She knew he was there of course. Girls were always aware of him, wherever he was, the rogue, and she was no exception. But this time she had sought him out deliberately - she had a goal in mind.
Bloody Seamus and his wandering cock. Well, two could play at that game now, couldn’t they?
She let the bay have its head, allowing it to dip down and suck the moisture from the creek, the hard ride evident in its heaving sides and sweat lathered coat. She could ride, for a girl, long and hard.
And in more ways than one.
She’d show Seamus!
She kept her eyes averted from the white body, sitting naked and still in the creek, pretending for the moment that she didn’t know he was there. She patted her horse, speaking quietly to it as she removed her dress and shoes, exposing her frilly petticoat and chemise to the dappled sunlight filtering down through the canopy of scrubby trees bordering the banks. The creek looked inviting, moreso because it contained a man caught mid-ablution.
A handsome, dark eyed man.
A wanted man. The danger of that alone made him even more attractive to her.
She dipped an elegant, pointed toe in the stream – brown water like someone had left the tea to steep too long. Eucalyptus leaves made little boats littering the surface, their oils successfully repelling all attempts by the water to overpower and subdue them, resisting a watery grave as long as they could. The tall gums removed their own bark garments untidily, allowing strips to fall haphazardly to the ground, their curling, dry skins adding their unique flavour to the creek tea.
Noisy cockatoos screamed their joy of flight into the clear blue of the sky, a blanket of deep turquoise, spread unmarred and cloudless to the horizon.
She kept her eyes down, away from him for the moment, but aware that he had still not moved a muscle since she had suddenly appeared above him on the bank. It was an alert kind of stillness – no fear, no arrested flight, more an interested inertia and curiosity as to what may happen next. She smiled to herself. It wasn’t often a lone man came upon a lone woman all the way out here.
“Yer know yer trespassing on me Da’s land now, don’t yer?” she said, still looking into the sparkling surface and sinking a gum leaf with a well pointed toe.
She knew he was grinning, from the inflection in his words. Those dark eyes would be crinkled at her now, the depths shining with a cheeky mirth and his wet curls falling forward over his face, stealing the age from his features.
“Am I now? Well lass, oi’ve done me fair sure of trespassing in me toime. None’s the harm, eh?”
“Yer not tinking of doing a spot of rustling whoile yer here now, are yer? Me Da wouldn’a take koindly to dat.” She finally looked up at him, the sheer blue of her eyes nearly clashing with the dark brown of his.
Light and dark.
Opposites attracting. Or, as she realistically admitted to herself quietly, simply a man who loved all women responding to one, alone in the bush, waltzing around in her underwear. Soon to be discarded underwear. She didn’t mind, it just made her plan that much easier to achieve.
“If I was Lass, yer’d ne’er know oi’d been here at all. Not until yer missed yer stock, at least. But oi’d be long gone boi then. Will o’ the wisp, dat’s me.”
“Wispy all roight. Yer should troi and put some meat of dem bones.”
“Well lass, oi would if yer perhaps had something ter share in those saddlebags of yers. Or something else to share, if yer catch my meaning. Oi’m partial to anyting, but sun kissed Colleen’s like yerself are a particular favourite of moine. I don’t moind which way I get dat meat on me bones now…”
“Yer look like a man who know his way around the country, a good joint o’ meat and a lady’s charms.”
“Well, oi’m a modest sort of chap, but Oi can’t foind much to disagree with in that last statement.”
“Oi wasn’t expecting that yer would.” She deliberately held his gaze and unbuttoned her chemise. “Oi was hoping yer might be of a mind to be proving that to me.”
His smile was lazy and inviting, his eyes twinkling at her offer and he watched her ease off the remainder of her clothes, his enjoyment of the display becoming quite evident as his rapidly hardening shaft broke the surface of the shallow creek.
“I expect oi’m up to dat pleasurable little task, if yer offering it, lass. Although, by me own calculations, Christmas is a way off yet.”
“Consider it an early present,” she replied with a secret little smile, wading in and swimming across the deep width of the creek to his position amongst the rocks. She reached out a hand and drew him away from the shallows, and further into the water. He followed eagerly, his toes sinking into the muddy bottom as they came together, his arms wrapping around her slight waist and drawing her against him.
“Yer a bush maiden, dat’s fer sure,” he whispered, “a tempting water sprite, with yer long blonde hair and yer sky blue eyes. A man could drown in those eyes, if he let himself.”
“Yer all glib tongue, now, aren’t yer.”
“It’s been mentioned in the past. Aye.”
“Yer’ll be needing to prove that ter me an’ all.”
And then she deliberately reached up and drew his head down to hers, her lips parting in anticipation as that handsome face came near, the short beard tickling against her chin gently before the heady feel of his soft lips closed over hers and she lost herself in the taste of him. He was all tobacco and whisky and heat as his tongue instantly invaded her mouth, his hands already wandering over her beneath the water, laying claim to willing, eager flesh.
“What are yer playing at lass, out here all on yer own, then? Offering yersel’ to the loikes o’me?”
His words where smothered against her throat before he bent her gently backwards, his tongue seeking a hardened nipple, drawing the mound of flesh into his mouth and forcing her hands to clutch at his wet curls and hold him hard against her.
“What does it matter? Oi’m here, it’s moi choice. Would yer be tinking of turning me down now? Oh Mary and Joseph..that’s so good…”
He raised his head for a moment, looking deep into her eyes. “Oi’d not turn yer down, lass. Not when yer so willing…”
And then she stopped any further words with her lips and hands, drawing his tongue back into her mouth as her fingers closed around his c0ck, testing the firmness and kneading his flesh until he broke away from her, gasping, his eyes smoldering down at her before once more seeking a lush breast to suckle against, his own fingers questing into warm, slick places and making her moan with need.
Bloody Seamus! It was his own fault. If he thought he could secretly, and continually, dip his wick in the town prostitutes and think she’d never find out, he was more stupid than she thought. Well, she’d harboured a secret desire for the man currently sucking on her breast, his nimble, lean fingers lodged deep inside her, for years now and she had no reason to deny herself any longer.
And neither did he, for he suddenly lifted her legs beneath the water, opening her to him and wrapping her thighs around his hips, coming into her immediately, pushing against the tightness of her, driving himself in all the way to the hilt. She threw her head back, pushing her pelvis harder against him and he gasped a breath at her enthusiasm and the tight fit of her clamping around his cock.
He thrust into her, the water aiding his manipulation of her body, driving her against him, his toes sinking ever deeper into the thick ooze beneath his feet with each stroke. He was lost in the feel of her, his entire concentration centred on the tight walls surrounding his shaft, his hips furiously jerking against her, his breath hot and hard against her neck.
“God…lass…yer’d better hurry, Oi can’t…hold…”
But the thrill, the sheer audacity of what she was doing, out here in the bush, fornicating like some wild animal with a dangerous bushranger was enough to flood her with desire, the excitement pooling between her legs, right where he butted up against her, over and over, grinding her quickly up the slope of pleasure until she shook against him, her cry startling the cockatoos and adding to his own rush, his climax swift and hard and as vocal as her own.
And the first of many on a very pleasurable afternoon of warm flesh and soft sighs, hands and mouths and tongues exchanging joy, until the sun began to lose its hold on the day and the sky turned on its colourful display of burnt ambers and cotton candy pinks.
She left him on the mossy bank, finally, retrieving her clothes and dressing quickly, feeling his eyes watching her all the while.
“Will oi be seeing yer again then, lass, should oi wander this way in me travels?”
“No. Oi doubt that very much. This was a one toime ting, Joe Byrne. A noice interlude but one that can’t be repeated. Don’t yer come looking fer me now. Me Da and me husband wouldn’t take koindly to it, and oi loike yer too much to see yer shot, or caught and hung.”
He didn’t move, still watching her dress, her sudden acknowledgment of his identify not surprising him in the least. The husband remark made no impression at all. It was of no consequence to his way of thinking.
“It appears yer have me at a disadvantage, lass, knowing me name an’ all. And there’s me, knowing you in the carnal sense and yet still not even gifted with a name.”
She smiled at him. “Sianan.”
“Sianan O’Grady? From the Norse Farm?”
She cocked her head. “Norse Farm? Where ever did yer get that daft name from?”
“It’s what they call yer. The Irish Catholic family that look as though they hail more from the colder Norse lands than the Emerald Isle. All blonde and blue eyed and wit' skin so whoite they could be sculptured from oice.”
She laughed and made a grab for the horse’s reigns, swinging herself up into her saddle and turning its head for home.
“That sounds like us, indeed. So, yer know where never ter coming looking for me then, don’t yer? I’ll say hi to Maggie for yer, shall Oi? She’s been missing yer of late.” The horse high-stepped away from the bank, until she turned its head, forcing it sideways as it danced and fought her. “It’s been a pleasure, Joe Byrne. Keep yerself safe now. It would be a croime if anyting were to happen to that beautiful face. Oi won’t ever forget yer.”
She kicked the horse and it jumped away, eager for the gallop and taking her away from him with swift, pounding strides.
“I won’t forget yer and all, little water sprite.”
“Push Sianan, it’s nearly out.”
“Oi AM furking pushing. Mary Mother of God it hurts. Bloody Seamus….”
“One more….come on lass…”
And then suddenly, just like that, she went from wife to mother. The squalling infant was quickly plucked from between her legs, carefully wiped down and deposited on her belly, the cord still snaking away to disappear between her legs.
She looked down, feeling the fresh pains starting again, her body needing to expel the placenta and she grit her teeth, forcing out another hard push, her Mother exclaiming with delight when the placenta emerged red and plump and in one piece.
“Ah, the saints be praised. Yer did us proud love. No problems and a healthy wee one to add to the family. Will Oi be getting Seamus in here now for yer?”
“Aye Ma, yer may as well. Toime he welcomed his son.”
Her stomach cramped again and her Mother noticed her distress, even as she waved Seamus into the room, his rich turquoise eyes filled with tears and love for his new baby. Sianan shook her head, holding her breath against the pain as she looked from that baby’s face to her husband. The same brow, the same light colouring, the same blue eyes down-turned at the edges.
“Say hello to our son, Seamus.”
“Hello Liam,” he said softly, moving to take the small bundle from her arms, his eyes shining with unshed tears. “Oh, lass, yer’ve done me proud.”
And then the pains started again in earnest and her Mother pursed her lips, frowning, feeling her daughter’s abdomen and suddenly smiling at her with happy eyes.
“Ah, we’ve been blessed, to be sure. There’s another one coming, me daughter. Twins of all things.”
Eventually a little bundle was delivered, smaller than his brother, fine boned and quiet. He too, was placed upon her stomach and she looked down into little curled fists, dark steel blue eyes visible when the lids opened against the soft candle light, dark curls covering his head.
She knew the eyes would turn a rich nut brown over time. She knew the bone structure would be finer than that of her husband. She knew the body would grow to be lean and tall and that he would one day resemble his father. Long dead, yet still his father, his unknown son conceived on a river bank during an afternoon of tenderness and passion.
“Well, by the saints. We’ve a throwback in the family. Must be from yer side, Seamus. Fraternal boys, who’d have thought? What will yer name this little tyke then, Sianan? Yer didn’t have two names picked out and ready, I’m sure!” Her Mother was beaming with happiness. One more mouth to feed, but one that would be well loved and grow to be another able body around the farm.
She looked down, remembering, and loving her little son more than she thought possible.
“His name is Joseph.”
“Joseph? Whoi that name then, wife?”
“Because he remoinds me of Jesus gentle father.”
“Ah, well, oi can’t be arguing with dat now, can oi?”
She’d named him for the father he’d never know. And Jesus had definitely come into it during his conception.
She’d called out his name often enough!