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~Intro~

"Don't stop." Abbie moaned.

Ichabod caressed Abbie’s ass and lower back as he began to fuck her from behind. He was able to get so deep Abbie felt as if he reached the very end of her. He went faster, her breasts swinging beneath her as her panting matched his strokes. He leaned over her back firmly palming one of her soft tits, and pinching at her nipple.

Abbie was experiencing pure bliss. It was so unexpected. So not like her. But here she was with this handsome stranger and he was giving her everything she needed. On the ground, under the sun setting sky, and on all fours; she eagerly received him as he stretched and pounded her. She was sopping wet and it felt so fucking amazing.

"Yes... Fuck..." Abbie cried out as she grabbed fists full of the sheet beneath her.

"You want it harder don't you?" His voice was husky and low as he worked

"Yes," Abbie grunted as her ass pressed against him. "God yes!"

Ichabod rose up and grasped her hips, grunting, thrusting into her again. "You feel so fucking good!"

Abbie backed into him, her ass clapping against his pelvis. Sweat dripped from his brow as he made her come again.
“Oh god! Oh god yes!” she cried out.
He continued hard and fast letting her enjoy every second of her orgasm and struggling to stave off his own. Finally, he slowed and leaned over her back again as her breathing steadied. He wasn’t done with his sweet prize. He was just getting started.

His soft groans and warm breath on her neck sent a hot thrill through her body.

A week ago she never would have thought she’d be here with this handsome guy fulfilling her every desire... Ichabod had no idea he’d be in America with this amazingly sexy woman who for the moment made all his troubles and worries fade away.

~~~

1~ Sometimes It’s What You Need

"I am so sorry Ichabod," John Perish hated to deliver more bad news. "You have inherited the entire estate. Unfortunately, the estate is broke. You’ll have to find the finances to settle the estate's debts or risk losing it all."

Ichabod Crane sat in Mr. John Perish's office at Westbrook Law Firm, rubbing his temple. His father died just over a week ago and was buried yesterday.

Two weeks ago he had been on top of the world after learning he'd been offered to lecture and teach for two semesters at Cornell University in the U.S. His long-term girl-friend Katrina had not been so thrilled, nor was his father they thought it best that he stay put at Oxford and continue to build upon his reputation. He rarely defied his father and had settled that perhaps it was best to turn down the offer. But now that his father had passed suddenly and unexpectedly, Ichabod could hardly think on such things.

He was a man grieving. And this was not the news he needed to hear from the family attorney. John Perish was on the verge of retiring. William Crane was his last client and he felt obligated to walk Ichabod through this difficult time.

"I had no idea. Bellington Estate has been in our family for 300 years. It's our home... What does this mean for myself, Grandmama, and my brother Jeremy?" Ichabod asked.

"If you want to keep the house you'll need to satisfy the debts of the estate and pay the taxes... About £700,000… give or take."

"Excuse me?" Ichabod choked, eyes widening and blinking. "Over half a mill?"

"I know it seems daunting... But you could take out a loan, or perhaps you have savings from your salary?"

"Some, but I barely make £90k a year, I have to make arrangements for Grandmama's nursing home care and I promised to help Jeremy with his studies abroad... There must be some money in the estate somewhere?"

"Well, I did find this. It seems your grandfather purchased some property in New York thirty years ago."

"My grandfather? I had no idea he was alive. Father never spoke about him. And Grandmama… well she is rarely lucid."

"Unfortunately he died five years ago. But without a will on record, his property reverted to your father, and now to you."

"You say the property is in New York? Does that mean it could be of value?" Ichabod asked.

"Perhaps. You should consider looking into getting a loan to satisfy the debts if you wish to keep Bellington. In the meantime, I'll see what I can find out about your grandfather's property.

~~~

"Almost done. What do you think?" Abbie asked Leena as she put the final touches on her third completed bedroom.

"I think it looks perfect," Leena folded her arms and gave her a smile. "You're doing too much."

"It has to be perfect. Once I get the Bed and Breakfast off the ground, this place will be complete. I need everything to go smoothly for this Wine Festival."

Abbie made a few more adjustments to the decor on the dresser then stepped back to pan the room. She let out a deep sigh of satisfaction as she observed her vision come to reality.

Two years ago Grace Abigail Mills wasn't sure this was possible. She had not been expecting that old man Crane would actually leave her the decaying mansion in a handwritten will. He had a dream for this old place and after many long talks, while keeping him company, his dream had become hers too. After August Corbin passed away two years ago, she knew what she was going to do with the life insurance. She couldn't stay in an unhappy marriage. It was as if there was a banner hanging over her head and a constant whisper in her ear saying "life is too short".

So for the last two years she worked her fingers to the bones getting the farm, vineyard, and now the house up and running. Thanks to a lot of help from nature-loving Nick Hawley, the farm and Vineyard had been doing well for over a year. She had already partnered with neighbors to buy the milk from her goats and cows, and the grapes from her vineyard. Restoring the old mansion had taken quite a while and almost every dollar. But it had been worth it.

"Maybe I should use the ivory and turquoise vase for the nightstand instead..." Abbie fussed over her choice in decor.

"Stop. You're nitpicking and it's perfect." Leena stood beside her and gave her arm a rub. "It's Saturday night. You should go out. What about the nice young man that Joe set you up with?"

"Hmm... The investigative reporter?" Abbie grumbled

"You said he was cute."

"He is cute and dinner was nice, but then things got weird back at his place." Abbie recalled, shaking her head.

The date seemed to go well at first. So well that Abbie uncharacteristically went back to his place. It didn't take long for her to realize Calvin had an ass fetish. She first thought the beautiful large framed photographs hanging on his wall were pieces of art. He explained how he took them himself and she was impressed. After a glass of wine, a kiss lead to them making out... and That's when things got weird. All Calvin was doing was rubbing on her rear end and saying how nice it was. Soon he wasn't even talking to her anymore. He had her skirt hiked up and was talking to her ass like it was an actual person... and he named it Ras Dashen. Abbie backed off realizing she did not know him very well.

"This is my first date in seven years. I don't think I'm ready for more just yet." She tried easing out of his arms.

"I understand," Calvin said still caressing her rear. "What about if you just let me inside Ras Dshen? It's so beautiful."

Abbie furrowed her brow. Was he asking what she thought he was asking? "You want anal sex... on the first date?"

"She's just so glorious! She's soft and round, yet firm..." He was practically drooling as he smacked her ass.

Abbie quickly hopped up from their spot on the sofa and began re-adjusting her clothes. "You know... I'm not feeling it tonight..."

"How about you let me photograph her. She's a masterpiece." He grabbed Abbie’s ass again and she quickly moved out of his reach.

"Thank you... I'm flattered but... some other time maybe," Abbie quickly gathered her things. "But I'll call you."

That date was three days ago, and Abbie hardly talked about it. She shook her head as she realized this was what it was going to be like for a woman in her late twenties, trying to date.

 

"You keep saying weird, but you haven't given me any details about your date." Leena tried to pry.

"It's embarrassing. I just want to forget the whole thing," Abbie grinned.

"And what about Nick," Leena asked. "The poor guy has asked you out twice. He's cute."

"Nick is cute, but I don't want to mix business and pleasure," Abbie sighed. "He's way overboard with the whole ‘one with nature’ and ‘communing with Animals’ thing. What if I go out with him and then the whole nature thing is too much. We break up and then he's still running my farm. Talk about awkward."

"Ok, ok... But Abbie, you need to... to..."

"To get laid?" Abbie chuckled. "Trust me I know. You too miss lady."

"I'm a widow," Leena sighed. "It's different. But trust me. As soon as I'm ready, some guy is going to be really lucky to get all of this!" Leena playfully tossed her hair and gave Abbie a wink.

The ladies had a good laugh for a moment before Abbie set her attention back on her goals.

"My focus is getting this place ready for the Wine Festival next weekend. I think I can get one more room ready in five days."

"You work too hard, Grace." Leena let out a sigh knowing how Abbie was when she set her mind to do something.

 

~~~

2 ~The Incident

 

"Thank you for meeting me here," Ichabod greeted John with a firm handshake.

Ichabod had taken on two classes at Oxford for the summer semester. It had been years since John was on campus and he thought meeting there would be nice. It was a lovely summer day and the men found a nice spot on a bench shaded by large oak trees.

 

"I have good news and some rather peculiar news," John began as Ichabod looked on curiously. Your father received an affidavit a few years ago for the property in New York. At the time it had a value of $650k. Fortunately, he never signed the Affidavit. There was quite a bit of bad blood between your father and grandfather you see. But usually one has three to six years depending on the circumstances to sign in agreement or counter the affidavit. So I have had these drafted in order for you to make a legal claim for the property."

"Why do we need an affidavit?" Ichabod asked as he took the papers from John. "If it's part of the estate, it should revert to me since father died."

"This is where things get peculiar. You see there is a company, G.A.M. & Co., that has taken claim of the property. Without a legal will, I am certain the property is yours. But we will need to find out what exactly this G.A.M. & Co. have been up to."

"How exactly do we do that? I'm afraid with Jeremy's schooling, I can't afford to hire a private investigator at the moment."

"Worry not, my boy," John pulled out two plane tickets. "I've arranged for us to go to New York and see for ourselves."

"John really, that is too much. I cannot ask you to go all the way to New York with me."

"None sense, Ichabod. I insist. Your father was a dear friend. For your grandmother’s sake, not to mention for you and Jeremy... I mean to see that you three are settled before I retire."

"At least allow me to reimburse you for the airfare..."

"Absolutely not. I've always wanted to visit upstate New York."

"Thank you," Ichabod said humbly. "I don't know how I would have gotten through these past several days without your help.

"I can imagine how stressful this must be..."

"Ichabod, my love there you are," Katrina called out as she walked across the campus.

"Speaking of stressful," Ichabod whispered with grimaced before attempting a smile. "Katrina, I am so sorry. I forgot you wanted to have lunch today. I've been so preoccupied with settling father's estate."

"That's right," Katrina could not hide her smile. "You are now the Earl of Belling. But as your future wife, you should really let me help you more."

Ichabod nearly choked. He had never asked Katrina to marry him. His father had presumed they would marry and had begun calling her his fiancé and referring to her as daughter. Ichabod was happy to oblige but since his father's death, he had seen another side to Katrina. One he didn't like at all, and it only proved to highlight how selfish she had been all along.

"The Title hardly means anything without the finances to back it," Ichabod sighed.

"What do you mean?" Katrina asked. She did not like the sound of this.

"Bellington Estate is broke. Mr. Perish and I are going to New York this weekend to see if there is any property there that can be sold."

"This weekend? Ichabod... We have the Duke's wedding this Friday and the party in Paris on Saturday... It's a fundraiser. People are expecting us."

"Katrina, my father just passed away. I am still grieving. Even if I could afford to go to the party in Paris, you surely don't expect me attended at this time!"

"Well I don't expect you to let your responsibilities in society fall to the side. I thought you were a stronger man than that!" Katrina snapped.

"Strong or not Katrina, I am broke! The estate is broke! I can't afford to go to a fundraiser when the ticket alone is £10K a piece! If you can afford by all means go without me."

"Ichabod! Just borrow the money! You can't let all of our friends know that you are! What will they think of us?"

"How did I not realize you were such a selfish bitch!" The words left Ichabod's mouth before he knew that he was verbalizing his thoughts.

So when Katrina slapped him across the cheek, he wasn't completely surprised. But he was thoroughly done.

"Miss VanTassle!" John gasped.

Katrina was shocked that she lost her temper and struck him. "Ichabod, I apologize... It was a heat of the moment..."

"Katrina! " Ichabod's sharp tone stopped her. "I don't believe we have anything left to say to each other!"

Katrina was in a panic. "But Ichabod... Clearly, we're both just upset and mourning your father. We should take a moment..."

Ichabod stared at her incredulously. How dare she pretend to be grieving? "We're done!"

~~~

"I can't ignore the fact that you had a domestic incident on campus," Dean Graham paced then took a seat behind his desk. "One of the students captured your fiancé striking you on the Twitter."

"It’s just Twitter, Sir. And she is no longer my fiancé," Ichabod was truly embarrassed. "I can assure you that there will be no further incidents."

"Ichabod, I think you should take the rest of the summer off. You're father just passed away. Take some time to regroup."

"But I need the distraction," Ichabod disagreed. "Work is helping me..."

"Ichabod, this is not a request. You need a few weeks. You should consider taking the Faculty Exchange to Cornell. A semester or two away might do you well."

"Perhaps you are right Sir," Ichabod ran his hands through his hair.

He felt lost and out of sorts. The time off from work would give him a few weeks to gain some clarity, grieve and find out how to save his family home.

~~~

3 ~ The Wine Festival

 

"This place is out in the middle of nowhere," Ichabod looked around as they drove up to the run down motel.

"Apparently there is a wine festival in town. This was the only place available at the last minute," John's voice was pleasant though he grimaced at the sight of the motel with its faded grayish green paint and half lit sign.

"Listen we are going incognito," John spoke quietly as they walked up to the motel Lobby. This is a small community. We don't want anyone from G.A.M. & Co. to know we are here. I've already sent the answer to the affidavit claiming you are going to contest for ownership of the property as the rightful heir."

"Understood," Ichabod agreed. "So whom should I say that I am."

"You can be my nephew Isaac Perish." John suggested. "Don't worry I used the Law firm name not my own when responding to the affidavit."

"Welcome to the Twin Oaks Motel," the clerk barely looked up from her soaps until she saw John. "Well hello there silver fox."

"I have a reservation under John Perish."

"Mmhmm..." She said eyeing Ichabod curiously. "I see you only booked one room?"

"This is my nephew," John cleared his throat and tugged at his buttoned-up collar.

"Oh... I see. You fellas are just in time for the festivities.," Donna smiled as she handed them the keys. The clerk in her late fifties picked up a brochure and handed it to John, giving him a wink. "Wine Festival starts tonight. It's a real good time. You fellas should check it out."

John scanned the brochure when something caught his attention. A small blurb for G.A.M. & Co. was on the list of vendors. He pointed to it and nudged Ichabod to take a look. "I see it starts at 4pm."

"Sure does," Donna smiled at John twirling a lock of her dyed bleach blond hair. "You're gonna need a toga. It's the Fine and Fancy Launch of the Lakes this afternoon. It's kinda like the opening ceremony. Everyone dresses up in costumes. You can get some sheets and decorations down at the Wal-mart.

"Thank you, Miss..." Ichabod squinted a little to read her faded name tag. "Miss Donna."

"No problem Doll." Donna turned her attention back to John. "I'll be there tonight. Maybe I'll see you there."

Ichabod couldn't help but snickered at how uncomfortable John was as Donna flirted with him.

 

~~~

 

"Don't let it get to you Abbie," Leena tried to keep her young friend upbeat.

The live bands at the festival were some of the best they'd had in years and the crowd was getting the party started. Abbie, Leena, and Nick were wearing their group togas for G.A.M. & Co. Each wore black white and red togas decorated in roses from the B&B.

Abbie had a gorgeous crown of roses on her head and looked stunning in the strapless wrap. A few hours earlier that day, Leena was helping her get ready when the package came. She was stunned to find that there was someone contesting Old Man Crane's will. She got a sick feeling in her gut, and she hadn't been able to shake it all afternoon.

"What if this guy is for real? Can someone just walk in and take my house and farm?"

"No," Leena tried to reassure her. "You have a will..."

"A hand written will..."

"With a witness. There has to be a statute of limitations. You sent an affidavit," Leena could tell she wasn't helping. "Listen to me. We'll go see a Lawyer first thing Monday ok. Tonight you need to have some fun. After all your hard work, you deserve to kick back and enjoy. I put a little something special in your crown just in case you meet someone who helps you... Relax."

"What do you mean you put something..." Abbie squinted at Leena then burst into laughter. "Ok, I'm not even going to ask."

"That's more like it," Leena smiled. "I'm going to take off early."

"Oh, come on… stay with me," Abbie pouted.

"I need to get back and check in a pair of guests that are arriving this afternoon. Nick is going to stay here and party too. Stay and have fun... but call me if you two have too much to drink and need a ride home."

~~~

"Roses, really Ichabod?" John shook his head as he looked at his friends very nicely decorated toga.

"Yes," Ichabod stood indignantly as they walked towards the partying crowd. "It's irony. My theme is War of the Roses. Why on earth did you choose feathers?"

"Don't ask," John gave him a sly grin as they mingled into the party.

The two men waded through the crowd to the vender’s area and began searching the empty booths for the one marked G.A.M. & Co. It was the opening ceremonies so most of the booths were unoccupied. There were a few vendors around still setting up their tents and booth's for the next day's events.

"Here it is..." John took a look around.

"They're using the property as a farm," Ichabod seemed impressed. "They've got goats and cows... And a vineyard. Looks like the Bed and Breakfast is new. But they've been selling the milk and grapes for over a year."

"Appears the company is doing well," John had a serious look on his face.

"Is that a bad thing?" Ichabod asked.

"It depends. This company has made major investments in this property. I have a feeling they won't give it up without a fight. I'll call and see if they have room at the Bed & Breakfast. But for now, let's see how they celebrate in the States."

The men went back to where another band had just begun their set. The crowd was dancing and celebrating. The aroma of meat grilling and wine filled the air, delighting the senses. The costumes, mostly togas, ranged from simple skimpy white dressings to elaborate well-planned get-ups. There were Groups wearing matching costumes and individuals who just wanted to do their own thing.

It was easy to relax and have a good time. Ichabod and John found the crowd welcoming as they drank wine and danced along.

"Hey, fellas," Donna waved and hurried in their direction.

"Oh, dear lord, Ichabod... Let's go." John turned and attempted to dodge into the crowd.

"Oh, no, my friend. I believe it was you who wanted to see how they celebrate here," Ichabod had a satisfied grin plastered on his face.

"You all havin' fun yet?" Donna asked as she sipped wine from a plastic cup.

"Indeed we are," Ichabod beamed.

"How about a dance silver fox," Donna took John by the hand and swiveled her hips.

"You two enjoy," Ichabod slowly backed away into the crowed, ignoring John's pleading eyes.

He was several feet way into the crowd of dancing patrons when he accidentally bumped into someone.

"Hey!" Abbie yelped as her plastic wine glass hit the ground. The red liquid barely missing her costume.

"I beg your pardon," Ichabod turned mortified. "Did it spill on you?

Abbie hesitated a second because he had the sexiest accent and the kindest blue eyes. "No, I'm good."

I was..." Ichabod paused as he took a first look at the beautiful petite woman with chestnuts skin and the prettiest brown eyes he'd ever seen. "I wasn't watching where I was going...”

"Well this is a coincidence," Abbie was surprised to see his toga had a Black sash decorated in red and white roses. It almost looked as if they'd planned their costume together. "Your costume... the roses."

"Well aren't we quite the pair," Ichabod smiled as he looked her over. "I dare say you look quite lovely in yours. I look like a gaggle of hairy white limbs."

"No... You look good," Abbie blushed as she slightly adjusted the wreath on her head.

"May I," Abbie blushed and nodded allowing him to helped her adjust her crown. He carefully tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear; their hands briefly brushed.

Ichabod cleared his throat and moved his hand away. "There... It's perfect... I should get you another drink."

"Don't worry about it. I'm going to take this as a sign that I've had enough to drink," Abbie grinned up at him.

"Perhaps I could make it up to you with a dance... I am an excellent dancer. If that's not too forward of me?"

"Not at all. Let's see if you can keep up," Abbie was trying to stay cool. This man had a gorgeous face and the nicest blue eyes. Not to mention that British accent was swoon-worthy.

The two found a nice rhythm and danced together as the band played. Between songs Abbie's curiosity was peeked, especially since he seemed happy to continue dancing with her.

"I'm Abbie, by the way," she stuck out her hand.

"I'm Iche," Ichabod blurted as he realized he should probably be using the fake name Isaac. "Um... Isaac Perish."

"Oh... Well, Abbie is short for Abigail. Where are you from?"

"Lincolnshire England... I'm here on holiday."

"Is it a short holiday?" Abbie couldn't help but be curious.

"It depends on how things go while I'm here," Ichabod gave her a grin as he twirled her around.

"Hello, Abbie," one of the organizers walked by and took note of the two dancing.

"Hi, Mr. Connors," Abbie shook his hand. "Everything is splendid. This has to be the best opening ceremony to date."

"Thank you dear. And who is your dance partner?"

"Oh.. This is Iche Perish..."

Ichabod shook the man’s hand.

"You two are a lovely pair and your dancing is top notch," Connors gave Abbie a wink before leaving.

Ichabod looked at her curiously, "What was...."

"Nothing," Abbie laughed. "I think everyone has had a bit too much to drink."

~~~

4 ~ Unexpected Things

 

Ichabod smiled as he pulled Abbie into his arms and the two danced. They’d been inseparable for two hours. He loved her laugh. It was so carefree and her smile so sweet.

Abbie hadn't felt this relaxed in a long time. The stress of promoting the farm, launching the B&B, even the mysterious notice, all slipped her mind as he held her in his arms and they danced. Soon the sun was getting close to the horizon and the sky turned a peaceful orange pink and dark blue.

The band stopped playing.

Several organizers took the stage and started announcing the winners for best costume and group costume.

"And Finally, our Fine and Fancy Launch of the Lakes King and Queen..." Mr. Connors pulled a card from an envelope. "Iche Perish and Abbie Mills."

The two were stunned as they made their way to the stage and accepted their wine glass trophies. The band struck up another song and the two danced on the stage. The organizers and other winners joined them, dancing and celebrating.

"This is crazy," Abbie grinned as Ichabod held her; the music was slow and they swayed together.

His large hand pressed firmly against her back. They were so close they could feel each other’s heartbeat

"Completely mad," Ichabod whispered in her ear. His beard was soft against her cheek and ear.

His warm breath against her skin awakened something inside of her. When his lips brushed her cheek, it was like electricity rushing through her body. She ran her fingers gently up his arm to his neck as she turned her lips to meet his. Hers were soft and supple as their eyes closed to fully let themselves be alone in the moment. When his tongue darted across her bottom lip she opened her mouth to receive it.

He loved the taste of her. The sweet berry lip gloss mixed with red wine. And her scent was an almond honey mix with the faint hint of a perfume and her natural aroma. There was no way she missed the twitch of his cock as he swayed against her body. He had no idea how wet she was getting from his touch. He had no idea how his touch, his voice, his kiss made her crave more of him.

Abbie’s heart was pounding hard as she parted her lips from his, leaving him wanting more, hoping that was not the end of it. But the look in her eyes let him know, they were just getting started.

Their hearts raced as she took him by the hand. She quickly scanned the crowd for Nick who was occupied with a couple of girls himself. She waved giving him a wink and nudged her head to Crane who was holding her hand and following behind her.

"Well, well," Nick let out a soft laugh. He never would have expected this from Abbie.

In fact, Abbie was surprising herself. It had been too long since she'd been properly fucked. It was over a year since she and Luke had last been together. And she was feeling Iche way too strongly to let this moment pass. She didn't want or need to know any more about him than she already did. She didn't want to know if he was a total nerd, a complete ass, or if he had some wild kinky fetish. She just wanted to get laid. He was sexy as hell, and from what she could tell, was hung well enough to give her a quick fix.

 

Abbie didn't waste time with words and Ichabod didn't ask questions. The last thing he wanted to do was say something that would talk her out of this. She was gorgeous and he wanted her, more than he could remember ever wanting anyone.

~~~

5~ More Than A One Night Stand

 

Abbie walked him to a secluded spot by the water shielded by trees and shrubbery. The echo of the band could be heard in the distance. The moment she turned to him, he swooped her up in his arms. His lips met hers as he pressed her back against a tree. They quickly did away with their togas, the white and black strips of cloth and fresh roses falling all around them.

They both blushed a little as they got their first look at each other. Abbie's heart was beating like crazy as she bit her lip. He was already getting hard: his dick was long and thick; uncut with just the tip head exposed. And she was eager to get her hands on him and expose him fully.

Ichabod's heart swooned in his chest as he looked down at her perfect breasts, round and firm with soft supple dark nipples. He eyed down her curves and her deep inset navel. His tongue licked his lips and his cock jerked firm and erect as he viewed her mound, hips and thighs.

"My god, you're perfect," his voice was low and husky; as he stepped close to her again. Their bodies pressed together as they kissed; their hands roaming each other’s bodies. And then Ichabod realized his wallet was in the rental car.

He was about to panic. "I didn't bring anything... My wallet is in the car..."

Abbie grimaced. She was so wet and horny; his cock was throbbing against her belly. And then… she remembered… Leena left her something.

"Oh... I think..." Abbie reached up into the crown of roses and sure enough, there was a condom tucked away.

Abbie grinned and waved the small package in front of him.

"Did you just pull a condom package from your crown?" Ichabod asked.

"Yeah... Is that weird?"

"No... It's brilliant!"

Ichabod immediately kissed her again. His lips traveled from her lips to her neck, devouring the soft flesh. His hand slid down her body to her mound, toying with her clit, before he slid a finger inside her. Abbie moaned heavy in his ear as she sank down onto his hand, grinning into him. Her fingers filtered through his soft brown locks pulling him into her; teasing the tips of his ears as she panted. Her desire was evident and driving his need to give her more.

He kissed down her neck to her breasts; taking his time, and swirling his tongue around her nipple. Slowly he sucked and blew cool air, taking his time and driving her insane.

"Oh... Damn, Iche... That feels so good," Abbie cooed as the two sensations had her wet and quivering.

"You like that, don't you," Ichabod growled.

"Mmm yes... So good..."

He moved to the other breast; His breath on her nipples had her dripping, and he knew it. He thrust a second finger into her, hitting her spot swiftly as she rocked with him.

"Fuck... Yeah," his thick long fingers had her on the verge of coming already.

Damn, she thought. This was better than she imagined and they were just getting started.

Ichabod crouched down on his knees and lifted her leg, resting her thigh over his shoulder. He licked down, swirling his tongue around her clit, then ran it the length of her folds as his finger drew her juices from her. He moaned his delight as he tasted her, sucking between the soft plumping layers and her throbbing bud.

"Mmm god… yes! Fuck yes!" Abbie was screaming as he Licked, sucked, and flicked her clit with his tongue. She felt a myriad is sensations rushing her as he played her.

Her body moved in seductive waves into his open mouth. His free hand fondled her breast; pinching her nipples until she lost it. Abbie leaned back against the tree as her legs quivered. A crashing wave of ecstasy nearly had her collapse. He continued to indulge in her, lapping up her essence as she panted.

He had his fill and stood, kissing his way up her body and lapping at her breasts again.

"Oh, fuck..." Abbie panted, trying to catch her breath. "How did you do that?”

Ichabod grinned; pleased with himself as he licked his finger. "You taste too damn good," he groaned as he kissed up her neck to her ear. "I couldn't help myself."

He kissed her, his tongue darted into her mouth mingling with her so she could taste for herself. Every nerve in her body was tingling with an agonizing desire so strong Abbie could hardly control herself. She firmly flipped him so his back was against the tree.

"Do you taste this good," Abbie purred before dragging along kiss on his lower lip.

Ichabod's heart raced as her tongue dragged down his chest. She flicked her tongue over his small pale nipple as her hand fondled his sack. His breath caught heavy as he enjoyed her tender care.

She continued down, taking his thick long cock in her petite hand. He groaned out loud as her tongue swirled around the head and her fingers gently pulled back the skin until it was fully exposed. Abbie was wide eyed as she licked down the length of him; wondering if he might be too thick... too long. She was practically salivating as she took the head into her mouth.

Ichabod's heart nearly stopped when he saw himself taken in by her gorgeous full lips. She smacked her lips as she pulled him out. His heart sank heavy at the absence of the warm wet pressure.

"Mmmm... So good," Abbie teased looking up at him.

Ichabod was convinced those brown eyes and soft lips would end him. "If you're trying to drive me insane..."

Abbie opened wide taking him in her mouth as her hand stroked him.

"Have mercy!" he gruffed; nearly losing his composure. "Fuck! That's... Fucking amazing..." he managed as she worked him.

His hips gently pumped as her free hand grasped his ass. Ichabod couldn't remember the last time he had a woman make him feel this good. His hand caressed her cheek as she looked up at him. He tipped his head back as he moaned with pleasure, knowing he wouldn't be able to hold off much longer with those beautiful eyes seducing him.

He let out a tiny whimper when she took his dick from her mouth. He looked down and saw her tearing open the condom wrapper with her teeth as she continued to stroke him.

"Snug fit?" Abbie licked her lips as she rolled the rubber down his length. Ichabod's cheeks reddened a little. "You ready?"

"Most definitely," Ichabod carefully pulled her up, lifting her so that she could wrap her legs around him. “Are you?”

Abbie wrapped her arms around him as he guided his cock to her entrance. She buried her face into his neck, letting out a wanton sigh when his thick length began to fill her. Ichabod groaned as her tight wet walls constricted around his cock.

He grasped her ass and began to pump his hips as she bobbed up and down on him, driving a little deeper every time. They were both panting wildly as he held her up fucking her. But he wanted to play some more.

Ichabod set her down on wobbly legs, then flipped her so he was behind her. They went down on their knees on the sheet that was once his toga.

"Brace yourself," He growled.

She barely had a chance before he thrust inside her again, sinking his thick cock into her wet pussy.

"Ugh... Fuck..." She cried out. He slowed; worried for a moment. But she reached back and grabbed his ass. "Don't stop."

Ichabod caressed her ass and lower back as he began to fuck her from behind. He was able to get so deep, Abbie felt as if he reached the very end of her. He went faster her breasts swinging beneath her. He leaned over her firmly palming one, and pinching at her nipple.

"Yes... Fuck..." Abbie cried out as she grabbed fists full of the sheet beneath her.

"You want it harder don't you?" His voice was husky and low as he worked

"Yes," Abbie grunted as her ass pressed against him. "God yes!"

Ichabod rose up and grasped her hips, grunting, thrusting into her again. "You feel so fucking good, Abbie!"

Abbie backed into him, her ass clapping against his pelvis as her legs quivered. Sweat dripped from his brow as he made her come again. Her mind blurred as a swirl of pure bliss rocked her. He continued hard and fast letting her enjoy every second of her orgasm and struggling to stave off his own. Finally, he slowed and leaned over her back again as her breathing steadied.

His soft groans and warm breath on her neck sent a hot thrill through her body.

 

She gasped out loud when he pulled out of her and quickly flipped her on her back. He had a mischievous grin as he spread her legs.

"So perfect," he gasped.

Abbie blushed, holding one hand over her breast. Her pussy ached for him to be inside her again.

"Don't stop," Ichabod's eyes went from her lips to her breasts then down to her swollen wet folds.

Her hands followed his eyes, slipping down to her clit. She rubbed it between her fingers as he watched, thirsty and drooling over her. She was so sensitive from the drilling he'd delivered, and now the way he watched her made her quiver with want.

Ichabod crouched between her thighs, licking her like a starved animal. He pushed his fingers inside her again, hitting her spot as she played with herself until she came. His cock was so hard he thought it might burst with cum just from sucking the juices from her folds and her fingers. He loved tasting her this way.

He rose up between her thighs watching her beautiful face enjoying her high, and listening to the sweet sounds she made.

He teased her slit with the head of his cock, sliding it over her entrance.

"Are you flexible?" He groaned.

"I am tonight," Abbie purred.

Ichabod grabbed one of her legs and lifted it the length of his body. He kissed her tiny ankle, raising a brow at her as if asking if she was ready. Abbie raised her hips into him in response. He watched as he guided his thick dick inside her, spreading the lips wide around him. Her head fell back and she let out a high pitched moan as he stretched her.

"Fuck..." he moaned heavy as he succumbed to the sensation of her walls engulfing him again.

He started with slow long strokes, going deep inside her, but soon his pace quickened. He held leg up as his hips thrust and he hammered into her. Sweat dripped from the tips of his brown hair as he flung the locks back from his face.

Ichabod pulled her other leg up then leaned over her; burying his face into her cheek and neck as he grunted with each thrust. Abbie was now reduced to mumbling gibberish as he thoroughly fucked her; one leg over his forearm, the other over his shoulder. Her fingernails made their mark all over his back and ass as she clung to him. He was deep and stretching her; and it felt beyond good when she came.
Ichabod's body tightened and with a few hard thrusts, he finally let himself go to have his release.

At first they thought it was an explosion inside of them, as they hardly registered the fireworks in the sky. Colorful lights burst all around them, matching the feelings that exploded inside of them. Ichabod collapsed beside her and pulled her into his arms. The sky was finally dark allowing the array of flashing lights and colors to fill the air.

 

6 ~ At Least We Had This Night

 

"Perfect timing," Abbie sighed as her breathing calmed.

"That's got to be some kind of sign," Ichabod mused as he watched the fireworks above them.

He kissed her forehead and snuggled some more until the fireworks ended. "I'm not ready for this night to be over."

"Maybe it doesn't have to be just yet," Abbie looked for the rose crown Leena made and rummaged through it.

"What have you got there?" Ichabod turned on his side to see what she was doing.

Abbie held up two more condoms, "think you can handle this?"

"Challenge accepted," Ichabod growled as he pulled her on top of him.

~~~

Two hours later they were completely spent and collapsed in each other’s arms. Ichabod held Abbie tight as he closed his eyes and dozed off just a bit. But he was awakened soon after when he felt she was no longer in his arms.

He opened his eyes just as she was wrapping her toga around her body and trying to fasten it so that it would stay.

"Wait... Can we just be together a bit longer," Ichabod asked.

It was finally dawning on him that this was indeed a one night stand; something Abbie knew from the start. But even she was regretting that this was going to be it. She hoped a quick getaway would make it easier.

"My friend is going to call the Calvary if I don't get back."

"Ah... Of course," Ichabod recalled the blond gentleman she waved to as they made off earlier. "It's just that I've never had a... a... One time fling before. I hadn't expected this to end so abruptly. I can't say I've ever got on with anyone as smashingly as I have with you."

"I know," Abbie winced. "I was just thinking the same thing. But you're here on vacation and you'll be going back to England... If I let myself get attached..."

Abbie huffed in frustration as she struggled with her thoughts and the toga.

Ichabod stood and helped her fasten it. "I'll be here for a few more days... If we both are clear about what this is... There it should stay."

Abbie smiled softly as she tugged at the toga. "Thanks... listen… I'll be here at the festival tomorrow. If we meet up again, so be it... But if we don't..."

"Maybe it's for the best and we'll always have this moment to remember." Ichabod put his arms around her.

Her eyes were so beautiful in the moonlight, and her lips were irresistible. The two kissed, their tongues mingling as a passionate heat swept over them. Ichabod pulled away, realizing it wasn't going to be easy if they didn't stop. Abbie nearly swooned in his arms before recovering her wits.

She didn't say goodbye, she simply turned and hurried off back to the crowd. His heart sank a little as he watched her fade into the night and the dissipating throng of partygoers. Did the woman of his dreams just vanish from his life?

Abbie hurried to find Nick. She was shaking as she desperately tried to convince herself that she wasn't in love. Love at first sight wasn't real. This was just a one night stand. What were the chances she'd ever see him again or that any kind of relationship could ever come of this?

~*~

Chapter Text

Eat Sleep Love 2

image


****

~Intro~

"Oh... Iche... You feel so good," Abbie panted as he thumbed her clit with one hand and squeezed her breasts with the other.

Abbie bounced and gyrated on top of him, riding his cock hard. She came twice, loving being in control of her orgasm. He loved watching her come, the way her lips quivered and she threw back her head, fully enjoying it.

Abbie didn't know how she ended up with Iche in her bed, making love to him again. But she wanted it needed it, need him. And he felt so amazing.

 

~~~

 

Ch1

The sun had barely risen Saturday morning, but Abbie was up, dressed and had her SUV loaded with supplies for the wine festival. She was always a morning person, but today even more so. She was practically floating as she hummed about; her mind continually drifted back to the memories of last night.

"Earth to Abbie," Nick interrupted her as she carried a basket of cheese outside to her vehicle.

"Hey. Good morning, Hawley," Abbie grinned as she wizard by him.

"I came to help you, but it looks like you're all ready to go. You do know folks won't start hitting the booths until noon?"

"I know... But I want to be there nice and early," Abbie beamed. All she could think of was what if he came early; tall handsome Brit that occupied her dreams all night.

"Wow... It was that good huh?" Nick tried not to sound jealous. He'd been crushing on Abbie for the past two years. But she was going through a separation and didn't want to complicate things.

He'd been with her from the start, when she'd found him squatting on the property. He was by her side as they got the farm and vineyard up and running. He'd seen her motivated, determined, through the ups and downs, the highs and lows. But he'd never seen her quite like this.

Abbie looked amazing, radiant even. There was a lightness about her, and a softness in her smile.

Abbie bit her bottom lip and nodded. "It was so good."

"Did you tell Leena yet?"

"Not yet. You know she's going to make a big deal about it," Abbie rolled her eyes with a smile.

"So is this going to be a thing, you and the British dude?"

"I don't know... Honestly, probably not. But if he shows up today, this might be a really great weekend." Abbie let out a sigh. "I think I needed this. I was starting to feel like maybe I wouldn't get over Luke. And dating again hasn't exactly been smooth."

"That's right... The ass guy," Nick let out a chuckle as he opened the rear door.

"Don't laugh," Abbie gave him a little hip bump as she went by him.

"Hey, I can't say I blame him," he gave her a wink as he watched her bend over to put the basket in.

"I guess I'm just glad I still can get a guy after all these years."

"You're kidding, right?" Nick looked baffled. "As gorgeous as you are?"

"I just mean that it's hard to put myself out there again. And with this guy, Iche..." Abbie smiled with a soft sparkle in her eyes. "It just seemed to be so natural."

"Grace," Leena called from the front door. "I just got a call to rent out the Willow room."

"Oh, Leena," Abbie scrunched her face unsure. "The Willow room isn't ready..."

"I told them it wasn't ready. But the guy is in a bind. He's spending his anniversary at the Shady Oaks Motel."

"Ew... yuck." Abbie grimaced. "I really wanted to get to the Festival early..."

"You and Nick go," Leena encouraged. "I can finish the room. It's painted and most of the furniture is in there. I'll stay back and get it set up and decorated. Joe will be here in an hour. I’m sure he'll help me if I need it. The couple isn't checking in until four."

"I don't know... You know how particular I am about the rooms."

"I do. And you've told me a hundred times how you want everything. Trust me."

 

~~~

 

"I did it," John bragged as he walked up to Ichabod in the drug store. "I managed to convince the manager at Grace's Place B&B to give us a room."

"Oh," Ichabod raised a brow as he searched over the selection of prophylactics. "I thought you said it was booked."

"It is but they have an unfinished room that they will prepare for us. We can drop off our things now and secure our payment then check into the room at four."

"So how did you manage that?" Ichabod was curious as he grabbed a handful of condoms.

"I gave her a sob story. Told her we are in the country on our anniversary, but that I forgot to confirm our reservation. With the Wine festival in town my poor love and I were forced to spend our first night at the Shady Oaks Motel."

"Am I to ascertain that I am now posing as your spouse?" Ichabod scoffed.

"I had to sell it, and it worked. We have a room, we can scout the place out, then come up with a game plan to get your property back."

"Hmm... Very well. Grace's Place? Is that what GAM & Co. is calling Bed & Breakfast?" Ichabod asked as he handed the cashier his varied selection.

"Yes indeed," John looked curiously as the cashier rang him up. "What is with all of these? I didn't bring you to the states so that you could hook up with a bunch of American girls."

"Thank you," Ichabod took his bag graciously from the clerk, then turned to John. "I have no interest in a bunch of American girls. I am only interested in one."

"The girl from last night?"

"Abbie... She's incredible. I cannot stop thinking about her."

"I must admit it's nice to see you smile again. I know that you are going through a lot right now. Just be careful not to get in over your head."

The two men hurried to Grace's Place to drop off their bags. As they drove up to the property, they could see the small farm with a hand full of goats and cows roaming about, then several acres of vineyard with both red and green grapes. The house, an old two-story Dutch-style mansion, was perfectly positioned so that all the rear rooms had a view of the lake and vineyard. The front rooms had a lakeside view and view of the hillside and farmlands. They took a quick walk around at the well-kept garden and lawn. The inn was stunning from the outside. The bell on the entrance door rang as they entered to a front desk and sitting area it was rather eclectic with a perfect blend of old and new.

Leena hurried from the kitchen with a box of frozen sausage and egg bagels in her hand. "Welcome to Grace's Place. I'm the manager Leena Reyes."

"Lovely establishment you have here," John complimented. "I'm John Perish. We spoke on the phone a half an hour ago.

"Mr. Perish, Lovely to meet you," Leena sat the box down and shook his hand. "And this must be your handsome young husband."

"Isaac Perish," Ichabod shook her hand. "Thank you for giving us a room at the last minute."

"We are happy to help." Leena smiled graciously. "You'll be hard-pressed to find a more romantic spot to spend your anniversary. We also have newlyweds spending the weekend with us."

"Seems the Finger Lakes are ripe for romance," Ichabod mused, still very much thinking of Abbie.

John gave his credit card to Leena and signed the check-in agreement. "Here's the key to your room. It'll be ready any time after four. I'll give you a quick, tour but then I must get breakfast started."

She showed them the Dining Hall, which was just to the left of the main entrance. The room had two rustic rectangular wood tables that sat six and a rustic round wooden table that could seat five. They were contrasted with a mix of elegant cushioned chairs. The room was warm and inviting with natural woods, grays, ivory, and pops of color here and there. Fresh flowers were set out picked from the garden.

Leena then took them to the main living room the same theme flowed, though the decor was unique from that of the dining room. There was a perfect view of the lake across the lawn and between a few scattered trees.

From there, she pointed out the Three Seasons room. It was clear that someone took a great deal of time to perfect every detail.

"This place is stunning," Ichabod gushed.

"It's all designed by Grace. She had a vision for what this place could be and worked tirelessly to make sure every detail was perfect," Leena gushed like a proud mom.

"Oh, look at the time. Our guests will be down for breakfast soon." Leena patted the box and headed towards the Kitchen.

"I beg your pardon, but you aren't going to prepare those frozen sandwiches for breakfast are you?" Ichabod looked stunned.

"Umm... They are from the gourmet grocer..."

"But, they're frozen..." Ichabod didn't mean to be rude, but he could not wrap his mind around the fact that there wasn't a cook to prepare a proper breakfast.

"Isaac, don't be impertinent," John patted his arm. He knew very well about Ichabod's food fetish. "Most hotels and Inns use pre-packaged food. I'm sure it's the highest quality."

"But, this is one of the most stunning establishments I've seen. Where is your kitchen?"

Leena pointed to the room directly to the other side.

Ichabod glanced through the entry way and nearly passed out. "Oh, my word..." He walked into the gourmet kitchen and gasped.

The center Island was retro stainless steel with restored state of the art stoves and ovens, and a massive restored vent hood.

"Now this, this is a kitchen... "

"You'll have to forgive him," John apologized. "It's an insatiable hobby of his. He's quite an excellent cook."

"I don't mind," Leena was amused by Ichabod's enthusiasm. "Most guests aren't interested in the kitchen."

"Is it fully stocked... Eggs, milk, flour, salt, sugar, baking soda , and such?"

"Yes, of course. It's mostly for show though. Neither Grace or myself are very good cooks..."

"Would you please allow me the honor of whipping up a quick breakfast for you and your guest?"

"I... Well, yes, That would be wonderful. Our kitchen is open for our guests to use."

"If you could lend me a hand, Ms. Leena?"

"Gladly," Leena put the box of breakfast sandwiches to the side. "I've been wanting to learn to cook."

"I'm sure you cook very well," Ichabod was ever the charmer.

"I have a few dishes that I do very well, but no formal training. I just never seemed to have the time. And breakfast is not my forte."

"John, dearest," Ichabod teased and tried not to laugh when John peered his eyes at him, "Could you pick me some blackberries from the garden."

Ichabod handed him a bowl for the berries, and John faked a smile to continue the rouse. "I'll be back directly, my love."

Ichabod rattled off several ingredients for Leena to retrieve as he grabbed eggs and milk from the fridge.

"What are you making?" Leena asked.

"We," Ichabod corrected her with a dashing smile, "are going to prepare veggie omelets and blackberry scones... And if you have either bacon or sausage, could have breakfast prepared in less than twenty minutes."

It wasn't long before the aroma filled the air and guests began to come into the kitchen to see what was on the menu. First to arrive were the Irving Family. Frank and Cynthia were a lovely couple, in their late forties, with a teenage daughter named Macey. Soon, down came three boys followed by their parents Louis and Jessica Haung.

The next couple to show up were Kilian and his girlfriend Emma. Ichabod and John were thrilled to have a fellow Brit staying at the inn and chatted him up a bit as Breakfast was served.

The last guests to arrive for breakfast were the newlyweds, Nomi and Amanita. Everyone dug in gushing over the small feast.

"Who's ready to visit the farm?" Caroline entered the dining hall with a huge smile ready to take the Haung boys out for the day while their parents enjoyed the wine festival.

"They'll be ready as soon as they finish breakfast," Jessica Haung was anxious to have the entire day kid free.

"That looks amazing," Caroline fawned over their plate. "Leena did you fix this?"

"I helped. We owe this meal to the culinary skills of our guest, Iche."

 

"Pleasure to meet you?" Ichabod stood and shook her hand.

"Iche..." Caroline swooned a little at his accent. "I mean, I'm Caroline."

"Do you work here?" Ichabod asked.

"Kind of. I'm a grad student at Cornell, I’m just earning a little money helping out here for the summer."

"Oh splendid. I've just accepted a teaching fellowship at Cornell."

"Really?" Caroline was more than happy to hear that. "I hope you'll love it here."

"From what I can tell, I believe I will." Ichabod grabbed a scone and nudged John towards the door. As pleasant as this all was, he was anxious to see Abbie. "I'm afraid we must be going."

"You're not going to stay and enjoy the fruits of your labor?" Leena asked.

"I'm afraid I'm meeting someone, and I don't want to be late. Perhaps you'd permit me to cook for you again in the morrow?"

"I'd be grateful if you did!" Leena was overwhelmed by his generosity.

"We shall see you this afternoon, Ms. Leena," John took her hand and kissed it.

"I look forward to it," Leena simpered. She couldn't wait to tell Abbie about their new guests.

 

~~~

 

Ch2

 

Nick and Abbie were one of the first to arrive and she secured the key to the storage shed. It didn't take them long to get their booth ready.

"Everything looks great," Nick looked around proudly. "When do you want to set out the wine and cheese?"

"Not until things kick off," Abbie looked around as the place started to fill with venders. Music began to fill the air as the first of the live bands began to practice. "I'm going to put a few things in the shed and walk around for a bit. I won't be too long."

She hurried to her SUV and grabbed a couple of blankets from the back. She scanned the growing crowd hoping to see her tall brunet Englishman.

Ichabod and John arrived early enough to catch the boat races, but being on the water was the last thing on Ichabod's mind. He quickly slipped away to find Abbie, hoping that if he caught her early they could spend the morning together and get to know each other. He almost couldn't believe he was thinking like this, but he could not get her off his mind.

He would have waited all day to see her if he had to, but he got lucky. The moment he saw her in the distance, leaving the booths, he felt as if all the stress that was weighing him down was lifted. Relief, joy, the flurry of nerves all struck him at once as he hurried towards her as she approached her vehicle.

"Abbie..."

Abbie lit up at the sound of his voice behind her. She turned to see his soft blue eyes beaming at her. "Iche, I wasn't sure if I'd see you today."

"I couldn't wait," Ichabod confessed, the excitement in his voice was obvious. "I haven't stopped thinking about you."

Abbie couldn't stop the grin that graced her face, or the fluttering of her heart, at the sound of his voice. "I've been thinking about you too."

"I know what we said, what we agreed last night when we parted ways," Ichabod sheepishly ran his hands through his hair. "But I was hoping we could go somewhere private to talk."

"Yeah..." Abbie handed Ichabod the blanket, and flashed him a wicked smile, as she waved the keys. "I know somewhere private we can... talk."

The two hurried to the shed, a large dimly lit barn with a huge ventilation fan in the upper loft. Abbie locked the door behind them. Ichabod sat the blankets down and put his arms around her. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest as he held her and kissed her tenderly.

The band was playing a slow song in the distance and the two began to sway to the rhythm. Abbie closed her eyes as she rested her head against his chest. She smelled even better than he remembered as he breathed her in and sank into the comfort of her embrace.

"I'm a professor at Oxford," he began softly. "I recently ended a long-term relationship. And my father passed a couple of weeks ago...”

“I’m very sorry to hear that.”

“ That's why I'm here in the states. I need to settle some family business."

"And then you're leaving?" Abbie didn't dare look up. She was already having way too many feelings.

"I have an opportunity to stay. I've been offered a teaching fellowship at Cornell. I believe a temporary move is the right thing for me, under the circumstances." Ichabod swallowed hard, "And also if you are available and inclined to see if there is something more between us..."

"I was married for seven years. I'm going through a divorce. That's why I came here two years ago, to get a fresh start."

"Oh..." Ichabod didn't want to be a rebound. The feelings he was having were real. "Your ex does not live here?"

"Nope," Abbie finally looked up. "You really do want to talk."

Ichabod nodded. "I keep envisioning the possibilities. But I need some assurances. If you're still married, is it truly over between you?"

"It is," Abbie sighed. "We were cops together back in Sleepy Hollow. I was a Lieutenant, he was a detective. Luke was also with on a minor league baseball team. We were good for a year, before he was picked up by an MLB team. When he finally made the Majors, we both realized we wanted different things. I didn't fit in with the supermodel wives and girlfriends, you know... Our lives were on different paths. He's moved on, and I want to move on too."

Ichabod felt relieved. She seemed quite sure that her marriage was over.

"You were a law enforcement officer," Ichabod paused raising an eyebrow at her. "You're so tiny."

"I might be small, but I'm fast, I can kick the ass of a guy twice my size, and I'm a dead shot."

"That is so hot," Ichabod teased.

"Really," Abbie looked up giving him a coy smile.

"You have no idea," Ichabod teased with a raised brow, then leaned in to kiss her.

"That's enough talking for now," Abbie pulled away just long enough to pull off his shirt, and unfasten his pants.

In seconds they were on each other, kissing heavily, his hands reaching, groping, pulling away at her clothes until he had her undressed down to her bra and thong. His tongue darted out, licking his lips as he looked over her gorgeous curves.

He ran his large hand down her cheek, and neck, then gently caressed the heaving curve of her breast. With both hands he gave them a tender squeeze, kissing one then the other. Abbie could feel the tingle and wetness building up inside her, as he unfastened the front clasp. He delved in kissing and sucking her nipples as she began to tremble. He went down on his knee and kissed down her belly, as he slid her panties off. He slipped the thong into his pocket with one hand as his finger slid across her wet slit.

He couldn't resist tasting, licking with his tongue, and taking her mound in his mouth.

"Oh... Fuck... That feels good," Abbie cooed as twinges of pleasure shot through her core.

"Tastes even better," he growled, before laying back and pulling her down on top of him.

Her wet folds hovering just above him, were too enticing. He slid his finger inside her curving it, to pulsate against her spot.

"Oh, Iche... god, yes," she moaned, as he thrust another finger in. Her folds swelled and she was dripping wet.

Abbie groaned at the absence when Ichabod removed his fingers, licking them and teasing her, by making her wait.

He grasped her ass and pulled her down, licking the lips, then taking her clit in his mouth. She began undulating against him as he ate her out, reaching back to free his cock, and rub it generously. He swirled his tongue on the bud and sucked it, until she was quivering and moaning his name.

"I'm coming... so hard..." she panted rapidly, her back arched and she gave herself over to the euphoria.

Ichabod laid her on her back, spreading her legs as she finished her orgasm. He removed his pants, and put on a condom as quickly as he could.

"Oh... God...," Ichabod's breath caught as he slowly pushed inside of her. The sensation of her walls tightening around his cock, made him dizzy with pleasure.

He started motioning in and out slowly at first, just memorizing the way her body felt with him inside her. Abbie ran her fingers down his back, grabbing his ass and pulling him into her, harder and deeper. He was so thick and long, making her moan heavy with each stroke.

"You want it harder!" He groaned heavy, giving her more.

"Yes... Oh... Fuck..." Abbie was delirious with bliss, as he made her come again.

He slowed as she rode the orgasmic high, exercising self-control. He wasn't ready to come yet, wanting to please her again. He raised her legs, holding them firmly as he began thrusting into her. She grasped her breasts, as his hips pumped harder, and faster until he couldn't hold back.

Ichabod leaned over kissing her as he came. Abbie wrapped her arms and legs around him, their hearts were pounding rapidly, and it took a moment for them to calm. He laid on his side pulling her into his arms, calmly breathing her in.

"I have to go," Abbie gave Ichabod a kiss on the chest before wiggling out of his arms. Her legs were still shaky.

"Just a little while longer," he asked gently kissing her hand as she stood.

"I can't," Abbie pulled away reluctantly. "The festival races are ending soon and the booths will be opening at eleven... I have so much work to do."

She hurriedly looked for her clothes, unable to find her panties. She quickly gave up the search and threw on her pants and top.

Ichabod watched her for a moment, just taking her in, memorizing every curve. Abbie could feel his eyes were on her. He looked back giving him a cute little smirk, as she looked over his long lean physique.

He made no attempt to hide his admiration, “You’re beautiful."

"You're not so bad yourself," Abbie quipped, letting out a soft laugh at her attempted joke. But it quickly faded into a swooning sigh as he stood and walked towards her. He was well hung and Abbie had to take a deep breath, swallowing hard to quell the swell of heat that rushed through her.

"Can we meet up later, perhaps?" Ichabod asked as he put his arms around her.

Abbie nodded with a grin as he kissed her. "I'm working my booth until six..." She attempted to explain between kisses. He was tempting her. "After that, I'll be free for the rest of the night."

"Will you save a dance for me?"

"I'll save every dance for you," Abbie softly breathed her promise. She ran her petite hands up his bare chest as he caressed her cheek, and they held on to one last kiss.

"Mmm... I have to go, really," Abbie winced dropping her head to his chest.

Ichabod finally let her go, and watched her leave their temporary love nest. He immediately felt his heart drop at her absence. He was crazy about her already, and there was no sense to deny it. There was the minor issue of him telling her his name was Isaac. He figured however that once things were settled, he'd tell her his real name was Ichabod. Surely she would understand his need to keep his identity secret in such a small community.

He laid back on the blanket, giving himself a moment to ponder. He had one week to decide if he wanted to take the teaching fellowship at Cornell. The thought of being able to settle the family business and save his estate, coupled with Weekends by his beautiful Lieutenant's side, gave him a great sense of relief.

Things were looking up, finally.

He pulled out his cell phone and proceeded to send a reply e-mail to the Dean stating that he would gladly accept the teaching Fellowship at Cornell.

~~~

 

Ch3

 

"You were gone for over an hour," Nick teased when Abbie returned. "It's after ten. The races will be over soon."

Abbie fussed a little with the details of her booth humming with a smile of pure elation.

The booth was impressive; a pergola with red and green grapes hanging in thick lush clusters from the arches. Two round wooden tables with iron frames and matching bar stools were set up for guests. Framed pictures of the farm, vineyard, and Manor House were beautifully arranged, along with tea light candles, creating a true ambiance of what guests could expect from a stay at Grace's Place. A table was set up with samples of cheese from their goats and wine from their vineyard.

Nick could not get over how happy she looked. She didn't seem stressed at all that she had a lot riding on today's success. "I guess you found your guy?"

"I sure did."Abbie couldn't stop smiling as she washed her hands and prepared the food samples. She put the cheese slices and crackers on a tray, then pulled out two bottles of wine to start things off. "I'm meeting him later too."

"Wow. You went from unlucky in love, to finding this guy."

"I know. I don't want to jinx it, but I really like him, Nick. I didn't think I'd feel like this about anyone again, not after Luke."

"Ouch," Nick acted as if he'd been wounded.

"Oh, stop," Abbie gave him a gentle elbow. "You know I adore you, as a friend."

"Hey, Abs," Andy waved as he walked up to the booth. He was the son of the owner of Brooks Farm, the popular local Cheese Culturing Factory. "I need another table from the shed. Do you still have the key?"

"Yeah. Right here."

"Damn, this booth looks amazing," Andy said as he looked around. "You mind putting your touch on the Brooks Farm booth."

"Sure. I owe you big time for taking a chance on me," Abbie said eagerly.

It had been Nicks idea to convince Abbie to approach Reynold's Wine and then Brooks Farm and start a movement promoting local products. After Daniel got on board with the idea and was impressed with the wine yielded from her harvest, he backed Abbie and G.A.M. & Co. when they approached Andy.

This was a big summer for Abbie. Not only was she debuting her B&B with the soft opening during the Wine Festival, but both Brooks Farm and Reynold's Wine were featuring the products created from her farm. Two years of hard work were finally going to pay off.

"You go ahead. I can handle the booth until you get back," Nick assured her.

 

~~~

The grills were fired up again, the aroma of smoked meats filtered through the summer air, as the sun sat high up in the morning sky. Ichabod made his way to the boat races which had just finished, and finally ran into John.

"Did you happen upon your lady love?" John asked as he departed the crowd of boat watchers and joined Ichabod.

"I did indeed," Ichabod was still blithesome from his tryst and it showed by the gratified look in his eyes and smile on his lips. "She's splendid! Beautiful, smart, charming, and feisty."

"Oh my dear boy, you had better watch yourself. Don't go falling for an American girl."

"Too late," Ichabod half shrugged.

"But you hardly know her."

"Then I shall get to know her whilst I teach at Cornell, if she'll have me."

"You're going to accept," John was a bit surprised.

"I already have," Ichabod observed the questioning look on John's face. "Regardless of whether or not things progress between Abbie and myself, this teaching fellowship is an invaluable opportunity."

"I agree... You've been through a lot. So if this is what you need now, you have my support."

"How were the races?"

"Splendid," John beamed. "I believe a zippy little motor boat will be my first purchase once I am officially retired."

"I think a small slow sailing yacht might be more your speed old man."

"I believe I can handle it. There's fire in these old bones my boy," John gave him a pat on the shoulder. "Now, let’s go check out this G.A.M. & Co. and get your estate squared away, so that I can get on with my retirement."

Ichabod's phone buzzed as they made their way to the booth's and tents. He stared a bit flustered. "It's Cornell... Perhaps they've changed their mind."

"Answer it. I'll go ahead. Meet me by the booth. John followed the ever growing crowed over to the boot he's and tents were a variety of wineries, restaurants, and hotels were set up for taste-testings. There were also a myriad of paintings, arts and crafts being sold. He stopped at a booth of hand crafted jewelry that was just across from the booth for G.A.M. & Co.

The booth was impressive, John thought as he observed a tall blond haired man chatting with a cute red head. He pointed at some of the pictures, no doubt selling the value of the company, as the young woman sipped her wine, thoroughly amused.

"Those would look good on you," Ichabod joked, as John fiddled with a blue and yellow beaded necklace.

"Oh..." John put the beads down. "I was making an attempt at being incognito. What did the university have to say?"

"They are very excited to have me on. I've been invited to a luncheon with the Dean on Monday."

"That's marvelous," John almost felt like a proud father. He then pointed towards the booth. "We should go see what is going on with our adversaries."

"The booth looks quite stunning," Ichabod looked on rubbing his chin. "I believe that man is a friend of Abbie's."

"He's acquainted with your lady friend?" John furrowed his brow.

"Yes... Don't worry. I introduced myself as Isaac like you suggested. You are right that this is a small community and anyone might be associated with G.A.M. & Co. Shall we go and have a closer look?"

"Well, welcome," Nick greeted them with a smile. "Can I interest you gentlemen in some wine or cheese. Made from the finest NY has to offer, and organically grown right here on our farm. Our animals are free range, and no hormones."

"We'd love to," John took a seat.

"You're Abbie's friend," Nick stated as he held out his hand to greet Ichabod. "Nick Hawley."

"Isaac Perish. Pleased to make you're acquaintance." Ichabod shook his hand. "Splendid booth you have here."

"Thanks," Nick gave it a glance over. I can't take credit for this though. I just run the farm and Vineyard."

"Really," Ichabod saw an opportunity to get some much needed information. He looked at the cheese and wine presentation, which was plainly laid out. "Might I lend you a bit of assistance with your food display?"

"Sure..."

Ichabod went to wash his hands at the faucet. He then returned to arranged the cheese and crackers on the two trays, pairing them with the most appropriate wine.

"Voila!" Ichabod stepped back and observed his artistry.

"Wow... That looks way more appealing than just cheese and crackers piled on a tray," Nick had to hand it to him. "Where'd you learn that?"

"Food is a bit of a hobby of mine, and presentation is where one's enjoyment of food begins."

"Abbie will love this." Nick mused as he poured John's wine.

"Are you expecting her to come by?" Ichabod asked.

John cleared his throat loudly reminding Ichabod he was supposed to be getting information on G.A.M. & Co. not information about his potential girlfriend.

"Come by," Nick laughed. "If someone didn't need tables from the shed she'd be here now. It's almost impossible to keep her away. This place is her baby after all."

"Her baby?" Ichabod was thoroughly confused.

"Yup, this is my baby," Abbie chimed happily as she walked up behind them. "But I couldn't have done any of it without Nick, Joe and Leena."

Ichabod turned ghost white, stunned and hardly able to form a question. “You… you own this company?”

John sat his glass of wine down. "You seem so young to be running such a vast business."

"I'm not that young," Abbie laughed. "I inherited the property when it was just a dilapidated house and 40 acres of weeds. But after sinking every penny I had into the property, over two years of blood sweat and tears, and a lot of help from my friends... Grace's Place is almost complete."

"Do you run the winery and cheese factory too?" John asked.

Ichabod shot him a look almost begging him to stop asking her questions, but John paid him no mind. Nick left her to the conversation as he began serving two more women who entered the booth.

"No. I recently partnered with Reynolds Wine and Brooks Farm. They make a brand of wine and cheese with the grapes and milk from my vineyard and farm. That's what you're sampling here. How do you like the red?"

"It's quite divine, I must say. You should try it, Isaac."

"I... I um..." Ichabod stammered.

Abbie poured Ichabod a glass and he downed it, barely taking a breath. He couldn't fathom how the one person he finally had a connection with, was laying claim to his family property.

"Well?" Abbie smiled curiously.

"It's... It's very delicious indeed," Ichabod managed.

John continued chatting with her while Ichabod stood mostly silent. It wasn't lost on Abbie that Ichabod didn't introduce her to his friend. And that he looked positively ill that they were having a conversation. She started to wonder if he was embarrassed about her being his fling.

"John, we should be going," Ichabod blurted abruptly.

"Iche, is everything ok?" Abbie asked.

"Yes, everything is fine. I fear we are monopolizing your time. A line of patrons is forming and it's not even eleven yet."

"Do you still want to meet up later?"

"I would love nothing more, but..." Ichabod couldn't think of a plausible excuse, especially when he still wanted to see her. But how could he now?

Abbie hated the thought of their tryst coming to an end after less than twenty-four hours. But she had no explanation for Ichabod's sudden hesitation. "Look, if you've changed your mind," she tried not to sound hurt, "I get it..."

"No, Abbie, I haven't changed my mind... Not about us. I just... I have to go take care of something right now. I'll try to make it back by five." He gave her a quick head nod and waved for John to come along.

"Ok," Abbie watched as they hurried off, then turned her attention to the line forming at her booth.

 

 

~~~

"Ichabod, what on earth has gotten into you?" John asked as he followed Ichabod to the rental car.

"We must retrieve our bags from Grace's Place at once."

"Why would we do that?"

"It's Abbie. My Abbie... She is the owner of G.A.M. & Co."

"This is good news. You're not battling some big corporation for your family property"

"You heard what she said," Ichabod ran his fingers through his hair, frustrated. "She's put everything she had into the property. I'll have to figure something out."

"We don't have a place to stay. Unless you want to go back to the Shady Oaks Motel..."

"What choice do we have? You told the manager that you and I are on our Honeymoon. What on earth am I supposed to say to Abbie."

"Obviously we'll have to tell her we aren't married. We'll just tell her who you are, and why you're here. She'll have to understand."

"How could she? No, no, I must find an alternative. I can't just take the property from her."

"Legally, I believe you can. It's your property and purchased with finances from Bellington Estate..."

Ichabod felt sick to his stomach, as he leaned against the rental car.

John let out a sigh, realizing he was speaking like a lawyer, and not being sensitive to Ichabod's distress.

"If you wish, I'll research what, if any, alternatives you might have. I'll request that the bank give you a grace period to repay the debts due to your father's passing.... it should fall under family hardship. In the meantime, we can retrieve our belongings and go back to Shady Oaks."

"Please. You have to help me find another way to resolve this matter and save my family estate."

"I'll do what I can," John promised. "I'm so sorry Ichabod. I know you're very fond of Abbie, and I can see why. She's quite a charming and remarkable young woman. Her one flaw would be not waiting for the Affidavit to expire before embarking on this business venture."

 

~~~

 

Ch4

 

Leena was upstairs in the Willow Room trying to put it together the way that Abbie would have. She was glad that Joe came by and helped move the furnishings before he went to join Nick and Abbie at the festival. She fussed about the room, and it looked nice, but Abbie had an eye for details that could not be matched.

She was hanging a painting when she heard the faint sound of the front door bell dinging.

Leena stepped off the footstool and hurried to the intercom and called down. "Welcome to Grace's Place. Please have a seat in the living room and help yourself to some coffee. I'll be down shortly."

Leena finished hanging the painting before going downstairs to see who was there. She found the two men sitting in the living room, looking quite anxious.

"Mr. Perish, and Mr. Perish," she welcomed the men warmly. "I wasn't expecting you back for few more hours. Your room isn't quite ready..."

"That's why we're here," John politely interrupted her. "We realized that we were putting you out. It was terribly unfair of me to impose our misfortune on you during such a busy time, so we're going to stay at the Shady Oaks."

"We aren't put out at all," Leena assured him. "We're happy to accommodate you, especially after how helpful you were with breakfast this morning."

"We appreciate your hospitality, but we simply could not infringe upon you any further," Ichabod insisted.

The bell at the front door jingled while they were talking as someone entered the bed and breakfast.

"Don't leave," Leena pleaded. "I'll be back in just a moment."

The two men stood and waited for Leena to leave the living room.

"We cannot stay," Ichabod whispered.

"We appear most impertinent, Ichabod. They're already preparing the room for us."

"Perhaps whoever has just come is in need of accommodations. We could offer them the room, that way no one is offended. Then we can go before Abbie finds us out."

"Very well," John agreed.

The men were just about to leave when Leena returned, with Abbie.

"Gentlemen, this is the owner, Miss Grace Abigail Mills. And she insists that you stay. We'd love to have you."

Dead silence

Abbie's jaw dropped and Ichabod looked as if he were going to be sick.

When Joe showed up at the Festival to help work the booth, Abbie took the opportunity to get back to the B&B to fix the room up the way she wanted it for her last minute guests. If she would have returned a few minutes later, she would have missed Ichabod, and never been the wiser.

Leena looked awkwardly between the three of them before clearing her throat. "And this is Mr. Perish and his husband. They're celebrating their anniversary. They'll be with us for a few days, provided they don't change their minds and stay elsewhere."

"Yes..." John finally spoke up. "We met briefly at the Festival. Lovely booth you have there, and this is the finest B&B I've seen in my many years."

"Um, Thanks... Thank you," Abbie stammered. Her eyes locked on Ichabod's, questioning and confused. Was this the reason for his bizarre behavior earlier, the reason he didn't introduce John?

"After meeting you, we realized how incredibly busy you are, and how important this weekend is for you. Isaac thought it best we not burden you with preparing a room that's not ready for guests."

"No... It's um..." Abbie took a deep breath and found her voice. "Please, stay. The room will be ready by four. We have a great little team here, so getting the room ready for you two love birds won't be a problem. In fact, I'm going to go now and personally make sure everything is perfect for your return."

Ichabod was still struck silent as he watched her leave. His brilliant mind couldn't figure out what to do. What would be worse for Abbie, continuing the lie, or telling her the truth?

"Well, looks as if we shall be staying," John smiled pleasantly at Leena.

"Do you mind if I take another look around? Our tour was cut short this morning," Ichabod finally managed to ask.

"Certainly," Leena nodded. "I could show you the outdoor lounge, or the pool house..."

"No actually, I'll get on just fine by myself."

"Could I trouble you for some tea, Ms. Leena?" John asked, distracting her from Ichabod, as his young friend left. He knew exactly where Ichabod was going and he did not envy his predicament.

 

~~~

 

To say Abbie was frustrated was an understatement. She went into the Willow room and sat on the bed, her mind trouble as she was unable to shake the uneasy feeling. It was supposed to be a one night stand, two strangers, enjoying each other's company for one night, and then going on with their lives.

She just couldn't figure out why he had to lie. They could have had a quick encore this morning before going their separate ways. But instead, he'd said things that made her believe there was a possibility for more between them. Why on earth he told her he was recently out of a long term relationship, when he was a married man, made no sense.

"Abbie," Ichabod gave the open door a knock. "Can I come in, please?"

"It's your room," she sighed, not even looking up.

"I owe you an apology," was all Ichabod could think to say as he sat beside her on the bed.

"You could have just told me you were married," Abbie stood up to move away from him, but he took her hand.

"I have no excuse that would be reasonable. I wish I could explain..."

Abbie pulled her hand out of his, "You shouldn't do that. A one night stand is one thing, but I’m not going to be the other woman in your affair. Your husband is downstairs and might not appreciate this."

"John already knows all about us," Ichabod tried to be as honest as possible until he could figure out how to tell Abbie who he was. "I told him last night and then again after we spent this morning together."

"What? Do you guys have an open marriage or something?" Abbie questioned.

"We have a rather unique relationship. But I promise, he knows how I feel about you."

"And Cornell?"

"That's happening. I've accepted the position and will be here for at least the next ten months."

"And will John be with you?"

"No," Ichabod answered vehemently. He stood directly before her and took her hands in his. "I'm taking the position at Cornell because it is the right thing for me. It will be good for my career, it'll give me some time away from England since my father's passing, and I really want to get to know you."

"I don't think it's a good idea for me to get involved. Your situation seems complicated. And I have my own mess to deal with."

"Abbie, this was completely unexpected. I had no idea I'd come here and meet you. Just give me a chance to talk to John... I have things I need to explain to you..."

"I don't know," Abbie shook her head. "You should go. I'm really uncomfortable with your husband being right here... even if he knows."

"Will you meet me later this afternoon, like we planned? Or if you need more time, we could meet tonight?"

"I'll think about it," Abbie pulled away from him and pointed to the door.

Ichabod had a horrible dry lump in his throat and his heart sank, however, he had no choice but to leave. He went back to the living room where John and Leena were having a lively conversation. John could be very witty and charming himself, and he easily kept Leena distracted while Ichabod had his much-needed conversation with Abbie.

"Pardon the interruption," Ichabod tried to sound somewhat upbeat, despite everything. "John we should get back to the festival and leave Miss Leena and Miss Abbie to their work."

"Very well," John stood and took Leena's hand planting a gentle kiss on it. "Miss Leena, it has been a pleasure making your acquaintance."

"It's been nice," Leena smiled back. If John wasn't married and gay, she'd swear he was flirting with her.

 

"Are they gone?" Abbie asked a few minutes later when she came downstairs.

"Yes," Leena looked at her young friend. "You seemed a little out of sorts when you got here. Are you ok?"

"Yeah... I'm fine." Abbie lied.

"I know I've been out of the loop for a couple of decades, but I would swear John Perish was flirting with me."

"I'm not surprised," Abbie huffed. "Apparently they're in some kind of open marriage."

"How do you know that?"

"Isaac... He and I... We had sex last night, and this morning."

"You're kidding me!" Leena threw her hands on her hips. On the one hand, she was thrilled that Abbie was putting herself out there, but sad that it was with someone who isn't available.

"And Iche says that John knows all about what we did. That's crazy, right?"

Leena stood shocked. "Is this what people are doing nowadays? It's so very unconventional."

"You're seriously asking me," Abbie laughed. "I'm married to a guy who's dating super model number three."

 

~~~

 

Ch5

 

Ichabod and John returned a short while later with a bag of fresh groceries. Leena heard the front door ring and hurried down.

"Mr. and Mr. Perish?"

"Call us Iche and John, please. Forgive the intrusion," Ichabod asked humbly.

"If you're looking for Grace, she's gone back to the Festival. Today is a crucial day for her."

"I am aware," Ichabod smiled and held up the bag. "I actually wanted to prepare a few things for her booth, if you don't think she'd mind."

"Hmm... What have you got planned?" Leena asked curiously asked curiously as they walked into the kitchen.

She wondered about this young man who was so attached to Abbie after knowing her for less than a day. John grabbed a magazine and sat at the kitchen table while Leena and Ichabod made their way to the prep counter.

"I was at the booth before it opened, and though the cheese and crackers are lovely, I thought perhaps I could put together a wine appetizer and dessert that more encompasses how special Grace's Place is." Ichabod pulled a few organic ingredients from the bag. "For an appetizer, we are preparing wine smoked blackberry with cheese on sliced French bread along with blackberry grilled cheese. And for dessert, simple blackberry swirl mini cheesecakes will do nicely. With your assistance, we could have it done in half an hour."

"All with the cheese, wine, and blackberries grown here," Leena tipped her head impressed. "Is this your way of apologizing to Abbie?"

"I suppose she mentioned our involvement to you?" Ichabod sighed.

"She did. She's like a daughter to me. I don't want her to get hurt."

"I assure you, that is the last thing I wish to do. Abbie is... She's quite a remarkable young woman, beautiful inside and out."

"She truly is," Leena gave the young man a soft smile. She couldn't put her finger on it, but she could tell he was holding something back. "As long as you are honest with her, she'll be ok... You both will."

Ichabod was quiet for a moment as he thought on what Leena was saying. He was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the mornings turn of events. He wasn't sure how he could keep the truth from Abbie much longer.

~~~

It wasn't more than an hour before Ichabod and John returned to the Festival. Abbie had a steady crowd checking out her booth. Her bright jovial smile was so inviting and warm, that people felt welcome. There was a good energy between herself, Joe and Nick. And that lent for an easy and inviting atmosphere.

"I come bearing gifts... A peace offering if you will," Ichabod handed her a warming tray and a cake tray.

"A peace offering, huh," Abbie pressed her lips suspiciously at John and Ichabod.

"Appetizers for your visitors made from your produce," John chimed. "I find it nearly impossible to keep Iche out of the kitchen. I hope that you enjoy them."

"Thank you," Abbie's voice softened as she opened the tray to see the delightful treats.

"I plan on turning in early this evening, but if you want to spend some time with Iche, feel free to stay out as late as you wish," John told Abbie as Ichabod helped Nick and Joe set the delicacies out.

Abbie blinked a bit stunned.

"Iche, we should get going and leave them to their business. Have a lovely day Miss Grace."

"I do hope that we can still meet up later," Ichabod gave Abbie a polite head bow.

"I'll think about it," Abbie couldn't help but smile and shake her head.

 

~~~

 

Ch6

 

It was after eight and the sun was hanging low in the sky. The colors over the lake were stunning, the band was playing and patrons were dancing. Most of the booths were shutting down but the beer and wine were still flowing.

"Here's to Abbie and her vision," Andy held up a glass of wine along with Abbie, Danny, Joe and Nick.

Her booth was the most popular of the day, and the feedback received by Brooks Farm and Reynolds' Wine was even better than they could have anticipated.

The small group sat under the vine-draped pergola and made their toast, drinking to her future success.

Abbie was happy, relieved. In the excitement of the day she'd managed to put any thought of someone trying to take her house out of her mind. But the one thing that she couldn't get out of her mind was Iche.

As she looked out over the lake at the sunset and drank her wine, the image of the tall slender Brit leaning against a fence post caught her eye. She thought about ignoring him, but the way her heart was fluttering in her chest, she knew it was a futile attempt.

"Thanks for the drink guys. I'll see you all later." Abbie waved as she left the guys and made her way over to Ichabod.

"Congratulations on your success," Ichabod greeted her warmly, hoping that she wasn't furious with him.

"Thanks for the appetizers... Where's your husband?" Abbie asked.

Ichabod grimaced at hearing her refer to his old friend as his husband. He wanted nothing more than to put the charade behind them. "John went back to the B&B for more leisurely enjoyment."

"Why didn't you join him?"

"I was waiting for you. You promised me a dance... Actually, you promised me every dance."

"That was before..." She sipped her wine as the live band played in the background.

"Just one," Ichabod pleaded, his soft blue eyes weakening her resolve.

"Damn it, Iche," Abbie shook her head. "And John knows you're here with me?"

"I promise you he does, and he doesn't mind."

"Really? The two of you are here for your anniversary, yet you're so open in your relationship that you're allowed to hook up with other people?"

"All right... I can't continue with the charade. John is a dear old family friend. We aren't married."

"I knew it! Why did you lie?"

"We planned this trip at the last minute and didn't have a hotel booked. When we arrived, every decent hotel and inn for fifty miles was booked because of the wine festival. So when John called Grace's Place and Ms. Leena said the other rooms weren’t ready..."

"He told the story about it being your anniversary. That cunning old man!" Abbie shook her head with a slightly annoyed smile.

"He is a retired solicitor after all." Ichabod smiled then looked down. His cheeks were red with embarrassment for trying to pull off such a ridiculous farce.

"Don't blame his being a lawyer. You went along with it."

"I did indeed. And I'm deeply sorry for my duplicity. I... I want to tell you everything about me, but I'm afraid if I tell you now, I'll run you off and you'll have nothing to do with me."

"Are you a criminal, rapist, murderer, animal hater?" Abbie fired off.

"No... None of those things. Just a boring professor with an affinity for cooking and beautiful petite women... One in particular with beautiful brown eyes and the most exquisitely alluring lips..."

"Ok, that's enough Prince Charming," Abbie was now blushing. "I don't mind taking things slower and getting to know you with time, if that's what you want."

"That is very much what I want, Abbie... How about a proper date."

"When?"

"Right now?" Ichabod asked. "Would you like to take a boat ride with me?"

"I actually love boating, so yes," Abbie smiled taking his outstretched hand.

They walked hand in hand across the grounds chatting and enjoying the music. Abbie sampled wine comparing several newer brands to her own. She learned that though Ichabod did enjoy wine on occasion, he preferred a Brandy or a good brewed beer.

He also thought it best to be sober if he was going to row a boat on the lake at night. There were plenty of drunk boaters out to look out for. But they managed to keep their distance from any ruckus.

With the band's music echoing softly across the lake they had a very nice evening, spending most of it talking about their childhood. They learned they both lost their mother's when they were young. And though Abbie didn't know her biological father, she only two years ago had lost the man who was like a father to her.

"So the other young man, Joe, is as a brother to you?"

"Yup. We've been close like this since we were kids."

"That is good to know. I was beginning to worry I hadn't a chance with so many fine men at you call."

"Do I detect a little jealousy," Abbie grinned.

Ichabod raised his brow knowing he'd been caught. "Perhaps just a little."

They finished their boat ride before midnight and joined the last of the Festival growers in front of the stage. It was getting late and Abbie had guests to welcome in the morning. But they were having such a nice time, neither wanted to go.

Ichabod held out his hand as the band began playing the song 'Wonderful Tonight'. "Might I still be permitted a dance?"

"Just one."

Ichabod took her glass and sat it on the fence post, then casually put his arms around her. It didn't take long for Abbie to rest her head against his chest as they swayed to the music. It felt so good to be in his arms.

Ichabod stepped back making her a take a little spin before pulling her back to him.

He hummed the words in a soft low baritone...

 

"And then I tell her, as I turn out the light
I say, my darling, you were wonderful tonight
Oh my darling, you were wonderful tonight"

Abbie was trying her best to guard her heart against his charm, not to fall too hard so fast, but when they were together like this, it felt easy and right. He leaned in kissing her gently as he held her. She felt a rush of heat and butterflies swirling from her abdomen. His heart was pounding so hard Abbie could feel it.

"We should probably call it a night..." Abbie pulled from his kiss, both of them now struggling to catch their breath.

"The night is still young," Ichabod protested.

"I know, but I have a long day tomorrow. I should find Joe or Nick to give me a ride back to the house."

"I can drive you," Ichabod offered. "I haven't had anything to drink since this morning."

"And I may have had one too many," Abbie laughed softly. She reached into her pants pocket and handed Ichabod her keys.

Ichabod took the keys and pulled out his cell phone. "I should tell John the roués is over. I believe he rather fancies Miss Leena."

"She thought he was being a bit flirty with her." Abbie shook her head with an amused grin. She could be mad, but she was too amused by the lengths they went to, to get a decent room. "I'll text Joe and Nick, let them know that you're taking me home."

"So you really cooked breakfast for all my guests this morning?" Abbie asked as they drove back to the B&B.

"It was my pleasure, I assure you. I've loved cooking since I was very young."

"I never learned," Abbie sighed. "I've always been more of a hammer and nails girl… Thank you. Leena said the guests loved it. And the appetizers were a hit."

"I'm happy to help," Ichabod smiled as he parked the SUV in the driveway. "Wait here," Ichabod asked her as he hopped out. He went around to her door nod opened it for her. "Can I walk you to your room?"

"Such a gentleman," Abbie nodded as he offered her his hand. "I live in the apartment behind the garage."

Ichabod didn't let go of her hand as the two walked under the starlit sky. As they made their way around the back, they heard pleasant banter and laughter from John and Leena. The two looked very cozy.

"Should we stop by and say hello?" Ichabod asked.

"No," Abbie smiled and winked at Leena. "Let's leave them to enjoy themselves."

"Very well," Ichabod agreed giving John a wave as they walked by. They made their way to Abbie's door, Ichabod still held her hand and didn't want to let her go. He turned to her, looking at her petite hand in his as his thumb gently brushing the soft skin.

"It's not too terribly late. Perhaps I could take you for a walk or perhaps there's something else you'd like to do?"

"You could come in," Abbie blushed, looking up at him coyly. She slipped her free hand behind him and reached into his back pocket.

"Maybe we could use these..." Abbie paused. She had expected to find his stash of condoms but instead felt a familiar thin cotton material. "Are these my..."

"You accidentally left them this morning. I was just holding on to them, until I could return them to you. It may have slipped my mind."

"You said you have an eidetic memory," Abbie peered up at him with a smirk.

"I do," Ichabod blushed as Abbie tucked them back into his pocket.

Abbie reached behind him with her other hand and found what she was looking for, the remaining condoms. "I was thinking we do something involving these."

She took him by the hand and led him to her bedroom. They undressed and kissed every inch of each other’s bodies. His long fingers penetrated her, until she was wet and ready. The wetter she got the harder he got.

Abbie pushed him back onto her bed, and straddled on top of him. This time she took control, slowly sliding onto his cock. He groaned low as her walls tightened around his throbbing cock.

 

"Oh... Iche... You feel so good," Abbie panted as he thumbed her clit with one hand and squeezed her breasts with the other.

Abbie bounced and gyrated on top of him, riding his cock hard. She came twice, loving being in control of her orgasm. He loved watching her come, the way her lips quivered and she threw back her head, fully enjoying it.

He grabbed her hips, thrusting up into her rapidly. Soon his body tightened from the strain of pleasure and he was coming.

Afterwards they climbed under the covers. Ichabod brushed her hair back as she laid in his arms and drifted to sleep. He decided, first thing in the morning he would tell Abbie about the property. He hoped he old understand, though he feared she might hate him. For now, he just wanted to hold her and hope that everything would be ok.

 

~*~

Chapter Text

ESL CH 3: Judgment Day

 

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~INTRO~

Ichabod kicked his pants off from around his ankles and carried Abbie to the sofa, laying her down, still inside her. They were eye to eye before kissing again, tasting each other as they made love.

"Oh fuck!"

"Yes! Oh god, yes!"

Abbie knew better, but something about this man, she could not resist. After everything that just happened at Mediation, how did she end up at the cabin, with him giving her exactly what she wanted. They dripped with sweat. Faster, harder, he pumped as she grasped at him, loving every second.

~~~

 

1~ Summer Days

 

Abbie woke early when the sun beamed through the window, sore, and still tired. The sound of rattling at her bedroom door roused her from her much needed slumber.

"Iche," she said groggily as she rubbed her eyes, only to find he wasn't in bed beside her.

She then focused on the sound coming from the door, and in a moment Ichabod walked in from outside with a covered serving tray.

"Good morrow Treasure," Ichabod's eyes softened when he saw her stunning, naked in the morning sun.

"What's all this," Abbie asked, pulling the duvet up to cover herself.

"It's breakfast. I thought I might treat you," Ichabod sat the tray on the nightstand. You must have been so exhausted you slept through your alarm."

"Oh god! What time is it?" Abbie hopped out of bed. "I have to help Leena serve the guests..."

"Worry not. It's already taken care of. Yesterday's breakfast was whipped up on the spot, but today your guests will awake to a selection of traditional sausage and eggs, blackberry French toast waffles, and muffins.”

Ichabod uncovered the tray revealing a small array of breakfast delicacies. Abbie's eyes widened and her mouth watered at the sight, and delicious aroma.

"Go ahead and freshen up whilst I prepare your plate."

Abbie was back in a few short minutes anxious to have a bite.

"Come," Ichabod took her hand and sat her back in bed, fluffing her pillows so she could sit up comfortably.

"I don't think a guy has ever treated me to breakfast in bed," Abbie blushed as Ichabod sat beside her. The two enjoyed their breakfast. Abbie excitedly gushed about how well everything went at the Wine festival.

"Danny said Reynolds’ Taste of Grace was the most popular wine, and they sold every bottle they brought, not to mention had several orders. Andy said the same thing about our cheese and butter. I had no idea it would go this well, and I wasn't sure I could run a farm, even a small one."

"Well they are incredibly good. And having cooked with your butter and cheeses, I'm quite spoiled. I may not be able to use any other."

"Thank you again for the appetizers. I wish I'd have thought about it, but I could never have created anything so delicious. Where did you learn to cook like that?"

"I took two semesters off from history and science to study Culinary Arts in France. My love for cooking, I think I inherited from my grandmother. She had a kitchen staff, and yet she and I would be in the kitchen cooking together every chance we got. It was one of the few things that made her smile after my grandfather left her."

"Oh, that must have been hard for her. It's good that the two of you could find happiness and something to bond over."

"Indeed," Ichabod smiled.

Do you two still cook together?"

"Not for many years. She lives in a nursing home, needing around the clock care. She's only able to come home two weekends a month... Private in-home nurse care can be quite an expense."

"I can understand. My mother was in a full care facility before she died. It's nice that she can go home even if it’s only a couple of times a month. I can imagine the familiarity of being home is probably a comfort to her."

"Indeed it is," Ichabod sighed. "When she's at home, it's the only time she's truly lucid. That house has been in our family for over three hundred years, and she loves it so much. As do my brother and I. It's the only home we've ever known."

They were dangerously close to a conversation that Ichabod had been dreading, and he was ready to tell her everything, get it off his chest and let the chips fall where ever they must.

"Abbie, there is something I've been needing to talk to you about."

“MmHmm,” Abbie smiled taking a last bite of the delicious breakfast.

“These past two days that I’ve spent with you, have been the most wonderful of my life. I never expected to find someone I feel so completely happy and at ease with.”

“I know what you mean. It’s crazy, and I can’t explain it. But it’s been amazing.”

“Now that we’re getting to know each other better, and I think we both really want something more, I need for you to know all about why I’m here. You see…”

Abbie's phone buzzed and she wanted to ignore it but she knew it was Leena. "It’s Leena..."

"Go ahead, I can wait, please..." Ichabod excused her as he cleared their plates.

"Really? Ok, I'll be down in a minute!" Abbie sat jaw dropped for a moment then she hopped out of bed.

"Is everything all right?" Ichabod was curious by her look of shock.

"Yes... We... We have visitors downstairs. They stopped by the booth yesterday… and now they want to tour the B&B, the farm and the vineyard... Wow... This is actually happening..." Abbie took a deep breath and fanned herself.

"This is wonderful," Ichabod beamed. "Get yourself ready. I’ll take these down and see you shortly."

Abbie gave Ichabod a quick kiss as she giddily hurried into the bathroom. Her enthusiasm was contagious, and Ichabod was excited for her.

~~~

 

Ichabod arrived at the dining hall just as some of the visitors were asking if they could tour any of the bedroom. All seven of the finished rooms were occupied and the last two were nowhere near finished.

"I'm afraid all of our rooms are currently occupied," Leena said regretfully.

"Ms. Leena, you are more than welcome to show the Willow room," John offered.

Leena glanced at Ichabod, who nodded in agreement. Both men were very tidy and knew the room was more than ready to be presented.

"Thank you, gentlemen," Leena smiled with relief. She then turned her attention to the party of eight visitors as the boarding guests finished their breakfast. "We do have a bit of breakfast left, if you all would care to have a sample?"

"Yes, that would be great," the visitors all nodded and filled the remaining dining chairs.

Abbie came down a short while later and welcomed the visitors as well as greeted her guests. She excused herself for sleeping in, but everyone was more than understanding after her incredible showing at the Wine Festival. She had a naturally warm and personable charm that was perfect for running a B&B. the guests all took to her.

It was all hands on deck with Joe, Caroline, Leena and Nick pitching in to give tours of the estate, as more visitors came throughout the day. There was nothing but raving for the design and feel of the B&B. Abbie's personal touch showed in every room.

On the farm, the cows, chickens, and ducks were fun to see, but by far everyone's favorites were the goats. Nick easily persuaded a few of the furry hooves animals to climb a tree which was surprisingly amusing. Everyone just had to get pictures with the goats in the tree.

Ichabod's favorite was the walk through the vineyard. Abbie let Nick lead the tour while she and Ichabod hung back and walked on their own, hand in hand, laughing about this and that. Sparks were flying and butterflies were swirling, if the two weren't in love yet, they were right on the verge.

Ichabod knew he needed to tell her. But he decided it was best to wait until after the visitors were gone, and her guests had retired. He didn't know how she would react, but he knew she'd be upset by the news. He just wanted her to have this moment to enjoy what all her hard work had accomplished.

By the end of the day, Abbie had a house full of guests on the back lawn enjoying dinner and games. Joe and Ichabod fired up the grill and served up kabobs. Everyone was having a blast.

 

"I just wanted to thank you for making our stay so wonderful," Cynthia complimented Abbie as they watched the guys having some fun with the Huang boys. "We don't get to stay at places like this that have wheelchair accessible rooms, especially ones that don't end up looking like a hospital room."

"I'm glad that Macey was able to enjoy herself. The man who inspired me to do this was wheelchair bound for the last couple of years of his life. So making sure everybody and anybody could come here and enjoy themselves, was very important to me."

"Well we will certainly be back again. You've got a good thing here."

"I know. And I don't take it for granted," Abbie's voice faded as she smiled at Ichabod. He waved at her as he kicked a soccer ball to one of the boys.

He was so distracted by Abbie's smile that he neglected to see the ball come right back to him and catch him in the chest. Abbie clasped her hands over her mouth holding in a giggle as Ichabod faked his injury and laid out in the grass.

"Worry not, I'm quite all right," he had a laugh at himself as one of the boys helped him up.

"You really like him," Cynthia couldn't help but notice. Everyone did for that matter.

"Yeah... We're getting to know each other," Abbie smiled.

"I can tell he's crazy about you, too. Poor guy can hardly take his eyes off of you. He cooks, cleans and is great with kids. I say don't let him slip away. That redhead’s kind of crushing on him."

"I wouldn't worry," Leena chimed in, having a seat with them. "I don't think I’ve ever seen a man so far gone, so fast."

"Oh really?" Abbie gave her a wink. "You and John Perish were quite cozy last night."

"Ha," Leena let out a laugh. "I'm afraid I’ve been out of the game a little too long. I think it's this place. You've done something special here."

"I love it here," Cynthia's tone softened. "I was telling Frank earlier that I don't want to leave."

 

2~ Summer Night

Macey and the boys went inside to play video games, so the adults decided to cut loose. They donned their swim suits and cranked up the music, enjoying a mix of modern tunes and oldies.

“Wow, you look stunning,” Ichabod was blown away when Abbie came out in a red bikini.

“Thanks,” Abbie grinned, trying not to stare back at him in his Speedos. She wasn’t the only one, as all the ladies took notice, Caroline had to fan herself. Ichabod had no idea.

image


They swam for a bit, then sat around the pool dangling their feet in, as they sang along and danced to the music.

“Their playing our song baby,” Frank hurried over and grabbed Cynthia for a dance.

The two did a hip bump to Bruno Mars’ ‘That’s What I Like’. The tune with the chirping of crickets in the background set quite a mood.

“Shall we,” Ichabod asked Abbie bowing, then extending his hand to her.

“How can I say no to that,” Abbie blushed as she went to him, already swaying to the beat.

He loved watching her dance. Her body rocked to the beat, and he was fixated on her every curve and every move.

“So this is an American back yard barbecue?” Ichabod grinned down at Abbie who was beaming.

“It is. Are you having a good time?”

“I am having a most splendid time,” Ichabod gave her a twirl then pulled her back into his embrace. Now her back was resting into his chest as they swayed together. “I am dancing with the woman of my dreams.”

The next song that played was an oldie, ‘Unchained Melody’. Ichabod and Abbie hardly moved as they held each other and danced slow. Abbie laid her head against his chest as he hummed, the vibration was so soothing. They wanted to stay in that moment forever.

~~~

It was getting late, and Ichabod found a moment to slip away, leaving Abbie, joyfully finishing off the evening with her guests as they wound things down. She had been the perfect Host and Owner all day, an absolute natural, and Ichabod could see this was a perfect fit for her.

Abbie was on top of the world. This was exactly how she had envisioned this place to be. In so many ways she felt like her dream had come true. Once the guests were gone the house was peaceful and quiet. She walked around taking it all in.

She made her way outside wondering where Ichabod had gotten off to. Soon she found him on the upper balcony near her bedroom door. He was still shirtless having put his pants back on after the pool party. She smiled, still hardly able to believe how good this weekend had turned out. And Iche was a part of that. She was falling in love.

It was quiet on the upper balcony. To one side there was a clear view of the vineyard. On the other side, the lake and Creek were dark almost blending into the sky, the moon and stars sparkled their reflection. Ichabod closed his eyes and listened to the sound of the insects chirping and the wind against the water. He wanted to enjoy this last moment before he had to tell Abbie who he was.

In the quiet he could think, think about what he was going to say. His heart thumped hard in his chest as guilt began to settle in. He had been ready to explain everything this morning, but the more time passed, the harder it seemed. Yet he knew he couldn't put it off any longer.

"There you are," Abbie wrapped her arms around Ichabod, snapping him from his thoughts. He sighed, giving her a soft smile before kissing her tenderly. "Something on your mind?"

"You," Ichabod kissed her again, letting his whiskers tickle her and making her smile. She was so pretty in the little sun dress thrown on over her bikini. "You have occupied my every thought since the moment I first saw you."

Abbie rubbed up against him, letting her hands slide under his shirt and up his back. "I was thinking maybe you could stay with me again tonight."

"I want nothing more than to stay with you, make love to you all night. But there is actually something rather important I need to discuss with you," Ichabod admitted, sounding more serious than Abbie had expected.

"Oh, is... Everything alright?"

"I... Well, I'm not certain..." Ichabod looked down at the ground, pulling Abbie's arms from around his waist and contemplating his words.

"Iche?"

He stepped back, holding Abbie's hands tight. "I think we both can admit, this thing between us has become far more than either of us expected, the first night we were together. Before we go any further, I feel it's imperative I tell you what I had hoped to talk to you about it this morning..."

"I remember," Abbie took a deep breath. "You're making me nervous. It sounds serious."

"It's partly... Mostly why I'm here. When my father died, I inherited my family estate, the home that I told you about, Bellington, and a meaningless title of Earl. At the time I didn't realize how much debt was owed on the property. I found out when my brother needed money for his tuition and summer studies abroad. I had to take out a loan for his tuition, and also for my grandmothers nursing care."

"You're telling me you're in debt?" Abbie felt relieved. "Lots of people are. If you're wondering, that's not a deal breaker for me. You're smart, hard-working and you've got a great job. I'm sure you'll be fine."

"That's not all, unfortunately. Since my father has passed, the bank is calling in the loans. I have to come up with over £700K or they will take my family estate, my grandmother's home. So I am forced to find something of the estate that I can sell off, in order to come up with the finances. That's the main reason I came to New York."

"Ok..." Abbie furrowed her brow, unsure of where this was going. But already she had a sinking feeling.

"When my grandfather left my grandmother, he forfeited his inheritance and abdicated his title of Earl."

Abbie felt her heart thump and drop into her chest. Old man Crane was from England and he was nicknamed the Earl, back in his hay days. She shook her head in disbelief.

"A few years later he took funds from the estate to purchase some property here in New York..."

"No," Abbie whispered shaking her head. He stared down at her hands in his, unable move.

"Abbie I swear I did not know you were G.A.M. & Co., until you told me at the booth yesterday..."

"Who are you?"

"George Ichabod Crane was my grandfather. My name is Ichabod Crane."

 

 

~~~

3~ One Month Later

 

"Hey, Grace, you still at it?" Leena asked entering the room over the garage.

"Yeah... I think it's pretty good for a guy who's trying to swindle me." Abbie gave her a cheesy fake smile.

"Abbie, are you sure about this? The last time you saw him, you threw a shoe… at his face.”

"Yeah… and I missed.” Abbie pouted as she adjusted the bed spread. “I was angry when I first found out, and I may have lost my temper a bit… Now, I'm going to be nice."

"Nice is one thing, but this is above and beyond," Leena looked around the room Abbie had prepared for Ichabod. "And sharing a bathroom… I don't know if I could do it."

“I did throw a shoe at his face,” Abbie scrunched up her nose. “It’s just a room, I don’t mind decorating, and he’ll have to deal with some noise.”

She had hoped to use the space for the B&B, making the oversized room a suite. But there was no soundproofing in the floor, and the garage doors opening and closing below, were too loud for guests. A little paint on the walls, some spare carpeting and furniture from the basement storage, plus her special touch, made for a decent room. She didn't hang any pictures or art, not knowing how long Ichabod would actually stay.

 

"My plan is to kill him with kindness," Abbie grumbled as she fluffed the pillows a little too hard.

"Hmm... And this kindness has nothing to do with the fact that you still have feelings for him?"

"No... I mean... No. I'm over it, over him. And I'm dating other people now.

"So things are getting serious with you and the self-help guru?" Leena pried. "I had a feeling after the third date..."

"We're still in the get to know you phase, before we decide whether or not we want to keep seeing other people. The third date was about testing our physical compatibility. The fourth to fifth dates are to determine whether or not to take the budding relationship to the next level and begin dating exclusively. So he and I agreed we'd discuss being exclusive after date number four. He has a system."

Leena frowned. It seemed to her that Abbie was just using this new guy to get over Ichabod. There was nothing special in the way she spoke about him. It was as if Abbie were going down a checklist.

"I don't know Abbie. Everything just seems a little too cookie cutter with this guy Laz. It's not like you.”

Abbie knew what she meant. Laz was handsome and wealthy, but she wasn’t feeling it like she had with Ichabod, at least not yet. "He has a system. It's in his second book, 'The Entrepreneur's Guide to Romance'.”

“I skimmed through it,” Leena counted on her index finger. “Date one, out for drinks, date two, picnic at the park, date three, romantic dinner and sexy time... Check, check, check."

 

“He's had great advice about growing my business and dealing with stress and obstacles. And so far it's been... Fine."

"Fine?" Leena questioned. "The romance is fine? Because when you met Iche, it was as if you were floating on a cloud, singing and smiling. And with this Laz Delgado character, it's... Fine?"

"Yeah... yes! So fine that, well, I'm not even thinking about Isaac Perish aka Ichabod Crane," Abbie lied.

"You're really ok with seeing Iche again, and him staying here?"

Abbie let out a sigh. She didn't want to think about Ichabod in a romantic way at all. It was too hard. The weekend they had together had been like a dream, or a fairy tale. None of it was planned. It had just happened, a kind of lightning in a bottle that would probably never happen again. On paper and to the world, Laz should be perfect, but Abbie's heart yearned for that magic she felt the moment she first saw Ichabod. Even now just thinking about him made her nerves swoop right to her very core.

*Stop* she forced herself. She could not, would not think about Ichabod like that. Not anymore.

"We have our first mediation appointment tomorrow, and hopefully he'll see that the property should be mine. I put a fortune into this place and it's not just a house anymore. It's a viable business. If he can agree to let me make payments until..."

"Payments? I thought you were going to try and get a loan in case the mediator suggests you buy it from him."

"I tried. They turned me down. I can't get another business loan until the court determines, or we agree through mediation, who has ownership of the property. I can't get a personal loan because I already have a loan and no actual income..." Abbie grumbled and plopped down, laying spread out on the bed. "It wasn't supposed to be like this Leena."

"I know sweetie, but you will figure something out. And... He's here." Leena pulled at the curtain, looking at Ichabod in the driveway paying the cab driver.

It was an awkward greeting when Abbie met Ichabod at the front of the house. She had refused to see him or say goodbye after he told her who he was. She remembered him knocking at her bedroom door, begging her to open up and let him explain. But she was devastated. They’d exchanged phone numbers, spent the night together and the entire next day, without him telling her the truth. He’d let her fall in love with him, all the while he was keeping such a huge secret. She could hardly eat or sleep for days after, because of the knots in her stomach from being so upset. And now he was back.

He wanted to go right up to her, wrap his arms around her, and breathe her in. He lit up with a smile when he saw her beautiful face, and those gorgeous big brown eyes he'd fallen for. But there was a sadness behind those eyes, and he knew he had put it there.

For a moment Abbie swooned at his smile, those sparkling baby blues, and that accent of his when he greeted her, "hello Abbie." But she had nearly four weeks to put that weekend behind her, the weekend when she thought she had actually fallen in love, only to have him wreck her dreams.

"Ichabod." Abbie was short but polite. "I'll show you to your room over the garage."

"Thank you...” Ichabod followed her but was desperate to talk. “Um... Abbie, how have you been? You wouldn't take my calls so..."

"I've been busy, trying to find ways to save my business, and my home. Other than that I'm fine."

"Right..." Ichabod felt like an idiot as he followed her up to the private entrance from the balcony. "I'm sorry..."

"You don't have to apologize. None of this is your fault." Abbie let out a sigh. “Here's your room key. It'll open the front door at night after we lock up."

"Thank you," Ichabod was all politeness as he walked into the room and was astonished. "Abbie, what is this? John said that the room over the garage was unfinished. I was prepared to sleep on a sleep sack... I'm positively gobsmacked."

"I wasn't going to have you sleeping on the floor. We'll have to share the adjoining bathroom so be sure to lock and knock. And it's still an open kitchen."

Ichabod put down his bags and nodded, grateful that she was being so kind.

"If you want, we can ride to mediation together."

"Abbie, that's too much. I positively couldn't..."

"It's kind of too far to get a cab, and we're going to the same place anyway. If you need anything, just let me know." Abbie let out a breath as she turned to leave, relieved that she made it through.

"I've missed you, Abbie," Ichabod admitted. Not that it was a secret. He still looked at her as if she were the most precious thing he'd ever laid eyes on.

"I can't go there, Iche... or Ichabod... Whatever name you go by..." Abbie blinked back tears. She felt overwhelmed, but she didn't want to let her emotions get the best of her. "I'll see you in the morning."

~~~

 

4 ~ Road Trip

 

Ichabod was up early Friday morning. Even though the bed was comfortable, he found it impossible to get any sleep. He went down and prepared breakfast for the house, which had three rooms booked with guests. But as soon as Leena came into the kitchen, he made his excuses and left.

"Morning Leena," Abbie greeted her with a warm hug when she came down an hour later. "You're all done. I told you I would help with breakfast."

"It was almost done by the time I came down."

"Crane? Where is he?" Abbie asked grabbing a muffin from the basket.

"He didn't want to stay. Said he had to finish getting ready for your meeting. I think he feels bad."

"Good, he should," Abbie poked her bottom lip. "I've had a permanent knot in my stomach since the moment he told me. I just want to get this over with."

"Well, you look lovely. You should wear dresses more often."

"I wish I had more occasions to wear a dress," Abbie let out a laugh.

"I'm surprised Ichabod agreed to use a mediating Judge who was a friend of August Corbin."

"I'm not. The judge offered to mediate for practically nothing. Neither one of us can afford Mediation, or litigation in court right now. Plus, I'm pretty sure he thinks the law is on his side."

"But you have a will from Mr. Crane, and a deed, so they can't discount you."

"They can if the property was never legally Mr. Crane's to give away," Abbie sighed.

She looked out the window to see Ichabod patiently waiting by her vehicle. He looked smart and handsome in his blazer with leather case strapped over his shoulder. He had on his reading glasses as he flipped through the local news paper. Abbie wanted to curse, because how dare he look that handsome in glasses.

"I better get going. It's a long drive to Yonkers."

~

"You ready," Abbie asked as she came outside.

Ichabod looked up and was awe struck. She was stunning in the little white knee-length sundress.

He took off his glasses, focusing on her better. He was unable to take his eyes off of her, as he tried to catch his breath.

"Yes..." Ichabod found his voice and opened the door of the SUV for her. "You look beautiful."

"Thanks," Abbie managed. She knew it was going to be a four-hour drive to Westchester County, so there was no reason to make it unpleasant.

"You ever been to Yonkers?" Abbie asked as they started their drive.

"No, never. This shall be a bit of an adventure." Ichabod cleared his throat, pleased that conversation seemed to be welcome. "You've always lived in New York?"

"Yup. Except for a short time I spent in California with Luke, when he first got picked up by the Padres... Even then I couldn't wait to get back to New York."

"I'm curious if my grandfather always lived here after he left England. How exactly did you come to know him?"

"As far as I know, he moved here and bought the mansion on the Finger Lakes in the early 70's, with his fiancé Francis. He moved to Sleepy Hollow in the mid 80's, when Francis became terminally ill. The doctors in NY city are some of the best. But after Francis died, Mr. Crane just didn't have the heart to go back to the home they built together. He was heartbroken."

Abbie noticed Ichabod was tight-jawed and silent. Mr. Crane had abandoned his wife and two sons, this much she knew. She thought it best to move the story along and off of the subject of his lover, Francis.

"I met Mr. Crane when I was new with the Sheriff’s department. He was a grouchy old man, wandering the streets, a bit disoriented. I returned him to the assisted living facility a few times and, I don't know, we just started talking one day. He didn't have any family or friends, so I started visiting him once a week. One day, I went to see him and he was… upset. It was the anniversary of Francis' death... We talked and he asked me to take him for a drive. Four hours later, we ended up at the Finger Lakes house. It was the first time he'd been there in well over ten years. He told me stories about how they remodeled the place and how he had dreams of what the old mansion could be one day. We started going back once a month, and pretty soon, his dream for the place became my dream too."

It was strange for Ichabod to hear her go on so fondly about George Crane, the man who had abandoned his wife and children to run off with his French lover, and forfeit his title.

"What is it?" Abbie had to ask, noticing how he nervously fidgeted and stiffened his fingers.

"It's just that, I have never heard a kind word spoken about my Grandfather in my entire life. He left my grandmother, telling her he performed his duty, provided an heir and a spare, and that he was leaving her to be happy... Growing up the name Francis was whispered behind closed doors, this evil thing that had destroyed my grandmother, shattered her into a million pieces. It wasn't until I was older that I realized Francis was my grandfather’s lover, the woman he had left Gram's for."

"Iche, Francis wasn't a woman..."

"What do you mean?"

"Francis was a man."

Ichabod looked completely stunned as Abbie spoke.

"George was gay? I... I had no idea."

"I'm sorry. I thought you knew..." Abbie sighed. “I don’t think there was anything your grandma or George could have done to change things.”

"My uncle and my father never told me or Jeremy... I just know that they were so upset at George for abandoning Grams, that they wanted nothing to do with him. If he wrote to them, they sent the letters back... I just..."

Ichabod grew silent, watching the trees and scenery as they drove by. Abbie didn't know what else to say, so she let him have the moment to gather his thoughts. She was certain this information shed some light on the situation.

"So," Ichabod cleared his throat, the dry lump was slowly dissipating as he absorbed the new information. "Do you know why he never divorced my Grams? She seemed to somehow hold out hope that he still loved her, and would return one day."

"I think he felt a little guilty. He made this commitment to her and I think he felt bad enough leaving her. She didn't want a divorce so... He didn't do it."

"Is that why you're stalling your divorce?" Ichabod asked. "Seems as though you picked up a lot from my grandfather."

"Hmm," Abbie stiffened her lip. She knew it was partly true. She felt guilty. She knew from the start that Luke’s dream was to be signed to a MLB team, and as soon as he did, she wanted out. He'd begged her to stay. Cheating with the supermodels was him lashing out after she went back to Sleepy Hollow. But she knew Luke would gladly take her back, if she would have him.

"I think we need a new subject."

"Apologies," Ichabod knew that was a very personal question. "The mediation isn't until this afternoon, any reason why you want to get to Yonkers early?"

"Actually, there is," Abbie smiled. "We’re going to Sleepy Hollow first. One of the Nurses there makes the best lasagna I've ever had. She's making me one to pick up, since I'm going to be in town. I'm serving it for our guests' dinner tomorrow night."

"Ah, splendid. I do hope I'm invited."

"Maybe," Abbie shot him a side grin. "Depends on how this mediation goes. And um... You should know I'll have a date coming."

"A date?" Ichabod looked confused and was a little crushed. Well, a lot crushed, but he was trying to hide it. "You're seeing someone?"

"We're talking, an we aren't exclusive yet. This will be our fourth date."

"I suppose he's no one I would know." Ichabod grumbled.

"Actually you might know 'of' him. His book is in the back seat."

Ichabod reached his long body to the back of the vehicle, unable to hide his curiosity. He picked up the thick paperback book, recognizing the huge picture of a guy smiling sinisterly on the cover.

"Better Business, Better Life, Better You," Ichabod read the title out loud. "By Laz Delgado head of Lazarus Empire? This man is a charlatan."

"He is not," Abbie synched her teeth. "I found the chapter on overcoming obstacles very helpful."

"I thought you weren't dating anyone." Ichabod could feel jealousy bubbling up inside him. He wondered if they were having sex, but was too afraid to know the truth. She was gorgeous and so full of energy, of course they were.

"I wasn't dating anyone. But after you left, I was feeling a bit discouraged, so I went to one of Laz’s seminars in NY. He saw me in the audience and invited me out for drinks. He was helpful and encouraging. He gave me some advice on growing the business side of GAM & Co."

"So not really dates, more like counseling sessions," Ichabod gruffed. "How romantic."

"Stop," Abbie swatted him. "Laz is... he's, you know, nice... He's a really nice guy. He's rich, accomplished, and good looking. What more could I want?"

She asked the question already knowing the answer, passion, love, desire, comfort... Someone who looked at her as if she were the most amazing thing in existence. Someone like... "Stop looking at me like that, Crane."

"I didn't mean to stare, it's just that you truly look amazing," Ichabod let out a sigh and focused on the view outside. "You’re beautiful, kind, talented to no end. He's lucky to have you. I think it's a rare thing to find someone who ignites your passions, someone you can connect to on an intellectual, spiritual and physical level."

"Right..." Abbie went silent as she thought back on her three dates with Laz.

 

***

The first night after the seminar, Abbie had been eager to pick Laz’s brain for business advice. At the late night coffee bar, she listened to him intently for hours. After drinks, he hailed her a cab and they shared a perfect kiss, almost too perfect. He had a regular kiss and then a French kiss, which he seemed to have worked every detail. Abbie didn't notice that he didn't deviate from the two excellent kisses, until their second date at a park in Rochester. He complimented her several times and talked about the new book he was working on 'At The Top Of Your Game'. He had even gifted her with his entire book collection.

Sure Laz was a bit self-absorbed and acted as if he was better than others, but he was a nice and charismatic guy. On their third date he flew her in to New York City and shut down his entire Restaurant for the two of them to dine privately. In theory, it seemed like a dream come true, but by now Abbie was bored with Laz talking about himself all the time. She did somehow manage to get the conversation off of him specifically, and the dinner ended with the two of them talking about their hopes and aspirations for the future.

After dinner he took her up to his suite which was nice, a bit modern and stark for Abbie's taste but very clean-lined and clutter free.

Abbie didn't have any complaints, he was good, she could almost say perfect, but it lacked the passion again. It was almost like he had a playbook, and when Abbie tried to just be free and let things flow naturally, he wasn’t budging.

She missed that special, desperate, needy heat that made her want to melt into her lover and scream his name. Her thoughts drifted to the night by the lake with Iche, the way she clung to him and the way he made love to her. That's what she wanted. That's what was missing. But maybe that was a fluke, a thing that would and could never happen again. A little bit of magic... Gone.

***

"Abbie!" Ichabod shouted and grabbed the steering wheel.

The vehicle swerved back into the proper lane.

"Are you quite all right?" Ichabod gently caressed her arm as she focused on the road and her driving.

"Yeah," Abbie shook her head. "I just got distracted for a second. I have a lot on my mind."

"Are you sure?"

"I'm fine," Abbie glanced at his hand on her. He quickly removed it, remembering himself. He sat back in his seat wondering what had distracted her so badly.

 

~~~

5 ~ Legalities

 

Mediation was longer than either expected. John was kind enough to fly into New York and meet them at the Mediation Center to help interpret the inheritance laws in England. Abbie asked Cynthia Irving to come help her properly present her case. Judge Hawthorne was fair and listened to both sides.

“Your Honor, I have the Deed to the property,” Abbie showed him the form along with the will and witness statements.

“But I have the Deed,” Ichabod explained. He also provided the signed Affidavit, and documents proving the property was purchased with funds from Bellington Estate.

“Miss Mills you have a Quitclaim Deed, which is valid provided there is no contest to the transfer of ownership.” The judge explained. “Ichabod has the Original Deed.”

“So does this mean I lose everything?” Abbie asked.

"Well, if this were a court of law, as a judge I would find that the property does indeed belong to the plaintiff, and is a part of the estate of Ichabod Crane. However they would find that substantial compensation would be owed to the defendant. Not only did she invest $500k into refurbishing the dilapidated mansion, another $250k in loans, and two years of physical labor into the property, but her brother also invested $25k, and the vineyard, farm, and B&B appear to be on track to be quite profitable."

The judged paused as he looked over things and jotted some additional notes. Ichabod nervously twitched his fingers, while Abbie tried to sit still. Waiting was putting them both on edge.

 

"Let's see," judge Hawthorne flipped through the paperwork. "The property was purchased in 1972 for $200k... My goodness property was inexpensive back then. At the time Miss Mills acquired the property in 2012, the house and land situated on the lakefront were valued at $700k. The most recent appraisal, with the improvements, has it valued at 2 million. That would be $700k for the Crane Estate, and $1.3 million for GAM & Co. if the property were to be sold."

"My client is more than willing to repay Miss Mills whatever is owed her, your honor," John spoke up. "Once the property is sold. Anything over the value of the property when Miss Mills acquired it will go to her. Mr. Crane doesn't wish to profit from her hard work and dedication."

"But Miss Mills doesn't wish to sell the house." Cynthia told the judge.

"Then it's a good thing we're in mediation," the elderly judge folded his arms. "Now that you all know where you stand legally, let's see if we can find a solution that works for everyone."

"If Mr. Crane would accept payments, Miss Mills could potentially buy the house from him within the next couple of years with profits from the business."

"I'm afraid my client doesn't have that much time," John sighed. "The bank has given him an extension but they expect payment in full for all debts on the Wellingborne Estate, which the New York property is a part of, within the next nine months."

"I don't have that kind of money, and I can't take out another loan for the business until legal status is established."

"I can't take out a loan either. I can't get another mortgage on the Bellington. And I have already taken out a personal loan for my brother's education and my grandmothers nursing care."

"Look, I don't care about the money," Abbie tried not to sound frustrated. She understood what was happening and why. "I just want the house. It means a lot to me."

"And if I could find a way to keep the house for you I would, I promise," Ichabod was nearly pleading for her to understand. "But Bellington Estate has been in my family for 300 hundred years. Saving it has to be my priority.

"Why don't you separate GAM & Co from the property, and have the company as legally leasing the house and land from The Crane's Estate, which owes the company $1.3 million. Rent for the lease can be deducted monthly from the $1.3 million. That way perhaps Mr. Crane can have time to acquire a mortgage on the property or Miss Mills can get another business loan."

Abbie and Ichabod looked at each other both seeming to think this was fair enough in light of the situation.

"This will give you both some time to try and buy each other out, or sell the property and divide the money accordingly." Judge Hawthorne explained. “But I need you both to agree to these preliminary terms. And Mr. Crane you will agree not to sell the property for at least six months?"

"I could agree to that." Ichabod nodded.

"Ms. Mills?" Judge Hawthorne looked at Abbie. You both have to agree."

Cynthia spoke low, "Abbie, if this goes to court you'll lose the property and he'll be able to sell it whenever he wants. You'll get the money, but if you really want a chance to get the house... This is the only way."

"Okay," Abbie sighed reluctantly. "I agree."

Neither of them felt like winners as they signed the legal documents. Ichabod had hoped to resolve his financial problems, only to put himself further in debt, by a whopping million dollars in addition to the £700K. And Bellington was still not secured. But at least he was giving Abbie a chance.

For Abbie it felt like a loss. Most people would be thrilled to learn that they were a millionaire. But yesterday Abbie owned the home of her dreams, the home she put her heart and soul into, and today it was officially someone else's house.

She couldn't wait to leave after signing the last paper, making a B-Line for the door. Ichabod stood and quickly followed her out. She was fast for a tiny thing.

"Abbie!" Ichabod called after her. "I'm sorry."

"You don't have to apologize. I just need a minute." Abbie sat silent on a bench, wrenching her hands her head low.

Ichabod sat beside her, not saying a word, his fingers out stretched on his lap trying to keep them still. His heart sank as he watched the tiny drop of a tear fall onto her hands and heard her faint sniffles.

He put his arm around her, letting her rest her cheek into his chest. It was exactly what they both needed, so easily they found comfort and strength in each other’s arms.

"I'm okay," Abbie whispered, looking up at him, his soft blue eyes looking back at her.

"We'll work this out Abbie."

"Ichabod?" John came out of the building and walked towards them with a package in hand. "Is everything all right?"

"I believe so," Ichabod looked at Abbie and she nodded confidently dabbing her dampened eyes.

"I'm afraid I must get going. I have a flight back to England tonight. But before I go, I have something for you."

"What is this?" Ichabod asked, mustering a pleasant smile.

"For your birthday, these are cupcakes from one of the finest bakery in New York City, or so I have been told.

Ichabod lifted the box lid and took a deep whiff of the four assorted sweets.

"Oh divine!" He sighed. "I appreciate you coming all this way, my friend."

"I'm happy to help, Ichabod. Ms. Mills It's always nice to see you. I’m very sorry for the unfortunate events."

Ichabod gave John a hug before the two friends parted ways.

"I didn't know today was your birthday," Abbie folded her arms. "You should have told me when I scheduled the Mediation. We could have done it another day."

"I spent last weekend at Bellington with Jeremy and Grandmama. With classes starting Monday at Cornel, the timing worked. Besides, I got to spend the day with you."

"Yeah, in mediation... So much fun," Abbie teased.

"The drive here was nice, and the drive back will be equally as pleasant."

"Yeah... But it's Friday evening and it’s your birthday... I'm taking you out."

"I don't know anyone here..."

"You know us," Cynthia came out and handed Abbie and Ichabod their contracts. "Frank should be getting off of work soon, and Macey has a sleep over."

 

"Here you go," Abbie lit up.

Seeing her really smile, for the first time all day, set Ichabod at ease. "How could I refuse."

"Great! I know this place in Sleepy Hollow... It's a true old school bar with Karaoke and the best beer in New York."

"You must be talking about Mabie's," Cynthia pulled out her phone. "I'm texting Frank now. What time do you want to meet?"

"How about eight?" Abbie suggested. "We can crash at Joe's cabin and head back to the lake in the morning."

"I wouldn’t want to put your brother out..."

"Oh, Joe lives in the City. The cabin is this rustic little place by the river, nothing fancy, but it's a place to sleep."

Ichabod certainly wasn't going to object to having a night alone with Abbie. But there was something he needed to say.

“Abbie, I must express how truly sorry I am, that this situation has befallen you, at my hands…”

“Crane, I told you, you don’t have to apologize. I know this isn’t your fault. It’s just the crappy situation we are in.”

“Yes,” Ichabod took her hand, “But still, I feel terrible. And I have made missteps along the way, that I fear caused you grief. I didn’t know how to tell you the truth when I learned who you were, and my delay in being forthcoming caused you more pain. I never intended to hurt you, but I did. And I owe you an apology for that, I am certain. Please forgive me.”

“Okay, I forgive you,” Abbie took a deep breath. Even his apology sounded romantic, she cursed to herself. It must be his voice and his eyes. “To be honest, I don’t know how I would have handled it if the roles were reversed. So we’re okay. And we can put this part behind us, and move forward.”

~~~

6 ~Karaoke & Birthdays

 

"Now this is an excellent lager," Ichabod extolled, after taking a sip of the local brewed beer.

It was Oldies night and the bar was packed as locals gathered to belt out their best known and unknown songs from the 70's, 80's and 90's.

Joe, Cynthia, and Frank joined Abbie and Ichabod at Mabie's that evening. Joe was a little skeptic le about how close the Englishman was to his sister, in light of everything that was going on. It was obvious that they had fallen for each other when they met earlier this summer, but he just didn't see how they could have a chance with the inheritance issue between them. In Joe's eyes Ichabod had just taken his sister's house. He didn't blame or fault him, Ichabod seemed to be a nice enough guy.

But Joe knew how much the house meant to Abbie. None the less, Abbie wanted to have a good time and be hospitable. After all he was her landlord now, even though he owed her a boat load of money. They may as well make nice, and it was the guy's birthday.

Ichabod downed the entire glass of beer as everyone at their table cheered. "Ah! Another please!" He called to the waitress. "Another round for the whole table."

"I have to pass," Joe said disappointedly. "I'm on call tonight."

"Same here," Frank understood. "But you three feel free to get wasted. We'll take care of you."

"Great, because I've had a hell of a week in court," Cynthia gladly drank her beer.

Abbie also quickly finished hers, and was ready for another. Frank, Joe, and Abbie exchanged stories about their wildest Emergency calls, some so crazy that they were in tears laughing. Ichabod hung on every word when Abbie spoke. It was clear to everyone he was completely smitten with her, still.

Abbie was just as bad, so amused by Ichabod's story of the day Emily Watson fell off the stage during a performance of Hamlet.

"Just as I'm saying 'to a nunnery go and quickly. Farewell,' off the stage she goes smacking straight down to the ground! I look over and her leg is clearly broken, but she still delivers her line, 'Heavenly Powers restore him!' And I yell out 'Heavenly powers restore her!' "

Ichabod stood dramatically reenacting the scene. Abbie was so amused she laughed out loud covering her mouth with both hands. It was so genuine, and he loved making her laugh.

 

"Next up, We're going back to 1969 with a duet from Abbie and Iche," the bartender announced them for karaoke.

"Who's idea was this?" Abbie looked around the table with an accusing grin.

"Guilty," Cynthia laughed, already starting to slur a bit. "You two have to work together, so you can start right now. If you can do a duet, you can do anything."

"Ok," Abbie never turned down a chance to sing. "What are we doing?"

"Proud Mary was my pick, but the bartender is going to surprise us with the second song."

"Come on," Abbie snagged a fry from Ichabod's tray as she hopped up and waved for him to hurry.

Ichabod grinned at his fry thief as he quickly finished his beer and followed Abbie up to the stage. It took them a second, but they quickly found their harmony. Abbie was a natural and Ichabod's baritone complimented nicely. The crowd was all cheers and whistles as the belted out their best rendition of Proud Mary. Abbie tried to stay calm and not showboat too much but it was hard to contain. Ichabod couldn't help but admire her as they sang, his heart eyes were obvious as he watched her every move.

"What's going on with those two?" Joe asked Cynthia.

Cynthia hunched her shoulders. "He likes her, and she likes him... But he took her house and she's blocking him from saving his estate... So I think they're trying to pretend they're not hot for each other."

"But she's dating someone else.” Joe furrowed his brow, “so, he needs to get any ideas out of his head."

"Well, she's also still married, so I think her dating someone else is a minor detail," Cynthia laughed.

Joe shook his head and let out a laugh. At least Abbie was having fun. It was just like before. When she's around Ichabod she was lighter, even under heavy stress, Ichabod Crane made her laugh, and smile, and set her at ease, just by being near her.

The crowd cheered as the song ended and the next song started up.

"Oh..." Abbie's eyes widened and she shook her head to the bartender. "This is a couple’s song... We aren't a couple..."

"Next Iche and Abbie are singing 'Always' dedicated to Frank and Cynthia," the bartender announced.

"Oh... That's why he asked what my wedding song was..." Cynthia was definitely drunk. "Dance with me, baby." She reached for Frank who gladly took his lovely wife to the dance floor.

Ichabod began singing in a soft deep tone and Abbie joined in at her part. Most of the song was a harmony which they did beautifully. Many of the patrons grabbed a partner and started to dance.

"And we both know, that our love will grow
And forever it will be, you and me.
Ooh you're like the sun, chasing all of the rain away.
When you come around you bring brighter days.
You're the perfect one. For me and you forever will be.
And I will love you so, for always."

When Ichabod sang his next line he took Abbie's hand, entwining his fingers with hers and looking right into her eyes. There was a cat whistle and several awes from a few fawning women in the crowe. His eyes were set on hers and Abbie felt her heart flip, as their bodies pressed gently together. They swayed slowly as they sang. Their eyes never left one another's gaze as they finished the song. Their hearts were racing as they stood entranced as the song ended. The crowd cheered and whistled.

"Give it up one more time for Iche and Abbie!" The bartender cheered; finally breaking the two from their moment, they were suddenly reminded that they were not alone.

They went back to their table, determined to quell the growing heat between them.

Ichabod wasn't sure he was going to be able to keep it together. For a moment he was ready to give up everything so that she could have what she wanted, but that would be completely reckless and irresponsible. He had to do what was best for his family and their legacy. And Abbie was not only still married, but she was seeing someone else.

He had to shake her. "Waitress, I need another drink!"

~~~

7~ The Cabin

 

Joe drove Ichabod and Abbie to the cabin, both had a little too much to drink, in his opinion, though they both swore they were not drunk. Still, he thought they probably had too much to be staying in the same place, but they were adults. Iche and Abbie sang boisterously “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, laughing and making eyes at each other the whole ride. Joe hoped they'd get in the cabin and pass out. Once they arrived, he laid a sheet and blanket over the couch, making it clear he intended for them to sleep separate.

"I gotta go. It's getting backed up at work, so they're calling me in. You going to be ok, Abs?" Joe asked when Ichabod slipped into the bathroom.

"Yeah, Joey, I'm not drunk. I'm fine."

"Okay," he kissed her on the forehead. "Go to sleep. Don't mess around with that guy. You don't want to mess up a potentially good thing with the guru dude ok."

Abbie rolled her eyes, "Right... Mr. Perfect." In her slightly inebriated state, she couldn't hide how boring she thought a relationship with Laz would be. "I'll be good."

Abbie stood in the door as Joe drove off then suddenly remembered the cupcakes, and she hadn't sang happy birthday. She found a candle and lit it choosing the chocolate cupcake to present.

"Surprise!" She shouted as Ichabod stepped out of the bathroom.

He was genuinely surprised, or at least startled by her shouting and jumped. They both burst out laughing before she sang happy birthday.

"Ok, now make a wish and blow out the candle," Abbie waved the cupcake in front of him.

Ichabod blew out the candle, "can I tell you what I wished for?"

"No. It won't come true if you do," Abbie grinned taking the candle from the cake and letting Ichabod taste the icing end.

"Mmmm... Oh that is delectable," he cooed raising a brow at her.

"That good, huh?" Abbie asked, wondering if he'd share.

"Indeed. And chocolate is my favorite," Ichabod scooped a big lump of chocolate icing with his finger attempting to get another taste.

His jaw went slack when Abbie took his hand and licked the icing from his finger.

"Oh... That is delicious," she purred. Ichabod knew when he was being hit on. And he was pretty sure Abbie was making a move. Still he hesitated. Catching his breath as she sucked his finger.

But Abbie wasn’t done. "You have a little chocolate on your lips..."

"Do I?" Ichabod asked, gently dragging his figure on her bottom lip. "It seems you do as well."

The next thing he knew, she pulled him to her by his shirt, her tongue was down his throat, and he wasn't about to stop her. He had no idea where the cupcake went because Abbie's hands were quickly unfastening his pants and his hands were up her skirt, pulling down her panties. They were gone in seconds. Abbie had his pants around his knees, pushing his back to the wall. She undid his shirt, discarding it before wrapping her petite hands around his member.

"Good god, Treasure," Ichabod finally got a breath, swallowing hard as she stroked him. “Before we continue, I must be sure… are you too inebriated?

"Nope. I know what I’m doing. Unless you want me to stop…”

“Mercy, no. I… I want you…”

“Happy birthday," she whispered kissing his earlobe and sending electricity searing through his body.

His head tipped back against the wall as she kissed down his chest, as she stroked him. She licked her lips in anticipation.

“Treasure, you don’t have to…” Ichabod was hesitant. During the one night stand everything was a blissful blur and fury of new emotions. But now he needed to be sure that this was what she wanted.

“I want to,” she smiled up at him reassuring him.

Her tongue slowly dragged the length of his cock, flicking playfully at the head before taking it into her mouth. Ichabod could hardly breathe, her full lips and firm tongue sliding up and down him felt so good. His thickness stretching her mouth as she took him in as deep as she could. His toes curled as waves of pleasure came upon him, and he knew he wouldn't be able to hold out long. He couldn't resist looking down at her. She looked up at him with her big soft brown eyes and he was nearly done in.

"Abbie I want you," he growled.

She could tell he was close as she took one last wet drag, before freeing him from her lips. He pulled her up, flipping her so that her back was to the wall. He hurriedly got her out of her dress, grasping her breasts and taking a mouth full of the plump bosom. He went to the other toying with the nipple until it was firm and she was quivering. He slid one hand up her thigh rubbing her mound pleased at how wet she was.

"Just the way I like you," he hummed sliding his finger inside her.

"How do you like me?" Abbie panted.

"I like you wet for me. You taste so sweet," his husky voice vibrated against her breast.

"Nobody makes me this wet but you."

"Good." Ichabod knelt down on his knee, lifting her leg over his shoulder.

He spread her lips with his fingers, enjoying the view of her sot brown folds before licking the wet pink walls inside. Abbie was purring, her sounds delighting his ears as he enjoyed her. Her soft purrs and pants turned into heavy moans as he sucked her soft bud, causing ripples of ecstasy to churn within her core.

"Oh, fuck, Crane... Oh god..." Abbie whimpered as she came, her legs trembling. "I need you inside me..."

Drunk and high off of her essence all he could think was to give her what she wanted. He stood, lifting her other leg over his arm and slowly pushed his thick cock inside her. She clung to him as he filled her, stretched her, full and deep. Her back to the wall, in and out he pumped as she bit down on his shoulders, moaning her pleasure, as he groaned with her.

He kicked his pants off from around his ankles and carried her to the sofa, laying her down, still inside her. They were eye to eye before kissing again, tasting each other as they made love.

"Oh fuck!"

"Yes! Oh god, yes!"

They dripped with sweat. Faster, harder, he pumped as she grasped at him. Her nails were digging and grinding him into her, harder, until she was coming again, and he was coming with her. His body tightened as the waves of pure bliss overcame them.

They were too tired for another round. Ichabod pulled the covers over them and they curled up on the sofa, in each other’s arms for the rest of the night.

“Treasure, I have never felt this way about anyone before in my life.”

“I feel it too, Crane.”

“It’s more than just…”

“I know. It’s not just sex for me either. It’s crazy and unexpected. And even after a month apart, and all of this legal crap… I just…”
“I haven’t stop thinking about you, since the moment we met.” Ichabod took a deep breath, “I’m in love with you.”

“I think…” Abbie swallowed hard. It was difficult for her to open up like this, but with Crane, it just felt right. “I think I’m in love with you too. And that scares me.”

 

~~~~~

Chapter Text

image

~INTRO~

Abbie moaned and sucked her teeth, making the most delightfully dirty sounds. His eyes peered down at her as he pumped faster and deeper, as beads of sweat dripped from his brow. He hitched one of her legs over his arm, and swiftly burrowed into her. Her moaned and cried out his name, as her nails dug into his back as he hit the end of her over and over.

She shouldn’t be doing this. She knew better. After what happened at the cabin last night, with Ichabod, this just seemed wrong. Her date with Laz wasn’t supposed to have ended like this.

~~~~

1~ Rude Awakening

(The morning after mediation)

"Oh, you gotta be kidding me!"

Joe shook his head when he walked into the cabin and found Ichabod and Abbie naked on the sofa. He had a feeling these two couldn't be trusted alone, and he was right. The pair woke a bit startled and very hung over. Ichabod pulled the blanket up to cover Abbie.

"What's going on?" Abbie grumbled before remembering she was naked. "Ugh..." She buried her head in Ichabod's chest. They both held in their grins as they blushed from embarrassment.

"I'm here to take you to your car," Joe reminded her, turning to walk back out. "I'll wait outside."

"Oh, good heavens," Ichabod rubbed his temple. "I think your brother hates me."

"I'll talk to him."

Abbie tried to get up but Ichabod wrapped his long legs and arms around her, kissing her cheek. "Good morrow."

"Morning," Abbie blushed again. "How'd you sleep?"

"My respite was truly sublime with you in my arms. And you?"

"It was great. Last night was amazing, but we have to get up."

"Very well," Ichabod stretched. "Care to join me in the shower?"

"I better go talk to Joe." Abbie sat up. "You go first. I’ll find you something to wear, and there's soap and mouthwash already in the bathroom."

"Very well," Ichabod kissed her again. He loved waking up with her.

~

"Hey," Abbie tied the plaid robe as she stepped into the yard.

Joe was sitting on a tree stump waiting, and moved over to make room for her to sit with him. "I shouldn't have left you here with him last night. You were drunk..."

"I had a couple of drinks… I wasn’t drunk. He didn't take advantage of me Joe. Hell, he had more drinks than me. I knew what I was doing."

"Really? So you two were responsible... You used protection?"

Abbie furrowed her brow thinking back on last night. "Damn it... I... I don't think so."

"You didn’t or you don't remember? You are supposed to be the sensible one Abbie." Joe shook his head. "Do you need me to pick you up something?"

"No...”

"Well you should probably get tested. The guy is a college professor, so he probably gets a lot of action."

"Joe! Come on. Why are you being like this?"

"Because you're not acting like yourself. Abbie, that's reckless. Not to mention you're still married and you're dating another guy."

"It's over with me and Luke, you know that."

"Then sign the divorce papers, Abbie. And you really need to think about what you're doing."

"I like being with, Crane. There's something between us."

"Yeah, there is. Your property, your business, his family estate..."

"We can figure all that out."

"Abbie remember when you met Nick? You said he was the cute hobo, squatting on your property. And then you got to know him, and he wanted to go out with you. You remember why you turned him down?"

"Joe..." Abbie grumbled. She knew exactly where he was going with this.

"You said, you didn't think it was good to mix business and dating. Because if things went bad with the relationship, it could affect the farm and vineyard. Especially if he decided to leave."

"Crane and I have a different situation."

"Yeah, it's more serious. If a relationship goes badly, he could sell the house to someone else. Or if the relationship is going great, what happens if he loses his estate trying to wait and save the B&B for you?"

Abbie looked out over the river, quiet, thinking. She knew Joe was right. This could end very badly for one or both of them.

"I know you really like him. And I don't hate him. I just think you need to stay focused on what you need to do to save your business and get the house. Maybe you two should wait until all the legal issues are settled."

"When did you become so wise, little brother?" Abbie leaned on his shoulder as he put his arm around her.

"I'm just giving you back your own advice."

~~~

2~ Long Ride Home

The drive back to the Finger Lakes started out a little quiet. Ichabod wasn't sure if it was something Joe said to Abbie or their neglect in taking proper precaution. He hoped she didn't regret the two of them sleeping together, or confessing that they loved each other, but he knew it was a possibility. Maybe they had had too much to drink.

There was more silence as Ichabod thought about Abbie’s date with Laz tonight. He really was hoping she'd cancel on him.

"Thank you for taking me out to Mabie's last night. I had a splendid time," Ichabod thought he had to break the ice.

"It was fun," Abbie smiled. "I'm glad you had a good time for your birthday."

"I truly did... After, back at the cabin, that was very unexpected. I apologize for not taking proper preventative measures."

"Hey, that's on me too."

"I just want you to know that if anything comes up as a result, you can come to me... About anything."

"Ok..." Abbie nodded.

"Just so you know, I did have my annual physical before coming here and so you have nothing to worry about from me as far as STDs. I haven't been with anyone but you so..."

"That is a relief," Abbie smiled nervously. "Last night was the first time I had unprotected sex, but I will definitely let you know if anything comes up."

Ichabod was quiet as he thought for a second. "You aren't having relations with that Laz Delgado guy are you?"

Now Abbie was silent as she remembered how the third date had ended.

***
Laz had a beautifully wrapped box waiting for her. Which she opened to find a gorgeous little white two piece negligee.

"I thought it would be perfect for our third date. I had my house keeper draw you a bath," he smiled. "Go and get ready."

Abbie agreed nervously and when she returned a short while later, he was ready. He’d showered in the other bath and was naked in bed waiting for her.

"Wow... So this is happening."

"Don't be nervous," Laz held out his hand for her to join him in the bed. "I know you enjoy citrus fruit so I thought orange would be good for you. I am having mint."

Abbie looked confused as he pointed to the night stand. Laid out perfectly in order were an orange flavored condom, a mint flavored dental damn and then a regular condom. Well at least he was planning to be safe, which Abbie liked. What she didn't like was the unnatural robotic flow of their first night together. Abbie joined him on the bed, and began making out. She tried to just let things happen naturally, but clearly he wanted things to go just as he had laid out.

He seemed to know what he was doing, which was nice, but Abbie didn’t want to go all the way. Her heart just wasn’t in it, not yet.

“Maybe we can save the rest for our fourth date?” she asked as she laid beside him.

“A little slower than I like to do things, but I don’t mind a bit of compromise,” Laz agreed.
***
She swallowed hard not wanting to answer Ichabod’s question, but they were in the conversation now so.... "One time we had some relations, and we used protection. It's part of his fool proof, perfect dating plan. The third date is when you start testing physical compatibility..."

"Are you quite serious? You're going by some plan?" Ichabod's voice was filled with snarkiness as he frowned. "I guess nice is acceptable."

"What?" Abbie's shot him a look.

"I just wonder how you end up in bed with someone when you describe your dates as nice and resembling counseling sessions over anything romantic!"

Abbie pulled the SUV over and put it in park. “Are you judging me for dating and making out with a guy?”
“No, of course not. It’s just that you are such a beautiful and passionate person, and he just seems so… lacking, by the way you speak about him.”

"There is nothing wrong with planning things out in a relationship. And things with him are… you know, good…"

"So is that what we are together?” Ichabod asked. "Because for me... I thought what we've had has been amazing, exhilarating. When I’m with you, my soul comes alive."

"There's more to a relationship than passion and feelings, Crane. Two people have to want the same things. That's why my marriage to Luke fell apart."

"And having a check list is better? So every detail is planned and calculated? And this guy ticks all the right boxes for you, I suppose," Ichabod picked up Laz’s book and tossed it in the back seat.

Ichabod wore his heart on his sleeve, and had an inability to hide his jealousy. Abbie took a deep breath. She was good at keeping a level head, but Ichabod somehow made her put her guard down and want to take risks, and that might not be a good thing.

"Joe was right. I should stick to my own rules."

"What rules?" Ichabod was curious.

"Mixing business and relationships... Iche, you and I are at odds right now."

"No, we are in this together..."

"We are but? We have to protect our own interests. It's too risky for us to be involved. If I lose the Finger Lakes house, I'm going to be devastated. And if you lose Bellington Estate because of me, you will end up hating me."

"I could never hate you," Ichabod was stunned she could even think that.

"You can't say that for sure. Ichabod, think about it. What happens to a potential ‘us’ if you lose your family legacy because of me? A property of that price will take time to sell."

"I have nine months to come up with the money." Ichabod tried not to look concerned.

"And if at the end of the nine months you don't have the money and you can't sell the Finger Lakes House in time?"

"Of course I will need to put the home on the market as soon as possible... I can't wait until the last minute, just in case."

"What?" Abbie hadn't thought that he would actually put the house for sale any time soon. But it made sense, line up potential interested buyers.

"I can't sell it for six months, but I can still put the house on the market," Ichabod let out a sigh. He took Abbie's hand letting his gaze fall upon them. "I see we are indeed approaching this situation with our individual best interests in mind. Perhaps,” Ichabod hated the thought, “you are correct. It may be best we wait until this business is resolved."

"Even when this is all over, you're going to go back to England and I'll be here in New York."

They sat quiet on the side of the road, hand in hand, both wondering what potential they could have as a couple. It was almost painful when Abbie took her hand from his, but it had to be done. She put the car in drive and got back on the road.

~~~

3~ Dinner Date With Friends

“The guests loved the Lasagna and the garlic bread,” Leena informed Abbie as she returned from checking on them. “They are dying to try the cheese cake.”

Abbie served her guests dinner in the dining hall but had a private dinner with Joe, Leena, Nick, Ichabod, Caroline, and Laz in the three season’s room. So far things were going well.

"I'm going to need Mrs. Antonia's address," Nick gushed after taking a bite of the lasagna. "This is... Wow. Way better than the breakfast Caroline and I served this morning.”

“Sorry I wasn’t here to help,” Leena had been vague about where she was last night, because she’d visited with a friend in NY City. “I thought Abbie and Iche would be back.”

“You both stayed in Sleepy Hollow?” Laz asked.

Abbie and Ichabod gave each other a look, both eager to change the subject. Fortunately Joe spoke up.

“Things ran late because we met up with friends at the bar… Mmm,” Joe took a bite. “This Lasagna truly is so good.”

"I told you," Abbie grinned. "It's the best lasagna, I swear..."

"I must agree with you," Ichabod waved his fork, eyes closed, savoring the flavor. "Its zest is perfection, and the ricotta... Oh... Marvelous."

"And you say this woman is a nurse," Laz shook his head. "Seems a shame she's not putting her true talents to use."

"Well, she loves being a nurse. She's dedicated almost twenty years to nursing."

"How one can be content squeezing out a menial salary when they have a talent that could potentially make a great deal of money, is beyond me. Not only is the Lasagna delicious but this garlic bread is to die for. I can tell this is fresh made bread and the garlic butter blend is delicious and unique. She should be running a Restaurant or a catering business."

"Actually, Iche made the garlic bread." Nick chimed in.

“He also made the chocolate blackberry cheesecake from scratch," Caroline boasted. "He's the best cook. Last time he was here, I swear I gained five pounds."

"Everything he whips up is amazing," Abbie gave Ichabod a smile.

"I had no idea you were a chef. Abigail said you were a professor?" Laz looked unimpressed.

"I am a professor. I did go to cooking school, but it's a mere hobby." Ichabod was humbled by the compliments.

"It just seems that with the financial issues you've had, you should utilize your skills to maximize your income."

"My financial issues?" Ichabod raised a brow indignantly and tried not to sound annoyed.

"Sorry, it's just that I was helping Abbie find solutions to her situation with Grace's Place, so I know a little about what's been going on."

"I told you Laz was advising me... I wasn't giving him details about you specifically," Abbie was embarrassed. "I'm sorry."

"No need to apologize. I understand." Ichabod sucked it up. He knew she wouldn’t do it out of malice.

"Oh, I'm glad you understand," Laz chimed in. "I explained to Abbie that marketing is key, as well as having the right people managing the farm, vineyard and B&B. I mean, it's nice to work with friends, but business is business. She needs to have the most qualified people available running each aspect of the business."

Everyone started to grow a bit suspicious as he spoke.

"And I do," Abbie spoke up. "I wouldn't have been able to do any of this without Nick and Leena."

"I really think you should revisit chapter five is all," Laz shrugged and took another bite of Lasagna.

Leena and Nick looked at each other wondering if Laz was saying they weren't good enough to help Abbie run her business.

Ichabod was offended for them and had to speak up. "There’s more than one way to run a successful business. Abbie had a splendid launch last month."

"It's true," Leena spoke up. "We've had rooms booked every weekend."

"But not every room," Laz didn't let up. "Grace's Place should be on the local wine tours and booking every room, every weekend. That's when it's achieved success. Abigail is almost there. If she follows the business plan I've laid out in my book..."

"She has done excellent without your book," Ichabod cut him off. "You cannot go by bulletin points for everything. Sometimes a person’s passion for what they do will sell their product."

"Better to have a cohesive plan. Passion can be over rated." Laz ate nonchalantly, as if he knew better than all of them.

"You believe passion can be over rated," Ichabod scoffed. "Is that the advice you put forth in your book on dating and romance?"

"In some ways... Yes I suppose. It's more important that two people be compatible. Take you and Caroline here. She is a grad student studying history and childhood education, and she'll likely become a teacher. Yet she designed and sewed these curtains, pillows, and has an eye for design. She could be a successful designer but she's content to take a salary job teaching. Much like you Ichabod. And with you both having an appreciation for history, I'd say you two are highly compatible."

Caroline was beaming, "You think so."

"This makes no sense. Just because two people are suitable friends doesn't mean they'd make for great lovers," Ichabod was flabergasted.

"That's where my fool proof dating technique comes into play." Laz said matter of factly.

Nick and Leena sat stunned silent as they watched the two men's interaction. Abbie was embarrassed, and Caroline wanted to hear more about how compatible she and Ichabod were.

"That's why Abigail and I are so good together. Not only are we both physically attracted to each other, we are both ambitious, forward thinking, and we both use our talents to achieve maximized success. She just needs to remember, to not let her feelings get in the way of what she really wants."

"And what do you think she wants?" Ichabod was curious and tried to hold back the sass in his tone..

"To grow her business. What she's done here might be just the beginning. She could have a chain of B&B or even open her own winery, if she puts the right people in management positions."

The entire table was silent. This man didn't know Abbie at all. Joe had been quiet, and was rethinking whether or not his sister should be with Laz at all. Abbie didn't want a chain of B&B's and she certainly didn't want to open and run a winery. She loved Grace's Place and was passionate about it. And her friends understood this. It would be hard for her to find another place that meant this much to her.

Ichabod looked at Abbie and could see she was done with the conversation, so he let it go.

~~~

4~ Unexpected Night

Ichabod went up to his room early. Since he and Abbie were sharing a bathroom, he wanted to be in and out before she came up with Laz. The thought of her being with him, right in the next room, made his stomach churn.

He wasn't quite done when he heard the knock on the opposite door. He opened it to see Abbie smiling nervously with a gift bag in her hand. Any hopes that Laz wasn't staying were dashed when Ichabod saw him walk by.

"You can come in," Ichabod offered her. "I was just finishing. I've already cleaned up."

"Thanks," Abbie smiled.

She tried not to stare as he gathered his things. His pajama pants sat low on his hips, she couldn't help but notice his DSF, which was getting her hot for the wrong guy. She averted her eyes and waited for him to leave.

When she opened the bag, there was little surprise. Abbie pulled out a lovely white lingerie and sighed."So predictable."

~

A few minutes later Abbie came out in her thigh length satin grey robe.

"What's this?" Laz looked a little surprised expecting her to come out in the lingerie he specifically picked for her. "Where's my present.

"It's on," Abbie teased. "You have to unwrap it yourself.

"Very well," Laz was tense but tried to relax.

She hadn't been gone long enough to bathe and he still needed a shower. He untied the robe and smiled when he saw how the little white lace piece framed her curves.

"Ah, you look perfect," Laz gushed as he got a good look at her, giving her a quick kiss. "I'm just going to take a brief shower..."

"No... We can take one together after. Why don't we just get started? Abbie slipped out of his arms when she glanced over at her night stand. Once again everything was laid out; orange flavored condom, mint dental damn, and a regular condom. "What's this?"

Abbie reached into Laz’s bag and pulled out another flavor condom. "I think I'll try... Banana. And maybe..." She pulled out another dental damn and condom. "Maybe a little 69 action."

"That's actually not the best way to achieve mutual gratification..." Laz looked really uncomfortable with her mixing things up. "I need a little time between my orgasms before, I can..."

"I don't mind," Abbie tried to put him at ease. "Let's just relax and do whatever feels right."

She opened up her nightstand and pulled out her hand cuffs. "I think we could find some use for these."

~

Ichabod felt restless as he paced in his room. Any minute now Abbie would be rocking Laz’s world and he didn't want to be around when it was happening. He stepped out on the balcony to get a breath of fresh air and think. Summer was coming to an end and the hint of Fall was all around, especially in the cool breeze coming off the Lake. He was barely out for five minutes when he heard Abbie's door open.

Laz came out fully dressed not looking very happy. He said something to Abbie and tried to kiss her, but she turned to give him her cheek. It was clear Laz was leaving, and at Abbie's request.

Ichabod stood quiet and still, he was far enough away that they might not notice him.

"You're making a mistake, Abigail," Laz threw his hands up as he walked down the steps.

Abbie turned to go back into her room, but caught Ichabod in her peripheral.

"I'm sorry, I had just stepped out to take the air..." Ichabod swallowed hard. Her grey satin robe was partly opened revealing the slivers of tiny white lace that barely covered her breasts.

"It's ok. Is he gone?" Abbie asked, walking towards him.

Ichabod's room was over the front of the garage and she could see the driveway from his side of the balcony. She watched as the red tail lights became distant.

"Are you all right? He didn't do anything untoward, did he?"

"No," Abbie scoffed. "He didn't do anything. I did."

Ichabod looked confused.

"I want passion, you know. I am a passionate person!"

"I know," Ichabod said calmly.

"I don't want to open a winery!"

"I know."

"And a chain of B&B's... What? I love this place. It would be so hard for me to find another place that felt like this, another place that I can put my heart and soul into."

"I know," Ichabod nodded.

"And who ever heard of a formula for optimal sexual gratification anyway?"

Ichabod's eyes grew wide, "I beg your pardon."

"If you can't even change up the order, how on earth are you going to know if you like something else? Right?"

"I... Um, I suppose..." Ichabod was a bit stunned at the direction of the conversation.

"Maybe I like handcuffs. Hell, maybe I want to try double penetration!"

"Do you?" he asked. This was rather interesting.

"I don't know, but I want to be open to the possibility, Abbie threw her hands up. “ I don't want love and sex to be a checklist. I want the man I love to feel free to take me, and have his way with me, and make me feel..."

Ichabod couldn't take it anymore. He put his arms around her and kissed her. She melted into him so easily and naturally. Their hearts were pounding as they struggled for air, their lips and tongues mingling wildly.

"I'm so sorry," Ichabod pulled away attempting to catch his breath. "I became carried away. I know that we decided this morning that we couldn't..."

“No, That’s exactly what I want…”

Abbie reached around his shoulders and pulled him to her, kissing him. She pressed her body to him, grinding against him, making it very clear what she wanted. She could feel clearly from the stiffening in his pants that he wanted the same thing. He stepped back looking at her. She looked stunning as he peeked at the white two piece set beneath the robe. He swallowed hard, unable to think about anything but how amazing she looked. Abbie loosened the robe a little more so he could get a better look and backed up towards her bedroom door, teasing for him to follow.

In a second he was upon her again. He grasped the flesh of her bare ass, as he pressed his cock against her.

“I want you,” he moaned softly in her ear.

“I need you,” Abbie panted as she pressed wet kisses against him.

Their tongues became a wet mangled mess, greedily taking turns delving into each other’s mouths. She rubbed against his cock, is thickness getting her wet through her panties. He thought he would burst from the confines of his pants.

Ichabod stood up, lifting her from her rear so she could wrap her legs around him. He made his way to her bedroom pressing her back against the door, as he shut it behind them. Abbie undulated hard against his cock, and he nearly lost his composure.
"Have mercy!" he cried out before kissing her again.

Her hands trailed down his neck and chest until she found his tiny nipples and gave one a gentle pinch. He held her by her luscious ass using the door as leverage to grind. First his pajama pants then her robe hit the floor. Then her bra, as he desperately licked her soft brown skin, needing to taste her. Only her panties remained between them. He kissed from her lips down to her nipples sucking each until they became taut.

As much as he would love to take her right there against the door he wanted to fully enjoy her. He pulled her off the door, holding her tight, before laying her across the bed. He was finally able to get the full view of her. He could hear his heart pounding, her petite figure, her perfect breasts, her nipples were ready to be devoured. Only one last piece remained hidden from him. It was amazing now that she was laid out before him to be unveiled and to take.

"May I?" He delicately reached at the waistline of the white lacey material.

"Please do," she smiled seductively. He slid the panties off, but she kept her legs closed. He eyed the narrow strip of hair that would lead to the slit and the nub of her clit. Slowly she hitched up on her elbows and parted her legs for him to see all of her. He thought he would pass out as he took her in and admired every part of her, swallowing hard at the tiny hint of pink, peeking from the soft brown mound. He wanted it so bad, he was about to pounce but Abbie stopped him.

She got up on her knees and pulled him over to the bed by his hips. She kissed his neck and down his chest as her hands slid down his side. She didn't get far, not even to his navel when she was met by his very hard throbbing cock. The head was fully out and she had never wanted to have a cock in her mouth so badly before. Her hand slowly rubbed the length of it. And the head brushed her lips.

"Abbie..." Ichabod's voice was so low and breathy, almost trembling. As much as he wanted her to suck him, He desperately wanted to please her first. She knew what he wanted, but she wanted her way tonight.

"Trust me," she said looking up at him with her dreamy eyes. She licked up and down the length of him before taking the head into her mouth. She popped it out of her mouth and tongued the slit at the tip of the head and then took it in her mouth again. He ran his fingers through her hair, as his toes curled from the pleasure of her tongue. Finally she took him full into her mouth, as deep as she could and sucked hard as she retreated. She wished she could take him deeper but it was too long to go any further.

He thought he was losing his mind at the sensation of her lips, and tongue stroking him. He looked up to catch his breath and saw he had a perfect view of them in his dresser mirror. Her ass was up and her legs crossed making a heart shape, as did her pussy as it peaked through. He gasped aloud unable to contain himself. She sucked him harder and faster as she slid her hand between her thighs and spread the lips of her pussy for him to see.

"Oh, Have mercy! You mean to have me completely undone!" He managed between low growls.
.
Her mouth was dripping with precum. She spread her legs so he could see as much of her as he desired from the mirror and placed both hands on his hips. She could take a little more of him now, and she made the most sinful sounds as she did. Ichabod tried not to rock his hips too hard, he tried not to grab her by the hair. It had been a rare few occasion when he'd had the pleasure of receiving head, and none even came remotely close to the way she did it. She could feel him tightening as he was on the absolute brink.

"Abbie..." His voice trailed off again, as he pulled himself out of her mouth. He raised her up and they kissed again. She could feel his cock throbbing against her body and she wanted it inside her.

"I'll be damned if I do not taste of you first," he growled, as if reading her thoughts. He laid her on her back as they kissed. He fondled her breasts, gently playing with the nipples. He sucked them generously before sprinkling her abdomen with kisses on his way down between her thighs.

Ichabod observed her mound as his finger dragged the length if her slit, down then up again. Her body rocked and shuddered a little at his touch. He used his fingers to spread her mound and reveal the inner folds, the wet pink center and the tiny nub of her clit. He was nearly salivating as he went in to kiss it. His tongue sank deep into her as her body began to rise from pleasure.

"Ooh..." She panted, encouraging him.

He took both hands and pressed her thighs back and further apart as his kisses began to focus on her clip. Her body was rigid as he sucked and tongued her clit. She began to squeeze her breasts as her nerves became over sensitive. He looked up to enjoy the sight. He then took one hand off her thigh and slipped his long middle finger deep inside her. He pulled it out pleased to find it dripping, then he slid two fingers in. He crooked them upwards, finding her g-spot and massaged her inside, in and out applying the perfect amount of pressure. He continued sucking her clit. Now holding her in place as her body reacted to the over stimulation. The more her body tensed then shuddered, the faster he went.

"Oh, fuck... Oh I'm coming..." She whimpered, as a crashing wave of ecstasy hit her. Ichabod rose up leaving his fingers working inside her. He wanted to watch her come. Her eyes barely open, her lips puckered as his fingers worked her, so she could enjoy the orgasm for as long as she desired. Her legs quivered, and she couldn't say anything that made sense. All Ichabod heard was the beautiful sound of her whimper.

Ichabod pulled his fingers out of her pussy and wedged himself between her legs. He reached for a condom from the assortment on her dresser and eyed the handcuffs. She grinned, “Who knows where the night will end up.”

“Very true,” Ichabod raised a brow as he slipped the condom on. Not that they hadn’t already been reckless the night before, but no need to press their luck. He grabbed his cock which was hard as a rock and guided it into her.

First the head in, which took his breath away. He let out a long deep gasp that caught in his throat, as he slowly slid into her. He went halfway in and slowed down she was so tiny, and he was so long, he eased in as she grabbed his hips.

"Don't stop..." she whimpered. He pushed all the way into her, "oh god Crane."
"Is that what you want?" He groaned into her ear, barely able to speak.

"Yes," her voice found some boldness.
He slid back and forth inside of her, not going all the way in again, but gradually getting faster. The head of his cock beat against her already sensitive spot. She moaned and sucked her teeth, making the most delightfully dirty sounds. Ichabod pumped faster and deeper, as beads of sweat dripped from his brow. He hitched one of her legs over his arm, and hammered into her pussy. Her nails dug into his back as he hit the end of her over and over.

Ichabod could feel her walls tightening around his dick and he knew she was going to come. She came so hard he could feel her wetness. But it was the beautiful face she made with her dazed doe eyes and her puckered lips combined with the sweetest cry,

He tried to kiss her, then turned her around, as he contemplated, cuffs or her other secret desire. He hitched her up on her knees and slid back into her wet folds , slowly pumping into her. He then wet his thumb and spread her cheeks, before toying with the tiny round hole. Abbie peeked back at him giving him a nod and biting her lip in anticipation. He pressed his thumb inside as he began to thrust faster into her. She let out a low moan as the sensation of pleasure and a hint of pain merged and she fell into bliss.

Ichabod was so hard, his body tensed unable to hold back. He leaned over her as she looked back at him. They attempted a kiss, but their lips barely touched, when he started to come. The swirl of ecstasy struck them both hard as they came together.

They collapsed in each other’s arms, panting heavily and desperate to catch their breaths.

~~~

They laid in each other’s arms, both unable to sleep.

"We can't keep doing this, Crane."

"I know," Ichabod sighed. "I just don't know how I can put my feelings aside. I just want to be with you, but I know it will simply complicate everything. We really do need to wait until this awful business between us is concluded.

"Six months isn't that long. And then maybe you'll consider staying," Abbie was hopeful.

"I don't know Abbie. England is where my home is, but I don't want to lose you. We shall redress the matter... In six months."

"Ok," Abbie sighed and closed her eyes. "Six months."

~~~

Chapter Text

ESL Ch5 ~ Fall in Love

image 

~ Intro~

 

Ichabod swallowed hard as Abbie's robe fell to the ground. His eyes canvased her perfect curves.

"We really shouldn't," he shook his head no.

But his body was saying yes, as he undid his robe. The sight of her naked body sauntering towards him, caused an immediate rise, as hot blood rushed through his loins.

Steam billowed through the bathroom, filling the air. Ichabod lifted her carrying her to the shower, and pressed against it.

They both wanted it, needed it for so damn long. They'd slipped up before, swore to themselves it wouldn't happen again, but now he had her back to the shower wall, fucking her so good that nothing else seemed to matter.

Her tight walls contracting against his cock as it jolted inside her. Her soft cries echoing in the shower amongst the falling water.

They shouldn't be doing this. They were only going to get hurt. But they just couldn't stop themselves.

~~~

 

1~ Good Morning

 

"Good morrow," Ichabod was usually the first one up and dressed in the morning.

It had been two weeks since the mediation hearing and things were getting settled. With Autumn in full swing, everyone was kicking it into high gear to prepare for the Harvest Season. October through November there would be hayrides through the vineyard, grape stomping, Cider and Wine making, pumpkin picking and carving; you name it they were doing it.

Abbie was unable to get another business loan until she could show solid profits, so Everyone was working overtime to make sure the B&B and farm turned as much of a profit as possible over the next few months.

For Ichabod's part, he woke up bright and early every morning and prepared breakfast for the house. Monday through Thursday he commuted to Cornell University. But on the weekends he had time off to help around the B&B as well as cook dinner.

The hard part was sharing such close quarters with each other. Whenever they were in a room together, they could hardly take their eyes off of each other. Ichabod's heart raced, and Abbie swooned whenever they were near. But they did their best to quell the feelings.

The bathroom situation was trickiest of all. Ichabod made every effort to be out of the bathroom before she woke in the morning. At night, Abbie was careful to wait for him to finish before knocking, since he had to be in bed earlier and be well rested to start his very early morning routine.

This morning he had fully expected to come down to prepare breakfast, and be the only one up. But to his surprise, Abbie was up and having a cup of tea. She was in a long s leaved short robe and seemed to have a lot on her mind.

"This is an unusual treat." He swallowed hard and tried not to stare at her bare legs. He started gathering the necessities to prepare the morning meal.

"I couldn't sleep so I thought I'd grab a cup of tea..." Abbie watched him busy himself about the kitchen squeezing her legs tight as she remembered their last night together. She bit her lip trying not to be turned on by watching him cook. "I'll get out of your way..."

"No please, stay," Ichabod flashed his blue eyes at her, determined to hold back showing any feelings. They had a working relationship now, they could be friendly. "I'm happy to have the company. Is there something troubling you?"

 

Abbie exhaled, "Reynolds Winery is including Grace's Place on its Brochure and in its official Wine tour next Season. But in the mean time we need the Harvest Season to be big."

"It will be," Ichabod seemed confident. "Grace's Place is nearly completely booked for the whole season, the pumpkins are growing like weeds, the Vineyard yields look excellent, the apple trees are doing splendid.."

"I know, but I still have two rooms to finish, and I'm worried about not making enough of a profit. I hate to cut things so close time wise for you. I can't lose this place, and I... I worry about what will happen to us."

They are both quiet for a while as Ichabod mixes the batter for the muffins. He understood all too well her concern. She was at the for front of his mind and heart all the time. Could he walk away from his family legacy as his grandfather did. Could he let it all go for love. And if he did, what would become of his family, and the home that was so dear to him.

He was so deep in thought that he forgot to grab the muffin pan.

"I'll grab it for you," Abbie hopped off the bar stool, when she sees him look around.

"Thank you," he rubbed his temple. "Now it seems that my mind is preoccupied."

"Oh? And what has the professor flustered?" Abbie asked as he spooned the batter into the tins.

Ichabod paused before deciding to be completely candid. "You, Abbie. Being in this place being so close to you, it makes me contemplate things that I ought not. I begin to desire things that I should not."

Ichabod put the muffins in the oven and turned to face her. "I worry at times, what I might be willing to do for you."

"I would never ask you to."

"You wouldn't have to ask, Abbie. I'm still in love with you. That has not changed."

"My feelings haven't changed either," she sighed as he moved closer to her.

She wasn't sure why she did it but she spread her legs, and he could see perfectly the thin lace covering her mound.

"Treasure... I..." He paused swallowing hard.

"You want me, as much as I want you?"

"He'll yes..." Ichabod growled lifting her from the seat onto the counter.

They kissed, heated and wet, not holding back. Their tongues darting back and forth, playing with each other, as his hands hastily undid her robe. He kissed down her neck to her breasts hidden only by a thin tank top.

She sprawled across the counter as a bowl and utensils hit the ground.

He tugged at the material kissing and sucking from one to the other. Abbie's hands quickly unfastened his pants, as he removed the lace panties and put them in his pocket.

Their hearts were racing wildly as he spread her legs.

She accidentally kicked a half dozen eggs that went crashing splattering all over the floor. But they were not deterred.

Eyeing the soft brown folds and the tiny pink center, he admired her before delving in. He sucked and lapped at her sweet essence as his finger slid into her, bringing her close.

She cooed as she loved every second, her soft pants grew swift as she felt herself falling into bliss.

Ichabod stood and slid his already hard cock inside her, gasping at the sensation, she moaned as he pressed in. They couldn't speak just moans and panting in each other’s ears as he buried into her over and over. And it felt so damn good.

They didn't seem to have a care, until they heard Leena coming through the front door, talking on her cell phone.

"Damn," Abbie groaned in a whisper.

Ichabod glanced around and quickly carried her into the pantry. He locked the door and pressed her back against the wall, still inside her. He didn't skip a beat. They kissed burying each other’s quiet moans as they made love against the wall. Her legs wrapped tight around him. He was so deep, hitting her spot over and over, until she was coming again. She could feel his body tense and jolt as he came. They both enjoyed the wave of pure ecstasy as their mouths pressed together, enjoying their taste.

 

 

~~~

 

Leena was stunned when she walked into the kitchen. It was a mess. She picked up the bowl of batter and noticed muffins in the oven. Crane must have gotten up early, but where was he and who made this mess. She went to the pantry and turned the knob but it was locked. Of course she left her key in her room, because they never locked the pantry.

"This is so strange," she scratched her head before leaving to retrieve the key.

A few minutes later Ichabod peaked out of the pantry. "I think she's gone."

"Oh gosh," Abbie looked around at the mess. "If she saw this mess, she'll be back."

Ichabod fixed his clothes as Abbie, on still shaky legs, tied her robe. "I'll clean this up. You better go before she returns."

He opened the back door and hurriedly kissed her, as she slipped outside.

Leena returned fifteen minutes later with the Pantry key in hand, but to her surprise the pantry was opened and Ichabod was standing at the back door looking flustered.

"What happened in here?" She asked. "I came down to find this place a wreck."

"Umm, a squirrel ran in whilst I was starting breakfast. Little bugger gave me quite a run."

"I can see that... You're sweating and look completely flustered," Leena went towards the opened pantry. "I went back to my suite to get the pantry key. It was locked..."

"Hmm... Was it? Must have just been stuck."

Ichabod cleaned the mess on the counter and Leena helped him prepare breakfast. Abbie came down a short while later, acting as if nothing had happened.

"I have good news and bad news," Leena looked at her with a half smile.

"Let’s hear it," Abbie sat nervously.

She glanced up at Ichabod who looked at her with a sly grin. Clearly Leena had no idea what they'd been up to, and she wondered what excuse he made about the mess.

"We've booked every room for the weekends of the harvest season."

"That's amazing!" Abbie practically jumped out of her seat. "What's the bad news?"

"We had so many booking requests that I may have booked the two unfinished rooms for October Fest..."

"But they aren't ready... I'm trying to save money..."

"Abbie those rooms will make us more money. Not just for OctoberFest, but for the upcoming holiday season. You'll make your money back for the rooms in just two weekends of booking." Leena looked at her again. "I also booked the poorhouse room."

"That's Joe's... He'll be here helping for OctoberFest."

"Abbie, we need the rooms. If we get another call, I'm willing to give up my suite for the weekend." Leena offered.

"Really? I guess you can stay with me." Abbie thought about it. "But I can't put Joe out..."

"Joe says it's fine to rent his room. We just have to find somewhere for him to sleep."

"He can share my room," Ichabod offered. "It's plenty big enough."

"That's four of us sharing a bathroom," Abbie laughed. "But at over $200 a night per room, I don't see how I can say no."

"Great," Leena pulled out her tablet. "I'll make my room available."

"And I'm here to help you," Ichabod assured her. "We'll get the unfinished rooms done."

 

~~~

 

2~ Autumn is for Lovers

 

In October, the farm hands had arrived for the season to help Nick with the farm and vineyard as well as get everything ready for the Harvest. Over the next couple of weeks, Abbie thought it was nice having Ichabod around. He proved to be handy around the house and helped out as much as he could. Most evenings when he returned from Cornell University, he'd find her up in one of the unfinished rooms, working away, and singing oldies.

He happily joined her, and the pair finished together in no time. In fact when the rooms were done they were both a little sad because it had lent an excuse for them to spend time together.

 

On the weekends, as the harvest approached, the farm was often busy. The crisp Autumn air, changing leaves and Lake side ambiance made for a perfect setting for weekend visitors. They stayed busy all season as guests loved touring the farm and vineyard.

Abbie and Ichabod often tried to steal a few minutes here and there to walk through the vineyard or the pumpkin patch with guests. They would hang behind and engage in their own conversation, almost forgetting about the others.

 

The same thing happened when they rode the horses around the property. The guests would ride ahead while the two of them rode nice and slow behind the pack.

A few times they rode down by the river. She showed him Old Bessie, the boat his grandfather bought back in the early eighties. She thought about selling it but it was so old, it wasn't even good for parts. She often talked about his grandfather and their bond, her childhood with Joe, as well as how she met Nick and Leena. They'd all been alone in a lot of ways, and they became a family.

Ichabod talked about growing up in England, and how happy he and his brother were. He told her about his mom getting sick and how being at Bellington had brought her peace and comfort in her last days.

Abbie and Ichabod had already fallen in love unexpectedly, then resolved to guard their hearts. But also unexpectedly, their feelings for each other were growing stronger by the day.

It was more than just the fluttering of the heart when one walked through the door, or the light feeling that swept over them when they heard the others voice. They liked who they were as people.

 

~~~

 

It was the Friday before Abbie's OctoberFest, the two walked through the pumpkin patch with a handful of visitors. Ichabod politely kept his hands behind his back, to quell the instinct to hold her hand. Abbie tried not to look at him and smile too much, it was hard, because she did love to just look at those blue eyes and listen to the sound of his voice...

"So this one?" Ichabod asked again.

"Hmm," damn it. Was she staring at him again she wondered.

He was pointing to a decent sized, oval shaped pumpkin. "I think this one would look nice on the wagon."

"I agree," Abbie nodded.

 

Ichabod carried the pumpkin to the empty old wagon. The two got busy decorating it at the farms entrance with pumpkins and hay bales. He loved the way her mind worked. Something as simple as a wagon, hay, and pumpkins, and she turned it into art. She was happy to have him there not just to haul the pumpkins around, but just to talk.

"I'll need to bring one back to the house with us. I will help you carve it up. I have plans for muffins and pies that I want fresh baked. So it'll be a busy night for me.

"You've already made so much, Crane," Abbie had been astonished how much he accomplished last night, and earlier in the day.

Ichabod lifted the pumpkin over his shoulder and the two walked back to the house. "I want to ensure I do whatever I can to help."

"Well then I will stay up and help you."

"No, no... This place will be packed tomorrow. You need to get your rest this evening."

"I'll be fine. I probably won’t be able to sleep much anyway. I get a little tense before big events. It's hard to relax. I'd much rather stay busy."

"Well then I shall gladly accept your company and your assistance Ms. Mills."

"Great," Abbie smiled opening the door for him. "Let’s get this bad boy carved,"

They took their time chatting as they cut into the gourd, and gutted it. Ichabod tried to convince Abbie to eat some wet goopy seeds but she refused. He teased her, and she laughed. They carved "welcome" into it, making it look special, with faded and highlighted area.

Next on the agenda was to get the pies in the oven. Once he had the pumpkin pie mix done Abbie agreed to taste.

"I am not the biggest fan of pumpkin, but that is downright phenomenal."

"See," Ichabod raised a brow as he rolled the pie crusts.

He worked swiftly and efficiently, asking her to bring him this and that when needed and just conversing with her most of the time. He asked a lot about her childhood, and she told him about Corbin taking her in when she was twelve, and the great times they had at the cabin.

He loved her voice and the way her eyes lit up when she talked about the people she loved. Guard your heart Ichabod, he warned himself. That faded voice echoed in the back of his mind as he watched her smile.

"Well, I certainly have kept you far longer than I should," Ichabod sighed as he pulled out a bushel of apples.

"I'm fine, really," Abbie assured him as she joined him by the sink to wash the apples. "Are we doing another apple pie?"

"No, I think we have plenty of those. These are for caramel and chocolate apples."

"Oh, that sounds perfect," Abbie hummed just thinking about them. "You have no idea how much I love..."

Her voice trailed off as they both reached into the sink, but instead of grabbing an apple, their hands met. He could only hear his heart beat as he his fingers gently flittered across her soft skin.

Abbie hardly breathed, "I um..."

"You love, candied apples..." Ichabod pulled his hand away and moved away from the sink. He thought that it was completely inappropriate that he was turned on just by touching her hand. He needed space to calm the growing ache of desire.

"I'll prepare the caramel."

"Ok," Abbie smiled as she finished the apples. She looked over to see him dip his finger into the caramel and take a taste. her mind instantly wandered to thoughts of her licking the sweet candy from his finger, and other places, and his tongue tasting her. She was swooning again and as she watched him and warm sensations tingled in her loins. Stop it! She forced herself to break from the thought.

She'd never had inside out Carmel apples, much less made them. Ichabod quickly cored the apples and formed a sort of assembly line. He worked so quickly Abbie had a hard time keeping up.

"Am I going to slow," she asked sympathetically.

"Not at all," he assured her. It is better to have an extra set of hands, especially ones so lovely as... Ehem... It's a pleasure to have help."

By 3am they were finished with all the treats and had everything ready for sale. The last of the cheesecakes were in the oven and they had the kitchen ready to prepare breakfast in just a few hours.

"You better save one for me," Abbie eyed one of the caramel and chocolate apples.

"Have you really never had an inside out apple?"

"No, never."

Ichabod picked one up and held it for her to take a bite. Her face lit up as gooey caramel and chocolate filled her mouth.

"Oh mm... So good..."

Ichabod took a bite and nodded in agreement. They finished it in a minute, their reward for a hard nights work. And suddenly it felt like deja vu. Abbie licked her lips taking away the last of the sticky sweets, as Ichabod licked his fingers. His eyes locked onto her lips wishing they were against his.

She should have been able to stop herself, but she really didn't want to stop the instinct. She took his hand pulling his finger to her mouth, and taking a taste. His finger traced her lips. And though he knew he shouldn't, he leaned in and kissed her.

They'd danced around for weeks avoiding this, fighting it. But in this moment, there was no fight in them, only the need to give in. Their mouths opened inviting the other inside, letting their tongues mingle. His arms were around her waist, hers around his shoulders, and they pulled each other close. They're bodies pressed together, he grew hard, she became wet. Their breaths, heavy heated panting, as they struggled for air but dare not part.

*BUZZZZZ*

The loud oven timer rang out startling them both. Ichabod pulled away, Abbie looked down almost ashamed at how weak she was.

"Apologies, I became carried away," Ichabod swallowed hard as he caught his breath.

"No need to apologize," Abbie straitened herself up. "It was me too."

"I should get the cheesecakes." He grabbed the oven mitts and pulled the cakes from the oven. Every one of the pumpkin cheesecakes came out perfect.

"Yeah... I'm going to go now, since that's it. Everything looks and smells amazing."

"Thank you for helping and for keeping me company," Ichabod smiled painfully wishing that it didn't have to stop.

"Thank you... For everything you're doing, Crane." Abbie hurried out the door. Her mind was racing her body aching for his touch. Just four more months and she would be put out of her misery one way or another. They would either be able to take a chance, or they'd have to let each other go. But at this moment, she needed to relieve the tension that was suddenly consuming her, or she'd never make it through the Festival.

A quick shower, she thought that would do, but it wasn't enough. She was too turned on, too anxious, just too much. She barely dried herself off and hurried to dig through her dresser drawer for her special friend. This was an emergency.

~~~

Ichabod finished decorating the cheesecakes and headed up to his suite for bed. He was exhausted, and happy to finally get a shower and perhaps get a few hours of sleep before breakfast.

He went into his closet to hang up his jacket and heard a strange sound, a faint buzzing and soft moaning. He went to the wall were a wall vent connected his closet and Abbie's room. At first he thought there was something humming in the vent, but a quick peek and he knew he was mistaken. There was Abbie laying on her sofa. He couldn't see much but he knew what she was doing and he understood.

He looked we away, pained to think that he could be there with her giving her what she needed, but that wasn't going to happen. He quickly left the closet, closing the door behind him. Now he really needed that shower.

He let his mind wander as the warm water washed over his body; the memory of his kiss with Abbie fresh on his mind, the taste of her kiss still on his lips. Slowly he began to stroke seeking that same relief and release. More memories of her soft skin against his, and how good it felt to be inside her, beckoned him. He grasped the shower wall with his free hand as the memories of making love to Abbie brought him the much needed release he was desperate for. It wasn't what he wanted or what he really needed, but it would have to do.

~~

Abbie laid in bed, hardly satisfied and still unable to sleep. She saw the light through the crack in the bathroom door and heard the faint sound of water from the shower. She could imagine Ichabod in there as she closed her eyes and tried to sleep.

 

~~~

 

3 ~ OctoberFest

image 

The turn out for OctoberFest far exceeded Abbie's expectations. Leena managed the B&B, Joe worked the grill, a few farm hands manned the pumpkin patch, Nick handled the animals, Caroline handled the kids face painting and pumpkin carving, Ichabod sold his baked goods, while Abbie sold Cider and Wine.

Abbie was under the tent with Ichabod, the two stealing glances every chance they could. He loved her in the dark tight fitting bootleg jeans and colorful top. He tried not to stare when she bent over but those jeans hugged her ass in all the right places. Abbie liked seeing Ichabod casual in a T-shirt and sneakers. He always had his leather jacket with him and he looked so handsome.

Through out the morning Ichabod had several teachers and students come by. Clearly he'd been getting the word out, and no surprise they were mostly women. Abbie noticed two young women that continued to come by his booth. They were pretty handsy with him, laughing and giggling while hanging on to his every word, and Abbie didn't like it. Of course she smiled when the girls came over to buy a few bottles of wine, but was put off when they immediately went back to Ichabod.

They stayed incredibly busy all day until everything was sold. And the girls dragged Ichabod away, begging him to show them where the auction was.

A silent auction was held for two private horse drawn wagon rides through the Farm and Vineyard. Nick was taking one wagon, and Ichabod was taking the other. There was also an auction for a private dinner prepared by Ichabod for up to 10 guests, and several other things unique to Grace's Place. Abbie watched as Ichabod attempted to mingle with other guests, but the two women managed to monopolize him no matter what he did.

"Great turn out," Andy came up to Abbie and gave her a quick hug. "I can't believe this is your first OctoberFest."

"I know... It's been great... Really great." Abbie was completely distracted by Ichabod.

"You look a little stressed," Andy took her hand. "Come on and walk with me. Take a little break. I need to talk to you about something anyway."

"Okay," Abbie sighed.

~

Ichabod looked up to see Andy walking off with Abbie. It took him by surprise because he thought they were only friends. "Excuse me..." Ichabod paid no attention to the girls talking to him and hurried after Abbie.

"Hello, Mr. Brooks," Ichabod practically jumped in front of him to stop him. He then realized he had nothing to say. His mission was purely to keep him from walking away with Abbie.

"Please call me Andy."

"Right... And you can call me Iche, of course."

"What can I do for you Iche?"

"I thought you might be walking off... without checking out the auction."

"Oh... Well, I'll take a look right now then." Andy headed back over to the booth to see what was available at the silent auction.

"Where were you two getting off to?" Ichabod asked Abbie hoping he sounded casual and not jealous.

"He was just taking me to get a little break. He said he wanted to talk to me about something." Abbie tried not to roll her eyes as the two women a poached. "Your friends are here."

"Ah, this is Miss Standra Raven, one of my students and her sister Miss Kim. Ladies, this is Ms. Abigail Mills. She owns the business."

"Oh," Standra half shook Abbie's hand. "I thought you owned the house, Ichabod."

"Not for long," Ichabod gave Abbie a smile.

"Well, My offer stands for you to be head chef at Dad's high end Restaurant."

"You offered him a job?"

"Absolutely. Double his teaching salary. And he can work evenings and weekends and still teach..." Standra hung on Ichabod's arm.

Abbie suddenly felt sick to her stomach. "I'm going to get the vats ready for the grape stomping. It was great meeting you."

She hurried off, not wanting to think about Ichabod leaving the house. But she knew he needed the money. Of course he would take the job. Ichabod pulled out of Standra's clutches.

"Abbie wait," Ichabod ran after her.

"I'm busy, Crane," Abbie huffed as she went into the barn.

"I'm not taking the job."

"You should. It's good money."

"Compared with what I’d have to deal with," Ichabod shuddered at how Standra clung to him. "It would hardly be worth it. Besides, I'm quite busy here."

"I appreciate everything you've done, but I'm okay if you need to go. You have to look out for you and your interest," Abbie climbed up on the ladder and tried to pull down the vats.

"Being here ‘is’ looking out for my best interest, and yours... Here let me help you..." Ichabod saw her struggle to pull down the oversized buckets.

"I've got it," Abbie gave them a firm tug, but when they came lose she lost her grip and footing. "Whoa..."

She fell back into Ichabod's arms. The two tumbled to the ground and found themselves covered in hay and picnicking blankets, the vats scattered around the barn.

"I've got you..." Ichabod looked her over as she wiped a tear from her cheek. "Are you all right?"

"I'm fine. I just..." Abbie let out a sigh defeated.

Ichabod caressed her cheek, still holding her, fixated by her soft brown eyes. "What is it? You can tell me anything."

"I love having you here, but how can you pass up a chance to double your income?"

"Because, I love being here with you..." Ichabod kissed her, soft, tender, her eyes fluttered shut as she melted into his embrace.

"I love you..." Abbie whispered softly between kisses.

He loved her so much already, every day they were together their feelings only grew, which he wondered how it was even possible. But in this moment he wanted to put the thoughts of losing her aside. She was in his arms, and nothing could be more perfect. He laid her back as his body pressed against hers, they were so close to giving in.

"I love you, Abbie. I don't want to hurt you."

"Crane, I..." Abbie paused when she heard voices and footsteps coming around the side of the barn. She and Ichabod hopped up quickly and tried to straighten up their clothes.

~

"I don't know where she got off to," Leena said curiously.

"The Grape stomping is supposed to start in fifteen minutes," Joe sounded a bit frustrated. "It's not like her. I'll try her cell."

"I'll get the extra vats. They're in the barn."

"Hey," Abbie hurried out of the barn just as Leena got to the door. "You're probably looking for these."

"Yes," Joe looked relieved.

So was Leena until she saw the state of Abbie's hair. She pulled a couple of hay needles out and dusted off her top. "What on earth happened to you?"

"Oh... Ummm... Squirrels got in the barn. They get a little feisty this time of year."

"Squirrels again," Leena scrunched her brow.

"We should go." Abbie hurried off with them, so Ichabod could make his exit.

~~~

The music was loud and lively over the PA system as small groups and individuals washed their feet and jumped into the vats to smash and stomp the grapes. Call it the joy of participating in an old fashioned tradition, but everyone really loved the activity.

Standra and Kim Raven did everything they could to convince Ichabod to join them in stomping. But he was having no part of being with them.

Instead he waited patiently for Abbie to get a free moment to roll up her jeans. He sat beside her as they scrubbed their feet.

"Might I join you?" He asked.

"I'd like that," Abbie smiled.

They hopped in the bucket together, holding on to each other as they danced around.

"I've never done this before," Ichabod laughed at the sensation of the grapes squishing between his toes.

"Fun isn't it?" Abbie laughed at him trying to dance and keep his balance.

"It is, but we aren't actually going to use these for wine are we?"

"No," Abbie giggled. Everyone will take a small bottle of the juice they make home. Back in the old days though, this is how it was done. We do this just for fun."

"Indeed," Ichabod spun her around and pulled her close as they danced. "I couldn't think of a better way to make sweet wine."

Standra looked over annoyed seeing the two dancing so cozy as they stomped grapes. "What is he doing with his employee?"

"I don't think she's his employee. He said she owns the business," Kim sighed as she watched the two. "I'm sure they're just stomping together so they aren't biased to any of the guests."

"Well, I'll get a chance alone with him tonight."

~~~

As the sun set it was time for the auction winners to be announced. Standra grossly overbid for the catered dinner, and the private wagon ride by Ichabod. Joe was taking the tractor-pulled wagon with was large enough to hold a couple dozen people. Nick was helping the private group that had won his ride onto the smaller horse-drawn wagon.

"Well, looks like you're getting that alone time," Kim grinned at Standra. "Are you sure you won't let me ride along?"

"Hell no. I've been dying for a chance to run my fingers through that hair of his."

Kim hopped in the larger wagon with the other guests, as Joe started the tractor.

Standra's joy of winning soured when she saw Ichabod helping Abbie up onto the front of the wagon.

"Is she driving us?" Standra asked.

"What? No I'm driving," Ichabod assured her. "She's coming along to keep me company. Where is your sister? I dare say you spent good money for a private hayride with your party."

"I... I thought it was just going to be the two of us..."

"Well, I can't very well drive the wagon and sit in the back in the hay," Ichabod chuckled. "Let me help you up."

"Crane, come on," Nick waved from the other wagon. The guests he was driving were all smiles and already enjoying the wine. And cuddling up under the blankets.

Ichabod quickly and carefully helped Standra into the wagon. She saw blankets, snacks, and a couple of bottles of wine ready and waiting, but she had no one to enjoy them with.

For the whole ride, she sat irritated, arms folded and huffing. Made worse were the moments when she could hear Ichabod and Abbie laughing and chatting in low voices.

Ichabod and Abbie had forgotten all about her. Under the harvest moon and the star lit sky, the two sat close under the blanket not thinking about their financial whoas.

After the wagon ride the night ended with dancing, and Abbie found herself in Ichabod's arms again. He felt her shiver as they swayed to the slow music.

"You are positively chilled," Ichabod took off his Jacket. "Allow me."

He put the jacket on her, which was oversized on her petite frame, but so comfortable, because it smelled like him, a soft light musk, warm spice and oak. She rested her head against his chest and he breathed her in. She had a sweet aroma he would never forget, her sent mixed with a hint of brown sugar and vanilla.

Standra was already salty about the wagon ride, and now she couldn't steal him away for a dance. She grabbed her sister and stormed away. Tonight was a bust, but she still had the catered dinner she won. She could always try again to get his attention.

Ichabod didn't even notice her leave. With Abbie in his arms, the two seemed to forget that they were not dating. They forgot they needed to be careful about that four letter word that would not real ease them from its trap.

~~~

"I had an amazing night," Abbie was practically floating as Ichabod walked her to her door.

"As did I," Ichabod's soft blue eyes were fixed on her as if entranced.

She blushed with a smile and looked down. When she looked back up their lips met, his hands eased around her waist, her arms sifted up his chest. The chaste little kiss grew more heated as their bodies instinctively drew close together.

"Abbie is that you?" Leena opened the bedroom door.

The two pulled away suddenly remembering that they were rooming with Joe and Leena for a few nights.

"Hey guys," Joe opened Ichabod's bedroom door. "Great day today wasn't it?"

"Yup, sure was," Abbie said flustered.

"I'd say a splendid time was had by all," Ichabod cleared his throat. "I'm going to call it a night."

"Me too," Abbie turned to go into her room. "Night Joey."

Yeah... Good night," Joe and Leena looked at each other suspiciously, both fairly sure they'd interrupted something.

 

~~~

 

4~ One Hell of a Halloween

image 

It was Halloween, and Abbie was so glad the seasonal farm hands were there to help out. The haunted trail through the woods was set up and ready to go, and the last of the pumpkins were ready to be carved. She got dressed in her costume, hoping that they'd have a huge crowd for the trail.

"How do I look," Abbie asked coming into the three seasons room where Caroline, Ichabod, and Leena were finishing up some last details.

Her mermaid costume was stunning, the shiny green skirt and the shell bikini top were perfect on her body.

"You, wow..." Ichabod was at a loss for words.

"It came out better than I thought," Caroline beamed at her handy work.

"Thanks," Abbie gave her a smile then looked at Ichabod. He wore an old 18th-century captains hat, knee high black boots and a half open white shirt. "You look handsome Captain."

"Thank you," he barely managed. "You... You look," he was shocked at how tongue-tied he was. This never happened to him.

"I'll take that as a compliment," Abbie smiled.

She turned around and bent over to pick up a box filled with bags of candy. That's when Ichabod saw the split that went straight up the back, stopping just at the curve of her apple bottom.

"Merciful heavens," he gasped as he watched her bend, following her curves with his eyes.

All three ladies turned to look at him and he realized he'd said that out loud.

"Allow me to get that for you," Ichabod was red cheeked from embarrassment as he grabbed the box and hurried out.

"I think he likes it," Leena grinned as Caroline and Abbie tried to stiffen their chuckles.

 

~~~

By 5pm there were families already arriving at the farm. The last of the pumpkins were carved up, and kids were getting their faces painted.

Abbie was so relieved that it was early and already the turnout was great. She decided to do a walk-through of the haunted trail before dark, just to make sure everything was perfect.

"May I join you," Ichabod asked.

"Sure," Abbie welcomed him along. The two walked through the path in the woods enjoying the Autumn air and the changing leaves.

"I saw that Mr. Brooks has come out again," Ichabod began curious as to the nature of their relationship. "He must be a good friend to be so supportive."

"He is," Abbie nodded. We worked together back in Sleepy Hollow, before his family asked him to come back and help on their farm and running the factory."

"Oh, so you are former colleagues turned friends and business partner?"

"We are. It took the friend thing a while to get back on track. He didn't think Luke and I should have gotten married after dating less than a year. Luke had a kid and we worked together... But that's a whole other thing," Abbie waved her hand as if dismissing that part of the conversation.

"Oh," Ichabod tried not to seem jealous, but he moved closer to Abbie as they walked.

"Your ex has a child?"

"A little boy. He's almost 9. He was almost two when we married. His mom never let me get too close to him, you know... no calling me mom. But he's a sweet kid."

"You never wanted kids?"

"I did... Or I do, and we tried. But I just never got pregnant. I would have looked into it, but the marriage ended so, there was no need." Abbie was never sure why she didn't get pregnant. It made her sad to think about it, but with Luke it had been for the best. "Do you want kids? One day, I mean."

"I do... My own or adopted, I suppose," Ichabod was truthful. "But I'd love to have children one day, someone to pass on..." He paused, the thought suddenly hitting him that he may be the one who loses the family legacy.

"You'd be a great dad. You're good with kids," Abbie complimented him.

Soon his arm was around her, and hers was around him. They walked slower not wanting to come to the end of the trail, but alas there it was.

"We should get back to the guests," Abbie smiled.

The two were surprised at the number of kids that thought they had planned their costumes as Prince Erik and Princess Ariel. They found it amusing to say the least.

The haunted trail was another hit, and Abbie was hopeful the revenue brought in for the OctoberFest would tip the scales in her favor. She was desperate to get the loan to buy the house. Only then could she be hopeful about a possible future with Ichabod... If he would stay.

After the haunted trail they turned up the music and danced. Most of the families had left with their children, leaving the adults to party. Caroline was a witch, Joe was a zombie doctor, Nick was Indiana Jones, Leena was a fairy godmother. All of the guests were dressed to the hilt as they danced at the bonfire by the lake.

Ichabod could not take his eyes off of Abbie, and that slit up the back of her skirt. He downed his wine desperately trying not to think about how alluring she looked, as she danced. But when the music turned slow, he couldn't resist.

"May I have this dance," Ichabod held his hand out to her.

"You don't even have to ask," Abbie smiled softly as she went into his arms.

His deep baritone hummed along to the music as they danced, and Abbie knew. She was done. As midnight approached and the party ended, the two stayed dancing together just a little longer.

"Walk me back to my room," Abbie smiled.

"Of course."

She took Ichabod's hand as they walk together. He was confused, because her actions seemed very deliberate, and yet he didn't stop her. His mind was a blur as they walked up to their balcony, and he wondered what her intentions were. He was afraid to ask because then they might actually have to think about what they're were doing.

His heart was pounding, hers was racing as she turned to him. She pulled him by the shirt lapels into kiss her, and he did not resist. Just the opposite. He pressed her back against the door as his hands darted up and down her body. He'd wanted this all night, hell, he'd wanted it for weeks. Her hands quickly pulled his shirt loose from the pants as he unfastened her top. It dropped to the ground as he reached for the doorknob to his bedroom. She pulled his shirt off as they slicked into his room, kissing and bodies pressed tight together.

"What the fuck is going on!" Joe looked and sounded completely stunned, as he watched Ichabod all over his half naked sister.

"Oh my god!" Abbie screamed and tried to pull away from Ichabod.

"Apologies... Good heavens, I am so... Oh dear!" Ichabod grabbed his shirt from the ground and tried to cover Abbie with it.

"I completely forgot," Abbie grimaced. "Joe don't be mad. We just had a slip-up, but it's all good now. Crane, I will see you later."

"Wait, Abbie, don't leave..." Ichabod winced at being left to deal with an angry brother. He was ready to apologize again as he turned back around to see Joe furious.

"We got carried away," Ichabod looked remorseful.

"So what's the plan here after all this business with the house is done between you two. Are you going to stick around for her? Stay in America?"

"I don't know... I suppose I could take on another year at Cornell, but my home is in England."

"Yeah, that's what I thought," Joe shook his head. "One minute I think you're this really nice guy, then the next… you're all over her. It's like no matter what, you're determined to hurt her."

"That is not what I'm doing Joe. I love your sister."

"Then act like it!" Joe threw the spare room key on the dresser and stormed out of the room. "I'm going to go stay at Nick's yurt!"

"Fuck!" Ichabod swore under his breath. He grabbed stepped out of his pants and threw on his robe. He was so frustrated that he needed a shower to get his head on straight.

He was all the way in before he saw Abbie sitting on the edge of the bath in a towel.

"I'm so sorry, it was unlocked."

"I know," Abbie stood up and turned on the shower. She then let the towel drop to the ground. "I told you I'd see you later."

Ichabod swallowed hard as his eyes canvased her curves.

"We really shouldn't," he shook his head no.

But his body was saying yes, as he undid his robe. The sight of her naked body sauntering towards him, caused an immediate rise as hot blood rushed through his loins.

Steam billowed through the bathroom, filling the air. Ichabod lifted her carrying her to the shower and had her back pressed against the shower wall. With one of her legs raised, he was on his knees eating her out. His tongue went between sucking her clit and flicking it rapidly while he gave her a deep finger fuck.

Her hands were all over the place from as he drove her to lose control. His fingers hit the right spot and she clambered to the wall. His tongue fluttered rapidly and she clung to her breasts, squeezing her nipples. But when he sucked her, she lost all composure. Her fingers roughed through his wet hair, pressing him into her.

"I'm ... Oh god I'm coming..." Is all she could say before her words made no sense and her mind and body began to swirl in blissful ecstasy.

He let her enjoy it for as longs she could take it. He loved making her come. He loved the taste of her. "I want you... inside me, so bad." She managed through heavy panting.

Ichabod stood to attention. Abbie grabbed his cock, pressing it to the entrance of her folds. He pushed inside of her, letting out a deep moan, as her warm wet walls engulfed him. He started to press in, back and forth. She felt so damn good. Her soft moans were music to his ears. "Oh, Abbie... Abbie..." He started going faster. Her legs tightened around his waist as her hips were rising and falling on his cock. He kissed her lips then her neck, until he knew he was about to come.

Then it happened. Their eyes connected as an overwhelming feeling of bliss filled them. It was a connection so deep that neither could tell where one of them ended and the other began. He held her tight, burying his face in her neck as he released. Her tight walls contracting against his cock as it jolted inside her. Her soft cries echoing in the shower amongst the falling water.

They shouldn't be doing this. They were only going to get hurt. But they just couldn't stop themselves.

 

~~~

 

5~ All Night Long

 

Half an hour later they were in his room. Joe was gone, and by this point they'd thrown all caution to the wind.

She pulled him onto the bed, and flat on his back. She gave him a wicked smile before kissing him again on the lips. Her hands found their way down his hairy chest to his cock, which had already began to stiffen. She stayed at his side as her tiny hands began to stroke him. Her lush lips kissed their way down his chest, past his abdomen and finally to the tip of his dick. She playfully licked the head as he twitched in her hand.

He began to rub up and down her leg, squeezing her ass cheek as she sucked him. *Abbie, that feels so good.*

She guided his fingers to her folds, and he slipped one inside her. She was so wet.

He took a moment to admire the view as she gave him amazing head. She pulled him out of her mouth and licked up and down the shaft. Her eyes fixed on him. Watching her lit a wild fire inside of him. His heart pounded his body tensed.

Her dreamy eyes stared back at him. Her tongue slowly moving up and down. Tiny beads of pre cum seeped from the tip.

"Perfect..." was all he could muster as sensations tingled through his body.

He watched as her lips kiss the head, and her tongue dance around the slit of its tip, before taking him full in her mouth again. He flung his head back onto the bed as the sheer pleasure of her overwhelmed him.

"Oh... Have mercy," he managed between heavy breaths, as she quickened her speed. He couldn't hold on any longer. "Ab....Ahh... I'm going to come..." He struggled to warn her.

 

"Mmhmm..." She moaned and continued sucking.

His hand instinctively went to gently touch her head. She took him as deep in her mouth as he could, and felt his cock twitch against her tongue. His body jerked from the orgasm, as hot cum shot out and down her throat.

She continued to stroke him slowly, as his body shuddered from the sensitivity of her tongue against his head. "Ah... Abbie, you are a goddess."

"I know," she smiled coyly, taking one last kiss at his cock.

Before she knew what was happening he had her on her back and her legs spread. “Captain!”

 

"Prepare yourself, Treasure." He growled as he nibbled at her breasts.

She used one hand to grab the headboard of the bed. While her other hand pressed into his shoulder. As he moved from one breast to the next, her fingers began to entwine through his hair. He pushed one finger into her pussy, then a second. He pulsed in and out quickly, getting her wet and causing the lips of her mound to plump.

"God, Crane...oh, that's so good..." She cooed as he massaged her spot and inner walls with his fingers.

 

He kissed down her body to her sopping wet mound. He let his fingers spread her, exposing her pink center, and the tiny bud of her clit. He watched his finger slip back into her, loving how beautiful she was inside and out. His lips and tongue found her clit and began flicking it. Abbie's body rocked from the pleasure of his fingers and mouth working her. Her soft moans got him hard again. He took his wet fingers out of her pussy and slowly rubbed against her tiny hole as he sucked her clit. Her body stiffened at the touch.

 

Abbie took slow deep breaths as she felt his finger press inside. Slowly he went in and out, deeper each time. Once he was sure she was used to the feel of it, he began to work her clit again. She sucked breaths in between her teeth desperately trying to acclimate to the sensation of pleasure and pain. Her body trembled, as she felt herself on the edge of climax. He worked her clit so good that she came in his mouth. He immediately pushed a second finger into her ass causing her to cry out loud. He loved it when she came.

He removed his fingers and climbed upon her between her legs. He pushed his cock inside of her slit and started pumping into her. He loved the way her wet walls felt around his thick cock. She loved the way he felt inside of her. He stretched her with his thick manhood, as he pushed in and out if her.

He kissed her lips tenderly then rose up and pulled out of her chasm. Her heart was pounding, anticipating what he would do to her. He spread her legs wide and guided his cock to the tiny hole below her folds. Her breath quickened as he pushed the head inside her. Her legs instinctively began to close, but he held one back with his free hand.

"Do you want me to stop," he asked, wanting to be sure.

"Don't stop," Abbie panted softly.

It was so tight that Ichabod had to brace himself as he slowly pushed in. He'd never felt anything like it. The sensation was strange to Abbie too. The strange mix of pleasure and pain washed over her again as he began motioning back and forth. He started to massage her already sensitive clit, as she quivered. Slow at first then picking up the pace, he pumped inside her. He was so thick that her she could hardly bear it.

"Oh fuck... Uh!!!" Is all she could manage. She practically screamed it. Ichabod would have stopped had she asked, but her body seemed to be begging for more. And he was glad for it because it felt so damn good; her cries encouraging him to push harder and faster into the tight place.

"Oh fuck... I'm coming so hard!" She couldn't believe how hard the orgasm hit her.

Ichabod thrust into her, but it was only three more pushes before he came too. "Oh... Fuck... So good..."

He slowly pulled out, his thick white cum drip from her. The sight of her made him what to make love to her again, but he was completely spent after coming three times. He kissed her shaky inner thigh, then her belly. He then collapsed beside her pulling her into his arms and kissing her tender lips.

 

Ichabod tried not to think about what Joe had said earlier. He did love Abbie, but he could not stop himself from needing to be with her.

Abbie turned to him, kissing his chin, letting his whiskers tickle her lips. "Don't think about it. Not tonight."

"But I'm afraid we're only hurting ourselves..."

"Stop talking," Abbie turned him on his back and straddled on top of him, she slowly ground herself into him, feeling him get hard beneath her. "We can worry about that tomorrow. Right now, I want you to make love to me, and don't stop."

"There is nothing I want more," Ichabod raised a brow and grabbed her hips, eager to oblige.

 

 

~~~

Chapter Text

ESL CH6
Warm By The Fire

 

~ Intro ~

“God you feel so good," Ichabod's voice was low and heavy as he looked up at Abbie. He loved the way it felt inside her and the way her head tilted lazily with each stride.

His hips bucked upwards as she rode him, moaning, grinding, and winding into him, as he hit her spot. He had one hand firm on her hip, the other clenched her breast as she leaned back, taking every inch of him. He was hitting her spot just right. She made the most sinfully delightful sounds as his hips rose to meet her stride.

They’d managed to make it two weeks somehow, but now they didn’t care. They wanted each other so badly. Denying it seemed futile, and giving in felt so damn good.

 

~*~

1~ Dinner Guests

"Wow, this smells divine," Abbie had a dreamy smile on her face as she inhaled the aroma of Ichabod's feast. "And looks amazing."

"Thank you," Ichabod beamed as he whisked by her. "Ms. Leena is a formidable sous-chef."

"Are you kidding," Leena laughed. "I'm just having fun learning from a culinary genius."

"I would not be able to work with such if not for you assistance," he gave Leena a friendly smile.

"I can't believe Standra bid a grand for this dinner," Abbie shook her head. She had a feeling this girl really liked Ichabod.

"Well, between your wine and Iche's meal, hopefully she'll feel like she got her money's worth."

"What can I help with?" Abbie asked.

"Everything is well in hand, Treasure. You need only be a lovely and gracious host."

"They're here," Caroline anxiously rubbed her hands as she walked into the kitchen.

Ichabod grinned and gave Abbie a wink as she hurried to greet their dinner guests. He loved her smile; the way her eyes lit up and her mouth curved. They'd tried to cool things the past couple of weeks... Though there had been a few slip ups. They were mostly in the shower or right here in the kitchen. Ichabod remembered their most recent slip in the kitchen, the way he had her bent over the...

"You're staring and she's already gone," Leena nudged Ichabod who seemed to have drifted off into a daydream for a second.

"Oh... Was I?" Ichabod busied himself mashing the potatoes.

"Yes. Seems we had quite a few squirrels on the loose for a while there," she grinned.

Ichabod turned red cheeked, " um...well it seems to be under control now... John called me earlier. He says he's coming to the states for a brief visit."

 

"Oh, did he," Now Leena was turning red and trying not to blush.

"Indeed, at your invitation," Ichabod smiled.

"He happened to mention he hasn't ever attended an American Thanksgiving, so I suggested he join us if he was free."

"Well, I know the B&B is booked solid for the Holiday. So, I told him he was welcome to share my room. It'll be a bit crowded with Joe there. But no reason for him to trek back and forth to a hotel." Ichabod raised his brow curiously.

"Oh..." Leena was tight lipped about John and eager to change the subject. "So have you and Joe smoothed things over?"

"I believe so," Ichabod sighed. "I can understand his concern lies with his sister's well being. I feel the same protectiveness for my little brother."

"Ugh, that Standra is a piece of work," Caroline came into the kitchen rolling her eyes. "Abbie is giving them a quick tour and then they want to meet you."

"I have my hands full at the moment," Ichabod was finishing up the first of the three courses.

"I know, but Standra is insisting."

Ichabod cleaned his hands and followed Caroline into the three seasons room where they had a nice table set for Standra's guests. They arrived just as Abbie was walking the eight dinner guests in.

"And this is the three-seasons room. We thought you might enjoy the view of the sunset over the lake as you dine."

"Splendid," Mr. Frasier, Standra's step-father, was impressed.

"And this is Mr. Ichabod Crane, your chef for this evening," Abbie introduced him.

Mr. Frasier eagerly shook his hand.

"He's more than just our chef," Standra interrupted. "Ichabod is the owner of all of this."

"Oh?" Mr. Frasier was confused. He was certain that Caroline had introduced Abbie as the owner.

"Actually, no..." Ichabod corrected him. "I simply own the property. The business, the farm, vineyard, the Bed and Breakfast, everything you see here... That is all Ms. Mills, I can assure you. She fully owns GAM& Co."

"It is lovely," Standra's mother turned up her nose. She was a snob but even she had to admit this was really nice.

"Ms. Mills certainly has done a remarkable job. I'm usually not easily impressed. I dare say my home could use her touch... Such a fine eye for detail."

"I couldn't agree more," Ichabod beamed, giving Abbie the sweetest heart eyes. "I wish I could take her back to England with me..."

Abbie's eyes widened a bit embarrassed, and Ichabod caught himself. He was staring again.

"Umm... To decorate my home of course..."

"Thank you. Abbie was gracious to both men. "I appreciate the compliment."

"Well, as I said all of this is your hard work and fine eye. I shall however, take credit, or blame, for the meal."

Everyone let out a chuckle, except for Standra, who had a fake smile plastered on.

The dinner went well. Abbie helped Caroline serve the dinner so that everyone would get their food at the same time, then she retired to the kitchen where Ichabod and Leena were finishing up dessert.

A few minutes later, Caroline came in. "Abbie, she’s is asking for you."

"Is everything okay?" Abbie asked.

"As far as I can tell. They seem to be loving the food and I'm available if they need anything."

Abbie followed Caroline then came back into the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of sparkling water.

"What's that for?" Leena was curious.

"Standra wants a glass of sparkling water with lemon." Abbie pulled out a glass and Ichabod began slicing lemon wedges.

"I can take that," Caroline came back in embarrassed. "I don't know why she called for you if all she wanted was a glass of water."

"It's okay, I got it," Abbie faked a smile and took the glass to Standra. "Here you are. If you need anything else, Caroline will be more than happy to get it for you."

Standra simply tilted her head and didn't even say thanks.

Abbie hurried back to the kitchen where Leena was already getting snippy.

"I don't like that girl. She's got one of those, uppity, 'I’m better than you' kind of attitudes. A very unattractive quality..."

"Yeah, she's a bitch," Abbie huffed. "Sorry, no offense meant, Crane. I know she's your friend."

"No offense taken. She is a student, not a friend," he raised a brow. "And I agree with your assessment."

The ladies laughed out loud as Caroline came back in. "If she asks me to get you one more time..."

"What does she want now?" Abbie sighed.

"Nothing I can't handle," Caroline grabbed the sea salt. "I swear it's just her and her mini me Kim. They keep asking me to get you for the simplest things! Is she racist or something?"

"Hmm... Probably. Or there could be another reason she doesn't like Abbie," Leena nudged her head in Ichabod's direction.

"Don't look at me," he looked innocently back at the ladies.

"She's got a little Crane on the brain," they had a good laugh at him.

"Heaven forbid," Ichabod grimaced.

Caroline returned with the seas salt grinder. She was not surprised that Standra didn't even use it. She simply wanted to harass Abbie. Every time someone gushed about the B&B she went out of her way to down play how nice it was. The meal however, Standra could not say enough wonderful things about.

"You simply must hire him at your Restaurant dad," she was practically begging her stepfather.

"I would love to have him, but he really seems content here. You said he turned down your offer."

"That's probably because you didn't ask him. Tell him mother."

"Stewart, if it will make my baby happy," Mrs. Frasier sighed. She often grew weary of her daughters nagging, and just wished her husband would appease her.

"Very well. I'll extend an offer." Mr. Frasier gave in. "But I wouldn't blame him for saying no. Ms. Mills is a lovely young woman and runs a fine, fine home here. I certainly wouldn't mind coming home to this every night."

"Stu..." His wife gave him a warning side eye.

"Caroline," Standra waved her over, "Could you ask Abbie to clear the table. We're ready for dessert."

"I will be happy to clear the table for you. Believe me, Ms. Mills is paying me very well to serve you tonight," Caroline tried not to sound too snide, but she was fed up. "Your stepfather owns a Restaurant. I don't think you'd ask him to fetch your water or bus the tables there."

"This is true," Mr. Frasier burst out laughing.

Standra turned beet red and her lips pinched tight as if she'd just had someone shove a lemon in her trap.

Caroline grabbed the plates and hurried into the kitchen. To her surprise, Leena, Abbie and Ichabod were in tears laughing and trying not to be loud.

"What's going on?"

Abbie could hardly breathe. "We heard the whole thing..." She desperately sucked in her laughter, as Leena fanned herself.

"We were just about to ask them if everything was to their liking," Ichabod dabbed his eyes.

Caroline snickered. "I hope it doesn't reflect badly on you. I know you need good reviews, but that woman just got on my last nerve!"

"Well, the desserts are ready," Ichabod was trying to calm himself.

"You two go be the host and chef, and ask how everything was. I'll grab the desserts." Carolina nudged them along.

Ichabod and Abbie needed a second to pull it together, but every time they started to open the door they would start snickering again. At this point they were mostly laughing at each other laughing and It took them a full minute to get it together.

"Those two are too much," Caroline sighed with a soft smile as she and Leena put the deserts on the serving tray.

"Are you ok with them?" Lena asked "I know you were crushing on Iche pretty hard."

"Can you blame me," Caroline sighed. "But yeah, I'm ok with them. How can I not be? They are sickeningly cute together. Did you see the way he looks at her? I can't believe they aren't dating."

"I can understand why though," Leena shrugged and shook her head. "If this situation with the house goes badly, they will end up with their hearts broken."

"Well, then we'll just have to do everything we can to make sure everything goes in their favor." Caroline smiled and hurried out of the kitchen with the cakes.

~~~

2~ Mistakes

After dinner everyone casually gathered by the fireplace and enjoyed the view of the lake and the evening sky.

"This is stunning," Mr. Frasier admired.

"Every upstairs room has a view. The house is perfectly positioned." Ichabod pointed out.

"I can't wait to see for myself," Standra ran her hand down Ichabod's arm. "My girlfriends and I are staying here for the holiday. We booked one of the suites." She was staring him down like he was a piece of meat as she sipped her wine.

"I'll have to make a reservation to come stay in the spring. You have a boat slip?" Stewart asked Abbie before turning back to the view.

"We do," Abbie nodded. "And wait until you taste Iche's breakfast. I swear there's nothing like it."

 

"You two make quite a team." He sighed as he looked at the two of them. "Don't ever sell this place... Or rather, if you do... Call me first."

Ichabod and Abbie smiled politely, but both their hearts sank just a little as his words were a reminder of what might come to pass.

Can we take a walk outside?" he asked.

"Of course," Abbie went to get the door.

Mr. Frazier could not stop adoring the place, to Standra's dismay. And now he was giving accolades to Ichabod and Abbie's team work. Her sole purpose for winning the auction was to convince her Stepfather to get Ichabod to come work for them. The last thing she expected was for him to fall in love with the place. She wanted to get Ichabod away from Abbie, but her stepfather wasn't helping.

"Oops!" Standra gasped as she let her wine glass fall right on the area rug. " I am so sorry... I must have tripped."

Abbie could feel herself tense up inside. It took everything inside of her to put on a smile and not call Standra a bitch. She was just standing there and let the glass drop. There was no way she tripped.

"It's all right," Abbie grabbed a hand towel from the table. "Go enjoy the night air. I'll take care of this."

"Ms. Mills ,I insist on covering any damage to the rug," Mr. Frasier offered.

"It's fine," Abbie waved them off and nodded for Ichabod to walk them out.

Abbie waited for them to leave then sat down and started to dab up the liquid. It wasn't so much the damage to the rug that bothered Abbie, but the immediate mood change. Everything had been light and fun. And despite her growing dislike for Standra Raven, her stepfather was a wealthy business owner who could be a good connection. She didn't want anything to dampen the mood. And she definitely didn't want to send him a bill for property damage.

"How is it coming along?" Ichabod asked, coming in with a bowl of vinegar water and soap.

"It's going to stain. It is what it is."

"Let me help you," Ichabod sat beside her and started pressing the cloth against the stain. "She really got it everywhere didn't she."

"Amazingly," Abbie let out a soft laugh. Finally she put the cloth down in defeat and Ichabod did the same. "I'm sure I have a rug in storage I can replace it with. Are they still here?"

"Yes. Fortunately Ms. Leena came to my rescue and is keeping them entertained. I'd much rather be here with you."

"Cleaning a rug?"

"Yes," he said honestly, his blue eyes soft and sincere.

Abbie smiled and looked away. Sometimes he was just too intense, and it made her heart skip.

"I googled Mr. Frasier’s Restaurant. It's really nice... Upscale, close to The University..."

Ichabod furrowed his brow. "Are you trying to get rid of me?"

"No, not at all. I like having you here... It's just an amazing opportunity. Its good money. And I understand if it’s something you want to do."

"I'd have to take on a flat, and work long nights... I wouldn't get any research done or papers graded... Not to mention my office hours would be a nightmare... So I'd much rather stay here and help out where ever I can..." Ichabod brushed his fingers across her soft hands. "That is, as long as you'll have me."

"As long as you want to stay, I guess," Abbie grinned.

"Oh well then maybe I'll just wear out my welcome and stay forever."

Abbie liked the way that sounded even though she knew he was probably only teasing. Ichabod gently caressed her hand and pondered his words. One minute he was saying he wished she could go back to England with him and the next he was saying he wanted to stay. He felt as if his heart and mind were playing tricks on him.

"Abbie," Ichabod let out a deep breath. "I wish..."

"Whoa my god!" Caroline let out a giddy scream catching them off guard.

Ichabod held out his hand and helped Abbie up as Caroline came bustling into the room. Leena was right behind her.

"Look what I got!" Caroline waved a check and did a little dance. "A $200 tip! Who does that?"

"Mr. Frasier gave you a $200 tip?" Abbie's jaw dropped.

"He also booked the whole place for four days this Spring. He'll be here with his very wealthy buddies, and he's placing orders for 10 cases of wine for his Restaurant. And he said to give you this," Leena handed Abbie an envelope.

"What's this?" Abbie opened and found a note.

'Sorry for the damage. I look forward to seeing you in the Spring, if not sooner.

Frasier'

 

"It's a check for the damaged rug... It's too much," Abbie shook her head. "I can't take this."

"Yes you can. Standra did that on purpose and it's a $300 rug." Leena objected.

"And a thousand dollar check," Abbie countered. "We aren't a charity case."

"I don't think that's what this is," Leena took the check from her. "Standra was a real pain in the ass and he knows it. I think he was just making up for the trouble... And he's kind of taken a shine to you. You are keeping the check."

"Did you say something to him?" Abbie turned to Ichabod giving him a curious look.

"No, no... You charmed him all on your own. I merely told him that I am far too happy here to consider taking my leave."

~~~

 

3~ Familiar

 

It was late by the time the four finished cleaning the kitchen and keeping each other company over dessert. Abbie gave a gentle knock on the bathroom door before coming in.

"Feel free to enter," Ichabod called out to her. He steadied his breath as he saw her reflection in the mirror. She was all legs in her tiny silk robe, walking towards him. She had music playing on her phone and was doing a little dance. He shook his head at how adorable she was.

"I am just finishing up. I will be out of your way momentarily."

"No need to rush."

Abbie looked for a moment at his tall lean physique, his towel wrapped low around his hips. She bit her lip and averted her eyes as she joined him at the sink. They brushed their teeth casually like an old married couple, conversing about the day. Ten days they'd made it without a slip up, some days were easier than others. And some days they just got too comfortable being close.

"Thank you for tonight. The dinner auction was a great idea."

"No need to thank me," Ichabod said modestly.

"Are you kidding. We ended up making money and a really good contact. Mr. Frasier is such a nice guy... I don't know how he ended up with Standra and her mother."

"I pity him," Ichabod laughed. "But he did take a shine to you." He took her hand in his. " I can hardly blame him. Something about you..."

"What? Did I mysteriously put him under my charm?" Abbie looked up at him, drawing his gaze up to her lips.

"Like you did me?" He asked, closing the gap between them and putting his arms around her.

"That might be the other way around," Abbie breathed softly as his lips pressed against hers. Her hands slowly ran down his chest.

Ten days seemed an eternity, and they wanted each other so badly. He untied her robe and took a moment to look at her beautiful curves, before he lifted her onto the counter. Their breaths were heavy as they kissed wildly. Abbie's hands were just about to untie his towel when the music on her phone stopped, and it Buzzed. She was about to send it to voice mail. but when she glanced, she saw it was Luke. And Ichabod saw his name too. He kissed her again hoping she would ignore it, but she pulled away.

"Crane," Abbie knew with Thanksgiving in a few days, Luke was probably hoping to visit. The last thing she wanted was for him to show up. " I have to get this... I'm sorry..."

Abbie slipped out of his arms. Ichabod huffed, frustrated, but hardly felt he had the right to object. He pressed his hands against the vanity counter and took a deep breath.

Abbie quickly tied her robe and she mentally prepared herself, while Ichabod gathered his things.

"Hey, Luke," Abbie mouthed 'sorry' to Ichabod as he left the bathroom.

"Hey, Abs. I've missed you."

"Yeah... It's been a while."

"I was just wondering if I could stay with you for the Holidays."

"Luke..." Abbie rubbed her temple. "I don't think that's a good idea. Maybe you should see your family instead."

I plan to see them too, but I was thinking Lucas might like to see the farm. He misses you Abs."

Damn it, why did he have to play the kid card. "I miss him too, but what about Calista?"

Luke let out an exasperated sigh. "It's not that serious between us."

"And yet she's living with you," Abbie could feel her temper rising and did her best to keep it calm.

"Because you said we should see other people... I was lonely. What did you expect?"

"I expected you would jump on the first supermodel you stumbled upon and that's exactly what you did."

"So was this some kind of trap? Another excuse for you to say we should sign the papers?"

"No, I told you I wanted to just sign the papers and get it over with. You're the one who begged me to wait..."

"Because the only reason Gloria will let me have visitation rights with Lucas is because you and I are married."

"Luke, that's not my fault. You screwed that up on your own. And I agreed to wait a year. You need to be using this time to try and get joint custody on your own, with out me. That way you can have Lucas part time even after our divorce is final."

"I don't want a divorce Abbie. I'll be the only person in my family to be divorced! How do you think that makes me feel? Huh?"

"That's not a reason to stay married! You can't keep guilting me about signing the papers! I agreed to wait a year, for Lucas. I know you're hoping my feelings will change. But I haven't changed my mind, Luke. We want different things. Our lives are on two completely different paths."

"So you're going to go back on your word and sign the papers! I guess that's no surprise since you so willingly went back on our wedding vows!"

"That's not fair!

"Are you kidding me! Not fair!" Luke was at his whilst end and blew up. "What's not fair is you turning your back on me because I finally made it! You knew this was my dream and yet..."

Abbie lowered the phone and slumped down on the bathroom floor. She'd heard this argument a thousand times it seemed. And every time she felt more and more guilty. But she had tried to give up her life and everything she wanted for him. She knew a long time ago that it wasn't working and it wasn't going to work.

Luke finally stopped yelling when he heard her sobbing. "Abs... I'm sorry. It's just that the closer we get to this being finalized the more desperate I get. If you want me to give up Calista, I will. I'm not in love with her, I'm just lonely. I love you. Just, please don't ask me to give up The Majors."

~~~

Ichabod got dressed in his bedroom. The bad thing about sharing a bathroom was that he could hear her arguing with her soon to be ex-husband. It was muffled, but obvious, even when she started to cry.

He threw on his pajamas and put on a robe. It was cold outside on the balcony, but it was quiet. He could think out here under the crisp Autumn night sky. But all he could think about was Abbie.

~~~

 

4~ Light My Fire

It was the day before Thanksgiving. The Lake effect snow littered the ground and trees leaving a soft white dusting across the ground. Grace's Place B&B was busy with guests checking in, eager to come in from the cold.

Joe found Ichabod in the kitchen boxing up some pies.

"Thanks for letting me crash with you again, especially after last time."

"Think nothing of it," Ichabod gave him a friendly smile. "You're simply looking after your sisters well being. I cannot fault you for that."

"She's been through a lot and this place... Well... I've never seen her as happy as she is here. I just don't want to see her get hurt."

"That's the last thing I'd ever want to do."

 

"She's a grown woman so whatever she decides to do, is not my business." Joe grabbed a couple of drinks from the fridge and had a seat at the counter. He handed one to Ichabod and took a swallow. "But if you do hurt her, I'll have to kick your ass."

"Right..." Ichabod got the distinct feeling Joe wasn't joking. But he accepted the drink as a peace offering between them.

"By the way, you're girlfriend is here."

"Excuse me," Ichabod nearly choked. "My what now?"

"What's her name Sandra... Tandy... The girl from the college."

"Ugh... Standra," Ichabod rolled his eyes. "A grad student and hardly an acquaintance."

 

She's already driving Abbie up the wall." Joe laughed.

"I think I'll stay here in the kitchen where it is safe."

 

Standra and a couple of her friends checked in bright and early that morning. She'd relish in any opportunity to make things more challenging for Abbie, the woman whom Ichabod couldn't stop making heart eyes at all the time.

She asked for extra pillows, fresh towels straight out of the dryer, help with the thermostat after insisting it was wrong.

Leena was busy with check-in and she knew it was important for a B&B owner to greet all the guests and show them around and to their rooms. And Standra was determined to make that as difficult as possible for Abbie.

But Abbie was determined not to be rattled. She couldn't be. The business was going well, so far she'd had great reviews, and she was on track financially. The more Abbie put on a smile and floated around the B&B with happy smiling guests, the more her blood boiled. Then she got an idea. She decided it was time to let Abbie be and try something different.

"Is she still at it," Leena asked as she finished up at the front desk.

"I think I have her satiated for now," Abbie cringed. "At least she hasn't bugged me in the last half an hour. Have you seen Joe."

"He's in the kitchen with Iche."

"Are they getting along?" Abbie winced a little.

"I hope so. Their rooming together for the next few days. We should probably check on them," Leena shivered a bit and rubbed her arms.

"Are you chilly?" Abbie asked as they went towards the kitchen.

"I think it's just from having the front door opened."

They went into the kitchen to find Joe and Ichabod laughing and getting along just fine. They were just about to carry the boxes of pies to Joe's SUV to be delivered.

"This is a nice surprise," Abbie smiled, but then got a chill. "Did you guys have the door open?"

"Not yet," Joe zipped up his jacket. "We were just about to take these to my car."

"Is it just me or is it kind of cool in here."

"Now that you mention it..." Ichabod went to the thermostat just as one of the guests came into the kitchen.

"Excuse me, Ms. Mills... The tempura true in our room keeps dropping even though we've turned the thermostat up."

 

~~~

 

"It's busted up pretty good," Ash hated to give her the bad news.

"Can you fix it?" Abbie rubber hands together. The temperature in the house was dropping rapidly but the basement was particularly cold. Ichabod stood behind her and rubbed her arms to help keep her warm.

"I wish I could. I'm a mechanic but heating and air is not really my area. I made a few calls but it's impossible to get anyone out here the day before thanksgiving and with the Lake effect snow."

"I know," Abbie sighed. "I tried too. That's why I called you. If I go to the hardware store can you give it a try."

"For you I would Abbie, but I called a friend and... Well..." Ash pointed to a few areas. "These are completely broken. I don't know what happened here, but it's a mess. And this furnace is original to the house. You can't get these parts."

Abbie felt her heart sink. "Are you saying I need a new system?"

"Like I said, this isn't my area of expertise , but from what I’ve been advised... It looks that way."

"The good news is that you ran some duct work when you had the AC put in. So you can convert to a less expensive HVAC system a bit easier. You can get one big unit or a separate unit for each floor..."

"But how much is that going to cost?" Ichabod asked.

"Depends on if you just want a heating system alone or the HVAC... A place this size... Anywhere from twelve to forty grand. Ronnie says he can come out Friday and have a look."

"What do we do in the meantime?" Abbie was internally freaking out now." This place is booked and my guests are freezing."

"Do all of the fireplaces in the rooms work?" Ichabod asked.

"Yes," Abbie knew what he was thinking. She wasn't keen on the guests having actual fires lit in their rooms, but it was their best option.

~~~

 

Most of the guests were gathered in the living room and three-seasons room, where the fireplaces were already lit, and the rooms were toasty. Most of the men had gathered around the television to watch a football game. While Little by little the women started to gather around the bay window of the three seasons room. They sipped their wine and were practically drooling.

"What's going on?" Abbie whispered to Leena after noticing the shift to the window.

"See for yourself," Leena tried to hold in her snicker as she took Abbie to the window.

"Oh my," Abbie grinned ear to ear.

Nick and Ichabod were in the back yard, sleeves rolled up, shirts unbuttoned, chopping away and carrying logs to be used for the fire.

They're were audible gasps and moans when Nick took his shirt off.

"I'm never leaving," one of the older ladies whispered.

The women ran to snatch the men up as they came in with arms full of wood. Standra immediately clung to Ichabod as they all went up to the rooms.

Standra called him back to her suite five times through-out the afternoon to get the fire and the room temperature just right. Finally he had to insist she call Joe or Nick if she needed further assistance because he had to get some cooking done. Standra followed him out of the room.

"Why are you cooking for her? I thought you said it was her business. Let her handle it."

"Standra... Ms. Mills and I are partners in this. I have to do all I can to ensure this place turns a good profit... I need to do more now that the furnace has gone down."

"Just take the money from her profits. It's the cost of doing business. Maybe she took on more than she can handle."

"I beg your pardon, Miss Standra. But the property is my responsibility. If the furnace is broken it’s my responsibility to have it replaced. If the business loses money because I failed to properly keep the property maintained... That is entirely my fault. Now I have to come up with a solution."

Standra was taken aback. When she got the idea to break the furnace, she thought it would hurt Abbie, not Ichabod. For the first time she saw in his eyes just how stressed out he was about it. His blue eyes usually sparkled, but they were now heavy with lines of stress underneath.

"Iche... I had no idea," Standra put her hand on his shoulder, never missing an opportunity. "If you want, I can talk to my step-dad. I'm sure the offer still stands to work at his Restaurant."

"I really don't have the kind of time required to take on such a commitment. My priorities must be my job at the University and here at Grace's Place. Now if you will excuse me."

~~~

Caroline and Joe returned an hour later from delivering the pies, and went to the back yard to help Abbie, Nick and Ichabod prepare more firewood. They would need plenty to keep the house warm until the unit could be replaced.

Standra grimaced when she looked out of her bedroom window and saw the group laughing and having fun in the light snow. Her plan to make a stressful holiday season for Abbie while winning over Ichabod was failing miserably.

It was freezing cold out but Ichabod appeared to be singing while twirling Abbie around. He dipped her low and the two fell in the snow. They laughed as Abbie reached and flicked a hand full of soft white flakes at him.

"So are they dating or what?" Kim asked as she joined Standra by the window. "Because they sure do look kind of cozy together.

"No, of course not. She's married to a famous baseball player," Standra scowled. She'd find a way to get Ichabod out of Abbie's clutches, one way or another.

 

 

~~~

 

5~ Thanksgiving

 

"Good morrow, John," Ichabod was surprised to see his friend up early and in the kitchen with Leena. "What time did your flight arrive?"

"Oh, not long ago," John was vague.

"We are up and ready to help get these dinner started," Leena quickly interrupted.

Joe and Abbie came down later and started helping. Even Nick and Caroline showed early jus to help out around the B&B and to sample everything that Ichabod was cooking.

Abbie loved watching Ichabod in the kitchen. He was masterful, not only with cooking, but teaching Leena. They were like a chef and sous-chef while everyone else was just having fun and tasting everything.

Standra walked to the kitchen and saw everyone enjoying themselves. But it was a bitter pill to swallow when she saw how close Ichabod and Abbie were again. His eyes lit up every time he looked at her. When he stood behind her and put his hand over hers to mix the corn bread batter, Standra let out a groan. Everyone looked up noticing her for the first time.

"Um, excuse me Abbie," Standra fidgeted awkwardly. "We'll need fresh towels in our room when we return."

"I'll get those for her," Caroline gave Abbie and Ichabod a wink. "You two keep doing what you're doing.

Standra twisted her lip and stormed off. Everyone waited until she was gone before they let out their snickers.

"Seriously, what is her problem?" Nick asked.

Caroline thumbed in Ichabod and Abbie's direction.

 

They set up a buffet Thanksgiving Dinner for one of the families staying at Grace's Place, while they had their dinner in the Three Seasons room. It was a first for John and Ichabod, but they really enjoyed the gathering and meal with friends. It was cozy, having their dinner by the fireplace with candles lit and plenty of wine.

After dinner the music started and then the dancing. Ichabod put on an oldie from Etta James and let Leena and John show the younger ones how they used to dance back in the day.

Abbie sang along as Ichabod took her by the hands and slowly danced with her. The line between friends and lovers was constantly being blurred between the two of them. They loved to be close, and at times they could forget anyone else was around and get lost in each other.

 

~~~

 

6 ~ For Love

 

It was well after midnight and Abbie couldn't sleep. She walked through the house one last time making sure everything was secured. It made her nervous that they were depending solely on the fireplaces to heat the mansion.

She saw the light on in the living room and was about to turn it off when she saw Ichabod sitting on the sofa reading through papers.

"Good evening, Treasure," Ichabod smiled as he looked up. He quickly tucked the paper he was working on into the back of the book and closed it.

"I didn't mean to disturb you," Abbie apologized. She smiled seeing him with his glasses on. "I'll leave you to your work."

"No please come sit with me, if you have the time," he waved her in. "I'm not grading papers."

What are you working on?"

"I was just... well... reminiscing," Ichabod smiled. It wasn't a complete lie and there was no need for her to know exactly what he was doing. "I'd been hoping for an opportunity to show you this."

Abbie sat her cup of tea on the small table and cozied up next to him. "What is all this?"

"This is Bellington Estate," Ichabod turned to the first page of the portfolio.

"Oh my gosh... This is unbelievable. It's like something out of a fairytale," Abbie smiled.

"This is where my brother and I were born, my father and his brother... My grandfather and his sister... It's been in the Crane family for centuries."

Abbie listened to Ichabod go on about what a wonderful place it was to grow up and all of his fond memories of his late mother and father. She realized in that moment how strong his attachment to his home was, he would most certainly go back home when this was all over.

 

"It's huge!" Abbie gasped. "How many of you live here?"

"It's myself, brother and my grandmother. But my cousins frequently visit. We only live in this portion, since it’s the only part that's been restored so far. I have quite a lot to do to get the entire place restored.

"I can't even imagine how costly that would be. It's a huge undertaking."

"It is, but I have to make it work. I can't be the one who loses this place after it’s been in our family for generations. But being here and seeing everything you've accomplished is encouraging."

"Have you considered turning this into an inn or a hotel to generate income. Not the whole thing of course, but maybe just the North wing since your home is in the south wing. Look at how it's positioned. With this view of the river... It be a perfect venue for weddings."

"I haven’t really considered it... with work and my own studies, trying to run a business seems daunting. I know I’ll have to do something because the Estate won't last long if it can’t generate an income."

"You should think about it. And you have so many beautiful paintings and vases... You could have a showroom in the East Hall, throw banquets and balls in the West Hall... The possibilities are endless."

Ichabod loved the way her eyes lit up when she talked about what could be done to the estate. She had such vision and enthusiasm that he really was starting to think it was possible to restore Bellington to its former glory and sustain it. Her smile faded when she saw a piece of paper slip out of the back of the portfolio.

"What's this?" Abbie furrowed her brow.

Ichabod quickly reached to grab the paper from her, but she was quick and stood to her feet.
"Slated for auction... Pair of Giuliano vases... $10-$12 grand. Hollister painting, $8-$10 grand... These are over two hundred years old. Why are you auctioning these?"

Ichabod was silent.

"Please tell me you are not selling these to pay for a furnace..." Abbie looked at him like he'd lost his mind. "For a furnace?"

"We need a furnace... These items are collecting dust." Ichabod tried to play it off. He was a history professor. He knew very well what it meant to sell of valuable and historical parts of the Estate. "

"You don't sell antiques for a furnace, Crane. What are you thinking?"

"I'm being practical." Ichabod remained calm. "The fact is, I've been considering selling these items, and several others anyway."

"These items are incredibly valuable, not just monetarily. They are a part of what makes the estate... They are a part of Bellington."

"Now you sound like John, as if I need it to be explained to me how important each piece is to Bellington. Trust me, I understand. But there are other things that are important... Things that matter more than an object. So if I have to sell a few things, so be it."

"Why would you do that?" Abbie looked perplexed.

"Because I love..."

"No... No, no, no...." Abbie shook her head. "Don't say that. Because I can't be the reason you start picking your legacy apart and selling it off."

It was as if her eyes had been opened and she was seeing their situation truly as it was for the first time. It was as if she knew it in her head, understood it on some level even, but seeing Bellington, hearing him speak about it and how much it meant to him... It changed her perspective.

"Abbie?" Ichabod didn't like the look she gave him. "It's just a few items... The estate can withstand a small amount of liquidation..."

"No, that's why you came here. Everything at Bellington is a part of the body, and selling off parts of it is like chopping off a hand or a foot. It damages it. But Grace's Place isn't a part of it. That's why you were advised to sell this property and not pieces of Bellington."

"It's a small sacrifice to make in the long run..."

"I have to go..." Abbie put his paper down and left.

"Abbie?" He called after her as he gathered his papers, but she was gone too fast. He left everything there and hurried after her.

The last thing Ichabod wanted to do was wake the guests, but he had to talk to her. He ran outside in the cold and knocked on her door.

"Abbie, please open the door so that we can talk." He knocked again. "Abbie please!"

"What the hell is going on?" Joe opened Ichabod's door.

"Damn..." Ichabod swore under his breath. Joe seemed to have the worst timing.

"Why are you banging on my sisters door at two in the morning?"

"I... We just have a slight misunderstanding that must be cleared up directly."

"Doesn't look like Abbie wants to talk to you, so why don't you just back off?"

"Hey, Joey," Abbie opened her door. "It's fine. Go back to bed... Crane come on in."

"You sure Abs?"

"Yeah, Joe. We're good."

Ichabod paved for a moment after he closed the door. "Abbie why did you leave when we were talking?"

"Because I didn't like where the conversation was going."

"Why? What is so terrible about giving up a few things for the person you love?"

"It's not just a few things... They're important and... You're going to regret this."

"I won't ever regret doing what I can for you. Why do you think that?"

"Because, I've been in your shoes." Abbie sat on the edge of her bed and ran her hands down her face.

"I was you six years ago. When I married Luke he was working hard to get into the Majors and I was supportive. Even though he knew I wanted this place. When Mr. Crane died five years ago and left me the House, was the same time Luke got his big break. I followed him, gave up my job and any hope of fixing this place up, so that I could be with my husband. And I was miserable. Our lives were under a microscope, there were wild parties, and women clamoring all over him. Little by little I started to resent him, because he was living his dream and I lost myself. It wasn't until August died and I realized, life was too short... I left him."

Ichabod sat beside her and took her hand. "I will never regret our time together or resent you."

"You don't know that Crane. It happened to me..."

"You were following your husband, trying to do the right thing. And it sounds like he wasn't very considerate of your needs or your dreams. You and I… our situation is very different. From the moment I came back, you have been more than understanding of the predicament I am in and have been so gracious and helpful..."

"Me? Crane, you have been amazing."

"It's you, Abbie, and this place... I don't mean to sound corny, but it speaks to me."

Abbie let out a soft chuckle making him smile. He tenderly kissed her hand.

"It's true. I can't explain it, but from the very moment I met you, I've been captivated. And when I first came to Grace's Place... It felt like home. It was that same feeling I get when I return to Bellington after a stay at Oxford. It was completely unexpected. You've done something special here. You've poured your heart and soul into it and it shows, but it can tangibly be felt. So, when I say that I want to sell a few things to help, because I love you... please trust me. I will not regret it, because this is important to me, you are important to me."

"Damn it, Crane," Abbie stood up and paced in front of him.

"Did I say something wrong?" He seemed perplexed as he tried to read her expression.

"Yes! Everything..." Abbie shook her head. "You're just making this harder for the both of us."

"I'm so sorry... I should be going..."

He started to get up but Abbie stood before him. "I don't want you to go."

"What do you want," Ichabod swallowed hard as she stepped between his legs.

Abbie kissed him as she hastily unbuttoned his shirt, then his pants. Ichabod caressed her body, panting heavily as their tongues mingled and danced in each other’s mouths. They could barely catch their breaths as the eleven days of abstaining came to an abrupt end. There was no stopping them. He slipped her panties off as she straddled on his lap. He slid his fingers between her thighs, feeling how wet her lips were before slipping his digits into her.

Abbie moaned heavy into his mouth as he massaged inside her, her body rocking against his hand as they kissed.

He pulled her shirt off of her kissing her neck then her breasts, almost high off of her scent as he tasted her. Ichabod laid back with her on top of him, letting her breast free to bounce as she ground her body into him. He removed his fingers from inside of her, tasting her before kissing her again. Abbie stroked his cock then lowered herself onto it, sliding down and letting him stretch her walls.

 

God you feel so good," his voice was low and heavy as he looked up at her. He loved the way it felt inside her and the way her head tilted lazily with each stride.

His hips bucked upwards as she rode him, moaning, grinding, and winding into him, as he hit her spot. He had one hand firm on her hip, the other clenched her breast as she leaned back, taking every inch of him. He was hitting her spot just right. She made the most sinfully delightful sounds as his hips rose to meet her stride.

 

“Oh you are perfection!” he growled.

"Mmm... So good..." Abbie moaned as his thumb toyed with her clit.

Abbie reached back, grabbing his thighs as her hips worked faster and faster until her legs quivered and she came.

Ichabod loved watching her come, the way her lips pursed and her eyes fluttered as she reached her high.

He turned her onto her back, pressing himself full tilt into her, making her climax harder higher, until she was delirious with pleasure. He held her hands in his, as each stroke brought him closer to the edge. Her wet walls clenched around his cock until he too was overcome with pure bliss. They kissed as he found his release, filling her until he was spent.

He pulled her into his arms holding her close as they took a moment to catch their breaths.

"You're quiet," Abbie mused as she rested her cheek against his chest.

Ichabod let out a sigh as he brushed the soft skin on her shoulder. "I was thinking... what we are doing isn't working."

"I know..." Abbie gently ran her finger down his chest.

"Then maybe we stop trying to fight what we both want?"

"No... Crane, you're already making decisions based on your feelings for me."

"Then, I promise that every decision I make will be based on sound logical reasoning."

"The smart thing to do is wait, but... I want you."

"And I want you... The thought of being with you consumes me. And when we are together, like this, I never want it to end."

"We'll figure it out. But for now... I want you to stay with me tonight." Abbie looked up at him coyly.

That I certainly can do," Ichabod rolled her on her back kissing her. "Your brother is going to kill me."

~*~

Chapter Text

image

~ Intro ~

 

"Oh... Yes!" Abbie screamed as he pressed into her.

Ichabod felt light headed and moaned heavy, at the sensation of her walls engulfing his thick rod. She had her back to the wall, one leg over his shoulder and the other around his narrow hips as he pounded into her.

"Who's is it?" He growled, heavy. He wanted to hear her say it, to forget Luke ever existed.

"Yours," Abbie barely managed through heavy panting. She was coming again, her legs quivering as he rapidly thrust into her.

It was a strange turn of events that led to this moment. But they needed this. Right here, right now, in the poorhouse, they were looking for an escape, a moment to connect before he went away.

 

 

~*~

 

1~ Gone Viral

 

Abbie woke up to her phone buzzing. She glanced over to see it was Luke, again. He'd been at it all night. She figured he was probably drunk on holiday nog and calling to try and rekindle something.

"Are you going to answer?" Ichabod's early morning voice was groggy.

"Nope." Abbie grinned as Ichabod kissed her neck and bare breasts. "I'm going to do more of this."

"So... Before we do this again," Ichabod playfully kissed at her nipples, teasing her. "Are we going to decide if we are going to be a thing?"

"Are you going to be my boyfriend?" Abbie grinned.

"I want to be... And I want for you to be my girlfriend. I know it's complicated, but our feelings are already there... I think it's too late to stop this train."

"I think you're right, but... I need to talk to you first... about why I haven't signed the divorce papers."

"Oh... Okay..." Ichabod sat up.

She was about to explain, when there was a knock at the door.

"Abbie open up," Joe called out sounding urgent.

"I should probably go..." Ichabod started to get up.

"No... If we are going to consider trying ‘this’, us being a couple thing, Joe will have to get used to it," Abbie opened the door.

"Hey, Abs... He's got to go."

"Joe really, I think you're being..."

"No Abbie. I get it. You two are crazy about each other. I mean he's got to go because Luke is on his way."

"I told Luke not to come..."

"He's bringing Lucas, and his mom and dad!"

"What? Are you kidding?"

 

"No he says he's been trying to call you all night. He called me a little while ago totally pissed off. Gloria is threatening to take Lucas and not let him see him anymore."

"Why?"

"Because of this," Joe pulled out his phone.

TMZ and Radar had pictures of Abbie hugging and snuggling up with Ichabod. Abbie was surprised that anyone even knew who she was. But they sure did know her husband and the story ran, Rumors of Padres New Star Pitcher Divorce Confirmed. Pitchers Wife in Torrid Affair with College Professor. Play Boy Pitcher Drives Wife Into Another Man's Arms.

"This isn't happening," Abbie grabbed her phone to call Luke, but it was too late. They were only twenty minutes away.

 

~~~

 

2 ~ Ready Or Not

 

"So this whole time, the reason you won't sign the divorce papers is so Luke can keep visitation with his 8-year-old son?" Leena shook her head.

Abbie was in the Kitchen with her closest friends as they started shifting things around to make sleeping arrangements. The question obviously was why are they doing this for the guy, when it would literally take five seconds to be divorced from.

"Yeah," Abbie let out a sigh. "Don't tell him I told you this, because he's so ashamed of it... But, when Lucas was less than a year old, on his weekend, Luke went to a party and got drunk. He picked up Lucas from the sitter and got into a car accident. Gloria understandably was a wreck and sued him for sole custody and the courts revoked his parental rights.

Gloria allowed him supervised visitation, but his parents let Luke take Lucas, so she ended that too. Luke and I met and started dating after his suspension was over. A year later we got married and that's when Gloria allowed me to be the supervisor and guardian of the visitation. Not Luke's parents... Because, well, they baby him and would let him go with Lucas. She trusted me."

"So now, if she knows about the divorce, Luke and his parents won't be able to see his son."

"Exactly," Abbie shrugged. "I told Luke he needs to work this out, sue for visitation if he needs to... But he's in California most of the time and he still parties. He is a really good dad away from that scene. He's never been drunk around Lucas since that incident."

 

Ichabod was silent as Abbie explained. He hated the sleeping arraignments. The guests were checking out of the pool house, so Ichabod and Joe were staying there, while Luke's parents took Ichabod's room. Lucas would be on the sofa bed in Abbie's apartment. But he wanted to know exactly where Luke was sleeping.

"I can't believe I have to put up with this," Abbie grumbled.

"I think we know who sent those pictures to the tabloids," Leena was pissed. "That damn Standra needs to mind her business."

"I know. I wish I had proof so I could throw her ass out," Abbie grumbled as she looked at the time. "Damn... They'll be here any minute and I still have to call a repairman for the heater."

"You take care of your family situation. I'll call about the heating unit."

"Thanks," Abbie wanted to give him a hug but he swiftly walked out of the kitchen.

"Abigail! Hola, mija!" Luke's mother came right in the front door, excited to see her daughter-in-law.

"Hi, Mrs. Moral... Mom," Abbie corrected herself. It didn't feel right to call her mom, but she knew Marta would be offended if she didn't.

"Abbie!" Lucas ran past his grandmother and gave Abbie a hug.

 

Mrs. Morales hugged them both followed by her husband. They were talking a mile a minute as they gave her kisses on the cheeks. Luke hung back a bit, waiting to see how Abbie would react to him dropping his family at her doorstep. He tried not to stare but she was even more lovely than the last time he saw her.

Joe and Leena slipped out quietly, making their escape before Mrs. Morales could get her hands on them.

"You look so beautiful," Mr. Morales. "Doesn't she look beautiful, Lou?"

"Yes," he gently squeezed her cheeks. "So beautiful... But thin."

"I'll cook... I know how much you love my enchiladas... Oh this kitchen is very nice..."

"Luke, come and give your beautiful wife a kiss," Mr. Morales pulled his son into the family hug."

"Dad, you're embarrassing her," Luke went in for an awkward cheek kiss."

"Where has that brother of yours gotten off to? Joseph!" Marta called for him. "Has he met a nice young man yet? My nephew Julio is single again. I should show Joseph a picture of him. He's so handsome. Joseph!"

Joe was all the way in the living room headed out the back door to the pool house and could hear Mrs. Morales calling, but he kept going.

 

"How about I show you to your room and get you settled in first." Abbie suggested. Poor Joe. Marta was always trying to fix him up.

~~~

 

3 ~ Forgotten Relations

 

It was noon in England when Katrina arrived at the nursing home to pick up Grandma Crane.

A few weeks earlier she learned through Abraham that Ichabod was seeing an American girl while he was working at Oxford. He described her as pretty and kind and told about how Abbie took care of Ichabod's grandfather when he was lonely and dying. Katrina burned with jealousy fearing that she lost Ichabod for good.

But then fate intervened.

 

It had been a timely call she received a month ago that the elderly woman was growing depressed from not being able to go home. Ichabod could only afford to have the home care nurse and transportation done once a month. Since Ichabod had forgotten to take Katrina of the care and contact list, she was the nearest caregiver they could call.

Katrina seized on the opportunity. Surely if Ichabod admired this stranger of a woman for caring for his deadbeat grandfather, he'd really love her for taking care of his dear grandmother.

She'd done it once before and it wasn't too bad, taking care of Mrs. Crane for a couple of days. But this time she wanted to enjoy the fruits of her labor. She put her phone on blue tooth and called him as she drove back to Bellington Estate.

~~~

Ichabod finished his phone call with the repair company, and was taking his bags to the pool house. Joe was already there trying to keep his distance from the family drama and avoid Mrs. Morales trying to fix him up with every gay man she knew of.

Ichabod got settled in but the last thing he wanted or expected was a call from Katrina. They hadn't spoken since their break up in July. When he went back to England for the end of the summer break, she had been in the south of France. He was already having a bad morning with Luke's arrival, and the outrageous cost to replace the heating system, and now this.

"Hello," his voice was flat.

"Ichabod, my love, how are you?"

"I am well... But I don't think it's appropriate for you to refer to me..."

"Oh, it's habit... Pay it no mind."

"Katrina, why are you calling me?"

"Well, nice to hear from you too," Katrina dryly joked. "I'm with your grandmother. I picked her up this morning and we're going to spend the weekend at Bellington."

"Why on earth are you taking her to Bellington?"

"Because, you only have it arranged for a nurse to bring her once a month and she misses being at home."

"Once a month is all I can afford at the moment... What I mean is why are YOU taking her? We've broken up."

"Have we really? This has been more of a much needed time out, or a separation of sorts..."

"Katrina! Why do you have my grandmother?"

"Because you still have me on her contact and care list. I'm still authorized to check her out of the Assisted Living Home. So when your grandmother was becoming depressed a couple of weeks ago. They asked me if I could come get her."

"And you agreed?" Ichabod was stunned. Katrina wasn't exactly the caring and giving type.

"Yes. And we had a fine time then. So when they asked if I could pick her up again, I thought it would be lovely. We are on our way now. Surely you're not upset." Katrina glanced over to the petite woman in her seventies, as she slept in the seat beside her.

"Well... I just don't know how appropriate this is with our current situation."

"Whatever our situation, your grandmother needed time at home, and I happen to have the time to help her. But I was calling because, she misses you and Jeremy. I was hoping one of you could come this weekend. She hasn't seen either of you since August. It's almost December."

"I don't think I can send Jeremy right now... He's very busy..."

"Then you should come. I know the American schools are on Holiday at the moment."

"Yes... Thanksgiving was yesterday, and school is out until Tuesday... I suppose I could."

"Good! I was looking online and I can get you a flight this afternoon. I know your finances are tight at the moment."

"I can afford the flight, so don't bother," Ichabod had already decided to sell a couple of items. This would also give him a chance to take a look at the estate inventory. "Tell Gran I'll be there tonight."

Ichabod hung up, and realized he'd had the whole conversation, with Joe in the room. Joe was just sitting on the sofa staring at him.

"I um... I’m Going to England for a couple of days..."

"Mmhmm..." Joe sat straight faced.

"Grams has been a bit down... So..."

"Mmhmm..." Joe was going to do his best to stay out of it, but he was not liking what was going on.

~~~

Abbie showed Luke's family around the house, and his parents gushed on and on about how impressed and proud they were of Abbie. It was hard, because they were always so nice to her. She adored them, and they absolutely adored her. They were older, in their early sixty's and Luke was their youngest of five boys. He was their baby boy and to them Abbie was their baby girl. She really wished that Luke hadn't brought them along.

She showed them to Ichabod's room, before taking Luke to her apartment.

"I can't thank you enough for doing this Abbie. Gloria called and said she saw the tabloids, and was coming to take Lucas if we weren't with you... I panicked."

Abbie was too frustrated to say something like 'no worries' or 'I don't mind', because those would be lies.

 

"We'll all have to share a bathroom, but there are restrooms in the B&B you can all use. You can sleep on the pull out couch down here with Lucas."

"Oh... Abs, if Lucas tells Gloria that I was sleeping on the pullout sofa with him. Surely we can share a bed..."

"You know what Luke," Abbie took a deep breath and fought to keep her temper. "I didn't want to do this in the first place, but I will go along with it for now. But don't push me!"

"I'm sorry... I know I'm asking a lot, but I can sleep on the floor in your room."

Abbie sighed and threw up her hands. "Fine."

The truth was, she adored the Morales Family. They were this picture perfect, warm, loving Latino family. When she and Luke started dating, Marta had instantly treated her like a daughter and did everything she could to make sure Abbie felt like a part of the family. Hell, Marta and Lou were a major part of why Abbie so easily said yes to marrying Luke. She was happy in Sleepy Hollow with the Morales and the Corbins. She finally had the family she’d always wanted. Once she was in California, with just her and Luke and Luke's dreams for fame... She was miserable.

"There's a small sofa if you don't want to sleep on the floor. But Luke... This doesn't change anything between us."

"I understand," Luke looked like he'd been kicked in the gut. "It's just, my parents don't know... It would break their hearts and you know mami... She either loves you or hates you."

"Oh, I know," Abbie was well aware that Gloria was basically on Mrs. Morales's hit list for taking Lucas away from them. If she knew about the divorce she might burn everything down in a blind rage. "How long are you staying?"

"Lucas doesn't have to be back at school until Tuesday morning, so as long as Gloria will let you and me keep him."

"And what do you plan to do during Christmas Break?"

"I was hoping we could come here? Please?" Luke was a pleading with his eyes and tone.

"Luke..."

"Abs, please! Now that I'm in California, I get Thanksgiving, part of Christmas and a few days during spring break. If it doesn't interfere with Spring training."

"You could live in New York during the offseason, and prove to Gloria you've changed!"

"My life is in California, Abs. I'm going to be featured on a Reggaeton Album, and I have a cameo in two movies. My baseball career taking off, has been the biggest opportunity of my life... I can't come back right now. And Gloria won't let me take Lucas to Cali without you. This is all I get with my son... I need you."

"I'll do Christmas, but you have to figure something else out by Spring break. The one year I promised is almost up, and I'm ready to move on. You have to fix your own life.

 

~~~

 

4~ Killed With Kindness

 

Luke and Abbie headed downstairs to find his parents. The faint sweet aeroma coming from the kitchen drew them in that direction.

They walked in to see Ichabod and Mrs. Morales fixing up batches of her family favorite churros. They were all smiles and chatty until Ichabod and look saw each other.

"So where do you stay?" Marta was asking him.

"I stay in the pool house," Ichabod thought it best not to mention that they had his room and he shared close quarters and a bathroom with Abbie.

"Oh, in the pool house with Joseph," Marta smiled. She adored Abbie’s brother Joe and was happy if he and Ichabod were together..

 

"Yes, ma'am." Ichabod answered, as he whipped up a chocolate and a raspberry sauce to accompany her churros.

Ichabod was handsome and smart. Marta thought Joe was a good, hard working, young man. It made her happy to know Abbie's brother finally had someone in his life. She was about to ask more questions, when she saw Abbie and Luke.

"Abbie, look what we made for you!" Mrs. Morales was all smiles, as she went over and practically fed Abbie the sweet pastry. "I know it's your favorite."

"Oh... These are so good," Abbie nodded, but her eyes were concerned about the daggers that Ichabod and Luke's eyes were shooting at each other.

"I was just telling your friend that the Kitchen will be in good hands while he's gone for the weekend." Mrs. Morales was beaming, pleased that Abbie still enjoyed her cooking.

"Wait... What do you mean gone for the weekend?"

"I'm going to England to see my grandmother."

Abbie looked as if her heart had been ripped clean out of her chest.

"Oh... Don't choke on your Churro mija," Mrs. Morales gently rubbed Abbie's back.

 

They all went into the living room to enjoy the sweet snack and chat. Ichabod tried to get out of it, but Mrs. Morales was quite smitten with the young man who could cook.

"Why are you going to England," Abbie asked trying not to sound desperate, but she was internally freaking out.

"At the moment I am feeling a bit homesick. And Grams is missing me quite dreadfully. Katrina is with her now, but she really wants me there."

Katrina? His ex-fiance Katrina? Oh HELLL NO! Abbie's mind was screaming but she sat staring at him like he had two heads.

"Mr. Crane, your grandmother must be so proud of you... Such a smart young man... College professor and chef..."

"Please, call me Ichabod... Or Iche. And yes, Grams is very proud of me."

"There is something to be said about a man who knows his way around a kitchen. I'm not so old-fashioned you know. I love when Lou cooks with me."

"She does," Lou raised his brow and gave the guys a nod as if to let them know that's how you get lucky at night.

"You're going to make someone very happy one day, Ichabod," Mrs. Morales smiles. "We really got lucky with our Abbie."

Oh god kill me know... Was the thought running through Ichabod's mind.

"Did you know she worked with the Sheriff's Department while putting herself through college?"

"I did," Ichabod nodded, and gave Abbie the sweetest heart eyes. "She is a treasure," he managed.

"Yes and so is her brother..." Marta really thought Ichabod and Joe were a couple. "Where is Joseph?"

Luke imagined walking over punching Ichabod right in the head, but he kept those thoughts to himself. "Mami, stop you're embarrassing the guy."

"Oh, Luke," Mrs. Morales went to him and patted his cheek. "You know there is no one more precious to me than you and Lucas." She peppered kissed all over his cheeks.

"Ma, stop," Luke smiled.

"Two movies, Abbie... My baby boy is going to be in two movies, isn't that exciting!"

Abbie nodded her agreement, smiling to hide her unease.

"It's just two small roles..." Luke was faking at being humble. He really was thrilled beyond belief at how his career was shaping up.

I'm going to call for a cab," Ichabod tried to politely excuse himself. "I have to leave in an hour..."

"Nonsense about calling a cab. Lou and Luke will drive you to the airport." Mrs. Morales offered her husband and son's services.

"I couldn't possibly," Ichabod feared he would strangle Luke for ruining his weekend with Abbie.

He'd already been dreaming of them keeping warm by making love by the fireplace all weekend long. Now his dreams were being shattered. He didn't want to be stuck in a car with Luke for half an hour.

"No use arguing with her Ichabod," Lou smiled.

"And it'll give me a chance to catch up with my beautiful daughter. We can start talking about you two making babies."

"Mami!" Luke looked apologetically at Abbie.

"Mijo, Lucas needs brothers and sisters," Lou agreed.

"We need more girls," Mrs. Morales patted Abbie's cheek. "And they'd be so beautiful just like Abbie. You know I had five boys and always wanted a girl..."

 

"Oh! My! GOD! It's Luke Morales!" Kim screamed as she, Standra, and Heather walked by the living room. They all a screeched wildly.

Everyone in the living room went to attention after the horrendous squealing.

Their screams got the attention of other house guests who now came from the dining room and three-seasons room to see what was the commotion.

In no time at all Luke was bombarded by guests who wanted his picture or autograph.

Soon Abbie got pulled into pictures, as most of the guests were surprised that she had a famous husband.

Standra smiled with glee as she got her picture taken with Luke. When she sent the pictures of Ichabod and Abbie in to TMZ, she had no idea it would work this well.

She only hoped to cause Abbie more grief, and drama. But having the Morales family show up and shut Ichabbie down, was more than she could have hoped for.

Ichabod finally was able to slip away. He went out the back door towards the pool house and was pegged by a snowball.

He turned to see two boys giggling. His face was stern because of his bad mood and the boys immediately stopped laughing.

"Sorry Mr." Lucas called out hoping he wasn't in trouble.

Ichabod turned to keep walking but then stopped. He sucked in a deep breath of cold air and let it out before he looked back at Lucas raised a brow giving them a side grin. Then he bent down and picked up a ball of soft snow, smiled, and tossed it at Lucas. The snowball fight was on at this point, and two other kids joined in, pelting balls of white fluff at each other. They laughed and dodged around the backyard. Ichabod was fairly spry on his long legs. They had a great time and this was just the stress reliever he needed.

 

~~~

 

5 ~ Moment Like This

 

Abbie finally made her way out, hoping to get a chance to ask Ichabod to stay, but instead found herself in a minefield. All she could do was toss a couple of snowballs back at Lucas and the boys then run for cover. She hadn't put on a coat, so Ichabod came to her rescue shielding her from the next two balls that came their way from Lucas and the other boys.

Finally, laughing and breathing heavy, they slipped away to the pool house, shaking the snow from their clothes.

"You have a little in your hair," Ichabod brushed the snow from her hair and cheek. His finger softly crossed to her lips as her sad brown eyes looked up at him.

He'd do anything to take away the sadness but there was no way he was staying here with Luke and the gang.

He leaned in kissing her tenderly. The cool chill of her lips was an immediate contrast to the warmth of her mouth as his tongue slipped inside. She pulled him into her, forcing her back against the wall. Her hands ran up his chest then slid his jacket off of his shoulders letting it fall to the ground.

His hands caressed her cheeks as his mouth pressed against hers, wide open and sucking his tongue. She got him hard and he made her wet as his groin pressed against her.

In moments they were nearly completely undressed. She squatted down taking his manhood in her hand and stroking it. he was already hard and her wet mouth wrapped around him, got him stiff as a metal rod.

"My god, you feel so damn good..." He felt delirious with pleasure as she drove him wild with her lips and tongue. her soft brown eyes looking up at him nearly had him undone.

"I have to taste you," he growled as she brought him too close to the edge. He was not going to come before he had her.

Ichabod pulled her up, pressed her back against the wall, and kissed down her body. She panted wildly as he sucked at her firm plump breasts, her hands ran ferociously through his hair. He pinched and squeezed playfully delighting in the feel of her soft skin. She loved the way his hands and lips felt on her body, the way the whiskers of his beard tickled her skin.

He slid one hand down between her thighs, sliding his fingers back and forth against the slick wet folds and the bud of her clit. She was practically whimpering at his touch and anticipating what those digits would do inside her.

She let out a soft moan as he slid one digit inside the slick entrance, and then out again, he began going faster, hitting her spot and making her moan louder.

Ichabod couldn't resist her any longer. He got down on one knee, putting one of her legs over his shoulder, and kissed at the soft wet folds. His tongue licked and flicked at her slit and clit, before taking her bud into his mouth and gently sucking.

"Oh... My....god..." Abbie whimpered as a wave of bliss rushed over her body.

She came hard in his mouth and he delighted in her. Then he stood, lifting her from the ground and angled his cock into her chasm.

"Oh... Yes!" Abbie screamed as he pressed into her.

He felt light headed and moaned heavy, at the sensation of her walls engulfing his thick rod. She had one leg over his shoulder and the other around his narrow hips as he pounded into her.

"Who's is it?" He growled, heavy. He wanted to hear her say it, to forget Luke ever existed.

"Yours," Abbie barely managed through heavy panting. She was coming again, her legs quivering as he rapidly thrust into her.

He carried her to the bar stool and bent her over, spreading her legs wide, and ate her from behind. She moaned heavy, almost crawling on the bar as he tongued and sucked.

"Don't run away from me," Ichabod stood behind her and grabbed her hips. He thrust his cock into her again as she held onto the bar for dear life. She was barely able to breathe, as her mind and body went over the edge, succumbing to the shower of ecstasy.

You like it!" He moaned heavy behind her. He cocked one foot up on the bar footrest as he held her hips firm and drilled her.

"Ye... yes... oh fuck.." Her body wrenched as her orgasm took over and she lost control.

He could barely hold her up on the bar, so he lowered her to the ground. He spread her legs, mounting between her thighs and pushed inside her again. She clung to him, sucking his neck and as her nails dug into the flesh of his back.

"I love you so much..." He groaned and thrust moving from slow and smooth, then swift and hard.

"Mmm... Crane... Coming... So hard," She managed tho most of what she babbled unintelligible gibberish.

He kissed her as he came inside her, the two of them falling into a blissful high together.

 

~~~

6~ Jealousy

 

Standra could not believe her eyes as she went to the poolhouse where she'd seen Ichabod and Abbie enter after the snowball fight. She looked in the window and saw that they were literally fucking against the wall. She wanted to look away from sheer anger, but seeing how thick and long he was, watching his bare ass working got her loins hot and wet.

When Ichabod pulled his cock out of Abbie and knelt down to eat her out Standra became enraged. He had her bent over the bar indulging as if it were the most amazing thing in the world. Standra stomped her feet and nearly broke into tears. He was making Abbie come over and over again.

It wasn't fair. She wanted him to be doing her like this, not Abbie. She puckered out her bottom lip, when she saw they were back at it again. Ichabod was inside of Abbie, and she was clinging to him, her legs and arms wrapped around his body. Standra had enough. As horny as Ichabod was making her, the fact that he was with a woman she despised was too much.

She stormed back into the house. Nick and Leena were keeping the Marta and Lou preoccupied while Ichabod and Abbie were gone. They kind of figured out what the two of them were doing, so they chatted up the Farm and B&B as a way to stall.

Standra walked in just as Mr. Morales was looking for Ichabod.

"I believe I saw him go into the pool house," Standra pinched her lips. "With Abbie."

 

She didn't want to embarrass Ichabod, but there it was. She'd said it. And if he got caught fooling around with Abbie so be it. Maybe it would teach him a lesson, and he'd stay away from Abbie for good.

Leena rolled her eyes hard. Why couldn't Standra stay in her lane.

"We better get him so he's not late for his flight." Luke tapped his dad's shoulder.

"Flight?" Standra asked.

"Yes," Marta answered. "He's going to England to see his grandmother. He's such a sweet boy."

Standra scowled. She immediately went to her suite to find her girlfriends.

"We're leaving"

"What? Why?" They grumbled.

"Iche is going to England, so he won't even be here!" Standra grabbed her suitcase.

"So what! Luke Morales is here!" Kim fussed with her makeup in the mirror."

"Yeah... He's famous!" Heather was posting all over social media that she just met Luke Morales.

"But he's married," Standra whined.

"The rumors are, that he's not exactly faithful, and there's a good chance at least one of us can get laid... So I'm staying!"

Standra was pissed. Her friends were just useless in her eyes. "Whatever bitches."

~~~

 

Abbie wanted to stay there, with Ichabod inside her and just be close to him. He'd be leaving soon and the circumstances made her heart hurt. But having him right now dulled the pain. They sat up holding and caressing each other's bodies. She kissed his neck as her hands rummaged through his hair. But when she looked over his shoulder, she saw Luke and Mr. Morales heading right towards the poolhouse.

"Fuck...." Abbie whispered. "They're coming."

She flew out of Ichabod's arms and gathered her clothes. Ichabod did the same but there was hardly time to get dressed. They ran upstairs to the loft bedroom and were stunned to see Joe. They were naked as jaybirds, and he was staring at them, shaking his head.

He pulled the earbuds from his ears, as looking slightly annoyed. They were so loud down stars when they were screwing that he had to put them in for his own sanity. Nobody wants to hear their friend banging their sister.

"Oh god Joey! We're you here the whole time?"

"MmHmm..." Joe averted his eyes to the floor. It was his room, so of course he was there.

"Hello, Ichabod?" Mr. Morales called from downstairs. "Are you ready? We wouldn't want you to miss your flight."

"I'll be there momentarily." Ichabod called down.

"Joe could you..."

"Mmhmm..." Joe grimaced and went downstairs to keep Luke and Lou busy until Ichabod and Abbie pulled themselves together.

Ichabod and Abbie quickly dressed.

"We'd best get on our way," Ichabod felt as if his emotions were all over the place.

"Crane..." Abbie gently put her hand to his arm. This was happening to fast and she hated that they didn't have a chance to talk before he had to leave. Well they did have the chance but they spent it having sex instead.

Ichabod pulled her into a warm hug and held her for a moment. "I can't be here right now. I'll see you in a few days."

"I just don't like us leaving things like this."

"I don't know what you want me to do, Abbie. Your husband and his family are here..."

"Ex-husband... Him showing up with his family doesn't change anything."

"Abbie!" Luke called up.

"We should go," Ichabod gave her a quick kiss and let her loose from his embrace.

Ichabod and Abbie went downstairs. The guys had been having a polite conversation, but Luke went quiet when he saw the two of them come downstairs.

Since Joe came down first, they were put together enough that Mr. Morales didn't notice anything.

But nothing was getting past Luke. He saw the massive hickey peeking above Ichabod's collar, and noticed how red-cheeked he looked.

Abbie also was quite flush, and her lips extra full as if they'd been busy. If there was one thing Luke would never forget, its how Abbie looked after having sex. He was crawling out of his skin ready to beat someone's ass.

I left my passport," Ichabod was definitely not thinking clearly and had to go back upstairs.

"Good to see you again Lou," Joe offered before going back upstairs behind Ichabod.

"I'm going to get back to the house," Abbie wanted to get out of there. She didn't even hesitate, just slipped out the door. It was going to be impossible to get a proper goodbye.

"I'll walk you back and then start the car," Lou offered.

Luke waited for Ichabod to come down. He had a few things to say.

As Ichabod came back down, he took one look at Luke and knew he was pissed. "We should get going."

"No, we need to get a few things straight first," Luke stepped in front of him. "Do you think I don't know you just fucked my wife!"

"She's hardly you wife, and what I do with her is not your business!" Ichabod was not holding in his temper as much as he tried.

"She damn well is my wife!"

"You can't trick her or scam her into staying with you. Using your family... Well, that is low."

"Fuck you!" Luke shoved Ichabod.

Ichabod immediately shoved him back. They were a split second from coming to blows when Joe rushed down the stairs and got between them.

"Hey! Knock it off you two!" Joe held them both back at arm's length.

"You're going to let him treat your sister like a hoe!" Luke snarled.

Ichabod lunged for Luke and it took everything Joe had in him to hold Ichabod back.

"Luke I suggest you watch your mouth before I knock you the hell out myself."

"How can you take his side?" Luke huffed.

"I'm on Abbie's side!" Joe breathed heavy but kept his cool. "Now unless you want your parents and Lucas to find out that your marriage is a sham, you need to back off! Because she's not happy and if shit goes down she's going to take Iche's side."

It seemed to calm Ichabod down, hearing that from Joe. And it was a reality check for Luke. Abbie was serious about this guy. Serious enough that if he acted a fool, she'd bail on him. And he was the one at risk of losing what little visitation with his sonnd only hold on Abbie.

"I'm sorry... It's just not easy seeing her with someone else. I still love her."

"Not enough to compromise when you had the chance," Joe said firmly. "If you would have agreed to split your time between California and New York two years ago... Things might have been different. You gotta let her go."

Joe was exhausted. "And Crane, just get through the drive to the airport. Hopefully, a few days away will help you really think about what's going on here."

~~~

 

7 ~ Farewell For Now

 

Abbie stood on the balcony as she watched Lou and Luke get in the car with Ichabod. It was as if he could sense her, feel her somehow looking at him, almost calling out to him. He looked up to see her, sad smile looking back at him.

"I love you," she whispered and blew him a kiss.

"I love you," he mouthed the words, silently catching the kiss in his hands.

~*~

Chapter Text

ESL CH 8
Run Back To You

 

image

 

~ Intro

 

"I want you... inside me, so bad." Abbie managed through heavy panting.

He stood with a quickness. She did not have to ask twice. He was so hard it almost hurt how bad he wanted to be inside of her.

Abbie grabbed his cock, pressing it to the entrance of her folds. He pushed inside of her, letting out a deep moan as her warm wet walls engulfed him.

Abbie had no idea a business dinner date with Nick would end like this. They needed this, after all the stress and hurt... But was this a fleeting moment that they would soon regret, or was this a turning point.

(Keep reading... Trust me)

 

~~~

1~ Missing You

 

It was early Tuesday morning when Ichabod's flight got in. After being delayed. There wasn't time to go back to Grace's Place, so Ichabod had the uber take him to Cornell. He did a quick shower at the gym then went back to his office. He checked his phone, but there were only messages from Jeremy, Abe, Katrina and Standra.

"Damn," he swore out of frustration.

It was pushing on four days and not a call or text from Abbie.

He'd tried to call her Saturday and Sunday but it kept going straight to voicemail. He thought maybe she was just busy with the family, but she could have at least sent him a text. It was his morbid curiosity that made him check Luke's Instagram. There were pictures of him with his family and Abbie was there.

But there was one picture that broke his heart, and made his mind wander to a place he didn't want it to go. It was a selfie Luke took with Abbie, and he captioned it "Warm in bed with the love of my life. My beautiful wife".

It had 10k likes on Instagram and twitter. He sent her a couple of texts and she didn't respond. Ichabod wanted to believe it was all part of the act, but then why was Abbie avoiding his calls.

~

Abbie had waited up for Ichabod Monday night. Whatever happened between him and Katrina, she didn't want to talk about it over the phone. She'd had enough to deal with, with the Morales Family. So she sent his calls to voicemail.

But she read over his text.

Iche: Treasure I miss you. Has something occurred that is causing you to not take my calls? Pls call me so we can talk.

It was frustrating to read, because he probably thought she didn't know he was sleeping with Katrina. But when she called him Saturday morning, Katrina made it quite clear. First she referee to herself as his fiancé. Then her smug voice was practically rubbing it in.

"He's right here, sleeping. He's exhausted because we had quite a night last night. Do you want me to wake him. Ichabod love... Are you ready to wake up?"

"Mm...no... Couple more hours..."

Abbie wanted to strangle him and her and cry, but what could she do. "Tell him to have fun, and we'll talk when he gets back."

It hurt like hell, but they weren't in a committed relationship. She thought that she loved him, and that he loved her. Maybe he felt that Luke showing up changed things, so he decided to get back together with Katrina. Abbie wasn't sure what to think, but it hurt like hell. Especially when he returned from England, and he didn't even come back to the B&B.

~~~

2 ~The Infamous Weekend Incidents

 

"Are you really going to make me sleep on the floor," Luke gave Abbie his saddest puppy dog eyes

"Yup," Abbie handed him a pile of pillows and blankets.

"But it's freezing. You have a king size bed... please..."

"if you think you're going to use this as an excuse to get some..."

"No, I swear. there’s just no way I’m going to get comfortable on that tiny love-seat or on the floor. Besides, I told Lucas if he gets to cold he can come up here with us. So no nookie... Cross my heart." Luke gestured his hands across his chest.

Abbie rolled her eyes and crawled into bed as he stood there looking pitiful. "Fine... But don't even think about it."

"Thank you," Luke hopped in the bed. "Oh quick selfie..."

"Luke!"

"Faces only... My agent says social media is the fastest way to squash the divorce rumors."

Abbie put on a fake smile as he snapped a quick picture. "Thanks. You are the best Abs."

"Yeah, yeah... Stay on your side," Abbie stuffed a pillow between them.

"Can I ask you a question?"

"Okay?" Abbie was curious.

"Who is this Iche Crane guy? I mean why are you two working together?"

"Turns out there was some confusion with the house. Mr. Crane left it to me, but it's actually a part of an estate that Iche owns. He's trying to help me make enough money that I can get a loan and buy it from him."

"Abs... Why don't you let me buy it for you?"

"I told you I don't want any of your money. We agreed in the divorce. I haven't been supportive of you fame and fortune. Nothing you've earned since we separated should go to me."

"I'm not talking about you getting a financial settlement in the divorce. I'm saying as your husband, I can buy the house myself. And what's mine is yours."

"You'd do this even though I'm divorcing you?"

"Well... I'd hope it would be kind of like a second chance for us. I can end things with Calista for good. . I get that you don't want to be in California, but if I buy you the house, wouldn't you be willing to give Cali another shot... Part time. You can still come back here a couple times a month, and Lucas can come here. Leena and Nick can run the business for you..."

"Luke, no..." Abbie shook her head. He still didn't get it. "We tried that... I was really unhappy in California. I was unhappy watching you with groupies, and super models clamoring all over you. It wasn't the lifestyle for me. This is."

Well, the offer still stands. As long as we're married, I'll do anything for you," Luke turned his back to her and settled in to sleep. "Oh and Abs, seriously tho... Thanks for doing this for me and Lucas."

He went right to sleep, but Abbie was wide awake. Her mind was racing with thoughts of Luke, and his family, the way things were left with Ichabod, the financial issues with the House. She'd close her eyes but her stomach would be in knots keeping her awake.

 

At about three in the morning she heard footsteps creeping up the stairs. "Lucas, is that you?"

"I'm getting kinda cold," Lucas peeked over the stair rail.

"Your fire probably went out. Come on," Abbie waved him into bed. He squeezed in between her and Luke who was fast asleep.

It didn't take long for the boy to fall back asleep leaving Abbie still thinking about Ichabod. She wondered if he was awake yet and decided to give him a call. She certainly wasn't expecting to hear Katrina's voice answering his phone.

~~~

 

Ichabod got to England late, then had to get a cab to Bellington. It was after one am when he got to his bedroom dropped his bag and pealed out of his clothes. He then plopped on the bed, laid back, long legs over the edge and closed his eyes. It would be nice to see Grams in the morning, but right now he just needed sleep.

Katherine came out of the bathroom pleasantly surprised to see Isaac laying naked across the bed. She pealed out of her gown and crawled up beside him, eyeing his manhood. She scowled, and jealousy burned within her, when she saw the hickies on his neck and chest. Then she saw the scratch on his upper shoulder going back. She always tried to be dainty and fragile, thinking it was what he liked, especially with his impressive size. But she feared this American girl he was screwing would make him want her to be more excited in bed.

She figured she would wake him up and find out. She had to get him back, and she'd give him what he wanted if that's what it took. Katrina rubbed up his leg and cock as she leaned in to kiss him. But as soon as he felt her ice cold hands on his person he sprang up, mortified.

"What the devil!"

She was right above him and his head banged right into her head and nose.

"Oh!" She let out a scream and went reeling back onto the bed, holding her face.

"Katrina! What in blazes are you doing?" Ichabod grumbled, holding his forehead.

"What are you doing in here?"

"We've always shared this room. All of my things are here," she said through tears.

"We've broken up!"

"You don't just break up an engagement with two words!" Katrina sobbed. "We're done! What does that even mean.? Done for now... Done talking... Done forever..."

"We haven't spoken in months... I think that's pretty clear what done means."

"You never took my key back, or asked me to get my things, you left me on you grandmothers guardians list..."

It was true, he had. He'd been so relieved they broke up, he didn't want to think about it. And then when he met Abbie, Katrina became nothing more than an after-thought, someone he was putting squarely in his past... He truly forgot about the formalities of ending a long term relationship.

"I'm very sorry I slapped you... But I'm not a selfish bitch."

"I'm sorry I called you that. But I meant what I said about us being over."

"Oww... " Katrina held her face and cried.

Ichabod went to his dresser and grabbed a pair of pajama pants. Katrina’s face soured again observing the finger nail scratches down his back. It was as if he wanted her to see, the way he strutted was as if he wore those marks like a badge of honor. He belonged to someone else now, and he wasn’t ashamed of it. Kat wanted to yell at him for screwing some American girl, but she knew that would only drive him away. When he picked up his bag, she had to stop him.

"Where are you going?"

"To find another room to sleep in."

"None of the rooms are done and it's drafty. Just sleep here and I'll have Mrs. Potts prep another room for tomorrow."

"Very well, but put your gown back on, for crying out loud," Ichabod was too tired to deal with this. He crawled into the covers at the bottom of the bed and went to sleep.

It was barely after seven in the morning when Katrina woke to the sound of buzzing by her ear. It was Ichabod's phone.

"Treasure?" Katrina whispered and scrunched her face. "Abigail Mills..."

She figured what the hell. It was time to size up the other woman and send her away from Ichabod.

"Hello." Katrina half yawned.

"Hi... I'm sorry I must have the wrong number," Abbie pulled the phone away to look and see if she hit the right name. "I'm looking for Ichabod Crane."

"This is his fiancé Katrina. Can I help you?"

"I...” Abbie stammered. Was this a joke? “ Is he there?"

"He's right here, sleeping. He's exhausted because we had quite a night last night. Do you want me to wake him? Ichabod love... Are you ready to wake up?"

"Mm...no... Couple more hours..." Ichabod grumbled, still deep in slumber.

Abbie wanted to strangle him and her and cry, but what could she do. He was right there in bed with her. "Tell him to have fun, and we'll talk when he gets back."

Abbie hung up feeling absolutely gutted; meanwhile Katrina smiled with sheer glee. She made sure to delete the call, so Ichabod would likely never know it happened.

 

~~~

3 ~ The Hurt

 

Abbie was devastated that she and Ichabod couldn't seem to get a chance to talk.

They managed to get a chance to decide on a heating system. The Installer recommended two systems. One was twice as much but it would allow temperature control for each individual room. Abbie wanted it, but it was 15k more than what Ichabod could afford. They agreed he would pay the cost of the $20K and Abbie would pay for the upgrade since it was specific to her business. It was very amicable, but there was tension between them.

"Crane, can we talk about what happened while you were gone?" Abbie finally asked. She wondered what he would have to say about sleeping with his fiancé.

"I believe we probably should, but I want to be sure whatever you chose to do doesn't effect our business arraignment." He felt as if he were kicked in the gut all over again thinking about Abbie and Luke having sex.

Abbie put on her coat and grabbed her purse. "I have a meeting with Daniel Reynolds in a few, but I can meet you after."

"I have office hours all evening..."

"Then I can wait up for you. We can get everything out in the open before bed."

"I won't be home until late. Why don't we just talk now?"

Abbie looked at the time. I have to go now, or I'll be late meeting Daniel."

"I have to get back to the university anyway," Ichabod shook his head in frustration.

 

The next two weeks were exhausting for Ichabod. He was busy with finals before the Semester ended and Cornell shut down for the winter break. Nick asked him to do some testing on soil samples from the farm so he was at the University chemistry lab a lot, and spending more time at the college on the weekends as well.

Abbie was busy with marketing for the B&B, she had inspections to get Grace's Place nationally recognized. Not to mention Daniel and Andy were pressing her to increase the yields since GAM & Co products were becoming best sellers.

Even Christmas decorating was less fun. Abbie barely had time to help Leena deck the halls. Every time she returned to the B&B and saw more wreaths, lights, and garland hung, she wanted to pout. She really wished she could help out, but she couldn't get a minute. Leena promised that they wouldn't decorate the tree without her, so at least she'd have something to look forward to.

Ichabod would stay up at midnight, baking for pie and cookie orders, but he was gone at the University for long hours, and didn’t get to participate much either. And it was one exhaustive day after another. The longer things went without being said between Ichabod and Abbie, the more awkward it was for the two of them and everyone at the B&B.

~~~

 

4 ~ Thinking Of You

To say he was tired was an understatement. Ichabod walked in well after midnight after keeping office hours all evening. He went into the kitchen to prep breakfast, knowing he'd likely rely on Leena to do most of the morning's cooking.

Afterwards he felt restless. His mind was still uneasy about the growing distance between himself and Abbie. If he were back at home in England, he'd go to the study, find a book to read, and slowly subdue his mind to slumber.

He left the kitchen and went to the study door. He went to the desk and picked up a letter from his grandfather to his father. He didn't open it, just held it as he sat on the sofa and looked around taking it in. It was the only room Abbie had left completely untouched. It was still done up in the 70's style wood and red velvet. It was a room he'd only gone into once before, when Abbie showed it to him and told him where the letters were.

He remembered that day, after Halloween, with great fondness.

***

They sat on the front porch swing enjoying the cool autumn breeze and the lake view. She'd had a lot on her mind that day and he could tell. She tried to put it off the first time he asked, but the second time she knew he wouldn't let it go.

"We're having such a nice day, I don't want to bring things down," Abbie let out a soft sigh.

"Treasure, whatever it is, you can share with me. It can be quite freeing to unburden the soul."

"Okay... Today would have been my mom’s birthday."

"Ah... I see," Ichabod knew all too well. He was only fourteen when his mother died. "How are you?"

"I'm okay," Abbie gave him a soft smile. "To be honest, I don't even know if it was real birthday. I can't even be sure Lori was her real name."

"What do you mean?" Ichabod understood the struggles of dealing with mental illness. Their talks about his grandmother and her mom, were one of many things the two bonded over as they got to know each other over the fall.

"My mom was committed to a mental institution when I was only six. Nobody could find her family. They tried searching with her name and birthday but nothing... I don't know anything about her. But when I joined the Sheriff's Department I looked into it. The only thing I found was that she applied for a new SSI card before she married my bio dad."

"I don't suppose you asked him?"

"No. He's known about me all these years and hasn't once contacted me. He didn't help me when my mother was taken away, or when I was put in foster care. He wasn't even at her funeral when she died. He has a new family now. I will never ask him for a damn thing." Abbie bit back tears. "I'm sorry."

"No...please. You are entitled to your feelings."

"I just wish I had something of her... I wish I knew a little bit about where I came from. Mostly, I wish I had a family. I guess that's why I been trying to make myself a family... With Joe, Leena, Nick and Caroline. I did the same thing with my Ex's family and even old Man Crane." Abbie chuckled a little. "You're very lucky in that way. It's amazing how your whole family history is preserved. You know who you are and where you come from. You have people."

"Indeed," Ichabod agreed. "Though there is a generational gap. I do wish I'd known of my grandfather. He was never to be mentioned when I was growing up. But thanks to you, I've learned a little about him. I suppose he and your father have quite a bit in common."

"Old man Crane? No... He tried to contact his sons and his wife. He made the effort at least. And he genuinely regretted the pain he caused your grandmother," Abbie got up and held her hand to Ichabod. "I want to show you something."

That's when she took him into the study for the first time. "In this desk drawer are all the letters your grandfather wrote to his sons and his wife. If you ever want to know who he was... it's in there."

"Abbie... Thank you," Ichabod hugged her. "I was hoping to make you feel better, and here you have done something wonderful for me."

"Crane, this has made me feel a whole lot better. In a way, Mr. Crane was a part of my family, so helping you connect with him, makes me so happy."

****

Ichabod remembered how he held her in his arms and kissed her that day. He remembered how full of love he felt. She was so caring and generous. That was the day he became determined to give her what she wanted most, some connection and history.

His eyes grew heavy as his thoughts drifted and soon he was fast asleep.

Abbie arrived home late from her dinner meeting with Andy. As she did a quick walk through the B&B, she was surprised to see the light on in the study. She crept in quiet, when she saw Ichabod asleep on the small sofa.

"Crane..." She tried to wake him, but he was completely exhausted.

Abbie carefully put the letter on the desk, noticing he hadn't opened it. She took a pillow and adjusted it so he wouldn't wake with a crick in his neck, then covered him with a blanket.

"I love you, Ichabod Crane," Abbie whispered and kissed him on the forehead."

"I love you Abbie..." Ichabod's voice was a low murmur as he slept, instinctively responding to her words.

Even though he was asleep, it still warmed her heart to hear those words.

 

~

 

5 ~ Conflicted

"Is it just me or are things super weird between them lately?" Caroline asked.

She was in the kitchen with Caroline, Nick, Leena and Joe. Leena was beginning the breakfast prep. Ichabod was so busy and tired lately that he didn't always make it down first.

"It's been really tense. But Ichabod is in finals week and Abbie is really under the gun to increase productivity because of demand," Leena tried not to worry."

"But should we say something?" Nick asked. "Just to make sure they're ok."

Everyone looked at Joe.

"I'm staying out of it. I told them it was a bad idea to start something while they both had baggage and this house between them. They wanted to screw around anyway... I'm just going to be supportive of my sister, whatever she needs."

"Sorry I'm late, Ms. Leena," Ichabod walked into the kitchen and everyone went silent.

"Got another busy day planned today," she asked.

"Indeed," Ichabod washed his hands then pulled out ingredients for omelets. "I have three students on the verge of not making past this semester. I won't see them fail on my watch. And Standra has insisted she needs help tonight as well. She needs an A on her final in order t graduate with honors…"

Abbie walked in as Ichabod was talking about staying late to help Standra, and it made her stomach turn.

"Awe so no dinner again," Caroline pouted, trying to keep the polite conversation going. .

"I'm afraid not." Ichabod lamented, his eyes were fixed on Abbie.

"Hey, everyone," Abbie started putting her coat on.

"You're heading out without breakfast?" Lena asked.

"Yeah... I have another meeting with Daniel," Abbie let out a sigh. She grabbed a granola bar from the pantry.

"You've been meeting with Daniel a lot lately. Anything going on?" Joe asked.

He meant business wise, but clearly Ichabod was wondering if the old friends were rekindling a romance. "Yes, do tell what is going on with Mr. Reynolds."

"I'm just happy to have his support," Abbie snipped as she buttoned her coat.

"Are you implying that you do not have my support?" Ichabod looked hurt.

"You know it's hard to tell these days, since you haven't said five words to me since you got back from England."

Should we stop this?" Caroline whispered to Joe.

The four were watching the two of them bicker like it was a ping pong match.

"I don't know..." Joe synched his teeth. "I said I would stay out of it..."

"I can't seem to get a minute of your time! And I am here for you, despite what you did..."

"Despite what I did...” Abbie’s eyes blinked wide. “I didn't go running back to England and to a fiancé..."

"She was helping with my grandmother..." Ichabod was now wildly chopping at the onions for the omelet, as his jaw clenched. He didn't want to talk about Katrina.

"That's not all she was helping with!" Abbie grumbled.

"Katrina is a non-issue, unlike Luke! Damn! Blasted all to hell!" Ichabod dropped the knife and held his finger.

"Crane!" Abbie felt her heart drop when she saw blood coming from his hand. She went to him but he pulled away, embarrassed at his immature display. He should not be arguing with Abbie like this and cutting himself served him right, in his eyes.

"Oh my goodness!" Leena helped him to the sink.

"My apologies everyone," Ichabod was calmer now. "It's finals week... And then I go back to England... I've just had a lot on my mind."

"I'm sorry too," Abbie sighed heavy hearted.

“Knock, knock,” Daniel Reynolds came into the dining room from the front door.

“In here Daniel,” Abbie called him into the kitchen.

They did a quick round of hellos. Ichabod and Daniel quickly sized each other up, having only met briefly in passing. Nick had his eye on both men. He was very much aware of Daniel’s interest in Abbie, which Ichabod was quickly realizing as well.

“We should go while the restaurant is still serving breakfast,” Daniel offered Abbie his hand.

“Oh, I thought this was business meeting,” Nick asked before Ichabod had a chance. They were both thinking the same thing.

“Business can be enjoyable,” Daniel smiled.

Abbie managed to avoid taking Daniel’s hand. "We’d better go..."

Joe gave her a quick hug before she hurried out.

 

~~~

 

6 ~ Last Chance

 

Abbie was back a little before one, after her breakfast meeting with Daniel. Nick was waiting for her in the kitchen.

"Hey, I want to talk to you about something."

"Sure," Abbie sat at the barstool and grabbed an apple.

"Well, it's about the farm. I have a proposal. But in order for you to get the full effect, I need you to go on a date with me tonight."

"Nick... I really can't do the whole date thing. I have enough of a mess with Luke and Ichabod."

"Hear me out... You know I've been crushing on you since the day you found me curled up in a sleeping bag, squatting on your and. You got me a shower and a warm meal. Then you told me I could stay Neil I got on my feet and figured out where I was going. What I found was a home here with you. I’ve seen you through a lot of stuff and I haven't bailed... and I won't bail on you. This is where I belong, and all I'm asking for is a chance to see if there could be something. Can we call it a business dinner date?"

"A business dinner date?" Abbie looked skeptical.

She was well aware that both Andy and Daniel had been doing the exact same thing. She adored Nick, she really did, but her heart still belonged to Ichabod, regardless of whatever was going on between them.

"I just need to know that I gave it a shot. If there's no sparks, if it goes nowhere beyond us being friends... At least I know... At least we gave it a chance to see. And if nothing else, I really think you'll like my proposal."

Abbie raised her brow.

"Business proposal," Nick smiled and that made her smile too. "You need something fun and relaxing. Trust me."

"Okay," Abbie shook her. "I trust you."

"I will pick you up at 8."

~~~

 

Ichabod made it a point to come home at a decent hour this evening. He could not leave things as they were with Abbie any longer. He loved her too much. He didn't care what ever happened between her and Luke after he left. He was convinced he had no right to judge when she was legally still married to the guy.

I beg your pardon," Ichabod apologized when he walked into the bathroom.

Abbie was in the mirror fixing her hair. "Don't worry about it. You can come in. I didn't lock it because you've been getting home so late the fast couple of weeks... I wasn't expecting you."

"Yes, I know. But I made it a point to come home early tonight after what happened this morning..." Ichabod paused when he actually looked up and saw her. "You look very beautiful."

She rarely wore makeup, but tonight she had her lips and eyes done. "I um... I have a date... A business dinner thing..."

Abbie suddenly felt nervous and guilty. Was this a mistake? Ichabod looked as if she'd just ripped his heart out.

"A date..."

"It's just Nick. He has some business proposal, and I've been so stressed lately... He thought a date might help me relax."

Ichabod’s jaw tightened, and he gathered his things.

"I'll leave you to finish getting ready," Ichabod felt as if he were dying inside. He gave her a quick head bow his voice short and stern. “Good-bye Abigail.”

Abbie blinked, taken aback, and her heart dropped in her chest. What was that? Her mouth opened but no words came out.

She wanted to tell him to stop, and don't go, but she was so confused. Why did he lie about having a fiancé. Why did he have to sleep with her. And why, despite knowing this and hearing from Katrina herself, did she still love him.

She dabbed at her eyes, blinking back tears, so she wouldn't ruin her makeup. She had to finish getting ready, but she wanted to curl up in bed and cry her eyes out.

 

~~~

Ichabod sat outside on the back porch. He lit the fire pit and had a cup of coffee. He hoped grading papers would distract him, or the cold night air would sooth his ache. But it didn't.

"Hey... Iche," Nick called out to him as he approached the back porch. "I was actually hoping to talk to you about something real quick."

"About your date with Abbie?" Ichabod's jaw was stiff as he peered up from his papers, and took off his readers.

"She told you?"

"I came home early hoping we could talk things through, only to find that she has a date with someone I consider a friend."

"Look Iche... I've been with Abbie from the beginning of all this, and through her divorce. I think I fell for her the first day we met. But she had so much going on. I asked her out but she was worried about mixing business with pleasure, so I let it go. And then you came along. She fell for you before she knew who you were. And she fell so hard, that I just knew… I blew it. I missed my chance, and I would always wonder. I'd kick myself thinking what if. I told myself, if I ever got another chance..."

"And it seems the rift between Abbie and myself presents the opportunity."

"Can you blame me?"

"No... I suppose I cannot."

~~~

 

7 ~ Friends & Romances

 

"You're place looks amazing," Abbie's eyes lit up when she stepped inside the yurt.

"You look amazing," Nick countered with a smile.

Luminaries and candles set a light shadowy new through the room. A small fire was lit keeping the chill at bay. The room was bohemian style, with drapes over the bed and pillows on the ground for the picnic style dinner. It was certainly more romantic than Abbie was expecting. She was impressed.

He had carry-out for them, from one of Abbie's favorite Indian food Restaurants, so it was a treat after a long couple of weeks. They dined on the spicy curry chicken and rice as they chatted.

"So, the date part is nice so far, but let’s try to get some business in," Abbie was ready to talk shop as she dabbed her pita in the curry.

"I want to talk to you about this," Nick held up a soil sample.

"You want to talk about dirt?"

"Yes. More about what it's made up of."

"Okay..." Abbie furrowed her brow.

"The reason Andy and Daniel are asking you to increase productivity, is because of this... But they don't know it. I asked Iche to analyze your soil and it has a high and unique balance of nutrients and minerals. The concentration of calcium, nitrogen, hummus and potassium, seem to be unique because of where the property sits between the lake and the two creeks. So the fruit and grapes here have a unique taste."

Abbie's eyes widened. "And when the chickens goats and cows graze off the land..."

"They are producing a unique quality of dairy product." Nick gave her a cute crooked smile. "Now I know you've been reluctant to increase the vineyard but I think we should double the number of dedicated acres and double the number of live stock."

"It's a lot to take on. This was supposed to be a small business... It's turning into a corporation."

"We can do this Abbie. I won't push you one way or the other, but if you decide to go for it, I've got your back. I will work the farm as long as you'll have me. This is home for me."

"Okay, I will seriously think about it," Abbie perked up. When's she'd talked with Daniel and Andy, it had seemed so daunting, but knowing her friend had her back, was encouraging.

"Now there is one more as peck of this business dinner date," Luke stood up and took Abbie by the hand. "I need you to take a bath with me."

"Excuse me," Abbie raise her brow. "You want to do what now?"

"A mud bath," Nick pointed. "Come on."

He started to undress and Abbie stood shocked.

"You're not serious?"

"I am... What was your first thought when you walked in here?"

"I... Thought it was very romantic and the atmosphere was relaxing , like a..." Abbie pierced her eyes at him. "Like a couples spa retreat... Nick Hawley you're on to something."

He was down to his pants and unfastening them quickly. "Wait until you get in. It feels really good."

Abbie started to undress. "Turn around she chided him with a grin for looking up."

"Oh come on," he laughed. "It's not like I didn't see it all when we went skinny dipping last spring."

“I knew you were peaking,” Abbie teased.

He helped her in, and she sat down to be emerged in warm thick brown liquid.

"Feels nice, doesn't it?"

"Yes... But is this clean... I mean, I know it's mud but..."

"Iche helped me ensure what's in this tub is bug free, if that's what you’re asking, so relax."

"I want to put up a couple more yurts. They'll be out of sight from the house so it won't hurt the view. But this could be a huge draw, and a descent money maker. Plus, I haven't seen you this relaxed in weeks."

"I haven't felt this relaxed in weeks," she smiled at him.

"Here you have to get a little on your cheeks. It's great for your skin," nick reached over and dabbed her cheeks.

She looked so adorable, and so at ease. He thought this was it. If he was going to make a move it was now or never. He leaned in closing his eyes and Abbie closed hers in anticipation. Their lips met. It was soft, sweet... awkward as hell.

Nick opened his eyes and Abbie opened hers. Their lips parted and he backed away.

"That was um..." He couldn't put words to his feelings.

"It was like... How I imagine it would be to kiss my brother," Abbie scrunched her face. "I'm sorry."

"No, don't apologize. I agree,” Nick agreed.
“You think kissing me is like kissing Joe,” Abbie furrowed her brow.

“Joe’s a good looking guy and all but I'm not attracted to him." Nick joked and they snickered.

They both burst out into laughter. Abbie put her hands over her mouth embarrassed and laughed harder remembering her hands were covered in mud.

"No seriously tho… I’m so attracted to you… you’re so hot and you have an amazing personality. The way we get along together and work together, I really thought this attraction I had to you could be more but..."

"Maybe it just got bigger in your mind because I was something you thought you couldn't have."

"God, you're probably right. Are you, okay, I mean..."

"I'm fine. I like you as a friend Nick, but anything more... My heart's not in it."

Abbie suddenly stopped smiling. "I have to go!"

All she could think about was Ichabod. What he must be thinking right now. She's on a date with another guy, when he's right there. She had to talk to him right now... Clear the air and try to make it work. She'd hear him out about Katrina, and pray he would let her go.

Abbie got out of the mud and grabbed her boots and clothes. She threw on her shirt, half buttoning, then pulled up her skirt. She was a muddy mess and wasn't about to put on her boots. She honestly wasn't thinking clearly.

"Abbie, wait... You can't go out like that..." Nick called, but there was no stopping her.

 

~~

 

7 ~ Lover's Care

Abbie ran to the pool house, freezing cold and tried to turn on the outdoor shower but it was frozen. The cold air was causing her to think more clearly, and she was second guessing running to the house half dressed and covered in mud.

Ichabod heard rustling coming from the wooded trail and looked up from his paperwork. He was astonished to see Abbie... a mess, and heading for the pool house. He quickly put his laptop down and hurried to her aid.

"Abbie! Treasure what has happened?"

"I'm fine...it's just mud." By now her teeth were chattering ferociously and she was shaking like a leaf.

"What happened? Are you hurt?"

"No... It was a mud bath. The shower's not working."

"It's shut off to keep the pipe from bursting," he looked at her wondering what she needed.

"I had to see you..." She double over crouching from the cold.

"I've got you."

Ichabod picked her up carrying her inside from the cold.

Nick had quickly dressed and hurried after her. As he came through the wooded path he saw Abbie in Ichabod’s arms. He decided it was best to let them be. Abbie was where she wanted to be.
He took her up to his room, so her bedroom wouldn't get mud tracks. He turned on the shower and helped her out of her muddy clothes.

Abbie gave in to his care as he kicked off his shoes and stepped into the shower. He was fully dressed, but couldn’t care less. All he wanted was to take care of her. She was muddy and frozen to the bone, as he washed the mud from her face and body.

Was this a dream, Abbie wondered. He was there, taking care of her, as if whatever had happened between them didn't even matter.

Once he was sure he'd gotten ever drop of mud off of her, he turned her look at her soft smile, beautiful brown eyes looked up at him, Sparkling blue eyes looked down at her. He whipped a final smudge from her cheek, feeling she was still cool to the touch.

"All better," he smiled then pulled her into his arms to warm her.

His clothes were soaked as the steamy water washed over them. He wanted to stay, but he didnt know if he should. "If you are quite recovered, I shall take my leave..."

"Stay..." Abbie whispered, taking his hand.

He swallowed hard wanting to, but should he? "I don't know if that would be best. I'm still in love with you, but if you do not feel the same..."

"Crane," Abbie wrapped her arms around his shoulders and pulled him into a kiss.

It was long, lingering, neither of them wanting to stop. But there was so much confusion in their hearts and minds.

"I... I don't understand?" Ichabod breathed heavy.

"I love you too. That's why I left my date with Nick... I love you... I know things are a mess. But I need you..."

He pulled her into his embrace, and they kissed again. His large firm hands smoothed down her body, taking in her wet curved. Oh how he'd missed her body, and her touch.

Abbie could feel his manhood straining against the contributes of his pants. They pulled back just enough to hastily get him out of his clothes. They barely had him peeled out of the wet pants when he remembered.

"I... I don't have a prophylactic."

"Oh... Abbie sighed. I almost forgot you slept with Katrina... I think I have some in my room."

Ichabod cocked his head to the side confused. "I haven't slept with Katrina, at all. I haven't touched her... Not even a hug."

"You haven't?" Abbie's heart flipped in her chest hoping this was true.

"No I swear... I thought we'd need a condom because of you and Luke..."

Abbie's eyes grew wide as saucers. "Me and Luke! No way... We haven't been together in months."

"Truly," Ichabod could hardly breathe for how relieved he was.

"Truly," Abbie looked up at him ready to burst. "Since I met you, I have only been with you."

"I love you so much... I only want to be with you."

Abbie practically leaped into his embrace, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and kissing him.

Steam billowed through the bathroom, filling the air. Ichabod was on his knees eating her out. Abbie had her back pressed against the shower wall with one leg raised. He gave her a deep finger fuck as his tongue between sucked her clit then flicked it firm and rapidly.

He pressed a second finger inside her, rhythmically hitting her spot, making her moan as she clung to his wet body. She came hard, as bliss swept over her with hurricane force winds.

His fingers hit the right spot again and again, and she clambered to the wall. His tongue fluttered rapidly and she now clung to her breasts, squeezing her nipples. But when he sucked her, she lost all composure. Her fingers roughed through his wet hair, pressing him into her, as a second orgasm hit.

"I'm ... Oh god I'm coming..." Is all she could say before her mind and body began to swirl in blissful ecstasy. Her hands were all over the place his hair, the walls, her body. She was wrecked in the best way

He let her enjoy it for as longs she could take it. He loved making her feel so god. And he loved the taste of her.

"I want you... inside me, so bad." She managed through heavy panting.

Ichabod stood with a quickness. She did not have to ask twice. He was so hard it almost hurt how bad he wanted to be inside of her. Abbie grabbed his cock, pressing it to the entrance of her folds. He pushed inside of her, letting out a deep moan as her warm wet walls engulfed him.

He started to press in, back and forth. She felt so damn good. Her soft moans were music to his ears.

"Oh, you feel so damn good... Abbie..." He started going faster.

Her legs tightened around his waist as her hips were rising and falling on his cock. He kissed her lips then her neck, until he knew he was about to come.

Their eyes connected as he hit the very end of her, he was so deep, so thick and long he completely filled her.

“Who’s is it?” Abbie panted heavy, struggling to make the words as her body quivered in his arms.

Yours, Abbie… I’m all yours…” he groaned low, almost light headed as an overwhelming feeling of bliss washed over them.
Their eyes closed as her head rested into the crook of his neck and his in the wet curls of her hair. They felt it so deeply that neither wanted the moment to end.

 

He held her tight, burying his face into her curls as he released. Her tight walls contracting against his cock as it jolted inside her. Her soft cries echoing in the shower amongst the falling water.

They knew from this moment on... There was no turning back.

 

 

~~~

 

8 ~ All In

 

It was late, well past midnight, Ichabod and Abbie found that sleep evaded them. All they wanted to do was talk and catch up about the hectic couple of weeks they'd had. And they laughed about Ichabod's misunderstanding of Luke's Instagram picture. Not so funny was Katrina's deliberate lie and misdirection.

They laid naked, legs entwined, Abbie snuggled up in his embrace. "She definitely said she's your fiancé.

"I made it very clear to her she is not. I cannot believe that devious wench would lie in such a manner."

"Well she didn't exactly say you had sex, but she made it seem pretty obvious. She had me fooled."

"Well I shall have the housekeeper take her key and remove her from Grams' list of guardians."

"Don't do that... Your grandmother likes having her take her home. I know how hard it was for Old man Crane... I wouldn't want to take that away from your Grams. Besides. I can handle Katrina, now that I know how she's playing this. She has another thing coming if she thinks she can take my man," Abbie grumbled.

"I'm our man," Ichabod gave her a coy smile, as he carfully wedged himself between her thighs.

"Yes...” Abbie’s soft brown eyes looked right up into his baby blues.

Ichabod felt overwhelmed with joy in that moment. “I love you Grace Abigail Mills.”

“I love you Ichabod Crane,” Abbie smiled softly, and I was thinking, maybe we should tell everyone… our closest friends anyway. I don't want to fight what we both want, anymore."

"Nor do I," Ichabod pulled from her embrace, mounting himself between her thighs.

He kissed her lips tenderly as his body pressed against hers. Abbie ran her hands down his back, as his lips wandered down her neck to her supple breasts, sucking tender wet kisses from one to the other. Slowly he began sprinkling kisses down her body.

"May we never *kiss* fight *kiss* what we want *kiss* again." He grinned as he kissed down past her navel and spread her legs wide.

"Crane, we aren't going to be able to get up in the morning," Abbie giggled, then let out a soft sigh as he proceeded.

"I have to make up for lost time," Ichabod kissed at her inner thigh. "Be prepared not to sleep a wink tonight."

“Your skin feels exceptionally amazing, by the way.”

“Hmm…” Abbie grinned. “Must be something in that mud.”

 

~*~

Chapter Text

ESL CH 9

image

Joy & Family
~Intro~

 

Ichabod moaned as he pressed into her, leaning into her neck, kissing her ear.

“Is this what you want,” he groaned in her ear as his cock stroked inside her.

“Yes…” she panted breathlessly, as she let the sensation of pleasure take over.. “More…”

He leaned up, obliging her. He grabbed her hips, and swiftly pounded, his breath caught heavy as he thrust.

A bowl went crashing to the ground, but they were way to heavy into screwing to care. Ichabod lifted her from the counter and laid her down, mounting between her thighs and continued thrusting wildly.

Ichabod could hardly believe he was making love on Christmas Eve. All of this had been so unexpected.

 

~~~

 

1~ Celebrate With Friends

 

Christmas break finally arrived. Ichabod and Abbie were in such a good place. Even tho the past week had been just as busy, the fact that they were together made everything easier. After a long busy day, it was nice to come home and be in each other’s arms at night.

Things finally seemed to start settling down for Abbie. She'd arranged for new brochures to be made with all the features that Grace's Place B&B and GAM & Co. Farm and Vineyard had to offer. Her new website was stunning, and had nothing but stellar reviews posted. With Nick's encouragement, she agreed to expand the farm to increase yields. And with Leena by her side, she was officially ranked as Innkeepers Associations Top Ten picks for 2018.

The only sad thing about the Semester coming to an end was Sunday, Ichabod would fly back to England to spend 2 1/2 weeks with his brother and Grams. He had begged her to join him, but she couldn't manage it. She promised to keep Lucas for most of the Christmas break so that Luke and his family could spend time with him. And the B&B was booked solid. She simply wouldn't have time to get away

On the bright side, John Perish flew in from England to visit for a few days. He said it was so that he could check how things were going with Ichabod and Abbie. But they both suspected that Leena may have been the real reason for the weekend stay.

Tonight, Abbie didn't want to think about Ichabod's upcoming trip to England. This was her last night with Ichabod for a while and she wanted to make the most of it. She had a small party planned to decorate her tree and help her get into the Holiday Spirit, instead of being sad.

The gathering was in Abbie's apartment. Caroline put on some old holiday tunes, and Leena helped Ichabod finish up the nog and appetizers in the kitchenette, as a few of Abbie's friends started to arrive.

Macey and Cynthia were among the first to show, since they were staying in a room for the weekend. Andy and Daniel showed up later. Even though Abbie had told them they could bring dates, both men arrived stag, with their eyes still set on Abbie. Joe was a bit late, having finished his shift back in Yonkers, and arrived with a friend. Abbie was surprised he brought a girl, for a date.

"This is a surprise," Abbie finally cornered her brother to get the details. "You haven't dated a girl since high school."

"Sophie is just a friend," Joe assured his sister. He hadn't switched teams again. "We met through work and she didn't have anything to do this weekend."

Whoever this Sophie was, Ichabod was glad to have her there, because she seemed to keep Daniel and Andy occupied with conversation a little. Before she came, every time Ichabod left Abbie's side one of them was on her
like a vulture.

It was true. Both Andy and Danny had expressed interest in Abbie during their meetings over breakfast and dinner. She found both men attractive in their own way. Andy, her old friend, was smart, warm and very boy next door charming. Danny was tall and dashing, a very charismatic and confident overachiever.

"Seems that Abbie may be off the market before she's officially back on it," Andy sighed as he and Daniel watched Abbie interact with Ichabod.

"I don't get the draw," Daniel seemed hardly amused.

He wasn't one who normally felt jealous, but there was something to Ichabod Crane. One minute he was long-winded and quirky, the next he was smooth and charming in a very British kind of way. Even in the way, he crossed his legs. Most American men spread wide, Ichabod never did. He also talked with his hands quite a bit, and Abbie, as well as other women, seemed to be drawn to this.

Both men saw their window of opportunity with Abbie vanish the minute they arrived. Abbie seemed to only have eyes for this new guy, who had a fetish for cooking. They knew him as a professor who had some dealings with Abbie over the property, but she never disclosed what that business was to them.

Nick brought a box of decorations for Abbie to decorate her tree. He noticed how Ichabod stood close to Abbie all night, almost to the point he didn't seem to be able to have a good time. He definitely made sure Nick, Andy, and Daniel didn't get a minute alone with Abbie.

Even while decorating Abbie's tree, Ichabod stood directly behind her. He often wrapped his arm around her waist, which made her smile so warm and bright..

Ichabod knew he'd be gone for almost three weeks. His actions weren't meant to be possessive; he genuinely wanted to be as close to her as he could. It was simply an added bonus that he didn't want any of these guys to even think about making a move on Abbie in his absence.

After her tree was decorated, the drinks started flowing. Ichabod made a special nog that was getting everyone a bit tipsy.

"Iche, what did you do to the nog... I thought the one you made for Thanksgiving was good... but this is, wow." Caroline wash gushing as she poured another.

"This one s a special... Old family recipe," Ichabod was beaming ear to ear. He couldn’t wait to share his surprise with Abbie. "I hope you like it."

"Yes," Abbie had to stop herself from drinking too much. She didn't want to be drunk when she and Ichabod exchanged gifts. "This is the best I've had."

Abbie noticed that Cynthia was drinking, but she wasn't exactly enjoying herself.

"I'm going to check on Cynthia," Abbie got up from her spot cozied up in Ichabod's arms. "I won't be long."

Ichabod gave her a quick kiss and watched her as she went to have a chat with her friend. As Abbie made her way to Cynthia she made eye contact with Nick. Things had been chilly between the guys all week and she didn’t want any hard feelings between them. Nick shook his head quietly begging not to have to talk to Ichabod about the date. However when Abbie gave him the evil eye pointed to Ichabod, he knew he’d better go.

Ichabod looked up and half rolled his eyes when he saw Nick headed his way.

“Hey, Crane, you got a minute?”

“I suppose,” Ichabod nonchalantly waved his hand.

“I want to make sure we’re good, man. Abbie and I are just friends, and I’m not going anywhere.”

“We’re fine,” Ichabod was short and took a drink.

“Are we, because you get a little weird when I talk to Abbie.”

“You asked Abbie on a date. How do I know you won’t try it again in the future?” Ichabod couldn’t help the pangs of bitterness. Nick was a nice guy, he considered him a friend. Even though Nick didn’t know about the liaisons with Abbie, he had to know they had feelings for each other.

“I was upfront with you about my intentions, Crane. She’s a beautiful single woman. I’ve known and liked her for a very long time. She saved me in a lot of ways, gave me a home, family, career, when I had nothing. And I had these feelings that I couldn’t shake. So, yes, I asked her out. But we both decided to just be friends. Can you honestly say you wouldn’t do the same thing? You wouldn’t take a chance?”

Ichabod thought about it and he knew Nick was right. He’d done the same thing. The moment his best friend broke up with Katrina, he asked her out. He knew that Abe was having conflicted feelings as he sorted through his bisexuality, but still moved in on Katrina. Abe was upset for a while, but ultimately the two remained best friends and worked things out.

“I suppose I would,” Ichabod admitted. “I am certain you and I shall be comrades once again, given time. I do appreciate your honesty.”

“I appreciate you hearing me out. “

I should probably thank you,” Ichabod had to admit.

Nick didn’t know he and Abbie had been sleeping together on occasion. It wasn’t the kind of thing a gentleman would tell another man. But Nick knew something was going on between them.

“Thank me? For asking Abs on a date?

“Had you not had said a date, we likely would not be together now… At least not like this.”

“Well,” Nick nodded. “As long as she’s happy. That’s all that matters.”

~~~

 

"Okay, what's going on? Abbie sat on the stairs beside her friend. "And don't say nothing, because this is supposed to be a party, and you look like you're at a funeral."

"I feel like I'm at a funeral, for my marriage," Cynthia let out a sigh and took another drink.

"What? Frank adores you."

"He adores his work more... Look I don't want to bring you down at your party..."

"No, it's fine. As much as you've helped me, the past few months with this legal stuff... Talk to me."

"He's working all the time. There's never a break. And lately he's been working late nights with this PI... A woman. She's younger and I've seen them together. I feel paranoid sometimes, but... I don't think I'm wrong."

"What are you going to do?"

"I'm leaving the city... That's why I've booked a room for us for an extended stay. Macey has been accepted into a program at Cornell, so she'll be able to get a jump on her college courses a semester early."

"She's only sixteen... That's amazing."

"I know. She's a genius. I'm so proud of her. Her accident and disability have only made her stronger and more determined. I got a job at a small law firm in Ithaca... So I can be here to support her."

"What about Frank?"

"He has to choose."

"Maybe it's not what you think with this PI,” Abbie tried to ease her friends worry.

 

"I try to tell myself that. He can leave the city, and come with us. Or he can stay, and it’s over. But I can't keep doing this, not after all of my sacrifice, finishing law school with a child, being his wife..."

Cynthia was near tears and Abbie pulled her into a hug. A cool breeze crept in as the door opened. Abbie looked up with a smile.

"Cynthia... Look who's here."

Cynthia looked up and couldn't believe it. Frank actually came.

"I'll leave you two," Abbie got up from her spot beside Cynthia and Frank took her seat.

Abbie watched as the two talked. Finally, Cynthia smiled as her husband held her in his embrace.

"Everything all right?" Ichabod asked.

"I think it will be," Abbie looked up at Ichabod, with a soft twinkle in her eye.

A slow song began to play. Leena and John were the first once to clear a space to dance. Frank didn't miss a beat, knowing he had a lot to make up for with his wife.

"May I have this dance," Ichabod extended his hand to Abbie.

"This dance, and every dance," Abbie smiled up at him as she went into his arms.

Ichabod sang softly along as he held her close. Their bodies swayed, and their eyes fixed on each other. He was so smooth when dancing, spinning her with ease and bringing her right back into his arms.

Abbie closed her eyes and let her head rest against his chest. She let the sound of his heartbeat and the vibrating of his soft hum sooth her. Ichabod nestled his cheek into her soft dark lockers, breathing her in, memorizing every tiny detail.

Joe, Luke, and Daniel stood at the counter drinking their beers as they watched Nick ask Caroline to dance. Sophie was the last girl available.

"Definitely short on ladies invited to the party," Andy chuckled as he finished up his drink.

"Probably why Abbie told us to bring a date," Daniel let out a sigh as he watches Abbie and Ichabod dancing oblivious to anyone else around them.

"Well, I did my part for you guys," Joe nodded towards Sophie. "Unfortunately for me, this party is short on guys playing on my team."

"I can't help you there," Danny put down his drink and made a B-line for Sophie.

"So are we going to dance or watch everyone else?" Andy asked Joe.

"Sure," Joe put down his drink and the two of them joined in.

 

~~~

 

2 ~ Most Precious Gift

 

"Is it time yet," Ichabod whispered in Abbie's ear.

"Come on," she scrunched her nose with a grin.

She waved to Leena letting her know the party was in her hands now, then led Ichabod upstairs to her room.

Finally, they would have the rest of the night alone. They had planned to exchange gifts early, each wanting to be present when the other opened their gift, and instead of waiting until after Christmas.

"Okay you open your gift first," Abbie eagerly sat on her bed with the wrapped box, as Ichabod returned from his room with her gift. "Or did you want to go at the same time?"

"Um... My gift may require a bit of an explanation so, I shall go first."

Ichabod had another envelope that he kept to the side. They exchanged boxes and Abbie sat wide-eyed and excited as he un-taped the box.

"My word..." Ichabod gasped, eyes wide with awe as he looked at the chess board. "This is quite fine." He pulled out one of the chess pieces and observed the fine handcrafted detail.

"Do you recognize it?" Abbie asked.

"I've only seen pictures but... It can't be..."

"This was Old Man Cranes'. We used to play all the time. He said it was given to him by his grandfather, and he gave it to me... And I know how much you love chess..."

"Yes... My father told me about it. My great-great grandfather hand carved these pieces himself. I can't believe it still exists... But I can't possibly take it. It was left to you."

"Crane, I want you to have it. And I think if Mr. Crane had known you, he would want you to have it too."

"Abbie... I... Thank you. This is incredible," he said as he held up the queen and eyed every detail. "You are incredible," he was too stunned for words at her generosity and thoughtfulness. "I absolutely love it."

He gave her a dozen kisses, ending with a long lingering kiss on her lips.

"Wait..." Abbie wriggled from his arms and reached for her box. "It's my turn."

"All right," Ichabod looked a bit nervous as he ran his hands through his hair.

Abbie peeked up at him, curious about his reaction to her opening her gift, as she untied the box. Inside she found a large, embroidered, leather-bound book.

"This is beautiful... but what book is this?" Abbie picked up the old book and ran her hands over the leather cover.

"Open it," Ichabod pointed eagerly.

"It's a cookbook," Abbie grinned. "And these recipes look... Is this a historical cookbook... An antique."

"It is... Abbie, it's yours... Your family cookbook. The special nog I made tonight... That was from your ancestor Grace Dixon."

"I don't understand," Abbie looked at him.

"After you told me that you lost everything that had been your mother's, and you couldn't find her family... I started to do some research. Remember the Lasagna recipe from the Nurse at Tarrytown Psych?"

"Yeah... Linda's lasagna is the best."

"Turns out she got the recipe from this book. After the basement flood at the hospital, almost everything stored in the basement was destroyed. But Linda saved this book. She didn't know who's book it was, because of the list of names. The last owner of the book... Lauren Roberts."

"Is that my mom's real name?

"Yes."

"How..." Abbie was beginning to get choked up. "How did you find out all of this?"

She couldn't believe she was holding something that belonged to her mother, and generations before them. She flipped through the pages of handwritten recipes, and home remedies. There was space for her to add recipes and jot down her thoughts and words of wisdom to pass down. It was so surreal.

"I'm a historian... It's one of the things we do."

"Now that I know my mother’s name, I can find out if I have a family... Why she left them... I have to know what happened. What if they aren't alive?"

"You have living family," Ichabod slowly handed her the manila envelope. "As I checked records to be sure Lauren Roberts was indeed Lori... I found that she was reported missing thirty years ago. As recently as five years ago, your family was still looking for her. Take your time and go through it when you're ready."

“I want to now, if you’ll do it with me.”

“Of course,” Ichabod moved closer to her as she pulled out the pictures.

Abbie took a deep breath and began sifting through the contents of the envelope. She followed the names on the handwritten family tree reading and mentally making a connection. Ichabod had copied newspaper articles and yearbook photos of her mother and her mother’s family spanning back over the past century to present date. There were repeated missing person articles for her mother.

image

“They’d always been looking for her. According to this, my mom’s schizophrenia played a part in her running away,” Abbie sighed.

“Mental illness can be very unpredictable. I think they did the best they could to find her.”

“New York is a big city, perfect to run away and get lost in… Who are these people,” Abbie asked about an elderly couple? There was another photo of them at the younger age.

“These are your grandparents, Jacob and Ellie Roberts,” Ichabod pointed to their names on the handwritten family tree he’d mapped out.

“Are they alive?” Abbie asked.

“I have an address for Jacob Roberts. I am so sorry I haven’t had enough time to search through death records and obituaries to find out…”

“Please, Crane… You’ve done so much. I don’t even know how to thank you…” Abbie started to get choked up again.

“It’s been my pleasure to do this for you. I only wish I could more.”

"I’ve spent my life trying to make a family. When I had the Corbins and the Moraleses, I thought it was enough. Then when Luke moved us to California… I was miserable. Then when I couldn’t have a baby… I Thought maybe I was cursed and I just wasn’t ever going to have a family. I came back here and found Leena and Nick. I just wanted a family so bad… And now, you give me this… I have a family..." Her words were barely audible as large teardrops spattered on the Manila envelope.

"I've upset you..." Ichabod was worried again, and placed his hand on hers.

"No...," Abbie whipped her cheeks with her free hand and let out a soft laugh. "Thank you... I had nothing... And now... This is..."

She shook her head with a soft smile as she carefully placed the gifts on the nightstand.

She was at a loss for words, as her lovely tear-filled brown eyes looked up at him. Their lips met in a tender kiss, so much love and caring flowed between them, it could not be contained

 

Their lips parted slowly, their tongues gently pressed and mingled together. Ichabod’s hands ran down her body. She encouraged him, pulling him close as they kissed, he slid his hands down between her thighs, massaging her mound. His finger dragged the length if her slit, down then up again. Her body rocked and shuddered at his touch.

He gently laid her back on the bed. He then let his fingers spread her mound and reveal the inner folds, the wet pink center and the tiny clit. His tongue sank deep into her as her body began to rise from bliss.

"Ooh..." She panted. Her voice sang out to him. He took both hands and pressed her thighs back and further apart as his kisses and sucked her clip. Her body was rigid as he sucked and tongued. She clung to her breasts as her nerves became over sensitive. He looked up to watch her as he took one hand off her thigh and slipped his long finger deep inside her. He pulled it out pleased to find it dripping, then he slid two fingers in. He crooked them upwards, finding her spot and massaged inside. Her body tensed then shuddered as he went faster.

"Oh, fuck... Crane... I'm coming so hard..." She whimpered, as a crashing wave of ecstasy hit her. Ichabod rose up mounting between her thighs and watched her, eyes barely open, her lips puckered, as she enjoy the orgasm. Her legs quivered, and Ichabod was surrounded by the beautiful sound of her crying out his name.

Ichabod grabbed his cock which was hard as a rock and guided it into her tiny tight chasm. It took his breath away, and he let out a long deep breath that caught in his throat, as he pressed inside.

"Don't stop... " she whimpered. He pushed all the way into her, "oh god Crane."

"I love you?" He groaned into her ear, barely able to speak.
"Yes," her voice found some boldness.

He slid back and forth inside of her, not going all the way in again, but gradually getting faster. The head of his cock beat against her sensitive spot, making her moan, and eliciting such dirty sounds and words from her, that it blew Ichabod's mind.

Ichabod pumped deeper and faster, sweat dripped from his brow and the locks of hair as he hammered into her pussy. Her nails dug into his back as he hit the end of her over and over.

 

Ichabod could feel her walls tightening around his dick and he knew she was going to come. She came so hard he could feel her wetness. He loved the beautiful face she made with her hooded light brown eyes and her puckered lips combined with the sweetest cry, and it drove him over the edge. He tried to kiss her, but their lips barely touched, as he came hard inside her.

She held onto his ass, helping him thrust as deep into her as he could possibly go as he emptied all he had of him in four stiff thrusts. They laid with him on top of her, inside of her, kissing her full on the mouth, tonguing deep into her.

 

Carefully he rolled onto his back, keeping himself inside her, wanting to stay in her, with her, as possible for as long as possible and dreading that he would be leaving her tomorrow.

"Come with me Treasure..." He asked again softly, hoping she would change her mind.

"I wish I could," she inhaled as his fingers gently traced down her body to her soft round bottom, and back up again. She rested her head across his chest.

" I love you Abbie."

"I love you, baby," she said softly, letting it all sink in. He had given her the family she'd always dreamed of. A lifetime of her prayers was finally coming true.

 

 

~~~

 

3 ~ Without The One You Love

 

One week later.

It was a long week without Ichabod. The B&B was fully booked for Christmas, and the Morales Family had been there for the past few days. As much as Abbie loved them they could be a bit overwhelming. It was bittersweet when they had to go back to the city for Christmas Eve. Gloria wanted to be with her son on Christmas. They enjoyed breakfast together,
Abbie was so excited to tell them about the recipe book and the photos she’d been given. Mrs. Morales was even brought to tears.

By then, it was time for the Morales Family to leave and begin their five hour drive back to NYC.

"They finally head out?" Leena asked as Abbie cleared the table.

"Yes. It's going to suck here now... Especially with you taking a trip this afternoon."

"I'm actually not going," Leena pulled out her phone and forwarded her an email confirmation. "You have three hours to grab your passport and pack. Then I have to drive you to the airport."

It took Abbie a second as her phone buzzed, to realize what Leena was doing.

"Leena, I can't take your trip to England... The B&B is packed... and Luke needs to bring Lucas back in a few days..."

"I can run the B&B for a week while you're gone. Marta and Lou need to talk to Gloria if they want Lucas. You are going to England."

"I'm going to England," Abbie grinned and gave Leena a huge hug. "Thank you!"

~~~

It was well after dark, almost midnight of Christmas Eve when the cab drove Abbie up to the Estate. The sky was dark and littered with huge bright stars and a crescent moon almost illuminating the castle in the distance.

"It's somethin’ else isn't it," the driver couldn't help but notice how awe struck Abbie was. His thick British accent was jovial, and he kept Abbie entertained the whole ride.

"It's incredible. I've only seen a few pictures... Driving up to it is..."

"I know. My mum and dad say back in the day they would open the castle for the holidays and have visitors come through... Said there was nothing like it. All that ended after the old man left and poor Lady Crane... Well, she's had a rough go of it since then. Her sons and grandsons have maybe shown the castle a couple of times since."

“Such a shame…”

"All the lights are out... Are you sure you’re expected? I'd hate to leave ya out in the snow."

"It's a bit of a surprise, and I am later than I expected," Abbie remembered that the family lived in one portion of the castle. "Can you drive around to the back?"

"Of course. And I'll wait here for ya."

Abbie was relieved to see a light on, and figured it was probably the housekeeper. Nervously, she pulled out her cell phone and dialed.

~~~

Ichabod was wide awake, bustling through the kitchen. He'd already prepped dinner and had the lamb chops marinating in the refrigerator. Now he was just finishing up a couple of pies and his grandmother's favorite snickerdoodles. He buzzed about humming Christmas tunes as he pulled another batch from the oven. The next song was Marvin Gaye's "I Want To Come Home For Christmas" which reminded him of Abbie. She loved old Motown, especially Marvin.

When his phone buzzed he was pleasantly surprised to see Abbie's gorgeous face pop up on the screen. It was just turning midnight, but it was 5 am in New York.

"Merry Christmas, Treasure," Ichabod's voice was beaming.

"Merry Christmas," Abbie's teeth chattered. "Are you awake?"

"Wide awake and thinking of you as I cook. I've actually prepared your great grandmother's pecan pie and your ancestor Grace's Special Nog, just so I could have a part of you with me for Christmas."

"Really," Abbie felt her heart swoon in her chest as she approached the back door.

"Yes... I miss you dreadfully," Ichabod sighed. "I wish you were here."

"Open the door," Abbie was now grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

"Pardon?" Ichabod didn't get her meaning until he heard the knock. He ran to the door, "Grace Abigail Mills... Is that you?"

It swung open before she could answer and the next thing she knew he was in his arms. He had her feet off the ground as he spun her around, and kissed her.

"Merry Christmas!" The cab driver waved as he started to drive of.

"Merry Christmas, good man!" Ichabod was as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning. He kissed her again, longer lingering this time, as her arms hung languidly around his shoulders.

"Come in from the cold," he finally got his wits about him, took her by the hand, and brought her bag inside.

He helped her out of her coat and just could not stop smiling. He took her hands in his to warm them. "I thought you could not come, and here you are."

"I'm just glad you're happy to see me," Abbie grinned. "I'm not showing up and cramping you style."

"On the contrary," Ichabod looked surprised. "Everyone is asleep... but we'll have introductions in the morning.

I've told Grams all about you. She said she couldn't wait to meet you..."

He was interrupted by the oven timer. "Pardon, it's the last batch and then I'm all yours for the night and for as long as you can stay."

Abbie started to put a few things in the sink as Ichabod put the last batch of cookies out to cool.

"No no... Ichabod came up behind Abbie and put his arms around her waist. "You've come all this way to see me. It would be shameful if I put you to work."

"I don't mind," Abbie grinned up as she turned into his arms. " what do you want me to do while I'm here?"

"Me," Ichabod raised a brow as his hands went down her back and caressed her firm bottom. "All night."

"I think I can manage that," her breath quickened as his hands slid up under her top.

He easily slipped it off then kissed her neck and ear. She was already getting wet and Ichabod wasn't wasting a single second. His hands were already unfastening her pants. "I want to taste you all night..."

"Mmmm..." Abbie nodded her agreement as she tried to unfasten his pants.

She worked quickly to free his hard and throbbing cock from the constraints as he kissed her.

He picked her up, setting her on the countertop, as he shuffled his feet from his pants. She slid a little, having sat in a dusting of flour that was spread across the counter. Ichabod quickly held her coming between her thighs and kissing her lips. His hard manhood pressed against her body.

Her arms wrapped around him, fingers flittering through his hair, as he kissed down her body. Ichabod un-hitching her bra and kissed at the delicate chocolate kiss-shaped nipples, flicking them with his tongue then taking her breast in his mouth. Abbie moaned heavy as he elicited warm sensations of pleasure to ignite through her body.

He knelt down, admiring her glorious chasm as he kissed from one thigh to the other. He parted her folds, licking gently at the wet pink flesh inside, before delving in. Then his fingers joined as he greedily enjoyed her.

“Oh god Crane yes…” she moaned in a soft whisper, as he tenderly, rapidly suckled her clit. She tried to keep quiet, but was making it almost impossible.

Her legs trembled as she came. He continued, letting her ride the wave long and hard, until she couldn’t take it anymore.

“Fuck me, Crane,” she begged with a soft whisper.

He rose to his feet, taking his cock in hand and guided the head to her entrance. His eyes fixed on his destination; he let out a low breath as the head entered her. He moaned as he pressed into her, leaning into her neck, kissing her ear.

“Is this what you want,” he groaned in her ear as his cock stroked inside her.

“Yes…” she panted breathlessly, as she let the sensation of pleasure take over.. “More…”

He leaned up, obliging her. He grabbed her hips, and swiftly pounded, his breath caught heavy as he thrust.

A bowl went crashing to the ground, but they were way too heavy into screwing to care. Ichabod lifted her from the counter and laid her down, mounting between her thighs and continued thrusting wildly.

She reached back grabbing his rear, feeling his muscles tighten as he worked her.

"Crane..." She panted softly, say his name over and over.

It wasn't long before Abbie was coming and he wanted her to enjoy the high. Pure bliss made her delirious, and she loved it. He kissed her lips as she came, softly panting and moaning as her body quivered.

 

"Fuck... You feel so damn good," he groaned as her tight walls clenched his cock.

Blissful waves began to take over his body in waves as he tightened and released. It never felt so good to come as it did with her, and he was convinced the universe had made them for each other.

 

~~~

 

4 ~ Meet The Cranes

 

It took them a few minutes to catch their breath as they laid on the kitchen floor in each other's arms.

"This... is the best Christmas ever," Ichabod was beaming.

"Yeah..." Abbie was still panting. "Definitely up there."

"I think we've made a bit of a mess," Ichabod grinned as he kissed away a bit of flour on her cheek. "And I’ve only but begun with you." His hands were already smoothing down the curves of her body, and she could feel him stiffening against her already.

"Oh is that right," Abbie giggled as his beard tickled at her cheek.

"Mmmm... I smell snickerdoodles," The calm elderly voice coming from the doorway startled them both.

"Grams!" Ichabod immediately jumped up off of Abbie and rushed to put his pants on. Abbie stayed behind the counter and scrambled for clothes.

“What are you doing up?" he asked breathing heavy as she came into the kitchen. He struggled to get his pants zipped due to the situation that hadn’t quite gone down yet.

"I smell cookies dear... Oh goodness Ichabod, put that thing away." Delilah asked her grandson as she grabbed a cookie. Ichabod grabbed an apron; since it was the closest thing he could find to cover his situation. She noticed movement behind the counter. "Oh... Who's this?"

Abbie was frantically putting Ichabod's shirt on since hers was out of reach. She figured she was a decent as she was going to get, with his shirt coming almost to her knees, and stood up with a nervous smile.

'I am terribly sorry,' Ichabod mouthed to Abbie as he addressed his grandmother. "Grams... This is..."

"Is this Abbie?" Delilah gave them both a grin. "Well... Aren't you lovely? You’re right Ichabod, she has a most beautiful smile."

“Thank you,” Abbie blushed. “It’s nice to meet you. I’m sorry it’s under these circumstances.”

Oh, hodgepodge. I’m glad to see my grandson is being well taken care of. And he’d better be taking good care of you too. He takes after his grandfather, you know.” Delilah gave Abbie a quick hug. "You've got a touch of flour in your hair dearest," she fluffed Abbie's hair just a bit. "I'll just take a few of these cookies and give you two your privacy. Oh, I it’s been ages since I had a good shag in the kitchen."

Ichabod looked mortified, while Abbie stood in pure shock.

"What on earth is going on here?" Katrina walked to find Ichabod shirtless and Abbie wearing it. She was not quite as amused as Lady Crane was. "Ichabod!" Her eyes went to the very noticeable ass print in the flour on the counter.

 

"Katrina, could you please see Grams back upstairs," Ichabod "I'll make introductions in the morning."

"No... I think introductions are needed immediately!" Katrina eyed Abbie who, to her dismay, looked really sexy in Ichabod's long shirt. Her blood was boiling. "I'm Ichabod's fiancée, Katrina."

Abbie rolled her eyes hard, annoyed that Katrina was still playing this old song. She looked right at Ichabod.

"Not... Not fiancé... Former fiancé, and Katrina, this is Abbie... she is my girlfriend."

"Abbie's here" Jeremy came into the kitchen with Abraham right behind him.

"Blasted..." Ichabod grumbled. "Yes everyone this is my... my girlfriend Abbie. Abbie, this is my best friend Abraham and my little brother Jeremy."

"Hi..." Abbie said nervously.

"Nice to finally meet you," Abe was grinning ear to ear, seeing the mess and his friend half dressed. He could guess what they’d been up to, and liked this girl already.

"Okay, well, back to bed everyone. Abbie has had a long flight and is in need of rest." Ichabod shooed them out of the kitchen

"There aren't any more rooms ready," Katrina snapped. She'll have to sleep on the sofa in the family room."

"Nonsense," Grams waved her hand at Katrina. "She'll be staying with Ichabod. I'm afraid we've interrupted them. And you know it's not every day that you get a shad in the kitchen. The last time I had one was in 1972. I remember your grandfather was..."

"Grams!" Everyone gasped. This was way too much information.

“I’m going back to bed,” Jeremy grabbed a cookie and left. “See you in the morning.”

“I think it would be highly inappropriate for Ichabod to bring her into his bedroom…” Katrina prattled on flabbergasted that Abbie was there. “And to carry on, in the kitchen…”

“Dear, this is Ichabod’s house. He can carry on where ever he pleases. Now his very lovely girlfriend has come a very long way to see him on Christmas Eve. It’s a miracle they made it past the door. Spontaneity can be so very romantic.” Delilah gave Abbie a wink. “Now let’s get to bed and leave these two alone. They need some privacy.”

“But…” Katrina tried to protest but Mrs. Crane wasn’t hearing it.

When they left Ichabod and Abbie burst into quiet laughter. “Treasure, I am so very sorry… Gram can be, a bit forward.”

“Are you kidding,” Abbie grinned. “I like her. I was expecting her to be really strict and stuffy, maybe a prude.”

“Grams… Not at all. She’s Scottish born and raised. Spent her later teens and early twenties doing theater… Even Cabaret,” Ichabod raised his brow.

“What,” Abbie’s smile grew wide. “She sounds amazing.”

“When she’s lucid, she really is,” Ichabod smiled. “And she really likes you. Now, how about you and I finish what we started upstairs… where there’s less chance for interruptions.”

 

 

~~~

Katrina was furious and mortified. Now more than ever she was regretting choosing the small room that was adjoining to Ichabod's. she'd used the excuse that she needed access to the dressing room where all her belongings were. Ichabod had offered to have the housekeeper, Mrs. Potts, take her things to another room, but Katrina had been difficult.

Well now she was wishing she had a room down the other hall like everyone else, because Ichabod and Abbie were going at it like wild animals in the room beside her. The walls here thick and solid, but the gap under the adjoining door made it so that she had to suffer through every moan and cry. She had to listen to Ichabod giving her one orgasm after another, Abbie cried out his name.

"Who's is it!" Abbie panted heavy.

"It's yours..." Ichabod moaned out loud as he pounded into her. "Only yours!"

Katrina threw a pillow over her head and let out a scream! She wasn't going to get any sleep tonight.

 

~*~

Chapter Text

ESL CH 10
Do For Love (Part 1)

 

image

~Intro~

"My god... treasure... you feel so good," Ichabod went in full tilt, grunting with each thrust. His brow dripped with sweat, and his pelvis smacked against her ass with each strike.

"Fuck... Crane... Fu... Oh...." She couldn't form words as she grasped at the bed covers. Her mind and body gave in to the wave of pleasure, as he did her from behind, and she relaxed into her orgasm. Swirls of pure ecstasy tipped her over the edge.

Abbie didn’t know what to expect when she arrived in England for the surprise visit. The trip wasn’t without a few hiccups, but the sex was almost non-stop for her and Ichabod.

 

~~
1 ~ Day One

 

It was Christmas morning after Abbie's surprise arrival at Bellington. Abbie was having a great time, enjoying muffins for breakfast and then exchanged gifts. Jeremy announced that he'd be spending a semester at Cornell as part of his studies Abroad, which Ichabod was very excited about. He hoped that he'd be able to have lunch on occasion with him on campus, and Abbie offered him to stay at Grace's Place on the weekends.

 

"Stop sulking by the door and come in, dear," Delilah waved to Katrina who was peeking in from outside of the living room door. "We're almost done exchanging gifts."

"I wasn't sure if I was welcome," Katrina did her best to look both resilient and wounded as she walked by Ichabod and Abbie.

Ichabod rolled his eyes, and shifted uncomfortably closer to Abbie. Jeremy and Bram looked awkwardly at Grams, who shrugged her shoulders. The family had exchanged gifts earlier that morning, while Katrina had waited in her room. She had hoped someone would remember she was there and ask her to join, but when no one came she finally went down herself.

"Of course you're welcome," Delilah eyed Ichabod to be polite.

"Of course," Ichabod smiled cooly but tried to be polite. Katrina had after all been kind enough to get Delilah every other weekend while he and Jeremy were away. "I just wonder if Katrina might enjoy spending the holidays with her family."

"Well, up until last night I thought this was my family," Katrina snapped.

"I appreciate everything you've done Katrina, but I could not be more clear..."

"Ehem... Children..." Delilah said sternly. "I got something for you Katrina."

Delilah handed her a small box with a bangle bracelet inside. "It's the one we saw in the shop last month. Thank you. It's lovely. And this is for you." Katrina smiled politely as she handed Delilah a gift bag.

She pulled a long silk floral pattern scarf from the bag.

"Oh, this is wonderful Dear, thank you," Delilah gave Katrina's hand a squeeze.

"It's an Alexander McQueen," Katrina bragged.

"This will make Martha and Violet so jealous," Delilah grinned. "You do have fine taste."

Katrina glanced up at Abbie with a smirk.

"Ichabod and I have one more gift for you Grams," Jeremy waved to his brother.

"Oh, yes..." Ichabod got up and handed his grandmother a flat squared wrapped package.

Delilah grinned knowing immediately it was a record but curious as to what the boys had chosen for her. She eagerly unwrapped it and gasped. It wasn't just any record. It was an autographed copy of ‘Ain't No Mountain High Enough’, signed by Marvin Gaye. "Where did you get this?"

"We got it from Abbie," Ichabod smiled.

Katrina scowled when she realized Abbie was involved in the gift that Delilah seemed so delighted with. Old man Crane had the copy in his study with several other old records and neat little things. She was happy to help the boys treat their Grams .

"It's just an old record." Katrina rolled her eyes.

"Oh," Delilah was nearly teary eyed. "Thank you all so much."

"Did you know Marvin Gaye is also one of Abbie's favorite singer," Ichabod chimed in.

"Really," Delilah perked up. "You're so young. He was before your time."

"I know," Abbie nodded, "but I have an affinity for old Motown, R&B and Jazz..."

"Oh I love Jazz and Motown." Delilah was thrilled to have something in common.

They chatted about old music as Katrina continually rolled her eyes. Grams talked about her days before her marriage and the early years when she performed in Cabaret and how she was quite the singer years ago. But these periods of fun and lucidity never lasted too long and soon Delilah's thoughts became jumbled.

"This reminds me of the time Mr. Gaye performed in England. George took me to see him live and it was just a dream. He was my... My um… I can't remember..." Delilah looked up at Ichabod. "That was the last show we attended wasn't it George?"

"Grams... It's me Ichabod."

"Why did you leave George? Didn’t we have such a wonderful life?" Delilah seemed confused.

"Grams, I think you've had a long morning," Jeremy stood up and took her by the hand. "Come let’s get a little nap before lunch."

"Yes... I am a little fatigued," Delilah agreed as she looked at Ichabod. "Will you still be here when I wake up?"

"Yes, of course," Ichabod nodded and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "I promise I'll still be here."

"I hope that all the talk about the past didn't trigger her," Abbie worried that she had caused the episode.

"Probably," Katrina snarked.

"Of course not," Ichabod snapped back after Katrina.

He took Abbie by the hand to leave the room.

"These episodes happen several times a day. And they have no set trigger. The truth is, Grams loves talking about the good old days. Unfortunately I remind her of George."

"You do look a lot like Old man Crane. That's got to be hard."

"Sometimes... Especially when she thinks I’m George. This episode was minor in comparison to others."

"Are you okay?" Abbie asked.

"It's hard being away from her, but I'm fine. And I am so glad you're here with me."

"Me too," Abbie smiled softly as he gave her a tender kiss.

~~~

 

It was true that throughout the day Delilah slipped in and out of Lucidity a couple more times. But when it came to cooking dinner, she was completely on top of things. She and Ichabod buzzed around the kitchen like one cohesive machine, working in perfect tandem.

"You and Grams are so cute," Abbie teased as they went back to Ichabod's room after dinner.

"She really likes you, " Ichabod was pleased. "She never offers to teach anyone her famous butter biscuits."

"And by biscuits she means cookies?" Abbie asked.

"You catch on quite swiftly," Ichabod closed and locked the bedroom door behind them. "It's a secret family recipe."

"So she never taught it to Katrina?"

"Never," Ichabod gave Abbie a curious look as he slowly began to undress her. "You're not jealous of Katrina are you?"

"Jealous... that your ex fiancé is spending the holidays with you? Why would I be?"

"Treasure, I am here with you. Katrina is here as my grandmothers guests. She's been oddly kind enough to bring her home on the weekends..."

"I know," Abbie stopped him short. Katrina being there irritated her to no end, but she understood. "I'm the one who showed up unannounced."

"And I'm so grateful that you did," Ichabod looked her over after stripping her down to her bra and panties. He put his arms around her and gave her a half grin. "It's the most incredible thing anyone's ever done for me."

"Oh, you don't have women flying across the ocean to see you all the time," Abbie teased letting her arms hang loosely over his shoulders.

"Surprisingly, no," Ichabod teased back, pecking a little kiss on her cheek, before holding her close in his arms. "I shall speak with Katrina in the morrow, and see if she can make alternative accommodations."

She looked up into his blue eyes, "You don't have too."

Abbie said the words but deep down she didn't want to mess things up with his grandmother. Still, it felt good to know he would ask her to go.

Ichabod leaned in gently letting the tip of his nose brush against hers. "I will always choose you Abbie."

"Really," Abbie grinned, as her heart swelled.

"I do not believe I have ever truly been besotted before you." He leaned into her whispering huskily in her ear. "I am yours Abbie."

"Good," Abbie purred as he kissed her cheek. Her fingers gently flitted over the outer rim of his ear, sending tiny pangs so pleasure through his erogenous zone. "Because, I want you."

Their lips met, in a long tender kiss as she unbuttoned his shirt and pulled it off of him. Her hands made their way down his chest o his pants and unfastened them, freeing his throbbing member. He kicked his pants off, then pressed himself against her, letting her feel the massive hard on he was getting for her. His hands were on her cheeks and neck, as his tongue pressed into her mouth, deepening their kiss and tasting inside. He moaned heavy into her mouth as her hands began rubbing the smooth hardness of his member.

Abbie kissed down his neck to his chest, kissing and sucking at the tiny nipples, as his cock grew rock hard in her hand. She squatted down, legs spread wide as she began to kiss the head of his manhood and fondle his balls. Ichabod grasped the dresser, sucking air in through his teeth then letting it out as she tongued the tip. She playfully kissed and sucked the head, letting her long wet tongue swirl around it as her other hand stroked up and down the length.

"Oh, fuck Abbie... You feel so damn good." He held on for dear life as she sucked his head. Swirls of bliss began filtering through him, as he groaned.

"Mmmm..." She moaned, enjoying him, as she took him as deep as she could into her mouth.

He got a glimps of her in the mirror and enjoyed watching as she went back and forth sucking on him. The image of her pleasing him sent pure electricity through his body. He was already filling her mouth with precum, and he could feel himself ready to burst. But there was only one place he wanted to come, and so much he wanted to do first.

"Abbie, I need to taste you... I want to come inside you..." His deep husky voice begged.

Abbie took one last drag on him, then popped his head out of her mouth. She licked away the traces of precum, before standing to her feet.

Ichabod kissed her as he reached behind her and unfastened her bra. He pressed her back to the wall then leaned in sucking her breast. The soft plump nipple went firm in his mouth as his tongue swirled around it. He gladly went to the other, kissing and sucking as he cupped her breast. His free and slipped under her panties and began fingering at her clit and slit.

Her soft moans turned to panting as he fingered inside her. She was sopping wet and grinding onto his hand. She whimpered when he removed his fingers to take of the panties. He was desperate to taste her, but so painfully hard, he couldn't wait. He stood up, lifting her with him, and guided his cock to her entrance. He pressed the head in first as he rested his cheek into her dark locks. With a swift thrust, he stretched her walls, pressing into her.

He let out a guttural moan as her walls tightened around his throbbing cock. Her legs wrapped around his waist. He began to slowly grind into her as her back pressed against the wall. She panted wildly as he got deeper and deeper with each thrust.

"Fuck..." She managed as a massive burst of bliss hit her much sooner than she expected. She came hard soaking his cock. He could cum right there, but he greedily wanted to taste her still... more so now than ever.

He carried her to the bed and laid her on her belly. He then pulled her up onto her knees and to the edge of the bed. He lowered himself spreading her cheeks with his hands. He exposed her wet pink center, his eyes hooded with desire as he delved in. He stiffened his tongue and licked the length of her, letting his tongue dip into her chasm.

"Ohh... I love it..." She purred, desperate to find her voice and tell him how much she wanted it. She slowly began grinding back into his mouth. "So fucking good..."

He loved pleasing her as much as she enjoyed pleasing him, but he also loved the taste of her and could stay there eating her from behind all night. He lapped up her essence like a man dying of thirst, a thirst only she could quench. But his stiff cock was greedy too. His appetite for her was insatiable.

He loved her bum and kissed her thick round cheeks as he got up and stood behind her. He guided his cock to her wet slit. He stretched her again pushing in with a hard thrust. He began stroking back and forth, angling to hit her spot as he grasped her his. He went swift for a minute then slowed, as Abbie panted and moaned.

"I'm yours... Fuck... I'm yours..." She managed, barely intelligible, but Ichabod knew what she was saying; because, he was thinking the same thing.

"My god... treasure... you feel so good," He went in full tilt, grunting with each thrust. His brow dripped with sweat as his pelvis smacked against her ass with each strike.

"Fuck... Crane... Fu... Oh...." She couldn't form words as she grasped at the bed covers. Her mind and body gave in to the wave of pleasure, as he did her from behind, and she relaxed into her orgasm. Swirls of pure ecstasy tipped her over the edge.

He leaned over her back, as he continued thrusting inside her, feeling her walls tighten as she came. His body reacted in kind as pleasure hit every nerve in his body.

"Oh... Fuck..." He grunted as his body tightened against her back. "I’m coming..."

He came hard inside her, his cock jolting repeatedly as he filled her. They collapsed on their sides, as he spooned, still inside her. Their breaths were heavy as they tried to recover.

"I love you, Abbie..." He finally managed, kissing her shoulder, as he pulled her tighter into his embrace.

"I love you too, Crane," Abbie panted with a soft smile and snuggled up into his arms.

 

~~~

 

 

 

 

2 ~ Day Two

 

"You're doing splendidly," Grams reassured Abbie as they measured out the ingredients.

"I always wondered what a pinch was," Abbie grinned.

"Well now you know, and you're a natural dear. I can see why you run a Bed and Breakfast."

"To be honest, Crane does all the cooking. He's so good at it."

Ichabod was all smiles as he watched his grandmother and Abbie chatting away. He gave Abbie a quick nod, which she returned, silently letting him know that she and Delilah would be fine on their own.

He hurried to find Katrina who was up in her small room on the phone complaining to one of her friends. He politely tapped on the door before Katrina waved him in.

"I have to go, Liz. I think Ichabod finally remembered I was here," Katrina hung up and rolled her eyes at him. She spoke in her typical stone faced whisper tone, "Are you finally going to send her away?"

"Send who away?" Ichabod asked furrowing his brow.

"Your American tart. She shows up uninvited. It's embarrassing enough that we have to do this ridiculous separation while you sow your oats... But she shouldn't be here while I'm here..."

"Katrina... Please, sit down," Ichabod directed her to sit on the bed. He sat in a small chair across from her. "Our break up... The end of our engagement. It's not temporary. It's very much permanent."

"You were angry at me, and upset that your father passed. Not to mention the financial difficulties with the estate. It's not the time to make life altering decisions. I can accept that you need Abbie to help you with your grief and to..."

"No... You need to listen to what I'm saying. I do not love you. I am in love with Abbie.

"Ichabod this doesn't have to be about love. It's about the arrangement our fathers had. Why do you think you father pushed for our engagement?"

"I know father was very fond of you Katrina, but..."

"He was fond of my family's money and the Harper-Crane Trust."

Ichabod looked at her confused. The trust was how the housekeeper, gardener and part of Grams home and medical care were paid for. "What does the Trust have to do with anything?"

"Harper is my mother's maiden name. The Trust was created when we became engaged. My father ensures that the trust is funded. Bellington just sits here collecting dust. The Estate isn't bringing in any money. Our fathers had an agreement between gentlemen that once we were married, my inheritance would pay the estate debts and fund the remodeling of the estate."

"Are you fucking kidding me?" Ichabod looked incredulous.

"No. I only found out about this when you told me Bellington was broke and then you left for America. I went to my father to find out if he knew, and that's when he told me about the trust and the agreement."

Ichabod sat shocked. "I... I will speak to your father directly after the holiday is over and tell him to stop funding the trust."

"And how will you pay Mr. And Mrs. Potts? Will you have them redacted? And what about Grams?"

Ichabod was pale, the stress written all over his face. "I will have to pay them with my salary from University. I'll have to forfeit my entire pay..."

"You don't have to," Katrina knelt by his side. "This fling with Abbie cannot last. When this semester is over, you need to return to Oxford."

"You know nothing about the love she and I share."

"I can accept that you need to have your fun, for now. But when you're done with her, I will be here to help you restore Bellington to its former glory. I will be here for you when you’re done, mourning. I can make you feel all the things that she makes you feel," Katrina began to run her hand up his thigh. "I can make you scream my name too..."

Ichabod quickly grabbed her hand and removed it from his person. "You never have before. And I certainly do not wish for you to now."

Katrina stood up with a huff. "Fine! You really want it to be over! Then it's done. Good luck watching this place fall apart, and trying to keep the Utilities running. And I hope you can afford to find someone to bring Grams home every weekend, because I'm done!"

Katrina huffed as she grabbed her Louis Vuitton suitcases and started stuffing her belongings in.

"Katrina, you don't have to leave this instant. Let me call you a cab and help you make arrangements."

"I don't need your help," she snapped. "I'll drive myself to Windamore and then I'll call mum and daddy in Saint Tropez!"

"But you look exhausted..." Ichabod couldn't help but notice the bags under her eyes.

"Oh... And who is to blame for that. You and 'Abbie' have been obnoxious with that racket all night long. I mean really, what on earth could you two have been doing... Do not answer that," Katrina shuddered.

"I told you this was an attached study. It was never meant to be a proper bedroom..." Ichabod almost felt bad. He had no idea that he and Abbie had really been that loud?

"I don't want your excuses for treating me so poorly," Katrina huffed breathily, cutting him short. "You can stay here and watch this drab dilapidated castle fall apart! And when your American girl runs back to her very rich husband and famous husband, you'll come crawling back to me to save your skinny arse!"

Katrina glanced at Ichabod's nether regions and let out a sad sigh. It just wasn't fair that she'd be missing out on that from now on. But she hoped when Ichabod was done with this fling, he'd come crawling back.

She was a mess. Her hair wasn't done and she looked tired from lack of sleep. It was quite a spectacle to see her dragging the two large suitcases across the room and down the hall with clothes hanging out of them.

"Katrina, please let me help you with..."

"No! I mean it Ichabod. I don't want your help. You have trifled with me..." She tugged the cases as the wheels got caught on the rug. "And until you see the errors of your ways... Oh!"

One of her suitcases tumbled down the stairs and burst open, strewing her belongings everywhere. Ichabod hurried down the stairs to help her pick everything up.

"I've got it," Katrina protested as they both shoved her belongings back in the bag.

She went ghost white when Ichabod picked up a case and her Silver bullet fell out. It rolled down the hallway just as Abraham was walking by and stopped after it hit his foot. Abraham awkwardly picked it up between two fingers and handed it to her.

"If you two have this under control... I'm just going to go wash my hands in the lavatory..." Abraham hurried out of the hallway.

"Oh my humiliation is complete." Katrina lamented.

"It's perfectly normal to have a..."

"I know." Katrina was near tears as she shoved it in her bag. "It's not like I was using it while you Abbie were shagging in the room next door!"

Ichabod's eyes grew wide and he looked mortified. "I never even thought that... until you said it."

"Oh dear god, just shoot me now," Katrina grumbled as she closed the suit case, and hurried out the door.

 

 

 

~~~

"There you are," Abbie found Ichabod a couple of hours later in his bedroom. "You never came back down so I brought you some cookies... Excuse me... Biscuits."

"Apologies, I was a bit distracted. Where's Grams?"

"Jeremy took her to her room to rest. He and Abe reheated leftovers for supper... So we have the whole evening to ourselves."

Ichabod managed a smile as he pulled Abbie onto his lap. "You made these?"

"I did," Abbie looked eager for him to taste one. He looked a bit unsure as she held one up to his mouth. "With Grams help."

He took a tentative bite of the cookie then slowly began to smile. "It's very good."

"Really?" Abbie swiveled on his lap letting her ass press into his cock.

"Oh... That's even better.

Abbie should have known not to tease him like that, because his cock twitched hard against her and began to stiffen. He slid his hand up her shirt, lowering the satin bra and cupping her round breast.

"I was just teasing," Abbie grinned.

"Should I stop?" Ichabod raised a brow, then kissed her lips tenderly.

Abbie sat the plate of cookies down. "You better not."

She kissed him back letting her tongue slip into his mouth.

"Mm... The biscuits were good, but nothing tastes as good as you," Ichabod growled as he lifted her and from his lap. They immediately stripped each other from their clothes, ending up on the bed in the 69 position on their sides.

There were no words, just heavy moans as they ate, stroked and sucked. Ichabod loved how flexible she was. He raised one of her legs, so his fingers and tongue could delve all the way inside her wet pink center. He fingered her spot and sucked her clit, then drank from her as he made her cum.

Abbie alternated from his sack to his cock, sucking him wildly as his precum glistened. His hips thrust slightly when she took his shaft full into her mouth. The veins began to strain and he struggled to hold off from coming.

"Not yet..." Abbie panted heavy and slipped out of his grasp. Ichabod was quickly upon her, from behind. She barely got a hold of the bed railing before he thrust into her pussy from behind. They both let out heavy groans as his thick cock filled her chasm.

"Mmmm... Yes... Fuck yes..." Abbie moaned as he banged her from behind his arms were around her holding her close and toying with her breast. It felt so good, she trembled, but she wanted a hard fuck. "Harder!"

She didn't have to ask twice. He grabbed her hips and pounded into her, angling to hit her spot with each stroke. She in kind thrust back into him and he knew he was all the way to the end of her. He raised one leg up beside her and thrust swift and hard. Ichabod wet his fingers and penetrated her other entrance. She moaned heavy as he slipped another finger inside. She was screaming his name, which made him go even faster, until she was a quivering mess, and only gibberish fell from her lips. She came so hard, she couldn't even register what was happening. He slowed his stride, removing his fingers, letting his cock massage her sensitive walls, as she rode the high.

"Does that feel good?" He asked.

"Yeah... Abbie finally panted. Ichabod grinned, because just as she was regaining her senses, he began thrusting hard and fast again.

"Mmmm..my go....." Abbie was gone again.

 

Her cries were so loud, Ichabod almost worried they'd penetrate the stone walls and ring out through the castle. But he was so close himself, he couldn't stop. He loved the sounds that she was making and it drove him over the edge.

"I'm coming so hard inside you..." He groaned as his toes curled and his body tightened.

They took a few minutes to recover, realizing it was still early and everyone would be wondering where they were... Well actually they all knew, but still. It wasn't polite to stay cooped up in Ichabod's bedroom.

They cleaned up and went downstairs to rejoin Grams, Jeremy and Bram.

"Did you enjoy your biscuits, Ichabod?" Grams asked giving Abbie a knowing grin.

"Indeed," Ichabod's cheeks reddened. "The best Cookies I've ever had."

 

 

 

~~~

3 ~ Day Three

A minor snow storm came in overnight, coating the ground with fluffy mounds of snow. The sky was still a pale grey as morning rolled in and large white flakes continued to fall.

Ichabod was a bit disappointed that he wouldn't be able to show Abbie around the neighboring Village, but Delilah was thrilled to give her a tour of Bellington. It was cool and drafty in the old stone castle, but at every turn Delilah and Abbie talked with enthusiasm about the old fixtures and antique finishing. The gallery was like a small museum filled with paintings and other antiquities. It amazed Ichabod how brilliant his grandmother's memory was sometimes and impressed him, the resident historian, how knowledgeable both women were. And it impressed Delilah that Abbie was so familiar with the pieces of art and their creators.

After the gallery, Delilah took them to the Solarium. It had a large stone pool that was empty and two small empty spas. There were no plants, but Delilah described how the solarium was once a tropical oasis.

"This place is remarkable," Abbie mused. "I can only imagine how stunning it was back in the day with the pools filled and foliage growing everywhere

"It truly was. And I know Ichabod will restore this place to its former glory one day," Delilah looked up at him and patted his cheek.

Ichabod smiled and gave Abbie's hand a squeeze. "Where to next Grams?"

"Oh... Let’s show Abbie my favorite room in the castle."

"The music room... Of course," Ichabod agreed.

They began walking as Delilah buzzed all about it.

"It hasn't been remodeled but we still use it. We have a collection of old records at least a dozen instruments."

"We have this piano, a baby grand that drives me up a wall. One of the keys..."

"The middle E is broken," Abbie laughed.

"Yes," Ichabod half laughed, surprised . "How did you know?"

"George told me all about it. He said it also drove him nuts, but they never got it fixed," Abbie confessed. "He said the music room was his favorite place too."

"You know my George?" Delilah's voice was a whisper as her eyes grew wide.

"You didn't tell her?" Abbie whispered to Ichabod and looked mortified at Delilah. "I... I'm sorry... Yes..."

"Is he alive? Where is he?"

"Grams... Grampa George is dead, remember... We told you he passed five years ago."

"Right..." Delilah seemed a bit confused as she looked at Abbie. "But you knew him?"

Abbie worried she had triggered Delilah, and looked desperately at Ichabod. He nodded for her to be honest, and so she was.

"Yes. We were friends."

"Did he tell you why he left? Why didn't he come back? I waited for him... I've been waiting for him."

"He wanted to come home, but he couldn't. He told me he missed his family so much. He said he missed you with all his heart." Abbie decided it was better for now not to mention that her sons disowned Old Man Crane and prevented their father from returning.

"Oh... My poor George, " Delilah teared up and squeezed Abbie's hand. "He died all alone... Without his family..."

"He wasn't alone, I promise. I was with him until the very end. I held his hand."

"He wasn't alone. I always feared he was lost and alone." Delilah's voice cracked as tears ran down her cheek. "You were a family for him... Thank you."

The two women embraced. Abbie couldn't help wonder how Delilah could have so much love and compassion for the man who left her. But in that moment she was also grateful to be able to offer Delilah some closure. It seemed her love for George had never faded, and knowing he was cared for brought her some peace.

~~~

That evening, after dinner, the small group gathered in the music room. Abbie and Abraham sat by the lit fireplace each with a glass of wine, while Jeremy played on the piano. Ichabod and Delilah took absolute joy in delighted everyone with their warbling. Delilah wasn't drinking but Ichabod was already on his second glass of scotch which had really loosened him up.

"Is it always like this?" Abbie asked as she and Abraham sat on the loves at and listened.

"It is," he nodded. "Wait until

they put on the old records," he chuckled. "It's why Katrina and I have always preferred to spend the holidays here rather than with our own families."

"So you and Katrina stayed here even when you were dating?"

"So you know that Katrina and I dated before Ichabod," Abraham nodded.

"He mentioned it."

"I suppose you're curious as to how he and I remained friends."

"I admit I'm wondering how you got over it. You and Ichabod seem so close."

"We are… always have been. And back then I was quite taken with Katrina but I had other feelings I needed to explore... I tell myself it was a misunderstanding. Part of it was my fault."

"How was it your fault?"

"It was a few years ago. I broke up with Katrina because I came out to my family and friends as bisexual. Of course Ichabod already knew... But Katrina didn't. The breakup was suppose to be a time for me to sort things out. I thought Ichabod understood why and what I was really hoping for. But... He ended up asking Katrina out. Which was not exactly what I thought he would do when I came out. I was upset with him for a long time... It was nearly a year, before we made up."

"You're friendship was worth forgiving. That's amazing."

"Yes," Abraham nodded. "None of it went the way I thought it would go but ultimately... I love him, and I'd rather have our friendship than lose him."

Something about his words stood out to Abbie. She wanted to ask, but he quickly changed the subject.

"Ichabod and I were planning to go to London for New Years Eve. I was thinking about scrapping the plans but now I'm thinking we should all go. My family has a stunning flat on the Thames that we will have to ourselves. We'll hit the club on the corner and make a big night of it."

"Okay, if that's what Ichabod wants to do, I'm game."

"I take it you enjoy dancing?"

"Very much so," Abbie smiled as Abraham held out his hand for her. "May I?"

"Sure," Abbie took his hand and the two danced as Ichabod and Delilah finished their song.

They continued dancing while Jeremy played and Ichabod selected records to play on the vintage record changer. It warmed Ichabod's heart to see his best mate and Abbie getting along so well.

Ichabod danced with Delilah as an old song from the sixties played. It was European and not something Abbie was familiar with but then went right into The Righteous Brothers. Jeremy kindly interrupted and asked to dance with Abbie while Ichabod danced with Grams.

A few more drinks in and everyone was feeling pretty good. Abbie sat down to have some more wine while Ichabod poured himself another scotch. He took a few swallows as the next song began, and let out a boisterous pleased hum. He swiveled his hips to the rhythm of Bobby Caldwell's 'What You Won't Do For Love'

"This is good stuff," he nodded poignantly holding up one hand and pointing as he swayed to the music.

"Show them what those hips can do," Delilah teased, putting a little wiggle in her hips as well.

Ichabod did a little shuffle over to Abbie, who was grinning ear to ear, hardly able to contain herself. She held her hand to her mouth, as he did a slight gyration in her direction. He took one last swallow of his drink before placing it down nod pulling Abbie up into his arms.

Abbie hadn't seen him this tipsy since his birthday. He was such a smooth dancer that the alcohol only seemed to loosen him up. He spun her around then held her close as their hips began to move together in perfect rhythm. Abbie smiled as he sang into her ear.

"Some people go around the world for love.
They may never find what they dream of.
What you won't do... Do for love.
You tried everything but you won't give up.
In my world only you,
make me do for love what I would not do."

Abbie wrapped her arms languidly around his shoulders letting herself get lost in the sound of his voice and the moving of their bodies in sync.

Delilah quietly waved for Abraham and Jeremy. It was time for them to go.

It wasn't until the record switched to Bill Wither's 'Just The Two Of Us' that Ichabod and Abbie realized everyone had left.

"We're all alone," Abbie grinned mischievously up into his eyes.

"Indeed we are," Ichabod kissed her tenderly that briefly sang to her again. "Just the two of us. We can make it if we try. Just the two of us..."

"Just the two of us," Abbie nuzzled his nose to hers before kissing him again.

"I need to make love to you right now," Ichabod breathed softly against her skin. "Do you want me?"

Abbie nodded, and they began undressing each other. He continued to kiss her so tenderly that Abbie melted in his arms. His lips pressed gentle kisses across her cheeks and neck as he sat her on the sofa. He kissed her breasts as she laid back spreading her legs, letting his fingers careless her mound and slide inside of her. He kissed her lips again as she stroked his cock and guided the head to her slit.

 

His tongue pressed inside her mouth, kissing her longingly. Slowly he slid his cock inside of her chasm, stretching her wet walls as they tightened around him. They were so close, Abbie wrapped her arms and legs around him, drawing him into her as he thrust.

"You feel so good," he moaned, thrusting faster. She panted softly into his mouth, with each stroke. Their tongues danced wildly as he hit her spot. He tasted one of her legs over his forearm, thrusting deeper and faster.

She let out a breathy moan as pleasure filled her core and she began to feel the orgasm coming on.

"I want to watch you come," Ichabod growled.

Abbie nodded, panting into his mouth, kissing him again, then relaxed. Clinging to her breast, her head fell back and she let herself enjoy the way he fucked her.

"Mmm… So good..." She moaned as the wave of ecstasy began to take over her body. He watched her close, enjoying the sweet look on her face. He kissed her, as she moaned with pleasure, her walls tightening around his member, drawing the cum from his shaft. Bliss struck at him from his core as he stroked inside her. He took one of her hands and entwined his fingers with hers wanting every bit of closeness he could get. Soon his body tensed and he let himself release in her as they kissed. They breathed heavy as he pulled a blanket over them and closed his eyes. It felt good holding her in his arms, and there was nowhere else she wanted to be.

"I love you."

Abbie draped her petite leg across his body as he held her. "Love you too, Crane." She whispered to him, though he was already asleep.

 

 

 

 

~~~

4 ~ The Last Song

 

Abbie had been fast asleep curled up on the small sofa with the throw blanket over her body when she heard the clicking sound. She peeked her eyes open, to see Ichabod in the shadows across the room. He looked to be having a drink as his back was to her. The dimming fire place was the only light.

A second later she heard the sound of a recording on a cassette tape. There was a man's voice she didn't recognize singing 'The Last Song'. It was a song that always brought a tear to her eyes and she wondered why Ichabod was listening to it.

'Cause I never thought I'd lose, I only thought I'd win
I never dreamed I'd feel this fire beneath my skin
I can't believe you love me, I never thought you'd come
I guess I misjudged love between a father and his son...'

As Abbie watched him appear to whisper his eyes, it dawned on her. This was his first Christmas without his father who passed six months ago. He always seemed so strong that it was easy to miss that he was still grieving.

He seemed to suddenly be aware that she was no longer asleep and turned to her. "I didn't mean to wake you."

"It's fine... That's a beautiful song. But I don't recognize the artist."

"That's my father singing... And me on the piano."

"Oh... wow..." Abbie whispered. "He was an incredible singer."

"Truly," Ichabod nodded as he walked back to the sofa.

"You want to talk?" Abbie asked as she sat up rubbing his back.

Ichabod shook his head. "I just wanted to hear his voice." He finished his drink, leaning into the comfort of Abbie's arms. Silently he listened to the sound of his father’s voice.

The recording ended, and the tape stopped with a soft click.

"You okay, babe?"

"I shall be," he sighed as their cheeks gently brushed together. "I'm most grateful you and I are here together, Treasure."

He kissed her tenderly, his eyes slightly hazed.

"Let's get you to bed," Abbie caressed his cheek.

"Mm... Yes... That sounds perfect," Ichabod gave her a sloppy grin as his hands ran up her thighs."

"Let's see if you're still awake when we get to your room," Abbie grinned helping him up.

 

He was a little drunk, but he really wanted to be with her. Abbie wanted to help him feel better any way she could. He kissed her tenderly as they laid in the bed making love again. He was deep inside her, absorbing all the love she had to give. Abbie clung to him, grinding her hips up into him as he filled her chasm. Her fingers racking against his back as he gave her all of himself... All night long.

 

~*~

Chapter Text

ESL Ch 11

image

~Intro~

"Do you like the way that feels?"

"Mmmm... Yes..." Abbie barely managed, panting heavily.

Ichabod stood to his feet crouching slightly to angle his cock to the slit of her chasm. He slowly dragged the head across the entrance of her folds, before thrusting up inside her.

"Oh, Abbie," Ichabod never got over how good it felt to enter inside her.

Abbie let out a heavy moan and then another as he began pounding her from behind. Everything felt good as swirls of pleasure singed every nerve in their bodies. Her walls constricted around his thick cock and he went in full tilt. The sound of their bodies coming together and their moans were like an intoxicating music, driving them closer to the edge of bliss.

They were still making love standing at the window wall when the fireworks lit up the sky over the river.

~~~

 

1 ~ Day Four

 

"It's about time you two woke up," Delilah was beaming as she busied herself fixing breakfast in the kitchen.

Ichabod and Abbie were the last to come down after a long night of love making. Abbie sat awkwardly in the banquet seat catching Delilah's attention.

"Let me help you Grams. Shall I make scones?" Ichabod offered.

"No, Abbie will help me with breakfast, while you boys go chop us some wood for the dining room fireplace.

"Grams, that's very old fashioned of you. I don't mind doing the cooking."

"Oh, you know better than that Ichabod. I just want some alone time with Abigail. Unless you want us girls to go out and chop some fire wood. Which I'm sure we could handle just fine...however the way you've wearing the poor girl out every night..."

"Grams!" Ichabod cut her off turning three shades of red. She had a tendency to ramble off into tangents.

"Oh, we're all adults here," Delilah seemed unaffected, as the guys hurriedly put on their coats to go out. "Crane men have insatiable appetites, dear. But you'll likely never get a better shag," she winked at Abbie.

"Oh my god," Ichabod groaned mortified and kissed Abbie on the cheek. "Are you going to be alright on your own," he whispered.

"We're going to be fine," Abbie kissed him back.

Once the girls were alone Delilah waved Abbie over and handed her a rolling pin for roll the dough for the sconce.

"Jeremy and I did the Google on you last night," Delilah gave her a side eye.

Abbie grinned at the elderly lady calling it 'the Google' but then remembered that her profile still had her as happily married to a pretty famous ball player. "Ah... So you know."

"That you are married to a very sexy American ball player? Mmhmm..." Delilah was cool as she and Abbie rolled out the biscuits. "Does he know you're here?"

"He does," Abbie let out a sigh and figured she may as well be honest. Delilah was easy to talk to and the truth was better than leaving the old woman wondering if Abbie was just messing with her grandson. She told her how she got married before she finished college and worked with Luke. She explained how sad and lonely she was when they moved to California to follow Luke's dreams.

"We've been separated for almost two years, and our divorce is being signed in a couple of months... I know how it looks."

"I'm not judging you dear. I just want to know that my grandson isn't going to be hurt. He loves you very much, you know."

"I know," Abbie nodded. "I love him too."

"Would you have stayed married to Luke if you two had been blessed with a bairn?"

"Maybe," Abbie shrugged. "I don't know."

"Did Ichabod tell you that he wants children?" Delilah asked.

Abbie suddenly didn't feel so good. She nodded focusing her attention on cutting the last sconce from the uncooked dough.

"All right, firewood is cut, and I am ready to lend my culinary assistance," Ichabod was all smiles as he came into the kitchen and washed his hands.

"Well, I'm um... going to go take care of a few things," Abbie quickly dusted her hands and left.

"Oh dear..." Delilah was worried she'd hit a nerve.

Ichabod was taken aback at how quickly Abbie left, and looked at his grandmother. "Grams, what's going on?"

"I am afraid I may have touched on a sensitive subject."

"Damn..." Ichabod gruffed under his breath and started to leave.

"No, dear, you stay here and keep an eye on dinner. I'll talk to her."

"Grams?" Ichabod was unsure, but a stern look from Delilah let him know she ment to clean up her own mess. "Very well... I'm trusting you."

Jeremy had a guilty look on his face as Delilah followed after Abbie. Bram stood by looking completely innocent.

"Okay, what's going on?"

"Grams may have found out that Abbie is already married," Jeremy explained wincing a bit.

"Bram! I told you that in confidence."

"I didn't say a word," Abraham put his hands up innocently. Then he discreetly pointed at Jeremy.

"It's not Bram's fault. Grams and I were curious and I told her about Googling and that everyone is on social media. So we looked Abbie up last night... Please don't be mad. I had no idea."

"Damn!" Ichabod swore again. "What did Grams say?"

"She didn't say much... Just that Luke Gonzalez was good looking and rich. She looked a little sad.. okay disappointed... but she didn't say much."

"Grams not saying much is very unusual," Abraham winced again.

"I know," Jeremy agreed.

"You couldn't give me fair warning?" Ichabod griped at his little brother as he finished cooking breakfast.

"Well you and Abbie were... Busy... All night... and then again this morning. And when Grams woke up, she seemed to have forgotten all about it. I'm really sorry Iche."

Ichabod placed the scones in the oven and paced for a few minutes. Eventually he couldn't wait any longer, and had to go check on them.

~~~

 

Delilah found Abbie in the great room looking out the window as the snow fell. She took a deep breath as she approached.

"Abbie, dear, are you all right?" Delilah asked.

"Yeah... I'm fine," Abbie did her best to fake a smile.

"I didn't mean o put you off. I sometimes get my boundaries a little clouded. Your personal life is certainly your business."

"It's just not an easy thing for me to talk about. The one thing I've always wanted, since I was a little girl is a family... And it's never going to happen. I keep telling myself that I'm okay with it, but then I meet a guy who..." Abbie let out a sigh. "I know that having an heir and passing down this family legacy is important."

Abbie paused feeling herself getting choked up. Delilah sat next to her in the window seat.

"When I was first married, I had a bad pregnancy. I had to have one of my Fallopian tubes removed. In the fifties... Well medicine isn't what it is today. They told me I probably wouldn't have children. But four years later Charles and I had our first son... And then another. Miracles can happen Abbie."

"I know," Abbie tried to smile. "I've heard these stories before. You got lucky... Blessed, whatever you want to call it. But I was married for seven years and in my twenties. It never happened... I had to stop believing it can happen for me. I've had to make my peace with it." Abbie wiped a tear that crept into the corner of her eye. "I know Ichabod says he'd be happy to adopt or do surrogacy... But that's what he says now."

This Delilah understood well. She'd loved her husband with her whole heart and they had seemed the picture of happiness. But he could not get past who he truly was, and eventually, he left her. She took Abbie's hand in hers and spoke from her heart.

"I was married for sixteen years. Those were the happiest years of my life. I didn't know how it would end back then, but I would never wish it away. You two have each other now and you love each other. Hold on to that for as long as you can. And maybe it can be forever for you. Never stop believing in love, dear... and in miracles."

Ichabod stood in the doorway, listening quietly, pleased to see they were working things through on their own. But it hurt a little to hear Abbie's concerns. He was about to walk away and leave them to their private conversation when he was spotted.

"Ichabod, dearest... I didn't see you there." Delilah waved him in.

"I just wanted to tell you breakfast is about ready... But please don't let me interrupt."

"It's all right," Delilah patted Abbie's hand before releasing it. "I think we are ready to move forward here."

Abbie nodded with a smile and quickly wiped her eyes again.

Ichabod kissed his Grandmother on the forehead as she walked by and went to the kitchen, then went to Abbie.

"I just don't like to see you upset or hurting." Ichabod took her hands in his as she stood. "I apologize if she said anything..."

"No, Crane... She and I are good. She didn't say anything wrong. It's just me. Sometimes I worry that I'm just messing up your world... Maybe I'm not good enough..."

"Banish that thought Grace Abigail Mills." He cupped her cheeks as she looked up at him. "You are the most beautiful person I've ever laid eyes on. And your beauty shines both inside and out. With everything you've endured in your life... you've come through so strong and caring... You are a Queen... A goddess... And it is I who am lucky that you are with me. I am a practically broke. I’m a mess."

"Crane..." Abbie looked up into his soft blue eyes, her hand gently tracing his cheek. "You are far from that. You are the smartest guy I know, and you have the biggest heart. You inherited a bit of a mess, but I have faith in you. And even before I knew what a good person you are... I took one look at this handsome face and... I was a goner." Her eyes glanced over his body then back up to meet his baby blues. Her voice softened with a sultry hint , "You are a gorgeous man, Ichabod Crane."

"Oh..." Ichabod's cheeks reddened as his heart eyes fixated on her big brown eyes. "I love you so much."

"I love you too." Abbie smiled softly as he placed a tender kiss on her soft lips.

"What do you say, we skip breakfast and go back to bed."

"No," Abbie laughed. "As much as I want you... really want you... I'm starving. After last night and then this morning..."

"Oh dear... Am I being an absolute insatiable brut?" Ichabod looked concerned.

"No, I want you just as much as you want me," Abbie assured him. "But I do need to eat."

~~~

After breakfast they all went out to the frozen creek to enjoy the sunshine and do a little ice skating. Ichabod did his best to impress Abbie, but she being from upstate New York was pretty decent on the ice herself. Delilah took a few turns around the ice arm and arm with Jeremy. Soon Delilah called Abbie over to join them. She had fun showing them that she still had it.

"They seem to be getting on well," Abraham observed as he pulled Ichabod aside. "I guess you were able to explain Abbie's situation?"

"Abbie and Grams worked it out on their own," Ichabod was pleased.

"That's excellent. I'm glad that you have someone else who knows the whole story. I was starting to worry about what the two of you are going to do when you sell the New York estate."

"I'm not going to sell the property in New York, Bram."

"And Grams is okay with that?"

"She doesn't exactly know about the property or the debts on Bellington."

Abraham shook his head, "Look Katrina called and told me why she left and that you're in deeper than you've let on. If you don't sell the New York Property, what will you do? Sell the antiques?"

"If I have to yes," Ichabod was trying to keep calm. "That property was left to Abbie. We nothing about taking it back feels right."

"Because you're shagging?" Abraham gave him a sneer.

Ichabod immediately reddened with frustration. "Not because we're involved! Because it's wrong."

"You're going to risk losing everything for her? And then what? The term at Cornell ends and you come back to England... She gets her estate while you lose yours.. You lose your legacy, everything?"

"I thought you liked Abbie?" Ichabod was feeling betrayed by his friend.

"Iche... I do like her, a lot. And I see how wonderful the two of you are together. But Why haven't you told Jeremy the truth about Abbie's estate in New York? I just worry that while you're in America alone, falling for her... You aren't thinking clearly."

"I know what I'm doing. I'll find a way for both of us to keep our estates."

"And after that?" Abraham questioned. "I hate to agree with Katrina... But how long will this last once you two go your separate ways?"

Ichabod looked across the way to Delilah, Jeremy and Abbie, laughing giddily as they skated on the ice. "All I know is that I love her... And I can't lose her. I wish that I had your support, but with or without it... I'm moving forward with Abbie."

"You have my support my friend. If I didn't love you so damn much, I wouldn't say anything. I hope you two come to London with me this weekend."

"I don't know..."

"Please, Iche... You're my best mate. And I need you. I don't always understand what you're doing, but I will always have your back."

"All right," Ichabod agreed and gave his friend a hug. "Race you to the other side!"

Ichabod hopped onto the ice getting a jump on Abraham, and began skating full speed across the river. Jeremy quickly joined in the race, and the boys went back and forth attempting to best each other. Abbie whistled and cheered giddily for Ichabod who may have won by cheering just a bit. Jeremy and Abraham tackled him onto the snow covered ground for bragging.

Delilah and Abbie laughed out loud at the spectacle as the older lady gave Abbie's arm a squeeze.

"That's my boys." She smiled and got a little teary eyed. She was suddenly reminded that her sons were gone.

"Are you okay?"

"I am," Delilah smiled. "I'm going to miss them when I go back tomorrow."

"Oh... I hope you're not leaving early because I'm here."

"No, no dear... I know Ichabod and Jeremy have other friends they need to see. Besides, Roy Lindo asked me to the New Year's Eve formal. I usually go alone, but I think... I think I'm ready to move on."

"Grams..." Abbie gave her a sly look. "You're going to go on a date?"

"As long as Violet doesn't get to Roy first. I think I want to show everyone that I've still got it. However, I'm not sure if I'm quite ready to use it." She got a mischievous look in her eyes. "Roy is ten years younger so maybe he's on that Viagra. Don't tell Ichabod, but perhaps you and I will both get a good shag for New Years." Delilah giggled.

Abbie's jaw dropped. "Um.., yeah, okay..." She didn't have anything else to say about that.

 

 

~~~

 

2 ~ Day Five

 

The next Day Abbie and Ichabod drove Delilah back to Whispering Meadows Assisted Living. As Ichabod retrieved her bags, she tapped Abbie's shoulder and pointed out a handsome dark skinned gentleman in his late sixties.

"Is that Roy?" Abbie looked him over.

"Handsome isn't he?" Delilah grinned.

"Very," Abbie agreed. "Not bad."

They got Delilah settled in and Ichabod gave her a huge hug and warm kiss on the cheek. It would be quite a while before he would be able to see her again. And he worried now that Katrina would no longer visit her or bring her back to Bellington.

"Grams... I hate leaving you for so long. I don't know how often I can afford to have a nurse bring you back to the Estate."

"I'll be all right dearest. I think having a chance to talk to Abbie has helped me in a lot of ways...I’ll be all right until you come back home."

"Okay, Grams," Ichabod gave her another kiss on the cheek. I’ll see you as soon as I can."

Delilah gave Abbie a warm hug. "It was so wonderful to meet you dear. Don't be a stranger. Come back and see me. You're always welcome at Bellington. Isn't she Ichabod."

"Always," Ichabod agreed.

"I will," Abbie smiled. "I'm so glad we met."

 

It was an hour drive back to the town nearest Bellington Estate. Ichabod felt bad that he hadn't shown Abbie around because of the weather. So they made the most of their time out. He parked the car and the two walked hand in hand down the streets of town, stopping at a bakery to sample some of the local goods. Ichabod got some delicious scones and biscuits, and fresh cut chips which Abbie stole most of. The town with its buildings, hundreds of years old, was so quaint and picturesque.

Next the pair hit up the local novelty shop. Abbie looked for a trinket or two to take back as souvenirs. Abbie found a hat and thought he looked charming in it. Ichabod found an oversized pair of glasses for her. He couldn't resist snapping a picture of her being adorable.

As they walked towards the back of the shop, they entered the naughty section. Ichabod teased her with some fluffy cuffs and leather chaps, which she dared him to buy. So of course, he did.

Abbie picked up some boy butter, to which Ichabod raised a curious brow."Is that for you or me?"

"Mmmm... We'll see," Abbie gave him a cheeky grin, before pulling down a leather strap. "What do you think?"

"Oh I wouldn't use that on you," Ichabod looked a bit surprised.

Abbie grinned as she put the strap back. "Okay... if you don't want to spank me."

Ichabod paused, curiously. "Is that a trick question?"

Abbie gave him a quick kiss. "Let's get out of here."

They quickly paid for their toys and hurried on their way. the couple held hands as they walked back down the snow covered town streets. They stopped in a cafe to pick for Hot tea and scones, before loading up in Ichabod's Mercedes Hatch.

The sexual tension was high the whole ride back to the castle. Abbie sang and danced a little in her seat as they listened to a UK top 40 station. Ichabod had to force himself to focus on the road which still had snow built up on the sides. But as he sang along, his eyes couldn't help but catch Abbie's legs as they squeezed together to quench her desire.

Abbie drew her hand to his lap, then slowly slid it up to his crotch. His manhood twitched in his pants at her touch. There was no mistaking she could have him anywhere she wanted at any time. She was giving him the 'I'm going to fuck you good' look the whole way home.

As they drove down the winding road towards the estate, Ichabod was forced to stop. A downed tree had landed across the two lanes. With thick woods on either side there was no way around it, and it was far too massive to try and move on their own.

"Is there another way?" Abbie asked.

"There is a back road, however it is impassable at the moment because of the ice and snow fall... I'll have to call for services to remove the tree."

Ichabod gave her a swift kiss then hopped out of the vehicle with his cell phone in hand. Abbie watched as he spoke and paced around the tree assessing the extent of the situation. As soon as he finished, he hopped back in the car, rubbing his hands for warmth.

"The service trucks will be here in an hour and a half. Shall we go back into town?"

"It's 45 minutes back to town... Can we walk the rest of the way to Bellington?"

"It's another kilometer to the estate and over half a kilometer after that to the castle. I'm afraid those shoes of yours aren't the best for such a trek," Ichabod drew his eyes back down her grey stocking clad legs to the cute low heals.

Abbie shifted her legs again and Ichabod licked his lips, fixated now. He desperately wanted to get her home.

"I don't want to drive all the way back into town, and then just turn back around. We can wait here. Besides I don't think I can wait any longer."

"Wait any longer?" Ichabod questioned.

Then his eyes widened when Abbie moved her seat back slightly and hiked up her skirt. Her warm grey stockings were thigh high and she casually slipped off her panties, pulling them from around her heels. He looked around outside, grateful for the tinted windows even though he was certain no other vehicles would be going down this road, which only led to Bellington Estate.

"Oh..." Ichabod raised a brow with a smile, as Abbie started to pull down her thigh highs. "No... Please leave them. It's incredibly sexy."

His eyes grew hooded as he glanced over her exposed mound. He licked his lips as her fingers went down to spread her folds. He quickly moved the center console back, desperately wanting a taste but his height was preventing him from getting her the way he wanted.

Ichabod's hand slid under her blouse, cupping her breast, as his mouth came down onto hers. She was ready, her mouth opened wide, accepting his tongue inside her. His hand went to her other breast, pinching the nipple then pulling her top away to get a taste of her breasts. He began Sucking and swirling his tongue around the nipple of them.

Ichabod ran his hand up her thigh, and he grinned mischievously when he came to the end of her stocking and felt the soft skin of her thigh, before reaching for her mound. Abbie had her leg now up with foot on the dash and was satisfying her clit Ichabod watched her as he salivated, then I twined his fingers with hers to help her play. She was panting heavily, and he moaned as his cock ached in is pants. Ichabod gently tapped her pussy, making warm hot energy rush from her core. He then spread her folds and slid a digit in. He found her spot and inserted a second finger, massaging her inside as she played with her clit.

They had the windows completely fogged up. Abbie moaned heavy into his mouth, as they together drew her to her climax. He felt her walls tighten around his fingers. "Crane... Crane... Ohh fuch..." Her head fell back and her eyes grew hooded and she rode the wave of pleasure.

"My god you're beautiful when you come," he moaned huskily, licking her essence from his fingers then from hers as he watched her come down off the high.

The taste was just a teaser and he needed to have more. But Abbie had been horny all morning and wanted a taste of the DSF in his pants. She reached over stroking his thigh cock before pulling his pants further down. He lifted his hip to aid her, as he the lowered his seat.

She was a little aggressive, which he didn't mind at all as she worked her petite hand up and down his shaft. Her big brown eyes peered up at him as she began licking up and down the length of his member.

Ichabod let out a cool breath as she played with him, enjoying every second. She kissed and sucked at the sack then licked up and did the same to the head. Abbie teased the head and slit with her tongue, driving him blissfully mad as he watched. She licked away the precum as he throbbed in her hand. His mind flipped and he lost his breath for a moment when She took him all the way in her moth, and began bobbing up and down the shaft.

"Oh... Fuck," he croaked out the words as his hands massaged her shoulder. "You feel so good..."

It wasn't long before he was ready to burst. And she didn't stop when she felt his body tense.

There was no way he could hold off with her sucking and rubbing him like that. His fingers pressed into her soft skin as he struggled to wait.

"Treasure... I'm going to come..."

"Good... She purred against his cock stroking him swiftly. "We have an hour to see who can make the other come the most."

Ichabod gasped, pleased and intrigued. He did Love a challenge. She immediately had him back in her mouth sucking as he throbbed. His breath caught heavy as he groaned and his body tightened.

"Fuck... That's so good..." He released. Abbie drank him until he was spent, then teased the sensitive head with her tongue. Ichabod had to catch his breath but he eagerly looked forward to winning Abbie's little game.

"Come up here," he growled.

She straddled him and kissed him, rubbing her pussy and ass against his dick.

"Not so fast," Ichabod held up a finger to her. As of right now they were even and he wanted to get one up on her. "It's my turn."

Abbie could hardly protest, as much as she wanted his cock inside her, she was curious.

He drew his index finger directing her to come up higher. When she got up to his chest, he pulled her up till she was practically sitting on his face. He lifted his head, licking at her slit with his tongue, until she was of try panting again. There was just enough head room for her with his seat reclined, and she braced herself with one hand on the window, and the other on the sunroof.

Ichabod teased her slit and clit with his tongue until the delightful swirls tingled through her belly from her chasm. Her panting grew heavier when he inserted a finger, angling for her spot while sucking her pussy lips and then her clit.

"Fuck..." Abbie groaned. It was an irresistible combination. He knew exactly where her spot was and how to make her clit swell. Her legs began to quiver as the intensity built up inside her. And there was no mistaking when she came, because it was hard and wet. Ichabod removed his fingers and grabbed her ass with both hands, pulling her into his mouth so he could indulge. Abbie felt so good riding his face, and he loved the way she tasted. She trembled as he continued sucking her clit making her orgasm explode and last.

"Oh..jeez... Fuck..." And more gibberish escaped her pouting lips and she lost all control. She was so horny and high he easily slid her down onto his cock. They both moaned as he pushed inside her and her tight walls were stretched around his thickness.

His hands were still on her ass, helping her ride up and down his cock. He thrust hard up inside of her as he leaned up kissing her neck and breasts? He then laid back watching her breasts bob up and down before him. In moments she was coming again. He couldn’t resist grabbing and squeezing, as her fingers dug into his chest.

"Ooh god you feel so good, " Abbie moaned. She loved controlling the way his cock hit her spot.

The good thing for Ichabod is he could last longer after getting the first nut off. Now he was rock hard and delivering her one orgasm after another. She laid across his body after another orgasm and he knew she was completely spent. He relaxed and enjoyed feeling her laying on top of him as he thrust up into her. His body tightened as warm electrifying pleasure shot through his core. With three long deliberate strokes, he spent himself inside her.

Neither one could catch their breath for several minutes as she stayed on top of him. He kissed her cheek and brushed back her dark curls, perfectly content. They could have stayed there but the service truck would be there soon.

"I won," Abbie grinned as she spoke with a shaky voice.

"What..." Ichabod adjusted so he could look into her soft brown eyes as her head rested on his shoulder. "I believe I won... You delivered two whilst I delivered at least six."

"Seven," Abbie grinned coyly. "Like I said I won."

Ichabod let out a laugh, hugging her tight and kissing her again. "I have met my match with you Grace Abigail Mills. I love you with my whole heart."

"I love you too, Crane. I always will."

~~~

 

3 ~ Day Six

 

"It's our last full day to ourselves. What do you have planned?" Abbie asked.

"More of this," Ichabod teased kissing at her neck and breasts.

They'd spent a good part of the morning in bed making love already. But Abbie was in England for the first time, and all she'd seen was the estate and a part of Lincolnshire.

"So the plan is to keep me naked in your bed?" Abbie teased, biting her lower lip.

"Mmmm..." Ichabod looked over her beautiful dark curves. He kissed her lips then sat up on the bed. "As tempting at that would be... You and I are going to see the seals today."

"The seals?"

"Yes. The Donna Nook Grey Seal Sanctuary is not far. I thought it would be different but fun. We go to London tomorrow..." Ichabod was now second guessing his idea for an outing. "Does that sound terribly lame."

"Going to see the Seals? No... It's sounds like fun. I've only seen a few at the zoo. I've never seen seals out in nature."

Abbie was not disappointed. Despite the light snow covering the ground, there were plenty seals out. And the baby seals with their thick white coats were so adorable. They had to stay behind the wooden fence, but several times the playful animals came right up to the fence eager to be photographed.

They enjoyed the outdoor stroll across the sanctuary and the animals but when. Few flurries began to fall, Ichabod became concerned. He checked his phone a few times between taking selfies with Abbie.

"Is everything okay?" Abbie asked after the third time.

"I'm afraid we'll need to head back to Bellington. A heavy snowfall is coming in tonight. If we want to be in London for New Years, we'll need to leave within the next couple of hours." Ichabod gently pulled her into his arms and kissed her. "I'm very tempted to keep you at Bellington and have you all to myself."

"Oh so you think you can top London for New Years Eve?" Abbie pierced her eyes up at him.

"Probably not," Ichabod let out a soft laugh. "But we've only two more days here and it would be shameful if I kept you from seeming it. So shall we head south?"

Abbie wrapped her arms around him and pulled him into a kiss."I'm happy to be wherever you are."

 

~~~

 

 

It was a long drive to London, but the left Lincolnshire just in time to keep from getting snowed in. Abbie spent an hour on the phone attempting to negotiate between Gloria and Mrs. Morales so that they could see Lucas.

"You need to trust them Gloria. I can't always be there... I know I said Lucas could spend a few days at the farm and he still can... Just let the Lou and Marta bring him... Okay. We'll talk when I get back. I need to call Marta back. She was pretty upset."

"Everything all right?" Ichabod gave her a quick glance as he drove down the highway.

"It will be. Gloria finally agreed to let Lou and Marta have Lucas, without me supervising."

"You are good. It seems negotiations are our forte."

" I wish. Marta is a wreck. She knows something is up. I wish Luke would tell her the truth."

Ichabod held Abbie's hand raising it to his lips for a comforting kiss, sending goose bumps up her arm. "You can do this Treasure."

Abbie nodded with a smile, then called Marta. She was still in tears even after Abbie told her that she could have Lucas for two days.

"Mija, why did you leave town for the holidays. You should be with us... With Luke."

"I... I'm sorry. But I had something really important to do."

"But I feel like something isn't right. You and Luke are apart for so long and then you leave when he comes home. This feels all wrong, Mija." Marta started crying again.

"I'll be home in a couple of days and then we'll talk. I promise." Abbie slowly managed to calm her mother-in-law down. "Yes... I love you too... Okay, bye bye."

"Are you going to tell them?" Ichabod asked when she finally hung up.

"I think so. I'm going to tell Luke we can't hide this from them anymore. And I want to tell everyone we're together."

Ichabod smiled for the first time since the drive started, and Abbie noticed. "Is that what's been bothering you?"

"Your in-laws?" Ichabod questioned. "Heavens no. I know you're doing the best you can in this situation. I can imagine its difficult when you have so many people who will be effected by your decisions that things cannot be taken lightly."

"Then what's been on your mind?"

"Nothing you should worry about. We're fine." He gave her hand a squeeze.

"Crane..." Abbie gave him a stern look.

Ichabod let out a sigh. Abbie wasn't the type who would sit idly by if something were bothering him.

"It's just that being home reminds me that I have so much I do with the restoration of Bellington and sorting through the finances. I do not understand how my father thought we could continue on without the estate having an income. My salary isn't enough..." Ichabod stopped himself. "Apologies. Everything will sort itself."

He didn't like talking about his financial worries with Abbie. But she preferred to know the whole situation. She was a problem solver, and she'd been in his shoes just a couple of years ago.

"Crane, you can tell me anything," Abbie assured him. "And Bellington... You're sitting on a gold mine. I know the restoration will be costly. But I've seen how handy you are. Bellington has minor structural issues, so focus the bulk of the money there. The cosmetic things, you can do yourself."

"It does seem quite daunting," he admitted. "Do you really think I could get it to turn an income?"

"Absolutely." Abbie nodded. "An inn or a small hotel. Bellington has a ballroom, solarium with pools, the heirlooms are like a museum. You just need to restore it and open it to the public. And the location is to die for! You have the town of Lincoln nearby, the Seal Sanctuary, the beaches... Not to mention the property is situated by a river."

Ichabod couldn't help but smile at her enthusiasm. And it was such a confidence boost that she believed in him.

"I suppose I'll have quite the busy summer with the restoration. And once I start back at Oxford, I can come home to Bellington on weekends to work the Estate. I may be able to adjust my classes and teach from Tuesday through Thursday and extend my weekends."

"It's a huge task but you can do this Crane. I have faith in you."

"As long as i have you by my side," Ichabod kissed her hand again, then held on, letting his thumb brush gently across her tiny fingers. "I love you, Abbie."

Abbie nodded, but it dawned on her that she inadvertently talked him into returning to Oxford after the term at Cornell ended. She watched her hand in his, thinking how perfectly they fit, and ignored the little pang in her heart. "I love you too, Crane."

 

~~~

 

 

The area they went to in London was very nice. Bram's family had a very posh two story apartment in a fancy high rise overlooking the Thames. The windows were wall to wall and from ceiling to floor. The view was stunning.

They arrived after eleven at night and were exhausted. Abraham had a light meal and drinks waiting for them upon their arrival and they sat at the kitchen bar making small talk, before heading to bed. The bathroom was modern, just like the rest of the flat, with a massive shower. And the wall facing the river had the same floor to ceiling windows. There was a narrow balcony that wrapped all the way around.

Abbie stood in awe at the massive window. "This view... I never thought I'd see London from a view like this.

Ichabod walked up behind her wrapping his arms around her. He kissed the top of her head as they looked out over the River and city.

 

"This room is incredible," Abbie mused.

"It is," Ichabod agreed. He gave her a little squeeze as he switched to a deeper tone. "Did you happen to see the shower?"

"I did," Abbie grinned leaning back into him. "It's massive."

"Indeed it’s roomy enough to do lots of things," Ichabod observed.

~~~

 

"Oh... Fuck yes harder!" Abbie's cries echoed in the tile bathroom.

Ichabod had her on her tip toes, with her hands pressed against the shower wall. Steam billowed all around them as Ichabod hit it from behind. His hands were firm on her hips, his knees slightly bent to get a good angle up and inside her. Her walls constricted around his cock, drawing out waves of pleasurable sensations, as he swiftly pulsed.

"Is that how you like it?" Ichabod grunted as pelvis smacked against her ass.

"Yeah... So good..." Abbie cooed as he hit her spot just right in rapid succession.

She was getting close, and whimpered when Ichabod pulled out of her. In a swift motion, he flipped her around and lifted her against the shower wall. His arms hooked her legs up, and with one forceful thrust he was back inside of her again. He went deeper with her legs up, and her arms around his shoulders. They kissed between panting and moaning and he could feel her walls tighten for a huge orgasm.

"Come for me treasure..." He groaned. "I want to watch you come... I want to come with you."

"I'm…mmm... come so hard..."Abbie murmured between heavy panting as every nerve in her body came alive. Her legs trembled as she let herself go.

"I love you so much," he growled burying himself in her.

If she could say the words in return, she would, but she was too far gone. Ichabod watched her eyes and lips as she came, the visual of her coming, and the sound of her soft cries, sent him over the edge. Bliss overwhelmed him as his toes curled and his cock shot his hot cum inside her. He kissed her languidly, their tongues playing with each other.

Ichabod stayed inside her gently stroking, as they kissed. "This is how every shower should be."

~~~

 

4 ~ Day Seven

 

image

Abbie wasn't sure how she was still walking straight after their first night in London. Ichabod treated her to a romantic breakfast for two. They enjoyed the meal and the view. In a perfect world Ichabod would have rather taken her out to a nice Restaurant, but things were financially very tight. Fortunately Abbie didn't mind. Him cooking for her was better than anywhere he could have taken her.

After breakfast Ichabod and Abbie spent much of the day, walking along the Thames River hand in hand. He really did make an excellent tour guide, being a teacher at heart. He knew all the best places for her to see and his knowledge of the history of every building was impressive. They stopped by an old coffee shop and picked up a couple of hot drinks, then sat by the river. They were cozied up to each other, watching the boats go by, without a care in the world.

"So what did you think of our River you?"

"I loved every minute," Abbie smiled up at him. "I always enjoy myself when we're together."

"As do I," Ichabod gave her a peck on the lips. "There will be fireworks on the river tonight. Are you sure you want to go to the club?"

"Yeah," Abbie looked almost giddy. "It's been a while since Ive been out to a club, much less a club in London. And Bram said this place will not disappoint."

"I admit, I am curious to see you drop it like it's hot."

"That's so old school." Abbie could not contain her laughter, "You can be so corny sometimes."

"Admit it, you appreciate me and my corny ways."

"Microscopically," she grinned then kissed him generously. "I love everything about you."

 

~~~

"So what is she like?" Georgie asked, speaking up over the music.

"She's very nice... Very American," Abe took a huge gulp of Vodka. "She's petite and very very pretty," he sighed. "You'll like her."

He and Ichabod's friends had been very curious about the American girl that had surprised him with a visit.

"So, you like her... With Iche?" Georgie gave Bram a curious look.

"Yeah... I mean to say... They both seem completely besotted. I don't believe there's any turning back for either of them."

"I'm just surprised its really over between Iche and Katrina," Elizabeth was hardly sad that Katrina wouldn't be joining them.

"She seemed really pissed." Ben tried not to smirk. They'd had to put up with miss judgmental for far too long. First with Abraham for two years, then the last five years with Ichabod. "I'm trying to look her up, but Abbie Mills is not so uncommon."

"Try searching through the B&B." Thomas suggested.

"Ah... There she is... Under Grace... Gracie's Place... Holy shit!"

"What?" Everyone huddled around Ben's phone.

"First of all.. She's gorgeous," Ben nodded. "But she's fucking married to this guy!"

"Oh my god," Georgie gasped. "What is he doing with a married woman."

"Look at her," Thomas swooned. "It's the eyes..."

"She's got a nice bum too," Bram confessed.

"Iche's weakness," Elizabeth grinned.

"It's the mouth... She has very kissable lips," Ben mused. "But married. Not a good idea. Iche's got enough going on. What's the deal?"

Everyone looked at Bram. "Look, you can't say anything and don't tag her in any selfie's. she's getting a divorce, but it's not public knowledge okay. So don't give them a hard time."

"Hmm.. I was just thinking this got a whole lot more interesting," Thomas had a sly grin on his face as they saw Abbie and Ichabod enter the club. "She is delicious."

"Yes, she is," Bram took Georgie's drink and downed it. They both looked amazing walking through the club, and they caught a lot of eyes.

"Tonight should be very interesting," Thomas elbowed Ben who hadn't taken his eyes off of Abbie.

"Don't get any ideas boys," Elizabeth warned her friends. "Iche really likes her."

 

~

Once again Abraham came through. The club he picked was just a block away from his flat and would make for an easy walk back after a few too many drinks. The atmosphere was vibrant and fun, and the music was way better than Abbie expected. They were a bit heavy on the UK artist, which Abbie had figured they would be. But there was a good mix of Beyonce, Bruno, Rihanna, and PitBull to satisfy her.

Ichabod looked handsome in a blazer and slacks. Abbie could hardly take her eyes off of him, he looked so damn fine. But he thought Abbie stole the spot light in her gold and black mini skirt with green silk tank top. Her heels were high, accentuating her legs, and drawing the eye to the split up her thigh.

Abraham invited a few other friends of his and Ichabod's, and introductions were quickly made. Elizabeth, Ben, Georgie and Thomas were all cordial and curious about the girl who had captured Ichabod's heart.

Abraham had a small private booth reserved for them and they did a couple of shots right off the bat. Ben and Thomas were particularly taken with Abbie, wanting to know everything about her. Both men were notorious flirts and Ichabod was eager to finish their drinks and get Abbie onto the dance floor.

Ichabod had a nice little rhythmic step as they dance. Abbie was ready to cut loose, but Ichabod saw several guys trying to ease up on her, so he kept one arm around her waist at all times.

"Please forgive my old friends. They can be a bit much," Ichabod leaned in so Abbie could hear him over the music.

"It's okay," Abbie gave him a playful smirk. "Nobody is going to steal me away from you."

She began to slowly grind into him as the DJ played 'Strip That Down'. Ichabod had to keep his cool the way she worked her body up against him when she dance. When she turned her back to him and rubbed her ass up against him, he was seriously worried he was about to have a very obvious situation.

"Treasure... I don't think you can do that to me here."

"Sorry," Abbie grinned. "I'll try to behave. But... We might have to leave early."

They took a quick break from dancing to have a few more drinks. But before Ichabod could stop him, Ben was asking Abbie to dance. She agreed not wanting to seem rude, and Thomas followed them onto the dance floor, as 'What Lovers Do' started to play.

Ichabod was very uncomfortable with his friends dancing so close up on Abbie, and got up to I intervene.

"Iche, relax. They're just dancing." Bram furrowed his brow. "Trust your friends... and Abbie. Let them have some fun."

That lasted all of five more seconds. As soon as Thomas' groin brushed up against Abbie's ass Ichabod was out of his seat. It took in just a few steps with his long stride to get to her and between them. A stern look from Ichabod and Thomas backed off. Ben quickly got the picture and backed off too.

Abbie didn't know the dynamics between Ichabod and his friends, so she decided to just let it go. She turned to Ichabod and put her arms around his shoulders, focusing on him as she danced. She gave him a kiss, then sang a little as they danced.

"Say say say hey hey now baby... You know what I need out the gate now baby..." Abbie swayed, pressed up against him.

Ichabod seemed appeased and very pleased giving all his attention to her. And when the DJ played 'Hola' by Flo Rida, he could hardly believe the way she was moving her body.

He loved the way her body moved when she danced. She loved the way his gorgeous blue eyes fixated on her.

There was no way to avoid her catching all the guys and several young ladies eyes, the way she was working her body. When she backed it up on Ichabod again, he knew they were not going to make it until midnight.

The next song was slower and Abbie put her arms loosely around Ichabod's shoulders again, as he wrapped his arms around her waist.

"Do you want to go back to the flat?" He asked.

Abbie could tell he was pretty horny, and so was she. If they didn't leave soon they would end up fucking in the back alley somewhere. "Yeah... I'm ready. Can I still see the fireworks?"

"I promise you fireworks," he grinned.

They walked hand in hand back to the private table. Things became a bit more clear as Thomas and Ben found another very willing young lady to join them.

"Bram... Abbie and I are going to head back to the flat."

"Are you sure?" Bram looked disappointed. "We're all going back to Georgie and Betsy's place. And Chloe is going to join us."

"It's Zoe," the young lady corrected him before going back to making out with Thomas.

"Right... Zoe... We can all have a really good night if you and Abbie are game."

"No, I don't think so..." Ichabod didn't look at all interested, while Abbie got a better idea of why Ichabod didn't want Thomas and Ben getting too frisky with her.

"Come on... She very willing and eager, and we'd all like to get better acquainted with..."

"Bram..." Elizabeth interrupted. "Let them go back to the flat. Clearly they want to be alone."

"All right but the night is going to be truly mental. I wish you would join us."

"I think they'll have more fun without us," Elizabeth got up and gave Abbie and Ichabod quick hugs. "It was nice to meet you Abbie. And Ichabod, hope we get to hang out next time you come back across the pond."

"It was nice meeting you," Abbie waved them all goodbye.

"Good night all," Ichabod took Abbie's hand again and hurried her out of the club.

They walked down the streets huddled close on the cold winter night. People were gathered drinking and singing; Cruise boats sailed down the river, everyone excited about partying all night. Ichabod and Abbie couldn't wait to get up to the flat as they hurried into the building from the cold.

They were kissing the second the elevator door shut. Ichabod unbuttoned her coat and ran his hands down her backside. They got off on their floor and hurried to the flat locking the door behind them.

They were immediately kissing again, stripping each other from their clothes as they went towards the bedroom. They could hardly catch their breath as they made out.

He removed her bra, as he backed her up against the glass balcony door. He cupped her breast in his hand sucking her plump nipple until it was turgid in his mouth.

"So perfect," he squeezed it as his tongue trailed across her chest to her other breast. "Everything about you is perfect."

He sucked the other as she panted heavily. He had her so turned on that she had to reach into her panties and finger her clit.

"Mmmm... So impatient," Ichabod teased as he watched her play.

"You make me so damn wet," Abbie groaned, squeezing her legs together.

"It's almost time for the fireworks," Ichabod groaned huskily into her ear. He turned her around so her hands were against the wall beside the window. She had a perfect view of the river and all the city lights. Ichabod had a perfect view of her ass as he knelt down and removed her panties.

He pulled her hips back and spread her legs, kissing her cheeks. She looked back over her shoulder almost daring him to give it a try as he squeezed one of her cheeks.

"Do it," she purred.

Ichabod raised a brow curiously at her the gently smacked the round mound. she let out a giggle as he kissed the spot he'd tapped.

"You like that?" He groaned excited by her enthusiasm.

"And this..." He separated her folds and exposing her wet pink center, circling inside and around the edges.

"Oh, fuck yeah..." She sighed.

"I've been waiting for this all night," Ichabod licked his lips before delving in with his tongue.

Abbie's breath caught, and she began panting heavy as he ate her out. Her knees went weak when he pressed his finger deep inside her, stroking her spot. He swirled his tongue rapidly around her clit before taking the bud in his mouth and sucking it generously.

"Oh fu...." Abbie whimpered as her legs trembled. A wave of pleasure descended on her, and she soaked his fingers as they rapidly penetrated her. Ichabod lapped at her juices, as she enjoyed her climax

"Do you like the way that feels?"

"Mmmm... Yes..." Abbie barely managed, panting heavily.

Ichabod stood to his feet crouching slightly to angle his cock to the slit of her chasm. He slowly dragged the head across the entrance of her folds, before thrusting up inside her.

"Oh, Abbie," Ichabod never got over how good it felt to enter inside her.

Abbie let out a heavy moan and then another as he began pounding her from behind. Everything felt good as swirls of pleasure singed every nerve in their bodies. Her walls constricted around his thick cock and he went in full tilt. The sound of their bodies coming together and their moans were like an intoxicating music, driving them closer to the edge of bliss.

They were still making love standing at the window wall when the fireworks lit up the sky over the river. Abbie smiled hazily as Ichabod kissed her cheek and shoulder. He continued stroking loving her with everything in him.

"Whose is it?" He growled heavy in her ear.

"I'm yours," Abbie panted softly as her climax took over rocking her to her very core. Her legs quivered and went weak as Ichabod held her.

"I'm yours Abbie... I'm yours..." He thrust up, his body tightening as pure pleasure swept through his being.

He slowed taking a moment to recover, as they shared long wet kisses by the window. He then carried Abbie to bed. He laid there with her in his arms, holding her close, as they felt each theirs heart. They kissed as he caressed her curves adoring her body. Abbie ran her hands over his strong arms, wanting only to be held in them.

The fireworks reminded them of the first time they made love reminded of the first time they made love.

Who knew that a one night stand five and a half months ago would lead them here.

 

 

~*~

Chapter Text

CH 12 British Invasion

 

image

 

~Intro~

 

He couldn't get deep enough. Ichabod had her pressed against the wall, in the cramped space. Abbie clung to him panting breathlessly into his ear as he gripped her ass. Her walls tightened around his throbbing cock as he stroked hard and deep, stretching her to her limits, finally he was full inside and they enjoyed the waves of ecstacy that rushed over their bodies.

It had started out as harmless flirtation in their seats. Jeremy was kind enough to exchange miles with his brother so he could upgrade his flight back to business class. Sitting next to Abbie for several hours without touching her proved impossible.

He could contain himself when her hand was on his thigh, but when she brushed her petite fingers across his cock, he twitched in his pants, immediately turned on. The temptation was too great to resist, the two pulled a blanket over their laps to hide their play from the stewardess who might pass by. He had her wet under her skirt, as his finger toyed with her clit, sending tantalizing sensations through her body.

"Damn..." She panted softly. "Meet me in the restroom."

She was up and gone before Ichabod realized what she meant. But he wasted no time following her inside.

There was no single loving bed for Abbie, her adventurous side wouldn't allow her to be confined like that. She wanted him inside her, now, and the tight space lent them just enough room to get what they needed. They buried their moans into each other mouthed with heavy wet kisses. Sweat dripped from his brow as his hips thrust in long swift strokes.

"You fuck me so good..." Abbie purred in his ear just before her body gave in to the pleasure.

 

"Nothing feels so good as being inside you... fucking you until you come on me," Ichabod groaned.

Her body quivered and went limp in his arms as he drove into her. Her wet juices spewed down his length, energy surging through his body, and enticing him over the edge. He buried his face in her dark lock, concealing his moans as he released.

A few minutes later they were back in their seats. Abbie's legs still a bit shaky and Ichabod still a bit hot. But the passengers seemed non the wiser, as they slept. Just when they thought they'd gotten away with their bit of fun, A flight attendant walked by and gave them both a grin.

"Welcome to the club," she whispered and handed them some wine to celebrate.

Abbie grinned and Ichabod turned red cheeked at the prospect of their mischief being known. But the attendant held her finger to her lip, indicating their secret was safe with her.

 

1~ Let It Be

 

"Shall we have a movie night tonight?" Ichabod asked as he put on his coat to head off to Cornell.

"Netflix and chill sounds perfect to me." Abbie gave him a wink.

Ichabod had a feeling that meant he'd get more than just a movie.

They'd been back for a few days and were getting back into their regular work routine. Ichabod was busy picking up extra lectures and tutoring to help his finances, while Abbie was making plans with Nick to expand the business. Between jet lag, work, and spending every night together, Ichabod and Abbie were feeling fatigued, though they were happier than ever being together.

After cooking breakfast, Ichabod was ready to head off to work just as Leena came to finish up and tend to the guests.

"Are you certain you ladies can handle the rest of breakfast?" Ichabod asked as he wiped his hands clean.

"We've got it from here professor," Leena nodded.

"Before I forget," Ichabod turned to Abbie, "Jeremy wants to come back with me and stay the weekend... If I could..."

"Stay with me in my room? Hmm? I suppose," Abbie teased. "Thanks for breakfast. I’ll see you tonight."

Abbie gave him a lazy kiss and a smile.

"Goodness, Treasure. Should I put on a fresh pot of coffee before I leave?"

"No, I'm fine. Someone kept me up all night."

"Apologies," Ichabod turned red in the cheek and kissed her again. "I love you."

"Love you too," Abbie crinkled her nose and smiled, as he waved good bye.

"You two are. Mess," Leena gave her a smirk.

"What?" Abbie returned the look.

"You didn't get enough on your trip? You came back exhausted and you look worn out."

"Thanks a lot. This jet lag and being anemic is kicking my ass."

"Not to mention all the sex," Leena laughed.

"I don't look that bad do I?"

"Just tired, honey? If I didn't know any better I'd wonder if the professor knocked you up."

"What?" Abbie nearly spit out her coffee. "That's definitely not what's wrong with me."

"I know you have had trouble in the past but... Are you late?"

"I mean... A day maybe. But I can't even think about that, Leena. I've been down this road too many times. Whatever it is, I'm sure I can't be pregnant."

The ladies turned startled by the sound of keys dropping on the ground. Ichabod stood in the doorway looking like he'd seen a ghost.

"I... I left my phone..." Ichabod managed, not taking his eyes off of Abbie. He couldn't imagine he was hearing her right, as a million thoughts ran through his head.

"I have to get something in the other room," Leena broke up the awkward silence.

Abbie quickly scanned the room for Ichabod’s phone, grabbed it and handed it to him. "Here you go. You should probably hurry so you're not late for your first class."

Ichabod didn't budge, but instead took her hand still looking quite confused. "I'm sorry but I have to ask, what were you two discussing?"

"She's just worried about me. You know how Leena gets. I'm sure it's nothing."

Ichabod furrowed his brow, unhappy with how she avoided what he'd just overheard. "She asked if you were pregnant. Could you be?"

"You heard that?"

"Yes... Not on purpose but, yes."

Abbie could tell he wanted a straight answer. "Look Crane... This has happened to me before. I over exert myself, lack of sleep and not eating regularly makes me exhausted and even anemic sometimes. I know I'm not pregnant okay. I've never been before and I'm not now. This isn't some kind of trap or trick..."

"Hey... I never thought any such thing. I just thought I should know if..."

"If there was something to tell you, I would. I have to go." Abbie kissed his cheek and brushed by him quickly. It was not a subject she wanted to talk about and she preferred it be left at that.

 

~~~

"Leave it alone, Ichabod," was Abraham's advice when his friend made the long distance call.

"But how can I? I should let her know that she has my fullest support..."

"Iche I'm telling you let it be. I'm sure she knows you care for her. That was evident when she visited. Not to mention you're willingness to give up Bellington for her."

"She doesn't know that."

"Perhaps not, but no doubt she knows a child might sway you," Abraham said jokingly, however, Ichabod din’t find his joke at all funny.

"What exactly are you intimating, Bram?" He snapped.

"I'm only joking to lift your mood, Iche. Try to lighten up my friend. And seriously... let it be with Abbie. trust she'll come to you if there is anything to know."

Ichabod hung up as he drove into Ithica. He pulled into the drug store parking lot, Abraham's words of advice in his head, but his heart could not let it be.

~

 

After work Ichabod canceled his office hours so he and Jeremy could head back to the B&B. Ichabod gave his brother a quick tour showing him both ways to get to his room above the garage.

"Do you think you can manage on your own tonight?" Ichabod asked.

"I'll be fine. I think I'll show myself around a bit more." Jeremy could tell his brother was anxious about something so he didn't want to keep him. "If you're worried about the finances, and not continuing my allowance, please don't. I can make due on the scholarships."

"I wish Bram hadn't told you. You are in school. That should be your only focus."

"He didn't tell me," Jeremy corrected him. "He merely suggested I have a conversation with you about the status of things. And I'm glad he did. I hate to think that I've been needlessly adding to your burdens. And the fact of the matter is, I should have asked how things were."

"Well, it is a relief now that you know. But still, I don't want you to worry. Your studies come first."

"Yes big brother," Jeremy said in a playful mock voice. "Tell Abbie I said hello."

"I will. Make yourself at home and there's plenty of food in the kitchen." Ichabod hurried off, leaving Jeremy to his curiosity.

The young man went to the kitchen and made a couple of sandwiches, before looking for a way to get to the lounge in the basement. What he found instead was a young woman sitting in the living room reading.

As if sensing eyes on her, Macey looked up to see Jeremy watching her through the glass doors. She grinned then looked back at her book. Jeremy tapped on the door getting her attention again. When she looked up he pointed to the sandwich on his plate offering to share. She shook her head no, still grinning and held up her book. Jeremy gave her a sad face considering his next move, but was interrupted by a couple walking by.

"Excuse me son," Frank stepped by Jeremy and opened the door. Cynthia walked by them into the sitting room. "Hey Peanut."

"Hi dad," Macey put her book down as Frank closed the door behind them.

Jeremy watched for a minute then left them. He couldn't help wondering who the pretty girl with the big brown eyes and thick dark curls, with her nose in an engineering text book was.

 

~

 

"You guys are here earlier than expected," Abbie was happy to see Ichabod as he came in her room. "Where's Jeremy?"

"Oh... He's having a look about the place," Ichabod hemmed by the door, one hand behind his back, the other had visibly twitchy fingers.

"Oh.. I should show him around," Abbie offered.

"It's not necessary. I gave him a brief showing and he is one for independent exploration." Ichabod walked over to giving her a warm kiss. "I think a night in for the two of us is in order. I'll see Jeremy in the morrow."

She looked beautiful but still had tired eyes. She smiled lazily up at him as she tucked her arms around his waist. "A night in sounds perfect... What's behind your back?"

Abbie asked expecting a treat or something fun for the night. But when he pulled the drug store bag from behind his back, the smile disappeared from Abbie's face.

"I um..." Ichabod swallowed hard. "Just in case... I just thought perhaps I should pick this up... So that you know you have my fullest support."

Abbie stood there staring at the bag.

"I apologize if the purchase was too forward, but I love you so much. And I do worry about you when you're not well. After I heard you and Leena conversing this morning... I haven't been able to think on anything else. I spent the day most distracted. But in a good way... Or rather I should say not in a bad way... I do feel as though I am speaking too much. Say something, please."

"You bought me a pregnancy test?"

"Is it not needed? Have you found out what ails you?"

"Not for certain, no..." It for the first time dawned on her, what if? And she didn't know how to feel about it. "You should have asked first."

"I realize that now, but I was..." Excited was the word that came to Ichabod but he wasn't sure that was the appropriate thing to say. "I was anxious and concerned."

"Okay..." Abbie nodded and took the test into the bathroom.

She came back out a minute later and put the tests on the dresser. Ichabod was anxious to know the results, but Abbie held him back.

"Five minutes," she grimaced nervously.

"Right..." Ichabod took her hand and sat on the edge of the bed with her. "I mean, what are the chances?"

He tried not to sound pleased at the prospect, but Abbie could hear it in his voice.

"It's not likely, to be honest," Abbie sighed trying to keep from getting her hopes up.

"But you said you didn't know why it never happened before... So perhaps you can."

"Crane, I said that because we were just getting to know each other and it's an awkward conversation to have with someone you're not yet dating..."

"And now?" Ichabod gave her hand a gentle squeeze.

"Okay... I have one polycystic ovary. It was missed for years because I don't have any symptoms... I'm irregular sometimes but no acne or excessive hair growth, as severe cases sometimes have. I didn't know until I didn't get pregnant after trying. My OBGYNs here and in Cali both thought one messed up ovary would make it difficult but not impossible. So when I still didn't get pregnant I was referred to a specialist."

"And what did they say?" Ichabod perked up at learning it was never confirmed to be impossible.

"I never got that far because I filed for divorce..." Abbie felt a slight thrilled flutter in her gut over the possibility. And then there was the reality of her situation with Ichabod. "Crane, I really didn't think it was even a possibility. Like I said before, I'm not trying to trick you or trap you..."

"Abbie I think nothing of the sort, I promise you. In fact, I love you so much that I..."

Abbie's phone buzzed before he had the chance to finish what he wanted to say. "It's been five minutes."

"Should I..."

"No," Abbie stood quickly. "I need to do this."

Ichabod watched anxiously as she went to the dresser and picked up one test, then the other. She kept her back to him as she held the tests in her hands then placed then down again.

Ichabod was crawling out of his skin to know the results. "Well... Treasure?"

Abbie only shook her head no as she pressed her palms into the dresser.

"I thought... You've been so unwell..."

She said nothing and wouldn’t look at him.

"Abbie?"

She turned managing a fake smile, that was not fooling Ichabod.

"Like I said... It was very unlikely." Abbie's smile faded and her bottom lip quivered.

"Abbie... Are you alright?" Ichabod hurried to her side. She shook her head no as he wrapped her in his arms. She cried in his arms for a moment before pulling herself together.

"I knew better. I can't believe I let myself get sucked up in it again. Those were tests number fourth-nine and fifty. I swore I wouldn't put myself through this ever again. And just like that... I actually let myself hope for a minute."

"I am so sorry, Treasure," Ichabod felt as if he were being kicked in the gut. How could he be so thoughtless. Abraham had been right. He should have just let her

"Can we just forget about all of this," Abbie asked resting her cheek against his chest.

"Of course," Ichabod held her close, brushing her thick lock in comfort. "I won't mention it again."

~~~

It was two in the morning when Abbie woke up restless. Ichabod was beside her, long lanky limbs stretched across her body. They'd fallen asleep watching a second movie and the TV was still on. She stretched her hand around the bed looking for the remote but was unable to find it. She crawled out of bed to turn it off inadvertently knocking down Ichabod's coat. A small box and a note fell from the pocket.

Abbie timidly picked up the box and opened it to see a beautiful sapphire and diamond ring. She only glanced at the note reading that the ring was his mother's, and though the pregnancy was unexpected he is overjoyed and that he wants to marry her. Abbie folded the note and closed the box, as her heart pounded in her chest. All she could do was put it back and pretend she never saw it.

 

 

~~~

 

2 ~ Unexpected Guest

 

Ichabod went down early Saturday morning to get a start on breakfast. He insisted Abbie stay and sleep in, to get all the rest she needed. But Abbie was ever restless, and with guests staying at the B&B, there was no keeping her in bed.

Abbie helped him prepare breakfast for their guests, while Leena saw to, a couple more morning arrivals. She appreciated Ichabod's hustle. He was picking up extra work at the University, and selling dinners to their guests. It cost him twenty bucks to feed the entire household dinner, but guests paid upwards of thirty a head for their dinners. When he had late office hours or tutoring, he prepped the meals for Leena, who was becoming an excellent cook under his tutelage.

 

Once everyone was fed their breakfast, Joe, Nick, Caroline and Jeremy joined Abbie and Ichabod in the Kitchen for their morning sustenance. Ichabod was extra attentive to Abbie, making her a vegetable omelet high in vitamins and proteins, and hardly leaving her side. But mostly, there was a lot of kissing.

"Sometimes I wonder why they even come out of the room," Joe shook his head.

"Stop," Caroline side eyes him. "They're so sweet."

"They were like this the whole time she visited Bellington," Jeremy grinned. "Grams had a lot to say about it."

"Do tell," Caroline perked up.

"Nothing bad. She just seemed impressed by the amount of shagging those to got in."

They all tried to stifle their laughs, getting Abbie and Ichabod's attention.

"What have you all found so humorous," Ichabod eyed them curiously, as he finished their meal, and set the prepared food t the table.

"I'd care to know as well."

Everyone turned to the voice at the kitchen door.

"Bram! What the devil are you doing here, good friend?" Ichabod lit up when he saw his friend.

"I thought I'd come visit you and see for myself the place that has you so enamored." Bram hugged his friend.

"Leena, you didn't tell me Bram was coming."

"I didn't recognize the name on the booking until he asked for you two," Leena was genuinely surprised.

They all sat down to breakfast, Nick and Leena easily coaxed a couple of stories about Ichabod growing up from Abraham. Everyone was charmed by blond Brit's whit, but Joe was suspicious of Abraham's motives for the visit.

"So how long will you be staying?" Joe asked.

"A couple of weeks, maybe more," Abraham could tell right away Abbie's brother wasn't buying his reason for the visit.

"That long," Ichabod questioned. "Are you sure you won't share my room for the extended stay?"

"No," Abraham laughed. "I might find myself in the company of a lovely lady or gentleman... Or both."

"Such a cad," Ichabod laughed. "Well we should get you settled in. I'll help you with your bags."

"I've got him in the Mahogany room," Leena informed them as they got up from the table.

"That's perfect. You'll have a great view of the lake and it's just down the hall from my room."

The guys left and Abbie started clearing the table. Joe joined her at the sink, curious if there was anything to worry about.

"Seems we're having a bit of a British invasion." Joe spoke quietly. "Anything I should know about?"

"I don't know what you mean," Abbie shrugged. Which wasn't exactly true. She wondered if Ichabod said anything to Abraham to prompt the sudden and unexpected visit.

"So this doesn't have anything to do with you and Iche seeing the lenders in less than forty-five days... Or the fact that you seem a little tired and stressed out since you got back from England?"

"I think he just wants to see what his best friend has been doing."

~~~

"So Bram, do you intend to tell me what this impromptu visit is about?" Ichabod asked once he and Abraham were in the room.

"I told you, Iche, I want to see what you're about these days, and I've not visited the Finger Lakes before." Abe knew Ichabod wasn't buying it. "And... I wanted to make sure you don't do anything rash in light of certain possibilities."

"You mean with Abbie? She not pregnant if that's what you're worried about. You made the trip for nothing."

"Oh thank goodness. When you told me you were bringing your mothers ring back to America, and then after the call yesterday morning... I was worried you were going to foolishly propose or something," Abraham chuckled, but Ichabod stood stiff chinned. "Oh come off it... You actually look a bit disappointed. You can't seriously have thought it would be a good idea to..."

"Can we actually change the subject," Ichabod grimaced.

"So everything is fine with you and Abbie."

"Yes... She and I are good, despite the fact that I did not take your advice. You were right. I should have trusted her to come to me if there was anything that needed to be dealt with. I just... I needed her to know that I'm in this with her..."

"Good lord, you really are in love with her." Abraham ran his hands through his hair, not entirely surprised. "It's a good thing I'm here."

"I don't need a babysitter, Bram."

"We’re not even going to talk about the fact hthat you brought your mother’s ring, no doubt to give to Abbie… Back in England you told me you were considering giving up the property for her. I think you need me here to help you keep a level head. This property is the only thing not attached to Bellington estate. If you walk away from it, you'll have to pick Bellington apart just to save it. Then you can forget about having the finances to maintain taxes and do the restoration..."

"Oh god... Did Katrina tell you..."

"Yes. I know that your situation is more dire than you let on. I'm genuinely worried about you Iche."

"John Perish is looking out for my interests here. I'll figure it out."

"Fine... I just want to make sure you're all right."

"I'm more than all right. I'm in love, and Abbie loves me too. I'll be fine, Bram."

 

~~~

 

3 ~ Getting On

 

After two weeks, Abraham and Joe were butting heads on a regular basis. Abraham seemed to weave Ichabod's responsibilities at Bellington and to Grams, into every conversation. And it was clear Ichabod took it quite seriously, having every intention to go back to Bellington. Joe likewise reminded everyone of everything that Abbie had done to build the business and restore the old mansion.

Things were tense at times, though both men were cordial. It made Ichabod and Abbie appreciate those moments when they could slip away, just the two of them, and not think about the weight of their upcoming business dealings. She’d been right about being anemic, and after a bit of rest and pampering from Ichabod, she was back to her energetic self.

Jeremy was back for another weekend visit, which Ichabod was very pleased about. However with Joe and Abraham constantly around, Ichabod was a bit worried about having time alone with Abbie.

"Iche, I'm not here to keep you and Abbie from getting it in," Jeremy laughed.

"Getting it in?" Ichabod furrowed his brow at his little brother. It was still hard for him to think of the nineteen year old as a young adult.

"I'm here for decent food and to get my laundry done. Go spend time with Abbie. It's all very good."

Jeremy had his own agenda. He was on a mission to see if the mystery girl was still there. It was a B&B so he thought it was a long shot. But it was worth finding out. He checked the kitchen and dining hall, then the living room.

He finally found her sitting in the family room. She was as cute as ever with her curls pulled back, watching a movie with a blanket over her to keep warm. This time he wasn't going to be shy. After all there was no telling how long she'd be staying.

"Hi. Do you mind having a bit of company?"

"If you don't mind old movies," Macey smiled and pulled the throw blanket over to her side.

"Oh, I don't mind at all... This is the old Star Wars. Very retro."

"Right! It's a classic. I'm Macey, by the way."

"Jeremy Crane."

 

"Oh... You're Iche's little brother."

"Yeah. I saw you here a couple of weeks ago... Do you live here?" Jeremy asked.

"For now. My mom is Abbie's lawyer. She's relocating here while I attend an engineering program at Cornell University."

"That's so mental! I'm at Cornell too. For a semester anyway. I've been studying abroad... Pre-med."

"I'm pre-med too."

"Wow, that's impressive. Pre-Med and engineering?"

"Well, more like all together. I'm studying robotics and prosthetics. I'm working on 3D printed hybrid robotic Exoskeletons, to be precise. And I'm a bit of a computer tetchy on the side."

Jeremy's eyes grew wide. He thought he was smart but this girl was brilliant.

They talked for a while and Jeremy liked her a lot more than he even imagined he would. "How about you and I go out and catch a movie."

"You mean like a date?" Macey asked, clamming up a bit.

"Yeah... If you... If you want. We could see whatever you like."

"Um... I'd like to, but you should probably know... My legs don't work."

"I'm sorry... Your legs?"

"Yeah," Macey pulled the blanket off her her. "I was in a wheelchair for years after I was hit by a car. Now I use a robotic exoskeleton. I'm my own test subject. Not exactly the most attractive or convenient."

"I think it's pretty cool."

"I feel like a Cyborg sometimes," Macey joked.

"A totally sexy cyborg," Jeremy teased. "I prefer Trek over Wars anyway."

Macey lit up let out the most delightful laugh. "Me too."

The two seemed to get along right away, catching Franks attention as he walked by the family room. "Who is that boy talking to my daughter?"

"Our daughter," Cynthia peeked in. "That's Ichabod's brother."

"Do you see how close he's sitting to her? I think I need to go break this up."

"Frank... She's seventeen. Leave her be," Cynthia pulled him away. Things were improving between them, but Cynthia was still determined to move away from New York City.

"I remember what boys his age are up to."

"You remember that far back," Cynthia teased.

"Hey, it wasn't that long ago." Frank gave her a sly look.

"Why don't you show me," Cynthia took his hand.

Frank was pleasantly surprised. It was the first time Cynthia was inviting him to her room. "Lead the way."

 

~~

 

Several Days Later...

"So you don't think there's anything to be concerned about?" Abbie asked as she and Ichabod took a walk across the property.

The cool winter air was refreshing, not to mention the much needed alone time.

"The fact that by brother and your best friend aren't exactly getting on?" Ichabod raised a brow. "I wouldn't fret too much over it.

 

"Lets plan something with them. We need to help them get along."

"Bram was just suggesting the same thing. Perhaps sledding and maybe a bon fire," Ichabod suggested. "give them a chance to have some fun and maybe bond a little."

"Abraham wants to get to know Joe better? I think we should do it. It sounds like fun," Abbie agreed. "It would be better if they could get along."

"They are simply concerned about us."

"You're not worried about us, are you?" Abbie asked, nervously squeezing his hand.

"No... Not at all," Ichabod stopped and stood in front of her. He cupped her cheeks in his hands and smiled softly. "I have every faith on you and I. As long as we have each other, we can withstand anything that is to come."

"You really believe that?"

"Don't you?"

Abbie nodded and couldn't help but smile at how sincere and confident he was. He leaned in, wrapping his arms around her, giving her a gentle kiss, as their cold noses nuzzled together.

"I believe we could have a little fun," Ichabod's voice went low and his eyes softened.

"I'm starting to wonder if you're a sex addict," Abbie teased as she slipped her hands under his coat. She licked her lips as her eyes fixed on his

"Only for you," he breathed before kissing her again.

They were very close to finding a private spot to take things further, but Abbie's phone buzzing, pulled them from their trance.

"Oh god, it's Luke."

"What does he want?" Ichabod grimaced.

"We sign the papers at the end of February... It probably has something to do with that or he wants another visit with Lucas..."

Ichabod could tell she intended to answer it. So he stepped back and conceded to the phone call.

"I'll just be a minute," Abbie gave him an apologetic pouty lip.

Ichabod paced as Abbie took more than a minute walking alone by the partially frozen lake. He pressed his hands down the side of his coat to keep his fingers steady. It was now five minutes, he tried not to check his phone every thirty seconds. Finally she put her phone in her pocket and walked back his way.

"That took bloody ages," Ichabod grumbled.

"It was barely five minutes," Abbie tried fake smile.

"What is it Treasure?"

"He wants to come see me in a couple of weeks, so we can talk a few things through... before we sign the divorce papers. Just for the weekend."

"Whatever for? He surly doesn't think he can talk you out of it."

"No... He says he just wants to work out a few details... What we're going to tell Lucas and his parents... That sort of thing."

"I don't see why he has to come here. The phone works perfectly well."

"I just want to do whatever is going to make things easier. He wants to come here, work out what we're going to say and then... Go visit his parents and Lucas..."

"He's going to try and talk you out of it," Ichabod huffed.

"He's not going to talk me out of it."

~~~

 

4 ~ My Man

 

Abbie couldn't believe her ears as Luke stood in front of her, actually trying to talk her out of signing the divorce papers. She could almost hear Ichabod's voice in her head telling her he knew it. She didn't even invite Luke inside, not wanting to encourage him to stay. They stayed in the driveway by his car, to Luke's dismay.

"Luke, I told you I wasn't going to change my mind. At the end of the month, we get our lawyers and sign the papers. So if you want to tell your parents before then, we can talk about that."

"Can I have a little more time, Abs. Please."

"No.. It's past time."

"How can you throw away our life together, so easily? Like it was nothing?"

"That's not what I'm doing. Luke, I did everything I could for you. Followed you across the country, ignoring everything that I wanted... For you. And you never appreciated it. I was so sad and alone, and you didn't care, because you were living your dream."

"Is this about the house? I get that you want to own it out right. So if this whole thing with Iche is about tricking him into giving you the house... I can wait, Abs. Do what you need to do to get this place from the guy, but don't divorce me over a house."

Abbie stood shocked and bewildered. "I'm not with Crane to trick him into giving me the house and property... Our divorce is about you not caring about me, or my dreams, or us being a family..."

"So if I would have made it on a New York team, and we would have moved in here and started a family..."Luke took her by the hands and was nearly in tears. "You wouldn't have left me."

"No, I wouldn't have left," Abbie admitted. "But it's too late now."

"Don't say."

"Luke, I..." Abbie started to say something but she forgot what it was when he unexpectedly kissed her.

She pulled away confused. "What are you doing?"

"This..." Luke went to kiss her again but she dodged away from him.

"Don't do that again, Luke. You need to leave."

"Abs... Come on. You know you miss me.. Miss us."

"No, Luke." Abbie shook her head and walked away. "

 

~~~

 

*ten minutes earlier*

"What do you think they're talking about?" Ichabod checked the time. He was glad when Abbie didn't invite Luke in, but he hated that they always had long conversations.

"They're dissolving their life together," Joe reminded him. "I'm sure it's not easy."

"He's not saying that it's easy," Abraham leaned into the window to get a better view. "But things ave been over for nearly a year and a half... What else is there to talk about."

"It's complicated," Ichabod grumbled, and furrowed his brow when Luke took Abbie's hands. He suddenly got really quiet with a serious look on his face.

Abraham could tell Ichabod was about to loose his cool. "Hey, mate... Why don't we get a beer and stop spying."

Ichabod didn't budge. He furrowed his brow and tuned red when he saw Luke kiss Abbie "What the fuck is this!"

He made a B-line for the front door, ready to give Luke more than a piece of his mind. Both Joe and Abraham had to hold him back.

"Iche come on get a grip, mate."

"What is she doing?"

"Just kissing her husband," Abraham tried to lighten him up, but Ichabod clearly wasn't laughing. "It was a joke... I don't even think she kissed him back."

"Piss off, Bram," Ichabod jerked away from them and went upstairs.

"Wow, even your best friend wants you to fuck off?" Joe rolled his eyes.

"I was joking," Abraham insisted, feeling terrible.

He and Joe were actually starting to get along after Ichabod and Abbie's day of bonding last weekend. The sledding and bonfire, though it seemed silly, actually worked, and the two guys seemed to come to an understanding. They were forced to talk after Ichabod and Abbie slipped away to get a quicky against a tree in the woods.

Abraham made every effort to join them for dinner each night, and they even had a couple of movie nights together. He was worried now, that he'd undone all that good will... on top of ticked off his best friend.

"Really funny, man," Joe huffed and walked by him. "Just when I thought you were okay, you have to act like a jerk."

"Oh fuck," Abraham swore under his breath. Joe was solid, and stead fast. When he let down his guard he was a lot of fun. But he was loyal to the core when it came to Abbie.

 

 

~~~

 

 

"Can I come in," Abbie asked after knocking on Ichabod's door.

Ichabod flittered his hand for her to enter, but sat on his bed brooding.

"I sent him away," Abbie crawled on the bed next to him.

"After you kissed him," Ichabod said flatly.

"I did not kiss him. He kissed me. And... You were right. He was trying to change my mind."

Ichabod relaxed a bit at hearing she didn't kiss him, and that he was right. "So you're not going to spend the weekend with him and his parents in the city?"

"Nope. I told him to handle it himself. Kissing me was out of line. You are the only man I'm kissing... Like this," Abbie tenderly kissed him, letting her tongue slip across his lips. He captured her tongue in his mouth, sucking gently on her tongue then her bottom lip.

 

Ichabod held back a little, and Abbie searched his lowered eyes for what he was holding back. He felt sick at the prospect of the Morales family pulling at her heart strings and persuading her to stay married.

"Crane?"

"You're still signing the papers at the end of the month?"

"Of course I am. You're not really jealous of Luke are you?"

"Of course I am," Ichabod gave her a stubborn pout. "Though, I know I shouldn't be. I trust you. And I know you love me. That should be all that matters."

"Should be?" Abbie asked, running her fingers through his hair.

"He's still your husband."

"He doesn't have me, Crane... I'm all yours. That paper doesn't matter."

"What if I can't get the property to you?"

"Whatever happens with the property... Doesn't change how I feel about you. I know you need to look out for your family's interest. So let's not let it or Luke or Bram or Joe get in the way of us."

"That sounds brilliant," Ichabod put his arms around her and pulled her up on his lap. "You're really all mine?" Ichabod licked his lips as his eyes traced down the curve of her neck.

"You like that, don't you?" Abbie asked grinding her body slowly against him.

"I probably shouldn't... But you know I do," he groaned as she undulated into his lap stiffening his cock beneath her. "I just want to love you Abbie."

"That's all I want you to do," Abbie kissed him firmly, letting their tongues play together until their breaths grew heavy and she grew wet in her panties.

She bit her bottom lip as she took off his shirt.

"I only need one man," she purred. She quickly did away with his pants. And he dispensed of her dress. They could not get enough of the taste of each other and the feel of their warm skin pressed together. Ichabod's fingers smoothed across her skin as she laid him back and kissed down his chest.

"I'm all yours treasure." Ichabod breathed deep as she put her hands firmly around his thick cock, stroking it until it was fully stiff in her hands.

Her soft plump lips kissed at the tiny nipples, flicking her tongue across one then the other then continuing down, meeting his manhood at his navel. He nearly lost his mind at the feel of her warm breath on the head of him.

"Mmmm... Can I taste you?" She looked up at him with mischievous eyes.

"You can do whatever you want to me," Ichabod managed.

"Like this," Abbie teased, licking up the shaft and then teasing the head with her tongue.

"Oh.. Fu...." Ichabod's breaths grew short and heavy, as she playfully licked across the slit then took him in her.

She sucked him hard, slow then fast, fondling his sack. She felt the way he tightened and strained in her mouth until he couldn't take it any more.

"Let me taste you," he begged.

Abbie let him free from her swollen lips, kissing the head generously, before sliding her body up his. Her breasts tantalizingly dangled before him and he cupped them sucking hungrily from one to the next. Her nipples going from soft to firm in his mouth. She moaned heavy as her hands ran through his dark hair, her wet juices spreading across his body. He was desperate to taste her. He pulled her up, greedily wrapped his arms around her thighs, and pressed her soft plump mound into his mouth. His tongue slid in and out of her before rapidly swirling around her clit.

"Oh fuck... Yeah..." Abbie moaned, clinging ho her breasts as he ate her.

Her clit swelled as sensations of pleasure rushed through her body. She dripped her wet essence into his mouth and he lapped up every drop. He didn't stop sucking her clit letting her ride the wave of bliss, and deliver his precious nectar.

 

"Umm... Fuck now..." Abbie groaned as she slid down his body.

He was rock hard and ready for Abbie to spread her wet lips and sit on his dick.

"Oh god yes," Ichabod felt dizzy as her wet walls engulfed him, tightened and constricted around him. It felt so good her body leaned back, enjoying the way he spread her, and how deep he drove up into her.

"I'm going to ride you so damn hard," Abbie groaned out the words and pleasure filled her from her chasm, her hands clasped at his thighs behind her

Her hips undulated into him, his hips thrust up into her... "Oh... fuck Crane.. so good... fu... uhh..."

"God yes... Oh Treasure... Fu....",

Their moans and cries were loud and free as they went into it heavy and hard. He rose up meeting her in a heavy kiss, as their bodies pressed to get her, sweat glistened their bodies, her legs wrapped around him. Their bodies trembled, tightened, as she rode him to edge of ecstasy. Their tongues languidly played as they shared the breath when they came together... And she kept riding.

 

 

~

 

The group had dinner together that evening and decided to relax with a movie afterwards. Abraham and Ichabod hung back in the kitchen to fix a quick snack while Joe and Abbie went into the living room.

"I wanted to apologize for what I said earlier," Abraham admitted. "What I said was in poor taste. I know how much Abbie means to you."

"Apology accepted... It's true, she means everything to me." Ichabod confided in his oldest friend. "I know you're here to look out for me, but you don't have to worry about our dealings with the property. She wouldn't let me give it to her, even if I wanted to."

 

"I believe that. I know you two are doing the best you can, under some very difficult circumstances," Bram let out a sigh. "I promise I will back off. I hope you don't mind if I stay a while longer."

"Of course not. I like having you around you old rum beggar," Ichabod teased.

The four enjoyed the movie. Afterwards, Ichabod and Abbie were ready retired to her room.

 

"Are we calling it a night then," Abraham asked. "The night is still young."

"Yeah, guys. I'm up for another," Joe offered, doing his best to make peace for Abbie's sake.

"I'm beat," Abbie faked a yawn eager to get Ichabod to bed. "But you guys stay up and have fun."
Abbie gave Joe a kiss on the cheek and whispered in his ear. "Be nice."

Joe gave her an innocent look. "Night Abs."

Joe kept his eye on Abraham as they watched Ichabod and Abbie leave. "I swear an atomic bomb couldn't separate those two."

"Very true," Abraham admitted. "I've never seen Iche quite like this."

"Yeah, they've got something special. You don't have to worry about Abbie taking advantage of him. She would never do that."

Abraham shook his head and let out a laugh. "I swear, I don't have it in for Abbie. I really do like her. I can see how happy Iche is with her."

"Then why are you sticking around? If you trust Abbie and Ichabod to do the right thing..."

"Iche is still my best friend..."

"Just a friend," Joe asked. "I can tell there's more going on that you're not mentioning."

"Just friends," Abraham assured him. "Whatever other feelings I might have had in the past are long gone."

"So you're not staying longer, trying to derail my sister's relationship because you still have feelings for Iche?"

"Wow..." Abraham got up to leave.

Joe grabbed Abrahams arm to stop him from leaving. "Hey, I'm just looking out for my sister.
If I'm wrong, I'm sorry."

Abraham pulled Joe close and kissed him, taking Joe by complete surprise. "Like I said, I've been over Ichabod Crane for a long time. He's not the only reason I want to stick around for a spell."

"Oh..." Joe blinked.

"I apologize if I was a bit forward, but I think you were missing all my cues. Things are certainly different here in America."

It was as if Joe finally realized why Bram insisted that the four of them keep doing things together. "No need to apologize."

 

 

~~~

 

5 ~ Something Special

 

"I'm serious Crane," Abbie laughed that he didn't believe her. "I'm really not that big on Valentine's Day."

"Come on... That is what men are supposed to say so that we don't get sucked into the exploitive corporate trap of a holiday created to boost business." Ichabod chuckled.

"See that's exactly what I mean."

The two walked through the mall, which was littered with signs and advertisements just days before Valentine's. There was no escaping it. And poor Ichabod, as much as he wanted to do something special for Abbie, his wallet simply wouldn't allow him to indulge.

"Come now, I can tell you are a romantic, as I am. I must consider if this is a trick that I am falling for."

"No trick," Abbie held his hand and walked closer to him. "I am a bit of a romantic, not gonna lie. And I know you are too. But really... If we could keep it simple, I'd like that. I just want to be with you."

"Then how about a simple dinner date."

"A dinner date sounds perfect, but not at a Restaurant. It's always a nightmare trying to eat out."

"Very well. I shall provide the dinner, if you will provide the accommodations."

"Sounds like a plan," Abbie grinned.

As they walked through the mall, they stopped in at a boutique to pick up Abbie’s favorite lotion and bath oil. A particular Lacey number caught Ichabod's eye. Abbie made a quick mental note as they went to grab a coffee from Star Bucks. On their way they ran into Daniel Reynolds leaving a jewelry shop.

"Abbie, how are you? Mr. Crane."

"Please, Mr. Reynolds, call me Ichabod."

"Likewise, Daniel will due," he gave them both a charming smile. It still stung just a little that Abbie was with the professor, but he had moved on. "Getting a little shopping done for the occasion?"

"We're just spending some time together," Abbie smiled. "But I see you've got something special going on."

"Oh, this," Daniel pulled out the box and showed off the diamond tennis bracelet.

"Ah, you are dating someone." Ichabod said politely.

"It's a casual date for Valentine’s, I'm not dating anyone person specifically. But every girl deserves to be spoiled and lavished with fine things for Valentine's Day. Wouldn't you agree Ichabod?" Daniel said giving an extra charismatic smile to Abbie.

"I'm sure your date will appreciate this immensely," Ichabod nodded smartly, determined not to let it get him down.

"We'd better get going," Abbie gave Ichabod's hand a gentle squeeze. "It's good to see you Danny."

 

"Well he certainly doesn't mind splurging," Ichabod stood tall, pretending not to be bothered.

"True... And it's not special… which is why I am perfectly happy with you."

That made Ichabod smile. He still had his mother's ring, but this was not the time. It wasn't something he wanted to give to Abbie on a whim, or for a silly holiday.

~~~

 

"John, it is so good to see you," Ichabod greeted his old family friend as he walked into the kitchen. "I had no idea you were in town."

"I am edging closer to retirement, and I find upstate New York quite refreshing."

"I would agree," Ichabod smiled.

"Have you seen the lovely Ms. Leena this evening?"

"Indeed. She is delivering dinner and deserts to our guests for the special evening."

"Ah, smells divine. Perhaps I should reconsider my plans for tonight."

Ichabod grinned. He was very much aware that John and Leena were very discretely seeing each other. "And what are your plans for this evening?"

"John, you're here early," Leena smiled and gave him a polite hug when she entered the kitchen.

"Yes, well I could not wait to get here. You look lovely."

"Thank you," Leena blushed.

"Are you ready for our evening excursion?"

"I just need to grab my coat and clutch. Do you need any help Ichabod?" Leena asked.

"No, no... You two go on. Enjoy your evening." Ichabod was all smiles watching the two head off off for the night.

He himself was almost done with Abbie's dinner. He normally wasn't one to second guess himself, but he also wasn't used to pinching pennies and budget concerns. He knew whatever he did, Abbie would appreciate it, but he wanted to give her everything, and treat her like a Queen.

"Hey, Iche," Jeremy popped his head into the kitchen. "Everything is good for tonight. I'll text you when it's time. You got the goods?"

"It's food, not a narcotics exchange," Ichabod laughed at his brother n being so secretive. He pointed to a lunch sack on the table.

"Thanks." Jeremy snatched it up and disappeared.

~~~

 

"Are you sure this is legal?" Macey asked as Jeremy set up the fireworks by the lake. It was a chilly afternoon and the sun was about to set over the lake.

"Sure. It's just fireworks," Jeremy shrugged. "Actually I have no idea. I'm from England."

They both laughed as he finished setting them up.

"Don't worry it's legal," Joe informed them as he and Abraham showed up.

"Why don't you kids take off? We've got it from here," Abraham nudged Joe.

"Yeah, guys," Joe agreed. "I'm sure you two have something more fun you can be doing. Just let Crane know it’s almost show time."

~~~

 

"Good evening, Treasure," Ichabod greeted Abbie with a warm kiss when she opened her door. He was momentarily speechless when he saw the sexy wrap dress she was wearing. She was all legs for someone so petite. "You look magnificent."

"Thanks," Abbie blushed. Letting him in her room. "You look handsome."

Ichabod was impressed. She had candles lit and soft modern R&B music playing in the background. "The candles are a nice touch."

"I thought they'd set the mood," Abbie winked. "And that smells delicious. What are we having?"

"I thought you might enjoy a petit filet mignon, with handmade chips and steamed vegetables. And for desert, a miniature Apple pie with a butter crumb crust and hand spun ice cream."

"You made me ice cream and fries from scratch?" Abbie looked absolutely giddy.

"Indeed."

"Well come on. Let's eat."

"Um first... I have a little surprise for you," Ichabod said as he checked the message on his phone.

"Okay," Abbie looked suspicious as Ichabod took her hand.

It was fairly cold out so Ichabod wrapped her up in his long coat to keep her warm. He pointed across the lake at the early evening sky.

"I think we missed the sunset," Abbie shivered as he held her close.

"Patience, Treasure," Ichabod whispered trying to keep her warm.

As if on cue, fireworks shot up in the air. Abbie squealed with delight, bouncing in his arms, not expecting the loud bang and flaring bright lights. They went off for about five minutes to Abbie's delight.

"This is amazing," Abbie smiled ear to ear as she watched the short display. "How did you do this?"

"Our brothers, Abraham and I think they may have even recruited Miss Macey," Ichabod answered, very pleased. "I know how much you enjoy fireworks."

"I do! I love them," Abbie turned in his arms, and looked up giving him a long lingering kiss as the last of the display fired off.

~

They weren't the only ones who enjoyed the show. The guests were very pleased with the surprise. As was Macey who shared her first kiss with Jeremy under the flittering lights.

"Ah, young love," Abraham smiled as he quietly pointed out the kids sitting by the lake.

"I think our work here is done," Joe said proudly. "You want to come back to my room for beers?"

"I'd love to," Abraham said eagerly. "Hopefully more than beers."

 

~~~

 

After the fireworks, Abbie felt like her night with Ichabod was made. The fact that they still had a dinner to enjoy together was a bonus. They ate and talked about everything as they always seemed to do so easily.

"Do you miss living in the city?" Ichabod asked as he spoon fed her some ice cream.

"Mmmm... That is so good," Abbie grinned before answering. "I don't miss all the 'hey baby' and 'oh girl let me get a piece of dat ass' cat calls. I do love New York, but Sleepy Hollow was always more my pace. And living out here on the lake... This is perfect."

"Could you ever imagine living anywhere else?"

"Maybe..." she reached over and snagged a fry off of Ichabod's plate.

He let out a snicker, at how slick she tried to be.

"What?" Abbie grinned.

"You're such a fry thief," he smiled. "It's adorable."

"You're amazing," Abbie crinkled her nose at him. "Thank you for this dinner, and desert... Everything was perfect."

"I do have something else for you," Ichabod swallowed nervously. "It's in my quarters, if you will allow me a moment to retrieve it."

"Crane you really didn't have to get me anything," Abbie felt slightly panicked, remembering the ring she saw a few weeks ago.

"It's not much," Ichabod hurried to his room and was back in less than a minute.

Abbie was relieved when she saw the size of the flat rectangle package. "What is this?"

"Open it, please," Ichabod handed her the neatly wrapped package.

Abbie quickly unwrapped it and was stunned to see a small painting of the two of them in a carved wood frame. "Did you paint this?"

"I did. It's the selfie you have as your screen saver..."

"And where did you get the frame? It's exquisite."

"I'm glad you like the craftsmanship. I was worried I rushed the detailing a bit. The frame is wood from an oak here and an oak from the cabin in Sleepy Hollow. Joe was kind enough to bring me a fine piece to work with."

"Cane..." Abbie looked stunned. "You made the frame too? I don't know what to say. It's perfect."

She sat the picture on her dresser and admired it for a moment. "You are so talented."

Ichabod was relieved she didn't think his meager offerings were lame. "You inspire me. Thank you."

"I should thank you," Abbie smiled. "Maybe you'd like to unwrap your present next." Abbie gave him a little twirl and held out the strap to her dress.

"Oh, I see," Ichabod raised a brow. "I would love very much to unwrap my gift."

"You have to put it down on the dance floor first," Abbie teased as he pulled her close. "You think you can handle all of this?"

"I will gladly," Ichabod swayed with her pressed against his body.

He wasn't as familiar with the modern R&B, but he like the ease at which they found their rhythm to it. Her arms wrapped languidly around his shoulders as she hummed along to the music. He was so smooth when he danced and Abbie melted in his arms. Their lips

"You look so beautiful tonight," he breathed huskily into her ear.

"Damn, Ichabod Crane." That accent and that tone had her undone and wet. Abbie couldn't hold out on him anymore. "Unwrap your present."

Ichabod grinned slyly, knowing very well she couldn't resist his voice. He gently pulled on the belt of her wrap dress and untied it. Abbie let the dress fall to the ground, and smiled at the look of pure awe in Ichabod's eyes. He swallowed hard as he admired the black lace one piece lingerie, with no covering over the breast. He knew immediately it was the garment he admired in the boutique.

"You amaze me," Ichabod gasped completely stricken. His eyes trailed from her full lips down her curves, admiring the thin material that barely covered her.

"So you like it on me?"

"As if it were made for you," he licked his lips, while she turned to let him see the view from behind.

She bent over revealing her folds, and now Ichabod could not contain himself. He went to her, kissing her neck and shoulder as he gently began grinding against her ass.

"Can you feel how hard I am for you," he whispered heavy in her ear, as he firmly palmed her breasts and pinched her nipples.

"With your size, it be impossible not to," Abbie rubbed against his throbbing cock. "I like it when I make you hard... It gets me so wet for you."

"Allow me to indulge in you, Treasure," he swallowed hard with desperate wont.

"Please... Please..." Abbie purred.

Ichabod bent her over, spreading her legs wide, and got down on his knee.

He gently palmed her rear with one hand as his other firmly massaged her mound.

"Oh you are wet for me," he grinned as he slid his long digit inside her.

She moaned, as he slid it in and out, then getting a taste of her. He went back inside with two fingers, stretching her, massaging her walls, stroking her spot rhythmically, rapidly. His thumb strummed her clit until her legs were quivering. She was so close as he played, and the intense pleasure swelled up inside her.

"Fuck... Crane..." Abbie could hardly bare it as she clung to the dresser

Her mind and body were desperate to give in, as he fingered her. She let herself go. Her walls tightened around his fingers and her essence flowed. He greedily went into her with his tongue, lapping and kissing until he was drunk off of her nectar.

Ichabod stood behind her quickly undressing himself. She watched his reflection behind her mirror. She breathed heavy as she leaned over the dresser preparing herself for what he was about to do.

"Brace yourself," Ichabod growled huskily as he slid his cock between her cheeks.

He grabbed her hips, bending his knees slightly, and slid his thickness inside her. He never got enough of how good it felt to enter her chasm and feel her wet walls engulf him. His hooded eyes and soft moan giving away how much pleasure it brought him. Abbie let out a delightful whimper as he slid inside, slowly enjoying her.

"Mmmm... Feel so good..." She softly panted, backing into him, meeting his hips.

He went faster harder, deeper until he was in full tilt, and Abbie thought he'd found the very end of her.

"Mm... Fu... Uhhh ... Crane..." She mumbled between heavy gasps as he drove into her.

She was dizzy from pleasure, occasionally looking up and catching glimpses of him fucking her from behind. She had no idea she'd like watching them make love so much. The way he looked at her with absolute adoration and the way his mouth oohed and eyes lifted, when thrilling flashes of pleasure struck him. And she loved the way he looked at her, glancing up to see the reflection of himself behind her pleasing her. Her heavenly panting matching his as he drove them both to the edge of bliss.

"Coming so hard..." Abbie managed before her mind tripped over into a blissful haze. Ichabod loved to watch her come, and hear her deep panting. It was like a sweet song calling him over the edge with her. His body tensed as his nerves were stricken with ecstasy. With three firm strokes he was spent inside her.

He leaned over her kissing her body, which was still sensitive from her climax. She was limp on her feet, breathing heavy from satisfaction.

"Are you all right treasure?"

"Mmmm..." Abbie nodded still not quite recovered.

Ichabod picked her up and carried her to bed, giving her a moment to recover in his arms.

"That was... Unreal," Abbie grinned still feeling the aftershocks.

"Do you know how much I love you?"

"I do," Abbie grinned lazily. "I love you too, baby. This was the best Valentine's I have ever had."

"That was only the beginning," Ichabod mounted on top of her and kissed her soft lips. "I have the whole night to make love to you."

 

~*~

Chapter Text

ESL CH 13
Home Coming

 

~Intro~

"I need you..." Ichabod moaned heavy as the blooded rushed his body.

As much as she enjoyed him, she loved the way he made love to her and eagerly gave him what he wanted. She took one last drag of him, before he laid her on her back. He mounted between her thighs kissing her tenderly. Their tongues desperately tasting as their lips and bodies pressed against each other. He was hard as a rock, but he took his time enjoying every inch of her. He kissed down her body, caressing her breasts in his massive palm, as he kissed and sucked at her tender nipples.

With the stresses they faced at home, this road trip had turned out to be exactly what the two needed to release all their pent up tension.

 

1~ Road Trip

It was a rare thing for Ichabod to take a day off of work. But when Abbie asked him to ride along with her to visit Jacob Roberts, he couldn't say no. She'd been so stressed out since Luke was a no show to sign their divorce papers. Luke claimed that he had to have surgery, but wouldn't tell Abbie what was wrong. She thought it might has been a ploy to get Lou and Marta to persuade her to give up on the divorce. But her in-laws seemed to believe that Luke was being honest. None the less, he promised that he'd be back in New York in three weeks.

The other thing they did not talk about was her meeting with the Bank in two weeks. She needed the loan, or Ichabod was going to have to put the property on the market. Ichabod dreaded the thought, so they both decided they would cross that bridge in two weeks, and hope for a positive outcome.

In the mean time Abbie was determined to move on with her life. The first step was making a call to the Grandfather she'd never met. When he returned her call they had such a warm chat, she could not turn down his invitation to come for a visit him in Norfolk Virginia.

Abbie had driven short distances with Ichabod before, the longest from Seneca Lake to Sleepy Hollow. But this was a real road trip, and she had no idea he was so much fun to drive with. She drove the first stretch from The Finger Lakes to DC. Between his boisterous singing and his many stories, the trip went by so fast.

 

Ichabod was excited to see DC for the first time, and Abbie loved being the tour guide and teaching him for a change. Other than sharing the experience with Abbie, his favorite was absorbing the history of the district visiting the monuments and the African American Museum. For Abbie, she loved the ambiance. It was early Spring and the cherry blossoms were in bloom. They held hands as they walked the district. They grabbed a bite to eat and treats from George Town Cupcakes, to appease Ichabod's sweet tooth, and had a late lunch on the lawn.

"Thank you for showing me a splendid day," Ichabod held Abbie's hand and gave it a kiss as the two laid on the lawn watching the sunset. "You are an excellent teacher."

"You're fun to teach. I love the way you get this look in your eyes when you learn something new. It.'s so cute." Abbie smiled and teased.

"It's because I get to experience it with you," Ichabod's voice was soft and intense causing Abbie to blush and look away. Her heart skipped a beat as he gently brushed her fingers as he held her hand.

"Be still my heart," she inhaled a deep breath, taking it all in. "Thank you for coming with me."

"I'm happy to be here with you, Abbie.

"I'd be a nervous wreck if you weren't here keeping me distracted. I doubt I'll sleep tonight."

"I think I can help you in that department as well," Ichabod gave her a sly grin.

"I bet you can," Abbie grinned and gave him a playful swat. Ichabod quickly retaliated with a gentle tickle to her sides, making her squeal with delight, before planting a generous kiss on her tender lips.

"We should probably get to the beach house," Abbie peeked around. There was no privacy in the middle of DC.

~~~

2 ~ Close Quarters

"This is it," Abbie pointed as they drove down the small road along the barrier island.

Ichabod drove the rest of the way to Virginia Beach, to the little beach shack August left to Joe. The tiny beach house wasn't much to look at with its grey shaker style shingles. It was a quaint one bedroom with a small porch on the back and a big deck facing the water. The ocean was dark, and blended into the midnight sky. The breeze in early March was cool and the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach was soothing.

Abbie quickly turned on the power while Ichabod carried their bags inside. He did a quick dusting while she turned down the bed.

"Where is the shower," Ichabod asked as he looked into the bathroom seeing only a sink, toilet and door.

"It's on the deck," Abbie grinned.

"You bathe al fresco?" He raised a brow.

"Yes... Don't worry the decking is high enough around the shower that you get some privacy. It's for when you come in from the beach to keep from tracking sand through the cottage.

"Hmm... Risqué," Ichabod quickly stripped down and went out the bath door. "Are you joining me? It's quite roomy out here.

"Not shy at all are you?" Abbie laughed and hurried behind him.

As soon as she stepped out, he wrapped her in his arms. Their naked bodies, pressed together as he kissed her tenderly, from her lips to her neck.

"Apologies," He hadn't meant to become erect.

He knew they'd had a long day and she might be tired. He just wanted to be close to her, but Abbie was always in the mood. She turned in his arms pressing her backside against his throbbing cock.

"Don't stop," she panted. "I need you."

Ichabod caressed her body, fondled her breast, kissed her neck and shoulders, making her feel so good. His long fingers reached between her folds, playing vigorously with her clit, making her weak in the knees. She moaned deep and relaxed as his hands tended to every inch of her body.

Abbie was wet and ready as the pressure bubbled up in their loins. Ichabod bent her over, bracing her arms against the high deck wall, as he crouched and guided his cock between the slit of her wet.

"Oh, god yesss...." Abbie hissed as he braced her hips and pushed inside.

"Oh..." His breath hitched and caught heavy as he enjoyed the feel of her wet walls constricting around his length.

She was on her tip toes pushing back into him as he pumped into her. The warm water and cool night breeze enhancing the sensations of pleasure that came over them in blissful swirls. Slow at first, he stroked deep and intent, easily hitting her spot from behind. She moaned deep as she felt her impending climax building heavy wit in her.

"Crane, Crane, Craaaneee… Fuck... Harder...Abbie hardly knew what she was saying, but she moaned and he eagerly delivered. "Come so hard..."

Waters poured over their bodies as the sound of wet flesh smacking filled the night air. He was practically holding her up as her legs quivered and pleasure took over. His body tensed and his cock jerked inside her as they climaxed together in an inferno of pure, hot, wet pleasure.

They took their time recovering and washing each other before the hot water was spent. They were both so exhausted after their shower, they collapsed on the bed and fell asleep, with Ichabod's long limbs spooning around her.

 

~~~

3~ Family Ties

 

It was amazing for Ichabod and Abbie waking up in each other's arms, to the sun rise over the ocean and the sound of crashing waves. She was nervousness as she helped him cook a small breakfast. She was a bit quieter as they ate on the back deck watching the Ocean and the seagulls. It was nice to hear stories about coming out here in the Spring with Joe and August, after she lost her mom. How cathartic and ironic that her moms family was so close by all this time. Perhaps that was why she always enjoyed coming down to the Outer Banks.

~

 

"I'll wait here," Ichabod opened the car door for Abbie and gave her a quick kiss.

"You can come with me," Abbie felt nervous butterflies rushing through her as they stood in front of The Roberts family home.

"I will be right here," Ichabod reassured her. He didn't want her to miss out on the opportunity to meet Jacob and for them to have their own moment. But he also wanted to make sure she knew he was there for her. "You are amazing Abbie. Just take a deep breath Everything will be fine."

Abbie nodded and gave his hand a squeeze before heading up the walk way.

It was only a few seconds from the time she rang the bell and Jacob answered but it seemed an eternity.

"Hi," was all she could manage as she smiled and looked him over.

A huge smile of anticipation was returned to her.

"Umm, Mr. Jacob Roberts... I'm Grace Abigail Mills... Lauren was my mother."

Jacob hugged her warmly then stood back to look at her. "You are even lovelier than I could have imagined. I never thought he'd see this day," he took her hands. "I'm your grandpa, so no more Mr. Roberts.

“Okay,” Abbie agreed. “And please call me Abbie.”

“Who's your friend?"

"That's Ichabod Crane... He's the one who helped me find you. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him."

"Well then I must meet him to," Jacob waved to Ichabod. "Come on in son."

Ichabod obediently took long strides and quickly met them on the porch. "Hello, Sir... My name is Ichabod Crane." The two shook hands.

"Grace says you're the one who found us. And I am so grateful. Both of you please come in." Jacob showed them inside to have a seat.

They chatted about Abbie's days at University, and working at the Sheriffs’ Department, over a glass of Jacob’s fresh squeezed lemonade. She didn't mention Luke but did talk about meeting Mr. Crane and being left the old mansion. She told him how she turned it into a business, and Ichabod gushed about what a fantastic job she does running the whole thing.

"Ellie would have loved that. I see a lot of her in you."

"Really? Tell me about you and her. I want to know everything," Abbie sat eager to hear more.

"Evelyn and I met at college doing Theatre together," Jacob passed Abbie a few pictures from decades ago. "you look so much like her. She was petite too. My Ellie passed away five years ago. Her girls were everything to her. We had Alma when we were young, twenty-two. We went twelve years thinking we couldn't have another child when we were blessed with our Lauren." Jacob was saddened. "We never stopped looking for her."

"How did you lose touch with her? Abbie was curious. She took Ichabod's hand almost as if he were a sense of security in case what she learned was something that would be hard to hear.

"She had some issues as a child. Bi-Polar, but it was manageable. We did have some concerns that she displayed signs of schizophrenia, but she stayed in therapy and we were on top of things. She was a very good girl, the light of our lives... until she met this guy who went by the street name EZ. Lori fell for him, but we told her he wasn't from here and would be gone. We didn't want her to get hurt. One night Ellie and I went out of town to the theater... When we got home the next day, Lauren was gone. No one around here knew who EZ was, only that he was from DC or Pennsylvania or New York. We searched for so long but the latest picture we had was when Lauren was 17."

Abbie nodded. It all made sense. "She changed her name to Lori. I guess as a runaway she found a way to get a fake ID and Social. She married my dad... Ezra Mills. But when she started having problem with her mental issues... He left us. I never knew anything about any of you. So I ended up in Foster Care until the Corbins took me in when she died."

"Oh, I am so sorry. If we had known... we would have come for you."

"It's okay. The Corbins were very good to me. I tried to find you too, but with my mom not having a real identity... No one was looking for an African American Lori Mills that fit my mom’s description."

The buzzer in the kitchen went off catching Jacob's attention. "That would be the pot roast. Do you cook Abbie?"

"Not very much. Iche's been teaching me. He's been helping run the Bed &Breakfast. Do you cook a lot?"

"I do. Hobby of mine since I was young. Ellie loved it when I cooked for her. I used to have a journal cook book, passed down from my Great grandmother to my mother for Lauren and Alma. I lost it years ago, but I memorized almost every recipe in it."

"I have it," Abbie smiled.

"Well, that is so good to hear. I thought it was lost forever." Jacob was relieved to hear the journal was where it belonged. "All right Ichabod, how about you give me a hand?"

"It'd be my pleasure, Sir."

 

 

~~~

 

4~ Hope

 

Abbie was glad to have Ichabod with her at dinner. Alma was a very sweet woman, she did remind her of her mom in a lot of ways, but she was much more together and organized like Abbie. David was her youngest son, twenty-three and still single. As they dined, the young man kept looking at Abbie as if he couldn't place where he'd seen her before. It was nice to find out he was in medical school, and Alma was a nurse and to hear all about their lives.

"Dad did you change your corn bread recipe? This is even better than usual."

"No, Ichabod made the corn bread," Jacob wasn't afraid to give credit to a fellow chef. "But I'm stealing the recipe."

They all had a laugh and David joked that he might be invited to the cookout. Ichabod had no idea what that meant but he figured at least they liked the food.

As they are having desert, Alma has a million questions for Abbie. She was very motherly, asking about her well being, school and education and what is was like being raised with the Corbins. It was hard for her to know how she and Lori struggled when Abbie was little, but a relief to hear that at least Abbie's teen years were pleasant.

"So have you always lived in New York?"

"Mostly, yes. I did live in California for a few years, before I came back to start the Bed and Breakfast."

"I went to UCLA, and lived in California for ten years myself," Alma said enthusiastically. "Where did you live?"

"San Diego," Abbie was hoping not to get into that too much.

"Luke Morales!" David blurted out. "I knew I recognized you from somewhere. You're married to the baseball player."

Ichabod and Abbie sat stone faced, as Jacob and Alma looked at each other.

"I was... Am for now, but we are separated... It's complicated." Abbie winced and took a drink.

~

Jacob, David, and Ichabod cleared the table and tended to the dishes while Alma showed Abbie Lori's old room. She showed her pictures of them together and awards her mom won in school.

"I came back to Virginia after Lauren disappeared. Mom and dad were devastated, and I guess I felt guilty that I wasn't here. After thinking she couldn't have any more children and then being blessed... It broke mama's heart when we lost her."

"Why would she think she couldn't have any more kids?"

"Mom had me young but when she tried again a couple years later, it didn't happen. She had a polycystic ovary, so it was a challenge. But then she had Lauren. We were so happy. And now we have you," Alma got a bit choked up and put her arms around Abbie.

It was overwhelming, but in a good way. A sense of peace came over Abbie. There had been a whole in her heart since the day she lost her mom, an empty space that the Corbins, and the Moraleses, just couldn't fill. They'd loved her and she was grateful, but to know about her mom and to feel an extension of her mother’s love, healed her heart in a way that nothing else could.

 

 

~~~

5~ Here for You

 

Abbie leaned on the deck railing, listening to the sound of the ocean. The cool breeze was cathartic after a long and very emotional day. But it was all good as she breathed in the fresh salt air and ran through every detail of meeting her family.

Her mind wandered a bit as she thought about the struggle her grandmother went through, very similar to her own. then she remembered Ichabod's grandmother Delilah had a similar story. both women had two children. Was it a sign to be hopeful? Or perhaps she was just in her feels about the whole day. Whatever it was, it felt good.

"Here you are, Treasure," Ichabod walked out onto the deck and handed Abbie a cold beer.

"Thank," Abbie smiled, giving him a kiss.

"How are you?"

"Still taking it all in. I'm not sure if its really hit me yet, you know."

"You look happy."

"I am... Very happy. This whole day has been so surreal, you know," Abbie smiled relaxed as she languidly wrapped her arms around his shoulders. "I can't thank you enough for being my support through this. You are the most handsome, charming, caring person... I love you and I'm lucky to have you."

"Treasure, really, it was my pleasure to accompany you. In fact, I'm grateful that you even allowed me to tag along..."

"Stop talking and let me thank you." Abbie cut him off by pulling him down into a kiss. Her lips parted letting their wet tongues gently tangle together, as she pressed her body against his. She pulled away leaving Ichabod with a daze smile.

"Do you know how much I love you, Grace Abigail Mills?" he asked looking in her soft brown eyes as his hands caressed her cheeks.

She nodded giving him the most irresistible, alluring smile before pulling him back to her. Her body pressed in waves against him, easily getting the rise she had anticipated. His hands went from her cheeks down her body, enjoying the feel of her breasts before moving to to curve of her hips. Their mouths open wide, wet tasting hastily as hands began loosening the clothing that adorned their bodies.

Unlike the shower which was surrounded and sheltered from neighboring eyes, the deck was completely exposed. So Ichabod guided her inside. Their lips barely parting as their garments were peeled from their bodies.

Ichabod lifted her easily and carried her to the bed, eager to get her out of her panties, but she was quite agile, and got her hands on him first. Her petite hands massaged his thick cock as he let out a low deep groan.

"Does that feel good," Abbie purred as she kissed his body.

"God, yes..." he huskily moaned. "You feel so good."

Electricity shot through his body as her tongue began to tease the head, making wet swirls around, before taking him in her mouth. He gently ran his fingers through her hair as she worked up and down the length of him, filling him with overwhelming pleasure. Abbie made the most delightful sounds as she looked up at him with big brown eyes. She would be the absolute end of him, Ichabod was certain, and he didn't care.

"I need you..." He moaned heavy as the blooded rushed his body.

As much as she enjoyed him, she loved the way he made love to her and eagerly gave him what he wanted. She took one last drag of him, before he laid her on her back. He mounted between her thighs kissing her tenderly. Their tongues desperately tasting as their lips and bodies pressed against each other. He was hard as a rock, but he took his time enjoying every inch of her. He kissed down her body, caressing her breasts in his massive palm, as he kissed and sucked at her tender nipples.

Abbie panted heavy as her neves came alive and sent pleasure sensations rushing through her body. She was wet, her body aching for every bit of attention he was giving her. Ichabod reached between her thighs, gently fingering at her wet folds before pushing one digit, then another inside of her. The louder Abbie moaned, the more he was driven to please her, thumbing her clit as his fingers rhythmically stroked her spot inside. He could feel her tensing up, as the pressure began to build in her loins. She was ready to explode and he was desperate to taste. He spread her legs wide, delving in with his tongue, licking and kissing the soft wet folds, before gently sucking her clit. Her fingers entwined in his soft brown locks as her hips rose up into him.

"Yes... ohhh... Crane...." her voice was faint as one huge wave of pleasure came crashing down on her and swept slowly through her body. He drank her essence, getting high from her ecstasy and the sounds of her calling his name.

Ichabod rose up watching her come, as he guided his cock to her slick entrance. One extreme sensation after another, pure pleasure, as his thick length stretched her and pressed inside her.

"You feel so good... Fuck..." He moaned heavy, barley able to contain himself for how amazing she felt around him.

His hips thrust slow methodical strokes as her body met his rhythm. deeper harder, faster, he began to stroke, as their bodies were enunciated with the most tantalizing sensations.

 

"Cra...Mmm... so... fu...." Her moans and cries trailed of into unintelligible mumbling as another wave crashed over her. Her legs shook and her body quivered as he made her come so hard she spun over the edge.

Her essence soaked him, and drew him to the brink, "I'm coming... Oh... Treas...." He lost it as his body tensed and bliss took over. Three swift firm strokes and he was spent.

He carefully laid them on their side, staying inside and keeping their connection. He held her as they slowly recovered catching their breath and feeling each other’s heart beat. Their connection was so deep and intimate; neither wanted it to end as they fell asleep in each other's arms.

 

~*~

Chapter Text

Ch 14: Closer To You

 

~Intro~

Ichabod breathed her in as their fingers entwined, and their bodies easily found their rhythm.

"Does that feel good," he groaned low as his warm breath tickled across her cheek.

"Mmmm... So good," Abbie moaned into his kiss, loving how good he made her feel, but Loving their connection more than anything.

"God, I love you," Ichabod groaned as he went a little faster, his cock full tilt inside her, as deep as he could. Their eyes met for a moment hooded, wanting, and desperately filled with love and desire, before their lips and tongues met again for another long wet kiss. He didn't want to stop making love to her filling her, connecting with her.

"Love you... so much..." She managed between soft moans that echoed around him and drifted into their kisses.

It was probably the last thing they should be doing in this moment but right now all they wanted was to be close to each other and forget about the stress that was outside of this room. In here where it was just the two of them... Nothing could be more right.

 

~~~

1~ Up To No Good

It was time to gear up for the Spring Season when Ichabod and Abbie returned from Virginia. She had several meetings with Daniel and Andy about increasing inventory to help offset the demands for GAM & Co. products. Nick was a huge help and things seemed to be good to go on the business front.

For Ichabod, it was the week before mid-terms. That meant more time at the University and less time with Abbie and at the B&B. He was in high demand from his students, including Standra who just never seemed to get a clue.

The business and University were not the only things weighing on Ichabod and Abbie. The sports networks were all buzzing about Luke and speculating that he was renegotiating his contract. There was not a peep about him having any surgery, however and she didn't know what to make of it.

She wasn't the only one. Abraham noticed how much both Ichabod and Joe watched the sports networks when Abbie wasn't around.

"I have never seen you interested in American sports in your life," Abe finally called Ichabod on it.

"I'm just trying to stay abreast of all things American," Ichabod lied badly.

"That's malarcky and you know it. Do you suspect Abbie is stalling the divorce in hopes Luke will buy her the house?"

"No of course not. I trust Abbie explicitly," Ichabod grumbled. "It's Luke I do not trust. He's lying to her. She knows it, I know it... But there's so much going on right now. The last thing she needs is me adding to her stress by hounding her about divorcing Luke."

"Joe said the same thing," Abraham sighed. "I just hope you know what you're doing. I really like Joe, so I don't want things to get rowdy between us all. You know I'll always take your side."

"Really... Though that will not be necessary, you're putting our friendship over a good shag, I feel honored," Ichabod joked.

"Yes," Abraham shot back. "And he's more than that. He’s a great shag. He's invited me to stay the weekend with him at the beach house in Virginia."

"Oh! You two are already at romantic getaway levels?" Ichabod was a bit surprised.

"Yeah, we'll see how things go."

 

~~~

2 ~ Friends & Sexcapades

 

Abbie loved the aroma that filtered through the Bed and Breakfast every morning. The scent of fresh baked muffins and coffee, beckoned the guests down for their morning meal. The two held hands as they walked into the kitchen together. Ichabod's eyes glanced lingering over Abbie as she reached in the cupboard for plates. She looked gorgeous in her skirt and top, fitted at the body, accenting her curves, then flowing out at knee length. He wondered, how was she so beautiful. Abbie couldn’t help but blush every time he looked at her with those damn heart eyes.

It was Leena's morning to cook and serve the guests, so Ichabod and Abbie sat together at the kitchen table. When she finished, she joined the couple and Nick for her sustenance.

"Mmmm... Miss Leena you are a natural," Ichabod took a bit of his omelet, giving credit where it was due.

There was a method to his determination to teach Leena everything he knew about the Culinary Arts. He wanted Abbie to come with him back to England, and for more than a week. Today especially it was heavy on his mind. Abbie was going to meet with the loan officer this morning, then Luke at the end of the week. They needed these two things out of the way so that they could move forward. Since their trip to Virginia, he felt closer to her than ever. The fact that she wanted him there with her, and he was able to be her support meant the world to him. He loved her and wanted to be with her, that's all that mattered. Things simply had to work out.

"Thank you," Leena appreciated his compliments knowing they were sincere.

"It's really good," Abbie was picking at her food barely eating. Ichabod gently rubbed her leg, knowing it was nerves about her meeting, and hoped to help her relax.

"Where is your brother? He's late for breakfast again."

"He's still in the pool house," Nick gave them a look. "I heard them on my walk up."

"Heard them," Abbie pierced her eyes curiously. Nick gave her another more obvious look. "Oh...he's with Bram, again. Never mind."

"Speak of the devils," Ichabod raised a brow as Joe and Abraham finally arrived for breakfast.

"Don't give me that look," Bram chided Ichabod.

"Sorry we're late," Joe quickly threw together his plate. "We were busy."

"So we heard... Literally," Abbie giggled. Leena joined her with a tight lipped smirk.

"Oh, neither of you two can talk," Joe pointed his fork at the two ladies.

"I do not know what you mean," Leena played innocent, being older and more discrete than her friends. She preferred to keep her dalliances private, while the others teased each other relentlessly about their sexcapades.

"As if we don't know what you and my good friend John have been up to," Ichabod grinned under his breath.

"Uh," Leena gawked at him. "You're just going to out us like that?"

"Apologies," Ichabod was still grinning ear to ear. "That was rather ungentlemanly of me."

"And after I kept secret the number of times squirrels were blamed for the messes you two made... Not to mention the time you and Abbie were split up and she caught you in the laundry... staring at her lingerie."

Everyone broke into laughter.

"You told her," Ichabod looked red cheeked at Abbie.

"No," Abbie was trying not to laugh. "Leena caught you, but you were so caught up in staring, that you never saw her. She told me," Abbie was now laughing so hard she could hardly breathe, "and when I went to the laundry you were still standing there... Staring... It had to have been ten minutes..."

Ichabod ‘s cheeks were even redder, but he loved the way Abbie’s face scrunched up when she was trying not to laugh. She was adorable, and he join, having a bit of a laugh at himself. "Those were rather challenging times," he joked, remember how he and Abbie struggled to keep their hands off of each other.

It was nice to relax and enjoy each other's company. Abbie and Ichabod could get their minds off of her meeting in a couple of hours. He had classes, though he wished he could be there with her.

After breakfast Ichabod packed a lunch, enough for two. "Would you like to ride into the city together? We can do lunch on campus after your meeting."

"I'd like that," Abbie happily agreed.

~~~

 

3~ Be All Right

It wasn't the news she was hoping for at all. When Abbie went into Ichabod's office without a smile on her face, he had hoped she was not being serious. But one look at the stress that showed in her eyes and he had a bad feeling, she didn't get the loan.

"What happened?" He asked, closing and locking the door behind her. He didn't want to be disturbed while they talked.

"They wouldn't approve me for the full amount. They said that the business needed to have six months straight of profits from September through February." She spoke calmly, but she was struggling not to get choked up.

"And so you have... You've been a tremendous success. You have the funds properly budgeted for your overhead..."

"It was because I paid for half of the HVAC system replacement. It wasn't in the budget so I used part of the businesses profits. Anyway they said they could give me half of what we need."

"It's not nearly enough," Ichabod sat at his desk and rubbed his temple.

Abbie sat on his desk and ran her finger though his hair. He tried not to show his frustration, because he knew how upset Abbie was. But this was not good.

"They said I could revisit in three months when I can show six months of profits. If we don't have any more unforeseen hiccups..."

"That's the middle of June... I have to pay of the lean against Bellington by then."

"I know... And we talked about what would happen if I didn't get the loan. I know you have to put the property on the market."

"I am so sorry Abbie, but I don't have a choice..." Ichabod gently caressed her thigh. "I must line up at least one buyer, but I won't sell it until we find out if you get the loan in June first. I promise."

Abbie blinked back tears, determined not to cry. There was nothing more she could do, and she knew Ichabod was doing everything he could. She wiped her eyes when blinking wasn't enough.

"Christ, Abbie," Ichabod mumbled frustrated. He could not handle her crying right now.

"I'm going to go... I don't have much of an appetite..." Abbie sighed heavy hearted.

"Please don't go," Ichabod stood, keeping her in place, seated on his desk. He caressed her cheeks in his hands drawing her gaze up at him. "I love you so much."

"I love you too."

He wanted to say more, to make her promises, but he knew better. There were no guarantees in this situation, but his love for her was genuine and she could feel it. When he kissed her she melted into him, into the warm comfort of his loving embrace, and tender lips. He easily got lost in her. It was probably the wrong thing to do, but in that moment they didn't care.

The soft gentle kiss soon became heated, their tongues entwined as she pulled him in between her thighs. She quickly had him out of his button shirt then pulled his T-shirt over his head. He just as hastily pulled off her top. He immediately seized upon the soft brown flesh of her neck with hungry wet kisses as he palmed her breasts through the thin lace bra. His thumb pulled back at the material, exposing the firm dark nipple. He lavishly licked it, before taking it into his mouth.

Abbie moaned heavy into him as her hands generously rubbed his stiffening cock through his pants. As if reading his mind to give him some relief, she hastily unfastened his pants and took him into her hand. Her hands felt so good, gently pulling back the skin and firmly stroking him with one hand. Her other hand went from teasing his sack to the playing with the sensitive head.

"Mm... Treasure..." He moaned deep, as he moved from one breast to the next. His hips slowly began thrusting to meet her rhythm.

"My god," Ichabod gulped hard. He barely contained himself at her flexibility, when Abbie spread her legs wide and up, planting her feet on his desk. Her skirt hiked around her waist, the thin matching panties were the only thing blocking him from his desired destination.

He stood back, licking his lips and getting a good look. His long fingers moved the material to the side, and exposed her folds, and the wet pink center, causing his cock to jerk wildly. He glared down at her with hooded dilated eyes. The sight of her sent the blood rushing through his body in long ecstasy filled waves.

"Nice and wet. Just the way I like it." He growled.

The way he looked at her, with lust and passion, sent a thrill through her that got her wet. He got down on his knees and delved in with his tongue, burying his face between her thighs.

"Oh mm.... Crane...." Abbie cooed as his tongue slid into her folds over and over before wrapping his lips around her clit. She leaned back on her elbows letting her head fall back and enjoy the sensations he was delivering.

She tasted so good, and he moaned his delight as he lapped up her essence like he was indulging on a sweet treat. He held her hips firmly as she instinctively rose and pressed into him. When he slid his long digit inside her already sensitive chasm, she lost all composure.

"Mmmm... Fuck yeah..." She panted breathlessly, so close, as he drummed her spot, and sucked her clit, filling her belly with the impending explosion of pleasure. Her toes curled and she tensed up then her legs quivered as she gave in and let go into pure bliss.

He loved the way she fell apart in his arms, and soaked him with her release, the sounds of pleasure that were music to his ears as she rode the wave. He continued sucking and drinking her, letting her ride that wave as long as she desired, until she couldn't take any more. She was a quivering mess.

Before she could recover he had her thigh in his hand and was guiding himself inside her. The sensation of his thick long dick stretching her walls right after she came, was overwhelming in the best way. He had her legs up over his shoulder now, moaning heavy, as he buried himself inside her with deep long strokes. He was like a jack hammer pumping faster and harder as she cried out his name.

"I want you to come so hard for me," he growled, kicking off his shoes and pants.

"Oohhmmm... Fuck yeah..." She panted and grasped at his ass, pulling him on top of her as their lips met and their tongues mingled. In a moment he was sprawled on top of her. Things went sprawling off of his desk and across the floor as he pumped and stroked inside her, hitting her spot over and over. Everything felt good as every nerve in their bodies came alive with pleasure. Her walls constricted around his cock with each stroke as she wrapped her legs around him.

He mumbling trailed off into unintelligible gibberish she came hard as he fucked her swiftly, deeply, her body going from quivering to limp as she laid sprawled across his desk. No one had ever made her come the way he did.

Ichabod lifted her from his desk, still inside her and laid her on the much more comfortable leather sofa. He began slowly stroking as she recovered from her second, much harder climax. But he was far from done. He kissed her deeply as his hips worked methodically, grinding into her deeper and deeper. He breathed her in as their fingers entwined, and their bodies easily found their rhythm.

"Does that feel good," he groaned low as his warm breath tickled across her cheek.

"Mmmm... So good," Abbie moaned into his kiss, loving how good he made her feel, but Loving their connection more than anything.

"God, I love you," Ichabod groaned as he went a little faster, full tilt inside her as deep as he could. Their eyes met for a moment hooded, wanting, and desperately filled with love and desire, before their lips and tongues met again for another long wet kiss. He didn't want to stop making love to her filling her, connecting with her.

"Love you... so much..." She managed between soft moans that echoed around him and drifted into their kisses. Their lips barely parted as another wave began to rush over her already sensitive body. She was moaning, panting, her nonstop cries of pleasure sang out to him as he swiftly thrust against her tightening walls.

As her slick chasm constrict, he felt her warm wet essence enraptured his cock, and he couldn't contain release his any longer. She felt too damn good. His body tightened, twitched and he let himself fall into her and over the edge of bliss. He filled her, their juices blending inside of her as their bodies remained coupled together.

Their bodies glistened with sweat as they breathed heavy, attempting to recover. Ichabod carefully rolled her on the small sofa so that she was on top of him in his arms. It was nice to relax against his body, with her head on his chest. Their rapid heartbeats connected as they recuperated from their tryst.

"We made a mess..." Abbie grumbled when she noticed most of what was on Ichabod's deal was now scattered across the floor.

"Microscopic," he teased, not letting her go. His hands slowly rubbed up and down her back.

"Mmmm... I might need a moment," Abbie sighed, glancing at the door. Her legs felt like jell-o, and she was exhausted. “You wore me out.”

"Don't worry," Ichabod eased her mind. "I have this time set aside for just the two of us. We can stay here for a while."

 

~*~

Chapter Text

Ch 15 Trust Issues

 

 

~ Intro ~

"Brace yourself," Ichabod advised as he slowly pressed into the tiny hole.

Abbie did just that, grabbing his hip with one hand and the shower wall with the other. The mix of sensations, pleasure and pain took, some getting used to as he took his time.

"You feel so good..." Ichabod was lightheaded as she pressed into him helping him strike a rhythm that she could handle.

He reached around her, fondling her clit making her moan prom the rise of pressure bubbling up inside her.

"Mmmm... So good..." Abbie cried out as she put her hand on his. Her clit swelled between his fingers as he pulsated in her. She was a bit surprised he could make her come like this, but she was so glad he always did.

This was the best way Ichabod and Abbie found to relieve the stress.

 

 

1~ Troubles

 

After the news from the lender, Ichabod and Abbie had a very stressful week. The B&B was beautiful in the early Spring and that would be a much needed draw. The new goats and cows arrived, as well as the seasonal workers arrived to get the next harvest ready. Abbie felt more pressure than ever to stick to the budget and cut costs where ever she could, without sacrificing quality. She hadn't planned on doing a Spring event, but it looked as if she would have to in order to bring in more money.

Ichabod was glad he had Abraham there to unload some of his worries to. He did not want to add any more stress to Abbie's plate. They often did lunch at the University since Joe was still working in Sleepy Hollow for three and four day shifts. He told Ichabod he was really looking forward to his get away with Joe tomorrow, and Ichabod noticed that Abraham really seemed to like Joe... a lot.

"You're just a bit tense lately. Are you sure you doing all right?" Abe asked.

"I am. I mean we're doing all we can on the business front. Abbie still doesn't want to talk about Luke and his blatant lying..."

"There it is again. You can't be jealous. It shows. You have positively no chill."

"You're right," Ichabod sighed.

Ichabod grabbed his cell phone as it buzzed. "It's John, I must take this."

"I'll see you later," Abraham waved him off.

Ichabod began walking back towards his building as he answered the phone, hopeful that John had good news.

"I'm afraid the bank won't allow you to sell off any more assets attached to the estate."

"Why not," Ichabod questioned. "The items belong to my family."

"The bank has the lean. It's like leasing a car and trying to return it without the engine in it. Speaking of cars, you can sell your car here in England."

"It's the one thing that's paid for that I own straight away," Ichabod sighed. "It's not enough to put even a dent in what I need, but I'll keep it in mind."

"Very good. In the meantime, the house is going on the market. I've added a clause that guarantees Abbie a fair lease for five years. And I have a few things I'm looking into with the town zoning that may help. I shall let you know what we come up with."

"I appreciate your help, my friend."

John hung up and called Leena. "Hello love, about this holiday we're taking..."

"You're not canceling on me Mr. Perish," Leena teased but was quite serious.

"I was just wondering if the timing is right. I'm afraid the kids are in for a tough time."

"I know," Leena sighed. "Abbie is very worried. But we'll only be gone for a week. What could possibly happen in such short a time?"

 

~~~

 

2 ~ We Two

 

It was early Saturday morning when Ichabod's alarm went off. He and Abbie would be on their own to run the B&B for an entire week with Leena and Joe gone. And with Ichabod heading into midterm week, he knew their time together was about to be very hard to come by.

He hit the off button and cuddled up behind Abbie. Her firm round bottom fit perfectly against him, as his hands slowly rubbed up her silky legs.

"Mmmm... Good morning to you too," Abbie groggily stretched into him, feeling him getting hard against her back side.

"It's certainly about to be," Ichabod growled kissing the tip of her ear. He pulled the strap of the tank top down then kissed her shoulder.

He was just about to slip his hands between her thighs, when her phone rang. Abbie recognized the ring right away.

"Oh... It's Marta. I should get this. She wouldn't call early for no reason." Abbie pulled away and reached for her phone.

"Really," Ichabod looked wounded as he motioned in the direction of his erection.

"Crane... You know Marta and I are close. She's been like a mom to me... We've been through a lot."

"She's going to try and talk you out of signing the papers tomorrow." Ichabod grumbled as he got out of the bed.

"She's not... How about you run us a bath or a shower, and I'll join you in a minute?" Abbie wasn't really asking since she quickly answered the call. "Buenos Dias Marta, como estas? ... Si, es temprano....No, no es bien. Que pasa..."

Ichabod looked a bit offended. Was Abbie speaking in Spanish thinking he wouldn't understand. He went into the bathroom so they could speak privately. He brushed his teeth, laid out his shaving gear, started the hot water for the shower... She still wasn't finished. Ichabod wrapped his towel around his waist and stood in the doorway watching her laughing on the phone.

Abbie looked up to see him, arms folded, towel hanging low on his hips and steam billowing from behind him. She knew he wasn't happy, but he looked sexy as hell brooding.

"Marta, tengo que ir.... Is mama, tambien the amo... Okay bye." Abbie looked up at him. "Sorry about that."

"I was waiting for ten minutes," he pouted.

"It was not... But it looks like someone doesn't want to play anymore," Abbie teased, seeing that he was no longer at attention.

She got up and put her phone away. The sight of her perfectly curved butt cheeks peeking beneath her tank top was enough to get him aroused again.

"That's more like it," Abbie grinned walking up to him and kissing him.

But Ichabod was still feeling a bit salty. "I speak Spanish, you know..."

"I know," Abbie hadn't really thought that was adding to the twinge of jealousy. But she could see how he might have some feelings about it. She began to unfasten his towel, letting it fall to the ground. "Are you going to stay in your feels about it or... podermos mojarnos? Besa lentamemente tu cuerpo y llavarte a la boca despacio."

Ichabod's eyebrow raised all the way up and he tipped his head with a sly grin. "We can most certainly do as you wish!"

Abbie gave him a sultry gaze, biting her bottom lip as she pulled him into the shower. She licked her lips and began kissing down his body. Her hand slowly stroking his cock as the hot water washed over them. "I owe someone an apology for making him wait. Let’s see if I'm forgiven."

"Ohh... God yes..." Ichabod moaned deep as her lips kissed the head.

Ichabod leaned back against the shower wall as Abbie's tongue playfully glided around the tip and the slit. She did quite a number on him fondling the sack as she took him into her mouth, never quite getting used to the size of him. She could never get him all the way in, but her hands made up for it. He tried to keep his cool, caressing her shoulder as she worked her plump lips up and down his shaft. He was like a rod in her mouth, veins throbbing, stretching her.

"Ohh... That so damn good," Ichabod's toes were already curling as she sent electricity searing through his body. "I need you."

Abbie slowly withdrew him from her mouth, licking up the beads of precum as the water washed over them. Ichabod crouched down lifting her all the way up, and pinning her back to the wall. He lowered her down on his cock as she put her arms over his shoulder and legs around his waist.

"Ohhh... Gooooooddddd... Mmmm..." Abbie moaned as she sank down on him and he stretched her walls. Even though she was wet, his size was always an adjustment when he didn't finger fuck her first.

"Ohh yeah..." Ichabod moaned heavy feeling her walls tight around his cock. He began thrusting up slowly at first as their wet bodies wet tightly pressed together "Is that good,"

"Mm... Ye....yes..." Abbie panted hard as he hit her spot. He started going faster, then slowed, driving her wild, and bringing her closer and closer to climax with each stroke. She kissed him languidly as he began to do her faster again, this time not relenting.

"Crane....Oh... Fu...." Abbie cried out burying her face in his neck and shoulder, as she felt the rush of ecstasy overwhelm her body.

"That's right," Ichabod groaned. "Come for me." She fell apart in his arms, and he slowly lowered her to her feet. Wobbly legged they kissed as she recovered, but Ichabod was still stiff a rod.

When he felt that she was sufficiently steady of her feet, he turned her to face the wall and bent her over. Ichabod crouched down behind her "We're not done."

Mmmm... okay," Abbie leaned against the tiles as he spread her legs and cheeks.

He delved in with his tongue, lapping at her clit, licking all the way up her slit and down again. He loved the way she tasted. He took his finger and began massaging the tiny whole just above, then slid his finger inside. Abbie knew what he wanted and she’d been wanting it too. Her soft moans, and the way she leaned into him, let him know so far so good.

He stood behind her and guided his cock between her cheeks. "May I?"

"Mmhmm..." Abbie nodded.

"Brace yourself," Ichabod advised as he slowly pressed into the tiny hole.

She did just that, grabbing his hip with one hand and the shower wall with the other. The mix of sensations, pleasure and pain took, some getting used to as he took his time.

"You feel so good..." Ichabod was lightheaded as she pressed into him helping him strike a rhythm that she could handle.

He reached around her, fondling her clit making her moan prom the rise of pressure bubbling up inside her.

"Mmmm... So good..." Abbie cried out as she put her hand on his. Her clit swelled between his fingers as he pulsated in her. She was a bit surprised he could make her come like this, but she was so glad he always did. Her legs trembled and a wave of pleasure struck her body. He held her up on her feet still working swiftly from behind.

"Oh... God yes, Abbie," Ichabod grunted as his body felt the burst of ecstasy, and he released inside her.

He slowly withdrew holding her steady as he took her in his arms. They still needed to wash and get their day started, but he wished they could go back to bed and make love all day. It was nice showering together and washing each other.

It was a favorite thing of theirs when they were on the same schedule, and could get ready together in the morning.

Abbie didn't mind her hair getting wet. It was going to be a busy week anyway, so she might as well not fuss with keeping it straight.

Ichabod watched her getting ready with a soft heart eyes. "You look gorgeous."

"You like the curls," Abbie smiled. He'd told her so many times.

"I do. You're perfect."

 

 

~~~

 

 

3 ~ Choices We Make

 

"So this is it," Joe pointed out the small grey shaker shingle shack with the Ocean front view. "What do you think?"

"It's... quaint," Abraham, came from money and was used to finer accommodations. "The view is stellar."

Joe showed him around inside. It was a brief tour since there was only one bedroom and bath. They ended up on the deck looking out on the beach and the Ocean.

"I know it's not much to look at, but, I love this place. Abs and I had some good times here with my dad. Besides, the house isn't what's going to sell this place it's the beach front location."

"So this isn't a getaway?"

"It is, but I'm also meeting with a realtor to sell it."

"Why are you selling it?" Abraham was confused. "You just said how much you love it."

"I still have the cabin at the lake. Abs and I don't get down here too often, and I'd rather give her the money to keep Grace's Place."

"What? Is that what Abbie wants?"

"No... She doesn't know. I think she'd be upset if she thought I was selling it so she could keep the B&B. So I'm not going to tell her until after its sold."

"Why are you doing this?"

"Because... I'm tired of Abbie always losing what she loves the most. She is so kind and considerate... And yeah she's tough too, but damn it if life doesn't keep knocking her down. She gets back up every time... Stronger, kinder every time."

Joe stopped talking for a moment. It was hard for him to remember the broken girl his dad brought home all those years ago. With everything she'd been through, her father abandoning her, her mothers mental illness, and subsequent death, Abbie still managed to be the light in August and Joe's life.

"Tell her, please... If you decide to sell it. Tell her first. I get the feeling you two are close enough you can handle this together."

Joe nodded as he looked out on the water.

"You all right," Abraham asked as he gently rubbed Joe's back.

"Yeah, I'm good." Joe looked to him and cracked a half smile.

"You're better than good Joseph Corbin. You're amazing."

 

~~~

 

 

"Hi baby," Luke greeted Abbie as she met him at the park Sunday afternoon. He pulled her in for a kiss but she turned to give him her cheek.

"Luke," she said cordially.

"You look amazing... You're hair is curled... It's nice."

"You always liked it straight."

"I didn't appreciate how beautiful you are when the curls fall loose around your cheek," Luke felt like he was seeing her for the first time somehow. Everything in his life was changing and he wanted her to be a part of it.

She handed him the papers to sign as he released her from his embrace. "Here's the papers and I have a pen..."

"You don't have to be so formal," Luke smiled. "I still need to talk to you first."

"That's fine, but my lawyer is here and it's a Sunday..." Abbie pointed to Cynthia who was watching from a distant park bench. Leena was away for a few days, likely visiting John. With Joe gone with Abe, Cynthia was her support system today. "She's got a family waiting, so if we could hurry this up."

"You didn't have to bring your lawyer..."

"See I'm not so sure, Luke. I don't know what's going on with you. We were supposed to sign three weeks ago..."

"I told you, I had surgery..."

"No one has reported that you've had surgery."

"I know. It's complicated, but all of this has been for a reason. Abbie, I thought about what you said, and I... You are the most important thing to me... you and Lucas. I was trying to follow my dream, but it doesn't feel right without you and my son. You and Lucas... You're here, and mom and dad are here. You were right... I was such a fool to think it would be better there or to try and force you to do everything my way."

"Luke, what are you saying?"

"I'm getting traded to New York. The news is going to hit tomorrow. I just signed a new contract."

"What?" Abbie stood shocked.

"Yes," Luke smiled. "Baby, I'm coming home."

"Wait, so the whole surgery thing was a lie? I was worried about you."

"No it wasn't a lie, it was not made public because it was a personal matter... Look it doesn't effect my ability to play," Luke wanted to get the conversation back on track. "Abbie, you and Lucas mean everything to me, and I want to save our family. I saw your house is on the market... I'm putting in an offer... Way over the asking price. So this Crane guy can go back to England or Britain... whatever. He can be out of our lives. We can work on our family and having that baby you've always wanted. I have the finances to get you whatever medical help you need."

"What?" Abbie stood looking dazed, hardly able to process. House and baby were the only things that kept running through her mind as he kept talking.

 

Your birthday is next week, and what better way to celebrate, than to have a fresh start... I can put the keys to our home in your hands. We can do a room for Lucas and a room for our baby or babies... You know with fertility treatments we could get more than one..."

Abbie's mind was trying to process. A part of her wanted to tell him to forget it... Of course she wanted her home and business and a baby, but she didn’t love him anymore. She loved Ichabod... Ichabod... Ichabod and his family estate. Luke was offering more than what they were asking. Ichabod could use that money to really fix up Bellington. But,at what cost? Was it worth it?

"Luke... I can't... I mean... I don't know..."

"I know that I took you by surprise with all of this, but I'm serious. You can take some time to think it over. If Crane doesn't think the price is high enough, tell him to name his price, I don't care what it is, I'll pay it. I'll be in Spring training this week, if you want to come see us play with Lucas and my parents, before you decide. You don't need to rush this decision... Just think about it. And if you still want me to sign, I will."

 

~~~

 

4 ~ Bad Decisions

 

"Crane... We need to talk."

Those were not the words Ichabod wanted to hear when he walked into Abbie's apartment. She sat nervously second guessing her decision to talk things over with him. "Did he sign the papers?"

"No... Neither of us did,"

Ichabod blinked in disbelief, "I beg your pardon."

Abbie took her time to explain that Luke was offering to buy the property for her and that Ichabod could name his price. As she was explaining, her heart began to sink as it registered how bad it sounded.

"Did he not offer to buy the house for you before...and you told him no?"

"He did, but circumstances were different. You are down to the wire... Costs are up... If I can't get a big enough loan then we're screwed. I don't want you to risk losing Bellington, especially if I can have my home too."

"But at what cost?" Ichabod looked incredulous. "Now he's going to be in New York, he has a son, he has the money to buy your Bed and Breakfast. It seems he's your pick now?"

"No... That is not how it is. Crane, I built this... All of it, I did this. I don't want to lose it."

"I trusted you," Ichabod scoffed. "I told Bram you wouldn't stall the divorce in order to do this, and well... Here we are."

"This was not planned! I'm the one who stands to lose everything. This can save us both. It's not what I want, but there is little else I can do... other than wait until the last minute and hope I don't screw you over or you screw me!" Abbie returned the tone. "What would you have done in my shoes, Crane?"

"I would have signed the god damn papers! I would do whatever I can to be with the one I really love. I wish you would have trusted that I had no intention of screwing you over, as you say!"

"Not on purpose, but come on, Crane... I do trust you..."

"No, you don't. You don't see it do you?"

"What?" Abbie threw her hands up frustrated.

"Before if things didn't work out at least we could say we tried everything. I could say I did all I could... But now, huh... Now if you lose the house it'll be my fault for not taking the money and walking away."

"That's not what I want, Crane."

"What do you want Abbie? Do you want to keep your home and business, have Lucas and possibly other children, if it means staying married to Luke?"

"No..."

"Are you going to still want me, if you lose it all because of me?"

Abbie's stare went blank. She could not even wrap her head around that reality. She'd pushed the thought away so many times, and still couldn't face it.

"Your silence says a lot. You don't trust me... and you certainly don't trust us." Ichabod stormed out and slammed the door.

~~~

It was two in the morning. Ichabod laid in bed miserable without Abbie. He could kick himself for storming out. He should have been grading the few term papers that were submitted early. But instead, he spent hours researching fertility treatments, only to learn one round could be easily twelve to thirty thousand dollars all in.

"Of course, fuck me..." He grumbled and tossed his laptop on the nightstand. Luke could truly give her everything she wanted. And she had loved him once... Still had love for Marta, Lou and Lucas. All he could do was take from her.

"What are you doing Ichabod?" he asked himself.

He'd have to speak to her, try to understand what on earth she was thinking and what she wanted, but when. Midterms started tomorrow and he had to leave early to get to Cornell, he'd be back late. It would be that way all week.

"Damn..." He grumbled. He stared at the little crack under the bathroom door.

Perhaps Abbie would wake up and he'd get a chance to run into her. He wondered if he did, what would he say. Should he apologize even though he felt he was in the right?

He was exhausted and could hardly keep his eyes open, there were only three hours before he had to be up for work, but he could not sleep. Not without her.

Then as if fate were answering his prayers the bathroom light flicked on. He was about to get up but he heard the door creep open.

"Crane..." Abbie whispered.

"Abbie...I'm here," Ichabod called reaching out to her.

Abbie quickly shuffled over to his bed where he drew back the covers and welcomed her in. "I couldn't sleep," she yawned groggily removing her robe.

"Nor could I," his voice was tired and scratchy.

He curled up behind her, spooning her in his arms. Her warm soft skin pressed against his was exactly what he needed. She was comforted by the scent of him, his room, his heartbeat, and quickly fell asleep.

When she woke he was already gone. She'd forgotten he had to put breakfast on early because of mid- terms. She'd be lucky if she saw him later that night.

 

~~~

 

5 ~ Lean On Me

 

It was a long few of days for Ichabod and Abbie. With Leena and Joe gone for several days, Abbie and Ichabod relied heavily on Nick and Caroline, and both were happy to help out. But that left the couple no time to sort through what had happened. In fact since they'd officially gotten together, this was the longest stretch Ichabod and Abbie had gone without sex. But their late hours and busy schedules were just not matching up, and giving them a chance to work things out properly. When they finally made it to bed, usually well after midnight, they'd find their way to each other. It had to be enough to just hold each other in their arms as they slept.

Daniel Reynolds came by with his realtor, eager to get his hands on the vineyard. During the week Standra's step father, Stew Frasier, came to stay at the B&B with his fishing buddies. He enjoyed his stay so much he was ready to make an offer on the spot to buy the place. A day later Standra came with him and his realtor. She made a point to mention if he bought it she'd want everything changed. Stew quickly hushed Standra reminding her that it would still be Abbie's business to run. It seemed Ichabod wasn't going to have any problem selling the property if Abbie's loan fell through.

Oblivious to the troubles around the house, Jeremy spent more time on campus with Macey. Ichabod was glad, not wanting his brother to be stressed when he should be enjoying his college years as much as possible. The Irving's finally found a house just outside of the city, but Cynthia made sure to come around and check in with Abbie.

 

~~~

The week dragged on, and it took everything in Ichabod not to call Abraham and interrupt the romantic beach getaway. And now that he finally had his friend’s attention he was being told he was dead wrong.

So you're intimating that I was wrong?" Ichabod asked.

"You were an idiot," Abraham said flatly. "You have got to take a moment and see this from her perspective. She stands to lose everything she's worked for."

"She should trust me."

"Ichabod Crane... Come on. You know she trusts you... Even after you lied to her when you first met, she still trusts you."

"That was because I had no idea what to do. It took me a moment to sort it through."

"Exactly. Look, it’s the circumstance that scares her. And she came to you to sort things through... I understand why you're upset, I do... But you need to give her the benefit of the doubt. Her coming to you was a chance for the two of you to get through this together."

"I'm an idiot," Ichabod grumbled.

"Yes, I said that," Abraham agreed.

"I wasn't completely honest when I said I didn't think she was stalling the divorce. The truth is I was afraid she was. Or rather afraid something like this would happen if they continued to stalled. I knew he'd find some way to keep her hanging on. He's giving her hope and I'm ruining her life."

"You’re not ruining her life."

"Yes, my friend, I am. And that's the truth of it. I want her so badly that I literally risking everything she has, her possible chance to have a baby, the business she's built from nothing. I'm a selfish bastard and I simply haven't faced it until Luke made his offer to her."

"You're not thinking about taking the money are you?"

"No... Not for me anyway. I'm going to let her decide. I love her... I cannot fathom letting her go. I don't know what I'll do with myself if I lose her, but," Ichabod let out a deep sigh. "I'm afraid I'm going to lose her no matter what I do."

"Iche, do not lose faith," Bram gently rubbed his shoulder wishing he could fix it all. "Listen, her birthday is in two days, please talk to her, and sort this out."

 

~~~

"Joey, how can you say that I was wrong?" Abbie was surprised by her brother.

"Maybe not wrong, but did you stop to think how Iche would see this?"

"Luke is offering him way over asking price. I couldn't deny him the chance to know what's going on, and decide if he wants to take the money."

"At what cost Abbie? Your life? Your happiness? Your body? Nobody wants that."

"I don't either, but he had a right to know and if I were in his shoes... I would have liked to have known, before the decision was made and I couldn't do anything about it."

"Really?" Joe asked.

"Yes, I would."

"Well, then, I have something to tell you. I went to the beach house to put it on the market. I want to sell it, and give you the money to buy this place."

"What?" Abbie gasped. "No way, Joey. That was your grandfathers... He left it to your dad, and your dad left it to you... We have so many memories there..."

"We still have the cabin..."

"No..." Abbie said flatly. And then the emotion struck her, almost without warning. She tipped her head and covered her eyes as tears slipped down her cheeks. "That's not what I want..."

"I know..." Joe put his arms around her. "You have to have faith that whatever happens is what's meant to be. If you really love each other and want to be together, then it will happen. But it won't happen if you're still married to Luke."

"I know... You're right."

"You're about to turn 29 in two days... Do you want to do it, still hanging on to the baggage of a life you don't want?"

 

~~~

 

6 ~ Always Another Way

 

It was unusual for Abbie to take off without saying a word to anyone. All Joe knew was that she needed a day to take care of things and that she'd be back for her birthday. She and Joe always hung out and did Karaoke for her birthday. It was a family tradition. Joe invited a few of her closest friends over and was surprised when Cynthia said she was with Abbie.

"Have you heard from your sister," Ichabod asked as he finished icing the cake.

"Not yet but she'll be here."

"She hasn't called me and I... I just need to talk to her... Apologize for being a complete ass, and tell her I love her no matter what."

"Relax man, she loves you too."

"But things have been rather tense between us, and well..."

"She's here!" Caroline called from the front door.

Everyone went to the door to greet her and wish her happy birthday she gave them all hugs and kisses on the cheek, making her way through the small crowd to Ichabod.

"Happy Birthday, Treasure," Ichabod smiled.

Abbie immediately put her arms around his shoulders and he pulled her into his embrace. They held each other for a long lingering moment as everyone awed and then left them alone to have a moment in private.

"Abbie please forgive me for being such a daft fool," Ichabod apologized, not letting her go. "I was afraid of being the reason you get hurt, if things don't go our way. I don't want to hurt you Abbie, and I cannot lose you. But I just don’t know that I’m worth the risk. You deserve better."

"It's okay... I understand. And I want you, Crane. You have to know that," Abbie sighed, breathing him in as she held on to him.

"I love you so much... I don't care if you feel you need to remain married to Luke, we'll sort it through. I just love you, and I don't want to lose you."

"You don't have to worry about that," Abbie grinned as she pulled away just enough to look him in his soft blue eyes. "Whatever happens, I have to believe it’s meant to be, and that we will find a way... together. I am officially divorced.

"You're ... You're truly single then?" Ichabod was speechless. She was truly choosing him, taking a chance on him, and risking it all.

"Not single... because now, I'm all yours."

"Oh..." Ichabod could hardly believe it. He pulled her into a deep long kiss, lifting her feet from the ground.

"Mmmm..." Abbie swooned. "Let's celebrate!"

"Indeed," Ichabod grabbed her by the hand, heading for the stairs, ready to take her to her room.

"Crane, no... The party first."

"Oh, yes of course," he blushed turning three shades of red.

 

~~~

No surprise, Abbie's party was lit. The music was loud and everyone was singing, dancing, or both. Abbie and Ichabod couldn't believe Joe and Abraham were trying to upstage them with the karaoke. Both of the guys could sing, but Abbie was not going to be showed up at her own party.

After showing off with a bit of Beyonce, Abbie pulled Ichabod over to the mic to do their song. It brought back fond memories of getting embarrassingly drunk on his birthday and then a rousing night at the cabin. Abbie was definitely hoping for a repeat.

 

"Listen, baby
Ain't no mountain high, Ain't no valley low. Ain't no river wide enough, baby
If you need me, call me, No matter where you are. No matter how far
Just call my name, I'll be there in a hurry. You don't have to worry
'Cause baby, There ain't no mountain high enough. Ain't no valley low enough
Ain't no river wide enough. To keep me from getting to you.
Remember the day, I set you free. I told you, You could always count on me
From that day on I made a vow. I'll be there when you want me, Some way,some how
'Cause baby, There ain't no mountain high enough. Ain't no valley low enough
Ain't no river wide enough. To keep me from getting to you"

The two hardly took their eyes off of each other as they held on to one another. They swayed to the music. They ended to whistles and cheers, with Joe bowing to his sister reluctantly acknowledging his defeat.

"All right you two," John politely interrupted. "I hate to pull you away from the party, but I must leave in the morning and I have something urgent to discuss with you before I go."

They went to the dining room and sat down with John and Leena, who both looked quite serious. Abbie held Ichabod's hand, hoping it wasn't bad news, but bracing herself just in case. Her biggest fear was that Ichabod already had a buyer and accepted an offer, but she knew that would be good for him if he did.

"Do we really need to do this today?" Ichabod asked. He knew what Abbie was thinking and did not want to ruin her birthday.

John could see the worry in their expressions and eased their fears with a calming smile. "I hope this is good news."

"Oh..." Ichabod and Abbie gave each other curious looks.

"Well I must start with this to be fair and lay everything out for you to make the best choice. As of now there are four offers on the property, and we are expecting another. We are primed for a bidding war and you both could end up with double what we previously expected."

Ichabod shook his head. "I still want to wait and give Abbie the chance to buy my half at the agreed upon price."

"I thought you would," John already knew. He pulled out some plans and pointed out the property. "Here is what I've been working on. I submitted to the county zoning commission to have the property divided. Abbie could get the 15 acres the house, and the vineyard. Ichabod would get the farm and 20 acres. He could sell his half and Abbie could still run the farm as GAM & Co. with a lease, if it were put in the buyer’s contract. Or Ichabod could try to run the farm… and keep the property. You two would continue to be partners, but in a different way. But the most important thing is Abbie would keep the house."

Abbie and Ichabod looked over the property plans in disbelief. They embraced, holding on to each other as if the weight of the world had just been lifted off of them

"Is this for real?" Abbie gasped, still clinging to Ichabod.

"It is," John was pleased.

"This is wonderful news," Ichabod was overjoyed. "I wish I could keep the farm because I do enjoy working with Abbie… Unfortunatly I need the finances for Bellington, so I’ll have to sell. But it's all right. I’m just estatic that Abbie can keep the house and Vinyard out right."

"You can keep the farm, Ichabod. You just need an investor. Or you can sell a piece of the property that's not being used."

"Yes... but where would I find an investor willing to put up almost a million dollars..."

"You have an investor who can put up a nice chunk of that," Leena smiled at John. "And you have a buyer for a half an acre lot on the lake."

"You two," Abbie looked stunned.

"Yes," John smiled. "We also need to book the B&B on June 1st. Leena and I are getting married."

"Oh my god... You two," Abbie immediately got up and hugged Leena.

"You sly rumbegger!" Ichabod patted his older friend on the back.

"Let's go celebrate," Abbie took them by the hands to rejoin the party.

 

~~~

 

 

7 ~ I Believe In You And Me

 

Abbie had no idea what time it was, only that it was the wee hours of the morning. It was a chilly night for spring, but she didn't care, she was in a wonderful mood and did not want the night to end.

"Did you enjoy the party?" Ichabod asked as he brought a glass of wine to her.

"It was amazing..." Abbie smiled into the night as she drank her wine then sat the glass down.

Ichabod stood behind her and wrapped his long arms around her. She melted into his arms as if that was where she was meant to be. He couldn't imagine being any more in love with her than he was right now.

"This whole day has been..." Abbie took a deep breath of the fresh night air and turned to look up at him. "Surreal... Freeing... I don't know, but I am just..."

"Elated?" Ichabod smiled as he leaned in to kiss her.

Abbie's hands drifted under his shirt, feeling the slender muscles of his abdomen. Ichabod shuttered just a touch, "Treasure your freezing cold."

"Just a little... Maybe you can do something about that?" Abbie looked up at him with soft brown eyes, as her hands unfastened his pants.

"Oh gladly!" Ichabod scooped her up and carried her inside.

They eagerly undressed each other, Ichabod growing stiffer with every inch of skin that he revealed from Abbie.

"My god you are so beautiful... I don't tell you nearly enough."

"Mmmm flattery will get you everything Ichabod," Abbie grinned with a sultry tone before pulling him into a kiss.

Their lips locked, mouths open and tongues played wildly, as their bodies pressed against each other. Her hands sifted through his smooth dark hair as he palmed her bottom, pulling her harder into his firm cock.

Feeling him throb against her body was too much of a temptation and she was getting wetter as his hands roamed her back side. She playfully pulled him onto the bed and crawled on her knees beside him. He did love letting her take control.

Her hands firmly stroked up and down his shaft as they kissed. "Mmm... someone else wants a kiss I think.

Ichabod was fully and eagerly expecting her to sit on his face, but he had no complaints as she kissed down his body and slowly tongued the head of his member, around, to the slit then around again.

 

"Merciful heaven, you will be the end of me, " he groaned, as the sensation of her tongue and lips sent sensual waves rushing through his body. His hand tenderly fondled her nipples as her breast hung so tantalizingly be for him. His senses so heightened, he was stiff as a rod.

He nearly came undone when she took the head into her mouthIt had been a full week since the last time he was blessed to have her gorgeous lips wrapped around his cock, and he intended to enjoy every second. She stroked in rhythm from the sack up to her mouth as she hummed with delight.

"Mmm... fuck that feels good..." he grunted heavy.

His hips rose into her in perfect sync his hands gentle on her hair. She went faster, her mouth and tongue doing things that made him lose his mind. But it had been a week and she was doing it too good. Ichabod could feel himself nearing the edge of release and she was not slowing down.

"Ab... Abbie... Dear god..." Ichabod was struggling, as everything felt too good. "I'm going to come..."

"Mmhmm..." Abbie looked up at him with big brown eyes, giving him a devilish wink and kept on sucking.

That look was all it took. Ichabod saw stars. His head fell back as his toes curled and body constricted from the rush of ecstasy. Abbie hadn't expected such a massive release as the warmth filled her, but it had been a week and there was no way to hold back.

It took him a moment to recover after that. Abbie licked her lips and looked up at him with a sinister smile. "That was good."

"Oh... It's my turn to have you," Ichabod growled wickedly.

Abbie leaned back on her elbows with her legs crossed tight. "I'm waiting."

She raised her legs, still crossed letting him get a tiny peek. Ichabod licked his lips then swallowed hard as she spread wide for him to get the full view. His cock lurched immediately back to attention at the sight of her fold as her fingers spread them exposing the pink flesh inside.

"Perfection," his voice was faint as he pounced on her, grateful for her flexibility.

He palmed her breasts kissing wildly from her lips down her neck, until he had the firm round mound in his mouth. He sucked and licked the nipples, going from one to the other, taking his time to enjoy her. She smelled amazing and tasted even better. He slid one hand between her legs, letting his fingers slide up and down her slit.

Her breath caught as he slid the long stiff did get inside, rubbing the slick inner walls. Her body rocked in slow waves as he tended to her, exciting every nerve in her body. She was already panting, bearing down on his hand, and wanting more. He was on her spot making her moan, and she loved it.

"Hmm... So wet, Treasure," he groaned unable to resist. He went down licking up her thigh, to her wet folds. He slid his tongue across as his fingers dragged out her juices. Her hands were all over and in his hair as she pressed into him. She tasted so good he didn't even care. We went from her lips to her clit, sucking and kissing the little bud until it was plump in his mouth

"Fu... Ohhhh yesss..." She quivered as the wave of bliss struck her. She came hard and Ichabod lapped up everything she had to give. He then quickly mounted bis hips between her thighs and guided his cock inside her.

"Oh god yes...," Ichabod moaned, as her already constricting wet walls enraptured him. He started pumping inside of her going deeper with each stroke. Abbie immediately fell apart again, with the first high still lingering

"Yes... Yes yes!" She thrashed as she clung to the bed covers. Ichabod rose up holding her legs up as he drilled into her. Their skin smacked as he went full in.

"Come so hard..." Abbie mumbled as another crashing blast of pleasure exploded inside her. He loved watching her come, the way she relaxed and gave into it, the far away look in her hooded eyes. And the sweet sounds she made.

Ichabod leaned down kissing her, one leg over his shoulder, their bodies pressed together. Their heavy moans getting lost as they kissed. She had one hand in his, the other hand grasping his ass, pulling him, making him thrust deeper. Sweat dripped from his brow as his body gave in to her, and he let the wave of pleasure take over. He came hard inside her filling her, as their bodies rocked completely connected.

He laid to her side still kissing her as they fought to catch their breath and recover.

"Happy birthday Grace Abigail Mills," Ichabod said when he finally caught his breath. "I love you so much."

"I love you too," Abbie smiled curling up in his arms.

"I have something for you... But... I can't give it to you yet."

"Oh," Abbie looked up at him with curiosity. "You don't have to get me anything."

"I want to. I just need you to wait, a little while longer."

"Okay," Abbie smiled and closed her eyes. Her mind wandered as she fell asleep, what it could be.

Ichabod's heart was beating so hard. It had been his intention all along to give her his mothers ring today. He almost gave it to her before when he had hoped, maybe she was pregnant. Her birthday would have been perfect if she would have gotten her divorce weeks ago. Now he'd have to wait and hope that somehow she could imagine a life across the pond.

 

~*~

Chapter Text

ESL ch 16

 

~INTRO~ 

The two barely made it into their hotel room, before they began ripping off their clothes. Room service had dinner waiting for them, but they paid it no mind. Their lips swelled from sucking and licking, and all they could think of was how they wanted more.

Ichabod was masterfully fast, kissing her all over as he got her out of every stitch before she made it to his pants. She ripped off his shirt, and got his pants unfastened, letting his thick cock be released, which he was grateful for. But he had been waiting all day to have her. He playfully tossed Abbie onto the bed marveling at her sumptuous naked curves in the moonlight.

"Perfection," he gowned. "This vision has haunted my mind all day."

Paris was turning out better than either had expected!

1~ The Lake

Spring time at Grace's Place B&B was hectic. The weather was sublime and all the flowers were in bloom. It was when the B&B was its most beautiful. From Roses to Azaleas, Cherry blossoms and Dogwood trees, it was like a scene from a painting or a novel, a picture right out of a magazine.

The seasonal workers were doing their best to make sure the vineyards were in pristine shape, and already things were growing. Ichabod took a new interest in the farm now that he owned it, and paid excellent attention to everything Nick told him.

Along with her regular business, Abbie was knee deep in helping Leena plan a semi-traditional Indian wedding. By the beginning of May, everyone was in need of a break, and Joe had a great idea. He called Ash and after two days he got old Bessie, the boat up and running, now that Abbie had the cash to get the old clunker fixed.

Saturday everyone gathered on the lake to join Abbie taking the boat out for a spin. It was a gorgeous sunny day, with blue skies and a cool breeze. Other boaters who had the same idea, where scattered about on the lake.

"Are you sure you know how to drive this thing," Frank asked as he helped Cynthia onto the boat.

They arrived with Leena and John, to find Abbie, Nick, and Ash already on board with the boat fired up.

"Joe and I used to go boating with Corbin all the time back in Sleepy Hollow. This is just a bigger boat."

"This thing is as old as I am," John joked. "Are you sure it'll stay afloat?"

"It's a classic my friend," Ichabod informed him.

"Macey, come on," Frank called to his daughter who was hanging out on the shore with Jeremy.

"I'm going to take her for a swim, Sir," Jeremy called over to him.

"Wait... No, no... she hasn't swam without a physical therapist..."

"Frank," Cynthia, grabbed his hand. "Let them be."

Frank watched helplessly as Jeremy carried Macey into the water. "Fine... But if she so much as gets a scrape..."

Leena and John laughed as they got on board the boat. Nobody envied Frank.

"We're here," Joe hurried down the trail with Sophie, Bram and a cooler full of beer.

It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning. Ichabod sat back with Bram and watched Abbie operate the boat like a boss. She was perfectly relaxed in her woven hat, sunglasses and cut off shorts.

"One could get used to this," Abraham looked at him and then Abbie.

"All too easily," Ichabod sighed.

"What would you do if you didn't have to go back?"

"What do you think," Ichabod raised his brow. His phone buzzed and he reluctantly answered, seeing his old professor’s name and number.

~

Abbie parked the boat in the middle of the lake with a nice view of the property so Frank could keep an eye on Macey. She looked up and saw Ichabod on his cell phone. She blew him a kiss and he pretended to catch it.

"Oh my gosh, you two are too much," Cynthia laughed.

"Come on, like you and Frank haven't been all over each other since you got back together." Abbie chided her.

"Speaking of all over each other, have they met before," Cynthia pointed to Ash and Sophie who were practically making out.

"I don't think so," the ladies held in their snickers. Abbie's expression softened as she looked back at Ichabod. He had moved to a quiet spot away from the group so he could speak privately.

"You doing okay? I know he leaves in thirty days."

"Yup," Abbie nodded. "Just trying not to think about it."

"So, you have a plan?"

"Nope..." Abbie got a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach.

"Abbie... You two really need to talk."

"I mean, what can I say? He has to go back. And he is going to be insanely busy. He's also doing most of the restoration himself. He's not going to have time to come visit."

"You're going to go how many months without sex?"

"I know," Abbie shook her head, but tried to smile.

"You know it's going to be difficult for him, so if you really want this, you may have to be the one to bend."

"I just don't want to end up giving up everything... again. I know this is different. Crane is thoughtful and caring when it comes to my needs."

"Talk to him. Make a plan to start looking for dates that you both can commit to seeing each other. I think it'll be more stressful if you don't."

Ichabod hung up his cell phone and made his way to Abbie. "I um... I need to go to Paris next weekend. My professor... He's the department head at Oxford... He's had an accident and will require surgery. He's asked that I replace him at his Lecture."

"Oh..." Abbie could see from Ichabod's expression that this was kind of a big deal. "Yeah, that's awesome."

"They're offering me two plane tickets, and I was really hoping you could come with me. We can stay an extra day... Sunday and fly back Monday..."

"Crane, we have Mayor Goldstein's anniversary party and photographers are coming to do the new brochures next weekend..."

"I can take care of it," Leena spoke up quickly. There was no way she was going to let Abbie talk herself out of a trip to Paris. "I know the Mayor's party is a big deal, and I know exactly what you expect from the photos."

"Hell, take me to Paris," Joe joked.

Cynthia gave Abbie a hard stare, and Abbie could feel her friend warning her not to say no.

Abbie was internally freaking out. Leena had taken care of the Holiday bookings a fe months ago, but this the Mayor's party was huge and the photos were for the entire year. "Are you sure Leena?"

"Absolutely," Leena said with certainty.

"And I'll be here to help," Caroline chimed.

"Yeah... Okay. I'd love to go to Paris with you."

 

 

~~~

 

2 ~ Old Friends

Abbie and Ichabod arrived at the hotel in Paris at seven in the morning, and headed straight to the hotel room. The lecture was being held in one of the hotels conference centers. They had a great room for one night at the hotel with a slight view of the Eiffel Tower. Since Ichabod wanted to stay an extra day to take Abbie around, he had to make arrangements for them to stay at a B&B in another district for the second night.

As soon as the elevator door opened Ichabod was greeted by a surprised smiling face. "Ichabod!"

"Mary! Hello!" The two gave each other a hug. "What are you doing in Paris?"

"I heard that you were giving Professor Stockman's lecture, so I had to come."

"Really?" Ichabod was surprised she'd come just to see him. "Mary, this is my girlfriend, Miss Abbie Mills... And Abbie this is my dear friend... former girl friend, Miss Mary Wells."

"Nice to meet you," Abbie went to shake her hand but Mary gave her a quick hug.

"Likewise," Mary was giddy. "You are just as adorable as Elizabeth says. Oh Ichabod, so many of our friends and colleagues from Oxford and Cambridge have come to see you... and quite a few of your former students. I have seen so many people since I checked in last night, you wouldn't believe."

"That's... Wonderful," Ichabod swallowed hard. He had to wonder what on earth Professor Stockman said about him and hoped he could live up to expectations.

"Oh don't be nervous, Ichabod," Mary rattled on. "Abbie you should know he is really an excellent teacher and speaker. I don't know anyone who enjoys talking as much as he does..."

Abbie and Ichabod gave each other a look and grinned, as Mary continued talking.

"Mary it really is so good to see you, but we must get to our room."

"Of course," Mary gave them both another hug. "I'll see you after the lecture!"

"Mr. Popularity," Abbie teased as they went into their room.

"Hardly," Ichabod said nervously, giving her a quick kiss. "Come," he walked her to the balcony. "Look at this view."

Abbie smiled breathing it all in. Ichabod hardly took his eyes off of her, as the early morning sun glistened off the smooth brown skin, lighting her eyes to an almost golden brown.

"I can't wait to get out and see everything..."

"I can't wait to see all of you," Ichabod pulled her not his arms and began kissing her. He hastily lifted off her top, kissing down her neck to her perfectly round breasts peeking over the edge of her bra. They each hastily began unfastening each other's pants, Ichabod already growing stiff with need, but they were interrupted by room service bringing breakfast.

"Damn..." Ichabod grumbled. "We don't need food."

"Yes, we do," Abbie laughed pulling out of his arms. "I am not going to have you pass out on stage, Professor."

Ichabod barely ate half of his food before he was called down to the conference center. Abbie couldn't believe she was actually in Paris in a room with a decent view of the Eiffel across the Seine. She moseyed around the room for a bit then sat on the balcony, to take everything in.

~~~

 

Ichabod's lecture was early in the afternoon. The room was packed, but he had a perfect view of Abbie on the side front row. She looked beautiful in a black pencil skirt and blouse that showed just the perfect amount of cleavage. As soon as he saw her eagerly ready to support, all his nervous energy melted away.

To Abbie's surprise, she wasn't bored at all. His energy and enthusiasm for teaching and sharing was captivating.

After the lecture there was a gathering at the bar with hors d'oeuvres and wine. Ichabod had to do a lot of shmoozing, but it was great running into Mary and Betsy again. Betsy and Abbie hit it off very well, as they did the night they met in London. A group of older women accosted Ichabod as he tried to make his way back to them. Abbie was stunned to see Standra and a few of Ichabod's Cornell students approach him as well, all young women.

"That happens all the time," Betsy laughed.

"Yeah, I see some of his students from the states here," Abbie shook her head.

"He'll sneak away soon."

"If not, I'll go in and rescue him," Mary snickered.

Abbie enjoyed their company until Ichabod could finally break free and join them.

"Finally," Ichabod gave Abbie a kiss as he joined them. "How was it really?"

"It was really good," Abbie assured him.

"Brilliant," Betsy added. "You make our department proud."

"Oh, I didn't know you two worked together."

"Yes. I came over from America for grad school. We met then and have been working together ever since. I teach History of Design at Oxford as well as two fashion and design courses."

"And you, Mary?" Abbie asked.

"Oh I don't teach," Mary smiled.

"Mary and I have known each other since childhood..."

"Well isn't this cozy," Katrina walked up, her voice was cold. "It must be thrilling to be surrounded by all your lovers."

Abbie was shocked to see the bubbly Mary, frown for the first time. She was obviously not a Katrina fan.

"I need another drink," Mary rolled her eyes and walked away.

"I can't believe you two are still together," Katrina scoffed at Abbie before downing the last of her champagne. "I suppose you and Elisabeth are still hooking up?"

"Katrina!" Ichabod snapped keeping his voice low.

"You know Ichabod and I are just friends." Betsy said sternly.

"You said the same thing when he was dating Mary and then me." Katrina clearly had too much to drink and didn't care. " I'm pretty sure he was shagging all three of us at one point."

"Katrina, you are embarrassing yourself," Abbie kept her cool. "If you're not here to support Crane, you should leave."

"Oh," Katrina laughed. "And you think Elisabeth is here to support him? You have no idea who she is... unless you all are planning a threesome."

Ichabod calmly pulled Katrina into a secluded corner a few feet away. Betsy and Abbie followed hoping to quell any potential incident.
"Katrina, this is not the time. You are being ridiculous. What do you think this little display will accomplish?" Ichabod looked bewildered by her actions.

"I want my fiancé to come to his senses!" Katrina snipped. "I see you’re still shagging your students. They've come from England and America for you."

"Katrina!" Ichabod snapped back.

"When will you get it that he doesn't want you," Betsy clenched her jaw. "He is with Abbie."

"And yet you're still here, ready to spread your legs, wondering if he's actually found someone who's better at sucking his cock than you... Oh!" Katrina gasped when Betsy threw her champagne in her face.

A few people peeked to see what was going on in their corner.

"Bullocks," Ichabod grimaced under his breath.

Abbie just shrugged as Katrina gasped wet with the sticky beverage. She got what was coming and Abbie was kind of glad Betsy had the temperament to do it.

"Katrina, you need to leave," Abbie pointed to the exit, resisting the urge to slap her upside the head. "If you don't, I'll call security!"

"I'll walk her out," Ichabod took Katrina by the arm.

"Ichabod, I am so sorry," Betsy whispered, "but she is such a bitch!"

"You okay," Abbie asked Betsy after they left.

"Yes... I feel foolish. I know she came to cause trouble and I fell for it."

They walked to a table on the patio for fresh air.

"Abbie, I just want you to know, Ichabod and I really are just friends. We had a thing during grad school. But we weren't serious... And then he started dating Katrina, which was more pressure from his father. They wanted him with Mary at first, but then when Bram broke up with Katrina, they wanted him with her instead. I'm pretty sure it was about money. ... Anyway, all of this was years ago. And he doesn't sleep with his students. I just thought you should know."

"Okay," Abbie nodded. She had to admit that bothered her a bit. "I trust Ichabod."

"I'm certainly glad to hear that," Ichabod came up behind Abbie and kissed her on the cheek. "Apologies, ladies... This is not how I had hoped this trip to Paris would start."

"Why don't you two get out of here, enjoy the city, or the hotel room." Betsy winked.

"If you don't mind?" Ichabod almost felt bad that Betsy had come to see him, and he wasn't going to spend any time with her.

"Don't worry. I'll catch up with Mary, and see you back in England in June." Betsy gave them both a quick hug and kiss before they left.

 

~~

 

 

3 ~ One Night

 

Ichabod and Abbie caught a ferry ride across the Seine to the Eiffel Tower in the 7th district.

"You've been a bit quiet," Ichabod noted as they stood hand in hand. "Perhaps I should explain about me and Betsy."

"I’m only a little pissed. She told me it's all in the past. I would have liked to know that you two dated. You two are close friends and will probably be seeing a lot of each other while we're apart. Not that I don't trust you... I just would have liked to have been told."

"I just thought that since you met my friends, you knew we were a bit of a loose bunch. And it's hard to explain, but Betsy and I were not exactly dating... Well, I suppose we did go out a few times so, perhaps. But I wasn't exactly..."

"You weren't really available to be dating since you went right from Mary to Katrina."

"This is true," Ichabod let out a sigh. "Elizabeth and I haven't been together in over two years.”

"Part of that is the ten months we've been together," Abbie surmised.

"You must think I'm a terrible cad and an absolute wanker. But I can honestly say, I have never actually slept with any of my students... Katrina just... Well I think she's still very upset."

"We all have a past," Abbie gave him a grin seeing how embarrassed he was by the whole situation. Unlike with Standra and Katrina, she just didn't get the feeling from Betsy that she was after Ichabod. Abbie did have a bit of a jealous side, nothing as bad as Ichabod's but she really felt okay with what she'd found out.

"So, just how lose of a bunch are you and your friends?"

"Wha... I um... Umm... ," Ichabod stammered turning two more shades of red

Abbie giggled out loud. "I'm just kidding… as long as it's all really in the past."

"Solidly in the past, I swear it," Ichabod gave his word. "I would never cheat on you."

"Good," Abbie smiled. "And if you did, I'd kick your arse."

"That I have no doubt," Ichabod raised a brow. "You're really not troubled by this?"

"You're right... Oh my goodness... My 30 year old boyfriend has had sex before," Abbie gasped and faked shock.

"You cheeky bird," Ichabod gave her a big kiss.

"There it is," Ichabod, pointed as the boat slowed.

"Wow... It's bigger than I thought it would be," Abbie looked up at the Eiffel Tower, wide eyed.

 

They hurried off the ferry, Abbie exchanging his hand for his arm as she walked closer to him.

 

They walked closer and around. A kind stranger took their picture.

Ichabod loved her enthusiasm as someone seeing it for the first time. "Let us go up the lift, shall we?"

It was a stunning view of Paris from the top level. Ichabod pointed out everything he could recognize for her as she asked a dozen questions.

"I love this!" Abbie enjoyed the breeze as she looked around. "How many times have you been to Paris?"

"Quite a few," Ichabod admitted, pointing south. "I studied for two semesters at Le Cordon Blue here in Paris."

"I wish I would have traveled more when I was younger."

"How about when I finish Bellington we visit Cannes, and Italy."

"I think I will take you up on that."

The sun was going down as they exited the tower and they had the chance to see the tower light up.

"This is almost as good as our visit to London," Abbie held on to Ichabod as he gave her a warm hug.

"Almost," he looked down kissing her forehead. "What can I do to make it better?"

"Take me back to the hotel and find out."

"Oh," Ichabod raised a brow and grinned. "Marvelous idea."

~~~

The two barely made it into their hotel room, before they began ripping off their clothes. Room service had dinner waiting for them, but they paid it no mind. Their lips swelled from sucking and licking, and all they could think of was how they wanted more.

Ichabod was masterfully fast, kissing her all over as he got her out of every stitch before she made it to his pants. She ripped off his shirt, and got his pants unfastened, letting his thick cock be released, which he was grateful for. But he had been waiting all day to have her. He playfully tossed Abbie onto the bed marveling at her sumptuous naked curves in the moonlight.

"Perfection," he gowned. "This vision has haunted my mind all day."

"You're not hungry?" Abbie asked glancing at the meal left on the table.

"Mmmm.. I'm terribly starved," Ichabod licked his lips. "But my feast is before me."

"Is this what you want?" Abbie spread her legs wide.

The soft folds of her pussy opening to expose the sweet pink spot he so desperately desired. His heart thumped and he swallowed hard as his eyes filled with our lust.

"Dear heaven, yesss..."

He quickly stroked his stiff cock giving it some much needed relief. He dropped to his knees, pulling her hips to the edge of the bed. His eyes were in trances as his long digit slid up and down her wet fold. He watched as she clenched around his long finger, teased her spot then slid his digit out. He licked his finger giving her a naughty grin.

"Fuck... Don't tease me like that," Abbie cooed as he slid in again. Her hip pushed into his hand wanting more.

He obliged, delving two fingers inside, massaging her spot until she was cooing his name. "Mmmm crane... So good..."

He began lapping at her folds as his fingers drew out her essence. He hummed end his delight before massaging her clit with his firm tongue. Around and around in rapid circles her bud swelled as the pressure built up and rushed her body like a flood.

"Oh fu.... Oohhhh..." Abbie came in his mouth enjoying the high he had delivered. She was still coming when he lifted her from the bed and pressed her back to the wall. Her legs, shakily wrapped around his waist as he guided his cock inside her.

"Ok... Fu..... Baby...." Abbie whimpered as he stretched her wet sensitive walls. Her body was alive with sensations as he began thrusting into her. She was still in the throws of bliss, not having a moment to adjust to his thick cock, but it felt so good... To good. She panted crying out his mane as he grunted with each thrust. Sweat dripped from his brow as he pounded her against the wall, until they came together in a swirls of pleasure and bliss. He filled her with three firm thrust, breathing heavy as their bodies pressed tight together.

He carried her to bed laying her on top of him as they kissed. He was still inside her, rubbing down her back and caressing the smooth curve of her ass. In moments he was hard again, ready for more.

"I'm still hungry, Treasure."

"Oh my god," Abbie let out a lusty hum as he flipped her onto her back. She had a feeling it was going to be a long pleasant night.

 

 

~~~

 

4 ~ A Day To Remember

 

The next day was a whirl wind. They checked out of their hotel and into the loft of a quaint authentic Parisian B&B nestled on the boarder of the 3rd and 4th Arrondissements. Abbie could not get over the centuries old moldings and fixture. The loft was cozy with a small bath and a separate toilet. Nothing like the plush hotel room but in some ways Abbie liked it better.

"You approve?" Ichabod asked, nervous that it was a bit of a down grade.

"It's perfect," Abbie wrapped her arms around his shoulders and gave him a kiss.

"Shall we try out the bed?" He asked with a cheeky grin.

"As much as I'd love to... Really really love to, we only have today to see as much of Paris as we can..."

"Say no more," Ichabod agreed. "First we roam the streets of Gay Paris, then ce soir, fais l'amour."

"Mmmm... I hope that's what I think it is," Abbie gave him a wink.

~

They walked to several shops in the Marais, Abbie found something for Leena and a few things for her B&B. before they stopped for a late lunch at a cafe on one of the less busy streets. Ichabod was the perfect tour guide. Ichabod insisted they go back to the B&B to freshen up before their sunset boat ride to see Notre Dame.

Abbie got a call from Leena and took it right away, stepping out onto the Juliet balcony. Ichabod went through his bag and pulled out his mother's ring. He'd already set everything up with a private boat ride at sunset.

"Calm yourself, Ichabod," he whispered the command to himself. He knew what he wanted, now more than ever. He went to the balcony to see if Abbie was ready.

"The photos are perfect Leena," Abbie gushed. "Are you sure everything went well with the mayors party?"

"He raved about it... And it's going to be in the local paper. Everything went perfect."

"Leena you are the best."

"How is Paris? Has Ichabod proposed? You know what they say..."

"No he hasn't proposed," Abbie laughed off the idea. "I haven't even been divorced a month. And I think we should see how things go with us being apart..."

"You two still haven't talked?" Leena sighed.

"No... I know we should, but I'm just so happy right now. I wish I was ready..."

Ichabod was a bit taken aback. Was it too soon, still? But they loved each other... Shouldn't that be all that mattered?

"Damn," he mumbled putting the ring back. He didn't want to mess up their last few days together. Asking too soon, might do that, if she really wasn't ready.his mind buzzed trying to process how to proceed.

"Okay, Leena says everything went off without a hitch," Abbie closed the balcony door. "I'm ready to go."

"Right... Yes..." Ichabod closed his bag leaving the ring secure inside, and turned to her.

"Notre Dame?"

"Yes. A light supper and dancing first."

"Then sexy time," Abbie grinned nuzzling her nose to his as she put her arms around him.

There was a glow about her when she was this happy. It was infectious and warming, making his heart spring to life whenever she enraptured him in it.

They walked together through the park, under the blooming cherry blossoms, and shared a kiss... several kisses to be exact.

They had a light dinner outdoors, in the warm spring air, at a riverfront Restaurant. When the musicians came out to play, everyone got up and began to dance. It was perfect. Abbie wasn't familiar with the Rumba and the Tango, but she was happy to learn. Dancing between Ichabod and Abbie was so easy. They found a rhythm and she trusted him to lead. He loved holding her close to him, but what he loved most was her smile. She couldn't help it. The way he looked at her with such intense affection, it was a look he gave instinctively, without thinking, a soft caring gaze that was only for her.

They danced for almost an hour, getting carried away by the music and the ambiance, before heading to the punt boat to ride around Notre Dame.

Abbie cozied up in Ichabod's arms as the Frenchman with the long narrow paddle kept smiling at them. He was an older man in knee-length pants and vest. The water was calm with a cool breeze whisking by. They got the full breeze in the flat wooden boat.

"This isn't a gondola, right? I suppose those are mostly in Venice."

"Correct. This is a punt boat; it lacks the curves of a gondola. We have these in England. I'll take you out when you come to visit Oxford, if you like," Ichabod said without thinking she might not come.

They hadn't made any plans, but he was expecting her to visit. Of course he was, Abbie shook her head. She would have to make an effort, she knew this, but what were his expectations.

"Yes... That would be great. I do like boating," Abbie shifted nervously and smiled up at him.

Ichabod lit up with a soft smile and kissed her. It was as if this were an assurance to him. She did indeed intend to make time to visit him.

It was then that the driver stopped paddling and pulled out his guitar. He made sure the boat was still and out of the way so there wouldn't be an accidental drop of the engagement ring. He took their picture then started to play, and Ichabod realized he hadn't told him there would be no proposal.

"Oh this is incredible," Abbie grinned.

They floated in front of Notre Dame, right at sunset, the sound of light music from the guitar strumming beautifully, filled the air. The scene could not be more romantic.

"Ichabod Crane, this is perfect," her heart swelled as she nuzzled into his arms.

"Not nearly as perfect as you Treasure," Ichabod kissed her long and tenderly.

Their driver finished his song and looked the couple with anticipation.

"Proposerez-vous à la belle dame?" He asked Ichabod if he was going to propose.

"Ce n'est pas la unit. Pardon." Ichabod shrugged telling him it was not the right night.

"Pardon," he grabbed the long paddle and began rowing them back. "Ne la laisse pas partir..."

"Je sais," Ichabod snuggled Abbie closer in his arms. He had no intentions of losing her.

 

~~~

 

5 ~ One More Night

 

"Bonsoir," Ichabod and Abbie were greeted by Paloma and Val as they returned to the B&B. The ladies sat romantically entangled lightly petting each other in the dark.

"Bonsoir," Abbie and Ichabod grinned bashfully before they hurried up the stairs.

"Amusez-vous bien," Val giggled to the two encouraging them to have fun, before she turned her attention back to her lover.

 

Ichabod playfully grabbed at her bottom and she let out a delightful giggle.

 

As they made it to the top floor loft, he swooped her up in his arms as they entered the loft suite. Her arms wrapped around his neck pulling him into her warm wet kiss. She kicked off her shoes as he hipped the door shut behind them.

He slowly lowered her until her until her toes were barely touching the ground. "I love you," he managed between soft panting kisses.

A flash of heat seared through his body as her hands flittered down his neck to his chest. As soft moan escaped her lips as his body pressed against hers, sending a thrill up her spine. His cock reacted to her touch, stiffening beneath their constraints as their kisses grew heavier.

"Let me undress you, Treasure," his husky baritone vibrated through her soul, rendering her powerless to deny him.

"Mmmm... Please," Abbie hummed as he unzipped her skirt.

It fell to the ground and he easily slid her out of her top. He unfastened her bra, freeing her full round breasts. Tenderly he caressed each, thumbing the tiny nipples. He licked the sweet brown skin trailing down her neck until he captured one breast in his mouth. He sucked with greed, raking his teeth across the nipples, then sucking again, until she was cooing. His cock was throbbing now and in need of relief. Her hand pressed against his bulge massaging to give him relief and pleasure.

His breath caught heavy at her touch and he was ready, needing more. He took a step back to get a good look at her in the bright moonlight that shown through the sky light windows. The faint light hit her dark skin just right.

"My god you are perfection," he mused through half hooded eyes, swallowing hard to relieve the growing thirst. "Get ready."

Abbie eyed him up and down as she did just that, laying on the bed and spreading her legs.

She enjoyed watching as he slowly undid his shirt.

His eyes locked on Abbie, darting from her lips to her pussy. She slid the tiny lace material just enough to let her fingers slide up and down her slit. She loved watching him undress, and she grew wetter, as her fingers eased the building tension.

Ichabod was almost jealous wanting his fingers and his tongue to caress her mound, and indulge in her essence. He unfastened his pants as Abbie watched, biting her full ready lips, as she watched him release himself. A swirl of thrill flashed through her, when she saw his long thick cock, already at full attention, and felt no shame that she had a desperate thirst for it.

"You look like you want some desert," Abbie teased, her fingers and panties soaked with her essence.

"Desperatly craving your sweet cherry," Ichabod licked his lips, desperate to indulge.

He slid her out of her panties as he kissed her silky chestnut legs. Her natural scent beckoned to him as he spread her legs again. She purred as his fingers spread her smooth wet lips exposing the tender pink flesh that dripped of her essence. His cock lurched hard as his tongue took its first taste of her juices. A tingle throbbed from within her as he began methodically licking inside her, up letting his tongue swirl firm around her clit, then back inside again.

"Oohhh fu.... Yessss..... Crane....," She cooed and purred letting her fingers filter through his lush brown locks, squirming as he ate her pussy so good her toes curled.

Her cries were like a sweet song begging him for more, and he wanted more. He loved to make her come, and taste her when she was soaking his face. He went in with two fingers hitting her spot rapidly, rhythmically as her sucked her bud.

"Oh godddddd yessszzzzz...." Abbie's words trailed off into unintelligible murmuring, as a wave of ecstasy washed through her body.

She came so hard in his mouth and she tasted so damn good. Ichabod took his time drinking until he was fully satiated, letting her ride the wave, over and over.

He kissed up her body as she slowly came down from the high. Every kiss eliciting new found thrills all over her keenly susceptible body. Her breasts were so sensitive now, that she shivered as he sucked one turgid nipple then the other. Finally he was face to face, kissing her tenderly, letting her taste the sweet desert of her essence on his lips and beard.

Abbie could feel a fire swarming in her as they kissed and his cock throbbed hard against her belly. She took his long member in her hand stroking him as he leaned back onto the bed. She kissed down his chest, letting her tongue flick against his tiny nipples. Slowly she nestled between his thighs, her eyes watching as she stroked. Her long tongue darted out, slowly licking her lips, as he watched her through hooded eyes.

He took long steady breaths as she drove him mad, warm sensations of anticipation rushed his body.

He let out a low groan as she licked up and down his length, then teased the slit of the head. She firmly licked away the beads of precum that made their escape as she massaged up and down.

"Dear god, your tongue is amazing." He managed as she sent a thrill through his loins. Then her lips wrapped around his cock and he nearly lost his sanity. She sucked, wet and rapid, humming her delight as her mouth struggled to stretch around his length. He gripped the railing of the bed as if holding on for dear life. His other hand gently caressed her shoulder, encouraging her.

"I need to be inside you," Ichabod barely choked out the words. If she kept going he was going to come.

"Mmmm..." Abbie took one last long drag before popping him out of her mouth.

Her lips were so full, Ichabod couldn't resist grabbing her and kissing her firm, hard and wet. Their tongues collided, tasting each other with their kiss, playing with each other as her wet heat slid up his abdomen. His cock lurched desperate for her entrance.

Abbie rose up, as Ichabod's hands caressed her body. She grabbed his cock and guided it to the entrance of her sopping wet folds. Slowly she sank down on him, letting out a soft moan as he stretched her wide

"God... Yes...." Ichabod groaned deep as the head entered her chasm, One hand gripping her ass the other her breast.

Abbie went half down then up again always needed to get used to his thickness and length. Her wet walls enraptured him, as sensations flooded both of their bodies. She sank deeper with each stroke until she found a rhythm. His hips thrust up into her, as her breasts bobbed up and down before him.

"Ooohhhh fuuuu...." she hummed as she angled to get her spot just right. Her clit was ripe her walls were clenching. Everything felt good as sensations of pleasure and bliss filled them.

"I love the way you fuck..." Ichabod groaned, now both hands on her ass, their skin smacking making rapid slaps.

"Come so.... Hard!" Abbie dug her nails into his chest as she rode him like a stallion. Bliss hit her hard as she came, quivering on top of him. He could come right now, but he was determined he was going to ride her even harder.

He flipped her onto her back, passionate heat driving him, as her essence and clenching walls fueled his desire. Abbie wrapped her legs around him, her fingers clinging to his back

"You feel so damn good," Ichabod groaned as his hips thrust, his cock so deep inside her, all she could do was mumble nonsense and enjoy it. It was one wave after another, Ichabod just kept going.

"Oh... Fuuu... Yessss Craaaane!" Abbie's legs trembled and went limp at his side as another wave of bliss had her seeing stars.

Her walls clenched, soaking him until he couldn't hold on any longer. His body tightened and toes curled as he felt the urge of his impending release. Free-falling over the edge of euphoric bliss, he went willingly nuzzling his cheek into her neck. He released as his body tensed, four firm thrust deep inside her.

They were a sweaty sticky mess as they kissed, slowly recovering, between heavy breaths.

~

An hour and three orgasms later, the two sat soaking in the porcelain e tub under the skylight window. They nestled in each other’s arms, with a view of Paris rooftops and the moon and starlit sky. They were nicely cocooned in the steamy water with the scent of rose oil relaxing them.

"Mmmm... Can we just stay here and not go home," Abbie sighed, not wanting the night to end.

Ichabod was quiet.

"What are you thinking?" Abbie was almost afraid to ask. They hadn't talked yet, and tonight had been perfect... almost too perfect.

"We only have but a month left together, and I want to make the most of every moment we have."

Abbie pulled away slightly and looked up at him, "you aren't going to break up with me are you?"

"Dear heavens no..." Ichabod gave her a tender kiss. "That is the last thing I want."

"I sense a but," Abbie furrowed her brow.

"I can only stay for a couple of weeks after the semester ends... Just until the wedding. I'll be so busy during the summer with the Restoration… and even more so when I start back at Oxford." Ichabod let out a sigh as his fingers drifted across her soft wet skin.

"You say that you understand now, but I'm not sure how you'll feel after several weeks... several months.”

"Because I divorced Luke?"

"You said you loved him, and yet the distance lead you to end a marriage after you were together almost eight years. We've been in this for ten months... after a rather precarious start."

"Look I get it. In some ways, it does seem like I'm walking right back into the same situation I just clawed my way out of. And it does scare me... I'm not gonna lie. But you are nothing like Luke. He didn't take my needs into consideration, until I was ready to sign the divorce. You have been so willing to compromise and put me first, time and time again. It doesn't feel the same."

"I am committed to you Abbie. I know the next several months will be a challenge, but love you and I want you."

"I want you too. We'll make a plan, and get through this. I love you, Crane."

He kissed her deeply, breathing her in, as she melted into the comfort of his embrace.

~*~

Chapter Text

~Intro

"I need you," Ichabod hummed into her ear as he buried himself deep inside her.

"Oh, god, Crane... Don't stop..." Abbie purred as her nails raked down his lean sweat-beaded back.

The sun glistened over the lake as they laid naked on the shore making love in the early summer heat. She was so beautiful; her perfect brown skin was radiant in the sunlight. They kissed with passion and vigor as their bodies mingled in wet hot passion. She'd said yes and he couldn't be more thrilled.

"Feels so good... " she whimpered as he went deep inside her, "oh god Crane."

"I love you?" He groaned into her ear, barely able to speak.

"I love you... I want you so bad," her voice echoed to him like a faint song his memory always recalled.

He thrust back and forth inside of her, gradually getting faster. The feeling of their bodies connected was like nothing he’d ever known before. The feeling etched in his memory, in his soul.

Everything felt good in this dream.

At least this time. How many times had he had this dream? A few times the dream ended in rejection, due to her uncertainty, the recent divorce, or his inability to stay in New York... No, It didn't always end this good.

It was always by the lake, as it was when they first met and made love. A chance meeting, a one night stand that led Ichabod Crane to the love of his life.

He woke by her side, with her nestled against his chest.

 

~~

 

1~ Something Old

 

"Easy, guys," Abbie directed Nick and Ichabod where to place the old claw foot tub.

Her next project in the old mansion was putting in a small workout room. Nothing fancy but a treadmill, some weights a yoga mat and mirrors would do. So she needed to clear out one of the storage spaces in the basement. The old house had so many beautiful old things that Abbie didn't have the heart to let go of. This claw foot tub was one of them.

"So we're just moving this hunk of junk from one storage space to another," Nick groaned as they sat it down.

"I'm sorry to invade your old stomping grounds," Abbie remembered finding Nick living in the run down barn with a tent and a sleeping bag almost four years ago. "But this is not a hunk of junk... It will be a beautiful tub," Abbie folded her arms confidently.

"I'm going to submit you for an episode of Hoarders," he teased.

"Very funny..." Abbie shot him a teasing look.

"I have every confidence you will turn this old rust bucket into something brilliant," Ichabod gave her an encouraging nudge.

"Thanks for that," Abbie crinkled her nose at him.

"All right I have to tend to the horses, if you two can handle the rest of the junk... I mean precious old stuff."

"We've got it from here?"

"So you really intend to restore this yourself?" Ichabod looked it over.

"Yeah... I'm not looking forward to it," Abbie grumbled. "I'd rather pay someone else to finish it so I can just enjoy it. But at least it'll give me something to do on those lonely summer nights, when I'm missing you."

"Ah..." Ichabod tried to think of something witty to say, but the sudden sinking pang in his chest caught him off guard. Abbie felt it too and looked down, avoiding the sad look in his light blue eyes.

"So... You don't actually intend to utilize this?" Ichabod found his voice after a moment and took her hand.

"I have every intention of using it, thank you very much. It's going to go in my bathroom when I'm done."

"I beg your pardon," Ichabod blinked. "You have a lovely, and rather big bath. This tub won't fit the two of us."

"Sure it will... It'll just be a little snug."

"Snug?" Ichabod questioned stepping into the tub and maneuvered his long legs. "I cannot even stretch out my legs."

"That's because you're a giant. You fit."

"I want you to fit with me," Ichabod raised a brow.

"I can squeeze in beside you... Or fit in your lap."

"Perhaps I'm in need of a demonstration."

Abbie gave him a side grin and took his hand, squeezing in beside him. "See, nice and cozy. Thank you for letting me use your barn."

"Oh bosh," Ichabod brushed off the thought and kissed her cheek. "It still seems odd to me. I see all of this as being yours."

"How's it been learning about the farm and running this side of the business?"

"I'm rather surprised how much I'm enjoying it. Now that finals are over and done, Mr. Hawley has been a great help. I'm hoping to have more time to get a good feel for what I can do at Bellington, but I’ve also told Miss Leena that I would help the caterers with the menu."

"Oh she did say the food needs to be perfect. Her mom and dad are coming, and the Indian food needs to be the best. The dresses... Excuse me, the sarees are gorgeous."

It was important to Leena that the food be top notch, or she'd never hear the end of it from her cousins and her mother. There would be English and Indian dishes on the menu to express the combination of their two cultures. The pre-wedding ceremonies would be Bengali Indian while the wedding itself would be more English tradition. Leena did not wear a Saree or Lahenga for her first marriage and really thought it would be special to do so this time around. And she would do the Gae Holud or Haldi Ceremony as a special treat for her and her mother. Abbie was doing her best as the maid of honor to coordinate with the Wedding planner and make sure everything was perfect for her dearest friend.

"I wish you didn't have to leave the next day," Abbie faked a pout, though she really did wish he could stay longer.

"As do I, but I must meet with the contractors as soon as possible..." Ichabod sighed. "There is good news, Betsy has arranged her schedule so she'll be able to assist often and use Bellington as a reference for one of her courses.

"That is good," Abbie bit back the twinge of jealousy that pinched at her heart. She wanted to be the one by his side helping him all the time. Of course his other best friend Betsy with her degree in historical design would be the perfect person to be by his side.

"It's good... Not ideal. Of course I wish you could be with me always. And who better than you? You've done this before, and with rousing success."

"I know," Abbie rested her head on his chest. "But, my success is partly why I can’t be there. I am looking forward to getting to know my grandfather Jacob, and you'll be back for our anniversary."

"I will... And then you'll come to England after OctoberFest?"

"Yup," Abbie smiled. "I'll be all yours for three weeks. I'm excited to help out at Bellington."

Ichabod felt a bit more at ease knowing that she was looking forward to coming and lending a hand and support. It was a stark difference from his cousins, who had no interest in helping save Bellington. However now that Bellington was out of debt, they had began to show interest. Not in assisting financially or with labor, just curiosity if the old Place would be profitable soon.

"You have no idea how much it means to me that you want to help, Treasure."

"I wish I could do more," Abbie let out a sigh. "But aren't your cousin and her husband interested in helping too. That will be more sets of hands."

"Unfortunately they are only interested in knowing if Bellington will turn a profit." Ichabod grumbled.

"What?" Abbie looked up at him confused.

"It's the way these old estates are passed down and inherited. The oldest son in the line inherits the estate and all the responsibilities; however the other heirs may be entitled to allowances."

"So you mean they don't have to help you settle the debts or fix it up but once it's profitable they may be able to get some of the benefits?"

"Indeed. John says he'll protect my interests and his. He's a top notch solicitor. However, Bellington is a far cry away from turning a profit yet."

"We can't choose who's born into our Family. But I'll come as much as I can. I promise," Abbie assured him.

"You are my family, Treasure."

 

~~~

 

2~ Commencement

 

It was a beautiful day in late spring. Every day Ichabod and Abbie spent together, they grew closer, but every day meant they were one step closer to his departure. They spent the weekend at the Cornell University Commencement Weekend. Ichabod was proud to watch several of his students graduate. The couple enjoyed the Ice Cream Social picnic, where they got to enjoy the day out, work free, and got a chance to meet a few of his students and their families. Afterwards they enjoyed an outdoor performance by the UC Wind Symphony at the Arts Quad.

Macey and Jeremy were there together after a rocky morning at the B&B. Macey being the young woman that she is, took it upon herself to rent a room for the night and stayed there with Jeremy. Frank and Cynthia arrived before breakfast to retrieve her only to find that she intended to stay the whole weekend. It probably wasn't the best time to tell her parents that she was accepted into a five-week summer course in Italy.

When Ichabod and Abbie came down the back stairs to prepare Breakfast they ran into the four in a heated discussion.

"Mom I told you I was interested in spending the summer in Rome taking a few courses at John Cabot University."

"Sweet heart, being interested in and actually applying and doing it are two different things," Cynthia was taken aback not realizing how serious Macey was.

Frank was giving Jeremy the evil eye. He was certain this was his doing. "Did you put her up to this?"

"No sir... Well I told her that I often studied abroad and that Rome had summer courses for visiting students in STEM majors..."

"He didn't put me up to it dad. I want to go. It'll be a great new experience and I'll get credits that will transfer to Cornell.

"Baby, I understand that you want to have all these great experiences, but you do have special needs. Have you thought about accommodations and how you're going to get around. You have medical needs..."

"Yes, mom, I've thought about everything. One of the girls from my class went last summer and she's already put me in contact with the couple she rented an apartment from. I know it won't be easy but I want to try."

"And I'll be there to help," Jeremy offered.

Frank's look shot daggers at him, "oh is that right?"

"Son, you might not want to talk right now," Cynthia quickly tried to calm her husband.

 

"Jeremy, perhaps we could allow Macey and her parents a moment to discuss this," Ichabod quickly interrupted and pulled his brother away."

"Macey?" Jeremy wasn't going to leave her to deal with her parents without him, unless that was what she wanted.

"Yeah, give me a chance to explain my plans to my parents. I'll be ready to go to graduation in a couple of hours. You can come back for me then."

~

As Abbie watched Macey and Jeremy sharing an ice cream from across the quad, she tried not envy her friend Cynthia. It had to be hard and wonderful watching your child grow up and be ready to go off on her own. It's an experience she never had with her mom, and would probably never have with a child of her own. It stung, but that's the way life goes.

"They are so cute together," Abbie mused as she and Ichabod held hands and walked towards an empty bench. "She really likes him."

"Hmm... I'd hope so. He fancies himself in love." Ichabod slipped her the information.

"Really?"

"That's what he told me, but they're young. He's barely twenty and she's just turned eighteen."

"You don't think young people can really fall in love?" Abbie asked.

"I suppose I'm a bit of a romantic, so I think it is possible. She’s lovely and incredibly smart. They are a rather fetching pair. And they both have very lofty ambitions in the field of medicine and engineering..."

"Miss Mill, Professor Crane," the couple turned when they heard the familiar and friendly voice of Stewart Frasier.

"Mr. Frasier," they greeted him with a warm handshake. Abbie got a polite air kiss on the cheek.

"I was sad to see the Estate come off the market. I would have paid well over asking for it."

"Neither of us wanted to sell," Abbie admitted.

"We are fortunate that circumstances worked in our favor," Ichabod agreed.

"Well, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the fishing weekend you arranged for my friends and I. The fellas are already looking forward to booking again."

"I'm so pleased," Abbie was excited. Having him as a contact was exactly what she needed. "Mr. Crawford and his wife stayed last weekend."

"Yes, Linda hasn't stopped talking about your hospitality. You are really going to go far. You should consider a chain of B&Bs."

"I don't know about all that," Abbie grinned. "I'll have my hands full for the foreseeable future."

"Really?"

"She'll be assisting me with the renovations at Bellington, my estate in England."

"Well that is something," Stewart's interest was piqued. "You must let me know when it's finished. It's been a while since I visited England."

"We will do that."

"Your wine has also a hit at my Restaurant. I'll be placing another order of both the Merlot and the Riesling."

"Wonderful," Abbie smiled. "Our plan is to use only the best ingredients grown at Grace's place and other local farms. In fact, we're getting our first samples of a new Chardonnay from Reynolds. Ichabod has come up with a unique blend with the perfect hint of vanilla and melon, we hope it’s still toasty with a slightly velvety feel.”

"We shall see," Ichabod nodded humbly. "It's the ingredients from Abbie's farm that make all the difference.

"Your farm... Well ours," Abbie smiled. "We're in this together."

"That we are. Our destinies are entwined, and I'm certainly glad for it," Ichabod gave her hand a gentle squeeze as he looked upon her with the sweetest eyes.

"Well you two make quite a pair. I think you'll go far together. Let Reynolds know I'd be interested in getting a sample of that Chardonnay. If it’s as good as I think it'll be, I'll probably have a few cases ordered."

“I think it will be," Abbie agreed. “I’ll let Reynolds know.”

"You who... Ichabod! Professor Crane!" Standra waved making a swift pace across the lawn to get to him. Her mother and Kim were walking as fast as she could behind her.

Abbie grimaced and Ichabod looked around for an escape. Luckily he found one when the Dean waved him over.

"It was nice seeing you again Mr. Frasier, but I'm afraid I must have a word with the Dean." Ichabod made a quick farewell to Stewart and quickly hurried Abbie along.

"We'll be in touch," Abbie waved.

They could clearly hear Standra screaming for Ichabod but they hurried off as if they hadn't noticed. Mr. Frasier chuckled a little under his breath. Whatever thoughts Standra had for Ichabod Crane, he could clearly see the man only had eyes for Abbie Mills.

~

 

"Dean Anderson," the men greeted with a firm handshake. "This is my girlfriend Miss Abigail Mills."

"Pleasure to meet you. Perhaps you can convince this fine young man to stay on with us."

"I wish I could," Abbie smiled.

Dean Anderson could not stop telling Ichabod how much the students raved about his teaching skills, and how he'd brought new energy to the department.

"Well you know you are welcome back any time."

"It's truly been a pleasure."

"So that you know, I'm not just referring to you returning under a teacher exchange. If you want a position here at Cornell in the future, it's yours."

Abbie quietly smiled as the men continued talking. Anything she would say now would make her sound far too eager because all she wanted was for Ichabod to want to come back. It had to be his choice. It could take a year or longer to get Bellington fully restored and in the position to support itself or even turn a profit. But she couldn't help feeling hopeful.

 

~~~

 

3 ~ Traditions

Some parts talk about a semi traditional Bengali wedding  

The day before the Gae Holud Ceremony, Leena's parents, her daughter Malia, John and his elderly father Henry arrived. Ichabod and Abbie served them a private dinner that night and they observed a small quiet Aashirvad. It was sweet the way Salima and Raj adored their daughter. Even though Leena was fifty-two, they treated her like she was their precious little girl.

Afterwards Abbie wanted to get one last check on the rooms while Ichabod tidied up from dinner.

"Hi, Abbie, Iche told me I could find you in here," Malia walked into the Magnolia guest suite.

"Hey," Abbie smiled as she ran her hand across the bedspread taking out even the slightest wrinkle. "Everything okay? I hope you don't mind staying with your mom and grandparents in her apartment?"

"No, I'm excited to be so close to them actually. I just wanted to thank you for being there for my mom these past three and a half years. After my dad died it was just me and my mom. My grandparents were retired and she didn't want to go back to live with them. When I decided to go to grad school in Barcelona, I was afraid she'd become a recluse and shut herself off from the world. I almost didn't go... And then you came along... And I knew mom was going to be okay."

Malia gave Abbie a warm and sincere hug, "Thank you for being there for her."

 

"Oh, sweetie, we were there for each other," Abbie smiled. "I don't think I would have gotten here without her. In fact, I know I wouldn't."

Abbie couldn't count the number of times they had cried on each other’s shoulders, been each other’s rock, and biggest cheerleader through the most difficult of times.

~

It was the next morning when things got wild. They descended upon Grace's Place B&B like a whirlwind of smiling cheerful faces. Leena's brother, his wife and kids, as well as her aunt, uncle and about a dozen cousins descended upon Grace's Place B&B like a whirlwind of smiling, cheerful faces.

Caroline, Joe, and Nick made sure they all got settled into their rooms awhile Abbie and Ichabod ensured the Wedding Planner had everything ready for the Ai Buro Bhat and Gae Halud. The pool-house and the entire pool area were decorated with yellow flowered and drapes, with tables and chairs all around for the party.

By noon everyone was settled in and ready to begin the wedding festivities. Leena and her bride's maids; Abbie, Malia and Caroline, all wore a dark yellow lehengas. As did most of the women in Leena's family. The men all wore slack and a casual yellow button shirt. They put on music and chatted away enjoying the afternoon as the party started. The planner set up a space for the Mangal Ghat and the women of Leena's family enjoyed the tradition of setting up the clay vessels with the coconut and mango leaves to ward away bad spirits.

Things kicked off when John, Ichabod, and even 96 year old Henry, presented Leena's family with a lavish feast of rice, daal, mustard fish, and veggies. After the meal, John then presented Leena's parents with two fish dressed as the bride and groom. Salima delighted in that the male fish was dressed in a mini suit and tie. He then gave them the Turmeric paste.

Leena's mom was moved to tears as she applied the bindi then began gently rubbing the yellow past on Leena's cheeks. "I never thought I'd get to do this for my daughter."

"Mom don't make me cry," Leena smiled giving her mom a kiss on the cheek.

When she married Mario Reyes thirty years ago, these old family traditions didn't mean anything to her. She raised in America and wasn't a practicing Hindu. So she opted for a standard, very quick, American style wedding. It was years later that she found out it had hurt her mother deeply that she was denied the opportunity to share this special moment with her.

"Grandma, you're going to have all of us crying," Malia teased.

Next was Abbie and Malia's turn to rub the turmeric all over Leena and then Leena's brother and Ichabod covered John, who was a great sport. When they were done they sat by the pool and washed off with sterilized water from the lake, then everyone began singing and dancing.

Ichabod loved dancing with Abbie, just holding her in his arms and seeing the delighted smile on her face, warmed him all over. But there was something, a tiny look in her eyes that most wouldn't notice, a hint of sadness behind the cheery grin and soft laugh. Ichabod knew it was there, and no amount of tender kisses could make it go away.

A short time later, Ichabod was having a delightful conversation with John, David, Leena's brother, when he saw Abbie slip away from the festivities.

"Are you sure you prefer this to a bachelor party?" David asked, pleased that John seemed to be enjoying the Ceremony.

"Not at all," John laughed off the thought. "We call them stags in England, and this has been far better than any stag party I've ever attended. Besides I'm sixty-five years old, those days are behind me.

 

"Excuse me, gentlemen," Ichabod quickly excused himself and hurried after Abbie before he lost track of her.

"Treasure? Are you all right?"

"Yeah, I just needed a minute." Abbie sighed as she looked out across the lake.

"Should I leave you some privacy?"

"No... I'm glad you're here," Abbie reached for him to put his arms around her. Abbie shivered a bit, not from the breeze coming off of the lake, but from thinking of how use she had become to feeling his touch, his arms around her, every day.

"What is it?" Ichabod encouraged as he snuggled behind her, swaying ever so slightly, comforting.

"Seeing Leena with her mom, watching them share in a tradition that goes back for generations, has me feeling... I don't know... It's so special, and beautiful." Abbie shook her head trying not to tear up. "I miss my mom."

Ichabod nodded, listened.

"I wish we had old family traditions or something more before she died... I probably sound crazy right now."

"Not at all... Not to me." Ichabod knew all too well what it was to lose a parent. He'd lost both. "I understand."

Abbie turned in his arms and looked up into his caring blue eyes. He did understand in many ways. It wasn't a pleasant thing to have in common. Losing a parent before they can see you through certain milestones, was hard. But life goes on, Abbie knew.

"I'm going to miss you... Miss this." Abbie nuzzled closer into him as she caught a breeze.

"As will I, Treasure," Ichabod lamented holding her tight, as his thumb gently stroked her shoulder. "But I will always be here for you... I only be a phone call away. I promise."

 

~~~

 

 

4 ~ For Your Eyes Only

 

The wedding ceremony was beautiful. A tent was set by the vineyard so the guests had a view of the lake to one side and the early bright green foliage of the grape vines to the other. Leena's mom, Abbie Caroline, and Malia were dressed in vibrant purple sarees with golden yellow trim.

The last Tradition that they followed was the arrival of the groom and his party to the venue. Leena's mom lead the bridesmaids to greet the men and walk then to the altar. Leena looked stunning as her father walked her down the aisle. Her dress, a was a beautiful off white- pale yellow lace saree with delicate embroidered trim. She looked stunning, and again her mother was in tears of joy.

Abbie couldn't remember the last time Leena looked so happy. She didn't stop smiling once during the dinner and reception.

The newlywed couple only had eyes for each other as they shared their first dance to "Unforgettable". The cutest thing was watching the two of them quietly mouth the words as if singing to each other. Abbie was too busy for quite a while to get a dance in, despite Andy and Daniel both telling her she should take a break.

It wasn't until after the cake cutting and desert was served that finally, she and Ichabod had a moment where they could let loose and get on the dance floor.

"Are you ready for tonight?" Ichabod asked when he finally got a chance to pull Abbie into the dance floor and have a moment alone with her.

"Yeah... I packed a bag... We aren't really spending our last night together camping are we?" Abbie gave him a suspicious look.

"I did not say camping, only to be prepared for something rustic..."

"Mmhmm..." Abbie glared at him teasingly. "What time are we going?"

"Not until after the bride and groom leave for their honeymoon." Ichabod let out a sigh. "Five more hours."

"I don't think I can wait that long to show you what I'm wearing under this saree," Abbie pouted as her body swayed into him. The slight twitch as she pressed against him gave him away. "I don't think you can either."

"Admittedly, I find you irresistible," he hummed in her ear.

"What are we going to do about it?" Abbie teased. "My room is being used for the bridal party..."

"As is mine for the groom's." Ichabod grumbled as the caterer waved him over. "Damn... I'm being beckoned once again."

"You have a key to the wine cellar?" Abbie asked.

"Indeed." Ichabod raised a brow. "I'll meet you there most directly."

 

~~~

Abbie loved the scent of the old wine cellar; mahogany, stone and cork, hints of wine, mingled together. If she were honest it probably reminded her a bit of Ichabod. She always took a deep breath when she walked in. She was careful to lock the door behind her as she carried the blanket and towel to the back corner, and laid it out. She went back for a bottle of wine, Ichabod preferred the red.

She set everything up just right, undressed and laid her saree across the high seat to the side. Underneath she wore a barely there matching panty and strapless bra, in dark blue, because it was Ichabod's favorite color. She sat down and practiced what position she wanted him to see her in. She laid back on her elbows, crossed her legs, and tossed her hair back.

"No," Abbie shook her head and turned so her back was toward the entrance. Her favorite asset was also one of his. She pulled her hair delicately over her shoulder to show off the full length of her neck, down her back and to the curve of her bottom.

She grinned anxiously when she heard the key rattle in the door before it cheeked open. She then heard him rattling for a bottle of wine from the shelf.

"I've already got the wine. Why don't you come back here and help me with this?" She felt a slight thrill and her heart palpitated as she heard him step towards the back of the cellar.

"Abs?"

“What the hell?” was all that ran through Abbie’s mind as her heart leaped when she heard the all too familiar but unexpected voice "Danny!"

He nearly dropped the bottle of wine as he was greeted by the very stunning form laid out on a blanket before him. But when she turned and from her tone, he knew she clearly wasn't expecting him. He literally had to tell himself to stop staring after he unintentionally gawked for a whole five seconds. Abbie scrambled up from the ground, unfortunately giving him even more to see.

"I... I um..." Daniel Reynolds stood delightfully stunned.

"How did you get in here?"

"Joe gave me the key... I just came to get one of the samples of the new Chardonnay...” Daniel stammered over his words. She was a bit of a distance from her clothes and he wondered if he should grab them for her, or just leave… Yes, just leave, he thought. She looked completely embarrassed. “I am so..."

"What the devil is going on?" Ichabod asked as he stood shocked looking at the both of them.

Ichabod had his jacket and tie off, and shirt half way unbuttoned as he made it to the cellar. He had been confused when the door was not only unlocked but open, and when he heard voices, he quickly made his way to the back of the cellar. The last thing he wanted to see was his girlfriend practically naked with Daniel Reynolds. His mind quickly forced himself to processes before he flew into a jealous fit. This was clearly a mistake, Had To Be A Mistake, but still, he could feel his blood boiling. He clenched his fists and kept his hands to his side as he strode past Daniel and grabbed Abbie's dress.

"I obviously walked in on something," Daniel finally averted his eyes from Abbie to the bottle of wine. "Sorry about that. I'm um... Yeah..." He turned on his heels and quickly exited the cellar.

"I am absolutely mortified. Crane, that was a mistake."

"Clearly," Ichabod bit back saying anything else.

"So I guess this isn't happening now?" Abbie could tell he was heated by his tight lips and the clutching and outstretching if his fingers.

"Because walking in on you and Daniel Reynolds is such a turn on!"

"It was a mistake... He was getting a bottle of wine for Joe, that's how he got the key... Damn it!" Abbie swore as she tried to get herself back into the saree. Her heart felt heavy even though she only wanted to feel joy for Leena. The day was everything she could have hoped for Leena but for herself it was bittersweet. And now this.

"I know it was a mistake," Ichabod let out a deep sigh. "I don't mean to be short with you. It simply took me aback momentarily." Ichabod placed his hands on hers, stopping her from tucking the wrap into the waist of the skirt. "Are you all right?"

"I'm Fine. My best friend just got married... Everything is great... Other than being completely humiliated in front of a business associate... And the fact that the love of my life is leaving tomorrow and I can't get five damn minutes alone with him..."

Ichabod placed a hand on her cheek and kissed her tenderly. His touch was warm and calming exactly what she needed. "You can have more than five minutes."

"We've wasted enough time... The party..."

"Is in good hands," Ichabod assured her as his lips brushed her cheek, the whiskers of his beard lightly prickling at her skin. "I spoke with Miss Caroline and Mr. Hawley. They will keep an eye on things for a bit."

Ichabod let his hand slowly drift down her soft brown shoulder, carefully un-tucked the wrap and let the skirt drop from her waist. Her petite hands drifted over his lean chest, pulling off his shirt, as her soft supple lips kissed his shoulder.

"I love the color blue on you," he hummed kissing her neck as his fingers slid beneath the waist of her panties and tugged them down.

His moist firm kisses trailed down her chest to her smooth full breasts, as one hand caressed her firm round bottom and the other slid his fingers across her warm wet folds. Her hands hastily worked to free his throbbing manhood from their constraints. Every nerve in their body came alive with desire as he backed her into the wall.

"I need you," Abbie moaned softly as his tongue works wonders against her dark turgid nipples.

Her hands firmly stroked him, driving his want for more. In seconds he had her lifted, legs wrapped around his waist. The head of him teased her as she undulated against his length. Her wetness drove him mad with desire, until he could take no more and thrust inside her.

"Oh yes... Treasure," his breath caught heavy as her sensual walls engulfed his member. Her arms languidly wrapped around his neck as her fingers ravaged through his hair.

"Oh... god so good..." Abbie moaned as her body undulated against him.

He pressed into her slow at first, grinding up, a little faster, a little harder. Dear god he was fucking her so good against that wall she thought she might truly lose her damn mind.

Her soft moans faded into him as their lips pressed and wet tongues mingled. Pleasure struck her from the center of her core as he hit her spot over and over, until she was dizzy with the thrill of impending ecstasy. He knew where to hit to make her come hard. Her heavy moans and panting were like a sweet siren song seducing him over the edge into eternal elation.

"I love you," his voice, deep and heavy, dripped with desire and need as he succumbed to the wave of bliss that struck him. Her body quivered from pleasure as he drove into her filling her.

He laid her down, rocking slowly, gently inside of her, letting himself be enraptured by her essence as they kissed.

"I love you," her breath was a soft whisper muffled by his kiss. But he felt it even more than he heard words.

~~~

 

5 ~ Sweet Escape

 

Twenty-minutes wasn't a long time, but it was long enough for Ichabod and Abbie to get what they needed to make it through the rest of the day. Even with hired planners and caterers, the stress was on the maid of honor and best man to ensure everything is perfect for the bride and groom.

Leena gave Abbie a knowing wink and nod when she and Ichabod returned from their brief absence. Abbie couldn't help but blush putting her head down and hand to her face at her friends teasing. Another hour and the limo driver arrived to pick up Leena and John. They planned to start their honeymoon in New York City before going to Turks and Caicos for two weeks.

As the couple were escorted to the limo Abbie gathered all the ladies for Leena to toss the bouquet. Leena tossed it quickly and the binding came undone. The ladies squealed with laughter as they were showered with two dozen long stem pale yellow carnations.

"That is good luck," Leena's mom called out. "We'll have lots of weddings now."

"I see you caught one," Ichabod raised a brow mischievously as they waved goodbye to the newlyweds.

"I did... And it's good luck," Abbie grinned taking a lingering whiff of the flowers scent.

"Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?" Ichabod mused as he brushed an errant strand of hair from her face and delicately tucked it behind her ear.

"Be still my heart," Abbie blushed again before they were interrupted by guests ready to continue the party. "Duty calls."

They spent the next couple of hours entertaining guest and bringing out the next serving of dinner for Leena's family.

As it grew late, Joe and Bram could see that Ichabod was getting anxious.

"You all right mate?" Bram asked.

"Fine," Ichabod tried to lie but Abraham gave him a look. "It's getting late, and I leave at noon tomorrow..."

"Why don't you and Abbie go ahead and take off for the night. I can handle everything here," Joe offered.

"Yeah mate. We've got you." Abraham knew Ichabod had something special planned. He didn't want Ichabod to back out again.

"Dude, go ahead. I'm sure Caroline and Nick will help us around here."

"What's going on over here?" Abbie asked giving the guys a curious look.

"We were just saying that you and Crane should go ahead and get out of here. You deserve the night off... Get your bag," Joe encouraged her.

"Are you sure you can handle everything?" Abbie wasn't sure about leaving her baby with an over load of wedding guests.

"Do I need to remind you that someone is leaving at noon tomorrow?" Joe countered his sister.

"I'll be right back with my bag..." Abbie gave Ichabod a swift kiss on the cheek and hurried to her room.

It was a mess with all the bridesmaids’ attire and the decor from the previous night's ceremony. Caroline had her things there as well, since she was staying the night to help. Abbie hurried back and again found the guys huddled up together. Even Jeremy was there handing Ichabod a back pack, and seemed to be in on a big secret.

~

 

The sun was just barely starting to go down casting a lovely pink and golden array across the sky. Ichabod took Abbie's bag and held her hand as they walked down the driveway and past the vehicles.

"We're walking?" Abbie asked.

"Yes... Oh I should have had you change your shoes," Ichabod winced at his error. She was probably exhausted after being on her feet all day, and now he was having her walk across the estate in heals.

"It's okay. These are comfortable if we're not going too far."

Ichabod looked down the path towards the old barn. "Not to worry," Ichabod easily lifted her up into his arms.

"You know I could have just put on flats," Abbie laughed as she put her arms around his shoulders.

"Oh bosh," Ichabod smiled only slightly winded as he took long strides down the trail. "We're almost there."

"Are we going to the barn?" Abbie questioned. "I thought we'd be camping."

"I only said that our evening would be rustic," Ichabod reiterated as they approached the old building.

Abbie liked being surrounded by the rustling of trees and chirping of birds. It was comforting to her. Ichabod knew this was her speed, as much as she enjoyed her time at the old cabin back in Sleepy Hollow.

He carried her inside and she gasped when she saw how nice he had it set up inside. He arranged some elegant soft drapery, a table with wine, and candles.

"When did you have time to do this?" Abbie asked as she looked around. She appreciated the air mattress instead of sleeping bags.

"Mr. Hawley and I have been fixing the barn the past couple of weeks. When we were done I thought it would be the perfect getaway once the chaos of the wedding was upon us. Your brother and Bram were a great help with decorating it for tonight. They may have stolen some food and decor from the reception," Ichabod confessed as he closed the door.

"I like it. It's so peaceful out here, compared to the craziness back at the house," Abbie smiled, giving him a quick kiss on the lips. As she pulled away something else caught her eye. "Oh my god... Ichabod Crane... Did you refurbish the tub?"

"I did," Ichabod admitted. "I know you weren't looking forward to doing it, and it was quite a beast to complete... I hope you like it."

"I absolutely love it. This explains those calloused hands of yours. And I thought Nick was working you too hard on the farm." Abbie wrapped her arms around him and he gave her a long warm hug. "Thank you, baby. I wish we could try it out for real."

"We can," Ichabod pointed to the table. "If you don't mind pouring us some wine... Mr. Hawley showed me how to use the hose. I'll have it ready in the shaking of a lamb’s tail."

"You're so corny," Abbie grinned, as she crammed a few grapes in her mouth. With all the food at the reception, she'd hardly had a minute to take two bites of anything all day. She was starving.

Ichabod looked out the window and saw that he had missed the sunset. Already the crickets, owls, and night critters were sounding off, creating the evening ambiance. Abbie lit candles as he filled the tub first with hot water, then with cold to get the temperature just right. Tonight they could slow down and take their time, away from the noise and the rush of the party.

Ichabod kissed her tenderly, her warm supple lips tasted of sweet wine. He carefully pulled the wrap of the saree from her shoulder and began undressing her.

"You don't want something to eat or drink?" Abbie asked, blushing as he admired her smooth curves.

"I do," Ichabod gave her a sly grin, looking from her soft brown skin, up her legs, to her breasts, then to her lips. "Come..."

Ichabod took her hand and guided her into the tub. She sank in relaxing as the hot water immersed her body. Ichabod sat on a small stool beside the tub, rolled up his sleeves and began gently massaging her feet.

"Oh my god, Crane... That feels amazing."

"Well deserved after all your hard work."

Her purrs and hums encouraged his munitions, and he began to slowly make his way up her firm lean calf, to her thigh. His massaging hands beckoned her to open herself for him, and she spread her legs welcoming him in. He teased at her folds, the sensation of his ouch eliciting sparks of pleasure within her, before he slid his long digit inside.

"Mmm... Crane..." She hummed, her eyes becoming hooded, as he massaged inside, his thumb swirling firmly on her clit. He found her spot and forked it in perfect tandem, watching her body rise and fall as the pressure swelled and rose deep within her belly. Her toes curled and lips trembled as her faint pants grew heavy.

"You're so beautiful when you come," Ichabod's husky voice drove her over the edge, and she allowed her mind and body let go and give in to pure bliss.

"Get in here," Abbie demanded when she finally came down from her high. Ichabod wasted no time in obliging her. She loved watching him undress, swift and proper, there was a masculine heir about him whenever he dressed or undressed that was unique. She would miss this when he was gone. And now she was thinking about missing him.

"Don't do that, Treasure," Ichabod could see it in her eyes as he climbed in the tub beside her. "I'm all yours for tonight."

Abbie nodded as he leaned in to kiss her. The warm water was like a soothing blanket wrapping them up together. He kissed at her neck and breast indulging himself in her soft round mounds. She hissed with pleasure as he caressed and tasted. They were snug and cozy in the tub, easily kissing, touching, enjoying the feel of the closeness between them, but not a lot of room for much else. They had all night, and Ichabod intended to spend the better part of it making love, not just making out.

He carried her from the tub to the bed, kissing touching, the two tussled around enjoying the closeness, openness and freedom between them. Abbie thought she'd have her way with him when she planted herself on top straddling his torso, but be very slyly slid himself down between her thighs, kissing and lapping at her wet folds.

Abbie cooed and moaned, clenching her breasts, as his tongue did wondrous things to her. One amazing sensation after another struck her body, as she relaxed into him.

 

"Ohh... fuck yes..." she hummed.

His hands were firm on her waist driving her to ride his tongue as he kissed and sucked till she was coming again. Her legs quivered as he drank her essence, relishing in everything she had to give and still wanting more f her, all of her.

He finally let her loose and she slid lazily down his body, breathing heavily from the rush of pleasure. Their kisses were heated and wet, she could taste herself as she opened for him, his tongue penetrating deep into her mouth. She could feel his manhood throbbing against her body, hot and hard, searching for her entrance.

Abbie kissed down his body, perching herself between his thighs as she stroked his long thick member. He felt electricity sear through his body as she firmly tongued and kissed the head. Mind blown, her big brown eyes, plump lips perfect form... The image would be etched in his mind for eternity.

"Uh... god ... so good..." he moaned deep as she took him in as deep as she could. Her petite hands stroked as she sucked, her eyes watching him as he watched her through hooded wanton eyes.

"You mean to have me undone," he barely groaned out the words as the pleasure she delivered drove him mad. "I need you..."

She pulled him out, letting her tongue teasingly swipe away the beads of precum that escaped. "You want me?"

"God yes!" Ichabod had her on her back and was mounted between her thighs in seconds.

He kissed her long, slow and deep, as he guided himself into her entrance. He let out a heavy that caught in his throat, as he pressed inside. The warmth of her wet heat enveloped him with pleasure as he pressed inside. She moaned softly into his kiss as his thick cock stretched her walls, and pressed deep inside her. Nothing felt this good, nothing else ever would, they were convinced of it's truth. They belonged together, wanted each other, needed each other, more than anything.

"Feels so good..." she whimpered as he went deep inside her, "oh god Crane."

"I love you?" He groaned into her ear, barely able to speak.

"I love you... I want you so bad," her voice found some boldness.

He thrust back and forth inside of her, gradually getting faster. She moaned heavy as the head of his cock strummed against her sensitive spot. The sounds she made drove Ichabod insane with desperation and desire. He pumped deeper and faster, sweat dripped from his brow and the locks of hair as he hammered into her pussy. Her nails dug into his back as he hit the end of her over and over.

"You feel so good," he moaned, her walls tightened around his dick and Ichabod knew she was going to come.

"Oh... Yes... Uh... " they were completely secluded and she held nothing back.

Her cries of pleasure rang out in the night as she came. He loved the beautiful face and sounds she made when she climaxed fully. It drove him over the edge. He tried to kiss her deep, as he came hard inside her.

She grasped his ass, as he thrust as deep into her as he could possibly go as he emptied all he had of himself. They laid with him on top of her, inside of her, kissing her full on the mouth, tonguing deep into her. It didn't take long as they slowly rocked together, before he was hard again and more than ready for another go.

 

 

~~~

 

6~ Truly Your Better Half

 

Ichabod and Abbie spent the better part of the night making love and enjoying the raw closeness between the two of them. The solitude was a rare but welcome treat. But before the sun came up, Abbie's cell phone rang. She groggily answered.

"Hey Joe, is everything okay?" She rubbed the sleep from her eyes. "He's here already?"

Ichabod sat up, barely awake after the way Abbie ore him out all night. "What is it, Treasure?"

"Jacob... My grandfather is here early." Abbie whispered to Ichabod. "Okay, Joe, I'll be right there."

"He's here now?" Ichabod looked at the time. The was going to throw a wrench in his plans. The sun would be up in half an hour and then he had to leave for the airport at noon. His plan was for a quiet relaxing moment to propose...

"If you want to wait here, I can come back?" Abbie was already up, throwing on a little sun dress she had caked in her back.

"No... I'll join you. But perhaps after we greet Mr. Roberts, we can take a walk down by the lake. Admittedly I quite selfishly want you all to myself before I go."

"Yeah, a walk... Just the two of us, pounds perfect."

~~~

Abbie and Ichabod were already prepared by Leena, that the women in her family old take over the kitchen. So when they walked in, it was no surprise to see her mom Salima and two of her cousins cooking up a breakfast feast for the whole family.

Salima greeted Abbie with a warm hug, "would you like to help. We need to put some meat on his bones. He's too thin," Salima pointed to Ichabod.

"Actually, I can't, but everything smells delicious. I'm looking for my grandfather. Have you seen him?"

"Ah, yes, Jacob," Salima pointed towards the living room. "I will fix him up something good too."

"Okay," Abbie smiled and took Ichabod's hand.

They found Bram and Joe keeping Jacob company.

"There's my beautiful Granddaughter," Jacob gave her a warm hug.

"It's so good to see you," Abbie was beaming. "I'm so glad you're here. Things are a little hectic. We've given the house to Leena's family for the weekend but, you can stay in my apartment for now."

"Sounds perfect."

They made small talk for a few minutes before Abbie excused herself. "I'm going to go get things situated at my place really quick but I'll be right back. Give me fifteen minutes."

The guys waited for Abbie to leave before Bram and Joe turned on Ichabod.

"What happened?"

"She's not wearing the ring. Did she say no?"

"I haven't asked yet," Ichabod shifted nervously."

"You're proposing?" Jacob smiled wide.

"I had intended to," Ichabod admitted.

"Are you backing out?" Joe furrowed his brow.

"No... It was just late when we left and the lake is so dark after sunset... I was hoping to catch the sun rise..."

"Dude! You're leaving in a few hours," Joe chided him.

"I wanted it to be perfect."

"Son," Jacob put his hand on Ichabod's shoulder offering his advice with all seriousness. "The perfect time is when you ask and she says yes. Don't waste precious time."

~

"Caroline," Abbie waded through boxes in her bedroom stacking a few. Dresses were strewn across her bed, but no Caroline.

"I'm here," Caroline popped her head up from the other side of the bed were she was sleeping on the floor. "Actually... We're here."

"Morning Mills," Nick got up buck naked. Sorry... About this."

"We didn't use the bed," Caroline swore as she got up and searched for her clothes. "It was late... Leena's family partied until three in the morning."

"Oh, so you guys were just having a sleep over," Abbie gave her a teasing look.

"Oh... No we definitely had sex, but normally I wouldn't use your room without asking."

"It's fine, Abbie, brushed it off as she hurried to the bathroom to fix herself up. "Can you do me a favor and tidy up though. My grandfather is here early and he's going to stay here with me until Leena's family leaves."

"Yeah, no problem," Caroline peeked in the bathroom, looked at Abbie's hand then peeked back out. She shook her head no to Nick and shrugged. "So anything exciting happen last night?"

"Yeah... We had an amazing night," Abbie smiled as she ran the flat iron over her hair. "It was perfect."

"Oh," Caroline nodded. There was no mention of a proposal.

"Oh, Hawley, thanks for helping Ichabod with the barn... And the tub looks amazing."

"Yeah... No problem. His friend Betsy was a lot of help. We did a few conference calls with her to make sure the tub came out right. She's really know...leg... able..." Nick studdered and gave Caroline a confused look when she shook her head no.

Caroline gestured with her fingers the obvious sign for sex, and Nick cringed, mouthing the word "sorry."

"Yeah... Betsy's great," Abbie took a deep breath. Betsy was great, perfect, talented, skilled knock out gorgeous... STOP, she told herself. There was no need to obsess over Ichabod's "other" best friend.

"Where is Iche?" Caroline popped back into the bathroom.

"He's downstairs with my grandfather."

"What are you doing?"

"Girl, it's the last time he's going to see me for six weeks and I look like I slept in a barn."

"Because, you did," Caroline laughed. "He doesn't care about that... The man has seen you covered in sweat, paint, mud.... and he still loves you. Besides, you always look beautiful. You look beautiful. Go. We'll take care of everything here."

~~

"Okay, I'm back," Abbie was all smiles as she entered the living room. "Granddad," it still felt odd to Abbie to say it out loud. She had a granddad. "How about a tour? The sun is coming up and the estate is beautiful first thing in the morning."

"I'm actually a bit tired," Jacob fibbed, giving Ichabod a quick look. "I'm gonna rest here for a bit, but I'll take you up on that tour this afternoon, sweetheart."

"Okay," Abbie understood.

Joe quickly turned to Abbie and practically pushed them out the back door. "I think we’ve got everything covered here if you two want to spend some time together.

"Thank you Joey," Abbie gave him a quick hug.

"Shall we," Ichabod held out his arm for Abbie.

"Yes," Abbie sighed with relief as she let herself relax on his arm.

The walk was calming, and peaceful. She needed this, because she could feel herself shaking inside. They'd been together so much over the past ten months, she just didn't know realistically what the relationship would look like, feel like, with it being long distance.

"You shivering," Ichabod gave her arm a rub, wondering if the breeze off of the lake had given her a chill.

They stopped at the shore and looked out over the lake as it glistened in the early morning sun. Ichabod was going to miss this view every day, not nearly as much as he was going to miss waking up beside Abbie every morning. It's crazy how easily he had become accustom to having her by his side always.

"I feel like I don't even know what I'm going to do with myself without you here," Abbie tried to smile as she looked out across the water.

"As long as you and I have each other, we will be all right. I believe this truly from the core of my being Treasure."

Ichabod took her hand and turned so they were face to face. "What are the chances that my grandfather would meet and know you, care for you so much that he inadvertently made it so our paths were destined to meet.

"That is so true. It seems that you and I..." Abbie gasped out loud as he knelt down on one knee. Was this real? She could hardly breathe.

"It seems our paths were entwined from the very start." Ichabod pulled the blue antique sapphire ring from his pocket. A ring that was a part of his family, and he wanted nothing more than for Abbie to have it, to be his family, and for him to be her family, her partner for life.

"It was only recently that I truly understood what a partner is. What it means to have someone make you more than you are, simply by being by your side. Truly your better half... Abbie... That is who you are to me, and I hope... I can be for you."

She felt light headed with excitement, nervousness, fear as she looked at the beautiful antique sapphire ring. Her heart began to palpitate rapidly and she could hardly catch her breath. *stay calm*, she begged herself as she trembled nervously trying to think trying to breathe.

"You, Grace Abigail Mills... You have my heart. I love you more than there are words to express. Will you marry me?"

Abbie suddenly felt a million miles away, like she was floating, and then she was in Ichabod's arms.

"Abbie?" Ichabod grabbed her quickly not letting her hit the ground. Did she just pass out?

~*~

 

TBC
Eat Sleep Love returning November 2018

By popular demand I will try to bring this back in late September or October. LOL

Chapter Text

Ch 18 ~ The Proposal

Intro:

Abbie feels herself immersed in the warmth of the morning sun as Ichabod wraps his arms around her. She feels a fire rising up in her as he lays her down in the soft grass and Her legs part welcoming him as he descends upon her. His throbbing cock pressed against her mound which was begging for him to be inside her. Is this a dream? The sound of the lake was fading as he pressed his lips to hers.

"Crane..." Her voice hummed an echoed into his ear.

"I love you Treasure..." His voice is faint and distant but she can feel him.

The sound of his voice increases the wetness between her legs and she can feel the juices dripping from my sweltering chasm building inside her.

"I need you," she aches for him to make love to her, elated that he asked her to be his wife. "Please don't let this be a dream."

 

She feels strange as she imagines the ring on her finger. She wants to see it but it’s all a blur as she tries to focus... Her eyes open and she's not with Ichabod by the lake anymore.

"What happened?" She asks as Ichabod slowly comes clear in her vision.

"Treasure... You passed out."

 

~*~

 

~The Proposal~

Ichabod was stunned and terrified when he watched the love of his life fall faint. He immediately swooped her up in his arms and rushed her back to the house.

 

"Oh my god... Something is wrong!" Joe and Bram had been watching by the back door awaiting the news, when Joe saw Ichabod hastily making his way back to the house.

He quickly opened the back door watching as Ichabod brushed by him, with Abbie in his arm.

Jacob, Salima, and Malia came into the living room wondering what was the matter when they saw Ichabod carrying Abbie.

He laid her on the sofa and Joe immediately went to her side. "What happened?"

"I... We were standing by the lake and I asked her... She fainted..."

"Overjoyed perhaps," Bram cringed.

"No," Joe checked her pulse. "Her blood pressure is low. Dehydration combined with a lack of iron and vitamin B... Happens to her sometimes when she overexerts herself and isn't getting enough to eat... Prop up her feet."

"I'll get her some water and something to eat," Leena's daughter Malia hurried to the kitchen.

Ichabod propped her feet up with a pillow, and was quickly back by her side holding her hand. "Abbie... I love you."

"There she goes," Joe sighed with relief as Abbie began to open her eyes.

"Oh thank heavens!" Ichabod felt his heart leap in his chest. It was as if he'd been holding his breath and could finally breathe.

"What happened? Abbie looked confused as she sat up.

"Treasure... You passed out." Ichabod looked into her eyes still worried through his relief.

"Oh my God... I'm so embarrassed."

"Don't be, child," Salima smiled. "These things happen."

"It's still embarrassing," Abbie grumbled as she took the glass of water from Malia. "Thank you."

"Ham ek bachcha kee ummeed kar sakate hain," Salima smiled to her granddaughter.

"Grandma," Malia gave the elderly lady a side grin.

 

"Bachcha nahin," Ichabod knew better than to think such a thing. But when Salima suggested a baby... How could the possibility not cross his mind? His eyes instinctively darted to Abbie's belly then back up again. Abbie saw as she finished her glass of water and it sent a panic through her. It was innocent enough but it still hurt that he looked hopeful and disappointed...

"We should give these two some privacy," Jacob suggested.

"Actually, if she's all right I'd like to take Abbie to her room. I promise I'll fix her something to eat."

"That's a good idea," Abbie agreed.

Joe checked her pulse one more time. "Okay, but call me immediately if anything..."

"I promise I will," Ichabod helped Abbie up and wrapped his arm around hers.

~

"These are so good," Abbie hummed her delight ant the scrumptious banana pecan crepes.

He'd insisted she sit with her feet up as he swiftly maneuvered around the small kitchenette of her apartment. She loved to watch him cook, slicing a and mixing with such a relaxed ease as if he were right in his element. The result was always perfection. But as he sat watching her eat, there was a huge elephant in the room that needed to be addressed. His hands pressed against his thighs, fingers outstretched to hide how anxious he was.

"We should probably talk," Abbie took a deep breath as she placed her hand on his.

"Yes, Ichabod nodded. "You never answered my question."

"Wait... What?" Abbie thought surely the proposal had been a part of her delusion while she was passed out.

"You don't remember?"

"No... I mean yes. I remember," Abbie rarely felt this flustered. "I just thought I was dreaming it."

"Then perhaps we should pick things up where we left off," Ichabod smiled broad, eyes softly on hers as he got back on his knee. He pulled the lovely antique sapphire ring from his pocket. "Will you do me the honor of marrying me?"

"I... I want to say yes..."

"That is what I want as well."

"Crane, are you sure. I can guess what Miss Salima said... I've heard it before..."

"Abbie, I'm sure..."

"I saw the look of disappointment when we were downstairs. I'm never going to be pregnant and one day you might resent that I can't give you a child."

"I will never resent you or our situation. We can explore other avenues, be it adoption or surrogacy, but we will have a family, Abbie. And if it doesn't work out, then we will always have each other. You are my family, Treasure. You're all that I need. I only hope that I can be enough for you."

"Yes," Abbie smiled fighting back tears.

"Yes, yes?" Ichabod wanted to be certain if it was a yes to his proclamation or his proposal. "You'll marry me?"

Abbie nodded with a smile big enough to light up the room. "Yes!"

Ichabod nearly smothered her, he hugged her so tight.

"The ring?" Abbie's voice was muffled in his chest.

"Right!" Ichabod excitedly slipped the ring on her finger, holding her hand for a moment, they took it all in.

He felt a bit lightheaded thrilled. He reached forward caressing her cheeks and touched her lips with the tip of his thumb. Her mouth opened slightly as she breathed heavily. While looking into her eyes he slowly traced a circle around her lips.

"I love you, Abbie."

"I love you," She responded in kind by reaching her hand to his beard and tracing across his jawline with her finger. It thrilled him to have her respond to his touching her by touching and caressing him. His touches, like hers, were soft and gentle, and carried a shared openness and intimacy.

 

He dropped his fingers down away from her mouth, and looked deep into her big brown eyes and saw nothing but love and trust. Their eyes grew hooded as he tilted his head slightly to the side and leaned toward her imperceptibly, and she did the same.

Her lips felt warm and soft to him as they engaged his. Her lower lip slipped briefly between his before they pulled slowly back from each other. They looked into each other’s eyes again momentarily. Both smiled loving smiles and brought their mouths together again, this time with a bit more urgency and passion. His lips felt warm and moist against hers and the feeling made her heart stir. A feeling of sexual excitement began to rise in them both as Ichabod's hand ran down her side and firmly grasped her thigh.

Abbie leaned back on the sofa realizing immediately that it’s the sound his husky groans has roused her. Her breaths were ragged and uncontrolled and her heart was racing but she knew immediately that it was not fear that had her quivering but rather a deep yearning and aching between my legs.

"Do we have time?" Abbie whispered tugging a kiss on his lower earlobe. Her hand began to stroke the massive bulge in his pants.

The combined sensations sent an electric jolt searing through his body, "oh we most certainly have time."

He carefully pulled her out of the slinky little sundress, exposing the soft curves of her petite frame. A soft gasp escaped him as his eyes glanced across the lace bra that lung to her breasts, down to the thin panties that hid his coveted destination.

He rose up and undid his shirt. Abbie watched biting her lip, eyes filled with want, as he pulled the shirt off of his broad shoulders, exposing his lean physique. He was making her wet with anticipation. As he went to unfasten his pants, she reached up to assist, freeing his thick throbbing cock from its confines. As she ran her hands from his member up his abdomen, she could fully take in the blue sapphire heirloom ring, contrasting against her tiny chestnut fingers, and it filled her heart.

The mere sight of him sent a thrill coursing down her spine as the tingling between her legs intensified. Oh, what an effect this man had on her. As though his very gaze ignites a passion in her soul, his presence was arresting, watching him stroke his long thick member as the head emerged from its sheath…smoldering.

"I wish I could stay," his hooded eyes gazed upon her.

"I wish I could go," she said in kind, as she took in the feel of his body against her touch.

Ichabod didn't want to think about leaving in an hour. He only wanted to focus on her... Every inch of her. He wanted to take his time with her, give her everything that she desired. He leaned in, sprinkling soft kisses on her knees, as he hooked her panties with his long fingers and slid them off.

He slowly parted her legs exposing her to him reach down to find my wet and tingling pussy mound. She rubbed her clit between two fingers as it slowly shed its protective shroud becoming engorged and throbbing, begging for his touch and his tongue.

The sight and scent of her were overwhelming as he gazed longingly. Her pink center already glistened with her essence.

"I love to watch you touch yourself," he groaned stroking himself as he admired. The sound of his voice has increased the wetness between her legs and she can feel the juices dripping from my wanton pussy.

Ichabod placed wet tongue kisses up her thigh. "You are intoxicating, Treasure."

He stretched one leg up, admiring her flexibility as his tongue licked her fingers then her wet open folds. She hummed at the feel of his slick tongue sliding into her wet chasm and let him take over, pulling her bra down, caressing her breasts and allowing her fingers to pinch at her own nipples. He slid his finger inside drawing her juices as his tongue pressed and swirled meticulously around her throbbing clit, then another finger strumming her spot and urging her to cum.

"Does that feel good to you?” his warm breath against her clit sent a shockwave through her body. He kissed it, sucked, indulged in her some more.

"Uhh fuck yeah..." Abbie cooed as her hips rocked into him, she was so close. She looked down her body, holding her leg up high as she watched him pleasure her. His fingers inside her and tongue on her bud were like magic sending her into delirious bliss. She exploded with pleasure sensations ripping through her loins as her juices run like a warm stream down a waterfall. He drinks her as she cums.

He lets her enjoy herself as he kisses up her body, taking a moment to kiss and appreciate her breasts. His tongue sensually flicked the turgid dark nipples increasing the wave of pleasure her body luxuriated in

"Oohhh baby, I need you..." She moaned with pleasure as he kissed up her shoulder and neck, until his lips found hers. She could taste herself as their tongues mingled and played with passionate abandon.

She splayed herself wide as he plunged his enormous erection into her. His breath hitched with a look of pure ecstasy on his face as he buries himself to the hilt. He paused at the sensation of her walls engulfing his thickness as he stretched her walls.

"Oh, Crane! Fu.... mmm..." Abbie purred knowing that this is what they needed.

He began long deep strokes enjoying the feel of her walls constricting around him with each push. Abbie grasped his hips as he kissed her deep, stroking deep inside her. Smooth, soothing, tender, deep, they reveled in that intensity and care for a moment.

"I love you," he moaned huskily against her lips as his strokes increased in intensity.

"Love you... So much..." Abbie moaned taking all of him.

Her cries fueled his craving for pleasuring her, his head whipped back and he began pumping hard, fast, and deep into her, his blue eyes intense on her soft browns.

This is exactly what Abbie wanted, to see that look in his eyes and to feel the shuddering of his body. They were so connected with each other that it was only moments before they were experiencing simultaneous bliss, moaning and calling out in mumbled passionate groans. Soon she found her release and her pussy started clenching and convulsing around his throbbing member. Together they both explode with wave after wave of ecstasy engulfs them as he cums inside her in delirious bliss.

They didn't have much time left but they wanted to spend every second they could, connected intimately embraced and feeling every bit of the love they had for each other. He cuddled her up in his arms, caressing her body.

"What time is it?" Abbie asked letting out a sigh.

"No... We have time to just be. For a moment longer," Ichabod placed a tender kiss on her forehead as they admired the ring on her finger, as if it were always meant for her hand. "Do you know how much I love you?"

"I do," Abbie calmly breathed him in, and tried to brush aside thoughts of not being in his arms every night. "I love you too. I can't stop thinking about how much I'm going to miss you... having you here with me all the time."

"I know the sentiment," Ichabod brushed his thumb across her soft skin as he held her close. "Just think though. Once we get through this we can be married by next summer."

"A summer wedding," Abbie grinned and kissed his chest, and looked up at him with big, adoring, brown eyes. "What if I can't wait that long?"

His soft blue eyes fixed on her gaze and he knew he’d do anything for her. "Well, then I shall have to work faster to get Bellington in tip-top shape."

Abbie let out a soft giggle at his vernacular. "You want to get married in England?"

"If that's what you want, of course."

"I just want to be with you."

 

~*~

 

Preview

 

Ch 19 Long Distance

"I have a surprise for you," Betsy held up her phone, so Ichabod could see Abbie on FaceTime smiling at him.

She'd tried Ichabod's phone but didn't get an answer. He was always with Betsy these days so she knew exactly who to call.

"Happy Birthday, baby."

"Abbie," Ichabod smiled, taking the phone. She was done up like a model, hair and makeup perfect, cleavage for days. "Wow... You look amazing!"

"Thanks," Abbie panned the phone out so Ichabod could see her dress. "The editors at Wine Country sent over a stylist and makeup artist."

"You look so beautiful," Ichabod let out a sigh when he noticed she was at home. So much for a surprise visit, Abbie definitely wasn't coming.

"Thanks, Crane. I really wish I was there with you."

"I wish you could be here," Ichabod ducked into a corner away from the music and talking, trying to hear her better.

Abbie was glad he was out partying and not home alone. She'd made his friends promise to get him out of the house and not let him work through his birthday. "Sounds like you're having a good time..."

"Hey Abs," Ichabod heard Daniel Reynolds' voice from the background. "Do you prefer the Chardonnay or the Merlot?"

"Oh...” Ichabod was taken aback. “ You're with Reynolds?"

 

 

 

~*~

Chapter Text

ESL CH 19 ~ Long Distance

 

~Intro~

 

Abbie slid down on Ichabod's cock as he handled her breasts, and began to suck her nipples. Faster and faster she bobbed up and down on his thick manhood as he stretched her wide, and hit the very end of her. He took the opportunity to appreciate her supple body with his hands, caressing her hips, and ass, feeling her breasts, and squeezing her nipples. He loved every inch of her petite frame especially her curvaceous bottom.

It was early July, after one month of separation, Ichabod was visiting during the Wine festival for their anniversary... Yes, the one year anniversary of their one-night-stand. No sheets in the woods this time, they took the old Yacht out to the middle of the lake for some privacy.

The passion and desire she shared with Ichabod had taught Abbie to experience the very heights of passion, pleasure and her sensuality. She was riding him like he was her stallion, as he thrust hard up into her, as she began to pump even faster up and down on Ichabod's cock, she would scream and moan in delight and Ichabod was vocal as well, their cries echoing a Ross the lake. She began to feel his cock throb and pulsate and he filled her pussy as she sank down taking every drop he had to give.

"Happy anniversary Treasure. I love you."

"I love you too Crane,” Abbie leaned down kissing him tenderly as he caressed her. “I’m so glad you came."

 

~*~

 

1~ Best Laid Plans

They had a plan. As a long distance engaged couple, they knew it wouldn't be easy. But once a month they would alternate making a weekend trip. July Ichabod would visit for their one year anniversary and in August, Abbie would go to England for Ichabod's Birthday. September was the start of the Harvest season, but with Ichabod only doing lectures in September, he was hopeful he could schedule a weekend to go to New York. October was going to be a challenge because that’s when the University of Oxford's Michaelmas Term began and the Autumn OctoberFest for Abbie, but they committed to a weekend early in November that one of them would schedule the trip. Critical were the daily phone calls and FaceTime check-ins.

July went smoothly considering Abbie missed having him there, waking up with him by her side. But the romantic weekend during the Wine Festival was a much-needed reprieve. She could see how tired and tanned he was from the long days working outdoors on the castle's structural issues with the construction crew. But his weary smile face to face instead of via the phone, to hold her and make love, was everything they both needed.

August was more difficult and that is when the scheduled monthly trips fell apart. Ichabod felt the pressure of the University lecture circuit and special programs. It was an honor that the Dean thought highly enough of him to give him so many lectures. And of course, Ichabod could hardly turn down the added income. Between his lectures and the construction on Castle Bellington, he was running himself ragged. But he'd planned two days off for Abbie's upcoming visit.

It was the day before his birthday, Ichabod repaired the windows of the ballroom. He wiped sweat from his brow as he felt his phone buzz in his pocket. He was thrilled when Abbie's name appeared to FaceTime.

"Hello, Treasure," he smiled as if the stress of the day faded away just seeing her face.

"Hi," Abbie smiled. She just walked into her apartment after a meeting with Daniel about an upcoming feature in a popular wine magazine. As excited as she was, she was a bit heartbroken that she would have to miss a visit to England. And now, seeing Ichabod's face, It almost pained her to see how worn and thin he looked. He was still quite handsome and the tan was certainly nice on him. "Did I catch you at a bad time?"

"Not at all. Anytime you call is a perfect time. I certainly am in need of a break. We’ve finally got the old garden fountain working. And I've just finished the windows," Ichabod panned the camera over his shoulder selfie style for her to see. "Probably rubbish, but it is my first go at it."

"No... Crane, they look fantastic. All of your hard work is paying off."

"Speaking of hard work, how was your meeting with Reynolds' Wine. Have they decided if they will include Taste of Grace in the article?"

"More than include, Taste of Grace is going to be featured, with a spotlight on the Merlot you created." Abbie gushed proud of him. "It was your Merlot that brought the Magazine's attention back to Reynold's Winery in the first place."

"Abbie! That's... That's incredible?"

"I know... they're going to do a full spread on not just the wine but me and the vineyard as well, including the B&B, your the farm... They even said I could mention Bellington and the vineyard that we're starting in England" Abbie took a deep breath.

Ichabod smiled when she said ‘we’ when referring to Bellington. He was really hoping she would start to feel that his home was hers too and that they were building a life together, even if it was long distance for the moment.

"I have the sit-down interview and photo-shoot tomorrow, and then Saturday they want to photograph me giving them a tour of the farm, vineyard, and B&B."

And there was the catch. Ichabod furrowed his brow but tried to hold his smile as he felt his heart drop in his chest. "Tomorrow?"

"Yeah... Tomorrow. I know it's your birthday and I'm supposed to be flying into the UK at noon, but with the last minute changes to feature Grace's Place and Taste Of Grace, I have to be here. The editor and photographer have to get the photo shoot done this weekend." Abbie paused for a moment gauging his reaction, but Ichabod was silent.

"Unfortunately Leena and John are still traveling or I'd ask her to give the tour. But the interview and photo shoot, has to be done in studio with me. I could turn it down and they'll go back to the original plan to feature Reynolds's Winery... But Daniel and the editor made it clear this opportunity might not come around again. It's been ten years since Reynolds’s Winery was given the feature and their company is worldwide. There are just so many..."

"Ten years," Ichabod's voice was a bit sharper than he'd meant to sound as he tried to hide his disappointment. "And Reynolds is just graciously giving up the opportunity for the feature to you?"

"Well, yes. Daniel said the feature is a win for us both. Since they manufacture Taste of Grace, and RW will still get a page in the feature... It's not too late to turn it down. Daniel made the proposal and the magazine approved it. But he knows how important it is for me to go see you. They have a backup plan if I turn it down..."

"How could you turn it down?" Ichabod's external smile was struggling to hide his disappointment. Of course, Daniel would make such an offer, one that she couldn't refuse. "You've worked so hard."

"I'd rather be there with you," Abbie said with all honesty, plopping down on the sofa. "How about I fly out to see you Sunday, and spend a couple of days?"

"I'd love nothing more, but I have lectures all week." Ichabod let out a heavy sigh. "I'm afraid a visit will have to wait until a more opportune time."

"I'm so sorry, Crane."

"I understand, Treasure. I simply miss you terribly."

Why did he have to call her treasure like that? It was like a knife to the gut, exacerbating the guilt she was already feeling. "I miss you too Crane."

 

~~~

 

"There is no way we are letting you stay in on your birthday," Abraham insisted. "We've got to get you properly sauced."

"I'm not in the mood," Ichabod shrugged. "Really. You all go out and enjoy the eve. I insist."

"Absolutely not without you. Abbie called and made us promise to take you out for a good time." Betsy tugged Ichabod by the arm as Abraham grabbed his jacket.

"She did?" Ichabod couldn't help but smile, knowing that she was thinking of him. But even still, he was missing her badly and in no mood to go out. "We could just hang out here."

"No way mate! We have a special surprise for you," Thomas said as if he had a big secret.

"Yeah, someone we think you'll be excited to see. So we have to go out," George coaxed him on.

"Bram?" Ichabod looked at him suspiciously. The guys and Betsy could keep a secret from him, but not Abraham. What were the chances, this was all a ruse, and Abbie was actually in town waiting to surprise him. Ichabod could not help but get his hopes up.

"Don't look at me, mate," Abraham looked completely innocent. "I have no idea what they're up to. Go get dressed."

"It's been ages since I've gone out... I wouldn't know what to wear." Ichabod actually started to get excited.

"I'll help you pick out something," Betsy eagerly wrapped her arm around his, and hurried him upstairs.

 

~

 

2 ~ Unhappy Birthday

One hour after arriving at the posh London nightclub, Ichabod was glad he'd gone out. It was nice to catch up with his friends after spending the entire summer working on the Estate. The music was low enough in the private back room that they could hold a conversation without yelling.

"So when is this wedding going to happen?" Thomas asked as the server handed them each another round of drinks.

"Next summer most likely. Once the renovations at Bellington are complete." Ichabod replied before taking a drink from his glass of Scotch. He noticed Thomas and Ben constantly checking the time. "So what is the surprise you have for me?"

"Patience my friend," Ben gave him a firm pat on the shoulder.

"I have a surprise for you," Betsy held up her phone, so Ichabod could see Abbie on FaceTime smiling at him.

She'd tried Ichabod's phone but didn't get an answer. He was always with Betsy these days so she knew exactly who to call.

"Happy Birthday, baby."

"Abbie," Ichabod smiled, taking the phone. She was done up like a model, hair and makeup perfect, cleavage for days. "Wow... You look amazing!"

"Thanks," Abbie panned the phone out so Ichabod could see her dress. "The editors at Wine Country sent over a stylist and makeup artist."

"You look so beautiful," Ichabod let out a sigh when he noticed she was at home. So much for a surprise visit, Abbie definitely wasn't coming.

"Thanks Crane. I really wish I was there with you."

"I wish you could be here," Ichabod ducked into a corner away from the music and talking, trying to hear her better.

Abbie was glad he was out partying and not home alone. She'd made his friends promise to get him out of the house and not let him work through his birthday. "Sounds like you're having a good time..."

"Hey Abs," Ichabod heard Daniel Reynolds' voice from the background. "Do you prefer the Chardonnay or the Merlot?"

"Oh... You're with Reynolds?"

Abbie winced. Damn, how did he get back from the wine cellar so fast? She told him she needed a minute to call Ichabod and wish him Happy Birthday. "He gave me a ride after the interview, and thought we'd celebrate..."

"He was at the interview and photo-shoot?" Daniel was in a designer suit, perfectly tailored

"Yeah... They wanted to do the part for Reynolds Winery at the same time."

"Yes... Of course," Ichabod could feel his jaw tighten. He trusted Abbie, but still, it smarted more than a little that she was with Daniel looking beyond gorgeous while he was at a nightclub getting wasted without her.

"Do you need a minute?" Daniel asked from the background.

"Please, don't let me keep you," Ichabod was failing at not sounding annoyed.

"No... I'd much rather talk to you..."

"Ichy!" Betsy called. "Come on! Thomas and Ben have a surprise for you!"

"Go ahead," Abbie gave him a gentle smile. "I don't want to keep you from your party."

"Very well," Ichabod ran his hands through his hair frustrated at feeling rushed off. "And you can get back to your... Whatever that is."

"Crane, this is nothing. We're just..."

"I know. Apologies. I just miss you is all. I really wish you were here." Ichabod lamented remembering his last birthday, how Abbie had gone out of her way to show him a good time, dispute their legal entanglement. Afterward, they'd ended up making love at the cabin in Sleepy Hollow. "Things were very different last year."

"I know," Abbie's voice softened as she was stricken with pangs of guilt. "I love you, Crane. I'm sorry, I'm not there..."

"Iche, come on mate," Bram came up behind him and waved to Abbie. "I'm curious as to this surprise Ben and Tommy have. Say goodnight to your lovely."

 

"You can make it up to him by sexting later," Bram winked at her.

"Abraham!" Ichabod said sternly as his cheeks went red and Abbie blushed. Leave it to Abraham to lighten the mood.

"Okay, I'm going," Abbie grinned. "I love you, Crane. Happy birthday."

"I love you too, Treasure."

~

 

Sounds like they've got quite a party going on there," Daniel smiled as he poured Abbie a glass of wine.

She sat on the lounge across from him, the smile all but gone from her face. "Yeah... I told you it was his birthday. I should be there."

"There was no way to do this on a different day," Daniel shrugged. He knew it was important to Abbie to be there for Ichabod, but if she wanted to grow her business, she had to make a choice. As far as he was concerned, she made the right one. "You are a businesswoman, Abbie. When rare opportunities like this come up, you have to seize them."

"I still can't believe you gave up the full spread on Reynolds’s Winery for me. Thank you."

"You're welcome," Daniel held up his glass. "This place is your baby. You're building something incredible. I get that. Cheers to all your hard work and sacrifice."

"Cheers," Abbie clanked her glass to his and took a sip. "But I wouldn't have any of this if it hadn't been for Crane. He risked a lot to give me the chance to own GAM& Co. outright."

"You almost lost everything because of him..."

"No, had it been anyone else... They wouldn't have thought twice about railroading me. He had every right to sell and he didn't. He looked out for me before we were even a thing. That is a testament to his character."

Daniel let out a scoff. "Okay... You definitely are stars-in-your-eyes in love. Just be careful."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing bad... But I mean, he is like any guy. He saw a beautiful girl and did what he could to win her over. But before he goes back to the UK so what does he do. He locks it down."

"Come on," Abbie huffed. "You make it sound like he only got engaged to me to keep me from dating."

"Well," Daniel shrugged. "You're here alone most nights, with a very pretty ring on your finger, like a beacon signaling to every man you meet that you are taken. Meanwhile, he's working at universities with pretty young women, flirting with him, no ring on his finger... He locked it down, the day he left."

"Crane is faithful," Abbie pursed her lip, no longer amused.

"Okay, I'm not saying he's not faithful. I'm sure he is," Daniel took another drink. "So when is the wedding and what does he think about moving to the US permanently?"

"Maybe next summer," Abbie smiled just thinking about it. "But I don't know how he feels about living here. We haven't gotten quite that far yet."

"Hmm..." Daniel grinned and drank some more wine.

Abbie finished her glass quickly and stood up ready to see him out. "Well, I have a lot to do before the photographer comes to shoot Grace's Place tomorrow. We should probably call it a night."

"You sure? The night is still young. We could catch a movie on Netflix and chill..."

Abbie folded her arms and gave him a side eye half smile. "Goodnight Danny."

 

~

 

3~ What You Did Last Night

 

"Thanks for coming over early, guys," Abbie gave her brother and Sophie a half hug as she hurried past them. "The photographer will be here in an hour, and I need everything to be perfect."

"The place looks spotless," Joe glanced around.

No doubt Abbie had stayed up late and then gotten up early to make sure there wasn't a speck of dust or a single decoration out of place which was a good thing. That meant she probably hadn't checked her phone or seen the Instagram pictures Ichabod's friends had posted. He hoped he could keep her from checking until after the photoshoot.

"So put us to work."

"What do you need us to do?" Sophie asked

"If you could help me with the back patio and pool area, please. I may want to rearrange the table. But first I need to call and check on Crane. It's almost noon there so he should be up," she let out a laugh, "depending on how hungover he is."

"Yeah, let's just get through the photo shoot and let him sleep it off. You need to stay focused."

"Normally I would agree with you, but I really want to talk to him and make sure he's okay. I feel really bad about missing his birthday. He seemed kind of upset yesterday."

"Oh," Joe tried to think of a reason for him to stall her. He saw her phone sitting on the counter ne'er him and grabbed it. "Your battery is low. I'll put it on the charger and you can call him later."

"I'll make it a quick call," Abbie took her phone from him wondering why he was acting so weird about calling.

Usually, Joe was making sure she didn't miss a call with Ichabod. She pushed his name but the call went straight to voicemail.

"Huh... That's odd."

"He's probably still sleeping... Let's finish up first and..."

Abbie ignored Joe as she hung up and saw there were notifications on her Istagram. She clicked on some of the pics and videos that Ichabod was tagged on and her jaw dropped. "What the..."

"Did you see this?" Abbie pierced her eyes at her brother. "Of course you did, since your boyfriend is in most of these! What the hell!"

Joe couldn't lie. At least Abraham, Ichabod and Betsy had the good sense not to post them to their own IG. Unfortunate, the two bachelors had no problem sharing and tagging them in every incriminating picture and story.

"Oh... Wow," Sophie winced watching the video clip. "I didn't think Mr. Darcy had it in him."

"It wasn't Ichabod's idea... or Bram's. You know how Ben and Thomas are... They got the exotic dancers as a surprise thinking they could all have a good time."

"Is that the line Bram gave you?" Abbie asked visibly pissed.

 

"Easy for you to say since Bram's gay. A half naked woman dancing all up on him isn't that big a deal."

"He's bi so it is kind of a big deal actually."

"Then how are you okay with this?"

"Guys, don't argue," Sophie played referee as the siblings raised their voices.

"Look, I'm not okay with it. But Bran was too wasted last night to argue about it. But he swears nothing happened and I trust him. I thought it would be best if you didn't see the videos and pics until after the photoshoot... Who are you calling?"

"Betsy!" Abbie stormed off to the back patio, phone in hand.

"Abbie, let it go for now," Joe pleaded with her, to no avail.

"Hell no!"

"Abbie, come on," Sophie tried.

 

~

Betsy couldn't believe Thomas actually tagged her and Ichabod on those questionable Instagram stories. "Thanks for letting me know."

"Yeah, can I talk to Crane?" Abbie's tone was sharp enough that Betsy knew she was pissed.

"The guys are all crashed in the living room. They got pretty sauced last night."

"Yeah, I could tell from the video!"

"Abbie, nothing happened. You have to know that. Ben and Tommy..."

"Yeah, they though some half-naked strippers grinding up in my fiancé would be a great idea!"

"And you thought having wine with another man while missing his birthday was a great idea?" Betsy shot back.

"Excuse me," Abbie was about to snap.

"Look, Abbie... Ichy told me. I don't mean to be cross with you, but he was really upset that you canceled. He'd been looking forward to your visit for weeks..."

"He said he understood."

"And he does, but it still hurt. Especially when he saw you were with this Reynolds character."

"So that excuses what he did?"

"Abbie, he didn't do anything. After you two talked, he was upset and had a few too many drinks. When the strippers came out he only smiled to be polite. He barely let them dance on him and he didn't even get a hard on. Trust me we all would have known if he had. He humored her for a minute then sent her off to Ben. He would never betray your trust."

Abbie let out a sigh, "You're not going to wake him up are you?"

"No. Because I care about him and he is in love with you. Right now you're upset, and you have a big meeting with a photographer today. And Ichabod is not happy about last night and he's very hung over. You both need a breather before you get into a tiff and say or do something you regret. I will tell him you called and you can call him after your photo shoot."

Abbie let out a sigh as she swore under her breath. Why was Betsy being the voice of reason? But she was right. Even Joe was giving her the look, letting her know to drop it for now. "Fine... I will call him later."

"Good. Now have a great photoshoot."

Abbie hung up to the very satisfied look her brother was serving.

"She wouldn't put him on, would she?"

"No," Abbie mumbled busying herself with patio furniture arrangements.

"Thank god. The last thing you need is to get into it with him, over something that wasn't his fault, and being upset for the second part of the interview and photo shoot. Today you need to be your beautiful, charming, brilliant self, okay."

"Okay," Abbie agreed reluctantly. She had Crane on the brain still, but at least this would give her time to cool off and focus her energy on giving the tour of Grace's Place.

~

 

He had planned to spend the day with Abbie, work free and just enjoying her company, holding her in his arms... But that wasn't how things turned out. And he understood, really. He told himself repeatedly that she would have made it had this rare opportunity not come up at the last minute. Once he woke up from his long night of partying with his friends, and sufficiently recovered from his hangover, Ichabod thought it best not to waste the day, and got to work on the windows in the parlor.

By sunset, he realized Abbie hadn't called him yet. It was still early in New York, so he tried not to worry, but Betsy made it clear Abbie was not happy about the video of the exotic dancer gyrating on his lap. He packed up his tools and went into the library to do a quick itinerary check for the upcoming week's lectures. That's when he saw he was CC'd on the e-mail for the photo proofs from Wine and Country's editor.

"Well I suppose this means the photo shoot has concluded," he mumbled as he took a seat and began scrolling through the photos.

The shots were good, and included several of the farm, which he was the owner of. When he got to the photos from the night before he gasped in awe of how stunning Abbie looked. The still made her look like an angel or a goddess. But as he scrolled through his heart sank a little when he saw the shots of her with Daniel Reynolds. Though he was certain the photos were staged, they looked like the perfect couple enjoying a romantic glass of wine in the pictures. Daniel looked at her so eager, eyes filled with desire, and Ichabod's mind imagined them afterward at her place. The pictures were perfect, and he hated it.

He realized this is probably how Abbie felt seeing the IG video of him and the dancer. He ran his hands through his hair thinking who was he kidding, he knew his was far worse.

"We made dinner," Betsy and Abraham went into the library.

"You cooked?" Ichabod raised a suspicious brow.

"We attempted," Abraham corrected as he sat the plate beside Ichabod's laptop. "You were so busy... Which is good, I suppose. How did your talk go with Abbie?"

"She hasn't called yet."

"Perhaps the tour of Grace's Place is taking longer than expected," Betsy wondered.

"No, they have since concluded. I have just received the proofs from the photo shoot." Ichabod turned the laptop around.

"Wow those look amazing," Betsy admired. "Whoa... Who is tall dark and handsome with her?"

"That would be Daniel Reynolds of Reynolds' Wine," Bram gave her a look.

"As in, the hot guy from last night?" Betsy whispered in his ear.

"I can hear you and yes," Ichabod grumbled. "The same bloke that caught her naked in the wine cellar the day before I left, and who I am certain has a crush on her."

"And whom Abbie is not interested in," Bram reminded him.

Ichabod's phone buzzed, and his face automatically lit up dispute the unease he'd been feeling. "It's Abbie."

"Well, we should give you some privacy," Betsy took Abraham by the arm. "Remember Ichy, we like her. Put away your jealousy and ego, and fix this."

~

 

"I really wish you would have just told me you were upset that I couldn't make it," Abbie let out a sigh after listening to Ichabod explain what happened, and how he really felt last night. "I would never have exacerbated things by having drinks with Daniel had I known."

"What was I supposed to say? I sound like an absolute wanker for whining about you missing my birthday. And though I was not keen on you spending the eve with Reynolds, trust between us during this time is most imperative."

"Yeah, tell me about it. I was really pissed when I saw that video, Crane. It's probably a good thing Betsy didn't put you on the phone."

"Indeed. I was in quite a mood myself. Abbie, you must know nothing happened. I was quite inebriated and it impaired my reaction. But I had no pleasure in that woman dancing for me. Honestly, I only wanted to be with you. Can you forgive me?"

"Yeah, and I hope you forgive me for bailing on you."

"I do. I truly understand. I want all the best for you, Treasure."

~

 

4~ Accidental Sexting

 

It was late September and Ichabod was in Rome preparing to give his biggest lecture to date. Professors and Historians from around the globe had gathered and filled the auditorium.

"Good morning," Abbie woke up extra early to FaceTime him before the lecture. The six-hour time difference was a killer but she had to wish him well.

"Indeed," Ichabod smiled, happy to hear her voice and see her gorgeous face. Even this early in the morning she looked perfect. "It's not even four in the morrow there. I didn't expect you to be up."

"I had to wish you luck," Abbie said cheerful but groggy as she shuffled into the bathroom and turned on the water for a hot shower.

"Ah, much thanks Treasure," Ichabod breathed deep as he nervously twitched his fingers. "Your definitive support has been crucial at every turn."

"You doing okay? You sound a bit nervous."

"Just a biting uncertainty, but it is passing just hearing your voice and seeing that beautiful smile of yours," She had been with him last spring in Paris, her presence eased all his nerves. He was on his own this time, but he carried her in his heart.

"You are going to be amazing, Crane. I've never sat through a history lecture and been completely entertained until yours. And you have more knowledge than anyone I know. That's why they picked you."

"There can be no doubt as to why I love you so much," Ichabod smiled. "I don't know what I'd do without you."

"I love you too, Crane. I wish I was there to help you relax."

"Hmm... Yes, I could think of a few ways you could help me relax," Ichabod raised a brow playfully."

"Stop," Abbie blushed with a slight laugh. "But you know I would if I could. You got this baby. Text me after?"

"Of course."

Abbie hung up "Alexa play slow jams," she called out as she sat her phone down. She inadvertently called Ichabod back.

~

Ichabod only had about five minutes before he had to head down to the auditorium. He was just about to put on his suit jacket, when Abbie called him back. His eyes went wide when he heard the smooth R&B music and watched Abbie seductively disrobing.

"Oh merciful heavens," he mused as a lustful grin came across his face.

This was unexpected. Abbie had always been reluctant to the idea of sexting, not wanting to risk her image being put out on the Internet. Ichabod would never do such a thing, but he respected her decision. He was thrilled that she was now willing to put her personal reservations aside to give him quite a thrilling show. He sat back in the lounge chair and enjoyed himself.

"Professor Crane, it's time," one of the attendants knocked on his hotel door.

"Damn," Ichabod grumbled. "Abbie... As much as I'm enjoying this, I'm afraid I have to go. Abbie?"

She didn't answer, he supposed her music was too loud for her to hear. He decided to record the rest and thank her later. He checked later just before he took to the stage. He was glad there was a solid 8 minutes for him to enjoy and was disappointed that the call disconnected before the shower was over.

He decided to send a text to thank her.

Ichabod: Treasure that was amazing. Needless to say I am more than ready to take the stage. I owe the outcome and today's success to you, my love. I most vehemently look forward to repaying the favor. Profoundly and Truly yours, Ichabod

~

"Oh how sweet," Abbie grinned as she read Ichabod's text message.

She hadn't realized the simple chat this morning had meant so much to him. Throughout the day the texts continued and she sent cute cheeky replies. However, she was completely oblivious tot he fact that she had sent him a rather seductive video chat. That is until she was at her place having a wine down night with Cynthia, Sophie, and Caroline.

Caroline and Nick seemed perfectly suited for each other. In fact she spent most nights at his yurt and seemed to practically have moved in. Sophie and Ash were relatively new as a couple. She still worked at the Westchester FBI agency and only came to town on weekends. Though they were only two hours apart it was still very much a long distance relationship. Frank and Cynthia had found a place together and were rebuilding their marriage.

"I'm telling you," Cynthia had just been telling the girls about life with Macey studying abroad, "it's like Frank and I are newlyweds again. I'm just mad he's working the night shift tonight."

"Damn," Sophie admired. "Relationship goals right there."

"Especially after 20 years," Caroline chimed. "Kudos to you both for keeping the spark."

"More like rekindled," Cynthia admitted. "The last three years were rough..." She paused when Abbie's phone buzzed a text.

That's when they realized Abbie hadn't been paying attention to their conversation.

 

Ichabod: Good morrow Treasure.

Abbie: Midnight here lol

Ichabod: perhaps you'll allow me to help put you to bed.

Ichabod: If I were with you I'd slowly trace my lips over yours, softly massaging them. Then I would kiss you…from your lips…to your neck…down to your bountiful tender breasts.

"Oh my," Abbie gulp, the last text was sent with a picture of him shirtless in bed (probably naked) a playfully seductive grin on his face.

"What are you doing?" Cynthia asked.

"Are you sexting?" Sophie grinned.

"I... I think so, but..." Abbie was a bit perplexed. "We've never done this before. But ever since I called him this morning he's been... Sending me some pretty racy texts..."

"You must have said something that got him turned on," Caroline inquired with a grin.

"I don't know," Abbie shrugged. "Seemed pretty innocent to me."

"Wait," Sophie furrowed her brow, "you two haven't seen each other since July and you aren't sexting?"

"No..."

"Video sex chats?"

Abbie shook her head no.

"So you're not helping him... You know... Take care of himself?" Cynthia asked.

"No... Should I be?"

"Yes!" They all said in unison.

"And for you too," Sophie was truly baffled. "It's been two months since you two actually had sex. Aren't you horny? Don't you want him to help you out?"

"I hadn't thought about it..." Abbie winced.

"And he's always hanging around with his former bed-buddy big boob Betsy," Caroline took a sip of her wine.

"I... trust them..." paused when another text came from him.

Ichabod: perhaps we could shower together this time. All day I have been replaying the way you sensually lathered up your beautiful body. The way you touch yourself has permeated the very recesses of my mind.

"Oh... Oh my gosh..." Abbie cupped her hand over her mouth and stifled a giggle. "I must not have hung up or I accidentally FaceTimed him when I took my shower this morning. I sometimes listen to music and sing and dance..."

"Oh, girl you got him turned all the way on," Cynthia gave Abbie a coy look.

"Poor guy has probably been horny and unsatisfied ever since," Sophie added taking Abbie's phone and texting him back. "There you go. We'd better get out of here."

"I'll call an Uber," Caroline offered. "We'll wait in the main house."

Abbie read the text Sophie sent.

Abbie: Give me five minutes to put on something sexy and I will take very good care of you.

"Wait, I don't know what to say," Abbie felt a bit worried she'd sound corny.

"You don't have to say anything. You could show him a little something and let his imagination do the rest. And you don't have to get naked on camera, even though you've already..."

"Yeah, naked shower dancing," Abbie winced a bit.

"Just do whatever you feel comfortable doing and help the poor guy out," Sophie offered her final advice as they gave Abbie a quick farewell hug.

"Go take care of your man."

"Okay," Abbie grinned feeling a bit of a thrill rush through her. "Looks like we're doing this."

~

 

5~ Octoberfest

It is said that love had a way of bringing a person to the heights of bliss and to the depths of despair. Ichabod concluded his lectures for August and September and the Michaelmas Term at Oxford began in October. But once the semester started, he and Abbie struggled a bit with missing phone calls. He was tired all the time, working on refurbishing the castle while teaching.

After two weeks, Abbie called late and Betsy answered because Ichabod fell asleep grading papers while she was sewing curtains. That was when Abbie found out Betsy was living at Bellington to save time and money, and so she and Ichabod could share the commute. She was sure Ichabod must have mentioned it and it simply slipped her mind. She'd learned there was no reason to be jealous of Betsy, even though it was hard to watch from a distance as she got to be by his side. She wanted to be the one there, making decisions with him, building a life with him.

 

Ichabod set his schedule to teach Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with office hours Monday and Wednesday afternoon. With over a two-hour commute he needed full days on his schedule that he did not have to make the drive. That meant more full days of work that he could get done at Bellington.

By the time OctoberFest rolled around and the harvest season was in full swing, Leena and John were back from their honeymoon. The timing couldn't have been better because Abbie was swamped with all the festivities that went along with the harvest.

"I must say you look delightfully ambrosial as a milk maid," Ichabod admired Abbie's Halloween costume as they FaceTimed. Her hair was pinned up in a loose curly bun, with strands dangling down around her face, she had a nice amount of cleavage from her corset and her long skirt was hiked up on one side exposing a single long leg.

Ichabod nailed in another plank of wood flooring then sat down to have a quiet moment with her.

"Thanks, I'm going to assume ambrosial is a good thing." Abbie did a half turn with the phone facing the mirror so he could see. "You don't think it's a bit much?"

"It's perfect."

"Why are you still working? Abbie wondered as she sat her phone down to fix her make-up and put a bit of lip gloss on. "Isn't Halloween a big party night for you Brits?"

"I suppose it is," Ichabod agreed. "But I have work to do. The sooner I complete the renovations and restoration, the sooner my time will be freed up to spend with you."

"I can't wait till I can see it."

"You I actually look forward to having here and seeing it."

"Is everything okay?"

"I'm certain it will be. My cousin Hannah and her husband have come by asking about the renovation progress and what the plans are to make Bellington profitable."

"They don't have any rights to make claims do they?"

"John says likely no and that he will handle all the legalities. I'm going to focus my attention here, and turning this old place into a thriving business and a comfortable home."

"But you can't have all work and no fun, Crane. You should go out."

"Need I remind you of the trouble my friends got me into on my birthday?"

"That was all Ben and Tommy," Betsy chimed as she entered the dining hall.

"Betsy, can you take him out tonight?"

"I've tried, he won't budge," Betsy shrugged. "But I will keep him company."

"Okay," Abbie smiled. "I've got to get back... I love you Crane."

"I love you too Treasure," Ichabod watched as she blew him a kiss before tossing his phone to the side.

Abbie was still fixing her make-up and hadn't hung up her phone, when she heard Betsy and Ichabod talking.

"Ichy, what's wrong?"

"Nothing... It's nothing."

"Then why the face, and don't try to pretend. I know your sad face. You might as well just get it off your chest, and I'm a great listener."

"I miss her. I suppose the distance between us has been... harder than I let on. And it gets harder with each passing day."

"Are you sure it's not just the added stress of the new Semester and teaching that's weighing on you."

"It's exhausting, but the distraction is welcome."

"Well, you'll be finished with the restorations and hopefully opening Bellington by summer. Then you and Abbie can get married and fill this place with lots of babies," Betsy beamed hoping to cheer him up.

But the look on Ichabod's face was horribly pained.

"Did I say something wrong?" Betsy was perplexed. "You still want to have kids don't you?"

"We don't always get what we want, Betsy," Ichabod's voice was sharp.

"Okay, did I miss something. Since when did mentioning having babies get you bent out of shape?"

"Apologies," Ichabod let out a sigh. "It's just that babies may not be a part of the picture for me and Abbie, and... It hurts to think it may not happen.

"Oh... Well, Abbie knows you want children, does she not?"

"She knows but, she... Well... It may not be possible for her."

"Oh... Oh god, Ichy, I had no idea. What about other options, a surrogate or adoption?"

"I suppose we'll cross that road once we are wed."

"I hope so, Ichy. You were so good with our little Liza. It breaks my heart to think you might not get the chance to be a father."

"I think about Liza every day, you know," Ichabod let out a sigh.

"So do I," Betsy let out a sorrowful sigh. "I know she was the light of your life."

"She really was... It was so unfair that we lost her."

"When she died I thought I never wanted to have another serious relationship or another baby. But seeing you with Abbie and Bram so attached to Joe... I'm thinking about giving love and family another try."

"You should Betsy. You've been through a lot. You deserve to find love and happiness, and I am most certain you would be a wonderful mother again. You must believe that having another baby won't take away from the love you had for Liza.

"You too Ichabod. If you really want a baby, you need to tell Abbie."

"How can I? The last thing I would ever want to do is hurt her. I love her so much, and simply want to be with her. What can she do?"

"Oh god, Ichy, I'm sorry. I'm supposed to be lifting your spirits and all this talk of Liza and babies has only brought you down."

"It's all right Betsy. We don't talk about Liza enough... I suppose because it’s still quite painful."

It is what it is, Ichy. I wish we could change the past but there’s hope for the future. I see that now. I didn't for a long time. I hate to see you in pain."

"Yes, it pains me terribly, but I'm not without hope completely. As you said we could adopt or even use a surrogate, I suppose. But, for now, it's best we put this aside, and focus on more positive things."

"Okay, done." Betsy agreed. "Let’s talk turning this place into an Inn, and you and Abbie having a summer wedding on the lawn."

"That sounds like a conversation I'd rather enjoy." Ichabod sounded more cheerful. "I wish Abbie were here by my side, but If she cannot be, I'm glad I have you."

"You'll always have me Ichy," Betsy too sounded in better spirits. "For as long as you need me. That's what friends are for."

Abbie hung up the phone as they continued talking. She'd heard more than enough. The entire conversation broke her heart and her spirit. Her hand trembled as she thought about baby Liza. Ichabod had never mentioned her. Was this baby the reason why his eyes lit up with hope at the thought of her being pregnant? Abbie knew he wanted children, but she'd never heard him speak so openly about how much. She began to doubt that an adoption down the line would be enough.

 

She went on about the day, faking a smile and greeting her guests as they poured in for the pumpkin carving and hay rides. She was surrounded by joy and laughter but inside her heart was breaking, to the point she could hardly stand it anymore. By nightfall, she was ready to call it quits and skip the bonfire.

"Abbie, where are you going?" Leena called after her.

"I'm not feeling so well," Abbie looked like she would burst into tears any second. "Do you mind staying and wrapping things up?"

"I will of course, but Abbie, what is wrong? You've been off all afternoon."

Abbie only shook her head and walked away.

"What's wrong?" Joe asked Leena after watching Abbie take off abruptly.

"Is it just me or..."

"No, she's been really down all day. "

Leena's eyes were filled with concern as she watched Abbie walk into the house. "I tried to ask her what's bothering her, but she brushed it off."

"I'll stay and keep the party going out here. Can you go find out what's wrong with my sister."

Leena didn't hesitate. It was not like Abbie to let anything get her down on the night of an important event, and it didn't get much bigger than the final night of OctoberFest.

 

~

 

6~ Lies Of The Heart

 

"Abbie, sweetheart, talk to me," Leena sat on the sofa next to Abbie. Two large tears escaped their entrapment and fell in long streaks down Abbie's cheeks.

"Oh honey," Leena hugged her. "There are only two things that would have you this upset. Either you’re getting yourself down about not having a baby or... Did something happen between you and Ichabod? I'm not going anywhere so you may as well talk to me."

"Both," Abbie mumbled as she wiped her cheek. She slowly gathered up the strength to tell Leena what she overheard. "He can tell Betsy things that he won't tell me."

"Abbie I'm sure it's only because he doesn't want to hurt you. And obviously not having a baby doesn't change how he feels about being with you."

"Maybe not today, but one day he might regret what I can't..." Abbie paused getting choked up. "He wants to have children. It wasn't just what he said, it was how pained he sounded when he said it... And when he talked about the baby... Liza. Neither of them told me about Liza."

Abbie recalled the day in Paris after Ichabod's first big Lecture, when she found out Betsy and Ichabod had a long-standing affair.

***

"Well isn't this cozy," Katrina walked up, her voice was cold. "It must be thrilling to be surrounded by all your lovers."

Abbie was shocked to see the bubbly Mary, frown for the first time. She was obviously not a Katrina fan.

"I need another drink," Mary rolled her eyes and walked away.

"I can't believe you two are still together," Katrina scoffed at Abbie before downing the last of her champagne. "I suppose you and Elisabeth are still hooking up?"

"Katrina!" Ichabod snapped keeping his voice low.

"You know Ichabod and I are just friends," Betsy said sternly.

"You said the same thing when he was dating Mary and then me." Katrina clearly had too much to drink and didn't care. " I'm pretty sure he was shagging all three of us at one point."

"Katrina, you are embarrassing yourself," Abbie kept her cool. "If you're not here to support Crane, you should leave."

"Oh," Katrina laughed. "And you think Elisabeth is here to support him? You have no idea who she is... unless you all are planning a threesome."

Ichabod calmly pulled Katrina into a secluded corner a few feet away. Betsy and Abbie followed hoping to quell any potential incident.
"Katrina, this is not the time. You are being ridiculous. What do you think this little display will accomplish?" Ichabod looked bewildered by her actions.

"I want my fiancé to come to his senses!" Katrina snipped. "I see you’re still shagging your students. They've come from England and America for you."

"Katrina!" Ichabod snapped back.

"When will you get it that he doesn't want you," Betsy clenched her jaw. "He is with Abbie."

"And yet you're still here, ready to spread your legs, wondering if he's actually found someone who's better at sucking his cock than you... Oh!" Katrina gasped when Betsy threw her champagne in her face.

A few people peeked to see what was going on in their corner.

"Bullocks," Ichabod grimaced under his breath.

Abbie just shrugged as Katrina gasped wet with the sticky beverage. She got what was coming and Abbie was kind of glad Betsy had the temperament to do it.

"Katrina, you need to leave," Abbie pointed to the exit, resisting the urge to slap her upside the head. "If you don't, I'll call security!"

"I'll walk her out," Ichabod took Katrina by the arm.

"Ichabod, I am so sorry," Betsy whispered, "but she is such a bitch!"

"You okay," Abbie asked Betsy after they left.

"Yes... I feel foolish. I know she came to cause trouble and I fell for it."

They walked to a table on the patio for fresh air.

"Abbie, I just want you to know, Ichabod and I really are just friends. We had a thing during grad school. But we weren't serious... And then he started dating Katrina, which was more pressure from his father. They wanted him with Mary at first, but then when Bram broke up with Katrina, they wanted him with her instead. I'm pretty sure it was about money. ... Anyway, all of this was years ago. And he doesn't sleep with his students. I just thought you should know."

"Okay," Abbie nodded. She had to admit that bothered her a bit. "I trust Ichabod."

*

"I just thought that since you met my friends, you knew we were a bit of a loose bunch.” Ichabod explained. “And it's hard to explain, but Betsy and I were not exactly dating... Well, I suppose we did go out a few times so, perhaps. But I wasn't exactly..."

"You weren't really available to be dating since you went right from Mary to Katrina."

"This is true," Ichabod let out a sigh. "Elizabeth and I haven't been together in over two years.”

"Part of that is the ten months we've been together," Abbie surmised.

"You must think I'm a terrible cad and an absolute wanker. But I can honestly say, I have never actually slept with any of my students... Katrina just... Well, I think she's still very upset."

"We all have a past," Abbie gave him a grin seeing how embarrassed he was by the whole situation. Unlike with Standra and Katrina, she just didn't get the feeling from Betsy that she was after Ichabod. Abbie did have a bit of a jealous side, nothing as bad as Ichabod's but she really felt okay with what she'd found out.

"So, just how loose of a bunch are you and your friends?"

"Wha... I um... Umm... ," Ichabod stammered turning two more shades of red

Abbie giggled out loud. "I'm just kidding… as long as it's all really in the past."

"Solidly in the past, I swear it," Ichabod gave his word. "I would never cheat on you."

"Good," Abbie smiled. "And if you did, I'd kick your arse."

***

He'd left out so much to the story. She now knew why Betsy so easily lost her temper with Katrina about the affair. "I thought this thing with Betsy was just friends with benefits, but they have a really complex past that neither of them told me about."

"Abbie, you don't know for sure the baby was his. I think that after all these years, if Ichabod and Betsy wanted to be together, they would have done so by now."

"Maybe, but what if they weren't because she was closed off to it. Now she said she's ready for marriage and to try and have another baby. That could change everything between them. I feel like the writing is on the wall. I don't know if Ichabod and I are really meant to be." Abbie burst into tears. Saying it out loud made her feel completely gutted.

Leena took her by the shoulders and looked her in the eyes. "That man loves you, Abbie."

"Today, yes, but he sounds so miserable. He's working so hard to build a home for me and our family... A family we may never have. In a place I may never live. My life is here. His life is there... Betsy is there building that life with him. I know it should be me. I wish I was there every damn day..." she cried in full tears.

"It's the long distance getting to you."

"It's only a matter of time. I have to call him and tell him... Put us both out of our misery."

"No, you don't!" Leena was stern. "You overheard a conversation that wasn't meant for you to hear. Before you do anything rash, something you will regret... You need to see him. Face to face. Have this conversation with him and give him the chance to tell you why he's been holding back with his feelings about having a child and the full nature of his relationship with Betsy and Liza."

"You think I should go there to end things? Being face to face will just make this harder."

"Good, it should be hard because you two love each other, and I know you don’t want to end your relationship. You can't just throw it away because you’re afraid."

"I'm not afraid..."

"Yes, you are. You're afraid of what will happen to the business you've built, where you will live, whether Ichabod will regret not having children with you, afraid of another failed marriage, afraid of losing him... Stop being afraid, Abbie, and go see him. Talk to him."

"But there's so much going on here..."

"And my honeymoon is over. There's nothing going on at Grace's Place that I can't handle for a couple of days... Or weeks even," Leena smiled. "You can stay as long as you need to. I know you're having Thanksgiving with your Grandpa Jacob, so if you want to stay in England until then, I've got your back."

"Leena," Abbie gave her a deep hug. "I don't know what I'd do without you."

~

 

7~ Reunited

 

Abbie wasn't sure what to expect after the long flight across the Atlantic and then the drive to Bellington Estate. The Lincolnshire countryside was beautiful in Autumn. Yellow and red leaves littered the ground and the sun setting in brazen array of Hugh's across the sky only accentuated the ambiance.

He'd texted her early saying that he missed her and was anxious to hear her voice and spend some time with her over the phone. She'd been too nervous to tell him she was on her way. What if he was too busy or she was a distraction from his heavy workload. And she didn't want to have the discussion over the phone. She messaged him back letting him know she would be available to talk later in the evening. He had no idea that it would be in person.

He was on the front steps of the main Castle entrance packing up his tools when the cab pulled up. It was as if his heart stopped and then leaped through the air, as a glories charge through his body that she is really here.

"Abbie..." he gasped as he watched her step out of the cab and pay the driver. He stood staring in disbelief as her familiar dark eyes pierce his soul.

Abbie looked up and smiled when she saw him moving briskly towards her with bewildered heart eyes. She couldn't stop her heart from racing in her chest, and the slight tremble that came over her as he hurried to her.

I a moment she felt herself swept into his arms. She felt her fears and uncertainty melting away as he held her in his embrace. After feeling so much anguish he was a soft place to land. In his arms, she felt as if she were home.

He breathed her in like a breath of fresh air. The stress and strain that he'd been subjected to for weeks were lifted by her presence.

He pulled away slightly, caressing her cheeks in his huge strong hands. His eyes fixed on hers, seeing the slight uncertainty hidden beneath the surface of her big brown eyes. He didn't want her to have the slightest doubt that he was unequivocally happy to have her there.

"My god Treasure. I have missed you so much. I'm so glad you’re here."

Abbie felt herself getting choked up. "I missed you too, Crane... So much..."

Abbie felt a bit light headed as his thumb gently brushed across her lush lips, her mouth opening slightly as she breathed deeply, softly. She saw only love in his bright blue eyes as they gazed softly into hers. Her dark-lashed lids grew heavy, almost closing as he lowered his thumb from her lips. His touch made her heart pound with exhilaration.

They closed their eyes as their lips touched for the first time in months. Abbie's lips felt soft and warm, the taste sweeter than he remembered as they engaged his. Her lower lip slipped briefly between his before they pulled slowly away from the kiss. Briefly, they looked into each other’s eyes again, taking in the moment. They gazed at each other with loving smiles and brought their lips together again, with a bit more passion and urgency. His lips felt warm and moist against hers and the feeling made her heart flip in her chest.

The cab driver looked awkwardly as the two seemed to completely forget he was standing there with Abbie's bags. "I'll um... I'll just take these inside and be on my way... Okay."

Ichabod and Abbie continued to kiss for several more minutes and soon the feeling of sexual excitement began to rise within their core. They didn't break until they heard the cab drive away.

They turned towards the entrance and saw Betsy in the doorway grinning like the Cheshire Cat.

"Betsy, can you believe it!" Ichabod was practically singing with joy. "She's here."

"About time," Betsy gave Abbie a warm hug as she entered. "You have no idea how much Ichabod has been looking forward to you coming back to Bellington, Abbie. It's so wonderful to see you again."

"It’s good to see you too. I'm happy to be here." Abbie was beaming. "I don't want to slow you guys down. I know you've been working so hard, and I'm here to help."

Ichabod's eyes lit up. This meant she intended to stay for a while, work by his side, be involved... Was he dreaming?

"There isn't much left to do tonight. I can put the base coat of paint on myself. And the second coat can wait until morning. You just got here. You two head upstairs and get reacquainted," Betsy handed Abbie's suitcase to Ichabod. "I insist."

"If you are certain," Ichabod nodded without hesitation and whisked Abbie away.

"Yup, I'm sure," Betsy said to nobody because they were already gone.

~

 

They were barely in Ichabod's room before they were kissing again, the two like magnets drawn to one another. Ichabod helped her out of her scarf and jacket then stood back and looked her over.

"You are a beautiful sight for sore eyes," he mused, still unable to process that she'd once again completely surprised him with a visit. No, not a visit this time. As far as he was concerned this was her home. He only hoped she felt the same.

"Crane," Abbie felt her heart racing again. The way he looked at her, made her second guess whether she should say anything about the conversation she overheard. He looked genuinely elated.

He pulled her close again. He was a complete foot taller than her his blue eyes sparkling as he gazed down lovingly at her.

"Yes, Treasure," he whispered in his deep British baritone.

Abbie felt herself drifting under his spell. She motioned her lips to speak but lost the words as he leaned in and kissed her neck. He breathed her in, her sensual scent and the feel of her skin against his lips awakening the erotic desire he felt only for her.

He took his time undressing her between soft wet kisses, as her desire began to build and pool within her loins. The sexual tension they'd been forced to suppress during their separation, now rushed to the surface. The nerves in her body came to life at his kiss and his touch, as he bared her naked before him.

"I need you, Abbie..." His voice is a low barely audible groan as backs her against the wall and kisses down her body.

"You can have me," Abbie pants as he kisses her breasts, tonguing and sucking her nipples, making her wet with pleasure. She cannot deny him; whatever this man wanted from her, she was willingly powerless to deny him.

She ran her hands through his hair as he parted her legs and kissed at the folds of her soaking mound. She was so wet he got hard, harder still when he tasted her essence.

He turned her on like no other man could ever dream of doing and she wants him to love her, kiss her, taste her, fuck her like only he can. She never allowed herself to let go with complete abandon, the way she did with him. She felt the pressure build and gyrated against his mouth as he sucked her clit. She wanted to cum. Her panting turned to whimpers as he relentlessly sucked and tongued her bud, until her legs quivered and she exploded in a blissful joy.

Ichabod rose up kissing her, their tongues mingling in erotic play, as they both hastily unfastened his pants. His thick member sprang free, hard and erect. His pants weren't even down before he lifted her. Abbie's legs wrapped around his waist and he guided himself inside her.

It was as if the world stood still as he filled her, stretched her, her walls tight and wet around his thick cock.

"Ohmmmm, god..." Abbie cried out burying her face in his neck. He groaned heavy enjoying the sensation he'd been denied for far too long.

She'd already come once and now she was on the verge again as he slowly, fully thrust into her. She clung to him as her back pressed against the wall, he was so deep, he felt so damn good.

"Oh fu... Crane! God Crane!"

He felt her walls clenching and contracting as he drove into her chasm. And then he felt the overwhelming sensation taking over his body. Too soon. He grunted and his breath caught heavy as he drilled her into the wall. He never came so hard so fast as his body tightened and jolted, unable to stave off the pleasure of her pussy.

They kissed again, mouthed opened, tongues delighting as he slowed his strokes. He didn't want to leave her warm wet chasm.

"I love you," they shared their affections between kisses as Ichabod stroked. Soon he was stiff again, far from done making love to her.

He pulled her away from the wall and carried her to bed, laying her down. Through hooded lustful eyes, he admired every inch of her gorgeous chestnut curves.

She loved watching him undress, slowly exposing his long strong lean body. She couldn't help but touch herself, still wet and sticky from the culmination of their climaxes. She licked her lips at the vision of Ichabod's cock exactly as she remembered it, long and thick, head exposed, veins protruding. To his delight she got on her knees, instinctively grasped the base of it, and put his glistening head deep in her mouth.

Ichabod let out a loud moan as she slid up and down his shaft with her plump lips and swirled her tongue around his head. A passion and desire to please him came over her as he caressed her cheek and chin. His cock easily filled her mouth with much of his cock still outside of it. She pushed as much as she could into it, almost forgetting how big he was, but continued to work as much as she could deep in her mouth. Abbie gave Ichabod's balls a tender squeeze and pull, as his toes curled from the pleasing sensations. She periodically ran her tongue down the shaft and lick them, then ran her tongue back up the length of his cock and again put it into her mouth. Ichabod was in a state of dizzying bliss ordering what he'd done to deserve such a woman as this. She looked up at him with her big beautiful doe eyes and he was completely undone.

"Treasure..." He groaned heavy. "Let me make love to you."

Abbie slowly pulled him from her mouth, teasingly popping the head out. She took one last lick at the slit, driving Ichabod completely mad with stimulation.

He laid her down on the bed again and opened her legs and took a longing look at her sweet chasm and the pink center peeking through the folds. He held her legs open by her thighs as he licks and kisses made their way to Abbie's pussy.

Ichabod playfully licked and kissed around her drenched chasm. He didn’t care. His only care was pleasuring her and making up for lost time. He kissed then licked her outer lips, increasing the pressure as his tongue starting to penetrate and enter her inside. Ichabod then used his fingers and opened Abbie's folds wide and lick the dark pink walls inside of her pussy. His fingers started to slide in her as he worked up to her clit and he licked it softly at first. With every lash of his tongue, he increased his rhythm and the pressure, as Abbie panted and moaned humming his name like music to his ears.

Abbie's pussy spasmed and her body quivered as Ichabod increased the speed of his fingers sliding in and out of her and began to rhythmically suck on her clit. She ran her hands through Ichabod's hair and pulled him deeper into her as he continued the pressure, she arched her head back in an involuntary response as the sensation of her another orgasm rushed over her body.

 

"Oh my God! Craaannneeeeee...." Abbie cried out as she drenched his beard, legs going limp & body weak for a few moments as she simply breathed to regain her strength.

With her pussy wet with their juices, Ichabod mounted his body between her thighs and pushed the head of his cock deep inside her. Abbie could do only cry out with delight. His cock filled her pussy in seconds and he held it there gasping at the sensation of her wall snug around his cock. She was still tight even after fucking against the wall and his thorough finger fucking.

Ichabod teased her now, slowly withdrawing his cock until his head was almost out of her and thrust it back in again making Abbie gasp. He repeated the action a couple more times, causing Abbie to whimper with need at each penetration.

When he was done teasing, Ichabod grabbed Abbie's legs, spreading her wide as he began to diligently & rhythmically fuck her. His cock slid in and out with wide strokes as his hips slapped Abbie round ass causing her body to rock with his thrust. Her breast bounced beautifully as she clung to the bed covers.

"My god Abbie, Your pussy feels so good" Ichabod groaned deeply as he made love to her. His hooded eyes gazing at the look of pleasure on her face.

"Crane.... you feel... so good... Cock. So good" Abbie was barely able to speak and could hardly control what came out as she began to grasp her breasts. "Mmmm fuck my pussy... so good..."

Her words made Ichabod fuck her even harder and faster as Abbie moaned in delight. She wondered how in the hell she'd managed to stay away from him for so many months.

He may have come quickly the first time but this time they were over thirty minutes in and he was showing no signs of slowing down. Their bodies glistened and sweat dripped from his brow onto her breasts and belly.

He leaned down kissing her passionately as he drove into her. She loved the taste of their mingled essence on his lips as she drove her tongue into his mouth. Her arms wrapped around him, drawing him closer as their love for each other took over all of their senses.

"I'mmmm cummm, so hard...." Her words trailed off into gibberish as his head fell into the crux of her neck.

Bliss and love blended as she felt his cock throb and pulsate inside her and he filled her pussy again with the heat of his seed.

Ichabod wanted to stay there inside Abbie, connected for a while longer, breathing each other in as they recovered. Exhausted, he finally slumped off of her, both still floating in euphoric felicity, barely conscience and completely worn out.

Ichabod pulled Abbie into his arms wanting to keep their connection, skin to skin, to feel her heartbeat against his chest. They were spent but in a world of blissful euphoria in the arms on the love of their lives.

Abbie pushed the other reasons for her visit to the side. They could have tonight; tomorrow she'd have to face the reality of their situation. In this moment nothing else mattered but him and her. She only wanted to love him, and be loved so completely by him.

 

~*~

Chapter Text

ESL Ch 20 Remember November

 

~Intro~

"Oh... Fuck.. Yeah...." Abbie moaned as she gripped the bed coverings.

Ichabod was on one knee behind her, gripping her hips firmly as he thrust inside her with a great passion. It was the third time since she arrived a couple of hours go, the two could not get enough of each other, and were making up for lost time.

Ichabod's heavy groans barely drowned out the sound of skin slapping as his pelvis smacked her ass. Her face was down against the bed as he held her up, her quivering legs nearly giving way as pleasure overwhelmed her and she came again.

Ichabod leaned over her back, his arms around her, caressing her breast as he released, his thick warm seed inside of her, thrusting until he'd expelled every drop.

It was amazing having her home, back in his bed, and making love to her until they were both delirious.

 

~*~

1~ Understanding

 

Abbie sat back on the end of the bed as she and Ichabod shared a plate of Honey garlic chicken with carrots and broccoli. She had no idea how he whipped up something so delicious in just twenty minutes. After a rousing third round of love making, Ichabod felt like a terrible cad for not taking better care of her. She'd only arrived a few hours ago and he'd had her in his bed the entire time. Their bed now, he thought with a grin as he watched her enjoy the meal.

"Thank you for feeding me," Abbie hummed as she took another bite. "This is delicious."

"It's my pleasure. We have to keep your energy up while you're here," Ichabod beamed as he placed a tiny kiss on her lips. She looked amazing in nothing but his shirt hanging loosely over her soft brown skin. And if it wasn't almost midnight he'd make love to her again.

Abbie blushed, "Speaking of keeping my strength up, shouldn't you get some rest? It's so late and I know you have to be at Oxford tomorrow."

"Yes. Betsy and I have to leave at six to ensure we're on time and ready for our respective classes. But I do need to get up early to get a second coat of paint on the dining hall wall."

"Then let’s get you to bed," Abbie quickly took the plate and put it on the dresser.

"You know what I'd rather be doing with you," Ichabod had a seductive look in his eyes as he watched her walk across the room. Her long slender legs were calling him to be touched and the peak of her nip from the loose fitted shirt was such a tease. "You look too sexy to resist."

"You have to go to sleep, mister," Abbie teased and let out a playful laugh as he grabbed her and pulled her onto the bed.

"I suppose it could wait until I get home from work... And every night after."

Abbie said nothing, suddenly feeling a bit nervous.

"You do plan on staying for a while do you not?"

"Maybe a few weeks… or a day. Depends on how you feel about me being here after... After tonight."

"Well, of course I want you to stay as long as possible," I chuckled jokingly. "Why on earth would I want you to leave after only a day," he looked at her curiously as his mind now started contemplating. "Why would you even think to leave so soon?"

"Crane... I... It's so late. We can talk tomorrow after you get home from work."

"Abbie, what's this about?"

"Crane... The last thing I want is to hurt you. I just... We can talk tomorrow."

"Hurt me?" Ichabod stood hand slightly over his mouth as his mind began to filter through likely probabilities. "Did you come here to break off our engagement?"

"Crane, it's so late..."

"It is impossible for me to sleep now. You must tell me what is wrong and that I am completely off base with my assertion, or I shan't be able to have a moment of rest."

"Okay, look, yesterday... I wasn't able to hang up the phone right away and I overheard you tell Betsy how upset you were that I can't have children."

Ichabod looked shocked, "That's not true."

"Crane, I heard every word you said," Abbie shook her head.

"Abbie... Out of context it may have seemed..."

"Seemed as if you lied about being okay with me not being able to get pregnant."

"It wasn't a lie Abbie. But I'm allowed to have feelings about our circumstance."

"Feelings that you shared with Betsy, not with me."

"Abbie," Ichabod let out a sorrowful sigh. "I am sorry. That conversation was not for you to hear. I was simply missing you and lamenting."

"Please just be honest with me. I want to be the one you open up to."

"I thought I was sparing you any further hurt over a circumstance you cannot change. Yes. I would love to have babies with you... from you. Babies that look like us, and it saddens me that it is unlikely to happen. But I love you more than anything in this world. As long as we have each other, I will be happy however it is that we come about having children. That is the truth."

"Did you and Betsy have a baby?" Abbie asked watching the stunned look on Ichabod's face as he went ghost white and stiff. His heart sank heavy in his chest as the memories flooded his mind. He was quiet and began pacing which made her rethink asking. But it was too late. "Don't worry, I hung up as soon as I could, but I heard her mention..."

"Liza..." Ichabod sat on the edge of the bed and ran his hands across his face. After a long pause he patted the bed for Abbie to have a seat beside him.

"No, Liza wasn’t mine, not exactly... Betsy was married very young to our old schoolmate and friend Jonathan whilst we were in grad school. Jonathan died shortly after Betsy found out she was pregnant. I stepped in when I could, was there when Liza was born... So naturally Betsy asked me to be her godfather. I was with Mary at the time and she was very supportive of me being a father figure since Jonathan could not."

Ichabod took a very long pause his face looked pained and Abbie wondered if he would be able to go on. "Crane, it's okay. I know more than enough..."

"No," Ichabod took her hand into his, still struggling, his eyes focused on them. "I have never talked about this with anyone but Betsy on rare occasion. Our close friends know and they know not to ask. You see, she used to get very depressed when we spoke about Liza so we stopped... I want you to know... I wanted to tell you before but to talk about her to someone new would mean explaining... Reliving what happened to her. We are here now and I'd prefer to get on with it so we can put the sad business behind us."

"Okay," Abbie agreed. "Take your time, then. And if you still can't... That's okay."
Ichabod took a deep breath, the veins in his forehead and neck exposed the level of difficulty he was having forming the words. but soon he had the strength and will.

"When Liza was just shy of two years of age she and Betsy were in a grave car accident. Liza was in a very bad way when Betsy was in surgery and after she was in a coma for over a week. I was their proxy... They said they'd exhausted all option but she was not going to make it... I had to make decisions about Liza and Organ donation. I... was the last one to hold her and say goodbye," his words were strained as he struggled to continue and became choked up. "And when Betsy woke up, I had to tell her."

Ichabod continued looking down, and Abbie felt one by one wet droplets fall upon their hands and slowly trickle down the sides.

"She was a wreck, so I had to make all of the arrangements. And then I was there to help her recover over the next couple of months." Ichabod took a deep breath as if released to get the worst of it out.

"That's so sad. I am so sorry you two had to go through such a painful loss."

"It was Liza's birthday when we first... When Mary found out she was upset, but very understanding. Still I felt it was best we part ways. When Katrina and I started dating, Betsy and I tried to stop but failed miserably. Until Katrina found out and demanded we put an end to it. My father got involved and told me it was best to settle down with Katrina. You know the rest."

"I would never have guessed from the way Betsy is now."

Ichabod wiped his cheeks and looked up. "She's a remarkable young woman, but not the woman for me."

"Are you sure? Because you two are so close and she says she's ready to have a family... Babies... And I know that's what you want. Crane, more than anything I want you to be happy... I... I'm not worth everything you'd be giving up..."

"Don't ever say that, Abbie," Ichabod cupped her cheeks as he drew her gaze to his. "You are worth the world to me, Treasure. I want you most ardently. You make me happy... Happier than I've ever been."

"I'm asking you to give up too much, you would be such a good dad."

"And you will be a wonderful mum to our adopted children or foster children, if surrogacy doesn't work out. You were amazing with Lucas and he loves you."

"You're really sure?" Abbie looked him in the eye for any hint of hesitation.

Ichabod cupped her cheeks in his hands his thumb wiping an errant tear, "About you and us? I am overjoyed at the prospects of whatever our life together looks like... Yes. Without a doubt." He kissed her tenderly, then guided her to join him under the thick duvet. "Let's get some rest. I have to be up to put on the second coat of paint by 4am... Oh mercy, it's after one in the morrow. I've got to get the room painted before Betsy and I leave for work at six."

"I can put on a second coat while you're at work, and I'll do the accent wallpaper and trim once the walls dry. You get some sleep." Abbie ran her petite hand across his cheek as she pecked a tender little kiss. "I should not have let this conversation happen this late at night."

"Well I'm glad you did," Ichabod smiled warmly as he closed his eyes to rest with her in his arms. "I'm relieved that you know."

~

2~ No More Drama

 

"Good morning. I wasn't expecting to find you up so early," Betsy yawned as she staggered into what would soon be the main foyer and entry way of the Inn. Abbie was half humming and singing along to the music from her I-phone on low.

"Morning," Abbie looked up from stirring the paint.

"Where's Ichy?"

"I let him sleep. We were up later than expected." Abbie grinned.

"I'm not surprised," Betsy gave her a knowing look. "I guess it's you and me this morning. I've got an hour to spare before I have to get ready for work."

"Sounds good." Abbie poured the paint in the tray while Betsy prepared the rollers and brushes.

This was their first time working together, and without Ichabod. They spent the first several minutes in polite silence, trying to get used to each others work style.

"I have to say, I'm really glad you're here," Betsy now as the first to break the silence with more than light singing. "You are all Ichabod talks about, aside from fixing this old place up."

"I'm glad I could come. Finally, and for more than a short stay."

"So, you're staying!"

"Until Thanksgiving. I wasn't sure if Crane was going to want me here that long but..."

"You're kidding right? If it were up to him, you two would never be apart again."

"I know that now," Abbie smiled. "I was actually a bit worried about how things would be between you and me."

"Oh," Betsy synched her teeth a bit. "I suppose we haven't talked much since the birthday incident. Sorry about that. I know it was none of my business but I was really worried Ichabod was going to say something stupid. He has a bit of a jealous side."

"Apology accepted. And for the record, it wasn't a date."

"I believe you. But to hear Drunkabod JealousCrane tell it, Mr. Reynolds is surely attempting to steal you away," Betsy did her best imitation of a drunk Ichabod accent, which caused Abbie to chuckle. "Now if I'm being honest, I was a it worried you might not want me around so much while you're here."

"Why would you think..." Abbie started but paused. She knew. She had similar feelings herself. "I get it."

"I don't want to be a third wheel or step on your toes. All of this is for you and Ichabod, and the life he has envisioned for the two of you."

"He's lucky to have a friend like you, Betsy. We both are. And don't worry about stepping on my toes. I'm pretty good at speaking up for myself."

"Ah, so if I ever do, you'll let me know."

"Damn right," Abbie gave her a side eye with a grin.

It was smooth sailing once the ice was finally broken. An hour later Ichabod woke up and found the two singing along to old American hits as they finished the final details of the second coat of paint.

"Cause you'll always be my baby ♩ ♫."

"Bravo," Ichabod gave a soft clap from the doorway. "Good morrow, ladies."

"Hey sleepy head," Betsy gave him a quick glance over her shoulder.

"Good morning, babe," Abbie smiled as she sat her brush down.

Ichabod almost immediately had his arms around her. "When I woke and you weren't by my side, I feared you're arrival might have been but a dream."

"No dream," Abbie languidly wrapped her arms around his shoulders as he pulled her into his kiss.

"Well... We're all done here," Betsy dusted her hands off on her sweatpants. "I'm going to get ready for work."

"Mmm... We leave in exactly one hour," Ichabod called after her between kisses.

"A whole hour, huh?" Abbie gave him a sly look. "I don't suppose you need a shower?"

"Oh, I most ardently do, most particularly if you would care to join me."

"I don't know... I don't think quickie is in your vocabulary."

"I am a fast learner. You shall simply have to teach me."

"Gladlyeeee!" Abbie let out a yelp as Ichabod lifted her off of her feet and carried her back upstairs, as fast as his long legged stride could get them there.

~

 

During the next week Ichabod, Abbie and Betsy actually enjoy working on the castle together. Abbie was able to get quite a bit of interior work done while Betsy and Ichabod worked at the University. She thought some of the wallpaper choices were a bit much, but she understood the Inn was going for a more authentic aesthetic. She did manage to convince Betsy to tone down some of the overly gaudy furnishing and drapery choices for the actual guest suites, reminding her that visitors wanted comfort as well as the experience. In the end Ichabod could not be more pleased with the final design selections.

Things were moving along smoothly until the following Friday when Ichabod's cousin Paulette showed up with her husband Phil and daughter Clara.

"Oh no," Betsy mumbled as she looked out of the window. "Your cousin is here.. Again."

"Good lord," Ichabod gruffed. "What now? They are well aware that if they want to discuss the legalities of an allowance from the estate, they need to speak with John's attorney."

"Maybe they've just come for a visit," Abbie and Betsy followed him downstairs to the main Foyer.

"Perhaps," Ichabod tried to be calm and not jump to conclusions, but every time Phil and Paulette came by, they just wanted to know how things were progressing and when Bellington would be profitable.

"Abbie's right. They brought Clara." Betsy shrugged. "Anyway you two have fun with that. I'm going to go take a break."

"Not a fan," Abbie inquired.

"Paulette and Clara are fine, but Phil is an ass." Betsy waved and went the opposite direction.

"Cousin Ichabod!" Clara ran right up to him as he opened the front door.

He knelt down and gave her a big hug. "Clara, well look how you've grown since last I saw you."

"She just went through another growth spurt," Paulette smiled and gave him a quick hug. "How are you Ichabod?"

"I am well. And you?" Ichabod asked politely as he watched Phil, who was smoking a cigarette while checking out the building and grounds.

"I'm good."

"Paulette, Clara, this is my fiancé Abbie Mills."

They exchanged pleasantries, while Paulette awkwardly tried to get Phil's attention. Ichabod felt he was being incredibly impertinent by not coming to say hello first.

"Um... Phil was talking so much about the improvements at Bellington, that Clara was begging to come see." Paulette tried to deflect from her husband’s rude behavior.

"Well there's still quite a bit of construction, so she can't see too much of the Inn and the older part of the castle..."

"I'll be extra extra careful I promise," Clara begged wide eyed.

"I suppose," Ichabod was a bit distracted keeping an eye on Phil.

"How about I give you two a quick look around and then we can get some cookies... um biscuits in the kitchen." Abbie offered.

"Thank you, Treasure," Ichabod gave her a peck on the lips, then went to see where Phil was getting off to.

~

 

"Just one biscuit love," Paulette cautioned her daughter as the little girl eagerly dug into the jar.

"She can have more, if you don't mind. Crane bakes way more than Betsy and I can eat," Abbie put the kettle on the stove. "I'll make some tea, if you want to grab some mugs from the cupboard," she offered already easily accustom.

"Oh thank you, I'd love some."

As Paulette reached for the cups, the sleeve of her sweater slid to her elbow exposing several bruises up and down her arm.

"That looks like it hurt," Abbie furrowed her brow.

"Oh... I am such a klutz," Paulette fixed her sleeve and quickly changed the subject. "Everything you and Ichabod are doing here looks wonderful. I didn't think it would ever look so beautiful again."

"We're not done yet, but were getting there."

"I used to love coming here as a young girl. We'd spend the entire summer, riding the horses on the trails, swimming, climbing in the apple trees. I'm so happy you and Ichabod are going to bring this place back to life."

"Mmm..." Abbie proceeded cautiously. "It hasn't been easy. I've never seen anyone work so hard to save their home."

Paulette sat at the table and thought for a moment. "I... I'm sorry about the claim for an allowance from the estate. I tried to talk Phil out of making the claim, but he's stubborn. Things have been so difficult since Uncle William passed and the allowance ended. If I could help with Bellington I would, but our finances are quite stringent. Phil has been really stressed and upset this past year, working extra shifts."

Phil was sounding worse than Betsy and Ichabod described. And as Abbie looked a bit closer she noticed that Paulette's makeup was heavier on the slightly swollen side of her face. Abbie had worked in law enforcement long enough to recognize signs of abuse.

"If you need a break, you and Clara could always come stay for a couple of days," Abbie offered.

"I can't." Paulette shifted uncomfortably. Abbie could see for probably the first time she was imagining a way out.

"We have more than enough room if you and Clara want to visit for a weekend, or longer," Abbie was no longer being subtle. "If he did that to you..."

"It's just that he's so tired and frustrated. He really depended on Clara and my allowances to supplement our income. Things will be better if he gets a promotion, or if he would let me work outside of the home."

"He won't 'let' you work?"

"Doesn't want me getting mad ideas in my noggin," Paulette laughed it off. "Things will get better though."

"I see," Abbie frowned. "You two can stay as long as you need."

"I... I don't know."

"Paulette, lets go," Phil barked as he walked into the kitchen.

Ichabod followed and stood unusually quiet, tight jawed and fists clenched at his side.

"Abbie was just saying Clara and I could stay the weekend..."

"And who the hell is supposed to take care of our lot at the flat while I'm working double shifts?!" He asked her as if she were being ridiculous.

"I thought it might be nice to..."

"You thought wrong. Let’s go!"

"Come on Clara," Paulette swallowed hard and tried to fake a smile. "Thanks Abbie. Maybe some other time."

Clara and Paulette gave Ichabod a hug goodbye and were barely out the door when he let loose.

"That man is an insufferable ass! He actually thinks Paulette will be awarded an allowance! And do you hear the way he speaks to her! I have told her many a time he is rude and disrespectful, and yet she asks ‘me’ to hold my peace."

"You probably make things harder for her when you argue with him."

"Excuse me, 'I' make things harder for 'her'? She's the one who chose to marry that pompous wanker!"

"I think it's because he hits her, Crane. So when you go off on him, he probably goes home and takes it out on her."

"I beg your pardon? He 'hits' her?" Ichabod looked at Abbie quite taken aback. "I know he barks commands at her and shows her little respect but she's never let on that he causes her physical harm."

"Yeah, that's because she's covering for him. She's hiding bruises all over arms, and has makeup covering one on her face. I asked her about it and she says he really stressed about finances."

The look on Ichabod's face went from confusion to pure rage. "That rat bastard!"

He immediately turned to quickly chase them down, but Abbie grabbed his arm. "Whoa, what are you doing."

"I'm going to stop him! Let's just see how he fairs with someone his own size!"

"Crane, no... You can't do that. Confronting him isn't going to help Paulette. It will only make him angry and he'll take it out on her when they get home."

"Then we shall implore upon her to remain here with us!"

"You can't force her if she's not ready to leave him. Not yet. She has to prepare, make sure he doesn't end up with Clara and using their daughter to manipulate her. The best thing we can do is make sure she knows that she has a safe place here, and support when she's ready."

"And if she chooses not to leave him?" His fingers stretched and clenched with frustration.

Abbie reached out to calmly sooth his tense arms. Her caring touch easily calmed him.

"When I was a cop, I saw women end up in the hospital and still refuse to press charges or leave. And we can't prove he did that to her, we didn't see it happen."

"I hate this, Abbie. If they aren't safe now... What if by the time she decides to leave it’s too late."

"I'll talk to her. If I can do a bit of research on the law and her rights here, I can subtly help her make a plan."

"How... How did I not see this?" Ichabod was now overwhelmed with guilt. Their last couple of visits I was so intent on protecting Bellington and my own interests from Phil that I completely missed what he's been doing."

"People get really good at hiding what they don't want others to see, Crane. And you have so much on your plate... it's not your fault."

"But you saw it straight away."

"I have the training to see it, and I am a fresh set of eyes on this." Abbie let out a sigh. "I'm sorry I just kind of offered up arrangements for her at Bellington without saying anything to you first."

"Abbie," Ichabod pulled her into his embrace and gave her a gentle kiss on her forehead. "You don't ever need to apologize for trying to help. And Bellington is as much your home as it is mine."

~

 

3~ Lost Dream

 

With Abbie at Bellington, things continued to move along ahead of schedule. Abbie had attempted to invite Paulette and Clara again, but their phone call was brief and the two never showed up. Despite Clara and Paulette not coming, they decide to bring Grams home for a weekend so she can see all the improvements but most importantly, she was eager to start wedding planning.

"I am so thrilled you and Ichabod have agreed to adapt some of our Scottish traditions into your wedding!" Grams beamed as she pulled out her wedding album. "The hand-fasting is one of the oldest traditions passed down through my family."

"I cant wait to see all the guys in kilts." Abbie grinned.

"Our Ichabod certainly has the legs for it," Grams gave him a playful pat on the cheek. "He's got good strong genes. He's got a lot of good strong parts, ya," she gave Abbie a wink.

"Yes he does," Abbie grinned.

"That reminds me I have a Druantia charm to give you that was passed down to me."

"Grams really," Ichabod's cheeks went red.

"What's a Druantia charm?" Abbie's curiosity was piqued.

"It’s a Symbol for passion, sexual activities, fertility and creativity... Not that you two need any assistance in that area from what I heard last night."

"Grams!" Ichabod was completely red now.

She had no filter or shame when it came to making sure the sex in her family was good. "Well maybe while you’re renovating you might think about some sound proofing... Not that I mind. I find it quite inspiring to be honest."

All Abbie could do was put her hand over her mouth and shake her head.

"You guys are kind of loud," Betsy stifled her laugh at how embarrassed the two were. But as a good friend she decided to rescue them from the conversation. She pulled one of the magazines from the table. "I saw some of the most beautiful floral arrangements in here the other day.

They had several magazines laid out ready to sort through some ideas, colors, and what would work as far as preparing for a summer garden wedding.

"I haven't even settled on a color yet." Abbie mouthed her thank you to Betsy.

"I was certain you would choose rose gold, since that is your favorite color," Ichabod was a bit surprised. He thought that was going to be a given.

"Oh no dear," Grams chuckled. "That will never do. Our clan tartan is blue and green."

"We could work with those colors," Abbie smiled. "And blue is Crane's favorite color."

"Yes but this should be about what you want," Ichabod looked at Abbie with some concern.

"It's fine. I'm good with whatever," Abbie smiled and gave him a peck on the cheek before turning her attention back to Grams.

"This was my wedding dress," she opened her album and turned to a page with her and her two brides maids. "I still have it if you'd care you use it in some fashion."

"Oh..." Abbie went wide eyed. "It's um... it's a beautiful dress."

The dress was a floor length dark green and blue plaid with a white lace trim collar and a lovely white ruffled under skirting. Though the dress was pretty, it wasn't what Abbie had in mind. She didn't want to walk down the aisle in a plaid dress.

"Would you not prefer a white dress?" Ichabod could tell she didn't like it. "I'm not sure if this suits you, Treasure."

"I... I don't know about a white dress for me..."

"Ichabod, she will be absolutely beautiful. Besides, you don't get a say in the dress young man. That will be completely up to Abbie." Grams turned to her. "Perhaps we could go to the boutique tomorrow? Or some of the shops in London?"

"We can do that," Abbie agreed. "Betsy will probably want to tag along."

"Absolutely!" Betsy came in and sat next to Grams.

"Perhaps I could go along just to sort through some ideas..."

"No," Abbie grinned. "What if I find 'the dress'? You can't be there."

"I just want to be sure you're choosing what you want."

"It'll be fine. I'm sure we can find a nice compromise dress that will work for me and still have the elements of tradition from Grams' side of the family."

They continued on sorting through flower types and the style for the garden wedding. Abbie even called Leena to get her opinion. Ichabod spoke up on a couple of matters when Abbie seemed to easily concede to grams and then to Leena. Eventually he got up and left to start dinner.

Abbie found him seemingly moping and bumbling about kitchen, seasoning a roast, not the way he normally bounced about with cheer and confidence. In fact he was badly mistreating the roast as he tenderized it with a mallet.

"Easy there killer," Abbie teased. "I'm pretty sure it's already dead."

"I didn't realize..." Ichabod was lost in his thoughts. "I didn't hear you come in."

He quietly put the seasoned roast on the pot with the potatoes and carrots, then placed them in the over. Abbie leaned against the wall and watched. She tried not to be amused by his sulking, but it was slightly humorous. She knew something was bothering him, but could not put her finger on what it was. Surely this couldn't be because he wanted more involvement with the wedding planning. She never pictured he'd be a groomzilla.

"Okay, what's wrong," Abbie finally gave in and asked as he washed his hands at the sink. She stood behind him and slipped her arms around his waist as he diligently scrubbed. "Crane?"

"It's nothing..."

"It is something, because you're acting like someone hurt your feelings. And it it's me... I'd like to know. You promised you wouldn't keep anything from me."

Ichabod turned in her arms and looked her in the eye. Now he felt foolish, but they were here now, and she wanted to know. "Can I ask you... do you want to wear a plaid tartan for a wedding dress?"

"Well, no, but I'm sure we can come up with something that has blue in it that will do."

"And you hardly care for the color blue. Why would so quickly acquiesce to Gram's wishes?"

"You love the color blue. And because, it's fine, really. I don't mind..."

"Hmm..." Ichabod moved out of her arms with a huff. "Clearly."

"Crane?"

"You don't mind... sounds very much as though you don't rightly care," Ichabod looked wounded.

"Oh..." Abbie gasped softly. "Is that what you think?"

"It is how it seems, yes. I want you to have the wedding of your dreams, Abbie. You should have the dress you want, as well as the colors and decor that you've envisioned for your wedding day. I don't want you to feel that you have to concede to some old tradition that we are far removed from. But mostly I wish that you cared about the entails of our ceremonial."

"I... I do care, Crane. I think you're misunderstanding..." Abbie let out a sigh and took Ichabod's hand. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean for it to seem like I don't care about what our wedding is like. I think I should show you something."

Abbie sat down at the kitchen table with him and pulled out her phone. She scrolled through her cloud pictures until she came to photos saved from several years ago, then handed him the phone.

"These are pictures from my 'dream wedding'... to Luke. I had the perfect white dress, the colors were rose gold and ivory, the flowers were Peonies... Every detail was exactly what I wanted down to the T." Abbie let out a heavy sigh. "I had my dream wedding, and it was followed by a very depressing, failure of a marriage. I don't want a copy of my wedding to Luke. "

"I see," Ichabod put her phone down. "Is there anything that you want, that I can give you?"

"Yes," Abbie looked at him exasperated. "You! That's all I want. I want a day that we'll never forget and to follow it with a happy life... Together. And I don't have any family traditions that I know of, but you do. I loved the way Grams eyes lit up when I told her I wanted to add some of her Scottish traditions. And, when we visit Grandpa Jacob, I want to find out if there are any wedding traditions from my family that we can incorporate. I hope you don't mind."

"Not at all." Ichabod smiled softly and kissed her hand. "I'm sorry, I thought you did not care."

"I do care," Abbie said honestly. Watching Leena and her mother at their wedding inspired her to think differently about what a dream wedding would be this time. "Crane, my whole life, all I ever wanted was a family. And this time around, that's what I want our wedding to represent."

"So I can be assured you will not be donning a plaid wedding dress at our wedding?"

"No, no, no," Abbie shook her head. "That is definitely not my style. If I don't like something, believe me, I won't do it."

 

~

 

4~ Jealousy

It was the week before Thanksgiving, and Abbie's last week at Bellington. She and Betsy were painting the two lower level handicap accessible guests suites, while Ichabod was in town in a meeting over permits.

"So when will you and Ichabod be back?" Betsy asked as she carefully painted the lower trim.

"Crane will be back Sunday, but I have to stay back for a couple of weeks," Abbie answered from the
top of the ladder where she was painting the upper trim. "I'm going to spend a few Days with my step-son."

"You two are still close?"

"Lucas is a good kid. I love him. And his mom says he's having a hard time since the divorce."

"I get wanting to spend some time with him, but two weeks?"

 

"I have things to take care of at Grace's place. It's not easy running a business from so far away."

"What are you going to do after you two get married?" Betsy gave her an inquisitive glance.

"I don't know. I'm lucky to have Leena, but there's still a lot I have to do. crane too, since its his farm. And its my home."

"Isn't Bellington your home?"

"It feels more and more like it's home everyday," Abbie smiled as she thought about living here with Ichabod. "We'll probably be doing a lot of back and forth."

"Ichabod? Ichabod are you here?"

Betsy and Abbie looked at each other as they heard the familiar sobering whisper of a voice.

"Oh God," Betsy mumbled

Abbie grimaced, "Is that..."

"Ah well if it isn't Ichabod's American tarts," Katrina scoffed as she stepped into the room. "Where is he?"

"He's not here," Abbie informed her then turned her attention back to the trim. "You should have called ahead."

"Well," Katrina folded her arms and tipped her head up. "I'll simply have to wait for him."

"You look desperate always trying to see him," Betsy rolled her eyes.

"We happen to have business matters to discuss," Katrina said indignant. "I'm not the one desperately clinging to a man who used me for sex. This is now the third relationship he's in and you're still hanging on hoping to be his whore?"

"You know what Katrina!" Betsy stood and dropped her brush in the paint tray. No one got under her skin the way Katrina did. "If you weren't such a colossal Bi*% you could have kept him satisfied..."

"Ladies," Abbie called down to them. "Let’s not do this."

Betsy sucked in a deep breath, and backed off. "Fine."

"Well, you are good. I suppose the only way you can keep Ichabod is by letting him fuck his whore. I was never that desperate. I forced him to choose and he chose me. You'll figure it out... Unless she's satisfying you too. She was never my type."

"You know what Katrine," Abbie had enough. "Get the fuck out of my house!"

Katrina turned red with fury. It was as if she realized for the first time Bellington was really being rebuilt for Abbie. It was suppose to be hers. Ichabod was supposed to be hers, but Abbie was going to have it all.

"It should have been mine house!" In her rage, she pushed the ladder while Abbie was on top.

"Abbie!" Betsy quickly grabbed the leg of the ladder, while Abbie held tight to keep from falling off.

However the tray of paint fell right on top of Katrina's head, dripping gooey white paint down her hair face and shoulders.

"Oh..." Abbie winced and synched her teeth.

"I um... Wow..." Betsy tried not to snicker.

"How... Dare... You!" Katrina stood humiliated. "You did that on purpose!"

"Are you kidding me?" Abbie scoffed as she climbed down.

"You tried to knock her of the damn ladder you pshycho!" Bestie yelled.

"Well, look at me!" Katrina stammered down the hall to the foyer, drenched with the off white paint. "You will regret this!

Betsy grabbed a towel and followed her, more concerned that she would trail paint through on the floors that weren't covered, than actually helping Katrina clean herself off. She was not stopping even when she saw Ichabod drive up.

"What the bloody devil is going on here?" Ichabod asked as he hurried out of his vehicle.

"They did this to me!" Katrina was nearly in tears. By now she had the attention several members of the contracting crew who were working on the older section of the castle, and the gardener. They all tried to hold in their laughter but she still felt the sting of the humiliation.

"It was not on purpose!" Abbie insisted.

"She tried to kill Abbie!" Betsy interrupted.

"I came her to help you with our financial arrangement and I... I inadvertently bumped into the ladder she was standing on," Katrina huffed in near tears. "But she... she deliberately dumped the paint all over me."

"I'm certain that is not the case, Katrina," Ichabod shook his head. "Abbie are you all right?"

"Yes, thankfully Betsy was there and grabbed the ladder."

"Ichabod! I am the one who has been injured!"

"Why don't we get you cleaned up and then we shall talk."

"I'll have my wife tend to her, Sir," the gardener took Katina by the hand.

"Thank you, Mr. Potts." Ichabod sent them off and turned back to Abbie and Betsy who looked back at him with innocent eyes.

"The paint really was an accident Ichabod," Betsy insisted. "But she shoved the ladder."

"I believe you. Honestly, I have no idea why she keeps coming by. We agreed to let John's soloist or handle all the financial issues." He turned to Abbie and gave her a hug and a tender kiss. "Are you sure you are quite alright, Treasure."

"I'm fine, really. Can you just find out what Katrina wants and get her out of here?"

"Gladly," Ichabod agreed.

~

An hour later Ichabod walked Katrina to her car, then returned to Abbie who was waiting at the front door.

"Did she say what she wanted?" Abbie asked.

"She wants to set up a meeting. It seems she doesn't want the finances that she contributed to Bellington during our engagement to be part of the overall business arrangement."

"Is that a problem?" Abbie asked.

"Shouldn't be."

"Good. I don't want her to be showing up like this. When ever she shows up theres just drama and trouble. She doesn't need to be a part of our lives."

Ichabod put his arms around her and pulled her into his kiss. "I could not agree more. I want to focus on us."

"How about," Abbie put her arms around his shoulders and ran her fingers through his hair, "we focus on us upstairs in the bedroom."

"Hmm..." Ichabod raised a brow and gave her a sly grin. "There's nothing I love more than devoting my attention to every inch of you."

~

As Katrina drove down the long driveway from the Castle, she looked back and saw Ichabod and Abbie. There they were, picture perfect and looking every bit in love. Katrina could feel her blood boiling. She was there, investing in Bellington, and attending formal affairs on the Crane family’s behalf before Abbie. She felt as if she deserved everything Abbie was getting. It wasn't fair. And she was going to find a way to make Ichabod and Abbie pay for his betrayal.

 

~

 

5~ For Family

 

"We're supposed to be on a date," Ichabod held Abbie's hand as they walked through one of the Lincolnshire township of Horncastle.

She couldn't decide if she liked Bourne or Horncastle more, both were beautiful in November, not as cold as the year before. A light coat and scarf was more than enough to enjoy strolling through the market parish. Abbie loved the old buildings that dated back hundreds of years, the cobblestone streets, and the old shops. She couldn't resist peeking in at what was becoming her favorite shop in town.

"We have time," Abbie gave his hand a squeeze. "I just want to see what knew fabrics they have in stock."

"For one of the guests suites?" Ichabod asked.

"No, for our bedroom. I love what you've done, but it's just a bit masculine. I hope you don't mind if I add a few touches."

"Not at all. It is our bedroom after all," Ichabod smiled. It was the first time she'd referred to it as 'ours' and it warmed his heart.

Abbie's phone rang before they walked in. "Huh... It's Betsy. I think she has a sixth sense whenever I'm shopping for material," Abbie grinned. "Hey, Betsy what's up?... Oh my gosh..." Abbie's tone went grim as she listened. "She just showed up?... No, it's fine. We'll be right there."

"Treasure, what's the matter?"

"It's Paulette. She and Clara just showed up at Bellington, and... It's not good. We need to get back right away."

~

 

Ichabod and Abbie were appalled when they saw Paulette. She looked like she'd been beaten badly. Clara sat resting in Betsy's lap. She was clearly traumatized but Betsy had managed to coax her to sleep.

"I told Phil that Clara and I were coming to stay for the weekend and he said no. But before he left for work, he found our suitcases packed under Clara's bed. He was so angry... I never saw him so," Paulette choked back tears as she held an ice pack to his face. "He took my phone, my wallet, my ID, clothes, and keys. I was trapped. And when he got home from work last night, forced me...” she shuddered fighting the trigger of the memory. “That was it. I knew no matter what we had to leave. When he left for work this morning, I grabbed Clara and walked to a nearby diner and called a cab. The driver agreed to drive the three hours here. Betsy paid the bill."

"Betsy, thank you," Ichabod managed as he held Paulette's hand.

"Think nothing of it. I'm just glad she made it."

"Paulette, you have to report this," Abbie proceeded cautiously. "You need to call the constable and press charges then get a restraining order. If you don't press charges Phil can try to get Clara."

"It could take days to get the restraining order. What am I going to do until then?"

"You stay here with us,"Ichabod insisted. "Phil is banned from this property. If he even thinks about coming for either of you, we'll have him arrested for trespassing and assault."

~

 

It was four in the morning, Abbie was sleeping sound and comfortable curled up in Ichabod's arms, his long leg draped lazily across hers.

The cold silence of the night was disrupted by the sudden sound of shattering glass. Abbie's eyes shot open at the faint sound, as Ichabod sat up.

"Did you hear that?" He almost thought he'd been dreaming. But seconds later the security alarm sounded. "Bloody hell!"

He was up in an instant and quickly pulled on a pair of pants.

"Crane wait," Abbie scrambled for a rode so she could follow him down.

When she got to the hallway, Ichabod was already gone.

Betsy came into the hallway right after her. "What’s going on?"

"I don't know," Abbie answered. "Call the police."

"Is it Phil?" Paulette asked joining them in the hallway looking terrified.

"I don't know," Abbie felt her heart racing. "You and Clara stay in your room. I'll check on Crane."

"You can't stop me from seeing my daughter!" Abbie could hear Phil yelling as she rushed down the stairs.

"The only think you're going to see is a jail cell! Now get the fuck out of my house!" Ichabod shoved him out of the door.

Phill shoved Ichabod back to which Ichabod answered with a punch to Phil’s jaw, sending him stumbling to the ground.

"Crane," Abbie grabbed his arm to keep him from punching or kicking Phil again. "The police are on their way."

"I'm not leaving without my daughter!" Phil barked.

"If you don't get the fuck off my property, I will kick your ass!" Ichabod sat back.

"Charges have been pressed against you for assaulting Paulette. Now this will be burglary," Abbie tried to make him see reason. "Crane isn't going to let you in this house, so you're just making things worse for yourself!"

Police sirens could be heard in the distance, and Phil began to rethink his actions. "You can't do this to me! I have rights!"

He backed away and ran to his car.

"Are you all right?" Ichabod immediately turned his attention to Abbie.

"Yeah, baby... I'm fine," Abbie pressed into his embrace as his arms wrapped around her. They watched as the police pulled Phil over at the end of the driveway.

~

 

6~ Family Traditions

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Jeremy, Macey and Abraham arrived at Bellington so the gang could fly back to the states together. Ichabod was a bundle of nerves as he and Abbie prepared to head back to the U.S. After Phil's arrest, he was able to get released on bail, but the restraining order was granted. Even with the order, Ichabod was on edge about leaving Paulette and Clara. Betsy, talked Thomas and Ben in to staying a few days with them so Paulette wouldn't be alone when she went to work, but Ichabod would have felt better to not leave his cousins.

Abbie was glad to have Macey there to keep him preoccupied with the plans to retrofit the older portion of the castle to make it accessible. As the time for departure arrived. He took her through the Inn and the rooms that Abbie designed, then they went into the older structure with a copy of the blue prints.

"The second design is better," Macey gave her honest opinion. "I know it might be more costly. But if you plan on giving tours, people with strollers and wheelchairs will have to separate from the tour every time they need to go to another level."

"Excellent observation," Ichabod agreed. "I appreciate your input on this matter, if we're going to go through the expense, I'd like for it to be done properly and effectively."

"It's a good plan. Trust me, I know retrofitting these old buildings and keeping them completely authentic, isn't easy. But after spending the summer in Rome, I can tell you, those of us who are differently-abled, really appreciate it."

"And how are the two suites at the Inn?" Abbie asked.

"They're perfect, just like the rooms at Grace's Place. In fact, I was hoping I could test one of them out over the Christmas break." Macey asked.

"I invited Macey to stay with us over the Christmas break," Jeremy looked excited.

"So Frank and Cynthia are cool with that?" Abbie asked. I know our mom is looking forward to you coming home for the holidays."

"I'm going to tell her at Thanksgiving dinner."

"Oh," Ichabod gave his brother a sympathetic look. "Good luck with that."

"Our ride is here," Abraham called out as he saw the van drive up.

"I should check on Paulette and Clara once more before we depart." Ichabod looked a bit anxious again.

"It's okay if you want to stay, Crane. Under the circumstances, I completely understand."

"I admit I'm a bit apprehensive about leaving them here since Phil is no longer in custody. But this is a very important family holiday for Americans and I have been looking forward to spending this holiday with you and Grandpa Jacob."

"If you're sure..." Abbie took his hands in hers.

"I am. Abbie, I want to be with you," he kissed her hands tenderly. "I'm certain Betsy, Tom and Ben can take care of things, and my apprehension will ease once we are on about our way."

~

He was right. Once they were on the flight Ichabod was very relaxed, and eager to visit with Abbie's aunt and Grandfather. Ichabod helped Jacob prepare dinner, the two men getting along just as well as ever, singing about in deep boasting baritones as they bustled about the kitchen.

"I think dad has found a kindred spirit," Aunt Alma let out a chuckle as the men belted out 'Stars' from 'Les Mes'.

"It's the strangest thing," Abbie grinned. "You'd think he was the grandchild."

"Just know Dad's probably going to sing at your wedding. He can't help himself."

"Okay, maybe I did get something from him," Abbie let out a laugh.

"You sing?" Alma looked pleased.

"It's my weakness," Abbie admitted. "I hope you can come to the wedding too."

"I'd love to. I'll try to get the time off. I've never been to England. And to stay in a castle. Girl, it'll be like a vacation."

"Alright ladies, dinner is ready," Jacob called them to the table for their humble feast.

They bowed their heads as Jacob gave thanks, before he carved the turkey. Alma filled her in on how her cousins were doing, and Abbie told them all about what they were doing in England and about their wedding plans.

"Other than singing, are there any family traditions I don't know about?"

"Well you two are going to jump over the broom right?"

"Is that something that our family does?" Abbie asked. "Mom never said... But she didn't talk about much from her past."

"Not from mom's side," Alma let her know. "But our grandparents and great grandparents on dad's side always have."

"In our family, every couple that's jumped the broom has had a long loving marriage."

"What do you think?" Abbie asked Ichabod.

"I'm certainly for it if it’s all right with you," Ichabod deferred to Jacob.

"You're marrying my granddaughter. Nothing would please me more," Jacob was pleased that Abbie was so open to including the family that tragic circumstances had separated her from. "There is something else."

"What is it?"

"The wedding cookies... The recipe is in your Ancestor Grace's cookbook. Do you still have it?"

"Of course," Abbie smiled.

"And mom's lace, from her veil..." Alma pulled out her parent's wedding album. "I have it, if you want it."

"Thank you, yes, please," Abbie felt an overwhelming warmth as Alma opened the book and showed her pictures

"She was so beautiful," Jacob mused as they sifted through the pictures.

Jacob told stories of the eventful day, as Abbie sat hanging on his every word. Later they played Grandma Ellie's favorite album and danced to the Temptations. Her favorite song was 'My Girl', which Abbie remembered fondly because it was also her mother Lori's favorite song. By the end of the night Abbie hardly wanted to leave.

"I'll try to come see you before I head back to England," Abbie gave her Aunt and Grandfather a big hug.

"I can't wait to see you again," Jacob held her cheeks and smiled. "You have your mother’s eyes, and her smile. I'm so glad that you found us Abbie."

"So am I, Grandpa." Abbie gave him another hug.

"Take care of my grand baby," Jacob gave Ichabod a warm bear hug as well.

"Yes, Sir. You have my word," Ichabod promised.

~

 

7~ Always With You

"You have yet to stop smiling since we left Grandpa Jacob's," Ichabod pulled off his pajama pants and crawled into the small bed next to Abbie. He'd gotten used to coming to bed ready.

They planned to stay the night at Joe's beach shack before driving back to New York in the morning. The weather was chilly for Virginia Beach in November, so they snuggled up close under the blanket.

 

"I can't help it. I really makes me feel good to be around them and hear stories about my mom and Grandma, even though I didn't know her. And having you here with me, means the world to me, Crane."

"I'm honored that you wish o include me in your experiences. If ever I'm encroaching on a moment in which you desire privacy, please let me know. I don't ever wish to overstep my bounds."

"You're not, Crane. I need you," Abbie gave him a kiss on the chin.

"But if such an occasion should arise?"

"I will tell you, I promise," Abbie was still beaming.

"I love seeing you happy like this."

"I can't help it. I cant wait to see Lucas, Joe and Leena tomorrow. I know we have a long drive in the morning, but I can't sleep."

"Oh," Ichabod raised a brow giving her a cheeky grin. "Perhaps I could assist you during this time of unrest."

"Hmm..." Abbie hummed as she gave him a lingering kiss, letting her tongue wisp across his lips. "What exactly did you have in mind?"

"Oh, a great deal more of that, certainly," Ichabod returned her kiss as his hands caressed her ass, pulling her in to feel his growing desire.

He slowly pulled off her top leaving her in only her panties, her bare breasts exposed. He rose up on his knees as she laid stretch out her eyes glancing up and down his long lean body. She licked her lip with anticipation seeing his cock already stiffening.

"You are so beautiful," Ichabod mused, as he slipped her panties off and tossed them to the side. He parted her legs, eyes filled with lust as he wondered what he was going to do to her first.

"Hold on," Abbie playfully stopped him by placing her tiny foot against his chest. She fondled her breasts as her nipples grew stiff. "What exactly do you want to do?" She slowly dragged her food down his chest and let her toes play with his cock. "What do you want me to do?"

"Hmmm..." Ichabod though with a sly smirk on his face, as he ran his hands down her smooth legs. "I think, first... I want to watch you touch yourself."

Ichabod let out a slow cool breath as Abbie spread her folds with her fingers, sliding one inside slowly with a soft moan. "Yes just like that."

"Mmm... What else," Abbie moaned as she tenderly encircled her clit with her fingers that dripped with her juices. Her eyes then locked on his as she finger fucked herself again. She loved seeing the almost jealous lust in his eyes.

"I want to kiss you..." His voice was a husky groan, as cock was glistened with precum from watching her pleasure herself. "I'm going to taste you." He couldn't resist any longer.

He licked up her thigh, then kissed her pussy taking his tongue and licking her fingers then her slit.

"Yesss..." Abbie purred as she ran her fingers through his hair.

Her hips began to rise as he lapped greedily at her folds. He then began sucking and kissing her swollen clit and sliding his long middle finger inside her hitting her spot with rhythmic perfection. Her moans and panting like a sweet song encouraging him on. His cock lurched hard with each moan, the taste of her had him dripping.

"Mmm my goddd..." Abbie moaned as he tongued and sucked her clit. She pressed into him as her legs began to tremble. He was so good at making her cum.

He sank low on his knees between her thighs, stroking his cock as he watched her enjoy the high of her climax. He barely gave her a minute to recover before he began to slide the head of his cock across between her wet lips. Abbie let out a whimper, desperate to have him inside her, and he knew it. He could only tease for so long. He too was in need of the closeness and fidelity they found when they were connected making love.

He watched as he drove his thick cock inside her tight chasm, groaning at how good it felt to enter inside her. She moaned as he stretched her tight wet walls, and slowly stroked in and out. He grabbed her thighs as he began to thrust faster, getting off on watching his dick rapidly penetrate her pussy.

"Mmmmm fu....." Abbie panted hard as her mind and body began to give in.

She was so close, ready to explode. Ichabod pressed his thumb to her clit. "Is that what you like, treasure," he groaned, holding off his own satisfaction until she was thoroughly fucked and completely undone.

"I want to make you come for me, Treasure," He lowered himself onto her, kissing her lips and neck as he thrust. He was deep the pleasure was intense.

"God I love you… You feel so fucking good," Ichabod moaned as he pumped his rock hard cock deeper, harder, faster. Sweat glistened over their bodies as he enjoyed her.

"Ooh Crane.... So good..." She moaned as finger nails raked down his back.

Her walls clenched around his long, hard cock, as she gave herself over to pleasure and bliss, and her engorged pussy found its release. The orgasm sent a shockwave through her body. The sensation of her pussy tight, wet, convulsing around him was more than he could resist. His body tensed as mind-bending ecstasy took over, and he came, filling her with his thick seed. He thrust until he was completely spent, collapsing beside her, kissing her fully.

"That was..." Abbie panted, barely able to catch her breath. "You were... So good."

"I am... Inspired," Ichabod kissed her again and pulled her into his arms. "I love you..."

"I love you too, Crane. I'm so glad you're with me."

"I am always with you...” he vowed as he brushed his fingers across her soft chestnut shoulder. “ This I promise you."

 

~*~

Chapter Text

CH 21 Winter with Love (Part 1)

Intro~

She breathed soft heavy pants as she enjoyed watching them, the sight of Ichabod's long thick cock sliding in and out of Abbie's slick brown folds, sent a thrill through her body like nothing she'd felt before. He had her positioned on her side, one leg over his shoulder, the muscled in his firm ass flexing as he delivered each hard thrusts with passion. His hooded blue eyes locked on her sweet doe eyes, slowly began traveling down and taking in every in of her soft chestnut skin, as she moaned his name.

"Oh Crane... Yes... You fuck so good..." Abbie cooed as she pinched her nipples and clenched her breasts.

"You feel divine..." He groaned in a low husky voice. "My queen... I want you to cum hard for me."

"Ohh yes..." Betsy moaned audibly from the dark corner of her dream.

Abbie's eyes lifted following the soft moans. A playful smile met Betsy as Abbie licked her lips with that devilishly long tongue of hers.

For a moment Betsy was ashamed of having been caught, but Abbie drew her finger towards her, curving it for Betsy to come hither. She looked to Ichabod, who nodded in agreement with a mischievous grin and a raised brow.

"You both want me?" Betsy bit her lip, eager to join them in this liaison.

"We do," Abbie called out to her between swift panting, as Ichabod continued his ministrations.

It was once she was out in the light that she saw she was wearing a strap on. A jolt of electricity seared through her body as she wondered which of the two would want her to drill them first. But there was one thing she wanted first. She wanted to kiss those luscious lips, and taste that long thick tongue of Abbie's. As she leaned in she could almost taste her, she was ready, desperate, her heart racing with lustful excitement...

*Beep Beep Beep*

Betsy groaned as she squinted her eyes open, her hand was planted firmly between her thighs and pressed hard against her wet mound.

"Damn!" she swore as she reached to shut off her alarm.

It was the third time she'd dreamed about the two since they'd been gone. Usually, she was just a voyeur, but this was the first time she had come close to joining them. She shook the naughty thought out of her mind. It was just a dream after all. She figured she was just used to spending all her time with them and was missing them. It had to be a fluke.

 

1~ Home

Ichabod loved the way Abbie's bright doe eyes lit up in the morning sunlight, her hands delicately touched her lips in awe as they rode up the driveway to Grace's Place. Autumn leaves scampered listlessly across the ground and the air was chilled with the hints of winters impending arrival. Ichabod hurried to get the vehicle door for Abbie, and the second she stepped out she took a deep breath of cool morning air and took in the sound of the trees rustling their remaining gold and red leaves. He adored the peaceful smile on her face as the ambiance welcomed them home.

Ichabod took her into his arms and held her for a moment, enjoying their bond and the quiet moment of intimacy between them. One of her hands in his, their fingers began to leisurely entwine. "You've missed being here. I can see it in your eyes."

"I have, but I'm happy where ever I am with you," Abbie feels her heart sink a bit knowing he'd be leaving in a couple of days. Then two weeks before they'd see each other again. She was consciously aware now that the more they were together, that being apart, even the mere thought of being apart was becoming more difficult.

Their eyes met, her soft browns defined by thick dark lashes, sparkled up at him in the sunlight. His eyes drifted to her lips, drawn to them, he was ready to capture the full lush flesh with his mouth. But the sound of the front door opening drew them from their moment of solitude.

"Abbie!" Lucas bound out the front door and ran right up to her. His mother Gloria waved to her from the front porch before following him out.

"Lucas," Abbie smiled and gave him a warm hug. "Look how handsome you are. Have you been enjoying yourself."

"It's been awesome!" the boy gushed. "Mr. Nick let me help with the morning feeding of the cows and horses."

 

"Thanks for letting us come, Abbie," Gloria gave Abbie a quick side hug. "He's been looking forward to this visit for weeks."

"I'm glad you both could make it. You're always welcome." Abbie offered. "Gloria this is Ichabod Crane... Ichabod this is Gloria Rivera," they did polite introductions. "He owns the farm."

"Please call me Iche," he shook her hand, then took Lucas's hand and received a firm friendly shake. "young Lucas, it is good to see you again."

Ichabod noted that Abbie did not introduce him as her fiancé. He was sure it was because she wanted to talk to Lucas first. He had been struggling emotionally since the divorce, and though he seemed happy now that he was here and welcomed, dropping this bomb on him suddenly could hurt.

Lucas went on and on about how much fun he was having and it was only 10:30 in the morning.

"Can we go back to the farm mom?"

"Maybe later," Gloria looked exhausted. "After the long drive and the busy morning, I need a nap."

"I could take him," Ichabod offered. "Nick is expecting me there now."

"If you don't mind," Gloria looked relieved to have a break."

"T'is no trouble at all."

"Speaking of trouble, you better behave mijo," Gloria gave her son a stern look.

"I promise, ma."

Ichabod pulled Abbie to the side while Gloria had a chat with Lucas. "If you want to get settled in and relax. I'll join you in about an hour."

"Don't be too long. I have more than relaxing in mind," she pursed her lips giving him an air kiss.

Gloria and Abbie watched as the two headed down the trail that leads to the farm.

"You two aren't going to be able to keep the engagement from him," Gloria let out a sigh. "Don't get me wrong, you look really happy. I just worry about how Lucas is going to take it."

"I know. But I want to talk to him as soon as possible. I want to make sure he knows I'm still his step-mom and the divorce doesn't have to change anything between us." Abbie let out a sigh.

"It's going to be hard for him to understand since the divorce changed everything between him and Luke."

"I can't believe Luke actually moved back to San Diego. I tried to call him, asked him to come this weekend, but I haven't heard back from him."

"As soon as your divorce was signed, be called off the deal to come back to New York," Gloria shook her head holding back her anger at Luke. "He hasn't even seen Lucas once since."

"I can't believe it."

"I can," Gloria shrugged. "He never wanted to be a dad. The first time he ever showed any interest in Lucas was when he started dating you."

"I... I didn't know that."

"Yeah, well, Luke was only giving you his side of the story," Gloria rubbed her shoulder. "We can talk later."

~

2~ Exes

Abbie tried waiting for Ichabod after she got settled back into her apartment. But between Nick, Lucas and the Farm, she figured he'd probably be a while. And since she had the time she might as well use it to relax in a nice hot shower.

It felt amazing to have the scorching hot water rushing over her smooth silky skin, as steam billowed through the bathroom. Even nicer was when she heard the song 'I Want To Be Your Man' coming from her bedroom. Ichabod was finally back from the farm, and in the mood to join her.

"It took you long enough," Abbie called to him from the shower in a seductive tone. "Hurry up and get in here, there's something I've been waiting to do to you."

her eyes closed as she anticipated his touch. they did love their showers together. As he stepped inside something immediately struck her as odd, at first it was his scent... Not the soft earthy sandalwood musk. A second later it was the touch of his hands caressing her body. Familiar hands, but not his.

Abbie turned in his arms to face him as her eyes widened, stunned, speechless.

"Thanks for inviting me back, Baby," Luke's sexy dark eyes were staring back at her.

"Luke!?" Abbie gasped, still in disbelief. She pulled back as he held her tight.

He leaned in and kissed her, causing her to snap out of it and pulled away hard. They both yelp as the force sent them both tumbling to the shower floor.

"Abbie! What the hell!" Luke looked at her confused as he straddled on top of her.

"Get off me!" Abbie winced having landed on her wrist. She jerked away from him as he tried to pull her up. "Don't touch me!"

"Damn it, just let me help you up," he looked frustrated.

"Fine," they were on their feet in a moment and both very much makes. She quickly turned off the shower and got out. "What are you doing?" She asked as she wrapped a towel around her.

"You asked me to come, remember!" Luke followed her into her bedroom. "I got your message. You said you weren't happy with how things have been since the divorce. You wanted to see me, you wanted to talk about our family and some changes. We can start over Abs. If you want a family and a baby, we can try. I told you before I was serious about giving you what you really want." He pulled an ovulation kit from his bag. "I've spoken to a specialist... And I know it seems impossible with your condition, but if we're diligent and really try..."

"What?!" Abbie looked at him as if he'd lost his mind.

"I'm not happy since the divorce either. I need you back and I'll do whatever it takes. I'll give you whatever you want."

"I don't want to have a baby with you! I was talking about Lucas, and the fact that you haven't seen him since the divorce." Abbie threw his pants at him.

"How can I Abs..." Luke griped, as he pulled his pants on. "You're ruining everything we had with this divorce."

"I'm ruining everything? He's your son! All you have to do is spend some time with him!"

"You're the one who wanted a family, not me. I just wanted you to be my wife! Is that all you invited me here for? To complain about Lucas?"

"Complain?" Abbie looked at him as his he'd grown a second head. "What the hell is wrong with you?!"

"What the bloody hell is going on here?!" Ichabod stormed into Abbie's bedroom at the sound of shouting, only to find Luke half naked and Abbie in nothing but a towel.

"What the hell is he doing here?" Luke stood indignantly, chest puffed.

"What the fuck are you doing in our bedroom!" Ichabod answered, his jaw tight with anger as he stepped up to him, straight back, and asserting every inch of his height.

"Excuse me! She's my wife! We were just having a shower."

Ichabod turned red, veins throbbing in his neck and forehead as he looked between the two of them. His fists balled tight to his side, to keep from taking a swing.

"Ex-wife," Abbie spoke up stepping between them as quickly as she could. "The shower was an accident. He just walked in..."

Ichabod didn't give her a chance to finish explaining. He threw a right cross at Luke's jaw, sending him stumbling down.

"Crane! I said it was an accident!" Abbie grabbed his arm stopping him from throwing another punch.

Luke got back on his feet ready to return the strike.

"Don't!" Abbie implored them both to stop.

"How can you say it was an accident. I thought I was coming here to make up with my ex-wife. I thought you wanted to put our family back together."

"She's my fiancé," Ichabod countered.

"What?" Luke gasped as he looked bewildered and crushed at Abbie. "You're engaged to this guy?"

"That's why I asked you to come. So we could talk to Lucas and sort thing out..."

"Abs, what the hell?!" Luke reached out and grabbed her by both arms, without out even thinking.

He barely had his hands on her before Ichabod pulled him off, shoving him back into the dresser.

"Keep your damned hands off of her!"

"You stay the hell out of it," Luke shoved him back.

"That's enough, both of you!" Abbie yelled, physically getting between them again.

"You're right. I am fucking done!" Luke grabbed his bag and stormed off down the stairs.

"Luke, your son hasn't seen you in months," Abbie called after him. "Luke!"

They heard the door slam. Abbie grabbed her clothes and started getting dressed.

"What the hell did you tell him to get him here?" Ichabod demanded.

"What?" Abbie gave him a cross look.

"Apparently he came here with... intentions," Ichabod gruffed still heated. He had a fierce jealous streak. "You seem to have a peculiar propensity for turning up naked with other men!"

"Crane!" Abbie was so frustrated she hit her fist against the dresser, forgetting that she'd just hurt it in the shower. "Damn it," she winced.

"Treasure," Ichabod immediately went to her side. Seeing her grab her hand, momentarily melted away all his frustration, and immediately his only concern was for her. "You're hurt."

"It's not that bad..."

Ichabod delicately took her hand him his and carefully brushed his finger over the swollen area. "Did he do this to you?"

"No... Well, I slipped in the shower."

Ichabod gave her a look.

"It was a huge misunderstanding, Crane," Abbie explained in a calm voice. "I left him a message asking him to come. All I said was that I wasn't happy with the way things have turned out since the divorce and that Lucas has been really sad since we made things official. I asked him to come this weekend so he could see Lucas and that I told him I had something important to talk to him about."

"I see," Ichabod let out a sigh. "You knew if you told him about our engagement..."

"He wouldn't come," Abbie gave him a sorrowful look. "I didn't mean to imply I wanted him back. I just wanted to get him here to see his son. I wanted to tell them both together and... I don't know. I hoped he would see how much Lucas needs him."

"Abbie, you can't force him to be there for his son. You're divorced now. Perhaps it's best if you let Luke and Gloria sort this out."

"I love Lucas, Crane. I can't just let it go." Abbie looked down, at his hand so gently caressing hers. "You don't get it... Your dad loved you, so you have no idea what it feels like. Lucas doesn't deserve this. I know what it feels like to be rejected by your own father. I haven't seen my father since I was five years old, he left me and never looked back. And no matter what anyone says to me... that is the worst feeling in the world. If I could do anything to spare Lucas..."

"You, are too precious for words, Treasure," Ichabod gently pecked a kiss to the bruise on her hand.

"So, you're not mad at me?"

"No... Frustrated with Luke and that you have to go through this, yes. But never angry with you."

"I better find Luke to let him know he can stay and spend some time with Lucas... If you two can stay out of each other’s way," Abbie gave him a side grin.

"Gladly," Ichabod agreed.

 

~

 

3 ~ Fathers

 

"How did things go with Luke," Abbie asked when she found Gloria in the kitchen making sandwiches for her and Lucas. "He was kind of upset when he left my apartment."

"Luke?" Gloria looked up baffled. "He's here?"

"Dad's here?" Lucas beamed as he walked into the kitchen.

"He um... He was just here fifteen minutes ago. I thought he was coming down to see you two."

"Awesome!" Lucas looked around.

"He's not in the house, Abbie," Leena told her. "I'm sure of it. And he didn't ask for a room."

"Maybe he's outside," Lucas ran out the front door.

"You don't think he left do you?" Leena asked Abbie.

"Surely he would not leave without first seeing Lucas," Ichabod was appalled by the thought.

"Yes he would," Gloria wiped her hands and went after her son. By the time she got to the front door, her son stormed back in near tears. "Lucas?"

"Dad's not here!" He ran up the stairs. "Because of the stupid divorce! He doesn't care about me anymore!"

"Lucas!"

"Gloria, I am so sorry..." Abbie apologized.

"I'm afraid it's my fault," Ichabod stopped her. "If we had not had that altercation..."

"It's neither one of your fault. Luke was never interested in being a father to Lucas." Gloria let out a woeful sigh. "I don't know what to do."

"I'll talk to him," Abbie offered.

~

 

"Hey kiddo, mind if I come in," Abbie tapped on the door to the Magnolia suite and peeked in.

Lucas sat on the bed, face buried in his knees not saying a word, but he didn't ask her to go away either. She sat on the edge of the bed beside him and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.

"I'm sorry. I know the divorce wasn't easy on you."

"It's not fair," Lucas mumbled. "Now, dad's never going to see me again. He hates me."

"He doesn't hate you... He just..." Abbie didn't understand Luke or guys like him. It was impossible to make excuses, and it wasn't fair to Lucas to pretend. "He's a lot like my dad was. I didn't see my dad after I was five. It was hard, but there were other people who took good care of me and loved me. And you have a lot of people who love you very much. Including me."

"You still wanna to be my stepmom?"

"Of course. I still am. Just because you're dad and I are divorced, doesn't mean anything has to change between us."

"What about Mr. Crane?" Lucas looked up at her. "Mom says you're with him now. He's not going to want me around any more than my dad does."

"Mr. Crane is a good guy. And he likes you. Most important though, he knows that I love you and that you are my family. And when we get married, you'll be his family too. That's the way it works."

"You're getting married?" Lucas didn't know what to think.

Everything about this was unsettling to him, and Abbie could sense it.

"Mmhmm," Abbie nodded with a smile. "I know change is difficult. Even grown-ups have a hard time with it. Our family has gone through a lot of changes this year, but we'll figure it out together. And... I'm really happy, and I hope you can be happy for me one day."

Lucas looked up and gave her a hug, which was all the confirmation she needed. She wasn't going to push. Now it was up to the grown-ups in his life to prove their sincerity with their actions.

 

~

Lucas was quiet at breakfast as Ichabod and Abbie had a private breakfast with their friends in the kitchen. The regular guests dined at the buffet in the dining room.

"Thank you so much. Breakfast was delicious," Gloria expressed her gratitude as she sat at the table. "Wasn't it Lucas?"

Lucas nodded as he looked down at his plate.

"I have really missed cooking with Ichabod," said Leena. "He taught me everything I know."

"It's always been a pleasure to share my adoration of the culinary arts with you, Miss Leena. But I must say you've mastered some new recipes whilst I was away."

"John and I went to some cooking courses when we were honeymooning."

"Crane, we might have to add this apple cinnamon crisp to the menu at Bellington. The guests are loving it."

"Indeed," Ichabod agreed with Abbie as he stood from his seat. "This has been wonderful, but I should get over to the farm and assist Mr. Hawley in caring for the cows and horses."

"You're right," Nick looked at his watch. "I didn't realize how late it was getting."

Ichabod leaned in, instinctively giving Abbie a kiss. Lucas looked towards them, eyes filled with uncertainty. But to all of their surprise, he didn't slump back into silence.

"Can I go to the farm and help with the horses?"

"It's up to Iche," Gloria was happy to see her son seeming to finally open up.

"I'd be more than happy to have you come along," Ichabod gave Lucas a welcoming smile.

"Midnight is my favorite. Mr. Nick says I'm really good with her."

"You must be very good with horses. Midnight doesn't take to just anyone, you know." Ichabod offered.

"When I grow up, do you think I could run a farm?"

"If you're not afraid of hard work I am certain you could," Ichabod encouraged him which actually garnered a smile from the boy. "We should hurry along."

"Abbie can we still go riding later?" Lucas asked.

"Absolutely. I'll meet you at the stables in an hour." Abbie nodded to Luke and gave Ichabod's hand a squeeze.

~

"How did you get so good with horses?" Abbie asked while she and Lucas were on their ride. He was riding Midnight as if he'd been riding all his life.

"I learned the last time I was here. Horses are the coolest." Lucas smiled broadly. "Mr. Cr... Iche says I'm a natural."

"Oh," Abbie smiled. It was such a relief that he and Ichabod were getting along. "Well, you can come here and ride anytime you want. Even if I'm not here, okay."

"Okay," Lucas agreed but was quiet for a moment. "Are you going to be in England a lot?"

"Probably. That's where Iche lives."

Lucas was quiet again. To him, it seemed as if everyone he loved was leaving and he was feeling as if he and his mom were all alone.

"You can tell me anything."

"It's just that... You say everything will be the same with us. But if you're gone. I won't see you anymore. Just like I don't get to see dad anymore."

"That's different. I promise we'll see each other as much as we can, just like always... But you're dad won't be a part of that. Is that okay?"

"Yeah," Lucas let out a sigh. "I tried everything to make him like me. I even tried to like baseball."

"You still don't like baseball very much," Abbie gave him a grin. "Do you still play soccer?"

"Yeah," Lucas lit up. "I made the AllStar Team last season and I scored at the u10 championship game."

"You're mom told me you did amazing. I am really proud of you, and so is your mom."

Lucas gave her a smile, and Abbie hoped that things would be better for him now. It was good that he felt comfortable enough to ask questions about what was going on, instead of being crippled by fear and change, she didn't envy what he was going through. The change in his family dynamics was a lot for a nine-year-old boy to emotionally navigate.

~

"I'm just relieved he's opening up to you," Gloria and Abbie sat in the Living room watching through the large picture window as Ichabod and Lucas kicked a soccer ball across the lawn.

"It can't be easy for him. So much changed this year, with Lou and Marta buying a retirement condo in Florida and Luke flaking out on him..."

"It's been hard. Things are still difficult in Puerto Rico, so my mama is not able to come for the holidays. Lou and Marta are spending the Holidays in Mexico as they do every other year. They offered to cancel their trip, but they've been planning to visit their relatives for over a year."

"So it was just you and Lucas this past Thanksgiving?"

"Yeah... And Christmas will be the same. We'll be fine. It'll just take some more time to adjust," Gloria let out a soft chuckle as she watched Lucas showing off his footwork with the soccer ball for Ichabod. The boy was in his element, and it was nice he had someone to sport with. "This is the happiest my son has been in months. Iche is really good with him. I know he's been craving adult male attention."

Abbie couldn't help but smile as she watched Ichabod and Lucas.

"I honestly don't understand why Luke is behaving like this," Abbie shook her head.

Gloria sat her cup of tea down and looked seriously at Abbie. "You really don't know do you?"

"Know what?" Abbie gave her a curious look.

"Luke never wanted to be a father. When I got pregnant he accused me of tricking him. He even threatened to get a vasectomy. I thought he did. I used to let Lou and Marta take Lucas all the time, but they kept trying to force Luke to spend time with him. They thought they were doing the right thing, that if Luke spent time with his son, his feelings would change. That's why I took custody from him after his DUI with Lucas in the car and I stopped letting them take Lucas.

"Wow... I only got part of that story. I didn't know that Luke never wanted to be a father to Lucas."

"The first time he ever showed any interest in being a dad to Lucas was when you two started dating. I knew he was only doing it to impress you. But you were so good with Lucas. And I thought at least this way he would have his dad. That's why I gave you visitation rights. I knew you would never let him be neglected or feel like he wasn't wanted. I know it probably seemed like I was being a bitch to Luke, but I knew how he really felt, even if he hid it from everyone else."

"Why didn't you tell me this before?"

"I would have sounded like the jealous and scorned baby mama. And it wasn't important. I knew with you in his life, Lucas would be loved and not know how much of a deadbeat his dad was. I thought it was best to have Luke in his life than not at all. There were times I was a little jealous at how much Lucas loved you, but came to realize that love he had meant you were good to him, and I got over it. Lucas is the most important thing in this world to me."

"Thank you for trusting me with your son," Abbie took her hand.

"Thank you for being so good to him, when I wasn't there."

~

 

5 ~ Lovers

 

"Father insists we meet Friday evening in London to discuss the settlement." Katrina's tone was ice cold and Ichabod knew she was serious.

Try as he might to get out of the meeting, wasn't taking no for an answer. And Ichabod hated to continually drag John into the petty squabbling.

"If he insists, then inform him I will be there when my final class concludes. But this is it Katrina. I will not be held hostage emotionally or financially any longer. Are we clear?"

"Oh, perfectly," Katrina quipped sharply. "I want this business between us to be done just as much as you do Ichabod."

Ichabod took a deep breath shaking away any thought of Katrina as he made his way to his apartment with Abbie at the rear side of the B&B. He'd had such a great time, that he refused to let a phone call from Katrina ruin his last night with Abbie.

"Mmm... Something smells absolutely divine," Ichabod took in the tantalizing aroma as he walked into their apartment.

"Oh... and it's not you," Abbie crinkled up her nose as a sweaty Ichabod wrapped his arms around her waist. She had a roast in the crockpot and was just adding the potatoes and carrots. "You don't have to work so hard. Hawley has the farm under control."

"I honestly do not mind. Being on the farm, working outdoors, feels like a miniature vacation from construction, grading papers, and examinations," Ichabod placed a tender kiss on her ear as he held her tight. "And now you're cooking dinner..."

"Attempting," Abbie grinned. "Gloria and Lucas have gone back to the city, and it's our last night together. I thought it would be nice to have dinner together... Just the two of us."

He turned Abbie in his arms catching her lips in a greedy lust filled kiss. Wetness pooled in her core as his hands firmly gripped her waist and his tongue pressed inside.

"Is there enough time for a shower before dinner?"

"You have one hour," Abbie hummed in his ear. "But I kind of like you dirty."

"Then perhaps you should join me. I'll show you just how dirty I can be."

"Why don't you show me right now?" Abbie eyed up and down his body, her long tongue licking her upper lip.

"Gladly," Ichabod captured her tongue in his mouth, sucking lavishly, their tongues danced.

Their lips parting only long enough for him to lift her shirt over her head and toss it aside. Next to go were her pants. He kissed down her body, nipping at her breasts through the lace bra, as he slid her pants and panties off. He began kissing her inner thigh as he slipped them off around her ankles.

His tongue playfully whisked across her clit, as he slipped along digit inside her. His eyes glanced up at her wickedly, causing her heart to swarm wildly in her chest and sensation began to if night within her core.

He drew his wet finger from her, generously licking her juices as he watched her. Her pussy clenched as another thrill rushed through her.

"Mmm... Your dirty boy is ready to eat now." He delved in, letting his tongue swirl around her clit, then all the way down the slip of her silken folds to the other end, firmly teasing the tiny hole and back up again.

"Oh fuck... Crane..." Abbie purred as he repeated the action, as she felt the pulsating within her from sheer delight.

"You taste so damn divine. I could live on you alone." Her legs spread wide as he stimulated her.

Abbie's desire and need was on fire but he wanted to play and tease, driving her mad for his pleasure. Two fingers inside, he stroked in her, as his lips and tongue sucked her swelling clit, until she was quivering. He was relentless, as her moans grew louder and her mind began to drift over giving in to bliss. He wanted to let her cum as long as she wanted to.

Her legs began to give way so he stood bracing her, wedging his hips between her thighs. Hastily he yanked his pants down just enough to freed his cock and thrust it into her.

"Oh.. treasure..." His breath hitched as he felt her walls clenching around his lengthy member. Her heavy moan at the sensation of him filling her, stretching her, was like a siren song, coaxing him to fuck her.

He had her up on the counter, legs wrapped around him as he thrust furiously. She was still in the enthralled of her climax and he knew they were in for a long night, so he didn't hold back. He wanted to cum inside her right now. They were both breathless as he caught her mouth in a desperate, greedy kiss.

"Oh god... So good..." She purred into his mouth.

"You make me cum so hard..." He groaned Heavy.

His brisk hands grasped her soft flesh as the sensation overwhelmed him and his body tightened. Kissing hard, breathing heavy, they loved to come together, but he continued stroking, not softening after his climax.

"I'm not done with you." He pulled her from the counter, her legs wrapped tight around his waist. “I want more”

He made his way to the stairs, one hand holding up his pants, the other holding her bottom, pressing her into him. They made it to the wall, panting heavily, he was hard again as she moaned with pleasure.

“Oooh yess...” Abbie purred as he devoured her neck, sucking long wet kisses until his lips were on hers again. Her hands dug through his hair loving every second of his lips being on her body.

“You’ve no idea how fucking good it feels to be inside you,” He moaned as he pressed her hard against the wall.

“Ohhmmm.... god...” Abbie couldn’t make intelligible words as she felt herself ready to explode again. A burst of pure gratification came over her as he fucked her against the wall, and he gave herself over to revel in his bliss.

Ichabod slowed his stroke letting her climax last a little longer, kissing her and loving her a little longer, before carrying her upstairs. He lowered her down as they entered the bathroom. They turned on the shower and she began frantically assisting him out of his clothes. Languidly she backs away from him and saunters into the shower.

‘My God, my love, you are beautiful,” Ichabod’s breath caught as he watched her.

“It’s my turn to be your dirty girl,” she teased gazing down his long lean body to his long erect cock.

The way she teased him with her tongue taking a slow drag across her teeth, sent a bolt of lightning steering through him. He wanted her lips wrapped around his cock.

“You know what I want from that tongue of yours,” he hastily followed her into the shower.

In seconds he had her pinned to the shower wall, hot water rushing down their bodies.

“Mmm... It’s my turn.” Abbie quickly turned the power dynamics on him, pushing him back against the wall. Her hands firmly began stroking him as she lowered herself onto her knees.

She looked up at him as the water ran over his broad shoulders. Their eyes locked, intense, as she let her tongue glide across the glistening slit of his head. She licked down the length sucking at his sack her fingers playfully teasing his hole. Ichabod gasped. She was in quite a mood and he would get her back for that. The thought excited him even more.

Her tongue continued playfully swirling around the smooth head of his cock before she took it into her mouth. He groaned heavy as her soft full lips wrapped around it and sucked with eager delight. Her eyes never left his.

“Oh fuck...” he groaned enjoying the sensation.

Slowly she took his length into her mouth and began working up and down his shaft as far as she could take him in. She sucked and lapped, the sweetest sounds escaped as she moaned at how good it was to go down on him.

“You will have me undone...” he breathed, caressing her cheek and neck as his hips slowly rocked to her rhythm, pushing his cock deeper. Her fingers continued massaging his sack and rear as he grasped the wall as he felt the rush overwhelming, glorious bliss, mind-blowing. Abbie could feel him tighten all over and knew it was coming... he was coming. She went harder faster, encouraging him to let go.

“Oh fu...” he exploded. The warmth his the back of her throat and she sacked him until he was completely spent.

It took him a moment to recover, as he lifted her to her feet and captured her mouth in a long wet kiss.

“You are amazing,” he whispered huskily in her ear. ‘But I’m not nearly done with you.”

Abbie’s eyes widened as he turned her to face the wall and bent her over. He knelt down, spreading her cheeks wide and licked up and down from her swelling clit to her rear and back again.

‘Oh... god... yesss...” Abbie purred as he primed her for another round.

She couldn’t believe he was hard as a rock again as he stood and mounted himself behind her. They were going to be apart for two weeks and he wanted to get it in as much as he could tonight.

He took his cock in his hand, stroking as he rubbed the head against the slit of her wet entrance. She quivered with anticipation as he tormented her. Teasing at the tight hole then sliding back down between her folds.

“Fuck me hard...” she cooed, unable to wait any longer.

He grinned wickedly as he pushed his length deep inside her tight chasm, her walls clenched around him, causing him to moan with gratification.

He grasped her hips as he thrust watching his long cock drive into her soft brown folds. The beautiful sight of himself inside her nearly made him lose his composure.

He pressed in and out with rapid vigor, so deep that the sound of their flesh smacking nearly outdid their panting and moaning. He slid his finger into her tight hole, as his other hand reached around and pleasured her swollen clit.

“Oh...god, Treasure... I love you so much...”

“Ommmmmy goddddd....” Abbie was losing it, he felt so good. She was so close she could hardly stand it.

“You know what I want,” Ichabod growled in her ear.

“Yesss... mmmm...” Abbie could barely think straight as her lit became engorged and she was on the verge again. He could have whatever he wanted.

He withdrew from her pussy, taking his cock in his hand, he pressed against her tight hole. Slowly he pressed in, head only at first, to give her time to adjust to the thickness of him. He continued massaging her clit as he pushed inside, with slow deliberate stroke. The mixture of pleasure and pain had Abbie quivering and barely able to stay on her feet.

Ohhh... I’ve got you...” Ichabod groaned softly in her ear as he quickened his pace, he clit between his vigorously vibrating fingers. “Mmm...you feel so good...”

 

“Immmm cum ....so harried...” Abbie felt her mind and body completely let go as a powerful orgasm.

She was beyond tight and he could hardly hold off. He let himself go, erupting inside her tight end and filling her. “Nothing feels as good as you,” he moaned, breathing heavy after he finished his release. He held her as their chests heaved and they struggled to catch their breath.

He slowly withdrew and began massaging her back, taking her shower gel and rubbing it over her back and shoulders.

She turned and did the same for him, her petite hands rubbing across his lean muscles, and long limbs. They loved being close, naked, completely open and exposed to each other.

‘I think it’s almost time for dinner,” Ichabod smiled as he held her in her arms, letting the water wash over them.

“You didn’t eat enough?” Abbie grinned.

“I ate plenty,” he teased back, “but you need to keep up your strength. I plan to have a lot more of you for desert.”

Chapter Text

Ch 22

 

~Intro~

 

Uhnnn... You’re so damn big, Abbie panted, her breath quickening with each of his thrusts.

“Ohhhm god you’re so tight,” Ichabod groaned in her ear, as he kissed her lobe. “Who’s is it?”

“Mmm... yours... Abbie purred as he pulled her from the dresser, raising her legs over his forearms, as his hips thrust into her. Their flesh smacked and slapped together with each of his thrusts. He planted a firm stance driving into her as he held her up, her fingers rummaging wildly through his dark locks as she cooed with pleasure.

He had just trimmed his beard and was supposed to be getting dressed. His Lyft would be at the B&B in less than thirty minutes. He had a flight back to England to catch and it would be another two weeks before they would see each other again.

But when he walked out of the bathroom with his towel wrapped around his waist, the sight that befell him was too tempting to resist. Abbie sat on the dresser, legs crossed with her robe draped off of her shoulders.

“We have half an hour,” She eyed up and down his lean body, his towel hanging low on his hips, and the bulge beneath it already growing.

“And what do you suggest we do with such a time constraint?” Ichabod’s eyes glanced from her lips to her breast. The urges already rising in him.

Abbie spread her legs, flexible as she was, exposing her glorious chasm. Ichabod gasped as she reached down and spread her folds exposing the slick pink flesh and tiny bud.

Ichabod did away with his towel, his manhood springing up hard and erect, as he made his way to her. Her body igniting a fire, sending heat scorching through his core.

He wasted no time allowing his tongue to taste her essence as he drew it from her. He was ready, needy, wanting all of her. She was open desperate for him to be inside her. And for the next thirty minutes, he would have her.

 

~*~

 

1 ~ Crush

 

It had only been five days since Ichabod returned to England, and he was already missing Abbie terribly. He had Paulette and little Clara to keep his mind occupied when he wasn't working on the restorations or the courses he was teaching at the University. After the physical abuse and his growing use of uppers, Paulette decided it was best to file for divorce, so they were all on edge a bit wondering how Phil would respond to being served papers. It was Friday, and on top of missing the love of his life, Ichabod had what was sure to be a very unpleasant meeting to attend with Katrina and her father to attend in the evening.

"I hope you don't mind making the drive home alone this eve," Ichabod reminded Betsy as they drove onto the University campus. It was the final day of the Michaelmas Term and promised to be a fairly easy but busy one. "I'll be taking the train into London after my last class."

"Are you sure you don't want me to tag along," Betsy offered. "We can drive together. I've been meaning to go into town. Tommy and Ben can keep an eye on Paulette and Clara."

"I suppose that would be fine. I don't know how late I'll be. If it's too late I was planning to stay at Bram's flat. He's still in New York with Joe."

"Great. There's a fabric shop that has a very fine cashmere I think Abbie would love. I saw it a couple of months ago and haven't seen anything like it since. I can't wait until she gets back. I want to take her to the Winter Design Expo in January."

"Really?" Ichabod smiled. "I must say I'm very pleased that you are making such an effort to get on with Abbie."

"Oh, Iche, it's really no effort. She's amazing. And we actually have a lot in common. She and I both enjoy interior design, and singing. We both like you. Not to mention she's just fun to be around," Betsy began to gush. It wasn't the first time since he'd been back that she'd gotten caught up in her musings over Abbie. "When we go to London I want to take her to this karaoke bar on Cranbourn, I think she'll really like."

"Am I invited?" I'm beginning to think you have a crush on my fiancé." Ichabod joked.

"Wha... Huh?" Betsy turned about three shades of red feeling as if she'd been caught in something unexpectedly. "I don't... I just... She's..."

"I was only kidding," Ichabod laughed at how flustered she became. "I'm very pleased you two are becoming close."

"Right," Betsy jabbed his arm. "You can be such a wanker."

 

~

 

"Are you in the flat?" Bram asked after receiving a call from Betsy. She had arrived at his London flat before Ichabod and didn't know the alarm code to get in.

"I am, thank you. I thought Ichabod would be back before me."

"Ah, no doubt Katrina and her father are giving him the runabout. I swear it is utterly ridiculous how they refuse to sever their ties with him. I'm certainly glad I dodged that bullet."

"Speaking of, how are things with you and Joe?"

"Things couldn't be better. I know it seems fast, as we've only been together officially for ten months, but... I think he's the one."

"That's wonderful. I'm going to end up stuck, single, and following behind Ben and Thomas at the rate I'm going."

"No one has captured your interest yet?"

Betsy went quiet, unsure momentarily if entrusting Abraham with her little secret was the right thing to do.

"Elizabeth, you have found someone?" He teased

"No..." Betsy squirmed uncomfortably as she sat on the couch. "I... I had the weirdest dream. And not just once. I was with Ichabod and Abbie. Things were... Intense."

"Intense as in sex? You had a sex dream about them?" Abraham already knew. He sat up in the king-sized bed he shared with Joe, all ears. "Details please."

"Yes and... No details." Betsy winced. "I actually missed them when they were gone and I feel like I'm counting the days until Abbie gets back and we’re all together again. What the hell does this mean?"

"Okay, calm down. Are you trying to get back with Ichabod?"

"No. Absolutely not."

"And are you trying to steal Abbie away from Ichabod?" Abraham asked as Joe walked into the NY City loft, strolled over to the bed and gave him a kiss.

"No... They are so perfect together. I just really love being around them, and with them."

"It's likely a mere crush. They have this effect on people. Trust me, the same thing happened to me last Christmas."

"You're kidding. What did you do?"

"I followed them back to New York determined to figure them out. I didn't trust what they had. Not completely. Part of me thought it was too good to be true... Abbie was perhaps too good to be true. The way she looked at you with those big brown eyes...”

“And the way she smiles... I swear she has the most kissable lips a I’ve ever seen and...”

“That gorgeous ass... yes,” they both let out a longing sigh. “All wrapped up in a perfectly petite package. And she was so thoughtful, kind and charming... I thought maybe she was faking all that charm to trick Ichabod... Yet on the other hand, if it was real, I wanted to be a part of it, a part of them. She made him... better. You and I both know how persnickety and uptight he can be... she makes him so much more...”

“I know,” Betsy sighed. “As great as Ichabod was with Liza, and he’s a tremendous friend, not to mention he is phenomenal when it comes to sex... the reason we never dated is that he was a rich, uptight, know it all. Always had to be the smartest guy in the room. I mean I do love him for it, but I also might strangle him if we were ever a couple,” she chuckled. “Abbie really does bring out the best in him. I really love that in him... in them. He’s still jealous as hell though.”

“He is a better man,” Abraham agreed. “How could he not be around her. It amazed me, and concerned me.”

"So what exactly happened when you followed them to New York?"

"I found that they were the real deal, and I had no place in it, other than to be a supportive friend. I realized for the first time I wanted what they had... And then... I met Joe." Abraham gave Joe a wink. “I saw the same compassion and heart in him that I saw in Abbie. No doubt they got it from their father, who raised them well.”

"Does Joe know you had a crush on them?"

"Of course. We tell each other everything. But he knew. He says he saw it when I first showed up."

"Do you think I should tell Ichabod or leave Bellington?"

"No, I don't think so," Abraham spoke honestly. "Betsy, you have been through so much. And for a long time, you used Ichabod as a crutch, because you were unable to move on after losing Jonathan and Liza. I think you're finally seeing it now in Ichabod and Abbie. And being around them feels comfortable, intimate, and safe. Maybe it's time for you to open your heart to the possibility of falling in love."

"I have been feeling like I'm ready for love and family again... And you're right, I feel safe with them."

"You will sort it all out. Now, if you tell me about your Ichabbie dream, I'll tell you about mine," Abraham laughed but was quite serious.

"Tempting, I bet yours was a good one," Betsy smiled amused and curious as she heard the door opening. "Iche is finally here. I hope he brought food, I'm famished."

"Blasted!" Ichabod swore from the foyer.

"Uh oh... I'd better check on him. I don't think the meeting went well."

"Very well. Have him call me later." Abraham hung up to see Joe staring back at him with folded arms. “Oh come now, you’re not upset, are you? I told you eons ago about my little crush.”

“Yeah I know, but still... it’s weird to hear you talk about them,” Joe kept a straight face though he was sulking a little inside. He slowly started peeling out of his EMT uniform after a long shift.

“The important thing is that I only have eyes for you now,” Abraham looked him up and down as he got undressed, Joe was built like a fine machine and Abraham was grateful for their well spent time in the gym.

“Hmm...” Joe peered at his lover who was watching him seductively from the bed. “What about Betsy? Do I need to be worried about her screwing around with Iche and my sister getting her heartbroken?”

“No. First of all, despite Ichabod’s past, he would never cheat on Abbie. This I know. And as far as Betsy... I think she has a bigger crush on Abbie than Ichabod,” Abraham laughed.

“Good lord are all of your friends (sexually) fluid?” Joe shook his head, as he finished undressing intending to take a shower.

“No... Some more than others," Abraham smiled. "That aside, I will say that some of us had our run back in our hay day. Now I think we’re all ready to settle down.”

Joe gave him a curious look. He tried not to concern himself with the fact that Abraham was bisexual, thus equally attracted to women. But it worried him that thoughts of settling down might draw Bram back to the female persuasion. And even as a gay man, Joe was pretty masculine, not a feminine bone in his body. “You think you’re ready to settle down? Since when?”

“Since I met you, gorgeous,” Abraham pulled back the duvet with a wicked grin. He had a stiff arousal from watching Joe get naked. “Now, how about you settle down... on me.”

“That I can do.” Joe climbed onto the bed, getting on his knees, and wedging himself between Abraham’s thighs.

Abraham took him in hand and began stroking his length, as Joe returned the favor.

“Oh... damn... I do love your distraction tactic,” Joe moaned as the delightful sensation of a shared hand job, excited him.

“And I love you,” Abraham groaned. “Now, please fuck me.”

 

~

 

2 ~ Revenge

 

Betsy hung up and made her way to the open kitchen where Ichabod stood, palms hard pressed against the counter. The vein in his neck and forehead throbbed as he clenched his jaw, the stress line clear across his upper cheek.

"Ichabod," Betsy approached with caution. "Was it that bad?"

He only looked in her direction, seething, eyes dampened with anger.

"What happened? I know Katrina can be a bitch but surely her father is a reasonable businessman."

"Mr. VanTassel wasn't there!" Ichabod quipped.

Betsy went to touch his arm, a friendly gesture, but he pulled away from her. "Do not touch me. I don't need nor want your comfort."

"Ichabod Crane," Betsy stood taken aback. "Did I do something wrong? Did the meeting go badly because of something I did?"

"I apologize, Betsy... The fault is not with you, but with me. I have no one to blame for this but myself." Ichabod looked around, as if sorting through what he should do next. "I... I shouldn't stay here. It's not appropriate. You stay the night and I'll see if there's a late train back to Lincoln..."

"Ichabod don't be reticule us. You aren't leaving. There is nothing inappropriate going on between us." Betsy protested. "Now sit down and talk to me. What happened at the meeting? What did Katrina say to you?"

"T'was not a meeting, but a farce! She is a cruel bitter woman. But I am at fault. She is scorned more deeply than I could have imagined."

"I take it she's still not willing to settle the trust. But it's not like you to get so angry over money."

"She was willing to settle. Not just that, but to forgo repayment of the debt in its entirety."

"Ichy, this is good... I mean, if the terms were agreeable..."

"The terms were deplorable. She wanted me for one hour in her bed, so that she could have her revenge."

"What?" Betsy could hardly believe it. "Revenge for what?"

"For me cheating on her with you. Revenge for me giving Abbie everything that she believes is due her."

“Iche, tell me what happened.”

*

 

"Right this way Mr. Crane," Hilda escorted him up the stairs and down the hallway of the Kensington townhouse.

She opened the double doors to Katrina's bedroom suite where she was waiting, pouring two glasses of white wine. She wore a long floor length satin robe with low heeled slip-on shoes.

"You're right on time Ichabod," she glanced up slightly but left her focus on the wine. "Hilda you are dismissed for the evening."

Hilda nodded and closed the door behind her as she left.

"Katrina, where is your father? We should conclude this meeting as quickly as possible."

"This meeting is between us, Ichabod. Have a seat." Katrina handed him a glass of wine. "I have a contract here that will absolve you of any and all debts incurred from trust fund money used to sustain Bellington. You need only agree to my terms, and you will not have to pay a single pence."

"And what exactly are your terms, Katrina," Ichabod peered at her waiting for the hook.

"I want you to be exactly who you have always been. The man that you were with Mary, and with me."

"What on earth are you getting on about?"

"You are a lying, cheating whoremonger." She sat across the bed and untied the robe from her waist.

Ichabod stood averting his eyes from her pale naked body, and sat the glass of wine down. "You are out of your mind! When you caught us, you could have ended things. I told you we should end it, but you took me back. And I was faithful to you after that."

"Agree to the terms Ichabod, or I will take you to court. I will bleed through Mr. Perish's retirement funds and make him regret ever helping you."

"What is the point of this?" Ichabod gasped exasperated.

"Revenge Ichabod! I want revenge for what you did to me! I was willing to give you everything I had and it wasn't good enough! But her! You just couldn't get enough of Elizabeth! "

"I explained to you what that was about... It was a time when we needed each other. It wasn't about love it was about two friends finding comfort. She was suffering..."

Katrina stood and got in his face, pointing a stern finger in his chest, "She was suffering! Was she suffering when I walked in to find her on her knees sucking your cock!? Well, you must think you have a magic dick!"

Ichabod took a step back waving a long finger back at her and in her face. "You are such a bitch!"

 

"No, she's the bitch for using a dead baby for sympathy fucks! And you are a kinky bastard. What was she doing with a dildo strapped on, huh? Doing the nasty shit I would not do for you! That’s what it was really about, not hurt or comfort!”

Ichabod clenched his fist in pure frustration then immediately dropped his hand to his side. Never had he been so angry with a woman, but would not give her the satisfaction.

"Don't worry Ichabod, I don't care if it's rough, as long as you do it. I want one hour with you in my bed."

"You must be daft! You think I'm going to sleep with you to pay a debt and then what, you run to Abbie, ruin our lives. Do you think I will take you back after that?"

"I don't care if your lives are ruined. I have no intentions of telling Abbie anything. I just want to prove that you were a filthy cheat with me and you will be the same to her. I want the satisfaction, the revenge, but I don't want you."

"I don't believe any of this. You're mental!"

Katrina pulled out her phone and began an audio recording. "This is Katrina VanTassel. I have made a very generous offer to cancel all debts owed to me by Ichabod Crane if he will agree to spend one hour with me in my bed. I have a contract ready sign. If he is agreeable afterward we will go our separate ways, and he will owe me nothing. Do you agree, Ichabod? All you have to do is say yes. We will handle things in the bedroom. You give me what I want and I'll sign the contract. Otherwise. I will see you in court."

"Katrina! I give up. You are insane!" Ichabod turned to leave.

"Are you going to give me what I want?"

"Hell no!"

"You're not leaving!"

"Of course I am. What did you expect me to do when you leave me no choice!" Ichabod barked and made his way to the door."

"Ichabod Crane, I am warning you! I will make sure my father drags you and John Parish through the court system for years. You will both go broke and I will do whatever I can to get Bellington and have it torn down!"

***

"Oh my god, Ichy." Betsy gasped her anger boiling to the tipping point. "I'm going to throttle that bitch!"

"Don't bother. I am done dealing with her from this point on."

"But she says she's going to come after you legally!"

Ichabod stood and walked to the window, silent looking over the river and the evening city lights. It was sobering more than peaceful as his mind pondered how his past relationship was coming back to bite him in the ass.

"I'm done with Katrina, Betsy. I just... I don't know what to tell Abbie."

"Just tell her the truth. Katrina tried to bribe you, and manipulate you, but you refused her advances. Abbie will understand. As long as nothing happened. Right?"

"Do you think she'd forgive me if it did?"

"I don't think you'd forgive yourself... Ichabod Crane!" Betsy was beginning to worry that she didn't get a direct no. It wasn’t like him to be so obtuse. "Nothing happened right?"

"Of course not," Ichabod tapped the window. "I never want to do anything to hurt Abbie. Yet once again my financial dilemma is bringing distress upon our future together."

Betsy sighed, relieved that his demeanor was due to the financial guilt, not for guilt over having succumbed to Katrina's sexual demands.

"It's still early in New York... Why don't we get something to eat. That'll give you some time to pull yourself together, and think of what you want to tell Abbie and John."

 

~

 

3 ~ Unexpected

 

Abbie had a busy Friday, approving ads for the wine after a very successful spread in Wine Country Magazine. Daniel was hoping she would consider adding a few acres of vineyard since the soil on her land was yielding a very unique rich flavor to the grapes. She'd need to go over the property layout to make sure that the views to the B&B would still be optimal, and decide if the expansion would be on her property or Ichabod's Farm. So all in all, business was going well. It had been a very productive week.

As she walked into her apartment her cell phone rang. She had expected it to be Ichabod. He usually called before bed UK time, but it was a Bronx NY area code.

"Hello?"

"Hello, this is Camilla Santos with the City of New York's Bronx Department of Child Protective Services. I need to speak with Ms. Abigail Mills."

"This is her," Abbie put down her purse, as her attention was on high alert.

"Are you acquainted with Ms. Gloria Rivera and her son Lucas Morales?"

"Yes. She's... A friend and Lucas is my step-son."

"Ms. Mills, I'm sorry to have to tell you Ms. Rivera suffered an aneurysm while at work today. I'm afraid she didn't make it."

"Oh my God..." Abbie gasped. It was so unexpected.

"Lucas's school has you listed as family contact and next of kin. I have him with me now but we have a family ready to take temporary custody of him if you are unable to come to get him."

"No..." Abbie's mind was racing a million miles a minute. "I'll be there in about four hours."

 

~

 

Ichabod stewed over his carry out, picking at it but barely taking a bite. Instead, he watched the time on his phone. It was well almost eleven now in London and it was nearly time to give Abbie a call.

"You need to eat Ichy. Everything is going to be fine. John knows the laws here and he has connections, so I'm confident he will sort it all out."

"Perhaps you are right," Ichabod stared at his phone hardly comforted. When it rang and he saw 'Treasure' pop up, he was almost relieved that she was calling him first. "It's Abbie."

"I'll leave you to it," Betsy got up from her spot at the kitchen bar where they were eating, taking her plate. "She loves you. Everything will be fine."

He knew Betsy was right. It was just difficult after feeling free of the debts for so long and being so happily planning his future with Abbie, to have Katrina drag him back down. "Good evening, Treasure. How are you?"

"Crane... I... I'm on my way to the Bronx to get Lucas."

"Abbie? Are you crying?" Ichabod's concern about his situation completely went away when he heard the quiver in her voice. "What's wrong?"

"It's Gloria... She just passed away..."

"Oh dear heavens, that's awful." Ichabod's heart sank.

"I have to go get Lucas."

"Please tell me what I can do," He'd been only fourteen when his mother passed. Abbie was eleven when she lost hers. He knew this had to bring up those old feelings and memories for her, and he hated being so far away. "Anything you need."

"I don't know... Gloria's family is in Puerto Rico and the Moraleses are in Mexico... I don't know what to do."

"I'll be there as soon as I can get a flight."

"Crane you don't have to come all this way..."

"Of course I do. I don't want you to have to go through this alone."

"Crane..."

He could hear the brokenness in her voice. He understood, they’d both been through the loss of their mother and sympathized greatly for Lucas.

"I know."

 

~

It was a sobering moment when she walked through the doors. Lucas sat in a private the waiting room, his head hung low as she kept a calming hand rubbing his back.

She didn't have words for him. She'd been in that very same place, not so long ago.

She went to his side, and put her arms around him. "Lucas. I'm here."

He had no words for her as he collapsed into her arms.

 

~

 

4 ~ Lucas

 

Abbie took Lucas back to his apartment so that he could sleep in his own bed. Ichabod arrived the next day which was very much a relief to Abbie to just have him there with her. She made several calls to Luke, which he didn't take at first, but she supposed once he listened to her voicemail, his attitude changed and he called her back.

"I'll pay for round trip tickets for Mrs. Rivera... And I've already arranged for my parents to come from Mexico," he offered.

"That's such a relief," Abbie felt like she took her first eased breath since she got Lucas the night before. "When will you be here?"

"I... I can't Abs. I'm being featured in a music video and its shooting this week."

"Luke... Arrangements have to be made..."

"Just call the funeral home and get whatever you need. I'll pay for everything."

"And what about arrangements for Lucas? Her family attorney is coming tomorrow morning to discuss..."

"There's nothing to discuss. Gloria left you as his guardian Abs, so whatever you decide is fine. My accountant will call you today to set up the deposits, so don't worry about the money. I have to go."

"Wait, Luke... Don't you want to talk to him?"

"Abbie, look, I'm really sorry for him. But... I never asked for any of this okay. My parents will be there tomorrow. Bye Abs."

Abbie stared at her phone shocked. This must be what Gloria went through all these years with Luke. He always paid his child support but was never really there for his son.

"He's not coming is he?" Ichabod could tell by the look on her face the call had been a colossal disappointment.

"No... I just don't understand," Abbie shook her head. Her own father never showed up when her mother died. It shouldn't surprise her that some men just didn't take care of their children, but it did, and it hurt. "He's just throwing money at this whole situation and turning his back."

"What will you do?"

"Marta said she'll help with the funeral arrangements, but... They can't have Lucas live with them at the retirement community. It's against policy. Gloria's mother is elderly and lives with her sister in Puerto Rico. She's not able to take Lucas either."

"What did Gloria want?" Ichabod sat beside her and took her hand in his.

"All I know is that she named me as his emergency Contact and Guardian... I don't know what she wanted as a permanent solution in this situation."

~

 

"Ms. Rivera was very clear when we revisited her will after your divorce. Mr. Morales lost custody and all parental rights. If he wants those rights reinstated, he'll have to go to court. She was adamant that custody of her son still go to you in the event she became disabled or had an untimely death. She did inform you, did she not?"

"I mean yes... But I'm not prepared to take in a nine-year-old. I never imagined that she’d want me as a permanent solution to parent him. I'm traveling a lot and trying to run a business..."

"Well, if you are unable to find a permanent solution, he can always go into the foster care system."

"No..." that was not an option to Abbie. She'd gone into foster care before Corbin took her in. “I'll take him. I will just have to figure some things out."

 

~

 

The funeral took place by the end of the following week. Lucas stayed close by Abbie's side most of the time, his little face somber, his dark eyes filled with grief and tears that occasionally seeped out. There were other times when he was deeply grieved and inconsolable, lashing out briefly before retreating into a state of tears and sadness. Abbie knew there was little she could do to cheer him up, all she could do was be there for him. Lou and Marta were a great help with Lucas. It was comforting to him that his grandparents were around since his father was not.

Things began to calm after a few days. It would be time for Marta, Lou and Ms. Rivera to leave soon and Abbie needed time to try and make arrangements. Ichabod had a lot on his mind as well. He went outside to get some fresh air and found Lou outside sitting on the stoop.

“Pardon, Mr. Morales. I didn’t mean to interrupt your solace.”

“No, come, sit with me,” The elderly man offered. He looked troubled and Ichabod knew he must have something weighing heavy on him.

Ichabod sat beside him, people watching as the sun began to go down. After a few minutes in silence, he struck up a conversation. “So... will you be returning to Mexico to continue your holiday?”

“It depends on how Lucas is doing. We don’t get to see our family very often, but right now, Lucas is most important. We’ll be here as long as he needs us.” Lou looked down, still troubled.

“You’re a good grandfather.”

“I have tried, but... I have failed mi nieto. I raised his father, loved him, supported him... I can’t understand why he will not be a father to Lucas. No matter how I have tried, how I've pushed, he does not love his son the way a father should. And so, I have failed him.”

“You and Mrs. Morales are wonderful people. Surely you cannot take Luke’s actions on as your own burden.”

“But now we’re asking Abbie to take on that burden,” Lou let out a heavy sigh. “We are too old to take on a young boy. We’ve just settled into the place we intend to spend the last ten years of our life. But Abbie is so young. She has her whole life ahead of her. It’s not right that Luke leave her with his responsibilities.”

“Abbie loves Lucas, sir. She will do everything she can for him.”

“I know this,” Lou agreed. “She has always been a beautiful blessing to our family. I wonder, Ichabod, what about you?”

“Sir?”

“I know you and Luke do not get along. Mijo, can you look at Lucas and not see his father? Can you care for mi nieto, if he is with Abbie?”

Now Ichabod sat quiet at the sobering reality.

“You are a good man Ichabod Crane. Lucas needs Abbie, which means he needs you too. But if you can’t take this on, let me and my wife know. Lucas is a strong loving boy, but he can’t take much more hurt.”

“I understand, sir,” Ichabod nodded. The two sat in silence for a while longer. Both had a lot on their minds. Ichabod pondering what his future with Abbie and what he would do for the woman he intended to spend the rest of his life with.

 

~

 

Lucas had missed the last week of school before the Christmas break and would not be returning in January. She had to call the elementary school in the district where she lived and attempt to get his records transferred.

"How did it go with the school principal?" Ichabod asked as he sat at the end of the bed where Abbie laid exasperated, her arm stretched over her forehead. Ichabod took one of her petite feet in his hand and began a slow soothing massage.

"They said not to worry about last weeks assignments. He didn't miss very much because of holiday celebrations. But, I have to get him registered at East Lake Elementary before they can send his transcripts."

"How does Lucas feel about all of this?"

"He's sad that he has to leave his home, but he knows we can't stay in the city. He's more worried that I'll leave him than anything. I promised him I won't."

"No doubt he's had more than enough change as it is. To lose his mum so suddenly after everything else."

"I know. I just want to make this transition as easy as possible for him. I'm afraid you and I won't see each other as much as we were hoping we would, but he needs stability right now."

"I wanted to speak with you about this particularly... However... I do not wish to overstep my bounds here."

"Mmm..." She hummed as his hands began to work her other foot, easing away the tension. "Please, baby. I am so stressed out right now, anything you have to offer in the way of advice is welcome."

"Does Lucas have a passport?"

"Yeah... we went to Mexico with Lou and Marta three years ago. Why do you ask?"

"Since Lucas will have to switch schools, either way, I was wondering if you might consider the two of you coming to England."

Abbie sat up looking at him curiously, "you're serious?"

"Very... As an alumnus, I am certain I can get him into the school that Bram, Jeremy and I went to. It's got a premier year-round football program, which would be good for Lucas. He loves the sport. We can get him there with his passport whilst we work on obtaining his Visa."

You want us to move to the UK?"

"At least for the next term, it would keep us together, and I believe the change... being at Bellington... could be therapeutic for him."

"Grace's place would be just as therapeutic..."

"But we would be apart, again."

"I don't know anything about the education system or how custodial rights work in the UK.”

"I do. I will navigate the education system and immigration. Abbie, if you both go back to the Finger Lakes, we would not be able to be together. And... You're right that Lucas needs stability. In a few months, you and I will be wed. It's time for us to start thinking about how to move forward as a couple... Together. And if Lucas is going to be with you, then... he's going to be with us."

"Crane... I don't know if..."

"Abbie, I have to be in England. Between Bellington and working at the University, my hands are tied. I know we both have avoided the issue of where we would live, believing we'd have more time before these types of decisions would need to be determined, however, we are in need of resolving things now," he looked at her sternly in all seriousness. It was the first time one of them was asking the other to make a decision on where they would live.

"I'm just worried about making a mistake with Lucas." Abbie exhaled warily. "He really needs me. He needs to be settled in a stable home."

"We can give him a stable home at Bellington, together. If we're separated, how will he feel every time you leave to visit me, but he has to stay behind for school?" Ichabod asked earnestly. "I want you both to come home with me. It's our home just as much as Grace's Place is, and we can be together. I am not willing to be away from you for the next five months."

 

~

 

5 ~ Changes

 

It was not an easy decision, but after thinking on it for a few days, Abbie decided to trust Ichabod and make the move to Bellington with Lucas. Things went smoothly once the Dean accepted Lucas into the school. Leena had assured her that she and Nick could handle things.

With only two weeks before Christmas, she worried about him. How would he handle his first holiday without the one person who had been the constant in his life, the person who loved him most in the world?

He'd been quiet a lot. Both Abbie and Ichabod had tried several times to get him to open up, but he wasn't ready, which they both understood all too well. It would happen on his own time, when he was ready. They just wanted to reassure him that they were there, to talk or just sit and be with him. Abbie really just wanted him to know that he had a lot of people that loved him very much and that he would never be alone.

It was a mild early winter for Lincoln. Abbie remembered last Christmas it had snowed. This year it didn't seem like they would be graced with a white covered landscape for the holiday. As they drove up to the vast property, it still very much looked like late autumn instead of winter.

"I don't believe we'll be getting snow this Christmas, so there may not be sledding or ice skating on the pond." Ichabod glanced back in the rearview mirror.

Lucas stayed staring out of the window, seemingly lost in his own little world.

"There's still a couple of weeks. The weather could turn," Abbie added. "At least with the fields clear you boys can play soccer. I mean football. Won't that be fun?"

"Yeah..." Lucas managed, still staring longingly out the window.

Abbie looked at Ichabod a bit worried. Lucas could talk endlessly about soccer, and now he couldn't even muster up a whole word much less any enthusiasm.

"That's the field where Jeremy and I play," Ichabod pointed to a massive clearing. "The ground is level. We just need to put up some goals."

In the distance, Mr. Potts the groundskeeper, appeared coming off of one of the horse trails riding a horse. Lucas looked up, his interest piqued.

"You have horses?"

"Yes," Ichabod looked back to see Lucas sitting up, eyes brimming with interest. "Only two at the moment, that's Mine, Smokey. And Jeremy's horse is River. He must be at the stables. There used to be a couple dozen at one time. Perhaps once we get things up and running we can see about getting more."

"Can I ride sometime?"

"Absolutely. Every day if you like. I'm sure Mr. Potts wouldn't mind the company, and I don't have as much time as I used to."

"But you'll ride with me sometimes, right?"

"Yes... Of course. I'd rather enjoy that." Ichabod and Abbie gave each other a smile.

“Awesome," Lucas smiled "I... I think I left my soccer ball in New York.”

“Don’t worry we’ve got some. And we’ll get you your own tomorrow,” Ichabod promised.

As the turned the corner, Bellington came into view. That's when Lucas' eyes truly lit up. "Whoa is that areal castle?"

"Sure is," Abbie grinned. "That portion there is over six hundred years old."

"Cool! Is it haunted? It totally looks haunted."

"No," Ichabod chuckled. "However there are many secret passageways and rooms hidden behind the stone walls."

"Can I see them?"

"Of course," Ichabod chimed.

"Awesome," Lucas smiled again, thinking maybe this won't be so bad.

"Only with Ichabod," Abbie added already mothering. "I don't want you getting lost or trapped somewhere."

Lucas and Ichabod exchanged mischievous grins and Abbie knew she was going to have her hands full with these two. She also felt for the first time, Lucas was going to be okay with them, and that maybe this move was the right thing to do. Being together really was the most important thing right now, and Bellington was just the place to keep a young boy physically and imaginatively occupied with its mystery and intrigue.

 

~

There was much to do in the two weeks leading up to Christmas Eve. Bedroom suites needed to be prepared for the onslaught of guests coming for a visit as well as halls to be decked and a tree to be trimmed. There were moments when Lucas would retreat back into himself, missing his mom and a few times he stayed in his room. But time helped, as did the business and activity around Bellington.

Each morning Lucas went out and assisted Mr. Potts with Smokey and River, and as promised Ichabod rode with him whenever he had time. That, along with regular football sparing, was becoming their thing. Abbie was pleased that they were getting along so well. And Clara was glad to have another kid to run around the house and lawn with her and climb the old apple trees. There were times when Lucas struggled with the loss of his mom, but often he seemed to thrive in the new environment in the month following her passing.

 

~

 

6 ~ Christmas Eve

 

As Christmas was upon them, their guests began to descend on Bellington. First Grams, who always looked forward to coming home for Christmas. She’d been so much better since she got closure about her marriage.

Then within days of each other Jeremy and Macey arrived, followed by her parents, Frank and Cynthia, Grandpa Jacob, and finally Joe and Abraham.

It was a full house, but fortunately, there were rooms ready in the adjacent Inn. Macey took one of the Accessible rooms, while her parents took one of the suites.

By Christmas Eve everyone was bustling about in the kitchen baking the treats for the night.

"More icing and less eating," Abbie gave a stern but playful warning to Clara and Lucas who were eating more icing than they were putting on the sugar cookies.

"Mines a squirrel," Clara smiled as she dumped a load of red sugar sprinkles on her cookie.

"I have a moose," Lucas chimed in.

"Isn't that supposed to be a reindeer?" Abbie gave Ichabod a curious look.

"They wanted a variety of Christmas animals for Santa," Ichabod grinned as he took a freshly baked tray of pecan chocolate chip cookies from the oven.

"Just in time . Might my turnovers to go in the oven?" Grams asked as she rolled out her last one.

"Is there room for my famous sweet potato pie?" Grampa Jacob made it from scratch and had it ready to bake.

"There's definitely room for two in the oven," Delilah slid her turnovers to the side.

"Perfect fit. Your turnovers sure do look good Ms. Delilah.

"I'll let you sneak a taste when their piping hot," she gave him a wink.

"I'll be ready when you are." Jacob smiled. "I need to get the roast in the slow cooker."

"Oh I do love a good thick slow-cooked meat that's had time to be perfected," Delilah hummed. "The meat gets so tender it practically melts in your mouth. I'm sure yours will be worth the wait, Mr. Roberts."

"Crane... Are they..." Abbie whispered. She looked between the two of them who seemed to be making eyes at each other.

"I'm not certain what is happening here," Ichabod looked slightly confused.

"Okay, it's time for Christmas Karaoke," Frank called them to join everyone in the Parlor.

~

Christmas Karaoke was an absolute blast. The cutest was when the kids sang Jingle bell Rock. They ended the singing with a perfectly planned rendition of Silent Night. Frank did the storyline having Grampa Jacob and Ichabod sing the baritone, Abbie and Betsy were his sopranos, and everyone else in the middle with altos and tenors.

By eleven the kids were worn out and falling asleep, as Grampa Jacob told the Christmas story in his soothing James Earl Jones voice. His deep tone soon had the kids fast asleep.

‘You’ve been kind of quiet all day,” Abbie whispered as she sat with Betsy in the corner. “You okay?”

She had been content to stay out of the way. Christmas wasn’t really her holiday. “Yeah... I will be. I usually spend Christmas alone and meet up with the guys for New Years.”

“Oh...”

“Yeah... This time of year is the hardest. But this year I feel ready for... I don’t know. I think I’m ready to start over. Fall in love.”

“Have you met someone? Abbie asked, “Who’s the lucky guy... or girl.”

He or she isn’t real, yet,” Betsy smiled, her gaze drifted to some place distant.

“Well,” Abbie took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “I hope whatever it is you’re hoping for, happens for you.”

“Thanks, Abbie. You are pretty amazing. Ichabod is so lucky to have you. You both are...”

“What are you two doing over here alone?” Ichabod interrupted, keeping his voice low as he wedged between the two of them. “Is this the naughty corner?”

“It is now,” Abbie teased giving him a kiss, before they turned their attention back to Jacob and his storytelling.

 

 

When he finished, Everyone stretched and said their goodnights. Paulette carried Clara up to bed.

“Do you think you can handle this one?” Ichabod asked Abbie as they looked at Lucas who was fast asleep. “I need to have a little talk with my brother.”

“Hmm... is this about him and Macey sneaking around?”

“Indeed.”

“They need to just be upfront with Frank that they’re having sex.”

“That’s what I intend to convince him to do,” Ichabod let out a sigh. At this rate, they will surely get caught.”

“Go ahead,” Abbie gave him a quick kiss. “I got him.”

There was no way Abbie was going to do it with any grace since he was nearly as tall as she was. She calmly shook him awake enough that he could meander up to the room, leaning on her arm.

"Okay, into bed with you young man," Abbie pulled back the covers and tucked him in.

"Abbie... Do you think my mom knows it's Christmas?"

"I think she does."

"Does she know how much I miss her? I mean... I'm glad that I'm here with you but sometimes when I'm having fun, it feels weird and..." His voice trailed off as he struggled to express what he was feeling.

"It's okay to miss your mom, and feel sad. I still miss my mom, all the time," Abbie brushed his dark locks from his forehead. "And... it's okay to have fun. Your mom wants you to be happy, more than anything. I think when you smile she smiles as she watches over you."

Lucas smiled and closed his eyes. "Thanks, Abbie. You're really cool."

"You're really cool too kiddo." Abbie gave him a small peck on the forehead.

Ichabod stopped in the doorway and watched how tender she was with him.

"Good night Lucas. Merry Christmas." Abbie turned out his light.

"Merry Christmas Abbie. Merry Christmas Iche,” Lucas snugged under the covers.

“Merry Christmas Lucas,” Ichabod chimed with a smile as he reached to take Abbie’s hand.

 

~

 

7 ~ Celebrate

 

 

 

Ichabod kept his one hand behind his back, after the two entered the hallway. Abbie closed Lucas’ bedroom door behind them as Ichabod looked at her with a mischievous grin.

“What do you have there,” she teased reaching behind his back.

Ichabod held out the bottle of brown liquor. “Now that the children are in bed. We can celebrate properly.”

“Is that so?” Abbie giggled as he gently pressed her against the wall, leaning in to kiss her neck. “I think you started without me.”

“I may have partaken,” he grinned before capturing her soft lips in a kiss. Abbie wrapped her arms around his shoulders as her body leaned into him, their tongues swirled together languidly as their lips pressed.

It was a beautiful sight, something out of a dream she’d had more times than she could admit. When Betsy came to the top of the stairway and saw the two of them completely enraptured in each other, she smiled longingly. They were perfect for each other and so truly in love. It was no wonder they never heard her. It wasn’t until she slipped past them, that Abbie caught a glimpse of her, and parted from Ichabod’s lips.

“Hey...” Abbie peeked up as Ichabod tugged gently at her ear with a kiss. She thought maybe with Betsy having a hard time during the holiday, she might not want to be alone. “We were just about to have a drink... Wanna join us?”

Betsy went red-cheeked. The sight of them was making her mind go places that she was certain Abbie wasn’t intending. “I don’t know...”

“We’ve got the good stuff,” Ichabod waved the liquor and gave her a sly grin.

“I um... I think you’re ready for more than just drinks,” She grinned. “I’ll let you two enjoy yourselves.”

“Are you going to be okay?” Abbie asked.

“Yeah, I am. Thanks for the offer. Goodnight, you two.”

“Goodnight,” they both waved to her as she went to her room.

“Thank you, Treasure,” Ichabod looked lovingly into her eyes caressing her cheek. “I’ve been a bit distracted with Lucas and making arrangements for his move here. I’d almost forgotten how difficult Christmas is for her.

“You don’t have to thank me. Betsy is really special... and I truly consider her a friend. And you, Mr. Crane,” Abbie kissed the palm of his hand as he gently brushed her cheek. “The way you’ve been there for me and Lucas... the way you’ve stepped up... You amaze me. I love you so much.”

“I love you, Abbie.” Ichabod gently brought his forehead to hers. “Sometimes I can hardly fathom how fortunate I am that we have found each other. You are truly my better half.”

“Crane...” Abbie whispered his name breathlessly as she pulled him into her kiss.

Their desire for each other entertained seamlessly, as their lips and tongues collided with deep unrelenting passion. They meandered their way, down the hallway to their bedroom, barely making it in. Her back against the door, they slowly began to undress each other.

As they kissed, long wet, tongues tangled in a dance, as he slowly slid his hand between her thigh, up and then sliding it across the folds. Her legs went slightly apart as he began to slick his fingers with her essence.

“I love how wet you are when I touch inside you,” he groaned.

“Uhnn... only you baby... mmmm....” She shuddered at the workings of his strong rough hands. Their lips hardly parted as they panted heavily into each other’s mouths.

Ichabod kissed down her body, tenderly nibbling at her nipples and sucking and her breasts, one then the other, as he cupped them in his hand. He breathed his way down, taking in her natural scent... beautiful, alluring, beckoning him to taste. He pushed her legs apart, letting his tongue firmly slide along the length of her, from her bud, down the slit of her chasm, to the tiny hole, and back again.

“Ooohhh... fu....” she purred as he delighted her senses with each kiss, lapping, sucking, playing... his fingers thrust inside her as his tongue nibbled then sucked her clit with rapid vigor. Mercy, he could drive her mad.

She began to quiver as she let herself go and the first burst of overwhelming pleasure struck her. She came hard in his mouth, and he loved every sound she made as he lapped up all that she had to give him, the taste of her better than the finest wine or the sweetest honey.

“I need you... mmm… inside me now,” She panted hard, barely able to make the word, as she rode out the orgasm.

He stood, lifting her wide spread legs. The head of his cock easily found her sopping wet entrance. Slowly he pressed inside, stretching her, they both moaned, loving the way it felt when their bodies merged. She sank down on him, as he thrust up into her.

Their passion fueled, hooded eyes locked upon each other, as he began a hard steady rhythm with her back against the door.

He pulled her away from the door and layer back on their bed, letting her ride on top of him. Her breasts teased as they bobbed before him, her nails digging into his chest. The look on her face as she took control of how his cock slid inside of her and raked across her clit, was priceless. She tossed her head back with a heavy groan as he grabbed her hips and bucked up into her, matching her rhythm.

“Uhn, uhnn... coming... so hard...” She was in a pure state of euphoria and it was everything to him. “Crane, Crane, Craaaannnnmmmmm...”

She slowed as she rode the high, then slid off of his rock hard cock. Ichabod thought she wanted to change positions, and smiled with utmost delight, when she crouched between his thighs and took his dripping wet cock in her hand. Her juices were all over him, mixed with his precum. Slowly she began to lick him, the head first, languidly dragging her tongue over the wet beads that dripped from his tiny slit. Her long tongue then slid down his length. The two of them mixed together, the taste, was intoxicating to her. The way she enjoyed it made every nerve in his body spring to life.

“My god... Treasure...” Ichabod’s voice caught in a heavy groan as she took his sack in her mouth, sucking and sending electricity jolting through his body. Back up to the head again, she tongued the slit with her long luscious tongue before sucking his head into her mouth.

“Ohh... f.... Mercy...” he hummed huskily as big brown eyes looked up at hem. Her lips were perfection, stretched and wrapped around his thick long dick. They plumped as she took him in as deep as she could, her mouth sliding up and down, as she hummed her delight. He caressed her cheek and neck in his hand as his hips rose up forcing himself deeper into her mouth.

“Uhhhh my god... so good, baby,” his breath hitched with each stroke as her fingers fondled his sack and the turgid flesh just behind it.

“I need to come with you,” he groaned, desperate to stave off his gratification so they could be together. His body ached as she pulled him from her mouth, but he knew buried inside her chasm was where he needed to be.

Abbie laid back spreading her legs wide, letting her swollen clit and pink flesh peek from her soft brown folds. Her fingers vigorously rubbed her clit and slicking her juices across her mound.

“You are perfection,” Ichabod growled, his hooded eyes lustfully gazing at her, as he took his cock in hand.

He leaned himself across her body, their lips and tongues colliding once again. Their juices mixing in each other’s mouths was an exhilarating taste like nothing else in the world.

He guided the head of his cock inside her, as they moaned heavy at the feel of being connected so intimately once again. Both were invigorated by the contact they so desperately craved.

He took one of her hands in his, pressing it into the bed as he began delving slowly, deeply into her. Making love to her was the most precious gift in the world, and he savored every moment he was blessed to be inside of her, to feel her wet walls tightening and constrict around his thick cock.

“Uhhh... fu....” Abbie moaned softly into his mouth, as he stretched her. She reached down with her free hand and grasped his ass, pulling him deeper inside of her, feeling his muscles flexing as he thrust.

He quickened his rhythm, quickly sliding his cock in and out, as her pussy became engorged. She was squirming now, digging her nails into his flesh as her breaths and pants grew rapid. Their bodies glistened with sweat as her hips rose up and as he drove into her, over and over again.

“Come with me,” Ichabod’s deep soft voice demanded.

“Mmm... yessss... oh god, oh god!” She was so close.

“Let go, and come with me,” he began to groan as his own desire and the sound of hers bubbling to the surface, sent him over the edge. His body stiffened as hers trembled and went limp and they both shared in the euphoric bliss of their bond. With three firm thrust, he expelled his seed deep inside of her and continued slowly rocking inside of her as she rode the rest of her high. They kissed tenderly as they enjoyed each other’s body and recovered from the vigorous lovemaking.

Finally, completely spent, he collapsed beside her, pulling her close and holding her in his arms. Abbie loved that he was a cuddler after sex, something she had never really done a lot before him. She kissed his chin and chest as she snuggled into his embrace. He kissed the top of her head as he closed his eyes.

“In my most imaginative dreams, I never could have known I would be so happy as I am with you, Abbie. I love you with every ounce of my being.”

“I know,” Abbie smiled softly as she hugged closer, resting her head upon his chest, breathing in his sent and their scent together. “I love you so much, Crane. What we have... it’s everything to me.”

 

~*~

Chapter Text

ESL 23

 

~Intro~

 

“Oh god yes!” She cried out. She couldn’t remember the last time she came so hard. They collapsed beside each other breathing heavy, giggling at what they’d just done.

It was just after the midnight hour on New Year’s Night, and the young folks had dispersed. Jacob and Delilah offered to put the kids to bed. Once the little ones were in bed and fast asleep, left to their own devices, the elderly pair decide to put each other to bed as well.

“Damn you are a well-hung man, Mr. Roberts.”

“Oh now Miss Delilah, you’d best call me Jacob now.”

“Well then, Jacob,” Delilah reached under the sheets, pleased to find the Viagra was still working very well. “Do ya fancy another shag?”

“Oh, Miss Delilah,” Jacob gave her a huge playful smile as he reached under the covers for her nether region. “You sure don’t have to ask me twice.”

 

~*~

1~ The Year Done Right

“So this is what you guys do for New Year’s Eve after party?” Abbie managed between laughs as Tommy stood up and pulled off his shirt.

The guys and Betsy all whistled and catcalled, as he slowly twirled it around and tossed it to the side. She had been told they were a randy bunch and had imagined wild orgies, lots of liquor and possibly a little bit of weed.

“Yes. What did you think we did?” Ichabod gave her a wink, before blowing another whistle cheering his friend on.

Ichabod and Abbie were in one of the cottages celebrating with his friends, doing their traditional game of Strip Poker, while drinking and reminiscing about the good old days.

Thomas and Ben were there as expected, but they were all pleasantly surprised that Georgie finally came to visit, any remnants of George were completely gone now. After a yearlong absence during her transition and fulfilling her dream of going to Culinary school, she was with her friends again and looked happier than she did last New Years Eve, when Abbie first met her.

The only one absent this year was Abraham. He and Joe decided to head back to New York to watch the Apple drop at Time Square.

 

It was well after two in the morning and the group was fairly wasted after celebrating. And the drinks were still flowing. The kids were back at the castle tucked in bed and fast asleep, with Grandpa Jacob and Grams. The Irving’s were enjoying some private time, while Jeremy and Macey had gone to town to spend New Year's Eve with friends their own age.

One week of having their friends staying at Bellington let them know that they were doing well with the startup of running the castle as an inn.

“All right, it’s my deal,” Ben shuffled the deck of cards as they all began to settle down again. “Who wants in?”

“I’m afraid we must be taking our leave,” Ichabod stood wearing his boxer briefs and socks. Abbie was down to her bra and panties and he wasn’t keen on the idea of her losing another round.

“Aww, one more,” they all seemed to pout in unison as Abbie and Ichabod stood and gathered their things.

“I was looking forward to showing the girls off,” Georgie teased, grabbing her brand new perky breasts, more than a little tipsy.

Ichabod leaned over and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. “You look fabulous, love. But I’m about completely tossed,” he slurred just a little.

“When did you become such a lightweight?” Abbie had a bit of fun with him as he stammered a bit getting his pants back on.

“I can hold my liquor,” he gave her a playful side eye back. “When did you get so bad a poker?”

Abbie let out a playful laugh knowing she was down to her last two articles of clothing. “I said I knew how to play. I never said I was any good at it.”

They said their good nights and wished their friends a happy new year before heading out into the cold night to walk back to the castle.

As soon as they were out of the cottage, Ichabod straightened up and took Abbie by the hand. “We got out just in time,” he grinned.

“I knew you were faking,” Abbie gave him a playful jab before she snuggled up against his arm.

“Yes, well, I have a few things I want to do tonight with you,” he raised a brow as he looked down giving her a coy half grin. “... and to you.”

“Oh,” Abbie grinned as he leaned in giving her a tender kiss.

“You know that was way tamer than what I was expecting... no drugs, no orgies,” she laughed.

“Why do you think I suggested we leave early?” Ichabod deadpanned.

Abbie looked at him stunned before he started laughing out loud.

“You’re fucking with me,” she laughed, swatting at him.

“Possibly,” Ichabod teased.

Abbie looked at him still not sure if he was joking. “Maybe I’ll just go back in and find out...”

“Heavens no, that’s enough of that. I want you all to myself.”

They walked under the moonlit sky, while Ichabod quietly hummed. His humming stopped as they passed by the family plot where his parents were buried.

“You okay?” Abbie asked as he stared off into the dark distance.

“Mmm... I am.” Ichabod nodded slightly. “They say time heals all things, they say you can always forget. But the smiles and tears across the years they twist my heartstrings yet.”

“Orwell,” Abbie spoke softly nodding.’’

“Indeed,” Ichabod smiled at her. “You’re familiar with his work?”

“More like familiar with every saying about how time heals... I heard them all after my mom died.”

“Do you believe he’s all right?”

“Lucas? Uhh...He will be. Just like I was, and you were... It’s such a strange thing for the three of us to have in common, you know.”

“It is,” Ichabod agreed He turned to her, now holding her in his arms, his heart warmed as amber doe eyes looked up at him. “I have to believe that somehow we were meant to be together, that fate knew that we would need each other.”

“Fate was right,” Abbie grinned up at him. It was as if their heartbeats created a rhythm and the two began to sway slowly, dancing under the winter night stars

He held her close as he began to hum to her.

“Mmm... I love that song,” Abbie softly began humming along.

“It was a favorite of my mums,” Ichabod breathed her in, the cold night air and her scent were sweet and natural.

“Oh, my love, my darling
I've hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time” Abbie sang softly , her voice a soothing euphonium to his hum.

“Time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much,
Are you still mine?” Ichabod chimed, his deep baritone vibrating through her core.

He slowly twirled her and pulled her back into his arms. “I need your love...”

His natural scent earthy saddle wood, felt like home to her whenever she breathed him in.

“I need your love...” Abbie’s melodious voice faded off as he tipped her chin up.

“God speed your love to me,” Softly he sang pulling her into a tender kiss. The kiss quickly grew intense as their bodies pressed together. Ichabod’s hand slid under her coat, pressing warm large fingers into her skin.

“I have to have you,” he moaned softly, their lips barely parting.

“Come on,” Abbie grabbed his hand and the two ran back to the house, giggling with anticipation.

They were barely in their room before they began frantically peeling each other out of their clothes. It would have gone faster but Ichabod could not keep his hands off of her, kissing and caressing her soft chestnut skin.

Abbie finally got a hold of him, rubbing his thickness which was stiffening beneath his pants.

“How do you want me to take you?” she asked as she pulled him from his pants. “Bending over or on my knees?”

“Damn...” Ichabod croaked as she stroked his length. “Bend over.”

He gave her a devilish smile as he sat on the bed, kicking away his pants and briefs. “My cock isn’t the only thing I want dripping from your lips, Treasure. I want you calling my name as you ride my face, and come in my mouth.”

Abbie’s skin tingled as she felt a wet heat rush from her belly to her clit.

“Mmmm... I definitely want that.” she bent over letting her tongue glide across the tip and slit. “How many times can you come tonight?”

“As many as you want me to,” the corner of his lip turned up in a mischievous grin.

She stroked up and down with her hand, as his thick veined member grew larger and harder, while her wet lips sucked the head.

She grinned wickedly as he made a delightfully throaty sound, when she descended upon his member. She took him into her mouth as deep as she could, working in rhythm with her hand, occasionally tilting her head from side to side.

Her other petite hand rubbed up and down his lean abdomen, playfully flittering up the thin dark trail of hair as she looked up at him with sultry dark eyes.

He looked back at her, hooded soft cerulean eyes, in a near trance as they fixed on her. As he caressed her cheek and shoulders. His hips bucked up slightly, driving into her mouth.

“Oh... fuck...” he groaned his delight enjoying every second.

“You feel like a dream...” his breaths were shallow as he panted, his body tightening and constricting with delight.

“Treasure....” He groaned... coming..” he warned, as she continued. She sucked harder letting him release as the warmth filled the b