A Quest Ridden on Behalf of Love
J M Dragon and Erin O’Rielly

©J M Dragon 2000
jmdragon@jmdragon.net e-mail: eorielly@yahoo.com


Love/Sex: This story features consensual relationship between adult women with graphic descriptions. If this bothers you, is illegal in the State, Province or Country you live or if you are under the age of 18, close this page immediately and find something more appropriate to read.

Language: Expletives are used.

Violence: Yep, right for the get go.

Hurt/Comfort: There is definitely some hurt/emotional discomfort with some brief scenes of angst and heartache to be dealt with by the characters.

Author’s Note: Back in the year 2000 I wrote a story that has lain on the shelf waiting for more work. I enlisted Erin to collaborate with me in finishing the story. This is the result of our work together. I hope you enjoy our tale. JM

Part One

"Keep away from her you sorry bitch!" Selena Corkill yelled at the top of her voice as she entered the display room of the Horseman’s Club. Cornelia Cambridge had Kate Lawrence captured in her arms in the dark recess of the room.

Cornelia, momentarily surprised, looked away from her prey and stared into the blazing blue eyes that captured hers in a look full of hatred and distaste.

The veterinarian gave Selena a cursory glance, then, with a smirk of satisfaction, turned back to the struggling woman. She would kiss the petite blonde and no one was going to get in her way.

"Oh I’m so scared, see me shaking?" She said with a sneer as she increased the pressure on the smaller woman’s arms. "Try and stop me." Cornelia began closing in on the tempting lips.

"Stop you! I’m going to break every single bone in your body if you don’t let her go now!" Selena shouted, the tone shifting to include the menacing aggression of her body. It would be her pleasure.

Kate Lawrence looked into the wild eyes of the woman who she once thought positively charming and very good company. What an idiot she had been to date the deranged woman in an attempt to make Selena jealous. It was clear to her now, that she never really knew what the veterinarian was capable of doing.

"Cornelia, please let me go, it will be for the best." Kate pleaded. She could see Selena getting closer and worried for her safety.

"No way, I want a taste of what you give her!" Cornelia spat out, the sheer venom of the statement made Kate feel physically ill.

Selena heard the words and it enraged her even more, if that were possible. She was literally ready to pick the woman up and throw her through the glass window and into the street.

As Cornelia bent to kiss Kate, Selena grabbed the woman around the waist and yanked her forcibly away. The suddenness of the action made Cornelia release her grip so Kate could back away. Lifting the woman, Selena threw her across the room then closed in on her once again.

Cornelia felt herself flying through the air only to stop when she hit the side of a display cabinet. The vicious pain that shot up her back caused a sense of nausea as the dark menacing figure came towards her. She collapsed on the floor, closing her eyes, ready for the woman to finish what she started.

"No! Selena no!" Kate screamed and ran towards the tall, dark woman. It was clear that anger and bitterness filled Selena as she approached the prone figure on the ground.

"Why? She deserves it!" Lena bit out savagely, advancing ever closer to her prey, fully intending to beat the crap out of her.

Kate, coming between Selena and the prone body on the floor, gazed lovingly at her with green expressive eyes; her love for Selena evident, words un-necessary.

"She might deserve it, but she’s certainly not worth getting thrown out of the club, besides, I don’t want you all mussed up and sweaty. We still have a beautiful night of dancing and partying to attend, don’t we?" Kate, draping her small arms around the tall woman, maintained eye contact to reflect the love she felt.

Selena looked first at Kate, and the warm loving gaze, then to the sorry looking woman, clearly in pain, now leaning heavily against the display cabinet.

Enclosing the small woman in her arms, she placed a gentle kiss on the red lips. "I love you, Kate, I will do anything for you, anything!"

Kate heaved a sigh of relief and placed a tender kiss of her own on the full lips. "I love you too, Lena, thank you."

"My pleasure." Selena purred into the ear close to her lips.

Gently disengaging from the smaller woman, she side stepped Kate and stood towering over Cornelia, who cringed in fear.

Pulling the woman up to a standing position, Selena held the neck of the gown that the vet wore in a tight grip. Twisting the cloth a bit harder she spoke in a low ominous tone. "If you ever so much as look at Kate or come within touching distance of her again, I will suffer temporary amnesia and forget all the promises I made to her about violence and skin you alive. Do you hear me?" Selena snarled, her voice hard and unyielding.

Cornelia looked up into the cold, blue eyes and knew she had definitely met her match. Nodding her head at the words, she whispered almost incoherently. "Yes, I understand perfectly."

"Good." Selena viciously let go of the gown as the vet once again hit the display cabinet with force. There was a low groan causing Selena to grin devilishly at the woman before she wiped the expression from her face or Kate would be upset. "Oh, if the Veterinary board decides that surgery you carried out on Brownsley was unnecessary, I will have you prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law; don’t think I won’t!" Came the parting shot.

Turning towards the woman who she would defend to the ends of the earth and beyond, she gave a beaming smile and held out her arm, which was taken with a warm smile.

"Kate, do you remember the first day we met?" Selena smiled down at the woman and was entranced all over again as the green eyes flickered with remembered emotion and memories.

"Selena, of course I do, what a question." Kate laughed softly as the memories flooded her mind of that very day, the day that was to change her life forever.


Selena Corkill, the thirty one-year-old thoroughbred horse trainer for the Wagoner estate in Lexington, Kentucky, contemplated her options for the next prestige horserace. Swiping her stop clock once again as one of the two mares, selected for trials today, galloped by at remarkable speed…the change of jockey had worked!

Lena, as she preferred to be called, raised a well-defined eyebrow when the next filly galloped past. She should have beaten the other horses by at least three lengths; perhaps they needed to change her diet. Lena considered her options with the highly-strung filly, as the competent jockeys steered the fillies towards the stable yard.

Turning towards the outbuildings, her cobalt blue eyes half closed, she saw her employer, Louis Wagoner, accompanied by a blonde woman. From this distance, Lena couldn't make out the features of the woman or her age. It really didn’t make any difference, she knew if it was important to the farm she would be informed.

She paused only seconds to retrieve her hat from the fence post, flipping it casually on top of her head to protect her blue eyes against the increasing intensity and harshness of the sun. Lena walked towards the stable, her long gait taking up the strides evenly and at a remarkably, graceful speed. Anyone watching her would easily imagine her a thoroughbred among women. Her six-foot tall figure moved fluidly, which only enhanced the attraction she had to the onlooker. The woman was simply breathtaking, a true specimen of perfection of the female form.

There was only one fault with this model of perfection, she had a wicked sense of humor and when in full force it could be hilarious to many or utterly humiliating to others. Mind you, many would consider that another of her many skills and Selena Corkill appeared to have skills in abundance. This ensured her a stream of willing admirers, many wanting the beautiful woman for a one-night stand only, afraid they couldn't handle her on a full time basis; Lena, unfortunately for them, rarely obliged. She hadn't found anyone remotely interesting enough to consider a long-term relationship. She even wondered from time to time if she ever would. Not after experiencing a couple of bad romantic attachments the first when she was in college.

I wonder what happened to Alice Kimball? A two-year love affair suddenly snuffed out like a candle in the breeze, when Alice hooked up with some socialite at a horse auction she attended with Lena her dad, Seymour. It had hurt, as all love affairs that come to an abrupt end often do. For Lena, she learned important lessons and made sure that never happened to her again.

Her feet crunched on the gravel as she went inside the stable to begin the tasks of the busy day. Tomorrow they would be attending an auction and she knew of one or two interesting lots being sold that she wanted Louis to bid on.

Katherine Anne Lawrence watched the tall retreating back of the woman who had been timing the horses in a six-furlong race. Bouncing up on her feet, to try to enhance her five foot six inch frame, and straining her eyes, still hadn't given Kate the view she wanted. If the face was anything like the body, she'd seen draped over the rail, then, she was going to enjoy this negotiation to purchase the Wagoner farm. Sending Louis Wagoner a dazzling smile, which lit up her green eyes to great effect, she continued on her rounds of the rest of the property.

Kate, the only daughter of Carl and Belinda Lawrence, having maturity beyond her twenty-six years, was not only beautiful in a quiet way, but also brilliant in her undertakings. Her background as a member of the super wealthy had not jaded the young woman. In fact, she reveled in the ownership, in her own right, of the Merridoc Estate. On today's market, Katherine Lawrence was worth over one hundred and twenty million dollars. She owned several properties, one of which was a large farm in Ocala, called Merridoc Farms and a couple of racecourses, one in Florida and the other in New York. Her mother, who had several stables in California and New York, had passed down Kate's love of horses. Her father indulged her mother shamelessly in her passion for the horseracing trade. He was much happier being the industrial giant which he had worked hard to achieve in the last thirty years; the only women in his life were his lovely wife, and his beautiful daughter, and he indulged them both completely, whatever their whim.

Kate knew that the one element that was missing for her parents was an heir to the kingdoms, which each had built not to mention Kate's own not inconsequential wealth. Once they learned of their daughter’s preferences, they knew she would have to resort to unconventional methods of creating an heir. She was bound, at some stage, to have something up her sleeve to tackle the problem when the time was right.

Now, being shown around the beautifully run Wagoner Farm, Kate quizzed the older man gently about his reasons for selling the property.

Louis Wagoner was a widower, his wife and only son died several years ago in a tragic fire at the old Wagoner estate. Louis then concentrated on building the largest training facility in Lexington and rebuilding a huge mansion for his frequent guests, horse breeders, friends and racing enthusiasts.

He was proud of the accomplishments, not only his insight into what was needed for the thoroughbreds, but with Seymour Corkill who had been his Head Trainer. Seymour was involved in an accident with a crazed stallion that broke his back and confined him to a wheelchair. The one good thing that came out of the accident was Lena's promotion to Head Trainer. Lena, from the age of four, had been trained to follow in her father's footsteps when they moved from Ocala, Florida, to Lexington and the Wagoner Estate. Fortunately, Lena's mother, Anna Corkill, came from horse handling stock.

Anna's parents owned the Osogill Farms, and were extremely successful with their results from breeding studs that had won the various famous races including the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and even the Triple Crown once. It was a fortunate day indeed, when Louis and Seymour exchanged a contract and now he had the headstrong, but talented Lena as the natural heir. Now, here he was talking to this slip of a girl about selling his beloved property because of failing health finally claiming his body. He would surely miss it, and he would miss Selena even more.

The farm had impressed Kate; her careful research via the Lawrence Corporation, had proved her original gut feeling on the project. Tomorrow she would attend the areas annual auction with Louis Wagoner and make her final decision, was this property for her or not? That question would be answered in the next twenty-four hours.

Decisions Are Made

It was another blisteringly hot day as Louis showed Kate around Lexington's Arena, with its many corrals of fine horses on display. The smell of horseflesh and the fresh hay and oats were strangely enticing to the young prospective buyer, who was enjoying the bustling activities coupled with the numerous people roaming around the venue. There were throngs of different people; some of them with money to burn, while others with an appetite to just watch the bids and resulting euphoria and disappointment this would make in some camps. Here in this arena one could catch a tantalizing glimpse of the reality of the profession. Louis finally escorted her to the auction area and his private box across from the auctioneer and the officials who resided over this twice a year thoroughbred sale.

Soon, Kate saw a tall figure approaching them recognizing the lithe gait of the woman who had been clocking the fillies the previous day.

Lena saw her employer chatting amiably with the blonde of yesterday which she could now perceive as young, very young, much to young to be around Louis. Was the man losing his mind and starting to date beautiful bimbo types. Surely the woman must only be after his money. Shaking her head at the thought, Lena reached them and quickly said hello to Louis.

"Lena what have you decided to buy today?" Louis smiled warmly at the young woman who not only was his head trainer, stable and farm manager, but one he loved as a daughter. If he'd had a daughter, Lena would have been the role model he would have chosen for his daughter to follow.

Lena acknowledged the older man's smile with a brief one of her own, which gave the discreetly watching Kate Lawrence, a wonderful view of a stunningly beautiful woman. She could take your breath away with a look from those cobalt blue eyes. "Louis I suggest you bid for numbers 3, 15 and 27." Lena's tone, businesslike and professional.

"Great! Consider it done. Lena Corkill, my head trainer and just about anything else I need on the farm, this is Kate Lawrence. I'm sure you have heard of the name; has as good a reputation in New York and California as we have here in Kentucky." Louis chuckled as he saw the lifting of one of Lena's eyebrows in mock indignation that anyone could be better or equal to her and the Wagoner Farms reputation.

Holding out her hand, Lena gave the shorter, blonde haired woman what she expected to be a brief smile of acknowledgement. Once their hands touched, for what seemed to each of them a lifetime, the smile became fixed and warm. Their eyes locked in a penetrating gaze that removed the existence of the outside world, which became a mere flurry of peripheral activity on the fringes of their boundary. "Pleased to meet you Ms Lawrence." Lena spoke finally in a soft low tone that Kate was certain was a predatory growl.

"I'm more than happy to meet you too Ms. Corkill. Lena is rather an unusual name, is it short for anything?" Kate gave the tall beauty a grin as she asked the personal question.

Louis needed to know the woman would get along before he sold his property. Noticing several acquaintances he excused himself giving the women some time alone.

Lena gave into the infectious grin of the younger woman and gave her a lopsided grin of her own. "Yep, its short for Selena. Named after a distant relative, but I like the shorter version better, kinda suits me wouldn't you say?"

Kate knew she was being flirted with; the cobalt blue eyes gave out electricity that she wasn't going to dismiss. "Yeah, I certainly think Lena has an appeal that goes with the rest of your body…language shall we say." Kate appraised the other woman equally as much as she was being appraised; they obviously both appreciated the view.

"You here for business or pleasure?" Lena purred as she moved closer to the smaller woman. They were next to each other looking over the horses in disguised interest when really they had eyes only for each other.

"Well, I guess originally I would have had to say for business, but as with everything in life, there is always a silver lining and things have just looked up on my horizon and I think pleasure may very well outclass the business." Kate spoke in a soft drawl that made Lena turn to face the very confident, and quite obviously interested, party at her side.

"Does that silver lining happen to have a name?" Lena chuckled as she saw the faint trace of a blush appear on Kate's cheeks.

At that moment Louis Wagoner strolled up to the two women and took each by the arm escorting them towards the bidding arena. "You two ladies found something interesting to talk about while I was gone?" Louis asked hoping the geniality was genuine.

Lena gave a deep belly laugh. Kate placed a hand over her mouth to stifle a chuckle passing Lena an amused glance. "Yeah we did, Louis, Ms Lawrence likes it in the neighborhood, it appears to have something to do with a silver lining."

This time Kate didn't attempt to stop the laugh that came out as musical notes to Lena's ears. I certainly wouldn't mind listening to her laugh more often, especially if it was aimed solely in my direction. She thought to herself.

"Is that so, Miss Lawrence, perhaps at some stage today you will enlighten me?" Louis smiled at the happy countenances of the two women on each of his arms. How fortunate he was to have two of the most beautiful women at the auction on either side of him.

Kate gave Lena a look that implied there would be a payback situation and it was going to happen real soon. Lena grinned and wondered exactly what kind of payback methods Kate Lawrence participated in. It would surely be interesting to find out.

Kate enchanted Louis Wagoner; she was charming in every way. He couldn't help the laugher that bubbled up in him as she watched his head trainer Lena with a look, which in any other circumstance would have wounded him that she preferred his head trainer. But, they were both looking at Lena and quite obviously the girl from Florida was smitten. He hoped Lena had the presence of mind to take the time to hear the girl's plans before she berated him over the sale.

"Have you talked to Lena since the auction, Kate?" Louis asked. He was positive the only contact had been from a distance as Kate watched Lena train the horses on the mornings she had been on the estate.

Kate gave him a weak smile and shrugged her shoulders. "I've been considering my options before I talk to her, it's important that she moves with the operation."

Louis smiled at the quiet words and the thoughtful look she gave Lena who was talking animatedly and laughing at something one of the female jockeys said. Kate also saw the interaction and moved, from her seat by the window, swiftly making for the door. "I think there's no time like the present, Louis, see you later." With that the beautiful woman could be seen striding purposefully towards an unsuspecting Lena.

Kate hovered next to the female jockey, her presence immediately caught Lena's eye. She gave Kate a sly grin and a wink as the jockey turned to see what had attracted her boss' attention. "Ms Lawrence, good afternoon." Lena spoke with a voice that Kate was sure had dropped an octave or two just for her.

"Have you a few minutes to spare me, Ms Corkill, in private." Kate turned her attention to the jockey, who was happily watching the interesting body language from both women.

Lena cocked her head to one side and smiled at the woman's request. "For you anything, Ms Lawrence. Jamie, let Daisy May have her head next time on the flat and we will clock her time; I'll be back a little later."

The jockey gave Lena a familiar smile that Kate found irritating, but managed to stop from making a comment. "Sure, see you later, Lena." Nodding her head in the direction of Kate as she left them to their private discussion.

"Your place or mine?" Lena asked with a chuckle, at the somewhat annoyed expression on Kate’s face as she watched Jamie, her lead jockey, leave for the exercise yard.

Kate turned back towards Lena at the facetious comment. "Yours, unless you plan on joining me in my Florida home?" Kate said sweetly and gave Lena a wink of the eye as they twinkled in laughter.

"Guess mine it is then." She pointed to the home left of the stables. Until her father’s accident, it had been the home of her family. They had moved back to the family farm in Ocala four years ago, to breed prizewinning horses of their own.

Opening the door to the large airy room that Lena used to relax or read or listen to music. It also played host to her pride and joy her piano. Walking inside Kate was pleasantly surprised at the pastel color scheme, which was very easy on the eyes and the baby grand piano that took up a third of the room on the right. Without invitation, Kate walked purposely over to the piano and lifted the lid smiling at the ivory keys as she gently placed her fingers over them. Lena watched her in fascination, few people ever went near her pride and joy, in fact, and she never let anyone else near the piano. It was too much a part of her personal life and her recreation to allow just anyone that luxury. This woman was different, she walked into a place as if she owned it and if Lena had a mind to admit it, she walked into people's lives in much the same nonchalant way.

"You play?" Lena asked with interest, her cobalt blue eyes holding the green ones of her guest in a piercing gaze.

"Yes, do you?" Kate never let her gaze falter as she returned the piercing glance with one of her own. Each felt as if under a microscope and at some stage they would be dissected, hell of a thought!

"Yes, it's a passion of mine." Lena answered eventually and turned her gaze over to the entrance to her kitchen. "Would you like coffee, tea, a soft drink, or maybe water?" the words coming out in a jumbled fashion.

Kate smiled at the sudden insecurity of the tall beautiful woman. Her heart jumped at the thought of getting to know her better, but on her home turf. "Sure, water will be fine thanks."

Lena felt unnerved as she moved swiftly into the kitchen to find a glass and fill it with water. No sooner than she opened the cupboard door she felt a warm presence at her back. Turning in surprise she came face to face, well considering the height difference, Lena was face to face with Kate's head and Kate had the more pleasurable sight of her breastbone. "You want something else?" Lena managed to rasp out, as her whole body became aware of the smaller woman's close proximity.

Kate took her opportunities in any way she could. She felt Lens’s discomfort in the other room, so she pressed home her advantage that maybe…just maybe, she was having an effect on the tall woman. Hell, Lena was certainly creating a maelstrom of emotions in her. "No, I thought I would talk to you as you fetch the water."

"Talk, yeah sure, go ahead." Lena looked down at the brown, silky hair of the smaller woman and tried to take a deep breath without Kate noticing. Of course the woman was but an inch from her chest, which caused a stray erotic thought to cross her mind. The close proximity of Kate was creating havoc throughout her body.

Kate moved slightly away so she could make eye contact with Lena who now held out a glass of water. Taking the glass, Kate anxiously placed it on the table next to her. "I'm not sure how much you know about me or my reason for being here these past few days. I thought perhaps it was wise to enlighten you, especially as you are very important to the events about to happen." Kate said softly her breath fanning Lena's collarbone as the shorter woman leaned closer.

"If I didn't know better, Ms Lawrence, I would say you're flirting with me." Lena gave in to her teasing characteristics.

Kate shot her a glance that indicated amusement at the comment, but swiftly changed to one of pleasure at the woman in front of her. "I think you need to know me quite a bit better, Ms Corkill, to know if I am or am not flirting with you. As a purely innocent question, if I was, would you be receptive?"

Lena blushed at being caught out with a much subtler, or in this case, blatant overtone. "Now you would need to know more about me to find the answer to that question, Ms Lawrence." Lena smiled; pleased with the way they interacted with each other.

Kate seized the opportunity to trace a slim finger gently across Lena's collarbone where the shirt hung open inviting the caress. "I think we can dispense with the Ms Corkill and Lawrence, what do you say, Lena?"

Lena was mesmerized by the gentle caress to her body from this enticing woman, who, with her eyes, could literally ask her to do anything and she thought she just might. "Sounds like a very good idea to me, Kate." Lena rasped out, her voice indicating her body's reaction to the seductive finger that trailed with confidence along her collarbone.

"Now that I have your undivided attention, I was wondering if you would consider working for me if I purchased the farm from Louis?" Kate's tone seductive, the words didn't immediately register with Lena; her heart jumping at each caress by the smaller hand on her body and the green eyes that now held her captive in a sure gaze.

Finally making sense of the words that Kate had spoken, Lena turned the power of her cobalt blue eyes to effect, as she answered. "Have you already struck a deal with Louis, who you know holds a ten year contract for my services, which still has another six years to run." Lena purposely omitted mentioning the amendment to the agreement made several years earlier that would release her from the contract, at any time, if she so chose.

Kate considered the answer to her original question and smiled winningly at Lena, she must surely know that whatever I agree with Louis, she has no choice in the matter, but I'd rather she came of her own free will than to lambaste her with a clause in a contract. "Yes he told me you have a contract, but I want you to work for me because you want to, not because of some stuffy contract." Kate’s voice purring to match the almost feline stance she was taking draped over Lena's body.

Lena noticed the ease with which Kate asked the questions and how she made her feel it was important for her to have a free choice. The woman had obviously learned her powers of persuasion well…how many had she seduced with just a few words, never mind the hands that seemed to want to trace every single pulse spot on her body? In any other circumstance, Lena would have been disgusted and offended by the arrogance of the woman, but no, she was enjoying the attention hoping it would last. To Lena, her body was betraying her brain, and her heart was going along for the ride.

"You had better let me know the conditions of this move to work for you and what benefits I can expect if I agree?" Lena turned the tables around making Kate aware of her willing captive, as Lena moved her body in a sensuous motion to the fingers tracing along her body.

"Conditions…benefits…yeah, I guess I'd better." Kate struggled to regain her composure, but once she realized that Lena was enjoying the playful attention she was being given, she regained her confidence.

"Cat got your tongue?" Lena wondered if she placed her lips on the mouth that held the tongue would it be the feline within herself that captured the organ or...no better not go there!

Kate gazed at the deepness of the blue that couldn't look any sexier if they'd been wrapped up in a box and handed out on Valentines Day. "I guess I'd better briefly outline my plans for the stables and you can let me know if you're interested, sound feasible?" She again unconsciously picked up the glass of water, sipping the cold beverage slowly. Kate watched the differing expressions cross Lena's face, as she explained her plans to move the operation from Lexington to Merridoc Farms in Ocala. At no time did she see one that made her worry about the outcome of the conversation.

Waiting for Lena to say something, even if it was no to her plans, Kate looked at the clam repose on her face. She marveled at the beauty of the woman and the feelings she brought out.

Lena perceived that Kate, for the first time since they'd entered the house, appeared to be apprehensive about the outcome of the situation. "You've explained what your plans and the conditions of employment, but I'm still waiting to hear what the benefits are?" Lena, who decided to play, gave Kate a look that imparted the impression that the benefits had to outclass the conditions or she wasn't interested. Lena really had no intention of going anywhere but with Kate to Ocala. It would give her a chance to see her family more frequently although the most appealing attraction was the beauty before her who was most definitely a prime reason to move to another State…anywhere, anytime…!

Kate saw the indifferent look out of the cobalt blue eyes and a slight twinge of panic grabbed her. She continued to trace her errant fingertips over the smooth skin of Lena's neck gradually moving to touch the firm jaw line and the soft cheek. It became an unconscious movement by Kate, she was engrossed in the attraction she felt for the taller woman and the positive vibrations she was receiving in return. Placing her lips within inches of Lena's left ear she whispered. "You have a beautiful…place here, but I can offer you a ranch house with more spacious rooms and with a far greater element of privacy that I'm sure you could use to your advantage." Kate said seductively her meaning clear on the privacy option.

The hot breath in her ear made Lena’s body quiver before she raised an expressive eyebrow and a smile exploded onto her face. The look, so enticing, caused Kate to gasp in sheer pleasure. "I'm sure you can think of a suitable candidate that might enjoy a few private sessions with me should I accept your offer?"

Kate felt a smile form on her face and she couldn't help it turning into a wicked grin as she nodded her head. "Oh, yeah, I can certainly think of at least one person who would be pretty damn upset if an invitation wasn't forthcoming."

"Does this person have anything to do with being attracted to a silver lining hereabouts?" This time Lena laughed softly and turned her head to face Kate so that their noses almost touched as Lena bent her head to hear the whispered answer.

"I think the person would agree with my answer and hopes ardently that the silver lining might follow to Florida. Are you interested?" Kate held her breath as Lena's lips came within a fraction of hers as she answered.

"You have a deal Kate Lawrence, how do you propose we seal it?" Lena challenged the aroused woman beside her, Lena's eyes twinkling at the emotion she saw in Kate's green eyes.

Kate knew that her seduction techniques had always worked in the past and right now she was tottering on the brink of falling passionately into the taller woman's arms and sealing the deal with a kiss or turning her back and walking away. Hell, paybacks are a bitch; Kate moved with graceful speed around the breakfast table and sat down clutching at her glass of water as a lifeline. "How about we all have dinner together this evening and discuss the move." Kate finally spoke calmly although her hands shook with the emotions she was feeling for the other woman.

Lena laughed out loud at the sudden removal from her personal space of the smaller woman as her own body pulsed to another beat, timeless in its origin. Hell this woman had turned her on and then without a second thought had quenched the fire by walking away. Of course the trembling of the water in the glass wasn’t lost to her. "Sure Kate sounds like a good idea to me, do you negotiate with all your prospective employees in this way?"

Kate glanced up from her observation of the water tumbler she held securely in her hands and gave Lena a look of amazement at her statement. Taking a deep breath to recover she tried to answer succinctly. "Oh no Lena, the only time this ever takes place is if I really want that person in my life. It's a rare occurrence, I can assure you." Kate feigned nonchalance at the remark when inside she was screaming that she'd never taken this path of negotiation with anyone before and never likely to again she surmised.

Lena smirked at the down turned face of what was soon to be her employer and sat down gracefully opposite the woman and waited for her to bring her head up. "I'm very pleased to hear that and I think its likely that this could be the last time you have to use this ploy, wouldn't you agree?" It was a comment that could have a double meaning and they both realized that.

Kate smiled back at the woman and held out her glass for a refill. "You could well be right on that one, Lena, definitely something to consider in the future." Kate felt her heart hammer once again loudly in her chest, as she watched the taller woman refilled the glass with water and sat opposite her nursing one of her own.

Lifting her glass in a gesture of salute, Lena spoke directly to the green eyes opposite her. "To the future and my new boss."

Kate gazed at the sparkling cobalt blue eyes and her own twinkled at the gesture as she chinked her glass with Lena's. "To the future and my new head trainer." Both women held each other's gaze for as long as they could, speaking without words, then Kate stood up and went towards the door.

"I'd better go and confirm this evening with Louis and ensure everything is in place for a speedy conclusion to this monumental purchasing." Kate said as Lena watched her move lithely towards the door.

"Sure I'll catch up with you later." Lena didn't move as she heard the door open and close within a few seconds, the house suddenly appeared empty. Kate Lawrence was quite something and Lena was going to enjoy getting to know her and being friends was only the start in her mind...just the start. Lena whistled a jaunty tune as she placed the glasses in the sink and walked out of the house to another training session, her heart light and strangely giddy.

A New Start

Kate anxiously awaited the arrival of her head trainer from Lexington; it had been three months since the formalities had been cleared up. Lena had agreed to Kate supervising the operation at Merridoc and she would close up the stables in Lexington, all in all, everything had gone remarkably well. Kate was not only anxious to set her eyes on Lena again, but positively craved the sight of the beauty that she hadn't stopped thinking about from the first day they met.

A vehicle rounded the drive and Kate lifted her hand to shade her eyes from the sun's rays as she caught her first glimpse of the elusive Selena Corkill. Or, that's how it had seemed to Kate after three months with only a voice at the end of a telephone line. The pick up truck, that appeared to be brand new, skidded to a halt within a couple of yards of Kate, who was standing at the bottom step of the newly remodeled stone and stucco ranch house.

The driver's door swinging open with negligent ease as a pair of long legs, encased in tight fitting denim jeans, slid out. Lena glanced lazily towards the small woman standing with her hands on her hips and a serene expression on her face. A bright infectious smile floated her way and Lena had no choice but to return it with equal vigor. As she walked towards the woman, Lena eyes captured Kate’s and held them; once again where she belonged. "Hi, Katherine Lawrence." Her drawl elongated the syllables of the Kate's name.

Kate now knew why she hadn't been able to get this woman off her mind; she just flowed with sexuality from every pore. "Hi yourself, Selena Corkill, did you have a pleasant trip here? Find it okay?" Kate rambled slightly, her vision, taking in the woman before her as if she might suddenly disappear.

"No problem, my father knew exactly where you were located, I've been visiting with my family for the last few days." Lena explained with a smile.

Kate was a little aggrieved that Lena had been in the vicinity for several days and hadn't called, but there again, she was the boss, not the girlfriend, right? Oh yeah! Right! "I'm sure you had a great time going over family news, they run the Osogill Farm and Stud Ranch don't they? I’m impressed it is a first rate operation."

Lena gave her a warm grin as she mentioned her family's farm with such regard, the smaller woman certainly knew how to charm the birds right into the hand that was for sure. "Yeah, that's right, their Dustwind studding service will be getting under way in the next couple of weeks, keeps the folks busy."

"Didn't Dustwind win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness?" Kate asked, moving closer to the tall woman who hadn't moved.

"Yes that's the boy and he's doing well that's for sure, Dad nets a cool sum for each studding service, at the last count they had ten mares lined up to keep the stallion happy." Lena chuckled at the image of the stallion fenced in with ten lovely ladies.

Kate had to catch her tongue, as she was about to ask if her dad supported a similar service of his daughter. The wicked image it formed in her mind brought color to her cheeks. Get your mind out of the gutter Lawrence her inner voiced warned her. "I'm sure it does. So, how about I show you your new home, then I thought I would let you get acquainted with the vet I've managed to secure for the farm; I think you'll like her." Kate sounded pleased at the prospect of Lena meeting Cornelia Cambridge; it was quite a coup for her to have the noted vet attached to the farm.

"Sounds like a plan to me, jump in." Soon they were on their way to Lena's new abode.

The ranch house was everything that Kate had promised and more. The view out of the windows gave her in the southerly direction a remarkable scene of the pastures with horses peacefully grazing. Then, in the northerly direction, the windows faced a garden, which housed flowers and a patch of lawn for human pleasure rather than the hooves of horses. It was quite a charming set up and the rooms did outclass the house in Lexington. With consummate pleasure, Lena spied just the location for the baby grand piano, which was due to be shipped later in the week along with the few pieces of furniture that she had accumulated in the past five years. Eventually having seen the various rooms, Lena went back into the room she was going to use for the piano. Smiling, as she watched un-noticed, Kate lounging on the sofa with one leg swinging happily over the edge of the sofa arm, she obviously was very relaxed in this house.

"I see you've made yourself at home?" Lena couldn't help the gentle teasing of her new boss.

Kate suddenly looked up in the direction of the voice and tried to gracefully sit up straight on the sofa, but as it was overly stuffed it didn't help the graceful part at all as she sunk further down, embarrassed, as her legs flayed around. Lena watched the display with laughter and warm affection and went across to hold out her hand in support. "Would you like some help?"

Kate looked up into the twinkling cobalt blue gaze and demurely offered her hand and smiled back. "Thank you, I'll remember how gallant you are in the future." Kate said softly as she was brought up to within a couple of inches of Lena's face, her breath catching in her throat at the unexpected treat of being close to the taller woman.

"Anytime," Lena answered in a low drawl that convinced Kate she was drowning in the musical notes of the voice before her.

"Do you think you have everything you need here…do you like it?" Kate asked, anxious to hear the reply. Originally she personally had the ranch house made to her specifications, but when Lena agreed to move there it was the only place she could think of that would do. So, she had it redecorated in pastel shades as Lena's previous home had been.

"Yep, I do believe you have covered every eventuality Kate, not to mention some I don't think I've thought of yet!" Lena found it hard to believe she warranted such lavish accommodations.

"Well, when you do think of them, please, by all means, call me…I'm sure I would enjoy finding out exactly what those would be." Kate gave her a sultry smile and a wink.

Again, Lena had no choice but to smile back at the lovely woman. "I might well take you up on that offer Kate. I think you mentioned a vet, how about you introduce me to her?" Lena would have been happy to spend the rest of the day in the other woman's company, but she had come here to work and the veterinarian couldn't wait all day.

"Yeah, I almost forgot her. Come on, Lena, she should be in the main stable looking over the horses you shipped earlier this week." Kate's enthusiasm was infectious and Lena smiled as the woman hurried out the door.

"Guess she likes the vet, wonder what she's like?" Lena considered as she followed Kate at a slower pace. A pang of jealousy was felt at the thought of Kate with another.

The stables were located a couple hundred yards from the main ranch house and Lena's new abode was another hundred yards back, secluded under a crest of a gentle rolling hill. It was certainly a spacious property and very well maintained. The new buildings were filled with the most up to date equipment…money certainly was no object here.

Kate scrambled out of the pick up truck, reminding Lena of a skittish filly going through the first initiations into the starting gate; so full of energy it was difficult not to go with the flow too. "Come on, Lena, you'll like Cornelia." The remark was flung over Kate's shoulder so she didn't see the flinch that the name caused on Lena's expressive features.

No it can't be? Can it? Damn, I hoped not! I know Cornelia Cambridge moved her operation to the Miami, area, but surely it must be a coincidence. Slowly walking towards the stables she contemplated a piece of her past, which she had thought was long in the back of her memory. Yet, her she was, and the mere mention of the name filled her with bitterness…obviously it hadn't been long enough.

Cornelia Cambridge had been the best veterinarian around, renowned for her surgery techniques on horses legs and feet. Cornelia had reached the top of her profession at the young age of thirty-one. For Lena, at twenty-two, she was ripe for the picking when the beautiful, yet cold woman, made advances in her direction. Over the period of a year they had settled into a comfortable and steamy sexual adventure together.

Although Lena was drawn sexually to the older woman, love hadn’t entered into the equation. Cornelia, who was reputed to be cold hearted and ruthless, dismissed the love factor; preferring the explosive passion they shared two or three evenings every couple of weeks, or as Cornelia's schedule allowed.

The auction she attended with her father went better than expected so they returned home a day earlier. Walking the mile from her parent’s home to hers she was pleased to see Cornelia's Porsche parked outside her residence. The old, familiar feelings of lust invaded her body as she felt the need for relief, and Cornelia was just the woman to do that. Walking in noiselessly, unbuttoning her shirt, she was unprepared for the sight of Cornelia, naked in her bed with Louis Wagoner’s niece, Carol, feasting between her legs.

Lena stood there as Cornelia’s eyes met hers before she pressed on the head between her legs. "Oh, baby, make me come." She growled out as a sardonic smile crossed her face. "No one does that like you do." Then, with her lover looking on, she let out a scream of pleasure as her hands pulled the head up and kissed the woman passionately. "No one tastes as good, do they? Oh look, we have company."

Carol twisted around her face ashen as she saw Lena standing there. "Oh, my god, Lena. This isn’t what you think!"

Lena let out a caustic laugh. "It is exactly as it looks, get up and get dressed! And, you, slut," Her cobalt blue eyes fixed on Cornelia, "get your sorry ass out of my bed!"

"Sure you don’t want to come and taste what little Carol here did?"

In a flash, Lena was by the bed, savagely pulling Cornelia to the floor. "Get the hell out of here, you bitch!"

Gathering up her clothes, Cornelia spat out before leaving. "Gladly, you weren’t that good, in fact you were the worse fuck I ever had!"

Once all the devious entanglements were in the open, it was clear that Cornelia was an unfeeling bitch who used people for her own personal gain and gratification. Lena’s abhorrence of anything to do with Cornelia Cambridge made it so distasteful for the vet among the Lexington horse crowd, that she moved her entire operation to Florida. Never to be seen by Lena again. Carol Wagoner, who was about to be married to a noted businessman and owner of a string of stables in California, convinced Lena to keep everything quite and not rock the boat.

Surely, there were other vet's by the name of Cornelia. Lena damn well hoped so, or it was going to be fireworks on her first few hours on Merridoc.

Kate was curious at the slow speed of her new head trainer and having caught the vet's attention was motioning her to come outside.

Cornelia Cambridge’s lips curled briefly in a smile as she watched the beautiful young owner of Merridoc leave the barn. She knew full well what the reaction of a certain horse trainer from Lexington would be. Of course it had been eight years ago and there was always the chance she forgot…yeah right.

"Lena, I want you to meet Dr. Cornelia Cambridge, she's the vet I have retained for the farm, come on over here and say hello?" Kate was puzzled at the abrupt halt of the head trainer.

Cornelia made the first move, holding out her slim hand to the positively gorgeous specimen of womanhood that stood feet away from her. "Hello again Lena." Cornelia gave her a charming smile that never reached her grey eyes and watched as the younger woman gave her the once over.

Lena was furious! Not only was it the woman she never wanted to see again, but also that Kate had taken her on as the resident veterinarian without consulting her first. It really was too much! "I hoped I'd never have to see your cold hearted face again, Cornelia." Lena spit out with malicious intent. There was absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that Lena wasn't happy with the vet’s presence.

Kate watched the interchange between the two of them and closed her eyes as she realized maybe she should have consulted Lena first. Oh, well! Cornelia was nice, she had an excellent reputation and Lena would have to get used to it. This was business not a popularity contest! "I see you two have met before?" Kate broke the silence that sparked with dangerous overtones.

Lena gave Kate a look from her cobalt blue eyes that she was pretty certain could have frozen the far reaches of the North Pole. A talk, we need to talk and in private. Kate thought as she turned to Cornelia, "Cornelia, sorry to have taken up so much of your time today. How about I call you later and we can meet up for a drink and discuss your responsibilities for Merridoc?" Kate used her stock in trade tactical charm to ease the tension in the yard.

Cornelia moved closer to Kate as she took her hand in one of her own and smiled sweetly. To Lena, watching with hooded eyes, it was like watching a snake in the grass about to pounce on the innocent. She was going to make sure that Kate didn't succumbed to forked tongued seduction techniques of the vet.

"Talk to you later Kate, and Lena, a pleasure as always." Cornelia gave Lena a long drooling look and turned towards the stables to collect her equipment.

Kate glanced at the set expression on Lena's face and walked gingerly over to her and placed a gentle, but firm hand on her arm, suspecting that the taller woman would shake it off in anger, she was right. "You and I need to talk and this time we go to my place." Kate said firmly as she walked towards the main ranch house.

"Yes, we certainly do!" Lena said tightly, her jaw flexing as it clamped shut in anger.

Several minutes later Lena paced the study as Kate sat at her desk. "Are you going to sit down, I’m getting dizzy watching you fly around the room?" Kate tried a little light-hearted banter in an attempt to take the edge off Lena's growing anger. Kate swore she could see steam rising off the woman’s head.

Lena looked directly at Kate and leveled her with a cold glance. "Why didn't you consult me over the resident vet, it's usually the head trainers prerogative to chose?" Lena growled.

Kate paused as she considered a tactical approach to the question. Lena was already angry and the wrong response would only escalate the situation. "I did think about it initially, but you were busy in Lexington. When the opportunity arose to hire Dr. Cambridge I thought would benefit the Farm and the horses we plan to develop here. I believe the retainer of a vet to be paramount to the successful running of the operation and to be frank, Dr. Cambridge has an excellent reputation." Kate watched as the anger grew once again in Lena.

"You? You thought it was an excellent opportunity? Tell me how on earth have you had the experience to know that I wonder? A reputation, sure she has a reputation, but at what cost? Do you know the number of horses she treated with a semi-serious injury that are still alive? The woman is a ruthless, cold-hearted bitch, who will not sully her reputation with sick horses; if there is the slightest chance that a horse won't survive or fully, she puts them down! If, Ms Lawrence, that's the type of vet you want working for you, then by all means keep her…you’ll have the most famous one." Lena spat out bitterly not caring when Kate shuddered at the accusations.

Kate had to pause, the words spoken in bitterness and sarcasm held a ring of truth to them. At no time, in their relatively new relationship, had Lena ever lied to her about anything. Lena’s reputation as a trainer said she wouldn’t let her personal feelings interfere with what was best for the horses. "Is there more to your hatred of Dr. Cambridge than your alleged understanding of her treatment program?" It was a simple enough question, yet what Kate saw between the two women told her there was more to the story.

Lena went over to the window in the room and watched a handler rub down the back of a chestnut mare who appeared to have tints of gold as the sun reflected from its back. Considering the question from Kate, Lena knew that she had to be honest about Cornelia or they would start their working relationship, as well as the personal one, on bad footing. "We have a history shall we say, although it was eight years ago, but I certainly grew up fast after that episode in my life. I do not want her tending any horses that I handle!"

Kate glanced at the stiff back looking out onto one of the training fields and she felt a stab of jealousy at the words. She knew her feelings were unfounded and it was, as Lena said, in the past, Kate fervently hoped it would stay that way. But, business being what it was, Kate couldn’t do anything about Cornelia for six months as the contract was already signed "I'm glad you told me Lena, and I'm sorry we have to disagree on this point, but how about you letting it ride for six months and if she doesn't come up to your stringent levels you can change to a vet of your choice. Is that satisfactory with you?"

Lena listened to the words Kate spoke and was amazed at how the woman's gentle insistence broke down every rule in her book. She should be on her way back to her parent's farm having torn the worthless contract up in Kate's face. It was preposterous and quite simply remarkable how she reacted to Kate Lawrence; the woman had her in the palm of her hands and hopefully, from Lena's point of view at the moment, Kate didn't realize it. "I have a condition to the six months."

Kate cocked her head to the side and Lena thought it endearing and couldn't help the brief smile that passed over her serious countenance.

"Go ahead."

"I decide if an animal has to have surgery or be put down, no one else. Not you, or the vet, only me! If you agree to that I will agree to the six months, but after that she's out of here." Lena backed up her original statement.

Kate gave her a bright smile at the achievement of her goal. Cornelia must have changed since Lena knew her, she isn't so bad, in fact she is positively charming and very good company, Lena will come round, I’m sure of it. "You have a deal." Kate held out her hand to shake on it.

Lena turned from her observations of the horses, and shook the proffered hand in a strong grasp. As the hands touched it was simply electrifying for both women; much like when they first met. Neither wanted to break the contact until Lena decided that there had been enough emotional charges detonated around them for one day. After all, there was always another day.

"I'll go and unpack and take a look around on my own if that's okay with you?" Lena would have enjoyed the company of the smaller woman, but decided that they both needed a little personal space, for now.

Kate gave her a disappointed pout before grinning. "Sure, how would you like to have breakfast with me tomorrow morning at say five thirty? You can let me know if you need anything."

Lena grinned back at the woman who was now swinging in the swivel chair at her desk. Didn't she ever keep still? But, it brought a much-needed chuckle from the taller woman. "Sounds a good idea to me, where do you want me?"

Kate was tempted to answer that in a far different way than her head trainer would have expected, or would she? Still there was a time and a place and Kate was waiting for the time because she certainly knew where the places were. "Meet me here and I'll show you around the house before we sit down for the meal. Oh, you better make it five-fifteen if you're getting the ten cent tour."

"See you tomorrow Kate," with that Lena gathered momentum and quickly left Kate to the rest of her day.

Kate considered what had happened and wondered if Lena and Cornelia had been lovers. There certainly was a volatility there that would relate to past lovers and clearly, Cornelia had looked at Lena possessively. It was not lost to the blonde that Cornelia was a very attractive woman and made conquests quite easily. Over the past several months the vet had pursued her asking her on date numerous time. Perhaps it was time to see what a date with the vet was like. Of course, Lena would only have to ask her out once and she would jump through hoops to say yes.

Smiling she opened her desk draw and pulled out her personal telephone book. Lena was going to be busy, perhaps tonight would be as good a time as any to try out the famous Cambridge seduction routine. Picking up the phone she punched the numbers that would connect her to the vet.

To Be Continued

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