“Want the balm?” she asked over her shoulder.
Jasper hesitated, moving slowly as another muscle kinked. “Yeah, you better. Thanks.”
He sat on Willow’s stool, leaning forward, letting his upper body drop toward the ground. Hana watched as the taut muscles rolled under the bronzed skin. She wanted to touch him, but wasn’t sure how he’d feel about that, considering the obvious discomfort it had given him a moment ago. He tried to rub his own back as he leaned forward. Hana couldn’t stand to watch his antics anymore. Moving behind him, she shoved his hands out of the way.
“You’re gonna have to suck it up, Jasper,” she said calmly. “You can’t do this by yourself and I can’t help where I have to touch you.”
“Baby, it’s just that one spot that’s the problem.”
“It’s that tender?” her question was asked in all innocence.
Jasper chuckled, shaking his dark head. “Not especially. Or maybe I should say it hurts so good?” He turned his head and upper body, gazing at her as he leaned over his knees.
“Hold him still, Hana. I’ll rub it on,” Mitch stood, flexing his huge hands menacingly.
Jasper nearly came off the stool. “Oh, hell no! I’ll walk around with a broken back before I let you touch me again. He rubbed my back one time after a horse kicked me. I thought I’d been kicked twice!”
“Issy can do it for you,” Mitch suggested with a chuckle.
“Honestly, if someone’s gonna rub that spot, it sure as shit ain’t gonna be another man’s wife,” Jasper said.
Mitch’s laugh burst out of his mouth so loudly, he startled the Mustangs. “By God, boy, you should see your face! You don’t know what to do. If I’d had that pretty a woman willing to rub me, I’d have taken her up on it with no problem.”
“Well, I reckon some of us got manners, Mitch. I just met the lady yesterday.”
“Mitchell, behave yourself,” Issy scolded as she walked in. “Where’s it hurt, Jasper?”
“I’ll do it myself!” He made to grab the bottle of balm, but she was too quick for him.
She pulled the bottle out of reach. “Not so fast, you.” Issy poured some of the balm on Hana’s hand. “It doesn’t take much. Rub that in good, and he’ll be right as rain. You kids, go on in the house,” she commanded. “You too, Oak. No need for you to be out here right now. Go clean up, supper’s almost ready.”
Hana hesitated, knowing it was going to cause him a good deal of discomfort. Deciding that a few moments of embarrassment was preferable to his pain, she applied the balm all over his lower back. Every time her hand passed over the area below his waist, he shuddered, exhaling raggedly.
Jasper was glad the kids were inside. He was also glad that Mitch and Issy followed them. That place on his back hurt like hell, but it was also one of his most sensitive erogenous zones. Having Hana’s soft hands rub at the tension was having a very erotic effect on him. It gave him further ideas of how making love to her would feel, and that made his discomfort worse.
Finally unable to take anymore without having a very embarrassing accident, he turned around to face her. Grabbing her hands, he lowered them to his shoulders, kissing her. All the passion he was feeling got poured into it. Groaning softly, he made himself stop. Holding her close, he put his forehead against her belly, whimpering.
“Jasper, are you okay?”
“Not so’s you’d notice,” was his muffled reply. “Being a good boy hurts real bad, baby,” he said, kissing her belly through her shirt.
The scent of her perfume enveloped him, making him dizzy. He lifted the edge of her shirt, kissing her skin instead. Warm lips met smooth skin, leaving a tingling trail on both. Hana shivered against him, pressing his head against her, willing him to continue. They jumped apart when they heard the screen door clatter shut. Oak ran across the yard to the barn.
“Mama said come in for dinner. She said you can finish with the horses tomorrow.”
“Tell your Ma we’ll be up in a couple minutes. I have to put up my tools.”
“Yes, sir!” He ran back to the house.
“Well, got close to a third of them done,” Jasper said as he gathered up his tools. “Pretty good, for an afternoon’s work.”
“They don’t need shoes?”
“I’m not gonna do it unless I have to. Boots, maybe, but not shoes. They need a good trim, is all.”
“What are boots? You mentioned them before?”
“They’re an apparatus that goes over the whole hoof, they don’t nail into the bottom. Vets use them some to correct a problem or help the horse make the transition from shoes to barefoot. I’ve got some with me. I’ll show you one tomorrow.”
He lifted the forge back into the SUV, groaning. “I should have left that on the ground or had Mitch help me. Damn horse tore me up good.”
“Do you need a doctor?”
“It’s been seen to. We have a doctor on site up home. He looked me over yesterday. It didn’t hurt this bad then. Guess I landed wrong.”
“Who’s the doctor?”
He winked, flashing his toothy smile. “My dad. He’s not only a tribal medicine man, he’s a D.O. with additional degrees in homeopathy and the like. He’s got some ideas for Enid’s therapy, and he’s been talking to her doctor back home. One reason she’s come out to us is to start treatment and see if Dad’s therapy can help her.”
© Dellani Oakes 2022