‘I guess you got lucky,’ Ann said shyly. They both laughed because Anne couldn’t have said it better. Ann had made her life complete and here they were with two children exploring the world in a way they never imagined possible.
When she was younger Ann never imagined her life could be so filled with hope for a future. Yet, here she was traveling back to Shibden with Anne and her two children, Rebecca and Jeremy. She couldn’t imagine being at Crow Nest or any other place. Ann fond that an impossible thought.
When Anne looked over at her wife she smiled. Anne could never have imagined that going to the pub that night would change her life so much that she would never feel as though she was the same person. She often wondered if she had arrived ten minutes later would Ann have still been there or would she have been so bored she would have gone home.
Only that was where this story began. That is where their promise to create a life together began. That is where everything changed for both of them. I wonder if they really know how the forces of life brought them to where they are now. Driving along the road that will take them through Edinburgh. Ann wanted to see Edinburgh Castle. She had heard so much about it. Anne wanted to show her parts of Scotland that showed the beauty of the country. It was not quite an eight hour journey and with the many stops they would make it would eat into most of their day.
Yet, the journey was worth every second they would travel because Anne and Ann had so much they wanted to talk about and while their twins slept they did. They were thinking about their future and their children’s future. It was possible they would have more children but Ann wanted to wait for a while. She wasn’t ready to give birth again so soon. She had thought two children were enough to deal with ever. Only Anne wanted more.
Anne found it impossible at times to imagine life without their children. What she did miss the most was being able to make passionate love to her wife without little people interrupting their pleasure. Yet, it was fun. Anne was learning to enjoy the pleasures she missed so much from her childhood, making snow men and racing around the grounds of Shibden feeling as free as a bird. She loved the way her children had made her life so inexplicably wonderful and at times so stressful. As she drove through Scotland on their way home she felt joy she had never experience before. Ann next to her smiled broadly. Their children in the car seats in the back giggling at their mothers’ joke but not understanding why the punch line.
Ann had never imagined this chance. A once in a life time journey through life with someone she had loved for so long she couldn’t remember when she didn’t love her. Ann had been so in love with Anne that anyone who tried to take up residency in Ann’s heart found it impossible. Ann had strict rules. You had to be tall, even though Anne was only 5’ 4” tall to Ann she was 6’ or more. She was such an important figure in Ann’s life. Of course, this person who took up residency in her heart would need to wear only black. Anne did that all the time. It was hard to imagine Anne wearing any other colours but Ann was trying her hardest to get Anne to wear a dash of colour here and there. Sometimes it happened but other times she just let Anne be herself. This person also had to be intelligent and talkative, explain the workings of the mind and how interested she was in life and why she was the way she was.
Ann would never doubt what Anne told her and her heart was filled with love for this woman and only this woman and here they were still traveling back home to Shibden with so much to think about and so much life ahead of them. Ann often wondered whether she could look into the future in a way that would allow her to understand the present. Only she knew that this moment was all they had and they had to do their best to make the most of each moment they had together. No one knew when the end would come..
Anne had been pondering on how this would seem to Ann. She wanted to improve their estate. When she thought that she smiled. Their estate and she thought it again. Their estate. When it had only been hers to tend to. There was so much she had wanted to do but found she lacked the finances to do that work. Only how was she going to broach this with Ann. It seemed impossible. She was sure Ann wouldn’t want to do that. She felt that even though she was sharing Shibden with Ann it was her family estate. She imagined Ann wouldn’t want to plow any money into it because she still had Crow Nest to take care of and to ensure that it was in good condition for the next generations to come. Anne frowned. Ann looked at her cautiously. She wondered what she was thinking and wasn’t sure it was a good idea to ask.
‘Anne, dearest, is something bothering you?’ Ann asked tentatively. They had been traveling for a few hours and had only spoken in lengths of minutes. ‘I was wondering what you would say if I said I wanted to improve Shibden estate but I don’t have to finances to do that.’
‘I would say you were crazy, dearest because you do have the finances.’
‘No, I don’t and you bloody well know that.’
‘Hey, potty mouth. You do because now you have half of what I have and you can spend it on whatever you wish. Oh, I transferred it into your bank account just before we left home to visit my sister and her family.’
‘How much?’ Anne asked.
‘This much.’ She reached into the glove box for paper and pen and wrote it down. Then she showed Anne. Who had to stop their car and look closer. Anne had never seen so many zeros in her life. She smiled. ‘I don’t think you should have done that.’
‘And why not? Whatever you don’t spend can go towards our twins educations or a trip somewhere. What do you think?’
‘Brilliant, Adney. Bloody brilliant. You do know you will need to reign me in because I might just go silly and spend it all.’
‘Ah, here’s the thing. There’s more where that came from.’
‘Is there?’ Anne said looking sheepishly.
‘Yes, but it is locked away for our children’s future. Okay!!’
‘Okay!!’ Anne smiled her wife was taking care of her in so many ways. She could never imagine Mariana doing that for her. Of course, Mariana had money but she always said it was her husband’s money and she had to be careful how she spent it.
Then there was Ann, sweet little Miss Ann Walker who was now her wife and the mother to her children. The love of her life and the one who had given her so much in the past and was still giving her so much. As her aunt had said to her ‘Never mind the money.’ Aunt Anne was referring to Anne taking care of Ann but it seemed the reverse had happened. While Anne would have thought it impossible she was lapping up all Ann would give her and in that moment she smiled again.
Ann was constantly amazed at how someone like Anne Lister would want to be with her. Yet, after all this time she could see how possible it was. Anne had been with so many women who treated her so horribly, never accepting Anne as she was and always wanting her to change. Then they would leave her to marry a man which usually left her heart in tatters and her mind wondering if she would ever find someone who would love her for who she was. Ann knew Anne was happier than she had ever seen her. She could see that every time Anne walked into the room and saw her or watched her as she wrote in her journal. When they were strolling around the estate. Ann loved shabby Shibden as Anne was inclined to call it. At moments like that Ann knew Anne was happy they were together. She knew she would always do what she need to do to ensure Anne remained that way for the best part of the life they would have together.
Their twins pulled them out of their thoughts. They were hungry and wanted to get out of the car. They had been on the road for hours. ‘I think we had better stop at the next town to find a bakery. I am sure the kids would like something delicious and sweet to eat. I just want a hot cup of coffee.’ Anne said pulling Ann out of her thoughts. ‘Okay, dearest. I am hungry. I think we will need to change their nappies. Okay!!’ Anne drove for a few minutes until they drove to a small town. There was what seemed like a service station which had a convenience shop attached to it. They changed the twins’ nappies and walked inside the store. There wasn’t much to chose from but what there was seemed to look delicious. Of course, they had fish and chips which is what Ann ordered for them. She knew the twins loved chips and she felt it was time they were introduced to fish.
They collected their order and walked out into the sunshine. There were tables set up outside. So, they chose one and sat down. Anne sat with Jeremy on her lap and Ann had Rebecca on her lap. They ate in silence. Anne had grabbed two bottles of water to share. She handed one to Ann who shared it was Rebecca, who seemed so thirsty that Ann wouldn’t get any. ‘It’ probably the salt in the chips, Adney. She isn’t quite use to it. Okay!!! I guess we should get no added salt next time or get them their own order. Okay!!’
‘You’re probably right. I love lots of salt on chips and they did sprinkle it on like it was meant to be salt with a taste of chips.’
‘Adney, are you enjoying the trip so far?’ Anne said with a little concern on her face. She thought by now Ann would be bored. ‘I’m having a great time because I am with you, dearest.’ Anne smiled That was all she needed to hear. It would be a few more hours before they were at Shibden. She could see Ann was getting sleepy. ‘Why don’t you sleep for a while?’ Anne said.
‘Then you will have no one to talk to.’ Anne shook her head. ‘We have hardly spoken since we left Fortrose, Adney. Please sleep. It will do you good.’
Which is what she did as soon as they left the service station after Anne filled up with Petrol. Ann slept for an hour and a half. When she woke Anne was listening to the radio. She had found a station that played 70s and 80s music which both Anne and Ann loved and the bonus was that their twins seemed to like it too because they were bopping along to the beat and grinning too.
‘How long did I sleep, dearest?’
‘For 95 minutes. Do you feel better now?’
Yes, thank you. How long before we will be back home?’
‘Sixty seven minutes. Is there anything you want to get in Halifax before we go home?’
‘No, I just want to go home and sleep in our bed. I missed it so much.’
‘Okay!! You do realise that we will be bombarded for hugs from everyone including Tib and Marian. Is that okay!!’
‘I can hardly wait to see them. It seems as though we have been away from months and months.’ Ann said. ‘How long were we away?’
‘Seventeen days and five hours.’ Anne said sheepishly because she knew Ann knew had she had to be so accurate with the time and how she used it.
She closed her eyes and slept. They had another hour or so until they would be home in Halifax. She dreamed. It was so vivid. Anne was with her. They were traveling on the continent with their twins who were much older. Ann could see a third child. Only she didn’t think it was possible. They were smiling at her. The twins were school age but it seemed they didn’t go to school. Anne had decided to home school them even though she seemed to be so busy with the estate. Ann was still painting.
Then in the dream they were at the L’ouvre. Her paintings were on the walls. She could hear someone mention her name. Ann Walker. She felt herself walk up to the podium. Then she was awake as the car came to a halt outside the supermarket in Halifax. She felt out of her body. Anne looked at her. She was aware that something was wrong. ‘Adney, are you okay?’ Anne said with concern on her face. ‘I am good. I had a strange dream I will tell you about later.’ Ann said shyly. ‘It was interesting. I dreamed we were on the continent with our twins plus one more. We were at the L’ouvre and my paintings were on display. Then I woke.’
‘I thought you were going to tell me about it later.’ Anne said with a smile on her face. ‘So, we are going to be mamas again. That would be nice.’
‘Are you sure you want that? Aren’t these two scallywags a handful already?’
‘Yes, but they are so much fun to have around. One more would be great. Anyway, we are at the supermarket. Is there anything you would like me to get. You can stay here and watch our twins.’
‘I thought we were going straight home.’
‘Change of plan. I’m hungry.’
‘Okay!! Get something delicious for dinner which we can share with everyone. What time is it?’
‘Twenty two minutes past three. You should call home and tell them we are buying dinner and wondered what they would like to eat.’ Ann did that while Anne waited. ‘Hi Little Ann.’ Aunt said. ‘What can I do for you?’
‘Hi, Aunt. We are at the supermarket and wondered what you would like for dinner tonight. We are buying. Okay!!’
‘Whatever takes your fancy.’ Then Marian yelled out.’Pizza from our favourite pizza place and we need milk, bread and ice cream, any flavoured ice cream would be great.’ Anne huffed next to Ann who said. ‘Tell Marian we will do that and we will see you in about half an hour.’
‘Okay. See you soon, Bye.’ they all yelled together. Ann disconnected the call. Anne ran into the supermarket while Ann called the pizza place to put in their order. ‘Hi, Pizza Mama’s. Kaye speaking. What would you like me to start for you.’
‘Hi, Kaye. It’s Ann Lister here. We will have our usual.’ Ann said. Being back home was great when your favourite pizza place knew your order.
‘That will be one seafood with extra scallops and one pepperoni with extra cheese. Right?’
‘Spot on and some garlic bread for the kids with half the garlic if possible. Please.’
‘Are you getting them to try different foods?’
‘Yes!’ Ann said. ‘I think they will love it.’
‘Okay. Well, let me get your order started. It will be ready in about 20 minutes.’
‘Good. We will be there soon. Bye!’ Ann disconnected the call as Anne returned with what Marian had requested plus a little something for her Adney.
They drove around to Pizza Mama’s and waited for their pizza. Kaye brought it out to them as they sat in their car. She had seen them drive up and park. She handed the ready to eat pizzas to Ann and Anne paid her with a small tip. ‘Keep the change. You go beyond what you to need for us. So this is a little something for you.’ Anne said. ‘Okay?’
‘Okay!! Thanks. Enjoy your pizzas and take care.’
Anne drove them home. When she parked the car at the front door Aunt Anne, Tib and Marian were there to greet her along with Cordingley who was smiling so much it nearly split her face in two. She was happy. She had the night off.
Ann gave Cordingley the pizzas to take into the kitchen.
Then they hugged everyone in turn. Anne had the twins following her around. They had been walking for awhile now. Marian and Tib were surprised. Their triplets were sleeping peacefully. Marian hugged Ann and asked her how their trip to Fortrose was. ‘It was better than I expected. My brother in law is proving how less a prick than what he has been.’
‘Good. How are Liz and the kids doing?’
They are great. Their little girl, Elisabeth is so cute I could pinch her but I am happy that we have our gorgeous twins. Look at them running around chasing their mama. She loves it too but she won’t admit that to anyone.’
‘I know but that’s my sister. Isn’t it? A hard exterior that hides a soft centre. She is so complex. I don’t think I will ever know her completely.’ Marian said as she looked at Ann who had tears rolling down her face. She didn’t think anyone else saw Anne as she did. ‘Thanks, Marian.’ They broke apart and Ann hugged Tib. ‘My little sister.’ Tib said.’How are you coping with my boisterous friend there?’
‘We do great. She says I balance her wildness with my calmness. Only I never see it that way. She gives me the courage to try different things. To be more the person I need to be. I wish she could see that no matter what she does I am happy just being with her.’ Aunt Anne pushed her way in. ‘Can I crash this party, Tib?’ Aunt said as she pulled Ann into a hug.’Go ahead. I need to see a man about a dog.’ Tib said as she walked over to Anne who was rolling on the grass with Rebecca and Jeremy. ‘Mummy, can I join you. That looks like fun.’Tib said as she smirked at Anne. Anne rose and pulled Tib into a tight hug. ‘How are you doing, Mate?’ Anne said concerned. She never imagined Tib would be a mum and never with three at once.’I am doing great. We have loads of help with the triples. Aunt Anne adores them as if they were her grandkids and not her niece and nephews. I couldn’t have asked for a better life.’
‘Do you get bored?’ Anne said with concern.
‘Bored. Goodness, woman. I don’t have time to get bored. Marian and the kids keep me busy and the estate. The owner left me in charge.I hope she likes what I have done.’
‘And what would that be?’ Anne said raising her eyebrows.
‘You will have to wait. I think someone wants a hug from you, Anne.’ Anne walked over to where her Aunt was. They hugged. Anne felt so safe in her Aunt’s arms because she had always comforted her when she was troubled. Anne had tears in her eyes. She hadn’t realised until this moment had much she had missed her. ‘Come on, let’s eat before the pizzas get cold.’ Aunt Anne said. ‘I asked Cordingley to put the oven on warm and put them in there. I see you bought garlic bread. Is that for the kids?’
‘Yes, I got Kaye to put only half the amount of garlic on it.’ Ann said. ‘I hope they love it.’ They ate their pizzas in the kitchen together. Anne and Ann told them about their trip to Fortrose. How gorgeous little Elisabeth is and how much her brother and sister dote on her.
‘Now, that you are back home, Big Anne. What do you plan to do?’ Tib asked.
‘I haven’t decided yet. I need time to rest and recuperate, to see where we are and where we want to be. We had so much fun with the twins while we were away and I want more of that.’ Anne said and Ann nodded in agreement. She had loved having Anne around more. Even though they really hadn’t spent that much time apart. ‘And what would you like to do, Little Ann?’ Tib asked.
‘Spend more time with my gorgeous wife and our twins. Paint more often and enjoy life more than what I did before I met Anne and we got married.’
‘What would you like to paint? Aunt Anne asked.
‘i was wondering if you would like me to do a family portrait to hang somewhere in the hall.’ Ann said slightly embarrassed. She had hoped to keep it a secret but her mouth gave her away. ‘Little Ann, that would be lovely. How are you going to do that?’
‘Take photos of everyone together and everyone separate..’
‘Okay!! When do you want to start.’
‘I have already started.’ Ann said. ‘I began this project before we went to Fortrose. I think I have enough photos of everyone. I only need a group photo now. When will everyone be available to do that.’
‘We could do that now but I am sure after traveling all day you will want to get a good night’s sleep.’ Marian said. ‘We can take the photo in the morning if you like.’
‘Okay!!!’ Ann said. ‘I am beginning to feel a little sleepy. Are you sleepy, Anne?’
‘Yes, I am very sleepy. We need to put our children to bed then go to bed ourselves. It has been a very long day.’ They each lifted a child off the floor and slung them on their hips. They strolled out of the room and up the stairs with smiles on their faces. They were home.Anne thought it was the best place in the world because Ann was there. Ann thought there was nowhere else she wanted to be now she was with Anne Lister.
They settled their children down for the night after reading to them. Ann loved that part of their day because Anne read and she sat close by and listened. She loved the sound of her wife’s voice. It soothed her no matter her mood.
Soon after Rebecca and Jeremy were sleeping peacefully Anne and Ann wandered to their bedroom. As soon as Anne had closed the door Ann had her up against it with her hand around her neck. She was standing there licking her lips. Anne could see what Ann wanted. She pulled Ann’s body against hers. Then their lips connected. They kissed passionately. Ann put her other hand between Anne’s legs. She could feel her cum dripping down her legs. ‘Dearest, You so fucking wet for me.’ Ann said as her hand wandered up to find Anne’s clit. ‘Come on, get on with it. I am so ready for you to touch me.’ Anne said with a raspy voice. ‘I need you inside me. Three fingers please.’ Ann complied. How could she resist such a sweet offering. Ann pushed three fingers inside Anne who was moaning loudly. They were sure the who household could hear them but it didn’t worry them. Ann was pushing her fingers in and out of Anne’s centre and making smaller and smaller circles around her clit with her thumb as she pulled Anne over to their bed, turned her around and pushed her onto it.
Anne was screaming out Ann’s name as she strummed Anne’s clit with her thumb. ‘I am going to….’Which are all the words that left Anne’s lips because she came crashing down with the biggest orgasm she had ever had. Ann slowly removed her fingers from Anne’s centre and crawled up beside her. She held Anne until the tremors ceased. Then Ann knew she was aching for Anne to touch her. ‘Please, Anne, I need you inside me now. If you don’t I am sure I will explode.’ Anne couldn’t resist her adorable pleading wife. So she complied. She pushed three fingers inside Ann and curled them. Ann moaned into her ear. She turned to face Anne and they kissed again more passionately than before. Anne circled Ann’s clit while pumping her fingers inside Ann. She could feel she was ready to come but she wasn’t done with Little Miss Walker. She pulled her fingers out. Ann looked at her with pleading eyes. ‘Anne Lister, are you trying to kill me. I need you inside me.’
‘Be patient my sweet girl and I will attend to your every need.’ Anne said with a broad grin on her face. She kissed Ann then trailed kissed down to her clit. Ann moaned loudly when Anne wrapped her lips around Ann’s clit. Anne licked it and sucked it. She pushed her fingers back inside Ann’s centre. Then she pulled them out. ‘Faster, Anne please, dearest. Faster. I am about to….’ That is all Ann could say before she was over come by the best orgasm she had ever had. Anne crawled up beside her. She held Ann in her arms during the tremors. When Ann’s body was still they kissed again. ‘Isn’t it good to be back home.’ Anne said.
‘It is the best place on earth to have you here beside me, dearest. I don’t want to be anywhere else.’ They snuggled between the sheets together. That is where we will leave them to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep. I don’t know about the others. Maybe they had earplugs. Anne and Ann are destined to have a good life even though it may be slightly rocky sometimes. As we bid them farewell. We wonder what they are thinking.