Part 3 of 3 – For Scott and of course, Johnny
Something to Warm Us Up! A Sizzling Story Concludes...
Usual Disclaimers Apply
~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~
The boys couldn’t believe their luck! During dinner, Murdoch mentioned that the California Cattle Growers Association Annual Board Meeting was being held this year in San Francisco, in two weeks time. Since he was paying attention to the roast he was craving, he missed seeing Johnny’s twinkling sapphire eyes and Scott’s more serious blue-grey eyes fill with anticipation along with the slight smiles playing across their faces. The brothers realized that they didn’t need to invent a ruse to venture off to Yosemite after all. It had been handed to them on a silver platter by Murdoch!
“Now boys, I know under normal circumstances I would have you join me, but the board will be in committee meetings all day. Johnny, I don’t believe you would find it very enlightening and Scott, well you’re coming off an extended bout of illness; I prefer you build up your endurance. The spring round-up will be here before we know it and you’ll need to be at full strength to pull your own weight. I hope this doesn’t disappoint either of you,” Murdoch commented as he looked to his sons, gauging their reactions.
“Dios!” Johnny muttered softly in response to Scott who employed the camouflage of the dining table to deliver a sharp kick to Johnny’s shin alerting him to pay attention and stop day-dreaming about that girl, Phoebe. Johnny rubbed one leg against the other to ease the throbbing pain as he sat up higher, looking at Murdoch.
“Murdoch, it don’t bother me none. Ya know I’m not interested in those borin’ meetings. How about ya takin’ Teresa, so’s she can see the sights? Betcha she wouldn’t mind goin’ to San Fran,” said Johnny as he forked a mouthful of mashed potatoes and gravy, grinning at the girl, as his own “shit-kicker” pointed toe boots made contract against his brother’s sensitive shin bone. Johnny could tell he got him by the ever so slight grimace Scott shot him as he took a sip from his wine goblet.
“Oh Murdoch! Could I? I promise I won’t get in the way! I could go shopping and to the museums and art galleries. It will be nice to have a change of scenery and maybe go to a play or a concert and just see the big city instead of cows! Oh, please!”
Murdoch looked at his ward, recognizing that he had been backed into a corner, compliments of his youngest son. “Well, Teresa, I’ll be busy in meetings and won’t see much of you during the day. Are you sure you want to go? You’ll have a lot of free time on your hands?”
“Oh yes, Murdoch, I’ll be fine,” said the beaming dark-hair girl, knowing that she was going to go. She got up from the table to fling her arms around Murdoch’s neck, then to Johnny and Scott, twirling her skirts, giggling with delight.
Later upstairs in Scott’s room the co-conspirators made their own plans, including which hands they could trust to cover their chores while they would be gone. Timing was critical as it would take two days there, two days back if the weather cooperated. Murdoch and Teresa would be gone between eight-ten days. Scott gave Johnny a jab in his upper arm, “Well, little brother I think we can look upon Murdoch’s trip as a stroke of providence.”
“If ya mean lady luck is smilin’, why the hell didn’t ya just say that? Stop all you’re beatin’ round the bush and just get it said, brother! The way I see it, we need ta get Maria ta go too. She should go keep watch on Teresa durin’ the day...like one of those goat things ya had in Boston.”
“Goat things? Johnny, I didn’t have a goat in Boston....oh....yes....of course, you mean a nanny!” exclaimed Scott as he shook his head at Johnny’s literal interpretation, causing him to snigger at the way his brother had made his life interesting, indeed. There was never a dull moment being around his little brother.
Johnny smirked, “See there Boston, ya figured out what ya meant after all!”
“What I meant? Do you mean what YOU MEANT?” emphasized Scott as he tousled Johnny’s already unruly dark hair.
~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~
After losing a coin toss, Scott approached Murdoch at breakfast to sow the seed about Teresa needing a female companion for safety reasons. Teresa was not happy and protested that “I don’t need a baby-sitter.” But the tune-caller put his foot down, Maria was coming, end of discussion or Teresa would stay put on Lancer. Maria just smiled at her outburst; she was going, since it wasn’t Maria’s place to argue with the Patron and that was that.
For her part, Maria was keeping both her eyes on the young men, believing that her Juanito and Scott were up to something, she didn’t have any idea what, but something underlying was going on, as it kept calling upon her woman’s intuition. She deliberated, coming to the conclusion that “que sera, sera”, the Patron’s sons were old enough to fend for themselves. Let the chips fall where they may, or in this case, it would be her wooden spoon falling if her kitchen was turned upside down as the result of whatever devilment was lurking in the minds and hearts of el ninos.
~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~
The big day arrived, the wagon brought round, luggage stowed, and Teresa and Maria were escorted to the wagon by the beaming Lancer boys. Last minute instructions delivered by Murdoch, with Johnny telling Teresa to “bring me back some peppermint sticks” while Scott wanted a few good novels. With a final wave the group departed for Morro Coyo to catch the noon stage. They would board their wagon and team at the livery stable waiting for their return.
“Hot dang! I didn’t think they’d ever get outta of here, Boston!” said Johnny as they watched the group ride down the road, growing smaller in the distance. “Ya ready ta head ta Yosemite?”
“Patience, Johnny, patience, let’s make certain they don’t come back for some last minute forgotten item first,” reasoned Scott.
“Ya see...I just knew it, ya are the sneaky one, ain’t ya Boston!”
“Just following proper military protocol, know your opponent; don’t get outflanked by them, that’s all, little brother.”
Secure that the coast was indeed clear; the brothers saddled up their horses and found Cipriano. They told him that they were heading out for a few days to check the supplies along with the condition of the east line shack, making any repairs as necessary for the upcoming round-up and that he was charge while they were gone. Not a falsehood, since it was on their way to their genuine destination and they would check the shack, as promised, hoping that there weren’t any repairs to be done.
~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~
The brothers enjoyed spending trail time together, worked well as a team when they set up their camp site at night, almost as if they had been together their entire lives instead of growing up in their own unique worlds of contrast. In the morning Scott marveled at the beauty, the grace, the rugged wilderness they rode through. He observed melting snow, trees glimmering from the moisture of the new day that had dawned. There were tiny buds making their appearance on some of the trees. Everywhere Scott looked he saw cascading waterfalls, some only mere trickles as the snow from higher elevations had begun winding journeys down the rocky mountainsides, some waterfalls more robust than others with thundering sounds of rushing water heard off in the distance.
Scott reflected that in this majestic setting Mother Nature’s unspoken promises were being fulfilled as the arrival of spring was both renewing the earth, along with the spirit of mankind with the knowledge that brighter and warmer days were ahead. Little wonder, Ralph Waldo Emerson embraced the peace and quiet of his woodland retreat at Walden Pond to reflect and create his wonderful writings that Scott was prone to quote.
Johnny with his own musings of Mother Nature’s other earthy matters at hand became antsy, eager to see Phoebe with every passing mile. He was leading led the way through the winding mountain passageways, ever mindful of some of the sheer drops of any missteps. “Come on Scott, we’re almost there! Looky there, ya see the smoke? That’s coming from Phoebe cabin.”
“Johnny, this girl must be something special for you to be so enthusiastic! I don’t recall any other girlfriend of yours in Morro Coyo that you made such a fuss over.”
“That’s ‘cos none of the girls are at ‘tall like this one. Just ya wait and see brother.”
~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~
Arriving at the cabin, Johnny dismounted, ground-tying Barranca, he rushed to the door, knocking sharply. When the door opened, he grabbed Phoebe, lifting her off her feet; swinging her round and round, kissing her with excitement and mounting desire.
“Put me down this instance! What do you think you’re doing?” exclaimed the girl, trying to free herself from his grasp.
Johnny held onto her, his arms encircling her waist as he held her to him, “Phoebe, what’s the matter miel? Ain’t ya happy ta see me?”
“Ooooohhhhh! That explains this greeting! She continued her attempts to break free of his tight hold on her. “Sorry to disappoint you Romeo, but you have your arms around the wrong girl. I'm not Phoebe.”
“What?” Johnny asked as he put her down.
Meantime, Scott had come over to join the pair, looked on quizzicality.
“Querida is this your idea of a joke? It’s not funny. I’ve missed ya and hoped that ya missed me!”
“If you would allow me to explain, I’m trying to tell you, I am not Phoebe.”
“If ya not Phoebe, how come ya look just like her? Who are ya? Don’t tell me that your one of those ghostly visions people have in their dreams. I know I’m awake.”
“Will you just hush and give a girl a chance to explain? I’m Phoebe’s sister, her twin sister, Olivia, to be precise. And you are Johnny I’m guessing?” she asked as she straighten out her own set of buckskin apparel.
Scott removed his hat as he stepped forward, bowed gracefully picking up her hand before saying, “Miss Cummings, allow me to introduce myself I’m Scott, Scott Lancer and yes this is my brother, Johnny. May I say the pleasure is indeed all mine. Johnny, you told me Phoebe was fetching, but little brother you didn’t do her justice if she looks exactly like Miss Olivia, here. Twins, how intriguing is that?”
Olivia giggled at the obvious compliments being paid to her, replied, “We are identical twins. Now I understand why Phoebe said Johnny was a charmer. I mean if he’s anything at all like you are handsome, little wonder my sister fell head over heels with your brother. He unquestionably is a fine kisser, I’ll give him that much.”
Johnny had been staring at her, perplexed, “Twins? I could have sworn ya were Phoebe. Where is she?”
Scott still holding onto Olivia’s hand queried, “Still inside or maybe at the hot springs?”
More giggles erupted from Olivia as Scott only had eyes for her, she felt herself blushing from his scrutiny, “No, she’s over at the Indian village, helping treat the sick children. I just came back to get more supplies. Would you care to come inside while I get some herbs, Scott and of course you, too, Johnny?”
“After you, Miss Olivia,” said Scott.
Johnny held him back, “Scott, I ain’t never seen anythin’ like this before. Not only does she look and dress just like Phoebe but she moves and sounds like her. Ain’t that a bit strange, Mr. Harvard?”
“When in Rome, brother.”
“What? Ya know Scott; sometimes ya just don’t make any sense at all. What’s Rome got ta do with this?”
“Johnny, it means, we just ride this out, see where this takes us. Now come on, you don’t want to keep Olivia waiting do you?”
Olivia was reaching from a shelf for various jars of dried herbs, placing them inside a large basket when the brothers joined her. “Johnny, Phoebe has done nothing but talk about you to me. I know she’ll be delighted at seeing you.”
Johnny blinked at her with a grin on his face, “She has? Well, guess I bent ol’ Boston’s ears about her as well. Here let me get that down for ya. Say Olivia, where do ya live, if ya don’t mind me askin’?”
“I have my own place, closer to the Indian village. Oh, were you thinking that we lived together?” she laughed. “No, just because we’re sisters, doesn’t mean we share everything! We like our privacy just as much as I imagine you brothers like yours.”
Scott could have sworn his brother looked like a mountain had been lifted from his shoulders when Olivia told him that. He wondered, “Now what’s got little brother so rattled? The fact that Phoebe has a beautiful twin sister or the fact that she lives nearby? Ohhhhh I wonder if he was worried that the sisters maybe shared him? Played the old switcheroo trick with him.”
“Boys, you can wait here and I’ll send Phoebe back or you can come down to the village with me. The Ahwahneechees are a peaceful tribe, quite use to white men coming and going around here as long as you’re respectful to them. They would much rather make love not war as is evident by their propensity for large families. Unfortunately, many of the young children have been ill with a fever, probably the same strain you two had from what Phoebe mentioned.”
“We’ll go with ya Olivia. Ol’ Scott here will tote your basket for ya. Why I’ll betcha he’ll be happy ta have ya ride on his horse so’s we get there quicker. Ain’t that right, brother?”
“I would be honored to assist in every way possible, Miss Olivia. Here, let me take that basket and help you onto Sheridan.”
~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~
The trio rode into the village, where there had to be close to forty teepees scattered around their valley campgrounds. Camp fires dotted the landscape as young children ran; excitedly playing a game as they chased after each other, while women were busy cooking over the fires. At one end of the village, there was a large wigwam where Phoebe was just coming out the flap when she looked up and saw the trio approaching.
Phoebe let out a yelp of surprise, running to Johnny, who swoop her up in a tight embrace, before kissing her; he looked down at her, asking, “Ya are Phoebe, for sure, ain’t ya?”
“Hey cowboy, I missed you! How are you feeling?” To demonstrate, Johnny kissed her with eagerness, pleased to feel her kissing him back. When their lips parted, she looked towards Olivia and Scott standing nearby, “I see you’ve met my twin. Is this your brother, the one who was ill?”
“Yep, that’s Scott; he ain’t my twin, but close enough in spirit anyway.”
“I’m the older, wiser and better looking brother,” quipped Scott as he shook Phoebe’s hand. “It would seem that my family is indebted to you for your kindness for rescuing my brother and for sending him home with those special herbs of yours to help me get over my illness. Miss Phoebe, you truly must be, let me see, I believe Johnny called you, “his little buckskin angel.”
“Oh I see the family resemblance now, you’re both silver-tongued devils, aren’t you?” grinned Phoebe as Johnny snuggled her close to him, with his arm draped around her waist. “Olivia, I’m almost done here, if you could keep this boys entertained for a little bit, maybe show them the camp, while I finished with the children inside I’ll be done directly.”
“Now hold on a minute, Phoebe, is there anything we can do ta help?” asked Johnny, not wanting to let go of her.
“Hey cowboy, I don’t need you or your brother getting ill again, so stay outside. Maybe Olivia will take you to meet Chief Tenaya if he’s not out with a hunting party. Whatever you do, just don’t say “How”...he doesn’t like that!” she grinned.
~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~
The trio began their tour of the camp site, nodding at the children who came over to inspect the strangers, while their mothers stood silently watching the onlookers. Scott and Johnny smiled at the children, Johnny picked up the rag ball they had been playing with that had landed near his boots. He tossed it gently to one of the smaller boys, who ran off with it as the others chase after him. “Looks like you made a friend, Johnny,” said Scott as the young boy ran back to tug at his hand to come join their game.
The Lancer brothers joined the game of toss, run and chase until they heard the two girls gleefully laughing at the antics of them running around the field in their boots, chasing after the young, spry children wearing sure-footed moccasins. “Looks like we’ll have to get you boys some better running shoes if you’re planning on playing much longer!”
The brothers rejoined the twins, both out of breath from chasing and being chased by the children, as Johnny tossed the ball one more time into the mix of children. Now that they were tired out from all their exertions, the girls took them to tour the campgrounds in a more relaxed pace, pointing out various aspects of the Native American way of life. They stopped occasionally to toss the ball that somehow kept appearing at their feet as the children’s game shadowed their movements through the camp. Finally, Phoebe approached the largest teepee to say, “It would be a great honor for you to meet Chief Tenaya, remember no “Hows”.”
The tent flap opened and a tall dignified man stepped outside, followed by eight other braves. Phoebe made the introductions of the brothers, who solemnly greeted the Chief, offering their hands in gestures of peace and friendliness. Johnny was amazed at the sisters as they carried on a conversation in the tribe’s native tongue, and she translated the welcoming greeting of offers to join them for their evening meal, which was accepted with more hand shakes, smiles of appreciation and nodding of heads by the brothers.
~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~
Afterwards, the foursome made their way back to Phoebe’s cabin, where Scott stoked the fire and they sat down to talk.
“Johnny, not that I’m not overjoyed to see you again, I am. However, I am wondering what brought you back so soon? Of course I’m pleased that Scott has recovered from his illness, but it was quite a shock to see you earlier.”
Scott and Johnny looked at each other; Scott cleared his throat and said, “Brother, Olivia and I will go check the horses, while you two have privacy for your talk. Come on Olivia, you can point me in the direction of where I can get them some water and feed.” He assisted her to her feet, holding her hand as they walked out the door; Scott gave Johnny the thumbs-up signal, along with a tilt of his head.
Johnny stood up, scooped Phoebe from her chair, sitting back down in front of the fire; he placed her on his lap before speaking. “Phoebe, ya know I just can’t get ya outta of my head. We made some powerful memories together...memories I have ta ask ya about.”
“What Johnny?” she asked as they kissed, feeling one hand stroke down her back, while the other was busy with cupping each of her breasts.
“Mmmhhh...that’s nice but hold up, ‘kay ‘cos we, Scott and me that is, need ta know, just what’s that extra herb is that ya gave me? I’ve was puttin’ into ol’ Boston’s bayberry tea and he had quite a...uhhhh usually reaction ta it.”
“Now Johnny, you’re going to have to tell me more than that. What kind of reaction, did he have? Was it a rash? Or was he nausea with stomach aches? Shortness of breath? Headaches? Tingling limbs? Double vision?”
“Nope, nope, nope, none of those, he would wake up with a huge....”
She giggled as she placed her hand over his mouth, “You know I was wondering where my pouch of dried saw palmetto berries got to. Now I know. You must of have picked up the wrong pouch when you were packing up your saddlebags. Did you have any of it?”
“No, I was tryin’ ta get Scott back on his feed and feet. I kept puttin’ it, like ya said ta in his bayberry tea.”
That did it, Phoebe was laughing so hard, her body was shaking as she giggled, “Oh Johnny, no! I’ll bet you gave your brother quite a hard time many times over, didn’t you? Several times over I’m guessing! No wonder you two trekked back up here!”
Johnny, confused at her response, said, “Do ya want ta let me in on what’s so damn funny? What’s this saw palmetto used for?”
“The reason the Ahwahneechees have so many children is that they use the berries, combined with crushed pumpkin and sesame seeds as an aphrodisiac. The combination has a beneficial effect to ahhhh maintain and improve the vim and vigor of men,” she continued giggling as she imagined the effects on Johnny’s brother. “You should have added a pinch of Hawthorne berries to Scott’s tea to help regulate his blood’s flow while decreasing his fever, not give him the other kind of fever! Oh Johnny, this is too funny! You did say that you didn’t have any of the saw palmetto berries?”
“That’s right, I just gave it ta Scott ta help him get better,” smirked Johnny as he remembered how many doses of that special ingredient he had added to Scott’s tea giving him those special reactions. “So then, Miss Phoebe Ann Cummings, the question is, did ya give me any of your special potions while I had the fever ta ahhhh improve my vim and vigor?”
“Oh no Johnny, that was all you cowboy! You didn’t need any help in that area, you’re magnificent in your own right,” she grinned, reaching her hands to pull his head down, claiming his lips with hers, as they kissed deeply, moaning softly as their bodies began stirring to the pleasures soon to be enjoyed. Johnny lifted his head, as he heard Scott open the door to the cabin.
“Ahhhhh Johnny, if you and Phoebe are done talking, I just want you to know that I’m escorting Olivia back to her own cabin. It’s getting late brother and we should be making camp.”
Johnny looked at him for a second, grinning wickedly, as Phoebe pulled his head back down to hers; he lifted his arm to wave Scott off. Scott shook his head in amazement as he gently closed the door. He looked at Olivia and said, “Well looks like I need to find somewhere to bunk for the night. Any ideas?”
She looked up at the tall blonde man, grinning, “Just one. When in Rome...Scott!”
Patti H. – February 14, 2009 - Happy Valentine’s Day!!
Hot Series continues with Hot Night Moves