Chaps and Hat to Go

(aka Uni's bedtime story)

By SDerkins

© 2003

Disclaimers: This story is my own original work and may not be reproduced, either electronically or in print except for personal use. All disclaimers, title, author, and copyright must remain on the copy.

Author's Notes: Just a harmless little wish of a friend who wanted to find herself a cowgirl {G}

Sherry glanced at the map yet again, unconvinced it was right. She softly growled in frustration as the road sign said it was. It couldn't be. The road was nothing more than a dirt trail leading to nowhere! Turning into it, she hoped for the best. "You can do it sweetheart, I know you can," she whispered to her beloved Pontiac. She had bought it with the monies from her first book. It was her very first and only off the showroom floor car. True, it was getting old now, and the odometer was over 150,000, but she wouldn't give it up.

Behind the nearby barn, several teenagers snickered as they watch the blue sedan turn onto the service road for the Rocking H Ranch. The four boys had stolen the sign and reposted it just for kicks. The first vehicle to turn had been an SUV and easily made it to the little used 2 way highway on the other side. The sedan wouldn't be so lucky. It had rained heavily a few hours ago and no doubt turned to deep mud pits.

"C'mon Martin, lets fetch your dad's PU. Maybe we can make a few bucks pulling her out!" one boy suggested, always looking to make easy money.

The rancher on the horse looked down the hill at the car causing all the noise. It was definitely stuck, that's for sure. The driver was fruitlessly trying to drive it loose but it wasn't possible. The mud came all the way to the top of the wheels which only churned the clay colored mud. Sighing heavily, the rancher pointed her horse down the hill.

The driver didn't seem to notice her since the frantic wheel spinning never faltered. Once the rancher got close enough, she noted the Tennessee plates with distain. A damned sea level tourist who didn't have the sense God gave a skeeter.

Moving to the driver's door, she spotted the young woman who was behind the wheel. She couldn't be much older than 30, brunette, and pleasingly rounded. It seemed half the women nowadays looked like walking skeletons. Noticing that she was smiling, the rancher angrily wiped away the expression and tapped on the window with a gloved fist. The woman inside screeched in surprise and jumped, her hand clutching her heart.

Sherry looked up and tried to see the face of the rider outside her car. The sun left the face in shadows formed by the rider's hat. Squinting at the motionless rider, she realized it was a woman. Relaxing, she turned lowered the window and shut off the engine.

"I'm afraid I'm stuck," she said unnecessarily.

"Yup. Just traveling through?"

"Yes, I was taking this shortcut to the highway. The map doesn't say it's a dirt road," she sighed.

"This is the service road between my ranch and my neighbor. It's not a public road," she informed her.

"Oh? This isn't route 8? The sign at the end of the road said it was."

"Huh? Wait here, I smell a rat."

Sherry watched the rider trot along the grassy field to the end of the dirt road. It was difficult to see her but she saw her reach down for something and then heading back. As she got closer, she saw the sign post in her hand.

"This the one ma'am? You were the victim of a stupid practical joke it seems." Thunder shook the air.

The rider tossed the sign into the ditch. "It's gonna rain again soon. Why don't you come to the house with me? No tow truck company will be willing to dig you out until the rain stops anyway," she offered. Seeing her reluctance, she waved her fingers, urging the woman from the car. "C'mon, I don't bite that hard," she growled.

Sherry wasn't so sure of that. The woman hadn't smiled once since they met. The woman might have been attractive in the rugged cowgirl kind of way, but her face was stern. Green eyes held little warmth and her full mouth was no more than a grim line. The woman impatiently waved at her again. Sherry sighed and opened the door, stepping up onto the grassier bank just a step away. The rider held out her arm and Sherry looked up, uncertain.

"Take hold, I'll help you up. Put your foot in the stirrup."

Sherry pushed a strand of hair behind her ear. She hated heights and the horse was so high!

"For the love of Mike, get up here!" the woman bit out. Sherry was startled by the gruff tone but raised her foot to the metal stirrup and reached out her arm. A strong hand took hold and easily powered her up. The stranded woman squealed at the speed she rose and grabbed frantically at the duster coat the rancher wore, praying she didn't fall off the beast. After taking several steadying breaths, she relaxed somewhat.

"Okay, scoot up close behind me and put your arms around me. You'll be fine."

Sherry did as she was told, inching forward until she was pressed against the gray-tan coat. It smelled of horses, hay, and rain. The brown horse began moving, making the girl from Tennessee squeal again and grip tightly to the woman in front of her. The rancher kept the pace to a slow walk much to her relief. Relaxing, she slowly began noticing how large and strong the female rancher was.

Looking down, she saw how much longer her denim covered legs were compared to her own. The worn material did little to hide the strong thighs that kept the horse firmly under her control. Sherry felt a shiver of delight dance along her spine. By force of will, she relaxed her hand to let go of the woman's coat and moved it carefully to the rancher's mid section. The rancher stiffened but didn't say anything. Under the soft old flannel were taunt muscles that moved with every motion of the horse.

Suddenly fear was replaced by a much more primal emotion—lust. Mentally, she slapped herself. The woman hadn't given off any vibes that she could interpret as interested. God, stuck in the middle of nowhere with a woman she lusted after but likely straight. Then the good Lord snickered at her and sent down a cold rain shower. Within seconds she was soaked. Freezing and miserable, she wondered if the ride would ever end.

Finally, they reached a one story building. It reminded Sherry of the Walton's house, just minus the second floor. A wrap around porch covered the front of the house. Her rescuer brought the horse to a halt and lifted one leg over the pommel and hopped to the ground. Turning, she held out her arms to her and offered silently to help her down.

Placing her hands on the rancher's broad shoulders, she carefully slid down the horse and into her arms. The woman lowered her down slowly, allowing their bodies to touch. Sherry felt a deep flush burning her cheeks. A glint of humor sparkled in her green eyes, making the southerner rethink the possibility of the rancher being lesbian.

"Lord a' mighty! Jo, let that poor thing into the house where it's warm." Came a female voice. Sherry saw a portly woman of an unknown age swing the porch door open. "Come here hon, don't let that uncivilized brute keep you out there." The woman pointed a finger at Sherry's rescuer. "And don't you dare come in my clean kitchen until you remove those filthy boots! I swear, you act like you were raised in a barn!" the woman groused.

The older woman turned to Sherry, her eyes sparkling kindly. "Let's get you to the bathroom for a hot bath. I'll fetch some dry clothes for you to wear." Sherry found herself rushed into a modern bathroom. The woman began running a bubble bath, and left the room, ordering her to throw her wet things into a plastic tub she'd leave outside the door.

Feeling like she had just ridden a twirling dervish, Sherry paused and looked at herself in the mirror. Grimacing at her reflection, she gave up hope the attractive rancher would give her more than a passing glance. She pulled off her wet clothes and opened the door, finding the tub as promised. Crawling into the welcoming warmth, she leaned back and relaxed, feeling the heat penetrate her aching body.

A soft knock on the door roused her.

"Can I come in?" came Jo's voice.

"Um, I'm not decent," she answered.

A chuckling voice asked, "Can I come in anyway? Martha's threatening to take a switch to my ass!" she said in a loud stage whisper. Sherry giggled but didn't answer right away so Jo added a final lure. "I have a hot cup of extra sweet lemon honey tea with me."

Glancing down to make sure the bubbles hid her well enough, she answered with an okay.

Jo opened the door quietly and slipped into the room and shut the door carefully. She had the promised cup of tea and a large hunter green robe over her arm.

"Thanks," she whispered. "I had to hide before she harped on me some more for bringing you home soaking wet---like it was my fault!"

Sherry watched the woman with amusement, biting her lip as Jo sipped her tea and leaned against the vanity.

"I thought that was mine?"

Jo looked down at the cup and cursed. Crud, let me get you another one," she said, standing up.

"That's okay, I doubt you have any cooties that'll kill me. Hand it over please."

"You sure?" Sherry nodded and held out her hand. Jo passed it down to her. She took a sip and hummed in pleasure.

"Just the way I like it. Hot and sweet," Sherry murmured, glancing at Jo with hooded eyes. She watched Jo swallow hard. Bingo. "So, what does a gal do around here for entertainment? Movies, pizza in town, or maybe necking in the haystacks?" Sherry teased playfully.

"Well, those are all well and good, but there isn't a lot of time to spare on a working ranch. I'm lucky if I find time for a sitcom on TV and a beer."

"Well, I always favored cuddling in bed myself but it's been a long time since I indulged in that pastime. How about you?"

"Um, Martha would kill me if I brought someone home for a little…cuddling," she answered bashfully.

"Oh? Too bad. Maybe if you eased her into it a little at a time, you know, let Martha get used to someone, she wouldn't chase after you with a switch," Sherry teased.

"Maybe, but she doesn't approve of my love life, what little there is of it." Jo said sadly.

"Maybe she thinks you aren't serious and just playing around?"


"Well, sometimes the ones who love you hurt to see that, you know? If you find someone who you feel serious about she'll loosen up."

"I'll keep that in mind," Jo said quietly.

"So, you're from Tennessee? What brings you to this neck of the woods?"

"Just wandering actually. I'm on vacation and decided to just hit a few sci-fi conventions and do some sightseeing. A couple of my internet friends convinced me to attend the big convention in Seattle."

"You mean you went to those shows where everyone dresses up like some alien?" Martha asked, pouring herself another cup of coffee.

Sherry laughed. "Actually, few do that but the ones you do see are interesting. I mostly went just to see something new and visit with people I knew only online. The roads are crazy in Washington, I gotta tell you. I was lost for ages before I found the convention center!"

"I'm sure, so many people living in one place!" Martha shuddered. "I like a little elbow room myself."

"You certainly have that out here. I never realized there was a place in the US where you can have more than 50 miles between towns! I'm used to about 5 towns in a 10 mile area."

"What do you think of Montana?"

Sherry thought about it. "It's a bit scary. Everything out here seems so…isolated and intimidating," she answered, glancing at Jo, who hadn't said anything during lunch. The woman was confusing. She ran hot and cold, driving the southerner crazy.

"In the ranching areas, that's certainly true. It takes a special type of people to live around here. Sometimes we're snowbound for days at a time. And there are times where you'd give your right arm just to see a new face. But this country gets into your blood. Once it does, nowhere else seems right," she seemed to warn Sherry. "Well, I'm going to clean up. Jo? Why don't you see if a tow truck can make it out here today? If not, fetch her luggage and put it in the spare room." Martha turned back to Sherry." Is there anyone you need to call and tell you'll be delayed?"

"No. I wasn't following any schedule."

"Okay hon. Jo, why are you dwaddling? Get!" Jo stood up quickly and took her hat from the coat rack on her way out.

An hour later, Jo informed her that the owner of the only tow truck company for miles had gone fishing. She had left a message on his machine.

Martha nodded. "Well, that settles that for now hon. Unless you're in a rush to leave, you can just stay here until Stanley comes back from his fishing trip. He's rarely gone more than three days."

Sherry protested, hating to impose on them for that length of time. Martha shushed her, more than happy to have a visitor.

Jo rolled her eyes. Didn't she have any say on her own ranch? Apparently not. She picked up the two bags of luggage that she had gotten from the sedan and took them to the spare bedroom. One of the bags weighed a ton. What did she carry around in the thing? She set it down on a wood chair and placed the other next to it on the floor.

She had played enough hooky for one day, the north fence needed mending. The boys were busy rescuing sheep from the muddy east pasture. If they weren't worth so much, she'd trade them in for something with more intelligence, like rocks.

The stranded woman got into her warmest clothes and grabbed her camera out of habit. One never knew when a photo op happened. She told Martha she was taking a stroll and went outside wearing a jean jacket belonging it Jo. Out of sight of the bossy housekeeper, she lifted the sleeve to her nose, taking in the scent. Grinning at her own school girl behavior, she shook her head and began looking around.

She snapped one picture of a cat ready to pounce on a mouse and quickly left, not wanting to see how it ended. Walking around the barn, she looked to the pastures. Wild open fields of buffalo grass and wildflowers were as far as the eyes could see. A sprinkling of gnarled pines and cotton woods dotted the harsh landscape. Just allowing her eyes to wander, Sherry spotted something pale. Squinting, she couldn't quite figure out what it was. Curious, she climbed between the posts of the fence and headed for the horizon.

Half-way across the field, she stared in wonder. It was a llama! What was a llama doing in Montana of all places? Determined to get closer, she climbed over the rocky embankment and took out her camera but was yet too far for a good shot. The Llama watched her with a bored look, chewing a clump of grass. It seemed friendly enough so she kept walking. Now only 10 ft from the tall creature, she lifted her camera and focused.

"That's not a good idea," Jo's voice said from behind her. Sherry yelped in surprise and spun around.

"Shit! You scared the daylights out of me!"

Jo chuckled and pushed back her hat. "Well, I had to warn you somehow, you refused to look in my direction," she chided.

"Warn me about what?"

"Getting close to Tinker. He has this little habit of-"

A warm wet glob struck Sherry in the back of the head. Quickly lifting her hand in surprise, she felt a slimy mess.


"…of spitting," Jo laughed, hiding her face behind her gloved hand. Sherry smacked her arm for daring to laugh.

"Don't you dare laugh Jo whatever the hell your name is!" Sherry laughed, smacking her again.

"Harnett," Jo supplied. "And I didn't exactly get your last name either you know."

"Oh, Berry," Sherry said with a blush.

"Sherry Berry? Oh God, that's funny."

The smaller woman smacked her again. "Blame my folks, they had a nasty sense of humor. Anyway, I use a different name professionally just so I won't get all those stupid jokes."

"Oh, what name do you use?"

"S.G. Berry," she answered.

"Waitaminute, you mean as in the photographer?" Jo said in surprise then looked sheepish when Sherry held up her camera. "What does the G stand for?"

"Only with my dying breath will I ever reveal that," Sherry muttered.

Jo was about to try and sweet talk her out of the name but Martha hollered on the radio that Stanley had arrived. They headed back to the house. Sherry asked the housekeeper for a damp towel to wipe away the mess in her hair while Jo snickered.

"Oh go make yourself useful you coyote. Give Stanley a hand." Jo hesitated and Martha mentioned she still had that switch handy. Jo spun around and went outdoors. A half an hour later, the rumble of the tow truck could be heard as it drove into the yard. Looking out the kitchen window, the photographer looked in horror at the remains of her car.

The front end was completely ruined, the bumper and fiberglass in pieces. Rushing outside, she looked at the disgruntled driver and barely kept herself from screaming. "What happened to my car?"

"Ask Jo, the idiot," he said, pointing his thumb at the approaching rider.

Jo dismounted, her face crimson.

"What happened to my car?" she asked again, her tone clipped.

"Um, well, the hunk of junk fell apart when I turned on the winch," she said, defensive. She didn't mention that Stanley hadn't said to turn it on yet. She had heard a vague voice and assumed he said to hit the switch. The result was that the chains caught in the wrong places and ripped off the bumper and cracked the fiberglass moldings.

"Hunk_of_junk?" Sherry repeated coldly. How dare Jo insult her beloved car? It was too much. She gritted her teeth and turned to the driver.

"Is there someone around here that can fix it?"

"Sure, We have a body shop in town. Want me to take it in and have them call with an estimate?" Stanley felt badly about what happened and didn't mention a charge for the towing.

Sherry thanked the man and went inside, too riled to say anything more. She retrieved her camera and headed for the pastures, hoping that taking a few shots would calm herself down.

After hiking around for several hours, she felt better but was getting hot. It had been chilly in the morning but the afternoon had gotten warm. She decided to head for the nice little pond she had seen earlier, wanting to wade a little and cool off. The pond, not much bigger than a swimming pool, was hidden by bushes and trees, making it fairly private. Maybe she could do a little sunbathing too.

Nearing the pond, she spotted movement and slowed down, hoping it wasn't a bear or something. Peeking from behind some bushes, she spotted Jo. The tall rancher must have had the same idea about cooling off because she was undressing. Her hat was already sitting on a nearby bush, along with her flannel shirt. Beneath it was a sweat soaked white tank top that only enhanced her broad shoulders and golden tan. Honey blond hair hung to the small of her back. Watching proved entertaining but Sherry was still angry over the insult of her car. Then there was being laughed at over the llama incident.

Glaring at Jo from her hiding place, she watched as the tank top was removed. Sherry swallowed hard and gasped. Jo suddenly turned around, her green eyes searching the area, giving the photographer a wonderful view of her feminine assets. Sherry felt her mouth water over the just right roundness and the pinkish tips. Her view was taken away when Jo faced the pond once more.

The tall woman sat down on a rock and removed her boots and socks, putting them aside before standing. Sherry held her breath as the tight fitting jeans were pulled down, leaving the rancher in nothing but a pair of colorful boxers that clung to her bottom like a lover. They came slithering down, stealing Sherry's breath as she leaned down.

Two things happened. One, Sherry spotted a thin branch on the ground, and secondly, she recognized a great way to get even. She grabbed the long stick and rushed up behind Jo, swinging it in the direction of the bent over woman, smacking her sharply across the butt. The rancher yelped and spun around, expecting to see an outraged Martha and spotted the grim faced photographer.

Ticked off, she was about to give her a piece of her mind when Sherry stepped forward and gave her a mighty shove, sending her backwards into the pond. Sputtering, she fought to right herself, choking and spitting out the cold water. Pushing the hair from her eyes, she looked around and saw that Sherry was already heading back to the house. She waded back to shore and slipped on her jeans and tossed her shirt over her shoulders. She plunked her hat onto her head and grabbed the rest of her things, cursing as she headed after the fleeing woman.

Several of the hands watched her silently as she passed them, each step planted like an enraged bull. Not even a teasing comment was made about her lack of modesty, her flannel shirt unbuttoned. They weren't stupid men. They knew the look of fury on Jo's face and then took off once she had her back to them. One of the men crossed himself, thanking his patron saint for her mercy.

Jo could see Sherry ducking into the barn. Following her, she shoved open the door then slammed it closed with a sickly thud. Tossing her belongings to the dirt floor, she took several menacing steps towards the now frightened woman.

"YOU!" Jo managed to spit out as she reached for her.

Sherry's eyes grew huge as she realized she was in deep shit. Holding out her hands, she tried to placate the irate woman rushing towards her. Seeing no hope for rescue, the photographer grit her teeth and did what she learned growing up—fight back.

The large rancher grabbed her by the arm and found herself being tackled by a little sprite of a thing. They went tumbling into a pile of hay with a thud. Jo saw the humor in the situation and laughed. Sherry thought Jo thought her attempt to protect herself ridiculous and was mocking her. The shoe was suddenly on the opposite feet. Sherry was ticked and Jo was on the defensive.

Tussling in the hay caused several animals to prance in their stalls nervously as both women tried to gain dominance over the other. Jo was trying her best not to hurt the smaller woman but the photographer wasn't too concerned about that, she fought to win—even if she was just a grasshopper going against a lawnmower.

Spotting an opportunity, she lunged at Jo as she was trying to get to her feet and pinned her onto her back.

"Gotcha!" she cried victoriously.

"You certainly do," Jo acknowledged with a grin.

Sherry looked into her sparkling green eyes and caught sight of a view she had only dreamed of until now. Jo's shirt had never been buttoned and now the halves spread apart, revealing her breasts. The photographer's mouth went instantly dry then began watering seconds later. As she stared at the perfect full globes, the nipples began puckering under her gaze. All she wanted to do was lunge forward and feast on the tempting morsels. She couldn't move, mesmerized by the expanse of smooth skin and pink nipples.

Jo could see the desire on her face and felt the heat flair that she had been keeping at bay since meeting the brunette. Sherry wouldn't move and unable to take another second of it, broke her arms free and grabbed Sherry by her hair and pulled her mouth to her own.

Neither could withstand the fire that ignited between them. Sharing a bruising, wet kiss, they ravished one another's lips until neither could breathe. Breaking away from her, Sherry scooted quickly down and began eagerly exploring every inch, kissing and nipping along well defined muscles and soft curves. Jo's heated responses drove her further into mindless passion, unable and unwilling to slow down. Her mouth sought one stiff peak and took it roughly, sucking it deep into her mouth. Jo arched, suddenly calling out to God as Sherry's mouth sweetly tormented her.

The rancher kept her fingers tangled in her hair, pulling the smaller woman closer as her body arched, begging for more. She writhed and jumped at every touch, quivering as a hand stroked her belly. The touch was soothing for just a moment before it rushed downwards and roughly yanked open her snap and zipper of her jeans. The hand slid inside and tried to reach further down. Unable to go any further, Sherry gruffly ordered her to lift her butt. Jo took a steadying breath and lifted, only to have Sherry pull the denim roughly down towards her knees.

The blonde tried to help, managing to push them a little further down, but Sherry covered her with her own torso and attached herself to her other breast, nipping on the peak before teasing it with her tongue. Jo lost all ambition at that point, letting Sherry do whatever she pleased. All she could do was hold on tight during the wild ride. When a small hand once again sought her out, Jo gasped, lifting her hips in need. A single finger slipped past damp curls and teased her, making her jump with every slight touch.

"Oh God, please!" unable to take much more.

"Do you know how exciting it is to see you like this? So ready for me, needing my touch," Sherry whispered. Jo whimpered at the words.

The teasing finger touched her more firmly, stroking her skillfully. Jo began bucking uncontrollably, her body going wild. The touch was both unbearable and compelling, bringing her to the edge of insanity before her world shattered. It was a long time before she returned, finding herself being held gently against Sherry's soft shoulder.

"Are you okay Jo?" came her concerned whisper. She couldn't speak yet, but she managed a slight nod. Hands stroked her hair and back, comforting her softly. She wanted to stay like this forever, but the sounds of the animals around her reminded her exactly where they were. It was a matter of time before someone entered the barn.

"We need to get out of here before someone gets a hell of a shock," she told Sherry, who chuckled softly.

Sherry released her reluctantly and got to her feet. She offered Jo a hand up. The taller woman managed awkwardly to stand, the jeans around her ankles making it difficult. She pulled them back up and fastened them as Sherry's warm fingers began buttoning her blue flannel shirt. Jo smiled and let her finish. Sherry finished with the final button and placed her palms against her upper chest, leaning forward. Jo wrapped her arms around her, wishing she had the words to express how she felt. So she simply said thanks, and took her hand before walking towards the wide door.

Walking up the porch steps, Jo spotted the clothing and boots she had left behind at the pond. Blushing, she wondered who left them there. Gathering them up, they entered the kitchen. Martha was inside, her face stern.

"Well, did the two of you settle things or must I settle it?" the older woman asked, picking up a willow switch. Both women flushed and backed away, unwilling to face Martha's wrath.

"Get your behinds upstairs and change, and don't leave a trail of straw all over the house, hear?"

Both women nodded briskly and escaped from Martha's domain.

"Think she knows?" Sherry whispered.

"Hmm, let's see. I smell like a whore house, we're covered in straw, I'm half undressed. Nope, she doesn't suspect a thing," Jo deadpanned.

"Oh shit."

"Hey, she didn't lecture me on my evil ways, maybe she doesn't mind?" she commented hopefully.

"You know her better than I do. But I hope your right!"

As they reached Jo's bedroom, the phone rang. She picked it up and spoke briefly to the person on the other end.

"You sure? Okay, I'll pass it on. Thanks," she said, hanging up.

"That was Stanley. The shop called him about your car. Seems they can't get the parts to repair it for another week. They wanted to let you know before they ordered the parts, but think you ought to junk it. The repairs are more than the car is worth."

Sherry's eyes flared in anger. That was her beloved Pontiac they were insulting.

"I know! Don't kill the messenger! Sheesh, you should have been a redhead," Jo muttered. She found herself pushed onto the bed. Sherry quickly pinned her and looked into her eyes.

"Why don't you call them later and tell them I'm thinking about it. After all, I get to stay here until it's fixed, right?"

Jo smiled widely. "In that case, I'll tell them to hold off repairs indefinitely."

"Good planning. Maybe Martha won't need that switch after all."

And they lived happily ever after. -Grin-

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