AUTHORíS NOTE: This story is dedicated to a fellow voyage fan named Kim who happened to write something on the Seaviewís Onelist about milking cows in the state of Wisconsin. After communicating with her, the story was born. Then, as all stories go, it took on a life of its own. Hope you all enjoy it. Thanks Kim for the inspiration.

A WEEKEND IN THE COUNTRY
BY
CAROLYN BROWN

Harry was in a meeting with his accountants when Angie buzzed him. He wondered what was going on because she knew how much he hated interruptions.

"Sir, Tish just informed me that CJ will be landing at the Institute in about ten minutes."

"Are you sure, Angie?" He asked as excitement rushed through him. "She wasnít suppose to arrive for another week."

"All I know is what Tish said, sir."

"Thanks, Angie." Harry replied as he pushed the button on his intercom. One thing about the woman whoíd stolen his heart, she was full of surprises. He turned to his accountants and said they would have to reschedule. Before they had time to assimilate his news, he was out the door on his way to the heliport.

He arrived in time to see CJís flying sub getting ready to land. She was making her final pass and soon her engines were winding down. He stood back until she opened the side door. Then, he drew in a sharp breath at the sight of her. She was dressed in a special one-pieced, blue, J & Associates wetsuit which fit her body like a glove. Her long, light brown hair was lose and the sea breeze blew it back behind her.

When she saw Harry, her blue-green eyes brightened and a large smile appeared on her pretty face. Sheíd hoped he might be able to greet her. Thatís why she let Tish, NIMRís head of communications, know she was arriving. The last time they were together was on the mission to rescue her godson, Jean Claude Dupre. The mission was successful but during the rescue, their relationship became strained because of the independence sheíd asserted. Yet, Nelson wasnít able to stay angry with her nor she with him because of their feelings for each other. Secretly, he admired her logical approach to problems and how she ignored his fiery temper merrily waiting until he calmed down. That she was beautiful and had money of her own only sweetened the pot. She in return admired his genius and his love of the sea plus he had begun to fill the empty spot in her life. It didnít hurt that he was roguishly handsome and rich in his own right. However, the fact that they both had important roles, he the head of NIMR and she the President of J & Associates, limited their time together. Thus, her early arrival was a very nice surprise.

Seeing that they were alone, CJ walked up to him and put her arms around his neck. Then, she whispered softly, "Miss me, sailor?"

He responded by slipping his arms around her waist and pulling her tight against him. Then, he said softly, "What do you think, woman?"

"Well, I know you donít like surprises but I finished earlier than expected and couldnít resist coming on ahead. Hope you donít mind?"

He laughed lightly before he bent his head and kissed her soft lips. She returned his kiss with one of her own. Then, they walked arm-in-arm back to his car.

***

Later, that evening they sat in his bungalowís living room after enjoying one of Mariaís fantastic meals. CJ sat close beside Harry with her head laying back on his arm which surrounded her shoulders. He smiled when he noticed how she snuggled a little closer to him after he unconsciously tightened his arm. In response, he buried his face in her hair. Her surprise visit had caused him to cancel his entire afternoon appointments which would have to be rescheduled later in the week that was already crammed with other meetings. He thought she was planning to come later and wanted to clear his calendar to be able to spend more time with her. Knowing that she would be staying longer had really pleased him and thatís why he had decided to spend the rest of the day with her.

Maria walked in to ask her boss if he needed anything else before she retired for the evening. It made her feel good to see that CJ and he were comfortable enough with their relationship to not pull apart when she entered the room.

"Senior Harry is there anything else I can get for the two of you?"

He looked over at CJ who shook her head no. "Guess not, Maria, but thanks for asking."

"I second that, Maria," CJ replied with a smile, "and the dinner was delicious."

"Iím glad you enjoyed it. Now, I will leave the two of you to enjoy the rest of your evening."

After Maria left, they sat for a while longer and then drove to the beach for a short walk and a late swim. The moon was full and provided them with plenty of light. Harry laughed outright when CJ stated that he must have KNOWN she was coming and planned this perfect romantic evening for them. She grinned in response and pushed him under the water. They frolicked and played in the sea like a couple of kids before heading back for to the Institute.

Harry dropped CJ off at the small apartment she always used when she was at NIMR. Then, instead of heading back to his home, he went to his office. During their time at the beach, CJ had given him an idea. He called an old friend of his that lived a short distance from Santa Barbara and had a long conversation. As the head of J & A settled in for the night, the head of NIMR made plans for a romantic weekend getaway for the two of them. She wasnít the only one who could come up with a special surprise.

***

The hectic week passed slowly for Harry. He kept thinking about the coming weekend and the surprise he had planned for CJ. All he told her about it was to free her calendar for two days and that they would leave late Friday afternoon and to pack some casual clothes. When he mentioned casual, her blue-green eyes lit up and a large smile appeared on her pretty face. After seeing her reaction, his secret hope for the weekend might ACTUALLY occur.

While Nelson attended his meetings, CJ spent her days in an adjoining office busy with J & Associates business. One good thing about being the President of a salvage company, one could conduct business almost anywhere. When Harry had a break, he would spend the time with her. They always managed to spend their evenings together. Sometimes it was well past midnight before this occurred but neither seemed to care, just being together was enough for the two of them.

Finally, Friday afternoon arrived and Harry picked CJ up at her small apartment. After putting her suitcase in the trunk, he got back in the car and started the motor. It was a nice afternoon and he had put the windows down before picking her up. Now, the breeze entered the car blowing her long tresses back from her face. He reached over taking her left hand in his. She smiled in response and moved over closer to him.

"So, sailor. Youíre determined to keep our destination a complete mystery."

"Yes.... hope you donít mind."

CJ laughed with joy as she looked at his handsome face. "Just the fact that weíre incognito for two whole days is surprise enough..........and being in the country.........well.....you know how I feel about wide open spaces!"

Harry grinned at her reaction. Her laughter was bubbly like a fresh water brook. If just getting out of the Institute caused this type of reaction, he couldnít wait to see how she would respond when she found out where they were going.

After they were well away from the Institute, Harry stopped at a small roadside park. His first of many surprises was a late picnic lunch that Maria packed for them. When they finished eating, they strolled along a well trodden path exploring the small park taking their time just enjoying the quietness and each others company.

The sun was low on the horizon when Harry turned the car down a small side road. When CJ started seeing the farm animals and then the horses, she turned her head sharply to look at Nelson. However when the small country inn came into sight, tears filled her eyes and she leaned close to kiss his cheek.

Seeing her tears of joy, he stopped the car and pulled her into his arms for a short kiss. He was falling in love with this woman and hoped the weekend would be a beginning for the next stage in their relationship.

When he released her, CJ kissed him gently in return. Then, she turned back to look at the building silhouetted by the setting sun and replied, "Iím all for sitting here and making out, sailor, but we can do this any time. Iím eager to find out more about my surprise."

"Umm.....is that so, woman? Youíre saying my kisses arenít ENOUGH for you?" He said gruffly with a serious expression on his face while his eyes told a different story.

Her lips twitched as she tried not to smile knowing that he was having trouble as well keeping a straight face. Trying to sound demure, CJ bent her head and replied, "Iím sorry, Admiral. I didnít mean to imply that. Of course I enjoy your kisses and if you want to sit here for awhile...well...itís a small price to pay for my surprise."

Then, she slipped her arms around his neck and started to kiss him again but ended up giggling instead. He pushed her away gently and tried to look hurt but was soon shaking with laughter himself. When he was able to catch his breath, he restarted the car and drove the rest of the way to the inn.

He stopped the car in front of the hotel. However, he didnít get the chance to open the door for CJ because she was out even before he turned off the lights. Sighing inwardly, Harry got out himself and unlocked the trunk. Then, he turned around as the front door of the inn opened and his old friend came out to greet them.

CJ stood beside the car as she watched Harry shake hands with and then grab the arms of the man in greeting. He was slightly taller and was about the same age as Nelson but his hair was white as snow. The two of them were so glad to see each other that they temporarily forgot she was there. She smiled in understanding as they pounded each other on the back and laughed.

Suddenly, sensing that she wasnít alone, CJ turned sharply to see an attractive older woman standing beside her.

"Oh, my dear, I didnít mean to startle you. My name is Hannah Scott and that white haired man with Harry is my husband, Samuel Scott."

CJ stared at the woman for a second in surprise. Then, she held out her hand in greeting and responded, "Itís nice to meet you, Hannah. Iím Chameleon ŽJí but most people just call me CJ for short."

The older woman stiffened slightly when she heard CJís name. She looked sharply at her face wondering about the name and the features she saw before her. CJ noticed her puzzlement and started to explain but then, Hannahís husband decided at that moment to introduce himself.

While his wife talked to CJ, Nelsonís old friend had been observing her. He noticed immediately when she sensed Hannahís approach and how she reacted. Only a WELL trained operative had those reflexes and moves. Sam Scottís eyes locked with Harryís and they held demanding questions. "Why in the HELL had Harry brought one of the dreaded COMPANY to his home?" He relaxed in relief when Nelson shook his head no. "Then, who was she? Sure wasnít hard on the eyes and definitely was the youngest of them by far!" He decided to take the bull by the horns and introduce himself and see how she reacted to him. Heíd always had a talent of being able to size up a person immediately. It had saved his life many times in dangerous situations.

"Harry, weíre not being very sociable. Apparently, the ladies have already introduced themselves. To be honest, I canít wait to meet the woman whoís brave enough to put up with you." Then he walked forward, held out his hand and said, "Maíam, welcome to The Scottís Inn. My nameís Samuel Scott and Iíve known Harry longer than Iím willing to admit."

Sam had planned continuing on with the good old boy routine until he made up his mind about this attractive younger woman putting the moves on his old friend. However, that was before he met her face-to-face. When he shook her hand and his gray eyes locked with her blue-green ones, he drew in breath of genuine surprise. "For the first time in his life, his talent had failed him! The woman standing in front of him was a complete mystery. No matter how hard he tried, he wasnít able to read her!" Then, he grinned and nodded slightly in respect. It was very disconcerting to be on the other end for a change...she had just read him instead and, apparently, was satisfied because she acknowledged his nod with one of her own.

Then, she told him her name and EVERYTHING suddenly made sense. "Sam, Iím glad to meet you but donít like being so formal. As I just told Hannah, my nameís Chameleon ŽJí but my FRIENDS call me CJ."

Scott noticed the emphasis she put on the word friends and that her eyes twinkled with mischief when she told him her name. She even had the audacity to wink at him. Then, her expression changed completely to one of calm decorum before she turned back to Hannah. He stood with his mouth open in astonishment as he watched the woman walking with his wife toward their home.

Harry grinned at his old friendís reaction. "Come on, Sam. Help me get the luggage from the trunk. Oh, and I suggest you shut your mouth before a bug flies in!"

He glared at Nelson in mock anger and followed his suggestion. However, once Harry opened the trunk, Sam put his hand on his arm and growled out, "You couldíve at LEAST prepared me. Who in the HELL is she anyway?"

Harry looked at his old friend and his expression became serious. "Sam, Iíve been trying to figure out who she is ever since we met. All I can tell you is the more I find out the more I want to know.....and heaven help me........cause well....Iím falling in love with her."

Sam let go of his arm and looked at the woman entering his home. He glanced back at Harry who was watching CJ as well. "So, itís that serious?"

Nelson just nodded a silent yes and continued to watch her.

Scott shook his head in amazement and asked the dreaded twenty dollar question. "How, does she feel about you?"

Harry sighed and looked at the ground. "I know she cares about me but Iím not sure how much. Thatís why this weekend is so IMPORTANT for me!"

"Well, Hannah and I will do our best to help out and weíve already reserved the La Casa Cottage for the two of you. Itís our most romantic suite and guarantees complete privacy. The kitchen is well stocked so you can cook your own meals or join Hannah and me."

Nelsonís head shot up at Scottís mention of their most romantic suite. "DAMNIT, Sam! I wanted privacy but didnít want it to be THAT obvious to her. CJís sharp and I donít want to end up feeling like a fool if things donít progress in that direction if you get my meaning."

"Donít worry, Harry. Our La Casa Cottage is almost an exact duplicate of the original located in Santa Barbaraís Glenborough Inn located on 1327 Bath Street. When the owners found out how much Hannah and I loved it, they gave us permission to use the design when we built the inn. Ours has its own entrance and all of the amenities found in a home. Youíll have your own small living room. Thereís two bedrooms with queen sized beds and each has its own full bath and shower. Weíve pre-stocked the fireplace and as I said, if CJ likes to cook, thereís a complete separate kitchen and dining area for your use. So, just relax, old friend. Hannah and Iíve covered all of the bases."

Nelson sighed in relief and grabbed his suitcase while Sam got CJís. After Harry shut the trunk and they were walking to the inn, Sam couldnít resist asking, "Does CJ like farm animals?"

"Well, Iím not sure. However, I know she has three bottle-nosed dolphins because Iíve met them personally. Also, recently I found out by accident that she owns a Palomino stallion who gets along with her two wild wolves."

"WHAT?" Sam stuttered out as his foot caught on a stone and he nearly fell.

Nelson grabbed his arm and held him until he regained his footing. Then, he grinned and replied, "Yes, they were part of the act Seamen Stu Riley and she presented at the Charity Benefit for Sister Angelaís orphanage. Also, youíre lucky weíre going indoors cause your mouthís wide open again. How do you keep doing that without swallowing any of these small gnats thatís flying around our heads?"

Sam jerked his arm free and stomped off toward his house with Harryís loud laughter following him all the way inside.

***

The next morning at the crack of dawn, Harry was serenaded awake by a rooster crowing his greeting to the rising sun. He groaned and covered his head with a pillow thinking evil thoughts about various ways to cook chicken. Then, the most delicious smells invaded his room. He uncovered his head and looked over at the pillow next to his. "God, what he wouldnít give to see CJís beautiful hair covering that pillow at this very minute! If he was lucky, it would be before they left the inn." He lay there for a while longer daydreaming before he headed to the shower.

He entered the kitchen later to find CJ finishing up a scrumptious looking breakfast for the two of them. She turned to face him with a plate in each hand. He grinned and took the dishes from her before giving her a cheerful kiss good morning. He drew it out enjoying every response his mouth received from hers.

When their kiss ended, CJ kept her arms loosely around his neck and gazed into his sky blue eyes. "He was so handsome and she cared so much for him. It would so EASY to let her guard down completely and tell him. Maybe before they left, she would get the courage to SHOW him instead. For now, she decided the man needed to know he couldnít continue to keep kissing her like this without paying the consequences."

Harry groaned in surprise when CJ returned his kiss with a passionate one of her own. He tightened his arms around her and took his time releasing her when it ended. They were both visibly shaken by the turn of events and CJ feared she had went too far in letting her guard down.

She tried to defuse the sexual tension between them by saying weakly, "Harry, our breakfast is getting cold."

He stared hungrily at her mouth and growled out, "To HELL with the breakfast!" Then, he kissed her again but this one was like their very first kiss, hard and demanding. However, this time it wasnít because of built up frustration but a realization that he was deeply in love with her. It had been building ever since that day on the beach when he had lapsed and forgot himself while rubbing suntan lotion on her back. That day CJ was able to defuse the situation by pouring a chest full of ice water over him but today that wasnít available.

CJ felt like all reason had left her. All she could think of was the man kissing her. When his lips pressed hard against her mouth, she moaned and opened it deepening their kiss. However, when his hands started to roam, she stiffened slightly sending a message to the man who loved her. Then, as hard as it was for him, he got himself under control and slowly ended their kiss.

Hoping he hadnít went too far too soon, he whispered against her hair, "CJ, Iím sorry. I didnít mean to......."

CJ stopped his apology by placing her fingers against his lips. "Donít, Harry. Thereís no need. We both just got a little carried away with the moment." Feeling him start to pull away from her, CJ tightened her arms briefly around his neck and smiled saying, "That doesnít mean Iím not open to continuing this at a later date, sailor. However, not just after I slaved over a hot stove cooking us breakfast! Now, letís eat before it gets cold."

Unable to stop himself, Harry grinned and followed her orders. Now, he knew that CJís feelings for him were as serious as his for her. She just needed more time.

***

After breakfast, they headed out to the barn. The night before, Sam and Hannah had found out that CJ loved animals and invited her to join them the next morning to help milk the cows. Sam had kidded Harry about trying his hand at milking and heíd reluctantly agreed. Now, dread filled him as they approached the barn.

CJ had also asked Sam about the horses and her face glowed when he said she could have her pick of his mounts. Now, as they approached the outer building, her eyes searched the pastures looking for the strawberry roan stallion that Sam had told her about. The horse was his finest and the most spirited. However, the animal disliked wearing a saddle. This fact didnít bother her in the least. She preferred riding bareback and told Sam she would like to try and see if the horse took to her. Heíd shrugged his shoulders and said it was up to her.

When they entered the barn, Hannah had just finished milking one of their Jersey cows and was leading her back to the lot close by. Sam was busy milking another cow and waved to them before finishing up.

When he approached them, Harryís attention was still on the cows. Sam grinned and asked, "Are you two ready to try your hand at milking one of our beauties?"

CJ nodded enthusiastically and took the empty bucket the man offered her. Harry hesitated and said he would watch for awhile before he tried to milk one of the large animals. Sam laughed good naturedly and told his old friend where to stand out of the way. Harry did as he was told and watched the three of them milk.

As time passed, he became more comfortable and decided to milk one of the large beasts. Much to his surprise, he found it quite easy to squeeze the cowís teats with his hands and get the milk out. CJ stood by watching him as he filled the bucket sitting under the cow. When he finished, he stood holding the bucket while Hannah led the animal out. It was the last one to be milked and Sam was almost finished with his.

Harry glowed with pride when CJ smiled at him from the gate she held open for Hannah. Suddenly, her face filled with concern and she started toward him.

Then, Sam yelled, "Harry, look out!"

He turned in time to see a large billy goat barreling down on him. For a second, he froze not sure what to do. Then, instinctively he stepped back quickly and as a result, lost his footing and sat down hard in the hay. Remarkably, he still held on to the bucket of milk, spilling only a small amount. Luckily, for Harry, the bucket served as a shield between him and the goat and saved him from serious injury. However, when the animal hit the bucket with his head, it flew up in the air and came down over Nelsonís head spilling the milk all over him.

CJ reached Harry first and pulled the bucket off his head. When she asked him if he was alright, he just sat there stunned by what had happened not saying a word. However, when she asked him again, he heard a few of her words and shook his head back and forth trying to clear the milk out of his ears. Then, he started to remember what had happened. Feeling utterly humiliated, he rubbed his hands across his eyes trying to wipe the milk off so he could see. When CJ reached out her hand to help him up, he slapped it away and stood up by himself.

CJ ignored his reaction to her offer of assistance figuring something might be wrong. So she placed her hand on his arm and asked gently, "Harry, are you sure youíre not hurt?"

He jerked away from her and growled out, "DAMNIT, CJ, just leave me alone! Iím humiliated enough as it is without you RESCUING me once again!"

Stunned, she stood in silence looking at him. Then, she turned away from him and walked in the direction of where the goat had headed after butting the bucket. Seeing that Hannah was assisting Harry, Sam hurried after her afraid of what she might do.

When he rounded the barn, he found CJ standing facing the old goat. She held a short piece of rope in her hands that she had found laying on the ground nearby. She was murmuring softly to the animal in a language Sam didnít understand. At first, the animal just shook his head and acted as if he was going to charge at her. However, as she continued to talk, the goat became calmer and stood still. Then, she approached him slowly reaching out her hand letting him pick up her scent. Soon, she was able to tie the rope around the goatís neck and lead him back to his pen.

Sam had stood watching her calm the goat and was amazed by what he saw. "Harryís lady was definitely an unusual individual!" He figured she would head back to the inn to have it out with Harry but she just looked briefly at the house and then, headed back into the barn. She entered the tackroom and picked up a saddle blanket, pulled a halter and a short rope from the tack wall, and headed back outside. She stood there for a few minutes getting her bearings looking sharply in the distance. Then, she walked over to the wooden fence surrounding the horse pasture and crawled over it.

Wanting to help, Sam followed her and said, "CJ, you must know Harry didnít mean what he said. He was just upset. Iím sure heís already kicking himself for behaving the way he did."

She ignored him at first continuing to look off into the distance.

Sam sighed and replied, "I thought youíd be used to his temper by now. Maybe you arenít the woman for him, after all."

CJ slowly turned to face Sam. The look in her eyes sent chills down his spine. Her voice was void of emotion as she stated, "Mr. Scott, you know as well as I do that Harry meant every word he said to me. As for if Iím the right woman for him, thatís something Iím going to have to decide for myself. Now, please excuse me. I intend to find your strawberry roan and go for a ride."

"What should I tell Harry?"

"That Iím going for a ride."

"Any idea when you might return?" Sam asked filled with worry after seeing her emotional state.

"When I have made my decision."

"CJ, maybe I should go with you since youíre not familiar with the area. Wouldnít want you to get lost or hurt and have to form a search party to find you."

She had started to leave him but stopped after his last statement. She smiled at him and said, "Mr. Scott, you donít have to worry about me. Iíve spent months at a time living in the wilderness with my tribeís wolf pack."

Surprise crossed the older manís face. Then, he nodded good-bye to her and headed in the direction of the inn. CJ looked at the building wondering if she was making a mistake not confronting Nelson and demanding an apology. "No. He needed time to cool down and she had a decision to make. Hopefully, a long ride would help her do it."

***

Hours passed and CJ didnít return. Harry became worried and spent half of his time walking the floor inside the inn and the rest outside looking in the direction where she disappeared in the horse pasture. He kept kicking himself mentally for being such an ass. "How could he have pushed her away from him when all she wanted to do was help him?" However, heíd meant what he said at the time and there was no way he could take it back. CJ always seemed to be rescuing him or someone connected to him. "But how could he ask her to change? God! Her loyalty to the ones she cared for was one of the many things he loved about her! Sam had said she was not coming back until she made a decision. About what, he wasnít sure cause the man wouldnít elaborate."

Finally, he couldnít take it any more and hurried inside to tell Sam he was going to look for her. Scott met him at the door dressed in a light hat and coat and carried spares for him. Harry placed the cap on his head and slipped the jacket on as they hurried to Samís truck. He was about to shut his door when he saw CJ appear in the distance. She walked slowly and carried something large on her shoulders. Sam saw her too. He started his truck and drove up to the pasture gate, stopping to let Harry out to open it. Then, after he got back in, they headed up to meet the woman. Alarm filled both men when the truckís headlights hit her. She was covered with mud and blood from head to toe and she carried a baby horse around her shoulders.

Harry was out his door even before the truck stopped and Sam was close behind him. CJ appeared exhausted but calm as she stood facing the two men. She started to say something but the horse wiggled and let out a pitiful bleating sound. Her hands tighten around its long legs and didnít let go until the baby stopped moving. Nelson helped her reposition the animal on her shoulders while Sam fixed a bed for it in back of his truck.

His eyes filled with tears as he worked...Hannahís mare had to be the mother for she was the only one far enough along to give birth this soon...he hoped for her sake the horse hadnít suffered too much.

After the baby was settled in the truck and covered with the blanket, CJ turned to her host and said, "Sam, the birth was breach and the Appaloosa mare is laying with her back downhill. Sheís too exhausted to get up on her own and the areaís really muddy. Itís going to take a block and tackle to get her to her feet. I covered her with my saddle blanket but she still might get a chill if we donít hurry back to her. I suggest we......."

CJ wasnít able to finish what she saying because Sam Scott let out a whoop of joy as he picked her up and enveloped her in a big hug of thanks. When he finally let her down and stopped acting like a madman, they drove back to the barn. Harry offered CJ his coat before they started back. She accepted it in silence and then crawled in back with the baby horse. When she did this, it was like a kick in the teeth. He turned away and got inside the truck cab closing the door behind him. He gripped the console with his hands and stared out into the twilight.

Before they reached the barn, he said in a voice filled with defeat, "CJís decisionís was about me, wasnít it, Sam?"

Sam glanced quickly over at his old friend seeing the pain written on his face wishing he could avoid answering him.

When he didnít answer him right away, Nelson looked over at him and choked out, "Please, Sam! I need to know."

Sam sighed and replied, "Iím sorry, Harry."

Nelson took in a haggard breath of pain and leaned back against the seat. The rest of the short journey passed in silence. He stood watching as Hannah gave CJ her own warm hug of thanks before he helped Sam load the block and tackle into the truck. Then, CJ sat between them in the truck cab to guide them back to the mare. Neither man suggested that she stay in the truck knowing it wouldnít do any good. While they worked, she consoled the mare and kept her quiet.

It took two hours to get the horse safely out of the mud and back to the barn. The vet had arrived and was in the middle of examining the little filly when Sam lead the trembling mare into the stable. Harry and CJ stood quietly by while the man examined the mare. Hannah was down on the barn floor beside the baby. Her face was one of utter happiness as she continued to wipe down the fillyís sides doing what her mother wasnít able to do.

Seeing that everything seem to be under control, CJ slipped silently out of the barn and headed back to the inn to clean up. She stopped half way there and looked up at the twinkling stars filling the night sky. A new life had struggled to enter the world that day and sheíd been lucky enough to help make it a success. She sent a silent prayer of thanks to The Great Spirit and then asked for additional strength to make the right decision.

***

It was nearly three in the morning before Harry entered their suite. CJís bedroom door was closed as he expected. He sighed and walked to his own room. He felt as if something inside him had died. He didnít bother to close his own door but stripped and entered the shower. He stood a long time letting the hot water hit his body. When he couldnít take any more, he shut the water off and dried down wrapping the spare towel around him. He brushed his teeth but decided he was too tired to shave.

He shut off the light and let his eyes adjust to the dark before he re-entered the bedroom. The patio curtain was pulled open and bright moonlight lit up the side of the room near the patio door leading to the outer balcony. CJ stood outside facing away from him. The moonís light outlined her body showing him that she wore nothing underneath her sheer robe.

Harry gasped and then groaned shutting his eyes trying to blot out the sight that would never be his. But then, he weakened and looked again at the beautiful woman standing just beyond his reach. Suddenly, she turned in his direction and Harry stepped back hoping she hadnít seen him. He nearly stopped breathing when she opened the patio door and stepped inside his room. She stood facing him as if waiting for some sign. Then, all he could hear was the loud beating of his heart as she loosened her robe and let it slip to the floor. With eyes filled with love, Chameleon Jewels 'J' walked up to Harriman Nelson and slipped her arms around his neck and kissed him.

The next morning, Harryís wish had come true. He awakened to find CJís long hair covering the pillow next to his.

The End (To be continued)

Please send comments about this story to: CSBrown@facstaff.wisc.edu

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