realized that it was the spot covering her heart that hurt.

Hope smiled to herself as she closed her eyes. Belle Black loved her son very much. That much was evident. She was a woman on the brink of having a love affair. If she could have chose a woman for her son, she might have picked out someone like Belle. She seemed like the perfect compliment to him. Now, if he had inherited his father's skills in the bedroom, then Belle was going to be a very happy woman. Laughing to herself, Hope would be glad when her husband came home tonight. She couldn't wait to talk to him.

Chapter 23

The week was nearing it's end, when Shawn and Hope settled down on the Vernada to have their long awaited talk. Shawn had known all along that he could not keep his feelings from his mother. She could read him like a book. Knowing that, he waited patiently as she led the conversation around to Belle.

"I talked with your father the other night, Shawn. He told me about your revelation at the baseball game." Hope brushed her long dark hair out of her eyes as she carefully watched her son. He sat on the porch, with his denim clad legs stretched out in front of him down the wide steps. His head was tilted up to the sky, as if he was seeking answers among the stars.

"Mom," Shawn began as he closed his eyes. "Do you remember the time we sailed into Spain? It was the time when I had wanted a monkey for a pet and Dad kept saying no way, Jose. "He turned his head around to see if Hope was listening. Her soft voice floated on the night air, "I remember. We were reading the book "The Summer Of The Monkeys". It was your favorite for so long."

Shawn nodded. "Remember, it had a brother and sister in it who only wanted the best for the other. One of them knelt in this fairy ring they found in the woods. It was made out of mushrooms and they made wishes for each other." Shawn stopped speaking, as if he was getting his thoughts together. Hope waited, knowing that it would be leading up to something.

Shawn finally continued as he ran his hand through his hair, making it stand up messily. "Anyway, it's a shame sometimes that there are not fairy rings today, just to make wishes in." He turned around as Hope came to sit beside him on the steps.

"Shawn, what do you want so badly that you have to make a wish for it?" Hope was concerned. Maybe Bo was wrong, and Shawn was not in love with Belle.

Rubbing her hand along his shoulder, she waited. At times like this, Shawn reminded her of her grandfather, Tom Horton, as he studiously pondered his thoughts. "Mom, I am in love with Belle. She is it for me." Turning, Shawn looked Hope in the eyes, so she could read the truth. "I want to marry her..... love her day raise children with her able to sail away if that's where life takes us." Bending his dark head, Shawn said, "I want to be able to look into her beautiful eyes and thank God that she is my wife everyday....and finally one day, find us a porch of our own with a rocking chair and be able to look back on our family." With tear filled eyes he looked at Hope, "Is that too much to wish for Mom?"

Hope gathered her eldest son to her chest. Pressing her cheek to his, she was thankful that Shawn had such a good head on his shoulders. Kissing the top of his dark hair, she brushed it off of his forehead. "I think, that Belle will make a wonderful daughter-in-law. I can tell just by the way you two look at each other, that you love her, Shawn." She sniffed, as she tried to hold back her tears. Her baby was in love. "I really like Belle. She's so energetic, fun, has a deep respect for her family. She seems like she had a good sense of humor too,"

Shawn straightened at that last little bit. "You do know her then. Mom, she is the best thing that has ever happened to me. What if she doesn't love me though?" Shawn watched as Hope took his chin in her hand and turned him to face her.

"Shawn Douglas Brady, what's not to love about you? I may be prejudiced, " she stopped as he gave her his trade mark grin, as she arched her own eyebrow above her dark eyes, “but, I think you are a pretty special fellow. She likes you.... a lot....Shawn, I can tell just by the way she says your name. It speaks volumes. Her eyes, they light up when you walk into the room too."

Standing up, Shawn pulled Hope up beside him. He had stood above her for so long, but he still valued what words of wisdom she offered. "Thanks, Mom, Go on and tell Dad. I know you can't keep a secret from him." Hope gave him one last hug before walking back inside the plantation home. Closing the door, she couldn't wait to find her husband,

Shawn stood alone, a few minutes more, as the dark night deepened. When his parents left and he had more time for himself, then he would tell Belle. They would find a place to be alone, and then with his heart, he would tell her how he felt.

With his mind made up, Shawn started to go inside when he glanced up. A bright trail was streaking across the sky. With a smile, Shawn made his wish on the shooting star.

Chapter 24
Rated R

The weekend was looming as Hope came outside after packing one of the suitcases for the twins. The Brady’s were leaving the next day and this was to be their last meal with everyone. Vivian was entertaining Bo and Ivan as they sat on the Veranda. The breeze from the slowly rotating ceiling fan stirred Brady's hair as he passed Bo a beer and Hope a glass of white wine. Sitting on the porch rail, he joined the conversation as they talked about their last night in Georgia. Voices were muted, dispersed with laughter, remembering all the good times. The sun was setting, reflecting in the French doors, as Hope watched the couple that sat alone. She could already picture them posing for wedding photographs. Smiling to herself, she couldn't wait to get back home and discuss this with all the Horton women.

John was manning the grill as he watched the flames sear the thick ribeyes. The smell was enough alone to tempt a man, but the couple who sat apart on the glider were lost to their surroundings. They had eyes only for each other. Looking at the two, John was pleased with the match. There was no doubt in his mind that his little Izzy B. was in love with Shawn Brady. He noted that Shawn couldn't seem to keep his hands off of Belle though. Whether it was touching her shoulder, twirling his fingers in her golden locks, or holding her hand, Shawn Douglas was enthralled with his daughter.

Shawn was lost in the crystal blue gaze as he held Belle's tiny hand in his own. His larger hand caressed the soft, silky one, using his thumb to slowly stroke back and forth over her fingers. Turning her hand over, he traced one long finger down her palm, pressing downward, and watching her eyes turn a darker shade. Belle was chewing on her bottom lip, a habit that he had recently noticed, that usually signaled her own agitation. Smirking at the idea of getting Belle all hot and bothered, Shawn wanted to doing nothing more than to slide his own lips against hers and delve inside, tasting the passion that was there for him.

Unconsciously leaning forward, he was about to do just that when he heard Zach saying, "Shawn's got a girlfriend, Shawn's got a girlfriend, Shawn's....." "Shawn and Belle, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, ..."JT joined in at the same time, wanting to be a part of the fun of kidding their older brother as Shawn stood up. Zach leapt off the porch as JT followed, both running across the wide lawn. Walking across the porch, Shawn was about to go after the pre-teens when Hope placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Honey, let them go. They are just trying to get a rise out of you." Hope watched as Shawn grinned and turned his head toward Belle. "I guess I was pretty occupied." Grinning, he gave her a saucy wink and walked over to the cart to grab a beer as he started talking with Vivian. He would soon have her all to himself.

Belle walked over to her father as she handed him a platter for the steaks. "This has been a fun week. I know you will miss Bo, Dad." She stepped back away from the mesquite flavored smoke, as John handed her the full platter.

"That's a fact Sweetheart! I have really enjoyed playing golf with Bo. He's a worthy opponent. I'll have to see about taking a trip to Illinois soon."

Belle led the way to the side buffet as she placed the platter down with the other foods. Ivan had made a broccoli salad, marinated vegetable kabobs, and a traditional banana pudding for dessert. With all the food spread out, Belle wondered how it was all going to be eaten. Joining Belle, Hope said that it would disappear quickly. "You forgot that those twins can consume so much." Hope hugged Belle as she quietly asked, "Belle, you're not upset with Zach and JT are you?"

Belle shook her head as she replied, "No, I realize how much they miss Shawn. They love him so much." Pushing her blond curls back behind her ear, she continued. "I guess I was monopolizing him. I'm sorry Hope. I know you need to spend as much time with him as you can today."

As they went inside to fill the tea glasses with ice and beverage, Hope shook her head. The fluorescent light cast a pretty sheen on Hope's dark hair as she stood at the refrigerator. It was not as dark as Shawn's, but Belle could see where he got his looks. His face was shaped liked Hope's, the delicate bones were more masculine and defined, the nose crooked from being broken during a football game. Belle could see that Hope must have been a beautiful model when she did her turn down the runways. She was still gorgeous.

"Don't be silly, Belle. I am so glad that my son is smart enough to catch your eye. He likes you very much." Hope turned away so that Belle couldn't see her smile. "I will miss him of course, but I am looking forward to being home and sleeping in my own bed tomorrow."

Belle agreed. "I know, I hate that part of traveling. I like my own pillows too." She thought of her own large bed upstairs, where she had spent many recent nights dreaming on a certain dark eyed man. The twisted sheets and unfulfilled longings had awakened her on several occasions. Restless nights were becoming the norm.

Dinner was a noisy affair, as were the goodbyes when Brady Black left to go home. He reminded Zach not to forget the chords he had taught him on his old guitar. JT was not as musically inclined, but had enjoyed listening to John and Brady jam out the Rolling Stones and the Doobies songs. "You know, he'll be wanting a guitar for his birthday." Shawn said as he stood in the doorway.

Bo said the same thing as the twins joined the male family members. "Those songs by those old guys are great Dad." Zach said pleading his case with his own gaze. "I'll bet we can find their CD's in the Music Warehouse." Bo snickered as he scratched his chin. "Those old guys are worth millions. They're both terrific groups." He knew that he would be making a stop at a mall on the way home for the CD.

Shawn stood leaning against the wall as he watched his brothers say good night. He would stop by early before they left on Saturday to see them off. Both boys raced up the wide staircase, ahead of the other adults, as Belle joined the Brady men.

"I guess I'll say goodnight fellas. I'll see you in the morning too." Her soft spoken voice touched Bo as he turned around. Knowing that Shawn would want to say good night privately, he kissed Belle on her cheek and went upstairs to join his wife.

Shawn pulled Belle into his arms, gathering her close against his muscled chest. "Aaahhhh, alone at last." With that one sentence, he closed his lips over hers negating any conversation. With careful steps, he walked Belle backwards inside the darkened side room, keeping his lips on hers the entire time. Framing her face with his hands, he used his thumbs to smooth the skin on her cheeks as his tongue tormented hers. Raising his eyes, he stepped back and pulled the pocket door from the frame. Enclosing them from prying eyes, he turned the key with a solid click. Belle could hear her heart pounding in the silent room as he turned around.

Watching Belle as he came closer, Shawn's eyes became accustomed to the light that shimmered through the sheer summer curtains. The illumination cast a angelic glow on her face. Using one hand he gently gathered the blond curls together and tugged her closer. He loved it when she wore her hair down. Stopping just shy of her body, Shawn felt the heat of her warm skin. Leaving a narrow span between them, Shawn used his other hand to cup the back of her neck. Drawing her the rest of the way, they both stopped breathing when their bodies brushed.

Firm muscled chest to soft crested breast. Shawn brushed his thumb along her cheek, watching her beautiful eyes. He saw acceptance in that one look and knew that she was ready for more. Anticipating being touched, Belle wound her arms around Shawn's neck as she brought her lips up to his. Her fingers slipped into the strands of hair that she enjoyed touching. Kissing his soft lips, they firmed and hardened as did other parts of his body. She sighed as she cuddled closer, wanting to feel him. His legs braced as he cupped Belle by the hips and pulled her up. Her slim thighs wrapped around his waist, finding a home, as her tongue stroked his. Robbing him completely of his breath, Shawn withdrew his lips and walked across the room, setting Belle down on the green felt of the billiard table. The dim light showed the sweet smile on Belle's face as she reached a hand up to pull him down with her.

Laying beside Belle, Shawn was astounded by her beauty. There was nothing on earth that he could compare her to, as he gently took her small hand and placed it on his chest. He wanted to be touched in return this time. Just to feel Belle touch him, stroke his own chest like she had done before at his apartment, Feeling the fingers of both small hands spread out and come around to hug his hard body, Shawn was surprised when her hands went to his waist and tugged the polo shirt from his faded jeans. Her hands slipped under the smooth fabric, causing sensations to explode within him. Her fingers warmed the skin as they slowly slid the shirt up. Shawn sat up and pulled the shirt off completely. The muscles stood out along his arms, the tight abs looked firmed to Belle's eyes, as she raised her palm to touch his chest.

The slow burning fire that had been building up was in need of being put out. As her legs rubbed against his, Belle felt him slip one hard thigh between her own. Belle bit her lip as she lay back against the felt.

The denim fabric of his tight fitting jeans was soft against her bare leg. The short skirt that she had worn slid up her thighs nearing her hips. She wanted to tempt, to touch, and to taste Shawn, but could not deny to herself this feeling of want that he aroused within her. Shawn slid his arousal over her core and rocked as he watched her eyes. His chest was brushing against hers and wanting to feel her too, Shawn stopped his motion, much to the agony of his lower extremities.

This time, Shawn was going to feel Belle come apart, loose herself as he brought her to orgasm, see her eyes fill with passion. But first, her loose fitting blouse was going to come off. With a slow hand, he raised up and brought her hands to his lips. Motioning for Belle to sit up, he pulled her top off. His dark eyes took in the peach colored demi-bra as he ran a finger down the lace edged cup. Wondering if she wore matching panties, Shawn was determined to find out tonight.

The small white globes were barely contained as with one finger he slipped her nipple out from under the silky fabric. Doing the same to her other breast, the hardened buds were perkily aware they were on display. Just by watching them, Shawn saw the tips hardened even more. His fingers slipped down and unfastened the front clasp. Releasing the treasure, Shawn slid the straps down until her arms were trapped behind her body. Taking his mouth on a lazy journey, he began by kissing her mouth, His lips gnashing against her teeth as with his tongue he tasted her lips, ripe with passion. "Shawn, please,,,,,,"her voice was heavy as Shawn continued to ply her lips. Her breasts were heaving with every breath, her legs twisting against his, as Belle capitulated and gave Shawn everything that she had. With skill, Shawn captured her lips again, drugging Belle with mind numbing kisses. His thirst for her as was unquenchable.

His hands were never still, running down her back, cupping her backside, sliding down her smooth thighs and caressing her stomach. He never touched her breasts or lower as with just his lips alone, he brought her to the brink of wanting.

Finally, Shawn couldn't resist any longer. His lips slid down her neck, licking and nipping as he went. His hands released her arms and she brought them around to caress his face. "Peaches, I want you so much." His voice was rough, deepened with his own needs as his lips fastened on one nipple. His hands were constantly in motion, caressing her body, kneading her other bud, plucking it with his fingers, as he tugged relentlessly on her breast. Licking her nipple, he turned his head to give attention to the other side. His hands set out to destroy Belle, as they began a journey down her small body.

Belle felt his hands finally touch her trembling leg. She was burning up and wanted to finally feel him touch her core. Her panties had long been soaked. Moisture dripped from her and slid down her thigh. She was ashamed that she was so wet until Shawn quieted her.

"Peaches, I want you wet. When you make love with me for the first time, it will hurt. I promise you, " Shawn raised his head to look into her eyes. "I promise you that when that time comes, I will be as gentle as I can be." Belle read the truth of this statement. She was more than ready to be his in every way possible.

Brushing a lock of hair from out of his eyes, Belle smiled up at Shawn. "I know you will Shawn," she softly whispered. "And I know that it will be earth shattering."

"I promise you this Isabella, When we do make love, you will have all the stars that you can handle." With his lips hovering above her once more, Shawn slid his hand down to cup the wet folds hidden by a scrap of lace. His hand found the moistened silk. Wet with her fluids, Shawn smiled as he slid his middle finger up and down the fabric, bunching it up and sliding it downward. This time he let his finger slide inside as he felt Belle hold her breath. Keeping his eyes on Belle, Shawn sat up and pulled the silky material away. Tossing it on top of his shirt, he lay back down.

The golden triangle was matted and the curls bunched together in tight ringlets. His breath was stolen at her beauty. Telling her so, Shawn brought his hand back up her toned leg. This time, Belle kept her legs closed until Shawn asked that she ease them open. "Please, Peaches, spread them for me."

Belle leaned back and did as he asked. Anticipation was driving her crazy. She felt Shawn's fingers began to touch her folds. One long finger slid up and down again, just like before, until he slipped it inside the warm core. Belle jerked at the invasion. Shawn felt her tightening her inner muscles as she gripped his finger. Wanting to reassure her and get her to relax again, Shawn settled back down at her breast. Teasing, licking, caressing her nipples, with his tongue, he could not get enough of her sweet body. The tight, quivering buds he suckled, hollowing his cheeks with each swallow. Blowing on the wet surface, he felt her clinch his long finger. The finger that he had kept inside was now sliding in and out, the motion he hoped to do one day. He felt her hips arch up as he slid in deeper, feeling the barrier inside.

Belle felt like she was on fire, liquid heat coursed through her veins, driving her mad. She craved his touch, and his touch seemed to be everywhere. Shawn had spread the dew from her body all around her throbbing outer lips.

His fingers caressed deeper, rubbing the delicate folds that he wanted to taste, but knew he would wait until another time for that pleasure.

With his thumb, he circled the knot of nerves at the top of her hot cleft. Feeling her tighten once more, Shawn applied a steady pressure as he quickened the pace. Whimpering, Belle closed her eyes until Shawn asked her to open them. Keeping her gaze on his, Belle bit her bottom lip to keep from sobbing with pleasure. Within moments he was rewarded as he felt Belle gasp. Trembling with emotion, Shawn watched as Belle reached the pinnacle and tumbled over. He felt the spasms as she climaxed as he watched her eyes.

While his fingers lingered inside, stroking the last bit of sensation from the velvet folds, Shawn shifted up Belle's drenched body. Taking her lips eagerly with his own, he. kissed her one last time. He let his breath caress her closed eyelids, as he whispered the words that his heart was wanting to share. "I love you, Peaches."

Chapter 25

The grandfather clock's pendulum swayed back and forth as it chimed the last tones of the hour. Feeling the warm body cuddled close to his, Shawn knew they had crossed one more boundary tonight. With the words that he had whispered, he had given his pledge to the only woman with whom he wanted to share his life.

Raising up, Shawn used one hand to prop up his dark head, while he used the other hand to trace a line down Belle's throat as she lay beside him. The soft light, illuminated from the hurricane lamp on the porch, spilled over Belle's hair, casting a golden halo on the pool table. Shawn was mesmerized by how luminous her eyes were as they met his. He knew that his own eyes were filled with love for the tiny woman who had stolen his heart. Belle's crystal blue gaze was moist and overflowing with emotions that were yet unnamed.

Belle's shudders from the orgasm had subsided, even though her skin was still flushed. Shawn was fascinated with how silky her skin was, how soft her lips were as they puckered up for more kisses. Not being able to resist her mouth, Shawn lowered his own until they touched. With the ease of experience, Shawn parted her lips to taste the hot passion that still burned within Belle. Not wanting to spoil the best night of his life, Shawn began easing off and settling for sweet sips from the swollen lips.

The faint scent of jasmine drifted in through the open window, as windchimes gave a tinny bell sound as they danced on the evening breeze. In the distance, the lonely sound of a whip-o-will, as it called to it's mate, echoed in the dark night. Shawn hoped that it would find it's partner soon, because he now knew what it meant to be bonded for life with the one you love.

Shawn felt like his whole world had changed within the space of the past hour. He thought of how right it had felt to be able to touch Belle the way that he had. Even now, lust filled him until he was hurting, but he had to back off. He just couldn't spoil this first time of touching Belle.

"Are you all right?" he whispered softly as his fingers slipped down her shoulders, caressing the skin as they went.

Belle reached up with her rose colored nails and stopped his lips from uttering anymore words. She took his hand and held it against her naked breast, unconsciously rubbing his knuckles against the swollen tissue. "Shawn Douglas, you have made me feel so beautiful tonight. What you just did......"biting her bottom lip, Belle dropped her gaze, searching for anywhere to look but into his eyes.

Feeling her chin being tipped up, Belle swallowed and met the dark brown pools that shimmered with emotion. Was it really love that she saw reflected in them, like he had whispered when he had finished tumbling her world upside down?

"Isabella, I have to know now. Are you upset that things went too far tonight?" Shawn was aghast to think that this incredible night was going to be remembered as something bad. Feeling her hand take his and began rubbing it against her naked flesh was making it difficult for Shawn to concentrate. All he had to do was look down the length of her body and knew that it wouldn't take much for him to loose complete control. Trying to corral his thoughts, he missed what she had just said.

"Shawn, no, no, no don't think that. What you just...., no let me start again......"Belle took a deep breath to start over. "What We just did together was so incredible,...... wonderful,......right. I never knew what if felt like to fall apart that easily and to know I want to do it again and again with you." Closing her eyes, she swallowed the lump that had formed, before continuing. "Shawn Douglas Brady, I have been crazy about you for years. When I was younger, I couldn't wait until we went to see Brady at college, because you would always be there in the room to say hi to me."

Shawn's fingers were trailing up and down her toned thigh as he watched her eyes darken. The skin here was warm and beginning to tremble once more. Shawn could envision sliding his tongue along this path.

"You gave me the most incredible orgasm, it was like a thousand butterflies tickling and exploding and ....." Belle reached up and swatted Shawn as he gave her a smirk about the tickling.

"Just you wait, Peaches," His husky voice had lowered a pitch. "One day, when I take you with my mouth, you won't be saying anything about it tickling. " Shawn's eyes were filled with laughter but soon sobered. "I cannot wait until I have you that way." Breathing heavy as he thought about doing that to Belle, Shawn continued. "I have dreamed about it so many times." Belle watched Shawn's eyes grow lustful as he began walking his fingers down her chest and stomach. "I want to hear you scream my name when you come that way."

Belle's chest was beginning to warm, as she felt her breasts become aroused as Shawn's hand was playing with the turgid buds. Feelings swamped her, as Belle saw herself laid across the blue and yellow plaid spread on Shawn's bed being loved by this man. Moaning at the picture, Belle raised up and straddled Shawn, pushing his shoulders down on the felt. Feeling her hot core find a home on the hard ridge of his erection, Belle reached for the zipper of the faded jeans.

Shawn reached down and stopped Belle, hating himself, denying himself, but knowing that this first time Belle needed to be the one satisfied. "Peaches, shoooo, Peaches stop." He caught the fingers as they rasped the zipper all the way down, but not before her tiny hand had worked it's way under the fly.

He felt his breath cease, as the small hand brushed the coiled breadth of his erection. Letting go of her hand, Shawn placed one of his hands behind his head for a pillow, the other he used to touch her shoulders and back,

Belle shifted as her hand reached between the cotton fabric opening and felt Shawn firsthand. He was much softer than she expected, but ooooohhhh was he hard too! What a contradiction. She slowly eased her hand all the way into his pants and felt him lengthen even more. Her fingers found the ridged tip and was rewarded when she felt a drop on the tip. Smoothing it around and down under the hard shaft, Belle rose up on her knees to pull the jeans down. So intent on just doing that, Belle missed out on Shawn swinging her up and forcing her down on her back.

"Now, young lady, what did I tell you?" Shawn began as he let his hips drop to hers and covered her body. instinctively, Belle spread her legs wide to accommodate Shawn. She felt her hot core, open up as he used two fingers to spear her.

"Belle, you are driving me crazy tonight. You are lethal." Shawn continued the motion as he lowered his face to take nips of her skin. His face rasped against the soft tissues, the five o'clock shadow that he had shaved off before coming over in the afternoon, was back and leaving patterns of red on her skin. Moving his chin back and forth he latched on to one hard nipple and rimmed it with his tongue. Licking it over and over, but never taking it in his mouth, Shawn felt Belle claw his back with her nails as she came again. The shudders racked her body as she drenched his fingers. His name on her lips was filled with passion.

"Shawnnnnn , oooooohhh, Shawn,...." He quickly slid up and covered her lips with his own to keep the groan from being heard. Even though they were alone, Shawn knew that noises sounded louder in the dead of the night.

Catching her breath from the second climax, Belle rested her head on Shawn's broad chest. Her palm covered his heart, feeling it beat in time with her own, as it slowed from the race of that round of loving. And loving it was. Belle couldn't deny it any longer. It was like a song, waiting to burst from her lips. The words that had being building up and jumbling her mind for weeks were ready to be heard.

Raising herself up until she was propped on Shawn's chest with head pillowed on her folded hands, Belle looked Shawn in the eyes and said the words for his heart to hear.

"I love you Shawn Douglas." The soft sounds vibrated in his ears and nestled within his mind. Her soft lips sealed the spoken words, as she kissed him and repeated them against his mouth, as he gathered her close to his heart.

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