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Favourite Aunt 6Feeling completely relaxed in the warm, tingly afterglow of the best orgasm experience in her life, Jean felt different. The fog of satisfaction coated a dull but persistent feeling that something was different. It was easy to ignore however and shifted her attention back on the pictures and video Ben took of her. She felt like an exotic creature of the woods. Lying on the ground naked in the forest, her senses heightened, the mental wash of the high energy level of ecstasy experienced and the tingling throb between her thighs told her she lived out her fantasy of fantasies. She languished in her surreal state of mind not wishing to come out of it just yet. Thoughts of the storyline danced in her mind and she played it out from one scene to another. She started with her carefree walk in the forest. The sighting of a man and his sighting her. Her attempt to escape knowing what would happen if he caught her. The chase that ended in a kiss and a claim of her and the incredible, mind numbing experience of being taken and pleasured.Ben heard her sigh and looked over as she stared up into the trees. He smiled liking that little noise she made when she sighed like that. He was exhausted too but not so much as she, he knew. They had been laying there for nearly two hours now just enjoying doing nothing at all. They held hands and kissed now and then but nothing overtly sexual. That had been expended beyond their limits and now enjoyed the rest of the day without a care in the world. Or so she wanted to believe. Something was still tugging at her through the fog of the afterglow. She put it out of her mind again and promptly forgot it again. The day grew warmer and a gentle breeze wafted through the trees occasionally to cool their moist skin.”Ben, sweetheart?” she called softly to him in a dreamy tone. She raised a hand and twirled a lock of hair around her finger as her daydream continued to repeat itself in her mind.”Yes hon.” He said in soft low tone. He noted her playing with her hair.”Are you hungry?” she said. He wasn’t sure of the context of the question and feeling as tired as he was and seeing her in that dreamy distracted state wasn’t helping him any. He rolled onto his side and propped up on an elbow to look at her. She turned and gazed into his eyes and smiled warmly.”Where would you like to go?” he inquired. He hoped the question was ambiguous enough that her answer would give him a clue as to which direction she was thinking about. Without any hesitation, she gave her answer.”Home.” She said simply. This wasn’t exactly what he expected and tried again.”You want to go back to the cottage and get something to eat?” he asked. Again hoping for a more definite answer. He got one.”Sure. I’d like to get back and fix something for us.” She said. She perked up a little and looked over at him. “I know you’re hungry.” As if on cue, his stomach rumbled. She laughed that special laugh she had only for him.”See? I told you!” she grinned sitting and pointing to his stomach giggling. He conceded that he was. They got their things packed up and headed back to the cottage, arm in arm. They still hadn’t gotten around to putting on clothing.After arriving back at the cottage, Jean said she wanted to fix up something before she showered. She admitted to being a little naughty with wanting to feel the remnants of their encounter a little longer. She kissed him and said he should go ahead and shower first and his meal would be ready when he got out. She went to the sink and washed only her hands before fixing their meal.When Ben finished his shower, he came out to the kitchen with a towel wrapped around his waist. “What do you want to drink hon?” he asked. He turned and looked her way. Her mouth full, she raised her bottle of wine cooler and winked at him. He winked back and grabbed a beer for himself and sat down at the table to eat.They ate without speaking for a few minutes until a loud ‘BLEEP’ sounded from a radio on the breakfast bar. Jean jumped which he’d never seen her do before and figured she was lost in thought over her fantasy.”Have you been sneaking around my back about something?” Ben teased. Jean smiled an impish smile.”Jealous?” She giggled. Ben looked at her with a raised eyebrow then gave a little ‘pop’ on her ass with his hand. Her mouth dropped open and then gave him a seductive pout.”You never fed me before, naked.” He said dropping his gaze, eyeing her breasts with a lusty grin. She brought the sandwich to his mouth for another bite. As soon as he opened it, she stuffed it in, jumped up and laughing, ran for the bathroom and a shower. Ben recovered from the surprise of her unexpected retort too late to snag her and paddle her over his knee for it even though he was laughing himself with a mouthful of sandwich.After Jean finished her shower, she felt refreshed and energized now that she had the package to look forward to up at the house. She got dressed in her safari get-up and told Ben she had to go out and get a couple of things at the store before she came back. Ben offered to go with her and she said she could manage and asked if he’d be okay by himself.”I suppose I’ll survive well enough. At least I won’t starve.” He said sarcastically but smiled while he said it. She gave him a little punch in the gut for the effort.”Alright then. Is there anything you want me to get while I’m out?” she asked putting her arms around his middle. He kissed the top of her head as he enveloped her in his arms.”More wine coolers. We’re down to two.” He said. She turned her face up to his and they kissed. Pulling away, Jean stepped back, took a deep breath and turned to leave. He leaned against the wall and watched her get her things together to head back up to the house. Grabbing her shotgun last, she turned and pursed her lips in an air kiss to him and headed out to the old converted Baja racer. He followed her out onto the front porch and called to her.”Jean. Take the old driveway to the road.” He said.”The driveway entrance wasn’t put back in, remember?” she said as she put her things into the Puma.”When I was walking around by the shoulder, I saw a small gravel maintenance access ramp that will let you get back on the road. I think it was left over to get the construction equipment in and out from down where the bridge work was done. As you get to the end of the driveway, turn left and you’ll see the ground ramp up about two hundred feet from there.” He explained. Jean nodded and hopped in the Puma, harnessed herself in, turned the key and with a blown kiss to him, gunned it and took off flying down the old driveway. He stood there until she disappeared from view and the whine of the electric motor faded among the trees.Going back inside, Ben went to the bedroom and took off the towel. He put on a pair of gym shorts and his favorite ‘T’ with a picture of a vintage 19th century steam locomotive still operating in the Rocky Mountains of western Colorado as a tourist attraction. The shorts were comfortably loose but not baggy. The shirt was a little bit more snug around the chest and arms than the last time he wore it. He remembered when he first received it as a present from his mother. He went into the bathroom, brushed his teeth of the bits of his meal and took a look at himself in the mirror realizing he was more muscular than he was back then due to his working out since being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. He was trying to take care of himself and the fact that he was getting better at it showed. It’s been said that keeping a regimen is easier with a partner than by yourself. Jean having her own regimen to follow did make it easier.Back into the living room with his laptop bag he went and sat it down on the couch. He pulled the lap-desk from under the straps and set it on a cushion. Next he pulled the power supply out and found an outlet behind the end table and plugged it in. After getting situated on the couch he plugged in the cord to the rear of the laptop, opened up the lid, turned it on then waited. While waiting for it to boot, he reached into his bag to get his phone and when he couldn’t find it where he usually kept it, rummaged through the bag for a time. Satisfied it wasn’t there, he set aside the laptop and got up to search his large pack, small pack and his duffle in the bedroom. Remembering that he left it in his room up at the house and not in the cottage, he went to the kitchen and called Jean over the radio. She answered a few seconds later.”What’s up? Miss me already?” ‘blip’, she teased. He smiled and pressed the transmit button.”Of course!” he said cheerily then continued. “Actually, I left my phone on the nightstand in my room. Would you mind snagging it for me please?” ‘blip'”You big tease. You putting your phone higher than me on your list of ataşehir escort things to snag now?” ‘blip’, she said trying to sound hurt.”Only until I can hold you again. Can’t make love to a phone you know.” ‘blip’, he said.”Hmmm. You’d be surprised but I guess that’s a good enough reason. No problem. I’ll be sure to get it. Do you have the charger there with you?” ‘blip’, she asked.”I think it’s still on the charger so please bring that too if you don’t mind.” ‘blip’, he said.”What’ll you give me for it?” ‘blip’, she asked.”How about settling for a night out on the town Friday.” ‘blip’, he said. The pause was longer this time.”I’m back at the house. I think that would be fun! Friday it is then. See you when I get back.” ‘blip’He put the radio on the end table and sat back down on the couch and retrieved the laptop. Logging in and connecting to the internet with his air-card, he got started on the two weeks of neglected email and the investment portfolio.After getting through most of the junk mail, he settled in to read the more important ones. One from a carrier he was contracted with offered a month long dedicated contract haul between Charlotte, NC and Denver, CO. That was a good run by itself and quite a bit better if dedicated. He replied that he would have to pass on this offer as urgent family matters currently had him delayed from returning just yet. Giving his thanks, he signed it and sent it on its way and opened another regarding a land investment opportunity. This went on for nearly a half hour when a high pitched short scream pierced his thoughts like a dagger. He looked up and through the translucent curtains made out a person in the creek and appeared to be looking down at something. ‘When did Jean get back?’ he asked himself trying to figure out how he didn’t see or hear her come back to the cottage.Ben quickly put the laptop aside, slipped into his shoes and ran outside to see what was happening. As he got closer, a most exquisite looking dark-red haired woman was bending over in the middle of the creek looking at her right foot.”Hello there!” Ben called out not wanting to frighten the woman. He slowed to a careful walk as he stepped into the water so as not to splash her with each step. When she looked up to see who called out, she reached her right hand out to him. He glanced at it then looked to her right foot held by her left hand. He could see a thin red line and some blood. He reached out with his right hand thinking she was going to fall over but it was toward him, palm down, fingers spread. His fingers slid against hers, fingertip to fingertip. In that instant, he felt a kind of electric shock pass between them. It was a feeling he’d felt only once before in his life. Their eyes met for the first time and time seemed to slow. Without breaking eye contact with her, the image of this woman was instantly burned into his mind. Every detail of her oval face was in perfect clarity from her dark reddish brown hair to those incredibly beautiful green eyes to her red generous lips and every other detail in between. She seemed to glow and for an instant, every sound, every color every movement was vibrant and alive. Then the dream streaked through his memory and the face he saw for only a fraction of a second. As the realization slammed into him in that instant time returned to normal in a rush. He felt dazed. Still looking at her, she seemed to be also and thought she might be going to faint. Without another moment’s hesitation, he slid to her left side, leaned down and swept her off her feet lifting her into his arms to carry her. She reached instinctively around his neck for support as he carried her to the cottage. He was careful to watch where he was going but was also aware she was staring at him, her gaze never leaving his face. She didn’t speak a word until he carried her into the living room and gently laid her on the couch. He looked up as she let go of her hold around his neck and he saw her smiling a warm, gentle smile with eyes that sparkled like stars in the night sky. He paused as his brain tried to understand what was happening. Something felt familiar about those eyes but why eluded him. She had on a gentle smile that filled him with a warm feeling inside. He stood up slowly, somewhat embarrassed.”I’m sorry. I couldn’t help staring. I haven’t s…” he said cutting himself off before he would say something stupid then started again. “You’re hurt. May I take a look at it?” he said in a soft gentle tone. She nodded as her smile faded to parted lips as she looked down and extended her leg bringing her right foot up for him to see.Ben knelt, water dripped from both of them onto the floor but he didn’t care. He gingerly removed her flip-flop from her small foot. He gently, almost reverently, held her small foot in both his large hands to examine it. He saw a narrow cut on the inside, just above her arch and made a red line toward the ankle bone. It wasn’t bad but it had bled. He let go of her foot and looked up to her.”It needs to be cleaned. I’ll get something for it.” He said. She nodded and crossed her legs keeping her injured foot off the floor. He turned, heading to the bathroom.The woman watched Ben go. She didn’t look anywhere but the back of his head, hoping he would turn around. If he did, she would see his face and the fluttering in her stomach could start again. She reflected the moment they touched and she’d felt something akin to an electric shock. She had an instant clarity of his face and a dazed feeling a moment later from a memory….no, a realization she’d seen him before. She felt herself swept up into his arms and she remembered just reaching around his neck to keep from falling. She puzzled at why he would carry her. Did he think she was so injured she couldn’t walk? It stung to be sure but she didn’t have to be carried. The thought almost bred an indignant attitude when he came back out of, what she assumed was the bathroom, and the makings of that attitude vanished like vapor.Ben went to the woman’s left side as she had now crossed her right leg over her left to keep her foot off the floor. He took one folded towel and dropped it in front of him then knelt on it. He took a second towel and laid it down, reached over and gently lifted her left foot to slip the flip-flop off it. Holding it and the weight of her right leg on top was awkward but he managed to slip the second towel under it and set it carefully down onto the towel. He twisted and retrieved a shoebox and the damp washcloth to his left in easy reach. Taking the damp cloth, he placed his hand, palm up under her right foot and gently pulled it toward him. His senses were again heightened with the touch and he could barely make out the ghosting of blue veins underneath the woman’s slightly tanned creamy skin. He examined the cut and gently wiped the top of her foot starting at the outside of her ankle. In small, gentle wiping motions, he cleaned the sand that stuck to her skin. As he did, some of the particles stuck to the cloth and some fell to the towel beneath. He wiped the sole of her foot and she gasped and flinched. Her toes curled under and she drew her foot up slightly. He looked up with a concerned look and saw her smiling with her right hand in a fist pressing to her lips to stifle a laugh. Instead she giggled.”I am sorry Mr…” she paused waiting for him to give his name. He detected an accent.”Ben. Benjamin Alexander Logan at your service.” He said. He smiled up at her and she smiled back each looking into the others eyes.”I am sorry Mr. Logan.” She began again. Her words came with a light Russian accent. “I did not mean to startle you. You discovered I am tickled there.” She smiled warmly. “My name is Alexandra Ivonivan Petrovicha.” [Pronounced: Alex-an-drah, Ivon-i-van, Pe-troe-vika]Ben smiled at the missed word usage but didn’t correct her. “??? ?????????? ???????? ?????????? ???????.” (Your English is quite good.) He said in Russian. Her eyebrows went up and her mouth opened in surprise.”?? ???????? ?? ??????? ??????” (You know Russian?) she asked.”???? ????????.” (Only a little.) he replied. She sat back and stared down at him slowly shaking her head from side to side in unabashed astonishment. Ben gave her a half smile and returned his attentions to her injured foot.The cleaning done, he sprayed an antiseptic over the wound catching the excess that dripped from her foot onto the towel below. Cradling her foot in both hands as if it were made of glass, he gently blew on the wound with a long slow breath to dry the moisture so he could use the liquid band aid. He felt her shiver slightly and looked up to see her eyes closed. He blew on her foot again and turned his head slightly to direct the stream of air along ümraniye escort her arch from ball to heel. This got a stronger shiver. Really more like a shudder. He looked up again and saw goose bumps had appeared all over. Her lips were parted and head tilted back slightly. He did it again. This time purely out of curiosity and watched her shudder slightly again. He was enthralled that she was enraptured with this form of touching. It seemed all too clear to him this was a sensuous woman with an erogenous zone there and this action was quite inappropriate.The antiseptic was dry now. “Ahem.” He cleared his throat softly and as polite as possible. She flinched and sucked in a breath. He waited until he could see in his peripheral vision that she was looking at him again before he looked up and saw those gorgeous green eyes again.”It will be fine.” He said, in English. “All I need to do is apply the liquid band-aid and wait for it to set.””You have to blow on it to dry, yes?” she asked with the slight expression of fear and expectation. Ben nodded then looked beside him to reach for the tube.He opened it and between thumb and forefinger of his left hand and pinched the wound closed, though it really needn’t be done. He felt compelled to do everything perfect for this woman. Applying the liquid, Ben drew two lines on either side of the cut then down the length of the cut itself. He hoped this would make it flexible enough so it wouldn’t break open later. He paused and looked up at her face. She was sitting back with her jaw muscles taut and eyes closed. He wasn’t sure if she was in pain or steeling herself for a more controlled reaction to his touch on her foot.He blew on it but did not run the air stream up and down her arch. He blew at the liquid band aid four times slowly. Her little shiver betrayed her sensuous nature. He let go of her beautiful small foot and felt a kind of loss from not touching her as he sat back on his heels kneeling before her. He slid to her right and reached out to lift her left foot still with her right leg crossed over. Gently lifting and straightening her leg, he picked up the damp cloth and wiped her foot in the same gentle, almost reverent manner as he did the right one. He felt compelled to take care of this woman.Still holding her foot, he folded the towel he had placed under it to make a clean spot for him to set it back down on. He knew she was looking at him and didn’t look up.Alexandra watched as he cleaned her left foot with the same care and attention as the other. She enjoyed this man’s careful handling of her and the respect he gave. She wished she needed to be tended just to feel his breath on her foot. She had no idea she reacted this way. It was a most delicious feeling that sent shivers through her. She couldn’t help it even when she knew he would do it again for the band aid he blew on.”There.” Ben said laying her foot down gently on the towel. Her legs still crossed as he looked up at her. All he could focus on was her face. He didn’t want to look anywhere else. He felt he could live within the depth of those eyes and on the images of her face burned into his mind for the rest of his life. This he hadn’t ever felt before. Not even with his late wife when they fell in love or with Jean.Alexandra looked at him mentally noting that he never sat directly in front of her and always seem to watch her face. She noted too the significance of this as she uncrossed her legs, on purpose, and placed her right foot down gingerly on the towel he placed there for her as if she were something special. As she re-crossed her legs, left over right, his gaze never strayed. He looked to have something around him when she looked into his eyes. She couldn’t look directly at it. She could only sense something in her periphery. It was white. Her eyes grew wide and her mouth fell open. She realized his were growing too and abruptly shut her mouth and looked away. ‘Is he frightened or concerned or offended?’ she thought. He looked down and stared at her injured foot.Ben saw her eyes widen as she gazed into his and thought maybe he’d done something inappropriate or maybe she broke the cut open when she re-crossed her legs. His eyes grew wide in fear of those and looked at her foot to make sure of at least one of those concerns. He saw no blood and it was only a little pink around the edges but otherwise looked fine. He sighed silently.”Can I get you something to drink perhaps?” he said looking up. “I have beer, wine coolers, diet soda and ice water as well as some orange juice.””I would like to try a wine cooler if you do not mind.” She said. Her accent was music in his ears. He stood from his kneeling position thankful she wasn’t angry with him for anything and went into the kitchen to get her a wine cooler.Ben popped the tops off the bottles, took a deep breath and headed back to the living room. He looked at her again as she looked up and the same interest was there in her eyes. ‘Those eyes.’ He thought. Her hair was a radiant dark reddish brown that did not contrast so sharply with her skin as he thought it would. Her skin was a bit more olive like an Italian than what he thought anyone from Russia would typically have. He handed her a bottle and just kept looking at her facial features as he saw that she did as well.”So Alexandra.” Ben began. “I take it you are from the house up on the hill?” he said and looked out the window. She looked too see what he saw and smiled.”Yes. As much as I wish not to admit to it.” She said while still looking out the window, a little sadness shadowed her features.”Why would you hate to admit that? Looks like it would have a really nice view from the deck.” He said taking a swallow of the cool drink. Alexandra looked back at him.”Oh. Do not get me wrong.” She said. “I do love the view from there. It reminds me of my home when I was a little girl in the Ukraine at times. There was a meadow like the one here but much, much larger. When I went into it, I could imagine it went on to the horizon.” She said with a bit of a wistful look from the memories. Ben could imagine that as well like he did when he was at the beach or alone in the Rockies. When alone he could imagine he was the only one on Earth.”I feel a little like that sometimes myself when I think of the mountains I grew up in.” He admitted.”Where do you live Benjamin?” Alexandra asked taking a sip of her drink.”I’m living in North Carolina but I’m from Colorado originally.””You are here on holiday, yes?” she asked. He looked to her and saw a more interested look than inquisitive. He swallowed, trying to keep the butterflies in his stomach from getting too active again. ‘What the hell is wrong with me?’ he asked in his mind as he felt like a bashful school boy. He smiled.”I’m here visiting for a bit. I’d like to hang up the keys and quit driving so I decided to come here and look around for opportunities.” He said casually.”Hang up the keys?” she inquired. Realization dawned. “Ah! You drive a truck, yes?” She said then turned to look at him again.”Yes. And you?” Ben asked. “What do you do?”She settled a little deeper in the couch but her expression was a bit on the tense side as he saw her jaw muscles tense. He wondered if he went too far. “I am a property developer. I build multi-family housing units in the mid and upscale range as well as long term occupancy suites. My ex-husband and I built the house about three years ago when we were still married. We too were looking at a very good opportunity here.” She said. Ben nodding showing he understood. “He was a mean person and sometimes cruel. The lady that lives in the house behind this one received a few of his letters demanding she remove ‘her’ power line to this house. No doubt she believes I am guilty. I doubt too that she will ever come to visit because of it.” Alexandra said, her expression deteriorating into a little sadness as she looked down into her wine cooler bottle and fidgeted.”I don’t believe she’ll hold it against you if I’m any judge of character.” He offered. Alexandra looked up without expression.”How do you know this?” she asked, and there it was. The answer he gave severed his secret relationship with Jean. Forever. He knew he wouldn’t be able to keep it a secret knowing Jean and Alexandra surely would become good friends due to their common interests in building things.”She’s my Aunt.” He said. Alexandra looked a little surprised. He nodded and she smiled broadly.”I see.” She said. He saw her right eyebrow quirk slightly and her expression change to doubt then confusion and finally interest again when she looked back up at him.”How is your foot feeling Alexandra?” he said softly. She nodded slowly.”I believe you are a good nurse.””Actually, kadıköy escort Aunt Jean is a nurse. I learned a little first aid but nothing beyond that. So count yourself fortunate you aren’t at the mercy of anything more disastrous than a small cut.” He said. He felt the butterflies disintegrate and felt the taste of ashes in his mouth all of the sudden as his stomach sank.”Are you alright Benjamin?” she asked him in a quiet tone. Her change in demeanor as she asked the question jolted him out of his thoughts.”Oh. Yes. I’m fine. Just a few things on my mind is all.” He said then diverted the discussion back to her profession. “So you build apartments, condominiums and townhouses?” he asked trying to sound more cheery. She brightened at his inquiry.”Yes! I am in the process of working out a plan to build one near the auto factory.” She said.”The one on the Interstate?” he said. She nodded. “So corporate VIP’s can visit the plant and not have to stay too far away then. Sounds like a good idea. Just add a company shuttle, let the tours begin and watch the money start rolling in!” he said with a chuckle. She laughed too and took another drink of her wine cooler.Just then, the whine of an electric motor and gravel crunching came to their ears. Alexandra looked out the large window at the front of the house then looked at Ben. Ben smiled.”Aunt Jean has returned.” He said. Standing, he hid his discomfort in his stomach from Alexandra as he went to the door. Setting his drink down on the table next to an overstuffed chair, he walked outside to greet Jean.Jean saw him come out, smiled and waved. “Hi ya babe!” she said in a little coquettish tone. He smiled then went to her. When he was close enough, he stopped a pace from her and she closed the distance. They hugged and he kissed her cheek. When he pulled away, a little sad smile came across his face. When she saw this, she suddenly felt a heavy load hit her stomach.”We have a visitor. Come. I’ll introduce you to her.” He said as he picked up the two bags of stuff from the passenger’s side seat. She stood there and felt she now knew the answer to that nagging discomfort she’d felt since their fantasy earlier in the woods. She took her pack off the roof of the Puma and followed him into the cottage.He held the door open for her and she stepped in. She saw Alexandra sitting on the couch with legs crossed and sitting up straight.”You remember Alexandra Petrovicha, your neighbor on the hill?” he said trying to disguise his need to say more. When she didn’t react, he added, “You know. Her husband sent you some letters about the power line two years ago before they divorced?” he emphasized the word “two” a little. Understanding dawned and she smiled warmly stepping toward Alexandra. Alexandra stood, still favoring her right foot and offered a handshake greeting. Jean took it and they shook hands then pulled Alexandra into a quick little hug.”So nice to finally meet you!” Jean said happily. Ben watched Alexandra as she smiled and returned the greeting as if they had been old friends reunited. He took the bags into the kitchen and began to empty them, putting the drinks into the refrigerator. Forgetting his wine cooler, he popped a beer and a wine cooler and brought them to the living room where he picked up their conversation.”So Ben fixed you up.” Jean said. Alexandra nodded.”Yes he did. Your nephew did a good job.” Alexandra said. Jean’s stomach dropped when she heard her refer to Ben as her ‘nephew’. She tried hard not to let it show.”I saw someone was here and wanted to make a new acquaintance. I have not seen anyone living here and thought someone moved in. I saw your buggy out front and thought I would come down to meet you.” Alexandra said. Not entirely true but it was sufficient for the both of them. “Benjamin came out to see what had happened and brought me here. I hope you do not mind Ms. Logan.” She said, a little anguished.Jean waved her hand dismissing the thought and forced a smile. “Not at all. I can’t imagine how much more injured you would have been if you had to go back up that hill if Ben hadn’t been here. And, please, call me Jean.””Thank you Jean. Please call me Alexandra.” She said. They both looked up and Ben handed a wine cooler to Jean. She could tell he could see anguish in her eyes. He winked at her knowingly then smiled and gave a quick nod as he took a seat in the overstuffed chair.”So Alexandra.” Jean began. “Would you stay for supper? I’ve already got a cooked meal that Ben and I couldn’t possibly finish.” Jean said expectantly. Alexandra smiled and shook her head.”I would like to but I too have something in the oven that must be looked after. Perhaps another time?” she said.”That would be okay. Ben? Okay with you she come by later?” jean asked looking over to Ben sitting in the overstuffed chair. Ben was taking a swallow of beer then choked when she directed the question at him. His eyes opened wide as he tried to get his breath, coughing. Both of the women looked concerned and leaned forward toward him at the same time. Jean noticed Alexandra and sat back to watch the two of them.”Are you alright Ben?” Alexandra asked as she rose from the sofa and moved to him, concern in her voice. Ben nodded as he caught his breath and held up a hand to let her know he didn’t need any help. She ignored it and stood next to him and patted his back. He looked up and saw Alexandra’s expression. He smiled and coughed once more. Jean watched as her stomach started churning and rolling after noting Alexandra’s use of his nickname.”Yes. I’m alright.” He said nodding. Jean saw the way he looked at Alexandra and what his body language suggested. To her surprise, Alexandra did not relax until Ben stood.”Um. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll need to change my shirt. I’m not used to wearing my favorite ale.” He said looking at Alexandra smiling. Jean noted that and felt her stomach drop again. Ben looked to her and touched her shoulder giving it a little squeeze on his way to the bedroom. She relaxed a little but the lead ball in her stomach didn’t feel any lighter.”So Jean…” Alexandra started as she returned to the sofa. Jean turned her attention and put on a smile. “What do you do for a living. Ben said something about accounting and design?”Jean nodded and figured Alexandra had to have been there a while before returning to the cottage. “Yes. I own the local CPA office and do a little architectural design more as a hobby than a profession.” She said.”You do architectural design for entertainment?” Alexandra said raising her eyebrows a little. Jean nodded then blushed.”I’ve always liked to make buildings look more than just a big box with windows and doors.” She said.”You have built one or two, yes?” Alexandra inquired. Her expression was more serious now. Even expectant.Jean blushed a little harder. “Well.” She began. “One of my drawings came to the attention of a builder and he wanted to use it for a retirement home for people needing assisted living.” She said feeling her ears heat up.”Do not be embarrassed Jean! That is a wonderful accomplishment!” Alexandra said in a rush. “You must let me see it!”Taken aback, Jean started nodding. “Okay. If you feel that strongly.””Oh please. I forget myself. I am very interested in your designing talent. Perhaps we may collaborate on a project in the future, yes?” Alexandra said, eyes lit up. Jean was just about to answer when Ben entered the room.”Why are you interested in any of my work?” Jean asked ignoring Ben standing behind her.”Because Alexandra builds hotels.” Ben said. ‘A little too proudly.’ Jean thought. She turned in surprise and looked up at him. He smiled and bent over, giving her a light kiss on her cheek.Jean turned back to Alexandra. “You do?!” It was Alexandra’s turn to blush a bright shade of red. She nodded.”Benjamin is correct. I also build mid to upper scale apartments, condominiums and townhomes. Multi-family units are my specialty.” She said.”On top of that, she’s working on the hotel near the auto plant with full suites for the corporate bunch that come to town.” Ben said. Jean was amazed. Nobody came here to build anything. Not since the cotton mills closed. Jean had a new found respect for this woman. She was a professional and an accomplished woman with higher education. Knowing this gave her a sense of confidence and a type of camaraderie she’d wanted with other successful women but never had.Ben still stood behind Jean drinking a freshly opened beer while the women talked. Alexandra would glance at him as he watched her, fascinated. He felt a hand on his as Jean took it to get his attention. He looked down.”Hmmm?” he said.”I said would it be too much trouble to take Alexandra home. You know, her foot and all.” Jean repeated.”Oh! No. Not at all.” He said. He put his drink down on the breakfast counter then came over to Alexandra. She stood and he simply went to her and scooped her up in his arms like a princess. She wrapped her arms around his neck instinctively.”She can at least walk to the ATV you know.” Jean chided. Ben only smiled and started for the door. Jean got up quickly and opened the sc

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