Chapter 4:  "Charades"

©Nesciri April 2000

Disclaimer:  This is a work of fiction based upon characters created and owned by Ed Spielman and Ogiens/Kane Productions.  Neither the author nor the webmistress claim any ownership of the characters except original characters and no money is being made from this work.  This work belongs to the author and may not be used or posted without the author's express permission.

 "Skip supper?" Rachel looked at the silent rider before her. "Why?"
<Have things to do.>
"What things?" Rachel asked with a frown.
<Things,> was the simple reply. Rachel looked carefully at Ike, but not seeing anything special, she realised that Ike wasn't
going to tell her anything.
"All right then, if it's that important to you," she said and was rewarded with a big grin.
"But you better have all your chores done, you hear!" she called out after him as he walked away. Ike simple waved his hand in
"Boys," Rachel muttered as she struggled to hang up another sheet in the wind.


Dinner, a stew rich with meat and vegetables in a thick sauce and bread still warm from the oven, had been brought up for
Geneva and her guest. Ike and Geneva ate together, enjoying one another's company. Then, as the hours grew later and the
sky grew darker, Ike helped her build a fire and the two sat back to watch the flames.

Ike had been up since dawn in order to get all his chores done at the station early. He hadn't wanted anybody to ask what he
was doing and had left early, merely riding around waiting for the clock to turn six. The length and excitement of the day
combined to make Ike drowsy. The small glass of wine he'd consumed with his dinner only added to that effect. Sitting
properly on opposite ends of the parlour sofa, Ike watched Geneva's head nod toward the armrest. He wasn't sure what he
should do. He supposed he should leave, but she hadn't said anything so he was a bit unsure. And part of him wanted to stay.
Not many women even gave him the time of the day, much less invite him to dinner. And Geneva was a lady, so unlike the
other women he'd seen in town. And that was another thing; she was a woman, not a girl. And although Ike tried not to look,
he couldn't help noticing the past days that she did have a nice figure.

The thought of how she looked swirled around in his head, causing him to blush and question his motives to stay. He shook his
head to clear the cobwebs, when Geneva moved herself closer to him and softly eased her head back to his shoulder. Ike
silently admired the beauty in his arms by the light of the fire, feeling both content and a little scared. But he couldn't let go of the
thought that he was a young man with a beautiful woman in his arms. He did what any such man in his position would do. He
turned her face to his and kissed her lightly, almost expecting her to rush up and slap him in the face.

Geneva pretended to wake slowly, not wanting to scare the young man away. Then she softly kissed him back. Ike could feel
his heart stop. Her lips were so warm and real on his. He breathed deeply the scent of her; the scent of perfume. Suddenly, he
felt the pressure of a hand on his chest. The shock opened his eyes and he realized that Geneva was not only kissing him. It was
her hand on his chest, slowly caressing the muscles through his worn shirt. The heartbeat that jumped in his chest made him
look down at her with a worried look. Geneva smiled confidently at him, as her lips found his once more.

No words were exchanged. Ike, silent, pending between the urge to run and the wish to stay did nothing, and hoped that
Geneva wouldn't stop what she was doing; as her touch and lips sent waves of pleasure through his body. Geneva's hands and
lips questioning him and soon his silent answer were found in the yielding of his lips to hers. Her small arms circled his neck and
drew him closer to her, as she softly removed the bandanna from his head. Ike stiffened as he felt the protecting fabric being
removed, but Geneva slowly kissed his fears away. His baldness didn't seem to intimidate her. Ike found himself relax and with
a sense of newfound courage, partly prompted by the wine, he drew her fully into his arms and kissed her deeply. His hands
caressed the length of her back, winding into her hair, unknowingly releasing it from its confining bun.

She felt the release of tension as he released her hair and reaching back she took his hands in hers. Slowly she moved them to
the fastening of her dress. Ike immediately removed his hands and abruptly turned away from her. His eyes looked
questioningly at her as she undid the fastening herself. The dress fell forward away from her bosom and she used her hands to
slide it further off her shoulders. Ike found himself staring at her as the white camisole came into view. He had never before
seen a woman in her undergarments and he was at a loss of what to do, when she leaned towards him and placed her fingers
on his lips. Her lips then followed her hands as they moved from his lips to his neck to his shoulders. Slowly she unbuttoned his
shirt and as more skin was exposed, Geneva kissed it. Her lips created a fiery line from his collarbone to where his heart
thudded beneath his chest, and Ike forgot everything. All he could think of was the intense feeling of bliss that her hands and lips
had created within him.

Never in his life had he felt anything so heavenly. He wanted the moment to go on forever, but a new pulse beat told him there
was more. He allowed Geneva to work her magic on her body. He allowed her to slide her dress off her hips and onto the
floor, as he tried to find his breath, as she removed her petticoats, stockings and drawers. Oddly, he felt no shame in seeing her
standing naked before him. She reached out a hand and helped him to his feet. He stood and slowly she undressed him, each
item baring more of his body to her hands.

Ike blushed heavily as she removed the last item, but before he could recover, she led him over to the single bed in the room.
Intoxicated by the wine and her nearness, desire made him forget his timidity. The naked lust in Geneva's eyes fanned the fire of
Ike's wanting, and he quickly followed her to the soft bed.

Ike had been kissed before, but never before had a kiss stirred his passions as Geneva did. Never before had he stood, naked,
in woman's room with the knowledge that he would make love to her.


Ike stared up at the intricate pattern on the ceiling as he became aware of something tickling his shoulder. Turning his look he
found a piece of blond hair curling down his shoulder and as he raised his eyes he found himself looking into the amused eyes of
"What's on your mind?" she mumbled as she kissed his shoulder. Ike just smiled and knowing that it was all the answer she
would get, she sighed softly and turned so that her head rested on his shoulder, following his look.
"It's only a ceiling," she frowned, "what's so interesting with that?"
That it's here, Ike thought as he absentmindedly let his finger play with her soft hair.
"I'm so happy I found you," Geneva said. "I've never felt so lonely in a town until I run into you. Now I know that my stay here
won't be as awful as I first thought."
Her words sent a feeling of bad conscience through Ike. He hadn't sad anything of him leaving the day after, mostly because he
didn't want to ruin anything. What if she left or found someone else while he was gone? He was well aware that they hadn't
promised each other anything, but still…he cared for her, he knew that. Frowning he rose himself up, leaning on one arm.
"What Ike?"
He slowly signed, simplifying the signs for her benefit, hoping that she would understand.
"Leaving?" she asked and looked at him. "When?"
Ike held up one finger.
"In one day. Tomorrow? A" she asked as her fingers painted invisible symbols on his chest, making it hard for him to
sign. He had a sudden rush to grab her hand and bring it to his lips. But he pushed the thought aside as he shook his head.
Instead he held up his hand and signed '14'.
"No mail-run? And you'll be gone for fourteen days?"
Ike nodded and wished he hadn't said anything when he saw the disappointment in her face. Inwardly Geneva did her best to
look disappointed, which was hard to do. It was all too easy. She already knew how long he'd be gone, but she had to act as
she didn't know anything.
"What are you going to do?"
Ike pondered the question for a second. Foster had told him not to say anything, but all the other riders already knew. Besides,
he would like for her to know. He reached for the notebook that seemed to be his constant companion nowadays.
"Search for heir. Secret," he quickly scribbled before showing her. Geneva's face lit up with excitement and this wasn't faked.
"A search? That sounds very interesting. Do you know who it is?"
Ike shook his head and made another note. "Unknown, could be several."
"I think that sounds fascinating," Geneva said. "I guess it was selfish of me to feel lonely, but I'm really gonna miss you."
She sighed and sank down into his embrace. A few seconds later she rose so hastily that she almost his her head on Ike's chin
and he looked at her with surprise.
"I know," she said. "Why don't you write me and tell me how you're doing? That way I'd know you're all right and I wouldn't
feel so lonely."
Ike frowned and pointed to the last word he had written. "Secret."
"And who am I gonna tell? I don't know anybody in this town."
Ike pondered this for a moment, but then he shook his head. He had promised not to say anything.
"Please Ike? That would mean a lot to me." Several thousand dollars, she thought to herself as she gently caressed his chest.
I never promised not to write, he thought as he found himself nod his reply. The darkness outside reminded him that he should
be on his way, and he quickly untangled himself from Geneva's arms.
"You promise to write?" she asked as he opened the door.
Ike nodded and quickly drew a cross over his heart with his hand. He would write.


It was a careful Ike that sneaked back into the bunkhouse for a few hours sleep before daybreak. It wouldn't do to wake up
any of the others. He quickly crawled into his bunk and listening to the others' gently snoring he soon fell asleep with a satisfied
grin on his face.


"Ike! Wake up!" The hand on his shoulder brusquely shook him until he opened his eyes. He blinked a few times as Cody's
hovering face became clear. "There's chores to be done," he muttered and walked over to the basin as Ike stretched and sat
Kid smiled at him. "Didn't see you came in last night, Ike," he said. "Where were you?"
Just like Kid not to miss anything, Ike thought.
<Went for a walk,> he signed as he pulled on his clothes and before there were any others questions he walked out the door,
heading towards the barn to begin the chores of the day, while his thoughts were, not on the up-coming search, but on the
meeting the evening before.


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