Wes Boyd's
Spearfish Lake Tales
Contemporary Mainstream Books and Serials Online

Growing Together
Book Six of the Dawnwalker Cycle
Wes Boyd
2008, 2011

Chapter 9

The big, comfortable bed looked good to Jon and Tanisha as they came in the door well before dawn. They immediately stripped off their clothes and put the mattress to good use -- just sleeping this time, although it got some more-active use later in the morning after they woke up. It had been several days, a long dry spell for them, one of the longest they'd ever had, so that made it even more fun and exciting than usual, though just straight making love, with no roles or fancy stuff.

Neither of them was anxious to get up and get moving; both were perfectly willing to just lie in bed and enjoy the warm afterglow. It had been a long week and it was good to have it behind them; now they could just touch and caress and tease, enjoying the wonder they shared in each other. As was often the case at such times, Jon had a hand on the more reachable of Tanisha's bare breasts, massaging it lightly, kneading it a little, twiddling her large, dark nipple. "You sure enjoy that, don't you?" she almost purred.

"About as much as you do," he replied in a voice not much louder than a whisper, not the least that her ear was only a couple inches away, and until a minute or two before, his tongue had been gently tickling her ear lobe. She loved that, and he loved it too, not the least for seeing and feeling the nearly involuntary squirms and moans of delight that resulted from doing it to her.

"You know I do," she whispered back. "Oh, God, Jon, it feels so good, it's almost better than ever. I don't know why it is, Jon, but today it feels like you could bring me off just by playing with them, nothing more."

"Want me to try?" he smirked, not that he hadn't spent a good share of his time since they'd woken up playing with those wonderful things, round and dark and firm and yet so soft and incredibly sensitive.

"Would I have said it if I didn't?" she teased.

"Tanisha, you're insatiable," he snickered. This was an old, old joke with them, one that reached clear back to the first night they'd spent together -- but one that still had plenty of meaning and power between the two of them.

"Yes, I am," she grinned. "But you taught me to be."

Without words, just from knowing each other so well, they squirmed around into a position where she lay partly on her back against him, so he could reach a breast with each hand, but still reach an earlobe with his tongue. If she twisted around enough he could also reach her mouth, and she went to that effort. Once again that morning, their lips met and their tongues entwined, as his fingers went to work on her breasts and nipples. And yes, she was turned on by these activities this morning, not that this was an infrequent occurrence with them. She squirmed and giggled and moaned at the sometimes gentle, sometimes powerful touch of his hands, her body nearly totally out of control. Her breathing became labored, her breaths coming shorter and shallower; Jon knew from his long experience with her that she was getting close. He threw his free leg around one of hers, just to increase the skin to skin contact, and all of a sudden she was there, her body giving off a series of short jerks and moans, making him happy that he could once again bring her such pleasure.

"That was . . . incredible," she panted afterward, pulling herself back together. "God, I love that! Jon, you turn me on so much . . ."

"You turn me on too, babe," he whispered. "Want to try it again?"

There was silence for a moment. "Maybe we'd better give it a little break," she said finally. "God, I really love it! I wish you could do it to me all day, but they're actually a little bit sore. Maybe we'd better not overdo it. Would you like me to do something to you?"

"I'd love it," he smiled. "However, I really hate to say this, but maybe we'd better knock it off, or else we're going to lie here in bed all day and never make it up to Flag."

"Yeah," she sighed, reality crashing down around her, "That's not all we have to do, either. We really should call Stan at home and let him know what's up with Jennlynn."

"True," he said, "And we probably ought to call Mom and let her know we're coming. If the whole damn crew has gone off skiing some place or something like that it would be a wasted trip. Besides, we don't know that Crystal and Preach are back yet."

"They ought to be back," she replied. "They were supposed to get off that boat a week ago, so they've had plenty of time to drive back."

"Yeah, but something could have come up. They could have gotten roped into doing another presentation at some church or something. I didn't even call up and let Mom know we were going to be gone. Everything happened so fast it never crossed my mind."

"Mine either. At least we thought to call Ben and Joy. Maybe we ought to call over and see if we can set up something with them, maybe tomorrow night, maybe the first of the week."

"Not a bad idea," he agreed as he cupped her breasts in his hands, not wanting to let go of her. "It's late enough now that if we go up north today we'll probably wind up spending the night with Mom and Al, so maybe we'd better get that tacked down first."

"Yeah, you're right," she said, lying back down against him, just glorying in the mutual joy of being held. A couple minutes went by before she added, "Jon?"


"You're going to have to let go of me if we're going to get up."

"Suppose I don't want to let go of you?"

"Fine with me," she said. "But I'm just a little curious about how this is going to go up in Flag."

"Yeah, me too," he agreed, reluctantly removing his hands from her breasts. "Shit, I guess all good things have to come to an end."

"Maybe it's just as well," she sighed, no more enthusiastic than he was about his hands coming off of her body. "We really ought to take a break. I really hate to say it, but I'd like to knock off the titty play for a little while, anyway."

"Still sore?"

"Yeah, a little," she said, sitting up. "You've been using them pretty hard. Don't get me wrong, I love it and I'd love to have more, but there's no point in overdoing it. I think we'd better get a shower and get dressed."

Back when they'd first signed the lease on their townhouse they hadn't really taken a good look at the place, but one of the things they had looked at was the shower. It was a separate shower stall, not a tub, which showed how cheap the place was, but it was adequately sized, had good water pressure and a big water heater, all of which had been a major selling point. At that time they'd been together for two years and had rarely lived in a place with a decent shower. Even though they both dearly loved showering together they'd rarely had a chance to do it before then, but now they almost always did, unless they were in a big hurry to go someplace. They'd learned that actually having sex in the shower could get at best awkward, but that didn't stop them from enjoying many other sensual pleasures that could be derived from the contact of wet, soapy skin. Jon especially found the sight of the wet soap bubbles on her black skin was fascinating, a sight that the finest painter could not have managed, and while they had to be getting moving today, they were in no hurry about it.

Eventually they knew they had things to do, so they got out of the shower and dried each other thoroughly and sensually. After he helped her dry her hair, as he often did, they headed to the bedroom to get dressed. The two of them always dressed pretty casually for the office, usually slacks and white shirts, but they dressed even more casually for the time off, especially when they knew they were going to Flagstaff, where everybody in the family dressed Western casual all the time. Without discussion they agreed that jeans and sweat shirts seemed to be about the right thing for today. Jon pulled out some underwear and a T-shirt, and turned, as he often did, to watch without comment the wonderful sight of his wife getting dressed.

As she normally did, Tanisha fastened her bra in front of her, spun it around and put her arms through the shoulder straps. "Damn," she commented. "I guess you really did play with them a little too much. Even this bra seems uncomfortable."

"Yeah," Jon said after looking for a moment with a critical eye, "Looks a little snug to me."

"It shouldn't be," she sighed. "This is one of my good ones, I know it. Maybe it's just that I'm a little more sore than I thought."

"Could be," Jon shrugged, not worrying about it as he got up and headed to the closet for a pair of clean jeans. "I'm thinking maybe a flannel shirt instead of a sweat shirt in case it gets warmer."

"It may get warmer here but it won't up in Flagstaff," Tanisha pointed out. "It's still winter up there."

"Yeah, I suppose you're right," he agreed, pulling on the jeans. "Doesn't matter, I guess. We need to pack to stay overnight, so I can throw in a lighter shirt just on general principles."

It took them a while longer than usual to get around, since they were just getting home from several days away. They consolidated things from two small suitcases into one, threw in some spare clothes, and headed downstairs. "It's late enough that we might as well eat here before we leave," she said. "I can make something while you call Stan and your mother. Soup and sandwiches all right?"

"Fine with me," he said, pulling out his cell phone and punching the auto-dial button for his mother in Flagstaff.

The phone only rang a couple times before his mother picked it up and announced, "Canyon Tours."

"Mom," he said. "I didn't think I called the office."

"You didn't," she said. "We have the office line switched over to home. I'm just making lunch."

"Same here," he replied. "Are Crystal and Preach back yet?"

"Yes, they blew in Thursday night, all sunburned and happy," his mother replied. "Most of all, they're just glad to be back."

"I imagine," Jon said. "That church stuff has to get old in a hurry." Jon knew all about that. While Preach was still a minister, he was on an extended and possibly permanent leave from his position as an associate pastor of Glen Hill Road Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. However, through much of December and January he and Crystal had been making a tour of churches, mostly in the Southeast, talking about the Grand Canyon and their adventures there, both physical and spiritual. Along with that, they'd spent a good deal of effort at spreading the good word at church groups and outdoor shows about taking a trip with Canyon Tours down the Grand Canyon. The problem, Jon and Tanisha had long agreed, was that Crystal and Preach had taken off on the trip the morning after their wedding, and that meant their honeymoon had mostly been spent traipsing from one church to another. Only after the first of the month had they spent two weeks on a sailboat in the Bahamas for their "official" honeymoon. A hell of a honeymoon, Jon had often thought until he realized that his and Tanisha's honeymoon had mostly consisted of watching a couple shows in Las Vegas before getting back on the road.

"I think they're just about as happy to have it over with for the winter," his mother said. "I don't know if they're going to do it for another year, and I don't think they do, either. Anyway, Al and I are going to have them over for dinner tonight. I know it's a long drive, but you and Tanisha might like to come."

"Yeah, that's why I called," Jon replied. "Is Nanci going to be there?"

"Almost certainly," his mother said. "I'm guessing that we're going to be getting part and parcel of Crystal and Preach's epic tour, and she'll want to be here for that."

Once again, the knowledge of the woman that Nanci was today was conflicting with the memory Jon had of her as a teenager. Before the family fell apart, back in their old home in Glen Ellyn on the outskirts of Chicago, the only way to have kept Nanci around for something like that would have involved chains and padlocks. "Good deal," he said. "We're on our way up. We haven't had lunch yet, so it'll be on the far side of three hours before we can get there."

"It'll be good to see you," his mother said. "We haven't seen each other since Christmas. I tried to call you earlier in the week but all I got was your answering machine."

"We were out of town, Lambdatron stuff," Jon said truthfully, knowing his mother wouldn't pry into the details of that -- she knew that he and Tanisha did a lot of classified work. That was just as well; knowing that everybody would be at Al's meant he didn't have to spill the beans about his father until everyone was present. "It came up in a big hurry, and we didn't have time to call," he added.

"Well, it happens," she said. "I presume you heard about Jennlynn?"

"Couldn't help hearing about it," Jon replied, not wanting to get into that discussion. He knew his mother had met Jennlynn several times, once at a Thanksgiving dinner held there in the townhouse; Al knew her even better, from Jennlynn having taken a trip down the river with him years before. "That's part of why we had to leave in a hurry."

"Well, I suppose you'll tell us all about it, what you can tell of it, that is," his mother agreed. "I'll break out another couple steaks and get them thawing."

"Good enough," Jon replied. "Mom, we'll be seeing you in somewhere around three hours." They exchanged a couple other lines of little importance before they hung up.

"I take it that it's on?" Tanisha said from near the stove.

"Yeah, couldn't be better, the whole herd is going to be at Al's," Jon nodded. "And they're having steak, so you know what that means."

"Darn right," she smiled. "There isn't a steakhouse in Phoenix that does it better. I noticed that you didn't tell your mother anything about your father."

"No, I didn't," he shrugged. "Since we're going to have the whole group there I want to just tell it once. Tanisha, this could be hard, especially on Mom, and I don't want to let it out in bits and pieces."

"You're saying you think your mother is going to feel guilty about leaving him?"

"Yeah, that's it exactly," he said. "Not that she didn't have every justification in the world for doing it given what she or anybody knew at the time, but there are going to be might-have-beens. I know, since I've been having them myself."

"It worked out in the long run," she replied, stirring the soup in a saucepan on the stove. "We've talked about that before."

"I know," Jon sighed, "But it's not keeping me from feeling a little guilty about it anyway, and I'd expect it will be worse with Mom. Maybe I'm just worrying about it too much."

"You probably are," she replied reasonably. "It's all part of the surprise, and you haven't gotten over it yet. Now, don't worry about it or it's just going to make it worse."

"You're probably right," he sighed, turning to the cell phone again. "I guess I'd better call Stan while I'm thinking about it."

It only took a few seconds to get Stan on his cell phone, partly because Stan wasn't the kind of guy who turned his back on his company over the weekend. While other people had been involved with him in the creation of the company, when you got right down to it, Lambdatron was his baby and he treated it like one. "Well, I was wondering if I was going to hear from you today," he said. "Especially after the phone call I had about you last night."

"What phone call was this?" Jon asked.

"The one complaining about how rude and obnoxious one of our employees had been to some alleged news people last night," Stan almost laughed.

"Was it the guy I had thrown out of the press conference, or about the rant I threw at some airhead blonde bimbo in the lobby afterwards?"

"I think it must have been the second one," Stan replied, clearly laughing now. "The guy who called played a clip of it over the phone. Something about, 'The whole damn bunch of you can go straight to hell for all I care.'"

"That's not exactly what I said, but that was sure what I meant," Jon replied, bristling just a little. "I sort of spoke my mind there a little bit."

"If it'll make you feel any better, I told the guy that not only did I endorse every word you said, but you said it better than I could. You better watch that stuff, Jon, or I'm going to wind up shifting your supplemental shareholder duties over to public relations."

"No, no, a thousand times no!" Jon laughed, the entire tone of the conversation changed. "Anything but that!"

"Well, after this week that pretty well said what I wanted said, anyway. It's dying out a little now thanks to Griz, who's had to be about as direct as you were a couple times, but I'm afraid it's going to heat back up when Jennlynn comes back to work. Do you have any idea when that's going to be?"

"I don't think this week," Jon replied, making a mental note to not mention Will -- Jennlynn had specifically asked him not to mention Will to Stan. "We flew back in Songbird last night, and she headed up to that ranch in Nevada where she goes sometimes. She was talking staying another few days, she didn't say how long, but I think she'll contact you before she comes back."

"Well, I hope she does," Stan replied. "I sure as hell would hate to lose her over something like this."

"She told me to tell you, and I quote, 'I could give up the Redlite if I absolutely had to, but I don't want to have to give up Lambdatron.'"

"Well, that's good to know," Stan replied. "To tell you the truth, Jon, and you can tell Tanisha but no one else, I don't want her to have to give up the Redlite until it's her decision to do it. She gave it up for Lambdatron once before, and the results were not pretty. I mean, you think she can get bitchy now? You don't have any idea of just how bitchy she can be, but everybody who was at Lambdatron in those days knows."

"I've heard stories," Jon said.

"'Legends' might be a better word," Stan laughed. "Changing the subject on you, Angela tells me you two did a bang-up job up there, probably pulled in some business in spite of another personal surprise."

"Yeah, that was a shocker," Jon admitted. "I guess Chicago isn't on my 'stay away from' list any longer, except the press might not exactly welcome me there. I presume Angela told you all about it?"

"Pretty much, I guess, at least the part you told her, which I presume doesn't include all the details."

"Well, no," Jon admitted. "But they were just details. Dad even helped us get Jennlynn out of town in the face of all those reporters. Stan, I'll be honest and tell you I never expected to see the day when we'd get back together, not that I'm complaining. We haven't told Mom and the rest of the family about it yet; we're just about to head up to Flag to do it."

"Take care, then. I'll see you Monday. Your test results aren't back yet, but there are a couple other things hanging what with Jennlynn being gone, and we need to get moving on them. Thanks for pitching in on that whole deal in Chicago, Jon. You did a good job and I'm glad some of the other stuff worked out for you. Tell Tanisha for me, too, will you?"

"Yeah, sure Stan. See you Monday."

Jon turned the cell phone off as Tanisha said, "What was that stuff at the beginning about you ranting at a bunch of reporters?"

"That crowd out in the lobby," Jon said. "I let them keep poking at me until someone asked a really rude question, and then I sounded off a little. Somebody had to tell them to go to hell, and the job fell to me. I guess someone called Stan to bitch about it, and he told them exactly where to get off, too."

"Good for him," Tanisha said as she set a bowl of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich down in front of Jon. "Do you want to call Ben and Joy?"

"I'd like to get together with them, but maybe we'd better not set anything up until we know what happens up in Flag," Jon replied. "I can call them and let them know we're back."

As it turned out, the only answer they got from their friends came from the answering machine. Jon left a brief message that he and Tanisha were back from Chicago but were heading up to Flagstaff, and would call when they returned again. They ate lunch quickly, knowing they were now expected at Al's house later, and soon they were ready to go. "Jon," Tanisha said as she finished up, "If you would, rinse everything out, and put it in the dishwasher while I go up and change my jeans."

"Did you spill something on them?"

"No," she shook her head. "Either they shrunk a little the last time I washed them or I've been eating too much and not been exercising enough. They're just tight enough that I don't think I want the waistband pressing against my belly all afternoon and evening."

"You're right," Jon agreed. "We haven't been eating very regularly and been stuffing back the junk food all week. It's been days since we've gotten out for a run. Maybe it's starting to show."

"I'm sure it is," she sighed. "And that's a hell of a note, knowing we're going to be having steak at Al's tonight. I'll just stuff myself more. We'll have to live with it and enjoy it, I guess, but we're going to have to cut way back and get running again."

"Maybe tomorrow afternoon when we get back," Jon said thoughtfully. "I saw just enough of February in Chicago to remind myself why I don't like it, and I sure am glad we can get out and run here where the weather is fairly decent. I sure as hell wouldn't have done any running back there, and maybe that's part of why I didn't."

"Me, too," she agreed, getting up from the table and carrying her dishes to the sink. "It's really amazing how quick it can creep up on you, isn't it?"

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To be continued . . .

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