A Quest Ridden on Behalf of Love
JM Dragon and Erin O’Rielly
©J M Dragon 2000
e-mail: jmdragon@jmdragon.net
e-mail: eorielly@yahoo.com


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.

Expletives are used.

Yep, right for the get go.

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 and Acknowledgement:
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.

The original idea for this story was given to JM Dragon by her original beta reader in 1999, a 3 page synopsis dealing with 'fictitious' characters and a story outline. The original story manuscript was around 51 pages long and submitted for publication; it was duly rejected.

All characters are fictitious; any resemblance to any person living or dead is coincidental.


Part Five

Always and Forever

The mood of Merridoc Farms was high after winning two of the three most prestigious races. For Lena, there was no time for rest as conditioning and development had to continue. Kate, wanting one very special piece of property, was in the midst of negotiations. Each evening was spent in each other’s arms as they discussed the day’s events and what the future would hold for them.

They had been home for a week when Kate brought up the subject of their joining ceremony.

"Lena, we really need to get started on the plans for our ceremony." She said as she kissed the belly her head rested on.

Pulling her love up into her arms, Lena smiled then sighed. "Would you hate me if I said I don’t want to have it at the Horseman’s Club?"

A sad, worried look crossed Kate’s face. "You don’t want to have a ceremony? Have you changed your mind about me?" An errant tear trickled down her cheek.

"No, Kate, you misunderstood! I want nothing more than to pledge my love to you forever…all I meant is I wanted the ceremony here and not at the Horseman’s Club."

"Really?" Kate said as she flung her arms around Lena’s neck. "You’ve been reading my mind. I know it will be inconvenient for some to come here, but this is where it all happened."

"Great minds, my love. Where do we start?"

"A date, we need a date."

That was the start of the two longest months of Lena’s life. She had no idea the amount of preparation required to give her heart and soul to Kate officially. Invitations, flowers, dresses, caterers, tents, chairs, hotels for guests and more were required for one afternoon. The logistics of it all were staggering for her, but she fearlessly joined in, allowing Kate to have her way with the plans.

Kate closed the deal on the property near the river and the old oak tree where they first voiced their love. She surprised Lena with the deed to the land and proposed they have the ceremony and reception there. Carmen and her close friend Vi would do all the cooking for the buffet dinner. Belinda and Anna were permanent fixtures as they oversaw all the preparations making certain everything was to Kate’s liking.

Finally the day arrived, with activity in full gear in every part of Merridoc. The site by the oak trees and river was set up with a white runner leading to an archway where they would walk through before the ceremony began. Chairs lined both sides of the aisle as white and red rose sprays filled the area. A large white tent was set up for the reception along with a smaller one for Carmen and company to use for the food.

* * * * *

Lena’s father watched the tense body language of his daughter and smiled. Yep, she was fraught, as anyone would be with upcoming nuptials…that would be the final bond to make everything worthwhile in both their business and private lives. Wheeling his chair over to the French windows where his child stood pensively looking at a yearling that was happily trotting around the paddock.

"No use worrying about it, Baby, you’ll see her in good time." Spinning around Lena gazed at her father with a bemused expression on her face.

"I don’t know what you mean, Dad."

"Really, and I always thought your mother and I had brought up a smart kid. She’s not going to come over the hill, you have to go to her, remember?" Smiling, as he saw a dawning behind those dramatic blue eyes of hers.

"I wasn’t thinking that at all, Dad, but this tradition of being separated before the wedding sucks!"

A chuckle rumbled from the depths of the wheelchair as the older man thought, yeah right! "Tradition has its good points too, Lena. Later, won’t you have a marvelous feeling when you see her all prettied up just for you? I’m sure she feels the same way, I know I was when I saw your mother." The old man’s eyes had a far away dreamy look in them, obviously recalling the event with great pleasure and love.

"Kate will always look beautiful to me, even if she wore rags." The dreamy expression in the man’s eyes had manifested itself in her voice as she conjured up the picture she held in her mind of the woman who was soon to be her bride.

"I doubt that young woman would be seen dead in rags, Lena, you on the other hand…" as she gave him a sharp glance her eyes caught the teasing twinkle in the depths and she smiled at him, her pensive mood lightening a little.

"Yeah, Dad, right, me in rags sure…she’d still love me though, that I know." Lena stared at the paddock and the young horseflesh prancing around. Her stomach was fluttering in nerves as she contemplated the ceremony in a little over three hours.

Before he could answer the phone rang and she quickly shot across the room to answer. As her father watched the tense expression change to one of rapt wonder, he opened the French doors and let himself out of the room. Who could stop communication between people so much in love? He knew he couldn’t and never would; it was far too precious a commodity to allow interference.

"Hi, lover, how are you holding up?" Kate asked in a breathless voice, her heart hammering as she made contact with the woman she loved, even if it was through an inanimate object.

"All the better for hearing your voice, I hate being without you by my side." Lena meant every word as she sighed heavily with her blood pounding through her veins. The sexy voice at the end of the line turned her on as no one else had ever done and to cap it all, there wasn’t even any sexual undertone…yet.

"Ditto that, Love, I miss you too. My mother is fussing around like a chicken without a head, so you are better away from it all. What about your folks?"

"Calm and collected at this end, my dad anyway. Mom is busy with my cousins Alice and Vicky. She wants to ensure that they look the part as bridesmaids. I’m sure she’ll be gunning for me any time now."

A light chuckle had Kate sighing lightly. She could imagine the expression on her lover’s face and all she wanted to do was reach out and kiss her gorgeous lips, so full and inviting…ARUGH! She really didn’t need to go there…just yet anyway. After all this was over they could be as expressive as possible together and she was going to make certain that Lena never, ever forgot their joining ceremony.

"You know I love you, don’t you, Lena?"

Taking in a shaky breath at the words, Lena smiled widely, "yep, not as much as I love you, Kate.

"Oh you are such a flatterer lover…I was thinking…" Lena heard the hesitation and prompted for more.

"Thinking what, love?"

There were a few moments of silence before Kate whispered into the handset, "she can’t possible spoil our day can she, Lena?"

For a split second Lena wasn’t on the same wavelength before it hit her like a bolt out of the blue. Today was not a day to have that woman in their hair, though she had thought of her minutes before.

"No! No she can’t, Kate! Please don’t let her name even enter that marvelous head of yours, especially today. Today is for people we care about, not to think of that conniving, evil bitch in any way at all."

"Yes, I know you’re right, but she did say she’d make our lives a misery and interfere with anything we hold dear, what better place in front of all our family and friends." Lena heard the sorrow in Kate’s voice and wanted desperately to hold her close, knowing that together everything would work out just as it was meant to be.

"All you have to remember today, Kate, is that I love you and in a few short hours we will pledge our love to everyone who is important to us. There is no way on this planet that she gets the opportunity to spoil that for a moment, trust me on that one, Kate, I have it covered." She hadn’t really, except that the ranch was closed to everyone, but those invited to the joining ceremony. Maybe they needed more people on the gate, yeah she could organize that, or her dad could. Might be tricky at short notice and all, but it would happen if it meant that her love wouldn’t worry.

"I trust you, Lena. I trust you with my love, happiness, soul and my safety. I’ve never been in better hands."

In the background Lena heard Kate’s mother calling her name. The few minutes of togetherness had to be broken, but it would only be for a short time and then they would be together forever…regardless of what the world or that bitch threw at them; it was meant to be. "Your mother sounds impatient…guess you need to go."

"I never want to be anywhere but with you when we speak, Lena. You’re right of course, better get all that pampering over with." Kate smiled as she thought of the process; it wouldn’t be too bad…for her anyway. Lena, on the other hand, would be like a wild stallion being forced into the bit, what she wouldn’t give to see how her mother handled that one.

"Later you and I will never be parted ever again. I love you, Kate. Bye until later." A goofy smile resided on Lena’s face as she heard the return sentiment and replaced the receiver. As she heard her mother call her name, she groaned with the thought of the torture to come.

* * * * *

The ceremony had been all that Kate had ever envisioned. The sight of Lena walking towards her up the rose petal strewn aisle had been breath taking. Never in her life could she have thought her lover could look any better than she was already in her eyes. However, floating towards her, as if in a dream, was the tall dark haired woman with the brilliant blue eyes, her figure clothed in a marvelous silk cream simple a-line dress. The simplicity of the design enhanced by the delicate flower pattern embossed within the sheer fabric, a simple flower headband complimented the creation as she glided towards the front, a shy smile hovering over her lips as they locked glances.

It was hard to know who was the most captivated; probably they felt exactly the same emotion. As they settled next to each other while waiting for the formalities to start, Kate saw the delight and sensual spark flare in Lena’s eyes. Her own gown of off-white flamboyant brocade was in total contrast to Lena’s. At first glance, the gown with the intricate embroidery was overpowering, but as they stood together, they made a stunning fashion statement. Quite at odds from their usual attire, the scene caused stunned expressions and envious sighs from those congregated for the ceremony.

The moment came for Kate to speak her vows…

Once the moment for Kate to speak her vows came, she took Lena’s hand holding a ring close to her finger. "Lena, you came into my life and rescued me from a loneliness I never knew I felt. My first vision of you set my heart pounding, demanding to find you as my love. Now that I have found you I’ll go wherever you will go, I will stay with you for all time. I pledge my love and my heart to you for this life and beyond. I love you." With a brilliant smile she slipped the ring onto the waiting finger.

Then, Lena took Kate’s hand as she held a ring poised to decorate her lovely finger. "Kate, my heart was in a prison until I saw your beautiful face. Now my heart soars free, filled with your love. I’ll go wherever you will go; I will stay with you for all time. I pledge my love and my heart to you for this life and beyond. I love you." Blue eyes fixed on the beautiful face as she slipped the ring on her finger.

Joy and happiness filled the air as the two women stood there captivated by the power of the love and emotions they felt. Finally, Lena bent down and captured Kate’s lips to seal their pledge of everlasting love.

* * * * *

Now, with the party in full swing, they both chatted in separate places to family and friends. For Kate, it was hard not to keep looking at one lovely creation, Lena. The fact that her partner was in a dress for the first time since they’d met only elevated her need to remove the wonderful attire and make love to her as they had never made love before.

Glancing around, Lena had been as good as her word, the whole affair had gone as smoothly as anyone could wish for. Everyone was letting their hair down and enjoying the party completely. This joining ceremony would probably go down in history and she didn’t mind that at all.

The music changed and the leader of the band called for silence then called over the new couple to the dance floor to start the dancing. Kate’s eyes caught Lena’s while she made her apologies and headed for the center of the dance floor. Lena glided towards her just as she had up the aisle. God, could life get any better than this she wondered.

Her tongue traced a delicate line over her lips moistening them as Lena held out her arms. She floated into them to tremendous applause from the onlookers.

"Anyone ever tell you how beautiful you are?" Lena hoarsely whispered into Kate’s ear, her breath like a gentle breeze making her shiver in anticipation. Moving until they were so close that to get any closer, would have created a scene in public.

"Hmm yeah, from time to time," smiling teasingly up into the sparkling blue eyes of her new partner for life, her love.

"Time to time, really? Well, we must remedy that. I think all the time, every hour of every day wouldn’t do you justice, but I’m prepared to give it a try." Lena’s voice was now so husky; Kate’s body was shaking inside as the sexual tension built.

"We need…to be…alone!" Kate brokenly announced and was amazed when Lena threw back her head and laughed at her loss of control. "You don’t agree?"

Smiling lovingly at the smaller woman in her arms, "did I say that…alone would be good, better than good…the best!"

"Now I know my Lena is in my arms…for a split second there, I thought I’d joined with someone else. Mind that someone else was like a fairytale, inspiring and so very sexy."

"I aim to please and…I’ll please you in any way possible." The low sexy drawl was Kate’s undoing. Wrapping her arms around Lena’s neck she passionately kissed the woman she loved, adored and WANTED!

Wolf whistles and applause complimented the kiss. Lena finally came up for air, her body on fire for the woman she had pledged the rest of her life to. God, she was way too sexy not to ravish right at this moment!

"Alone!" The one word made Kate smile brilliantly as others joined them on the dance floor.

Lena stopped dancing and still holding Kate in her arms whispered. "Give me a minute, then we will say our goodbyes. You and I will go back to the house for one spectacular evening.

Kate felt her heartbeat pick up as she watched Lena move through the crowd and stop to speak with her father, Carl. Turning back to the dance floor, the blue eyes captured green in a come hither gaze.

They met in the middle looking longingly into each other’s eyes. Lena took Kate’s hand. "Shall we say our goodbyes to our parents?" The smile on her face definitely seductive…Kate had no choice but to follow.

Leaving the tent, Kate gasped at the sight in front of her. "Oh, Lena, this is wonderful! Where did you hide this?"

A satisfied smile crossed Lena’s face. "At my folks' place. Do you like?"

"Like, I love it, Lena!" she said as she grabbed Lena’s hand pulling her towards the white carriage adorned with roses and being pulled by a stunningly beautiful white stallion.

Lena helped Kate into the carriage then climbed in so she was sitting close to Kate. Flicking the reins, the horse began heading home while the two women snuggled in each other’s arms.

Arriving at their home, Lena alit from the carriage, then gently took Kate by the waist and lifted her to the ground. Kissing her thoroughly, she picked her up and carried her into the house

They fit perfectly together as they held each other close. As passions reached a fevered pitch, the sweaty bodies slid seductively against one another. Fingers, hands, tongues, lips, mouths, arm, legs, breasts and centers vied for attention, the need for release…overwhelming. Finally, the room and surroundings disappeared as they left the bonds of earth. Powerful orgasms rocked them while explosions of light and love filled their souls. As their bodies and minds soared, there was no distinction between them…they were one, joined for all time and beyond.

Kate lay sleeping as Lena’s arms held her close. I will always protect you, Kate and keep you safe, she thought, recalling the envelope with the word BITCH on it and the message inside. It’s only a matter of time.

When she shared the message with Carl Lawrence, he arranged for them to be protected during their honeymoon. He also started an investigation into the vet and her whereabouts. At least she hadn’t been able to crash the ceremony and spoil that.

Kissing Kate’s cheek gently, she closed her eyes when sleep finally took over. Her last thoughts were about the look on Kate’s face when she saw the honeymoon surprise tomorrow.

* * * * *

Kate was dreaming that someone was calling her name as they knocked on the door. Waking with a start she realized it wasn’t a dream but her mother’s voice. "Mom, what?"

"Time to get up, sweetie. Your breakfast guests will be here soon and you need to be at the airport by eleven."

Focusing her eyes on the bedside clock, she groaned. "Mom, it’s only seven, give us a few more hours."

Lena kissed Kate’s bare shoulder. "We’re up, Mom. Be there after our showers." She continued kissing the shoulder then her lips moved down towards a tempting breast.

Kate let out a laugh, "Oh, no you don’t. You said we were on our way, so no time for that." Her tone was teasing and light.

Lena took a nipple into her mouth and began sucking causing Kate to shiver in anticipation. Then she looked up into the green eyes. "I did say after our showers…this is before." She said before beginning her assault on Kate’s body once again.

* * * * *

Once on the plane, Kate asked Lena, "Okay, are you going to tell me where you are taking us?"

A sly smile greeted her. "Not yet my love. You will see…" looking at her watch, "in about three hours."

Kate yawned. "I don’t know if I can wait that long. Please tell me." She said batting her eyelashes while running her fingers along Lena’s leg. "We can see if there really is a mile high club." She winked then spoke to the steward. "May I please have a blanket and pillow?"

The steward quickly opened the overhead, retrieved the items and handed them to Kate.

"Thank you." She said as she spread the blanket over Lena’s legs as her fingers worked their way between them. "Please tell me, I’ll make it worth your while."

Lena swallowed as Kate’s fingers began undoing her slacks. "K…Kate, it won’t be a surprise if I tell you now. Oh, my goodness, Kate we aren’t even off the ground yet!" She managed as she captured the fingers between her thighs.

"Well then, I will have to wait to finish, won’t I?" Kate said as she withdrew her fingers. Yawning, she stretched before placing the pillow on Lena’s lap and laying her head down. "Wake me when we are a mile up." No sooner had she spoken then she was fast asleep.

Lena gently spread the blanket over her partner before kissing her cheek. "Sleep my love, we have a great adventure before us." She said as she looked at the other passengers wondering which one was watching over them.

* * * * *

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we are preparing to land. Please place your seats in an upright position, fasten your seatbelts and shut all electronic devices off. Thank you."

Lena gently touched Kate’s face as she whispered. "Hey, sleepyhead, it’s time to wake up."

Kate moved slightly as she stretched the best she could. Looking up at Lena, her face brightened. "I’m sorry. I should have stayed awake. Are we at a mile yet?"

Laughing, Lena helped Kate sit up and fasten her seatbelt. "No, love, we are landing. Promises, promises is all I get from you." She said with a glint of laughter in her eyes.

Kate laughed as she looked out the window and off in the distance, she could see the Gateway to the West. "What’s in St Louis?" she asked while picking up the book Lena was reading.

"You’ll see soon enough. I can lend you that book if you want."

"No, it’s okay. That’s why we have you to do the training…unless, of course, you want me to train you." A wink greeted Lena.

"You can train me anytime, anywhere, anyplace and anyway you desire." Lena said as she stole a quick kiss as they felt the wheels touching the ground.

As the cab drew up to the dock, Kate’s eyebrows crinkled. "What are we doing here?" She was totally confused as to what and where they were going.

Lena pointed out to the water. "See that paddle boat, it is taking us on a leisurely trip down the Mississippi River."

Kate didn’t want Lena to know how disappointed she was. Spending her honeymoon on a small boat with other people around wasn’t her idea of a private time with her partner. "Oh, how nice. How many couples will be with us?"

Lena heard the words as she exited the cab to talk with the woman there to greet them. Leaning back in the cab she said, "Aren’t you coming?"

Kate took a deep breath, "Yes." She said while sliding across the seat and taking Lena’s hand.

"Chris, this is my partner, Kate. Kate this is Christine; she owns the boat."

For a moment Kate was taken back. In the close comfort of their family and friends referring to each other as partners was not a problem, but not here. Nonetheless, she held out her hand. "Glad to meet you, Christine."

The woman was shorter than Kate, with a very muscular, tanned body. Soon two other women approached them. "Ladies, this is my crew, Sam and Linda, they will take care of all your needs." She said turning, "Will you get their bags out of the cab and put them in the cabin?"

Kate looked around the spacious cabin wondering if other couples had such a big room. The boat wasn’t that big! Hearing the engines start, she sighed, resigned to the trip ahead.

Lena stood and watched Kate while her heart filled with more love. She knew her lover was disappointed with the surprise, but she didn’t have all the information. Guess it is time to fill her in. Lena thought as she went to Kate and took her in her arms. "I love you. Are you happy with my surprise?" A twinkle was evident in her eyes.

Kate forgot all about the boat and the people focusing only on the woman holding her so very close. "I love you too, Lena…only you."

Lena found it hard to control the passion she was feeling since Kate leaned seductively into her. Finally she managed to say something. "But, what about the surprise, does it make you happy?" She knew the answer, but wanted to hear Kate try to talk around her disappointment.

"Well, it is different. Not exactly what I imagined, but the cabin is certainly big." She looked into Lena’s eyes and knew she wasn’t believed. "Lena, I love you, but spending our honeymoon on a small boat with other couples isn’t my idea of fun. We will have to hide our love and I didn’t want to do that!" There, she’d said it, and hopefully Lena wouldn’t be hurt.

Lena let out an uproarious laugh. "Oh, Baby, I love you…you are so wonderful." She said pulling Kate in closer yet. "We are the only couple on the boat…the owner and crew are all lesbians and we won’t see them except when have our meals."

The look of amazement on Kate’s face was precious as her eyes, along with her mouth were wide opened. "Just us? Really, just us?" Throwing her arms around her lover’s neck, Kate began kissing Lena non-stop.

Soon they were naked and lying in a bed that rocked gently as they were carried down the river. As their bodies hungered for each other, the added dimension of the boat’s motion increased the intensity.

Kate’s fingers were relentless. They plunged deeper and deeper until Lena’s body began to explode just as hers had at Lena’s hand. As they lay in each other’s arms, satiated, a sense of great peace came over them. Here, drifting down a river, they were one and safe from the world of telephones, business and horses. The next five days were theirs alone to explore each other, not just sexually, but personally.

* * * * *

As the boat docked in New Orleans, Kate and Lena thanked Christine, Linda and Sam. Kate hugged each woman while she gushed about the wonderful trip and the great treatment they had received. Lena merely looked on smiling fondly at the small blonde she intensely loved.

Getting into the cab, Kate spoke. "I can’t wait to find out what’s next. The trip down the river was so wonderful I’m not sure anything will be able to compare."

"Golly, Kate, I hope you will be happy." Lena smiled reaching over to take Kate’s hand. "First, we go to the French Quarter and the Maison Dupuy for a few days of pampering. Then, if you like, we could take in the two-year-old training auction nearby."

Kate laughed. "Can’t stay away from the horses for too long can you, love…neither can I. Do you have a tip on a good horse?"

"You know me so well, Kate. Yes, I do and hopefully we can get it for very little. He doesn’t look like much, but I see real potential."

"Then that is what we shall do. I love you." Kate said, bringing Lena’s hand up to kiss it, not caring what the driver thought.

The ambience of the antebellum south greeted them as they drove up to the Maison Dupuy. It was everything Lena had hoped for and more. As the door to their room was opened, each woman gasped at the opulent sight before them. Lena tipped the porter then turned to Kate who was standing on the balcony.

"Look, Lena, we can have our meals out here. The courtyard is wonderful…the whole place is wonderful…you are wonderful." She said gushing before she took her lover in her arms and kissed her in thanks.

"You deserve only the best, Kate and I intend on giving you just that for the rest of our lives." Hugging her love close then letting go she asked, "What do you say we go out and explore?"

A bright smile crossed Kate’s face. "I have been all over the world, but never to New Orleans. Let’s go and see what we can discover in this exciting place."

As they stepped out of the hotel onto Rue Toulouse heading to Bourbon Street, Lena looked around wondering which person was their protection. She would keep her eyes open until she could identify the person. Carl said they were the best, she thought as she followed her lover down the street towards adventures.

The day had been memorable for the weary explorers returning to their room. Kate, dropping all her bags, collapsed on the bed. "I think this is one of the best days of my life. Remember the look on that old gypsy’s face when she told us we were bound together for all time?"

Lena looked fondly down on Kate before joining her on the bed. "She was right you know, nothing will ever part us. That necklace looks wonderful on you." A smile of a fond memory crossed her face. "Shall we order some dinner and have it out on the balcony? It is a beautiful night…almost as beautiful as you."

Kate laughed as she caressed Lena’s cheek. "You know how to get to me, don’t you?"

"Of course, flattery and food gets you every time."

"Not as much as you do, my love. Hmm, of course we can skip the food and go straight for dessert." Kate said as she began removing Lena’s clothes.

Lena, lost in the haze of Kate, could only respond by kissing her lover. "Dessert is my favorite part." She said before joining Kate in clothes removal.

* * * * *

Entering the auction arena of the fairgrounds, Kate and Lena inhaled the smell of horses and hay.

"I forgot how wonderful that smell is, Kate." Lena said as she stood at the rail looking over the horses there.

"Vacations are great, but I will be glad to go home tomorrow." Kate’s eyes became fixed on a superb chestnut stallion in a pen alone. "What a fantastic horse, Lena, why is he alone?"

"Probably couldn’t keep to himself around all the ladies." Lena quipped as she headed for the horse.

"Lena, stop, I’m serious. Do you think he’s wild or something?" Kate trailed behind her love until she joined her at the fence.

"Here boy." Lena said softly as she motioned to the horse to come. As the horse drew closer she pulled Kate closer. "Here he comes…doesn’t seem wild to me. I think he is just too much of a ladies man."

"He is magnificent, Lena. Look at his lines and the power of his body. Hey, what are you doing? You can’t do that! Lena, stop." She called out as her lover was climbing over the fence to inspect the horse up close.

Kate watched in amazement as Lena stood by the horse, running her hands over his body then lifting a lip to see the his teeth. Patting his hindquarters, Lena walked back over to the fence and climbed back over.

"Now, that is a horse! He has winner written all over him."

Kate looked at Lena, puzzled by her attention to the horse. "This isn’t the scraggly horse you came here to see is it?"

A hearty laugh could be heard throughout the arena. "Noooo, Kate. Come with me and I will show you that one."

"How much do you think the chestnut will go for?" Kate asked looking back once again.

Stopping at another corral, Lean pointed to a rather small, thin horse standing in the corner of the pen. "There she is, doesn’t look like much does she?"

Kate shook her head, trying not to laugh at the pathetic horse Lena thought could be a winner. "You’re not serious are you? I know you are the expert, but you’ve got to be kidding."

The stunned look on Lena’s face didn’t go unnoticed by her partner. "You’re serious! Oh God, I’m sorry, you know horses…I’m sure that one has something I’m missing." Her eyes were pleading with Lena for understanding.

"No problem, let’s go find our seats, the auction is about to begin." Lena said gruffly as she took Kate’s hand. "Harvey Tanner said we could use his box, let’s go."

Kate stopped in her tracks refusing to go further. "Not until we settle this, Lena Corkill. I said I was sorry. To my untrained eyes that horse looks like it would have a hard time at a pony ride. I’m sorry I questioned your judgment…can you accept that?"

Lena stood there as Kate read her the riot act then reached in her pocket and handed Kate a piece of paper. "Perhaps this will answer your questions." She said with a raised an eyebrow.

Taking the offered paper, Kate opened it and read the notes on the horse. Looking up into Lena’s eyes she could feel her face burning. "Come with me, please."

Lena dutifully followed her partner back to the corral. "Now, please, look at that horse and forget what you know. Does she look like she came from a championship line?"

Lena looked critically at the horse and began laughing. "She is rather pathetic isn’t she? Actually, I was thinking, with a line like hers she would make a good brood mare. What do you think?"

"I love you." Kate said as she gave Lena a discrete hug. "A brood mare is a good idea although I’m not sure how attractive she will be."

Lena leaned in and whispered, "They go by smell, not looks."

Kate felt a shiver go through her body as she felt the hot breath in her ear. "Oh really, what do you go by?" She rubbed up against the body leaning on the fence.

"How about I show you later."

"Count on it. Now, which of our horses do you plan for a stud for our brood mare?"

"Ah, I hoped you would ask. Come with me." Leading her partner they stopped at the chestnut’s pen. "Kate, I would like you to meet our new horse, Kate's Pride."

Kate couldn’t help herself; she grabbed Lena by the neck and hugged her before she kissed her thoroughly. "You are so good to me. I love you." Then she kissed her again.

Lena pulled Kate close. "Glad to make you happy.
A few of the guys from the farm are here to take our horse’s home. What do you say we find them and they can finish up here? We can go back to a leisurely bath and a nice dinner on the patio."

A bright smile lit up Kate’s face. "Now, that sounds like a delightful way to spend our last night in New Orleans."

High in the arena, cold eyes watched them leave.

* * * * *

At some point during the night, Lena knew they were not alone. Lifting her head she saw a figure standing at the foot of the bed.

"How did you get in here?" she demanded.

"That man was a waste of your money, he didn’t protect you very well." Cornelia hissed.

"Get the hell out of here!"

"Not until I get what I came for. You two made a fool out of me and now you must pay." Cornelia sneered as she raised her gun.

Lena’s eyes widened at the sight of the gun with a silencer. "Put it away, Cornelia, you don’t want to do this."

An evil smile crossed her face. "The hell I don’t!"

In the instant it took for Lena to realize Cornelia was going to fire, she flung her body across Kate’s feeling the burn of the bullet entering her body. A second shot rung out and she felt Kate’s body lurch with the impact.

Lena regained consciousness feeling the blood leaving her body. Checking Kate’s body first, it was still warm though the pulse was weak, then struggling to reach the phone; she picked up the handset and waited for the desk to answer.

"Front desk, may I help you?"

A weak voice spoke. "Please…help us…shot…"

Quickly the woman looked for the name of the occupants in the room. "Ms. Corkill, please tell me what happened." When nothing else was heard she dialed 911.

The police were the first to arrive and examined the man’s body lying outside Lena and Kate’s suite. Going inside, they saw the women lying on the bed in a pool of blood.

Karen Dixon felt for pulses before she spoke to her partner. "We have one dead and two that are alive…barely…tell the medics to hurry."

The police officer looked down to see Lena open her eyes and try to speak.

Karen knelt down by the bed moving her ear close to the wounded woman’s mouth.

"What did she say, Karen?" Harvey Nelson asked his partner.


The End

Author's Note:

It is at this point we, the authors, met with a difference of opinion. One thought the story should end here and let the reader finish however they want. The other thought, No, the readers will be upset with us we need to add more. Then, the committee was consulted with some agreeing it needed more. So, if you think it should end here you are done with our story. But, if you want more, the conclusion will be next week.


to be continued

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